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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 26, 2016 7:00pm-12:01am EDT

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leadership position in the global economy. the ultimate passage of imf reform was pivotal. needed to sustain our economic leadership and adapt it to the challenges of our time. we know that the global landscape of the next century will be very different than that of the post-war era. and if we wanted it to work for the american people, we need to embrace new players on the global economic stage and make sure that they meet the standards of the system we created and that we have a strong say in any new standards. the worst possible outcome would be to step away from our leadership role and let others fill in behind us. making the case for global engagement is a responsibility we all share. we must make the choices necessary to ensure both the future of the international architecture we built and america's position in it. over the last year the obama administration has made significant progress advancing u.s. leadership in the global economy. we worked with congress to
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secure imf reform, trade promotion authority, and the reauthorization of the export/import bank. we reached agreement with our international partners on the trans-pacific partnership, a landmark climate agreement, the iran nuclear deal, and a stepped up strategy to confront terrorist financing. but to ensure the benefits of our global role, those benefits remained available in future generations, we have more work ahead of us. since its establishment in 1944, the brentonwood system of cooperation has evolved and endured by providing a foundation for mutual economic gain that could not be achieved by individual countries alone. since 1950 real per capita income worldwide quadrupled raising living standards for billions of people, extending life expectancies and expands access to education. clear rules for global economic relations create opportunities and incentives to innovate,
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invest, and work. the critical drivers of economic progress. but a system of mutual responsibility does not automatically enforce itself. it requires responsible american leadership. it also requires constant improvement to raise standards and create better mechanisms to ensure that countries keep their commitments, refrain from unfair competitive behavior and cooperate to confront new challenges. the rules-base ed system was a major reason the global financial crisis never turned into a second great depression. the united states and other nations were able to coordinate efforts through the g-20 and the imf to avoid the downward spiral of protectionism and predatory macroeconomic policies that categorized previous eras. the world's major economies, the united states, the eurozone, japan and china launched simultaneous economic stimulus programs and mobilized financial assistance to vulnerable parts of the global system. we've built on that cooperation in recent years to advance important u.s. goals including the imf's response to fiscal
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stresses caused by the ebola epidemic in 2014 and its support for ukraine following russia's aggression in crimea. the scale and speed of assistance in both instances would not have been possible in the united states had to act alone or to stitch together donor contributions. the simple fact is that international financial institutions amplify u.s. influence on the global stage. we've also worked closely with partners to implement financial sanctions that show how this same global financial architecture can be used to persuade malign actors to abandon behavior that threatens peace and security. the iran agreement is a direct result of the financial pressure imposed by an unprecedented global coalition. and we have and continue to work closely with our allies to impoi impose costs on russia, and entities embedding north korea's nuclear violations. our international standing cannot be taken for granted.
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and we must take the necessary steps to preserve and strengthen our position. responsible and sustainable u.s. leadership in the global economic system begins at home. and we have to lead by example as we did by bouncing back from the financial crisis that threatened america's place in the global economy. the u.s. economy has now produced the longest streak of uninterrupted private sector job growth in american history. between 2009 and 2015, the budget deficit declined from nearly 10% of gdp to 2.5%. improved financial regulation has helped address the causes of the crisis, producing a better capitalized and more stable financial system. yet along the way, political brinksmanship led some to question america's capacity to meet this moment of leadership. the threat of government shutdowns and default heightened global anxieties. unable to reach a consensus on
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priorities, priorities with bipartisan support creates unnecessary risks to america's future economic strength. multiyear budget targets, passage of trade promotion authority and reauthorization of the export/import bank have demonstrated we have the capacity to work together to make important progress, but much more work remains. beyond our borders, the world's economic challenges will not end with the current administration, nor will the ongoing agenda for u.s. leadership. and there are a number of priorities that we must continue to press. first, we must work with our partners to further modernize the imf, allowing it to intensify its scrutiny of critical issues like exchange rates, current account imbalances, shortfalls and global aggregate demand. more information means better policy cooperation and more efficient financial markets, the imf should continue to promote greater transparency among its members when it comes to economic data especially as it relates to foreign reserves.
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second, we must work with our partners to make the world bank and the regional development banks more efficient and effective. these institutions need to have the resources and policy expertise to help countries promote sustainable development and address challenges like state fragility, forced migration, natural disasters, and disease epidemics. they must also be able to mobilize resources that cut carbon emissions and build societies resilient to climate change. third, we must help modernize the global trading system by pushing for innovative features in new trade agreements. tpp, for example, includes strengthened labor and environmental provisions, robust protections for trade and services, and controls on the behavior of state-owned enterprises to ensure fair competition. under the agreement, members have also pledged to avoid manipulating exchange rates. these high standards need to be the model for future agreements. fourth, to prevent a repeat of
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the financial crisis, we must continue to leadest ead efforts reform the regulatory system. u.s. leadership in this area has already resulted in more rigorous capital standards for banks, greater transparency in the derivatives market and stronger tools for managing the failure of financial institutions. with many of the critical standard-setting reforms in place, the focus must shift to comprehensive and consistent implementation and close attention to emerging threats. fifth, we must continue to combat terrorist financing, corruption, money laundering, and other financial crimes. treasury is strengthening its anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing rules at home working through the financial action task norse for improve enforcement globally and partnering with countries to combat terrorist financing specifically against isil. because we must keep up with innovation in the private sector and by our adversaries, regulators must update their regimes while ensuring regulations do not impede
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legitimate provision of financial services especially to the underserved. finally, we're committed to building on the progress that we've made in cooperating with emerging market partners including brazil, argentina, india, and mexico and key priorities such as facilitating investment, improving the implementation of tax policies, promoting financial inclusion and combatting money laundering and terrorist financing. as the two largest economies, the united states and china also have a unique responsibility to work together to advance shared prosperity, maintain a constructive global economic order, and make progress on critical challenges like climate change. this year will hold the seventh u.s./china strategic and economic dialogue which is a platform that has strengthened relations between our two countries and provide a forum for discussing important priorities like china's shift toward consumption-led growth and predictability in its
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policymaking. while the progress of the last year helped to advance this important agenda, we cannot take our global role for granted and we must always think about how our choices will affect our leadership in the future. with vision and fore sight, previous generations of americans have provided a foundation of values and build a prosperous future for the united states and other countries. our task is to strengthen the architecture. if we come together and accomplish this, we'll not only support today's prosperity, we'll also ensure the next generation of americans inhartss an even stronger platform for navigating tomorrow's economic landscape. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> great. so we have a bit more than 45 minutes and we're going to divide that between a conversation up here and then we're going to go to the members. a lot of talent i can see in the room. so i do want to hear from
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people. i thought i'd just start in a slightly cheeky way questioning the premise. you lay out this view that the institution embed u.s. values, expand western influence. this council, most people are going to agree with that for the most part. but you could also observe that the feature of the brettonwood when adopted was a fixed exchange rate regime and that was probably the most important single part of it and it was dumped by richard nixon unceremoniously in 1971. then the world moved on and we found actually floating exchange rates for large parts of the global economy were good. and so i want to ask you to look forward and ask a question about the sort of central theme of your essay which is to say maybe there are bits of the international financial architecture that we shouldn't necessarily support that might be dispensable, that might not be around in ten years.
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can you think of any that you do not think of as indispensable? >> sebastian, i think that the key is to think of the international architecture as an evolving, adapting set of institutions. the world at the end of world war ii looked so different than it does today. the role of the united states was so different than it is today. and it wasn't good. it wasn't good that the rest of the world had lost its manufacturing capacity, that there was no other hard currency that had any even promise of being an alternative to the dollar. and the system that evolved provided a foundation between the 1940s and the 1970s to see a period of growth that has led to not just economic growth, but geopolitical stability. some of the political developments in the '70s, '80s and 9 '90s show when you move toward a market-oriented system when you're sharing a set of values, political reforms tend to follow.
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i think as we go forward the thing we have to keep in mind is the world isn't going to look in 10, 20, or 30 years exactly how it looks today. the thing we need to make sure from a u.s. perspective as a constant is we have a role in those institutions to help govern how they change as they go along. we can't look at it as being completely frozen in time or others will just decide they're going to group together in a different set of organizations where they make different rules. i think the thing about the imf, the world bank, are that they're institutions that are very inclusive. there's a very strong u.s. role that we've earned and going forward i think these institutions have to be looking at the challenges of the future. you asked about the imf, but let me kind of shift and give an answer perhaps a little bit more about the world bank. you know, we have over the last
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year seen the world bank play a very important role in the discussions on climate change. you know, we've seen the development of lending facilities that are designed to deal with challenges of the future which is governmental and public/private partnerships to invest in the kinds of things that will lead to a cleaner environment. at the imf, you know, if you look at the period between 2008 and now, it has played an enormously significant role both in stabilizing the post-financial crisis environment and also in responding to the crisis. i mentioned, too, in my remarks, ebola and ukraine. we don't know what those challenges in the future will be. i don't think anyone predicted ebola a month before it became an international crisis. we need flexible international
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bodies to go to congress to get funding to deal with something in short term like ebola is a challenge. >> let's take both of those. the world bank and the imf since you've raised both of them. as sort of key institutions of the order created in 1944. so in terms of the world bank, i think it's certainly true that the governance system on the board has neither the disadvantages of the u.n. security council which is way too narrow for a world in which the powers have risen, nor the disadvantage of the u.n. general assembly which is way too democratic, frankly. so that strikes me as an incontestable point, but the tools of the world banks lending feels to me as if this evolution that you're mentioning might be accelerated somewhat. so, for example, the ibrd, the main lending window which lends at, you know, interest rates that cover the world bank's cost
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so that submarket but they're not a giveaway, the premise was a world in which the clients did not have access to global capital markets. that premise is out of the window. they all do have access to commercial private capital. so what's the residual rationale? the classic answer would be there are certain things like global public goods, climate being a good example, where you want more lending than the market would deliver for those things because they're global public goods. single countries don't have an interest in creating enough of them. but as i understand it, the ibrd's lending interest rates do not differentiate, don't give you a break, cheaper interest rate if you're borrowing for public goods. isn't that a clear case where -- >> i think if you look at the discussions that we had just last year at adas ababa, it
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illustrates your point. there were very significant debates about how much world bank resource should be put into climate. there was a debate about whether it was competing with more traditional forms of lending or whether it should be all additive. and i think it was resolved in a way that was really quite constructive where the world bank became a major partner in making resources available to deal with what is one of the most pressing public goods of our generation dealing with investing in a more energy-efficient, less carbon-intensive future. >> right now there is a surge just reported in ibrd lending which is driven by the budget gaps in countries like nigeria which have had resource crashes and where the private markets are being less accommodative in lending for general budget
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expee expenditures so a large portion of what the bank does is kind of su subs tuting, complementing, however you want to see it with markets. it's not creatiing global publi goods. >> it's a mistake to think of any of these institutions as dealing with one challenge. dealing with maintaining basic financial stable in a country is certainly core to what the imf is, even though the imf does many things beyond that. the world bank has traditional helped to shore up systems which meet the standards that are set by entities like the imf to be on a sustainable path. having multiple points of access to make sure you avoid the destabilizing consequences of, you know, having either cyclical or price shock effects that lead to economic and political destabilization is very important. it's not that you choose between
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doing climate change or the other. question is how do you strike the right balance? i think that one of the things that the world bank has done over the last few years is looked at how to manage its resources creatively to gain a bit of reach through better management of its financial capabilities to be in more places. that's a good thing. if -- if you look at the countries that are on the cusp of kind of shifting from developing to developed countries, they tend to still be places where you find a lot of poverty. so it's not as if once your overall economy reaches the next level the benefits of that are necessarily as broadly shared as needs to be. >> but if the government of a middle income country wants to reduce poverty, you know, let's take china or india, it can borrow commercially to do
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projects which are focused on property reduction. having the bank there, the world bank there, to be an additional source, either the government wants to do these promgjects ort doesn't. >> i think there's a period in that transition when the government wanting to do it and the able to do it are not totally matched up. that's where i think having international financial institutions, this is not concession l financing. we have to maintain the principle that below market rate lending is restricted to the poorest countries and, you know, that is a -- something that comes under pressure on a regular basis. >> let me switch a little bit from development -- >> if i can, i think it's also important to develop new instruments. you know, we're seeing now in refugee crises that there are -- there are geopolitical situations that create surges of
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need and there aren't necessarily the tools in place to deal with where those needs show up in a timely way. and one of the discussions that's under way now is how to make sure that you have a facility that can step in in a case like a refugee crisis where in one sense it's a global problem but in another sense it has a very local dimension because people end up in a concentrated place or set of places. i think that's an important conversation for the 21st century. we're seeing right now the challenge of dealing with that and that's something that institutions like the world bank are set up to think through. we're doing it now in a way that's adapting old tools for a new challenge. and that's why this idea of adaptation is so key. you have to be nimble enough to deal with the problems that you face today and you're likely to face in the future. not always looking backwards. >> so on the subject of financial crisis management,
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your essay and remarks both draw attention to the imf's role after 2008. but i think, it probably is fair to argue that bilateral swaps between the federal reserve and other economies that were in desperate need of dollars were bigge bigger in aggregate and more decisive and that's a trend that's not going away because the sheer volume of cross-border claims has grown so much that even in expanded imf with more resources is going to have trouble being big enough to deal with what happens in south korea when suddenly there's a massive flight to safety in the u.s. and dollars flow back into the u.s. then you have to have the fed recycling them. so, as you think about that, in the next big financial crisis globally, i mean, the imf will be there to deal with medium-sized things like
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ukraine. but in a bigger sense, big crises, isn't it a case of central banks dealing with each other? >> i'll leave the question of fed swap lines to the fed which has the authority to make those decisions but i think if you look at the financial crisis and response to it, the imf played a critical role. it was part of country plans in a number of critical instances where if you had not stable iced those economies, we would have seen a new bottom that was far worse than the bottom we ended up hitting. there was a sense that there was somewhere to go which psychologically had a very important effect. and i think if you look at the role of the united states, i don't think it is a defensible notion that the united states is going to respond to every global crisis on its own unilaterally. while the ukraine example may be
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a medium-sized country, look at the numbers that were involved. i mean, the $17 billion imb program. you' you know, we've done three $1 million loan guarantees, scoring terms, less than $1 billion of budget exposure. the leverage that we got by being part of a larger effort, you know, is just the difference between making a difference and not. you ukraine's economy turned from negative to neutral to maybe positive faster than anybody thought and our loan guarantees, alone, wouldn't have been enough to accomplish that. i think one of the things that's happened sns the financial crisis is the umf developed new tools. the flexible credit lines are being used in a digit way and more effectively. with quota reform we have recapitalized the inmf, taken te money and put it in the main fund, itself. so i think right now the imf has
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considerable resources. we do have to ask the question always, what would be the consequence of the next crisis? you don't have the luxury of knowing the precise contours of a crisis until it's upon you which is why you have to have the tools in place but also the adaptability. look what happened after the financial crisis. a new arraignment to borrow was funded rather quickly to put in the imf the facility that could deal with that crisis. if you had to create an imf, you couldn't have put that in place so quickly and i don't believe that any wone country, not even the united states could have had that amount of firepower. >> you're making your essay, a case, a persuasive one that notwithstanding the governance advantage that the fund and the bank begin with, reform is being constructive because you're allowing emerging nations to have a larger voice and stake in
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the international system. so i'm wondering if you would apply the same logic to the question of global reserve currency. so right now you have the dollar very dominant. you have the chinese, especially saying that they don't like that and they would prefer to internationalize it and make it a rival, or at least another reserve currency. you have various others expressing frustration where the dominance of the dollar, some of it's informed but it's a septemberment that's definitely out there. and would it be in the u.s. national interest if more global funding including by the private sector took place in the form of debt instead of dollar debt? >> obviously it's a marketplace that decides these questions fundamentally, and i think it is a fair statement that at the moment there is really no likely competitor to take the place of the united states and the
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dollar. the reason i raise the question in the essay, we can't just think about the next year or two. we have to think in decades, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years. and anyone sitting in a discussion like this in the 1940s or '50s wouldn't have predicted a world that looks exactly the way it does today. i think we have to look at the role of the dollar both in terms of the global economy and what it means in terms of giving the united states an extraordinary amount of power and authority in the world. and treat that as an asset to be protected. and i raise some issues of things that, you know, that are potential threats. if we look like we're stepping back from the international economic leadership role, that invites others to fill a void. if we use tools like sanctions in a way that overdoes it in terms of unilateralism and doesn't maintain the kind of unity that we've had both in the
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case of iran sanctions and north korea sanctions, you know, that's a challenge. we always have to maintain the ability of the u.s. to act unilaterally in our own interest but have to do it in a way that's mindful of the fact that we have something that gives us power and leverage and economic strength and that's something we need to also keep an eye on protecting. you know, i think you look at the current kind of global economic situation and, you know, it probably, you'd have to say today it will be a longer period of time that we have than you would have said maybe five years ago because the united states has recovered from the great recession in a way that really demonstrates the resilience of the u.s. economy and notwithstanding the noise of our political process, the ability of our political system to respond in a timely manner. i think when you look at a currency like the rnb, the challenge is going to be for china to make the kinds of changes that it needs to make to
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have its currency be truly convertible, to have its markets be truly open to foreign investment and to services and goods from abroad. i think that they've made progress. it's clear that they've made progress. but they're not all the way there. they still have work to do and, you know, the reason that's an area where we engage in a considerable amount of detail is it's an area where china's economic leadership knows they have to make these kinds of changes for china's economy to be where it needs to be in 10, 20, 30 years. it's an area of common area potentially and potentially also of conflict. >> your answer is provoking and i want to ask one more question then i'm going to come to the members in the audience. so your essay does a good job of highlighting the dilemma that because of the position of the u.s. dollar and the global system, it gives one the
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opportunity to exercise sanctions power and this is a tool of statecraft that future presidents will be glad to have because it's short of war and avoids doing nothing. and so that is all stipulated and point well taken, and the balance between use of sanctions, not overuse, because if you use it too much, you'll incentivize people to move outside the dollar. but i'm thinking about a different number. namely that whoever is the reserver -- the issue of the reserve currency is issuing safe assets that will protect value during a crisis. so people around the world are going to want that safe asset as insurance. they're going to come and buy lots of u.s. dollar debt because it's safe. and because it becomes easy to issue u.s. dollar debt, the u.s. will almost by definition issue too much dollar debt. and as a result, there will be
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cycles where the indebtedness of the u.s. becomes a problem that threatens the very stability the u.s. had been creating for most of the time and the way -- one consequence of that position is a constant inflow of capital into the u.s. which makes the dollar stronger, which creates the current account deficit which creates these global imbalances, you know, which then you would like the imf to go police, right? so some of the things that trouble us in the international border, you know, excess u.s. indebtedness, global imbalances and so forth, do have their origins in an extreme reliance on the dollar globally. hence my question. will it be better to, you know, encourage -- you could imagine policies that would encourage private actors to use other capital markets more. you could make it more restrictive, harder for corporates from asia to come
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issue u.s. dollar bonds. >> you know, i think that the u.s. financial markets have the leadership role they have in the world because of all of the things that make the united states the united states. it's our political stability. it's our resilience. it's the debt and liquidity of our market s particularly our treasury markets. those are all good things and i don't want to change that. actually i want to protect that. that's really one of the main points that i'm making. i think when it comes to fiscal policy, we ought not to take our ability to borrow infinitely as license to borrow infinitely. and, you know, i've had two tours at the office of management and budget. during one of them we ran a balance budget and a surplus. during the second we dug our way out of a very deep hole that we got into in the intervening years. we need to look on the horizon. we've made great progress in
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this administration reducing the deficit by three-quarters as a percentage of gdp. stabilizing the debt as a percentage of gdp and creating a window where we now have time to deal with the longer term fiscal challenges on a stable foundation. you know, that's something that's going to be a challenge that has to be undertaken anew but i don't think our ability to borrow infinitely ought to be viewed as a just tification for ignoring that over the long term maintaining stable fiscal policy is very important to our national strength. we've achieved a great deal in this administration to repair the damage done both by policies and by recession. but going forward, it's going to be a responsibility for a new team to take a stable economy and look at the period beyond the horizon. >> the indebtedness problem is not just a government debt problem. >> i understand. it's a private -- you know,
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we -- we saw a period where, frankly, we were seeing inadequate access to debt in this country. it's only in the last few years that we've seen businesses and individuals have the kind of better access to credit that they should have. i mean, i think that families have improved their balance sheets. businesses are sitting on a great deal of capital right now. so i think that current pract e practices, if anything, are on the recovering part of the curb. where it goes beyond is a question, but we're a long way away from the kind of easy borrowing that we saw in the decade before the financial crisis. i mean, i think the challenge we have is how do you make sure that you don't lend to individuals and firms that are not credit worthy just because they want to borrow. on the other hand, how do we make sure that individuals and firms that are credit worthy
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have access to the credit they need both for their family needs and to invest particularly in small and medium-sized enterprises. we're gnot seeing as much investment as i'd like to see in some areas. we tried actually to ease the credit box because we think for mortgage lending purposes, if you have a very solid credit history, you ought to have access to a mortgage. that's different than a subprime loan. same thing with a small business or entrepreneur wants to expand their business and the two aren't completely delinked because one of the ways that entrepreneurs typically had access to credit was through mortgage products. so we still have work to do, but that's -- that's moving in the right direction. i think we're a ways away from having to worry about kind of an overhang of loose credit in that. >> okay. so let's go right to the --
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>> thank you very much. i'm barbara from the atlantic council where i run a program on iran, and i'm going to read this question because i'm not a banker. but i spoke to one who is. we've seen a lot of problems with sanctions relief for iran, and is part of the difficulty because they have dollar assets now in banks in china and india that they are having trouble accessing and using, moving? or is it because banks find it difficult to do transactions without some reference to the dollar? and don't you need to reinstitute at least a limited u-turn so that iran can avail itself of its own much which is sitting in primarily asian banks? >> you know, we've been very clear that nuclear sanctions on iran that limited assets to iran's reserves and financial institutions were lifted when iran complied with itself
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nuclear-related obligations under the joint comprehensive plan of action. we have been clear in going around the world making that point, both government to government and to financial institutions. iran has many challenges in doing business. some of them have to do with iran's own business practices. some of them have to do with iran's other activities outside of the nuclear arena where they continue to engage in supporting terrorism, regional destabilization, missile testing that is violating norms and human rights problems that they have in their own country. so there are still sanctions on iran in those areas while the nuclear sanctions have been lifted. i think that we have to be clear iran complied with the nuclear agreement, therefore the nuclear sanctions are lifted. i think that that is a process that is becoming more and more
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clear and we will keep our part of the bargain there. but the u.s. financial system is not open to iran, and that is not something that is going to change. so the challenge is going to be how to work through an international financial system that is complicated where there are -- is a lot of attention paid to what u.s. law requires. i think our obligation is to be clear, which i've tried very hard to do and our team has tried very hard to do. you know, if you look at what makes a sanctions regime work, a sanctions regime works if, in order to get relief from the sanctions, the government changes its policy so the government of iran changed its policy. that's why we lifted the sanctions that were nuclear sanctions. the government of iran has not changed its behavior in all those other areas and there are still other sanctions in place. navigating through that is going to be a challenge, but it's one where i think clarity will help.
