tv U.S. House of Representatives Morning Hour CSPAN May 25, 2016 10:00am-12:01pm EDT
better. it is a hoax and will not get better. host: thank you very much. james bovard, find the piece on reason.com. like we said, house will gavel in. we will bring you up to their chamber with live coverage on c-span. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. may 25, 2016. i hereby appoint the honorable keith j. rothfus to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul d. ryan, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 5, 2016, the chair will now recognize
members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate . the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and minority whip limited to five minutes, but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. gutierrez, for five minutes. mr. speaker, as it turns out deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants and banning muslims from entering the country might not be the most radical anti-immigration ideas that the republicans have come up with. there seems to be a sinister anti-immigration arms race breaking out in the party of trump. last week a federal judge, judge andrew hannen of texas, pictured here, the same one whose judgment on immigration executive actions is being deliberated by the supreme
court, ordered the punishment of every single lawyer in the justice department in 26 states. his claim is that some d.o.j. lawyers misrepresented to him whether they were complying with his injunction. suspending the immigration executive actions announced by president obama in november of 2014, after his injunction, they were only supposed to issue two-year work permits under the old rules the immigrants who applied for and received atch an extensive criminal background check the ability to be treated as the lowest priority for deportation. but the remedial ethics classes are for every single department of justice lawyer in 26 states. you say, you weren't in any way associated with the case before the judge? too bad. never practiced law that is remotely related to imgrants or litigation. soarry. never been to the state of texas in your life? tough cookies, the texas judge knows best and is ordering you around as if you argued cases yourself before his court. overreach much?
the newspaper called his plan onus and absurd. that's an understatement. the judge is also using good old-fashioned scare tactics to see if he can compete with sheriff joe and the g.o.p. presidential nominee for the title of who is most shamelessly anti-immigrant. the judge has called for the department of justice to turn over the names of 100,000 people who were possibly granted the three-year, not the two-year work permits. so, if you come forward, pay hundreds of dollars, submit your paperwork, and fingerprints, then two years later a judge says though you have made no mistake and have zero, i want to repeat, zero responsibility for the controversy, you, the applicant, before the american government, could have your name and address published for every two bit vigilante and twitter troll to read. i thought republicans were the ones who didn't like activist judges? i thought they wanted as little government as possible and to leave the legislating and i
suppose the intim great dating to the politicians here -- intimidating here in washington, d.c. so when the republicans line up the ante in one aira, they have to up it in another. nowhere is this crass political opportunism more apparent than right here. this morning we have a little hearing in the judiciary committee aimed at, get this, shutting down legal immigration as much as possible. your son's feiancy, mom's doctor, your neighbor's nanny, your grocery store as -- store's janitorial crew, if they are coming illegally to the united states, republicans want to stop it, slow it down, and make it cost a lot more. the party obsessed with illegal immigration now has legal immigration firmly in its sight. if you are from certain countries and are of a certain religion, you must have a special security review. i thought the campaign promise to bar muslims from traveling who are to the u.s. was a campaign promise that would
never be realized unless your leader won the campaign. don't get me wrong, if i thought republicans were proposing a process to make things more secure and give the u.s. a better immigration system, i would support it and i think we could pass something that was on a bipartisan basis in congress today. come on, guys, do you really believe the house of representatives are trying to craft a sensible bill related to immigration in an election year? do you think the american people are that gullible? no, the party of trump has lost an all-out radical assault on legal immigration and hopes everyone is so scared of the raping mexicans, the sex crazed italians, and vietnamese immigrants with the zekey flies on the other and ebola. lock down the whole system. lady liberty lower your lamp. take a seat because terrors got in once which is enough reason to keep everyone out of america from the computer programmer to the ski instructor to the
refugee fleeing systematic violence. if you ask me, maybe it's not the hundreds of justice department lawyers who have nothing to do with judge hannen's courtroom who need onerous remedial ethics training classes. maybe it's the judge's allies here in the house and throughout the republican party who could use a mandatory lesson on right and wrong. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, for five minutes. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to welcome donald robinson to capitol hill as part of the congressional foster youth shadow program. this program is a part national foster care month across the nation. this recognition was created more than 25 years ago to bring the issue of foster care to the forefront highlighting the importance of permanency for every child. having a brother that joined my family through foster care 46
years ago, foster care is important to me. as for donald, he entered foster care in pennsylvania at the age of 14. experiencing six placements. despite attending multiple schools, he was able to complete his education and enroll in college after aging out of the foster care. i'm proud to say that donald recently graduated with his master's degree in exercise science from the university of texas and he plans to create an international sport performance training and consultiancy business and would like to open a charter school. mr. speaker, i'm so happy to see someone with donald's background working to give back to our nation's children. i look forward to spending time with him today and to learn more about his story. mr. speaker, i rise today to salute raymond who will retire next month as c.e.o. of penn highland health care which includes several hospitals in the pennsylvania fifth congressional district including clearfield and st. mary's. e's a native of eerie -- erie.
