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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 9, 2016 4:00am-6:01am EST

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scholar. he's eloquent and he's principled. >> secretary of state for management and resources was on capitol hill today to talk about u.s. diplomatic efforts. members of the senate foreign relations committee questioned her on sexual exploitation during peace keeping missions and concerns over the department's allocation of $500 million to the u.n. green climate fund. this is an hour and a half.
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>> our relations committee will come to order. i want to thank you for your testimony today. as chairman one of our priorities as the state department reauthorization process. i want to thank senator menendez for beginning that. i think it's critical oversight tool and a healthy exercise to take an annual look at the
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authorities that need updating. we passed an authorization bill out of committee last year for the first time in five years. we hope to build upon that progress with another bipartisan bill for 2017. like last year, our bill will focus on diplomacy programs and the nuts and bolts operations of the state department. i know our staff has been having a very productive discussion with you and i thank you for creating that kind of tone about these programs. i want to thank you for your help in the process as i know your written testimony as u read will allude to. one area we have been studying is how the u.s. can use its influence to affect change at the u.n., particularly in the areas of sexual exploitation and abuse by u.n. peace keepers and with regard to the peace keeping budget in general. reports keep rolling in of u.n. peace keepers and personnel abuse iing the very people theye
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charged with protecting, which is truly horrifying. and a blight on the good we're trying to do for those countries. these bad apple operate with um munty because there are no mechanisms to bring them to justice. we need to use our influence to fight this impunity to insist on court-martials for each of the operations. refusal that do nod take charges of abuse seriously. whatever else it takes to root out this abuse. the u.s. now pays close to 30% of the u.n. peace keeping budget which is more than other members of the security council combined. i would not call that burden sharing. i think there's consensus we'd like to look at that. i know the state department doesn't enjoy being saddle d wih this bill either. bill from the u.n. but i would like to know what
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you're doing actively to create change. we talk about these things, but we concern ourselves sometimes that there's really not an active engagement to change the assessment formula such that it captures the ability to contribute and eliminate bonus discount that relieves of paying their fair share. i'm also concerned about the systemic issues with improper handling of classified information that has come to light recently. if some of your employees are struggling with proper handling of classified information, which appears to be the case, we view it as our duty to set up training and accountability systems necessary to fix this problem. i'm also interested in how you incentivize foreign service officers to serve at less desirable posts. extra pays foreign service officers receive are determined
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by bureaucrats in washington and do not reflect officer's actual pref sis about where they serve. seems to me it would be much more effective and transparent to combine the various extra pays into one rate for each post that takes into account the popularity of that post. and finally, i hope you will address the fee structure, which essentially bets on continued growth of demand for u.s. visas to fund our other services. i know you didn't design it this way, but we're looking to make it more efficient and transparent and i hope you will work with us on that also. i look forward to hearing your thoughts. i'm a bill part of an authorization bill and it's something to else that you have some priorities you would like to see put in place. we look forward to hearing about those.
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thank you for your testimony and will turn to our ranking member senator carter. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me thank the secretary for her attendance here today and her service to our kocountry. we appreciate the work that you're doing on behalf of america. i want to thank our chairman for not just this hearing but his commitment for our committee and the united states senate and for the congress to carry out our responsibilities on the reauthorization of the state department. i don't think there's a member of this committee that was in this senate the last time we passed an authorization bill. >> unless she was serve iing wi abe lincoln. >> it's been awhile. it's even been a longer time you have to go back to the 1980s when we reauthorized the aied program.
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we are hamstring the state department by our failure to pass an authorization bill. you mentioned outdated laws and that's certainly true with the fee service issues. that was developed a long time ago when the services were different than they are today. it requires an update of that authorization or we could talk about the current concerns on overseas comparability pay. that's an issue congress needs to speak to. there are many areas where congress need to act on diplomatic security issues. we did have a bill that we worked on. we didn't get it done, but it should be included in the authorization bill. we have workforce diversity issues and i hope the secretary will talk about that. there's still far from where i would like to see opportunity in america reflected within the
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foreign service. there are important areas that the chairman has already mentioned. the united nations reform issues, it's controversial, but we need to deal with these issues. i'm not placing blame as to why we haven't been able to get this done. and i'm very much working with the chairman to see whether we can't find a path where we can reach the finish line and start a process that every congress there will be a state department authorization bill considered by the congress and acted on by the congress, recommended by the senate foreign relations committee. mr. chairman, we spend a lot of time in this committee. i don't know if any other committee has more hearings, more knowledge of what's going on globally than this committee. we know each of the regions. we spent a lot of time on each of the regions. we know the state department. we know what's being done in the state department. we are the committee that should be recommending to the united states senate the policies for the state department.
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it shouldn't be the appropriators, it shouldn't be the armed service or the senate foreign relations committee. this hearing is a good first opportunity for us to explore how we can carry out that responsibility. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. if i could, i don't normally do this, but we have two outstanding senators from georgia. senator purdue has been taken lead on the bill, but also taking the lead on our side on the budget process. just for what it's worth, i hope he won't be offended, but has made comments like what you're saying. it really is ridiculous the way appropriators that i respect grateful and they meet for five hours and determine the budget on all these programs where in essence we spend the entire time we're here looking at what's happening. i think the authorization process is one that's very
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important and yet way underutilized. so thank you for saying that. i want to thank the deputy secretary of state for management and resources. thank you for being here and sharing your thoughts. we appreciate your service to our country. i think you have done this before and understand that you can summarize in five minutes if you wish and your written testimony without opposition will be entered into the record in full. so thank you for being here and cooperating with us on this matter. >> thank you, mr. chairman. distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today regarding authorization. as secretary kerry has said, american leadership is not just a button that we push in a time of emergency. we must be backed by resources and authorities. so we're committed to working with the committee on a bill that provides a strong foundation for the state department and enhances our efforts to be more effective and efficient. today i will highlight a few of
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the authorities that we believe are critically important and i want to thank members for your partnership on several of these issues. they include permanent authority to contract local guards with the best firms to better protect our people and infrastructure, administrative subpoena authority for the bureau of diplomatic security to enhance their efforts to counter passport and visa fraud, authorities to provide greater flexibility to set fees for border crossing, fraud prevention and detention and surcharges, which would support our execution of services, authorities to pay our contribution as well as to pay our ewe united nations peace keeping dues to help us avoid accruing. to better support and remain our workforce by leveling the playing field for overseas pay. the committee is also indicated its interest in hearing from the department on other issues, which i will briefly address now
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and look forward to discussing further. first, the international community relies on united nations peace keeping missions to advance our collective global security. the state department is committed to u.n. reform and we are working to ensure other countries pay their fair share of u.n. budgets, especially developing countries like china, which is the second largest peace keeping cost contributor. we recognize the value of missions but we are appalled by continuing allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by peace keepers. the united states has been a driving force behind the u.n.'s zero tolerance policy and will continue to push the u.n. to bring an end to abuses and hold perpetrators accountable. we are directly pressing troop and contributing countries named for the first time in last week's united nations report to promptly and credibly investigate allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse and where appropriate to
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prosecute offenders. second the united states faces not only risks to our physical security but risks to the security of our information. since the breach of our unclassified e-mail system, we have aggressively worked to enhance our cyber security. we have strengthened the way our users access the systems, the security testing of our networks and applications and the training of our staff on the threats we face. third, responding to freedom to information act requests is an important element of our transparency efforts and while the volume of requests to the department has increased by 300% since 2008 our resources to address them have not kept pace. that's why we have requested a 77% increase in this year's budget. and in addition, secretary kerry has appointed a transparency coordinator who is spear heading efforts to improve its systems and processes. and finally, our work to advance
