tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN March 22, 2016 9:00am-11:01am EDT
again, i'm really looking forward to this hearing. looking forward to the testimony. i want to thank the witnesses for coming and your thoughtful testimony. for that, we'll turn it over to senator carper. >> thank, chairman. thanks for bringing us all together. i think most of us in the room probably had a dog or two in our lives and chairman mentioned he once had a beagle, a plump beagle i think he said. reminds me when i was a little boy, 5, 6, 7 years old, actually i was about 12 or 13, we had jack and jill. husband and wife team of beagles and they were great rabbit dogs. they chased a lot of rabbits. they were not plump. and they were in great shape. it sort of, like, reminds me of the joy we had with all of them using their noses to find not currency, not weapons, but to look for rabbits and to find a bunch of them as well. i just want to say during multiple visits i've been fortunate to take down to our southern borders and up to our northern borders. i've always been impressed by
the use of many force multipliers that help our border security officers maximize their effectiveness. oftentimes these are high-tech, they are drones, they are fixed-wing aircraft, helicopter, night vision cameras, surveillance cameras, motion detecters, you name it. but also sometimes we find out that our officers get critical help from some low-tech friends and think of the horses that guide the border patrol, done you remember that visit down on the texas border with mexico. border agents trying to make their way through dense brush on horseback and fortunately because the horse is able to do a much better job. then we find there are those gifted dogs, some of whom we're going to meet today, help find things and threats visible to us as human beings. as we will hear and perhaps even
see, we'll see i think later in the hearing, some of our specially trained dogs, how they can detect people or things that humans and machines just miss. canines are already at work as we know across a number of dhs programs. for instance, dhs dogs -- use dogs to check for explosives in our airports and trains like the up i took today. we also see dogs hard at work between ports of entry, they attempt to detect illegal entry of people and of goods. we know special abilities after these animals already contributed to our homeland security. for example, canine teams are credited with helping cvp seize 4,500 pounds of heroin last fiscal year. dogs helped to track thousands of migrants along the southwest border of our country, discovered 38 people hiding in vehicles passing through ports of entry.
other dogs detect illicit plants or animals, some help find human remains near our borders. security is not their only mission. dogs are also valuable in search and rescue following natural disasters. this is an area where i'm not sure we're doing enough to take advantage of their capabilities. at the same time, these valuable tools are not free. dogs with the proper abilities and temperament to conduct searches are expensive to buy and even more expensive to train and to deploy effectively. we'll hear about that today. as with all of our security investments, we must make sure we're deploying these canine teams in the most cost-effective way. today we're going to hear about some of the open questions regarding canine teams. i think in particular, gao has taken a hard look at tsa's canine program, raising some questions about how and where they are trained and deployed and while tsa has successfully addressed some of gao's earlier concern, i understand some other questions remain and maybe we'll have a chance to hear those today. i look forward to hearing from both agencies about the current status of your canine programs and the plans for the future.
we also need to drill down on what canines can and cannot accomplish and what information is needed to make sure we're making the right investments in these force multipliers. it's going to be an interesting hearing. we look forward to it. thank you all for joining us. >> thank you, senator carper. i don't know about your beagles, but my beagle did not realize he was a dog, he was just a younger brother, actually sat up in a chair. so, anyway -- >> i thought one of these dogs was going to try to get in that chair over there and look for a mike, reach the mike, but it didn't happen. >> so it is tradition of this committee to swear in witnesses. if you'll all rise and raise your right hand. do you swear the testimony you'll give before this committee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you god? >> i do. >> please be seated. >> let's start with testimony,
we're waiting for at least one or two additional members to come, but in they don't, i also want to make sure we get the dogs before they get restless. we may interrupt in between witnesses. our first witness is kimberly hutchinson, deputy assistant administrator for the office of training, transportation security administration, the tsa. in her capacity, she oversees tsa's technical and leadership training, workforce development, and engagement programs. miss hutchinson? >> thank you, sir. chairman johnson, ranking member carper, and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify regarding tsa's canine training program. tsa procures, trains and deploys both tsa-led and state and local law enforcement-led canine teams to secure our nation's transportation systems. congress recognized the value of tsa's canine program through its continued support and funding. it's currently the largest explosives canine program in dhs and second largest in federal
government, with 997 funded canine teams currently stationed at more than 100 of our nation's airports, mass transit, and cargo environments. the success of tsa's canine program is a prime example of federal, state, and local government entities working together. given the security value of explosive detection canines, tsa must ensure a reliable and adequate supply of canines. tsa procures canines basically with an interagency agreement with the department of defense which supplies tsa with approximately 230 canines each year. tsa partners with dod on both stateside venders and oversea buying trips ensuring tsa needs are met. tsa is exploring trained and untrained canines. tsa's goal is an additional 20 trained canines and 20 untrained canines suitable for passenger screening in 2016 through this
new procurement initiative. the agency pairs it with a federal, states, or local handler to be trained to operate in the aviation, multimodal, maritime, mass transit or cargo environments. the majority of canine teams working in the aviation environment are comprised of a canine and state or local law enforcement officer. for those teams, tsa provides and trains the dog, trains the handler, provides training aids and explosive storage magazines and conducts annual on-site evaluations of these canines. tsa partially reimburses each participating agency for operational costs associated with maintaining the teams and in return the law enforcement agencies agree to use their canines in their assigned environment for at least 80% of the handler's duty time. in addition to state and local led teams, tsa inspectors lead 322 canine teams, including all of our passenger screening canine teams which are specifically trained to detect explosive odor on passengers in a checkpoint environment in addition to explosives detection role.
tsa and state and local law enforcement handlers travel across the country to tsa's canine training center located in san antonio, texas, to be paired with a canine and complete training. the canine teams learn explosive detection in a very intense training environment and they are trained to detect a variety of explosives based on intelligence data and emerging threats. tomorrow, a ribbon-cutting ceremony. approximately 30 days after graduating from the training program and returning to its duty station, each canine team undergoes an assessment. to ensure operational proficiency in that environment. upon successful completion of the assessment, canine teams are then evaluated on an annual basis under the most stringent of applicable certification standards. tsa allocates canines utilizing risk-based criteria. passenger screening canine teams
are critical to tsa's risk based security efforts and are deployed to operate during peak periods at 40 of our nation's largest airports where they have the opportunity to screen tens of thousands of passengers every day. tsa is working to train and certify all of its 322 canine teams in both passenger screening and traditional explosive detection screening by the end of fy '17. in addition to deployments at passenger screening checkpoints, tsa and law enforcement-led teams conduct a variety of search and high visibility activities that address potential threats in the transportation domain including visible intermodal prevention and response operations or viprs. the government accountability office, dhs inspector general, and other independent testers have proven canine teams to be one of the most effective means of detecting explosives. canine teams are critical to tsa's focus on security effectiveness. tsa continues to develop its canine training program to maximize contribution to transportation security. lastly, i'd like to thank all of
the hardworking men and women canine handlers across the nation's transportation system who keep us safe every day as well as the very dedicated staff that support the program and train our canines down in lackland. thank you for the opportunity to discuss this important program, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, miss hutchinson. our next witness is damian montes, director of the canine program at u.s. customs and border protection, cbp. mr. montes started his career in the united states marine corps. subseque subsequently, he graduated from the department of defense dog handler course. he's a former handler. >> good morning, chairman johnson, ranking member carper. thank you for the opportunity to appear today and talk about the u.s. customs and border protection canine training program. i'm director of the cvp canine training program, responsibility for the administrative and operational oversight of two canine training delivery centers.
one located in front royal, virginia, the other in el paso, texas. the cvp canine program is a fusion of two legacy training facilities. the legacy u.s. customs canine enforcement training center, u.s. border national canine facility. the merger of these two training entities afforded the cvp canine training program to build on decades of established expertise and law enforcement training and capitalize on best practices. cvp canine training centers are where canine, handlers, instructors receive classroom and practical training and canine discipline utilized, to support the critical mission of detecting and addressing cross-border elicit activities including gun and currency smuggling, narcotic smuggling, human trafficking and smuggling and illegal immigration. the cvp canine training program delivers several courses for handlers and instructors, to support the mission in multiple cperational environments.f these courses include concealed human and narcotic detection, currency and firearms detection, human remains cadaver detection, tracking and trailing, search
and rescue, patrol, and recertification instructor course. our training cadre is cvp law enforcement officers and agents also known as course developer instructors who come to us from existing field canine units and serve a three to five year instructor detail. i must highlight the significance of having subject matter experts with recent and relative field experience deliver canine training and instruction to the next generation of canines, handlers, and instructors. the value they contribute to the cvp canine training program's mission is immeasurable. furthermore, recruiting experienced canine instructors from within the ranks of cvp ensures a continuity of expertise and availability of training opportunities. the course developer instructors who work at our training centers bring with them not only the passion of being a canine handler, but being part of a specialized unit that provides a unique and valuable capability
to cvp's frontline law enforcement mission. i would be remiss not to mention ore support staff, veterinarians, animal technicians, animal caretakers, mission support personnel who play an integral part in ensuring the effectiveness and delivery of our training. the cvp training canine program can be accredited with training some of the best canine teams that work at any of our international border crossings. international airports and vast open areas of our border. the cvp canine officers and agents who work with the cvp canine training program have also asised in capacity-building initiatives with the office of international affairs in developing and delivering canine training for our international partners. furthermore, our training centers are available to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies wanting to receive formal training and certification in any of the canine training disciplines we deliver. the canine team is an invaluable asset to the operation of
border and port environments. regardless of the presence of other detection technologies, providing an unmatched law enforcement capability to address the ever-changing challenges and threats. over the past three years, cvp canine training program, under the oversight of the office of training and development, ensured cvp canine training center have ensured certification and overall training provides the standard and fidelity that meets the vvp operational needs and requirements. as border conditions and enforcement environments have ever changed over the past 30 years or more, cvp's law enforcement canine teams remain constant, reliable. invaluable asset to our nation's security. each and every day they demonstrate and validate their importance through numerous seizures and detections. i'm honored to be part of the cvp canine program, appreciate the opportunity to share our efforts today and i'm welcome to answer any questions. >> thank you, director montes. our next witness, jennifer grover. director grover is director in the homeland security and justice team at the u.s.
