tv Deputy Secretary John Sullivan Testifies on State Department Restructuring CSPAN September 26, 2017 8:00pm-10:43pm EDT
we ask you all to take your seats if you will. today we hear from deputy secretary of state john sullivan on the proposed reforms that he and secretary tillerson are working on for the state department and for the agency for international development. i don't think there are many that question the need to improve the operation of both agencies. a more efficient and effective state department in u.s.a. id would better promote our national security and our many other interests around the world. so i have welcomed the administration's undertaking. secretary state rex tillerson
has started a process here as those that state will tell you where he's focusing on listening to the diplomats and listening to the employees. our foreign service officers. i think this is very commendable. he has sought feedback from the bottom up. many employees, he reports, have asked, and i think this speaks volumes, they've asked for more responsibility and in turn more accountability for their performance. they also want better training in a modern it infrastructure. and i think they deserve these tools and we would be all better offer if they had them. so i welcome secretary tillerson's efforts to address the department's aging technology infrastructure and to strengthen the diversity of the department's work force, including increased recruitment. he has focussed specifically on
veterans and minority candidates and this is a goal the committee here has long supported. but as a country with global challenges and opportunities, i do have continued consrntz about whether our diplomats and development specialists will have the resources they need. yes, there is room for savings. we need savings but we should not, we cannot lose sight that our diplomacy and assistance improves our national security, improves our economic well being for a relatively small amount of money. consider this committee's word to strengthen rogue regimes like iran or north korea, it takes skilled, properly resourced diplomacy to build international support for sanctions enforcement. in the same is true when it comes to convincing nations to turn away cheap labor from north
korea for example. takes our diplomats going out and explaining. when you're doing an arrangement, you're only feeding them and sending the check, the foreign currency to the regime. that money is going into the a nuclear weapons program. that has to end because of our sanctions. that has to be explained by our foreign service officers or working with us to counter hezbollah or granting our health specialists access to halt an emerging pandemic in its tracks as was done in west africa with the ebola virus. robust diplomacy is also needed in conflict zones to defeat isis and defeat other threats and that is what we hear from our generals who understand the critical need for our country to have successful political and
not just military strategies. but this leadership requires us being present. and i'm concerned about reports of closing embassies in consulates. where we depart we create a void for unfriendly actors to step in and promote interest hostile to our interests. where there is a diplomatic void, we have no eyes, we have no ears to detect the next threat or the next opportunity. and so i want to thank the department, i want to thank the department specifically for starting a dialogue with congress on these reforms. and on its policies. and on its management more broadly and some of the proposed reforms that we see here will require legislation. while others can be undertaken administratively. but in both cases the committee has a significant oversight role
to play. as we are doing today. and after our successful work last congress to get the first state authorities bill signed into law in well over a decade, the committee continues to have reform ideas of its own which we look forward to sharing and i will now turn to our ranking member for mr. angle's opening remarks. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much for calling this hearing and mr. deputy secretary thank you. thank you for your service and your time this morning. i was grateful you hosted the chairman and myself yesterday to discuss your reorganization effort and -- there's no doubt that state department should be as effective as pallable. seize there are plenty of good
ideas to they're working in a bipartisan way i believe there was an announcement of a 32% cut to our international affairs budget. i know we discussed it yesterday and i will try to ask you to repeat some of the things you said that more optimistic about that. i worry about starting with the budget and doing things in reverse. to me it makes more sense to lay out a vision for what modernization looks like, clear priorities to bring in our diplomats and other experts and then determine the right budget to get the job done. i hope in your testimony and
afterwa afterwards, you'll clarify why the decision was made to start with the dollar figure and work backwards from there. i worry about the reorganization process. i wanted to be more transparent and collaborative. i don't think it goes against anything you told us yesterday. the department has called this an employee-driven process and i have no doubt they have totally honorable intentions but i understand those involved are not allowed to discuss the plans involved with their colleagues and have kept tight control over documents related to the plan. the administration committed that there would be consultation with congress every step of the way and obviously we have more questions. so i hope we can talk about some of that today. and overall i must ask what is the goal of the process. what's the administration's vision for american foreign policy? for america's role in the world?
for how the state department fits into that vision and how the process will make the state department more effective. the only consistent answer we've gotten is the department is finding efish aficiencies and iy when they talk about efficiency that it's not a code for budget cuts. cost savings that undermine effectiveness make america less safe and as the department focuses on redesign i worry the critical day to day work is suffering. far too many senior positions remain vacant, depriving the department of leadership and making it harder for allies and adversaries alike to know who to call and who's calling the shots in washington. so i wish you could explain some of that today. overseas diplomat's jobs are getting harder because they don't know if establishing foreign policy will be reversed.
morale as the department continues to suffer as senior career officials flock to the exits. uninterested in the input and expertise of our most seasoned professionals. taken together, america's credibility around the world is wobbling. our global leadership seems to be wayning and most importantly without a strong functional state department with a clear foreign policy vision, increasingly at risk. and let me be clear i support modernizing the state department. i want to see it leaning american foreign policy. civilian leadership that center of national security policy is integral to our democracy at home and our leadership abroad. for years congress has sat on the sidelines when it comes to the state department and what do we have to show for it? personnel shortages make it harder to address crisis or
allow for professional development. traditional responsibilities of a department moving to other agencies like the pentagon distracting from its core diplomatic mission. i'm glad that the president sees the necessity for more funds for dod. but we don't want it at the expense of the state department. the expense of diplomacy, the expense of making sure our embassies are safe. in 2020 the foreign service act will be 40 years old. it was written during the cold war and the world has changed. we do nide to modernize the department. that's why i've consulted staff and other experts to be in thinking about what states should look like the next 40 years. i would value the imput as we move forward and again mr. deputy secretary, i look forward to your testimony and hope you shed additional light on this process.
and before i yell back, i ask unanimous consent to place in the record the documents dealing with the state department and u.s.a. id. first is a report about modernizing foreign assistance. second is a report from the u.s. global leadership coalition entitled opportunities for reforming and strengthening diplomacy and development. the third is a report from the service for global development. a practical vision for u.s. development reform. one is from refugees international called honoring a process in government reorganizization. and finally calling on the state department to structure staff and resources for the refugee bureau war crimes office and global women's issues office. so i thank you, mr. chairman and yield back. >> subject to the lengths
limitations in our rules, without objection we will put those reports -- include themnt. thank you. we now go to our introduction here of deputy secretary john sullivan. prior to this position, mr. sullivan was a partner at the mayor brown law firm. co chaired its national security practice and previous to that served in senior positions at the justice department and then at the defense department and the commerce department. without objection, the witness's full prepared statements will be made part nof record. members are go having to five calendar days to submitical any questions or extraneus materials they want to submit for the record here and we would ask deputy secretary sullivan if you would please sums are your remarks. then we'll go to questions.
thank you. >> thank you, chairman, royce. thank you all for inviting me -- >> secretary sullivan, let's make sure you push that and get it very close right there. perfect. >> thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member, members of the committee. i'm thankful to be here today to discuss the redesign of state department. we appreciate the interest the committee has shown in becoming more efelfective in serving the american people. on secretary tillerson's first day committed to harnessing all the institutional knowledge of our work force to do that. so he went straight to those who know best, our state department
and u.s.a. id colleagues to determine where reform was most needed. from the very beginning our reform effort has been employee led. we commissioned a listening survey that produced feedback from more than 35,000 employees, nearly half of our entire global work force. hundreds more took part in in-person interviews. we also set up state and u.s. id for staff to provide regular input. we've received more than 1400 s submissions to those portals. after hearings from so many of our own colleagues, we convened a cross section of our rising leaders and seasoned professionals to create a rising reform plan. i want to stress it's not an empty slogan. the secretary wanted employees to drive this prauocess from th beginning so the department and
u.s.a. id can better serve them, even as they serve the country. the executive committee i chair is composed of a balance of u.s.a. id and state department leaders. similarly the groups that drafted the proposals that fed into the reform plan were comprised almost entirely of reform staff in the u.s. and abroad. 72% of work stream members were working level employees. those that deal with the day to day level of business and diplomacy. they proved to be invaluable. the resulting agency reform plan incorporates suggestions and feedback from all over the world. we submitted this plan earlier this month, consistent with the president's executive order, 137 al 81. which calls for effectiveness in
accountability for each federal agency. let me share with you a few key features of our plan. first, we need streamline the policy creation process and optimize and realign our global foot print. state and u.s.a. id need to be nimble. that means taking imputs from the field, turning them into evidence-based recommendations and executing them as quickly as possible. we will use the same approach to assess our physical foot print around the world to insure our missions abroad align with our foreign policy priorities. second, we must maximize the impact of accountability. we need strengthen planning among the 20-plus agencies to provide some type of foreign assistance to make sure our foreign policy goals are focussed, integrated and supportive. third, we need implement a
service to reduce operational costs and redundancies, increase efficiency and improve service quality for our personnel around the globe. we want to reduce red tape and bureaucratic hurdles by making them do what they were intended to do. support our professionals as thad change posts and serve our country all over the world. fourth, we need empower and retain a 21st century work force by optimizing our hr support. too often employees are bogged down trying to navigate broken processies. we bring hr to a more strategic role to attract aplore diverse work force and invest more in our most valuable assets, our people. we need improve our i.t. platforms and upgrade our
technology infrastructure so our employees can work anywhere, anytime, and as effectively as possible. we need to integrate our cyber systems. by modernizing our technology, we can save money in the long run and facilitate better decision making in the future. the redesign provides a new foundation for our diplomacy and development professionals. it will also generate significant savings as we increase deficiencies across the department. the proposals will save the american tax pay arminimum of $5 billion over the next five years with a goal of 10 billion. some changes will require further guidance and approval. still others will require a change in law by congress and be assured that for all aspects of the redesign, whether or not a
change in law is required, we will consult with this committee in congress before any actions are taken. we are working to move quickly on the redesign. the reforms of the department can implement internally will be rolled out as soon as possible after consultation with congress. for example in the coming months we hope to move the state department towards a cloud computing platform and increase the number of foreign service family members we employ abroad. let me emphasize throughout this process i commit to consulting closely with this committee. your input as always is most important as we move forward. therefore, i'm grateful for the opportunity to speak to you this morning about our reform plan and hear your feedback and i'd be happy to take your questions. thank you. >> well, thank you very much, mr. sullivan.
let me start. as you know the state department basic authorities act requires the department to notify this committee no less than 45 days before closing a diplomatic post. will the department commit to are bust engagement before you seek to close a diplomatic post because our members have decades of experience and strong views on this. >> absolutely, mr. chairman. >> i appreciate that and let me emphasize why i think this is key. just to follow through on the legislation that we pass in this committee, for example the legislation we passed on sanctions in north korea. i explained a little bit of this but our respauonse to that thre is to have our diplomats state they have to cut ties with that rogue regime or suffer the consequences of it.
