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tv   Secretary Tillerson Pushes Back Against Charge of Recless and Radical...  CSPAN  July 31, 2017 3:47pm-5:46pm EDT

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talks about his back-to-back conferences for security researchers and hackers, emerging threats to cyber security and how hacking works. >> you have to remember, now it's pretty hostile everywhere. it used to be just hostile during defcon and black hat. now every airport seems to have a fake cell tower operating. fake wi-fi catchers, because if you're going to steal somebody's log-in, why not at the business lounge in the international airport. that's where the high-value targets are. if you monitor your wi-fi signals when you are traveling you'll see fake base stations. amtrak station. d.c. has a fake cell tower outside of it a couple of times. this is the way that it is. and if you are a criminal and you can build a backpack to int intercept information and leave the backpack plugged in somewhere. that's more low risk than trying to rob a bank. >> tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span 2.
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secretary of state rex tillerson testified before a senate subcommittee about his department's budget request. sanctions against russia, cuba policy, and the north korean nuclear threat. the hearing was chaired by south carolina senator lindsey graham. subcommittee hearing will come to order. the hearing today is on the president's fiscal year 2018
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funding request and budget justification, department of state. like to welcome our witness, secretary of state tillerson. after opening statements from myself and ranking member we will hear from the secretary. we'll accept your written testimony and anything you would like to tell us personally. so this is going to be a little bit longer than normal. this is a very important issue for the country, a passion of mine. number one, secretary tillerson, i like the way you represent our country. i think you have a style that's pretty good for the world as it is today. you are a man of few words. i think when you talk, people listen. your view of qatar i share, what you're doing in north korea is beginning to penetrate. just met with the chinese. i think they get your message. and i think you're looking for ways for people to get to "yes" and always leaving back doors to hard situations. so, in terms of your style and your attitude toward the job, i very much appreciate it. as to the budget, we're here
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today because the budget balances in ten years. we need to increase defense spending, but once you do that, then if you're not going to deal with entitlements you have to go to non-defense discretionary spending to find the offsets and this account gets pretty much devastated. i'm not blaming you. i'm not blaming anybody. i just want the country to know i think this budget request is in many ways radical and reckless when it comes to soft power, and i look forward to working with you, mr. secretary, to find a better budget, and also to find a better state department. you've just got there. you've been there a few months and a year from now you'll have a better understanding of how the state department can be reformed, and i intend to be your partner and champion for reforming the state department. let's give it a good once over and see what works, what doesn't. how many people do we actually need. all of that is long overdue. i welcome that kind of analysis,
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but what we have today is a number basically driven by the requirement to balance the budget and increase defense spending and this account gets hit pretty hard and i don't think it's a result of the scrutiny of how the state department works as much as budget pressure given from increased military spending. so the first chart i have is to my right. if you don't fund the state department fully, then i need to buy more ammunition. general mattis, and i think we have other generals cutting the international affairs budget and to stop new conflicts from forming and we'll place the interests, values and lives of the men and women at risk and 16 retired four-star generals and here's the point. i believe that after 42 trips to iraq and afghanistan we'll never win this war by killing
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terrorists and there has to be soft power connection and the day after you need to hold and we must offer a hopeful life to give the capability the day after to form a better life for those having to choose between terrorism and modern thought. if you don't believe me, the state department's war on terror is just as important as any military power we have. now how much do we spend on soft power? we spend 1.4%. so a lot of people think foreign aid is 28% of what we spend and compared to hard power which is 20% of what we spend, we spend a very small amount on soft power and that 1.4% includes things beyond just traditional soft power. so i want the country to know that if you eliminated the state
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department you would not even begin to move the debt needle. the question is if you crippled the state department, it's not about debt to me. it's about security and american values being impeded. so let's look at gdp on defense and non-defense. so what you see is that the gdp on hard power is about 3% of gdp on soft power and the surrounding era and this chart shows you that we're going downward dramatically on soft power and upward on hard power. so the comparison of dod state department workforce. how many people do we have in the hard power world and soft power world? okay. you see over here the numbers of state usid which is a very small percentage and we have well over a million people in uniform. so if you believe soft power is
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important and the generals tell me you do, look at the balance. so here's what i would suggest. we do need more hard power because sequestration is for hard power, but you will have a hard time convincing me that soft power can stand a 29% cut and we'll talk about that more. so that's the comparability of the workforce, basically. international affairs budget historically. look here. look at the big drop in 2018 plus up in 2017. the world's gone to hell in a hand cart. now our response is to increase power which i agree with, and a 28% doesn't make a lot of sense to me. just look at the drop and say given the role as we know it and the role that soft power plays is this wise? i really don't think so.
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embassy security funding. we all remember benghazi. look at this reduction in funding for security of our embassies. all i could say given the threats that i see now is not the time to decrease embassy security funding unless you're going to close a lot of embassies, and i'm not so sure now is the time to be closing a lot of embassies. when it comes to hiv/aids. one last thing. here's what the benghazi accountability board told us. it is imperative for the state department to be mission driven rather than resource constrained. so here's the question. the mission of the state department and the world falling apart? is it greater or smaller? if you think it's greater then the budget should follow the need not just some artificial number. let's go to hiv/aids.
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as a republican i am proud of president 43 bush who came up with a program called petfar supported by almost every democrat. president obama continued this and as you can see in the return on the dollar for the petfar program has been absolutely astounding. millions of young africans are alive today because of the petfar program. mother to child transmission has gone down about 75%. every american taxpayer should be pleased that your hard-earned dollars went to a continent being consumed by a vicious disease called aids and we're beginning to turn the corner. we're not there yet, but there are five countries that will be self-sufficient and this budget cuts it by a billion dollars when we're inside the 10 yard line, not to give you the
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numbers of what it means to the programs, but there are a lot. hundreds of sthouzs of people who will not be treated because of this budget cut. i think it's just a penny wise and a pound foolish. humanitarian assistance. >> there are currently 65.3 million people forcefully displaced worldwide. that's the highest level in modern history. what role does the state department plan this? 20 million people are currently at risk of famine. so you have famine and you have man made wars and disasters. look what we're doing with assistance. we're cutting it at a time when disaster assistance needs are at a halt of an all-time high. the president's 2018 budget cuts international assistance and food aid by 3.4 billion. 77% below the 2017 numbers. the terrorists love this.
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the terrorists hate the idea that america shows up with some food and an education. from a terrorist point of view, this is really a recruiting tool. from an american point of view, we've got to fix this problem because if we cut back, other people follow and you're going to pay now or pay later. you're going to deal with these people now while they can still be helped or wind up killing them later when the young people become terrorists. so i have a real problem with that one. george a not my neighbor, georgia the country. for the record, i like the people in georgia. georgia is fighting in afghanistan without any caveats. they're one of the few countries that go to afghanistan to partner with our soldiers and do whatever we ask them to do. they've died in fairly large numbers. they have absolutely no restrictions on their force to help us win a war in afghanistan they can't afford to lose.
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their neighbor is a pretty bad hombre, the russians. i won't bore you with what the russians are doing to their friends in the region, george abu it's not good. what signal are we sending to georgia when we cut their assistant 66% at a time when russia is on the prowl and we need more help in afghanistan, not less, this just really is the wrong message to our friends and certainly the wrong message to russia. i am at a loss of why we would cut aid to georgia given what russia is doing in the region now, and i'm at a loss at why we would want to send the signal to a people who are sending their troops to afghanistan without any conditions. sri lanka. small place. it's within 20 miles of sea
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lanes that carry half the world's shipments and half the world's cargo. china is a big player there. we just ended a 26-year conflict, democratic progress is in our interest to have a democracy that close to the world shipping lanes. china is a competitor and unfortunately, we're reducing our assistance to sri lanka as china is going all in. not a wise move. now this is for you, mr. secretary. you run one of the biggest businesses in the world and you're a smart guy, but here's what's on your plate that i could think of. isis. you're going to beat it militarily, but if you don't have a plan for the day after we're going to lose again. what do you do with raqqa? what do you do with mosul? how do you hold it? defeating isis permanently has
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to have a hold and bill strategy and that's where usaid and all of your very smart people come into play. qatar, if you read the op ed piece today from the uae ambassador, that 10,000 airmen and soldiers there for god sakes, we can't let this get out of hand so you'll be pretty busy with qatar. >> russia, i don't have time to talk about what's on your plate with russia. it's just a lot. syria, if we can ever find a way to end the world it will be in geneva and you'll be at the table trying to find a way to put syria back together to make sure that the war doesn't start again and lebanon and jordan don't fall because of an endless war. the resources necessary to repair the damage in syria makes iraq look like a walk in the park and part of those resources will be you and your talented people who will go in there and help the syrian people deal with the devastation. north korea, i like what you're doing in north korea.
