tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 4, 2015 8:30pm-10:31pm EST
my friends the republican leaders talk about doing -- getting back to the insurance industry. how would that work if you have a pre-existing disability? they set arbitrary limits about how much they would pay. it was a time of toil for families who were trying to ensure their boys and girls mothers and fathers. i would hope the supreme court will listen to the will of the american people and the will of the united states senate, we all knew. the law is very clear. the supreme court should follow the law. >> on the next "washington journal," nicholas burns on foreign-policy challenges facing the united states, including the u.s. relationship with israel, negotiations over iran's nuclear program, and the threat posed by
isis. we will talk to john wunderlich about hillary clinton's use of personal e-mail to conduct official business. "washington journal" is live each morning. >> here are some of our featured programs for this weekend. on c-span2's book tv, saturday night at 10:00 eastern david morris on the history of posttraumatic stress disorder that affects 27 million americans, including himself. sunday at 8:00, scott taylor argues that the obama administration is hurting our national security. on american history tv on c-span3, the commemoration of bloody sunday, when voters rights advocates began to march from selma to montgomery and were met with violence by state and local police. we are live from solyndra with
your phone calls followed by the commemorative ceremony with president obama and john lewis. sunday, our live coverage continues from the brown chapel ame church. find our complete television schedule at c-span.org and let us know what you think about the programs you are watching. call us, e-mail us, or send us a tweet. join a c-span conversation. like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. >> a justice department investigation into the ferguson missouri police department and the city's invisible court has found evidence of racial bias. it was prompted by the police shooting of michael brown last summer. eric holder discussed the investigation in a 25 minute news reefing -- news briefing. >> good afternoon.
i'd like to take some time this afternoon to talk about the two informations the justice department has been conducting in missouri the last several months. the matter we are here to discuss is significant. not only because of the conclusions that the justice department is announcing today but also because of the broader conversation and the initiatives those conversations have inspired across the country on both the local and national level. those initiatives have included extensive and vital efforts to examine the causes of misunderstanding and mistrust between law enforcement officers and the communities that they serve. to support and strengthen our public safety institutions as a whole and to rebuild confidence wherever it has eroded. now, nearly seven months have passed since the shooting death of 18-year-old michael brown in ferguson, missouri. that tragic incident provoked widespread demonstrations and stirred really strong emotions
from those in the ferguson area and around our nation. it also prompted a federal investigation by the united states department of justice with the criminal section of our civil rights division, the united states attorney's office for the eastern dribblingt of missouri, as well as the f.b.i. seeking to determine -- eastern district of missouri, as well as the f.b.i. seeking to determine if this violated federal civil rights law. the promise that i made when i went to ferguson and at the time that we launched our investigation was not that we would arrive at a particular outcome but rather that we would pursue the facts wherever they led. our investigation has been fair and rigorous from the start. it has proceeded independently of the local investigation that concluded in november. and it has been thorough. as part of a wide-ranging examination of the evidence, federal investigators interviewed and re-interviewed eyewitnesses and other individuals claiming to have relevant information and independently canvas more than
300 residences to locate and interview additional witnesses. this morning, the justice department announced the conclusion of our investigation and released a comprehensive 87-page report documenting our findings and our conclusions that the facts do not support the filing of criminal charges against officer darren wilson in this case. michael brown's death, though a tragedy, did not involve prosecutable conduct on the part of officer wilson. now this conclusion represents the sound, considered, and independent judgment of the expert career prosecutors within the department of justice. i have been personally breefed on multiple occasions about these findings. i concur with the investigative team's judgment and the inability to meet required federal standard this outcome is supported by the facts we have
found but i also know that these findings may not be consistent with some people's expectations. to all those who have closely followed this case and the national dialogue, i urbling you to read this report in full. now i recognize that the findings in our report may leave some to wonder how the department's findings can differ so sharply from some of the initial widely reported accounts of what transpired. i want to emphasize that the strength and integrity of america's justice system has always rested on its ability to deliver impartial results in precisely these types of difficult circumstances. adhearing strictly to the facts and to the law, regardless of assumptions. yet it remains not only valid but essential how such a statement of events was able to take hold so readily.
a possible reason was uncovered in a second federal investigation, don by the civil rights division, determine if ferguson police officials have engaged in a widespread pattern or practice of violations of the united states constitution or federal law. as detailed in our searing report, this investigation found a community that was deeply polarized. a community where deep distrust and hostility often characterized interactions between police and area residents. a community where local authorities approached policing not as public safety but a way to generate revenue. a community where it was disproportionately found to harm
african-american residences. and where it seems to stem from racial bias both implicit and explicit. and a community where all these conditions, unlawful practices and constitutional violations have not only severely undermined the public trust, eroded police legitimacy and made local residents less safe but created an intensely charged atmosphere where people feel under assault and urge siege by those who were charged with serve and to protect them. of course, violence is never justified. but seen in this context a highly toxic environment, define pid mistrust and resentment, intird illegal and misguided practices, it's in the difficult to imagine how a single tragic incident set off the city of ferguson like a powder degree.
in a sense, members of the community may not have been responding to a single altercation but to a general distrust. they have been subject to unreasonable searches and seizures, exacerbated by disproportionate use of these tactics against african-americans an driven by overriding pressure from the city to use law enforcement not as a public service but as a tool for raising revenue. now according to our investigation, this emphasis on revenue generation through policing has fostered unconstitutional practices or practices that contribute to constitutional violations. at nearly every level of ferguson's law enforcement system.
ferguson police officers issued nearly 50% more citations in the last year than they did in 2010. an increase that has not been drive or even accompanied by a rise in crime. as a result of this excessive on ticketing, today the city generates significant revenue from enforcement of code provisions along with taxes and other revenue streams in 2010, the city collected $1.3 million in fines and fees collected by the court. for fiscal year 2015, ferguson's city budget anticipates the revenues to exceed $3 million. more than double the total from just five years prior. our review of the evidence and our conversations with police officers have shown that significant pressure is brought to bear on law enforcement personnel to deliver on these revenue increases. once the system is primed for maximizing revenue, starting
with fines and fine enforcement, the city relies on the police force to serve essentially as a collection agency for the municipal court rather than as a law enforcement entity focused primarily on maintaining and promoting public safety. in a wide variety of tactics including disciplinary measures are used to ensure certain levels of ticketing by individual officers regardless of public safety needs. as a result, it has become common place in ferguson for officers to charge multiple violations for the same conduct. three or four charges for a single stop is considered fairly routine. some officers even compete to see who can issue the largest number of citations during a single stop. a total that in at least one instance rose as high as 14. and we have observed that even minor code violations can sometimes result in multiple arrests, jail time, and payments
that exceed the cost of the original ticket many times over. now, for example, in 2007, one woman received two parking tickets that together totaled $152. to date, she has paid $550 in fines and fees to the city of ferguson. she has been arrested twice for having unpaid tickets. and she has spent six days in jail. yet today, she still inexplicably owes ferguson $541. and her story is only one of dozens of similar accounts that our investigation uncovered. over time, it's clear that this culture of enforcement action is being disconnected from the public safety needs of the community, often to the detriment of community residents, has given rise to a disturbing and unconstitutional pattern or practice. our investigation showed that ferguson police officers
routinely violate the fourth amendment in stopping people without reasonable suspicion. arresting them without probable cause. and using unreasonable force gerns them. according to the police department's own records, their own records, it's officers -- its officers frequently infringe on resident's first amendment right, they interfere with the right to record police activities. and they make enforcement decisions based on the way individuals express themselves. many of these constitutional violations have become routine. for instance, even though it's illegal for police officerses to detain a person even briefly without a reasonable suspicion it's become common practice for officers in ferguson to stop pedestrians and to request identification for no reason at all. and even in cases where police encounters start off as constitutionally defensible, we found that they frequently and rapidly escalate and end up
blatantly and unnecessarily crossing the line. during the summer of 2012, one ferguson police officer detained a 32-year-old african-american man who had just finished playing basketball at a park. the officer approached the man while he was sitting in his car and he was arrested. the car's windows appeared to be more heavy tinted than ferguson's code allowed so the officer did have legitimate grounds to question him. but with no apparent justification the officer proceeded to accuse the man of being a pedophile. he prohibited the man from using his cell phone and ordered him to get out of his car if a pat down search even though he had no reason to suspect that the man was ared and when the man objected, citing his constitutional rights, the police officer drew his service weapon pointed it at the man's head, and arrested him on eight different counts. now this arrest caused the man to lose his job.