it's our diplomats who have these relationships across the world who follow up and explain directly how serious the united states takes this. there are eyes and ears. in northern nigeria, for example, boko haram arrived seemingly out of nowhere. we have no diplomatic presence in northern nigeria. 140 million people. because we closed our consulate in the 1990s. the previous administration looked and once closed they're veryense pencive and difficult to open.
nor in the case of the conversations i had with the governor of that state where now boko haram holds sway. who told me money was flooding into the area from the gulf states. setting up at that time to recruit. he told me about one across the street from where he got his education. but the new one. young boys were wearing bin laden t-shirts and he explained what the consequences were going to be. and he was right. but we have to have that presence on the ground to see these kinds of things coming. and it has to be our foreign service that's engaged there. let me ask you another question and this goes to this issue of hiring veterans and increasing diversity. the foreign service will be the
most effective that it can be when it draws on the strengths of the american people. however, it's my understanding that the interview is only offered in washington d.c. and in san francisco. will the department consider an offering the interviews in more places such as on military bases? if i could ask you that question. >> yes, mr. chairman. i met in fact last week with all of our employee affinity groups, including our veteran group to find out better ways to increase our diversity which is a key goal of the secretary as you know. >> yes. and i just in my opinion think that if you were to deploy a strategy and it was well understood we were going to do this at military bases and those interested in serving the foreign service would have that option. in terms of the secretary's
commitment to increase efforts to higher veterans and this effort on diversity. this would be a helpful way to make that happen. and i appreciate your willingness. with that said, let me go to mr. angle for his questions. >> thank you, mr. much, mr. chairman. mr. secretary. i wanted to again thank you for taking the time to meet the chairman and myself for lunch yesterday. it's very important for this committee and the state department to have a good working relationship. and i believe the commitments you made yesterday go a long way in advancing a constructive working relationship. we won't always agree but i think it's very important. so one thing we discussed and i'd be grateful if you could reafirm it today is that they will respond in a timely fashion for request for documents and information that come from myself or the chairman or our
staff. >> absolutely. congressman, angle. >> thank you. i wonder if you would clarify like you did yesterday regarding the necessity of a chairman's letter for certain types of information so we're clear about that. >> surcertainly. subject to legal restrictions imposed because of executive privilege, my policy and the department's policy will be to be as responsive as we can be to phone calls, request for documents. a request from this committee is a high priority for the state department. you have my commitment on that and if we fall down on the job, please let me know and i'll remedy that situation. >> thank you. i appreciate that. and secretary tillerson stated
that and when i went to him again, he reafirmed that commitment. so i'm thankful you're reafirming that as well. quote we will eliminate overlap, set priorities and fund only the work that supports these priorities. we'll empower our people to make decisions and hold them accountable for the results. this begins with the chiefs and missions in our embassies around the world. we'll give them the tools they need to over sea the work of all u.s. government agencieagencies. it sounds basic but it's the kind of change that will help us attack the full potential of our civilian power. does this sound like it aligned with secretary tillerson's vision? there's a report and i'm quoting from the 2010 qddr.
secretary tillerson recognizes the need for modernization at the state department. but wrone of the criticisms is that it failed to meet many of its goals. so in my opinion, i'd like to hear your opinion, one of the reasons we failed was a lack of funding. because these ideas were not linked with resource said, they didn't lead to the transformation of the department in the ways we hoped they would. with the secretary's reorganization makes this state department more effective, you'll find enthusiastic support on both sides of the aisle. but how can the administration carry out real or lasting reforms rkreform s when you've tied your hands with respect to the budget?
>> as we discussed yesterday, one of the key goals of the redesign is to empower our men and women the chiefs in the field implementing foreign policy. that's one of our overriding goals that's been clear from the secretary's first day on the job. the budget process started before secretary tillerson was confirmed and took office. he came on board. i followed several months later. we had a budget prosacy already underway. the redesign effort as i've said in other contexts, the secretary would have been taking this, even if we'd have a budget increase. it's important to be good stewards of the taxpayer money and there will be areas where as we go forward, particularly with
respect to i.t. infrastructure where we will, in the future, need investments and the secretary has made commitment to the department and i will repeat it here to this committee. where we need more resources to do our jobs more effectively, we will seek them. it is one area i predict we will need assistance in the future. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. we go to chairman of the subsmitty on europe and urasia. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> how many people do you have working at the state department? what's your pay roll? >> praksly 75,000 employees world wide. >> how moaany again? >> 75,000 world wide. >> and how many of those -- what
is the number of people that a president -- political employees brought in by the president, how many spaces are there for those? how many political appointees are there? >> well, there are approximately 190 of those roughly 30% are political appointees. in other words they're not foreign service officers. then there are divisions under secretaries, myself, assistant secretaries. there wds be fewer than 100 of those. >> and of those hundred, how many of those have been -- are now filled? how many of the political
appointees are sitting now and have their authority? >> those who are now in office actually at the state department or in their ambas dorial post t would be fewer than 20 and that's a rough guess on my part. we have 30 nominees that are pending before the senate foreign relshzs committee. >> 30 nominees. >> and that's for? >> for both appointments at the state department, for example under secretary for manager. assistant secretary for european affairs and another category of individuals who are undergoing their background investigation and filling out their financial disclosure forms and being reviewed by the it foreign relations committee. that would probably be another 20 or 30 i would say of those.
>> so you're saying about 50 people that could have been appoint fwhied president are not now in their positions. so when we say elections count in this democracy, we have 50 people now who slots are being taken by career people until they get there or actually -- are there any appointees from the last administration in those positions? >> to my knowledge there are no political appointees filling those positions. there are however career foreign service officers filling those positions. >> all right. and mr. chairman, i think across the board we have seen we're already into october and the president of the united states -- if our election needed anything, the president has to
have his people in there to help direct policy because that's who the people voted for. and i think that we are seeing something that i haven't seen for a long time. i never seen is that throughout our government, not just state department but elsewhere, we have these seats that are vacant that should be presidential appointees. let me ask you about ngo's and their relationship to the state department. do we actually provide services for nongovernmental organizations that are active in different countries? >> i believe among other things we provide financial assistance to ngo's that in turn provide assistance, whether it be life sustaining food, warter, headical assistance. so we will contract with, among others, ngo's for those types of services. >> and are ngo's -- obviously we
have our believes and we want -- we have certain standards but when ngo's go into another country, are they required to respect the culture of that country? >> that would certainly be expected, congressman, yes. >> so ngo's -- we get complaints. yrv gotten complaints as i've travelled around from people that they're actually out trying to change the country and of course we want a certain amount of change but at some point it become as disrespect for the culture of those countries. good luck in trying to find that line and good luck in your new position. thank you very much. >> thank you, sir. >> we go now to ranking member of the subcommittee on asia and the pacific. >> i want to thank you for your comments about wanting to get information to congress and answer our questions.
rex tillerson, secretary was here june 14th and of course we only get five minutes and a lot of us have a lot more questions than that. that's why we have questions for the record. but the questions for the record for the june 14th hearing haven't been answered yet. i wonder if you could commit to having the june 14th questions answered by october 15th and all of them by october 31st. >> i think i can do better than that, congressman. it is strictly a coincidence that those responses were provided this morning. so if there are any outstanding, i will make sure -- >> i am eagerly awaiting one of those and that is i asked -- you're submitting a budget that involves drastic cuts and the secretary agreed to say what -- how he would propose spending 10
or 20 or 30% more money than the administration was asking for because that would give congress the expert view or at least the executive branch view of not only how to spend the amount of money you're talking about but how we would allocate more and i hope that you can commit to answering the qfr's for this hearing within 30 days. can you do that? >> absolutely. >> this reorganization plan i hope is not a cover for filling posts. others have asked you about that delay. and when it comes to the administration -- the a administration has a muscular tone. sanctions are an important part of that. they're very labor intensive. it's not just a matter of giving a speech at a rally. it's a matter of convincing a danish or dutch bank or
government on this deal or that deal and i would hope that you and the secretary would convince the president that a muscular foreign policy require as fully staffed state department. we -- tom lantos was our chairman here. he pushed forward legislation with the special envoy on desemtism. can we count on that being filled fairly soon? >> you have my word on that, congressman. if i don't, it's my fault and i assure you it will be filled promptly. >> okokay. now there has been a report of a plan to transfer the bureaus of population refugee and migrations and counselor affairs to the department of homeland security. can you put those rumors to rest? >> i can. >> that's not under
consideration? >> it's not. >> that's a great answer. we have all around the world kounslets. they report to the embassy and the embassy reports to washington. the one exception is our consulate east jerusalem. >> wthe issue of our embassy in israel -- >> i'm not asking the bigger question about moving the embassy to israel. assuming we keep the facilities we have now, would the consulate report to the embassy which is currently located in tel aviv? >> i would take that under advisement, congressman. >> the department -- not everything that rilaelates to foreign policy can be in the state department. i would hope you would provide guidance as you have a process
of doing to the broadcasting board of governors about the importance of broadcasting in the regional languages of pakistan. i don't have to tell you this is one of -- while north korea has one language, pakistan has several and if you're trying to reach the population of this important country with over 100 nuclear weapons, you can't just broadcast. and finally i'm going to ask you to convey to the secretary of the treasury orsistent secretary to tax policy the importance in -- they have to allocate their time on where to negotiate a tax treaty and they've been doing it on a paint by numbers basis. ignoring the geo politics and there are places in the world where having a tax treaty firthers the objectives of the state department and your
assistant secretary of europe testified in a smaller hearing that having a tax treaty with armenia is important geo politically and i hope we can get thet influence to the treasury department. >> i'll do so. >> thank you. >> joe wilson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i was very fortunate in august. i was with congressman cook on a delegation. we visited lithuania, republic of georgia and poland. i can report first hand that all the state personnel were first class. they were very competent, capable. they connected with this very important new allies of the united states and so it was just a very uplifting experience in each of those countries. i was so proud of the dedication of your personnel on behalf of
the american people. i do know the foreign service attracts thousands of applicants each year but failure to recruit including veterans and those from underrepresented portions of the country. success of administrations have ledged to increase recruitment with limited success. does the department intend to target for recruitment, if so what forms are being considered to reach this goal? >> yes, recruitment of veteran sz a priority. as it dus cussed earlier with the chairman, one issue is at military posts. i've met with retired general daved petraeus who came to speak about this issue and i've met with our group leader as well. >> and many veterans have language skills that could be so
helpful too. currently the department only interviews candidates in washington and san francisco. not exactly the most representative of u.s. cities. is the department considering conducting the oral assessment exam at military bases across the country to encourage veteran hire sng. >> yes, we are. >> super. that's good. and what other reform sthz department considering to crekrut with more diverse backgrounds and skillsets like veterans? >> a commitment to diversity is a priority for secretary tillerson and not just with respect to veterans but with respect to all aspects of american society. the state department should reflect america and we're committed to that. veteran's hire sag priority to us and i've discussed this with chairman royce and we're doing all we can for outreach to
veterans but also to other grougroup sads well underrepresented in the state department. >> given the prominent role assigned to the department on cyber security, i'm concerned about plans to down grade for cyber issues and merge with with an existing office within the bureau of economic and business affairs. at a time when the u.s. is increasingly under attack online, shouldn't we have high level leadership focussed on the whole range of cyber issues, not relegated to economics? >> yes, it's a priority to the secretary. the move for the special envoy is only the first step in our approach to cyber security. we're committed to raising this to a high level within the department. and wurorking with the white hoe
on that issue. >> and the house passed legislation, the digital gap act expressing concerns of congress. there should be an assistant c secretary and take into kin sideration that provision that calls on the secretary to elevate the role of cyber mr. d ploemacy before there was the provision of down grading. >> yes, i can commit to you that cyber security, our whole cyber effort will be elevated at the department beyond the level it is now. >> and with that understanding and we are pleased to learn that the department cyber space functions will continue to focus on a whole range of activities, doesn't that call for into question your plans to house within the it economic and business affairs bureau? >> that hasn't -- the final decision about where and at what leveling, we will places the
cyber security responsibility hasn't been decided. the it initial decision made was that for this special envoy office which exists, we have moved that if to that bureau. but that's only the first step in addressing the larger cyber issue the department needs to and we will consult with this committee on where the appropriate level is and what bureau it's in before that decision -- >> thank you and i hope you all will be pushing hard on the 30 pending ambassadorships that they be secured as soon as possible. thank you. and now to greg meeks, ranking member of the subcommittee on europe. >> first, let me congratulate and thank you. it seems anytime you've been called to serve our country in varioused a min strashzs you've done that and i think that's something to be thankful for. likes with, when i look at our individuals in the state department and i think we've
said just about unanimously, we look at the men and women in our state department and how they serve our country, it's just miraculous. a number of us are very concerned when we hear the drastic cuts and sometimes i get nervous when i hear the word "modernization." does that mean we're going to get the equipment and make sure we have new technology necessary so that our state department has all of the tools that to needs to continue to do the great job, the job that it often does with its hands tied or does it mean we're going to have to cut personnel and make their jobs even more difficult than it already is because they have tough jobs and i think it's general manager that says the more we take away from the state department, the more we have to put into dod.