government accountability office, the gao. in this position, she oversees gao's reviews of tsa programs and operations. director grover? >> good morning, chairman johnson, ranking member carper. thank you for the opportunity to discuss tsa's implementation of their canine program. tsa has funding for 997 canine teams. they include conventional canines, which are trained to detect explosives in stationary objects such as vehicles and baggage. passenger screening canines known as pscs, which receive extra training to detect explosives carried by a person. when fully deployed tsa canines will be paired with 675 law enforcement handlers and 322 tsa handlers. following gao's 2013 report and recommendations, tsa made significant improvements to its
canine program. first, tsa enhanced its use of data to monitor the program performance. as an example, field canine coordinators now regularly analyze the covert testing data to determine the root causes of team failure so they can be addressed. second, tsa demonstrated passenger screening canine teams reliably identify explosives and determine they should be placed at the passenger checkpoint queues to have the greatest impact. third, tsa deployed pse teams to the highest risk airports. one important issue remains for tsa's consideration based on our prior work. when tsa conducted its initial effectiveness assessment of these specialized passenger screening canines, it also carried out one of the search exercises with three conventional canine teams. those are the teams that don't receive the specialized training. the results suggested that the conventional canines might be as
effective as the canines with the pse training at detecting explosives on people under some scenarios. we recommended tsa should test whether the passenger screening canines provide an enhanced security benefit relative to the conventional canines and thus whether the cost of that additional training is warranted. tsa officials told us they didn't plan to carry out the assessment, citing concerns about the temperament of the conventionally trained canines and potential liability risk to the agency if it operated conventional canines in a passenger screening environment for which they had not been trained. we respect tsa's concerns on these issues and encourage tsa to consider multiple option for going forward with this testing. some conventional canines are suitable breeds. initial assessments could take place in a testing environment with role players instead of actual passengers and conventionally trained canines
could be trained to operate at the checkpoint. we continue to believe this assessment is warranted. if the results show that conventional canines are equally as effective as passenger screening canines, tsa could save resources currently spent on the specialized training. regarding the magnitude of the potential savings, in our 2013 study, the difference in tsa startup costs between the passenger screening and conventional canine was $19,000 per canine. tsa's update for this hearing indicates the difference in startup costs shrunk to $5,000 per canine which clearly reduces the potential for savings. since tsa plans to extend its handlings, based on tsa's numbers, the savings could still be as much as $1.5 million each time the full set of tsa-led canines is retired and placed. that's a very small fraction of tsa's annual spending for the canine program, but still
represents a potential opportunity for tsa to be more efficient with its limited resources. finally, whether or not the extra pse training turns out to make a difference, tsa could realize additional savings if some of the canines were paired with law enforcement handlers instead of tsa handlers. since tsa covers salary, benefits and vehicle expenses for its own handlers, the annual cost for tsa is $100,000 more than a team led by a law enforcement officer. in 2013, tsa officials told us they were considering this approach but to this point tsa has not paired passenger screening canines with law enforcement handlers. chairman johnson, ranking member carper, thank you for the opportunity to testify, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, director grover. our final witness is dr. cynthia otto. dr. otto is the founder, executive director or the vet working center at the university of pennsylvania.
her research focuses on canine health and behavior. dr. otto has been involved with search and rescue dogs, disaster sponz as response as member of the pennsylvania urban search and rescue task force including deployments to hurricane katrina and during 9/11. dr. otto? >> thank you, good morning, chairman johnson and ranking member carper. it is a pleasure to be here. i'd like to introduce one of the dogs to the program. 10 1/2-week-old german shepherd born in texas. he's donated to our program. his name is jerry. like all the dogs donated to our programs he's named after one of the dogs that worked at 9/11. he's been handled by a veterinary student from penn vet, meagan ramos. you'll be able to meet him after the hearing and learn more about his future career. we're a not for profit research and development center for detection dogs. our program was developed based
on our experience with a wide variety of organizations including d.o.d., atf, fema, cbp, tsa, police canine departments, the seeing eye, puppies behind bars, and even pet dog training. our scope of work focuses on the genetic, environmental, behavioral and physical characteristics that lead to successful detection performance. since dogs enter our program at eight weeks of age, our unique emphasis includes the impact of early development and enhancing the career success of these dogs. our training philosophy is rooted in positive reinforcement and enhancing the dog's genetic program. they attend school five days a week to learn job skills but live with foster families life and weekends to learn life skills. we operate based on a hypothesis-driven method rather than a belief system.
consistent with the theme of our upcoming working dog conference, working dogs 360, a multidisciplinary approach, we welcome ideas from all sectors. we then evaluate and collect data to test these hypotheses and determine what works best for each dog, each discipline, and each program. we embrace the opportunities that arise when things don't go as planned which is often. we actually find that some of these opportunities are the most valuable learning experiences that we have and in the case of the dogs, we all it a training opportunity. from this perspective, the key points that i would like to highlight for the committee are, one, that dogs have great value in preserving national security, and two, there are strategies that as a nation on which we can come together and will facilitate the success of the dogs in this vital mission. i think the first fact that is undisputed is that the ability
of dogs to smell and identify minute quantities of odor far exceeds that of humans. and most machines. the other universal fact across agencies is that one of the biggest challenges to canine programs is the availability of dogs that have the physical and behavioral characteristics necessary to perform the tasks needed. one of the major reasons for the shortage of quality dogs is that we rely heavily on procurement of dogs from other countries. by outsourcing our national security requirements, we give up control of the type of dogs, the health of the dogs, and the early training of the dogs. we also are at risk for supply interruption. due to politics, disaster, or disease. given that we know many of the desirable traits are controlled by genetics and continuous improvements can be made through selective breeding, letting
these decisions be made by organizations that don't have our best national interests foremost, we are, again, putting ourselves at risk. the research in our program and others have shown that factors during development of dogs have an important impact on behavior and health including the length of their working careers. again, without having control or input over this aspect of the dogs' lives increases the risks of shortened working life or failed careers. so how do we best leverage the scientific knowledge in genetics, development, behavior, and health? to us, a national breeding program is a priority. the critical features of a programmatic success include both superior dog performance and sound economics. the goal is to create a cooperative that provides dogs to all of the programs that support national security. to achieve this, all organizations need to communicate and work together to identify the genetic and behavioral characteristics of
the dogs that meet their requirements. so we feel that this would represent a center of excellence which is classic in the homeland security. so i'd like to thank you for your attention and welcome any questions. >> thank you, dr. otto. we are expecting three more members, they're saying within five minutes, but that's senate time. i want to go back to you, dr. otto, because i want to get some sense of how many trained dogs are utilized in the united states for seeing eye purposes, other specialized purposes as well as law enforcement. do you have any feel for the total number of specialized trained dogs? >> the specialized trained dogs is an open question. so many new areas especially if we're talking in the service dog field, talking about seeing eye, autism support dogs and other dogs. through swig dog, i know they were estimating somewhere between 40,000 and 80,000 dogs used. remembering dogs when they're
employed, they have a fixed life span. even if we can improve their working life, we're going to improve the cost effectiveness. >> is that eight to nine years? >> eight to nine is pretty typical. some organizations will retire dogs at nine years of age just as a fixed -- most dogs don't start until they're about two so they may have a short career as seven, even less depending -- >> the service dogs are really completely different from a standpoint of training and their specialty, correct? >> absolutely. the service dogs have taught us a lot about the selective breeding. they've taught us a lot about how to train some of these dogs, but they're very different dogs. they're kind of the opposite end of the spectrum from the high energy hunting-driven dogs that we're looking at here. >> we breed those here in the united states. >> correct. most of the service dog programs do have their own breeding programs.
the seeing eye, canine companions for independence, they have really large breeding programs. >> between tsa and cbp, i've got about 2,500 canine units, is that accurate, 1,000 with the tsa, 1,400, 1,500 in cbp? >> yes, sir. >> do you have any idea how many specialized canine units and conventional law enforcement? >> at this time i don't, sir. do we have another member? this is it. as long as we have a quorum for our demonstration, let's proceed with that. i think we're going to start with tsa. miss hutchinson, can you describe what we're going to see in terms of this demonstration? >> absolutely. we have riverso, canine, labrador out of dca. his handler, doug timberlake. what we're going to simulate here is it's a tsa checkpoint. essentially your staffs are passengers. there's one passenger who has a training aid explosive on him. here's riverso and doug.
what you'll see doug doing is giving some search gestures to riverso here as the passengers come through and then you'll see very quickly what passenger has that live explosive on them. okay. >> are the passengers coming? >> i think they're here. >> okay. >> okay. so we've got our passengers coming through the checkpoint here. we're going to see riverso start to work, use his nose. yep. and there you go. so if you notice, he locked in on the passenger with the briefcase very quickly then he was immediately rewarded with his tennis ball which is his reward of choice. >> and the briefcase had what in it?
