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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 13, 2014 11:00pm-1:01am EDT

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hand, and estimates have shown ukrainian aid would cost no more than 5% of its current resources. so this -- the i.m.f. portions are unnecessary, extrinsic. i agree with the speaker of the house, john boehner, who says these i.m.f. so-called reforms are unnecessary and extrinsic to this bill. but, number two, these i.m.f. provisions, if passed into law, would dramatically expand the financial exposure of the united states of america, effectively doubling our contribution, expanding our exposure. now, if that is good policy, that should be debated on its merits. we should not be opening up the u.s. taxpayers to billions in additional financial reliability. it shouldn't just be tied to ukrainian aid and forced through the senate. that's the wrong approach. but, number three, most inexexplicably, these so-called
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reforms, if passed, would diminish u.s. influence on the i.m.f., would reduce our ability to control the decisions of the i.m.f., would move the funds from one in which we have veto authority to one we have no veto authority. astoastonishingly, madam presid, this bill would expand russia's influence and control over the i.m.f. let me repeat that. a bill that is being ostensibly introduced to punish russia for their act of war and act of aggression, would expand russia's influence over the i.m.f. and decrease the united states of america's influence. madam president, i agree with my friend from alabama, who suggested moments ago this is through the looking glass. this makes no sense. i would challenge any of my friends here to stand up here and explain why a sensible response to what russia has done is to expand russia's influence in the i.m.f. and to diminish
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america's influence. that makes no sense whatsoever. and, madam president, i want to close with two points. number one, we could pass aid for the people of ukraine right now today. the senator from wyoming rose and asked for unanimous consent to pass the bill that has already passed the house. had the majority leader not stood up and objected on behalf of senate democrats, that bill would have passed into law. it would be already headed to the president's desk for signature. it is only because the majority leader objected that we are not sitting here today having already passed aid for the people of ukraine. i would note, by the way, the majority leader had extended commentary about two businessmen, the koch brothers, who i'm beginning to think are a character almost out of dr. seuss in the majority leader's mind. they are the grinch who stole
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christmas. i notice he focuses on the i.m.f. rules, not focusing on the abuse of power by the ris i.m.f., but instead on the need for a vote to regulate the i.r.s.'s abuse of power. let me say, the house bill on ukraine doesn't mention the i.r.s. at all, doesn't mention c-4*s at all. that issue is not covered. so when the majority leader said this is all because of the nefarious koch brothers, set aside the impropriety of the majority leader of the united states senate picking two private citizens, individuals who are engaged in political speech, standing up for what they believe, and the majority leader using his position of political power to lambaste them, to target them. interestingly enough, the majority leader does not seem to have a problem with a california billionaire who's publicly pledged to put $100 million behind democrats to press them to pass climate change
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legislation that would cost millions of jobs across this country, from blue-collar workers, from hardworking americans. that billionaire in the majority leader's view is perfectly fine to spend $100 million in the election, but the koch brokers because the two of them -- but the koch brothers, because the two of them have stood up and expressed their views, are subject to vilification and personal afa tac attack from the majority leader. the senate rules allow a member of this body, if his or her integrity is imiewnd to raise -- is impugned, to raise an objection. what senate rule allows a private citizen to raise an objection when his integrity is impugned by the majority leader? those two brothers are not members of this body, so they can have their reputation dragged through the mud and yet they are denied a point of personal privilege to come and defend themselves. that is not the job of the united states senate to vilify private citizens, and i would
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note that the provision he's talking about is not in the house bill, which means, when the senator from wyoming stood up and asked for consent to pass the house bill, if the majority leader had simply refrained from objecting, we would have passed aid to ukraine tonight. nothing to do with the koch brothers, nothing to do with the i.r.s. that's not in the house bill. the reason the majority leader objected is that he wants to hold aid to the ukraine hostage to force through these misguided i.m.f. reforms. that is the wrong decision. final point i want to make, madam president: the world should understand -- russia should understand, the people of ukraine should understand, mr. putin should understand that all of us are united in standing with the
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people of ukraine, that the united states will act -- i am convinced it will act decisively to impose sanctions and serious consequences on russia for this unprovoked act of war. we will act decisively to stand with the people of ukraine. there should be no doubt in any observer's mind that this will unify both parties. we will stand together. we would have done so tonight had the majority leader not made the sing cal decisio cynical ded hostage. politics should end at the water's edge, and i think it's unfortunate to see the majority leader trying to use the crisis in ukraine for political advantage. that's the mistake. but there should be no ambiguity. we will impose sanctions.
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we will stand with ukraine. and the people of america understand that mr. putin's aggression is reliving the days when the soviet union was an evil empire. it's reliving those days. mr. putin calls the collapse of the soviet union the greatest catastrophe of modern times. well, all of us surely hope he does not succeed in his intentions of restoring the soviet union, restoring that evil empire, restoring the cloud of oppression across europe and across the world. and we stand united with the people of ukraine and with the people surrounding russia in support of freedom and against his unconscionable act of war. madam president, i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: i'd like to thank the senator from texas for
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his comments and for his eloquence. i believe he's touched on the right issue. i would just add one thing. i was in the ukraine about three years ago. a delegation was there. we met with state department people. we met with ti tymoshenko, the fabulous leader of the orange revolution. he had those beautifushe had ths in her hair, and she was concerned that she would be put in jail. i just can believe it. the ambassador told us she hadn't committed any crime. but she was placed in jail, served two and a half years. they released her her now. she was in a wheelchair. you could see she had suffered from that. the people of ukraine did a fab- did a fabulous, wonderful thing when they stupid for democracy.
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-- when they stood up for democracy. i stand with them, just like i stood with the people of georgia when the russians invaded kosovo. so i would say unequivocally, bipartisanly, this congress, house and senate, stands firmly with the people of the ukraine. we want to help them. the one thing substantively we could do today to make a difference for the people of ukraine is to pass this bill that would provide $1 billion in loans to them. i truly believe we should do that. i'm deeply disappointed that the majority insists that unless they get their reform of the international monetary fund that they want to see happen -- it's unrelated directly to the needs of ukraine -- that they won't accept that legislation that the house has already passed. i
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-- i think that's a bigamies take. i thank the chair and would yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: madam president, i returned to the floor because i just can't let some of what has been said go unchallenged. first of all, as it relates to the majority leader, the issue of the connection that's been made between i.m.f. reform and the c-4 investigation, the unlimited, undefined, not known secret money that goes into these entities and elections was not first raised by the majority leader. it was first raised by senator corker in an article. it was subsequently raised today on the floor by senator mccain. so casting aspersions upon the majority leader suggesting that he is ultimately impugning the
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reputation of anyone is pretty outrageous when the members of his own side of the aisle recognize that it was simply wrong to connect i.m.f. reform and the ability to help the ukraine in the most powerful way now with some c-4 investigation. secondly, only in washington, only in washington could someone have you believe that the i.m.f. reforms that we are promoting means more power for russia. yeah, we're rushing in this chamber. john mccain is rushing in this chamber. bob corker is rushing in this chamber to give more power to russia. only in washington could anybody believe that.
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or that our other colleagues on the committee who voted for the legislation to have i.m.f. reform were actually voting, our republican colleagues were voting to give russia more power, more power, so they could impress people more. it stretches the incredulous nature of that argument. on the contrary, why are we in part of the mess we're in? because when ukraine was having serious economic challenges, it was putin and russia that was coming with their money, not the i.m.f. in a way which ultimately might have been important because the i.m.f. needs the resources, the leveraging that we create by virtue of this legislation. so you can't divorce it. if you really want to help the ukraine, you need to have the resources to the nism that ultimately guarantees the full
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ability to bring the ukraine back into economic order, and from that bill, then all the other elements of security as well. thirdly, the budget point of order. you know, the ranking member on our committee made it very clear, i want to be supportive but we have to have this paid for, and we did. now, people can disagree with the pay-for, but it's paid for. it's paid for. something the house of representatives didn't do. and by the way, let me tell you what else the house of representatives didn't do. they didn't do anything about sanctions, nothing, zero, nada. so the bottom line is we would send the message that, yes, we want to partially help the ukraine but not in the most significant way we can, which is with i.m.f. reform and the leveraging of the resources we would bring to that and the leveraging of our voice that we would bring to that and
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determining the future there and for the next crisis in the world, which is unfortunately around the corner. so for those who claim they are all for helping the ukraine and national security, you should have allowed us to have this vote tonight. lastly, with reference to my dear friend and colleague who i have a great deal of respect for, senator barrasso, who said i didn't permit his amendment on l & g to move forward, his amendment was ruled out of order because it was not within the jurisdiction of the committee, and the reality is on the merits of it, it's not about the representing the ukraine right now. the ukraine doesn't have the infrastructure for l.n.g., they obviously don't have the resources to build the infrastructure for l.n.g. turkey which controls the strait has said they are not going to let l.n.g. go through it because of their concerns for security. so the bottom line is that is
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not about helping the ukraine today. maybe if all of those issues, infrastructure, the resources to build it, getting turkey on board, if all of that can be done, then maybe in the future that's part of a further, longer term solution, but it's not about right now. what was about right now was the loan guarantees. it was about the sanctions to make sure that the russians and those within the ukraine understand that they are going to be subject to real consequences by virtue of corrupting the ukraine and undermining its territorial integrity, and then lastly having a long-term ability through the i.m.f. to achieve the goals of stabilizing the ukraine economically and also preparing for the next emergency. that's what was at stake tonight. now, we'll get there, but when you see movements of russian
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troops, when you see the circumstances that are unfolding, when i hear colleagues that say we're not doing enough and then just want to do a fraction of what is necessary to really help the ukraine, i begin to seriously wonder. so, madam president, i hope the majority leader will have this as the first order of business when we return. i think there is bipartisan support for the package the way it is. it's unfortunate that as our colleagues travel to the ukraine, they can't go with the final message that this was passed today, but it will pass, and as i said to the prime minister of the ukraine yesterday, an extraordinary individual who met with members of the senate foreign relations committee, in the long history of the world, only a few are called upon to answer the call of freedom in some of its most dangerous moments of history. he has been called upon to do that on behalf of his country at
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this time, and we are called upon to stand against the aggression and to help a country be able to do so, and i hope that we'll get past this issue of linking i.m.f. reform with the whole economy of campaign finance issues here so that we aid bill includes $1 billion in loan guarantees for ukraine. it imposes economic sanctions in russia. -- senate is expended expected to take up that measure when they return for next week's recess. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] secretary of state john kerry testified before the house foreign affairs committee thursday about the president's 2015 state department request of $46.2 billion.