he's also a veteran and completed a tour of duty with the united states army before earning a master's degree in health service administration from tulane university, in new orleans, in 1973. after graduation, he entered the field of health care and did not look back. he worked in hospitals in alabama, louisiana, and texas before returning to pennsylvania in 1979 to become president of the memorial hospital in corey, pennsylvania, also located in the pennsylvania fifth congressional district. ray came to due boys in 1990 as the president of the regional medical center and credited with being a part of a group which started the free medical clinic in 1998 and served on a number of statewide boards including the hospital council of western pennsylvania, and the pennsylvania chapter of the v.h.a. in 1998 he was named distinguished citizen of the year in due boys -- du boises -- due boys. he brought together hospitals across the region including the
regional medical certainty, clearfield hospital, brookville hospital, and later the elk regional medical center. the system covers eight counties, employs more than 3,600 people, including 360 physicians. raymond's retirement caps a more than 40-year career in health care services and hospital administration. i concombrat late him on all his hard work and wish him the best of luck in retirement. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my ime. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. the house is considering this week the appropriations for energy and water. these are important decisions, vital programs that seriously touch all of us across the country and have important decisions on resource allocation. there are two elements in the accompanying report that i'd
like to highlight for a moment. one is that i am pleased that the committee has included language encouraging the core of engineers to continue efforts to construct new tribal villages at the dow's dam on the columbia river between oregon and washington. mr. speaker, the columbia river is sort of the cultural artery that ties together the northwest. it's an engine for agriculture, for industry. long before we started changing that river into a machine with a construction of dams in the 1930's, it was the artery was the core of the civilization for thousands of years for native americans. the river looked different. it was faster moving, steeper. it produced salmon in such abundance it was rumored you could walk across their backs as they swam up stream to spawn and the provided food, trade, cultural identity for native
american tribes for years. these tribes now known as the nespers, warm springs, and others were never fully depen compensated for the disruption to their native ways of life, despite promises to the contrary. but we have found that the corps of engineers now understands it has the authority to begin process building another housing village at the dam. it's important that we encourage and support this work and continue to expand it through congressional action. it's the least we can do to keep faith with native americans who had their lives dramatically disrupted with that construction. the report also continues a rider that is unfortunate. which blocks the corps of engineers from modernizing how it develops water resource projects. this has been an interest of mine since i first started serving on the water resources subcommittee 20 years ago in
congress. e corps operates on an antiquated methodology. they are known as 1983 principles and guidelines for water infrastructure projects. it directs the corps to focus on maximizing national economic development benefits when planning projects, not looking competitively at the -- comprehensively at the benefits and problems that attend for everybody. it severely limits the corps' ability to select projects which minimize environmental impacts or contribute to the national interest in ways other than a narrowly defined economic development. i worked for years with the corps back when general flowers was in charge and there was great interest on the part of the corps to be able to update the ways that they operate to incorporate modern science,
engineering, and environmental awareness. those principles and guidelines were drafted back in the carter dministration. 398 months have elapsed since they were enacted into law. in that period of time, a lot has happened with food, fashion, technology, and science. it's time for the corps of engineers to be able to base its planning and activities on the best science, the best engineering for the needs that we have today. i sincerely hope that we can come together and recognize that it's a need to finally remove that rider. it was frustrating for me having worked for years to finely -- finally achieve authorization in 2007 for the principles and guidelines to be updated. yet the corps having done that job cannot use the updated
principles and guidelines because of shortsighted action on the part of congress. i would strongly urge that my friends and colleagues in congress take a look at this restrictive language. think about the opportunities available to us to allow the corps of engineers to do its job right based on the latest information available to us. this does not speak well of the ability of congress to prepare for the future. it makes the job of the corps of engineers much harder. and it makes it less likely we are going to give people the benefit that they need from the various things that the corps constructs and plans. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, for five minutes. mr. speaker, born in
the 1920's, he grew up in the depression of the 1930's, poor, like most rural american children. fresh vegetables were grown in the family garden behind the small frame house. his mother made sandwiches for school out of homemade bread, store bought bread was for the rich. he grew up belonging to the boy scouts, playing the trumpet in high school band, and went to church on almost all sundays. . in 1944, this country boy who never found himselves more than 50 miles from home, he went to asic army training in texas. he went to new york city for the ocean trip on a cramped liberty ship to fight in the great world war ii. while crossing the atlantic, he witnessed another liberty ship
next to his that was sunk by a german u-boat. as a soldier in the seventh army he went from france to survive the battle of the bulge and stew guard and colon. he saw the brutal concentration camps of the nazis and saw the victims. you saw incredible number of teenage americans buried in graves throughout europe. a solemn monument to these soldiers are at normandy. he was ordered back to fort hood, texas. he was being re-equipped for the invasion of japan. then japan surrendered. it was there he met mom at a wednesday night prayer meeting service. until a few years ago, this g.i., my dad, would never talk about world war ii. he still won't say much but he does say frequently the heroes, they are the ones that are buried today in europe. after the war was over he opened a service station where he pumped gas, sold tires,
fixed cars and had a family. he went to abilene christian college. he and his wife and two small children lived in an old converted army barracks with other such families. he supported us by working at nights at krbc radio station and climbed towers later became southwestern bell. he worked for southwestern bell telephone company in houston, texas. he turned down a promotion to transfer to new york city because it wasn't texas and he didn't want to raise his family in new york. dad instilled in my sister and me the values of being a neighbor to everybody, loving the u.s.a., loving our heritage and always doing the right thing to all people. he still gets mad at the media he flies old glory on holidays. he goes to church on sunday and he takes mom out to eat on friday nights. he stands in front yard and talks to his neighbors and he can still fix anything.