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we're not proposing that the u-turn be changed. >> behind you. >> thank you, sebastian. steve, beacon policy advisers. mr. secretary, given the premise that global leadership begins here at home, i'd like to ask for a second about the puerto rican debt crisis. i know that your treasury department has been working closely with the house natural resources committee on legislation. it sounds like we might get a new bill as early as today. what we're hearing is that republicans in congress to get on board will probably push for a weaker restructuring authority where they have collected action clauses plus the litigation stay and if you combine that with the debt moratorium that the island, itself, has been preparing, is
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that something that treasury can get behind? >> there's still an ongoing process. people were working through the weekend on it, and i don't believe it's completed yet. what we've been very clear about is that the only way for puerto rico to resolve the situation it faces is for there to be a comprehensive restructuring of the debt and along with that there needs to be a very strong oversight board to make sure that puerto rico continues on a path, gets on a path and stays on a path that can be sustained. there are a lot of details, but when you get down to the bottom line, the question to us is does that restructuring authority work? it has to work or it's not going to be acceptable. it won't -- it can't be something you put a label on but in the marketplace doesn't work. there's still some open issues. we've had a very good working relationship on a bipartisan basis working through many, many technical issues, but there are still a number of very difficult
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issues that are open that haif resolved in the right way will lead to bipartisan support but if not resolved in the right way just won't work and we're not going to support something that doesn't work. >> another steve here. microphone. >> i do have a question, but if it's okay with you, i would yield to the doctor. >> okay. sorry. fine. >> mr. secretary, you've been very clear about the connection between u.s. economic leadership and trade and international organizations. but u.s. economic leadership is a very abstract concept and it's pretty clear to people in this room. it's not clear to the general public and, i dendeed, it seems conflict with the people who are cheering, let's make america great again. so my basic question is, how do
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you establish the connection between u.s. economic leadership in the world and a strong u.s. economy which is clearly what everybody wants? >> look, it's obviously a very important question. we know that jobs that are supported by trade pay better than jobs that are not supported by trade. we know that a world where markets are closed to the united states is going to lead to a less well-performing u.s. economy. that's not necessarily broadly embraced now. i think, frankly, one of the things we have to do is be more clear about what are the standards that are going to be in place in countries like the tpp countries that sign on? what does it mean to extend higher labor standards in a country like vietnam? these are somewhat abstract questions but if you have high labor standards in the united states and low labor standards in other countries, it means the
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other countries are always going to have lower costs and be able to outcompete you. as the other countries raise their standards and meet our kinds of labor concerns and our kinds of environmental concerns and our kinds of business practice concerns, the playing field becomes more level for the u.s. to compete better. i actually think one of the challenges we have is how to make sure that things like trade adjustment assistance don't just get public attention at the moment when there's an effort to pass a trade promotion authority bill or a trade agreement. there has to be attention on those issues in the intervening years. we tend to have challenges getting our system to focus on these things except at the moments when we're trying to get approval for trade legislation. i think the fact that we could get a majority of congress to support trade promotion authority just a few months ago is quite significant. i think all of us who believe that the benefits of u.s.
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economic leadership are profound both in economic and geopolitical terms have more work to do to make the case to people who have legitimate worries about an economy that has for decades now not necessarily provided the kind of opportunity to middle class workers and their families that they want to have and they have a right to expect. that's not all because of trade. i think trade has become one of the things that's ease citiy to to but between globalization and technological change and income concentration, we've seen an awful lot of change in our country in the last 25 years. and i think if we address those root issues by having better education, more skills for the economy of the future, infrastructure that will make it
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easier to get to the jobs you need. if you don't live near the jobs that are available, the burden of getting a job is hard. if you can't travel there because there's no mass transit or the roads take two hours instead of 35, 40 minutes, it becomes a real hurdle to your own personal mobility. i think we have a lot of domestic things we could do to concentrate on building our economy in a way that gives people real confidence in their own economic future and i actually think most of the kinds of things i just described are the kinds of things which you can have bipartisan consensus on. if it was in the context of an overall, you know, fiscal approach where you had resources to address problems that have bipartisan support to address. the challenge on infrastructure now isn't that people don't want better roads and better ports and better airports, it's how to pay for it. so really comes back as you and i both know to where's the money come from?
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and hopefully, you know, the work of the last several years has moved us back toward a more mainstream conversation of those issues. we saw it at the end of last year and i certainly hope that continues. >> what strikes me about the question is she's plainly correct that parts of the primary debate are surfacing fairly powerful skepticism about globalization engagement. it's also true in europe that animosity toward supernational economic institutions is at an all-time high. i mean, the very cohesion of the european union is in doubt. but actually the interesting thing is that we're having this conversation in the sense that i can remember some of your predecessors who would be making a speech essentially saying that the institutions have allowed themselves to become, you know, irrelevant bordering on archaic and really they need to be
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either scrapped or radically changed and i would be asking the questions, but there's a lesson of value in it and you took the opposite position wholeheartedly supporting them and i'm, therefore, in the position of prodding you to defend that position. so i think there is an interesting flip in some sense. >> but i can point to just two things in this last year that kind of partially answer alice's question but address yours. we made enormous progress in the g-20 this year on base erosion and profit shifting. that's closing the tax loopholes that allow, you know, the legal shifting of money to low or no-tax environments. we've seen just in this last week the outrage of people around the world because those kinds of opportunities exist. we in the united states have taken a leadership role in doing things to try and make it more transparent, who the real owners are, tax information sharing
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agreements that make it easier for tax authorities to cooperate. getting the g-20 to agree in this area, we made more progress in the last year than the last 20 years on that issue. on things like the financial action task force, working on a global basis to try and put real barriers in the way of anyone trying to use the international financial system for elicit or malign purposes. we have a lot more work to do, but we had a meeting at the u.n. security council in december where there was a unanimous resolution on the subject and it was the united states and russia jointly sponsoring it. we have work to do. . it's not that we've achieved everything we need to nor anyone sitting here in my role will be able to say we achieved everything. you have to adapt to the challenges of the future. if we could address this issue of taxes becoming stateless income, income that never gets
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taxed, i think it would help address some of the international sentiment that the system doesn't seem fair so i think the fact that we've worked on that is very important. we have to demonstrate it by making real progress. >> yeah, let's go right here. >> hi, rachel with congressional quarterly. a follow-on to barbara's question earlier. there have been a couple bills filed in congress to address the u-turn concern to make it illegal. what are your thoughts on those measures given that withdrew have just said there are no plans to allow limited u-turns at this point? >> what we have said, what the president said about ten days ago, we will work on an international basis to make sure financial institutions and other governments understand what the lifting of the nuclear sanctions mean and to provide the guidance
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necessary for iran to get access to resources and to transactions and it has a right to with the nuclear sanction being lifted. that's what we're doing. i'm not going to address hypotheticals in terms of any other actions. >> let's go -- right here on the -- in front of you. yeah. sorry. >> hi. davi david. thank withdryou very much. let me ask a question that brings in sebastian's earlier question and ask you to expand a little bit on development. those of us in the business focus on our hard-won successes but outside of washington, the view that development is broken has probably never been more widespread and not without reason. now we look back in history and see wave after wave of competing approaches to development, have not provably had an effect. what's had more effect than anything in recent experience wrr the efforts of the chinese
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party, communist party in china to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. so this pessimism isn't all bad, it is encouraged the private sector to step up with a whole movement of impact investment. but what i'm wondering is, given your understanding of by lateral aid from your previous position in the state department and your understanding of multi-lateral efforts, given where you sit now, are there any deep changes that might break the cycle of development ineffectiveness that you see? >> well first, i wouldn't accept the premise that our experience in development has been ineffective. it has not been perfect. and certainly some things have worked better than others. but the countries where you've seen the biggest rise out of poverty have been very much the countries that have been beneficiaries of lending from institutions like the world bank and in many cases recipients of
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bilateral aid. i think that the -- when i was at the state department, what i saw when i looked around the world was a big challenge of coordinating different streams of development assistance, that in a host country it wasn't always clear what the goals were and who was working with whom. working even within the united states, we try very hard to coordinate the bilateral and the multi-lateral efforts that we have underway to we have maximum advantage. it is something that we looked at when i was at the state department from the perspective of having responsibility for the bilateral development assistance and where i sit now, largely responsible for the multi-lateral development assistance. but look at something like climate change, look at the conference i mentioned, for the funding for development. i don't think you could have imagined ten years ago that you would have had a gathering like
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the funding for development conference where three principles came out of it as being equally critical. one is there is a need for ongoing development assistance and secondly there is a need for host government investment in the same priorities and third that there has to be public-private partnership in order to get the full leverage necessary to achieve the goals. i think that is a very important foundational element to the cop 21 agreements in paris and it is an important concept as we go forward. you can't look at any of these things in isolation. the question is when you put them together, do they give you the results that you're looking for. but i think it is a mistake to think that everything has been a great success but it is a certainly big mistake to think that everything has been a big failure. we have to adapt and learn how to take the best of what we've accomplished and build on that for the future.
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>> i'll go back to steve. >> generosity should be rewarded. >> thanks. steve, george washington university. in your essay and your remarks, you've highlighted the work of the world bank on climate change. the question i want to ask you about is the world bankroll in human rights. recently the u.n. special repertoire on extreme poverty and human rights criticized the world bank for being a human rights free zone and i want to ask you your reaction to that criticism and what you think the proper role for world rights in world bank lending is. >> one of the u.s. interests in the world bank in recent years has been to make sure that there is a proper focus on the conditions in the countries, both in terms of human rights, but also in terms of the impact on the community of the
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investments that are being made. that is something that we have been pushing with a great deal of support from congress. and i think it is something that helps guide the world bank as it moves forward. it is a challenge in many countries to get a long -- along the path of progress on an economy, political, human rights field all at the same time. but that is not an excuse for not pushing in the right direction and for having standards of what is acceptable progress. so it is an area where we'll continue to press. i don't think that is a fair characterization of the world bank. but again, i don't think it is fair to say that in all of the countries where the world bank lends the practices are yet where they need to get. these are countries that are developing countries and in every regard in many cases.
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and in our bilateral programs, we tie aid to progress and we press for those kind of standards in international settings as well. >> and last question, we'll go with the lady in the green shirt there. >> puerto rico from the coalition and thank you secretary for coming to speak to us. what you suggested was profit shifting scheme, i guess what i would like to push you on is that there is a sense -- when i think of america's economic leadership i think of rule of law and i think of transparency and respect for small and medium enterprise. when i talk to my colleagues abroad, they have a pretty different picture right now. they see a great place to hide illicit cash with no questions asked. the big scandal around the panama papers was less that you could do this in panama that so many people couldn't do it in --
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could do it nevada and other states. so what do you think about the credit gap there. >> i think we have a tax system that is amongst the best in the world. and it is a standard that other as spire to in terms of its independence and its reach. we have put in place the ability to see what people's different income streams are. if it is not subject to tax, that is policy issue, not a -- a transparency issue. we are working globally to make sure that there is a sharing of tax information. the word faca is a international word because the united states adopted the policy of making it
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obligatory on all countries to share tax information so that you can't hide income. we're not all the way there. the base erosion work that we did was critically important. but i seem to keep coming back to the meetings in -- in meetings that was critically important is how weak the systems are internationally in so many countries and how much technical assistance countries need to build the kinds of tax authorities so that you can work with them to make sure those gaps don't develop. we've pledged to double our office of technical assistance support. we work closely with the imf and other bilateral partners. but we're making real progress there. we have more work to do. i think that the idea that there is different rules depending on kind of where you are in the hierarchy is unacceptable.
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everyone has to follow the law. and if the laws permit the movement of income to counties or places where they are in adequately taxed, then that is a tax policy question we have to address which is one of the reasons that we've proposed a business tax reform so that the u.s. broken tax system could be fixed and we would tax all u.s. income wherever it is in the world and close the loopholes that make our system as broken as it is. we right now have a tax system that forces countries to look for ways to avoid a statutory tax rate that is the highest in the developed world, even though our effective tax rate is about average because of the impact of the system of deductions and credits, which some are worthy when they were put in place, many are -- have outlived their usefulness, some weren't necessarily useful when they
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were put in place. so we have a lot of work to do. but i think our economic leadership in this area is still profoundly important. and in the base erosion and profit shifting debate, we've been right at the heart of it globally. so the world has more work to do here. we've collectively have more work to do here. but i think we've made progress and we will continue to make progress. >> mr. secretary, you've taken us from broken woods to the panama papers and with many stops on the way. thank you very much. it is a pleasure to have you here. >> great to be with you, sebastian. thanks. [ applause ] [ hearing concluded ]
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coming up on c-span 3, a hearing on the 2017 state department budget, and jason furman, medicare on the white house economic of council advise yores and later preventing military sexual assaults. next a hearing on the president's 2017 state department budget request. the senate foreign relations subcommittee heard from officials from the u.s. agency for international development about the united states human rights and diplomatic priorities. the hearing is an hour and 15 minutes.