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topics included the situation in ukraine, the iran nuclear program, unrest in venezuela. this is just over two hours. >> this hearing and committee of foreign affairs will come to order. we are again privileged to hear from secretary of state john kerry. last year, secretary kerry spoke before our committee following a trip to asia dealing with issues related to the north korean regional crisis. today, russian regional
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aggression is at the forefront and i am pleased that the house took a position and spoke very decisively this week condemning russian actions in clear and unmistakable terms. the u.s. has a strong interest in a democratic and prosperous ukraine. to that end, the house last week passed important legislation to bolster the troubled ukrainian economy. the senate should move on this leave imfn today and debates until later. while the committee is interested to hear about events in ukraine, the purpose of this hearing is to question to the departments of budget request for fiscal 2015. this committee is responsible expensesight on how are spent and we want them to
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think strategically about reactively. there is no margin for waste or abuse. i'm pleased that the inspector general position was finally filled on a permanent basis after a five-year vacancy. forsecretary, thank you hearing the requests of this committee and acting. last year, secretary kerry testified that the u.s. is the guardian of global security. isay, u.s. a guardianship frayed. committee members are very concerned that iran negotiations will leave the iranian regime alarmingly close to a nuclear weapon. syria, according to the united nations, is the worst humanitarian crisis since rwanda. libya is failing and forgotten. rwanda. libya is failing and forgotten. in egypt, we haven't push add economic reform agenda based on individual property rights that is desperately needed there.
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for asia, a senior pentagon official asserted the other week that because of budget constraints, america's high profile pivot to asia is being looked at again because candidly, it can't happen. mr. secretary, as always, the committee stands ready to work with you on these and other critical issues. the department must do a better job of holding foreign assistance recipients accountable, insuring that they are meeting bench marks for reform and development especially in krupps like afghanistan where so much has been invested. our assistance is not an entitlement. it is a sign of our willingness to help others help themselves. nor should foreign assistance dominate our relationships with partners and with our allies. this committee's electrify africa legislation is an example of using assistance to improve the local investment environment while creating jobs here in the united states, all at a cost
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savings to the american taxpayer. our efforts abroad must be aided by robust broadcasting to help advance our national interests. the current media climate is crowded with state media like rt from russia and cctv from china as well as nonstate media like hezbollah's television station. these are our competitors on the ideological battlefield. and as former secretary clinton told this committee, right now, we are losing. reforming the broadcasting board of governors is no longer an option. it is a requirement and i am pleased to be working on legislation with my colleagues to do just that. mr. secretary, our nation faces many challenges and the difficulty of prioritizing is come pouped by our fiscal crunch. through it although, i look forward to working together to ensure that america maintains the leadership role we both
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support. and i will now turn to ranking member ingle for any comments that he might have this afternoon. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, for holding this hearing to review the administration's fiscal year 2015 international affairs budget request. mr. secretary, as ranking member, i want to welcome you. it's a pleasure to welcome you back to the committee. i want to begin by commending you for your tireless work on a wide range of critical issues. your efforts underscore the great importance of continued u.s. engagement in the world and strong american leadership. at a time of crisis in the middle east, central africa and now europe, the internal affairs budget request supports our diplomatic and development efforts in these and other regions. it provides critical funding to strengthen our allies, fight the spread of infectious disease, combat terrorism and support many other essential activities. the international affairs budget also stimulates job creation and
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economic growth here at home. by helping countries build their economies and develop free marks we make it easier for american companies to sell their products abroad. the budget request also provides critical resources to help insure the security of our diplomats and development workers. these brave men and women serve on the frontlines every day and we must ensure there is adequate funding to keep them safe. finally the international affairs budget includes humanitarian assistance that reflects the compassion and generosity of the american people. while we cannot solve all of the world's problems on our own, we have a moral obligation to help insure that hungry children don't starve, that refugees displaced by war or natural disaster have basic shelter and that the poorest of the poor do not succumb to easily preventable diseases. >> the international affairs budget accounts for less than 1% of the federal budget.
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let me repeat that, 1% of the federal budget. in my view, ha it's a very sound investment in our security, economy and humanitarian goals. secretary kerry. >> know you agree with me that the united states must maintain its leadership. global health. however, i am frustrated to see that the budget request proposes significant reductions to numerous global health programs. i'd like to work with you to ensure that we have the funding necessary to maintain the tremendous gains that have been made in the fight against hiv aids and tuberculosis and to address emerging threats like pandemic influenza. mr. secretary, on ukraine, i believe we must continue to stand up for ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and make it clear to president putin there will be serious seniors consequences for his aggression. chairman royce and i are drafting legislation on ukraine and we look forward to working with you to ensure that the united states provides a robust assistance package to the new ukrainian government and imposes appropriate sanctions against
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human rightsita busers and those hose are complicit in the violation of ukraine's sovereignty. i am also deeply concerned about the on going crisis in syria. nearly three years after the start of the war, assad remains in power and offshoots of al qaeda are growing stronger. refugees continue to spill into neighboring countries and we are all horrified by their stories of violence, torture and starvation. secretary kerry, i hope you will use this opportunity to discuss the administration's strategy to the end the terrible conflict in syria. in 2004 when i was able to get past the syria accountability act, we knew then that assad was a bad player. we couldn't haven't imagined how bad he really is now. iran remains among the biggest threats it our national security even as negotiations resume next week with the p5-plus-1. i hope these talks succeed but i agree with you our engagement with tehran cannot be based on trust. iran continues to be a bad actor
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on many fronts supporting terrorism, violating human rights and souring instability in the region. we must keep that in mind as we negotiate on their nuclear program. i want to the recognize your aefrts for peace between israel and the palestinians. you are helping to establish the foundation of what we hope will be a lasting agreement and i hope there is sufficient political will to take meaningful steps toward a two-state solution. i must say that the arab league's proclamation the other day that they will never recognize israel is a jewish state is disheartening. in the meantime, i am glad that the budget requesting fully funds aid to israel. and finally here in our own hemisphere, i'm deeply concerned by the venian government's crack down on peaceful protesters and attack on press freedoms. in haiti, i'm pleased that u.s. assistance has accelerated and
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thank chairman royce for expanting our committee's oversight in this regard. i look forward to the secretary's testimony. >> thank you, mr. ingle. this afternoon we're joined by mr. john kerry, the 6th secretary of state. he began in this post and has been there just over a year now. mr. secretary, welcome again and without objection, the secretary's full prepared statement is made part of the record and members will have are five calendar days to submit statements and questions and extraneous materials for the record. and if you could summarize your remarks, mr. secretary, we'll soon face a short vote series on the floor. thank you. >> mr. chairman, i appreciate that. thank you very much for the privilege of being here with you. ranking member engel and to all the members of the committee, it's a privilege for me to be able to be here with you today. and i hope to please you greatly at the outset by giving you one of the shortest renditions ever.
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i just want to start by saying thank you to all of you for your leadership which is critical. we have a tough budget. nobody needs to be told that, but it has serious implications. i just want to say to you that it's a privilege for me to lead the 70,000 plus employees of usaid and the state department all around the world. we're including in that local employees who are critical to our ability to be able to function in the 285 posts around the world. these men and women serve not in uniform but at great risk. and they serve our interests, our values. and do an enormous job in an increasingly complicated world. what i would just say to all of you quickly is look, we spends one penny of the u.s. taxpayer dollar on everything that we do abroad in terms of our diplomacy
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in the state department and usaid. it's all our development, all of our money, all the things we do for disease. anti-poverty, one penny on the dollar. i don't have to tell you but i'd just say quickly, i am amazed by the return on that investment. and increasingly as i've traveled around the world in the course of the last year, i have seen the degree to which people rely on the united states of america to be able to lead in instance after instance. i say that without any arrogance, without any achievenism about country. as a matter of fact of fact, whether it's in the africa, asia, south central asia, the middle east -- throughout the world, we play a critical role, and this committee needless to say, is critical in what it's willing to authorize with respect to our sbalt to lead.