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i don't think we're out of the woods yet. so you're going to be a busy guy. 65 million people displaced on your watch. by the way, the war in afghanistan, we need more soldiers, and si think the president will give the generals what they want. we also need to make sure that the soldier's sacrifice is not forsaken because you better have a plan to rebuild those areas we've lost from the taliban once we take it back or we're going to lose them again, so that's where your people come in. the president said the iranian nuclear agreement is terrible and he wants to replace it. if you had nothing else to do, but that, that would be a full-time job. good luck. the ukraine, it doesn't seem to be getting better to me. china. i really like what you're doing with china regarding north korea. you're making it real with china. you better change the game because president trump will not allow them to have a missile in the homeland, but you have a
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good approach, but china's tough. 20 million people impacted by famine and they tell me we're going to start the mideast peace process all over again. you're the man. are you going to do all of that and cut the budget by 29%. thank you for coming. >> i was going to be tough, but i'll -- i want to start off by saying like he said -- i agree with senator graham. we are on this committee, and part of the time he's been chairman and part of the time i've been chairman and the bills have gotten a virtually unanimous vote and republicans and democrats will be care about
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it. let me just read a few pass aejes from a may 25th column in "the new york times" by colin powell, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff under president george h.w. bush and president clinton and the secretary of state under president george w. bush. he wrote and i quote, at best the nation has always been a commitment to building a better, safer world not just for ourselves, but for our children and grandchildren. this has meant leading the world in a cause of peace. responding when disease and disaster strike. lifting millions out of poverty and inspiring those yearning for freedom. this calling is under threat. the administration's proposal to slash approximately 30% from the state department and foreign
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assistance budget signals an american retreat, leaving a vacuum to make us far less safe. the proposal to bring resources for our civilian forces to a third of what we spent at the height of ronald reagan's peace through strength years. it would be internationally irresponsible. distressing our friends and encouraging our enemies and undermining our own economic security interest. the idea of putting america first requires withdrawal from the world and it's simply wrong headed. he goes on to speak of his own experience that many had thought the end of the cold war would allow us to retreat. it isn't. do we really want this in usaid
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at such a perilous moment? >> no. what we're saying when we talk about making america great, we're stepping aside while the other countries come in through the vacuum to make the united states irrelevant. i'd like to think that our values are the relevant ones, and not other countries. i want to know why you may disagree. obviously, you do disagree with secretary powel and why you believe that eliminating thousands of personnel positions and paying billions of dollars for the programs admin stared by the department of state and usaid is in our best interest. i would ask consent as chairman and put the powell article in the record. >> without objection. >> secretary powell also said
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that many had assume side the cold war's end would allow us to retreat from the world, and the cuts may have looked logical at the time came back to haunt us as tensions rose in the middle east, africa, the korean peninsula and elsewhere, confronting such challenges requires not just the military that's second to none, but also our resource and effectively empowered diplomats and aid workers. i think general powell and others have said much of the world has looked to the united states for leadership. we've been walking away from that leadership and we'll have someone else fill in for us. let somebody else take over. we go around talking about look at the huge amount of money spent on forrin aid and less than 1% on budget and on the per capita basis, why would we give
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up that influence? does that make us safer? >> why would we let some of these total tearian regimes expand their influence versus american influence. does that make us safer? does it make us safer if we allow epidemics to accelerate around the world? does it make us safe per we don't do anything to help with the refugee situation that's overwhelming allies of ours like jordan? does it make us any safer if we pretend that we could go fortress america. remember how well that worked in 9/11 when saudi arabia sent so many people to fly airplanes into the twin towers.
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we face a terrible -- we faced a terrible terrorist attack in this country by an american in oklahoma city. now suddenly we face it with saudis coming in here, saudi citizens. we're not -- we can't be fortress america. we face problems at home? of course. i use oklahoma city, as an example. we face problems from abroad. those who came from saudi arabia, and destroy the twin towers. >> i won't give you a speech, bii want you to know that we agree with the chairman and we have very strong views on this. >> mr. secretary, the floor is yours. thank you for coming.
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>> distinguished members of the subcommittee, i appreciate the opportunity for discussing the bug request for fiscal year 2018. as we all know america's global competitive advantages and standing as a leader are under constant challenge. the dedicated men and women of the state department and usaid carry out the important and often perilous work of advancing america's interest every single day, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. that mission is unchanged. however, the state department and usaid, like many other institutions here at home and around the world have not evolved in their responsiveness as quickly as new challenges and threats to our national security have changed and are changing. we are challenged to respond to a post-cold war world that set in motion new global dynamics and a post-nerve world characterized by historic
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threats that present themselves in ways never seen before, enabled by technological tools that we have been ill-prepared to engage. the 21st century has presented many evolving challenges to the u.s. national security and economic prosperity. we must develop proactive responses to protect in advance the interest of the american people. with such a broad array of threats facing the united states, the fiscal year of the budget request, aligns with the administration's objective, but making america's security our top priority. the first responsibility of government is the security of its own citizens and we will orient our diplomatic efforts toward fulfilling that commitment. while our mission will also be focused on advancing the economic interest of the american people, the state department's primary focus will be to protect our citizens at home and abroad.
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our mission is at all times guided by our longstanding values of freedom, democracy, individual liberty and human dignity. the conviction of our country's founders is enduring, that all men are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. as a nation we hold high the aspiration that one day we will experience the freedoms we have known. in our young administration's foreign policy we are motivated by the conviction that the more we engage with other nations on issues of security and prosperity, the more we will have opportunities to shape the human rights conditions in those nations. history has shown that the united states leaves a footprint of freedom wherever it goes. ensuring is the security and prosperity of the american people and values hasses in estated difficult conditions in the budget.
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the fiscal 2018 budget request includes substantial funding for many foreign assistance programs under the auspices of usaid and the state department, but we have made hard choices to reduce funding for other initiatives, but even with the reductions in funding we will continue to be the leader in international development, global health, democracy and good governance initiatives and humanitarian efforts. if natural disasters strike overseas america will respond with care and support. i am convinced we can maximize the effectiveness of these programs and continue to offer america's helping hand to the world. this budget request also reflects a commitment to ensure every tax dollar is spent -- that is spent is aligned with the department's and usaid mission-critical objectives. the request focuses the state department and usaid's efforts
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on missions which deliver the greatest value and opportunity of success for the american people. the state department and usaid budget increased over 60% from fiscal year 2007, reaching an all-time high of $55.6 billion in fiscal year 2017. recognizing that this rate of increase in funding is not sustainable, the fiscal year 2018 budget request seeks to align the core missions of the state department with historic funding levels. we believe this budget also represents the interest of the american people including responsible stewardship of the public's money. i know there is intense interest in prospective state department and usaid redesign efforts. we have just completed collecting information on our organizational processes and culture through a survey that was made available to every one
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of our state and usaid colleagues. over 35,000 surveys were completed and we also held in-person sessions with individuals to obtain their perspective on what we do and how they do it. i've met personally with dozens of team members who spoke candidly about their experiences. from this peedback, we've been able to get a clear, overall view of our organization. we have no pre-conceived outcomes and our discussions of the goals, priorities and the direction of the state department and usaid are not token exercises. the principles of our listening sessions and subsequent evaluation of our organization are the same as those which i stated in my confirmation hearing for foreign policy. we will see the world for what it is, be honest with ourselves and the american people, follow the facts where they lead us and hold ourselves and others
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accountable. we are still analyzing the feedback we receive and we expect to receive the findings soon. from all of this, one thing is certain. i am listening to what my people tell me are the challenges facing them and how we can produce a more e fikt state department and usaid and we will work with the team to improve both organizations. throughout my career, i have never believed nor have i experienced that the level of funding devoted to a goal is the most important factor in achieving it. our budgets will never determine our ability to be effective, our people will. my colleagues at the state department and usaid are a deep source of inspiration and their patriotism, professionalism and willingness to make sacrifices for our country are our greatest resource.
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i am con fidend the state department and usaid will continue to -- for the american people. i'll be happy to take your questions. >> i look forward to your effort to reform the state department, get the feedback and come to us and say this is what we can do without. this is what we need more of and then you have the perfect, right attitude, but we have to with this budget until you get there. it's unacceptable for me. so 2000 and 2017, would you say the world is more dangerous, or less? >> the world is changing and it is more difficult today. >> if we've spent it's probably for a good reason. increasing military defense spending by 10% is absolutely long overdue. do you support the president's budget to increase hard power by 10%? >> i do.
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do you believe, as general mattis and others that soft power is an integral part of our national security strategy? >> without question. >> okay. >> so we've got the general construct that soft power and hard power are important. i can understand increasing hard power given the threats. i don't understand reducing soft power by 29%, but we'll work through this, mr. secretary. in terms of addressing famines as they made emerge, let's put the chart back up. okay. there are 65.3 and more than 20 million people are currently at risk of famine. why would we reduce spending in this area given the threats we face. >> senator, i think the way we're addressing the challenge in these areas is talk about why people are displaced and then
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why people are in need of relief from famine and the two are not unrelated because many of the areas of severe famine are related to conflict areas. what we have done in this budget is put the emphasis. in terms of our resources to attack the defeat isis campaign and how we put in place zones the stability and restore areas to some level of normalcy which will allow people who have been forced to leave these areas by the advent of isis and by the conflict will find the conditions such that they will want to return home. >> right. >> so a lot of our de-isis effort is directing for the return of refugees that have fled. in areas of famine relief, we do appreciate the significant plus up and money that the congress authorized in the food aid programs in 2017.