so we're nervous and as i travel, i think that number of employees in the state department are nervous. i listen to your opening statement where you said and i say 66% of the individuals responded. but they still don't know what the final plan is and the information flow has not gotten down. so there seems to be a lot of morale problems because they don't know the uncertainty whether or not what they have recommended will be heard and what we had had took place for example, what concerned me at the u.n. this past last week in new york. where i believe there was so some -- 140 officials that were there and it was down from twice that number the year prior. and before was consistent because here was an opportunity to have our diplomats at the
state department working with all of these heads of state at various levels. so when i see that kind of reduction, that to me means there's difficulty in getting our diplomacy out and talking and working with these other governments. so can you tell me is that going to be the trend? or are we going to see less numbers of diplomats and people from the state department going aught to promote our diplomacy as we saw exhibited at the u.n. last week? >> absolutely not, congressman. i approach this job. when i interviewed with secretary tillerson i spoke to him of my enormous respect and regard of the foreign service and it come s from my family. my uncle served in the foreign service. my father's brother 32 years in the foreign service. he was our last u.s. ambassador to iran. it was his staff taken hostage
on november 4th. so i understand the burdens that foreign service and our civil service face when abroad. i committed to secretary when t abroad. secretary tillerson, our goals are to empower the men and women who serve the united states abroad in dangerous places on our behalf with little thanks. our men and women in uniform are absolutely deserving of our respect and admiration and thanked for their service. but our foreign service and civil service officers are equally deserving of that respect and thanks because they serve just as our military does in dangerous places. >> absolutely. again, thank you. the other decision that puzzled me a little bit after turning down funding for the global engagement center that focuses
on antieau ganda efforts, the seconds transferred it for the dod. i don't want to get involved, the state department deserves to get its own funding. can you tell me why the state department is relying on dod funding? >> certainly, congressman meeks. let me clarify that. there is an appropriations for our center and we are spending it. the statute authorized them to seek from the department of defense an additional amount of money defense could transfer to us. that's the $40 million that we sought. we have our own money and we sought and additional $40 million from the defense department. that's because the way congress wrote the law we had to ask the defense department for the money and it's been transferred to us. >> thank you for your service.
>> thank you. >> we go to mr. mark meadows of north carolina. i don't think he's with us. >> mr. kissinger. >> thank you for being here and your service to your country. it's very much appreciated. i think state and u.s. military are the unsung hero and we never see because of the lack of war and hard to quantify. the global disengagement, i want to drill into that. you mentioned the $49 million of dod. you are accepting the $80 million written in the statute and that would be $120 million in essence, is that what you're saying? >> we have requested and received from the defense department frowrbt million. we -- $40 million.
we have our own appropriate funds we are applying to the global engagement mission. that is happening. if you look at your own design, where does the state department figure into your redesigned plans? where do you see this going and benefits of pushing back against propaganda of eastern friends i guess or non-friends or competitors? >> the global engagement center figures prominently in our global diplomacy in countering the maligned activities of terrorist organizations, whether isis, al qaeda, their affiliates. that has been the mission traditionally of the global engagement center since it was created by congress. the new aspect of the $40 million from the defense department is to counter state efforts at propaganda.
russia, china, iran, north korea, a different form of mission. the gec was originally focused on terrorist organizations and now focused on state efforts at propaganda. both are important and will figure prominently in our public diplomacy going forward. >> maybe you can respond to this i think the focus of the $80 million was to counter the propaganda efforts of russia. we see from our friends in eastern europe they are the victims of this and we have seen the victims of that on our own shores. i think that's essential. i mentioned the state department are unsung heroes in conflict mitigation. instead of handicapping them we need to help them in conflict zones to work to provide hope and opportunity to 7 and 8 year-olds we see right now in
refuge camps. i call it the next generational war on terror. it could either lead to guns and bombs or frankly a regeneration that rises up to reject terror within their own communities. i think that's how you will win this. i think bombs and guns are okay in the current fight but we have to prepare for the next generation. i think it will be in the rest of my life. how does increasing state and the u.s.'s inflexibility to operate in conflict zones like syria and elsewhere? >> i think you're absolutely right, congressman, about the challenge we face with refuges, whether refuge camps in jordan, from the conflict of syria and burma and bangladesh, those enormous refuge populations are a global problem and will continue to be unless it's
properly addressed. we have at the state department modest means, not the complete means to address them. it's a global problem. for example in burma, we spent $32 million now to start to address the refuge crisis there. our ambassador is looking to get to the border in the next two days. we're doing all we can to address that problem there. we've spent large sums of money to address the refuge crisis generated by the rise of isis in iraq and syria. with partners and allies and the help of the jordanian government which has done a heroic amount of work, we're doing all we can to address that problem. as you know, this is a generational problem and one that will face us for years to come. >> thank you. since my time is running out i
won't ask the question but will make the statement, since you are looking at diplomatic outposts to shut down, it's important to remember we didn't have a diplomatic post in afghanistan pre-9/11. a lot of places around the world we're looking to do this, i know you're thinking of this, mr. secretary, not a conflict today but potential tomorrow and benefit of having a presence there for conflict mitigation which we can't quantify how many we stopped with state and cid. i want to thank you for the hard work of the american people. i yield back. >> the ranking member in the western hemisphere. >> thank you for all that you do an and all the people that work for you. they are professional and working hard everyday. quite frankly, some of them are in real dangerous situations.
i'm concerned. i want to thank you for the coincidence answering our questions this morning. we submitted about three months ago the questions. i get concerned. go ahead, sir. >> there's nothing like a congressional hearing to focus the constitution. >> coincidence, right? >> just an observation. >> i get concerned when we throw numbers like 30% we will have a cut in the state department. you can imagine what it does to the people that work for you and you can imagine what it does for the countries that we deal with. one of the things that really concerns me is this higher freeze and how it impacts the family members that work for these people. some people can't work and hard enough for employees with the salary they get to make ends
meet in some of these places. you have a situation where the family members cannot be employed if we implement this 30%. can you talk about that? even schooling of the children. that's all part of it. >> absolutely. the employment of family members at u.s. embassies abroad is vitally important, not only the monetary support it provides to the families but the support they provide to the embassies. we had a higher in freeze that was administration higher freeze and the department has continued that higher freeze until we get a better handle on our redesign. there are a lot of exceptions to that higher freeze, among them has been employment of family members. i believe the numbers are, we have employed since the hiring freeze went into effect, we've brought on somewhere between 8 and 900 authorized family members to work at our
embassies. it's a consistent concern i hear from our ambassadors when they come back from post to washington and i meet with them. employment of family members at embassies is always a topic. >> schooling as well. >> yes. >> that's what we hear when we travel. can you -- i hate to bring this thing to the cuban foreign affairs situation, i know tillerson is meeting with some of the cuban diplomats in havana? is that correct. when is that happening? >> we've had regular contact with the government of cuba, if you're referring to the acoustic incident happening. >> yes. >> in havana. we had regular contact to register our deep concern with what's happened in havana and remind the cuban government of its obligation under the geneva convention to protect our
embassy and families down there. >> we've been trying to get a briefing scheduled and we can't seem to get it, where we are with this acoustic situation from the state department. >> if you need a briefing, congressman, i will guarantee this committee, who ever wants a briefing will get one. our staff can perhaps speak with the chairman after this hearing and we will arrange to get the information you need to understand what's happening in havana at our embassy. >> i'm also concerned about the crisis in venezuela and our role with the ois. how involved are we with the ois? >> i actually had the honor to represent the united states at the oas general assembly in cancun in late june.
it was -- there was diplomatic accomplishment by the united states and our allies at that meeting, where we got over 20 countries in the region to back a resolution on venezuela. unfortunately, we didn't reach the two-thirds threshold to get that resolution passed. >> my time is running out, i'm wondering if some of these cuts, do you think it's going to impact our ability to do something like this in the future? >> absolutely not. >> this country is all -- i don't want to interrupt, they're all frightened and discuss it will take place and we're not going to be as active as we have been in the western hemisphere, which i work with. >> venezuela in particular is a priority for this administration. we will continue to work hard on that topic and bring pressure to bear on the maduro government, which is, as you know as well as anyone, has really driven the venezuelan country, its economy
into dire straits? >> will the gentleman yield? might i suggest you're the ranking member on western hem, we formalize the request now to the state department concerning a private briefing for members here with respect to the concerns our foreign service officers have who are stationed in havana with respect to some health issues they've raised so we can learn about the ongoing discussions here. >> we will undertake to have that briefing for you. >> we appreciate that. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for making that suggestion. >> thank you. thank you, mr. sullivan, for your testimony and being with us today. thank you both. we now go to dan donovan of new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman and mr. secretary led me add my sincere congratulations and thank you for your contributions to our nation as well.
in your efforts to redesign the state department to better serve our nation's interests throughout the globe, is there anything this committee can do legislatively or anything to help in those efforts? >> we'll have a number of requests that we'll come to this committee on with respect to our redesign effort, to give you an example. we've shared with the committee a letter from the secretary that sets forth proposals with all the special envoys we have. almost 70. some offices were created by statute. what we propose to do with them, in consultation with the committee, may require legislation to effect change. we will be coming to this committee with changes we seek to help us with our a, design and we very much want to cooperate with you for these proposed changes but we need legislation as well. >> thank you.
recognizing a stable globe is very much in the interest of the united states, national security and homeland security, the other committee i serve on besides foreign affairs, is there any other redesign efforts you're contemplating now involving usaid? >> yes. there are substantial u.s. design proposals under consideration. however, i should state up front, one of them is not merging aid into the state department. we have a number of proposals we're considering with input from senior aid officials to make aid more efficient, to align our development policy with our foreign policy, as we go forward, but we are not considering at this point merging aid into the state department. >> wonderful. thank you, mr. secretary. mr. chairman, i yield the balance of my time. >> thank you.