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good morning, this is a hearing of the sub-committee on the western hemisphere transnational crime civilian security and global rights and women's issues an the purpose is to review the resource and priorities and programs in fiscal year 2017 budget requests from the president's and the u.s. department of state's bureau of western hemisphere affairs and the bureau of democracy human rights and the usaid for latin america and the caribbean. we'll have a panel with three witnesses. tom malinowski, from democracy, human rights and labor. mr. francisco palmieri for the western hemisphere affairs and
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l elizabeth hogan for latin america and the caribbean at the u.s. agency for international development. and i want to thank all of you for being with us today and we appreciate your time and commitment to furthering the important work of this committee. and i also want to thank your staff for working with the committee and members of my staff to making this hearing possible. today is an opportunity to learn more about the administration's priorities in the western hemisphere and in promoting democracy and human rights around the world. there are many challenges that we need to collaborate on to make u.s. programs max mally effective, building strong democratic institutions and promoting human rights around the world is in the moral and strategic interest of the united states and should continue to be one of our top priorities. i believe it is important for u.s. programs to be aligned with our strategic priorities and not just in the western hemisphere but throughout the world. it is also important that u.s. taxpayer dollars are not wasted but instead used to address significant challenges related to our national security
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interests. i believe congress can continue to work in a constructive way to enhance the department's efforts. i hope you address these issues today in your testimony and with that, i turn it over to our ranking member senator boxer. >> mr. chairman, thank you so much. i would ask that my entire statement be placed in the record. >> no objection. >> and i will summarize. this is an important hearing and i want to extend my warm welcome to our guests and witnesses. it is an opportunity to examine in more detail the department's budgetary priorities. our sub-committee is a very important one. it has jurisdiction over a range of matters, including the country's of the western hemisphere as well as global responsibility for democracy, human rights and women's issues. while we face numerous challenges in the western hemisphere ranging from narcotics trafficking to assisting countries in the wake of national disasters, the region is making tremendous
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progress and it is ripe with opportunity. due in large part to the support of the united states. i know my chairman and i, we're friends but we disagree strongly on cuba so i will just say that president obama's decision to change a failed policy was welcome news for me and i hope it will turn out to be so for the cuban people and the human rights activists there. it is an unprecedented moment and i hope that the cuban people make the most of it and that the government understands that they've got to change. we have also witnessed progress in columbia, we're -- due in large part to the u.s. negotiations between the government and the farc continue to move forward. and we can look at argentina, where the united states is poised to build stronger ties. i visited argentina a couple of years ago and was so depressed and disgusted, frankly, with what i saw in that kershner
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government and i really have hope now, and i really believe, as we see the new government, saying yes, they're going to pay back the bonds, and make investors at least partially whole, maybe whole. it is an important point. in mexico, we continue to build upon and reinforce our relationship with our close neighbor. our ties are very important. and i am very concerned about threats poised by the spread of the zika virus. and i think we're going to be heard more and more on that on the floor of the united states senate. this is an emergency. we shouldn't be quibbling about it. it is an emergency. and our people are going to get sick. really sick. and we already have -- i know in florida, i've heard 99 cases of the zika. and it is going to happen as sure as we are sitting here and
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in short order. so we need to lead on that. and we need to lead the world. and i know it's very difficult. there are no sure answers. we're going to stumble and we're going to fall. but as they say, what is important is how do you get back up. have you learned the lessons, are you ready to make sure you don't repeat those mistakes because in any kind of human relations, let alone foreign relations, we make mistakes. so i support funding for programs that support human rights defenders and civil society organizations, those that promote religious freedom, strengthen account ability and the rule of law. and thank again my chairman. >> thank you. let let's begin with testimony from our panelists. we'll have a vote at 11:00 so we'll have your statements for the record if you could summarize them so we could get to the question rounds, that could would be great. mrs. hogan. >> mr. chairman and ranking member boxer and members of the
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sub committee thank you for the invitation to testify today. i'm pleased to present the usaid plans for fiscal year 2017. our request of approximately $970 million will promote the interest of the united states while also significantly improving the quality of life for those we help. we have identified five priorities to focus our assistance where we can have the greatest impact. prosperity, good governance and security in central america and promoting peace in columbia and long-term development in haiti, advancing democracy and human rights across the americas and addressing environmental threats to livelihoods. one of the highest priorities is central america. particularly in the countries of el salvador, guatemala and honduras. we see improved governance and the objectives are strategy as interdependent. we know that opening doors for citizens, youth at risk of gang recruitment will bolster efforts in security and lead to freer
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more prosperous society. and that is why the prosperity programs support small businesses and entrepreneurs, encourage private investment and train young in job skills and improve agricultural productivity. these efforts are only sustainable in an investment where democratic values flourish, human rights are respected and hume ran rights and media could play the rightful roles. to that end, we are aimed at rooting out corruption and strengthening the civil society to hold governments accountable and fostering a culture for respect for human rights especially for marginalized groups and improving fiscal transparency. these are important programs. but ultimately it will be difficult for our prosperity and governance efforts to take root in societies plagued by insecure. therefore we're using tested approaches in the most violent prone communities to create safe community spaces provide job and
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life skills training and build trust between police and residents. with sustained commitment on the part of the united states and host governments, we'll help the northern triangle develop into a safer and more prosperous region for all of those that live there. such sustained commitment yields results as we've seen with the strides made in colombia. in 2017 u.s. aid is requesting $187 million to expand upon current programming to help the government establish a stronger presence in former conflict zones, provide post-conflict reconciliation and justice, promote rural economic growth and sustainably manage the country's vast natural resources. these programs will build upon current successes, especially for marginalized populations a. long with center ral america and columbia, haiti is a high priority. our fy 17 request will continue our request to help haiti grow
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into a stable and economically viable country. we remain focused on promoting economic growth, job creation and agricultural advances, providing basic health care and education services and improving the transparency of government institutions and their responsiveness to citizens. while much more remains to be done, we are committed to supporting the haitian people as they build a more prosperous and secure future. throughout the region, our democracy and human rights address fundamental issues including anti-corruption and promotion of press freedom and the support for civil society. u.s. aid works to ensure that u.s. institutions are open and accountable and use public funds responsibly and deliver critical services to citizens. we're also committed to supporting human rights everywhere we work. underpinning all of the efforts is support and protection for a strong and vibrant civil society that could hold governments
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accountable. another challenge facing the region is the negative impact of extreme weather events. our mitigation and adaptation efforts helped reduce devastation to life and property and economic activity and speeding the development and deployment of advanced clean energy technology and creating regulatory environments. we have one goal in mind with everything that we do. to empower countries to assume responsibility for their own development and grow beyond the need for international assistance. we use science, technology, innovation and private sector partnerships to find new solutions and scale up what works. for every dollar we spend in the region in 2014, we mobilized five times that in private sector resources. we take our responsibility to the united states taxpayer seriously and we're committed to accountability, transparency and oversight of our programs. we use a full range of monitoring and evaluation tools
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to track our progress and ensure our programs are meeting goals and delivering high impact results. with sustained commitment from countries in the region to advance their own development goals and our government support, we are well placed for success. thank you to the committee for your attention and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. mr. palmieri. >> chairman rubio, ranking member boxer, senator kaine, thank you for the opportunity to testify on the fiscal year 2017 foreign assistance request for the western hemisphere. and thank you for your ongoing support of our diplomatic and assistance efforts in the hemisphere. the administration's approach to the region improved security, strengthens the rule of law, promotes democracy and human rights, advanced partnerships, and promotes prosperity and inclusive growth for all of its citizens. u.s. assistance is a critical tool that supports these goals. in our request for central
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america and mexico, we seek to address the underlying conditions driving migration from central america through mexico and to the united states. the request also includes increases to support colombia's implementation of an expected peace agreement marking the end of the hemisphere's longest running conflict. the request maintains support for key partnerships with peru, haiti and the caribbean. the fy-2017 foreign assistance request for strategy in central america continues to support for prosperity, governance and security. particularly for central america's northern triangltrian recognition of acute challenges these countries face. u.s. assistance through the strategy complements the investments northern triangle governments are making through their own development plan, the alliance for prosperity. they plan to spend $2.6 billion
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this year on their own plan. continued u.s. support will be vital to colombia's success as it seeks to implement a peace accord. our partnership with mexico remains an important priority for the united states, and includes a range of issues that benefit both countries, including trade and investment, energy and security. the merritt initiative continues to provide the framework for our bilateral security cooperation at both forward and state levels. our request also includes a central democracy assistance for cuba and venezuela, where the united states will continue to provide assistance that advances universal human rights and supports vibrant civil societies. promotions of democratic principals and human rights remains at the core of u.s. interests in cuba. our request for haiti continues
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investments in infrastructure, agriculture, economic growth, basic education and health, expanded governments, democracy activities and security. a sustained u.s. commitment is essential to build on the past gains of u.s. efforts in haiti and to build its capacity to respond to citizens' needs. improving security and development in the caribbean directly benefits u.s. interest. the caribbean base and security initiative complements caribbean efforts to reduce crime and violence, strengthen the rule of law and address the factors that put youth and marginalized communities at risk of insecurity. u.s. counter narcotics assistance complements investments made by the government of peru and maintains our strong partnership in eradication and alternative development to cultivation. i urge the u.s. congress to
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fully fund this request for the western hemisphere as it advances our national security and wisely invests our resources where they can have the most significant impact. i look forward to your questions. and senator kaine, i just wanted to point out there is a great group of students from richmond, virginia, here today at the hearing. >> can i ask, are they maggie walker students? congratulations on "we the people." . two of my boys went there. >> secretary malinowski. >> thank you senator rubio and senator boxer and kaine. it is a pleasure to be here. i will say a few words about our global programs to support people who are struggling for advances in democracy and human rights around the world. and i'll start by acknowledging that this is obviously not an
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easy time to be doing this kind of work. it is a time, as we can all see from the headlines, when authoritarian governments, beginning with big powers, like russia and china are striking out against freedom of expression association and the press. there is the horrible war in syria and the terror of isil and the mass migrations of refugees and the fear that all of this insecurity creates even in democratic countries with all of the impact on our politics that we have seen. now all of that should disturb us. i don't think it should surprise us. after all, freedom has advanced in waves over the last few decades. it has been followed by the advances in the internet and the global civil society which have allowed people in every closed society in the world to know exactly what they are missing and to connect with each other
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and with people around the world to build effective movements for social change. people often say to me that human rights is a soft issue. i think it is the hardest hard power issue there is. because its advance is a threat to some of the most dangerous people in the world. if your trying to steal an election or to stay in office for life or to profit from corruption, then, of course, you are going to be threatened by ngos and journalists who try to expose the abuse of power and you are going to fight back and fight hard and fight dirty and that is what we are facing in many parts of the world. but as i look around the world, i find that the good guys are still winning as many victories as they're losing. particularly when we're there to help them. just in the last year, look at the historic elections that took place in burma, in nigeria, in sri lanka and even in venezuela
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where the people haven't won but they were able to manifest their enormous desire for change through an election. so the lesson i take from that is that if we have patience and determination, if we stick with these efforts and with these programs, we are going to win more victories than the defeats that we face. an that is where the funding that you provide my bureau, drl, through our human rights and democracy fund comes in. it is not a lot of money. it is about $85 million this year. we like to think of it as our venture capital fund for freedom. we're using it to get news, knowledge and even entertainment into north korea. a effort that we know is changing minds and awakening expectations in the most closed society on earth. we're using it to support the legal activists and dissidents in multiple countries where they are being persecuted. and we're reforming political prisons so they could contribute to democracy there in burma and
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fight what threatens their democracy. we're using it to develop and deploy cutting-edge technologies that break through china's great fire wall and to protect activists in dozens of countries from cyber attacks and cyber intrusions. we're using it to help organizations defend freedom of expression in latin america. one of our programs recently supported a campaign that saved ecuador's number one freedom watch dog. we're keeping it alive in syria where groups have negotiated cease-fires, documents the crimes of the assad reg he'll and stood up to isil and al-nusrah. and we're using it to prevent atrocities, setting up early warning systems in the eastern congo so people there could call for help when they are threatened by armed groups and in nigeria to protect people from boko haram. we're using it to help women who have escaped isil captivity in
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northern iraq. we're using it to support organizations that try to build trust between muslim communities and the police in eastern kenya so they could unite against april shab ab. we're using it to get help to people who need it faster than i think any other agency in the u.s. government. our emergency grant programs could be small but life-saving amounts of money to ngos in as little as under 48 hours. we are using these to provide protection and assistance to bloggers and others who have been threatened in bangladesh, one of many examples. and to save the best for last, from a fiscal standpoint at least, let me say that we also use it to support the work of ngo's and journalists that expose corruption around the world. that has contributed to $3 billion in confiscation and
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fines and including over a billion dollars which is good investment for your drl funds. so i want to thank you for the strong support this committee and the congress has shown our programs over the years and i pledge to you that with continued support, we will continue to do work that i think not only does our country proud, but that makes us safer and more secure and stronger in the long run. thank you very much. >> thank you. secretary malinowski, my first question is on the issue of human rights an the president's visit last week to saudi arabia. there were two cases, do you know if either cases were raised in the meetings and what are we doing to pressure -- there was a bipartisan letter to make human rights a priority with his meeting during his meeting with the king. and was this raised and if not, what else are we doing with the two people that are jailed
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unjustly? >> these cases have been raised, including at the very highest levels more than once with the saudi government. and know that the president in his meeting with the king had an extensive conversation about human rights in saudi arabia. i think you may have seen some stories about how intensive that conversation was. we will -- i can pledge to you, continue to raise those cases and others both privately with the saudi government and publicly where appropriate until people who are unjustly detained for peaceful expression, as these individuals are, are released. >> recently the administration made its countries of particular concern designations and noticeably absent from the list was pakistan. a recent example of religious intolerance was a recent attack in la hor.
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what has to happen for a country to be designated a particular concern? >> there are a lot of tough calls. when the secretary makes these decisions, i think the -- the test is not simply whether there are significant abuses of religious freedom in a particular country, but whether we feel that there is a commitment within the government to try to do something about it and it is an evaluation that the secretary makes on case-by-case basis. we added a country this year. we added tajikstan, because after a lot of efforts with the country, we were not getting a sufficient or acceptable response from that government to our requests for action on certain issues. with respect to pakistan, the secretary made the judgment that the government is committed to trying to deal with this violence. >> the secretary recently made his recent -- well he made his genocide designation, what steps
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has the department taken to prioritize vulnerable communities like the ancient christian or as eaty communities in the cross hairs of isis. >> this has been a burning priority for many of us since this conflict with isil began. i was in northern iraq about a month ago. mr. chairman, i visited the main yizidi shrine a few miles north of the front line with isil. we are -- as i mentioned in my testimony, we have a lot of programs that we're funding to provide direct support, not just humanitarian assistance but psycho social support for people who have faced violence, escaped captivity on the part of isil. as you know, the first shots that we fired in this war to liberate territory in iraq from isil were fired to protect the
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yizidi people on mt. sin jar when they were surrounded by the terrorists. and i think this is something that we need to think about with particular focus in the next stage of the military campaign as it focuses more closely on mosul and the ninoah plane. i think many, many members of congress rightly urged us to look at the jengenocide determination to call what was happened to the yizidis and others by its name but using the terminology is the easy part but the important thing is we find a way to liberate these historical homelands of these people in a way that not only defeats isil and drives away the terrorists, but that enables these communities to go home with dignity and with security and frankly that is going to take resources and i think we're going to be working with you and reaching out to you to talk about what it is going to take
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to do this in the right way so those people can go home. >> well you say it takes resources. what additional budget resources are necessary --? >> i'm probably not the best person to ask what the total cost of the entire -- >> what kind of programs? >> it will require support in the short-term idps, for example as mosul is squeezed, there will be hundreds of thousands of people fleeing that city. there are 2 million people in mosul, as you know. those people need to be cared for somewhere by somebody. it is going to require stabilization funds after the liberation of that area for rebuilding, for restoring institutions of justice. it is going to require training and support for local security forces, including, i would say, some of the local security forces that communities, including the christian communities have been forming in that area. we are already beginning to work with those -- with those folks. but i think if you look at the various appeals, including the u.n. appeal just for the humanitarian support, you'll
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find that a lot more is needed. >> secretary palmieri, last year there were over 8600 documented political arrests in cuba. cuba remains the only country in the americas classified as not free by freedom house and groups such as human rights watch provide details on the ways basic rights and liberties are still not respected in cuba n. light of this, why would the administration request a reduction from the $20 million provided annually in recent years in funding to democracy assistance for the cuban people. >> thank you for the question, senator. thank you for the question, senator. the fy-17 request seeks to establish a sustainable level of democracy support in cuba. we believe the human rights situation there merits continued attention. and our assistance is designed
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to work with civil society -- independent civil society act, promote democratic values, human rights and advanced fundamental freedoms. the level of funding is one that we believe we can execute on the ground there. >> so you're saying that we don't think we can spend $20 million, we can't find programs to fund with the $20 million so that is why you are asking for less? it is very unusual for a government agency to ask for less. that is why i'm bringing up this point. why would we ask for less? >> we believe that is the sustainable level of programming that we could carry out inside of cuba. >> what does that mean -- sustainable. the a. you could get funded in the future or sustainable, like that is as much as you could handle? >> it is a combination of the amount of money that we believe that can be absorbed inside of cuba at this time. >> that was not the feeling two years ago? is that a change in position?
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because a couple of years ago the funding was at $20 million. so what happened with the additional money appropriated in the past years? >> i'll have to get back to you on what happened to the previous funding, sir. >> well, my point is you're saying that you don't believe the island could sustain $20 million of spending on democracy programs, there is not enough programs to fund or that we could sustain $20 million so that is why you're asking for less but in past years there is more money. are you saying that money wasn't spent? >> sir -- >> if you are spending less this year than you were in the past, something that you are funding in the past isn't getting funded now, isn't that correct? >> um, i'm sorry, sir -- >> i can -- yes. we have spent slightly more than $15 million in the past. i think what -- what we face every time we make these requests, to be honest, is overall, as you well know, a
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diminishing pool of resources to do almost everything that we want to do around the world. the way i look at this, senator, rubio, i obviously, as the head of the democracy and human rights bureau, i always welcome as much spending as we can do in any country in the world that needs it. i've got, as i mentioned, about $85 million globally for every single country and continent in the world to spend on democracy and human rights programs. and i could probably spend more in every single country where we're doing this kind of work. cuba, at this point, i think next to iraq is the country that receives the most human rights and democracy support of any country in the world. and it merits it given the challenges, given the importance that this issue has to the united states. but i -- i sometimes look at it and say, gosh, i would love to have more. and sometimes i look at it and say, i would rather have more
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than $200,000 for a country in africa or a country in asia where that is all we've got to deal with these issues. so those are some of the choices i think -- >> so this is basically part of reallocation of resources to be spent somewhere else? within a limited budget. >> i think we have a very limited budget. i would say far too limited for democracy and governance around the world. you know the challenges we've had over all in maintaining an adequate level of democracy and governance in places that we care about greatly. cuba is one of them. so it is certainly not a re allocation away from supporting democracy and human rights. but we have hard choices to make within the limited amount of money that we have for that -- obviously i would love us to be able to do more in a lot of places. >> senator boxer. >> well, i would like to be able to do more. i watched you do it in the nonprofit sector and i think you could do it here as well.
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i want to get back to the zika virus. because i think this is a absolute threat to this country. so miss hogan, i'm going to direct this question to you. there is no doubt the zika virus is ai public health emergency. it is infected thousands of people in the western hemisphere including over 300 americans. it causes severe birth defects in newborns, including blaine damage and blindness. in adults it is linked to gillian bar syndrome, barre syndrome which could cause paralysis. in the last few months the world health organization described the zika threat as quote, one of alarming proportions. and earlier this month, an official from the center for disease control described the virus as, quote, scarier than we originally thought, unquote. we also have learned that zika is sexually transmitted. now, in our country, the most
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endangered americans are those who live in the gulf states. it is clear that these types of epidemics know no boundaries. so we have to respond quickly. in february the president requested a $1.9 million emergency supplemental for zika. a portion of this request would go to u.s. aid to help fight the spread of the virus within the western hemisphere. unfortunately, and sadly, andin eck plickablely, congress has not provided the administration with the funding it needs to respond to the outbreak. and those who oppose it are going to be held accountable. it is as simple as that. time makes a big difference in these kind of epidemics. the longer we wait, the more people get infected and the more lives are painfully effected
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forever. we have seen it. it is coming, as sure as i'm looking at you. and so i'm asking you with your limited funds is u said combatting the spread of the zika virus in the western hemisphere. and some of republican friends who support this and some of whoem don't, take the money from ebola. well swell. that is a whole other problem. and that is not the answer. so i want to know what you're doing with your limited funds and do you agree we have a great need for the funds the president asked for in. >> thank you for that question and we share your deep concern about the potential impact of zika in the region, including in the united states. as you know, in addition to the $1.8 billion supplemental that the president has requested, he's also sent forward a cn to repurpose $295 million from our ebola account to deal with the immediate needs. thus far, u.s. aid has conducted
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assessments around the region, particularly in those countries where health systems are weak and we have developed a strategy which we are ready to launch. our strategy would include social behavior change, communications, vector control, investing in new diagnostic techniques and investing in research and development. >> excuse me -- can we diagnose it? is it easy to find out if someone is carrying the virus? >> the cdc is the expert in this area. but i know that they can diagnose it. >> okay. >> to do it more rapidly and expensively is what we're hoping to bring about through a grant challenge that us aid just issued last week to the private sector for $30 million to invest in innovative technologies innovative approaches to do the kinds of things that i just mentioned in terms of diagnostics -- >> so to sum it up, you are doing everything you can with limited resources but it is a race against time. and mr. chairman, from my
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understanding, we have so much -- and i know you are supporting taking action on this. i'm so grateful to you. we don't even know how long the virus stays in your system. and since it is sexually transmitted, couples planning to have children, they better know the situation. whether the man is infected and can pass it on. it is very problematic. i raise it here because it is one of those unusual situations where there is a direct impact for americans that is going on in another part of the world. we've got to connect the dots. this isn't some foreign policy matter. this is a health emergency. and i'll be continuing to speak about it. mr. malinowski, over the last 14 years afghan women have made progress in education, health and political representation. i have been engaged in every time i can in meeting with the
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women. and while president ghani is a strang partner on women's issues, it is clear that women continue to face grave barriers, especially in regard to their legal rights. last year, for instance, a mob brutally killed a woman falsely accused of burning the koran. this happened in central kabul in broad daylight in the presence of security officials. disturbingly, the afghan supreme court vooe sently vacated the death sentences of four men charged with the murder and reduced the sentences of nine others. this is but one example of ways in which the afghan legal system continues to fail afghan women. how will the u.s. continue to work with afghanistan to bolster the legal rights of afghan women? >> well, thank you for that question. i'm sure i won't do justice to everything -- to every aspect of it or everything that we're doing. with respect to the afghan judiciary, one of the steps that president ghani intended to take
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was to appoint the first women or women to the afghan supreme court. when i saw him last, i urged him to do that. he said that he was committed to it. he has been unsuccessful. his appointments there have been blocked. >> well, wait a minute. where are they learning how to block appointments to the supreme court. >> their system i think is -- >> i'm only kidding. that was a bad joke. >> i was heading toward the same joke. >> okay, never mind. >> okay. so -- yeah, i'm resisting all kinds of ways of -- yeah. >> resist. >> at a lower level, but at a very important level, we've done a lot of work with local justices institutions in afghanistan through training and other assistance programs to help them implement the new violence against women law which has been one importance advance in that country.
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we have a program out of my bureau which supports sending talented young afghan women to a university in -- a university for women in bangladesh. we've established a really interesting and important program there. and the women who graduate from that program often then go back to afghanistan and enter government and enter the justice system. so at a grassroots level, just encouraging more and more women to take up positions in the justice system has been an important priority for our programming. >> thank you. >> senator gardner. >> thank you to all of the witnesses for your time and testimony today. thank you mr. chairman for holding this hearing. a couple of questions for you mr. malinowski. i want to start with north korea. the legislation passed and signed by the press a couple of months ago requires designation of human rights violations in
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north korea and investigation. out of curiosity how are those investigations going and do you have any intention of naming people under the legislation passed by congress and, if so, who and when? >> the -- we are working very hard on identifying people. i have often spoken publicly about this, i think one of the most important things that we can do for human rights in north korea is to send a message inside the system there to the mid-level people, to the camp commanders, to the people in the public security ministries who are responsible for the worst abuses, that guess what, we know who you are, we know your names and some day when there is change in the korean peninsula you are going to be on a list that you don't want to be on if you are associated with those abuses. figuring out who those people are is not easy for reasons i'm sure you'll understand. we're working with our partners, including with the south koreans to try to figure this out. we've made some progress.