he still can mow his own grass even though he is 90 years of age. he has a strong opinion on politics and world events. he gives plenty of advice to anybody including a lot of advice to me. he has two computers in his home office. he sends emails to hundreds of his buddies all over the world. dad and mom still live in houston, texas, where i grew up. so today, mr. speaker, as we approach memorial day and honor the fallen warriors of all wars, we also honor all who fought in the great world war ii and got to come home. we honor my dad and also other american woreiers. my dad is one of the individuals of the greatest generation. he is the best man i ever met and he certainly is a charter member of the greatest generation. so i hope i turn out like him. tech sergeant virgil poe, united states army. good father and that's enough for one life and that's just
the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from illinois, ms. schakowsky, for five minutes. yesterday, 181 democrats wrote to speaker ryan to ask the republican select panel to attack women's health -- that's what we call it -- to be shut down. from the outset, this investigation has been a political weapon to punish women, doctors and scientific researchers, not an objective, fair-minded, fact-based search for the truth. here are the top 10 reasons to shut down this partisan panel immediately. one, the select panel is a waste of taxpayer money. republicans are wasting taxpayer dollars chasing inflammatory allegations of anti-abortion extremists. three republican-led house committees, 12 states and one
grand jury have already investigated charges that planned parenthood was selling fetal tissue for a profit and none found any evidence of wrongdoing. two, the select panel is an attack on women's rights. republicans are using the panel as part of their campaign to deny women access to legal reproductive health services, including abortions. the panel comes at a time when republicans have voted repeatedly to defund planned parenthood, which provides health services to over three million american women and men each year to eliminate family planning services and to restrict access to abortion. number three, the select panel is harming scientific research. republicans are using the panel to intimidate scientists into stopping legal fetal tissue research on treatment for cures for diseases and conditions that afflict millions of americans, including multiple sclerosis, alzheimer's, diabetes and spinal cord
injuries and some medical research efforts have already been cancelled. number four, the select panel is just partisan politics. republicans are conducted an unfair one-sided and partisan campaign. they refuse to put indicted videomaker david, who put those highly edited tapes against planned parenthood, under oath while issuing subpoenas and demanding sworn tms from law-abiding researchers and doctors -- testimonies from law-abiding researchers and doctors. republicans have suppressed facts that controwvert their partisan narratives. for example, they refuse to hear directly from tissue procurement companies while publicly accusing them of misconduct based on misleading and inaccurate staff-created exhibits that lack any sourcing or foundational information. number five, the select panel is a mccarthy-like witch-hunt. mirroring the bullying behavior
of joe mccarthy, they're demanding that universities and clinics name names of researchers, graduate students, lab technicians, clinic personnel and doctors. when doctor jerry -- when democrat -- when democrat jerry nadler asked chair blackburn to explain why she needs to amass this database of names, she responded, no, sir. i am not going to do that. number six, the select panel threatens innocent lives. republicans are putting researchers and doctors at risk by publicly naming them as targets of their investigation and creating a database of names. on may 11, republicans issued a press release publicly naming a physician who had already been the target and the subject of violence by anti-abortion extremists. that physician was never contacted to voluntarily provide information before he received a subpoena. number seven, the select panel
is dangerous. republicans are refusing to protect confidentiality despite known risks and tragedies, such as the murder of three people at the colorado springs planned parenthood women's health clinic. that murderer echoed the words of our republican chairman of the select committee saying, the killer used words like, no more baby body parts. and even after they promised to protect confidentiality, then the committee said, we will not assure that witnesses' names or any of the other names used in the deposition will remain private, unquote. the select panel is an abuse of power. republicans are abusing congressional subpoena power. the overwhelming majority of their unilateral subpoenas, 30 of 36, have been sent without any effort to obtain voluntary compliance. we should provide physicians, medical researchers and others
with an opportunity to provide information voluntarily. a subpoena should not be the first contact they have with congress. and number nine, the select panel excludes democrats. republicans have consistently refused to work with democratic panel members. they have refused to discuss or even give democrats copies of their unilateral subpoenas until they have been served in violation of the house. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. ms. schakowsky: number 10, the select panel bullies witnesses that they don't like. it is time, mr. speaker, to end this panel right now. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from minnesota, mr. emmer, for five minutes. mr. emmer: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise today to thank senator dave brown for serving in the minnesota state senate. senator brown represents an area located in minnesota's sixth district, and i've enjoyed working with him on a variety of issues important to our constituents.
senator brown has worked on policy solutions in the fields related to commerce, education and finance. however, his main area of expertise have been promoting minnesota energy. our district is home to the which ed power plant provides jobs and when it was unclear and unstable, senator brown was a voice of reason that helped many keep the plant open, allowing many minnesotans to keep their jobs. thank you, dave, for the work you have done for our community and for minnesota. i will miss working with you, but we wish you the best of uck in your next endeavor. mr. speaker, i rise today to thank senator john peterson for his dedicated service to st. cloud, to the st. cloud area residents over the past six years. john peterson was born and raised in minnesota's sixth congressional district and first served on the st. cloud
security council in 2007. after four years on the city counsel, he ran and won a seat in the senate. during his time in the legislature, senator peterson has shown his expertise in a variety of issues but none more than transportation. like me, senator peterson knows that transportation in minnesota's sixth is crucial to relieve congestion, improve state of, increase mobility and foster economic development in our state. john, thank you for your time serving the people of our great state. mr. speaker, i rise today to thank senator julian ortman for her years of dedicated service in the minnesota senate. following her time practicing law and as a county commissioner, she was first elected to the minnesota senate in 2002. she rose to various leadership positions. senator ortman served as an
assistant minority leader during the 2007-2008 legislative session and during the 2011-2012 session, she served as deputy majority leader and as chairwoman of the senate tax committee. of the many issues senator ortman championed, taxes, transportation, judiciary and public safety were among her highest priorities. during her time as chairwoman of the senate tax committee, the state government had a $5 billion deficit, which they eventually managed to eliminate without raising taxes on hardworking minnesotans. evidence of senator ortman's strong leadership. thank you, julieann, for your service and all you have done for minnesota. thank you for your leadership. mr. speaker, i rise today to thank senator alice johnson for her dedication and service to the people of minnesota. alice johnson began her career as a public servant in the minnesota house of representatives in 1986.
she served for 14 years before taking a brief break from the minnesota legislature. alice began ran for office in 2012 and has served in the minnesota senate for the past four years where she has served as vice chair for both the education, finance and policy committees. after an incredible 18 years in public service, senator johnson deserves her well-earned retirement. thank you, alice, for the time you have spent working tirelessly on behalf of minnesotans and working to end the gridlock in politics. it is greatly appreciated. mr. speaker, i rise today to thank my friend, representative tim sanders, for the incredible work he's done while serving in the minnesota house of representatives. representative sanders has served in the legislature for four terms during which he's held various leadership positions. in the 2014 election, he was nominated to the position of assistant majority leader and has also served as chair of the government operations and
elections committee. i got to know tim personally during my own time in the state legislature and have an enormous amount of respect for him. he's been a successful and passionate legislator, proven by the fact that a substantial number of his bills have actually been signed into law. thank you, tim, for your service to our community and to our state. i know that you will continue to accomplish great things, and i wish you nothing but happiness as you spend more time with farrah and the kids. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from west virginia, mr. jenkins, for five minutes. mr. speaker, west virginians are struggling right now. our state's unemployment rate is one of the highest in the nation. our coal mines are closing and so are our schools and mom and pop businesses throughout our state.