>> we go now to mr. ted in florida. >> thank you. the president said we will work as a team and congress. with all due respect this has not felt like a team effort. modernizing the defense department to promote national security and u.s. interests abroad is a shared goal. many of us worry this is a downgrading of our diplomacy by another name. president trump's proposed 30% cut at the state department is particularly dangerous at a time we need deft and stilled statesmen to promote security in the middle east and push against aggression here and at home. at a time when foreign diplomats speak openly about how they look to the white house because the state department is so
understaffed, i'd like to ask you, the state department, about a few specific foreign policy topics to get an idea of the administration. we saw a brutal reminder of challenges israel faces in the search for peace today when a terrorist killed three israelis and seriously wounded others near jerusalem. medium in gaza they continue to hold the bodies of slain sampleds and civilians as bargaining chips. i met with the parents of lieutenant golden killed by hamas during an underground terror during a fire in 2014. and another family en2014. hamas' refusal to return the bodies to the families for burial is against our values and where we are today and continuing the push towards peace but for many of us we're
still in the dark about what that looks like. mr. greenblatt said last week, it is no secret it departs from usual orthodoxsy and for negotiating an end to the conflict we all learned valuable lessons, i ask you, deputy secretary sullivan what are the lessons learned and unorthodox approaches you're pursuing and is it this administration's intention to present its own peace plan? >> as you know jason greenblatt and jared kushner have been very involved in negotiations between thissed a m and israeli government and the authority. president netanyahu met with the
palestinian authority last week. the president is very committed to this process as other presidents have been. the commitment of the administration is clear to the peace process. i have to defer to mr. greenblatt what he specifically meant with those comments. i would say secretary tillerson has been involved as well. he was with president trump when the president visited israel in june. >> all of which we're aware of. can you tell us whether it's the president's intention, administration's intention to present its own peace plan? >> i would have to defer to the white house on that. >> next, moving on to iran, the vice-chairman of the joint chiefs said in july it appears iran is in compliance with rules laid out in the jcpoa. there are very real flaws there including the diplomatic sunset provisions. however, in order to lead an international effort against iran's ongoing support for terrorism and the missiles in
syria, all of which are outside the terms of the jcpoa, we will need the support of the international community and our allies and partners in europe, wouldn't a decision not to certify compliance because of factors outside the jpcoa risk our allies and making the activity is in the region even more difficult? >> the secretary has said as late as last week iran is in technical compliance with the jcpoa. he said as well, however, that iran is in violation of the spirit of the jcpoa for all the maligned activities you've just described. we've been in close consultation with our allies to address both those mall lined activities and flaws in the jcpoa including the sunset provision. the president will have a decision in october whether to certify or not. our work on iran's mall lined
activities and trying to improve the jcpoa will continue. >> finally, mr. chairman, if may, my last question. as you know, deputy secretary sullivan, bob levinson has been held by iran more than 10 years. the levinsons were told the u.n. general assembly would be used as an opportunity to push forward bob's can you commit to us that bob and the other americans being held unjustly by iran will be a priority for this administration? >> the levinson case is a priority for this administration as are all the other hostages held worldwide. i have met and spoken with the levinson family on multiple occasions. i have a picture on my desk on bob levinson reminds me every day he's the longest held hostage in iran and i have
personal family experience with americans being held hostage in iran. this administration has no higher priority bringing home all those americans including mr. levinson. you have my word on that. >> i'm profoundly grateful to you. >> we go to new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman and mr. secretary being here today an and your service to our country. >> the rising tide of anti-semitism in the united states and abroad is of great concern for myself and many of my constituents and many americans. the u.s. state department office responsible for monitoring and combatting anti-semitism has how many active members currently? >> i would have to get you that answer after this hearing. i can't tell you o the top of my head, congressman, i apologize. >> previously, in responding to a question from one of my colleagues, you mentioned filling the special envoy position as a top priority for
the state department. are there potential candidates being vetted? where are we in that process? how imminent is it? >> there are candidates being vetted unfortunately because a final decision hasn't been made i can't disclose those names or where things stand. you have my commitment that position will be filled promptly. >> thank you, mr. secretary. how many assistant and undersecretary positions are vacant? about 30? >> there are six undersecretaries. assistant, there are more than 30, i believe. >> do you know how many of those are filled as of right now? >> filled with confirmed office holders, i can't give you a precise number, it's -- it's
well below 50% and far fewer than it should be. that is not a good -- we are not pleased with that situation. >> i want to see you be successful and i want to see secretary tillerson be successful. i believe very strongly it's very pant for those positions to all get filled. we're here now at the end of september and this first year for secretary tillerson is pretty close to an end. as you know better than i do, a lot of these positions get filled up with acting heads of these different offices, and i think that you all would be much more successful to fill those as quickly as possible. what's the timeline and goal getting the remainder of these positions filled? >> as i mentioned earlier in the hearing, we have 30 nominees
pending now before the senate formulations committee. we have, in the pipeline, so to speak, individuals who are undergoing vetting for many more positions. my hope is, subject to the senate calendar, we will get the vast majority of these positions filled by the end of november, or beginning of december. but we are behind the curve, we should be ahead of the curve and we're doing all we can to catch up. >> thank you for that. i'm very much appreciate the administration's efforts, state department's efforts, ambassador haley's efforts as it relates to north korea. i know the timeline keeps shrinking how quickly north korea can get to that point they
have the capability to deliver a nuclear warhead to the united states and that the state department is working hard on getting multilateral diplomacy, ramping up cosmet ramping up economic pressure and their own regime is responsible for many of their struggles. it's not small feet what the administration has pulled off at the united nations in getting a unanimous vote, including russia and china on a massive sanctions package, bringing china to the table more than ever before, because the military option is absolutely the last possible option that anyone should want to consider, because there really is no good military option, i greatly appreciate everything that you're working on to increase that pressure and try to deal with the north korea
situation. while it may not get covered as much in the news, all those victories with regards to bring china and russia on board, i want to let you know on behalf of myself and my constituent are very grateful to you. i wish you much success. it's far from over. >> we go to mr. jerry connolly from virginia. >> thank you. welcome, mr. sullivan. you said this is an effort and visionary document with no predetermined outcomes. how can you say that when the president's budget already recommended a 32% cut to our state department budget and usaid budget estimated to slash $5-10 billion over the next five years? >> well, our distinguished -- >> was that a bottom up recommendation? >> no. >> you need to speak into the
mike. >> that's the president's budget. >> right. >> which we have to live with. it's also a budget that's passed by congress ultimately. we deal with the budget that we have with the amounts that have been appropriated for this year and going forward. apart from that, as i said earlier, whether or not we would have a budget increase or decrease. >> i must -- sorry -- i only have five minutes, i take your point. candidly if you have a bottom up re-org for the state department aid and they already know there's going to be a third cut leading to the attrition or the layoff of somewhere probably north of 2,000 employees, i'd say that puts a little damper on my enthusiasm on the bottom up effort to reorganize state department because i'm worried about my own job security and i wonder how sincere the effort is if in advance i've already been
told what the parameters are. >> the budget parameters are only one aspect of the redesign. >> pretty big important one, isn't it? >> it is. >> it sends a message, doesn't it? >> the budget -- >> what kind of message does the bottom up process to those employees in terms of the value of their work? >> the message? >> yeah. >> that the secretary of state has sent to the employees, that they are enormously valued by him and us and their service is recognized everyday. >> well, i'm sure he means it, but to some employees, especially many i represent in my direct, it sounds like empty rhetoric, frankly, mr. sullivan, because the fact is we've got a president and a budget that would cut a third of their budget. that doesn't seem like a real high value being put on their work. would you argue in the course of
this process morale is high at the state department of the usaid? >> no. >> why not? >> i think there's uncertainty. we're doing our best to reduce that uncertainty. this testimony by me today is part of that process. i've had a town hall meeting with employees, i've had small group meetings with employee. the secretary has initiated a regular outreach, both by e-mail and in person with employees. we're doing all we can now to reassure them that this process is employee led. they are valued and diplomacy is valued by this government and by this secretary. >> so let me -- okay. good to hear. i hope they believe it and i hope the actions corroborate what you just said. do you believe that usaid should be folded into the department of state or is that still an open question? >> no. no. >> no, it's an open question? >> no, it is not an open
question. as i testified earlier today, is there no intention to merge aid into the state department. >> do you believe that a.i.d. should enhance be enhanced as the lead development office of the united states government? >> i believe the role of a.i.d. should be enhanced and made more effective and more efficient. >> well, good. i'm glad to hear that, actually. i have a bill, maybe you want to take a look at, that would do just that. >> i'd be happy to. >> part of the problem i'm concerned about over the years we've seen sort of a diffusion of good things, all with good purpose whether hiv aids or africa or other special programs to help certain mid to advanced countries. what it's done is disburse the focus of u.s. development assistance. it seems to me that's not a very good management model.