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american leadership and diplomacy around the world is only as strong as our people. to ensure we have the right people and the right places at the right taime, we are adoptin tools to support our workforce and expand innovation. mr. chairman, as discussed in it more detail in my written testimony, a strong state department authorization bill will put the department on robust footing as we pursue security and prosperity for the american people. i look forward to working with you on this important endeavor. thank you and i'm happy to answer questions. >> thank you very much for being he here. all of us read the stories and heard testimony about what's happening with peace keepers, which is abhorrent and hard to believe we're participating and trying to help people and yet they are being taken advantage of. it's a terrible report regarding the drc. what is it that we can actually
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do? i fear sometimes that we have other priorities at the u.n. and don't want to rock the boat. it doesn't appear to me that we're really laying railroad tracks on this issue, and i wonder if you would tell me that i'm wrong and what what we're doing to cause changes to occur. >> first, we share your outrage. this is appalling behavior. we have been very active in the u.n. to try to address it. in the report that the secretary general issued on friday for the first time, they have named the countries of alleged violators, which is a policy we have been pressing them to do. as a result of that, we have already directed our ambassador in those countries to go in and demand a rapid investigation and prosecution where appropriate. so we have been pushing that for awhile. we are pleased they have finally done it. we are pressing the u.n. to us spend reimbursements for personnel alleged to have
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committed these abuses as well as to repateuate contingents of peace keepers, where there's a trend of abuse. the ub has taken that action once already with the drc contingent. we're also pressed the u.n. and moving forward on establishing sexual exploitation within's peace keeping mission to ensure that the leadership is focused, that there's training and engagement on this. we have taken several steps and will continue to make more. this is a very top priority. >> where are we on the on site court-martial so we know justice is being served and they are not going back to home countries and never being seen again. this is why the countries that are involved, not some outside group. where are we on that? >> that's correct. we are pressing them to rapidly convene those. we have to assess what capabilities and capacity they have and work with them to
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develop it. that's a priority for us and something we're working with the contributing police and nations on. >> the lower u.s. assessment, i know you spoke to earlier and i did this is another area we let it pass because we have other priority, but we have a period of time to lower the assessment. what are we doing actively to get things in the right place. we have members of the u.n. security council not paying their fair share. there's some bogus formulas put together because of what they are as a country and what their status is that keeps that from being the case. what are we doing to prevent that in the future? >> mr. chairman, two pieces. we have been working with the u.n. and over a period of years to reduce the costs of the peace keeping missions. we have been able to reduce the cost per peace keeper by 17%. the overall amount has been
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reduced by $200 million. we're continuing to push on the overcall costs. we're working very hard -- >> if i could. many troops make money off of it. and they are paying far above what it cost them and countries self-report their costs, which is ridiculous. but what are we doing to have some accountability there? we have been pressing the budget as well as in if the peace keeping sphere to improve accountability and will continue that work. to your previous comment about the contributions of other countries, we have pressed hard to deal with the credit issue and will continue that work.
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we're please ed d to see china russia and other countries significantly increasing the amount they are paying toward the peace keeping mission. we need to engage and work with you to figure out the best ways to do that. >> i notice when all of us travel extensively, people in in this committee spend a lot of time overseas. on pay i think our people should be well paid. our foreign service officers are doing the lord's work around the country and around the world trying to make sure we pursue u.s. interests. i want to get that on the front end. at the same time, i hear them say i saying we have lots of private conversations that coming back to washington is a pay cut. so we have this foreign pay issue and yet most of them believe that higher cost of living here in washington, the fact that their housing is not
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paid for is a pay cut. so are we really deal iing with the issue of foreign service and what they are paid in the countries with the appropriate way with the understanding that most of them would prefer to be overseas than here as it relates to what they are paid. >> mr. chairman, thank you. it's customary to want to be deployed overseas where they most enjoy doing their work. with respect to the allowances and the cost of living, those are based on exceptional cost, hardship, living in a dangerous place, living in a place with a lot of crime and health risks. that category of hardship is an incentive payment to encourage people to take those more complicated assignments. the cost of living adjustments are intended to ensure people can obtain goods and services to
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the way they would. we think they are appropriate and important to provide compensation as well as incentive to get to our areas. >> is there a more rational way of arriving at what that is? it seems we have a small group of people back here in washington that set these various differentials and may not be based on the realities that exist on the ground. >> we would be pleased to talk about ways to approach this. it's done with input from post. so whether it's assessing the conditions on the ground with respect to danger, public health, some of the other conditions, that's with input from post and comes from washington. the coast of living adjustment, we have a server that goes out every couple years to look at the specific costs of goods and services in those countries. it really benefits from all a lot of input at post. >> lastly, the ranking member
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and myself have had a number of conversations to get a sense of what has been occurring at the state department relative to e-mails. we have gone out of our way to make sure that this committee doesn't politicize an issue at a time when that shouldn't be done. would you agree that some type of training and some type of systemic checks needs to occur within the department to make sure classified information is being handled in an appropriate way. >> the department takes its responsibility to protect sensitive information very seriously. and we do a lot of training. as part of the most recent process we concluded just a week ago in the release of secretary clinton's e-mails, we're going to conduct a lessons learned process and some of the e-mails and issues that arose. we have robust training both when someone enters the department so they understand the type of information they will see and why that might be
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of interest to an adversary or someone with an interest that's not in the united states' interest. but also as you get security clearance, as you're allowed to review and handle classified information, we do a lot but certainly look at what's working. >> is that new? >> it's not new. i get locked out of my computer as does every other employee if i don't take an annual awareness course. i can't get on. it takes a few hours. we're adapting as we see different threats and provide different levels of training. >> i like to pursue that further with you in another setting. thank you. senator? >> on that last point, i thank you because we do share the same responsibility of this committee to oversight of the handling of information the transfer of
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electronic requires a different way of handling material. and i look forward to working with the chairman. this is not a problem with one administration. this is several administrations and there's no information that there's been state secrets that have been disclosed, but we do need a more efficient way to handle sensitive information. so i look forward to working with the chairman carrying out the responsibility of our committee. there's been an incredible change in attitude from americans and support of our diplomacy assistance programs. when i first came to congress, it would be difficult to pass a foreign operations appropriation bill. now that bill becomes in some republicans the driver for other issues getting done. the american people understand g we the modest investmentv8ykyy
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make is very important forlĂ·aa how you intend to make sure the legacy of your leadership provides the resources necessary to carry out this important function of government. >> thank you very much, senator. we share the concern that increasing percentage of our
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resources are funded through n contingency operations. the budget passed lags year and set the parameters for both the 16 appropriations process and the 17 including the budget that would be funded as oko. that reduces our base funding and it's skewed to a certain extent what's funded where. while we have agreed to the deal that the president signed and adhering to it, we have concerns about what that means going forward. our base costs and ongoing operations funded in a base at a high level to enable us to conduct our missions. and to preserve the contingency operations for short-term exceptional events. i think that it's necessary to have contingency funding for state and aid going forward, but it should be rationalized from where we are today. i hope that will be a process that we can engage in with congress going forward. >> it sounds rational, but when you have base core programs
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funded it makes it difficult to see how that's going to be transitioned off when you know how difficult it is to get other funds. it's something we'll have to deal with. i urge you to look at the long-term stainability of your missions as core functions and funded as core functions. i agree with senator corker in that as u travel and meet the people in foreign service, they are incredible. they deserve the full support and thanks of the american people in our political system. so i strongly support their compensation. i support their having the resources necessary. but when i look at the leadership in our foreign service, and i look at the pipelines for how we are developing future leaders, it does not represent to me the demographic changes of america.