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the final comment i'd make to you is that what we do really does make a difference and increasingly in the state department, i have focused and am focusing the efforts of our diplomacy on economics. we need to understand that in this increasingly growing marketplace, where more and more countries are chasing resources and opportunities are harder won, it's critical for us to be able to open up opportunities. i could show you instance after instance where our embassies or our consulates have engaged directly with american companies, helped them win contracts abroad in the multimill ons of dollars, hundreds of millions of dollars and that means jobs here at home. it also means more security for the united states ultimately because of the relationships we
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build. i appreciate mr. chairman, your adjusting the schedule a little bit here. president, as you know -- has asked me to leave in a few hours to go to london and meet with the foreign minister lavrov regarding the ukraine and he's asked to see me before i go. so i appreciate your moving the schedule up slightly. i know you have some vote challenges here so i will end on that. we'll submit the full testimony for the record and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, mr. secretary. like you, we are focused right now on the ukraine and best of luck on your mission there. we have take stn concerted action clearly condemning this act of russian aggression there. we've supported legislation to bolster the economy there and to take certain steps which i think will bring some leverage to bear. but there's one other step we could take that in my view would really give us a hammer over
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russia. 52% of the support for their military and their budget and their government comes from their export of natural gas and oil into you know overseas and most of that is their monopoly position that they have in eastern and central europe. and it does seem that if the administration would move to allow the export of natural gas into the ukraine, that that would accepted a powerful signal that we could indeed do something here that would produce american jobs after all we're flaring a lot of gas here. we're actually capping a lot of our wells. if we exported that specifically to that market, it might take time but once we made that signal, are investors would then
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put up the terminals necessary for us to do it, and it would go into the calculus in moscow about whether or not they wanted to lose that position. and it might bring them to the table. and i wanted to raise that issue with you. >> well, we're all for it, mr. chairman. in fact, the department of energy has the jurisdiction over this within the administration. they have issued six licenses already for 8.5 billion cubic feet per day to be exported to free trade and nonfree trade countries including europe. so it's a possibility. now, the first major project to export gas is not going to take hold until sometime in 2015. so -- but since we're in march, ukraine's needs are you know, such that they ought to be able to -- if there is any manipulation of gas with respect to leverage by russia, ukraine
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will be able to whether it and in the long run, we're prepared and i hope others will be prepared to help shift the current energy dependency. >> i think that's great. those six have been over a three-year period. and it's only six. i think there's 24 pending. so anything that could be done to accelerate that and actually open that up for ukraine and eastern europe would be i think very helpful. another issue i wanted to ask you about was iran. we had a situation where several hundred rockets long range ones that would otherwise have threatened israel were intercepted. they were coming from an iranian arms shipment and they were headed to gaza. and to me, that's a much better indication of iran's lack of good faith than anything they are signing at the negotiating table, but in terms of response to this particular violation, which is actually a voo
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violation of a u.n. requirement there on iran, what will be the response at the u.n. sanctions committee and will the u.s. support additional terrorism sanctions as a result of iran being caught in the act here with this violation? >> well, mr. chairman, obviously, we need to take some kind of action and it has not yet been determined precisely what, but let me just say, we worked very, very closely with israel in the discovery and then ultimately the apprehension of this ship. and we didn't do it because we don't want to create accountability. we want to, obviously, have the strictest accountability. so it is very very much on the table. i can't tell you today what the decision will be but i can tell you that we obviously take it very seriously which is why we worked at it. and i don't disagree with you.
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it's -- it underscores the reasons why we are so determined to put in place a no nuclear weapon policy that is failsafe and our ability to be able to make those judgments because obviously, there is a clash of other interests that will not be reconciled by any nuclear deal. >> lee, lastly, mr. secretary, as you know, this committee has been at the forefront of the scourge of human trafficking. we've seen abuses involving fraud due lent recitement of people overseas. they're promised decent jobs in the united states but they find themselves trapped into forced labor into sexual slavery once they get here to the united states. i've introduced legislation that would require state department counselor officials to glean more information and to share more information in order to get at the schemes of the syndicates
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that misrepresent these positions and i hope that we could work together on this. i know you've been focused on human trafficking, as well. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. thank you for your leadership on this. it is really welcome. i have the privilege of chairing our all government effort. the president has made this a major priority. and i chaired a meeting last year in which we reviewed every single department's efforts with respect to human trafficking. it is nothing less than modern day slavery. there already millions of people who are the victims of this human trafficking. and it can be not just -- it's not just -- it is sometimes for sexual exploitation but it's also for labor exploitation. and the marketplace is completely distorted and violated by virtue of this
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practice. there are work slaves and sex slaves and other you know family help slaves. others. it's a disgrace. and your legislation and other efforts need to empower us. we need to call greater attention to it. we need greater law enforcement effort, greater awareness, education. and so i appreciate your efforts on it and we'll work with you very closely. >> thank you, mrs. secretary. we now go to mr. ingle of new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, i had the honor of meeting with the ukrainian prime minister this morning. and he reiterated to us that obviously, the united states is indispensable in terms of ukraine. ukraine's freedom and the aspirations of ukraine to look westward rather than eastward. and an observation i've had for quite some time is that the european union in its
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negotiations for affiliation with the eastern partnership laid down a lot of stringent hoops that a country like ukraine would have to jump through before they could join before they could get the aid, before they could get whatever they needed. you contrast that with putin saying here's $15 billion, no strings attached. here's cheap energy. we're going to give you that. it seems to me that the eu has sort of failed in the past to really even the playing field and, of course, we're dealing with these countries that are right on the cuss cusp, not only ukraine but moldova, azerbaijan, armenia. does the eu finally get it? do they finally understand that thing to make things harsher for these countries will only push them into the arms of russia? are we now dealing with a more even playing field because of what's happened? >> well, congressman, let me
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begin by saying something that i think we need to think about as we approach this. it's been one of the problems in the entire evolution of this current situation in ukraine. and that is, looking westward versus looking eastward. we don't believe it has to be either or. we do not believe it's a zero sum game. and part of the problem, frankly, that's led up to this has been this kind of insistence that you got to have all your eggs in this basket. no country should be doing that today. the marketplace doesn't work that way. the world doesn't. we beleave russia has interests and has an ability to be important to the development of ukraine and so does europe. there's no reason why they shouldn't look in both directions. we look east, we look west, we look north, we look south. i think it's very important to be careful about those kinds of limits. now, that said, it is appropriate to require reforms
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and transparency and accountability. and a progression by which countries begin to adopt good governance practices and good business practices at the same time. and that's really what the standard has been with respect to an session, and we are supportive of that. >> but do we not risk if a government that is pro west and i understand we want to make putin not feel that he's trapped but i frankly would like ukraine to look west instead of looking east. are we not worried that if weep put too many straitjackets on them of things they have to do, be austerity measures and things like that, that we wind up turning the people against the very government that we think is reform minded and pro west? isn't that a problem something we should be cognizant of? >> there's no question,
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congressman, that there is a -- there's a limit to sort of what you want to do all at one time. and indeed, you can drive people away that way. no question about it. i mean, look how many years turkey has been working to try to gain eu as success and so forth. soapy think that it seems to me that there is a balance. it's up to the europeans to determine that balance, not up to us to try to dictate it or tell them what it ought to be. but it seems to me that when i talk about look east, look west, it's clear ukrainians want to embrace the freedom, the choice, be the competitive atmosphere, and the dynamics of social life and structure that come with the
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acsession to the west. when i i say look east, look west, i'm talking about the economic opportunities, trading and so forth. and i think in today's world, there are a lot of people in russia who also are looking in different directions. >> mr. secretary, i mentioned in my opening remarks about the arab league rejection of recognizing israel as a jewish state. that's a vet disheartening because it would seem to me that there are -- that the way the stars have lined up, these countries should understand that israel is not their enemy. iran is their enemy. andnetanyahu has said that's a prerequisite of any kind of peace deal. they have to recognize israel as a jewish state and let me say it's a jewish state. the national state for the jewish people with equal rights for all citizens. we're not implying that there
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should it be second class citizens but if they're not willing at this late date to the recognize israel as a jewish state which the united nations security can council resolutioning in 1947dy dividing historic palestinian into what a jewish state and arab state, if 66 years later they're still not willing to recognize had israel is a jewish state, i don't know how we can make progress in these negotiations. >> well, congressman, that's not the final vote. and i've had plenty of discussions with all of the members of the arab league. the formulation that you just ar tick cue located was not the formulation that was put to them for that vote. and so i will maintain hope for the notion that when you talk about jewish state or i an nation state, the jewish people or hope land of the jewish people, it is always accompanied by what you said, which is with