>> it had an explosive. >> okay. >> how many times is that wrapped? >> it's safe. >> i'll move into other questions because that's what amazed me, university of pennsylvania, how it's just almost impossible to wrap these things enough. it is impossible. okay. our next one, director montes, can you kind of describe what we're going to be seeing in this next demonstration? >> yes, this is miss jones and her canine, hudson. so, miss hudson and -- i'm sorry, canine hudson is trained to find five different types of items. in the airport environment, they're going to be screening a passenger environment for any type of illegal agriculture products. >> and you planted some illegal agriculture products somewhere? >> yes, we did. >> i'm a real rule follower. >> she responded.
she sat down. >> so she's located it. >> yeah, if you look right over the edge, you can see it. what they have is an apple. >> looks harmless enough. sflchlt [ inaudible comment ] >> right. right. so that was agricultural product. we have another demonstration. >> we have a currency firearms dog coming in, this is mr. dowling and his. your aides will have something planted on them. will identify which one is carrying the currency. so as the passengers just come through, he'll start screening them with the canine.
and so once he identifies that there's something there that shouldn't be there, i.e. the contraband, he's going to go ahead and respond then he's going to get his toy as a reward. and pats of indication. what he gave him right now is a pvc pipe. >> guess whatever works. >> yeah. >> well, thank you, thank you very much. >> i would have thought he'd respond to that blue suit, but that shows how well trained they are. well, again, thank you. i will say as impressive as that demonstration is, going to the university of pennsylvania or
seeing them really on the job, it's even -- it's dramatically more impressive. what they're able to do. so let's pick up where we left off. thanks, senator. because i want to get back to, you know, actually supplying the chain and how many dogs we really would like to have and how many we could really employ. so, again, we're talking about within tsa and cvp, about 2,500 canine units now. how many would you like to have? i mean, is that kind of adequate for the task? or could we utilize a lot more? we'll start with you, director montes. >> so, i'll start with the question. that would be an operational requirement to determine both components based on their needs of the service to identify what would be their optimal number as far as what would assist their multilayer approach as far as enforcement operations. on our side of the fence, as far
as the training operations, our requirement is to be able to develop the capacity and capability to deliver those dogs onces demands, needs, requirements are addressed. >> do you get a sense working with the other folks in your agency that there's a greater demand? i mean, is there always demand for what you're trying to do, or, again, there may not be demand because there's not the budget for it. >> the current demand as it stands right now, you have the operational floors, 1,113, as well as the officer field operations which currently right now is -- i'll tell you that number. 481. and so -- so those numbers are still vacancies in the field we're still trying to go ahead and backfill those positions, so we haven't reached that floor yet. so it would pretty much determine on the components, determine how much higher they would want to two after all those positions are filled. >> so you're saying you're 481 one short right now?
>> no, sir, those are the positions. >> okay. how many short are you? >> so 25 positions right now for the field operations and 300 for the board. >> so a pretty good shortage. miss hutchinson, do you have a sense in terms of tsa, in terms of what the -- you know, if you could have everything you'd about, provide the security that we're really looking for in this country, what's your sense? >> i think that's sort of the million-dollar question. i think today we have 997 teams throughout the nation, so what we've been doing within that group of teams that are currently funded is figuring out how we can really maximize them, so as you saw that pse capability, we rolled that out in 2011, 5 years ago, fairly recent for this. we're learning how to best utilize their time screening passengers, deploying them at those peak periods. we're trying to maximize with what we have.
moving forward, i'd see more canines as part of the security. >> 997, 300 are doing passenger screening, others are deployed with other local law enforcement agencies. what are they doing? transportation. trains and bus stations. is it all transportation-related? >> that's right. they service all the modes. you'd see them potential he on amtraks, buses, transit, yes. many of them are also deployed in aviation. to your question earlier about the supply, we lose 13% of our dogs a year, 150 either retire for aging out or physical things so we need to buy about 230 a year to sustain the current operations and have found a good supply, if you will, of the dogs we need. however, we're going through this process of trying to procure more dogs domestically, if we had a surge we'd be able to buy quicker and bring on dogs into the program more quickly. >> now, the ones aren't used for passenger screening in airports, those are being handled by local law enforcement officials then? you're supplying the local --
>> that's correct. we train the dogs and the handlers. we work in partnership with them today. yeah. so, many of the -- if we have an unattended bag, as example, we would call law enforcement for resolving that. >> so, dr. otto, we obviously breed a lot of dogs in this country, and, i mean, what's the secret sauce in terms of the european breeders that we're only going there? i mean, what's preventing us from breeding them here in the united states? >> i think it's tradition, and i think it's also where the -- why dogs are being bred in this country. in eastern europe, which is the major source of most of our working dogs, they have a long history of breeding dogs for work. whether it's specifically for work or even competitions that are work-related. in this country, we tend to breed dogs for pets and for show and those are not the same kinds of dogs that we need for this kind of work. so in order to breed dogs in this country for this kind of
work, we have to look at what we are selecting. a lot of our labradors are coming from hunting lines, at least a domestic resource. even so, they're breeding for different reasons. we're lucky when we get some of these dogs that are very successful. we need to think about what are our goals physically, behaviorally, that support the tasks that these dogs are doing? and it's not always what the breeders who are competing or hunting with their dogs are breeding for, so identifying those traits, identifying if they're heritable so we can selectively improve the physical and behavioral characteristics of the dogs. >> i'll pick up on this next round. senator carper? >> first a couple lighthearted questions. i was -- i noted that the dogs that got a reward for their search efforts, one dog's reward was a tennis ball. another dog's reward was a piece of pvc pipe.
what is the role, the importance of the reward? how are they selected? and do dogs react if they have the wrong reward, no reward? i presume they act differently. who chooses the reward? is it good for a lifetime? give us a little bit -- just really quickly on that. >> absolutely. so our primary reward is a toy. it's toy-driven for the canines. they either have a rubber pipe, pvc pipe. depends on what the dog really enjoys to work for. that's his paycheck at the end of the day. if there's a canine that, protection, uses a pvc pipe which he enjoys at this point but at some point in training decides, hey, i like the rubber better than the other one, it would transition. the idea is we want the canine to be able to work and want to be able to feed that drive toward root reward so that canine continually, continually produces over his course of his service life. >> all right. how long -- how many years on average do these dogs serve?
>> so our canines primarily are between seven and nine years old. >> what is the average life span of a dog that does this kind of work. >> the average lifetime depends on the canine, sir. currently we have some dogs still in service at 11 years old. obviously we want to make sure we have a quality of life for our canines. we make high demands from our canines in the field so want to make sure we have a process in place to retire them at a suitable age to have a quality retired life after. their lifetime depends on the individual canine, sir. >> okay. there are other agencies that have canine programs in the department, and, for example, i think just within dhs, you've got fema where they use canine teams to conduct search and rescue operations. federal protective service. i think deploys dogs to sweep federal buildings looking for explosives. would -- i don't know who i should ask this, we'll start with you, damian. could you just describe for us, if you could, any department-wide efforts within
dhs to share best practices and to find efficiencies in order to improve the respective programs? >> sure. i've been in this position for the last 2 1/2 years and sinces i've been in this position, we've conducted numerous outreach to how to improve our program or share best practices with others. we've met with tsa, we've also met with miss otto. on different occasions to identify ways we have in our program we can improve on. visited lackland air force base d.o.d. as far as shared tactics, we do, or shared facilities, we do extend our training availability to local, federal, and state law enforcement agencies. so we are constantly working with them as well to support either their canine to start a program or to advance or evolve their current program and existence. >> all right. thank you. i was struck, dr. otto, by your testimony where you mentioned that many of the errors made by canine teams aren't the error
made by the dog but by the human handler. what are the requirements and limitations of good human handler and how well are we training that half of the canine team? >> so i think that's a really great point that it's a team -- >> can you say that again? say that again. >> the dog, the handler, the team -- >> not many of our witnesses say that, do they, mr. chairman? >> oh, this, great point, it's a very good point. excellent point. >> thank you. >> so the team is really critical and the dog, a lot of times we actually get in the way of the dog. and it really is something that we have to be paying very close attention to. when you have a team that works in synchrony, it's like watching dancers because they're so good at reading each other. that's our goal. a lot of times we do focus on the dog side of it and we're not paying as much attention to training the handler. in our program, we try to help our dogs work as independently
as possible. and i think that's a lot of the goals here, too, especially with the passenger screening canines that they really do need to work more independently. so i think those are goals that most organizations are working toward, but i think we still have a ways to go in finding our best handlers, training our handlers in the best way possible and making sure the team is working well together. >> okay. thank you. another question, this might be for you, miss hutchinson, but a question about metrics. what metrics, if any, exist to indicate that the passenger screening canine training provides an added security benefit in return for the additional costs, and how is the passenger screening canine certification standard developed? >> so we've been developing sort of the standard in the last five years, and really it's a training and certification standard so in terms of metrics, the reason we know these dogs are effective, very high rate on
an annual basis by a third party, snt helps us, directorate helps us in the evaluation process. we train the dogs on the odors to make sure they're proficient. a dog like riverso has to certify every 45 days an all of those odors. if he doesn't, he comes out of the operation and gets retrained, if you will. those evaluations during the year and certification at the end of the year. >> okay, thanks. if i could, miss glover, in your testimony, you talked about some of the recommendations maybe the gao has made to improve these programs. would you just mention, again, i think you did, but maybe a recommendation or two that has not been fully implemented, has
not been accepted, and let's just talk about that for a minute. >> sure. tsa has done a terrific job addressing the vast majority of our recommendations, and we completely agree that robust data exists to show that the passenger screening canines are effective at detecting explosives. you know, there's a range. there are -- the data show there are some airports and some teams that don't do as well as others, and so hopefully tsa will follow up on that information and make sure that they're providing support to the teams that need it so that they can continue to improve. but the question that remains for gao is whether or not it's the extra specialized passenger screening training that makes the pse canines effective or whether they could do just as well with the conventional training that all the canines receive. in, you know -- that's what the regular law enforcement handlers and their canines receive as well. >> okay. my time is expired.
