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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 17, 2015 9:00pm-12:01am EST

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services that are playing a vital role on the ground and ensuring our communities are safe. can the prime minister now confirm that he is willing to work with us to prevent cuts to our police force and make sure they are able to continue with the protective work they have to do? does he agree with the metro police commissioner lord blair that it would be disastrous to ask police officers as they bring inviteal intelligence to help prevent attacks. another member of parliament, i fully understand and appreciate the great work that community policing teams do. we have seen in the past after
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atrocities like this there can be a back lash against muslim communities. far right racism have no place in our society, our thinking and i hope there will be no increase in that intolerance as a result of what happened in paris. will the prime minister set out in more detail the steps his government is taking to work with representative organizations of all of our faith communities to achieve that we strengthen community cohesion at these very difficult times? we must ensure that those entering our country, whether they are refugees are appropriately screened. the home office will provide the border staff necessary to do this. it's also important in these circumstances that we maintain our humanitarian duty towards refugees. fleing n refugees are
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and it is our duty to protect them and our obligation under the 1951 geneva convention. i hope the prime minister will confirm our obligation to maintain support for that convention and the rights of that convention will be un diminished. it is vital at a time not to be drawn into responses which feed a cycle of violence and hatred. president obama has said that isis grew out of our invasion of iraq and one of its unintended consequences. will the prime minister consider this as one of the very careful responses that president obama has made recently on this matter. that makes it essential any military response that will be considered and the support of the community and the legality from the you united nations. can i welcome the prime minister's comments at the g-20
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yesterday when he said i think people want to know there is a whole plan for the future of syria and the future of our region and a few bombs and missiles won't transform the situation. can i welcome his commitment to respond to the foreign affairs committee report and carefully present to the house and to the country. will he confirm before bringing any motion to the house he will provide full answers to the seven questions raised by the select committee report? would he also say more about the particular contribution that britain has made to the vienna talks on the future of syria? they provide possibly some carbous optimism that could be a political future in syria that involves a ceasefire and the ability of people to return home. would he also say and this is the final point i want to make
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on this, what more can be done to cut off supplies of weapons and external markets to isil? weapons are being supplied to some of the most repressive regimes in the region. what is being done to ensure that they do not end up in even worst hands including hands of isil and the extremist jihadist groups in syria? what can be done to bring to account those governments or organizations or banks that have funded these extremists or turned a blind eye to them? we need to know that the national trail which isil gets its funding and sells its oil.
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they are very important indeed and i welcome his commitment concerning the problems of epidemics and the problems created by the lack of resistance from anti-bikes. would he also consider that cuts are made to renewable energy run directly counter to everything he said and everything his government said they want to achieve at the climate change talks. we have to combat climate change here, internationally and grite britain. >> i thank the gentleman for his remarks and the tone he is aking.
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a briefing on national security issues that is something that is available to all. and if it's not offered, please do ask. the national security to help and particularly important in hese times of heightened alert and right to phrase the emergency services in france and they have done an amazing job. and the secretary did this yesterday, ever since the mumbai attacks and the intelligence we had about the firearm attacks, a lot of work has been done in britain to make sure we would be ready for any such attack. i thank him for his support for the security services. he right to mention the civil liberties and fighting to defend that. on policing, we have protected budgets in the last parliament and do it through this
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parliament, which i think is vital and see the uplift we are giving to our intelligence and security services and do what is necessary to keep our country safe. he is right to condemn anti-semitism. all of those issues are addressed in our counterextremism paper and we should be working with local communities as he suggests and we do to make sure they lead in these debates. some of the things that have been said by muslim clerics and muslim leaders have made a huge difference in recent weeks. he asked about borders. we have the opportunity to carry out screening and checks in our borders because we didn't share the border system and we're not going to do do that and importance of having those border controls. terms of the syrian migrant program, we are taking 20,000
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syrian refugees from the camps rather than those who already arrived in europe. there are two levels of screening to make sure that we are getting people who are again inly fleeing persecution and would not pose a risk to our country. you asked about the again he cyst of isil, and what i would say one of the branches of this extremism is what we have seen in our world for most, there is boko haram, al qaeda and the first manifestations of this violent extremism, not least the twin towers attack, that happened before the invasion before iraq. and we don't try to seek excuses or what is -- they have been killing british citizens for many years.
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he rightly asked about the process in vienna and we were a key part of that where the foreign secretary has been talk binge that and secretary kerry commended me. he mentioned about additional bombs and missiles only going to be so far in syria. i think britain can do more and because of our expertise and targeting can cut the number of civilian casualties when the action is taken. it would make a difference but i believe yes, along side that, we also need a process that delivers a government in syria that represent all of the syrian people. you can't defeat isil by a campaign from the air. you need to have a government in iraq and government in syria that can be your partner in delivering good government and obliterating the death toll that threatens us and them.
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that's the point i'm making. he asked about cutting the supply of weapons and we are a key part that is working on that. a large of the money comes from oil that it sells not least to the syrian regime. another thing they failed to address if we are taking part of the action in syria. i met the new canadian prime minister and coming to london very shortly to see the queen and i will have a meeting with him and we will work together. in terms of the economic slowdown, he is right the forecasts for global growth are lower than what they are. britain and america stand out in the advanced world of having more rapid economic growth and we ask others to take the steps to deliver that growth. and finally he asked about renewables and climate change.
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i would say to the house that the summit on climate change was disappointing. there is quite a lot of opposition from some countries to put in place the things that are needed for a good deal in paris. britain can say we played an important role and in terms of renewable energy and look at what has happened. nothing short of a revolution in britain. >> the continued reach and activity of isis represents a monumental international security challenge. the aim was degrade and con them. can i think my right honorable friend about the need to cut off the financial supply and deal with the narrative over values and what he has said today about joining our allies in taking
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action over syria and iraq. and no military campaign of this nature has ever been won from the air alone. can i say to him we may require an international coalition on the ground top remove saddam from kuwait and rule nothing out and give no comfort to isis. they hate us not because of what we do but because of who we are. >> i thank him for his support and we can do and what would make the difference rather than what we can't do. it's my contention in the end, the best partner we can have for defeating isil in iraq is having a reformed government in syria that could credibly represent the syrian people.
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>> my thanks to the prime minister for his statement and we welcome a commitment by all parties in the house. can i associate with the shock and sadness with the people of france and all families and friends who were killed. will the prime minister confirm that intelligence information is being shared with our allies in france? the u.k. we are indebted to all of those in our police and security services that work to keep us safe. we welcome the commitment to provide necessary funding and personnel to do this type of work. given the scale of the disaster in syria we welcome the talks at the g-20. for the first time there appears to be momentum building to have a ceasefire and combat the terrorism. can the prime minister update the house on the next steps
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towards a potential ceasefire and political transition in syria? in recent weeks and months there have been large-scale bombing operations in syria and bombing by the united states of america and bombing by russia and bombing by france and many other countries and bombs dropped by drones, bombs dropped by fast jets and naval vessels. president obama has reiterated his opposition to providing boots on the ground. given these facts is the long-term solution to syria is the end of the civil war and supporting kurds? today we have seen the arrival f refugees from syria in glasgow. does the prime minister agree that the welcome we agree to these reef few geese is the true mark of decency and compassion,
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in short the complete opposite which was visited on paris by terrorists last friday? >> i thank the gentleman for his remarks and questions. on the issue of briefings, he is a member of the intelligence and committee if he feels he isn't giving enough briefings, ask my team. he asked about intelligence sharing. we have strong intelligence sharing with the french government and with others in europe. there is more we can do. i spoke to the belgian prime minister yesterday to talk about increasing our intelligence sharing and i think that's vital important agenda for us to move on. on vienna, there is momentum behind these talks. the foreign ministers are meeting again in the coming weeks. the envoy will bring the different parties together. it is a complex piece of work
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and vital that some of the opposition groups are involved in this dialogue. we want a future syria where they are all represented and that means that the russians should stop bombing the free syrian army and should be part of the sirenian future. how much can be done from the air. we need an end to the civil war. we need to support the kurds and some of that support can be delivered from the air. they need our help to bring this conflict to an end and his remarks and commend glasgow taking in refuse. and i know they will be looked after. the s acknowledgement that defeat of isil requires a transition out of the syrian civil war. and the progress is beginning to clear the path towards an
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international plan that would enable that military defeat of isil. will he continue to put our full plementic effort into making that plan sufficiently clear, politically, militarily and legally and seek an endorsement of the role of our armed forces that will lead to the defeat of isil in syria and iraq sooner rather than later. >> i thank my right honorable friend for his support what he is saying. yes, i can confirm our full plementic effort is bringing everyone together. itting around the table in arabia, all the key players, russia, all the key players are there. in terms of the legal basis for any action that we might take, i believe we can answer that question comprehensively as we
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have on other issues and i'm happy to put that in front of the house as part of my response to the foreign affairs of that committee. >> isil wants to exploit the refugee crisis and poison europe's attitudes that we have seen on the streets of paris. britain is supporting proper registration in greece. i'm concerned that that is not happening. will he look again you are gently of what more britain and europe can do to support proper registration not just in greece but in internal borders throughout europe so we can make sure that we provide security and humanitarian aid so britain and europe can have security and solidarity to your refugees. >> she is absolutely right as the external border of europe,
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greece has played a vital role and the registration of migrants is vital that that takes place properly. my understanding, when it comes to european asylum support, we have given more than any other country in europe. we are putting the resources. greece is not our external border. the external border is at calais. and we are doing what we can but she's right, making sure people are properly documented is going to be a vital part of our security. >> sir william cash. >> the carnage paris shows the danger of allowing declared jihaddists from returning to their country of origin. will my friend review legislation to prevent declared
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u.k. jihaddists from returning the united kingdom whatever the fundamental human rights say. we must put the people of this country first. >> i thank the gentleman for his point and i have sympathy with it and in the counterterrorism legislation that we passed we took further steps to confiscate passports. we can strip them. if we think they are no longer a citizen of this country. we have the temporary power which was controversial but the home secretary and i pushed it forward to exclude british nationals from returning to the u.k. i'm looking at options for going further on these measures to make sure we are safe. but it was very contentious at the time. we are right to stick to our guns. >> i thank the prime minister
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for his statement and join him and colleagues on all sides here today and expressing sympathy to the people of paris, beirut and the injured and those who have lost their lives and the families of them and to condemn the terrorists who seek to attack us. they did he test our diversity, our freedom and our generosity of spirit and they win if we compromise. it is critical any u.k. military involvement should be on civilian protection along side pushing isil otherwise we repeat the mistakes of the iraq war. does the prime minister agree that the long-term stability in syria must be part of the structure against isil and will he confirm that any plan brought to parliament to use our armed forces there will specifically address this? >> let me say i think you are absolutely right to mention the bombing in beirut because some
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people want to possible it and somehow the clash of civilization, the islamic world against the rest. the beirut bombs as many bombs before it proves that these people, isil are killing muslims in their hundreds and thousands and it is very important to demonstrate to muslim communities in our our countries we take this violence as seriously. he asked whether what we would do in syria would be about civilian protection. yes, it would be about civilian protection in the obvious way that if we can take out the murderers of isil, we are helping to protect the syrian people but also because britain has precision munitions like the brimstone missiles which are most effective than what the
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americans have, would mean a better targeting of the people ho should be targeted and fear civilian casualties. >> my right honorable friend is absolutely right to focus on the political track in the syrian negotiations, building in part on the anan proposal from sometime and but the significant progress that has been made in vienna last week. if those negotiations are successful, that will of itself remove a huge barrier to the widespread military coalition that all of us want to see and which britain, as he said today, would have the ability and indeed a number of unique assets to play a very significant part. if those negotiations in vienna are successful, i have no doubt that the prime minister coming back to this house will get a
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huge majority of members from both sides in britain's full participation in it. >> what i would say to my right honorable friend and he makes some very good points. as i have said, to defeat isil in syria, two things are required. first of all, we do need to make sure that the international community, arab states and others are taking the military action to degrade and defeat isil but we need an effective ally in syria that could unite the country. those two things go together. if he is arguing that military action should only follow after some political agreement has been absolutely nailed down, we might be waiting a long time for that to happen and i would caution against that approach and i want to be clear what i'm proposing here. what i'm saying the government will bring together all of its
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arguments about how we succeed in iraq, how we succeed in syria, what a political process should achieve, how we degrade and defeat isil. the role that britain will play. but all those arguments together in response to the foreign affairs select committee, it will be for members of this house to see if they want to come forward and asent to that idea. if that happens we can take the action so we are playing a part with others in defense of our own national security. >> could i say to the house, i'm very conscious there are many colleagues here who cannot be accused of underestimating their expertise. there are 60 people still wishing to attribute. and they will need to follow the brevity. breffity --
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>> i welcome the prime minister's commitment how isis can be defeated and his insistence it has to be done with our allies. defense. put a hat is the implication of that on the part of great britain. >> so we are looking carefully at what it would involve. but standing back from the legalities of it. the french are our friends and allies and brothers and sisters and we should be with them if there are things to help them, i think we should. >> given the extreme circumstances of a paris-type attack in london does my right honorable friend did he priving the police the right to shoot to
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kill would make the public safer? >> i don't. and i hope the leader of the opposition will review his remarks because when you are combatting a terrorist attack and look what happened in paris. it wasn't a siege or taking hostages or setting out demands. it was mr. allen: attempt to kill as many people as possible. when the police are confronted, they must be absolutely clear if they have to take out a terrorist to save lives, they should go right ahead and do so. expanding air strikes to syria have no less hatred for the mass murderers ho have carried out attacks in paris? [indiscernible] >> the internal politics of the labour party.