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equal rights and nondiscrimination with respect to any citizen. and i believe that if that had been the vote, you might in con stevebly have a different outcome. >> thank you. we go now to ileana ros-lehtinen of florida. >>. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman. welcome back, mr. secretary. it it is disappointing that in your submitted written statement for today's hearing, you failed to mention the ongoing over one-month long crisis in venezuela. the administration is condemning ma dura's -- but voicing concern is not enough. one of the opposition leaders lopez was unjustly arrested and has been imprisoned isolated in a mirt jail now for 24 days as maduro attempts to silent dissent in the venezuela. three more people died yesterday as a result of maduro's violent suppression, bringing the sad
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tally to two dozen dead since the protests began. the president issued an executive order that would impose sanctions against russian officials responsible for human rights abuses. and i've written to the president asking that he do the same for venezuela. maduro continues to get help from the castro yooem. they've been sending cuban troops to crack down on the venezuelan protesters. will the president hold these violators in venezuela responsiblen an sanction individual human rights abusers in venezuela? and continuing with the theme of accountability, mr. secretary, i have doubts that accountability and oversight over the palestinian authority finances are actually taking place. as ranking member ingle just stated, abu mazen repeatedly reaffirms his refusal and unwillingness to recognize israel as a jewish state. he continues to pay nearly 5
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million a year the salaries of palestinians who were imprisoned in israeli jails many of whom have blood on their hands 37 just yesterday, dozens of rockets were fired at israel from gaza. this serves as a grim reminder that israel continues to be under attack. and in the west bank, hundreds of millions of tachk pair dollars continue flow to the p.a. wishing and hoping and praying they'll do the right thing. what are you doing to ensure p.a. recognizes israel as a jewish state? money is fudgible. paying the salaries of terrorists. would you say that is true? and the administration is still seeking a waiver authority to fund agencies at the united nations that admit a nonexistent palestine state. massan reaffirmed if the peace process fails to produce an agreement the palestinians will
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make a full outpush at the u.n. to get statehood. you said that whoelding our money would not deter him but i say it very clearly could deter u.n. agencies and cannot allow this waiver authority to undermine the peace process and in addition i'd like to submit lastly for the record a letter to president obama requesting that the administration consider giving those at camp liberty and iraq an opportunity to receive political refugee status for those who are eligible. sanction, maasan and u.n.. thank you, mr. secretary. >> congresswoman, that's a lot to handle but i'd try to do it quickly. on the issue of the oversight of the palestinian authority and the position on israel, we begin with the premise that everything we're doing in this negotiation begins with israel's security
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which has to be paramount, has to be addressed and i think prime minister benjamin netanyahu would tell you we've bent overbackwards and working closely to do that. >> if we could segue then to venezuela then. >> i want to finish one thing on that because it's really important. on this -- on the -- our position is that israel has to be recognized ultimately as a jewish state but please remember they're negotiating. nobody's going to give up. by the same token, prime minister netanyahu doesn't stand up and say, hey, here's how i'm going to give you jerusalem or something. everybody's negotiating and they aren't going to make the decisions until they know what they're getting in other respects. on the next issue of the u.n. waiver, please. i got to tell you. this is a very one sided event against us.
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massan if he writes a letter to the u.n. to 63 agencies is automatically in them tomorrow. automatic. he's an observer state. that vote was taken. 140-something to 9. 140-something to 9. >> yet we tried in the budget to try to get the u.n. the money. >> i know. >> that was wrong of us. >> i want to explain to you is whether or not the united states loses its vote and gets punish ed is ir relevant to him. he'll go because it's a tool for him to be able to do things he hopes that make life miserable for israel. >> we shall not fund unesco if they do that. >> pardon me? >> i'm going to make a suggestion. we're zero time left on the vote. >> if i say to you, we're losing our vote. we can't defend israel and
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unesco. we can't defend. we're not there. we're gone because they went. and they'll go again if they think it's in their best interest and who will pay the price? united states of america. we won't be able to vote. so i'm just saying to you, this is a wrong-headed effort for deterrence. it will not deter them. it hurts us. >> i hope we get to venezuela in the next round. thank you. >> no. i'll just tell you on venezuela we are absolutely in a -- we need to and we are not only speaking out but taking steps, vice president biden was just down in chile for the swearing in of the new president. we met with a number of neighbor states down there. we are engaged now with trying to find a way to get the government to engage with their citizens to treat them respectfully, to end this terror cam pan against his own people. and to begin to hopefully respect human rights and the
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appropriate way of treating his people and we're -- we are -- we think it's time for the oas, for the neighbors, partners and other international organizations to all focus on venezuela appropriately. hold them accountable. >> this committee will stand in recess temporarily for the floor votes and will return after casting the vote in the last item in the series to reconvene our proceedings. thank you, mr. secretary. >> thank you, sir. >> folks, folks, folks, you will leave your seat. you have to leave in place for the votes. if you leave, you'll line back up and put new people in the states. >> we should stop the u.s. military, secretary kerry, and stop -- [ inaudible ] people rights of all citizens.
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israel an apartheid state. without objection going to mr. smith of new jersey for three minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'll be brief. first of all, secretary kerry, thank you for your work on behalf of the goldman act and your personal intervention for many years on the case of colin bauer. i had him sit where you are and testified on behalf of the abduction of his children to egypt and thank you for that. the bill in the senate and passed in the house and hopefully will not get hung up in any part of the process in the senate. anything you can do to help is deeply appreciated on the senate side. we had a hearing on south sudan and special envoy booth,
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ambassador sbooth, testified. some of the witnesses said there's a need right now for a diplomatic surge that it could get much worse. it already is bad. all the players have need to hear from us robustly. maybe if you could comment on that. secondly, let me ask you if i could, i've had four hearings on brain health related issues. one on affecting mostly africans. some 300,000 children have hydrosovala condition and an intervention by a doctor of harvard very inexpensive can be rolled out very quickly in africa. he's already at cure international in uganda saved the lives of 5,000 children and now building up capacity as it relates to training neurosurgeons. almost none in africa. in east africa, the dearth of surgeons and then alzheimer's. we had two hearings on the
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global crisis of alzheimer's that mirrors the hiv aids pandemic in terms of raw numbers. an estimate of a witness recently is that we could be another 135 million alzheimer's patients globally by 2050. some put it lower at 115. whatever it is, it is huge. the g-8 summit was a step in the right direction. please work with us if you would on the issue of developing perhaps a global fund, not unlike what we did with the issue of hiv aids and the pandemic of malaria and tbi. i'm almost out of time and yield to the distinguished secretary of state. >> congressman smith, first of all, i really thank you for your continued passion on these kinds of issues, and as you know one of your witnesses was a constituent of mine from my days in the senate who i worked with very closely when his children were abducted and it continues to this day. we're still working on this issue.
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we need accountability in countries on this issue. there are many, many more people abducted than anybody knows, taken away to a country of origin for a wife or husband, one or the other, and the american spouse is left completely without rights and access to their children or child. and it's very, very painful thing and i have seen the cost of as you have so i'll work with you. obviously, on that legislation. i congratulate you for pursuing it. on the brain research, et cetera, and treatment, of course, we'd be delighted to work with you. obviously, the age old question is going to be resource. we're crunching up on resources on the global fund and people who are dealing with that issue at ten years plus now with an
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amazing story. a million lives of children saved and so forth. it's quite extraordinary. but we are under resource pressure. if you can help us with that here, particularly in the house and senate we'll be your partner. >> thank you, mr. secretary. we missed mr. sherman of california. we'll go to him for five minutes and then without objection so that we have time for the junior members, we'll go to three minutes per member. i'll ask for that and then immediately to mr. meeks. mr. sherman? >> mr. secretary, as last time you were here, i have so many questions that i'm going to go through the questions and ask you to respond for the record and then the last question is one to respond to orally. i've noticed that u.s. diplomats far less concerned and knowledgeable of commercial matters than the officials of other foreign ministries and
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other diplomats that i have had a chance to deal with. >> what matters? >> commercial matters. and i'm therefore pleased that you said that our diplomats secured contracts for major american companies. in this room i heard one of the top diplomats boasted of introducing the south korean people to the crossfire automobile and urge they buy it unaware that the automobile by chrysler with the chrysler name tag was 98% german made and hope you furnish for the record what procedures we have so the diplomats are pushing for u.s. jobs and u.s. value added, not just u.s. companies. in response to eliot engel, you put in kind of the accepting israel as a jewish state as rights for all people kind of as in the same category of negotiating for jerusalem. i'll point out israel made a painful concession.
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there's a home for the palestinian arabs and i might add probably won't have equal rights for all people. so i hope that you persuade the palestinians to accept israel as a jewish state with rights for all or suggest to israeli friends to withdraw the concession they have already made of a palestinian state that is a home for the palestinian people until such time as the palestinians make that same concession. or co-relative concession. as to iran, the question i would ask you to answer for the record is, how -- if -- what defines a bad deal? would it be a bad deal if iran had such stockpiles, such technology and cent tri refugees so in a year of breakout they could produce a nuclear weapon?