there is a lot of uncertainty. families are wondering how they will make ends meet without our jobs, our coal jobs. tammy lambert, she's from raleigh county and her family is one of those who are worried about her family's future. her son-in-law is considering moving out of the state just to find work. her daughter doesn't know if she'll have the money to finish college, and her husband's mind has gone through periods of being idled. my dater has worked hard to get this far and it was just beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. now she may not be able to get that degree. it is a shame when young people who try can't get ahead. it is even sadder when a man
who has worked as a coal miner for 36 years can't feel secure in his job. what our families need is not just hope, they need jobs that give them a good paycheck. we can make that happen in several ways. we can diversify our state's economy to attract new employers, and we can expand retraining programs to help prepare the work force. but most of all we can get washington off the backs of our miners. let west virginia miners get back to work, put food on their stables, and mine the coal that has powered our nation. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house
>> right now we will go live to capitol hill where state -- where they testified. the house foreign affairs committee looking at recent action fathers that country and efforts to bring iran into the global economy and we will show you as much as we can until the house returns at noon eastern. >> businesses want to go where they are safe, where they don't see massive controversy, where they can be confident that transactions are going to operate normally.
it is incumbent on iran to address such problems, to undertake meaningful reforms and create an environment in which businesses feel secure. i talked a bit about the sanctions relief that we have delivered but i also want to be clear about what this deal does not mean. first, with certain limited exceptions, the primary u.s. embargo on iran remains in place, including the prohibitions on u.s. persons investing in iran and the prohibitions on iran accessing u.s. markets and banks. along these lines, let me state clearly that we have not promised nor do we have any intent to give iran access to the u.s. financial system or reinstate what's known as the u-turn authorization. additionally, we have maintained all of our sanctions designed to counter iran's malign activities outside of the nuclear file. iran continues to be the world's leading sponsor of terrorism and to play a significant and negative role in destabilizing the region. under our current sanctions regime, we designated more than 200 iranian-linked firms and
individuals on nonnuclear grounds. that includes irgc, the kutz force, their senior officials and front companies and agencies, all of whom we're continuing to target and expose. that also includes major iranian defense and missile entities, as noted by assistant secretary countryman, which are behind iran's current ballistic missile work. indeed, since the implementation of the jcpoa, we have continued to target new iranian actors, including key supporters of their ballistic missile program, the cudes force and money laundering individuals. indeed, i can tell you that after many years of targeting hezbollah, today the group is in its worst financial shape in decades. ultimately, we have been and will remain clear-eyed about the nature of the threat posed by iran and we will continue to combat these threats using the range of tools at our disposal, including our sanctions and by designating new targets as appropriate. i want to thank this committee,
again, for inviting me to appear today and i look forward to our continued work with your committee and to answer your questions. mr. royce: thank you, mr. szubin, and i appreciate your work for targeting hezbollah, the legislation i and eliot engel passed and the committee passed in december, to the president's desk. and your implementation of that is appreciated. but you noted in your testimony that the united states has in your words no plans to give iran access to the u.s. financial system. i appreciate that clarification. however, that hasn't been the source for our concern. let me be specific here. does the united states have any plans to offer iran the ability to access off-shore dollar-clearing facilities to allow for dollar-denominated transactions and ease iran's ability to trade internationally
or, are there plans for the administration to allow the iranians to conduct large-scale dollar-denominated transactions and dollar-clearing in any form? and your testimony, as i heard it, studiously avoided that question. so let me put that to you. mr. szubin: thank you, chairman, for the question and i welcome to clarify an area that i think has been a subject of a lot of confusion and concern. our sanctions, our primary sanctions in the u.s. control what u.s. actors can do and what they cannot do. that governs the conduct of u.s. actors anywhere they reside in the world. so, for example, a branch of the u.s. bank in europe, in east asia, has to behave like a u.s. person here in washington or here in new york. our sanctions on the other hand do not control the actions of non-u.s. persons. whether or not the currency they're using is the dollar, the
euro, the pound or the yen. so to be very specific, every foreign bank in the world has u.s. dollars in their possession. it is, thankfully, the international currency of choice for international trade. that means banks in europe, japan, china all hold dollars in their vaults. our sanctions don't extend to those dollar bills. and foreign actors aren't under our jurisdiction if they choose to give those to any actor, including an iranian actor. i just want to be clear in response to off-shore dollar clearing. mr. royce: but that seems to have a different intent than the response the treasury secretary gave me when i asked him in the financial services committee this question. i asked the treasury secretary, i think it was two months ago, if he stood by his testimony during the agreements consideration and which we were assured they would not have
access. instead of shutting the door right there, secretary lew said his focus was on making sure that iran gets relief. and two months since, the president still has not responded to my letter on this question. so there's been ample time for the administration to bring absolute clarity to this question and the concern is that while iran wouldn't be allowed direct access to the dollar, you could structure a scheme off-shore that would have similar impact. so i just remind you. it's treasury yourself. it's your department that has declared the entire territory of iran as a primary money laundering concern, and that means that any financial transaction with iran or any off-shore scheme that is set up, risks supporting the regime's ongoing illicit activity, including ballistic missile
activities and everything else. let me go to a question for assistant secretary countryman. mr. countryman: -- mr. szu bumbingsin: mr. chairman, can i clarify this? mr. royce: yes. i see the iranian papers. i see what they are pushing for but go ahead. r. szubin: thank you for the clarification. secretary lew has made himself clear on the record in the public and of course we look forward to responding to your letter in writing as well. he said what i said here today and i know he was looking forward to me being here today. iran will not have access to our financial system. mr. royce: perfectly fair, but when i asked him the question, the focus was on making sure iran gets relief. and so let me go to the next question and this is to assistant secretary countryman. the last question i'll ask here. in your testimony, you put stock
in the new u.n. security council resolution 2231 and its provisions related to iran's ballistic missile program. now, it's well-documented that before the deal iran was legally bound by u.n. security council resolutions not to test ballistic missiles. now, here's the problem in the negotiation. the first problem, one the members of the committee are already aware of and that is the administration agreed to a change. instead of saying shall not, the change was iran shall be called upon not to. all right. so that was watered-down, but there's other language in there, new language that focuses on iranian missiles designed -- and this is something that frankly i missed. designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons while
it previously focused on missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, ok. so what was the rationale for using the words missile designed to be capable of instead of simply missiles capable of, if i could ask that? mr. countryman: i don't know the answer. i was not involved in the negotiations. i'll get you the answers. the new resolution 2231 does not change the substantive prohibition on provision of any kind of ballistic missile technology to iran. mr. royce: well, wait. but you have the iranian foreign minister saying that that word in these negotiations designed -- he said, it took me seven months to negotiate so everybody knew what it meant and so what they're saying now is with the change "iran shall be called upon not to" rather than not to, that they can go forward full speed with their icbm program
and that's what they're doing as we sit here, that's what they're doing. and it's not as though they're hiding the intent. they combine that with the rhetoric, death to america, death to israel. i just think we got a situation -- well, let me let you respond. mr. countryman: i don't believe that iran has hidden its content to hidden ballistic missiles or slow down and no matter what the administration took steps. mr. royce: here's what we got. we have a situation where the security council -- i mean, what can we point to where we can say the security council now is taking action against iran's missile program? none that i can see. mr. countryman: i understand we have few rhetorical points we need to make. i don't focus on the rhetoric. i focus on export of technology from advanced countries to iran. i understand that iran's interpretation is different from ours.