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the committee has concluded there doesn't seem to be a strong case that will achieve little or nothing instead making us feel good and that we are doing something as a result of the atrocities. >> i don't agree with that view. it is for the government to bring forward the argument to make the case and persuade as many members of this house that is the right thing to do. the people who oppose this have to answer the question, was it right to take out isil in iraq but wrong to take out isil in syria particular len when the headquarters are. and the attacks on this country have been planned and for all we know continue to be planned. that's the question that colleagues will have to answer after reading my response to the foreign affairs select committee ffment we can get to the situation where it looks like britain as one can come together. i'm not asking for an
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overwhelming majority, but the majority to come forward and say this is right to take this action. >> the prime minister is well aware that given the nature of those returning from serving in syria, who served with isil and the danger that they have to our society, what measures is the government taking to persuade those who can to speak out against what has happened? because they are more likely to influence young muslims than any of us. >> my honorable friend is absolutely right. there are obviously huge numbers in britain's muslim communities who absolutely made clear that what is being done by isil is not in their name and not representatives of islam, per version of islam. and that is powerful and i encourage people to go on doing that. those people who have been to syria, perhaps as part of an a convoy who have seen what has
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happened and come back and disillusiononned by their hatred, by the appalling people, women are sex slaves and throw gay people off the top of buildings, they can be most of the powerful voices and say these are people we have to finish. >> may i ask my right honorable friends who have experienced over many years, the ravages of terrorism personally and express our full support of the prime minister in relation to these terrible events in paris and elsewhere and express our profound sympathies with the people affected. would the prime minister agree that the security services need the resources and i welcome what has been said, need the powers and look forward to working with the government to introduce more
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powers, the proper oversight and they need our support, the public support and the support of politicians, when they need to shoot to kill. and i welcome what the prime minister has said of seeking to blame the terrorist victims for contributing to their own murders through saying that the foreign policy of this county is wrong. this is a shameful approach. terrorism has no excuses. it never had any excuses and the people who express them should be ashamed. >> has been the case in recent weeks, the honorable gentleman speaks with great power and great force and i agree with what he says. >> as well as action from our armed forces, the security forces, we need to tackle the ideology that lies behind the
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threat that we face. does the prime minister agree that as part of that we need to challenge the extremists and expose them and offer support to communities who feel vulnerable at the spread of them in the u.k. and help stop people going into extremism? >> my right honorable friend is right. far too long, governments have felt that the way to handle community relations is to leave people in different silos and listen to self-appointed community leaders rather than engaging directly with people and when it comes to this battle, we shouldn't be neutral but be clear that we will engage with because they back the values we share and those we don't agree with and those that might be part of the problem. and it's not just necessary in britain but in other parts of europe, too.
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>> does he agree with me that in order to protect and preserve that, we need to be very aggressive in our counter narrative, and that means the internet companies doing much more than they are currently doing, in order to take away the most important method of recruitment, and internationally it means working with europol and interpol, giving them the support they need as this is an international issue? mr. cameron: first of all, can i thank him for the support he gave to the indian prime minister's visit to our country last week. and what i said standing alongside the prime minister is that, while of course we still have to fight discrimination and racism in our country, i think we can lay some claim to being one of the most successful multiracial,
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multifaith, multiethnic democracies in our world. something india aspires to do as well. and it should be something that links us. he's right about this issue of working with internet companies. just as we've worked with them to try to take child pornography off the internet, so there's more we can do to get this extremism off the internet as well. >> the prime minister is right to focus on the importance of a multifaceted approach. but may i suggest to him that when it comes to military intervention in syria, we must learn from previous errors. and try to ensure that we put together a proper strategy involving regional powers and allies, the powers including iran and russia, which might have to recognize that isil is the greater danger than president assad, because we also need to accept that that fact alone will not defeat this evil regime. mr. cameron: my honorable friend is vite. bringing together an international coalition for
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political change in syria is the right thing to do and that's exactly what we're doing. iran and saudi arabia and russia and america, britain, france, turkey and others are all in the room together negotiating this. and that is the way it should be. but i also think we have to have a regard to our own national security. and every day that isil is active in iraq and syria, is a day that we are in some danger in our own country. >> the prime minister is right that the police and the security services need our full support at this time. but shouldn't it be immediately obvious to everyone, to everyone, that the police need the full and necessary powers, including the proportion at use of lethal force -- proproportion ath use of legal lethal force if need be to keep our community safe? mr. cameron: the gentleman is absolutely right. i think we can have a huge regard for our police in this
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country. the old saying, that the public are the public and the public are the police does ring true because they come from our communities. they're not seen as some occupying force. and it's absolutely right, when they're confronting murderers and people with weapons, they have to be able on occasion to take lethal action. i hope that the leader of the opposition will think carefully about what he said because it's important we all support the police in the work they do, rather than undermine it. >> thank you, mr. speaker. can my right honorable friend set out what plans the government is making to make airport security safer, given the belief that we have that the russian airline was brought down by a bomb? mr. cameron: what we've seen this morning are some reports that the russian security services are now making clear that they believe it was a bomb that brought down that aircraft tragically after it left the airport. this is an issue i discussed with president putin yesterday. what we need to do is to work
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with others to look at the most vulnerable locations around the world and work out how we can make them more safe. there's no 100% security you can deliver, even in the most advanced airport. but there are some basic things around scanners, about the way luggage is handled, about the way passengers interact with their luggage, what happens at the gate, best practices that can be introduced right around the world and that's what we're going to work on. >> if a broad international coalition is not just possible, but necessary in syria, then what is the obstacle to a security council resolution? and on the financial flaws, account prime minister answer the question directly, what are the obstacles to disrupting and degrading the financial flaws and the financial institutions without whom they could not function? mr. cameron: first of all, the obstacles so far to a security council resolution has been the fact that one of the permanent members, russia, has threatened
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to veto meaningful security council resolutions that would perhaps provide that overarching permission for the action that we believe is necessary in syria. but i'll answer the question very directly had in my response to the foreign affairs select committee, that the action i believe we should take is legal under international law. and i know that should be spelled out clearly and of course i will spell it out clearly. in terms of disrupting the financial flows, we are part of the committee that's looking at all of the action that can be taken, including against financial institutions. as i said, one of the most portion things we can do is stop the funding through the oil trade, some of which they're sending directly to assad. >> earlier this year the kingdom of morocco signed an agreement with france to train imams and preachers, including women, in the moderate mainstream tradition, to which my right honorable friend
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referred. would he congratulate morocco for the exceptional leadership that it has displayed in tackling extremism and commend its further efforts perhaps as far as the u.k.'s concerned where we can learn some of the lessons that france is currently undergoing? mr. cameron: my right honorable friend is absolutely right. we can learn a lesson from morocco. there's also work the german government has been doing with turkish imam -- imams. there's work we've been doing with imams train to come into this country. one of the remarkable things about the g-20 is the conversation about fighting radicalization and extremism. the proposals made by, for instance, the indonesian president and the malaysian prime minister, both countries that pride themselves on being part of the moderate muslim world. were particularly powerful to listen to. >> perhaps we differ on details of how to ensure citizens are kept safe. i certainly agree that it is the overwhelming priority of the government to make sure
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that they are. and in that vain, can he assure us that as well as giving extra money to the security service, he'll make a significant investment in our diplomatic services, which are world class and are needed more than ever right now? it should not be hollowed out by cuts. mr. cameron: the diplomatic post place a vital role in britain's soft power. we are derp ranked the other day as number one in the world for soft power. we've been opening embassies around the world rather than closing them. it's a good opportunity to thank all our hardworking staff from this. >> thank you, mr. speaker. to counter the appalling slaughter that was faced by all those in paris, we will need armed police on the spot within minutes. can the prime minister reassure the house that we have sufficient armed police in all our cities to do just that? mr. cameron: my honorable friend is absolutely right to raise this. and following the mumbai attacks and the intelligence we had offer that -- after that of potential attacks in this country and all the work was
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done to make sure that the armed response vehicles we have have sufficient amount of people to meet the challenge in any of our major urban areas. we keep this under review. we're studying what happened in paris. we're looking at the numbers that we need. i think the idea of routinely arming all of the police in our country is not right approach. but certainly increasing the number of armed police that are available, that is something that we're looking at very carefully and something that, if necessary, we'll do. and also, while we don't talk about the role of our special forces, they're also available to help in these circumstances. and again, we'll do everything we can to make sure that they can be brought to bear at the right moment and can help with our overall effort dealing with what our extreme -- what are extremely challenging problems thrown up by what happened in paris. >> thank you, mr. speaker. does the prime minister agree that full responsibility for the attacks in paris lies
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solely with the terrorists and that any attempt by any organization to somehow blame the west or france's military intervention in syria is not only wrong, disgraceful, but lso should be condemned? mr. cameron: the response right across the house shows how right the honorable lady is. it's worth remembering as well that those who think that somehow this is all caused by iraq, france didn't take part in the iraq war. indeed, they condemned it. the fact is about these isil terrorists, they hate our way of life. they want to kill and maim as many people as possible. they also do this to muslims with whom they disagree. and that is why we have to confront and defeat and not compromise on excuse in any way this vial organization. >> can i welcome the prime minister's statement, particularly his commitment to come to the house with an argument for extending british military action to syria, but
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would he agree with me that the threat we face from isil is such a current threat to our national security, and it's timely, that he may have to take action as prime minister without coming back to this house in order to protect our national security? mr. cameron: i'm grateful for the honorable gentleman for raising this question. i've always said very clearly at this dispatch box that in the case of premeditated action, for instance, against isil in syria, then it's right that we have a debate and a vote and i'm happy to repeat that. again. but i do reserve the right, taking action against an international interest, where you have to take action very quickly, very rapidly, and you need the confidentiality before you take it, as it were, i'm prepared to act. that's what i did in the case of hussein and the u.k. drone strike and where we were working hand in glove with the americans. i think then it was right to take that action and explain afterwards. but i'll try and stick to that
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clear demarcation. i think that's the right approach for our country. >> i welcome the prime minister's statement and i'm sure that sensible people on both sides of the house will support sensible members -- measures in the days and weeks you a head. has the government given any consideration to the way in which the government of saudi arabia perhaps exports and funds and encourages radicalism? and is this something we should address with a view to making sure they don't radicalize young people in the u.k.? mr. cameron: i think the honorable gentleman makes an important point. i met with the king of saudi arabia at the g-20 and we discussed the situation in syria. i think it's fair to say the saudi arabia has actually quite a strong deradicalization program for its own citizens who have become extremists and it has been successful in that. but we do need to ask, as i've said more broadly, about how we stop people setting off down the path to extremism in the first place. and that is important in terms of what is taught in schools and how it's taught and how we
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make sure that in all our educational practices, right across the world, whether we're christians, jews, muslims or hindus, that we're teaching tolerance and understanding right from the very start. >> while i suspect many, both in this house and beyond, will find it unpalatable that we're talking with president putin at this time, i support the prime minister in having those discussions. just to pick up on a point that was made by the other gentleman, is it the case that the government is still trying to work towards getting a u.n. security council resolution on these matters? hand in glove with the other strategy to which he's referred? mr. cameron: we keep talking with security council partners about potential resolutions that we could put forward on any number of issues to do with this overall problem of isil and iraq and syria. but in terms of something that takes -- that backs the sort of military action we've spoken