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we're delivering that money to where it is needed or the food, and it is effective and efficient way we can. places like yemen which has severe famine problems and because of the ongoing conflict, that presents significant challenges. so how do we attack the famine need in emwhien is we have to find the solution to yemen that allows us to deliver the aid to those. >> yes, sir. >> so i look at these as an integrated problem and not simply one item here or one item there. >> and i look at it as threat-based budgeting. i agree there shouldn't be a number picked out of the air. it should be based on threats we face. i don't see how given the displacement of this many people and no end in sight that 77% reduction in disaster assistance is consistent with the threats we face from the disasters going on all over the world. we'll agree to disagree.
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georgia, what do we tell our friends in georgia about reducing their aid by 66% given the threats they face and the importance to georgia's democracy and our national security interest? >> i've had two bilateral meetings with the georgians already and the president had an opportunity to meet with them, as well. when i talked to the georgians about what would they like for us to do in the way of expanding our relationship, what they'd like to see more is economic trade activity between our countries and they are making significant investments in their country to make it more attractive. >> do they agree with these reductions? >> these re -- their concern over these reductions did not come up in our conversations. i think what i would convey to you, senator, is that at some point, as we have helped these countries get on their feet and become successful, we would expect for their requirements of our aid to be reduced, and i
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think georgia would be the first to tell you they're very proud of how far they've developed their economy and have developed the ability to secure themselves from russia. having said that, we're not abandoning them. we're going to focus the aid to help them in areas that they feel it is most useful. >> i've been contacted by the people in georgia, and they're just absolutely floored. what more do you want us to do? we're finding a dime in afghanistan without caveats and maybe the threats coming from georgia to russia justify reductions of 66%. >> i think it's the worst signal to send the good ally and the worst signal to send to the russians and we'll work through this. hiv/aids. do you agree that petfar has been a successful program for the american taxpayer. >> it's a model tax program for the world to follow. >> why are we cutting it by a billion dollars? the program monies that are available are to sustain the hiv/aids treatments in 11 countries to continue to take
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those to conclusion as patients roll off of those roles, new treatments can be made available. i agree with you that there may be five or six countries that are self-sufficient. i just think the billion dollars will not be self-sufficient and it's penny wise and are foolish. so the bottom line here is a threat-based budget would want resemble what is being presented in my view. i sum belly disagree with you. just look at what you've got to do here. the money we're reducing to disaster relief will show up with more terrorists pulling back from georgia at a time when they're still under siege by the russians, is going to reward russia and punish allies and it will create a perception i don't want to create. the billion dollars coming out of hiv means less treatment for more people at a time when we're actually turning the corner.
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so from 2007 to 2017, if we've spent more it's because the threats to this country requires us to spend more. 1.4% of the budget is still real money, but at the end of the day it's a small amount of money given the return unless we agree with you on this, that the people who work for you are incredibly brave. they serve us as well as anybody in wruchl and i'm a hawkish military kind of guy. the usaid workers and the state department people in the fight, god bless you all. i just really worry about cuts in embassy security. i'm not going to beat you up. i know that we can do better than this and we're constrained by artificial spending numbers that are going change. so thank you for representing our country and taking this job, leading a comfortable life to do what's on this board. senator laically?
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. we only have a few minutes here so you can assume there will be other questions that the be sent to you in written questions. do we have your assurance that they'll be answered? >> yes, sir. >> whether they come from republicans or democrats? >> i'm happy to answer any questions any one of them, i'll be happy to take a phone call from anyone at any time. >> thank you. you've sought to and senator graham alluded to that you've sought to reassure the allies that u.s. would remain a global leader. with this budget, cutting money for diplomacy and development by an average of 30%, china and
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russia are expanding in those areas. does that allow us to have influence or does it allow us to go ahead of us in influence? >> senator, i think we have to devise new ways to respond to a rising china and respond to a troubling russia, and that long list of challenges on that board over there have been around for a while. the level of spending we've been carrying out hasn't solved them. i go back to my view that i don't think the money we spend is necessarily an indicator of our commitment. i think how we go about it and we've got to take some new approaches to begin to address some of these very daunting challenges. the aid and the support and what we can bring to the issue is important. i'm not in any way diminishing that, but i don't -- i think if we equate the budget level to how some level of commitment or some level of expected success i
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think we're really undercutting and selling short people's ability to bring solutions to these problems. >> i would know when secretary mattis talks about cutting our budget, your budget that we should buy more bullets and that kind of caught our attention. you talk about money we've spent. is every program going to work? of course, not. i've worked with presidents of both parties, both presidents bush, for example, to increase funding in different parts of the world so we can at least try. a number of things have been successful like petfar and others. the war victims fund has been very successful, a number of these things have allowed us to be, but with some of these cuts, let me make sure i've got these
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right. 3% cut for diplomacy and development. millions of dollars appropriated for other purposes and you want to eliminate more than 600 positions from the state department for buyouts and reduce more than twice that number through attrition. what are you going do if suddenly you find that, whoops, i made a mistake here and we'll need more, not less. >> well, that's what the entire redesign exercise is about, is understanding better how the work gets done, what we've learned out of this listening exercise is our colleagues in the state department and usaid can already identify a number of obstacles to them getting their work done efficiently and effectively if we eliminate some of those obstacles it's like getting another half a person because they have their time available now to direct it with
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the delivery omission as opposed to managing some internal process that's not directly delivering omission. i just use it as an example. i think when this is all said and done, our objective is to enable the people, and our foreign service officers and our people and our missions and foreign nationals to deliver on mission with greater efficiency and effectiveness and in effect, we're going to get an uplift in effort delivery mission. >> that's a good point to put on the powerpoint presentation, but if you've got 600 people that are gone they're obviously not going to be there to help. it sounds to me like i can spend more time figuring out who you can fire than who you will have out there doing things. >> we're not going to have to fire anyone. this is done through the hiring freeze with the attrition if needed because we haven't determined whether we'll even need it, a very limited buyout
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program between the end of this year and next so there is no firing program planned. let me go into policy things. the president has gone out of his way to praise the leaders of very repressive regimes in saudi arabia, egypt, russia, turkey, philippines, but now it seems the white house wants to change our relations which have finally begun to improve with cuba, this despite the progress we've had with cuba. as it benefited cuba and persons and our businesses. how does this happen? after your recent trip in saudi
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arabia where women are jailed or flogged for driving a car or leaving the house without a male relative they have $100 billion sale of u.s. weapon, but somehow we have to step down on cuba. does that make sense? >> well, with respect to cuba, we are evaluating that policy and what our posture should be. i think our view is that the steps that were taken over the past few years to improve relations with cuba to open it up to greater economic participation by u.s. companies and american citizens did not deliver a reciprocal change in policy or behavior by the cuban government towards human rights. there's still political opposition. >> you don't think that the people who now have jobs in cuba and actually have some economic stability. they don't think it's better?