as the chairman mentioned earlier, we also are going to a bunch of committees and subcommittees. a number of those are in session. i'm going to slip out and go to one, learn more about implementing the trans-pacific trade partnership in the finance committee. i want to say thank you, again, mr. chairman, for pulling this all together. thanks especially to riverso, hudson, nicky, their handlers and each who vocalized and verbalized on behalf of our canine friends. thank you so much. >> thanks, senator carper. let me go back to the metrics because in our briefing here, we did -- certainly one metric is apprehensions of drugs which is probably one of the most successful areas, you know, almost 40,000 apprehensions the last year nationwide. i think it was last year. yeah. fiscal year 2015. are there similar -- first of all, do we have instances in tsa
where we detected bombs? have we thwarted any attacks or just been very fortunate that we haven't had those? >> yes. as far as we know, we haven't had a terrorist come through a checkpoint with an explosive to be detected. so to your point, it's hard to measure the deterrence factor of having, you know, a dog at a checkpoint or anywhere else, so that's difficult for us. >> dr. otto, can you talk about the specialized nature of the different smells? i mean, the different odors, and what that means from the standpoint of training. >> so there's a number of different odors, but the concept is all kind of the same on how we're going to train them. in our program, we train our dogs with foundation work where they learn how to search. they don't necessarily learn a specific odor. and then depending on their physical characteristics and their behavioral characteristics, we may put them into different careers. so dogs that are searching for humans in disaster settings are searching for a really large amount of odor associated with
that person. and those are dogs that are going to be wide ranging and really looking for odor. we also have a medical detection program where we've trained dogs, the odor associated with ovarian cancer in blood samples. that is a drop of blood, a very minute odor. the dogs that work in that field are very meticulous and very thorough and work in a controlled environment. and so those are kind of the two ends of the spectrum. and then identifying the environments that you would want, the passenger screening environment is going to be probably more similar to our search and rescue environment, whereas maybe the more traditional screening of, you know, suitcases we might get a little bit closer to what we're dealing with the ovarian cancer detection, but usually the amount of odor is still going to be much, much greater than what we would see in something like the medical detection. is that what you were asking? >> yes. let's talk about, we talked a little bit about breeding
capacity. to me, that just seems like something we could overcome pretty quickly. there seems to be enough demand for these things and we should know how to breed, so it's a matter of just getting the right ones. let's talk about training capacity. obviously you have a certain approach in training which differs from other centers. do we have a capacity shortage from the standpoint of training, and then ongoing training, too? i'd like you to speak to -- you talked about a team. how important is it the dogs are trained and the handlers conduct that training on an ongoing basis, correct? >> i can talk about the ongoing training based on what swig dog has recommended as national guidelines and what nist and osac and the committee on dogs and sensors recommends for ongoing training of 16 hours a month of ongoing training for the canine handler teams. most of what we're doing, we're not really working with those graduate dogs so i think i probably would defer to cbp or tsa to address some of those
issues. >> okay. please. >> so, i'm sorry, can you please repeat the question? >> really just talking about the ongoing training for the dogs, how the handlers, the responsibility. something i heard from the university of pennsylvania is this isn't something you train a dog for a couple weeks or a couple months and then they're trained. they just -- you got to continually update that on a continuous basis. kind of speak to that. >> absolutely. we all know ground zero is at the training centers. our canines come in, a 14-week course, 12-week, 10-week course, 7 or 5. depending on the variances of where we're going to train our handlers. we talk about the team. the canine, itself, it's very important when we start the f that we determine what capacity that dog is going to be working in in the field. and that's based on our initial prior selection test. >> are those dogs pre-trained already and you specifically train them for something or doing the entire training yourself?
>> we do the entire training ourselves. what we want to do is identify the canine based on its innate drives and capabilities because all of our operational environments are very different. so depending on the operational different. depending, we want to pair that dog in a training center. so ie for example, if you have a small border environment, or a large border environment. we want to make sure we pair that dog in that environment. and that comes with the training we develop at the training centers. the pairing with that environment. essentially setting that dog up for success. and of course you have the continued training that goes on with our subject matter. it's more of a lateral handoff. >> do you have anything to add? >> it's different on the tsa side of the house.
all of our teams are trained on a basic course. the screening canines, passenger screening canines, have an additional ten weeks. it's somebody who's moving, so -- it's a person. they have to see that person as a search possibility. after we basically imprint all of our dogs, we basically pair that dog with the handler for 10 to 12 weeks. one of the things we're trying to do is be more efficient, sort of looking at the science, with our science and technology and training on families of orders. because it does take a long time to train these dogs. so how can we look at sort of rather imprinting owner by owner, look at families of owners. but it's a hard job. we have to train to that job. >> director grover, you talk about team failures. can you just describe that in
greater detail what you're talking about there? describe what you're talking about. >> well, it would just be a circumstance when a canine team mi missed an explosive aid either during the annual certification or as part of the assessment. where they are really paying great attention to ensure they're performing well. so the last data that gao reviewed on this did show significant variation between the teams at the top performing airports and the lower performing airports and that could be just because some teams had a bad day or two at the time of the testing or it could be a longer term issue. the details of the failure rates are ssi so we can share them with your staff but not in a public environment. >> doctor, do you have any --
just opinions of why you had team failures? kind of keep the dog current, themselves current? >> i think there's a number of different things that can influence it. what we've looked at is when are our dogs at their peak, when are they doing their best. i think this is another opportunity where we can help the dog dogs. the more independent the dogs are, the less chance that maybe -- the handler having a bad day. the dog having a bad day. either one of them. you know, that we can really help that move forward. i do think there are a combination of environmental aspects that are going to affect it. we know in these teams there's an interaction between the handler and the dog. so, you know, paying attention to that. we've also looked at some of the medical aspects that may affect
a dog's ability to affect odor. happily, you know, we don't have a lot of obvious problems in a lot of the medications we've been testing but there are some medications that can decrease the odor detection ability of the dog. >> you're saying medications the dogs might -- >> dog's medications. >> okay. there are different breeds better at different things? >> i think there are different personalities within breeds that are better at certain things. if we go to cancer detection, which is a very specialized area, we have a german shepherd, a labrador and springer spaniel. and in our search and rescue dogs, we have a spectrum of breeds as well. it's so much more the personality within the breed. i think when we're really selecting these dogs that have the genetic capacity for odor detection, it's then how does that dog's personality interact with its genetics. >> you were talking about the added value of the specialized
training for the passenger screening versus conventional training. bottom line, there's going to have to be some specialized training because they're dealing with passengers. correct? >> probably, yes. but gao's an evidence-based organization. so we would always want to make sure tsa has good evidence to support that. all of these additional weeks of training are -- >> being accountant, i like evidence, i like metrics. let me just close it out. i really do want, you know, somebody within your organization providing written response for the record about what is the, what's the desired level of teams here. my guess is you would all agree
they can be very effective, correct? and we really do need to take a hard look. i don't want to be penny wise and pound foolish here. just one instance of somebody getting through could be pretty harmful to our economy. what i see, you know, the thousand canine units within tsa, the 1,400, it costs money, but it's in the hundreds of millions of dollars versus potential harm of a problem here. so i really do want to get a pretty good sense of how effective these are, what's the total cost and what is the desired level. because i'd like to be supportive of this. let me just kind of close out the hearing. going down the line if you've got a final comment. >> thank you for the strong support of our program. as you can see, they're very effective.