unfortunately this event appears to have anything but an isolated incident. our investigation shows that members of ferguson's police force frequently escalate rather than defuse tensions with the residents they encounter. such actions are sometimes accompanied by first amendment violations including arresting people for talking back to officer, for recording their public activities or engaging in other conduct that is constitutionally protected. this behavior not only exacerbates tensions in its own right, it has the effect of stifling community confidence that is absolutely vital for effective policing. and this in turn deepens the widespread distrust provoked by the department's other unconstitutional exercises of police power. none of which is more harmful than its pattern of excessive force. now among the incidents of excessive force discovered by our comprehensive review, some resulted from stops or arrests
that had no legal basis to begin with. others were punitive or retaliatory in nature. the police department's routine use of tasers was found to be not really unconstitutional but abusive and dangerous. records showed a history of using unnecessary force against people with mental illness. and our findings indicated that the overwhelming majority of force, almost 90%, is directed against african-americans. this deeply alarming statistic points to one of this the most pernicious aspects of the conduct our investigation uncovered, that these policing practices disproportionately harm african-american residents. in fact, our view of the evidence found no, no alternative explanation for the disproportionate impact on african-american residents other than implicit and explicit racial bias. no other basis.
between october 2012 and october 2014, despite making up only 67% of the population, african-americans accounted for a little over 85% of all traffic stops by the ferguson police department. african-americans were twice as likely as white residents to be searched during a routine traffic stop even though they were 26% less likely to carry contraband. between october 2012 and july 2014, 35 black individuals, 35 black individuals and zero white individuals received five or more citations at the same time. during the same period african-americans accounted for 85% of the total charges brought by the ferguson police department. african-americans made up other -- over 90% of those charges with a highly discretionary offense described as and i quote, manner of walking along roadway.
unquote. manner of walking along roadway. and use of dogs by ferguson police appears to have been exclusively reserved for african-americans. in every case of a recorded person being bit by a police dog that person was african-american. the evidence of racial bias comes not on if statistics but also from remarks made by police, city and court officials. a thorough demofplgse records -- a thorough examination of the records, including a large volume of work emails shows a number of publicer is vapts -- shows a vast number of people expressing racist comments or gender discrimination, demonstrating, quote, test views and -- don straiting grotesque views of african-americans in which they were characterized as other and i want to emphasize these conclusions are drawn directly from the exhaustive
findings report that the department of justice has now released. clearly these findings and others included in the report show that though some community perception of michael brown's tragic death may not have been accurate, the widespread conditions these were paced on and the climate that gave rise to them were all too real. some of those protesters were right. this is is a reality that our investigators repetedly encountered in their interviews of police and city officials. their conversations with local residents and their review of thousands of pages of records and documents. this evidence pointed to an unfortunate and unsustainable situation that has not only severely damaged relationships between law enforcement an members of the community, but made professional policing vastly more difficult. and i think very significantly unnecessarily placed officers at increased risk.
today, now that our investigation has reached its conclusion, it is time. it is time for ferguson's leaders to take immediate, wholesale and structural corrective action. let me be very clear. the united states department of justice reserves all of its rights and abilities to force compliance and to implement basic change. nothing is off the table. the report from the justice department presents two sets of immediate recommendationers in ferguson police department and the municipal court. these recommendations include implementation of a robust system of true community policing, increased tracking reviewage analysis of ferguson police department stop, search ticketing and arrest practices. increased civilian involvement in police decision making. and the development of mechanisms to effectively respond to allegations of officer misconduct. they also involve change tolts nice pal court system including
modifications to bond amounts and detention procedures and to the use of arrest warrants as a meevens collecting owes fines an fees. in compliance with basic due process requirements. ensuring meaningful, sustainable and verifiable reform will require that these and other measures be part of a court enforcement remedial process that includes involvement from community stake holders as well as independent oversight in order to remedy the caught that we have identified to address the underlying culture that we have uncovered and to restore and rebuild the trust that has so padly been eroded. now as the brother of a retired police officer, i know that the overwhelming majority of america's brave men and women in law enforcement do their jobs honestly work integrity and often at great personal risk. i have immense regard for the vital role that they play in all of america's communities. and sacrifices that they and
their families are too often called to make on behalf of their country. it is in great part for their sake and for their safety that we must seek to rebuild trust and foster mutual understanding in ferguson and in all communities where suspicion has been allowed to fester. negative practices by individual law enforcement officers and individual departments present a significant danger not only to their communities but also to committed and hardworking public safety officials around the country who perform incredibly challenging jobs with unwavering professionalism and uncommon valor. clearly we owe to these brave men and women to ensure that all law enforcement officials have the tools, training and support they need to do their jobs with maximum safety and effectiveness. now over the last few months these goals have driven president obama and me to announce a series of administration proposals that will enable us to heal mistrust from wherever it is fun from a
national initiative to building trust and justice tos aher -- to a historic new task force on 21st century policing which will provide strong federal support to law enforcement and every level on a scale not seen since the johnson administration. these aims also have led me to travel throughout the country to atlanta, to cleveland, to memphis, chicago, to philadelphia, oakland, as well as to san francisco, to convene a series of round table discussions dedicated to building trust and engagement between law enforcement, civil rights, youth and community leaders from coast to coast. as these discussions have unfolded, i have repeatedly seen that although the concerns we are focused on today may be particularly acute in ferguson they're not confined to any one city, state, or geographic region. they implicate questions about fairness an trust that are truly national in scope. and they point not to insurmountable divides between people of different perspectives
but to the shared values and the common desire for peace, for security, an for public safety that binds us together. binds police together as well as protesters. although the dialogue by itself will not be sufficient to address these issues because concrete action is what is needed now, concrete action. initiating a broad, frank and inclusive conversation is a necessary and productive first step in all the civil rights divisions activities in ferguson as in every pattern or practice they've launched over the last six years, our aim is to help facilitate and inform this conversation. to make certain that it leads to, again, concrete action and to ensure that law enforcement officers in every part of the united states live up to the same high standards of professionalism. it is clear from our work throughout this country, particularly through the work of our civil rights division, that
the prospect of police accountability and criminal justice reform is an achieveable goal. one that we can reach with law enforcement and community members at the table as full partners. last august when i visited ferguson to meet with concerned citizens and community leaders i made a solemn commitment that the united states department of justice would continue to stand with the people there long after the national headlines had faded. this week, with the conclusion of our investigations into these matters, i again commit to the people of ferguson that we will continue to stand with you and to work with you to ensure that the necessary reforms are implemented. and even as we issue our findings in today's reports, our work will go on. it will go on as we engage with the city of ferguson and surrounding municipalities and surrounding municipalities reform their law enforcement practices and establish a public safety effort that protects and serves all members of the
community. it will go on as we broaden this work and extend the assistance of the justice department to other communities around the country. and it will go on as we join together with all americans to ensure that public safety is not a burden undertaken by the brave few but a positive collaboration between everyone in this nation. the report we have issued and the steps that we have taken are only the beginning of a necessarily resource-intensive and inclusive process to promote reconciliation, to reduce and eliminate bias and to bridge gaps and build understanding. and in the days ahead, the department of jus till will stay true to my -- justice will stay true to my promise, vigilant in its excuse and determined in the pursuit of justice in every case, every circumstance and every community across the united states of america. thank you. [applause]
>> members of the congressional black caucus held a press conference to discuss the justice department also investigation of the ferguson police department. this 25 minute briefing begins with the caucus chair. we will also hear from the missouri >> let me say good afternoon to all of you and thank you so very much for responding on short notice. as all of you certainly know by now, just a few minutes ago attorney general eric holder released a comprehensive 102-page report on police misconduct in the city of ferguson, missouri. so i begin by thanking general holder for this quality work that he has produced. many americans may find this report very surprising.