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i realize a number of those people as the wall street journal pointed out last week because of our restrictions on trade are anything to russia to get the parts they need for their trucks and cars and russia is getting involved and we haven't been and we're saying that -- and i've gone to cuba and criticized repression. i don't sit in an easy place here and say oh, this is what's happening. i've actually gone there, but, you know, we have our president go to saudi arabia to do a sword dance. we actually have americans that might want to do the salsa dance in cuba. i don't mean that to be as quite as flip as it might sound. the fact is that you and i can go to any country that will let us in, but where we have --
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there's only one country in the world, we need permission from our government to go and that's cuba. it's still a threat to us. we can go to north korea like dennis rodman or we can go to iraq or iran or anywhere else if they'll let us in, but not cuba. i mean, frankly, we'll talk more about this. my time is up, but good lord, let's deal with reality, not rhetoric. >> senator moran? i didn't think that was a question, so -- >> if the secretary wants to respond to that, feel free. >> well, i think somewhere in there there is a cuba question, and as i began to -- would you roll back what we're doing in cuba? would you roll back what weir
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doing? >> think what we're examining in the policy discussion on cuba is there is existing law that's still in place, a burden that says we are not to allow or facilitate people to allow financial support revenue to the regime. as the process to open up cuba has unfolded, it is our view that that is happening. if cuban people are able to conduct business activities with americans and others and there's no revenue directly in terms of ownership in these entities back to the regime, then we think that's great, but we have a law existing today that we feel has to be respected because that law was intended to put pressure on the regime to address these oppressive issues that they still have. if the congress doesn't want that pressure to be continued then certainly the law could be
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revisited, but our view is we're looking at what were the tools that were there to deal with all of the four corners of cuba's behavior and our relationship with them. there are some things that we and cuba can do together quite productively and we're interested in engaging with them, but we can't take that just in isolation. so the policy review is looking at all aspects of this. >> senator moran? >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, thank you for joining us and thank you for the conversation we had earlier this week. i want to focus at least nationally on the security of our diplomats and the facilities around the globe in which they work. the budget sees a decrease in worldwide security protection account of about 562 million from last year. is there, first of all, i would say i heard you in response, i think, to senator leahy indicate that we can't judge our priorities necessarily by the levels of spending. i think that's an indicator, but
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i think the point you make is there are other components that determine whether or not we will be successful. i assume that i know it's the shared goal that every person who works for the state department who represents the united states around the globe has a safe environment, as safe as we can provide to them. so my question is in this case what has changed or what will we do different that means that our state department employees' safety is not diminished? >> you are correct, senator. we've made the safety of not just our state department employees, but americans our highest priority certainly as it relates to the presence and our missions around the world. if you examine the security elements of the budget, our budget for dip malomatic securi is up year over year. where we have reseductions has
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to do with the construction of buildings part of the budget for embassies and other facilities. part of that we'll manage with some multi-year commitments across '17 to '18 and some of it has to do with our ability to move along promptly. we are committed to the benghazi with the recommendations and i'm monitoring those carefully. we have some gaps we need to close and the oig has helped us identify some of those and we'll stay on top of those. if there were more funds there, we would simply try to step up more activity on some of the building and maintenance are issues. so most of the reduction is in building and maintenance efforts through fiscal year 18. >> thank you, an american citizen who was not safe, whose parents live in kansas, michael sharp was killed along with
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another american in the democratic republic of the congo. last week, ambassador haley called on the u.n. to investigate the murders of those two individuals. would you find it appropriate to join ambassador haley in insisting that the perpetrators be determined, and the facts be discovered and we do everything we can to see that justices met. >> we have done that in the mission in the democratic republic of congo and have called to an investigation and we certainly will make that available to you, but yes, we have called for that, as well. what's the response of the government? have they cooperated? >> my understanding is investigations are under way. what an investigation in the democratic republic of congo may entail versus the way we carry out law enforcement is something we're trying to at least monitor and make sure we're asking all
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of the right questions. >> the investigatory role is being carried on by the democratic republic of congo and this is not by anyone representing the united states. >> we've not, i would say, be able to put in place with the investigative authority with the democratic republic of congo at this time. we're working with them. >> one of the concerns i have with this budget is that we don't operate in a vacuum. as i talk to our military leaders, certainly, terrorism is on their list of worries. senator graham gave you a long list, but our military officers often tell me that russia may be -- is our greatest challenge. others, certainly all of them will include china on the list of concerns for our country's role in the world, and investment in the state
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department's programs when they're reduced gives other countries the opportunity to advance their causes if we leave any gap unfilled and so i would ask you with this budget, what would you expect to occur in regard to particularly china but also russia and their ability to increase their influence around the globe, which in my view, is to the detriment of the united states and its well-being. china just last month pledged $124 billion for a new global infrastructure program, we are eliminating economic assistance to 37 countries around the globe and the issue in addition to me is -- in addition to the humanitarian and the rightness of the cause is that others will take advantage of our absence.
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>> we are seeing that in southeast asia and particularly africa and elsewhere specifically to the rise of china. it is a centrally command-control economy so when they come to economic, not just loans and assistance and not just companies to carry out infrastructure projects, they get the whole package and so countries that enter into these arrangements and we are talking to these countries and cautioning them about what they're getting themselves into that when china offers to build a port, build a port they don't do it for local employment and they bring in chinese employment and it never goes home. we see this happening. we're working with partners in the region. this was a subject of discussion when secretary mattis and i attended osman and our
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two-plus-two ministerial last week in australia as well as in our conversations with new zealand, singapore and others. one of the approaches we're exploring is whether we can get the world bank to also bring its mission to southeast asia, bring more private equity, private sector investment dollars to the region and bring more counsel and advice to countries and give them another alternative around how to finance these projects and get more private sector involvement there. what's required to get the private sector to engage is some of these countries have to continue to improve their investment climate like vietnam, the philippines and others. we're working with them on what's necessary and in our meetings with the a see an countries, they see this threat. they see it. they feel it and so we do have to be there with an alternative to your point. you're exactly right. we have to come with an
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alternative, but our alternative can't be solely achieved through the funding available through state or usaid. we have to mobilize a much broader effort and that's how we're responding. >> thank you, mr. secretary. >> senator shaheen? >> mr. chairman, i'll defer to my colleague senator durbin, he was kind enough to open the door for me. >> no. no. absolutely not. senator durbin. >> no good deed goes unpunished. secretary tillerson, thank you for being here. i'm sorry that i missed you this morning at the foreign relations committee because i was at another appropriations subcommittee hearing, but i wanted to ask you about recent news reports that have provided a proposed trip to st.
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petersburg by undersecretary tom shannon that will happen on june 23rd, and as a news reports have suggested that the purpose of the trip is to try and discuss with the russians how they'll be able to work together against isis in syria, and last week at a state department spokesperson admitted that one of the things that will be part of the conversation are the two dacas that were seized last year in response to russia's interference in our elections, and i have a picture of those there, and we can see that they're quite substantial. it's my understanding that one of the intelligence reports suggested that these were used for collecting intelligence by the russians, and i wonder if you could share with us given russia's continued behavior, why we would even consider the return of those two dacas as part of any discussions that
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we're having with them? >> let me describe to you the nature of our crept dialogues with russia because they're occurring at a couple of levels. what i would call the strategic big issues like can we work together in syria. how are we going to resolve the ukraine? how are we going deal with sovereign interference? those are being today conducted at my level with my counterpart, the foreign minister on occasion with access to the kremlin. what we have agreed to do, there is a long list of what the russians call them irritants. we call them the smalls on our side. the long list of things that have been problematic for both of us for some time and in some cases they're just getting worse. you'll recall when i made my trip to moscow to see my counterpart foreign minister lavrov and i had a two-hour meeting with president putin. i came out of those meetings and i said our relationship is at
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the lowest level it's been since the cold war and it is spiralling down. i said the two greatest nuclear powers in the world cannot have this kind of a relationship. we have to stabilize it, and we have to start finding a way back. so we segmented the big issues from this list of what i call the irritants. we have things on the list such as trying to get the permits for the count lor office in st. petersburg. we have issues with the harassment of embassy of employees in moscow. we have a list of things and they have a list. i don't want to suggest this is i bartering deal, and it's more like let's start working on some of the smalls and see if we can solve them. these two properties have been in ownership of the russians in 1971 they've owned these properties and have used these properties for a very long time. they were transferred to the russian federation government for $1 at the breakup of the
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soviet union. we have continued to allow them to use these properties and they have used these properties continuously for all that time. president obama in response with the interference of the election expelled the 35 russian dip the mas -- >> i understand that. >> and what we're working through with them in this conversation is under what terms and conditions would we allow them to access the properties again for recreational purpose? we've not taken the properties from them. they still belong to them. so we're not going to seize properties that are theirs and remove there, but we are talking about, under what conditions would we allow you to use them for recreational purposes which is what they've asked. we have things on our side that we're discussing terms and conditions with them, as well. so this is part of how do we take some of the errors out of the relationship and stabilize things. >> i don't mean to interrupt,
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but my time is running, and i wonder if you could tell me if the properties are returned how would we know they aren't be used for the intelligence gathering conditions. >> that's one of the discussions we had, we know what you were doing there and we're not going to allow you to continue to do that. >> as chairman graham pointed out, the 2018 budget proposal would reduce a billion dollars from the petfar program and there are other policy decisions that the state department is making that will have an impact on petfar in addition to the funding reduction. as you know, the state department in may released guidelines for the implementation of the mexico city policy or the global gag rule which for the first time ever will apply to all global health assistance programs including petfar.