we're looking at that. which i think is a huge benefit for canines, is just the ability to evolve them with the threat. so we can train them very quickly as new threats emerge. so as the threat changes, we can move them to the back side of the airport very quickly. >> as we continue to evolve, one of the emphasis is the type of dogs that we're selecting and the process we've been able to find. i'll give you the statistical number. in fy-'15, through our vendors, 428 dogs were presented to us. thank you our rigorous performance selection, we only
selected 278 of those. we're looking for a particular type of canine for our mission. of those 270 currently, we have 208 completed training. 51 in training. only 11 of those dogs weren't able to meet our performance standards. as it is right now, the program, we're at 95% success rate of dogs that walk through our door, that enter training, that we're able to train, certify, and create a working dog team for the components to secure our borders. >> director grover. >> yes, sir, tsa does have an effective programming here and they have made great strides in using the metrics they need to oversee their program. >> thank you. >> i think we all agree dogs give us a huge advantage and i think continuing in a cole lob rative research environment so
we can answer some of these questions, that we can provide those metrics and ongoing. i agree the dogs are so flexible that even if a machine can detect some odor, when we look at the environments they're working in and things that change, that whole ability for the dogs to problem solve and reason really puts them kind of leaps and bounds ahead of any kind of machine-type approach to this problem. >> okay, again, i want to thank you all again for your time and your testimony. want to thank the handlers. the dogs. i know the senator named them. he didn't mention jerry. so thank jerry for being just cute and soft. but again, thank you. really do appreciate it. with that, the hearing record will remain open for 15 days until march 18th at 5:00 p.m. for submissions of statements for the record. this hearing is adjourned.
secretary of the treasury on the state of the international financial system. before we begin today's hearing, we need to keep in our thoughts and prayers the victims of this morning's attacks in belgium. as well as their loved ones and the first responders who are working to care for the injured and bring justice to those responsible for this terror. i ask that we pause for a moment of silence. thank you. i will now recognize myself for three minutes for an opening statement. this morning, we welcome secretary lew for his testimony on the imf and international financial system. it's a system that faces serious challenge brought on by
spending-driven debt and reckless monetary policies around the globe. fortunately, for hard-working american taxpayers, needed imf reforms were passed by congress in december, even if they weren't the reforms the administration wanted. notwithstanding imf reform, congress reduced the u.s. contribution to the imf for the first time in its history, sun setting over $40 billion in credit lines. congress also restored over the administration's objections a rule that limits large imf loans to countries with unsustainable debt. unfortunately altered by treasury in 2010 when the imf improperly bailed out greece, a bailout that has led to nothing but additional bailouts. what remained center for the international finance system though is the imf will never be able to bail out the united states if we remain on the administration's current spending trajectory. as our monitors show, our
national debt is spinning out of control and is undeniably unsustainable. during his time in office, president obama has presided over the five largest nominal deficits in history. he has piled up more debt than any president from george washington to bill clinton combined. a debt that leaves every american family owing on average $153,000. although our witness secretary lew and other administration officials constantly attempt to change the subject to declining deficits, three facts remain. number one, the deficits has only declined relative to the historic highs set by this administration. two, every deficit declining or not actually increases the national debt. and three, under the president's policies, deficits will soon begin rising again, despite a $3.4 trillion tax increase and we approach $19 trillion threshold before the end of the decade.
the president's legacy will be a debt so large that at the end of his budget we will spend more on debt service annually than what we spend on national defense, medicaid, education and transportation infrastructure. only spending on medicare and social security will be larger than interest on the national debt. according to the national budget office, the president's legacy of debt may very well compromise our national security and increase the likelihood of fiscal crisis. as we all know, it is the poor who will suffer most when this occurred. that is why the national debt and debt ceiling remain deadly serious matters. regrettably and inexcusably, the treasury department, for over two years, has stone walled and on fuse dated and misled congress. contingency planning for the debt ceiling. why we recently issued a staff report entitled the obama administration's debt ceiling subterfuge.
information about their contingency plans for the purpose of pressuring congress to acquiesce to the administration's position that there only be a naked debt ceiling increase. or in other words to hasten our national bankruptcy. will include doubt, decline and debt. and his documents continue to be withheld. let us hope that deception will not be added to the list. chair now recognizes the gentle lady from wisconsin. miss moore. ranking member on monetary policy and trade subcommittee for two minutes. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman. welcome back, secretary. i think i ought to begin my comments by bashing my republican colleagues and defaming them in the worst way they know and that is to thank them for working with you and the obama administration to pass imf reform. i give chairman hensarling a
hard time but i've enjoyed working with chairman on the subcommittee and recognize he and other republicans had a big part in making this reform happen. i know that you, too, have worked really hard in getting this over the line and i really think it's going to benefit us in the long run. congress has been behind in the curve, but it was the right thing to do. for the world and certainly this country. i'm pleased christine la guard is again going to be heading the imf. ranking member waters and i join ranking member levin and representative rangel in urging that capital controls policy in the tpp be harmonized with imf guidelines. i was very pleased that it was
included in the final agreement. i'm looking forward to our conversation today. i hope that you might talk to us a little bit about money laundering and your efforts to combat that. at the same time, the other side of that, is of course figure out how we get remittances in the hands of those who are very needy. i look forward, again, to your testimony. i yield back. >> gentle lady yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. two minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary lew. i appreciate you appearing with us today. there's obviously a lot of very important international issues that need to be addressed. one of those i'm extremely concerned about is the problem or the role of the imf in future lending to greece. under the exceptional access
rule. totaling $40 billion. or more than 3,200% of the country's kwquota. well beyond any limit in place. in 2012, a program superseded that bailout. under normal access, imf countries can borrow up to 200% their quota per 12-month period. with exceptional acts, borrowers can exceed these limits provided their debt is considered sustainable with a high probability of paying off that debt. important to note that greece did not meet the criteria for exceptional access lending and the imf has conceded it made mistakes in bailing greece out. as you know, the fund's own evaluation department has found that internal assessments which permitted greece to take part in the framework were inaccurate, resulting from overly optimistic forecasts of debt sustainability and government commitment to reforms. although i'm pleased with the
imf systemic exemption for access was repealed. imf board replaced it with significant new loopholes that will allow that to continue. they decided that countries like greece can receive assistance even when their debt is not sustainable. provided there is a reprofiling, quote/unquote, of of that debt. seems to violate the spirit of the reforms that were included in the 2015 omnibus. i've stated before that the treasury department should resist the urge to push the imf towards many -- any more bailouts of greece. that will prevent future bailouts of countries that fail to meet the imf traditional rules. they're aware of my concerns and this legislative initiative as well. >> chair now recognizes the ranking member for three minutes. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman.
i would like to thank secretary lew for coming to testify before us today on the state of the international financial system. imf quota reform package adopted after a five-year delay as part of december's omnibus spending bill is an important achievement and a positive reflection on the perseverance of u.s. treasury officials and democratic congressional leaders to get this deal done. previously, the failure of the u.s. congress to approve the imf quota reform had put the world economy and financial system in serious jeopardy. with ratification now complete what is essential to u.s. interest is to restore some impetus to ongoing imf reform and to repair in part the damage done to the u.s. reputation for leadership. the price the administration paid for the quota reform included a commitment which it achieved to seek to eliminate the systemic exemption, the rule that since 2010 has allowed
lending even when there was a risk that the debt was unsustainable. and that was used to support loans for the periphery countries of europe. many believe the fund should revert back to its original exceptional access world. i'm perfectly fine using such rules as one of many guides. i agree that policy should be transparent and systemic as possible. but i am also sure that in a complex, ever changing global economy, policy making cannot be trusted to a simple trumpet rule. i believe that the fund should recognize that the problem with rigid predetermined thresholds is they will inevitably conflict with the unpredictable circumstances of reality and that exceptions are going to be inevitable in some cases. finally, before closing, i want to take a moment to acknowledge the senseless loss of life caused by brutal and tragic events unfolding in brussels
today. the attacks on the innocence serve as a painful reminder of how important our efforts are in countering the financing of terrorism. secretary lew, i know you're deeply committed to disrupting the networks that finance terror, and i hope you will share more with us today about areas where increased resources are enhanced authorities may assist you in your work. i look forward to your testimony, mr. secretary, and i yield back the balance of my time. >> today, we welcome the testimony of the honorable jack lew. secretary lew has previously testified before this committee. so believe he needs no further introduction. without objection, mr. secretary, your written statement will be made part of the record and you are now recognized for five minutes to give an oral presentation of your testimony. thank you. >> thank you, chairman hensarling. members of the committee. before i begin, i'd like to say a few words about this morning's
events in belgium. the united states condemns in the strongest possible terms today's act of terrorism in brussels. our thoughts and prayers go out to innocent civilians targeted in these horrific attacks. at treasury, we work every day to identify terrorist financing networks in the wake of attacks we work with them even more so. we work especially closely with our counterparts around the world. right now, treasury analysts are reviewing information to try and recover leads on the brussel attacks and we've offered our attention to belgium authorities. our hearts go out to victims today's events and our commitment to stopping the flow of funds to perpetrators of these kinds of attacks remain steadfast. since my testimony last year, our economy has continued its record breaking streak of private sector job creation, which has reached six consecutive years and more than 14 million jobs. over the last two years, we've experienced the strongest job creation since the late 1990s.