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about in this house, that hasn't been possible up to now. because of the russian potential veto. and i think it is important for us to understand that it is possible to act within international law, with the full backing of international law, without a security council resolution. obviously it's better in many ways to have a security council resolution as well. but we cannot outsource our national security to a russian veto or indeed a veto by nybody else. >> [inaudible] -- to reject the views that sees terrorist acts as always being a response or a reaction to what we in the west do. does he agree with me that such an approach risks infant liesing terrorists and treating them as children, when the truth is they are adults, entirely responsible for what they do? no one forces them to kill
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innocent people in paris or beirut. and unless we are clear about that, we will fail even to be able to understand the threat that we face, let alone confront it and ultimately overcome it. mr. cameron: it is that sort of moral and intellectual clarity that is necessary in dealing with terrorism. i know there's something deep in all of us to try and find an excuse or an explanation or an understanding, but sometimes the answer's there staring us in the face. and with isil, that is absolutely the case. > the people of north sussex mourned the loss of nick alexander. he gave pleasure to others, music. would my right honorable friend join me in paying tribute to nick and also reaffirming our resolve that we won't allow these murderous cowards to destroy our way of life? mr. cameron: i certainly join my honorable friend in paying
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tribute to nick and to say that our thoughts are with his family and his friends. what isil was trying to do was to destroy our way of life and our value systems and the things that people like to do in their spare time. and one of the most portion things we can do, alongside all the security responses, is to go on living our lives. >> i thank the prime minister for his statement. on behalf of myself and my two colleagues, i would like to convey our sympathy and our outright opposition to terrorism, because coming from northern ireland, we all know what that was like for so many years. but in so doing, we note that the prime minister is coming back to the house with a full, comprehensive strategy. and in so doing, could he define the term that he referred to earlier, action that would be legal under international law? mr. cameron: what i said i would do is that, as part of the strategy that i will lay
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out in response to the foreign affairs select committee report, is set out as one part of that strategy, why i think we should be taking an action, taking action not just in iraq, but in syria too. and in doing so, we'll set out the legal advice for that. i think it's very important that the house sees that. you can already see, with the action we're taking in iraq, that we're taking that action at the request of the legitimate iraqi government. you can see, with the action , that that so far was also on the base of -- basis of self-defense of the united kingdom. i canly a out -- lay -- i can lay out very clearly of these arguments why we should be doing it, why it's in our interest of national security, but i'll make sure that in this paper it addresses those legal arguments as well. >> with the second massacre in paris last weekend, our own and -- were murdered
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[inaudible] -- can i say that now is not the time for knee jerk reactions but a time to reflect and plan effectively? can i ask my right honorable friend if he'll do everything in his power to stop and destroy this murderous regime that is dash, for the sake of our own national security? for which he has my 100% support, as no doubt he does for many members in thousand. mr. cameron:ky thank my honorable friend for his support. i don't believe in knee jerk reactions. rightly, though, when something like paris happens, it's worth asking every single question about our state of preparedness, about how we'd respond to this, about our intelligence cooperation. that's exactly what we're doing. i don't -- and i think it's right we do. >> mr. speaker, the prime minister's content and tone of his statement spoke not just for the government, but for the country.
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referred to the retaking of sindjar. on saturday, as a member of the old parliamentary party group visit, i was with the kurds in the kurdistan region of iraq. on the front line, south of kircuke. those kurdish forces are brave, they're putting their lives on the line every day, they did so at sindjar, along with the syrian kurds. can we do more to provide material support for the peshmerga of iraqi kurdistan and also, pending a decision on whether we go into syria, give more support from the air to the kurds in iraq now? mr. cameron: very grateful to the honorable gentleman for what he said. the answer to his question is, yes, we're already, as he knows, providing training and support to the kurdish peshmerga forces.
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they're incredibly brave. they've done a great job of liberating people from isil dominance. we discussed yesterday with president obama and the french, germ and italian leaders ma more we can do. germ -- what more we can do. germany is also doing a lot in that area. there's more we can do. >> i honor my friend's commitment. and his commitment to continue to make the case for this house and to the electorate. can i ask him to do so as part of a long-term vision for stability in the region? mr. cameron: i think my honorable friend is absolutely right. people want to know that our response is not driven by anger. but is driven by resolve and is thoughtful and thought through and will make us safe and the region more stable. i'm convinced we can answer all those questions in the document i'll put in front of the house. >> the comments on the right
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honorable friend, welcoming the refugees arriving in glasgow today. but can i ask the prime minister, with regard to the paris climate change talks, what further discussions were held at the g-20 and whether he personally wants to attend those talks in paris as an active leadership -- of leadership -- an act of leadership and solidarity? mr. cameron: i'll be there at the start of the talks on monday. the discussions of the g 20r7 positive in that, again, everyone committed to having the aim of below two degrees. my concern is that some of the things that are necessary to make this agreement really meaningful, like five-year reviews and the rest of it, there's still some opposition from some countries to that and we still haven't had every country's independent proposal for how they reduce their own carbon emissions. there's important work to be done. we can use the commonwealth conference for part of that. britain is playing its part. there will be an agreement, i'm confident of that.
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it will involve russia and china. we're now battling for a good agreement rather than just a mediocre one. >> would my right honorable friend agree that an overriding priority must be the security of our country and its people? and recognizing that the threat we face from terrorists today is not just about bullets and bomb, but it's also about cyberattacks, and will he ensure we have the right funding and organizations in place to deal with this threat? mr. cameron: my honorable friend is absolutely right. we do face cyberattacks. not just from states, but also from radical groups and individuals. i think we made a lot of progress in recent years at funding our cyberdefenses but it should be a major feature of the strategic defense review we discuss next week. >> first responsibility of government is to protect its citizens. the prime minister has set out the steps with which to do that. could he say some more about what steps he will take to secure action against those who
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are buying goods of contraband from isil? such as the syrian government, but also individuals and companies. mr. cameron: i'm very grateful to the honorable gentleman for his remarks. there is the sale of antiquities, of course, we i -- which he might be referring to, as well as the seam of oil. we're trying to crack down on all of those things and we're looking at what we might have to do in that area. >> i think it's reasonable to act beyond 2:00. >> along with the honorable , i join them on the -dash ine against isil last weekend where, indeed we saw the amazing work that the peshmerga is doing in taking back territory and communities from that evil existence.
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we also visited some refugee and displacement camps. and saw families affected. would my right honorable friend the prime minister agree with me that we need to ensure that we are protecting those minorities in the middle east? mr. cameron: my honorable friend is absolutely right. finding -- making sure that both iraq and syria are countries and governments that represent all of their people, sunni, shi'a and kurd, is absolutely vital. >> the question perhaps. >> i agree with all the comments about the number one priority of this government being safeguarding the national security of those we represent. but actually that extends to every single member of this house. with regard to the use of lethal force by intelligence and police forces abroad and at home, of course it's important that they have the powers necessary to act. but it's also important they act within a clear legal
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framework. i welcome the prime minister agreing to publish the advice on which he intends to act in syria, could he also ensure that the basis on which police act ourn streets here is published and made known to those we represent? mr. cameron: i thank the gentleman for his question. i want to clarify, i'm not saying i will publish the legal advice, because governments have never done that. what i did as prime minister in the last government and will do again in this, is provide a proper and full description of what that legal advice says. i know that sounds like splitting hairs but it is important. that's what i will do. as for the issue that he raises about the police, i'll ask the secretary to write to him directly about that. >> the prime minister heard anything about the possibility of partition as a settlement on the lines of cyprus, leaving a
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tribal area in the south and free syria in the north? mr. cameron: i don't think -- i have seen ideas put forward for these sorts of things. i don't think it's the right idea. i think the idea of trying to carve up these countries into a sort of sunnistan and a shi'astan i think would be a great mistake. what we need to do is build a syria that can have a government that represents all of its people. as syrians. >> i have met a number of syrians over the last couple of weeks, including a very brave citizen journalist who is about to return to syria. they are unanimous in calling for a no-bombing zone in syria. to stop civilians being killed by assad's barrel bombs. can the prime minister reassure us that he will ensure that the views of syrian civilians are taken into account in relation to any u.k. military action? mr. cameron: the honorable gentleman's absolutery right. if we were to take action, it would be to save the lives of
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syrian civilians. of course we all support no-bombing zones in terms of assad stopping the practice of raining down barrel bomb, sometimes with chemical weapons, on his own people. and that is why while we should be very focused on isil we cannot forget that president assad has been one of the recruiting sergeants for isil. his brutality keeps providing fresh recruits. the idea you can just take sides and team up with assad against isil is an entirely false perspective. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the prime minister for his statement. in light of the terrorist attacks in paris, i believe our police and security services you are jntly need the new powers set out in the bill now. could i therefore urge the prime minister to consider speeding up the pre-legislative scrutiny procedure and bring forward the date when this vital bill will reach statute form?
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mr. cameron: i thank my honorable friend for this question. we are looking at this issue. but i would reassure him that most of what the i.p. bill does is put onto an even clearer statutory footing those practices currently carried out by our security and intelligence services. there's one element that is particularly important that is new, which relates to internet connection records, which is probably the most controversial part of the bill. and i don't want to jeopardize this bill by rushing it. but i hope he's reassured. we'll look at the timing but most of the powers are about being put on a clearer legal basis. >> arguably the more successful forces against dash on the ground in iraq and syria have been the peshmerga. what diplomatic pressure can the u.k. government put on allies undermining their capabilities? mr. cameron: what we're doing is everything to help their capabilities. training, ammunition, logistical support. that's coming from us. that's coming from the germans. that's coming from the
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americans. and obviously we need to work very hard with all of the countries in the region to recognize that the kurds are our allies in the fight, not least because they're taking it directly to isil and saving civilian lives. >> mr. speaker, as chairman of the all party group for kurdistan, i join the prime minister in praising the peshmerga forces for retaining -- retaking sind jar. does the -- sindjar. does the prime minister agree with me that the kurdish forces need their fair share of oil revenues promised from the baghdad for them to be able to continue to this fight on the ground against the evil isil dash? mr. cameron: my friend has a lot of experience in working with and helping the kurds. there is an agreement in iraq about the sharing of oil revenues but it needs to be honored properly because the iraqi government needs to always make clear that it's there not just for the shi'a but for the sunnis and kurds as ell.
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>> account prime minister share his views on the creation of a safe zone for civilians within syria? mr. cameron: as i've said before, we're always happy to look at the suggestions. but when it comes to safe zones, you have to remember that you can't declare them without making them fully safe. and in order to do that you might have to take very severe military action against syrian air defenses, syrian aircraft, syrian command and control, and all the rest of it. so -- and you might have to have troops to make that zone safe as well. so i think there are real problems with these suggestions. i look at them, i've discussed them with the turks, for instance, a huge amount. there's also another danger worth thinking about, which is that there are two million syrian refugees in turkey. if they felt a safe zone was being created in order to push them out of turkey and into syria, that actually might hasten their move to come to europe. so all these things have to be
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considered. but at the end of the day, safe zones are only proxies for what really needs to happen, which is the destruction of isil and the political transition in syria. >> -- [inaudible] -- the paris atrocity came into europe in the guise of a refugee. can my friend give an assurance that as we welcome, and i emphasize the word welcome, genuine refugees into our country, that proper security checks will be carried out to ensure that isil supporters don't get in under the radar in a similar way? mr. cameron: my honorable friend makes a good point and he also puts his question absolutely in the right way. we musten confuse migration and terrorism. but we do need to be clear that proper border control checks are necessary to make sure the people who come to our country don't threaten us. and this is one of the reasons why we never joined, we wanted to control our own border checks.