but to us in the congressional black caucus, it simply reaffirms that which we already know. for years the congressional black caucus has asserted that black americans are treated unfairly and disproportionately in the criminal justice system. we know it because we represent these communities. we see it every day. i know it because i served as a trial judge for many years and saw abuses at the law enforcement level and in the administration of justice. police bias and excessive use of force are real in the african-american community. the report finds that from routine traffic stops to the number of arrests made, the police department in the city of ferguson routinely, i repeat that, routinely violates the constitutional rights and civil liberties of black residents more than any other group. ferguson law enforcement efforts are focused on generating revenue, that is so sad, that is so disappointing. but ferguson law enforcement efforts are focused on generating revenue and their practices violate the law and undermine community trust,
especially among african-americans. the ferguson police department engages in a pattern of unconstitutional stops and arrests in violation of the fourth amendment and also engages in a pattern, a pattern of first amendment violations. the ferguson police department engages in a pattern of first amendment violations. the ferguson police department engages in a pattern of excessive force in violation of the fourth amendment. ferguson municipal court, now we're moving to the court system, the ferguson municipal court practices substantial and unnecessary barriers to the challenge or resolution of knew municipal code violations and imposes undue harsh penalties for missed payments or appearances. there's a well-founded mistrust between the african-american community and law enforcement officers. we recognize the overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day to protect
our communities and most of them are doing a good job. but unfortunately there are some officers who abuse the sacred responsibility to protect and to serve by using excessive and sometimes deadly force when a less severe response is warranted. this is a transformative moment for our country. and congress has a critical role to play in helping to restore trust in the criminal justice system, to ensure that every american is treated equally before the law. black residents in ferguson have called for justice on this disparity for many years. the congressional black caucus has been to ferguson on several occasions. and we know it. they have been calling for justice for years. their calls were ignored. the world now knows the truth about ferguson and the criminal justice system. in the report, the attorney general offered some recommendations on how these problems can be remedied. and i will begin by reading them, if i feel that i'm going too long, i will stop.
but i'm just going to call out a few. he recommends implementing a robust system of true community policing, focused stop search, ticketing and arrest practices on community protection, increased tracking and review and analysis of the data. he recommends that -- the use of force use, a reporting, review and response to encourage de-escalation and the use of minimum force necessary in a situation. that's what we've been talking about all the time. de-escalating the use of force. implement policies and training to improve interactions with vulnerable people. change response to students to avoid criminal -- criminalizing youth while maintaining a learning environment. implement measures to reduce bias and its impact on police behavior. improve and increase training generally, increase civilian involvement in police decision making, improve officer supervision, recruit, hire and promote in a better fashion,
develop mechanisms to more effectively respond to allegations of misconduct, publicly, publicly share information about the nature and impact of police activities. and then it goes on to make recommendations that also pertain to the court system as well. but in the interest of time, i will not get into those recommendations. ladies and gentlemen, i'm pleased that the time to yield whatever time he may need to the ranking member of the judiciary committee, the dean of the house of representatives, mr. conyers of michigan. mr. conyers: thank you, mr. chairman. i think examining how many of us are here indicates how strongly the congressional black caucus feels about law enforcement and the african-american community. back in 1994, i was able to put into the crime bill section
14141 and that deals with the practice, investigation and highlights things that are going on in police demographics all over the country. and it's in that spirit that we now are proud of the job that the department of justice is doing because they come in with a very impartial method of examining this. i think your summary was excellent and we have to continue putting this in the spotlight. i notice that this and other police relations matters are now getting more attention than they've ever gotten before. it used to be that there was hardly any mention of them. i think that's a good step forward. and i think this will be instructive for many of the
investigations and reviews going on in police departments all over the country. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. butterfield: thank you so much, mr. chair. let me thank my colleagues in the congressional black caucus for their support over the last six months, since michael brown lost his life. and let me single out too john conyers and marcia fudge who two days after michael brown's tragic death requested myself to the justice department a practice and patterns investigation which the result we have seen today and heard from the attorney general. mr. clay: you know, the far-reaching report announced today represents an important
path forward towards achieving equal justice under the law in ferguson, missouri, and repairing some of the deep divisions and very real disparity in local law enforcement, which the community has endured for far too long. the disturbing findings in this report demand urgent remedies which must be swiftly implemented, without obstruction or delay and without further denials of the painful and undeniable facts. it should serve as a template for transformational change, not just in ferguson, but across this nation. the tragedy of mike brown's unnecessary death, along with the police killings of eric gardner, tamir rice and many others, have illuminated a system of local law enforcement
in criminal justice that in too many cases does not provide equal justice under the law. for persons of color in this country. while i'm extremely disappointed mike brown's kill already not face criminal charges, his death has forced our nation to begin a long overdue conversation on race and the disparities it continues to perpetuate for too many americans. i'm extremely grateful that attorney general eric holder personally responded to our urgent request to help after the tragic police killing of mr. brown, with great strength and real concern. his staff at the justice department has conducted both federal investigations with integrity, energy and determination.
and i continue to stand with mike brown's family and with the peaceful protesters who are part of ferguson. and please understand that mr. brown's family has experienced a tragedy like none of us, not many of us can say week of also experienced. so, my prayers go out to that family. at this point i'll yield back to the chair and take any questions. mr. butterfield: thank you. i also recognize that the other c.b.c. member from the state of missouri is present with us today and supports our work. mr. cleaver. mr. cleaver passes. at this time i'm going to recognize the assistant leader of the house democratic caucus no stranger to anyone in this room, mr. clyburn. mr. clyburn: thank you very much, mr. chairman. i thank you so much for bringing the nation's attention to this very, very critical problem. but i want to emphasize one
thing. when i went to ferguson, i found out it's not just ferguson. there are townships or jurisdictions that seem to be all around st. louis with this problem, it's very pronounced. i could not believe it when one person told us, having been ticketed three times in three different jurisdictions on the same morning for a tail light. for a tail light. this morning, the young african-american woman told her story of being ticketed for a broken wind shield. and because she could not pay the fine on time, it compounded over time. and now she's being prevented her life-long dream of entering the navy. until all of this is cleared up.
these things have a devastating impact on the lives of people in many instances, they'll never get over it. i think it's time for us in this congress and around the country to come to grips with the fact that this is not isolated to ferguson. these are patterns that we have found throughout our congressional districts all over the country and we are not playing the race card. we are responding to those who did. thank you. mr. butterfield: next will be the ranking member of the crime subcommittee on the committee on the judiciary. ms. jackson lee. ms. jackson lee: let me thank my chairman and the members who are here for their galvanizing and standing today in response to a report that there should be no
offer of congratulations, it should be an offer of recognition for what the congressional black caucus has done for decades in fighting against the ills of a misdirected criminal justice system. i count my colleague congressman bobby scott, my ranking member and chairman, john conyers, and i thank lacy clay for reminding us that we should still be in prayer for the michael brown family and for the families of those who now have lost their lives, the mothers who suffer, so the message today by this report and the report that has just come out from the white house task force on these very issues is to affirm that america has a problem. and the problem is not a republican problem or a democratic problem, but the solution will be republican members and democratic members passing criminal justice reform as the congressional black caucus has advocated for for
decades. my memory of going to ferguson was a little narrow street where michael brown lost his life. that i imagined congressman clay has walked on on many a day. it was a shocking experience because it was a neighborhood street, a street where tricycles and bicycles and grandmothers and mothers, dads and children who play ball or push strollers, but there was this enormous memorial for a young man who did not need to lose his life. i add my appreciation to the attorney general for realizing the difficulty of the civil rights charges, for understanding that he needed to penetrate or the team needed to penetrate into the underbelly of what is happening across america. i hope that we will be moving forward, i close by saying this. i started by viewing this as an
american problem and crisis. and i hope that we will find the tools. i've introduced a bill, the trust bill, that deals with this stopping of african-americans and others for tickets and revenue. finally, the cadet legislation which speaks to gathering the science of how many are subjected to lethal homicide called justifiable homicide, whether it's a law enforcement officer or whether it is a person that is a civilian on the streets of america. this cannot be an issue that we face alone. we lead this issue as a congressional black caucus, but this is an issue that draws all of america and we ask america to stand with us as we make america better and reform the criminal justice system. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. butterfield: thank you, ms. jackson lee. the gentleman from the state of virginia, who is also on the judiciary committee, mr. scott.