i'd be glad to work with you and hope you will work with us in trying to take a fresh look at that. do you believe that -- let me ask this question. we have a famine going on in africa right now. do believe that a.i.d. and the state department are currently well equipped to respond to that famine? and my time is up. >> we are not doing as much as we should be to respond to that famine. we should do and will do more. >> thank you and thanks for your refreshing testimony. i appreciate it. thank you, mr. chairman. >> ed wagner, missouri. >> thank you, mr. chairman for holding this hearing and i thank you, deputy secretary sullivan for you to be here with us today. i appreciate your leadership and am keen to watch the state department redesign process unfold. as a former united states ambassador who spent four years
at state i am well aware that state department is a bloated bureaucracy and reassessing everything, from hiring to diplomatic programming to cutting unnecessary departments is critical to advancing u.s. diplomacy into the 21st century. i believe we can balance the state department's checkbook while promoting american leadership and strength. i trust you and secretary tillerson to make those difficult calls. one of my long time concerns is that state department deployments are not well balanced. to reflect the importance of american leadership in the asia pacific in particular, despite the u.s. rebalance to asia, it appears that we still have very large embassies in western nations where i served. relative to the conflict
insufficient staff to asia postings. are you considering rebalancing the number of foreign service officers post in china, south korea and india and the asian nations to account for our interest is in the asia pacific? >> yes. absolutely, congresswoman wagner. to rebalance the footprint. the chairman raised the question of closing chairman posts. not so much closing but rebalancing. >> exactly. what's our time frame? >> looking at implementing subject to consultations with this congress and others over the next several months. the rebalancing is a protest ongoing and should start immediately and continue through our tenure in office. i think it will be an ongoing process, as challenges rise and we find the need to have more
foreign service officers, civil service officers that particular posts. >> let me shift gears here a little bit, mr. secretary. the last administration fought to lift sanctions against burma and give the country gsp status. but violence has raged on and we're going be having, thanks to the leadership of chairman specializes yoho a hearing on that this week. how is the state department actively responding to the ethnic cleansing of rohingya muslims in burma and how will they protect this persecuted community? >> our outreach started at the top with secretary tillerson and our ambassador is working very hard, looking to go up to the region this week. we committed already $32 million to address the crisis, more to follow and a lot more intensive effort for our department because this is, as i testified
earlier, it's not a burma problem, it's not a problem for bangladesh or the united states, it's a global problem. the scale is programmingic. >> i agree. and timely also as we've seen 400,000 refuges in the last week move on to bangladesh. syrian civil defense rescue workers have reported that they've been directly targeted by russian forces even though they are in a cease-fire zone and should be protected by medical neutrality. what is the state department doing to address violence committed by russia in syria? >> we've established a military to military chain of communication. the u.s. department of defense from the chairman on down has been in contact with their equivalency in the russian defense ministry.
that coordination and deconfliction has, for the most part, over the course of this summer, worked well, but there have been breakdowns including recent breakdowns we are addressing immediately in person with our military's russian counterparts. >> good. i thank you on that. i will yield back my time. >> will the gentle lady yield for? >> yes, i will. i want to say if you are interested in input from a member of congress who served at the state department in your rebalancing efforts, i have a lot of ideas, so i yield back the time. >> look forward to hearing them. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> i appreciate the ambassador, police wagner yielding. the question she brought up about the rohingya issue is one i raised with you yesterday and raised with secretary of state. that is we have to figure out a way to get across to the
military government in burma that they have to pull the militia out and the military out that are engaged right now in burning those villages. there are 400,000 rohingya people who fled over the border, as you know, into bangladesh. they need to be welcomed back in. it's not enough to have statements from the counselor. she is not commander in chief. their system reserved that for their military in burma. this requires not just international pressure but a very focused amount of pressure on the burmese government to get usaid, get the u.n. in, in terms of being able to assist those in
state that have faced this ethnic cleansing. and also requires the press being on the ground. so again, i reiterate the important role that we must play in achieving this, we have a hearing coming up, i think later this week on this subject. i also just wanted to raise an issue, karen bass and i were yesterday, with the liberian president. that election is a month away. let me put this question to you. i understand one of the things you're trying to do is get the versatility to be able to transfer or get the reforms in place where you can quickly do a deployment. so, if we have more people in the embassy in switzerland than liberia and liberia has an election next month, can you deploy right now from europe because we've been a decade late
making these realignments, can you deploy to the ground to make sure fair and free elections is what is trying to be engineered here by ellen johnson certainly if it takes place in liberia? >> we can. an example the recent elections in kenya, logistically from the department of state and we have to go through this again. liberia. it's a statistical challenge for us and we need for flexibility and authority to do that. >> let us know precisely now. we understand how long the wait will be here and o&b will review. let us know this aspect of it now so i and the ranking member, congresswoman bass and mr. smith can work on legislation to specifically rectify this situation immediately. i appreciate that. we go to congresswoman karen bass of california. >> thank you, mr. chair,
especially for your leadership on these issues. i'd like to ask you three quick questions. i'd like to ask you about the diversity fellowships. let me say i really appreciated secretary tillerson's statement and i appreciate the timing he made the statement as well, the state department's commitment to diversity. specifically, i wanted to ask you about the wrangle fellows and payne fellows. i want to ask, i don't want to assume those fellowships will be continued? >> rangel fellows. >> yes, those will be continued and important in our new efforts to bring new talent to the department. >> thank you. in august secretary tillerson sent the letter to several members of congress effectively stating the assistant secretary, acting assistant secretary for the africa bureau already
fulfills the responsibilities that have previously been performed by the u.s. special envoy to sudan and south sudan. i know one of my colleagues asked you a question about special envoys earlier, i want to specifically ask if that will be the case if the special envoy will be eliminated for sudan and in particular south sudan considering the instability in that nation? >> thank you, congresswoman bass. i believe that's one of the special envoy positions for which we would need a statutory change. >> oh. >> we would need to come to this. i could be wrong about that. i have to get back to you to confirm. >> that means as of now you can't change it? we have to seek -- if we were to make changes to that office i believe we would require a change to the statute. >> good. we'll follow up on that as well. a few moments ago my colleague was asking you about the mam fa,
you said we could be doing more. i was wondering about what your thoughts were. we authorized close to a billion dollars and i went to the region with mr. smith and i was wondering, one, has all of that money been allocated and is it on the ground? we were concerned some of it would be used as carry over and we didn't want to see that happen. >> i will get you the precise figures congresswoman bass. i would be disappointed in the extreme if it's not but i will confirm that for you. >> i would appreciate that. i'd like the figures and where considering it was spread over four countries. >> of course. >> also, a minute ago you were referencing the election in kenya. >> yes. >> i was there as an observer. you mentioned we had to deploy a lot. what did we do? didn't see that. >> diplomatic security, among other things for election monitors. so there were a number of groups that came to monitor the
elections. >> right. i was part of that. we provided diplomatic security? i know you -- >> diplomatic security, in fact i met with diplomatic security about their needs, the requirements for diplomatic security made by the embassy in advance of the election went well beyond what we would have otherwise anticipated for that embassy. so there was a substantial commitment of security resources to make sure that americans would be protected in the event that there had been violence, which is what -- there had been in the -- two elections prior. >> i see. so then the diplomatic security you were referring to was housed at the embassy. >> and there were also posts around the country where we had other americans that were -- we needed to protect. >> mr. chair, if you don't mind, when you were referring to support needed in liberia, were
you referring to diplomatic security or were you referring? what were you referring to? >> because the election on the ground is going to require all kinds of monitoring, it is a good opportunity to have the full comportment of security in place but also engagement on the part of the united states. i imagine we will try to have ndi and iri on the ground. all of that requires a tremendous amount of -- you and i have both been involved in the past. i've been involved in these elections where you come in, you spend a week and you try to engage in making certain that everything is in place for what is going to be a tremendously complicated undertaking. to the extent that you have the staff there from the u.s. embassy to assist, it's very important. what's at risk here is being able to get the ability, the
discretion on the part of the secretary of state to move personnel. unfortunately, we're sort of locked in. and that is something i think we could all agree on would be a necessary change. you might not like the transfer momentarily temporarily from switzerland to, you know, to a situation where you had the war torn results where we're trying post conflict to have another successful election there, but that should be the decision of those of us in congress with oversight responsibility and our secretary of state. that's where i'm trying to drive the policy. >> all right. thank you very much. i'll await your responses about the famine. thank you. yield back. >> we go now to ted yoho of
texas. oh. frances rooney, ambassador rooney is here. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. secretary. i'm glad to read that you're going to upgrade it. i think when i was serving in rome we had windows minus one. did i mix it up? ted, you go ahead. >> no, you go ahead. you have the time. >> just one quick question. there's been some question about the councilor activities maybe going to homeland security. we have 40% of the illegal -- people in this country illegally overstayed vis sass. 700,000 people overstayed their visas last year. the question i have is can the state department adequately deal with the overstay problem in the united states or should that part go to homeland security? >> i think the overstay problem here in the united states is something that should be and is being addressed by the department of homeland security. i think counselor affairs and
role of the counselor officer in the embassy in screening is an important function of the department of state. we are not -- there is no plan to transfer councilor affairs to dhs but there is definitely an overstay problem. >> that's all i was going to ask. thank you. >> we go now mr. bill keating, massachusetts. >> thank you, mr. chair. i want to thank the deputy secretary. i enjoyed our conversation before. the second of the proposals that you had was maximizing the impact of foreign assistance or aligning foreign assistance with foreign policy goals. here's a question i have. we had a question earlier on by one of our members about respecting culture. we've also had president trump signal maybe some changes in terms of how we approach autocratic regimes, sort of
giving them, just leaving them alone or not being as involved as we were. could you comment, is this a change in our foreign policy because my understanding has always been our foreign policy goals reinforce our basic american values, values like rule of law, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, human rights, civil rights, gender, equality, respect to minorities in those cultures. is that a change, frankly? is there -- the president's remarks as well as maybe the thoughts behind the question respecting culture? when we're dealing with these autocratic regimes that act at odds with basic american values, are we going to still reinforce those values and indeed is that something factored in aligning foreign assistance to those
countries. yes. congressman keating. our american values are for us at the state department and me as an american, they're immutable. we're committed to them. it's a difficult line we walk in dealing with foreign governments that have different institutions and cultures, and we walk a fine line. let me give you an example to support my contention that we're not -- we don't have a change in policy. for example, our foreign military, fmf program with egypt. the secretary has withheld $195 million. it's been notified, obligated to be spent, but it is being withheld until the egyptians show some progress on issues related to human rights with for example the treatment of ngos. it's a -- an issue we confront everyday and we have to walk a
fine line. we never deviate from our values. we protect americans national security and promote our prosperity and never undermine our values. >> thank you for reaffirming that. in working with ngos, state department, when they're reducing some of the state budget items they have is that going to affect the non-governmental organizations on the ground because of the hiring freeze and reorganization? will we still be able to support a very robust engagement with these ngos when they reflect these american values? do you see these changes in budget cuts or reorganization affecting that? >> there wouldn't be any policy to change our relationship with ngos. there may be changes in our budget where our relationship with a particular ngo might change. but we will continue to implement u.n.'s foreign policy, particularly development
assistance, as necessary, through ngos. >> the peace and security act just passed the senate and house, on its way to the president's desk right now. that makes sure women are meaningful participants at all levels of foreign policy making and requires commitment and resources to do that. with that reaching the president's desk, is that something again we're going to reaffirm because that policy change was in place in the last administration? is that going to carry forward? >> i think the senior advisor to the president, ivanka trump would strongly reaffirm that's the policy of this administration as the president would. we're committed to that for the department of state. one thing i note for you, congressman, that's astounded me is talking about diversity at the state department the number of women we have in foreign service and civil service has actually decreased, particularly the senior levels, over the last eight years or so.