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i want to know what you're doing to make sure that we carry out our commitment to have the face of america representative of the people of america. >> the diversity is an important process. we included it in the diplomacy and development review that we issued last year shortly after i was here elevating it as a priority for senior leadership in the department. we have increased in our budget resources devoted for a workforce by 50%. one of the core elements a pelkts of that is increasing by 50% the fellows, which have been an effective way to ensure we have a more diverse workforce. one of the key priorities from my perspective is i look at the data and do the analysis is ensuring as we bring it in, we have support to retain and put
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on a path to senior leadership positions that more diverse workforces. so we're expanding to career programming. we have contracted with the cox foundation to do a review of the mentoring programs chrks we hear from our personnel are critically important and want to e know we're using resources effectively in targeting them in the right way. >> it's very important this be done in a transparent way. i'm going to ask with the chairman's help that you keep our staffs actively informed as to the process that you're using, how transparent it is, how you're reaching out in order for recruitment, so that we're fully engaged with you in this effort on diversity. i hope we would have your cooperation. >> we would welcome that opportunity. secretary kerry has asked all of his assistant secretary level or above officials to do a domestic recruiting trip coordinated with
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our diplomats and residents so we're targeting the right institutions and right parts of the country and using what tools we have in addition to additional budget requests to do that kind of outreach. >> thank you. lastly, let me mention an area where resources are not adequate to meet the challenges we have. and that is democracy funding and any corruption efforts. every place i travel in countries that are either in transition or have challenges, they tell me give me more money for democracy and more focus on anti-corruption issues. every dollar we get produces incredible results for america's mission. they just don't have enough of it. so what effort cans you suggest to us working with you where we can get funds allocated in those parts of those regions that are
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desperate need of democracy assistance throughout the world on anti-corruption issues. >> thank you, senator. we agree we have not been able to allocate the cross resources the way we'd like to. we have a the lot of crises around the world and have to make trade offs dealing with directives. . that's why we have increased funding in 17 for democracy programming. we have heard from congress they want to see through the appropriations process greater focus. so i'm hopefulful. it's a bottom up process. and this issue is particularly acute in many places. >> your point through the appropriation process underscores the senator corker have made. give us the tools that we can give you the statutory authority to make to be able to allocate
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those resources rather than depending on a process that doesn't always work smoothly in this institution. >> we look forward to working with you. >> if i can make one point. i know this may be just out of bounds by some foreign service offices, but to address diversity and to address bringing professionals in it, we have a lot of folks ageing out. does it make sense to allow people who have been competent in civil society to be able to transfer in at a level that's not stamping visas and those kind of things? is that something that would be rational and help on the front that senator was just asking about? >> thank you, mr. chairman. that is an idea that has been tested at various points. i think we can continue to talk about and try to figure out a way to handle that. we have wrestled with how to
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best take advantage of the contributions we could get while also having a system that we sign people up and spend their careers at the state department and work through a series of different steps. we're trying to balance the culture and requirements of the foreign service with the great benefits we could get from others. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you for mentioning our foreign diplomats overseas. they really are the face of the united states. we always brag about them, but never have a chance to point one out. we have one here today. julie fisher l you stand up? this is my neighbor. her parents still live down the street. she grew up down the street from me. she served america overseas in ukraine. she's pretty dog gone good because i read your brief and i had all these questions on internet security, information security and you covered every one of them in your opening statement. so you have an awfully good person. we're proud you're here today.
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>> do we have any marylanders out there. the chairman and i got to go to the second and third senators to go to darfur and got to see firsthand the environment in which many of these refugees and people abused sexually and traumatized reside. and we learned that sexual trauma and sexual violence is a military tactic in many african countries and other countries around the world. i want to underscore the chairman's comments about the sexual violence and the predators that are in some of these peace keeping units and we need to make sure it takes place so that's abolished and america never looks the other way when that goes on. >> thank you for your comments. we agree and both in the peace keeping context as well as in our engagements with several african countries as we're doing
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training and trying to support good governance and democracy. being very clear on what's acceptable and what's not is critically important. we see it as you point out in many contexts. it's appalling and we have to make it a top priority wherever we see it. >> one last point on the reauthorization. we waited 13 years to finally reauthorize the secondary education act and we did that last year. public education in america suffered by the inaction of the united states congress. i want to underscore your comments of those of the ranking member on the need for us to reauthorize the state department and modernize those rules and regulations and empower them to do the job. i would ask you a question, but i know you're going to have the right answers. i'm going to excuse myself. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you, thank you so much. thanks for your major contributions. we're glad we violated the rules to allow you both to be on the
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committee, two senators from georgia. >> thank you, mr. chair. i want to ask a little bit about latin ask a little bit about latin america, an interest of mine and senator menendez is focused on this. the president announced a new investment in the budget he proposed to take to a second chapter, peace colombia. talk a little bit about, from the state department's view, from a resource view, the kind of return on investment that we had on the first 15 years of this investment over three administrations and how we would propose to assist colombia in this new chapter god willing, post ceasefire. >> i had the chance to travel and meet with gulf of mexico officials to talk about the future, and understand how our resources can best be directed,
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assuming there's a peace deal, and we hope soon, one that we can continue to support, to help that country go into areas governed by the farc, deal with the narko trafficking, with the coca production and some severe the other issu -- some of the other issues there. what i heard again, the capacities that the united states brings to the table, that they need to do that. there were plans, but implementing them and understanding what capacities we bring, whether it's on the military training side, support for civil society side, and the alternative development. and of course some of the narko trafficking. my take away from some of that experience and it's reflected in the administration's policy, a continuation of our engagement where we provide truly leveraging capabilities and working with a common vision of what success looks like. so i'm hopeful and came away from that trip convinced that
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there's a lot of work to do, but that we're on the right path and we have good partners in colombia. and the story of colombia is not just the u.s. has helped them transform, but colombia has become a security partner with assistance in the northern triangle. they have peacekeepers in the sinai. they're really becoming a global force for positive security in a way that is a great alliance for us, but a real tribute also to their commitment to peace and prosperity outside their own borders. >> i agree. when i was in central america at the end of last year, in honduras and el salvador, every visit that we made, there was a colombian police officer participating in the training and it was incredibly valuable to those countries. when you look at the progress that colombia has made over the past many years and you look at
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the path the northern triangle countries have to traverse, there's a lot of good examples we can draw on from there. >> in the two-year budget deal and the appropriations deal we struck at year end and because of the senate, the senate had this, and the house did not. the compromise followed the senate version, $750 million investment in the northern triangle with plan colombia as an indication that we can have hope this will work, if we're consistent with it, the president has proposed an additional billion dollars for the northern tribal countries. we had testimony previously about the kind of pillars into which the investments will fall, but what will our metrics be for sort of measuring whether the progress is what we would hope? >> thank you, senator. the first metric we have and need to keep focused on are the commitments that the presidents of those three countries have made and ensuring they live up to those commitments. one of the critical elements of our strategy for central america
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is ensuring that we learn from the things we've done before, but we're also doing things differently and it requires transparency and good governance. so that these governments are putting their own resources against our commonly shared vision of what needs to happen. we are working very carefully across our government within different agencies to ensure we have developed tools to measure success, to know what's working and what's not. one of the areas that i spent a lot of time visiting when i was in the region was on the partnership between the state department's inl, bureau and ussid, bringing law enforcement and community together. and we're scaling that up across the region, but in large part based on the independent evaluation that showed this strategy would be successful. so we're going to do different
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monitoring and evaluation projects, we're going to hold ourselves accountable and put the resources against what we know works. >> and staying in the region, obviously there's huge concern about stwrezika. this is not a health hearing, but i'm curious, particularly with respect to state department personnel in the americas, what steps are you taking from a management personnel to protect our people? >> thank you, senator. first of all, obviously the greatest risk population is women who are pregnant or want to become pregnant. just as the pentagon has gone, under personnel have the opportunity to curtail their assignments early, return to the united states, be medevacked and we've had some employees avail themselves of that. we'll continue to message that so they understand what opportunities they have. we've also been very clear about individuals in affected areas can protect themselves. this is, as i'm sure you know, a different vector to control, but there are measures that