mr. royce: but our difficulty here is now we've given russia or we've given beijing the ability to interpret this differently. we have forever now a less effective constraint on iran's missile program than we had before. and on top of that, we now see iran asserting this in the international community and we don't see the pushback from the united states. this is the point i wanted to make to you. my time's expired. i'll go to our ranking member, mr. engel of new york for his questions. r. engel: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. szubin, let me ask you this. when congress was considering whether to oppose a nuclear deal with iran, with the various statements from administration officials that iran's nonnuclear behavior, which is, of course, support for terrorists, human
rights violations, advancing the ballistic missile program, that those things would be outside of the scope of the deal. yet, since implementation day, we heard a different message. no new sanctions. we heard that from the administration. no new sanctions even if they are outside the scope of the deal. so can you clarify the administration's position, because i thought we were told in their support, iran's support for terrorism, that we could stop additional sanctions on it, t would not violate the jcpoa? missiles, launched ballistic missiles and we wanted to penalize them, that they with the butt heads jcpoa, but now we hear
differently. would the administration veto new nonnuclear sanctions against iran if a new sanctions are not intended to relist -- delist entities? mr. szubin: thank you, ranking member engel. mr. engel: sorry. let me also say when you give me the position, nonnuclear sanctions violate our agreements under the jcpoa? mr. szubin: i would offer ambassador mull if he wants to come in when i conclude to offer his view from the state department. our view has not been no new sanctions since implementation day. you've seen the administration announce multiple rounds of new sanction implementation. iran's support of terrorism, their ballistic missile program, hezbollah, milan air.
we've been continuing on our path to knock out the key proxies that these companies are using to procure materials and to move money. so we've been very consistent from that from exactly, as you said, from announcing the deal and throughout. including less than two months mihan airsignation of and the missile companies within iran that work under that heed group. ed applean the view has been there is no inconsistency with the jcpoa if t is outside the nuclear space so long as it doesn't undermine, interfere with our commitments to fulfill what we committed to fulfill in the deal. then the question is what the
administration looks at and what are the details? mr. engel: well, i think the president has authority under existing law to sanction iran which i resident has support, i think it's not so terrible to have congress come up with new sanctions. if we feel iran is violating its greements. certainly in the launching of the ballistic missiles, the chairman spoke about death to israel on it. to me that's a provocation. and when they continue to support terrorists, that's a provocation. nd i think that sometimes it's important for the congress to speak out on these things. we've been having lots of hearings on iran and the implementation of jcpoa and some of our previous hearings, some
of our witnesses have said, well, if the congress would have come out with new sanctions it would just give it that little extra edge. it would really send a message to iran that we are aware of what they're doing and we are not tolerating it. it is true the president has the authority to implement new sanctions without the congress acting, but i really think it's important that the congress act. so i would just hope that the lessen its on would objection to congress coming forward with new sanctions because after all, when the jcpoa was put in front of the congress we were told specifically that it would not affect further sanctions against iran for things other than their nuclear program which would be terrorism and ballistic missiles and some other stuff. mr. szubin: and that continues to be our view. congress' contribution continues
to be very potent right now and i neglected to mention this so i'm glad i have the opportunity. when we announced new designations in the terrorism, human rights, ballistic missile, syria, yemen space, thanks to congress and thanks to your efforts, those sanctions do not just touch u.s. actors. those sanctions have secondary or extra territorial effects around the world which means if a financial institution in east asia, in africa, in europe or the gulf, engages in transactions with any of the irgc, the missile actors, the human rights designated actors, thanks to congress they -- these sanctions, a potential cutoff from the u.s. financial system. knows are sort of, if you will, supercharged sanctions and that's only thanks to congress' efforts and so those stand behind every designation that we issue even since implementation. mr. engel: well, that's a good point and that's why the chairman and i both feel so strongly, that congress needs to continue to be involved and that
if we need to issue further sanctions, it does not violate our obligation under the jcpoa to do so. just quickly, ambassador mull, do you have anything to add to it. mr. mull: no, thank you, ranking member engel. we knew sanctions on iran's behavior outside the scope of the nuclear agreement would not be a violation of the jcpoa. we have been very clear about that publicly as well as with our iranian counterparts when they tried to make that argument. we've been very clear throughout the negotiations and as recently as my last meeting with the iranians last week, that sanctions on such things as missile launches which are inconsistent with u.n. security uncil 2331, destableation, support for terrorism will continue -- destabilization,
support for terrorism will continue to have consequences. mr. engel: thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. royce: thank you. we go to mr. critz smith of new jersey. mr. smith: thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you for your oversight of the iranian deal. you and the ranking member. let me say a couple of points and then i'll ask a question or two. this week, as we all know, our nobel peace prize-winning president lifted an arms embargo, vietnam, a nation that has crushed dissent, bloggers. "the new york times" asked him not to do it he did it anyway despite the fact and made a statement -- words are cheap in washington. they're cheap in hen way as well. -- hanoi. mrs. vu, wife of a human rights defender i had met in 2005. tremendous man. fighting -- he, like so many others, fighting for fundamental
human rights. he's in prison. and many said, mr. president, if you are going to give something, please ask very specifically for the release of these prisoners and not just give all and get nothing in return. administration officials have repeatedly testified that deal in no way would impact our pressing iran on human rights, yet the administration has only sanctioned one iranian official for human rights abuses since they started negotiations, and iran, like vietnam, is a cruel dictatorship that uses torture to hurt and even kill dissidents. why is that the case? why isn't that not more robust efforts on human rights? secondly, credibility and messaging, even if it's clever and aggressive, needs to be honest. a may 5 "new york times" editorial by david samuel paints a highlight into the administration selling the iranian deal to the press, the congress and the american
people. the piece "new york times" piece, as the magazine notes, the narrative that ben rhodes shaped, the story of an iran deal that began in 2013 with the moderate faction inside led by the rouhani regime that beat hardliners, "the times" point out that was actively misleading. it was to convey an impression that then people would follow up and say, oh, things have changed. mr. rhodes brags in the article that we, "created and ecochamber, an onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal," rhodes said, "there were things they were validating things we gave them to say." e pointed out he was able to spoon-feed 27-year-old reporters who knew nothing about these and with the so-called experts do the ecochamber.