we have to do a better job promoting women in the state department and our foreign service. we're committed to it. >> great. thank you for making sure that's clear and for reaffirming that. thank you for your presence and i look forward to working with you in the future. >> thank you. >> representative ted yoho of florida, chairman of the asian pacific subcommittee. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you for being here deputy secretary sullivan. i was in a meeting about a year ago a lot of retired generals talking about a major titanic shift of world powers and the state department being around since 1789 as the first cabinet agency. with you in the position you're in now, you're able to step back, look at the state department as a whole, probably that it's never been looked at before in reform. i would have to ask, when is the last time there's been a major transformation or renomar state
department? >> there have been efforts at reform that have not been successful as they should have been including in the mid-90s. i would contrast that with efforts of reform to department of defense where i've also served that have been more successful in this same time period. the defense department has done a better job. >> this is an unprecedented moment in time. i look forward to working through this to reform it and find out what works well and doesn't work well and get rid of those things that don't and let's make those things that are working well more efficient so we can get more bang for the buck, especially in these times of economic constraint. with that being said, what places do you think we need to redirect? keep in mind, this builds on what gregory minsk brought up about the geopolitical knowledge. we've seen how it failed in robert gates' book "duty" we didn't take the geopolitical, customs of the area and tribal culture in afghanistan and iraq
and didn't get the results we wanted obviously, how we can take that knowledge as we move into different areas as there's different conflicts starting to develop and use that more to our advantage to create policies so that we get more favorable results in a timely manner, where do you see we need to focus on more that we haven't? >> i think as a starting point, i'd want to see a more diverse state department, that we have more diverse viewpoints contributing to the formulation of policy, whether it's veterans, women, minorities, language, culture, expertise. bringing all of that to bear, all of the strengths our country has, bringing all of that -- those strengths to bear on these diplomatic challenges combined with working with our intelligence agencies and experts at the state department to address those -- all of those issues you have raised whether we're dealing with a conflict in
syria, south asia, in the philippines. >> right. >> it really is. >> and we're seeing escalation of radical groups showing up. i want for the record reiterate this, the amount of people -- you said you're 50% staffed or understaffed, i guess, yet the amount of people that have been nominated that haven't been confirmed by the senate, that's where the holdup is the way i understand it, correct? >> well, i want to be fair to the senate. a number of those. we have 30 nominees pending. >> that's right all right. this is the house. >> they haven't been pending for six months. some have been pending for only a relatively short period of time. they've all come out of the pipeline and now sitting before the foreign relations committee. >> okay. burma had come up you talked about the $32 million to address the rohingya situation in burma.
i would hope as we move forward, as you're redirecting this, we've known about this escalating over probably the last five years and seen it build up. instead of investing the $32 million now which we have to, but i would hope that we'd have the foresight, as we see this arising and starting to become inflamed, that we do a better job on the front end so maybe we can de-escalate this. what are your thoughts on this? >> you're absolutely right. this is not a problem that just arose over the summer, this month. >> right. that's so true of many conflicts we have around the world. that's where i hope with your leadership and secretary tillerson's, we can look at that and say, these are hotspots, we need to get in here now so we don't have 400,000 refuges in the last couple months and over a million displaced, that will be the next hot spot we need to do now. what are you thoughts where we need to really focus? >> right now, even though we should have anticipated this,
we're now stuck with the problem we have with hundreds of thousands of refuges. we have to work with ally, partners, others, the u.n. we can't -- it's not a united states problem. 32 million from us is a drop in the bucket. we have to get other countries and the u.n. involved as well. >> i would hope -- i will offer this through our committee and the chairman, i think, would probably be okay with this, use this committee as a tool to get the legislation or direction that you need to direct the policies that we need, okay? i thank you for your time and i yield back. >> i concur with the gentleman, we go to rhode island. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you, mr. secretary. i think as you outlined the purposes of the redesign plan in terms of streamlining and maximizing efficiencies and avoiding dupcation, i think we all agree with that. every agency of the federal government should be engaged in
that on an ongoing basis. one of the things that troubles me in this process is that the secretary of state sent out a memorandum and e-mail indicating this redesign would generate, i quote, a minimum deliverable of 10%, $5 billion inefficiencies relative to current spending over the next five years with an aspirational gentle interest target up to 20%, $10 billion. my first question is where do those figures come from? the $10 billion, what data did you rely on to come up with them and isn't it a perversion of the process that you have, unless it's just about cost cutting, that you have as the really the only stated goal cost cutting in these amounts without before the process has even begun? >> very good questions, congressman. to give you budget numbers. the money we spend now for
legacy it systems, just to keep them running is staggering. we have to -- we spend for outdated systems, to keep them patched and running, huge amounts of money. >> i don't to interrupt. i guess my question is where did the amounts come from at beginning of the process? who came up with the $10 billion and $5 billion cuts? were they pulled out of the air? >> those aren't cuts. those are efficiencies we expect from the process. we're not saying up flont we're going to cut $5 billion. what the secretary said is when we implement these new processes, procedures and efficiencies, we expect $5 billion in savings. if we don't get that, we don't get that. we'll be disappointed and not accomplished what we hoped to achieve. we're not setting out with a $5 billion cut. >> thank you. members of the administration
have given mixed messages when it comes to the role of -- on august 11. raising our concern about reports that democracy promotion was possibly going to be taken out of the states department mission statement. we received a reply saying the department agrees that democracy promotion has been and should be a corner stone of u.s. foreign policy. this response doesn't answer the question of whether democracy promotion will remain the state departments mission stamt. will it remain in the mission statement? >> yes. >> second question. when you the expression of support for democracy and rights matters, you have to view it in the context in which we're currently operating. president of the united states expresses add more ration for the thug vladimir putin. a president who that under minded basic rule of law. invited president from the
philippines to come to the white house and tillerson says americans should not impose vams on others. is somebody in the state department speaking to the president about the consequence of that kind of mixed message? you have a state department where it's recognizing democracy and human rights as an important value that we'll promote. and the president of the country is doing things to under mine that important message? it's porpt to recognize it's not just promotion of democracy for the sake of it. it's important to the stability of the world and american businesses to invest and all the con kwenss of the democracy. >> for all the reasons you state, it's exceptionally important to us that we be committed to promoting democracy. it's necessary for our own national security. that other countries are secure and stable. and that as you point out for example that our businesses have stable open markets with
democratic governments in which to do business. >> how do we manage that objective with the declarations of the president of the united states when directly under moo ip that message? sdwl. >> the president -- we have to deal with governments that are undemocratic. whether they are -- >> you deal with them and praising them are two different things. >> i will defer to president on how he deals with political world leaders. our commitment to democracy at the state department on behalf of the secretary is unwaivering. >> if i could get in one last question. u.s. foreign assistance programs are krital to advancing the stability and growing economy of developing countries chchlt are vital to u.s. national security and can help us avoid costly or conflict. robert gates noted. if you're able to do those things you're able to do them in a focussed and had sustainable way. it maybe unnecessary for us to send soldiers.
do you share the view of secretary gates and many military. are necessary for effective u.s. leadership ntd world? if you do. how do you scare that with the proposal to cut 32% of the state department budget by president trump? >> the answer to your first question is yes. it's on us to manage the state department in a more efficient and effective way. and spend the money that the president asked for. but congress appropriates and spend the butt we have in an effective and efficient way. and promote that implement that to promote national security. and our economy. >> you don't think you can do that with a 32% cut in the budget? do you? >> i believe we can. i believe we can. >> thank you i yield back. >> we go to florida.
>> good morning or afternoon. in may when the president saned the waiver under the jerusalem . we will in fact move it. it's a matter of time. will we move it? when? >> two questions. the first yes the president is committed to moving it. the decision on when to move it is a strategic and tactical decision the president himself will have to make. the president has been quite clear in his commitment. >> the state department view is that's the president's policy. obviously he has to pull the trigger. your agency will facility that move. >> we work for the president. >> we're talking about the palestinian authority will take money. some from the united states. and they'll fund families of terrorists who murdered jews. they'll name stadiums after terrorists. and we have a bill in the
congress that trying to address at least some of that. does the administration support the taylor force alkt act? >> i don't know whether we issued an administration policy on that bill. we at the state department are opposed to all of those things that you have said. that the palestinian authority does. >> dwraet great. for the iran deal. this idea of technical compliance. is it true that iran has exceeded on numerous occasions the amount of heavy water stock in permitted under the jcpoa? >> i'm venturing into an area i don't have sufficient expertise. my understanding is there have been instances such as where there may have been the iran may have gone over the line. they came back down. >> they have varied that. what about the operating more advanced nuclear sent fujs than were allowed.
that happened as well. >> i'll defer to the experts on that. >> here's the issue. president does not like this deal. he cam paped saying it was ban. his speech was clear this was not a good keel. we see what's happening in north korea. difficult situation. 5, ten years into the future, if this deal continues as is, it's going to be the same thing. and so to simply recertify sz being within the national security interest, i think would be a mistake. the muslim brotherhood there's a will the of influence they have. the president has said that. other members of the administration. yet they haven't been designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the state department. why not? and is there a possibility state will designate them as such? >> i understand that issue has been under review. fot just now but in the past. i don't have a.
>> is it currently still under review? >> i'll have to get back to you. >> i know it was earlier. we haven't heard as much about it. if a decision has been made that you don't want to identify them. we would like know that. if you can getd back to me. >> i will get back to you. >> cuba we see the attacks on your personnel. you acknowledge, cuba is a totalitarian country. there's not much that goes on in the island that the government doesn't know about it. cuba was directly responsible for this or at least know or knew who is responsible? >> that's a reasonable suspicion. i don't know that. it's a reasonable suspicion. i say that on the basis of the fact that my family, my wife is cuban american. her uncle was a political prisoner for 27 years. >> i can only imagine what she would infer about the regime. >> she told me last night they know. as a united states official i
don't know. >> what are we going to do -- we can't let this happen and not doing anything. >> we have two issues. we have first and foremost the health and safety of our employees in their families down there. to make sure they are protected and cared for. and second we have our policy with respect to the government of cuba. our expectation for them to comply with the convention and if their not to do something about it. >> i hope you guys do. we need a response to this. obviously get the facts and don't do anything rash. this is unacceptable. my final question is as we look at the north korea situation how does the state department view kim jong un in terms of his rationality? does he appreciate a response if he were to do some of the things they're talking about? he's a young, plump immature kid. and we don't have as much information it seems on him and
because of the nature of the regime. how do you view kim jong un? >> i defer to the intelligence agency. on their assessment of the leader of north korea. we're approaching this as we're dealing with a government and assuming they're rational. and that the pressure campaign that the secretary of state has led the significant pressure campaign will influence them. through the pressure that's being brought to bear by the united states but by china russia and other members of the u.n. who are supplying the security resolutions. we'll do all we can to give diplomacy a chance to resolve the problem. >> we have a meeting with the south korea foreign minister at 12:30. we'll get to everyone here. we'll keep it to five minutes. >> thank you, secretary.