mr. scott: thank you, mr. chairman. in addition to what's been said about the need for discussion, i think it's important to note action which has been already taken. about a year and a half ago, about a year and a half ago, the house passed the death in custody reporting act, it was passed by the senate last december and signed by the president. it provides a report of any death in the custody of law enforcement, that is jails prisons, or in the process of arrest. be reported to the department of justice. many have talked about the attorney general, the chair of the -- the chief from philadelphia, chair of the president's task force have all talked about the need for data the death in custody reporting act will provide that data. so it's very important to note that the congressional black caucus hasn't only been talking about doing things, we've actually take than action and there's a lot more that we're
going to do. mr. butterfield: we have four more presentations. they will be brief and then we'll open it up for questions. next will be the gentlelady from california, ms. maxine waters. ms. waters: thank you. used to be on judiciary committee. now ranking on financial services. i want to thank the chair and the congressional black caucus for coming together to recognize a number of things that have occurred around this ferguson incident. first of all, of course, we are deeply saddened that the justice department was not able to find that michael brown's civil rights had been violated. however, having gone there, they learned a lot about ferguson. they learned about the traffic stops, they learned about the fines, they learned about the disproportion fines and the amount of money that african-americans were paying,
that contributed to the revenues of not only ferguson, but all of these adjacent cities. i'm from st. louis, missouri. i was born in st. louis and i lived in a little town right outside ferguson. there's a whole string of towns that includes ferguson and on and on and on where these african-americans coming through these little jurisdictions not only are stopped and fined and then the fine goes into warrants and then they go to jail. and this has been going on for years. and so i'm pleased that our attorney general was at least able to identify this. but that's not the only thing or things that are wrong with places like ferguson. week of also discovered in this conversation that the high school there was not accredited. and instead of allowing the students to go outside of that jurisdiction to high schools that were credited with good teachers, etc., they waived the rights and allowed those
students to stay in that high school that's not accredited. we also learned that the residents there can't own their homes. because the banks and financial institutions will not give mortgages on $50,000 homes and less. so, we have a lot of work to do. in addition to all that you hear that my colleagues are working on in order to deal with some of these police practices and abuses, we need to deal with the education system, blacks are not represented on any of these jurisdictions, whether it is the school board or the city council or the police department. and we have to work as much as we can. some of us are working in different areas. washington university sits right there and what are they doing to deal with the education system? st. louis university is right there. what are they contributing? we have a lot of ways to go in this conversation. but i'm very pleased that we have come thus far and that we are totally committed to the proposition that we cannot only
raise the level of awareness about ferguson, but about all of the cities and towns and jurisdictions that are being treated this way. thank you very much. mr. butterfield: thank you. next will be congresswoman lawrence who, as most of you know, was a former mayor of a major city in the state of michigan. mrs. lawrence: thank you. i want to say that i'm so glad that the department of justice put forth this information. being a mayor and equipping my police force to provide public safety for our community, this issue is very, very important to me. and it's one that i will say that history has taught us that mankind will give us an opportunity to learn and to better ourselves. i do hope that this death of this young man will not be in vain. we must require federal dollars to be tied to communities that
invest in community policing and thus in training and accountability of their police department. i slept every night depending on my police force. but i also invested and demanded that each resident of my community is treated with respect. we must, as a country, demand that. because where you live and the income that you make should not determine how you're treated by our police department. and we now have been given the opportunity to make things right and make sure this man's death was not in vain. thank you. mr. butterfield: thank you. the final presenter will be congressman al green from harris county, city of houston, state of texas. mr. green: thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to thank mr. clay for the outstanding job that he has done to keep these issues at the forefront of our thoughts. mr. chairman, if i may say so, the justice department has but only confirmed with empirical
evidence what the anecdotal evidence has revealed to us for many years. we have known anecdotally, by simply going to any courtroom, almost any courtroom in this country, and just visually seeing the people who are there. if you walk into that courtroom, you're going to see poor people and you're going to see minorities. and you're going to see them begging and pleading for an opportunity to have more time to pay fines that minimum wages cannot afford. this problem is pervasive and the working with the city councils, working with the judicial systems, has created a circumstance whereby under the guise of law enforcement and public safety people are being taxed. this is but another invidious tax that has been imposed upon poor people and minorities. it's time for us to act. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. butterfield: i thank all of
my colleagues. questions? yes, sir. questioner: so the attorney general, they would not be charging dan wolf with any crimes related to the death. i was hoping that you and congressman clay could just -- i know you said you were extremely disappointed in that. hoping you could detail a little bit more your feelings on that and also the specific details of michael brown didn't have his hands up when i was fatally shot. mr. butterfield: all right. mr. clay: we want to deal with this in a macrosense. overhauling the entire justice system. we know that there was a miscarriage of justice at the local level. on part of the st. louis county prosecutor. the way the case was presented to the grand jury, the fault of the grand jury system. all of that came into play in this case.
it's unfortunate. and i'm going to leave it there. thank you. mr. butterfield: next question? anyone else? yes, sir. state who you are. what media. questioner: i'm an intern at c-span. but i'm curious -- \[laughter] i guess this is for representative jackson lee. criminal justice reform, what would that look like? is that reducing mandatory minimums for, or does it go even further than that? ms. jackson lee: you're looking at the combined members who have really led on criminal justice reform and it is a myriad of issues. we've had the opportunity to meet with a number of officials, including the white house, on issues concerning the importance of the broad look of criminal justice reform, mandatory minimums is certainly one of those prison reform issues of training, which you've heard all
of our members speak of. but we are mourning, of course the loss of michael brown and eric garner and the array of individuals. and with congressman clay's leadership, we're focusing on this report so that we can expand the findings of this report to look to the ills that are in jurisdictions throughout. and that covers everything. it also covers rehabilitation. good time early release. many of us are introducing legislation, so we're looking at comprehensive immigration -- excuse me, comprehensive criminal justice reform, not immigration reform, today, but we're also looking to listen to all of the principles, families, advocates, people in law enforcement, i think the congressional black caucus, as the chairman has said and the members have said, we mean business. we mean business in getting the criminal justice system reformed. building on the likes of many of our members such as the ranking member, john conyers. mr. butterfield: thank you.
all right, we thank you. all right. quite the c-span cities tour travels to u.s. cities to learn about life to it this week, we got to get wilson, texas. -- get wilson -- gelveston, texas. >> at the time, we had wooden bathhouses. and we also had peers and we had a huge facility called olympia by the sea. these beach structures were literally turned into
matchsticks. the 1900 storm struck galveston saturday, september 8, 1900. the storm increased in intensity, and then finally tapered off. this hurricane was and still is the deadliest recorded one in history of the united states. >> watch all of our events from galston on saturday. >> the house foreign affairs committee held a hearing on the russia-ukraine conflict. state department official the tory a -- victoria nuland
discussed efforts to implement the cease-fire in minsk. the hearing is chaired by ed royce. >> welcome. this hearing will come to order. our topic is ukraine under siege. ukraine is under siege by russia. unfortunately, the response to russia's aggression by the administration has been tepid. one year ago, russia invaded and seized crimea and some thought that vladimir putin would stop there. not so.
last april, we led a delegation to ukraine. we travel to the russian speaking east. we had eight members on a delegation. we went to bordering areas and i have to share that the members -- that the ukrainians -- russian speaking ukrainians -- they wanted to be ukrainian. they did not want to be separatist. we spoke to the women's groups the lawyers grace, civil societies, jewish groups various ethnic minorities, the governor, the mayor. mr. angle spoke of the largest community center -- the largest synagogue in eastern europe. i can share with the members
here what alan will attest to. the attitude was it seems that russia has recruited every skinhead and malcontent in the russian speaking world and they are trying to bring them into the east. they said we are holding them until hostilities are over. but they are coming in from russia in order to try to overthrow our government. so we have seen this situation where moscow moves from crimea to aggressively supporting militant separatist in ukraine and bringing russian troops into the country. russia may try to secure a land bridge to crimea. that is the great concern here. that is the wording we heard.
but they would further expand this conflict and try to siege the port of mary a pull. when we talked to the united nations on the ground, they count over 6000 civilians who have been killed in this conflict. there are 1.7 million ukrainians that are now refugees. the actions taken by the u.s. and the eu allies include economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation have not checked hooton -- vladimir putin. he has become bolder, even menacing nato countries. the obama administration have put hope in diplomatic and cease-fire arrangements but it is not working. last week, i met with the deputy
speaker of the ukraine parliament who says that his country urgently needs anti-tank weapons. he needs radar to pinpoint any fire, in order to oppress that artillery. he needs communications equipment to overcome russian jamming. ukrainian forces cannot match these advances that russia is pouring into eastern europe -- into eastern europe grain. when you see tanks coming to eastern ukraine, those are not ukrainians in those tanks. those are russians. there is no shortage of the will to fight, only a shortage of defensive weapons. at the committee's hearing last week, secretary kerry said that president obama still has not made a decision on whether to send defensive lethal military aid to ukraine. six months after the president told congress that one cannot
win the war with blankets, it was not surprising but still discouraging to see him have to shop for defense of weapons and, unfortunately, it has been difficult. i was just as discouraged to read in the wall street journal that u.s. intelligence sharing with ukraine keeps ukraine in the dark. satellite images are delayed and obscured, making them less useful. frustrated, ukraine is approaching other countries like canada to share such information. this is not u.s. leadership. moscow is also undermining ukraine's economy. today, russia is using his natural gas and other energy sources for political corrosion and to generate economic chaos in the country. ukraine is facing an economic
precipice. it desperately needs help. meanwhile, russia is winning the battle on the airwaves and they are doing it by broadcasting out conspiracy theories and propaganda. anyone who is monitored is well aware that this propaganda is offensive, is aimed at sewing confusing to its aggression in ukraine and elsewhere. we are barely in the game of countering this. as i told the secretary last week, i would like to see more administration support for the effort mr. angle and i have undertaken. the broadcasting board of governors is broken. if we cannot begin to change minds, the struggle over ukraine today will become a generational struggle for the future of eastern europe. ukraine's fate has security implications well beyond its borders.