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>> mr. speaker, the prime minister is right. the greater powers are necessary to thwart terrorist internet below the plotts. the prime minister's also right to make available additional resources for our security services and our special forces. does the prime minister, however, not agree that it would be the worst possible time now to proceed with the biggest cuts to any police service in europe, which will have a serious impact on neighborhood policing, vital to intelligence gathering, the eyes and ears of counterterrorism in local communities? mr. cameron: as i've said, we have protected counterterrorism policing budgets in the last parliament. we'll do the same in this parliament. i think the police have shown in the last five years how well they can do at finding efficiencies and actually increasing the number of neighborhood police officers that are on our streets. >> thank you, mr. speaker. terrorists and their weapons can enter the u.k. through any point of entry and the ports that mainly handle freight, are
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perhaps particularly vulnerable. can my right honorable friend assure me that staff levels for border force will be maintained and if necessary enhanced to combat this threat? mr. cameron: my honorable friend is vite to raise this issue. what i can tell him is we're very foe kissed on preventing -- focused on preventing firearms fromenting our country. that's one of the best ways we can try and defend ourselves from these sorts of attacks. we have an intelligence-led mod where will we try and use intelligence to -- model where we try to use intelligence to make sure our border security is delivered at the right way at the right time. but all the time we're asking border force whether they have what they need. i discussed this with the head of border force who attended the cobra meeting on saturday morning when we discussed this. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i agreed with everything the prime minister said about syria and about terrorism. but does he agree with me that those who say that paris is reaping the whirl wind of western policy, or who want to say that britain's foreign policy has increased, not
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diminished, the threats to our own national security, are not just be a solving the terrorists of responsibility -- absolving the terrorists of responsibility, but risk fueling the sense of grieveance and resentment which can develop into extremism and terrorism? mr. cameron: a moment when he very kindly said he agreed with me. i absolutely agree with him. we have to be very clear to those people who are at risk of being radicalized, in this sort of excuse culture is wrong. it's not only wrong for us to argue, for anyone to argue, that paris was brought about by western policy, it is also very damaging for young muslims growing up in britain to think that any reasonable person could have this view. so i agree with him 100%. >> thank you, mr. speaker. does the prime minister believe that any individuals live in the united nations -- united
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kingdom now who have information about any activities of those who have become radicalized or are terrorists themselves, are silent accomplices to any carnage that might take place in this country? and that they have a duty to pass on that information immediately in order to save the lives of so many innocent people? mr. cameron: my honorable friend makes an important point. it goes to this issue about the civil liberties that we have in our country. people who might suspect that a friend or a relative or someone they know has become radicalized or their mind has been poisoned, they should come forward, secure in the knowledge that everything we do in this country is done under the law. under the rule of law. and i think we can't send that message out clearly enough. >> in this age of terrorism, can the prime minister indicate to us how safe are the british people? mr. cameron: i don't set the alert levels. they're set independently. and that's right that it should
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be done by a group of experts. the level is currently set at severe. which means that they believe an attack is highly likely. the next step you would go to is critical. where you believe that a threat is imminent. that wouldn't normally happen until you have some intelligence that would tell you that a threat was in some way imminent. so what i say to the british people is we should go about our lives, we should be vigilant and work with the police and intelligence services where we can, but never give in to the threat that the terrorists pose, because of course they want to us change our way of lives and to live in fear. that is what terrorism means. >> mr. speaker, does my right honorable friend agree that the terrorists pursue their evil trade most effectively, they require training and training requires territory. so action to reduce isil's territory, whether it be in iraq, or syria, or anywhere else, is a vital component to ridding the world of these evil
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people? mr. cameron: my honorable friend is absolutely right. it goes actually to the point the honorable member made which is so much of what our policy over previous years has been about, is to try and close down the ungoverned spaces where terrorists are able to stay and are able to train. and that's why we cannot sit back for more -- from all these things. that's why we're engaged in trying to make somalia into a proper functioning country. it's why we took action in afghanistan to try and stop that country being a haven for terror. it's why we can't stand by while there fails to be a libyan government, who will work harder to bring about some rule of law and order in that country. we don't do this because somehow we believe in militaried a event tourism. we do this because we want to keep people safe in our own country. that's what it's about. >> i join the prime minister in expressing cautious optimism that the vienna process could advance the prospects for a sustainable peace in syria.
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something that's important given the huge numbers that have died there and the millions that have been displaced. but also the horrors in paris and beirut, reminders of its importance to defeating dash as well. he comes back to the house with his response on the foreign affairs report, can i emphasize to him the importance of a strategy being in there? i understand they want to advance the case more military action, but what a lot of us will be looking at is how that fits into a strategy, including the involvement of regions in the area. mr. cameron: i hope i'll be able to assure the gentleman, there is a strategy and we need to lay it out more clearly. which is combining this political settlement with the military action that i think is important and the involvement of neighboring countries. but in the end, we have to decide whether to take this action as part of a strategy. but certainly that is my aim in this document i'll produce. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
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i fully welcome the prime minister's statement. the prime minister, president hollande has used the exact words, france is at war. john kerry said we have to defeat them. they want to us call them isil, isil for legitimacy. can we use dash? mr. cameron: my friend is winning this battle. the use of the word dash is increasing. the point he makes about the evil we face is right. we know that this group, just as they carried out an attack in paris, they would be equally content to carry out an attack in belgium, sweden, denmark, or here in britain. they don't not do it because they feel we're somehow different. they just haven't yet managed it. e have to stop it.
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mr. cameron: i absolutely agree with the honorable lady. and as we do so, we need to take everyone in our country with us. can i direct the prime minister back to the alarming news that 'tis reported that 450 violent jihadists returning from the middle east have been readmitted to the united kingdom. will he give a firm undertaking -- undertaking to the house that he will not rule out any action against these individuals? mr. cameron: my friend is right to make this point. what we have is a system for trying to examine everybody who returns in this way. some people, as i've said, will come home completely disillusioned with what we've
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seen. there are people that will have to keep a very close eye on and use all the powers that we have at our discretion. >> i congratulate the prime minister on his current and leadership at this time. there's a need for a new strategy, quite clearly, it must come within this house. mr. cameron: the i hope this response will be something around which members of this house can rally. so that we can then move forward in a way that supports our allies and keeps our ountry safe. >> the prime minister is aware of one of the leading forces in the u.k. in fighting radicalization and terrorism. could he update the house as to what further steps can we take to ensure that our security
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services are not -- and our police forces cooperate fully with each other? mr. cameron: my honorable friend makes a good point. we've announced this additional funding for our security forces. i've said what i've said about counterterrorism policing. but of course there is a need to continue to work on the prevent program and i'm sure that will be something that will be addressed by the home office in its spending review. >> mr. speaker, can i raise to the prime minister disturbing reports of the fire bomb attack in the early hours of this morning against a cultural center in bishop briggs used by muslim constituents of mine. can i also alert him to the racist attack faced by my colleague in social media. will he join me in condemning some some of the inflammatory statements in the press, attempting to link innocent muslims about ex -- with extremism? mr. cameron: i certainly join the gentleman in condemning these attacks. we should be equally clear that just as anti-semitism is wrong,
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islamaphobia is wrong, and right wing extremism, attacking people for their religion, is completely wrong. i think this is absolutely vital that we're equally vement about all of these things. >> i'm sorry to disappoint remaining colleagues, but we have had an hour and a half and i thank the prime minister for his privilege sifment can i gently say to colleagues who didn't get in, if you're colleagues who did -- your clegs who >> later members of congress condemn the terrorist attacks in paris. on the next washington journal we look at how congress is reacting to the syrian refugee congressman earl
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blumenauer. witha discussion of ptsd psychologist deborah beidel. >> a signature feature of ouran2's book tv is series of discussions with authors. coming up, live from the 32nd annual miami book fair. coverage starts saturday. authors include john lewis discussing his book march. peggylive call-in with noonan who talks about her book the time of our lives. judith miller discusses her book he story, a reporters journey. ted koppel discusses
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his book lights out. speak with the authors live. msnbc host joy and read will take calls about fracture. from miami on c-span2's book tv. follow in tweet us a question at the tv and at c-span on twitter. >> in the press briefing paul ryan called for a pause immigration by syrian refugees to ensure terrorists are not admitted into the u.s.. a new congressional task force is developing a plan for syrian asylum seekers. this briefing is 10 minutes. mr. ryan: morning. come on in.
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what happened in paris is pure evil. and i simply want to say that our prayers and our condolences go out to the victims' families and to the french people. it's clear that this was an act of war and that the world needs american leadership. the national defense bill that i will sign later today requires the president to come with a plan for defeating isis, not just containing, but defeating isis. a containment plan is not enough. that has failed. in addition, the majority leader and our committee chairs are develop plang to address the syrian refugee crisis. our nation has always been welcoming, but we cannot let terrorists take advantage of our compassion. this is a moment where it's better to be safe than to be sorry. so we think the prudent, the responsible thing is to take a pause in this particular aspect of this refugee program in order to verify that terrorists are not trying to infiltrate the refugee population. in the end, the ultimate
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solution to this crisis is a strategy to defeat isis. all of this rises above politics. this is not about politics. this is about national security. and so we will invite all of our colleagues, republicans and democrats, to work with us quickly to address the urgent nature of this situation. mr. mccarthy: i would like to add to the condolences from the house to the innocent victims of paris. they were attacked because of their way of life. as we watch now around the world. the speaker's correct. this is not a time to find containment. it's a time to defeat isis. that's why when the speaker and spoke this weekend, we put together a task force. it is a task force made up of
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the chairmen on counterterrorism and homeland security. it's made up of armed service appropriations, intel, homeland, judiciary and foreign affairs. we've been coming up with short-term and long-term solutions. this is not something that we can solve overnight. but there are issues right before us. when it comes to the refugees. we realize what has happened in paris, we realize we want our homeland to be secure. the speaker has challenged to us come up with legislation starting this week to deal with the issue as we go forward. we'll find a series of bills that not only in the ndaa ask the president to come up with a strategy to defeat isis, but a series of bills to protect our homeland as we move forward. mr. scalise: as the people of france are grieving, we stand with them in grief. they've seen attacks from terrorists on their soil, we've seen it on our soil. we grieve with the people of
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france. i think it underscores even more importantly how vigilant we have to be in establishing a real plan to go and root out and take on isis. in a broader way. i would like to see the president have a stronger plan and a new plan to take on isis and to confront this threat as they are saying that they're going to exploit these refugee programs. we ought to take them seriously in that threat. as they're saying they want to attack america. we ought to take them seriously. that threat. i was in greece just a few months ago, meeting with some of our military leaders who were on the front lines. as they confirmed to us, as they're seeing thousands of refugees coming in, being distributed throughout europe, the plans to vet just don't exist. you're seeing the president say he wants to bring 10,000 more refugees into america. his own leaders are saying that there is no ability right now to vet that there are not
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terrorists infiltrating these refugee plans. so i think the american people are concerned as well as we are about making sure that these refugee programs are not exploited by terrorist organizations and the president ought to join with us and make sure that does not happen. and until it's certified that it's not happening, discontinue this plan. mrs. mcmorris rodgers: last friday the world witnessed another unspeakable act against civilization and the people of paris. and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims and their families. on behalf of the american people and our allies, we must finally rise to the challenge. working alongside our international partners, we must provide the leadership and the commitment necessary to destroy isis and halt al-assad's mass atrocities.