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individuals can take to protect themselves. and we're ensuring they have sufficient insect repellant and information, so we'll continue to do that. >> one last issue. the senator and i look a trip about a year ago to mexico, honduras and colombia. didn't have anything to do with cuba. but every head of state we met with said, you have no idea how your path to normalization with cuba is going to open up other opportunities for you. they described it as a fight between uncle sam and cuba. and we had to be on cuba's side. so the u.s. ankle weight was slowing them down. i just really think the path with cuba and we'll continue to challenge cuba on human rights issues, just like other countries that we have diplomatic human rights issues with, we'll continue to focus on
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that. but the americas for our purpose, we're all americans, north, south, and central, if there is that ceasefire in colombia, it will be the end of war in these two hem spheres, which is probably the first time in recorded history you could say that. and there's just enormous cultural similarities that we share. recent electoral activities, especially in south america, i've had promising signs about pro democracy, pro human rights. a lot of upside opportunities. i would hope we don't spend all our time worrying about our headaches and short shrift the upside opportunities that we have in our own region and i would really encourage the state department and my colleagues on that. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, senator. >> appreciate your comments about zika and i assume the state department will send out notifications to travelers. the olympics are taking place in august, notifying them of concerns is that correct? >> the centers for disease control issued guidance of this
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kind and we disseminate it broadly across our platforms. so if anyone is interested to come to our website to gather information about brazil, they'll find that information, providing the cdc's guidance. >> we want to be a little more proactive on that, but we'll talk about that. senator perdue. >> i think that's at the center of one of our problems, we have to coordinate how we fund these departments and the people who really understand these departments and have the right or responsibility of oversight need to be involved in that process. i could not agree more and we're working to see how we can change that. madam secretary, thank you for being here. thank you for your courtesies last week. i just have three quick questions. one is, just to put a little
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historical perspective on this, and the way i look at it, with the last seven years, and this is not a partisan comment, it's just a reality. we borrow over a third of what we spend as a federal government. 2/3 of our spending is mandatory. if those dollars that we get in, go to mandatory first, that means every dollar on defense and state and aid is fundamentally borrowed. so there's a crisis here, that we need to look at what we're doing with what we're spending. and the perspective is, between '92 and 2000, state and all of its endeavors, averaged about $20 billion a year over that eight-year period. then it went from 20 to 40. and a lot of that was iraq, afghanistan, and other things. since then, we've fallen into this level of about 50. and i had to call out that you're asking for less money this year than you asked for last year. so i have to call out and thank
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you for that. so i have that observation and the second observation is while that level stayed at about 50, the enduring dropped from 50 to 40 over that period of time and was filled with oako. the second piece of that is help me understand the responsibilities and what we're doing around the world. i recognize we're the most philanthropic country in the world, and we need to maintain that position as long as we can afford it. but i'm just not sure right now that we shouldn't ask the question, can we afford all this? and so it's incumbent on you as the budget process comes about, to justify how we've gone from 20 to 40 or 30 and now to 50. explain that to me just a little bit in terms of your -- i know you didn't take it from 20 to 50. you've been given a challenge to use 50 and you've kept it flat, pretty much. but help me with that historical perspective on how we're
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spending that much. >> so, senator, i think you've touched on a few elements of it, which are iraq and afghanistan, that have -- that required increases in our budget and require increases to sustain our engagement there. i would point to a couple of other factors as being those that we need to fund, and that is, that we are dealing with an increasingly complex world. just take the humanitarian side for a moment. we have four level three humanitarian disasters. i can't say it's unprecedented, but it's highly unusual. and we're a generous contributor to those crisis. we also have the rise of violent extremism during that time. we did as a regular course, rely on and utilize supplementals to address the emerging crises. we'd be pleased to go through in more detail -- >> yeah, i think it would be
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instructive. because it's something that every department will have to go through, in terms of what we really can afford to do. it's a question we don't ask much up here. i have a second question on the i.g. last year, we talked privately and you testified about this, and i know you've been very vocal about this. but as i look at it, i don't see a lot of progress, honestly. so can you address the progress that you're making with that. with regard to specifically the request of the i.g. and i think there was no disagreement last year, about having the i.g. be aware of all investigations. there are evidently three path ways investigations go inside state. can you speak to that just a minute. >> sure, i'd be pleased to. we've been working with the i.g., to identify which cases they're most interested to have the information about. they can investigate anything, but where we narrow their focus, so that the processes of an
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administrative nature, if someone wants to bring a civil rights case to our office of civil rights, it's clear the i.g. isn't necessarily interested in that. >> is the i.g. aware now of all the potential investigations? >> the conversation we're having with them right now is to look across all of the different avenues people have to bring, even approaching the ombudsman and saying, what cases are you interested in, defining that, and working through a process. and i won't speak for him, because that wouldn't be appropriate. but i do meet regularly with and i think he's pleased with the process. i think soon we'll have a process that we can explain and make available to our employees. >> i think that's important. i know as we travel the world as the chairman mentioned, it's one of the great benefits of this responsibility, you do see great americans out there in the field and i have to echo what everybody said, i just marvel at the quality of people and their dedication around the world. i know we have to make them secure.
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and i know post benghazi there's been an uptick in that. there are some four major embassies construction. can you talk about that and the overruns on those, for islamabad, london, singapore, i know these are billion-dollar plus installations now. we have to have stronger buffer zones or offsets. can you speak to that just a minute, please. >> sure. senator, you touched on one of the issues that's most important when we think about embassy construction. that's building facilities that are safe and secure for our personnel. and post the bombings in the '90s, we continually review and look at what our requirements are. in places where it's more dangerous to operate, those costs can be more expensive. islamabad would be an example. and where we have posts that house a lot of different agencies, we have different requirements to meet that. >> that's another question i'd like to dial into at some point. i think in singapore, there are
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19 different government agencies with offices and personnel over there. i'd love to know the purpose of those. that may not be your purview, but at some point over the next few months, i'd loof to see what those areas of responsibilities are. >> we'd be pleased to do that for you, senator, at any of our posts. when you travel to our posts and sit with the country team, you get a flavor for which of the different opportunities having our agencies there makes sense, but it is expensive -- >> are you experiencing serious overruns? that's what i was going for. >> i think it depends on a case by case basis. i wouldn't say in general. sometimes we go out, bid, come under budget. in other cases, the costs are in excess of what we projected. so it depends. but we could provide you with our most recent set of construction plans and budgets and provide some additional -- >> i don't need to see the plans. i trust you on that, but the
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numbers -- >> i meant budget plans. >> thank you. >> senator murphy? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you for being here, once again. i appreciate senator perdue's conversation about what we can afford to do within the limited resources we have to spend. listen, i would pose the opposite question. i think we have to ask our question, how we can afford not to make these investments, especially when you put u.s. foreign aid, international development funding in the context of what our competitor nations are spending themselves. over the last ten years alone, the chinese have increased their foreign aid by a factor of seven at a time when our foreign aid has been largely flat. we are looking at a budget that is frankly $2 billion less than fy-'10 enacted numbers. the chinese have increased their
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spending by a factor of seven. in egypt, a lot of commotion about turning on $2.3 billion in u.s. military aid. the saudis announced $8 billion play with money both from their public funds and their sovereign funds, a $20 billion oil investment in egypt, and we sit here and wonder why we don't have as much influence there as other countries. it's in part because other nations in and around that region are spending numbers that dwarf ours. . we're an apple in a world full of oranges. the rest of the world that the blunt inflexible power of group military strength isn't as effective as the flexible and nimble nature of economic aid, energy aid, political aid. and we are chasing our tail around the world in part because
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china, the russians, the saudis, are lapping us when it comes to that kind of smart money. we should remember, that as much money as we spend, we're still in the bottom of oecd nations, when it comes to the amount of money we spend on international aid as a percentage of our gdp. it's a big number, but we're a big country. and when you compare it to other nations, we're still, at least within our sub set of first-world nations, in the bottom fourth. so with that being said, let me ask about one particular line item that's significantly lower in this proposed budget, and you can probably explain to me why. in fy-'16 omnibus appropriations bill, we had a significant increase for humanitarian assistance, and this is international disaster assistance, migration and
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refugee assistance and food aid. this budget propose says about a 17% cut. i know humanitarian aid doesn't matter any less to the administration than it did in the last year. so explain to me, why that cut and where that money is going to be made up. >> thank you, senator. we were pleased in the fy 16 bill, we did receive a generous increase in humanitarian assistance. as we looked to build this fy-'17 budget, cognizant of the bipartisan budget act that set parameters for discretionary spending, we looked across our needs over a period of two years and determined that with the additional resources that were provided and with the request we made for 17, we'll be able to meet our expected and anticipated expenditures. i would note, though, that we did -- we are operating under the discretionary restraint and over two years, to your earlier point, there are trade-offs