we pass this bill into the senate last year, we were not able to bring it up get it out of the senate, we did not have the support. we have invented this and have a great deal of support in this institution. we are getting back on the air with radio free europe. it is time for strong and unwavering support for ukraine. it is time for this right now. many of these committee members are concerned that u.s. policy toward ukraine will become too little too late. i turned to ranking member for any opening remarks that mr. engel might wish to make. >> thank you very much. thank you for calling this timely and important hearing.
i want to acknowledge the ukrainian participants in the audience. ambassador , welcome back. we thank you for testifying today. i have had the pleasure of working with ear and i am a fan of your hard work, knowledge, and tenacity. in ukraine the events of the past year and the ongoing russian aggression threatened the security and stability of the entire region and undermined decades of american commitment to investment in europe. this is a threat to the whole international order. today, we face great questions. what can and should be done and who should contribute to solving this problem. the u.s. is providing substantial assistance to the government of ukraine, including
billions of dollars in loan guarantees and nonlethal military aid. we have posed sanctions on russia. we sanctions officials supporting russia's economy. we have seen results. russia's economy has been taking on water and this is only been magnified by the recent dip in oil prices. these policies are good but only up to a point. they do not go far enough, and my opinion. russia's military gains in ukraine have slowed, but vladimir putin continues to grab land in violation of the minsk cease-fire agreement, which mandates that russia supported rebels pull back forces. the government in kiev has admitted to reform the leaders struggle every day to preserve sovereignty. while financial assistance has cap ukraine's economy afloat they still confront a bleak economic outlook and they are on
the precipice of a financial meltdown. when ukraine gave up its nuclear arsenal in 1994, the united states made a commitment to help protect ukrainian territorial integrity. i can then was also made by russia, uk's, china, and others. our commitment is being tested. let me also say that i think nato made a grave mistake in 2008 when it refused to admit ukraine and georgia into nato. i know that germany and france try to push it, and i think we are paying the price today. i did not think cute and -- putin would have been as aggressive had ukraine been in nato. his request was simple, provided ukraine with weapons and technology to defend itself. specifically, ukraine needs
antitank missiles to protect itself against rebels attacking with heavy russian supplied armor, ukraine needs longer-range battery radar to pinpoint attacking artillery and tanks, not to win a protracted war against russia's military. ukraine needs better communication technology to deal with russian efforts to jam their signals not to advance on moscow. i was laughing at that conference in europe to hear the russian foreign minister denying the russian troops were in ukraine, saying it was just ukrainian rebels. lies, lies, and more lies. i have spoken on the house floor, calling on the government to supply defensive weapons to ukraine. mr. chairman, i know you agree
with me, ukraine is not going to win a war against russia. but it can impose on vladimir putin's aggression and slow russia's advances. it has a chance to remain on its feet when all is said and done, if it cannot impose a greater cost on puritans in aggression and slow russia's advances. the administration along with the vast majority of our european allies has resisted providing such assistance. to be sure there are risks involved, but there are also risks and allowing cute and to continue aggression in -- putin to continue aggression and ukraine. if russia's aggression on the west reaches the frontiers of our nato allies, the dangers to europe increased tremendously the dangers to the nato alliance increased tremendously. in december, congress unanimously passed the ukraine freedoms were act.
this legislation authorized the provision of lethal defensive aid. i was out to lead efforts to pass this legislation and happy that obama signed it. i have been disappointed that the administration has not used tools provided. it is time to ask hard questions. are we willing to stand up to aggression before he kills more people? further destabilize his europe? threatens our allies? or are the risks so great that we will simply cut our losses yet go time passes, our options grow fewer and less effective. that is why i am announcing my plan to introduce new legislation. it will offer ukraine greater assistance on a variety of fronts. able die let the pressure on vladimir putin for his destabilizing policies it will send a clear message that
the united states stands the people of ukraine against russian aggression. i look forward to working with chairman royce and other colleagues as a move ahead with this effort. finally, let me add that our european allies need to confront these same questions of strategy and political will. in my view, wealthy country such as germany, france, and others have a lot more skin in the game, economically and strategically, they should be doing more to assist ukraine on the economic front and they seen even less willing than we are to provide even military assistance. they should double down, take deep and ensure that ukraine does not endure financial meltdown. this of the win-win keeping ukraine sovereign in preventing even greater catastrophe on the eu border. the people of ukraine are watching, the government and kiev is watching, and the whole world is watching. we cannot sit idly by and allow vladimir putin to continue his aggression.
again, thank you for appearing today. i look forward to your testimony. >> this morning we are pleased to be in joined by ambassador nuland. ambassador nuland served as the department of states spokesperson. she also serves as the united states permanent representative to the nato from 2005-2008. she focused heavily on nato -russia issues during that pe riod. the witnesses prepared statement will be made part of the record. members will have five days to submit any statements, any questions. which we will ask to respond to in writing. if you would please summarize
the remarks in the bogota questions. >> thank you very much. the me also take the opportunity to say that we share outrage over the murder of bores that soft. the outpouring of concern from congress demonstrates bipartisan respect for those in russia and across the region who are working for reform, clean government, justice, and dignity. ukraine is central to our effort for a europe at peace. with your permission, i would like to focus on three areas in particular. first on the hard work ukraine
is doing with international support to build a more democratic independent european country. second, i will address the opportunities that russia has to implement the minsk agreement. finally, i will touch briefly on three other new threats to european security that we are working on to it energy vulnerability, for corruption, and propaganda, as noted by the chairman that the ukraine conflict also brings into high relief. first, a quick reminder on why we are here. for months ago, the kiev erected in peaceful protest by ordinary ukrainians who were fed up with the sleazy, corrupt regime that was bent on cheating its people of their democratic choice for a more european future. they braved frigid temperatures,
beatings, and sniper bullets. ultimately, the leader of that regime fled the country and then he was voted out by the parliament including most members of his own party, and that ukraine again to forge a new nation on its own terms. i want to take a small opportunity to highlight the very hard work that your counterparts in the new ukrainian government have undertaken just as they were defeated in november. it has been a beehive of activity, passing laws to tackle corruption in the public and private sector, to reduce government inefficiency, to strengthen the banking system, to clear the energy sector to establish a new police service to improve the climate for business and attract new investments. it is also moving forward a political centralization to give the ukrainian region more authority. these reforms have been politically difficult, but they've also stabilize the economy.
they will also support the swiftest -- swift disbursement of international support. i can ask you to imagine what it would have been like if you have been asked to pass that much legislation that quickly. as ukraine has stood up, we have stood with her. this past year, the u.s. provided almost $355 million in assistance to aid ukraine's citizens to help fight corruption to strengthen the ukrainian border guard. $180 million in security sport alone to support political reforms, elections, and clean government. there is more on the way. as senators kerry has high, the budget includes a request of $513.5 million to build on these efforts. we are working with europe,
ukraine, and the imf to support the economy. this includes a new $1 billion u.s. loan guarantee and up to another $1 billion later in 2015 if you and we agreed that the conditions warrant and if ukraine is able to meet its reform target. this brings me to my second point. even as ukraine has begun building a peaceful, democratic, independent nation across 94% of its territory, crimea and eastern he ukraine -- eastern ukraine has suffered a reign of terror. crimea remains under eu legal annexation and human rights abuses are the norm, not the exception. this includes tartar's, ukrainians who will not give up
passports, and lgbt citizens. russia and its separatist puppets have unleashed unspeakable violence and pillaged hundreds of heavy weapons and troops. a commercial airliner was shot down. the airport was obliterated. ukrainian pilot languishes in a moscow jail on date to of her hunger strike. as of the minsk cease-fire lines, cells of separatist six days after the cease-fire was signed. 1.7 million ukrainians have been forced out of their homes and over 6000 have lost their lives. the united states and the eu have worked to impose successive rounds of tough anxious including deep sectoral sanctions on russia and its separatist and cronies as the cost for these actions. those sanctions are biting
deeply on the russian economy. our unity with europe and ukraine remains the cornerstone of our policy towards this crisis and a fundamental element of our strength in a standing up to russian aggression. it is in that spirit that we salute the efforts of german chancellor merkel and the french president and minsk on february 12 to meet with president pugin to and -- president pugin to and fighting and the ease. the minsk passage of agreement september 5, and february 12, implementing agreement offered the promise of peace and disarmament, political normalization and decentralization in eastern ukraine, and along with the return of ukraine's state sovereignty and border control in the east. for some and ukraine, conditions have already begun to improve. in parts of the east, the guns have been silenced and the osce
has begun to gain access. the picture is very mixed. just today, we have osce reports of new heavy shelling from separatist positions around the airport and in the towns outside mary opel, including reports of a new 17th russian convoy going over the border from russia and ukraine with no opportunity for ukraine or the icrc to inspect the convoy, and we all know what they have contained in the past. in the coming days, here is what we and our partners have to see. we need to see a complete cease-fire all along the cease-fire line in eastern ukraine. we have to have full access to the zone for monitoring, and we have to see a full pullback of heavy weapons.