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my next issue is this committee voted to provide a million and a half dollars should be spent to communicate with the people of south pakistan in the sind language. i don't think there's a more important country for the national security than pakistan and yet we face a lot of pushback from your department saying, well, it is just easier to communicate with urdu. you need to sell it in the language of the that your customer wants to hear. i commend you as senator kerry for your incredible record of fighting for recognition of the ar mennian genocide and hope as secretary kerry you will do likewise. of course, the azuri soldier that murdered a sleeping soldier at a nato exercise is promoted
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and praised and in light of that i hope that you will review and perhaps withdraw the idea of military assistance to as bah january and hope it's out ray you to threaten to shoot down civilian aircraft that try to fly into the airport there. the phrase pivot to asia sounds wonderful when people think it's trade delegations to tokyo. i hope you would furnish for the record it doesn't mean we take the eye off the islamic extremists that have killed many thousands of americans and get captivated fighting for rocks that are misnamed as islands uninhabited throughout human history. i hope that -- and but finally, as to the ukraine, i hope that you would make it clear that the
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senate should pass the house $1 billion aid bill now because the plan to load up imf reform which i know you very much support and put it back on the ukraine bill threatens to delay that bill for three legislative weeks which i might add is six calendar weeks and i don't think that -- i think it's critical that we provide a billion dollars of aid both for financial reasons and to make a statement an i wonder whether you could respond to that last one orally, time permitting. >> absolutely. but i want to take -- you pegged something that i don't want to leave any question about whatsoever. and appreciate if you misunderstood, i don't want to leave it hanging out there and that's equivalency of the jerusalem or the other. there is none and wasn't meant in that way. it was purely that there are bargaining cards everybody has. but you're absolutely correct.
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jewish state was resolved in 1947 in resolution 181 where there are more than 30 mentions of jewish state. in addition, chairman arafat in 1988 and again in 2004, confirmed that he agreed it would be a jewish state and there are any other other number of mentions but those are the some of the most important acknowledgments there of. i think it's a mistake for some people to be, you know, raising it again and again as the critical decider of their attitude towards the possibility of a state and peace and we have obviously made that clear. that's a conversation that will continue. but jerusalem is an entirely separate issue to be resolved entirely separately and has its own set of obviously deep concerns. and our position has been pretty
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clear on that so with respect to ukraine and the aid, i want both. and i want them both now. but if i can't have one, we got to have aid. we've just got to get the aid immediately. we can't be toying around here at a critical moment for ukraine. and so, you know, i know how things work up here. i don't want to get into the politics in between but i do to the degree i get into it i want to say we need both. we need them now. now, imf, i know some people react, oh my gosh, a multilateral deal and boy do we hate that and so forth. folks, countries that have gotten aid from the imf are today donor countries in the world. they're contributors to imf. they're reformed. they are open market economies. they're more accountable than
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they would have been. more democratic than they would have been. this is the lever for encouraging democracy and this is the lever for creating transparency and accountability and pricing reforms and getting rid of subsidies and creating an open market. that's how we have done it. and if you look dispassionately, nonideologically at the record of countries that got -- it is an amazing return on investment for america. we don't spend money and lose money. so -- i would urge people to do both but boy do we need aid for ukraine and need it now. >> we're going to go now to mr. meeks for three minutes followed by rohrabacher of california for three minutes. >> thank you. mr. secretary, i'm delighted to meet and talk to a number of members of chief of mission that don't get the recognition for the work around the world. they're fantastic. let's see if i can ask the questions real quick since i have three questions.
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some are all over the place. one is you talked about we spend basically a penny on the dollar. what help would it give -- as far as also influence in the region, when we talk about, whether we're talking about t-tip and making sure to get involved with the unionian unions and that deal or tpp and asia and does that -- would those kinds of deals, does it help or hurt the state department how you're moving forward, help with our influence in those regions or hurt us? so i would like for you to just say -- because we have those two bills that may be before us sometime soon. how does it effect with respect to the state department? that's number one. going to more specific with the budget, i noticed for example in colombia that the -- our assistance cut by almost $80 million and president santos is close to coming a resolution with the revolutionary armed
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toe forces and so it's important to provide the government with support for demobilization and reintegration programs and that's particularly important to me because a lot of that has to take place especially in african colombian areas and the individuals going back into and cutting the funds we could be devastating the individuals still in that country that needs the most help. so, you know that $80 million is substantial. and lastly, of course, we had the down scare. there was a report that found usaid had to down scale by 80% homes being built in haiti after the devastation that took place there. they devastating earthquake. and of those 15,000 homes originally planned for construction it was reported this only 2,600 and so expected to be built. i'm told that reconstruction assistance started to speed up with 1.4 million of the now 2.4
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billion distributed. how will the state department expedite assistance to haiti? >> let me quickly touch on all three. we absolutely want you to not just talk about but embrace t-tip and the tpp. these are essential ingredients of american projection of power and our economic well being in the future. you don't have to make a final judgment on the thing at this point. look at the deal when it comes and passes muster. we understand that. but the fact is that if we can reach agreed upon standards for trading with 40% of the world's market with respect to asia, the fastest growing market in the world, and 40% of the rest of the world's market in europe, which we have a commonality with in terms of standards, et cetera, already, we are raising the standards globally of trade
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increasing the opportunity for jobs and job opportunitiless for americans and revitalizing our own economic prospects and europe's so we believe in this very deeply and we hope people will see it as not just trade but as security strategy, economic strategy. job strategy and so forth. on the issue of the cut to colombia, it is very simple. clom why's been successful. i can remember when i voted in the senate for the first planned colombia and it was very controversial. and i voted for it. i thought it was the right thing to do and now that's borne out. so we've been very successful in colombia. we have money. there's increased capacity and security and development capacity in colombia. they're understanding that. there comes a time when success means we don't have to continue to necessarily fund something. and we're very supportive of president santos's peace efforts. obviously we want that to be successful.
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finally on haiti. haiti reflects money in the pipeline and so we're being up front with you. we believe we have some money in esf and that once that money is reduced then we'll come back and say we need some money for haiti and not reducing the effort. there's no reduction in commitment. it's simply that there is some money in the pipeline and that should satisfy the needs for this year. >> mr. rohrabacher of california. >> thank you very much and thank you, mr. secretary, for your hard work. we see you going all over the world. working hard for us. and even if we have some areas of disagreement, we respect and are grateful to you for working so hard for your country. thank you. >> thank you. >> a couple of issues. first is the camp and we have the friends in the yellow jackets and it eels clear that the group in iraq attacked and
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murdered in great numbers and several occasions and that the current government of iraq in collusion with these murderers or at least they're turning their back and letting this happen. i have a piece of legislation, hr 3707 which would grant asylum to these people at camp ash roft who are obviously in danger. is the administration supporting this concept and this legislation? >> congressman, let me just say first of all, there's one solution to the problem of what is now camp area, formerly ashroft and the answer is -- i've been concerned about it since i was a senator. we need to relocate those folks. >> okay. my legislation says relocate them here. why not? >> we are looking -- >> the danger. >> that's one thing we have looked at. i have appointed a special --
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special envoy/adviser with respect to this. he's a very competent counsel from here in washington. he's been working on it full-time. >> we need to get on this, mr. secretary before more of them -- >> we have 210 to w.h.o. are now being transferred to albania. we have another about 100 going to germany. >> okay. >> we are now looking at the process here internally. we are working with unami. the government of iraq. other relevant authorities. but right now, the white house, department of homeland security and other relevant agencies are looking at how many we might be able to take ourselves. >> i would hope within 30 days if all these things that you have talked about have not come to fruition that we decide to act and bring them here so that at least they'll be safe. otherwise, the blood of these murdered innocent people are on our hands. another issue. dr. afriti, the man who helped us bring to justice osama bin laden who slaughtered 3,000
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american citizens, pakistan has arrested the doctor and even now after all of this time and all of these complaints and all of this negotiation he's still in a dungeon. this does not speak well for the people who would side with the united states if we let the doctor, the ultimate hero in the fight against radical islamism terrorism. my question to you is, number one, how can we possibly give the amount of aid you are proposing -- actually a billion point three in aid both military and civilian aid to pakistan? how can we possibly do that when they are holding the doctor which is a hostile act to the united states? and basically, it's an insult to those people who died on 9/11. >> congressman, this is a very relevant issue that i have raised personally with the
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leadership of pakistan. i believe at some point we're going to break through and justice will be done which means he will be appropriately released and free to leave. but you say how can we give the aid? we have a lot of interests with pakistan. it is a nuclear nation. we're trying to work with them with respect to nuclear restraint and also with india and other issues. we are conducting counterterrorism efforts in that country that are vital to us with respect to al qaeda. we are engaged in major efforts. they've been very helpful with us, actually, in trying to work to bring the taliban to the table if that were, indeed, possible. there are lots of efforts. our basic supply line to our troops in afghanistan starts in
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karachi and goes through pakistan. so, these are the things that sometimes you have to weigh and balance. i believe the development of the country for many different reasons as a peaceful, stable democracy is very, very critical. they just had their first peaceful transfer of power from one president to another at the ballot box. the first time since 1948. other times there have been coups and killings and imprisonments. this was a peaceful democratic election. and so, i think that it's important for us to think about the long term, not just one issue. but we raise and are pushing dr. afritti's cause. he should be free. >> we go now to mr. ted deutch of florida. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, thank you for being here. this past sunday marked the anniversary of disappearance of
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my constituent. monday was 66th's birthday. another without his family. i know how committed you are to returning bob to his family and i thank you for your statement of support this past weekend an i know that you and undersecretary sherman continue to raise this issue. please keep bob at the highest priority level with the discussions of iranian leadership and use the opportunities to press for information and cooperation that will lead to his safe return. mr. secretary, as you know, also, in recent days 60 rockets fired from gaza into southern israel and some striking near schools and libraries. islamic jihad militant group funded by iran claimed responsibility. the attacks come just a week after israeli officials intercepted a shipment of rockets, mortars, bullets and dozens of service to air missiles bound for islamic jihad in gaza.