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we've made that aren't exactly what we'd want to do absent those constraints. so we do feel confident about the funding level for humanitarian assistance across '16 and '17, but certainly had to make trade-offs for. >> as an example, one of those trade-offs is that the world food program in and around syria is cutting off aid to refugee families that don't live in the actual refugee camp. so if you're living out in the streets of jordan or lebanon, you are at risk of having your emergency food assistance cut off. it's one of the choices that we've all made, we don't have enough money to fully fund that program. that has dire consequences for those families. pushes many of them into the arms of the very groups that we're trying to fight. so i understand the difficult tradeoffs you have to make, but we should all be cognizant of the consequences to u.s. national security. i want to drill down on one very
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specific issue and that is the issue of procurement between the state department. you are subject to the buy america law as well as other agencies, but just in preparation for this hearing, i was just going through the list of waivers that have been requested, and it's a pretty substantial list. and i understand, this has sort of been a crusade of mine for years, to put the teeth back into your buy america requirements. i understand that you've got sort of two strings pulling on you here. one, you want to be a good guest in country, and do business in country. but you also do have a law that requires you to buy equipment, if you can, from u.s. companies. but you've submitted waiver requests for some pretty easy equipment to get from u.s. companies. vehicles, for instance, which
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are regularly being shipped to the countries in which you're operating, but you're often buying from in-country sources rather than from american sources. can you talk a little bit about your commitment to the buy america law and efforts that you may be able to take to reduce the number of waivers that are being granted to the state department? we have a lot of great u.s. companies that would like to supply the state department and often don't seem to be getting the chance. >> thank you, senator. we take those responsibilities that we have seriously, and it gets back to a certain extent to the previous part of our conversation about resources. and any waivers that we would request, we'd want to do so very judiciously and look forward to following up with you or your staff to talk about how we think about this, and how we would approach it. but we want to do things in a way that abides by the requirements, but also takes into account our costs and how we do business overseas. so we aren't looking for anything of a blanket nature up, want to do it selectively and
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want to follow up so the request is understand. >> i appreciate that. it's often going to make sense to buy from a cheaper, non-american source. but the damage to the overall federal treasury in the lost jobs, increased medicaid costs, increased unemployment cost, pretty quickly wipes out the savings to the agency. so i look to following up with you on this issue. >> certainly senator, thank you. >> senator brasso? >> thank you, mr. chairman. madam secretary, thank you for being with us. president obama pledged $3 billion for the u.n. green climate fund. congress hasn't authorized any funding for the new international climate change slush fund. the most recent appropriation prohibited the transfer of funds to create new programs.
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media is reporting this morning the administration deposited $500 million into the u.n. green climate fund, appears to be the latest example of the administration going around congress. so if the media reports are true, this is a blatant misuse of taxpayer dollars. so, first, did the administration deposit $500 million in the united nations green climate fund? >> thank you, senator. we have reviewed our authorities and made a determination that we can make this payment to the green climate fund. >> the question is, did the administration today, as announced, deposit $500 million into the green climate fund? >> we signed an agreement with the u.n. to do that, yes -- excuse me, for the world bank. >> when was that done? >> yesterday. >> tell me how the administration is able to divert and reprogram funds in order to meet the president's unilateral promise? >> we reviewed the opportunities available to us to do that and believe we're fully compliant
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with that. be happy to follow up with you and your staff. >> the united nations green program is a new program. the question is, what legal authority that you at the state department believe you have to make this transfer? and given the prohibition, do you agree it violates the act and it comes with criminal and civil penalties. i think you're going to have to deal with that. >> thank you, senator. we do not believe that we're in violation of the act. and our lawyers have looked at this and we're happy to follow up with you. >> with regard to the u.n. green climate fund, members of congress are expected to be good stewards of taxpayer funds, not provide funding to agencies that's not needed. well, it raises serious concerns then that the u.s. department of state has at least $500 million sitting around in funding that's no longer needed for the purposes for which it was approved. whether you have the legal authority or not to move it, you have chosen to move $500 million
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from programs for which it was approved. so funding is no longer needed for the original purpose, then the money should be returned to the u.s. treasury. it's clear this committee must look at the entire budget and resource allocation if millions, 500 million of funds intended for specific programs are suddenly available to be spent on other authorities. what specific accounts were so overfunded, allowing you at the state department to divert these fuppedz to the united nations green climate fund? >> you mentioned president obama's pledge. we included in our budget a request for the green funding. so as we do our budgeting process, we didn't look around and say, where are excess funds we can put into this? we built it into our budget request. as we received the '16 bill and made allocations, we have the authority and the ability to fund that requirement. >> what exact accounts were overfunded to be able to move
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the money out? >> nothing is overfunded. we looked across the appropriations bills and made allocations based on what resources were provided to us. >> i firmly oppose what the president is doing here and the misuse of taxpayer dollars, completely in violation of the law, and this will come to additional concerns raise said -- raised to you and those who work at the state department. we have $19 trillion in debt, we have struggling communities in need of help. there was a debate in flint the other night. it's hard to explain to taxpayers in struggling communities, places like flint, that this president and this administration is willing to give $500 million as a hand-out to foreign bureaucrats instead of addressing real problems here at home. thank you, mr. chairman. i have no additional questions. >> thank you. i know that this is an issue that there's highly divergent views on the committee.
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there could equally be something that people on this side of the aisle thought was semi- controversial. i do think the question's asked about how money is transferred like that. it would be good to know regardless of how we feel about this particular issue, and i do hope that something more forth coming than what you just said will be forth coming so that we can understand that. but it really sort of breaks down trust in the process when monies like this can be transferred out and yet they're not appropriated and there's no program. so i look forward to working with you -- >> i agree with you on that. we should absolutely know that. but my understanding came out of the appropriated account. so i'm not sure there's a problem here. >> so we had appropriations for a green climate? >> we have authorities to make the payment that we did to the green climate fund. and mr. chairman, to your point,
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we'd be pleased to engage with the members of the committee and talk further about that. >> okay, thank you. senator menendez. >> thank you, mr. chairman. that last line of questioning is probably one of the many reasons why a state department authorization is so important. let me just thank you and senator cardin for focusing on this. it's something i wanted to do when i was chairman and we worked together to try to get there. i think it's one of the most important things the committee can do, which is basically, in the absence of it, we basically allow the state department, with all their good intentions, to decide what is the course without congressional direction and oversight. and i think about the world since 2002, which is the last time this body successfully acted on re-authorizing legislation for the department of the state, and we think about
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the 9/11 attacks that claimed the lives of so many americans on american soil. we think about afghanistan and iraq. but when you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. and the reality is that there is a lot more to our challenges globally than looking at everything with a hammer. from migration crises, to global epidemics, to, regardless of your views, global warming, to attacks on u.s. facilities and deaths of foreign service officers, there's an incredible array of issues. and at least we should be equipping the state department to deal with these challenges, even better to prevent them. but they're not equipped, and that's one of the reason we've witnessed the growing
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militarization of foreign policy, because dod is equipped and authorized to do so much. so we saw so much of what should be the foreign policy elements move from the state department to the department of defense. and that's just -- the department of defense is great to defense the nation, but not to promote our foreign policy. i think we should credit our diplomats and development professionals for their work, which continues whether or not the congress authorizes the budget. -- despite the risk of life abroad, out of patriotism and devotion and concern for future generations that characterizes the best in american values. i want to thank all the women of the state department and usaid in particular, and i think our
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entire body should recognize those services. what better way to provide the resources, guidance and direction to make this nation speak with one voice, albeit in the many different languages in which our diplomats converse. i support the state department's budget. i'd like to have this committee create some structure for it. i'm one of those who believe that this is an importantly powerful use of american resources in a way that can generate far more successes than even the power of our bombs. but i also think that the state department needs to represent the diversity of the nation. and i am deeply disappointed. i've been working at this for 24 years, from the house of representatives, where i sat on the house foreign affairs
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committee and in the ten years i've been on this committee in the senate. and we just haven't really made progress. we really haven't. and this is expanded over multiple administrations, republican and democrat alike. and one of the most diverse countries in the world, our potential is unlimited, and unfortunately, minority communities have been historically underrepresented in both the state department and usaid. now, last year, i authored language that chairman corker included in the state authorization bill, that congress unfortunately failed to enact. those provisions expanded pickering, randal and fellowship and minority recruitment. it expanded mid and senior career recruitment programs and initiatives. it strengthened oversight to additional reporting requirements to employment, promotion and attrition rates.