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these are the causes of the world's most serious terrorist threat and most significant refugee crisis since world war ii. it is time for a real commitment. and the courage and the resolve from our president. it is time for leadership. we must be articulating that broader strategy to the nation and to our allies and then we must actually follow through on it. >> my thoughts and prayers are also with the people of paris and the families worldwide affected by this horrific tragedy. the united states must continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with france and our allies in the face of this radical islamic terrorism. ms. jenkins: there is no important duty than protecting american lives at home and abroad. nations have always looked to america for leadership. america must lead.
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that is why congress passed the national defense authorization act with overwhelming bipartisan support. this defense bill will give our military the tools they need to combat the spread of terrorism. we must act swiftly and effectively to help ensure the continued safety of americans everywhere. it's up to us in america to show a path forward as we fight for a safer world for our kids to grow up in. ms. mcsally: good morning. i serve on the armed services and the homeland security committee. prior to being in congress, i was in the military for 26 years. as our colleagues in leadership said, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of paris and france. for these horrific attacks that happened last week. but it could have happened here. i had the privilege to be appointed to a task force on combating the flow of foreign fighters and terrorist travel. for six months this bipartisan task force looked at this very
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threat. what we know of is 30,000 individuals that have traveled from over 100 countries to iraq and syria. we know over 4,000 are from western and visa waiver countries, 250 from america. those are the ones that we know of. we realize there are so many that we don't know of. law enforcement has investigations in every single state right now. and we found 32 findings in our report that we released in september after six months. this administration needs to step up. we do not have a strategy. we do not have a focus. there are over 200,000 social media tweets and posts per day by isis in a very sophisticated social media campaign. they are acting as the speed of broadband while we are acting at the speed of bureaucracy. we need a strategy. that includes unleashing american air power in a way that can actually crush and defeat them in iraq and syria. a broader strategy diplomatically and militarily for the dozens of countries that we're seeing isis presence in,
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stopping the flow of foreign fighters and encountering the radical extremism that we're seeing happening in our own neighborhoods. we have less than two dozen people focused on countering this extremism in america. we have 10,000 i.r.s. agents make sugar that you don't take any -- making sure that you don't take an improper charity deduction. it's time for this administration to step up its game, take this seriously, it is a generational conflict. and we must lead now more than ever. thank you. mr. ryan: questions? reporter: you said this is an act of war. [inaudible] -- are you talking about an actual declaration -- mr. ryan: i think isis showed that they're going to -- they are committing an act of war against the west. what else do you call what they did in paris? reporter: what should be the congressional response? i guess what you're talking about -- mr. ryan: if you're talking about aumf, that's a different question. we have the authority right now under the existing aumf and we'll revisit all of these
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issues later. look, the way we look at this issue is, number one, right in front of us is the fact that we have a refugee situation that we think requires a pause and a more comprehensive assessment on how to better guarantee that members of isis are not infiltrating themselves among the refugee population. then -- but please know, this isn't just about refugees. this is what congresswoman mcsally said, this is about having a comprehensive strategy to deal with isis, by defeating isis. that's what we do not have. the bill we are sending to the white house today -- this week, the defense authorization bill, requires that the president have a comprehensive plan to defeat and eliminate isis. containing isis is not enough. defeating isis is what is necessary and we do not have that comprehensive plan in place. reporter: can you be clear on what you're calling for in the pause to the refugee program? the entire refugee program? mr. ryan: we're talking about -- let me say this. the american refugee laws are important laws. it's important that we have a
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refugee system in place. we respect that. but we think it's simply prudent that for this particular program, in this particular situation, that we be better guarded against any possible infiltration of isis coming through this program. that is why we think it's necessary to have a pause and to have a more comprehensive strategy dealing with guaranteeing that we do not allow isis members coming here. so just to finish answering your question, this is what the majority leader's working group is coming up with. we've assembled a task force starting saturday to consider legislation as quickly as possible and we'll be back in touch as we make our conclusions this week. reporter: one of the ways in which isis is successful is they're able to hold ground. we've had limited success with man power on the ground and overtaking isis strong holds. do you think part of this comprehensive strategy should entertain the possibility of u.s. combat troops on the ground? mr. ryan: i do not think any option should be taken off the table. i think all options should be
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placed on the table and i think the commander in chief, this is his duty and responsibility, should come up with a plan that accomplishes the goal of defeating isis. reporter: you want to pause the program until you can verify -- mr. ryan: our task force is considering legislation while we speak, we're meeting every day and we will bring legislation forward and we'll give you the answer to those questions when we have made our conclusions. reporter: \[inaudible] mr. ryan: we don't want to wait that long. we want to work and act on this faster than that. we will be having an intelligence briefing for our members this evening. the intelligence committee will be briefing all of the members of the house at 5:30 this evening so that members have the kinds of facts that we need as the situation unfolds. thank you very much, everybody. appreciate it. >> democratic leaders discussed
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immigration. they urged the house to take up immigration reform. this is 40 minutes. >> why don't we go ahead and start? >> good morning, everyone. we just had a meeting with secretary of human services with secretary burwell and i am ,oined by leader nancy pelosi assistant leader jim clyburn, vice president joe crowley, and weirman ben ray lujan and are going to be joined shortly, i hope, by an individual who will discuss information
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shortly, miss isabel dominquez. it isime like this, important to convey to all of the people in france our and ourty with them prayers and thoughts that we extend to the families and the , thems from this past week paris attack in paris, france -- terrorist attack in paris, france. workfrance, we hold up the that we do in this country to , cherishfreedom democracy, and we do every thing we can to make this the land of the free and make it a place , and people can find hope because we are a nation of immigrants, we make it very clear that if you come to work and build this country, you happy home. home. have a
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andn line with our history our principle, being a nation of immigrants, we look at the system that we have in place today for immigration and we see that our immigration system is broken in so many ways, and it is time to fix it. at a time whenng our house republican colleagues have called for a fresh start and have a new speaker, a fresh start with a fresh, new speaker, paul ryan, that rather than give us the chance to begin a fresh start on something like immigration, which is operating under a broken system, that thattunately, we have word we are not going to do anything on the side, in the congress, in the house. it ignores the fact that immigration reform would not only be good for our national security, it would be good for our economy, it certainly good for all of our families here in the united states of america. we know that there would be more jobs created if we fix our
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broken system, and we know that we would improve state budgets by creating a system that would work, and we know it would strengthen our social security if we had an immigration system that worked. nation ofng a immigrants, we must underscore that we respect and understand and be accepting of immigrants to our country, who, by definition as refugees, must show that they fear death and procyclical -- and persecution by coming to our country. 50,000 refugees have settled in america since 9/11 and not one has been arrested on domestic terrorism charges in the united states of america. we are a nation of immigrants. we are a nation of laws. we must understand that to make this system work for all, we must fix our system of immigration, which is severely broken. policy.eld to net to
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-- two nancy pelosi. -- to nancy pelosi. i echontative pelosi: your remarks by saying that we express her sympathies to france and france is our oldest friend, france is our oldest friend. we extend sympathy and fraternity. hit, the french press said, "we are all americans now." as we approach the issues of concern there, we have to recognize that protecting people is our first responsibility, but we also cannot yield to terrorists, whose goal is to instill fear and to change who we are and our way of life.
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and so, again, i associate myself further with your remarks. today, we have gathered after misguidedcircuit's decision to the community of immigrants of america, but we are glad to move forward and resolve this issue. are installing the immigration accountability executive action by president to prevent it only perpetuates a broken immigration system that fails to serve the national interests. we must not continue to defer the dreams of hard-working immigrant families who give so much to our communities. at our meeting this morning, our ranking member of the immigration committee, a person who has been an immigration lawyer, taught immigration law, chaired the immigration committee, shared with us the option of chain -- of signing an
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amicus brief about change. this is just stunning that people are saying that the president, this president, doesn't have this authority. just as presidents before him, president authority has authority to make the nation better and to reflect our shared values, and every administration, democratic or republican, since president dwight david eisenhower, has use executive authority to do just that. in the years immediately following the and i can, in fact, even when congress has acted, our congress is acting in , butce of congress's act in the absence of that, he has discreetly, in using his
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authorities, made his presidential executive, taken his presidential executive action. but even when congress did act the 1986it was called immigration and reform control act, president ronald reagan, and following him, president george herbert walker bush, protected thousands of people who received protected status under that law. not goid congress did far enough so they initiated a family fairness initiative. president george herbert walker ronaldd if president reagan took those bold actions, how could you say that, how could this court say, that this president doesn't have the authority to do exactly what they did in fact do? fact, they affected a higher percentage of people than president obama's actions.
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chose not toicitly grant status to the people that president reagan and president rights to, andhe president reagan and president bush recognized that it was not tothe national best interest separate these families. god bless them for that. we remain confident the president obama's executive actions will be upheld, there is a need to pass this reform as we are urgently in need of this. movingforward to forward, and i perceive this to have delaying tactics on the part of the district court. i hope that this can move forward expeditiously so that
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by the end of april. that is for them to proceed in that way. so this is really very important. this has all of the legal authority in the law. there is a precedent by former presidents. this is a very misguided decision. it must be reversed. i know yield to mr. assistant leader mr. clyburn. mr. clyburn? mrs.sentative clyburn: pelosi, let me thank you and expressing my tremendous grief in franceis happening and lebanon. frankly, other places across the globe. i don't know of anyone who will
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notion thatt the our immigration system is broken it is broken and we have known that for a very long time and we whatve very strongly that president obama is attempting to do is put families first as we respond to a broken system. play, andas a role to for some strange reason, the to cop outs decided to the tea party element and refused to move forward to try and fix our immigration laws and does, i think it
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is important for the president to do what is necessary to keep that is together, and what he is attempting to do with this system. and it is not that he is acting outside of the law. i think that all of us are aware sf the history that president have pursued in trying to keep them together and try not to destroy communities and tried not to unfairly penalize law-abiding citizens, and so i am pleased to stand today with my colleagues in support of the i will yieldd now back to the vice-chairman of our
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caucus, joe crowley. are presented of crowley: -- representative crowley: thank you, jim. to express myike condolences to the people of paris, as well as lebanon and turkey. this is not the first fairest attack -- first terrorist attack, and being from new york, and having experienced our own terrorist attack, there is a special connection and we are joined against this attack against innocent lives. but i also want to take a time to talk about the opportunity onepleasure of discussing of the most a verse districts in the united states today. whether my constituents might be from ireland, mexico, colombia, or career, i think that lumping
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them all together is a potential for a knock on the door at night or to pull over a vehicle because the taillight is out, and that for many of us would be inconsequential, what for them, it must be a life-changing experience, one that could potentially rip a child's parents away from them and see them deported. that is a real-life fear for many of the people i represent in the 14th congressional district in queens and bronx new york -- bronx, new york. i think our fellow republicans understand is that not keeping up with the principles of what we as americans stand for, not unlike my grandparents who all came to this country for a better life for themselves and for their children. i dare say that i don't think anyone before my grandparents would have ever imagined in a generation that their grandson would be a representative in the house of representatives.
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they are no different in many respects from the people coming here today, seeking out the same opportunity, providing for their families, to give a better life to the greatest country in the world that we have ever known. that is a standard that we have probably lived up to throughout our history, and one that i believe, unfortunately, on the other side of the aisle, are looking to further deteriorate. we see that rhetoric coming out in the aftermath of paris. knee-jerkcomment response from our republican colleagues, as opposed to a thoughtful, well thought-out ofn in an ever-growing issue people who are under duress and who need relief. instead, they simply turn their back, and that is not the america that we are. we need to reevaluate that. i believe the fifth circuit was
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wrong in the decision they made, but do that as it may, i am calling to everyone, and especially to mr. ryan, the new speaker, i know he has had a call for immigration reform, but now it is time to fix our open -- broken immigration system. this is for people who are living in the united states today, and we need to address the issue of integrity of our national security purposes. but we also need to understand the world that we are living in today. this is part of the fabric of the united states. theeed to find a way to fix broken legal immigration system that we have today as well. it is not working. we need to take an opportunity, now is the opportunity to do it, now is the time to fix our broken immigration system, don't delay it any further, now is the time to do it, we have a president who wants to do that, and with that, i'm happy to yield to my friend.