it ought to be honest it ought to be transparent. when you do things like this, you're duping the chairman or duping the ranking member because i, too, felt the sense, are we missing something here? and the more we look at the deal the more we are not. on the human rights piece, if you could speak on that. what's your view of "the new york times" piece. and ambassador mull, the last time you were here, i asked you about the iranian material. you said it had been taken out, put on a russian boat, vessel and that we didn't know where it went. do we know where it is now? has there been an u.s. validation as to its whereabouts and whether or not it's under lock and key? ambassador mull: thanks very much, congressman smith, on those very good questions. on human rights, there has been no doubt about the strength of u.s. feeling about this very disturbing human rights situation in iran. we made that very clear publicly in repeated reports, whether on
our religious freedom report, human rights report. i can affirm to you that in every meeting which i participated with secretary kerry with iranian counterparts we made very clear our concerns and in fact it was those concerns that really motivated our effort to get -- every mume rights violation is a serious one. we are most concerned when the human rights of americans are violated. and so our concern about that motivated our very hard work to win the release of american detainees in iran earlier this year. and i pledge to you, although human rights is outside the scope of the nuclear agreement, i know secretary kerry feels passionately about these issues and will continue to remain engaged. as to the transparency of the negotiation, i tell you i worked in the foreign service for more than 34 years now. i've never seen an international agreement that has had greater transparency than the iran nuclear deal. it was released in full to the public on the very day that --
mr. smith: i'm almost out of time. iaea protocol?he do we take their word? they're a good group. transparency, that needs to have asterisk on it, i would suggest. ambassador mull: the -- they will continue to report and continue to do so. we briefed congress dozens of times throughout the negotiations. ince then, we're in closed session able to do so. the enriched material that was removed from iran to russia, i was in russia last month and in fact can confirm that material is secure in russia. there is no risk of its further proliferation. i would be very pleased to brief you in a closed session if you would like, sir. mr. royce: we'll go to mr. brad
sherman of california. mr. sherman: people in this country want us to get along with everyone around the world. we long for peace, and there are those who say that sanctions contradict that. but when you look at what iran has done in syria, hundreds of thousands, perhaps a million people killed by assad with funds provided, weapons provided, thugs provided by the iranian government. when you see people killed by barrel bombs and south american -- and sarin gas, we know that kyumbaya.is not the house was divided on the iran deal but we were united on one thing, sanctions work. mr. szubin, you proved they
worked by working hard to make sure they worked. some believe the sanctions got us a good thing. some say the sanctions could have got us a better deal. the thing is sanctions work. i join with the ranking member in saying that we ought to have new sanctions, and ambassador mull, thank you for clarifying that will happen. i know that the department of treasury does additional designations, so you're doing your job. we need to do our job by passing statutes. ambassador mull, is it correct to say the administration's view is that simply re-authorization and extending the iran sanctions act would in no way violate the jcpoa? ambassador mull: to be honest, congressman, we are aware of interest in this house and throughout the congress in general to re-authorize the i.s.a. we don't believe that we need to act on it now because it's valid through the end of this year. mr. sherman: sometimes congress likes to get our work done.
i didn't ask you the house schedule. we might want to get our work done sooner or later. is it a violation of the jcpoa to simply keep our statute going the way it was the day the jcpoa was signed? ambassador mull: sir, i would be hesitant to speculate because i know under previous efforts to re-extend it there have been other things added onto that. mr. sherman: again, if it were published in the exact language that existed on the day that the day the jcpoa was signed, would that be a violation of the jcpoa? ambassador mull: well, again, sir, we have to look at what was actually published. mr. sherman: you know what's published. you don't want to answer the question. mr. szubin: technical legal question. you talked about branches of u.s. banks. does that apply equally to subsidiaries or does it depend how it's legally authorized? mr. szubin: it does depend.