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yes, we do intend to use the sanctions authority. in fact, as you know, the president's executive order before the legislation passed created a human rights sanctions authority for the same purpose. i can't tell you who. because we're not there yet. the when, hopefully as soon as possible. >> will you be looking at the highest level of government for the sanctions? >> we will be. we can look at individuals and also look at ministries. i'll tell you my preference in terms of effectiveness, because i don't want to just say, kim jong-un is a bad guy. we all know that. my preference would be to try to identify some of the people who are less well-known in order to send that message that actually we do know who they are and there may be some consequence in the future if they are associated for example with executions if the prison camp system and the rest. >> we did provide additional authorities under the legislation in order to communicate with the north korean people to find ways to build cheap and efficient and effective communication channels in order to get the message out
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about the atrocities of the kim jong-un regime and hopefully those authorities, chairman rubio was a critical part of that and will be utilized and helpful in getting the word out about the acts these people are carrying out. >> absolutely. and i'm grateful for that. we already have some very interesting and creative programming from old-fashioned methodology like radio broadcasting to newer ways of getting information to people in the north. there are about 3 million cell phone contracts, amazingly, in north korea right now. so people are communicating with each other and also with people outside of the country in surprising ways. and there are a lot of folks working on delivering content that will raise awareness, that will bring information to people in north korea about simple things like what life is like outside of the country. we fund some of that out of my bureau. and i think there is room for a lot more.
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>> china in the past has had a policy of returning north korea defectors to the regime. are you in conversation with china about changing that policy as, is china still intending to change that policy and how is that dialogue taking place? >> we've raised this many times with the chinese government and has other countries in the area. and there are some cases recently in which china has allowed people to move on who have sought ai'll -- asylum. there was some workers in beijing recently who managed to get themselves to south korea without objections from the chinese government. so we'll have to see but it is an important issue and one we continue to raise. >> thank you, mr. malinowski. the week -- the week after president obama visited -- i'll give you the quote from the news reports. the week after the u.s.
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president barack obama's visit things in cuba have returned to normal. more than 150 activists were arrested on saturday in demonstrations demanding the release of political prisoners. is that an accurate assessment and how many political prisoners are there today that we are aware of and has there been an increase or decrease in the number of the arrests since our policy change toward cuba? >> the big distinction here is between long-term political prisoners most of whom have been released and the short-term harassment often -- often violence that is inflicted on people who try to hold meetings, organize rallies, discussions to engage in the politics of the island. that has absolutely not let up. i think there were a couple of thousand of those short-term detentions in the first three months of this year. and i think it reflects both the
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highly repressive tendencies of this government which we know extremely well, but also i think their nervousness about the changes that are taking place in our relationship and the hemisphere. i think it was very interesting to see the reaction of the cuban government to president obama's visit after the fact. fidel castro basically left his bed to deliver a speech denouncing president obama. he said, we don't need any gifts from the empire. president obama's syrupy words about brotherhood and shared history were enough to give cubans a heart attack, he said. raul castro made similar statements. it seems like the only argument these guys have had for the last few years is the myth of american hostility towards cuba and we have completely destroyed
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that myth in the eyes of the cuban people and they've got nothing else. and i think they are extremely nervous andin secure as a result of that. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> senator kaine. >> thank you, mr. chair. and if i could, i will introduce you to the students here. maggie l. walker in richmond is a school for governmental and international studies. it is in the neighborhood where i live. it was a vacant and abandoned building when i got elected to the city council in 1994. and over the course of about seven years, we worked with governments in the region to build it into this high school that is commonly ranked as one of the 25 best public high schools in the united states and the students are here as part of a constitutional competition that they've been participating in. and i'm really happy to have them here. and with the schools focus on government and international studies, this is a good hearing to be at. i had the opportunity last week to ask some questions of both miss hogan and mr. palm your a with respect to the northern tie
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angle and i'm going to focus my questions to secretary malinowski today on human rights issues. yesterday i had a wonderful meeting with senators baldwin and senator coons with inspirational city council woman in istanbul, who is here. she founded the istanbul pride parade in 2003 and there were 30 marchers. by 2014 there were over 80,000 marchers and last year the turkish government used water cannons to shut the march down and disburst every after it had grown so large. she was here to talk about ways in which the united states could be helpful and when the senator asked her, tell us how we could help human rights in turkey, this was her answer. and i wanted all of to you hear this because it is about your colleague. she said the help that we've had that has enabled us to do what we have done is the united states.
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the support of the u.s. ambassador and the council in istanbul has enabled the lgbt community in turkey to not avoid persecution and hostility, as my story about the pride parade being disbursed suggested but they have been able to finally come out of the shadows to some degree and organize and she said there had been no greater friend. so when we asked what we could do to help. she said the main thing could you do to help is thank our diplomats and folks with the state department that have been our allies. talk to me about the work you are doing in your bowo with respect to -- bureau with respect to lgbt rights around the world. whether it is in turkey or russia or africa, we see serious challenges. talk about how we factor that in our diplomacy. >> of course. well, first of all, it is a heartening story and i will pass that on to ambassador bass, who is one of our best ambassadors
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on so many different scores. and know that he has been particularly principled in reaching out to the lgbt community and to the broaderlgb community and to the broader activist community in turkey which is facing a lot of challenges right now. i would say first of all, it begins with recognition of the legitimacy and dignity of people around the world who are working for the human rights of lgbt people and simply asserting their own rights to live in safety and in dignity and simply reaching out, meeting with these folks, as you mentioned, in turkey, an important part of it. other senior u.s. officials do as well. we're seen doing it, if that makes a difference. we provide material support to
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people who are on the front lines of the struggle. we have in our little dlr budget something called the global equality fund which we've now gotten other governments to contribute to as well. one of those emergency funds i mentioned in my opening statement. we can deliver $3,000 in 48 hours to someone who needs help for security, for travel, for basic support, for an ngo that's doing good work. sometimes for legal support. there have been successful legal challenges in various countries around the world to highly restrictive repressive anti-gay laws that we have provided some support to. and then just rhetorical level. we're very, very careful in public statements not to suggest this is about carving out special rights for special kinds of people. we're talking about simply basic human rights that everybody in the world enjoys, whether
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they're straight or lgbt. no one should be discriminated against. no one should be subject to violence. no one should be persecuted because of who they are and i think that message increasingly resonates in countries even where there's nervousness about the advance of this issue. >> we met, a number of us, in istanbul in early january, with her right in the heart of the city near the blue mosque about two days before the bombing there that occurred in early january. very wonderful advocate. she definitely connects the feelings of government persecution of the lgbt community about the worries that other religious minorities are feeling in turkey. this isn't a hearing about turkey. i would like to delve into that further in another moment. let me switch to another area within your bailwick and that is press freedom. we're seeing -- turkey is a good example. russia a good example.
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honduras. sadly, i've lived in honduras, a journalist at a radio station where i worked with the jesuit community there 38 years ago. a number of other journalists have been killed as well. i think the chair alluded to some freedom of press questions in his opening comments. this is so fundamental. again, if you see a government cracking down on a free press, you can bet they'll crack down on political opponents. they're going to be trying to engage in other authoritarian activity as much as we in politics sometimes rankle under a free press that is free and robust and challenging. we sure wouldn't trade it for anything else. tell us how the state department through your bureau tries to advance the notion of protecting freedom of the press around the world. >> well, first of all, when a government cracks down on free press, we speak out about it. and we talk to them about it in our high level diplomatic
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engagements. we've done it with turkey. we've done it with egypt where we have worked really, really hard to get journalists out of prison. we've done it in china. sometimes we're successful. sometimes we're less so. but journalists are purse cuted because they're doing effective hard hitting work and i think particularly at a time when the issue of anti-corruption is coming to the fore in many countries around the world, it's making a lot of governments that are corrupt nervous about the work of a free press that is uncovering their secrets, and oftentimes you will find that we are supporting that kind of work, not just rhetorically because we have an interest in accountable good governance and without a free press, measure not going to get one. more generally, we also have programs that are specifically designed to help train journalists in difficult
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environments to stay safe. programs in digital safety, physical safety, that, you know, obviously do not provide 100% protection but that i think are helpful to journalists facing real danger in the work they do. >> you asked about the lgbt community in istanbul. is that criminalized under turkish law? you're talking about government persecution. under what form? >> i will have to get back to you. i don't know if it's one of the countries where it's criminalized but i will get back to you on that. >> thank you very much. let me thank all our witnesses for the extraordinary work they do every day on behalf of human rights. mr. malinowski.
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the russian media has been trying to rewrite history as what happened with sergei mignitski. the united states, the administration has used its inherit authority to grant certain types of sanctions against those who perpetrated those crimes in russia and has also used the authority under the law that was passed. can you just comment as to the basis for imposing those sanctions as it relates to the allegations that has been made by the russian press? >> one thing i've learned about our sanctions programs in this job is how high the bar is for our lawyers, our investigators, the folks who determine whether a particular individual meets the criteria that congress has
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laid out for application of a particular sanction and i can tell you in the migniski case, we relied on multiple sources of information in making these determinations. it's reviewed by many people in the united states government who have to be confident that the information is credible before we put somebody's name on that list. the justice department is involved. the treasury department is involved, in addition to the state department. we are very, very confident that the people who are on that list deserve to be on that list based on hard evidence. >> i thank you for that. there's been several people who have been sanctioned as a result of it. there's been congressional involvement working with the administration on this issue. and it's clear, the information we have received, the type of conduct that they perpetrated in russia to a person who was
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trying to bring to the attention of the authorities a corruption situation and, in fact, became a victim, arrested, tortured, and lost his life. i thank you for clarifying that point. i want to move on to a tragic situation. asser beigen. we're s azerbaijan. a increase in the number of political prisoners in that country. those who differ with the government. one of these cases. a political prisoner, radio free europe reporter. currently serving a 7 1/2-year sentence in aazerbaijan. she has been a tireless reporter on corruption in the country. we believe she was targeted for her work. could you just commenten p as to what diplomatic tools we have available in order to raise this issue? >> well, i would say, first of
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all, we have called and we'll continue to call for the release of kadija. we're very well aware of her case. in the last several weeks, we have engaged very intensively with the government of azerbaijan on human rights issues. it has i think contributed to actions by the government of azerbaijan to release a number of people who we consider to be political prisoners, including intagamalivive, an internationally recognized human rights lawyer. the chairman of their election monitoring and democratic studies center. we've seen some i think very positive steps by the government
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of azerbaijan in response to our engagement. that we would certainly agree with you, the good news we've seen is not yet enough. there are still others in detention who should not be, including kadija. and we very strongly believe that releasing the remaining political prisoners and more broadly expanding freedom of expression and freedom of the press in azerbaijan would be good for that country's future and good for our relationship with azerbaijan. >> lastly, let me raise the tragic death we saw in bangladesh a few days ago of the u.s. aid employee, zho asmanle. who founded the bangladesh first lgbt magazine. that murder is still being investigated from the point of view of responsibility.
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we know that an isil-related group claimed responsibility. but this is just outrageous. i would hope that the administration will keep a bright spotlight on this tragic death and make sure that we have full accountability as to who are responsibility. and that we hold the government to do everything possible not only to hold the perpetrators responsible but to protect the civil society, civil society in bangladesh has challenged. clearly this murder will have an impact on the country. >> we're outraged by it. this one chits particularly close. we will do everything we can to encourage the government of bangladesh to investigate this and bring the perpetrators to justice. we will support them in doing
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so. as i mentioned, in my opening remarks, we also can use and are using some of our emergency assistance programs to provide support in getting people who are threatened, still threatened in bangladesh to safety if they want to avail themselves of that kind of support. >> thank you. i thank all the panelists for their commitment to these issues. senator markmarkey. >> thank you. we have a fentanyl epidemic in the united states. sources say it's clear china and mexico are the principal means by which fentonanyl is coming io the united states. the number of deaths has escalated. new addition to that plague being fentanyl as a killer in
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our country. what is our government saying to mexico about the importation of fentanyl? it comes up right from mexico and it winds up in florence, massachusetts, where people died. but that's the story for most of our country. what is it that we are telling the mexicans about this importation of fentanyl? >> thank you for the question. actually, it's the state department that has the lead on that dialogue, so i would ask my colleague from the state department to respond. >> mr. palmieri. >> senator, thank you. we are engaged with mexico to improve counternarcotics interdiction and to improve their ability to eradicate poppate cultivation inside mexico. as well as strengthen our border and law enforcement cooperation to prevent those kinds of
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drugs -- >> but what about -- are you talking specifically about fentanyl? fentanyl is the new addition. it's like a chemical concoction put together. what are you saying about fentanyl specifically to the mexicans? it's a killer. >> we have a broad-based conversation with mexico on counternarcotics. our law enforcement agencies are engaged with mexico across a full range of drug trafficking that emnates from mexico into the united states. >> no, i'm asking, are you having specific conversations about fentanyl with them? it's much more deadly than heroin or anything that has ever been seen before. what are you saying to them about this one specific new addition to the opoid death spiral that too many families in america have now fallen?
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>> we are pressing the mexican government to do all it can to prevent illegal narcotics from entering the united states and to work collaboratively with our law enforcement agencies and fentanyl is definitely one of those substances that we are focused on, sir. >> well, i would just urge you as strongly as i can to elevate fentanyl to the top priority which you have. it has the potential to kill tens of thousands, tens of thousands of americans over the next several years and the route in is through mexico. so this is something that i just urge you to elevate, to the level of intense dialogue between our two countries. so they know we mean business on that issue. it is of critical concern.
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not just in urban america but in every city and town in our country, fentanyl is coming. fentanyl is the new drug that is killing people and we've got to stop it and the mexicans must be our aggressive partner in this. on human rights in mexico, the security forces have been implicated in repeated serious human rights violations, including extra judicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture and the government has made little progress investigating or prosecuting those responsible for abuses. what is happening in mexico defies belief. in december of 2014, 43 students disappeared in mexico. that was nearly two years ago. at the time, i wrote a letter urging the secretary of state to do everything possible to support the mexican government by making additional investigative and forensic
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resources available. my letter also urged assistance to the mexican government in its efforts to bring all those responsible to justice and to ensure positive postmortem identifications that allow families to begin their grieving and healing process. this, the mexican government, has not done. in 2015, an interdisciplinary group of experts appointed by the human rights went to mexico to work the case and worked for a year to uncover the truth but then the mexican government refused to extend their mandate, prematurely ending their work. they released their final report and found serious abuses and inconsistencies in the mexican government's investigation. the report throws the government's version of events into serious question and suggests the government did not seek to discover the extent of official culpability for these crimes. last friday, "the new york
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times" reported that the group of experts has endured carefully orchestrated attacks in the mexican news media. a refusal by the government to turn over documents or grant interviews with essential figures, and even a retaliatory criminal investigation into one of the officials who appointed them. what is our government doing to persuade the mexican government to allow the group of experts to continue its investigation and what will we do now in response to their report? >> senator, we did take note of the april 24th report of the independent experts from the interamerican commission on human rights. we commend the commission's work. we do urge mexico to consider the reports and respond to the report's recommendations.
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specifically to provide assistance to the families and the victims. to bring the perpetrators to justice. and to evaluate the suggested actions to address the forced disappearances associated with that action. >> what additional actions can we take in order to press upon the mexican government how serious we are about this issue? >> well, we do have an ongoing human rights dialogue with the mexican government. this is a topic that has been raised at many different levels. that will continue to be raised directly with the government, sir. >> i think we've got obviously a huge problem here. 27,000 mexicans have disappeared over the last ten years that the government has done little to investigate. and i think that this is just an escalating problem inside their country and i think it's up to the united states since they are
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our partner on so many other issues to use every bit of leverage we have to let them know we are dead serious about this issue and it just cannot be allowed to continue. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. we are going to wrap up. i just have one more question. there's been a significant uptick in the number of cuban migrants for example from october of last year to february, just five-month period, 18,500 cuban arrived at the texas laredo field office. we're getting similar reports from the coast guard. what's more concerning is the number of people we talked about this briefly last week at another hearing, coming in i think through ecuador, panama and costa rica. if you read the press reports, some of these governments, their body language or attitude is we're going to put them on a plane and fly them as close as possible to the u.s. border. this is a major developing issue
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here. much of the surge has occurred since the deal. what is driving this new migration? what is driving this new migration? what is our position to these countries talking about moving these people? their attitude is our job is to facilitate them, get them to the u.s. which is where they want to go. third what is the best way to stop this? >> thank you for that question, senator. the engagement with the countries in the region focus is on encouraging them to ensure safe legal and orderly migration. much of this migration is documented as it passes through the central american region. there's no question that earlier this year costa rica and panama worked with the government of mexico and did airlift almost 8,000 cuban migrants from both countries to the northern part
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of mexico where they crossed into the united states. costa rica took the step of making clear that after that backlog was addressed that they were going to be more aggressive in enforcing immigration laws and returning people to their last point of origin. we now see in additional ba aaag of these migrants in panama and there's now, at least as reported in the press, talk of another possible airlift between panama and mexico. we continue to urge the countries to enforce their migration laws, to strengthen their border patrols and to address undocumented and irregular my combinatiigration g people to their last point of origin. >> have we pronounced ourselves against these airlifts?
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i mean, you're -- have we pronounced ourselves against these airlifts? because the minute word gets out if you can get into this country, they're going to put you on a plane and fly you to the u.s. border so you can get in, you're encouraging more people to do this. have we said to them do not airlift people? we have significant potential leverage with these countries. >> we have worked with all three countries to ensure they are going to strengthen their border patrols and put in place better america mechanisms. >> that's future. what about the current backlog? >> we have encouraged the countries and the region themselves to figure out the best solution to this surge of migration. we believe the best solution is stronger enforcement -- >> we have not told them not to do the airlift? >> we have not told them not to do the airlift? >> what is driving this?
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cuba's been repressive for 60 years. what's the difference now? is the fear the cuban adjustment act is going to go away that's driving people to try to get in here before it goes away? >> we have no plans to change the cuban adjustment act at this time, senator. there continues to be a large migration flow out of cuba. it reflects the difficult economic and human rights conditions in the country. >> but -- and i understand that the administration has no plans to advocate for a change in the cuban adjustment act, which was an act of congress. my question is, is there fear? what i hear is people in cuba think the cuban adjustment act might go away. so they're trying to get into the u.s. before that happens. is that -- >> i don't know -- i can't comment directly on the individual motivations of these cuban migrants, but i do -- i can make clear that the administration is not
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entertaining any idea of a change to the cuban adjustment act. so that shouldn't be a factor in their decision calculus. >> okay. all right. well, want to thank all of you for being here today. i appreciate you participating in this. i think it was informative. i'm pleased as well we have so many members attend and ask great questions. we thank you for the work you do on behalf of our country. i wanted to end by noting that the record will remain open until the close of business on thursday april 28th and with that the hearing is adjourned. >> thank you.
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washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning, washington journal will spotlight real clear politics, political news and polling website created in 2000. our guests include the co-founder of real clear media group and the executive editor of real clear media group. both join us to discuss how real clear politics got started and its mission. they'll also talk about the role of the media. also joining us, rebecca bird, national political reporter for real clear politics. she'll review primary results. she'll also talk about what's ahead for campaign 2016. and the senior elections analyst for real clear politics will be on to talk about the latest polls and how the public can be smarter consumers about polls. be sure to watch washington journal beginning live at 7:00 a.m. eastern wednesday morning. join the discussion.
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wednesday, the house armed services committee considers the 2017 defense authorization bill. will review subcommittee reports, debate and vote on amendments to the legislation. starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span 3. ahead of this year's white house correspondents dinner saturday, the washington hilton executive chef discuss planning and preparations for the annual event. he talked about staffing, security, contingency plans and his biggest worries about the night of the dinner. this is 15 minutes. >> this is the executive chef at the washington hilton. you have 2600 plus people coming over for dinner. >> organized chaos at its finest. it really is. it's an honor firm and foremost.
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it's also a lot of fun. it's opportunity for us to really prepare unusual foods for a large amount of people. >> when you say unusual, what do you mean? >> once we do a taste test with the white house correspondents dinner, the decision usually is made that evening. and then our work begins for the following year. >> and when do you do the taste test? at what point during the year? >> it's usually three months. roughly three months prior to the function itself. it depends on their schedule and our schedule. but we always work it out. >> chef andre, you have 23,000 square feet of kitchen. the largest in washington, d.c. the largest kitchen in d.c. does it get crowded on the night of the correspondents dinner? >> it gets very crowded.