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hezbollah now has many as 100,000 rockets pointed at israel and actively engaged on the ground in syria in support of the assad regime. iran spent billions of dollars, arms members of its elite force in syria and now despite parameters set forth, statements out of iran this week indicate that iran may now be unwilling to discuss outstanding questions on the possible military dimensions of the nuclear program. according to "the wall street journal" they said they're in no rush to discuss the issues possibly to force them to extend the agreement and showing adherence to other parts of the joint plan of action. please assure us the united states and allies will not allow negotiations to go past six months. and finally, mr. secretary, if you could just respond in writing to this last point. i'm increasingly concerned that there is a presumptive bias
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against young israelis seeking to travel to the united states. reports indicate that because of widespread visa denials, many student-aged travelers simply no longer apply to come to the united states. in fact, on embassy tel aviv's website there are warnings about violating the risks of their visas. while i understand tourist visas are violated, this does not mean that our policy should be to profile young israelis or to uniformly deny student-aged israelis the opportunity to visit the united states. i would ask if the policy of presumptive denials exists with any other country and i would appreciate you getting back to us in writing with the refusal rates of tourist visa applications by age from 16 to 30 over the past five years. i appreciate you being here. >> happy to do so. look, israel's a vital partner of ours obviously.
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last year over 100,000 visas of all ages were issued. 20,000 were issued to israelis age 21 to 30 in each of the last fiscal years. issuance rate's about 83%, which is not different from other folks other places. so, we'll be happy to give you greater input on that if you want it, but i can guarantee you that these applications are treated fairly and similarly in all places. with respect to the gaza, hezbollah, it's a huge concern. i don't know if it's 100,000 or 80,000. a few years ago everybody was throwing around the number 40,000, 60. definitely an increase. huge increase. huge threat. major problem. based in southern lebanon and in the becca valley and assad has
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been transferring many of these weapons to them, and they've come through iran. so, it's a double-prong problem. it's one of the reasons why when i came before you months ago i was arguing so vociferously that we needed to pay attention to this overall syria picture because it's bigger than just the question of syria, and this is an example of it. and, finally, on the iran negotiations, we are working at defining those components of the military aspects of the program which we can legitimately fold under and we're not going to ignore them. warheads, for instance, are an obvious one. certain kinds of r&d, other examples. we believe we interpret correctly that the u.n. resolutions as well as the joint
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agreement, jpola as we call it, both allow for and call for addressing of certain of the military aspects of this. now, some people assert that goes to every single class of missile or something. i'm not sure it would legitimately do that to be honest with you, but certainly warhead, and there are military components of this that we're going to have to address in it. >> i'd like to ask the members to be cognizant of their time limit and leave the secretary time to answer their questions within that allotted three minutes because the secretary's going to be forced to leave, as you know. he's going to go overseas due to the ukraine crisis and we'd like to be able to recognize as many members as possible in our time. with that we'll go to mr. shabbat of ohio. >> i want to hear from as many people as possible. i can take the questions and
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answer them for everybody. >> may i suggest though if i just stick to the clock, that might be the best way to go. >> try and do it. >> mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the secretary for his continuing focus on the asia pacific region. i happen to be the chair of subcommittee on asia and pacific and as the chairman knows, the chairman led a codel to that part of the word, mr. sherman and a number of our colleagues here. we learned a great deal and it continued to show our engagement with that part of the world and we have intended to hold a number of hearings about that and some other issues and i'm not holding you responsible for this, mr. secretary, but we're having some trouble. i'm disappointed to some degree and the cooperation we've had with some of your folks despite repeat -- i'll give you an example. despite repeated attempts we've been unable to get a briefing on the '15 east asia budget. we've been unable to schedule a hearing on north korea because
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of lack of cooperation. i'm hearing similar concerns from others. i know you can't be involved in the day-to-day ongoing, but if you could check with your folks and if we could get some assurance that they'll could oft operate on getting these set up, i would appreciate that. secondly, a number of individuals including the secretary of defense for acquisition have recently made comments that the rebound to asia needs to be re-examined. these statements come at a time when our regional friends and allies articulate lingering concerns about the sustainability of increased u.s. engagement in the region, especially with the administration's recent push to cut back on our military. the east asia and pacific fiscal year 2015 budget request states that one of the top strategic priorities is solidifying key bilateral relationships, and i would like to know what countries does that apply to, how you're going to so he lit did i phi that, and finally, mr.
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royce already mentioned this but i think it deserves another mention at least, it seems to me that from a u.s. perspective that it would make sense for us to ultimately be a net exporter of liquefied natural gas. we could produce more energy to be exported in asia and europe and in the process we could create more jobs at home and more energy independence and strengthen our bilateral ties with some of these important countries and our european allies might not be so dependent upon the bully putin. so i would urge the administration to look into that. you already mentioned that. i know you've got 27 seconds to address all three questions so -- we >> we'll get the hearings done. the 2015 request is 1.5 billion which is an 8% increase.
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i don't know who's suggesting we're not going to do that. i've made five trips already to the region. i was just there a couple of weeks ago in korea and china. president's going out there before very long. we are very focused. we are totally committed and we're going to continue the rebalance. now that's not going to come at the expense of europe or the expense of other places. it's in addition to. we have to do more. we're living in a world where we have to do more and it's a conflict, obviously, with where we are with our budget. you all are going to have to wrestle with that as we go forward. we're all going to have to do that. we have to talk about that. because, you know, it's critical that we project and remain active and people want us to particularly in asia. in china, the disputes in that area were critical to the free navigation and the peacefulness of that area. so i just want you to know that
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we remain completely committed to that. on the lng, all four -- the one thing people have to look at, i don't have the answer to this, there's a point where our experts -- exports can get to a level where it has an effect on you folks at home in terms of price at home and you have to look at what that differential is. i don't know where it is, but at some point that could have an impact. >> we'll go to mr. higgins of new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, the president's budget includes a $350 million increase for worldwide security protection account which is obviously a good thing. i mean, protecting americans as diplomats and humanitarian workers across the globe should be a major priority for our country. however, for those who perished, more must be done to secure justice. one such man, john granville from buffalo, new york, was a diplomat with the united states
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agency for international development. he was promoting and working toward free elections in south sudan at the time of his death six years ago. he was in the sudanese capital of khartoun. for islamic extremists murdered john and his driver. they were captured and convicted, however, they escaped from prison. two remain at large and the state department has issued a $5 million reward for information leading to their capture. meanwhile, in february the sudanese government pardoned the man who helped them escape. united states deserves better and john granville and his family deserve better. i have urged the president of sudan to appeal the pardon and will continue to oppose efforts to de-list sudan from the state sponsors of terrorism. could you provide an update on the efforts to capture his
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killers either verbally or through writing? >> yes. the two individuals who were alleged to have carried out this attack or carried out the attack have been designated by us as specially designated global terrorist designation. they were -- they have been fugitives since the june 2010 escape from prison in khartoun and despite interpol notices and efforts, they've not yet been captured. we want to encourage their re-capture and we want to designate to everybody everywhere that we're going to purr seem people and justice will be done so we are committed that they be returned to prison and serve out sentences, and
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that's what we're trying to do. >> okay. we go to mr. joe wilson, south carolina. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. secretary, for taking the time to speak to us today about the president's budget for the department of state. clearly this is a chaotic and dangerous time for the department as america faces many challenges around the world with the benghazi murders still unsolved. while we have you here, i share in everyone's concern about the ongoing situation between ukraine and russia. peace is threatened by president putin's regional aggression. i believe it is paramount importance if the united states exhibits strength and determination toward the russian federation. however, the disastrous decision by the president and his budget to halt progress on the mixed oxide fuel facility at the savannah river sight will allow the russians the option to stop this position of 34 metric tongues of excess weapons grade plutonium. over the weekend "usa today" ran
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a story in which secretary ernest moniz of the department of energy commented, at the right time, unquote, the u.s. will have to re-engage in plutonium disposition efforts with the russians. he went on to say, quote, now might not be the right time, end of quote. my question is when will we be able to have these negotiations if we back down on our end of the agreement, what assurances do we have that russia's excess material won't end up in the wrong hands? >> look, that's an excellent question. i honestly need to -- i need to get deeper briefed on exactly what that decision was, how it was made, why, so let me find out and we'll get back to you. >> thank you so much. this is crucial. indeed, i was very grateful the akin standard, local paper at home on saturday wrote, from the world nuclear news that russia is moving forward in
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constructing a fast reactor that will dispose the high grade weapons grade plutonium but at the same time we're apparently seeking our activities with the closure of mox. so this is just an issue that should be addressed. and i appreciate you looking into that. additionally, in the past week we've had where the iranian foreign minister said that it was an illusion that there would be the end to enrichment activities by iran. additionally, we had israel seize a ship which had long-range rockets. it was an iranian shipment to hamas terrorists in gaza. in light of that, and i agree with ranking member eliot engel, we know the young people of iran want to live in a non-tir ran anythingal society. why shouldn't we be
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reinstituting and pushing for harsher sanctions for what just happened in the last sfwheek. >> sfwheek. >> well, as you know, we do sanction iran for other activities other than nuclear. there's nothing to suggest that we shouldn't take a step with respect to that. we sanction them for state sponsor of terror and they're already sanctioned under that and this fits under that banner, obviously. so we're not -- we haven't said no. you know, we're still trying to get -- we have to get to the bottom of what's in it, how much, all this kind of stuff, where it came from, tracking because you have some fairly rigid standards that have to be applied legally when you make that determination, but that said, let me come back to a comment you made about the ship and the overall issue of iran and not trusting them. i've said before and i really want to emphasize to everybody here, nothing that we're doing
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with respect to this negotiation is based on trust. i have said -- in fact, i've quoted. i said, ronald regan said trust but verify. our motto in this instance is verify but verify. we're asking for the deepest, most extensive verification, inspection, accountability measures that have ever been put in place with respect to ascertaining what they're up to. so i can assure you whether it's a ship or elsewhere, we're going to be pressing very, very heart for the insights necessary to grant -- >> and we will worry about the missiles and have a determination about these missiles? >> beg your pardon? >> we will have a study about the missiles and have a determination? >> we will make a determination. i can't tell you what -- you know, i haven't reviewed all the options yet. i have not had a proposal put on my desk and i haven't put one on the president's, but absolutely this kind of behavior is not appropriate and unacceptable.