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now study after study has shown that integrating reproductive health and hiv treatment and prevention services into basic, primary care services leads to better health outcomes and significant cost savings of foreign dollars and yet the state department in this budget proposes eliminating all funds for family planning so how will the state department continue to have reproductive health and family planning in light of the drastic cuts that are proposed with reproductive health fundings that you're imposing by the gag rule. >>. >> just to be clear, it the petfar, as was pointed out earlier. >> i understand that. it's the money for the family planning has been -- >> the extension of the mexico-city policy to all areas of health delivery was directed under presidential executive
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order and so the state department, when we received the exec of it order began immediately to work with all of the delivery services including all of those in petfar and farr farr and a number of the other ngo organizations and important partners in the health delivery networks across the world. our assessment, we believe, is that the impact on those service providers is going to be minimal. that is what we believe. we're hearing from them, but to monitor that carefully, i have said that we will have a report to me after six months of how is this working. what has been the impact? and we've been directly engaged with a number of the major private donors, like the gates foundation, and others, clearly working with them to say, let us know how this is impeding your ability to deliver on the other parts of the health mandate that we still strongly support. so, you know, we're obligated to
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implement the presidential executive order. we think we've found a way to do that. theif his directive, but do it in a way that has minimal impact on our ability to deliver. and minimal impact on our ability to deliver fund iing to pepfar and other related programs. and we will see how that works after about six months of operation. >> and if i can just follow up, mr. chairman, how do you define minimum impact? because based on information that i've seen from other international sources, losing access to family planning services will result in 2 million more unsafe abortions, 12,000 maternal deaths, and 6 million more unintended pregnancies. so, will you factor that in as you're looking at the impact of this policy on the pepfar program? >> we will factor in those elements that are covered by the president's executive order to ensure that we are implementing
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the ordered and we are understanding whether it's impacting parts of our health programs that we did not intend, by the executive order, to impact. >> so you're comfortable with it impacting women's health in the way i've just defined? that's a question. >> it's -- we will carry it out consistent with the president's executive order. so if certain activities and programs are excluded because of the order, we have to exclude those. >> well, mr. chairman, i'm certainly not comfortable with that kind of impact on women's health worldwide. >> thank you. duly noted. senator bozeman? >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you, mr. secretary, for being here. and we do appreciate your service. when i was first elected to congress, a fellow congressman, somebody who was a great coach, tom osborne from nebraska, one day said, john, if we run the same play 50 times in a row and we don't get good results, we
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probably need to do something different. and we have done -- what he was referring to was cuba. and we have been doing things a little bit differently lately. andic g i think getting some re. i'm a little bit disappointed as i hear y'all are about to reach a decision that we're going to push back on some of the reforms that we've made and some of the opportunities that i believe you change the world through relationships. and also, you have to be consistent. and i know that we do business with lots of people that are certainly as bad on the human rights fronts as the cubans. and i could list a whole bunch of them, but i don't think we need to do that. but i think you would agree with that. can you talk to me a little bit about kind of where will we're at with that and how you feel about the path going forward? >> well, again, as i indicated earlier, the cuban policy is under review. in fact, there's an interagency review that's been underway
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today. i've been up here, so my deputy secretary has been participating in that for me. so i don't want to get ahead of the interagency process or tell you i know what the final policy outcomes are going to be. what i described earlier are some of the elements that i know are under discussion, within the interagency process. and again, our situation in cuba, yes, there are many other places around the world that have similar human rights issues that are problematic to us and challenges to others. cuba has a very long history of statutory obligations placed around it, from libbertad up to the most recent, i think there's four laws that govern our relationship with cuba. as we have -- are examining the situatio
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situation, we believe it is important that would put policies or individuals or companies in violations of those laws. if it is the view of the united states that we want to change that relationship by removing some of these statutory requirements, i think that's a conversation that should happen. i agree that one of the best ways to improve relationships with cuba and with other countries is through economic activity. it's the strongest way tie our people together. it delivers value to people in the country, they improve their quality of life. all of that is good. we agree with every bit of it. what we are concerned about is not continuing to support in any way, financially, a regime which as best we can tell, has made no change to its posture or its behavior. >> i think a recent study said that there's $6 billion worth of economic activity, 12,000 jobs.
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so it is important. and i think there's tremendous potential there, but the only place i would disagree is i think you get there by engagement. and so -- >> and just so you know, there's no disagreement between us on that. >> yes, sir. and i think it's fair, you know, you brought up that you don't want to violate any laws that are on the books now and things. so -- but hopefully we can look at and work through and continue the engagement that we've got. as an arkansasen and someone who believes, again, as we talked about, you changed the world through engagement. the fullback program has been something that we're proud of in the state of arkansas. we're talking about a 47% overhaul cut there. i wish that would be something that you would look at, too. i was in israel and visiting with the finance -- i think he was the finance minister from
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palestine. this was several years ago, and it turned out that he'd been to summer school at the university of arkansas, went on and finished up at the university of texas. so we can laugh about that, the arkansas/texas -- he knew all of that stuff. but those things are so, so very valuable. zpr well, we see the fullback program as extremely valuable, as well. i've had conversations with former senator kerry, who's very engaged. our reduction in the budget, as you know, the fullback program also receives private donations. so our 45% cut translates, i think, into about a third reduction for them. we understand it will have an impact. what we want to do, to the extent we can help in attracting more private donations to support the programs and perhaps begin to attract donations from countries who have benefited from the fullback program, as well. so it is not in any way an indication of our view of the
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value of that program. >> i think mark green is an excellent choice for u srsaid ai congratulate you on your choice there. >> thank you. >> can you talk for a second about the reorganization process you're going through. and committee to working with the committee to make sure that the changes that we -- you know, that you're in the process of doing, that they're sustainable, as we go forward. >> as i indicated, we have just completed what i think is -- haven't done this in the private sector once or twice and a big nonprofit, once. there's a process that i know has delivered for me in the past. so we just concluded this listening effort, which will inform us and shape how we feel we need to now attack the redesign and the way forward. i've interviewed a couple of individuals to come in and help me lead that effort. i think, you know, we will finalize the listening report here in the next few weeks and we're going to make that
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available so people can see that. out of that report, though, there are about 13 things that emerged, and these were extremely valuable to begin to help us focus on where are the greatest opportunities to remove obstacles for people. because that's really what this is about, is how do we allow people to get their work done more effectively and more efficiently? and we will be going after the redesign. some of this is internal processes, some of it is structural. some of it are constraints that quite frankly congress puts on us through some of the appropriations structures. and i understand all well-intended to assure accountability and oversight, but it ends up adding a lot of layers. so we're going to be getting at that. we hope to have the way forward, the next step, framed here in the kind of august tile frame, so that we can then begin the redesign process itself, september. i'm hoping that we can have all of that concluded by the end of the calendar year.
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and then 18 will be a year of how do we implement this now? how do we affect the change and begin to get that into place? >> thank you, mr. secretary. >> thank, mr. chairman. let me associate myself with the chairman's opening remarks. i thought it was a bill i can't presentation that puts in perspective why we're here today. mr. secretary, let me -- i've already said it on the record once, and that's the only time i'm ever going to say it. no, seriously, i do respect what you said earlier. mr. secretary, i come in this same room and sit down as ranking member on the defense committee. i listen to your splexplanation how a 30% cut isn't that bad. that money is not the solution to problems, just need creative problem and innovative thinking. i never hear that when talking about the defense budget. they always need more money. more and more and more. and yet when it comes to a world plagued by femme minh and the problems we face, we don't need money to solve problems pinpoint turns out my experience in life
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is, you don't solve a problem by throwing money at it unless the problem is lack of money. and when it comes to the poorest people on earth, it's lack of money. lack of investments in these people and in their lives. and i take a look at some of the things that are being suggested here. i am embarrassed. i am embarrassed the policy of this country now when it comes to accepting refugees in the world. since world war ii, we have led the world in accepting refugees from all over cuba. three of our four hispanic senators are from cuban refugee families. you go through all of the people that we've absorbed as refugees into this country, and we know the policy of the trump administration opposes acceptance of refugees. thank goodness there are heros in this world like the king of jordan. currently, jordan has absorbed 3 or 4 million refugees in a nation of 7 million people. it is an incredible act of kindness and charity on their part and bravery when you consider the political risk. so what does this budget do to
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jordan? this budget cuts by 18% migration and refugee assistance to countries like jordan. we're not accept refugees and we're saying to the countries that are, we're going to cut your funding. think of a more creative way to feed those refugees, 1.4 million syrian refugees. it just doesn't work, mr. secretary. for us to walk away from our global responsibility and then to hurt those who are accepting much more than others. how would you respond to the king of jordan and explain why we would cut funds to him at this moment in history? >> well, i would take exception to the comment that we're walking away from our responsibilities in that region. with all of the men and women in yooum uniform we have fighting and the diplomat and state department resources that we have to get at the reason the refugees are in jordan. and i would tell you in working with the region, they all understand, turkey, jordan, others understand, we would like the refugees to stay close to their homes, so they can go
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back. having them come all the way to the united states doesn't -- may not achieve that. so our approach on migration locally is to solve the problem that allows people to go home. we have already seen some success in the liberation of mosul and other cities. we hope to replicate that kind of success in syria, where we have come behind the military quickly, when they liberate an area, create a secure zone, restore power and water, restore hospitals, restore schools. we have close to 40,000 children back in school in east mosul, already. people will come back, if we create the conditions. so we really want refugees to return. it's not the objective to have jordan to have to house those refugees now and forever more. >> of course it's not, mr. secretary. but thank goodness for the king of jordan. and i hope you feel that way about him, too. while we're trying to solve the
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problem in syria, while we're trying to solve it, this man the trying to make sure that the people, the syrian refugees have sympathetic something to eat, to make sure they have a place -- he told me their biggest problem is water. they don't have enough water to accommodate all these refugees. and we're going to cut the funding? let me tell you another situation, which i'm sure you're aware of. as you go into the poorest places on earth, what you find, sadly, is a gross mistreatment of little girls and women. it happens over and over again. and so, a fellow by the name of george mcgovern, who used to sit in this spot and was a great leader in our nation before he passed, came up with an idea. he came up with an idea of a school lunch program. and you know who joined him in that idea? bob dole. an old alliance and partnership was revived. and here's the idea they had. if we offer a free lunch to kids in the poorest places on earth, we think parents will send their little girls to school. just basic. that's what they did.