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>> who's in here? >> well, we have a lot of celebrities that walk through the back of the house. but at the same time, we've got so many cooks and people working that evening. whether it be from a management team or all the team members. you're looking at roughly 400 people that are here to assist on that evening. >> does that include surfers? >> that includes servers. >> how many people are on the floor? >> you've got about 200 servers on the floor. and another 200 people back here. it's actually organized chaos at its finest. >> where are you that evening? >> running around. we're just talking about how many steps i do. and the white house correspondents dinner is
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definitely the most. 24,000 steps that day. because i'm all over the place. whether it be in the pastry shop, butcher shop, preparation of cold food. on the hot side, working on hors d'oeuvres. making sure secret service is okay. making sure that we're ready for them to inspect our kitchen. working backwards on a time line to feed that many people. how many time do we need for the stake steaks to go in and actually cook so there's a lot that gones into it. >> there's a lot of high-profile people that come to the hilton on a regular basis. so you're probably used to that part. where do you source your food? is that a secret? are the secret service involved? >> as far as the food goes, we have primary purveyors that we
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source most of the food through. as soon as the tasting is over, i actually set down, and that's when the ordering of the food takes place. so it took place three months ago. because we wanted to make sure there's the correct aging on the beef for the dinner that night. produce comes anywhere from california, meat usually from colorado or idaho, somewhere in that area. vegetables, again, florida, california, majority of it. there's a lot that gones into it though. >> what about the secret service? are they participating, keeping an eye on everything going on that night? >> they do. the thing with secret service, they kind of take our lead. at the same time, we take their lead. meaning that we know our employees, who should be here, who should not be here.
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so as far as, you know, working together, we really work well together. as far as overseeing the production of the food, they will walk around, inspect things, check on products, et cetera. when it comes time to actually serve in the dinner, the president's dinner is usually picked out of the 2,700 we've produced that night. >> so he's eating the same food, it's a random -- >> correct. they randomly select from the starter desserts as well as the entree. >> how far are we from the ballroom? >> right now, about 40 yards from the ballroom. >> so are the servers taking the food from this area, from this kitchen, bringing it out into the ballroom? >> yeah. the kitchen actually backs up to the ballroom so it's only about
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ten yards away from the entrance to the ballroom which makes it convenient but also efficient. >> chef andre, your employees here, to work at the washington hilton, because of the high-profile events that go on here, do they have to be especially checked, background checks? >> i honestly couldn't answer that question. however, i do know that everybody that walks in to the kitchen, once we turn it over, to secret service, everybody is checked. once going through the secret service line. >> what about special orders? a lot of people have food allergies, et ceteras, gluten frees? >> in my 11 years here, or my 12, this is actually my 12th dinner, we've had a lot of special requests.
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and it's challenging that night because you're trying to take care of so many people. and when somebody comes across and says, oh, i only eat things that are dark shade. okay. right now, my brain is not working. what's a dark shade? what do you mean by that? i've got somebody else that needs their food pureed. i've got a special vegan diet. i would say there's probably 100 to 150 special requests that evening. and it presents a challenge but we do the best we can. >> what if you are one of the guests in the 1,000-plus rooms here at the washington hilton? you want a grilled cheese and a bowl of onion soup, are you going to get it that night? >> they will. we'll have our restaurant staff, restaurant kitchen, and room service appropriately staffed. we'll have six cooks up there
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and three pantry persons up there. room service will have a staff of 15 that evening. whether it's room service or a la carte or, you know, the people that like to watch. they'll be able to order bar food, whatever they want. >> that's all done in a separate kitchen? >> yes. which is up one floor. it's right off the lobby. there's tdl restaurant. >>ed ed iin the 12 years you'v doing this dinner, has anything gone wrong you can tell us about? >> we've had a lot go wrong. parent of part of my job and my staen
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assistant's job is to look into the future what possibilities are there to go wrong? we think backwards, okay, what happens if we break 50 plates? what happens if we forget to light a hot box? so we kind of backtrack through the whole menu to make sure that we try and minimize those. we have had things like all of a sudden an oven got tired. >> got tired? >> yeah. it's a nice way of putting it. where, you know, we put a french onion soup in the oven and the oven wasn't working. and that's when you have to use the resources in the kitchens to produce the food. what we did was we used the pastry ovens. so we're able to minimize any exposure.
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>> it's very crowded in that ballroom. what's the advice you give to the servers to get through? >> be patient, that's the biggest thing. from my standpoint, i don't see what goes on once they enter the ballroom. because i'm so busy back here. we'll keep working until 11:00 at night, 12:00 at night. whether it be up in the restaurant or room service orders or there's after parties that go on. so from a kitchen standpoint, we're not closing down. i'll be here by 5:00 in the morning that morning. only because the anxiety's setting in. you know, i start going through my check list and, you know, double-checking everything that i've done up to that point to make sure i'm ready. it's a long day but at the same time, it's a lot of fun. so getting back to your original
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question with the servers, that day, we'll feed roughly 1,500 employees in our cafeteria also. so although a lot of people only see the white house correspondents dinner, you've got all the people that have been here all day, housekeepers working hard to turn the rooms over, the bellman, the doorman, all the people working in the restaurant. because restaurant will do probably 3,000 people that day, so if you take all of that, there's a lot more that goes into it than just the white house correspondents dinner. it's actually planning for the cafeteria, how can we expedite service, how can we make sure we're able to feed all those employees that are working the white house correspondents dinner. >> 12 years. that means george w. bush and barack obama have been you were two presidents. have you had the chance to meet either one of them? >> no, unfortunately.
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i hope one day i get a picture with one of the presidents. i think that would be nice. so no, i don't get to meet them. i have seen mrs. obama walk through the kitchen quickly a couple of times, but -- >> on her way to this event or to other events? >> to other events. but that's it. >> what's your biggest worry? >> failure. >> what kind of failure? >> just anything. that i didn't think of something that could go wrong and does go wrong. when you're feeding -- again, it is a high-profile group. every group here, i would say half of them are high profile. from a chef's standpoint, you're concerned from, you know, last week, two weeks ago, the groups coming in, maybe get a little less sleep with white house correspondents dinner. but it's a -- you know, i don't
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stress over it. you didn't know i was 90 so -- i just -- walk through the process, every process, every step that we do that day, i go over it 20, 30 times in my head prior to the function even happening. and that way i'm ready. >> in the creative process, when you say, okay, for the taste test, let's try this, do you -- does this stretch your wings as a chef a little bit? do you get to play a little bit in coming up with the menu? >> coming up, the first five years i did it, it was kind of mechanical, so to speak. as a chef, i didn't, you know, push myself to be a little more creative. and i think this year i think people will be very pleased or more pleased maybe than they
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have been in the past with the creativity that we've put forth. i'm learning. i'm also learning as a chef. i've been doing this for 40 years and every day i walk in here, i learn something new. not a lot of people can say that, but as a chef, you take what you learn every day and you push yourself to learn something new every day. the next day, we're going to try it for 400. we're going to try something different for 1,200 people. and then you get up to the 2,700 people or the 2,000 people and europe trying to be unique and different and that's when, you know, you know as a chef that you're doing your job right. >> this is president obama's last year in office, his last white house correspondents dinner. anything to mark that occasion? from your perspective?
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>> from my perspective, it really is an honor. i'm a military brat. for me, i was raised with respecting the position no matter who it was, democrat or republican. for me, it's really an honor to be here, to be part of the white house correspondents dinner, to be known as the chef that, you know, helped produce this meal, it truly is. >> now, chef andre, your client is not the white house necessarily in this case, your client is the white house correspondents association. >> correct. and shame on me for referring to the president. but, you know, i guess i get a litt little, you know, excited that he's here. but the white house correspondents dinner, you know, they're nice people that are on the committee. they want to do the best for the
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group, the organization. and my job's to make their job a little bit easier. so as a chef, even when i do the menus, what can i do, how can i do it, you know, to make their decisionmaking process a little bit easier. >> this dinner's being held on april 30th, 2016. when will planning for 2017 begin? >> the day after. in all sincerity. what we do as a hotel is we get together, we discuss what went well, what didn't go well what we need to do, whether it be from, you know, we didn't have somebody station the in a certain area of the hotel to direct people. or did i not staff enough people in the restaurant kitchen for the business we had for room service or the bar or the restaurant? we go over everything the day
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after. the day after that, we actually start planning for '17's dinner. so it's nonstop. >> the executive chef here at the washington hilton. on american history tv on c-span 3. >> therefore this committee has undertaken such an investigation. its purpose is not to impair the fbi's legitimate law enforcement but rather to evaluate domestic intelligence accord to the standards of the constitution and the statutes of our land. >> over 40 years ago, a senate select committee chaired by frank church, democrat from idaho, was convened to investigate the intelligence activities of the fbi and cia. over the next five weeks, we'll look at portions of the 1975 televised hearings saturday night at 10:00 eastern.
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the commission questions about illegally stored biological weapons. >> i cannot explain why that quantity was developed except that this was a collaboration that we were engaged in with the united states army and we did develop this particular weapon you might say as a possible -- for possible use. >> on the civil war at 6:00. >> in 1860, the united states was 70 year old. it was not old enough to have wisdom. the lead family at that time had been living in virginia 225 years. i do not think lee thought over the decision he mate that april evening. i think that devotion to duty came forth in 1861. his primary duty was to his family. his family had been virginians for over two centuries. the old dominion was lee's birth right. >> historian talks about general
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robert e. lee, his ties to virginia. sunday morning at 10:00 on road to the white house rewind, the film a private decision chronicles the 1968 presidential race from the first primaries in new hampshire and president johnson's surprise withdrawal through the assassination of robert f. kennedy. at 8:00 on the presidency. >> he was one as a result of that because i think one's ability as the head of the united states, chief of the armed forces of the leading power in the world and very much the leading power in the free world is to think responsibly about what one can achieve and to try and define one's policies and to try and understand geopolitics in that light. >> the origins of the cold war and focuses on dwight d. eisenhower as a military man and president. for the complete american history tv weekend schedule, go
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to c-span.org. next, white house council of economic advisers chair jason furman on the decision to weigh in on the fcc's plan to create a competitive market for set top boxes. the hour long event hosted by the christian science monitor. >> okay. we're going to start and have some people join us in progress. thanks for coming. i'm dave cook from from "the monitor." our guest today is jason furman. his last visit here was february 2015. we appreciate his coming back. his first association with the council was in 1996 during the
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clinton administration we he was still a graduate student at harvard and hired as a staff economist at the council. since then he served as senior adviser to the chief economist at the world bank, as special assistant to president clinton for economic policy at the national economic council, and senior fellow and economic studies and director of the hamilton project at brookings. along the way he earned three degrees. including a doctorate from harvard and one from the london school of economics. he's been a visiting scholar at nyu's wagner graduate school of public service and a visitor lecturer at yale and columbia. in 2008, he was the director for president. earlier in the obama administration, our guest was principal deputy director of the national economic council before being named to his current post in june of 2013. and with that, we'll leave behind biography and move to this morning's mechanics. as always, we're on the record here. please, no live blogging or tweeting, in short, no filing of any kind while the breakfast is under way to give us time to
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actually listen to what our guest says. there's no embargo when the session ends, promptly at 10:00, or 9:59. to help you resist that relentless selfie urge, we'll e-mail several pictures to all the reporters here as soon as the breakfast ends and as regular attendees know, if you'd like to ask a question, please do the traditional thing and send me a subtle, nonthreatening signal, and i'll happily call on one and all. i'll start with giving our guest the opportunity for an opening if we wishes. thanks again for doing that. >> great. thanks for organizing it. thanks for everyone who's here. and we just start out briefly by saying we've now seen 73 straight months of private sector job growth, which is the longest streak of job growth we ever had in this country. more than 12 million jobs added by american businesses. but we still need to do more to make sure that more americans are seeing the benefit of the
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economy, building on the wage gains we've already seen, to see even larger wage gains. in the state of the union, the president began by talking about his economic strategy and talked about the three parts of his economic strategy. the first focused on expanding education and training. the second talked about improving public programs to help people find jobs, help people move from job to job with things like wage insurance and reformed unemployment insurance. and the third part of the strategy he outlined in the state of the union was to make sure that the economy was operating on a set of rules of the road. rules of the road that worked for consumers, worked for small businesses and worked for workers. rather than being set up for the large companies. this last week, we took an
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important step to flesh out that third part of the economic agenda, as outlined in the state of the union. when the president issued an executive order instructing all the agencies to go and look at what they could do to inject more competition into the economy. together with that order, the president weighed in on a proceeding at the fcc and asked the fcc to open up set-top boxes. something we all have sitting in our living room. 99% of us use the cable box that we rent from our cable company. people pay an average of $230 a year. after four years, you've paid $1,000 and you have still just rented, don't own it. the price of cable boxes have gone up while the components have gotten cheaper.
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that's why we asked the fcc to open up boxes so you can buy your own, have greater diversity and choice which we think would lead to innovation. that's just an example. we've done many things like this before. whether it's cell phone unlocking. requiring airlines to free up slots at airports for competitors. or improving competition in defense procurement and agencies will have 60 days to report back with additional ideas along these lines. and the reason we think this is important is because of a range of evidence that the council of economic advisers collected and issued a brief last week by a number of different measures, there's less competition in the economy today than there was several decades ago. there's fewer new firms entering. the average firm size is larger. the average market share of firms is larger. the rate of return on capital relative to the safe rate of return is rising. for some firms, rates of return
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are persistently very high and all of those can both get in the way of efficiency and innovation, for example, set-top boxes, the type of competition you'd like to see to make those boxes better and can also produce greater inequality by raising the prices for consumers or disadvantaging workers. so, happy to talk about, you know, this general set of policies and ideas around competition, what the status is, what we can do about it but obviously anything on the economy more broadly. >> let me start by giving you a chance to respond to critics of the cable decision -- the cable industry, the national cable and telecommunications association. i'm not schilling for c-span, you know. but says the white house has injected, quote, politics and inflammatory rhetoric into a regulatory proceeding by what is supposed to be an independent
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agency and the executive producer of "walking dead," reading "variety" which of course something a guy from the monitor does every morning. says if the fcc goes along with the white house, it will make piracy as easy and as dangerous in the living room as it is on laptops and mobile devices. >> the law makes it very clear that the administration can comment on fcc proceedings. there's a procedure for that which is filing a comment through ntia. that is the procedure that previous administrations have used on numerous occasions and this administration has used on numerous occasions. we had a very serious policy conversation about this issue. thought that it was an issue that mattered a lot to consumers
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and also to innovation and economic growth more broadly. and wanted to share those views and did it in a fully transparent way. we think this is important both because of this particular case. again, i -- it is a fact that the typical household over four years is going to spend about $1,000, not get the improvements in their cable set-top box that we see in, you know, lots of other areas of our technological economy. and won't even own the box at the end of that process. and it's a fact that incumbent industries want to defend the tieing of that product to the tieing of the delivery of the cable service when in reality those are two very different products. we wanted to weigh in on that. also wanted to use it as an example of steps that we'd love to see other agencies coming up with that would similarly have
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tangible, easy to understand benefits for consumers and the economy more broadly. >> do you have a list, sir, or an example or two that you could give us? as you say, you see it as an example in the blog post that you -- you called it the cable thing a mascot for other initiatives. are there examples that you can cite of where you expect to see other pro-competitive decisions taken before the end of the obama administration? >> i don't have forward-looking examples because the agencies are working actively on this right now and it's something we'd obviously talk to them about even before the president signed his executive order. in terms of some of the past ones, a good example is cell phone unlocking. whether than having your cell phone tied exclusively to a given carrier, letting you unlock it and use it with different carriers. there was a we the people petition where tens of thousands of americans asked us to
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something about it. we studied the issue. came out in favor of it. ultimately that required legislation which we championed as well as actions by the fcc and others and now it's easier for you to move your cell phone to a different carriers. that helps if you change, helps you get a better deal, even if you don't change, just the threat you might do it helps restrain prices. airline slots is another one. airlines sitting on slots in airports they weren't using it and using it to foreclose on other airlines being able to compete effectively. d.o.t. required them to give up those slots, let other airlines use it and that created more competition in air travel. so those are two of the types of examples that we'd like to see more of going forward. >> i'm going to do one more then we're going to go to howard snyder of reuters to start
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around the table. do you think tpp is dead, sir? the most likely democratic candidate says i don't believe it's going to meet the high bar i've set. the most likely republican candidate says it was a deal that was designed for china to come in as they always do through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone. >> i do not believe that at all, in fact, i think tpp is very important to our economy. in fact, every year that we delay tpp costs us nearly $100 billion in present value at the foregone benefits that we would get from that agreement. the support for it is growing. trade associations, business groups representing businesses from large to small, have consistently come out for it. every week, new groups come out for it. the authority to negotiate that agreement was passed on a bipartisan basis in congress
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last year. and we hear from a number in congress that understand the importance of getting it done this year. so we're going to continue doing that. it continues to be economically something that we know a majority of members of congress, you know, are in principle open to doing. >> we're going to go to howard snyder from reuters and greg from "usa today." howard? >> two things, labor market oriented and one more real economy. the recent uptick in labor force participation sort of given some confidence that janet yellen's vision of the labor market is fundamentally accurate. i'm wondering in your opinion how much farther you think that might go given the demographic drag on participation generally that you've documented. and secondly, i'm interested in your thoughts about the slow sort of tepid growth of the recovery and whether or not that's -- there's a potential upside there to the extent it's
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being caused by a, you know, the stronger financial regulations that are being put in place and second, the sort of prudential saving that seems to be going on among corporations and households. mortgage rates. people are paying off their mortgages. companies are saving and it seems that that's got the potential to lessen the reliance on external finance in the next recession and perhaps make it shallower, a bit of a buffer. >> those are two great questions. in answer to your first one, it's been really encouraging to see the increase in labor force participation rate. in fact, it's increasing at the fastest rate that it has in over 30 years. but the underlying demographics as you noted in your question still mean that a larger and larger fraction of our population is going to be over the age of 65. when you do the arithmetic
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around it, that is about a .3 decline per year in the participation rate just from the aging of the population. above and beyond that, there had been a longstanding many decade downward trend in the participation rate even conditional on age which would take it down a little bit more. i think there's a little bit more space for cyclical recovery in the labor force participation rate. i think it's been especially encouraging to see some of the broader healing in the economy in terms of long-term unemployed and labor force participation and discouraged workers, but i think ultimately, you know, we're almost there in terms of the cyclical healing then we'll be left with the demographic trend in that regard. in answer to your second question, i don't think that financial reform has played a
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big role in recent growth rates. i think it has helped put our economy in a stronger and more sustainable position with $700 billion more in bank capital than we had in 2008. when people go through all the different concerns about the global economy, you know, i think it's encourages that the united states banking system is not on anyone's list and for good reason because we've undertaken reforms that put it in much better shape than it's been in for a long time. but the productivity growth slowdown is something you've seen across a range of economies. some of which did reform their financial systems and some of which didn't. so i think something else is going on than financial reform. i think the de-leveraging you referred to of the high savings rates at the corporate level and the individual level was a particularly good and important thing in the first couple years of the recovery but we're now in
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a position where if you look at households, their interest payments as a shared disposable income is the lowest it's been on record. you look at corporations. they have extremely healthy balance sheets. i think that's all encouraging but it would also be encouraging to continue to see more consumer spending which we have seen over the last year or two but also more business investment which we haven't seen as much of over the last year or two. >> gone too far? >> what? >> it's gone too far? >> i think on the business side there's definitely room for expanded investment beyond and what we've seen. >> greg of "usa today." >> i have a question on two different topics. the first is actually on criminal justice. you're participating in an event i guess at the white house next week on this. an op-ped yesterday i think with douglas. you made the case there are economic consequences to criminal justice reform. you certainly laid out the fiscal sort of cost to the taxpayer of this but can you make the case for how criminal
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justice reform would actually affect the broader economy? >> yeah. so we've gotten involved in criminal justice, precisely because there's a very important economic angle on it. there's many others that are important, too, in terms of values and what type of society we'd want to be but we focus narrowly on the economics and the economics is something that i think there is broad bipartisan agreement on. so doug and i used to spend 2008 debating when he was doing economic policy for the mccain campaign and i was doing it for the obama campaign. i don't think there was a single line in the op-ed that we wrote together that the two of us had to argue about. and the event next week, it is at the white house and it's co-hosted by the american enterprise institute which is a right of center think tank and the brennan center at nyu which is a more progressive
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organization and the speakers will include, again, doug, but also people like arthur brooks and dan lobe from one side of it and you'll be hearing the business and economic case. the issue that a range of researchers found is that, first of all, you know, first of all, making sentences increasingly longer has rapidly diminishing returns in terms of deterring aim careen in terms of keeping someone off the street from committing crimes because older people are much less likely to commit those crimes. at the same time, it can have substantial collateral damage. reducing the skills someone has and thus the ability to get a job when they come out which can actually lead to more recidivism and more crime. having a devastating impact on the family of the person, on their children and their economic mobility and economic
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future. and if you just do without even counting those collateral benefits, council of economic advisers is shortly going to be coming out with a report on this topic and the report finds that if you increase spend -- among other things if you increase spending on incarceration by $10 billion a year would result to net benefits to society that range from negative $8 billion to positive $1 billion. in contrast, increased spending on police, increased wages including through a higher minimum wage, increased education, all have positive net benefits in terms of just their impact on crime reduction. >> but can you give me a percent of gdp that criminal justice -- can you measure what the benefits of this would be? >> i can't give you -- i don't have a bottom line percent of gdp but can do very rigorously -- we do cost benefit all the time.