if a fully implement it, these steps will bring peace to eastern ukraine for the first time in almost one year. they will also allow for the implementation of the following steps. namely access for ukraine to its citizens in the east income as they can begin a political dialogue, they can begin real work with their own population and eventually so we can see that international border closed. as we have long said, the united's dates will start to roll back sanctions on russia when the minsk agreement is fully implemented and so will our european partners. we will judge russia by its actions, not as words. we have already begun this week intensive consultations with our european partners on further sanctions pressures should russia continue fueling the fire in the east of ukraine or in other parts of the country failed to implement minsk or
grab morland, as we saw. finally, just a quick note to remind that traditional military forces is only one of the threats to european security that we are working on. there are others including energy dependency from single unreliable source, the cancer of corruption, and the prevalence of the pervasive propaganda campaign, where truth is an obstacle. we are working across all of those fronts to harden european resilience to these new threats. just briefly and there is more in my longer statement, on energy security, project by project, we are working with the unit -- european union to change energy landscapes and make it more secure, resilient, and diverse. on corruption, we are working with civil society in business communities across the central and eastern europe and the balkans to close the space for dirty money to go in and undercut democratic institutions and -- on russia's propaganda
we are working with the board of governors to ramp up efforts to counter lies with troops. we are also requesting with a $20 million in foreign assistance and public diplomacy funds for state department programs to counter russian propaganda. mr. chairman, is the ranking member, members of this committee, america's investment in the ukraine is about far more than protecting the choice of a single democratic european country. it is about protecting the rules -based system across europe and globally, it is about seeing no to borders changed by force, to be countries intimidating small and to demanding influence. it is also about protecting the promise of the europe at peace. i think each of you and this committee as a whole for its bipartisan support and commitment to these policies.
thank you very much, i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, ambassador nuland. as a mentioned in my opening statement, i have concerns that our intelligence sharing is only when it comes ukraine. i know we cannot get into details, but do you believe that our intelligence sharing with ukrainians is robust enough for them to protect of themselves? we get the information from them about the struggle they are having -- we know the canadians are trying to assist -- but, you know, at the end of the day they have to prevail against these russian-backed rebel forces and russian forces that are on their territory with tanks? >> in this unclassified setting, let me say that our intelligence corporation with ukraine as well as with the ukrainians -- ukrainian intelligence services and armed forces has been improved over time.
there are certain constraints as you know. we are continuing to look at what more we can do in a manner that protects our own assets and that we are sure will be used properly. >> let me ask you another question, because, i notice from the head of nato, to the director of national intelligence, to the new defenses secretary, it seems like nearly every u.s. official supports providing defenses weapons to the ukrainians. and indeed, a letter from many members of congress including myself, mr. engel, will soon go to the president on this subject. where are we on this decision? because the president of ukraine continues his appeal to us obviously. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as i mentioned, as you know, we have provided $118 million in
security and order assistance unit to date, this is all in the defensive, nonlethal area. but some is on the high and of defensive, including the radar batteries we were able to provide over the last few months, which ukrainians report to us have saved lives, particularly in the most intensive complex around the airport. with regard to the question of providing more legal assistance as i testified last week, that question is still under discussion, and the president has not made a decision. >> and want to get back to this issue of russian tanks. that are firing on cities don -- and on ukrainian positions, if they cannot get precision anti-tank missiles or weapons to use on the ground, there isn't
the capability to stop those tanks. we are not talking about transferring office of weaponry like tanks or selling those who ukraine, what we are talking about our weapons that are purely defensive, but are absolutely necessary if there is going to be any credible deterrence to what the russians are doing town by town now in the east, the request here isn't for more like is our meals, you know, or, i saw the inventory of what we sent them -- when they are requesting is quite resize -- defensive weaponry that will allow them to hold positions. >> mr. chairman, these issues are still under review, including the types of equipment that you note, which would respond directly to some russian supplies. just to save for the record some of what we are seeing, we
have since december seen russians transfer hundreds of pieces of military equipment to row -- pro-russian separatists. >> part of the point i am making is that is not all being transferred to russian separatists. there is no way that separatists are in those tanks. they are not the tankers. they are not driving the tanks. those are russian soldiers driving this tanks. i would just make the point to not decide is to decide. >> understood. >> that is the point we make. lastly for your observation on the broadcasting, i just want to make the point in terms of the dysfunction. yesterday, it was reported that the new ceo of the agency is resigning his post after six weeks on the job. now we know, we know the problems that staff and others
have had over at the bbt. we have heard from our former secretary of state, secretary clinton, that the agency is defunct. it is defunct. myself and mr. engel and other members of this committee put in a lot of time and effort working with those and have very real interests and reforming this, getting a consensus, that legislation is necessary to get his agency back up to the business that it did very well. you know, and the 1980's, in terms of disseminating information into russia and into eastern europe. that legislation needs to have support from the administration and i would just leave you with that request, ambassador. >> may i just quickly respond -- as you know, i secretary kerry said, we join you in supporting reform of the bbt -- ebg -- bbg.
i want to shout out to them and their affiliates for the work they have done to counter russian propaganda and to support broadcasting and ukraine. they have devoted $22.6 million to russian language programming, 104% increase in spending, they are now launching a half hour new russian language program which helps fill the gap in clean news being pulled down by broadcasters all across the periphery of russia and parts of the russian speaking populations in ukraine are also receiving it, and they are now reaching about 6.6 million viewers. so, they have been in good partners to us and our budget request us in doing more together. >> we follow that very closely. we also are in consultation with
those in theater about the effectiveness and trust us when we say that reforming the bbt is necessary at this time, we have to be able to take decisive actions to get things back up and running the way it worked effectively in the 1980's. i will go to mr. engel for his questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman and that of secretary. let me also but my weight behind what our chairman has said. i agree with every word he has said. i want to read you the first part of a report from radio free europe yesterday. i want you to comment on it. u.s. commanders sent 12,000 russian soldiers to the ukraine the u.s. military estimates that 12,000 russian soldiers are supporting pro-moscow separatists in eastern europe
grain, army commander said the russian forces made up military advisers, weapons operators and combat troops, he has also sent a 9000 russian troops are in crimea which moscow -- he said in would increase the stakes for vladimir putin at home. he added that when mother start seeing sons come home dad, the price goes up. and support for vladimir putin begins to shrink. ukraine wants counter fire capability and something that can stop a russian tank. the white house still has not decided whether to send arms to ukraine. and hodges wanted a diplomatic solution. he also says the u.s. lines to train three battalions. battalions of an what on hold to see if a cease-fire deal will be fully implement it. general martin dempsey of the chief of staff's also voiced
support for ukraine on march 3 speaking before a senate arms services committee. dempsey said washington should consider providing kiev with arms through nato. he says vladimir putin's ultimate goal is to destabilize ukraine. barack obama and european leaders have agreed that a strong reaction would be necessary if the minsk cease-fires violated. it is almost like when i was a little boy. his mother would say, i am going to count to three. you'd better have it done when it is three. and she would go one, two, two and a quarter, two and a half, two and three quarters. she would give it more time. that seems to me what they are doing. we are so waiting and hoping that things happen that putin
just looks at this as a sign of weakness. i think the strongest thing we can do now is to provide kiev defensive lethal weapons. ambassador nuland: thank you mr. ranking member. obviously this hearing gives us an opportunity for all of you on both sides of the aisle to register your views on this important subject. i would say as i said in my testimony that we are watching very intensively whether or not the february 12 agreements are implemented. i cited some concerns already today following on the vicious taking. as i said we have other tools in our arsenal, including deepening of the sanctions. we are in consultation with our allies now on how that would go if we see more violations. mr. engel: in your written testimony -- statement, you mentioned, i'm quoting you, in