at 4.9%, the unemployment rate is half of its 2009 peak. and we continue on a sound fiscal path from fiscal year 2009 to 2015. the deficit as a share of gdp fell by almost three quarters to 2.5%. the passage of the omnibus spending bill has helped to build on this momentum contributing to our economic growth and helping to strengthen our commercial leadership. the agreement included critical imf quotas and government reforms that helped to preserve the central role of the united states and advance our security objectives. that agreement demonstrated we have the capacity to find common ground on difficult issues and lays the foundation for addressing some long-term challenges. in our domestic and national security priorities. the international financial institutions, the imf, multilateral banks and related multilateral trust funds are an important part of the president's approach to bolstering national security and
driving long-term prosperity. our investments in these institutions promote our strategic interests in international stability. they help unlock the next generation of export markets for america's businesses. and they're some of the most cost effective ways to reinforce economic growth at home and respond to critical challenges abroad. the imf remains the foremost international institution for promoting global financial stain built. through its three main activities, surveillance, technical assistance and lending. and helps prevent and resolve financial crises when they occur. this work promotes global growth. and alleviates poverty in member countries. at a time of increased economic uncertainty, the imf is actively working with countries vulnerable to low oil prices, financial market volatility and other external shocks. the united states plays a key role in shaping imf policy
through its position as the imf's largest shareholder. over the past year, we've supported the creation of an imf debt relief facility for low income countries. and encouraged the imf to help developing countries mobilize domesticresources for development. to tighten requirements on debt sustainability. our investments in multilateral development banks. increase economic growth. and reduce poverty. over the years, mdb assistance has nurtured economic reforms. that have driven the growth of some of our most strategic trade partners. building sustainable and transparent economic growth in emerging and developing countries. as vital partners in helping to address national security threats. in addition to meeting our current commitments, it is
urgent we work with congress to address our prior unmet commitments which now approach $1.6 billion. at the world bank, this is particularly urgent. as failure to meet our commitments this year will result in a loss of u.s. share holding that could impact our veto power, damage our credibility and weaken our ability to achieve priorities. also depends on good governance and a well-functioning state. treasury's office of technical assistant has provided advice and training to government officials in developing and transitional countries so they can build effective public institutions. helps countries improve government operations across several areas including planning budgets, managing debt, collecting revenue, developing sound banking systems and combating corruption. ota is particularly helpful with our foreign policy, security and economic priorities in ukraine, central america, africa, asia and other regions. treasury's international programs are some of the most
cost effective ways to reinforce economic growth at home and to respond to critical challenges abroad. specifically, u.s. leadership and international financial institutions enables us to influence how and where resources are deployed, ofn on a scale we cannot achieve through our bilateral programs alone. it's crucial we continue to have bipartisan support for these institutions to ensure our influence remains as strong today as it's been over the past several decades. treasury looks forward to continuing the dialogue with congress on the important role that the international financial institutions play in the global economy. especially as we implement the imf reform legislation and negotiate replenishments. thank you very much and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, mr. secretary. now recognize myself for five minutes for questioning. mr. secretary, one thing maybe we can agree on is that tens of millions of our fellow countrymen are unhappy. i think one of the reasons they're unhappy is too often
they see an administration that either makes up law, ignores law or lives above the law. they see a congress that they think is helpless or hapless in dealing with that. that context, mr. secretary, i think you know for almost three years this committee has been seeking documents regarding debt ceiling contingency planning. information shared with the justice department regarding what some call too big to jail. as i think you're aware, almost one year ago, this committee subpoenaed documents from treasury. in that time, we have yet to receive the documents. you were asked about this last week in your appearance before the appropriations committee. you said, quote, lawyers are working through the document requests, unquote. mr. secretary, it has been almost three years for these requests. you also mentioned in your appearance before the appropriations committee that you will provide us with, quote/unquote, appropriate material. mr. secretary with all due
respect, article one of the constitution, there's long-standing supreme court precedent that this branch of government has the oversight role. we get to deem what is appropriate for oversight and investigation with all due respect, sir. it is not you. it has everything to do with checks and balances and separation of powers. thus my first question, as the custodian of records, do you understand our subpoena of may 11th, 2015, imposes a legal obligation on you personally to ensure that the requested records are produced? >> mr. chairman, we recognize the important oversight rule that congress plays. we take seriously the responsibility -- >> mr. secretary, the question is, do you understand a personal legal obligation? is that your understanding? >> mr. chairman, treasury has taken steps to respond to each and every one -- >> i'll ask you again, mr. secretary. do you understand you have a personal legal obligation? if you don't, then i would
commend for your study, 2 usc. and 18 usc 1505. so i'll ask you for the last time. do you understand that you have a personal legal obligation to ensure these requested records are produced? >> mr. chairman, treasury's approach to the committee's inquiries have followed the long standing policy set forth by reagan in 1984. >> mr. secretary, you've had three time to answer the question. i'll move on. has anyone directed you not to comply with this committee's subpoena of may 11th, 2015? >> mr. chairman, just the other day, we responded in detail to the inquiry from this committee -- >> my question, mr. secretary, is has anyone directed you not to comply with this committee subpoena of may 11th, 2015? it's a simple yes or no answer. >> the letter we sent to the committee indicates, we have been reaching out to the committee, responding -- >> third time, plb secretary, has anyone directed you not to comply with this committee's subpoena? >> mr. chairman, we have been
trying to work with the committee to provide -- >> i'm trying to get you to answer a simple yes or no question. no wonder the american people get outraged. simple yes or no question. have you been directed not to comply with the subpoena, yes or no, please, sir? >> mr. chairman, we have been trying to respond to the subpoena. that's the point i'm trying to make. >> well, for the third time, you didn't answer that question. next question then. have you directed anyone at the treasury department to withhold documents from this committee? >> mr. chairman, if you would just give me a moment to answer your question. we have been -- >> if you'll answer the question, mr. secretary, i'll give you a moment for context but we need to start off with a yes or no. >> mr. chairman, with all due respect, these are not yes or no questions. if you want an answer, i'm happy to give -- >> i don't know how much more simple it could be. have you directed anyone at the treasury department to withhold documents from this committee pursuant to the committee subpoena of may 11th, 2015? if you'll give me a yes or no,
mr. secretary, i'll give you a moment for context. >> at my direction, the department staff has been rea reaching out to the committee. the committee has not followed up with any meetings to try and work through that. >> it's been three years on some of these document requests. >> in many cases, we don't even know what the committee is looking for. >> if i need to provide you with another copy of the subpoena, i would be glad to do it. are you at least certifying then? are you prepared to certify in writing you're in compliance? because so far, you've failed to do so. you can't tell me you're trying to comply and then not certify you're in compliance. >> respectfully, what we suggested, the attorneys should sit down and talk with each other, go through the details. i was being diplomatic at the appropriations committee the other day. this committee has not responded. so we've been trying to be responsive. >> mr. secretary, what do you think would happen to an ordinary citizen, a school teacher, a factory worker, if
they decide to -- if they refuse to comply with the legal subpoena? what to you think would happen to them? >> we've been working to comply with the committee's request. >> mr. secretary, with all due respect that just doesn't have credibility. it just doesn't have credibility. ranking member's recognized for five minutes. >> thank you very much for being here, mr. chairman. the chairman just talked about the american citizen's distrust with government and how angry they are with government. mr. secretary, i believe that if there's anger and distrust, it's because of the way we conduct ourselves here. and when the secretary of the treasury is battered and disrespected, then i think the american people sees that more as the congress of the united states not being able to work with each other, more than some
so-called demand for response to pages that have been sent or questioned that have been sent or depositions. as i understand it, we've received over 3,000 pages from the treasury since may 11th, 2015. and as i understand it, there were four more depositions that were issued yesterday. and i want you to know, mr. secretary, that we're not consulted at all by the opposite side of the aisle on these depositions. we don't have the kind of cooperation here in this committee that would lend itself to seeking information from you or any of the other secretaries. this has become a game of got ya. this has become a game of we're going to overwhelm you with subpoenas and questions so that
we will be able to say you have not responded. i am hopeful the important issues of the treasury are being worked with every day. we are in a situation where yes our economy is performing and since 2008, we certainly have made advances, but we are concerned about the volatility of the markets and we want you to concentrate on the real issues. i would hope that your office would not be tied down trying to respond to unreasonable request from this committee. i don't think and i don't believe they're legitimate and i apologize for the way you've been treated here this morning, not being able to answer a question, being interrupted, not accepting that you're willing to have an explanation, and so it should not work that way. and i want to get on with
dealing with the real issues that you're confronted with. since initiating free market reforms in 1978, china has been one of the world's fastest growing economies. averaging 9.7% in real domestic product growth. annually from 1979 to 2015, lifting 600 million people out of extreme poverty. china's economy has slowed. its real gdp growth was 7.3% in 2014 and 6.9% in 2015. and it's projected by the imf to fall to 6.0 by 2017. what are the implications of a slowdown in china for the united states as well as the global economy more broadly? >> thank you, congresswoman waters. china's economy is one of the the two largest economies in the world along with our own.