mr. sherman: do you need legislation that the u.s. bank would be subject to penalties if it allowed its subsidiary to do what the branch could not do? mr. szubin: so the distinction does exist. that cuts across our sanctions programs but i can tell you in practice i don't know of a single subsidiary of a u.s. financial institution that's considering doing this business given their global platforms. . mr. sherman: i'm not aware of a problem. but new legislation would be helpful. hon air as to mo the cudse -- quds air force airline. you should designate it under u.n. anti-rism sanctions. they cannot fly to europe or asia without ground service. it is now getting ground service from, for example, two
companies, airport handling, which is based in italy, and a.h.s. group which is based in germany. these same service companies also service u.s. airlines, put aside the terrorist trisk of having the same handlers do both, -- the terrorist risk of having the same handlers do both, would the treasury department consider listing these two airport handling companies for doing business with their mahan? mr. szubin: thank you very much for your focus on this issue. we don't comment on who we might designate in the future. i want to say the tunded ability of mahan air to fly around the world as if it is legitimate, is raised in every capital. i anti-i don't believe it should be treated that way. mr. sherman: the way to do t. you won't mention their names but i did and point out our friends in the ukraine ask us
for so much, you would think that they would have listened to you when you made that point. as we made that -- make that point here. we have three major auto manufacturers, including fiat-chrysler, and mercedes investing in automanufacturing in iran. it's only a matter of time before the products of these investments, which are also being made by volvo, will be -- the he he irgc irgc. would investing in auto factories producing transportation for the irgc be sanctionable? mr. szubin: any type of material support to the irgc would be sanctionable. mr. sherman: what if you build an auto factory that sells its trucks to the irgc? mr. szubin: typically what we are looking for if we are going to be designating a company is a willing it is
partner or colluding with the designate terrorist group. invest n-a firm that creates cars that are subsequently appropriated by the irgc would typically be a little too attenuated -- mr. sherman: not appropriated. just sold. you can't say -- my auto dealer cooperates with me. i take my car in for service. he's a very cooperative guy. are you saying that auto manufacturing facilities that sell trucks to the irgc are going to be uncooperative? mr. szubin: i might need to get the name of your auto dealer because i don't have that experience. what i'm saying is that what we are looking for in going after new designation targets is those who are working with the designated entity, if we see companies that are propping up the rgc whether will autos, funds, weapons -- mr. sherman: i would ask you to look at these investments. i would ask you also that -- in addition to sanctioning those who dot wrong thing, warning
those who are thinking of doing the wrong thing, whether you choose to do it publicly or privately, and i look forward to giving you the address, fiat, chrysler, volume vorks and mercedes. mr. royce: i think mr. sherman's poins, more banks, ticketing agents, ground service providers, and other companies that are providing support for mahan air should be sanctioned. we go now to mr. dana rohrabacher of california. mr. rohrabacher: thank you very much, mr. chairman. and again i'd like to thank you and the ranking member for taking a very -- very seriously the responsibility that we have to oversee what we disagreed on with you in terms of the congress kiss agreed with you -- disagreed with you, many of us did, on this agreement with the mullah regime in iran.
the jcpoa was the purpose, i take t. was, this is what we ere told, was to basically prevent iran from at some point obtaining the capability of mass destruction on the governments that it considered to be under the command of the great satan. meaning the israel, united states, and anybody else who disagrees with them. so they -- we did not want them to have this right to obliterate their enemies. at least not the right but the capability. nd this agreement was supposed to prevent that. and today we have three witnesses who are basically saying that it was a good agreement and it's brought us to a safer world.
what is concerning to me is when we go back, as the chairman has pointed out, that flaws ement itself has and perhaps some intentional flaws. one flaw would be that it expires after a certain length of time. so we can see iran moving ward that goal unimpeded now to get themselves to a point after expiration. they will be able to then have the power and the force that they want. but even more disconcerting to me is that the flaw -- the treaty may well have contained what i call weasel words. i was a journalist for a number of years, and it is very easy to find out when someone really is trying to lie to you without lying to you.
they put something in -- they word something in a way that it appears to be accomplishing something that it is not accomplishing. and as the chairman just ointed out in his questioning, that the actual words were changed to make them less enforceable. now, that -- shouldn't that be a warning sign to anybody who really takes this treaty seriously? and how do you explain that? the chairman had two or three examples where, for example, let's go directly to -- one i'll ask you about. basically, and we have a situation where a rocket is designed, as long as it's not designed to carry a nuclear weapon the iranians now,
because we have changed -- there's a weasel word put into the treaty, that they now can work and obtain that nuclear weapon's delivery system as long as it wasn't designed to be a nuclear weapons delivery system. that was changed to the point where before they would not have been permitted that. hy was that changed? >> as noted i was not involved in the negotiation of that word and resolution. i do not agree this is a dramatic difference in the effect of the resolution. iran did not honor -- mr. rohrabacher: in one wording, it absolutely prohibited them from getting iraq if they could deliver a nuclear weapon. after the wording it now permits them to have it because with the strict definition of what the wording was, they now have an opening to possess a nuclear weapons delivery system. that's not dramatic? that's huge. except it's being hidden with
weasel words. ok. mr. countryman: permission of iran of obtaining intercontinental or nuclear capable ballistic missiles. there remains and absolute prohibition in that resolution of anyone providing it. mr. rohrabacher: missiles that were designed to deliver nuclear weapons not technology that can achieve that goal. the fact is if it can carry a nuclear weapon, even if it's not designed to do so, maybe it's designed to put up satellites. we don't want them to have that, if that, indeed, will permit them to drop a nuclear weapon in washington, d.c., with a missile using as a deliverycies tefment if you don't call that dramatic, that's very dramatic. the people of the united states and we have been disserved, there's been a disservice to us and our security by this type of, and i say weasel words
again, deception. a weasel word is a deception to make people think you are delishing something you're not delishing -- clishing something you're not accomplishing. the interpretation, this is not a problem of interpretation. this is a problem with actually a negotiation failure that we have obviously reached an agreement with them, meaning the mullah regime, which murders their own people, that we have actually reached an agreement with them which they know will permit them to achieve their objective. this is not -- was not a good treaty to begin with. i appreciate your testimony, but obviously i disagree with it. mr. royce: we go to mr. gerry connolly of virginia. mr. connolly: welcome to our panel. mr. ambassador, ambassador addressed greement their support for hezbollah,
right? ambassador mull: no. mr. connolly: well, it certainly addressed the issue of money laundering. ambassador mull: no. mr. connolly: syria and assad support? ambassador mull: no. mr. connolly: terrorism? ambassador mull: no, sir. mr. connolly: banning any further express of death to israel and america. did we address that? ambassador mull: no, sir. mr. connolly: what did the agreement address? ambassador mull: the agreement addressed limiting iran's capability to develop fissile material to build a nuclear weapon. mr. connolly: that's a unique approach. surely in the cold war with the soviet union we had a different model. we addressed every negative behavior the soviets were engaged in in every agreement we approached, including, in my friend dana rohrabacher's add m., the reagan administration,
is that not correct? we addressed every aspect of soviet behavior unlike this agreement. ambassador mull: no, sir, that's not correct. mr. connolly: let's get to this agreement. did this agreement require iran to modify the iraq heavy water research reactor and to fill the reactor with concrete? ambassador mull: yes, sir. mr. connolly: did they do that? ambassador mull: yes, sir, they did. mr. connolly: did it require the reduction of installed center fugse from 19,000 to 6,104? ambassador mull:est. -- yes, sir. mr. connolly: did they aggrieve that? ambassador mull: yes, sir, they did. mr. connolly: did it require uranium enrichment be reduced to a level of 3.76%? and did they achieve that? ambassador mull: yes, sir. mr. connolly: did it also require their stockpile be reduced to 300 kilograms and the rest shipped out of the country? ambassador mull: yes.