the coming days, quote, not weeks or months, we need to see full unfettered access to the whole conflict zone, including the territory for osce monitors. does this include territory along the boarder with russia? will we press for osce's ability to inspect the so-called humanitarian convoys regularly entering the ukraine from russia? ambassador nuland: we have been pressing for that. in particular the two border posts that osce has been able to monitor on the border. unfortunately, these convoys seem to find roads, 10 kilometers north or 10 kilometers south of where the osce monitors are and just wing right by. the minsk implementation called for monitoring and verification of cease-fire along the internal line as well as these pullbacks with heavy weapons. what is required by the agreement is not simply to see tanks and artillery pieces on roads moving back, but to be
able to count them, to be able to see them in permanent storage, to be able to come back on a regular basis to ensure that they haven't moved or been reemployed elsewhere, but also eventually to have access to the entire axis area, that will certainly be necessary if the political pieces of minsk are to be implemented. new elections, etc., so we can be sure it is free and fair and osce elements can get in. mr. engel: let me ask you one final question. i'm really concerned that the minsk implementation agreement does not provide ukraine control over its own border with russia until the end of this year following constitution reform in ukraine that is acceptable to russia. can you allay my fears and help me make sense of this? ambassador nuland: you are correct, mr. ranking member, that the way the implementation agreement was sequenced on
february 12, restoring ukrainian sovereignty on the eastern border is the last item and it doesn't happen until the end of 2015, but as i said in my statement, we are also firm with our allies and partners that means we will not be rolling back sanctions on russia until minsk is fully implemented. that is part of what we have. the ukrainians, as you know, are in the process of working intensively now to reform the constitution. taken new steps to accelerate that work, including this bill that i mentioned to provide greater powers to the regions even in advance of constitutional reform. so we are cautiously optimistic with european and u.s. help there will be constitutional reform in ukraine in 2015 that will meet the standards. and we'll see whether the separatists are willing to work
with the government and whether we actually have elections and new eastern ukrainian authorities who can work on decentralization there. mr. engel: thank you. i think you hear my frustrations, the chairman's frustrations. thank you personally for your hard work and your good work. thank you. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you very much, mr. engel. i'll recognize myself. madam ambassador, many members of our committee will continue to hammer the obama administration on this damaging and unnecessary and senseless delay in providing the lethal aid ukraine so desperately needs. you'll continue to hear this line of questioning, because despite this fragile cease-fire, ukraine continues to suffer casualties at the hands of separatists backed by moscow and the ukraine government fears that putin's thugs are simply using this opportunity, this cease-fire, to regroup their forces in preparation of yet another offensive.
ukraine is in such tragic need of lethal aid from the u.s., and as you have heard, both the head of our nation's intelligence community and the head of our defense department agree. yet just last week secretary kerry testified before our committee, as you have heard from the chairman and the ranking member, that no decision on lethal aid has been made yet. and so we ask and continue to ask, what is the hold up? our allies need our assistance now. enough with the excuses. what part of the interagency process is the decision lethal aid for ukraine currently stalled? does the department -- state department believe that the united states should send lethal aid to ukraine? yes or no. and you said that the president has not made a decision yet, but you didn't say what you believe and what the state department believes. i would like to hear that.
also, the act and list, the tragic murder a few days ago of the russian opposition leader came just days, as we know, as he was about to publish evidence of the russian military in ukraine. have his murderers been sanctioned as human rights violators under the act? and can you give us an update on the progress or lack thereof of adding names on that act so we can sanction those violators? and also secretary kerry has said that russian foreign minister lied to his face about russian involvement in ukraine. what is the extent of russian involvement? are russian solders in ukraine? are we prepared to say that? participating in the conflict? and on the 1-2-3 agreement, i'll ask you to give me written responses to these because there's a series of questions.
i have been advocating for the administration to withdraw from the u.s.-russia nuclear cooperation agreement, the 1-2-3 agreement to prevent the potential future use of u.s. nuclear technology and assistance against our own interests. and given putin's continued aggression, will the administration suspend the russia 1-2-3 agreement? lastly, i have been critical how the administration plans on using funds to provide democracy and human rights in russia especially after 2012 when putin kicked out usaid from russia. please update the committee on what the administration plans to do with that money that is been left over from the russia -- u.s.-russia investment fund. ambassador nuland: that's a lot, congresswoman. let me go a through them quickly. thank you for letting me take the 1, 2, 3 question in writing. i want to make sure we get it right.
with regard to the process, the president did ask agencies for recommendations and advice. those recommendations and advice have gone forward to him. i think you will forgive me if i take the same position my secretary took when he was here that we will provide that advice confidentially and i'll decline to speak to in an open hearing. with regard to the brutal murder of boris nemtsov, i think you know before this we had met our annual statutory requirement to provide more names under the legislation, but that was before this event. so as we look at our list at the end of this year, we will see what we can learn about who the perpetrators are. we have made absolutely clear publicly and privately to the russian federation that the international community will expect an investigation that meets international standards
and that finds not only the shooter but the orderer of the murder. ms. ros-lehtinen: not headed by putin. i know my time is expiring, but if we were to add -- aggressively add more names to that list of human rights violators, i think that we would see a change and russia knows we are not serious about implementing that legislation. i would love to get the answers to my questions in writing. thank you. we go to brad sherman of california. mr. sherman: ambassador, one thing i noticed about your opening statement was your lavish praise for the ukrainian parliament passing so much substantive legislation and you compared it to congress. ambassador nuland: i didn't compare it. mr. sherman: i would just note for the record and maybe it wasn't a comparison, but came very close, that every day someone in the administration
urges me to work hard to block legislation they don't like. and 99% of the bills that the administration does not want on the president's desk are not there due to the hard work of your allies here in congress. if you want lots of legislation passed, be sure that that is a consistent view of the administration. many of my colleagues at the beginning talked about how we need a strong policy. who would come here and advocate the weak policy. but we do need to put the ukrainian situation in context. we seem to face unlimited challenges, china, south china sea, afghanistan, some difficulties in pakistan, and we have to go with the strength and nuance although frankly i think in this case a little bit more strength, a little less nuance. there's talk about a -- capturing and going and building
a land bridge to crimea. my concern is they want to build a land bridge to moldova and take all of ukraine's coastal territory and access to the black sea. a lot of discussion of whether we should provide lethal weapons albeit defensive lethal weapons to ukraine. such lethal aid would have an effect on the battlefield, but also a political effect. these aren't weapons they are getting their hands on from paraguay. these are weapons from the world's superpower. we can give ukraine money, we can give them weapons -- or we could give them weapons. if they had money they could buy weapons. if the ukrainian government had sufficient money, is there anything that they -- in the way -- looking at the defensive
weapons that are being discussed, that they could not buy from some source? so real question here is it can we have the battlefield effects suggested by my colleagues by providing money? ambassador nuland: first of all, congressman, i certainly didn't mean any invidious comparison. i was simply giving props to the -- mr. sherman: i understand. ambassador nuland: with regard to your concern about a race all along the southern rim of ukrainian territory, not only a land bridge to crimea but onward to moldova, we worry about that, too. that is why we are paying such close attention today to these villages between the seas fire line -- mr. sherman: if you could focus on the question i asked. ambassador nuland: with regard to what one can buy on the international market, a number of the things that the ukrainians have requested are
not readily available unless the u.s. were to license onward export, and we have a number of countries, including our allies -- mr. sherman: we are just talking anti-tank weapons. i see those in world war ii movies. ambassador nuland: they have also been out shopping on the world market and have had a lot of difficulty getting countries to provide in the absence of the u.s. providing. mr. sherman: yet our enemies turn money into weapons with great ease. you mentioned the importance of -- if we could have order in the committee. you mentioned the regions and the devolving power to the regions, controversial in kiev yet if power is devolved to the regions that undercuts russian propaganda. it creates more support for
ukrainian state. is it true under the present constitution the governor of each state is appointed by kiev? i know there are gentlemen from texas that are wondering whether president obama will appoint their governor. i don't think that would be a way to be popular in texas. have the ukrainians changed their system so each region could elect its own governor? ambassador nuland: congressman that's one of the issues that's going to be debated as they move through congressional reform. as you know, their system is similar to the one in russia and other post-soviet states and the parliament is locally elected. on this issue of decentralization, just to say it is actually broadly popular across ukraine, not just in the east, you know, one of the ways that oligarchs in power in kiev manages things and moscow helped them manage things is because everything was centralized.