the way ours is in terms of financial systems, interlocking financial institutions. but it is a purchaser of vast amounts of inputs from around the world. so there's understandably a lot of focus on china's economy because it has a lot to do with what global growth will look like in the future, particularly an emerging economy as it provides so many inputs to china. china's in the middle of a reform process that is very important to china and it's important to the global economy. as they move towards a more market oriented system, it's going to be bumpier. they'll be more volatility. they'll have to learn how to tolerate some of those disruptions the way those of us more experienced with market economies do. they're going to have to stick to the reform path because if they don't if they don't open their market, if they don't make the changes, they'll be left with an overhang of overcapacity
that will weight them down and make it so some of the doomsday scenarios would then become much more meaningful risk. i think china has a lot of tools. the question to me is not the question many have asked is china out of tools. they have $4 trillion of foreign reserves. they have enormous resources within their government to deal with policy. what they need to do is not back away from the reform program. >> thank you, mr. secretary. >> the chair now recognizes the chairman from michigan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm going to take a slightly different direction on my questioning. not because i don't believe what the chairman has been saying is extremely important. i'm concerned as well about responses of just over simple letters. i've gotten two dated march 18. one dating back as of last year, like in may. so speed is not exactly been
treasury's m.o. here. but my question on the imf, and you address this a little bit in page three and four of your written testimony starting on page two. the greeks obviously have suffered eurozone's highest unemployment rates, 25%, for the past five -- i'm sorry, four years. youth unemployment near 50%. instead of helping reduce creek's public death to gdp ratio to 110% as planned, the fund has witnessed the debt to gdp ratio climbed to over 175% despite major restructuring of debt in 2012. clearly imf involvement has done little to improve the lives of greek citizens in part because greek's leaders have been slow walking reforms for years. the prime minister was unapologetic, criticizing the fund's, quote, unconstructive attitude on fiscal and financial issues and he indicated the imf should stay out of any future bailout. he and i agree on that one. you actually mention that at the direction of congress, your
written testimony, united states champions reforms and the xe exceptional access. but then the u.s. led the charge to go against these reforms with inserting new loopholes. i'm just curious and confused as to why you would go a bipartisan congressional directive and go against that with the imf and if the greeks don't want the imf's medicine and if the medicine has been so ineffective anyway, why would we insist on giving more taxpayer dollars? >> congressman, i think -- let me start with the reforms of the imf. >> very quickly. >> the reforms removed the provisions that allowed systemic risk to cause an exception that would allow lending -- this issue you describe. the exceptional access remains important. it's been the way we've seen assistance provided to many
important countries. >> why would we introduce more loopholes? the imf rules stipulate the country must possess the capacity to ensure success of a loan. government must be competent, committed to the reforms. the greek defense and foreign ministers, i'm sure you're aware, threatened to flood europe with migrants including potential terrorists if the country didn't get what it wanted in bailout negotiations and the defense minister said, quote if europe leaves us in the crisis, we will flood it with migrants and it will even -- it will be even worse for berlin if in that wave of millions of economic migrants there will be some jihadists of the islamic state too. if they, european creditors, strike us, we will strike them. we might have seen that in bruvs tod brussels today, isn't that true? >> i think that's a conclusion that i have no basis to comment on and i think we shouldn't jump to statements like -- >> i hope not but when you've
got the defense minister of greece threatening europe, our nato allies, how in the world can we allow them to even qualify for this? >> if i can respond to your questions -- >> please, quickly. >> both on the financial and on the larger set of issues in europe. on the financial side there have been many important reforms enacted in greece over the last year. i'm not going to disagree that the process was very bumpy and the whole world was watching it. after an opening set of conversations that was not construct itch, the government agrees to settle down and enact more reforms than anyone thought possible. this is principally a european challenge. >> so they've settled down but earlier this year, not last year, this year, we've got the defense minister and others making outrageous comments -- >> sir -- >> which i still don't understand why you would lead the parade to try to include --
>> if i can keep separate the financial and the kind of gee political for a moment. open the financial side, i think the imf's only going to remain involved if there's ability to do review. which will be based on some debt forgiveness, restructuring, that will be required. if it's sustainable, then it's consistent with the imf rules. that will keep the european commitment together. why is that important to us? i think at a time of geopolitical instability, it would not be a good thing for europe or for the united states if we were to see real tensions of europe breaking apart again. >> we've seen that already. i think this is why i'm going to be introducing a bill today to try to tighten those loopholes. and that you need to work with us in this oversight, so thank you, mr. chairman. >> time of the gentleman has ex-entired. miss moore, ranking member, the
monetary policy and trade subcommittee. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, you have indicated that our economy is growing very slowly, at 2%. and of course our colleagues here are fond of reminding us that we're $19 trillion in debt of course. we just in the last budget negotiations did another 7$700 billion, unpaid in tax cuts. some good, some tax extenders that were not so good. anyway, they're all unpaid for. on top of the wars we didn't pay for. and so we're now even the next couple of decades $2 trillion more in debt from this policy. i guess what my question is, is
i also sit on the budget committee. and the solution to this is sort of more austerity. let's, you know, let's block medicaid, let's voucherize medicare, let's cut the social services bloc grant. let's, you know, take the entitlement status away from pell grants and food stamps. and i guess as the secretary of the treasury, i guess i'm wondering if you think austerity is the solution to our deficit problem. >> congresswoman, i think we have to make sure our economy is growing. part of that means we need a fiscal policy that keeps it going. also a long-term view and have a sustainable fiscal outlook. if you look at where we started in 2009, there was an economy
that was crashing. there was a death that was skyrocketing and a debt that was out of control growing to over $1 trillion. we brought it under control. it's not down to zero. but we've reduced it by three quarters to 2.5% of gdp. i think if you look at this next ten-year period, we maintain stability and it's a foundation to then look at the challenges of how do you deal with the 20, 30, 40 year challenges. in these next ten years, i think the united states, like the rest of the world, has to focus on the reality there's insufficient demand in the world. the united states is doing a little better than most of the rest of the world. but you can't grow the global economy by just cutting spending everywhere. we're seeing that hasn't worked in other places. in the united states right now, we have great news, infrastructure, enormous need in this country. we need to have a sound economy in the future. we need it because it puts people to work and good jobs. this is the time to do it. when we have the ability to
finance it at very low cost. so i think that the question of what we do in the medium and long term, the short term are not the same. i was also the director for three years in the 1990s and i produced surpluses in three years. so i, more than anyone else, understand the value of fiscal discipline. but i understand you can't do it without a growing economy. last year, the actions you described in total helped grow the u.s. economy by roughly half a percent. with the head winds coming from internationally slow growth, i'm glad we have that extra energy in the u.s. economy. >> thank you so much. so i mean just to be clear, you think our long-term challenges with social security, medicare, medicaid. i mean, 70% of our economy is spending. if you take money away from people, is it possible to grow the economy without folk having money in their hands?
>> the challenge has always been having the right balance of revenues spending to deal with structural issues. i think if you look at what we've done in the last seven years, we've bent the cost curve on health care. nobody can deny it's kept costs from going up. that has an enormous impact on the federal budget. we've taken tremendous strides to reduce spending. i think too much so on the discretionary side. >> do people need to have money? do you agree that our economy depends on people having money to spend? like raising the minimum wage? like not cutting -- >> i think if you look at the power of the u.s. economy driven by consumer demand and that consumer demand is important at all levels of the income spectrum. people who work full time ought to be able to be above the poverty line. which is why i think we need to raise the minimum wage. we know that money will be spent. >> thank you so much.
i yield back my two seconds. >> gentle lady yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey, mr. garrett. chairman -- >> thank you, mr. chairman. after listening to the secretary's responses to your questions or nonresponses, mr. chairman, i think anyone viewing today's hearing would say, mr. secretary, that you are the epitome of what is wrong with washington today. the disdain you have for the american people. the failure of yours to answer the simplicity of question is what is wrong with washington and why the public has the view of the bureaucracy and the bureaucrats such as yourself here today. you know, questions we put to you are basic ones and simple ones. asking sometimes for long answers and sometimes for simple short answers. i got a new phone the other day. i'm just -- curious question, do you use a cell phone, iphone or anything like that, do you carry that with you?
>> i carry it but i hardly use it. >> there's almost a simple answer. so in your communications with people, whether on your phone, iphone, e-mails, letters, phone calls or other things, the chairman asked you a simple question. has anyone from the administration ever directed you to not comply with the subpoenas? so it's a simple question of whether through any of these communication devices you have, one way, shape or another, has anyone directeded you to do that? that's a yes or no. >> i answered the question -- >> no, you didn't. >> -- we have been working to comply -- >> excuse me, excuse me, the question was not whether you're working to comply. that was your answer. the question was, has anyone communicated this to you? has anyone communicated that to you, mr. secretary? yes or no? >> congressman, you know, you can make this seem like a yes or no question. i'm not aware of any communications telling me what to do on anything i'm doing here today. >> there you go. >> i'm giving you an answer -- >> that's the -- >> -- what we're doing --
>> thank you, mr. secretary -- >> i would think you would want to know what we're doing. >> the answer is no one. mr. chairman, i think that was the answer you've been trying to get. i've been trying to get answers from you as well for a long period of time. nine months ago, i contacted -- well, both in committee and through letter, asking you to respond to some of the concerns i have regarding the implications of something else. the isda protocols on insolvencies. what they would have on nonbank institutions. so my simple question now, since i haven't heard back, will you assure us if any proposals come up, you oppose any plans that would require u.s. companies to basically give up, waive their protections? >> congressman, i'm going to need you to give me a little more detail what you're asking me about. >> i guess since my time is limited -- >> i'm happy to respond. i'm happy to respond. i'm not sure what you're asking.