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the mcgovern/dole school feeding program. and then, to add another element to it, they gave the kids a little bag of grain to take home from school, so the parents couldn't get to get the little girl off to school. what's the difference in the poorest places in the world between an educated and an uneducated little girl? i can tell you what it is. the uneducated little girl will be a slave. probably married off at an early age. probably bearing children long before she should. and maybe those children will survive and maybe they won't, and then we'll have overpopulation problems. but if they finish school, the opposite is the case. and so what did your budget decide to do to this mcgovern/dole school feeding program? he eliminated it. now, is that going to make for a better world or a safer world? >> senator, what we are attempting to do is to marshal forces of others, we are talking to other countries and asking them to do more, to step in to
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fill in some of the needs that jordan has and the refugee camps. same in turkey. so we are using our convening authority to bring to bear other resources as well. these are some of the very difficult choices we made in achieving a budget level that we have put forth in this budget. none of these choices are easy. none of them. there's not a one of them that was not difficult to make. and so i -- i do not take exception to anything you've said. at all. and would agree. so what we are going to attempt to do is see if we can bring other resources to bear, to either fill in, mitigate, or perhaps grow out interest of others, to address these same issues. >> so our message to the world is, we're stepping back. america's first in stepping back now. we're stepping back by 30% in our expenditures. we're eliminating these programs, and you are welcome to fill in to the rest of the world. that is our message. the america-first message?
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>> our message is, we're leaning in and asking all of you, all of you to step up and do more. >> i think we're leaning on. we're not leaning on. and we're leaning on the parrest peop people on earth. >> senator van hollen? >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. and welcome, mr. secretary. good to have you here. and i, too, want to associate myself with the remarks of the chairman and the ranking member, regarding the state department budget. i do believe that cuts of this magnitude diminish our influence overseas. it will diminish our capacity to accomplish some of our goals. aisle all for creative reforms, where the goal is a better operating department, rather than trying to hut an arbitrary budget number that was provided to the state department by omb and others. there's a big difference between
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those two things. i want to talk to you a little bit about russia and legislation the senate will soon take up regarding russian sanctions. i know that you previously stated what every intelligence agency has concluded that there was russian interference in our elections. is that the case? >> yes. >> yes. >> and i'm not here to debate whether it was a decisive intervention or not, but they interfered. and you would also agree, would you not, that they are attempting to interfere in the elections of many of our nato allies, in the netherlands and france. >> it certainly appears that way. >> so would you also agree that russia would appear a weaker nato to a stronger nato? >> in all likelihood, they would. >> i think so, too. >> so i guess my question, mr. secretary, is do you agree with senator graham and senator
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mccain, i guess a majority of this committee on a bipartisan basis. that it's important to take additional actions. and sanction russia to let them know that you cannot interfere in our elections and just get away with it. that the united states is not going to walk away from that kind of attack on our democracy. isn't that important? >> well, it certainly is important, senator. and i think, you know, one of the challenges is how to structure these sanctions to achieve the desired result in the case of the currently sanctions, as you know, that are in place. we're in response to russia's invasion of ukraine taking of crim crimea. so russia understands what has to be done to achieve sanctions relief on the current sanctions. the issue and the outrageous
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response they should receive for their cyber meddling around elections, so we can put sanctions in place. what do we want from the russians in order for them to earn sanctions relief. i'm not suggesting that we shouldn't do it. i'm just pointing out from a diplomat's perspective, some of the challenges. i do think, and i've read the amendment to the iran sanctions bill, which is where the russian sanctions are being considered. and i think there are a few problematic areas within those that i would hope would allow the diplomatic efforts to attempt to make some progress. if we cannot make patrol, and you have told others in the senate, when we've talked -- i've had conversations with them, i may very well be calling you and saying, you know, the time has come now to do this in order to motivate some movement on their property.
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so i understand and am supportive of having that kind of ability. i think the question is, given where we are and we don't know yet, whether these efforts we have in place are going to bear fruit, ultimately, it's going to take a little time, but as i said earlier, i think it is important that we address the situation and the relationship that we have today, which i do not believe is in the interest of the united states nor the interest of stability in the world and we can either deteriorate it further or try to stabilize and improve it. and right now this is an effort that's in progress. >> i understand, mr. secretary. and i think all of us would like to see, you know, the russians take the actions that indicate to us that they want to be a krurkt, a constructive international player, but as you
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know, the first challenge when you're tackling a problem is to get the other side to admit that they've engaged in this kind of activity. and i -- have they indicated to you in any of these conversations, have they admitted they intervifered in o elections in any of your conversations? >> i think their position and their explanation of it is pretty public. and i've heard nothing any different. >> now we're in a position where they haven't even admitted it, right? you've got vladimir putin talking about maybe some private citizens in russia, you know, playing hanky-panky. we know that's not true. we know it was a concerted effort. we've seen it not only in the yooi united states, but with our nato allies. so to even be talking about providing them akccess to the compound in maryland or others, instead of leaning forward and saying, here's what we're going to do unless you admit what you did, and number two, you'll provide us verifiable ashursuras
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you're not going to do it again, it seems to me you've got to lean in on that issue. let me ask you a budget-related question with respect to the verification of the iran agreeme agreement. we're also going to be discussing legislation related to that agreement. because on april 18th, the administration certified to the congress that iran was, in fact, in compliance of the current agreement. isn't that right? >> that's correct. >> and you would agree, would you not, that it's in our national security interests to make sure we have in place the ability to verify iranian compliance with the agreement? >> yes, it is. but i would also tell you under that agreement, it's a pretty low bar. >> well, i would beg to differ. should have the resources. >> certainly. >> well, part of your budget calls for a 27% reduction to the contributions to international
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organizations and those mandatory contributions, many of them go to fund the iaea, which has indicated that they need those resources to verify iranian compliance with the nuclear agreement. so can you tell us today that the united states will ensure that we provide our share of the funds necessary to make sure that they can verify compliance with that agreement? >> yeah, the cuts to the international organization's budget, which as you mentioned, touches on a number of organizations, u.n., world health, iaea, how we would distribute those is under a continued discussion with the bureaus and those agencies, so that we have, as best an understanding as we have, as to how that would affect them. but it is our intention that the iaea have all the resources it needs to carry out its responsibilities on the compliance side of the jcpoa.
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>> i appreciate that commitment. i think that's important for all of us. >> senator kuntz? >> thank you, secretary tillerson, for your service and the chance to be with you once again today. i'm struck at the list that the chairman put up and the detailed and thorough presentation he made about tun setthe unsettled dangerous, and difficult world in which we currently operate. and the gap within your written presentation and i see here russian aggression prominent and i did not see that in your written testimony or spoken testimony and i'm concerned about that gap. in the context of an error when we know that russia at the very highe esest levels intentionall interfered in our presidential elections and that's only going to stop when we stop it. and i understand we may have a difference of approach in order to engage vladimir putin and russia, but i have a concern about the message we're sendi i
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to our vital allies. i'm haunted by a question asked of me by an eastern europe diplomat at the halifax where he said, how can we count on you to defend our democracy, when we don't see you defending your own democracy? in your confirmation hearing, you acknowledged russia's ongoing refrigerates to divide europe from the united states and to divide nato and the eu within. and we discussed how you would lead the resources of the state department to counter russian propaganda, through tools like a radio-free europe and how you would invest in strengthening our vital allies in the region, whether nato or has been mentioned, countries like georgia or ukraine that are not nato members. if i understand this right, your fy18 request for europe and eurasia is nearly cut in half from fy16 by about $450 million. what is the strategy behind decreasing support for our partners and allies in the
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region in the face of a clear and growing russian threat to their democracies and ours? >> well, first, let me position the situation with russia for use so that you understand what i am hearing, from allies, partners, large and small and this is without exception, i have yet to have a bilateral, a one on one, a pull-aside with a single counterpart in any country in europe, the middle east, even southeast asia that has not said to me, please address your relationship with russia, it has to be improved. they believe worsening this relationship will ultimately worsen their situation. so we have been -- people have been imploring me to engage and try to improve the situation. that was our approach anyway, but i would tell you the feedback i'm getting is please
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engage and see if you can improve the situation. with respect to the tools available to us, we do maintain particular emphasis on the countries that we see in europe that are most at risk of russian interference and eastern europe. we would like to do more in the battlics and in the balkans. if we had a little more, we would do a little more, but we've not walked away from those. we do want to continue to perfect more sfirophisticated approaches, as to how to push messages into russian society. obviously, through social media, through broadcast, through all of the tools available to us. and we are going to continue to maintain that effort to ensure we are in the conversation among young people and others inside of russia. but this -- i understand other countries are concerned about russia. they should be. and i hear about it when i talk to them about how they feel the direct threat, whether they're
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in the baltics, whether they're in the balkans, whether they're in georgia, or whether they're in other parts of the world, as well. sto they express that to me. but then when we talk about what should be done, they want us to solve it through engagement. they do not want it to get worse, because if it gets worse, they fear it will be worse for them. >> mr. secretary, i appreciate hearing that perspective, but we have many of the same conversations. just with a different end point. southeast asia, eastern europe, in the north atlantic alliance, i hear grave concerns that the signals that we are sending are signals of retreat. and of decembeisengagement. partly, this is from countries as was mentioned by the chairman like jordan, that critically depends on us for support as they bear the burden and costs of a great number of refugees. in other places, it's where either china is being ascendant or aggressive in the south china sea or in the face of north korea or in eastern europe, as you mentioned.