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>> william keene of massachusetts. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to thank the secretary. i'd like to thank assistant secretary newlan for your leadership in europe and eurasia including ukraine. i recent bely introduced a resolution to encourage georgia's clugs into nato's membership action plan. i appreciate your efforts, mr. secretary, and the administration's efforts to support this goal. that being said, given what's happening in ukraine, what's already happened in afkazia and south escecia, do you think this is the right moment to actively push some of our european partners towards this goal? second question if i could, i'm also concerned about the often violent situation in bell fast over the past year and the failure of the five parties to agree to a december 2013 draft of a northern ireland peace acco
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accord. what are your thoughts on a northern ireland peace accord and the elimination of funding for the mitchell scholarship program which i know you've been a strong supporter of and the international fund for ireland? >> well, we're looking at the fund for ireland piece of it because i think that, you know, we have our friends from ireland coming in this friday for meetings, tomorrow. i won't be here to take part in them, but we're going to be reviewing where we are with respect to the current impasse. and things have come, unfortunately, to, you know, a little bit of a standoff, stalemate on further implementation on the peace process. so we need to take stock, renew our commitments, get back on track and it may be that the fund is going to be an essential ingredient of doing that. we have to make that determination. on your question about europe pushing them towards the goal, i missed the part above.
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i didn't hear what goal you were talking about. >> about georgia's advancement into the membership plan with nato. >> oh, we're continuing -- those are all under review and under a constant process of helping those countries to be able to meet the standards that are available. now when you say pushing them, they've got to do their own set of decision making in order to meet the standards, and they know what they are. people are working with them, but there are government reforms. there are account bills, certain standards, different things have to happen for that process and that's been saluatory for those who have made the leap and joined and it's very much open for them. there are a whole bunch of people. the balkans, bosnia, hertz so he gee convenient yeah and other places. >> yield back. >> we'll go now to texas. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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mr. secretary. i'm concerned about a lot of things. in three minutes i'm going to get to a couple of them. pakistan, we give you money. they persecute the people and they have for a good number of years. mr. rorbacher and myself are very concerned about the persecution of that group of people. as mr. keating pointed out about georgia, the russians have first moved into muldovia, then georgia. 1/3 is russia, now the ukraine. the third concern i have is about the m. u.k. when you were here in april last year, since you were here, i asked you questions about it, then again in december. there have been 62 members of the m.e.k. in iraq that have been murdered. the question, twofold. ukraine, were we surprised that the russians moved into the ukraine? if not, when did we know the russians were going to invade
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another country? and then on the m.e.k., when is the state department going to make a decision to allow members of the m.e.k. that are stuck in iraq to come to the united states? when will that decision be made? those are my two questions. >> that decision is under review right now. as i said earlier -- >> i know you said earlier it was under review. when are you going to make the decision to allow them to come in or not come in? >> homeland security and the white house and other agencies, justice, for instance, are engaged in an analysis of, you know, whether or not that could be done based on our judgments with respect to how many and whether it works. so -- >> are you going to require or not they renounce their membership in the m.e.k. as a pre-condition? >> i don't know the answer to that yet. i think the key is to make
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certain that we're following the standards and procedures by which people are admitted to the united states and that takes some vetting and so forth. now, there are urgent circumstances here, and i've acknowledged those. their safety is at risk, no question about it. and we want to move them out of iraq as rapidly as possible. that's one of the reasons why i've appointed somebody full time to be working on this. we've gone to a number of countries, and frankly i'll be very up front about it. one of the reasons we're urgently now reviewing this is people say, well, how many are you taking? and that's an appropriate question to ask and it deserves an answer. >> last 20 seconds, when did we know about the russian invasion of the ukraine? >> well, we knew about their movement of troops in there the minute it began to happen, but they have a basing agreement and under their basing agreement they are permitted to have up to 25,000 troops there. they currently have somewhere in
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the vicinity of 20,000 or so, that's including the increase. so they were perfectly within their limits of their base agreement, and in the initial stages in the inquiries that were made of them, that's what they said. we're moving because we have threats against some of our people. we're not planning to do x, y or z. we're not going into east ukraine, it's not an invasion, and obviously that has evolved. and so, you know, fait accompli. we understand what it is, and we understand exactly how -- you know, what they have done, which is precisely why the president has already -- excuse me, already issued an initial set of executive orders and created advice a bands and if we are not successful tomorrow in finding a way forward and the referendum which we all anticipate which is going to take place on sunday is done without some path forward, there are going to be serious
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repercussions. so that's where we are. the president has made it clear. we take this very, very seriously, as do, i might add, all of our european partners. i was on a conference call with my counterpart foreign ministers this morning, and they are united and strong and determined that there will be consequences if we cannot find some way to diffuse this. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. secretary, for your extraordinary service to our country and for your being here today with our committee. i'm going to submit a series of written questions that relate to armenia, and az zer bay began and the a zors and some questions relating to the middle east peace process. our national ocean policy, the importance of continued attention to defense sales and finally to the state
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department's ongoing efforts to protect the human rights of lgbt individuals around the world especially in nigeria and uganda. i'll do those in writing. i'll ask you in the time i have remaining to dment on two areas. you have two u.n. peacekeeping functions. as you know, we are at least $350 million behind in our peacekeeping dues for fiscal 2015. your budget proposal brings us closer to fulfilling our financial obligations to u.n. peacekeeping, but if you could speak to the importance of this funding and how our arrears impacts our ability to pursue our interests at the u.n. and around the world. and the soaked i shaecond issue you to touch on, as you know from your long service in the senate, we and other countries jointly committed on the framework of climate change to $30 billion in assistance between 2010 and 2012 to help mobilize $100 billion in public
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and private funds by 2020 to address the causes and impacts of climate change. after that the united states elevated it as a priority. i want to know if you could speak about how you might help us realize those objectives in 1:12. >> well -- >> i apologize. >> -- we're extremely focused. climate change first. we're extremely focused on climate change. we have money for research, for mitigation efforts, and we are gearing up, as you know, i just came back from china where we agreed to jointly work together in order to set the target dates for 2015 and the president is laying down his climate action agenda. it's an all government effort because every department is being called upon to do things with respect to climate change. on the issue of the u.n. peacekeeping, the request that we put in to you, $753 million
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above the 2014 request, and that's primarily because of increases to meet our commitments for mali, somalia, south sudan. in addition, we have to fund all the missions at the u.n. assessed rate which is 28.4%, not the 27 point something percent we pay, so there's a gap. and, finally, we're adjusting for one-time offsets that are being used to cover our bills this time, this $218 million for that. we're pulling down on some of are our peacekeeping east of moore, liberia, haiti, several others. as the troop levels decline and as the need declines, but we have increased efforts in africa and a number of different places, the central african republic, the great lakes
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region, south sudan, so forth. so the demands from the u.n. has r have grown and the money's gone the other way. >> matt salmon of arizona. >> thank you. mr. secretary, it's my honor to serve as the subcommittee, the western hemisphere subcommittee on this full committee, and as such i'm deeply troubled by the lack of clear vision and strategy in the region. don't get me wrong, you have many skilled diplomats operating throughout the real gone, but i fear lack of coherent strategy and apparent engagement comes from the top. in the last year cuba has been caught red handed violating u.n. sanctions shipping weapons through the panama canal. venezuela and opposition leaders are being imprisoned and demonstrators are being beaten and killed by government forces all for opposing meduros' failed policies and the overall dismal
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state of their policy. we're walking on egg shells for constant fear of expelion. drug trafficking and violence through central america continues to increase and the russians have docked a warship in havana's harbor. these are a few things happening in the western hemisphere. meanwhile, the administration's response have been muted at best. attempts to utilize our membership with multi-lateral organizations to hold these regional bad actors accountable have not been successful. in the case of venezuela, the organization of american states -- by the way, american taxpayers fund at least 40% of their operating budget, issued a shamefully -- on venezuela and did nothing to oppose the human rights violations happening there or to support the demonstrator's right to freedom of expression. given the ineffectiveness of the oas, i'm not sure i could