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you, i want to join my colleagues by expressing my thoughts and prayers, my condolences and support, to the people of france. as we gather this morning to have a conversation about immigration reform and policy in to united states, we have make sure that we work together, and democrats are willing to work with our republican colleagues to pass comprehensive immigration reform, to have a thoughtful conversation and have a but yet while we new speaker, we are hearing the same old, tired excuses. we still have a speaker who is unable or unwilling to stand up to the freedom caucus, the most conservative arm of the congress , to allow even for a debate on immigratione reform. republicans from the presidential candidates, like
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donald trump, to the house, continue to alienate latino voices, hispanic voices, to their altra conservative addition, of comprehensive immigration reform. because the republicans in the house of refused to address this serious issue, president obama took action, just as every president from eisenhower has done. that includes both president reagan and both presidents bushes. bush.sidents many people who live and pay taxes and -- live here and pay taxes will continue to live in fear. senator rubio said doing nothing , but thatto amnesty is exactly what house republicans have been doing. again, house republicans have had the opportunity to support reamers,
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they have a voted against them every time on the house floor. house republicans have better come up with coming up with some more solutions than coming up with excuses. that, mr. chairman, is important that we work together here, and it is long past time for house republican leadership to allow a vote and a debate on comprehensive immigration reform. with that, i will turn this back -- chairmanzetta the center -- becerra. :hairman becerra we are still looking for mrs. dominguez, but we heard that she was stuck in traffic. so we will take questions. i think most of us respect the fact that the president has done everything to keep americans
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safe, keep american troops safe, and if we get involved in any conflict, it would be for a good reason, and it is personally my opinion that i am a not voting to send american troops to fight in a civil war, that i am prepared to vote to send troops to a country that i find that those people in that country are prepared to fight for themselves . at this stage in syria and iraq, --ell you that i have let have yet to see the people of syria and iraq is conducting themselves as a unified people ready to fight against the common enemy, and so for that reason, it is tough to meet to see us moving forward. everything that the president has done from the airstrikes to port a nation with our allies on the ground to coordinating with france and our european partners and our regional partners to try to help those who are fighting with isis, i think that what we
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are doing is making every effort to make sure that isis is not back, as we have seen as they are losing territory, but that they are ultimately defeated. i would also allow my colleagues to respond as well. next question. yeah, here and here. >> [indiscernible] something that needs to be done and if not, [indiscernible] : as ian becerra mentioned, you hate to be driven by fear, or as i mentioned, things are worse in fear when -- in howeat people you treat people. i mentioned that some 70,000 i 11ees have come in since to this country, and not a one has ever faced arrest or
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terrorism or some type of terrorist activity. must goess that you through as a refugee to go into this country is extensive. it is long. you must go through the most thorough of background checks. in fact, there is no form of person coming into the country from another land that requires more inspection, a more rigorous inspection, then those who qualify as refugees. so i am not sure what the legislation is that my republican colleagues might introduce, but if it is simply a primordial reaction, then i would say that what we would have to do is recognize that all americans want to make sure that we do nothing to jeopardize our freedom and our security here. can,st to everything we not just in the inspection and in the interrogation process or
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in the questioning process of anyone seeking refugee status, but make sure that we avoid having anyone come to this country who might have to do us harm, and we will have to do everything that will give the american people the sense that that is our job. that than to say that some child or a mother should be denied refugee status after going through a rigorous process to qualify, who has proven that she ,ears death, torture persecution, would be such a sin on our american values, that i think it is important before reacting before i say it must be important to wait and see what this legislation says. but if the process is more rigorous than what we have, then i think you are going to find a lot of people very receptive. what i think if it says to shut the door to people who fear the for their life -- who fear for their life, and we have a
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process that rigorously inspects think that is an overreaction based on fear, perhaps hate, and i would hate to see that. perhaps my colleagues have a response as well. i do think crowley: it is important to point out that, in our first responsibility, i think the federal government must protect the united from foreign invasion, and those who choose to harm us. i think the president is doing everything that he believes in conjunction with the coordination of -- in conjunction and coordination with the experts. he also said he is open to any suggestions and ideas that they may have. be also working in anything that is helpful in containing daesh in the region and helping those in the region from washington,
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d.c. all the way to omaha, nebraska. reaction, it in terms of mr. ryan's move to bring a bill to the floor, i wish we would have that same kind of action in terms of overall comprehensive immigration issues, which has languished, never brought to the floor, not a single floor -- single bill brought to the floor. instead, it has been a knee-jerk movement based on fear, and i would suggest politics. . politics.- this is not a time for a political answer, this is time for a solution. i understand american people have fear and i understand that they have a concern that what happened in paris may happen here. we are all concerned. we are human beings. but we need to do this in a deliberate fashion and a smart fashion. any of't yet heard from
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the experts who are having a meeting today, a close more -- closed door meeting today, i want more information before they begin rushing to judgment or making those kinds of decisions. i think that is what the republican leadership in the speaker need to do as well. mike? mike: [indiscernible] chairman becerra: i think we are all looking for a way to make the refugee program work well or to help those who are truly in fear of their life or their children's lives. i don't think any of us have an issue with that. i want to make sure that if someone comes into this country, they have the right intentions. i think that is absolutely appropriate, and not only do the american people deserve it, they demand it. i think you are going to find will american person
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demand it. shutting the door on a person who is seeking asylum or refuge is not arab tradition. in fact, i think we can all think of one issue back in 1939 of the voyage of st. louis, where 1000 people were seeking refuse -- refuge. seeking that set is because they were jews and we turn that ship away and as a result, we know that probably one fourth of those people perished in concentration camps. so we are not talking about people who just want to come into this country, certainly not people who want to do this country harm. we are just talking about folks for economic reasons were trying to flee. we are talking about people who have to try to prove that if they don't get refugee relief, they made time. -- they may die. they may be tortured.
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so i don't believe america intends to close its doors on people like that and i don't believe the american people would want that. i believe the american people will continue to recognize that some of them are the sons and the daughters of the very refugees and they want us to uphold our status as a democracy that fights for freedom for all, including those who seek refugee status. represented crowley: i think we also need to understand what kind of indication that will be, what kind of message is sent to turkey, what kind of message is sent to saudi arabia, for instance, who doesn't do enough, or they don't do anymore, when there are people who are not threatened with economic disaster or political consequences. this is about rape. this is about beheading. this is about the wanton massacre and genocide of people
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that we have to help prevent. and as the chairman has mentioned, there is a rigorous, rigorous program that they have to go through in order to gain entry hearing to the united states, so i think we have to examine that. if there is something that we can do to improve that, i think we should improve that, if there is something we can do to root out the possibility of a terrorist entering united states, of course we have to fix that. but turning it off is not the answer as well. >> [indiscernible] german -- chairman becerra: lorna, are you asking the
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statement? [laughter] "would hear governors say, don't bring any of those folks into my state." first of all, a governor doesn't have a right to say that. here in the united states, if you are here legally, you have the right to travel, and i don't believe the governor haslam right to say, "you can't come into my state." thank god for the constitution, first. ,econdly, for someone to say "you, on the side of the room, yes, you will be allowed in, you, on the other side of the room, you are not, and therefore, your persecution may lead to your death." that, as the son of immigrants, that hurts. we are mr. bush got that idea, i have no idea. i am christian. i'm catholic.
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you can easily say we will accept christians but not muslims, can we then say, in 1939, we will accept christians but not jews? will accept christians, we will accept them if they are protestant but not if they are catholic? the idea of refugee status is that you feel persecution not because you are a jew, not because you are christian or muslim, it is because you fear for your life, and if anyone, especially if you are running for office of the highest, to the highest office of this land, my god, please explain yourself. profiling, stop making people feel like they are bad something because they happen to becoming from the same country as there is so much turmoil in. do not paint people with a broad brush. thatve seen the results of back in world war ii and
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otherwise, and i think it is just the ugly part of this discussion and it is surfacing way to quickly, and i hope it changes. yes, at this stage, we will have to hold off on that, but if there are any further questions, we will take that as well. yes. >> [indiscernible] cerra: you know, and that is scary that as much as you hear the bellicose words of want to send your children, your son or daughter to war, to fight a civil war in those same people who are calling for us to send our troops, put them on the ground in combat, they have yet have thelet's authorization to use military force so that congress actually gives the constitutional authority for the president to do that." i find that to be cowardice on the part of those politicians who talkedup, who --
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tough but won't act tough, and who are unwilling to put their own sons or daughters in line to put boots on the ground and to say your center dot or has boots on the ground. we will take a quick word from mr. mingus who will talk about why it is so important on the .ssue of immigration i thinktative crowley: this is about an event that took i think years ago, and it is a quite different entity. in this ever-changing world that we live in, we need to update this and every member of congress who is not here back then, they had the opportunity to express him or herself as to their belief to the direction
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that the united states should go. as the chairman said, it is one thing to speak ella kos and use and to use, but -- , but it is bellicose another thing to go along and get along. erra: as difficult as it is to navigate in this country, sometime it is difficult to be inside this country. pleased to bee inside this building and we are pleased that mr. mingus is in here, and we would like to hear how the son of mr. -- the daughter of mr. mingus has the dominguez that miss is in here, and we would like to hear how the daughter of mr. dominguez is here to give her thoughts.
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i am so proud to be here and to come out of the shadows. we are here to live without fear. when president obama announced suspension, myca family cried. my husband and i lived in fear partition.ion -- the -- deportation. [indiscernible] we would not be able to have a family. we would not be able to graduate from high school. we have worked too hard and
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worked so long to contribute to this country. the time is now to implement daca for my family and all of would helps that from these benefits. thank you. : thank you very much. miss dominguez: [speaking spanish] [speaking spanish]
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chairman becerra: gracias. thank you, mr. mingus, for those words, thank you for your , fornt -- miss dominquez those words, thank you for your courage, and thank you for doing that for your family and your children? -- children. any questions? >> [indiscernible]
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i think becerra: clearly what all of this manifests is that there needs to be a system that works properly, whether it is our refugee system, aching sure that it is rigorous and robust, making sure that only those were qualified are coming into this country, and i would say so far, our system has worked very well and moving forward, we will make sure that it is even tighter than necessary, but as someone who has built his country, and is building a future for her kids, we need a system that works right for her. for her to be here for 15 years, it shows you that we have to move forward because people and families who have made this their home for the right reasons, so we hope to be able to have reform that deals in a comprehensive way with its refugee status, asylum issues, -- orthe gratian
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immigration through the visa process, or in dealing in a righteous way, with the 11 million people in the country without documentation. it is time to make it work and not say, we are not going to deal with it right now. i want to be able to see miss dominguez smile as her son graduates from congress. rep. crowley: i would like to add -- from high school. rep. crowley: i would like to never broughtouse this up in spite of the promises by then-speaker boehner that a bill would be brought to the floor. nothing ever was. there was talk about how the president can never be trusted. well, who can trust them? trust, you know, when you point the finger at someone, there is a finger-pointing back. chairman becerra: thank you very much.
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cias.dominguez: gra announcer: on the next washington journal, we look at how congress is reacting to the syrian refugee prices -- refugee crisis with congressman earl blumenauer. then a discussion about treatment for ptsd, with psychologist deborah vital -- fidel. airs at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. ♪ announcer: c-span presents "landmark cases: the book," a cases"o our "landmark series. it includes cases such as marbury versus madison, korematsu versus united states,
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brown versus board of education, miranda versus arizona, and more. written by supreme court , "landmarkny mauro cases" is available for $8.95 plus shipping. get your copy today at c-span.org/landmarkcases. announcer: secret service director joseph clancy testified before a joint hearing of house and homeland security subcommittee's about secret service employee misconduct involving the leaking of personal records about congressman jason chaffetz. also testify, home and security inspector general who investigated the incident. this is two hours.