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i just -- in terms of an overall budget that is trying to defend american interests and advance american values, i don't see how it makes sense in an increasingly difficult and contested world to unilaterally withdraw support from vital allies who have chosen us and our values and our side in a contest of ideas with russia, china, and others. let me mention two other things before i run out of time. as has been mentioned by others, we have people-to-people programs like the fulbright scholarships that have had a big, positive impact and that evaluate the reputation we enjoy in the world. africa is a very young continent, a very large continent. where china's omnipresent. the young african leaders initiative is a relatively modest in-scope program that has had a big impact. i thought it was, again, not the choice i would have made to cut all the educational and cultural exchange programs in half. i hope you will reconsider that,
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because i think these are powerful programs that connect us to parts of the world where we benefit from a positive relationship and from, as you said, that next generation of leaders. power africa is also something that we on a bipartisan basis authorized through the electrify africa act. it is a way for us to bring the deployment of private sector capital and american expertise to sub-saharan africa. your budget proposal allocates an 84% cut from the fy16 enacted level for this. there are a dozen other paralysis i could talk about that i think reduce the visibility and the scope and the reach of our investment through diplomacy and development. those are two i just wanted to evaluate in our conversation today. let me close just by quoting an editorial they thought made an important point. a senator said and sent this editorial to view form follows, this is more dangerous than its opponents realize.
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depriving the depressed of a beacon of hope could lose us the world we have built and thrived in. this is, of course, by senator mccain. i would ask for unanimous consent to be submitted for the record. i am concerned that in a world that is increasingly unstable and where there is a clear contest between authoritarian capitalism and real capitalism, a democracy that is a capitalist society, that we need to step up our game. and i agree with increasing our defense investment, but i think to do it without also sustaining or increasing our investment in diplomacy and development, is ill-considered. and i really hope that we will work together to advance human rights, to advance diplomacy and to advance development through this budget. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary tillerson, thank you for your service to our country. thank you for coming for this committee today. two months ago, i led a bicameral congressional
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delegation to china and japan. in fact, it was just after president xi was in florida. i was heading over to china, i think that sunday. and we were underscoring our concerns about the threat posed by north korea. noting that the u.s., and i quote -- the era of strategic patience was over, as articulated by vice president pence, who came there the week after we were there in terms of the region. despite international efforts to pressure pyongyang, it continues to conduct missile tests. nearly a dozen already this year, while some of these tests have failed, i am concerned that north korea is learning from these failures. there's an old saying, when you attend college, you learn amount more from the tests you fail versus the tests you ace. meanwhile, south korea has displayed implementing part of thad, the missile defense system. my question is, how the latest
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developments have impacted the state department's engagement with south korea, japan, and china, to protect against north korean aggression. >> as you know, the new south korean government is being put into place. they have not named all of their cabinet positions yet. but we have been in conversations with some of their representatives, who came to washington, as well as maintaining a very close dialogue with our japanese counterparts. our intention, and i know the south koreans are committed, as well, to the strong trilateral partnership that we have that confronts north korea first and foremost, and then ultimately, at some point, at the appropriate point, engage with others. but the pressure campaign that we've had underway now for a few weeks, which involves obviously a requirement that china in particular participate and participate in a meaningful way, we believe is beginning to have
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some effect. it is difficult, obviously, to judge precisely, because we do not have great transparency and visibility inside the regime in north korea. but this is a campaign that has a forward map as to how we continue to implement and increase that pressure on the north koreans, until we receive a clear signal that they now are ready to engage with a different mind-set about the way forward. you could interpret the level of missile testing, obviously, as quite disturbing to us. whether that's a sign they're trying to give to us that it's not working, whether it's a sib that it is working, is difficult to tell. but we are monitoring all of those tests carefully and particularly in terms of what is the nature of the tests and we have good alinement between
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ourselves and the government of china, regarding first the objective, a denuclearization of the peninsula, but also, we have a good understanding between us of what actions, if north korea went too far, what actions would have caused us to be completely aligned. so we have further high-level dialogue with the chinese coming up this next week. secretary mattis and myself, because we want to work this both at the diplomatic level, but also at the mill-to-mill level that's important that we manage the risk of this quite carefully with full and open channels of communication with the chinese. >> secretary tillerson, listen, i want to commend you and the administration in the leadership that i've been seeing in asia. i lived in china for six years working for procter & gamble. i was there when kim jong-un's grandpa signed the deal back in '94 and we've seen what's happened since then. i was struck by, as you just mentioned, the change in the
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engagement approach that the chinese now have. we met with the premiere as well as the chairman as they are -- i think, as you stated, changing their engagement strategy with north korea, and i want to thank you for your leadership in that regard in this very important issue. similarly, i had feedback from the leadership in japan, with prime minister abe and his team that our relationship with japan has never been better in some time, and the media doesn't report these kind of -- this kind of news, but i saw it first hand. and i want to thank you for your steady hand of leadership in this important area of the world. last week, there was a press report that indicated that russian trade with north korea increased by more than 70% in the first two months of this year. can you provide additional details on this development and what impact does this have on our north korea strategy? >> sorry, we do need russia's participation and cooperation.
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we have spoken directly to they will. i spoke directly to president putin on the need for them to join us in&china on the pressure campaign in north korea, we do and see monitor russian movements of fuel, petroleum, and products, they are opening a new ferry transport system between livestock and north korea, which is troubling, so we're continuing the dialogue with them. i think we're making some progress if you noticed in the last u.n. security council resolution that was passed with unanimous approval, the russians supported that resolution, which imposed more sanctions on individuals and entities in years past, we would never have hoepd that they would vote for it. they might have an contained. so i think the russians, too, are beginning to understand the threat that north korea poses to them. because if there's a problem
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regionally, they will feel the affects of that. i think they are also beginning to recalculate their posture towards north korea. >> so speaking of russian threat, i'm going to go with the other side of the world. a few weeks ago, i visited norway. in fact, we were at hammerfest, norway. i was with chairman murkowski of the energy committee as well as secretary zinke, and senator cornyn, senator barajas. i toured their carbon capture capability. many european companies still depend on lng from russia, struck by the fact there are actually 13 european countries that rely on russia for over 75% of their annual lng airports. so the facility that we saw, such as the one in norway, the only one in europe, combined with u.s. lng airports can be important to reduce russia's
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ability to use its energy policy to intimidate europe. the questions, what's the state department doing and what more can we do as a whole of government prech to heapproach help europe become less independent on its energy needs. >> it comes by way of pipeline to europe. because our extensive historic pipelines that have been there for decades. and russia is now pursuing the expansion of a second pipeline that would connect to germany. we have encouraged european countries and the eu to at least subject that pipeline to the full rigors of their regulatory process. and have suggested to them it's not in their long-term energy security interests to become more dependent on russian natural gas and have pointed out that the u.s. has an abundance of natural gas and facilities now to ship lng to europe.