i appreciate your candor actually. and thinking about where we are right now thinking about some of the comments of some my cleelg colleagues, one of the responses in response to mr. conly from virginia, again i think i heard you correctly, in your own understanding moral right now within the department is not high is that correct? >> correct. >> that's obviously a challenge. in the results of your own survey, which you have referenced a number of time, those findings suggest many of the ploes don't feel the support of the president and secretary. interpreting those findings correctly? >> i'm sorry, could you say that again? >> in response to your own survey and published reports many of the employees of the state department themselves don't feel the support of the president or the secretary. >> i don't know that was
specifically addressed in the survey. i'd say that when i say that moral isn't high, there's uncertainty. that causes uncertainty leaves people unsettled. we need to address that. >> we could surmise that you don't feel support. that you feel -- i'm not discounting there were also you have referenced out dated i.t. redundancy. so we're all for trying to improve efficiency. but again, widely reported surveys wall street journal. others sunlig others suggest many of the employees of the department don't feel that support from the white house. he asked a question, again i want to make sure i heard it
correctly. less than 50% of the under secretary positions are currently filled? >> by confirmed presidential appointees, yes. >> asked a question and suggested that nearly 50 countries currently don't have an appointed or confirmed ambassador? >> i'm not certain about that statistic. i'd have to get back to you. if they don't, they have a somebody performing the duty and function. >> there's an urgency. >> we need to fill the positions as quickly as possible. >> do we have a south korea ambassador. >> we do not. >> do you have a mnomination? >> we have an individual in vetting process. >> do we have an ambassador to jordan? >> i don't know where that person stands in the process. >> my understanding is currently
we don't. >> we don't now. -- >> this is one of the closest allies. and they're struggling. we have to do everything we can to support jordan. do we have an ambassador to cutter. >> no. >> do we have an ambassador to saudi arabia. >> we need to have the positions filled. >> there's a lot going on in the middle east right now. we need the folks on the ground representing us. >> i want to say that the career people who are in some of the positions will be filled by career people. but the state department through the foreign service officers who are standing up and doing their jobs are filling in either as acting or shar jay. our work is being done. >> i don't want to dispurge our state department employees around the world. they're doing a phenomenal job
under trying circumstances. heir representing the value of the united states. they are true patriots. we have to get the positions filled. would you say the hold up currently is within the state department? or at the white house? >> both. >> so -- >> and the senate. >> what can can we do as members of the foreign affair ts committee to speed up the process? many of us travel and visit with folks. we're sensing we need the positions filled. what can we do to push the urgency? >> well, for this committee, i'm not sure what i would recommend other than your support for our nominees that we have going forward. we can get the nominees through the pipeline. up to the foreign relations committee. but to the extent there will be support for the nominees and get them confirmed that would be. >> let's get the positions
filled. >> right. >> chairman of the homeland security committee. of texas. >> congratulations on your confirmation. >> thank you. >> welcome to your first hearing. i want to touch on cyber security. i deal a lot with that. on homeland security issues. and i think the state department is going to be more and more involved in this area. as i see the espionage. there are no rules of the road. no treaties or other things to agree to by nation states. would nato apply in the event of a cyber attack. there are questions raised about cyber. and becomes a bigger issue.
the state department will have quite a role in the arena. my i want to ask about what you envision the future to be on the issue? there's an office of cyber coordination for cyber issues being sort of down played. with another office. i want to thank chairman royce and engel. rankling member for introducing the cyber diplomacy act. which would codify a law. i'm not sure i want to put you on the spot with the bill itself, but can you give me your thoughts on the direction moving forward? >> i have spoken to the secretary about this. he we have had a number of conversations. about the need to elevate this issue within the state department. cyber broadly defined not only the cyber defense, but our cyber
diplomacy and interaction with the department of defense on cyber issues. my expectation is that part of the redesign we will elevate to a senate confirmed lefl level the role and we'll have to figure out what the title is and where it figures in the bureaucracy. but our commitment is to elevate and provide the appropriate resources for leadership on this essential issue. >> that's excellent. this is no longer just a fbi homeland, nsa issue. it's state department issue. i'm very pleased to hear that. secondly on as i look at hot spots and particularly in africa. these fragile states out of destabilization, rises insurge si and terrorists. safe havens and vacuums. what does the state department will be doing with u said to
help stabilize the destabilization? it seems a very good use of the money rather than deal with the terrorism after the fact. >> i'll give you a current example about our planning for a post isis syria. as we defeat isis and move fwurt east in syria the state department u said the u.s. government are ally ands partners need to fill in. provide the basic services, water, food, hygiene, to get reewe gees back into their homes. to try to rehab the communities. this isn't nation building. this is basic human necessity to try to address the calamity that's been visited on these cities and these regions by an
occupation by isis. that's a role that's where the state department, and our allies and partners need today step up. defense department and our allies in partners are defeating isis we have to be prepared to step in after the battle is won and take the ball from there. >> very good to hear that. that's an excellent approach. last -- i'll make a quick statement. the global development lab i have been a strong support ere of that in the past. i ask you take a look at that in terms of state department support. >> be happy to. >> brad nsnyder of illinois. >> thank you for your long service to the nation. and your candor in your answers. we're here talking about this restructuring and restructuring i think everyone agree any time we can find efficiency we should purr see those and pursue those
aggressively. restructuring whether in business or state department should follow a strategic structure. it should follow from the mission and vision. what would you broadly state define as the mission of state department? >> the mission of the state department is to in promotion of american democratic values to implement u.s. foreign policy through active diplomacy. >> within that secretary vision of how to go about doing that in the worl we face in 2017 and looking forward? >> wow, that's a big question. we have got several layers of challenges. we have countries, regions where there are imminent national security threats to the united states. whether it's isis and syria. al qaeda the taliban. the net work in south asia which
are obvious priorities to protect the united states. to protect our national security. but beyond that, throughout the globe. there are areas where as has been raised elsewhere in the hearing where we want to be active to make sure that we're on the lookout for that next iraq and syria. for that next philippines. so we are being proactive. we have people on the ground. who are able to spot issues. spot problems before they become national security threats to the united states. that's one of the key jobs at the state department. >> that as a goal. promoting u.s. interest around the world has to be a goal. i think it was my colleague from illinois pointed out we didn't have those feet on the ground the eyes in the community. in afghanistan. and paid some dire consequences because of that. yet as we talk about this reorganization it seems the
emphasis is on cost cutting. on the efficiencies. how does it specifically fit within the goals under lying the strategy that you laid out? >> so a lot of when we talk about efficiency and effectiveness, much of the part of it is the budget. and the cost savings. part of it is also empowering our men and women in the foreign service in the civil service. for redundant bureaucratic processes or bureaucratic processes that don't serve the people well. i have heard complaints since the day i rooifed on the bu obamacare si th transfer from post to post. how their bills are processed. how they do it. making their lives easier as they should be. is in how they in their service to the country is one of the things we talk about. when we talk about effectiveness
and cost savings and eliminating redundancy. >> having a diplomatic core, development officers around the world who feel empowered. there was a business book and clearly from the reorganization plan there's many lessons taken from business here. one of my best favorite examples of how to have a good work force is give them empower them, give them atonmy. master than skills and let them operate with a clear purpose. i'm not sure i see this from there. that's one of my concerns. if we can present a narrative to the people at the state department and american people of what are we trying to chaef and how this achieves it. that would be great. what i'm seeing is this is an emphasis of cost reduction and slashing than it is on pursuing and protecting and promoting interest around the world. let me take in the limited time
i have take you to some other questions. one of the concerns many of us have are the presidents tweets. specifically relating to foreign affairs. specifically as it relates of recent moments to north korea. how is it state the presidedepa managing that? how do we not get ourselves into to an unintended situation with north korea? >> both secretary tillerson and secretary have made it clear diplomacy is our prime objective in addressing the north korea problem and denuclearizing the north korea peninsula. secretary made clear we're not looking for regime change in north korea. we're not hooking to cross the 38th parallel. diplomacy is our principle means of addressing this problem. general mcmaster and secretary for that matter said that this is a regime that has weapons
that can threaten the united states. we need to be prepared with a military response. that's not our first resort. our first and principle objective is to use american diplomacy, american pressure through our allies and partners. and countries like china and russia. which is everyone's goal in the purpose of the un security council resolutions. >> i agree diplomacy has to be the front of that. to make sure we have a good solution to the crisis. i yield back. >> we go to mr. tom of virginia. >> thank you. i would ask if the diplomacy is as effective a mechanism to effect change where other options are publicly and clearly
not on the table. by other option i mean connectic options. >> north korea. >> diplomatic efforts have a greatly likelihood of success if there is teeth. >> correct. general mcmaster and secretary made it clear. >> i want to make sure it's clear to anyone watching at home. or perhaps anywhere else in the world. we want a peaceful solution. but that while the lives of americans and allies are threatened, all options are on the table. that needs to be clear. i have done a liltle bit of research. i find you like myself made the mistake of pursuing a legal education. the only thing that you might do that would be looked upon being a lawyer is perhaps being a member of the. i'm kidding.
maybe. i wonder if you're familiar with the un security counsel resolution 1929 from with regards to nuclear activity. >> i am. >> you're aware the wording of the resolution was iran shall not under take and i stress shall not. that has meaning to lawyers and diplomats. etc. the testing of baa list k missiles that might be married to a nuclear program. >> it is phrased in the impairtive. they shall not. >> the resolution 2231 with the regards to iran formed after the jcpoa. which says iran is called upon not to under take the activities. are you familiar with that wording? >> i believe so. yes. >> in 2010. wording was shall not. in 2015 it was iran is called
upon not to. you said earlier that the un said iran was in technical compliance. but violated the spirit of the jcpoa. when the wording is iran called upon not to opposed to shall not, does that make your jb more difficult as it relates to creating a circumstance where iran doesn't enhance nuclear capability and the ability to deliver such weapons? >> it you should cuts under cuts the. >> what sort of attorneys and diplomats hammered out language that was far more per misive than the precedent language. i want to take a moment to draw attention if you'll grant me the leave. to the gentleman and ladies in the room in yellow coats and those not wearing yellow.