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chairman: the house committee on homeland security and governmental affairs subcommittee on regulatory affairs and management will come to order. the purpose of this hearing is to examine failures in the secret service government wide. the chair recognizes himself for an opening statement. office ofer, the dhs the expect or general of the oig released a report on its four month long investigation into improper access and distribution informationt -- of within the secret service. the information was alarming. employees accessed information
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on employment and passed the information on and senior employment did nothing to stop it. john rossgeneral stated that the episode was deeply disturbing. director clancy said he had a different account of what he initially told oig. investigators subsequently had mr. clancy and had to re-issue a report. this leaves questions unanswered. secret service not act and how and why did the director change his testimony immediately after the oig report was released. the american people demand answers. as the serving as this incident is, it is only one example of incidences where secret service employees's showed poor judgment. earlier this year, senior agents
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who may have been under the influence of alcohol, compromised the white house when it was being investigated for a suspicious package. mr. clancy was not immediately informed. there was also a report of a 2011 incident where agents reported to the home, incident thathome had a violation of the employee code of ethics. the latest report are another example related to the damage of trust of the secret service. when scandal after scandal act, itand it fails to is cause for great concern. abusehe secret service abuseauthority, they
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their respect of the american people. the panel made broad recommendations in 2014 related to training of personnel, perimeter technology, and leadership. ofre was a broad roadmap providing service. i expect director clancy to hasy explain today what been it lamented the panel's recommendations. we must also understand what is being done to improve the overall management of the secret service. i am also concerned that civil -- similar abuses and shortcomings could be involved in other agencies. to understandt what policies and safeguards are in place to prevent organizations to abuse, and if it happened in this service,
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what is to say that other federal agencies are any better? beyond hearing must be pointing fingers. we expect the highest from the secret service and we want the service to be successful. it is critical to its well-being and as we saw from excellent work during the papal visit, correction, during the united nations assembly, they can work with focus and leadership. i look forward to hearing more on how this secret service can overcome recent obstacles and improve the culture of this critical agency. thechair now recognizes gentleman from oklahoma, mr. langford, for his statement. thank you for holding this hearing with our subcommittee as well.
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aam trying to think about more awkward situation about how we are seated here, but we are seated so far away and i do appreciate that it will be an open dialogue as we walk through this together. i also hope this sheds some important light on this. at the outset, i would like to acknowledge the role that the secret service holds. we do very much appreciate the service the secret service has done for a nation, however, the recenthistory of scandals can be swept under the rug. the secret service continue to misuse its ability to misinform jason chaffetz. to report noted 60 instances
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the database by 45 secret service employees the violated the secret service act, as well as internal policies. the report also noted that 18 senior secret service executives failed to stop this unauthorized access or in form director clancy of these authorized -- unauthorized accesses. on its face, such widespread violations are deeply disturbing. they do not question if this was the only time that they had inappropriately used the database. in the internet age, there is thiss the concern of information that could be misused. to me, there is a much bigger issue. in these days, millions of --ricans's personal data
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americans' personal data is stored across multiple agencies. 2014, the amount of -- many agencies have failed to foment hundreds of recommendations to remedy security control and vulnerabilities. these security weaknesses continue to exist and millions of americans house by the irs, hhs, the v.a., and other , just thise at risk month. the social security administration paid monetary awards 250 employees who were previously discovered to have accessed personal information to others without authorization. 50 employees without authorization got in the end were rewarded -- were rewarded in the end breaking the law.
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a lower was retaliated against for shedding light on inadequate suicide practices at va hospital. illegallyyees accessed his private medical records after he brought to light the shameful behavior occurring at the va hospital where he served. we question is now, how do fix this problem so that americans believe that the secret service will protect their information and not use it for nefarious means? i would like to thanks inspector clancy and co-inspector ross -- hoff for presenting today. i look forward to discussing each of these issues. the chair now: recognizes the gentlelady from new jersey, mrs. watson coleman.
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i want ton coleman: thank you for holding today's hearings. director clancy, i want to personally extend my condolences on the loss of your father. i thank you for your testimony, and i also want to thank the men and women of the secret service for their diligence and hard work in the recent papal visit. as a member of the committee of homeland security and the committee on oversight reform, i am well aware of the gravity of the secret service's mission, particularly its duty in protecting the president, protect foreign dignitaries, and oversees security mystically and abroad. that them confident overwhelming majority of the men and women of the secret service take their job seriously and highest level of
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professionalism, i'm worried about lapses of judgment in senior management. it is obvious that there is a wide lack of leadership, however, this did not just began under director clancy's leadership. these issues have plagued the secret service for years. last year, secretary johnson asked the panel to a favorite secret service. according to the report, the secret service needed a culture change. they needed to foster greater accountability among the staff, water eyes administrative function, and including adjusting the hours for special agents, and improving their training. after the panel dismantled, the inspector general continued to cooperate their findings. -- corroborate
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their findings. general found that the staffing and scheduling practices of the secret service contributes to officer fatigue and that this could pose immediate danger to the protect these -- protectees. the secret service considered the findings and isolated incident. the inspector general's most recent findings shows that access the agency has a deeply rooted cultural problem that is not being addressed. thatnspector general found over 40 agents had improperly accessed the personal records of members of congress through an antiquated database. according to the inspector general's findings, secret service leadership, including the director and the deputy director, did not recognize the
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severity, and dismissed that data breach as a rumor. instead of general -- instead of dealing with the information, they discussed the database access at a luncheon. the inspector general found that director oft training oversaw all aspects of career development and capacity training for the agency, and suggested that the information contained in this database be leaked to embarrass a congressman. mr. chairman, while this isident is reprehensible, it not good for us to speak of it in isolation. finally, i know that the secret service cannot improve with no help from congress. therefore, i need to know to hear from the director what he he needs from us
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for staffing but also technological needs, but also, i need to know from the director what his plans for the agency are. when the top-level turns a blind eye, this is an issue. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back my time. chairman perry: and now we turned to the gentlelady from north dakota for any statements that she may have. perry andou, chairman cochairman langford, i first want to say thank you for the brave men and the brave women who serve in the secret service. fewe i understand the last months and few years have been marked by high profile misconduct,f agency i know and you know that the majority of our agents work hard and put their lives on the line every day to protect the white house, has presidents,
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presidential candidates, and many officials and foreign presidents,-- past presidential candidates, and many officials and foreign dignitaries. i know what a few people can do to the morale of an entire organization, and i know that just by looking at the faces behind you, is to clancy, i know the impact that these discussions have had. spirit of, let's work together to make the secret service what the secret service should be, the most respected law enforcement agency in america. let's restore the morale of your agents, and let's work together in collaboration and cooperation to change this dynamic and to once again have your agents stand tall, if they tell their agents -- if they tell their friends and neighbors that they
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work for the secret service. that is why i am here today, is to remember and to remind therene on this dais that are literally thousands of men and women who every day walk alongside cars, willing to sacrifice their lives and serve protection as leaders -- for the leaders of this country. not one person can take away the bravery of those men and women, and so clearly, we have some issues to discuss, there is no doubt about it. thehave already heard about concerns that we have today. reason for being here and for being interested in this topic is really to restore the morale and restore the integrity of the secret service so that all of the brave men and women who have done nothing wrong in the secret service can once again hold their heads high. -- ince again, i yield
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yield back the balance of my time. chairman perry: thank you. we recognize the gentleman from mississippi for his statement. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i think the subcommittee and the senate subcommittee on regulatory affairs for holding today's hearing, and i also think director clancy and inspector ross -- roth for being here today. i want to thank the men and women of the secret service doing both the papal visit and the anniversary of the united nations, and the dedication of the office of the secret service is admirable. unfortunately, their tireless work is taught -- is mired in the issues within the agency. beforessues lasted long
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director clancy's appointment. however, congress and the public and the offices and the agency he leads hold him accountable. prior to director clancy's this panel, known as the protective mission panel, has several glaring findings and recommendations. livy's findings was articulated through many years of oversight within the secret service. needsw enforcement agency to undergo a cultural change that includes leadership that is capable of fostering greater accountability. pannell stated that the agency's star for leadership. -- the panel stated that the agency is starved for leadership.
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the panel completed its review, and the office of the inspector general the inspector general found these four supervisors turned a blind eye too two government agents, including the head of the president protection detail, disrupted a bomb investigation while driving impaired into a barricade at the white house. last month, the inspector general found at least 45 agents improperly assessed the personnel database to retrieve information in an attempt to embarrass a member of congress. of those agents that may have broken the law by improperly accessing the database, 18 of them were at the
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levels. the findings concluded the director of the secret service, his deputy director and chief of staff failed to take seriously that agents were discussing information about the congressman's personnel file. theinspector general made finding that the assistant general of training, the person appointed by director clancy to manage and direct all aspects of personnel, career development and professionalism suggested the information found in the database delete in retaliation to congressional oversight. the secret service will be expanding and undergoing a rigorous hiring phase. there will be looking to their
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leaders for guidance. as the secret service expands, it is our responsibility as members of congress to assist the secret service with adequate necessary funding for its mission, both the protective mission and the inspector indicated fatigue can place protect he's at risk. the agency needs to have its capacity to properly vet employees before they begin work rather than continuing the practice of having uncleared personnel working in sensitive areas such as the white house. the new recruits should represent america and have opportunities for investment. as of right now, the secret service's direct diversity numbers are dismal. furthermore, it would be hard for law enforcement agencies commitment to equal opportunity and inclusion to be taken seriously with the class-action
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racial discrimination lawsuit still hanging over the secret service's head and the secret service using everything tactic it can instead of resolving the lawsuit amicably. there needs to be changes in the secret service. i know the deeply rooted problems will not be solved overnight but we have to get to the source of them consider continuously glossing over putting on band-aids and going forward with business as usual. i look forward to working with the secret service to dance its mission. with that, i yield back. >> the chair thanks the gentleman. the chairman reminds other members of the subcommittee that opening statements may be submitted for the record. we are pleased to have a distinguished panel. witnesses before us on this important topic. the entire written statements will be in the record. the chair will introduce all the witnesses first and then
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recognize each of you for your testimony. mr. joseph clancy, as appointed director of the secret service, after serving as active director since october 2014. previously, mr. clancy served as a special agent in charge of the presidential protective division. mr. clancy began his career with the secret service in 1984 in the philadelphia field office. the honorable john roth was the inspector general for the homeland security in march 2014. previously, he served as a director of the office of criminal investigation for food and drug administration and assistant district attorney for the eastern district of michigan. welcome. mr. joel willemssen. of theging director information technology at the government accountability office where he leads the gao's evaluations of information technology across the federal government. 1979, hening gao in
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has led numerous reviews of the information technology systems and management at a variety of federal agencies. welcome. thank you for being here. today, the chair recognizes mr. clancy for his opening statement. : good morning, mr. chairman. chairman langford, chairman terry, chairman johnson, ranking ander watson-coleman ranking member thompson. thank you for the opportunity to testify today. i plan to address the findings of the recent report in the many improvements implemented over the past year designed to address the findings. i also look forward to discussing the numerous organizational changes we have made of the united states secret service and the like to express my gratitude and recognized the support of secretary johnson and the congress in making many of the changes possible.