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so we're promoting the notion that europe needs to really think about its total energy balance and its energy security and recognize how dependent they remain on russia. so we are having those kinds of dialogue with them. >> all right. thank you, secretary tillerson. senator murphy? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i know it's been a very long day, mr. secretary, thank you for sticking with us in both committee processes. we had a vote on the floor of the senate earlier today, on a small portion of the proposed arm sales. it was a close vote. close, in part, because i think there is a worry that while there's clearly a military strategy to assist the saudis in their bombing kp ining campaign yemen, that there's not a political component to the strategy. i think you answered a question that senator young posed earlier today about putting pressure on the saudis to allow humanitarian resources to flow more freely into the country, a country that is ravaged by famine and cholera
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today. but i wonder if you might speak to a little bit more in depth about the lack of a political process. secretary kerry was deeply personally engaged in trying to bring the iranian-backed hewitties together with the saudi-backed regime. he was unsuccessful, but he got very close. and the sense is that this administration and your department of state has not engabe engaged in that political process, is not actively trying to get the two sides to sit at the table. and part of our worry is that the strategy now is to escalate the military conflict as a means of trying to bring the houthis to the table under circumstances in which they are weaker, that might exacerbate the military conflict. so just explain to me or i would love for you to talk to the committee about your views on how the u.s. reengages the political process inside yemen? >> well, thanks, senator. and you are right on the issue.
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let me dispel the notion that we're not engaged. i lived in yemen for 2 1/2 years. so i know a member of the people pretty well. er engaged with really, it's the emira em emirat emiraties, the saudis, and the u.n. we've had two or three meetings now to talk about the way forward. including discussions with the u.n. representative in this. we are pursuing the political solution, but we are -- this involves more than just the saudis and the houthis. it's a little more complicated than that. and i think that's why past efforts may have failed, because there was not a recognition of all of the equities that were involved inside of yemen. i want to be careful about going too far, because some of this is at a very sensitive stage and we're not talking about it publicly yet. but we are working diligently with those parties to put
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together a way forward to begin to advance a political solution. the focus on the port of entry where we could begin to dlelive massive amounts of assistance. it is controlled by the houthis. the aide that has been sent in through that port, most of it was not made it to the people it was supposed to make it to. we've been working with the u.n. secretary general, and we've been working with both the emiraties and the saudis to gain agreement over how we might gain control of that port. we believe we can gain control of the port under some other third authority's control and then the next step is we've got to -- we've got to put in place a safe passage for the aid to go -- to make it all the way to sanaa and other parts of the country where the suffering's the greatest. and it's that safe passage piece that we're working on right now.
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if we can stabilize the humanitarian situation, and if we can disrupt the elements of the conflict itself, then we think, with some other steps that are yet -- that are underway, but are not yet taken, we think we can create conditions for a political process to begin. >> just to clarify, when you say retake that port, you're talking about a military campaign -- >> no -- >> -- a military campaign to retake the port? >> no, that the houthis would voluntarily turn that port over to a third authority. not the saudis, not the emirateis, and that we would gain access. then the next step is how do we create the safe passage to connect the aid to the people who need it? >> how do you gain a political reconciliation there if you're not talking to the iranians? >> the iranians are part of the problem. and again, i want to be a little cautious about how far i go, given the sensitive nature of
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how we're trying to put this together quietly. i would just say that they are not directly at the table, because we do not believe they have earned a seat at that table. we would like for the iranians to end their flow of weapons to the houthis, in particular, flow of sophisticated missiles to the howatt howatt houthis. we need for them to stop supplying that. and we're working with others to see how we could get their agreement to do that. this is an extraordinarily difficult. it's more complicated than the two or three countries people think are involved. and it is a very difficult country in which to reach even a political settlement, having been through two civil wars now. so, we want to take this in a manner that it will be durable, if we can take it to that place. >> i guess, part of the struggle is figuring out who earns a seat at the table and who doesn't.
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so the russians have earned a seat at the table with respect to the future of syria, despite the slaughter that they have allowed to happen, but the iranians don't earn a seat at the table inside yemen. it seems as if you have to talk to people that we disagree, people that are often our adversaries if you want to make peace in places like that. how do you distinguish how iranians don't get a seat at table, but we give the russians a seat at table. >> it's the role they want to play from this point forward in creating conditions for political discussions. in the case of syria, we have a discussion and we have a process underway with the russians to achieve sol stability and create conditions for the political process to unfold in geneva, where quite frankly, neither russia nor we have a seat at the table under the geneva process.
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but we can be there to influence. in the case of yemen, we do not have any construct today that suggests the iranians have any interest whatsoever in de-escalating the conflict in yemen. >> you know, i hope you'll talk to the folks -- i'm sure you have, who were subject to the negotiations last year. they were very close to an agreement. i don't think you can ever at griz t categorize the iranians as being constructive. but we were not far away. i think it's worthwhile to engage in direct negotiation. if you ultimately want to bring political resolution to that place. >> well, we made it, you acquitted yourself very well, mr. secretary. i appreciate you coming to the question. we have some requests pending to the state department, if you could get us an answer reasonably soon, we would appreciate it. we have six outside witnesses'
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testimony that we would like to make part of the record. a letter from the gao, three letters from family that lost a love one in mali. admiral mullen's op-ed piece and sri lankan ambassador about the cuts to his budget. just wrap it up. you've been very generous with your time. i'm excited about your review of the state department, your listening and taking action to make it a more efficient place. you're right, problems will never solve it. i think your business background is unique here, but also your engagement of the world. you know a lot of these countries, because you live there and have been business. i think you'll be a good representative for us. this budget, i think, is just driven by an arbitrary number. i'm not -- you know, it comes out of omb, but it basically is a result of increased military spending and can't deal with entitlements, so you've got to do what you've got to do. it's more of a shoot and aim budget. i'm looking forward to your review. then one can make more sense of it, rather than just shooting
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and aiming later. threat basis is a way to go. you're dead right, it's just not about the money we spend, but a threat-based budget. and reform is absolutely essential. on the defense side, we've reformed retirement. and that was tough. it was prospective, but it's going to save money and be fair to the soldiers and military members, but it's a real reform. contracts have been replaced by fixed-price contracts. that's been a hell of a fight. we're taking people out of the headquarters units and putting them out in the field because we've got too top heavy. we've done all of that and still going to increase the defense budget about 10%, because after you do all of those reforms, the world is so dangerous. and the military has been hurt for the last few years through sequestration, that even after all of those reforms, you just need more soldiers out there in the fight. they need better equipment, more modern equipment, they need to deter war and win the wars that we're in.
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soft power. as i understand the need for increased hard power, i do not understand how you can cut soft power by 29%. i'm looking forward to reform the state department but i just don't believe a 29% reduction is ever going to make sense, given the threats we face. i think we'll lose influence, it will put lives at risk and it will be seen as retreat. that's why we don't support it. but i will support you in your efforts to bring about a new modern state department, listening to how we can do better with our allies. i don't mind asking people for more money. i really don't. count me in and fill in those gasp. but given our role in the world, i think the cuts that we're talking about here, we're sacrificing influence at a tomb we need more. we're turning back on programs that have worked pretty well at a time when a little more will get us over the finer line. and i don't want to retreat from
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the world right now. the last eight years before you got to town was pretty tough. nobody trusted us. everybody thought we were taking a backseat and good luck. leading from behind did not work. i want to compliment the president for getting out and about, increasing military spending. you got a hands-on approach to almost every conflict in the world. i left out yemen. any secretary of state, having to deal with three of four of these problems, would have a load. here's my goal, to lighten your load. just try to find out a way to save money, but also achieve the purpose of soft power, which is protect america and i look forward to working with you. you'll find no better friend in this committee to reform the state department, but we cannot sit on the sidelines and watch the state department be seen as retreating at a time when we need more soft power, not less. god bless you. the subcommittee stands in recess until the call of the chair.
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later today, kentucky senator rand paul will address the annual national conservative student conference. we'll have live coverage of his remarks starting at 7:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. and on c-span3, tonight, it's american history tv in prime-time. we'll look at whether law can constrain war and the impact of religion on foreign policy.
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american history tv in prime-time, starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3. tonight on "the communicators." >> well, as the internet grew and there were jobs, and people were putting things online and there was money at risk, all of a sudden, hackers started getting jobs doing security. so i kept getting these e-mails of people telling me, give me an announcement to defcon that makes it sound professional. i've got to convince my boss to send me to defcon for my job. so i was rewriting our announcements to make them sound corporate and more professional. and finally one of my friends came up and said, you know what, you should just throw a real conference, charge real money, and make it a professional conference. and i thought that was brilliant, but i didn't have the money at the time, i was too young. i saved my money for a year, i took a loan out, and i started blackout a year later than i'd wished. and every year, unbelievably, it's grown, for 20 years.
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>> jeff moss, founder and creator of blackhat and defcaf talks about his back-to-back conferences for security researchers and how hacking works. >> you've got to remember now, it's pretty hostile everywhere. it used to be just hostile during defcon and blackhat. but now every airport seems to have a fake cell tower operating, fake wi-fi catchers. because if you're going to steal somebody's logons, why not at the business lounge at an international airport. that's where the high-value targets are. if you monitor your wi-fi signals when you're traveling, you'll see all these fake stations, amtrak station right there at d.c. has a fake cell tower outside of it a couple times. it's just, this is the way that it is. and if you're a criminal and you can build a become packpack to intercept information and leave the backpack plugged in somewhere, that's so much more low risk than trying to rob a bank. >> watch "the


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