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when we do regulatory and other budget analysis and we worked out very carefully if you spend an extra $10 billion in this area, you end up most likely worse off, not better off in terms of the cost of it. the other thing i'd note is you look at the percentage of men between the age of 25 and 54 in our country who aren't in the labor force. you know, they're not in a job and not looking for a job. in the 1950s, it was 3% of men 25 to 54 weren't in the labor force. now it's 12% of men. it's increased fourfold. it's increased much more in the united states than almost any other advanced economy. you ask what makes us different from the other advanced economies, it's mass incarceration in the united states of a top you don't see in any of the other ocd countries, and appears to have played a role in the fact that a large fraction of the people who could be contributing productively to
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our economy are not doing so today. >> and then on competition, there's also proposal before the fcc by broadcasters to open up some spectrum for them to do 40 tv and interactives and those kinds of things. it sounds a little bit like what you're trying to accomplish with the set top box proposal. why not -- would the administration weigh in on that? the broader question of that is, would, in adopting these pro-competitive policies do you risk picking winners and losers in picking one industry or technology over another? >> so that's not something we've weighed in on although we have played a role in spectrum policy including championing the legislation that created two-sided spectrum auctions that is going to happen this year which is going to buy up spectrum from broadcasters who willingly relinquish it and sell it to people who place a higher
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value on it mostly in mobile broadband. we did weigh in on the rules for the spectrum options to make sure they were consistent with promoting competition. and competition policy is precisely the opposite of picking winners and losers. it's about creating a set of rules such that there's competition and then the winners in set top boxes will be picked by consumers. they'll be what the set top boxes that consumers want to use that have made themselves cheaper or better in some way. as opposed to the current system where the rules essentially ordain who those winners are. >> we're going to go next to sheryl from "bloomberg." >> the competition executive order, when that first came out, i had trouble with some of the business groups getting a read on that, whether that was going to be good for them or not.
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the order seemed to indicate that some regulations might be eliminated but then it also sounded like a lot of agencies were going to be doing some rule makings. so in terms of the regulatory outlook for businesses, what should they -- how should they read this executive order? >> this executive order will be good for the economy and a lot of things that are good for the economy are, you know, good for existing businesses. in some cases, you're trying to do something that might take away from market power of an incumbent business and create opportunities for new competitors and for small businesses. that will be good for the small businesses, it will be good for the new competitor. i think ultimately that competition leads to more innovation by, you know, all businesses as well. >> so do you anticipate a lot of new regulations this year? >> you know, in some cases we
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anticipate -- yeah, we anticipate a number of actions to come out of this and as i said, we had -- the nec led a process that involved talking to a number of the agencies before this executive order was issued. so we have some ideas as to what might be coming. some of that work had already begun and it's certainly intensified since the order. i wouldn't describe it as regulations. in some cases, cell phone unlocking was in a way getting rid of -- i put these under the heading of more regulation, but whatever steps you can take to create more competition. in fact, sometimes, if you look at, one we have encouraged states to look a hard look at but not something we have a federal nexus at, occupational licenses. 5% of occupations you used to need a license, a doctor or lawyer. now it's up to 25%.
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that makes it harder to move across states and harder to move between jobs and can disadvantage consumers. that would be an example of where we think you should be getting rid of those regulations to create more competition. sometimes incumbents can use their power to create a barrier to entry. another example would be local land use restrictions is a regulation that we'd like to see less of. we think if you had less of it, you'd have more mobility or competition. this isn't more regulation or less. this is more competition. >> we're going to go next to alexa from "real clear politics." >> jason, as you know, the speaker and his conference are going to put forward an issues agenda which they hope to do before the fall. and part of it is going to be tax reform. there's a pent up interest on both sides of the aisle. i wanted to ask you, do you think that the effort that the speaker is making is going to be helpful to the debate about tax reform which will be engaged
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next year and beyond? or do you see it as mostly political, you know, trying to provide some specifics to the candidates. how do you look at the effort that they've made? >> i think it's always good we people put out policy ideas and are specific about those policy ideas. in some cases, those policy ideas help advance, you know, an issue. in some cases, they clarify a choice and help sharpen a debate, so, you know, so that you can have that debate in the legislative process and decide. i'm obviously not privy to the details he's going to release but i think anything that continues a conversation on a substantive policy level is important. on business tax reform, chairman camp had put out his proposal i guess about a year and a half ago and i thought that was very helpful and constructive for the
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debate. it had a number of good elements. it had a number of problematic elements. and, you know, just even at a technical level, it helped address a number of issues. on tax reform in general, i think the big question is, are we addressing a genuine economic problem we have in this country which is a tax rate for businesses that's too high, combined with businesses able to take advantage of too many loopholes. or are we trying to cut taxes for high income individuals and raise their after-tax incomes and potentially do that at the expense of the deficit? if it's the former which is about our competitiveness and creating a level playing field businesses can succeed on, i think that's something promising for the future. if it's a way to cut taxes for high income individuals and raise the deficit, i don't think that's going anywhere this year or beyond. >> just to follow up on, just because i'm curious, you know
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everyone in the clinton campaign on the economic side, policy people. how often do you talk to them? how often do they consult you or seek the information that the cea has put together? >> you know, in my problem, i have nothing to do with the campaign, but, you know, certainly enjoyed going to a wedding this past weekend of my former chief of staff -- >> schumer. >> -- i don't remember at that wedding talking about a whole lot of economic policy issues. >> so you don't talk to them. they're not consulting you? >> i have friends. i have ongoing conversations with friends. >> and you try to be helpful. >> i don't -- i really have spent a lot of time on campaigns in the past and i'm completely thrilled not to be on one now. >> we're going to go to angela keen from "bloomberg" next. angela? >> go back to the biggest economic picture.
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there's been obviously a lot of good news in the labor market. you talked about some of the downsize wages and employment, but overall a lot of good numbers. but at the same time we see some very concerning trends in manufacturing and housing. what would you say, if you were to write the story, turn the tables, you're the one writing the lead, how do you see things right now? >> the u.s. has been the biggest success story of any of the economies in the world in rebounding from the financial crisis. and our growth continues to be considered by people around the world as one of the bright spots in the global economy. the unemployment rate has consistently come in below expectations. it's been accompanied by a broader healing in labor markets. wages are up at the fastest
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they've been since the financial crisis. i think the biggest concern that i face is the impact the rest of the world will have on the u.s. economy. trade is subtracting. you know, the slowdown in our exports to the rest of the world which is a function of slower growth in the rest of the world is taking about three-quarters of a point off of our growth rate right now. so this isn't enough to have a massive change on the u.s. economy, but it is a, you know, persistent drag on the economy. you know, a sector like housing i actually think is one of the bright spots in the economy. an area where you have a lot of potential. you're certainly right in the last month you saw housing starts and permits fall but over the last year starts and permits are both up so it's a volatile series. i wouldn't look from month to month. i'd look over a period of like a year. we're still building less than the number of houses i would expect us, that we need as a country demographically. so housing i think is actually a
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bright spot in the economy. manufacturing is facing a challenge. that is very much a function of it's an industry that disproportionately relies on exports and when the rest of the world is weaker, you have a harder time exporting. manufacturing, again, big picture has rebounded to a sizable extent in the economy. sectors like autos have been particularly successful in part because of the actions we've taken but until we see stronger growth around the world, it's going to be hard for american manufacturers. >> one other topic. social security. you mentioned you see it as having a relatively strong future. there was a no-labels lunch yesterday that some people around this table were at, huntsman and lieberman spoke and one of their many targets for the next administration is social security. they have a plan to address this same crisis. they're looking at the numbers you're looking at and see it very differently. how do you address that?
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>> i didn't see what they did yesterday so i can't comment on that but social security has sufficient resources to pay full benefits for decades to come and thereafter to pay about three-quarters of benefits. it has certainly been this administration's view that it's better to act sooner rather than later to deal with it. we put out a set of bipartisan principles for dealing with social security years ago and it's something the president would have been happy to have done. it's not the most urgent issue facing the country. there's getting the economy to recover, getting productivity growth up, getting the labor force participation rate up. getting inequality down. all of these are, you know, much more urgent and pressing issues. also we'd say when you're dealing with social security, i don't think you want to frame
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it, you know, solely in terms of solvency and green eye shades. i think you want to look at what we're trying to accomplish which is we've been enormously successful at reducing poverty among the elderly but you still have higher poverty rates for the old old, people over the age of about 65, for single women. you have a lot of aspects of the program that were based around, you know, patterns of work and family that have long since passed. i think when you think about social security, you really want to make sure you're thinking about how it can better serve fundamental goals like poverty, retirement and security and fit into the modern framework of work and family, not just, you know, maniacally focus on solvency. >> mr. lane from the hill? >> i know in the city address the president said he'd like to work on some sort solve
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anti-poverty measure, that would be an area of bipartisan agreement or work between him and speaker ryan and actively sought out and pointed him out and said this is something we can work on together. i just want to know has there been any work between them on this? have they been engaged at all? if there's any sort of groundwork being laid to move on something? >> the president certainly highlighted that he and the speaker have the same proposal to expand the earned income tax credit for workers without qualifying children either because they don't have children or because they're noncustodial parents. this would help address a perversity in our system that right now you can be in poverty and we actually tax you deeper into poverty. instead, the tax code for people without qualifying children should do what it does for people with children which is if you're in poverty, help lift you out of poverty rather than push you deeper into it.
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it is a commonsensical idea. that the president proposed a number of years ago. the speaker adopted that proposal on something we could work together on. i -- we certainly have conversations with the speaker's office about a very wide range of policy issues. we're always looking for ways to cooperate. but i think, you know, at some point, you know, they're going to need to decide -- legislation on tax issues gets an initiated in the house of representatives and so they're going to need to decide is this something they want to initiate, is this something they want to initiate in a manner that's not paid for by doing damage elsewhere to people working to get themselves out of poverty. >> sam from the "financial times." >> thanks very much. you were talking earlier about the u.s. as a bright spot, among advanced economies. the story of the presidential campaign has not been that american voters feel this has
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been a bright spot recovery. is there a risk the administration is feeling out of touch with public mood about the u.s. economy at the moment or are we overestimating just how negative people feel about the economy? >> first of all, i don't know, you know -- i look at evidence from the measures that economists look at about how people feel about the economy are the consumer sentiment index and the consumer confidence index from the conference board and the university of michigan. when you look at measures like that, you see that confidence has been consistently rising since the recession. and last year reached levels we hadn't seen in over a decade. so i see a number of ways in which people are positive both about their situation today and the outlook. we also certainly hear and understand the frustrations people have in terms of areas like wage growth and so the
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president's message that you saw, you know, in the state of the union, you've seen consistently was told a really optimistic story about the american economy, how it's done, its successes, and also talked about the big challenges and problems that we face and what it is he wants to do about them. you know, he's not walking around saying mission accomplished, there's nothing else to be done, everything's perfect. that is not remotely the message. in fact, the message, if anything, is the opposite. here's all the things that we still need to do. >> sure. >> i mean, one measure of that confidence would be consumer spending. it has picked up a little bit this has still been a very, very sluggish consumer recovery. that's your analysis as to why consumers are still saving so significantly, the big fall in the oil price hasn't given the boost everyone has been waiting for? the cost in terms of spending is
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quite palpable, still. >> i mean, consumer spending did add 3%. did grow 3% in 2014 and 2015. and was one of the bright spots that was helping to raise overall gdp growth. so i think you have seen as consumers de-leveraged that savings rates have risen a little bit in the last year but they've stabilized more than they had before. and, you know, when we look at the oil shock, we see it as having raised consumer spending, cut business investment, and the net of the two of those is still a small positive for the economy. i think when you look at consumers, part of it is having been through a very traumatic economic experience that is only eight years past us. and you look at the great
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depression and the impact that that had on the way people thought about saving or the way people thought about inflation. you know, in other places. that hyperinflations at that time -- can last for decades and can affect the way you think so i think there may be some of that. wage growth has only recently picked up and consumers want the confidence that that wage growth will continue and that oil prices will stay low as opposed to just being transitory, you don't want to fully adjust your consumption to. i think if you continue to see nominal wage growth rising, becomes clearer that this is more durable then i think you would continue to see strong consumption growth. again, it is 3% which is not, you know, which is pretty good for consumer spending. >> ms. evans from "time." >> my question is, i wanted to circle back to the competition issues and you mentioned set top
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boxes which is interesting because i think -- i forget exactly what the statistic is but i think it's about 40% of people don't have a choice of what cable company is their provider, so if the idea is to address competition, how do you sort of address the front end, not only address, you know, can i buy comcast's box "a" or comcast's box "b" and on that same level, there's been a lot of criticism about, from the left about antitrust, a failure to pursue antitrust cases then criticism on the right from the business industry that the obama administration has not been friendly in that way. so how do you kind of thread that needle and pursue antitrust, especially at a time when we're seeing these massive mergers with, you know, walgreens and rite aid and kraft
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and heinz and aetna and cigna, whatever. there's another one. humana, something else. so we're seeing these massive mergers. how do you deal with that? >> so on your first -- you're precisely right that there's an intersection between these two issues. if you had a choice of 100 different cable companies, we wouldn't need a rule for one of those set top boxes, because different companies would compete for your business letting you have any set top box you want or having a better one. when you don't have competition in terms of the cable wire going into your house, that makes it that much more important to make sure you can't leverage the market power you have in the wire to the house into what is an unrelated product which is the set top box. there's an intersection between those. we've tried to take up steps to free up spectrum for mobile broadband which would create more competition in that area. make sure the rules of those auctions are consistent with you
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can't just have the biggest player buy all the spectrum to foreclose on the opportunity of others to enter the market. we've weighed in on municipal broadband as another way to create competition but there's only so many tools that we have. in terms of your second question, you know, we have nothing whatsoever to do with enforcement in the white house. that's a matter of the enforcement agency, doj, in this case enforcing the law. we don't get involved in particular cases and don't get involved in the broader policy issues. i would note that antitrust enforcement under this administration is up. the number of criminal prosecutions is up. criminal penalties. prison time. and in noncriminal cases there have been a number of quite important enforcement actions they've taken to preserve competition in different areas.
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it is the case when it comes to the law, though, it's not illegal to have a monopoly. it's illegal to take your monopoly and build it on by merging or extend it into another area and set top boxes is similar to the -- that's not illegal but it's similar economic principle of you have market power in one area, make sure you can't extend that into market power in another area. >> jackie from "the new york times." >> jason, as you get to the end of the administration, you've been in from the beginning, could you address what many see as was a missed opportunity not for lack of some trying but maybe not trying hard enough in getting infrastructure -- more infrastructure spending. you had all these years when it was next to zero interest rates. one of the hardest hit labor sectors was construction. what could you have done? you had the 2011 american jobs
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act that didn't no anywhere, the transportation bill that was linked to construction, again, didn't go anywhere. what more could you have done and is there any -- do you see any opening between now and january 20th to cut a deal to get more done? >> right. now, we've certainly got things done on infrastructure. the recovery act we got a substantial upfront investment in infrastructure and then just this last december we got a five-year highway bill that's a roughly 5% inflation adjusted increase in infrastructure spending as well as more certainty associated with it. but it certainly has been disappointing we haven't done even more than that and not for lack of effort of the president's part. he proposed year after year really substantial ambitious plans for infrastructure. he had one way to pay for it
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related to international tax win -- which it was something that you actually saw chairman camp adopt in his plan. and then this past year we've proposed another way in terms of an oil fee which is an idea you hear from economists and other experts from both political parties. you know, i think in some sense your question is one better addressed to congress than to us because we certainly agree that economically both to help demand today, to help expand our productive capacity in the future, given the low rates of interest, the economic argument is completely clear and would like to see, you know, congress doing more. >> why didn't the republicans meet you -- >> i don't have any great, you know, insight into that, but -- >> on the negotiations or was -- >> i don't know. a number of republicans would privately tell you how much they
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wanted to do it and then when it came down to it at the end of the day they did come through and did do a five-year bill, did do an increase and that was good but it took way too long, seven years to get to that point, and it wasn't big enough. it created a base to build on. when you have an idea like an infrastructure bank that the chamber of commerce and the afl-cio are both behind, i think it stands to reason that's probably quite a good idea and is disappointing you haven't seen congress take it up and do it. >> do you see an opening before january 20th? >> we will look for whatever openings we can on any issue. >> i haven't seen congress moving further on this one. >> before i weigh in with another, anybody who hasn't had one that wants one? let me ask you briefly then about the wall street pay regulation that were much in the news yesterday. i wanted to see, a., if you support them, and how you respond to critics, some who say
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that it will drive people out of the industry or sort of another perverse effect might be that banks and other affected institutions will have to pay people more because of their fear that money will be clawed back. what is your take on the wall street pay regs? >> right. the goal of dod frank was to strengthen the financial system and deal with a range of different problems that led to the last crisis. one of those problems was the perverse incentive that can be created by pay packages that give you an incentive to undertake a risky action knowing that, heads, you get your bonus and tails, you walk away, so on average you come out ahead. that type of option is a extremely valuable option and i think people on wall street, if they understand anything, it is option value. so the legislation rightly asked
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the regulators to do something about that. we have been encouraging the independent regulators to come out with regulations and did that most recently in the meeting that the president had with the regulators in march. so we were very pleased to see that they've come out and would encourage them to move as quickly as possible to complete the rule-making process so this could be put into effect. i haven't studied the details of what they've come out with. they're independent regulators that will design the details independently and serve input in terms of the rules and i'm sure there is all sorts of ways that one can handle any of the different issues that have been raised but ultimately, the goal that is trying to be accomplished here is an important one, which is to reduce overly risky behavior that comes at the expense of taxpayers and the economy more broadly.
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>> we haven't asked you about the single biggest economic story of the week which will affect the pocket books of every american and that is harriet tubman on the $20 bill. if you want to weigh in on that. and i'm curious if you have any thoughts on i guess micro economic monetary policy, if that is a real thing. the way we change -- we're changing the way we spend money moving from paper currency to electronic. what are the consequences of that and moving forward in the economy and as a policy matter what should we be thinking about in terms of those kind of issues. i know these are more treasury issues but if you could broaden our scope on this. >> on the first question, i was completely thrilled to see what secretary lew decided. he didn't consult me or my children. if he had, one of them strongly supported harriet tubman and the other was in favor of rosa parks an they had a big debate between
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them yesterday about it, but i cast the tie-breaking vote in support of the secretary's decision so i think that was really exciting to see. on your second, the shift from cash to credit cards has had some impact on the conduct of monetary policy. it is one reason why the velocity of money has become less stable which is one reason why the monetary authorities don't target the money supply, but instead target interest rates. and that shift has happened over the course of many decades. and once you do that, i think it doesn't complicate your monetary policy at all and doesn't actually have major changes in the way the economy functions. it just -- the fed sets interest rates, the money supply and velocity sort themselves out and it is the interest rates that
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have an impact on the economy. i think that there are some other questions of to the degree you have easier access to borrowing. there is some evidence that has led to some smoothing of shocks, that you get a shock and you could borrow your way through it so it doesn't propagate as largely through the economy and there is evidence, most notably the financial crisis that it could amplify shocks because it could lead to overborrowing and a larger correction. and how to get some of the benefits of consumption smoothing without getting the benefits of credit-fueled cycles and what the role of public policy in that is, i think it is important and not fully answered question. >> going back to the -- is there a link between this and the competition policy. should we be thinking of more ways to think of paying for things, for example, bit-coin, should we encourage that, or discourage that or neutral. >> i think we'll leave that to our agencies that have 60 days to report back to us.