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support the feckless running of an organization. i was recently heartened by the u.n. report that was recently released on this incident but i strongly urge you to make sure that cubans pay a significant price for thumbing their noses at international sanctions. meanwhile, as central america struggles with increased drug activity and the corresponding violence, usa helps in gaut at the malg la by bag them solar pants. really? we need a better strategy in the western hemisphere and a renewed engagement. if we don't start paying attention to our hemisphere, i hope you'll take this on board and share with us what this vision will look like and how it advances our nation nal security. timely treatmently you stated in
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a speech that climate change is increasingly a national security threat. with all due respect, mr. secretary, given everything that's happening around the globe today, do you really believe that? i would submit to you that around the world liberty and economic freedom are being threatened by tyrants and those are looking for leadership in defense of liberty. instead, the u.s. is offering solar panels. i believe that's an affront to the u.s. taxpayer and insult to those seeking freedom around the world. >> well, congressman, freedom also means the freedom to be able to eat and live where you live, and we have people who have just come back from meetings in the pacific islands where they're losing that ability because of the level of now high tides that regularly destroy their homes and flood their communities. freedom means the freedom to eat and have food and increasingly food security is at risk because
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of climate change. the fact is there are countries that are going to run out of water and there are nations that have wars over water. there will be climate refugees in various parts of the world. there already are people fighting over water in places like sudan and elsewhere. you know, the fact is that everybody has a right to the preservation of the ecosystem of the planet from which we live. you wouldn't have life on this planet if it weren't for the oceans. the oceans are increasingly at risk, at least the ecosystems in them. fisheries over fished. unbelievable acidification taking place because of the pollution that goes into the ocean. i say to you there's a reason that general zeny who used to be our commander stood up and said there climate change is a security issue. we have to deal with this issue to make plans for the future for
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changes that are going to take place in terms of security. you know, there are all kinds of implications. so i strongly urge you to recognize that if the things continue to happen that are already happening as a matter of scientific fact, not my imagination, when countless scientists come together and all agree that x, y and z is happening and happening now and happening to a greater degree than it was before and faster than they predicted, you ought to step back and look at it and, you know, the worst that can happen to everybody in the world if i'm wrong and al gore's wrong and scientists are wrong and the u.n. is wrong and countless communities are wrong is that we make a decision to have cleaner air, better health, you know, more jobs, new energy, energy independence. that's what happens. but if the guys that are saying it isn't happening are wrong, life as we know it on this earth can literally end.
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so you've got a choice, and i think it's pretty clear where the president and i are putting that choice. is it a -- an instrument of destruction on a global basis? i was in the philippines where typhoon hyan hit, and i will tell you, man, i've never seen devastation like that wreaked in as few a minutes, what happened to the trees stripped off the mountain tops and the entire community, several hundred thousand people displaced. so we have to pay attention to it and that's where i'm coming from. >> let's go to mr. gracon of florida. >> mr. secretary, if a free and fair election were held in the crimea between being part of russia and being part of the ukraine, what would be the result? >> a free and fair election? well, that's a -- that's a -- that's an oxymoron right now anyway. >> well, try -- >> when you're invaded by 20,000
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troops. >> i have no doubt people would vote for a greater affiliation with russia. there's no question in my mind. you can't consider an election in the face of troops and haste daily put together without any debate and also contrary to national law and the constitution of the ukraine as a free and fair election. >> hypothetically if 90% of the people in russia wants to join crimea, what does that say about u.s. foreign policy? >> it doesn't say anything about u.s. foreign policy, it says a lot about history, reflection of relationship that's existed for centuries. ukraine used to be part of russia for centuries. it's only been part of ukraine for -- crimea, only part of ukraine for 22 years, whatever it is. i mean, formally. a little longer, excuse me. it's only been formally -- it was 1954 khrushchev gave it to
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the ukraines as a, quote, gift. it was ratified, approved, subsequently passed ond by the duma in russia formally accepting that. so there's no doubt that they feel a huge tie to rush that. that can be reflected and respected without invading, you know, with your troops and having an election at the point of a gun. >> does the u.s. have any vital interest in seeing the ukraine as part of russia? >> i think we have a vital security interest in upholding international law and upholding the norms for international behavior and not allowing somebody at the pointing of a gun to reverse it, reverse the constitution of a democratic country. yes, i think we have a vital interest in that, but there's a
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difference in whether it is an interest that rises to the level of, you know, deploying troops versus deploying economic measures and other kinds of choices that are available to us. >> tell us how you draw that line. >> well, i draw that line, do we believe that nuclear war is worth fighting over crimea? that would be a very tough question to resolve. i think most americans would resolve it fairly fast, but on the other hand most americans would also agree very quickly, nations should not behave the way russia has and they ought to pay a price if they choose to. >> is the principle of self-determination at play here? >> it could be if it were done properly. an example of that would be what is taking place in -- what is going to take place in the united kingdom where the parliament has approved the right of scotland to have an
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independent referendum, but it's been done through the appropriate mechanisms. the constitution of ukraine requires that any effort by any entity within ukraine to secede be done through the constitutional process. if russia were to say we think they ought to have additional autono autonomy, ought to be respected and the affiliation with us ought to be more kpleerlly defined, there are plany ways for us through the u.n., multi-lateral efforts, ukraine/russia discussions to find out if there's an appropriate way to resolve that. you don't do it -- you don't do it -- i mean, in the 19th century and 20th century we learned that the way not to do it is by invading a country and forcibly arbitrarily changing those lines. >> jeff duncan from south carolina. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, you've been clear about your opinion regarding iran's nuclear ambitions, but
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you haven't been clear about your position with regards to the western ham miss fear. specifically there was a bill signed in late 2011 with countering the iranian threat and a report that was put out by the state department and specifically do you believe that the argentine prosecutor, alberto kneesman's report should be taken into consideration by the state department as they re-evaluate the iranian threat? >> well, anything that is relevant to the iranian threat in the hemisphere ought to be taken into account. and we've been looking at in issue of iran in the western hemisphere and there is some evidence of that and they have been playing for a certain period of time. it's not clear if that has grown
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at this point or continuing at this level. this gives me a chance to come back to the question of the hemisphere of venezuela and so forth. look, i've been in this job now for just over a year and my initial effort when i went down to the oas meeting and have engaged was to try to meet with the foreign minister of venezuela and sort of say, you know, what are we really fighting about? we're for health kara sis tans of your citizens, we're for economic transformation, free speech, these kinds of things. we ought to be able to find some means of cooperation and there was an agreement to sort of begin that tentative effort to find common ground. the next thing you know bad habits were being pursued again and the folks in venezuela were lobbing grenades, figurative,
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ideological grenades -- >> that's what concerns me about the bad habits because they point to specifically to hezbollah and iran's activities to the bombings that killed argentine and jewish and other lives? are you familiar with the report and do you think the state department ought to -- >> i have not read the report, no. >> okay. i appreciate it. i would ask that state department circle back up with me on that. let me just ask a question on a different line because i'm concerned about argentina and they're seeking to open the spigots of international aid without doing anything about the big picture. my question is what are you doing to urge argentina to meet its obligations and settle with its creditors? >> we have been urging them to do exactly that and we've, as you know, been amicus briefed on a number of different cases.
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we are pressing very hard to see that they do that. they have a responsibility to do it. they owe about $600 million to us, our folks, and we are working on a way to deal with their -- >> thank you. i appreciate that. i hope the state department can continue to be more forceful with that. >> bradley snyder of illinois. >> thank you. mr. secretary, thank you for being here. as you said in your opening prepared remarks, what we do in the world matters, and what you and the people on your staff and team do here and around the world are crucial. we're here talking about the fiscal year '15 budget, however, global affairs don't necessarily follow a fiscal year calendar. there are three deadlines looming in the coming months that i think are incredibly important. first, in the spring the current round of negotiations between the is rallies and palestinians. june 30th is the deadline for the removal of chemical weapons from syria. july 20t


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