>> we corredirected that back t nine months ago. if you're happy to respond, we would direct you to respond back then. to you is another. here's the $10 bill. there's a whole discussion going on who should be on the 10 bill. you're familiar with that. >> yes, i am. >> you solicited the american opinion quite a bit. >> we got a lot of comments. >> how come then, when you're dealing with international bodies, you do not solicit for public opinion in the stakeholders in the same manner when you get into negotiations? >> well we do -- >> will you commit to -- will you commit going forward to do -- ask for input just like you did on the change of the $10 bill, as you would on dealing with international bodies? >> we do reach out to stakeholders as we do our work domestically and internationally. we will continue to do so. >> that's great.
that's good to hear. will you engage in a formal notice and comment period as well? >> i'm not going to comment on -- notice and comment on international proceedings. >> why not? >> because i'm not aware of any appropriate notice and comment process for international proceedings -- >> so could you -- do you have the authority, the power, to establish formal notice and comment periods? >> look, i think we have a lot of mechanisms for consulting with both public and private sector stakeholders -- >> would you commit to doing this one more -- >> i don't think notice and comment is the answer to everything. we're not doing notice and comment on the $10 bill either. >> this is a little bit more important -- >> you asked me would we do the same thing. >> would you commit to doing formal notice and comment period? gli don't think notice and comment is the answer to everything. it's the -- >> i understand it may not be for everything. on this area, i'm simply asking you would you commit to doing so? >> congressman, the work that's done in the -- >> the answer is no.
>> -- doesn't make u.s. policy. >> so when you do -- >> -- go through notice and comments -- >> when you solicit input, because you said you solicit input, it's you solicit input from who you want to hear from as opposed to all americans who want a formal process. >> i dare say when we solicit info, we get input from many who do not share my view. not just show who share my view. >> i yield back. >> miss maloney, ranking member of our capital market subcommitt subcommittee. >> welcome secretary lew. i know that this hearing is about international finance. but i'd first like to ask about puerto rico as it has a very pressing economic issue going, facing the country and it impacts on ours. it's in a severe financial crisis which could really explode into a humanitarian crisis. and we know that it now has roughly $72 billion in debt
outstanding. additional $43 billion in unfunded pension obligations. to make matters worse, puerto rico does not have access to chapter 9 bankruptcy. or to any rue structuring process, that would allow it to renegotiate its debt and creditors, its obligations, i've been told that treasury has been working with the natural resources committee on crafting legislation to address this this financial crisis. but as you know, there's a supreme court case, taking place right now, literally they're hearing the arguments, in court today. and that case addresses where the puerto rico is prohibited by section 903 of the bankruptcy code from enacting its own state-level municipal process and regime.
other states are also prohibited from enacting their own municipal bankruptcy codes. but they have access to, to chapter 9. they have access to bankruptcy. puerto rico does not have access to chapter 9. so it's unclear to me as why we subject them to the same prohibition on enacting their own municipal bankruptcy code. so one idea that i feel is worth pursuing and considering is simply carving puerto rico out from the section 903 bans on states enacting their own municipal bankruptcy codes. that way we could, congress could authorize puerto rico to enact its own restructuring regime for all of its municipalities. and this has precedent in that the supreme court upheld new jersey's state-level municipal
bankruptcy in 1942. it was congress that enacted legislation prohibiting states in the future from doing so. but we could likewise enact legislation allowing or carving out the ability of puerto rico to so, to act, but my question really concerns the impact that the economy and puerto rico and the restructuring would have on our very important municipal bond market that finances so much of the improvements in our urban areas. and a lot of critics are arguing that allowing puerto rico to restructure their debt would have a terrible, terrible consequence in the muni bond market here in america. that it would drive up borrowing costs from other states as well. even if they're not affected by
puerto rico's restructuring. liked to know what your response is to these arguments. and also, do you think a territorial bankruptcy regime for puerto rico would harm the broader municipal bond market that is so successful in america. >> congresswoman maloney, there's an immediate cries nis puerto rico, it's not a future crisis. for all practical purposes they're in default because they're not paying some of their bond issues and they have big payments to do in may and july and we don't see a path for them to be able to make those payments. the need for action is immediate. i don't believe that it's going to solve the problem. if there's restructuring of just a small piece of puerto rico's debt. restructuring is going to have to be inclusive of all of puerto rico's debt in order to address the crisis that they have. i think that the work that's being done, having seen the work product of the natural resources committee. is very important and very time-sensitive. what we think needs to be in it,
we think there needs to be an oversight authority that is the gatekeeper. we think there needs to be the ability to restructure all of puerto rico's debt. even some of their general obligation debt has to be at a minimum rescheduled in order for there to be a solution. and we don't think it's a one size fits all approach. in terms of the impact on the other municipal bonds. you know, three of the leading bond analysts have put out studies that contradict the notion that it's going to have spillover effects on other municipal bond markets. in fact what we know about the municipal bond market is that each issue is looked upon independently based on the risk and the quality of the credit. and i believe that the worst thing for the municipal bond market would be a disorderly unwinding in puerto rico, which is what will happen if congress doesn't act. >> the time of the gentlelady has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. duffy, chairman of the oversight and investigation subcommittee.
>> thank you, mr. chairman, welcome, mr. lew. right over here. i cath see you. -- can't see you. i want to revisit a few of the questions that were asked by the chairman. again, you understand that you have a legal obligation to provide the documents requested and subpoenaed by this committee, to this committee, is that correct? >> congressman, i answered that question already. we are working to respond and i will clarify one thing i said before. i said we did not get any response to our offer to meet. after we received subpoenas last night -- there would have been a response that invited a meeting. >> i don't mean to be offensive. are you having new trouble hearing today? >> i'm hearing you just fine. >> let's try this one more time. do you understand you have a legal obligation to provide documents as -- >> as i said we've been responsive and we continue to work to be responsive. >> you're not answering my question. is anyone directing you not to comply to our subpoena? >> i responded to that question already. >> what's the answer, tell me one more time. >> i'm night knot aware of any instructions i'm saying today. you're talking to the secretary
of the treasury. >> have you directed anyone at treasury not to comply with our document request. >> i'm sorry, i couldn't hear you. >> have you directed anyone at treasury not to comply to our document request? >> no, quite the contrary, at my direction, my staff has reached out -- >> told to comply with us -- >> seeking to have the conversations that would enable us to reach accommodation. >> you've told your staff to comply with the document requests? >> the practice -- >> i've told them to -- reach an accommodation with the committee. which requires give and take. >> we have a subpoena that's almost a year old. the document requests, when we try to do it nicely with you, goes back two and a half years. and you have failed to comply with those document requests. i think anyone sitting in this room listens to the responses you gave the chairman, you gave mr. garrett and you give me, you're not compliant. we asked very simple questions and you say -- i'm not going to answer your question. you come and say listen -- >> will the gentleman yield? >> i will not.
>> you come in and say i'm trying to work with you, i'm trying to answer your questions and be compliant. when you don't even answer simple questions, that this committee poses to you. you indicated i think in your -- >> can i ask you a question, did you read the letter that we sent you last week? >> yesterday? >> i want to talk about what you sent me yesterday. are you aware you sent me -- >> march 18th we sent you a letter. >> you sent me a document dump last night, yesterday. are you aware of that? >> we've been providing documents on a regular basis. >> okay. so you provided 1,035 pages, correct? >> i didn't count the pages, congressman. >> does that sound about right? >> we sent a lot of pages. >> you're trying to comply with our subpoena. >> we sent thousands of pages. >> in the 1,000 pages sent to our committee this week, you can look up at the board, 664 of those pages were news clippings,
letters to members of congress, crs reports, hearing transcripts and public information. another 223 pages was private-sector research from finch, barclays, merrill lynch. another 109 pages was from the bipartisan policy center. and then 39 pages was a memo on the 1985 debt limit impasse. this isn't the documents that we requested. this is public information you're just throwing our way to try to say listen, we've sent you thousands of pages, though it's thousands of pages of noncompliant material. one of the emails that you sent us, think is consistent with all of your compliance and your testimony today. at the very top you'll notice it says spam. you're sending spam emails from treasury in trying to tell this committee that you're complying, let me ask you this, we've asked you to provide employees of treasury, anwall, randall
duvalk. patrick, pinchman. and you've refused to allow them to be interviewed by this committee, is that correct? >> congressman, we've tried in repeated communications with this committee to arrange meetings to reach accommodations to be able to provide information. and when we got a response last night -- last night after the better part of a year. >> we asked for documents and as those who oversee, you should comply or you should assert a privilege. >> process of responding to these requests, is well established. it involves give and take it involves give and take. >> are you asserting a privilege? >> excuse me? >> are you asserting a privilege in why you haven't complied with our document request. >> we have not yet had the conversations we should have between counsel. hopefully that will begin immediately. >> look at the answers you gave us today. does anyone here believe that you're going to comply with our requests that are two and a half years old? that you can't even acknowledge that you understand that you have the legal obligation to provide these cuments?
>> mr. chairman -- mr. chairman -- >> you are -- >> the time of the gentleman has -- >> unanimous request. gentlelady will restate her request. >> unanimous request for a recess. >> object. >> chair now recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. hinajosa for five minutes. >> thank you, chairman enterling and ranking member waters for holding this hearing on the annual state of the international finance system. welcome secretary lew, i'm pleased that you are testifying today. because this hearing gives us on this opportunity to discuss the net bank in san antonio, texas. the net bank was created in 1994, as part of nafta, to alleviate the environmental concerns