who which are free iran. and the per pep chul of the individuals in the committee to stand for a free iranen nation. where individuals are empowered to make decisions for themselves without fear of the retribution for the rejogime. that one day perhaps we'll see the fruit of your diligence. sdp your persistence. i apologize for the asad. it's important recognize you are always here. it matters and matter to chairman royce. and the members of the committee. i get frustrated as a member of the body that sometimes i feel like things don't move quickly enough. but we will achieve an out come that is just and fair for good people across the planet. that flies in the face of the totalitarian and radical
objectives of those who seek to oppress human beings. thank you. i would submit that i believe that the application of appropriately spend funds on foreign aid might if properly done save money on things like bullets and bombs and rockets. i would ask if you would concur foreign aid has a role and peace and stability throughout the world? >> i would join secretary and agreeing with that. >> so i appreciate that. i think some of the rhetoric in questioning here to for indicated that money is the sole. and peaceful out come. i would ask you is the intent of the reorganization simply to perform our job more efficiently and better stewards of tax tlar dollars and not gut the foreign aid efforts. >> that is exactly the purpose. it is not to gut the foreign
aid. >> i thank you for your efforts and applaud you. >> florida. >> good morning. thank you for being here. i thank you for your service. i have great add mirgs for those who serve in the state department. i think it's a very important function of our government. and just my colleagues have done a good job in covering a lot of issues. i want to say that i'll start by saying i think reorganization is part of the bureaucracy. that's part of bureaucracy. it doesn't make sense that before you would reorganize or go through the process there would be a suggestion of a one-third cut in the budget. i'll put that aside for now. i want to talk about the women of the world. all right? and here's what i'm very concerned about. i'm not going to -- i won't be
accuse toir. i'll try to be diplomatic. but listen, i believe that the actions at this administration is taken is systemically going to add great suffering to women and families around the globe. and i just want to mention a couple of them. right off the bat of course is the elimination for funding for global family planning and reproductive health. eliminating funding for international organizations and programs which support voluntary contributions to the several programs in the system. prohibiting contributions to the unfpa which works not only with women's health but obviously child marriage, and expanding the global.
the old one wasn't good enough. i could go on and on. the proposed billion dollar decrease in global health programs which will harm women. and girls. now, i do have a question out of this. i know you're waiting. there is a an office of global women's issues and there is a proposal to downgrade it i think it's a downgrade. you'll have to add tell me if it is. which is to downgrade the office of global women's issues from the secretary office to one that instead reports to the under secretary for civilian democracy and human rights. can you explain the difference that will be? is there plans to name an ambassador at large to lead the office? those are my first two questions. answer those first.
>> sure. yes, that in fact i have interviewed candidates for that position. it will be filled promptly. and it is the proposal that was sent up to this committee and congress on moving the office. the office is going to remain as is with the same structure and budget. it's moving it from the office of the secretary to a bureau under the under secretary as you mention. we believe that's actually strengthens the office. what's happened with the special envoys. almost 70 of them. they all report to the secretary. for the secretary to have 70 individuals reporting to him. he dun have the time to dedicate to each and every one of them. all of them are important. with this office, which is important not just to the secretary. but to the president. if it's got the support of the
state department bureaucracy the bureau in which it will be located and i think the most important feature of this office is the person we nominate. the office is going to be as good as the person we nominate. that's really the key issue. >> okay. thank you i'm glad to hear that. i want to say this, there's no reorganization in the state department that is a substitute for enabling women around this world to be in control of their own body. and to have reproductive health. so, that is the message i want to say. i think this administration is on the wrong path. it's going to cause a lot of harm. to the health of women and families. but to the economic security of their country. because when women cannot be in control of their own bodies, they don't work, they don't
produce for the economy. with that -- i yield back. >> i have a question i have to ask. on behalf. we need to hear about the redesign time line. when will you be coming back to the committee with the legislative reform proposal? >> well, we have started that process with the proposals on special envoys. my expectation is that as the redesign goes forward we will be coming as they're ready with proposals to the committee. my hope and expectation is that all of the major reforms that we're going to propose will be done by the end of the calendar year. >> thank you. mr. tom gar ret will be presiding. and ranking member.
thank you. >> we recognize representative of california. for five minutes. >> thank you. deputy secretary congratulations. you are now four months and two days into your position. congratulations. modernization is a good thing. for any government agency. whatever you want to call it. i fully support giving the state department the technology it needs to keep our nation abroad safe. at a time when we are facing serious threat from north korea. russia and elsewhere. i firmly believe we need a state department that is fully equipped to keep us safe. unfortunately this administration has followed a path huge budget cut. leading senior positions unfilled. that has weakened the state department and put our national
security at risk. so i am looking forward as my colleagues to seeing that redesign time line and how specifically and knowledgeably these cuts are going to be implemented. one of the most significant threats to national security is the prevalence of corruption across the globe. threats to our homeland including terrorism and drug trafficking. often arise in countries where corruption thrives. corrupt actors pose a real danger to the political and economic system. when they seek to launder funds in u.s. banks. lobby the government to advance their own interest. and even seek to interfere in our election. this past week i traveled to as part of the house democracy partnership delegation. current ri in the middle of a crisis that is a result of
political elites trying to protect themselves from a u.s. supported anticorruption drive. i'm very worried that in the if the progress that we have made in gat ma la is turned back. it could have significant impact once again. at our border. how will the reorganization process help state become more effective in combatting corruption and what steps are you taking to ensure that state coordinates more effectively with other agencies including the department of justice to ensure that we are protected from the influence of foreign corruption? >> you're right. corruption is a serious problem. it's a serious problem national security problem for us. in afghanistan. corruption in afghanistan is an enormous problem. the afghan government acknowledges it. the issue you raised that's a
very serious problem. the ray of hope i see is the judicial decision that we versed the president's decision on removing the head of the commission. there is some hope that the rule of law will triumph there. >> i cannot hang my hat if i wore one on hope. i specifically want to know what steps we are taking to ensure that the state department is more effectively coordinating with other agencies to ensure we know what is happening, and that we take steps to prevent these governments from influencing our government. >> well we are working closely with the justice department and with other government agencies. in particular. to address this problem. we have made that our position clear. that the united states doesn't support the actions that the president took. and there will be consequences. >> i'll be critical. of our folks down there.
i think that they we're not fully informed or being very evasive with our members. at disclosing everything that has been happening in the re. we are at in a place where there is no going back. either we move forward -- there were 200,000 people demonstrating in the streets of gat ma la. seen from the air. if we don't kons to advance and support the people there and ensuring this government understands that we will not stand for their elitist corruption behavior, we're going to be in serious trouble. we're going to see more children come to the u.s. and i have spent the last three years working to ensure that that doesn't happen. they did see a future for themselves. i understand that you've only
been at this position for four months. but the first hour, on your job i expect everybody to know what is going on. and be prepared for the job. recent years u said made significant progress in monitoring and evaluating its programming. as you work to more closely align our development efforts with foreign policy goals, how will you ensure the gains has made in the area our not diluted back and. maybe you can write back, or maybe answer the letters i have written. in response to what is happening in the region. my time is up. i'll yield back. >> thank you, ma'am. i would recognize representative of new york. for five minutes. >> thank you. thank you so much for your patience.
long time and answering our questions. we really thankful for your patience. i want to find out what is the given the current storms that have hit the caribbean hard, what is the extent that u.s. office of foreign disaster assistant. what are they doing? what is currently in place in the small nations that have been barbuda, dominican republic that have been hard hit by hurricane irma and maria. >> the dart teams at u said are important tools for u.s. government. both with respect to the hurricanes that have hit had the caribbean. and the earthquakes in mexico. aid is really stretched to the limit at this point. in its capacity in dealing with all of these horrible natural disasters that occurred
simultaneous. it's a big challenge for us. of course we have in our own puerto rico. enormous problems we have to as a u.s. government address. aid is working on this with all of its available resources. it's a big challenge. >> in terms of funding, have you allocated. how much has been allocated so far? >> i'll get you the exact figure. i'll under take to do that after the hearing. >> you mention puerto rico. obviously the island that has been hard hit the most is puerto rico. and i want to see and fema has been also or just as you have asking for help. they're really depleted. resources have been depleted. is there any way you can team up with fe ma to help puerto rico and the u.s. territories. >> we have sent teams down over
the weekend both to assist the u.s. government effort and assist our at a time department colleagues who are work in puerto rico. so for puerto rico though unloik foreign countries this is a these are u.s. citizens in trouble. this is a u.s. government problem. not just a state department problem. so we're doing all we can to support our colleagues and fe ma. as coordinated by the white house. it's an enormous challenge. as you know as well as anyone. >> having said that, having heard that from you, we often assist u.s. citizens from for being evacuated from caribbean countries. but they are right now currently 20,000 puerto ricoens on a waiting list to be evacuated or leave the commonwealth. is there anything that could be done to help them? they are u.s. citizens although
they are in a u.s. territory. they are waiting to come either to the united states or other places. in the world where they may have families or seek the help nay theed. >> or medical emergencies for example. and get off the island. there have been problems as i understand it with the airport. and airports. and i'm not as familiar because it's u.s. domestic territory. but we're doing all we can at state department to support our colleagues at dhs coordinated by the white house in trying to address the problems. >> will you be able to help them evacuate from the island? >> we'll do all we can to assist. >> thank you. finally with regard to the medical needs in puerto rico. do you have a spanish speaking personnel? the second phase usually is
health issues. other kinds of diseases that may spurt up because of stagnated water and the flooding. do you have plans for medical assistance? >> just as we did with the original hurricane that hit houston, state department people went down. were mobilized part of the response. my expectation is that wi will do the same in puerto rico. as soon as it's we're able to get people on the island. and to not expose them to danger. but to do all we can to help. >> my time is up. thank you. >> i thank the gentleman from new york. and the deputy secretary for his time. and the department for engaging with the committee. in the process i would ask that upon your return you provide information focusing on how we are not slashing foreign aid.
but instead trying to be more efficient and more effective and better stewards. that's something you have heard a repeated call. with that, we stand adjourned. the senate homeland security committee hook at potential national security threats. with fbi. you can watch that live at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. and at the same time va secretary testifies before the senate veterans affairs committee about suicide prevention among veterans. live here on c-span 3. reminder that all live coverage is available on loin at
c-span.org. or free to listen to on the c-span radio app. this weekend on american history tv. saturday 8:00 a.m. eastern on lectures in history. university of virginia professor on the legacy of the civil war. >> the loyal white citizen ri and african americans and former confederates have very different takes on the war. as they went forward after. they embraced versions of the war that suited their purpose. >> sunday at 10:00 a.m. president clinton marking the 60th anniversary of the integration of little rock central high school. >> i want to say you did 60 years, take a victory lap. put on your dancing shoes. have a good time. instead i have to say, you have
to put on your marching boots. and lead us again. >> 7:00 p.m. eastern. on oral history. we continue our series on photo journalist with an interview. >> when we were working especially the white house, to have the lens in your hand and the maximum amount of film whenever something happened. because somebody in a split second could be there and you have it. and person standing nebs to you does or doesn't have it. >> at 9:00 p.m. eastern, hamilton play write and actor. accepts the u.s. capitol historical society 2017 freedom award. >> when you're a theater kid you make friends from different grades and social groups. you learn to work hard to create something greater than the sum of your parts. just for the sake of making something great. you learn to trust your passion and let it lead the way.
>> american history tv. all weekend, every weekend. only on c-span 3. >> now intelligence experts from the u.s., canada, united kingdom and germany take a look at the intel community and its role in prevents potential terrorist attacks around the groeb. they discuss the challenges including self-radicalization on the internet. that was part of a recent national security conference in washington dc. it's just over an hour. ladies and gentlemen, please wp welcome to the stage chuck. president of the intelligence and national security alliance. >> so, here we last session of the morning. before lunch. im not sur