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all things i think are necessary to institutionalize in order to have the diversity of america that's so important. and just by way of example, it's not diversity for diversity's sake, mr. chairman. when i was in china, it was incredibly powerful to see a -- one of our diplomatic corps, an african american, who had gone through the struggles of the civil rights movement, talking to human rights activists and political dissidents in china. that was a powerful opportunity to have those who try to create change in china, change we'd all like to see. but that might not have come through the same experience of someone else. so at the same hearing last year, madam secretary, you presented a picture of the state department that was innovating new programs for recruitment, retention, and advancement for minority populations. when we dug in, however, it was
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difficult to identify new initiatives as opposed to expansion of existing initiatives. so if i could dig in, in my final minute, are there any new -- really new -- not expansion, and i applaud you included in your budget request some of what i tried to do last year, i want to acknowledge that. but after insisting a lot, i got the state department's latest diversity statistic for full-time employment as of december 31st, 2015. senior foreign service hispanic officers, 4.58%. senior executive service, 2.6%. foreign service generalists, 5.49%. 5.44 african american. board service specialists, 8.89%, but that's a smaller universe. and 8.9% of african americans.
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that isn't progress. the hispanic community in this country is growing and represents 13% of the overall american population. so can you speak to me about what we are doing, this is something i raised with you when you were up with your nomination and have raised since, to change this reality. >> senator, first, thank you for the words that you had for our department and the foreign service officers. it means a lot to them to hear people like you compliment their work. second, on the issue we've discussed before and that you've raised on the diversity of our workforce, you're right, we're expanding some of the things that we're doing, because we've identified things that we think enhance the diversity of our workforce. so like you, we are trying to expand the pickering and wrangle fellowships, because we see that as a way to bring in more diverse officers. the trends are moving in the right direction, but we can only hire to attrition in the foreign
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service. we're only bringing in a couple hundred officers a year. so it's going to take us a while to see the impact of really bringing in a more diverse workforce. i feel confident that we're moving in the right direction. i don't look at the numbers and say we've accomplished our mission. we're increasing our budget request to do some is of those things. we're expanding the paid internship program that brings in underrepresented groups for two summers of service in the state department. secretary kerry has asked all his assistant secretary level and above officers to do domestic recruiting trips, coordinating with our diplomats and residents, so we're hitting the right places and we're using the tools that we have to make the progress that we need. but we know we have a big challenge. and that's bringing in more people, but then ensuring that they stay and that they're in the senior leadership positions. we just began a partnership with
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the cox foundation to evaluate our programs, we want to use our resources in the most effective way. i'm encouraged there's progress. i'm not satisfied with the result. as always, senators, want to take your good recommendations and advice because we share the objective and some of the frustration as well. >> i appreciate your answer, but after 24 years, i've heard much of the same. that's two and a half decades, almost. this starts at the top. like any organization, if at the top, you say to those below you, i will judge you in part by how you create diversity within your bureaus and departments, believe me, people will follow. and we just haven't had that commitment. so i look forward to working with you and the committee to
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make it happen. not for the diversity sake alone, but for what it brings to our foreign diplomacy. >> if i could, let's face it. when you come in as secretary of state, you want to be known for the diplomatic breakthroughs that you have. and it's rare that we end up having a secretary of state that actually focuses on building an apartment and the care and feeding of the troops. we've had one or two over short periods of time. but that's why i think having a state department authorization that stresses those things, and by law, forces those kind of things to be happening and then oversight here, matters a great deal. and i thank you again for leading that effort with diplomatic security on the front end and senator cardin and the rest of the committee, caring about us seeing this through. senator gardner? >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you for being here to testify today. i just want to follow-up on a little bit of what senator brasso was talking about.
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did congress approve the green climate fund? >> senator, as i said previously, we reviewed with our lawyers, the authorities we had and had provided resources in occurrence with those authorities to meet -- >> right. but the fund itself. it went into an account. did congress approve that account? >> we have the authorities -- >> but did congress approve it? >> they passed an appropriations bill that we reviewed the authorities of that we have used to make this payment. >> if i understand, money came out of somewhere, where did it come from? >> it's from the economic support fund accounts. >> which specific line items? >> there's -- the fund -- the way the account works -- >> the economic support fund does what? >> it supports programming in lots of different countries to address a lot of different issues related to economic growth and opportunity. >> so we took $500 million out of there -- all that money came from that? >> correct. it's a very large account.
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some of which is directed toward countries and programs and others that the department has the authority to allocate as it sees fit. >> so the department sees that allocation, sees fit to put it into a green fund that congress did not approve? >> congress -- >> congress never approved a green climate fund, correct? >> we proposed a budget that included support for the green climate fund. >> has that budget been approved? >> in fy- -- >> has the president's -- >> we received an appropriations bill for fy 16 and from those resources, determined we could make this contribution, which we have done. >> but the green climate fund itself, yes or no, was it approved by congress? >> the congress authorized the green climate fund, no. it's not a -- >> so you did not authorize -- so how then, if congress did not authorize the green climate fund, as you just said, how can $500 million go to it? did you notify congress of this? >> the payment that we made did
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not require a congressional notification from the traditional way that you notify funds through an appropriations process. notifications have been made -- >> why would it not require? >> authority didn't require it. senator, we'd be pleased to provide to you and other members of this committee the legal rationale for how we did this. >> can all of that money be just repr reprogrammed by lawyers? >> no, it can't -- >> 54.59 is the actual according to the documents. >> so, no, no. there are certain accounts and provisions that have to be notified to congress. >> okay, so the green climate fund was not authorized by congress. no notification was given to congress of this. when were you planning on notifying congress of this? >> senator, as i said, we've reviewed the authority and the process under which we can do it. and our lawyers and we have
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determined that we had the ability to do. and i pledge to you and other members, we'll be happy to provide that legal analysis and the additional details. >> so nothing is overfunded. you stated in your answer to senator brasso. but now you would then testify, with $500 million gone, is the account that you just mentioned now underfunded? >> senator, i wouldn't say it's underfunded. we proposed a budget that reflected contribution to the green climate fund, so as we submitted a budget that we received an appropriation above, so no, we're not -- nothing's overfunded. >> so nothing's overfunded, nothing's underfunded now? >> of course we have to make trade-offs in the budget all the time -- >> let me ask you this. because i think this is the heart of the distrust between the executive branch and the legislative branch and i'd say this no matter who is in the administration. i don't care what party they're
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in. we have a constitution that says appropriations are carried out by the legislative branch, and when you sit before the american people and say that the green climate fund was never approved by congress and $500 million just went to it, i don't think that lawyers can replace the constitution outside of -- lawyers don't -- they don't replace the constitutional requirements that congress approve these funds and this appropriation. that money could have been -- if there's money available, we've had arguments on the floor of the senate for the past several weeks, that, yes, this would take additional language, but that $500 million could have been put towards flint, michigan, with the appropriate language. if this is money that was a trade-off, that would have gone to other nations, what about putting that toward flint, michigan? sure it would require appropriate language. but what putting that money into an opiate bill that we talked about on the floor? yes, it would take language by
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congress to make that law happen. but here we are, writing a $500 million check from an account in the state department to create a green climate fund that congress didn't approve, when we've been having arguments about where we'll spend this money. and we wonder why the american people don't trust congress, why they don't trust the administration, there's a perfect example of why. couple of the other questions for you. i think in your testimony you stated that there was a breach of -- and i'll quote, as the breach of our unclassified e-mail system in 2014 demonstrated our adversaries see information habled by the government and other government departments and agencies as a desirable target. protecting our information as we face cyber attacks is one of the department's top priorities. how much money is the state department requesting for cyber security efforts? >> i'll have to follow up and provide the exact amount, but we did ask for an increase and
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we're undertaking several different lines of effort to improve the security and safety of our systems. we've already implemented several measures and are working with a team of experts to both re-architect some of the aspects of our system to make our information more secure and also ensure we're learning across the federal government, the best tactics to provide security. so we asked for additional resources in our central i.t. fund to make some upgrades that we were planning. we've also looked across all of our systems, our consular systems, to identify those vulnerabilities and i won't speak in more detail about them, but it's very comprehensive. >> how long did it take to root out the 2014 beach? >> i'm sorry? >> how long did it take to figure out the 2014 breach? >> i don't have the exact amount of time but we can follow up with you and it may be appropriate to do it in a different setting. >> thank you. mr. chairman?