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>> teddy davis from cnn. >> thank you. if secretary clinton is nominated and then elected and asked you to out line what you thought were the three most effective economic policies of obama and the three most disappointing economic policies, what would you tell them? >> the recovery act, but hopefully she's not going to need to do something like that. the affordable care act, and there is a lot left to do to implement that, both encouraging states to take up medicaid using the extraordinary number of tool it gives the secretary for delivery system reforms and the high premium excise tax. and third would be cutting taxes for low-income households which was done over the course of a number of pieces of legislation and made permanent in december
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and reducing poverty for 16 million people a year out of poverty. in terms of the other three, it is disappointing we didn't get more done on the infrastructure. that disappointment -- the biggest thing that you could do for the economy and probably disappointment that we didn't do business tax reform which is one of the more obvious steps that we could take as a country given that every other country in the world has done it. >> you have two minutes. jackie and then alex, if we could get to it. >> since headwinds from abroad have regularly frustrated the recovery in your time what head winds are you looking at now that worry you most between now and the end of the administration? >> growth in europe has picked up a little bit.
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but it is still way too slow. the unemployment rate in the euro zone is above 10%. china has seen its growth slow. japan has seen its growth slow. growth in a number of major emerging markets like brazil and russia is negative. so we're not in the year 2009. this is not a global financial crisis, but most anywhere you look in the world outside of the united states growth is coming in in a decent amount below what people were expecting and by just about any measure is disappointing. it is pretty much just the low-income economies that have seen their growth rates pick up in recent years, just about everyone else has not. >> last question, real quickly, alexis. >> just in transition planning,
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can you describe what the economic team is doing collectively, how far along you are on thinking about transition planning, coordination, information-gathering? >> i could just tell you for the council of economic advisers that we've had a long-standing tradition that we hire our staff for one year at a time and they work from summer to summer. so i am right now hiring the staff that will work for me for six months and work for the next president, whoever he or she is, for the first six months of their term. certainly in my experience, in this administration, president bush, as a whole, had an extremely effective transition and one that we would like to emulate. and i know at the council of economic advisers it has always worked well and won't be an exception this time. >> is there one person for the economic team who is -- coordinated as the designated -- >> i don't have anything for you on that process. >> you can't say?
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>> i could tell you what we're doing at cea, which is we're hiring people to work in our administration and the next administration. >> thanks so much for doing this, sir. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thank you. [ hearing concluded ] c-span washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up on wednesday morning, washington journal will spotlight real clear politics, a polling website created in 2000. the guests include tom bevin, co-founder of clear media group and carl cannon, the executive ed editor, to discuss ow real clear politics got started and the mission and talk about the website's role in the media market place and the role of the
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media in campaign '16. and joining us roberta bird, reviewing primary results from connecticut, delaware and rhode island and talk about what is ahead for campaign 2016. and john trendy will be on to take about the latest polls. the approach to polling and how the public can be smarter consumers about polls. be sure to watch the washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. eastern wednesday morning. join the discussion. wednesday the house armed services committee considered the 2017 defense authorization bill. members of the committee will review sub-committee reports and debate and vote on amendments to the legislation. live all day coverage of the mark-up starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span 3. our station station campaign bus continues to travel across the country to honor winners in
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this year's student campaign competition. recently we traveled to wyoming to recognize two people by classmates and local elective officials for their video access to affordable higher education is the investment of the future. then we travelled to south dakota and visited in rapid city and sioux falls. and the final stop included a visit to delano middle school in minnesota, where third prize winners were honored for their video on water pollution. a special thanks to our cable partners comcast, charter and midco for coordinating the c-span community visits. and every day this week be sure to watch the top 21 winning entries at 6:50 a.m. eastern before washington journal. now a discussion on combatting military sexual assaults and violence. the service women's action network hosted panelists focused
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on research and recommendations to address the issue. this is just over three hours. good afternoon, everyone. i want to welcome you to today's event. the continuum of harm in the u.s. armed forces. my name is judy patterson. i'm the ceo of the service women's action network. the voice of women in the military. swan is a member-driven community network advocating for the individual and collective needs of service women past, present and future. i want to take just a moment to thank the women in military service to america memorial for being our host today in this beautiful facility. and also to specially thank their wonderful staff.
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and on behalf of swan, i'm honored to have you join us to discuss this important issue. sexual assault and harassment are increasingly viewed as a public health issue. within and outside of the military. the complexity and the immediate assy of the issue is apparent by the range of stories reported in the media. from the development of video games intended to encourage prevention, to allegations of doctored reports and testimony before congress. swan was founded in 2007, primarily because of the lack after tension being focused on this issue by the v.a. swan has played a major role in holding sex offenders accountable and eliminating barriers to disability claims for those who have experienced military sexual trauma. during today's program, we hope
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to expand the discussion to prevention. we have a number of great speakers participating who will help us understand the continuum of harm which connects a broad range of deeply-rooted beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that may lead to sexual violence. our speakers will also explore -- [ technical difficulties ] our speaks will explain how to interrupt cycles of violence at the individual, personal level. it is going to be a great dialogue and i hope that we all walk out today with new knowledge, new motivation and to make a difference. the continuum of harm in the u.s. armed forces is part of the new service women's institute
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series of events which is a national year-long program for diverse group of military women designed to provide the nath and tools they -- the knowledge and tools they need to reach their personal and professional goals and to increase their participation at the top levels of local and national organizations. this event and others like it throughout the year are made possible by generous grants from american express and the newman zone foundation. and with that, i want to thank you all for joining us and encourage you to participate actively. everything said today is on the record. so we encourage you to participate both in person and online, where you can discuss today's event on twitter using the hashtag continuum of harm. so now i want to introduce our first guest speaker, dr. margaret stockdale. peggy is a professor of
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psychology and the chair of department of psychology at indiana university, perdue university at indianapolis. she's the co-author and co-editor of five books, including the psychology and management of workplace diversity, and sex discrimination in the workplace, multi-disciplinary perspectives. she's also published widely in research journals and books on topics ranging from sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and public health initiatives. she has served as an expert witness for both plaintiffs and defendants in sex discrimination cases. and doctor stockdale teaches courses on workplace diversity, industrial organizational psychology and social science research methods. and finally, she is a fellow of the american psychological association, the society for
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industrial organizational psychology and the society for the psychological study of social issues. so let's take a minute and welcome dr. stockdale -- dr. stockdale who is going to talk about the continuum of harm and its application to the military. [ applause ] okay. how do i cue this up? can you see that? no lights. well, that is getting started, i want to thank you for this opportunity to speak with you about military sexual assault and to connect it to a broad understanding of the continuum of sexual violence. first a disclaimer, though.
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i'm not an expert on the military. nor have i or my family members served in any branch of the military. i did grow up near two air force bases, sac headquarters in bellevue, nebraska, and andrews air force base in prince george's county, maryland. and have tremendous respect for the military institution and the women and men who serve or who have served our country. and in walking around this cemetery today for the first time in 30 years has really been a humbling experience. my training is in the field of industrial and organizational psychology and my interest throughout my career have focused on gender issues in the workplace, with the lion's share of that research on sexual harassment. my research has touched on several different aspects of harassment, including how targets of harassment perceive and label their experience, how
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others perceive and define sexual harassment, the effectiveness of various coping strategies or response strategies to being harassed, to understanding men's sexual harassment experiences and many other issues. several years ago, a colleague of mine at the university of kentucky, tk logan, received a large forward grant to study women who had received a domestic violence protection order and her study included a comprehensive baseline assessment of sexual and other forms of violence as well as a follow-up survey on additional violence at other types of experiences after receiving the protection order. she invited me to include measures of sexual harassment. and thursds my journey into sex violence began. among other things, we found
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women abused as children as well as the severity of their sexualized abuse as adults was related to their experiences of sexual harassment on their jobs in this year of -- in this survey study. in other words, we learned that sexual harassment can be one of the ways that abuse survivors unfortunately experience revictimization. another colleague of mine joel nadler and i wrote a concept you'll pain tore articulate how sexual harassment is related to other forms of interpersonal violence. at that time the 2011 workplace gender workplace or wgrs had recently been released to we were able to describe research on military sexual assault as well as the programs and policies being introduced by the sexual assault office. it outlined the continuum of harm with a specific focus on
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sexual harassment in that continuum. and it serves as one of the sources on which my talk is based. what i hope to accomplish in this talk is to familiarize you with the research done primarily with military samples on multiple forms of sexual or interpersonal violence that includes sexual harassment and present revictimization and covictimation and put this in perspective with regard to the military. and finally i'll discuss some policy and practice implications. the two panel discussions will then focus on military specific approaches to understanding and combatting this continuum of violence from both an organizational perspective and from an individual perspective. to start, i wanted to describe the forms of sex allize ant interpersonal harm that are the components of the continuum harm
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i'll be discussing. although these are often described as components of violence against women there is a growing awareness that men are also targets of sexualized and gendered interpersonal violence and that men's experiences are gendered as well. so child sexual assault as well as other forms of child abuse that may involve physical abuse, neglect and emotional abuse is typically defined as occurring before the age of 14. by an assailant who is five to ten years older, thus it excludes peer to peer harassment. after age 14 and before adulthood it may be described as adolescent sexual assault and it could involve penetrateive and nonpenetrating assault. interpartner violence is physical, sexual or psychological harm by a current or former partner or spouse.
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it could occur among heterosexual and same-sex couples and does not require sexual intimacy. adult sexual assault is more broad than intimate partner violence. in fact intimate partner violence could be a sub-set of adult sexual assault and includes rape, sexual assault and unwanted sexual contact. legal definitions vary by state and jurisdiction but it includes nonconsensual sexual contact and threat of force by bodily harm or sexual contact with someone unable to provide consent. military sexual assault is essentially adult sexual assault that occurs in the context of military service. sexual harassment consists of gender harassment, which is verbal behavior, physical acts and symbolic gestures that are not named at sexual cooperation but convey insulting and hostile
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and degrading attitudes about women or men, unwanted sexual attention, such as unwanted offensive looks and comments, telephone calls, e-mails of a sexual nature or sexual coercion, which is the extortion of sexual corporation in return for job-related considerations. scholars and sexual harassment distinguish between attraction-based harassment and rejection-focused gender harassment. the legal definition of stalking also varied by jurisdiction. but generally it involves unwanted, annoying and threatening pursuit of another. the criminality of stalking adds the element of a reasonable sense of threat and criminal intent to instill fear. missing from my typology is mobbing and other forms of hazing and bullying which will be discussed in later sections
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and i'll let those speakers introduce and define those concepts. in studies of military relevance samples, which includes active duty military service members those with a history of child sexual assault were five times more likely to experience military sexual assault than others. the co-occurrence of in service actual harassment and sexual
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assault and post service sexual assault is significant for both women and men. there are different clusters of ways females veterans feel sexual violence as well as sexual harassment which 26% experiencing both intimate partner violence and sexual harassment. additional data that active duty servicewoman men and men that experienced sexual assault are likely to have experienced sexual harassment and experiences of child sexual assault perspectively predicts sexual harassment during a military career. my colleague will provide updated statistics on most recent ex comprehensive survey of military sexual assault and harassment conducted to date. too make sense of these and others filings there are ways to
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sort outweighs multiple sexual and gender violence are enter related. this frame work distinguishing between the differences in the experiences of assault and harassment that is experiences that are separated significantly across time such as child sexual assault and adult sexual assault or sexual harassment. experiences more or less co-occurring where the temp real distance short and frame work distinguishing between the types of perpetrators, partners or pham my members versus acquaintances, co-workers, bosses or strangers. the perpetrator are typically different than the perpetrator of the current assault this is commonly referred to as revictimization and individuals who have been sexual assaulted either in childhood or
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adolescence or as adults have an increased risk of being assaulted or abused by others and in other forms later in life. for example, child sexual assault survivors are more likely than others to end up in abusive relationships as adults. a recent study were more likely than others to experience sexual harassment on their jobs for concur rent violence, the perpetrators may be the same person or group of people who may stock or harass as a gateway to more extreme forms of assault. for example, a stocker may become a sexual harasser who then may become a sexual assault perpetrator. the location of the abuse may create jurisdictions complexities for example in the case of dissolved workplace
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romance. the assault of experience may be considered intimate partner violence but when it occurs in the workplace, it might be considered sexual harassment. concur rent experience may involve multiple forms of abuse such as harassment, mobbing as a culture that condones aggression and tolerance of harassment and related behaviors. research on harass the and assault of toll rant organizational climate point to an in difference to cliaims of ha harassment. light penalties, lax policies as well as environments that are male dominated, sexualized and violence is generally acre cemented and where women are
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perceived to be treading on jobs and locations that have historically be the province of men. next i want to describe frame works and theories useful for understanding multiple victimizations, especially those that cross into the work the i can logical frame work is to organize various factors that impact reizativictimization so stereo type is challenged and we can understand victimization as a function of over lapping systems. the develop system refers to the factors associated with the onset of the initial abuse and aftermath that is resulted from those early abuse experiences so that are at risk to impact
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long-term coping skills and life trajectory like poverty that can increase their exposure to victimizing experiences in the future. the micro system refers to the immediate situation in which the followup abuse occurs and these are the situations that trigger the revictimization. for example, working in a sexualized or male dominated work environment such as bars. some factory environments, some protective force occupations and maybe the military. the proximity is increased and where the immediate environment may trigger abusive behavior. the system reflects a broader contact that influences victimization through effects on social structures that facilitate abuse. for example, abuse survivors may be less likely to have economic and educational resources or other forms of social pow there
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will buffer risk of future abuse. it includes cultural attitudes towards repeated abuse. so for example, blame the victim attitude or just world which allows people to sustain the belief that bad things happen for a purpose as well as various social stereo types and all things feminine. routine activity or lifestyle theory comes from the criminal justice literature and the conflew wednesday specifically enter personal victimization occurs when there are motivated offenders situated with suitable targets in an environment
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lacking or weak. we know patrol research motivated offenders are typically men but not always that adhere to hyper masculine believes and hold attitudes. rerch search shows it privileges masculine men. in addition, insecure attachment, which manifests as a high need for control and anger management are started by perpetration. in the victims of child sexual assault are often plagued with insecure attachment issues and child sexual assault is for also becoming a perpetrator of sexual
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assault. victims or targets of sexual abuse and sexual violence can be anyone. but as i described, victims of inter personalization are at higher risk. one explanation is such individuals develop a voiding coping strategy which may be cues to would be perpetrators that such a person is vulnerable to victimization. also, simply being in a risky situation makes an vehicle a suitable or vulnerable target for example women working in a male dominanted environment where alcohol or drugs are used. working in jobs that threaten men's presumed privilege to hold those jobs are all risky situations for women. finally, lack of capable guardians refer to not only individuals or place and other protective forces but also to policies and practices,
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leadership and organizational cultures in which offenders and targets are situated that fail to protect vulnerable targets from harm. so imagine the military situation. it is conceivably ripe with the ingredients specified by routine activity theory because the military is an all volunteer force, its members are self-selected. it is obviously male dominated and younger and lower educated than the general population. its higher ark pool and structure is likely to appeal to individuals with strong social dominance orientations. there is also likely to be men that want to protect dominance and military careers. women in the military are also younger and more likely to be divorced and have lower social economic status than the population. these factors signal low status, which increases victimization
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risks. there is also evidence of high rates of childhood and adolescent sexual assault occurring prior to military service ranging from about 15% for female air force recruits to nearly 50% for army and navy recruits, which are nearly double the rates for civilian populations. research on sexual harassment finds women out numberedy men in the work environment are at a higher risk for sexual harassment. military structure and environment and culture results in a weak capacity to protect vulnerable targets from harm. the poorest boundaries between work, home and recreation where alcohol is likely available means, sexual assault or abuse can spill over from one local to another. that can be labeled and adjudicated differently depending where it occurs for example intimate partner violence if it's in the living
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quarters or sexual hard rasment or sexual assault if it occurs elsewhere. and there may be lack of coordination in rules governing, reporting and investigation that may impede comprehensive approaches to addressing this full scale of the sexual victimization. unit cohesion, a valued military at bud for militaryfectiveness can create an environment where speaking out against an abusive comrade or superior is shunned. strong obedience to the chain of command encourages protection of the military and promoted belief those outside the military will not understand what goes on within the military. these are elements of a military culture that promote sexual violence according to some researchers. group cohesion and the individual achieved in military units are powerful elements which allow the socialization to
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and pamaintenance sexual and gender believes. in addition, military laws such as court marshall rule 306 b which guides commanders disposition of an allegation of assault among other crimes appears to rape myths, biases of the accuser and character and military service of the accused. so what to do? the upcoming panel discussions will feature experts with policy, structures and culture but the following points appear to flow naturally from the evidence where continuing of sexual violence and harm in the military that i just outlined. first, the policies and offices responsible for investigating and responding to the variety it is of sexual and gender victimization should either be highly coordinated or under a single unified system.
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the sexual assault prevention and response program in office on paper was one of the most comprehensive approaches to combatting sexual violence. it's advocacy and legacy and shortcomings may be discussed in our upcoming panel, however, actual harassment in the military has fallen under the per view of the office of secretary of defense office of diversity management and equal opportunity. family sex crimes including against children and family members is the per view of the office of the secretary of events family advocacy program and unclear how well and integrated and coordinated are these various offices and their procedures and services. second, because of the high rate of premilitary victimization experiences of military recruits, screening and services for such experiences is warranted to help prevent
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revictimization. third, one thing i do know about the military is its strong focus on leadership developmentment. leaders need to be trained and held accountable for recognizing signs of co-victimization and revictimization such as avoid coping signs and risky behavior like heavy alcohol use. and to help refer those individuals to appropriate services. leaders should also take appropriate measures to modify the conditions that exacerbate any form of victimization as well as repeat victimization. these include monitoring the development for stimuli including graffiti and banter that mop vulnerable populations such as abuse survivors. leaders should clarify and support the paths to resources that targets should follow to receive appropriate relief. such resources should be aware.
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all ranks of the military should also be trained to understand and recognize those thinks between enter personal violence and actual harassment and be taught how to intervene appropriately when they believe that assaults or harassment have occurred or likely to occur building allies or by stander programs that empower men to be actively part of the solution instead of the problem are also recommended. i am pleased that the attention to the full scale and continuing of sexual and gender related victimization is gaining ground in the military and advocacy groups such as servicewoman men's network. i'm looking forward to hearing from the forthcoming panels of experts on their views towards organizational and individual initiatives to broaden our
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understanding of the spectrum of enter personal violence and impact on the military so thank you very much. q and a? >> yes. thank you. first of all, i just want to say in your materials you received, there was a pretty comprehensive bibliography and for me e would need to read it three more times to grasp it but i did read it and it was fascinating. so if can have the lights go up. we have a microphone here and we would certainly welcome you to please step to the mic so that we can hear you and this is your
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opportunity to really ask questions. >> can that be pasted around? >> i would like to start, if i may. you talked about the dual systems and the potential need for more coordination and is that not in effect the way the civilian system is structured in that sexual harassment is handled administratively through the eeoc and sexual assault is handled through the criminal justice system? >> yeah. >> i mean, you were making the point and theoretically makes a lot of sense to me that it should be integrated but do we not have more of a fundamental society problem that extends beyond the military? so i'm just curious. >> great question and certainly if you were going to take this to court, if you have a case of
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sexual harassment, it would go through civil war and sexual assault it would be a criminal offense and it's a different set of standards and procedures for that, but if you think of an organization. i come from a university college and we have certainly like any other university problems with campus sexual assault, as well as sexual harassment and an office for equal opportunity that really handles the harassment whether it's against students or against employees and then another office of student affairs that deals with sexual assault which it coordinates with the police but they talk to each other a lot and highly coordinated so they know when to hand off one case to another or when to co-investigate and that might be something that hopefully our experts can talk more about.