there was broad support of decentralizing tax authority local policing, all these kinds of things and i think you'll see that. mr. sherman: and hopefully electing your own governor would be part of that because our friends in kiev need to help them, not just ask for our help and they could help themselves a lot by countering that russian propaganda. i yield back. mr. royce: we go to mr. chris smith of new jersey. chairman of the human rights committee. mr. smith: i believe delay is denial and i believe we have a de facto defensive weapons arms embargo on ukraine. and it's reminiscent to me to the balkans war when we totally misguided fashion ensured that bosnia and the croatians did not have the ability to defend themselves against milosevic's aggression and now we see that aggression to our good friend
and ally the ukraine. when you get to secretary of defense carter, james clapper and as one of my colleagues already mentioned and i read his speech and it's an excellent speech that was given by our top military commander, lieutenant general ben hodges, he has made a number of important points, i think, in his speech, perhaps chief of which is while ukraine's defense capability might not necessarily turn the tide overnight or soon when it comes to the military situation, it will make the diplomatic solution more probable probably and that's exactly what happened, as we all know, when the croatians broke the arms embargo. it was not nato bombing. they were able to break the arms embargo and put milosevic to flight. i think the ukrainians are waiting for the kind of ability to defend itself. they're all saying, do it, mr. president, and he's refrained
from doing it it's baffling. when you get two world leaders between september and yesterday publicly admonishing president obama in joint sessions of congress, it is time to wake up, i believe, respectfully, and take their views into much greater account. you know, as my colleagues have said, and i believe it as well delay is denial. people are dying over, over 6,000 are dead. many of those are children and women. you know, and i do think it may even be speaking to another issue, and that is the hollowness of our military increasingly. we are not there yet. thank god. we are on a slope of being weakened. as general hodges pointed out, germany -- and we know angela merkel has not went with military capability. only 42 of germany's typhoon vehicles are available. 38 of its 39 tornado bombers.
special force had to pull out of a joint exercise because there was no working helicopter. a hollow force is a great invitation for vladamir putin to continue his ways. i think the united states needs to step up and help ukraine. i was at a winter meeting and ukrainians -- and while they don't want to say this publicly, just like netanyahu was effusive in the opening speech part of his speech was praise for obama, they don't want to say publicly they need us so they have to thread lightly and on eggshells. they told me off the record how profoundly disappointed they are in president obama, especially in light of people around him saying please, mr. president this is a time for american leadership. so when will that decision be made? you know, the pipeline took six years and then finally we found out where are the president really stood when he vetoed the
bill for the keystone pipeline. what, is it next week, tomorrow? there are statements by portoshenko not to be premature, his word, in being optimistic about where minsk 2 is taking us. there are parallels -- i thank god for the 452 o.s.e. monitors on the ground doing the work but it's reminiscent in croatia and bosnia. i remember meeting them with their white suits on and saying, how many are being killed, how many were being raped? it was horrible stuff. they were brave. no weapons. the o.s.e. need defensive weapons and need them now. i yield. tomorrow, maybe, are we going to find out from the president the -- delay is denial. ambassador nuland: thank you congressman.
i think as you heard in our opening statement we are watching the implementation of minsk. we do have concerns about new firing on the ground in the last couple of days. i do think the environment and whether this is implemented will affect the calculates both on the sanctions side and on the security support side. mr. smith: thank you. hopefully soon. the pilot, member of the parliament is in her 11th day of hunger strike. what are we trying to do to help her release? ambassador nuland: we have grave concerns about her condition. we believe she was illegally abducted across the border. if russia wanted to give a humanitarian gesture there would be more impactful they could do quickly than to release her today. we have concerns about her health. she was seen by a european doctor last week or two weeks ago. as you know, when are taking in no calories every day matters.
so we in every meeting we have at every level, notably, including secretary kerry's meeting with the foreign minister over the weekend, we raised her condition and asked she be released immediately. mr. royce: thank you. we go to mr. gregory meeks, the ranking member of the subcommittee on europe. mr. meeks: thank you, mr. chairman. let me say for me it's complicated. i don't think it has one solution to it. whether it is giving weapons that's going to be the be all and end all that's going to resolve this problem or not, i'm not sure where i'm at on that. let me ask one question. i know we've been a lot on weapons. i think by now everybody's clear, i'm a multilateralist. i think the world is different. we can't just do things on our own. i think it is leadership when you bring in countries together and you have them work and stick together. i think that's leadership. it's difficult. it's easy to do things by yourself. it is harder to do things in conjunction with others. and that's real leadership in my estimation.
now, where is -- and i'm not sure, even on weapons -- i'm not sure where i'm at because you don't like to see this. have we had dialogue and where is our e.u. partners on giving defensive weapons to ukraine and in my mind i'm still unclear what is defensive weapons? what are offensive weapons? whether or not those weapons, if you're in battle, everyone says that ukraine cannot beat russia. can russia takes those weapons away from the ukrainians? but where is our e.u. partners on the issue of harm arming ukraine? ambassador nuland: thank you congressman. thank you for your support of europe as the new ranking member of the subcommittee. i'm a multilateralist too. with regard to managing our response on ukraine spend almost as much time working with nato and e.u. partners as we do work
with ukrainians because the unity is so important and makes it impossible for the kremlin to divide us. all 28 allies have provided -- nato allies have provided some form of security assistance to ukraine. it can take take the form of training. it can take the form of support for the medical needs of the military. the u.k. and poland have announced, as you've probably seen in the press, to start training ukrainians on the lines of the notifications that we have sent up to you all. where the divide happens and where the debate is happening, and there are allies and partners on both sides as there are folks in washington, is on the question of the lethality of the weapons. so nonlethal defensive weapons everyone has been supportive what have -- what we have done. on the question of legal, the
debate is similar. different allies on different sides, the president, obviously, has discussed this with all of his partners. most notably with chancellor merkel when she was here. the vice president talked to a lot of partners at few nick as -- at munich well as secretary kerry so that conversation continues. mr. meeks: even as we can deal with what's taking place militarily, you know, a few folks i have spoken with, they are really concerned with the dire straits of the economics, of the economy of the ukraine. some have said to me that economy and corruption could cause the ukrainian -- this government to fold even before we get further down the road. and that even the money that we give, some question whether or not it's going to where it's supposed to go, is it getting into corrupt hands? my question is, what is new in this government and its legislation that changes our calculation on this front and
gives encouragement because many -- i'm told politically -- all politics are local. that many of the individuals in ukraine are more concerned about the economy and corruption right now, that's their first concern before we move on for that, so where are we there? ambassador nuland: thank you congressman, for raising this point. this is the other major line of vulnerability for ukraine and where we have to shore her up and we thank you for your support and generosity on this committee for last year's $1 billion loan guarantee and then our request for the second $1 billion loan guarantee which is the u.s. contribution to the multilateral effort that the i.m.f. is leading. as you've seen in the last few weeks, as the ukrainians have started the very hard legislative work and implementation work to attack the problems in the economy, it has been extremely intense. i gave a long list in my opening
statement. you'll see a fuller list in my long statement of all the legislation that they passed to establish an anti-corruption bureau to clean up public procurement, to open the banking system to scrutiny, to get oligarchs and others to start paying their taxes, to break up public and private energy monopolies, all these kinds of things but it will require implementation. and most of the economic support funds we asked you all for ukraine for 2015 and again for 2016 go to the u.s. mentors and advisors, our ability to work with them on implementing legislation, help them be public in these things. but it is a long, long road, but they are seizing it by the horns. that's why we've structured our support to ask you for the second billion-dollar loan guarantee now but not to come back to you for the third one until the fall when we see how they implement because our assistance, like everyone's assistance, is tied to performance. the ukrainian people expect no
less. that's what they stood in the snow for and that's what we expect as well. mr. meeks: thank you. mr. royce: we go to mr. dana rohrabacher of california, chairman of the europe, european and emerging threats subcommittee. congressman rohrabacher: thank you very much, mr. chairman. let me agree with mr. meeks that this is a very complicated issue and perhaps a lot more complicated than the black and white alternatives that we have been hearing about today. at one point we've heard that the ukraine desperately needs economic help. and i would hope that our goal is to do what's right by ukraine and bring peace to ukraine and not our goal being to basically defeat and humiliate russia for
actions that it has taken. because if that's our goal, the people of ukraine will continue to suffer and suffer and suffer. back to the ukraine desperately needs economic help, this whole incident in history started when the government of what you call the rotten regime that preceded the current government of ukraine went to our european allies to ask for help that it desperately needed for its economy and the deal that was offered by our european allies was not sufficient and in fact much less than what the russians offered them instead. and when that deal was taken by the rotten regime that you