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>> thank you, sir. senator shaheen. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you for being here, secretary higginbottom. i look forward, with the rest of the committee, for hearing the explanation for the transfer of funds to the green climate fund. i'm very glad that the united states is taking action to address climate change. i'm pleased we joined 180 nations in paris to come to an agreement in address climate. in my home state of new hampshire, we're experiencing one of the warmest winters with the least no snow we've ever seen. it's impacting our ski industry, it's impacting our wildlife, it's having an impact on our energy use, and for those people who don't think we should be taking action to address climate change, i hope they would look at the science and recognize that this is a very important
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issue and it's very important for us, and the administration, and in congress, to address it. so, thank you very much. i want to ask about the strategy behind the new global engagement center, which is replaced the counterterrorism's strategic communications center. because one of -- i sit on both the armed services committee and this committee. one of the things that's come up repeatedly has been the ability of our enemies, whether it be isis, or other foreign powers, to use propaganda to promote their goals. and when i ask questions about what we're doing in response to that, it's very hard to get an answer that acknowledges the coordination that needs to go on, and how various departments and agencies are working
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together to address this concern. so can you talk about that, and can you also talk about how this engagement center is going to work with the department of homeland security, how you're going to work with efforts in the department of defense, to respond to both countering violent extremism and the other propaganda efforts that are under way? >> yes. thank you very much, senator. we took a hard look at the work that we were doing to counter violent extremist messaging and propaganda, and in partnership with the private sector and others, determined that we didn't have the right approach. and so the global engagement center, which is being led by a former assistant secretary from the department of defense, is really about building partnerships with both the private sector and countries around the world, because we recognize that while we have an important role to play in developing some content and working with our partners, we're not always the best deliverer of those messages and we need to
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bring other people into this effort, and that's a big part of the approach. as you point out, this is a government-wide effort, both countering violent extremism, but also in the messaging. so ensuring that this model is really about building the communication and getting the appropriate messages out, delivered by the right people, the more effective messengers. so we've changed how we're doing this work, and in making this shift, consulted with some of the experts who -- in silicon valley and other places, who are very engaged in how you reach people over social media and have brought those lessons learned into this as well. >> and so do we have any recent success stories that we can speak to or specifics about how this is actually getting done? >> senator, i hope we will soon. we have a lot of success stories about the hub and spokes that we're establishing in different parts of the world, southeast asia and the middle east, to be our partners. but we're just now standing up
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with assistant secretary lumpkin and his team, the real work. but we've laid a lot of the ground work. i hope we can update you soon with more specific examples of the success we're having and why this approach is the right one to take. >> and i know that the broadcasting board of governors is designated as an independent agency, but clearly they are doing work that's very important to this effort, and the more coordinated we can be, the more successful we will be. so can you talk about how -- how -- what this new center will be doing, will be working with bbg on their efforts? >> thank you, senator. the undersecretary for public diplomacy, rick stengel is on the bbg board and very engaged with their efforts, and also leading our effort with michael lumpkin on the global engagement center. so we have good coordination and means of communication there, but certainly we should understand all of the tools at
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our disposal. so there's a good way for us to communicate and do it in a way that's appropriate, given their independent nature. >> i want to go back and pick up on the issue that chris murphy raised -- or senator murphy raised about the refugee situation, because as we look at the increasing numbers of refugees, the threat that that poses to europe, to the eu, as we look at the challenges that our allies -- jordan and lebanon and turkey -- are having with their refugee camps, i would urge that we should be increasing those budgets, rather than decreasing them. because if one of our allies in the middle east, who has significant numbers of refugees falls apart because of the numbers of refugees in that country, it's gonna be a whole lot more expensive than increasing the funding that we
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have, can make in the humanitarian assistance they need. so can you speak to what more we ought to be doing to address that? >> thank you, senator. the united states is largest contributor of humanitarian aid in the world. we don't see any scenario in which that's likely to change in the short-term. but what we have recognized is that to really deal with the scale of the crises we're facing now, we need more people -- more countries to be supporting the u.n. system, the humanitarian system, as well as to accept refugees. even those countries that are doing a lot already. and certainly some of those that you mentioned, jordan, lebanon, others, are really on the front lines. but a lot of countries are doing a lot, and we need them to step up and do more. and the president will be working -- with the secretary to engage their colleagues around the world to get those commitments.