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>> there is a lot of talk about screening and i was on the panel to discussion whether there should be routine screening because those are predictive of negative outcomes and various things and the consensus of the panel in the end is that we did not think that there should be routine assessment because of the potential that that information could be use in adverse ways and if you use it frequently, somebody was proposing a study where they would in basic training screen people for adverse childhood experiences and intervene with them. we were very concerned that would be revictimizing to people at a time they didn't necessarily want to be pulled apart so i wonder your thoughts of the potential complications with screening. >> that's an interesting and
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good point. so the issue was does screening for revictimization potentially harm that person further either through heightening maybe their revictimizing experiences or maybe setting them up for discrimination perhaps. so just off the top of my head, my response would be maybe to think of it more like we do with the american with disabilities act, which asks that, you know, if you have a disability, you are not required to disclose that when you are interviewing for a job or being screened for a job but afterwards, if you would desire an acomation you can talk about it with an employer and find reasonable accommodations so the employment decision isn't based on knowledge of the disability. and so maybe that could be a way. you're in, you're not
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screening -- it's not screening to get into a military service but post -- but early on in the career -- >> [ indiscernible question ] >> i came here because i was connected. my daughter was victimized by an rotc early childhood development program cadet. my daughter is graduating next month with the perpetrator. my reason in coming here is to just let everyone know here that rotc programs in the united
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states are not screened. they are not screening their candidates properly in my opinion. i spent 30 years with the department of justice up until two years ago and when my daughter called me, i was up and really most of it her own advocate without an attorney with making a lot of phone calls and a visit to the military academy in wayne, pennsylvania. up until now, the perpetrator is still there in campus receiving federal benefits and my daughter is still being harassed and, you know, keeping her life there on a normal basis and i believe that there should be prescreenings and i believe that the perpetrator in this case has had a history of child abuse
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only because that's just by feeling inside as a mother that maybe the upbringing of that perpetrator and i'm not an expert, but the upbringing of that individual maybe was not adequate enough and now she's using the campus environment to abuse other students. how is this being addressed? rotc programs and their impact on, you know, the reason for them to be there is to give opportunities for other individuals who want to pursue valid careers in the military, give them a chance to better their lives like you said. some people are coming from low income backgrounds. my daughter, she's not from that. you know, she wants to make herself a better life, give herself a better life.
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i gave her that foundation but the other individual we don't know the background. so as far as police cooperation like you mentioned, unless my daughter pressed charges, there would not be an active police invest fwaigation to investigate background of the perpetrator. there is a lot of psychological effects that i agree with and not enough support yet for the victim and suspects the victims like my daughter will use other avenues to handle their situation and seeking help from the professors. they have been very outstanding for her. again, being the complainant on a title nine investigation is
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frowned upon. so this is why i'm here. to hopefully set our government, that our legislators give a second look to the rotc programs and that sometimes people are using that not to benefit themselves but to maybe harm others and we don't need that. so this is why i came to just be an advocate. >> thank you for sharing that and i'm sorry to hear about your daughter's experience. you did mention title nine, which is the student based assault and harassment is the legislative approach to that and there -- there is a growing consensus that title nine related procedures and processes
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have really got to become more comprehensive and there has been some recent improvements to law in area and procedures. part of it lies in the inversety environment in their response and handling of the claim of victimization because it's rotc the military needs a role. there is research that -- >> [ indiscernible question ] >> they refused and did not allow my daughter to file a complaint because they told her she was a civilian but again, i did my research and told my
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daughter so the prerp derpetrat she's still a civilian. she's not become missioned into her military branch. >> thank you again for letting us, bringing that issue. i think that's something that helps raise awareness. thank you. >> my question to you is you were talking about the general environment and setting the tone for how these happen and men feel empowered to take advantage of the situation. we've been at war now for almost 15 years and countries where women are not educated, they don't drive, they don't spend money unless they have
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permission. what impact do you think that environment has had on the current situation that we're in? >> on one hand, if you think being in environments where women have more rights than here, many open their ice a little bit. i could see it going both ways. i don't have a basis to speculate on what that might be but that's an inkreeging questi question. maybe some other panelist -- you're not going to step in and help me on this i can see. thank you.
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okay. well thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you again. right now we're going to turn to a discussion on organizational approaches within the department of defense and i'd like to start by introducing ellen. a senior fellow at the enter national security and a member of the board of the servicewoman men's action network. her research and work focuses on
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women and gender in the military. she's a west point graduate, retired army colonel and distinguished visiting professor at the u.s. army war college. she's currently completing a phd at george mason university school for conflict analysis and relung resolution. she's been a guest speaker on cnn, national public radio and she frequently guest lectures at universities and colleges. elle ellen? >> i'd like to introduce the next panel. dr. morel is a senior behavioral scienti
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scientist. areas of expert tense is program evaluation, survey research and risk management. he vently completed the largest ever survey of the sexual assault and sexual harassment experiences of u.s. service members. dr. morel led large national and international service evaluations and published dozens of pier review reports and policy journals and has served as a science advisor to the national institution to the department of homeland security of risk and economic analysis and department of homeland security chemical facility anti terrorism program. today he's here to present research findings from iran's 2014 military workplace study on sexual assault and sexual harassment in the u.s. military. dr. moral?
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>> thank you and thank you for inviting me to this forum. i'm really pleased to be here and i hope what i have to say will be useful. can we have my slides up? the findings, lots and lots of findings but i think they are on the continuing of harm and i'll tell you about recommendations we made when we found these results. just briefly about the study. it was large. we went over to half a million service members that included, this was a survey that included 100% of active component women and 25% of active component men.
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we got a pretty good response rate. the reason i mention it, it's the first time there have been enough respondents to be able to look at some quite rare veevent. it's the first time such a survey has had enough male sexual assault victims that we can character rise their experiences. so let me talk briefly about that. what we found is there are some generalizable differences between the experiences of women sexual assault victims and male sexual assault victims. in particular males will experience multiple experiences in the last year and more likely to be assaulted by multiple offenders during each instance and to be assaulted at work and during duty hours. they are far more likely to describe the result as hazing or
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intended to humiliate them as opposed to it being a sexual event. they are more likely to experience injuries. compared to women. men are less likely to experience a sexual assault that involves alcohol use so what you see a pattern for men. it's not to say this pattern doesn't occur with some women, as well. it's just that it's far more common with men. for instance, men are six times as likely to describe the sexual assaults as an act of hazing than women are. so what this suggests is there is a pattern that looks like
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hazing, bullying, harassment, picking on and doing it repeatedly. further more, it may be the finding that men are so much more less likely to describe the event as an sexual assault as opposed to an assault to debase them may have implications for preventi prevention. it may not occur to them to report. they don't report at the rate women do. at a minimum and our recommendation to the department was that it should be reviewed
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to say the kinds of experiences are well represented in the prevention training and the reporting system available to men and women be reviewed to see if there are ways of taking advantage that some of the sexual assaults against men may not be perceived as sexual assaults with that recognition designing procedures that could increase reporting. that's the find finding. the second fining is differences between the services. what this slide shows is the rate of sexual assault experiences by men and women in
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service. the thing i want to point out to you is there are striking service differences in sexual assault rates and particularly, you see the men and women in the air force are exposed to much lower risks by significant margin. by factors of 2-4, this is raw data. the marines in the navy are much younger services. the personnel are young people and a much larger proportion are young and sexual assault is age, youth is the risk factor for sexual assault. so maybe the differences are due to demographic factors. so we looked at that carefully and did some statistical modelling to make sure when comparing rates, we're comparing rates for people of the same age -- what is going on?
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the slides are cut off. we redid that comparison between the services comparing for a bunch of different services that exist between personnel and experiences so we controlled for the age of service members and race and scores, which is a test of skills that enlisted get. we had pay grade and range and control for things like the environment in which they are working in the military, factors like the percentage of men in
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the unit and instillation as dr. stockdale mentioned. it contributes to risk. when we controlled, an apples to apples basis. what we found is. it was not explained at all. after controlling for factor the and adjusting, women and other services had 1.7 times the risk of sexual assault as women in the air force.
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what this suggests is there is something that explains large differences, four to five times is a large difference in social science research going on. something that explains the difference between services that we haven't been able to identify what that is. now sometimes, people ask well, couldn't you find similar rates and evidence like this someone of the best points of data we have that suggestion there may be something to look at that causes big differences in risk of sexual assault. you don't need to look at a college campus to recognize there is something big going on that differs by service and could be understood better.
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and so one of our recommendations was to try to understand what are the factors, to do more research and understand the differences between the air force. they could attract different people and differences are things we don't have -- we can't statistically control for them. but it could also have to do with differences in the way things are structured or organized or how the physical organization, people may sleep might be different across services. we think that it would be valuable for why there are these large differences in sexual assault rates across services. that's the second finding.
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the third one -- is that working? it's working. the third is the research moments and active component members. what you can see on the slide is that both men and women in the reserve component are supposed to lower risk of sexual assault than men and women in the active component. this is any sexual assault. this is any sexual assault in the past year. this is another good comparison. these are all service members. one group of whom spends time in the civilian world socializing with civilians in the civilian workplace and the other spends most of their time in military environments and there is this big difference in risk and we
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did the same kind of statistical analysis and we don't find any of the variables we try to adjust for explain this difference. there is another surprising finding that we had here, which is the high rate at which the sexual assaults experienced by reserve component members occur in military settings. we reserve to those part time reservist working 38 or 39 days a year for the military and we find 85% of the assaults that they experienced in the past year were military related. which is, you know, which is a much higher proportion than might be expected. that doesn't prove being in the military is a risk factor and we
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heard speculation there may be something specific about the reserve component and what it's like to leave your family once a month and go off to drill training. and some of the risk factors associated with that lifestyle may be part of the escalation and we strongly recommend this is another signal or clue what is going on that could be pursued or understood to better drive down risk. the last thing i want to talk about is sexual assault harassment. it's common in the military. about 116,000 active duty members were sexually harassed in the past year and about
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44,000 experienced gender discrimination. when we ask women of all ranks how common it is more than 75% say common or very common. and men, too, agree. they don't agree at quite that rate but about close to 50% of men say it's common or very common in the military. we know sexual assault is associated with negative workplace retention, moral and bad outcomes but it's strongly asoelsuated with sexual assault. what we find in this data is women sexual assaulted were 14 times more likely to have been sexual assaulted in the past year. very, very strong association
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there and men who were sexually harassed were 49 times more likely to be sexual assaulted. that doesn't prove there is a correlation. there is a correlation. doesn't prove that there is a causal association between sexual assault and sexual assault. there could be. doesn't prove it but sexual harassment may be a good indicator where there is a problem. a recommendation is if the military could identify rates against units or commands or across instillations, that might be a way that they could identify those places where risk is high eest and if the
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correlation stands, differences in rates of sexual assault. so those were the four points i wanted to make and i look forward to our discussion in just after the next speaker. our next guest was brenda forreal the office of the defense capability management team in 2007 where she is responsible for military and dod personnel, civilian personnel issues including medical readiness, unmanned aerial systems, pilot issues, personnel security, clearance processes and worse force mix issues.
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ms. ferrell is the recipient of the distinguished service award and two gao awards for sustained performance leading into highly complex reviews. today ms. ferrel is presenting the findings of two goa reports. the report on sexual assault in the military and the very recently released 2016 report on hazing incidents involving service members. >> thank you, ellen. thanks for that elevation. thanks for having gao rep acceptabled here today. we appreciatuate the opportunity to discuss the recent report on dods updated prevention strategy. sexual assault is a heinous crime that devastates victims and has a far-reaching negative effect for dod because it undermines the department's core
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values to grade mission readiness and free decor and goodwill and raises financial costs. importantly, data suggestions reported sexual assault represent a fraction of the sexual assault incidents that are actually occurring in dod. dod data show reported incidents involving service members more than doubled from about 2800 in physical year 2007 to about 6100 in physical year 2014 however, based on a 2014 survey done by my colleagues, they estimated 20,3000 active duty service members were actually assaulted in the prior year. since 2008 goa issued multiple products to incidents of sexual assault. for example, relevant to today's
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discussion is our march 2015 report on military male victims of sexual assault. we reported that dod has taken steps to address sexual assault of service members generally and they like to refer to it as their policies are gender neutral. to address the sexual assault of service members generally but not used all of the data such as analysis that shows significantly fewer male service members than females reporting when they are sexual assaulted to inform their decision making such as tailoring their training or incorporating activities to prevent sexual assault. goa's analysis of sexual assault prevention estimates using the results of the study conducted for dod shows at most, 13% of males reported their assault whereas at least 40% of females reported their incident. today i'll primary discuss the report issued in november of 2015 on the updated prevention
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strategy. let me start with break grouack information. for over a decade, congress and dod took steps to prevent and respond to sexual assault in the military. in 2004, following a series of high profile sexual assault cases involving service members, congress required the secretary of defense to develop among other things a comprehensive policy for dod on the prevention of and response to sexual assaults involviing service members. in 2005, dod established its sexual assault prevention and response program to promote the prevention of sexual assaults and encourage increased reporting of such incidents and to improve victim responsibility capability in 2008 dod published the first prevention strategy. in april 2014, dod updated its
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prevention strategy and that updated strategy is the focus of my discussion. i will discuss two objectives from the november 2015 report that addresses the extend to which dod has one, developed an effective prevention strategy and implemented activities department wide and at military instillations related to the department's effort to prevent sexual assault in the military. for the first objective, it developed the strategy using the centers for disease control and prevention. frame work for effective strategies. but dod does not link activity to desired outcome or fully identify risk and protective factors. specific specifically dod does 18 strategies but not linked with
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the desired outcome of the department's overall prevention effort, a step necessary to determine whether efforts are producing the intended effect. it provides sexual assault training and establishing collaboration forums to capture and share prevention best practices and lessons learned. in a different section of dod strategy, it lists five general outcomes of its prevention effort such as an environment that support a culture of sexual assault prevention. outcomes are identified in the strategy, dod does not discuss what if any connection exists between the 18 prevention related activities and outcomes in the department's efforts to prevent sexual assault.
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without a link, they cannot see the desired effect or to make timely decisions to help ensure it continues to progress towards the desired outcomes. also, dod may lack the information that is needed to conduct a rigorous evalweight of the effectiveness of efforts. further, dod did not protect factors that may put a person at risk for committing sexual assault or that alternatively may prevent harm in its updated strategy. dod adapted cdc's approach by i'ving five remains or environment in which it would focus prevention efforts and includes risk factors for three individuals, relationships and
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society. for example, dod identified risk factors such as alcohol and drug abuse and hostility toward women as risks that my influence sexual violence, however, dod does not specify risk factors for the two demains over which it has the greatest influence. leaders at all levels of dod and military community. for example, the strategy does not identify potential risk factors associated with these domains such as recognizing the inherent nature of certain types of commands or units may cultivate an environment with an increased risk of sexual assault. one such risk factor may be hazing. in the february 2016 report on dods policies to address and track hazing, we reported that initiations and rights of passage can be effective tools to instill us free decor and loyalty among service members and are included in many traditions throughout dod.
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however, such traditional activities as well as more ad hawk activities have at times included crewel or abusive behavior and not always been easy for service members to draw a clear distinction between legitimate traditions and patterns of misconduct. also, we reported that hazing incidents may cross the line into sexual assault several military instillations gave us examples of recent incidents involving both hazing and sexual assault. we found that a series of hazing incidents may escalate interest a sexual assault and service officials stated training on hazing type activities and r relationship would be beneficial to males in that it might lead to increased reporting and fewer inappropriate incidents. dod also included six protective factors identified by cdc in its
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prevention strategy does not specify how the factors such as emotional health relate to dods five domains. the five factors included are grouped together rather than being listed under beneath the dow main to which they belong. thus, dod may not be able to accurately characterize the environment or develop activities and interventions dod is in the property sesz but they have not taken steps to help ensure these activities developed at the local or instillation level are consistent with the over arching objectives of dod's prevention strategy. updated prevention strategy
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identified 18 focused act the i'vetys and according to dod officials, two have been implemented in efforts to address the remaining 18 on going officials said the remaining identified will never be considered complete because as the program develops, the department will consistently revise and renew the approach in these areas. officials said the status of the remaining 16 activities will indefinitely remain as on going. in addition to the activities listed in dod strategy, instillation based personnel have developed and implemented various prevention activities at their instillations it is knot the only required prevention activity they develop the initiatives however dod noted the objective of the strategy
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are to achieve unite prevention focus activities. they are not taken steps to help ensure the activities at the local level are consistent with the over arching objective of the strategy. these instillations developed activities may not be consistent with dods prevention strategy because dod and services have not communicated the purpose of the strategy and desimilresponsr developing activities at the local level. for example. during our site visit, we found program managers were largely unfamiliar with it and may not implement activities in a manner consistent with the strategy. further, the military services key condue went have not been
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updated to align in the strategy. we also found during our visits to select instillations that there is limited collaboration for a number of reasons which could effect the department's efforts for prevention. for example, during a visit to an army base, program officials informed us of an attempt to collaboration, however other services declined because the other services whose programs were solely focused on addressing sexual assault thought it would be confusing since the program addresses sexual assault and assault. in conclusion six the first report, dod made progress in ill proving efforts to prevent and respond to incidents and dod may
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encounter difficulties in carrying out its vision to eliminate sexual assault in the military. that concludes my remarks if you're interested in any of gao's reports, you can find them on the internet at www.gao.glove a . that concludes my remarks. now we'll take questions. while the microphone queues up, i have a couple i wrote. one of my first questions is to dr. ferrell. if you can talk about if you looked at whether or not sexual orientation is a risk factor in the military population, does that put people at more orless risk for sexual harassment and
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assault? we didn't study it. sit a risk factor in other populations. it is a risk factor seemed to be a risk factor for bullying and harassment and assault in so it's possible it is a risk factor in the military, as well. at the time there was a policy against collecting the information and i think the policy is changed and behavior risk factor did have that question. >> any audience questions?
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>> the question i had is about male experiences of sexual assault and assault. i appreciate you bringing that up. to what extent do you think it captures male experiences? >> survey instruments. we were given an opportunity to rewrite the items that had previously been used for the wgra and one of the objectives in the new survey questions was to capture both male and female experiences as they relate to the law and widely used experiences concerned a form of
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sexual harassment not aligned to the law necessarily. more the developer as a psychological construct. our instrument was to a hostile workplace environment and gender discrimination. we tried to develop questions and pretested it with men and women that would capture men and women experiences. i think we captured a lot of male experiences. our estimates from our survey suggest are more men that are sexually harassed or sexual assault and harassed than there are women. we got a lot of them. >> if i may, you have to be
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careful in terms of trend. tried to maintain previous questions with the new questions to get at the heart of some of the issues more so but there is data, a lot of data going back years including on male victims but dod had not used it. that's an issue. as they report to congress is hundreds and hundreds of pages of data and even more behind that but it's being from gao, we like to see the data driven and data available regarding male victims and dod needs to capitalize on that in order to determine where does that fit in this prevention strategy?
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>> i work for the coast guard. my question is twofold. we did participate in the 2014 study so i would ask why those results weren't compared. i know we were well in line with the air force and also with all the services we have the same services. my question is more or less, how come sometimes we're compared and sometimes we're not? >> that was my fault. i apologize. i had sometimes included the coast guard findings alongside the dod findings. i didn't prepare that for this briefing. i'll say that the coast guard looks very much like the air force in terms of sexual assault rates. that is -- they are significant. men and women are exposed to significantly lower rates of sexual assault and those --
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that's not explained by all those demographic differences that made this between the services but i apologize for not including their data in this. >> i would just like to ask a followup to that. is it related to the percentages of women that serve in the air force and coast guard relative to other services? to me the correlation is the population with the fewest women, the marine corps has the highest problem with harassment and assault and the population with the most women, the air force and the coast guard seem to have fewer or less. so we ruled those two differences out as an ex plan nation. the answer is no.
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i think we know that. >> usually when it's looked at this issue it's against dod when we started this in 2008, that was the scope of the effort. sometimes we have been focused on a service after the scandals at the basic initial training down at randolph we were asked to look at that situation and what the air force was doing and they had about 44 recommendations that they implemented on basic training and how to prevent sexual assault and currently we've got a review that the just focused on the army reserve components,
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which of course is the army reserve and army national guard. we prefer when we can zero in on a service because dod being so large, we can usually go deeper when we have a scope that doesn't include everything. but our work is driven primariliy mandates

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