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i said before you today a proud representative of the thousands of men and women who selflessly execute the mission of this agency on a daily basis. recent accomplishments include simultaneous special security events surrounding the papal visit and the united nations general assembly, as well as a number of high profile investigations served to reinforce this feeling. in fact, in addition to initiating protection to presidential candidates last week, the secret service personnel are deployed around the world ensuring the president safety while in southeast asia and yet another example of their commitment and dedication to the mission. despite the secret service as many recent successes. i recognize the primary reason we are here today is to address the misconduct detailed in the report. arose thatigation the employees in a properly utilized a database to access
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the applicant record of an individual who is now a member of congress. the misconduct outlined is inexcusable and unacceptable. this conduct is not supportive of the agency's unique position of public trust. on behalf of the men and women, i would like to publicly renew my apology to this breach of trust and a for my -- a firm i position -- affirm my position. advertise in the handling of the privacy act information. violations,of these the relevant policies and procedures were in place and could be found in the number of locations including the secret service ethics guide, the penalties, policy manuals and online training courses. i was angered by the disregard of these policies and i am determined to ensure all employees are held to the highest standard of professional conduct. as i have stated in prior
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occasions, i am committed to ensuring the calendar that he in this matter regardless of rank, the accountability -- ensuring accountability in this matter regardless of rank. the proposals related to this event. more are on the way. discipline is being administered in accordance accountability tot service policy and i am confident these actions will be fair, appropriate and completed in a timely fashion. a contributing factor that motivates individuals to improperly access this information was that data. secret service recognizes this some years ago and began a process of modernizing its i.t. infrastructure to allow for such data to be compartmentalized and restrict the access to those with an official need to know. this process was completed in june. at this time, the system has been officially retired.
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with respect to applicant records, and number of employees with access to the new system has been were -- reduced by more than 95%. finally has been made by my statement and the decision to reopen the investigation on october 5, 2015. prior to publicly releasing the provided a draft copy was reflected my statement that i became aware of the rumor on april 1. as my colleagues and i repeat -- reviewed the draft, i was a made aware of the rumor on march 3 five. when i was made aware of was a rumor with no indication of employees misconduct or accessing information. in order to ensure the accuracy and knowing the concern it would cause, i took the initiative to contact mr. ross prior to the report publication to ensure it was accurate and correct on this case. with respect to the
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recommendation tremendous progress has been made. say we haveo significantly altered the way the secret service is structured and managed. we have made strides in hiring new members of our workforce and expanding training opportunities for current members. i'm also realistic and knowing many of the changes we are making will take time and we must continue to communicate these changes to our workforce. in the interest of time, i will point you to my written testimony submitted in advance for more thorough description of this process and look forward to discussing the progress on these recommendations with each of you today. i would like to close by remembering a remarkable leader and true friend, former assistant director terry clark. jerry is widely known for his decisive action he took march ronaldhe attempt on reagan. the decisions he made that day,
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including evacuating the president directly to the process -- hospital, saved the president. as i reflected on his passing, i had the opportunity to review a speech he made to a graduating special agent training class in 1994. "intated and i quote, organizational coulter is a product of time, successes, sufferings, failures and just plain hard work. after 100 years or so, deep roots are developed and a corporate memory involved. while another agency can purchase equipment and technology similar to the secret service, they cannot buy the corporate memories. this is a priceless commodity." as the men and women of this agency traversed these challenging times, it is important to remember culture is from hard work and dedication which will prevail as a lasting corporate memory of
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the secret service. thank you and i welcome any questions you may have. >> thank you, mr. clancy. the chair recognizes mr. roth. mr. roth: chairman langford, ranking members and members of the subcommittee, thank you for inviting me here today to testify. we conducted a number investigations on the sections of the secret service programs and we have a number of ongoing projects. a written testimony describes some of the work. in theoral remarks discussions and allegations of the secret service to restricted database discovered details of the chairman's application of the secret service. as other ongoing work. agencyd the application was accessed by secret service employees in approximately 60 occasions from march 25 to april 2 of this year. we concluded the vast majority
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of those who accessed information did so in violation asthe privacy act of 1974 well as secret service and dhs policies. we identified one individual would knowledge -- who acknowledged. because of the number of individuals who access the information was so great, we were unable to identify others who disclosed information to third parties. we found the axes begin minutes after the director testified before the committee on oversight on march 24 and continued in the days following paire. fueled andd an confirmed. we found a number of senior managers were accessing the information improperly and some access to themselves. other senior managers were aware they applied to the secret
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service but did not comprehend the seriousness. no one acted until it was too late to stop his unlawful activity. our investigation also reveals the mci, a case management tool in 1994, did not have the audit and access controls of a modern i.t. system or progra april appropriately discriminate the information. appropriate safeguards to ensure the safety and security and confidentiality of the records. additionally, the secret service must ensure only reboulet -- relevant information is in the database. maintains they have the information about the records of the individual that is relevant and necessary.
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the fact that the mci had records from an unsuccessful application from 12 years earlier which contained sensitive information which could lead to identity theft may violate the privacy act. were trainedagents in the system and receive yearly refresher training, it was apparent many of the agents this regarded it. -- disregarded it. data to aboutall five other secret service information systems in september 2015. our office of information currently audits is conducting a technical security assessment of the information systems that the secret service now uses to store information. we expect to complete that assessment in the final report in february 2016. over the past year and a half, part of our independent oversight effort, we have investigated various incidents
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to allegations of misconduct and other issues related to the secret service organization and mission. the results were investigating and point to ongoing organizational and management challenges. the secret service has taken steps to address these challenges but not always successfully. additionally, we are reviewing three incidents involving potential security lapses. for each incident, shot being fired at the white house, an intruder white -- dubbing over the fence, and an armed guard getting close to the president, we are figuring out if the secret service went through its own policies and whether these corrections will adequate. the ultimate aim of the review is to determine and understand the root causes of these lapses. in this fiscal year, we plan to issue three reports as well as a report that identifies the root causes and includes any other
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necessary overarching recommendations. this concludes my prepared statements. i welcome any questions you or any other members may have. >> thank you. the chair recognizes mr. willemssen. mr. willemssen: thank you, chairman, ranking members, chairman johnson, ranking member thompson. members of the subcommittee. thank you for inviting us to testify today. as requested, i will briefly summarize our statement on information security across the federal government. we expanded as high risk designation to include computerized systems supporting
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the nation's critical infrastructure and the protection of privacy and personally identifiable information. the cyber threats facing our country continues to be very serious. the impact of these threats is highlighted by recent incident involving breaches of sensitive, personally identifiable information and a sharp increase in information security incidents reported by federal agencies over the last several years whichever is in from about 2006 to about and 2014. given the risks posed by external and internal threats and the increasing number of incidents, it is crucial federal agencies take appropriate steps to ensure their systems and data. however, we and inspectors general have identified significant weaknesses and needed security controls.
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, 19 of 24e, 2014 major federal agencies declared information security as a material weakness for significant deficiency. most of these agencies have reported weaknesses in key control areas that we track, including controls intended to prevent, limit for detect unauthorized or inappropriate and data.networks in particular, the work has shown that too many agency employees have too much on -- unnecessary access to too many systems to databases. agencies need to implement clear policies on access to sensitive information. and grant access permission to users at the minimum level necessary to perform legitimate job-related tasks on a need to know basis. deploying effective accountability mechanisms
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detracts user accessibility and it is essential in ensuring improper access could quickly be detected and remedied. to address the many information security weaknesses at federal agencies, gao has made thousands of recommendations. over the last six years gao has made 2000 recommendations to improve information security programs and controls. 58% of these recommendations have been implemented. until agencies take action to address weaknesses and implement gao and hygiene -- recommendations. networks and sensitive information, including personally identifiable information would be at increased risk from internal annex earl threats, actions to implement regulations will strengthen systems and data security. and reduce the risk of cyber
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intrusion or attacks. that concludes the summary of my statement and i look forward to addressing your questions. thank you. >> thank you. the chair now recognizes himself or questions. mr. roth, how many subpoenas regarding the chaffitz incidents and the master central index, how they subpoenas were issued? >> i believe it was only one. >> so why, if multiple individuals breached of the information and may have compromised it, why would only one subpoena be issued? y with a not be multiple subpoenas -- why would there not be multiple subpoenas? >> most of the data received was from multiple data systems. the only time we have to subpoena information is if we go
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to a third party like a telephone record provider. typically, it is our policy in these kinds of circumstances to have a level of predication before we go and subpoena somebody's personal telephone records. we had predication only on one individual rather than the hundreds who may have that access to the information. >> even those that admitted to wrongdoing. >> that is correct. >> what is the index search for other improper access incidences. >> the insect -- index itself was created in 1984. it did not have the ability to readily do the kinds of corrections -- forensics he would do on a modern system. do was were required to actually write scripts, programs to be able to find access to the information. it is a time-consuming kind of thing.
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because of the necessity to find answers as quickly as we could, we restricted it to chairman name.haffitz's >> would it be correct to say we have no idea in regard to that master central index that any other americans, other citizens have had similar things occur regarding the personally identifiable information whether it was the vault store search -- the voltage or cert -- the are you talking kidding divulged?l-- >> correct. >> i understand you have thousands of employees. this is not to this march the credibility -- besmirch the credibility of your agency. how does something like this happen?
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secret service agents use government information, access databases and then use equipment, time, materials to private citizens property without any cause of anything? is that essentially -- that is my narrative. what is yours and how does that happen? >> i was not here during that timeframe so i will rely on some briefings when i first came into it as acting director. that people made very poor decisions, misjudgments. it should not have happened. there were some changes made in our management. >> i will tell you, i imagine you are familiar with it. read you it.readll it is from your agency. moving forward, based on what
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has occurred regarding the information and data breach, i want to give you a flavor of what i see here. an employee is entitled to the employee entitled to, the employee is titled to. -- entitled to. provided with, the employee should have an opportunity to, the employee is entitled to. you kind of get my jusgist. what of the consequences of the actions of 45 or 41 employees who access this data and whoever --seminated it over 60 times what are the consequences to those individuals? we see what the employee's rights are, but what are the consequences -- how does mr. ffetz get his reputation back?
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where do things stand? >> mr. chairman, secretary johnson and i met and talked about this in the true sense of transparency because myself and my executive staff have been interviewed in this case. we made a joint decision that the department of homeland security would make the proposal and in this case, -- i have heard the comments murdered -- made today. they are reprehensible, disturbing and embarrassing. i agree with everything. mes hearing today will help get this word out, the importance of protecting pii. we have the training and ethics guide we go out and train our recruits. but a hearing like this puts a definitive stance on our failures. dress your question, in this case, we are proposing as of -- i don't know the
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number -- approximately 42 will be issued a proposal of discipline ranging from anywhere from the -- three days to 12 days of suspension. -- themaximum is 12 days chair will indulge himself in time right here -- the maximum penalty, the maximum repercussion -- we all know that when you look at these computer systems, there is a warning that they should be used for official business only. we all know. as your folks know, as secrett security clearance -- using this information for what it was used for was incorrect, unauthorized, illegal. the most we can hope for, the disciplinary and is not a loss of your secret security clearance, not a loss of your employment, it is 12 basis pension? his accurate -- 12 days
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suspension? is that correct? >> those proposals have been issued as of today. the ses level folks have not had their discipline proposed as a this date. >> is mr. lowery that employee? what is the range of options of discipline for consequence for mr. lowery? if you can inform us. maybe you are still concluding your and forget -- investigation, but what can we expect? >> reprimand all the way up to removal. >> thank you. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oklahoma. >> thank you for your questions. to affirm my time -- defer my time. >> thank you, chairman. incident thatery we know of, there seems like
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there was not an adult in the room, that there was no one who provided the voice of saying, hey, guys, this is not the way to do this. we have a responsibility. while we look at management and resources, you said in your testimony you talked about how the corporate culture of the secret service is a priceless commodity. every day, that prices commodity gets threatened by agents not willing to be the adult in the room. not willing to be the person who stands up and says knock it off because you cannot do it just from a management standpoint. you have to change the culture at the bottom. i think that is my the concerns we have is that it seems like all of this has happened with a great impunity. you cannot touch me. as the chairman just talk about or it is ok to do this. i want to know as we look at management changes, as we look
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at systemic rules and policies, both rules and policies are only as good as the commitment that people at every level within the secret service have for change. what are you doing within the secret service to build capacity for people to be the adult in the room, to stop this at the source and say this is not what we do in the secret service? >> thank you, senator. the discipline system we have in place now is relatively new. it is proximally two years old. which includes a table of penalties. in the past, discipline was handled at a local level. now, everything is funneled up to our office of integrity. >> i only to interrupt but i am not talking of discipline i am talking about culture. consequences are part of changing the culture but what about the integrity at every level? basically saying we don't do this, we don't know to hotels and higher -re

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