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and we see that as really the important step of making the system more efficient, aligning ourselves so that the u.n. system can be more effective but also trying to get additional countries into this space in whatever way they can. whether it's providing education or accepting refugees and humanitarian aid as well. >> and i certainly support that effort, but it's hard to have conversations with some of the countries that we're calling upon who come back and say, well, you know, the united states is accepting a very small number of refugees, the united states has not been willing to support lebanon, 25% of his population, for example, are refugees. so to say to a country like that, you need to be doing more, i think, given our size, given our budget, it's hard to make that argument in a way that really is heard as being
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serious. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. thank you very much. senator cardin, i've had some additional comments and questions. >> some comments, mr. chairman. thank you again for this hearing. the bottom line, we need to pass an authorization bill. in regards to the climate fund, i just really want to make a couple statements. first, i agree with transparenye with our committee, we need to be kept totally apprised. climate change is a huge issue for the security of america. what happened in paris with 190 nations coming together was a major milestone. as we move forward, we need to find a bipartisan path where we support these efforts and many of us who strongly support what the administration is doing, have reached out and will continue to reach out so that we can have a bipartisan support for america's leadership on this issue. it's important to our national security as our military
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suggests, it's also important for our environmental legacy and our economic future. having said that, the legal authority in regards to supporting the climate fund was never in doubt. i just remind the committee in the discussions on the omnibus appropriation bill, that was an issue, the president's authority. it was clear his authority would not be limited. and this is not a u.s. fund, this is an international fund. this is not something that we created. it was an international effort. we've contributed to international refugee efforts that have been named and we have not authorized specifically appropriations to those funds. and the administration uses its authority that it has. i don't think this is that unusual, except it is controversial. i would agree with the chairman and i would urge the chairman's advice on transparency be adhered to because i agree with the chairman on that point. >> well, thank you very much. senator cardin, i appreciate
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that, and i appreciate you being here today. i know there's a lot of work we have to do together to craft something that we can actually put into law. your testimony today has been helpful towards that end, we appreciate it and we look forward to you continually working with us until we get something across the finish line. i know there will be numbers of questions by other members, and if you could, first of all, without objection, the record will be open through the close of business thursday. if you could get back fairly quickly with responses, we'd appreciate it. and again, we thank you and the people who are with you, for your service to our country, and with that, the meeting is adjourned. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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>> join us this thursday for
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live coverage of the white house state dinner for canadian prime minister justin trudeau, beginning at 6:15 p.m. eastern on c-span. former first lady nancy reagan will lie in repose at the reagan library, wednesday and thursday. funeral services will be held on friday. we'll have live coverage starting at 2:00 p.m. eastern. every election cycle, we're reminded how important it is for citizens to be informed. >> to me, c-span is a home for political junkies and a way to track the government as it happens. >> i think it's a great way for us to stay informed. >> there are a lot of c-span fans on the hill. my colleagues, they'll say, i saw you on c-span. >> there's so much more that c-span does to make sure that people outside the belt way know what's going on inside it. the supreme court heard oral
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argument last week in williams v. pennsylvania. the case could set new standards for when judges must recuse themselves. appealing his death sentence, terrence williams took his case of prosecutorial misconduct to the pennsylvania supreme court led by chief justice ronald castillo, the original district attorney in his case. justice castillo refused to step down. arguments are about an hour. >> we'll hear argument next in case 155040, williams versus pennsylvania. >> mr. chief justice and may it please the court, due process does not allow a district attorney to make the decision to seek the death penalty against the defendant and then in the same case, become a judge of the conduct of the prosecutor who carried out that decision and obtained that result. in this case, when he was district attorney, chief justice
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castille made a discretionary, individualized decision, based upon a review of the facts, that in his view, death was the appropriate sentence to seek. >> does that make a difference, the nature of his decision? let's say he had a policy, i think every case in which a defendant is convicted of first-degree murder that we ought to seek the death penalty and leave it to the jury, but i'll seek the death penalty in every case where there's a conviction of first-degree murder. would you have the same recusal problem? >> i think there would be, yes. because that policy itself would be a decision that he makes. pennsylvania law gives the district attorney -- >> no, no. i know that. it's a categorical decision. in other words, he doesn't look at the particulars of that case. he has a policy that he's adopted, whether you think it's a good policy or not, that doesn't depend upon the particular facts. simply on the facts of what the conviction is. >> that would still raise due
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process concerns. because that policy would have led to a major decision within the adversary process. >> what if the case was simply in the office and he had supervisory responsibility over everything that occurs in the office, but it's a big office. if a question arose, somebody could bring it to him, but there isn't any indication of personal involvement, would that be enough? >> supervisory authority might be enough, depending upon the issue. when the issue goes directly towards the conduct of the prosecutions in his office, it implicates the integrity of the office and the reputation of the leadership -- >> you see the problem -- >> -- in that narrow circumstance. >> the problem that is presented by this case is not -- is where this constitutional line is going to be drawn. you want us to get into -- get pretty deeply into the issue of a constitutional recusal policy
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for judges. so it's really not enough to just say what happened here was bad. let's assume that that is the case. assume for the sake of argument. i'm not saying one way or the other, but how far does this go? that's what i'm interested in. so supervisory authority would be enough, but it depends on the issue. why would it depend on the issue? >> because the issue is directly related to that supervisory authority. >> what is the rule then that you're formulating so that we can answer justice alito's question and similar questions? recusal is required when -- and then fill in the blank. >> when the prosecutor has direct substantial involvement in the decision before the court and the -- >> i thought that your particular position was that a judge cannot sit on any case,
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whereas the district attorney he signed on to the death penalty. >> that would be, your honor, an appropriate decision for this court to reach, but it's not a -- [ inaudible ] >> he was the district attorney. he signed off on the death penalty. 20-odd years later he's a judge, he cannot sit on that case. i thought that was your position. >> our case takes that, but also looks at the other circumstances of the case. that includes the nature of the issue. >> but that's the line-drawing problem. why does it matter that it's the death penalty? what if it was not a capital case, but he signs the indictment? >> i think the death penalty only matters for eighth amendment purposes, if it was not a capital case, if he had direct, personal, participation
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in the case and faced an issue that was related to that level of participation, that involvement that he had, that would still be -- >> well, what if he signed the indictment? >> i'm sorry? >> he signs the indictment. let's say the former -- the then prosecutor signs the indictment and there are thousands of indictments in a county like philadelphia. so that would be enough? >> no. the signing of the indictment would not be enough. but if his assistants came to him and said, we don't know if we have enough evidence to charge this person with this crime, what do you think, and he said, i've reviewed the facts and there's enough to charge, go ahead. that would be the direct personal involvement as opposed to -- >> you're saying the signature would not be enough because that could be pro forma, is that what you're saying? >> yes. >> what if you had a situation where he was directly involved in a matter that had nothing to do with the issue that came up
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later? if the assistant comes in and says, we've got a real question here. he wants a third extension of the trial date, and should we oppose it or not, and he thinks about it, and says, yeah, let's oppose it. 29 years later there's an issue about a brady violation. is he recused from sitting on that brady violation case? >> if the decision he made was only about a procedural matter that had no substantive relationship to the crime, then that would be a much weaker court. in the absence of any -- >> much weaker. can you give me a yes or no on my -- >> i would say no in the absence of any other circumstance, that would not be a due process -- >> under that answer, then why doesn't the brady violation problem drop out of the case? and that's not an argument -- an extra argument for recusal. >> because i think, in this case, the brady violation goes directly to his role in making the decision, this is a brady
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violation about sentencing, and it relates to the decision he made to seek the death penalty, and in addition, it goes to his essential role as the chief prosecutor. >> well, he didn't know about the brady violation. the brady violation basically occurred in the course of trial. >> that's correct. the record doesn't show that he had any personal knowledge of the brady violation at the time, but a substantial brady violation certainly calls into question the integrity of the office as a whole, and not just the individual. >> well, that doesn't follow with the rule that you gave me at the outset. you should recuse yourself when and now you're adding, if it involves a substantial question of the integrity of the office. >> in that case -- >> that's an added factor in your analysis?
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>> no. i think that in my analysis, it's an issue that relates directly to the decision that's being made by the prosecutor. their personal involvement. >> i guess i'm a little unclear as to what you're arguing. one rule could be, did the judge have some significant involvement in a critical trial decision as a lawyer. is that your rule? or are you adding something to that rule? >> that would be, i think, a rule consistent with this court's ruling in merchson, that a free society doesn't allow the prosecutor to become the judge of that, but i don't think that's a role you necessarily have to reach in this case. caperton tells us to look at all, circumstan -- all circumst case. that's what i'm suggesting here. >> i still don't see how the
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brady violation fits into the formula you want us to adopt. unless you're amending it to say anything that involves the integrity of the office while you were head of the office. >> i think more importantly justice kennedy, that the brady violation fits in, because that is how the trial prosecutor carried out the decision that chief justice castille had made. and so her conduct in carrying out that decision has a direct relationship to the issue itself. >> we don't have a brady issue before us. the only issue is the recusal, right? >> that's correct. >> all right. so we don't have -- the narrative of brady, if you are not in the case, but even the question that you're raising, do you have prior opportunities to do that? you didn't raise it when there were prior post conviction applications. so why aren't you -- >> that we didn't raise the
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recusal issue, is that what you're asking me, your honor? >> right. >> in the prior post conviction litigation, we didn't have the information that we have at this time, and that's the two critical pieces of evidence, information here. one is the memorandum that authorized the death sentence that showed the kinds of factors district attorney castille looked at in making that decision, and show that it was he who made that decision.
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