r. connolly: yes, they you witnessed in russia where it is being stored? ambassador mull: yes, i confirmed. mr. connolly: did they agree to allow the certainty fuge production and uranium mines and mills under surveillance by international auspicious? ambassador mull: yes, sir. mr. connolly: have they complied? ambassador mull: yes. mr. connolly: has the international atomic energy agency verified this? ambassador mull: yes, sir. mr. connolly: have we verified this? ambassador mull: yes, sir, we have. mr. connolly: really? i got to admit -- here's the second hearing, we have had over 30 hearings, oh, my gosh, i tell you, i was worried. i had trouble sleeping when i listened to my colleagues predict cheating, stealing, subterfuge, evasion, and i hear you, ambassador mull, tell me, well, maybe they wanted to do that, but they didn't. so now that we are having
hearings on compliance, we are talking about everything but compliance. we are talking about other behavior which is to be condemned. i condemn it. i voted for sanctions on the other behavior. by the way, did the agreement prohibit any further u.s. sanctions for any purpose? are we prohibited under this agreement for looking at new sanctions on unrelated behavior? that is to say unrelated to the nuclear agreement? ambassador mull: that's correct. mr. connolly: we are not prohibited. we could entertain other sanctions for their support for hezbollah, for example. ambassador mull: yes. mr. connolly: or putting sanctions on mahan air. ambassador mull: yes, sir. mr. rohrabacher: the gentleman asked a question early on in your, would you like an answer to that? mr. connolly: if my -- mr. royce: the gentleman will
withhold. mr. connolly: these arguments are, to me, a smokescreen for not addressing the main issue. and the other argument used, which is clever but still flawed, which is, perfect is the enemy of the good. the fact that it didn't -- it's not in perpetuity. we couldn't achieve iran forever for swearing -- foreswearing any nuclear ambition means this is flawed. was that ever in the cards, ambassador mull? i thought we hadn't even talked to them for almost 30 years. so to get them to agree to this and comply seems to be, i don't know to me, some kind of achievement. why don't you comment because my time is up. ambassador mull: yes, sir. i believe it is an achievement. we believe that we and our allies in the region are considerably safer because of the achievements and full implementation of this agreement. in terms of whether it ever sunsets, while it is true
certain restrictions on iran's capability to -- on its stockpile and so forth, expire after certain periods, iran's commitment and full access to the international atomic energy agency is in perpetuity. so whenever the iaea believes that iran is moving to develop a nuclear -- military application for its nuclear program, it will report as such regardless when that happens. and we have every capability through law and through previous executive orders to respond immediately to put back in place the very pressures that brought about this deal in the first place. so we are very confident that we have the tools to make sure that this -- the security from this deal is long lasting and if it's not, we can change the -- turn the tables and go back to the status quo. mr. royce: mr. joe wilson of
south carolina. mr. wilson: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield 10 seconds to my colleague from california, mr. rohrabacher. mr. rohrabacher: just to answer mr. connolly's point which was, yes, the reagan administration it was different. the fact is that in the reagan our goal was to bring down the soviet union. even as we negotiated with them on various treaties, we had efforts all across the globe to bring down that government, which section actly what we should be doing with the mule why -- mullah regime and we are not doing. mr. wilson: thank you very much. i want to thank also congressman -- the ranking member, eliot engel. i was grateful to actually vote with both of them opposing this dangerous deal. sadly, as we hear more and more about it, it becomes more dangerous. and it's so sad that we have a mullah regime which is suppressing the dynamic people
of iran that continue as was cited to proclaim death to america, death to israel. that is -- has not changed. i just find it incredible. my concerns, ambassador mull, have been verified through the iaea report and that is in early march the head of the international atomic energy agency disclosed that certain agreements reached under the deal, dangerous deal, limit inspectors from publicly reporting on potential violations by the mullah regime. the director general of the iaea, which is responsible for ensuring iran complies with the agreement, told reporters that his agency is no longer permitted to release details about iran's nuclear program in compliance with the deal. the recent reports are devoid of details about critical implementation issues, including the amounts of
enriched uranium in iran, nature of centrifuge, rotor and bellows manufacturing, and advanced centrifuge research and development activities. why would the administration agree to limit iaea reporting? why has the iaea reporting on iran been constrained? what specific component of the deal or u.n. security council resolution that implemented it limits the iaea reporting? and are there any americans or canadians who are serving as inspectors? ambassador mull: congressman, thanks for those questions. last week i was in vienna and i met with the director general of the iaea. i believe those press comments attributed to him are inaccurate and misinterpreted. it's quite clear that the iaea will be reporting every three months on the status of implementation. in terms of the level of detail, i agree with you that in the last report there was
less detail than in previous reports. that's because the iranian nuclear program is significantly smaller than what it was as a result of that deal. the iaea confirmed that iran was within all of the numerical limits to which it committed. director general assured me last week that the iaea would continue to address in its forthcoming reports iran's client -- whether or not iran is complying with every element of the deal. think you can count on full reporting to continue from the -- mr. wilson: clearly, it was stated that it's devoid of details by critical implementation issues and whether it's low or not, it could say low or nonexistent the, including the amounts of low enriched ukraineam in iran, the nature of centrifuge and bellows manufacturing, and advanced centrifuge research and development activities.
that should be easy to say yes or no. and then, mr. countryman, the development of missile technology in testing, to me it's incredible. it's very revealing. there was only one reason you would be developing an intercontinental ballistic missile capability and that is to deliver a nuclear weapon. it would be against american families. and the past month we have had the spectacle of iran testing a missile which in hebrew, so people who would be affected understand, as cited by mr. sherman, and that is that in hebrew it's stated, israel will be wiped off the map. this was on a test. how can we possibly trust such a regime that makes such defiance as -- in the aftermath of this dangerous deal? mr. countryman: i don't trust them further than i can spit. mr. wilson: great.
what measures are there-dirnl' grateful i worked with congressman moulton in the ndaa we have a requirement thereby will be a response to missile testing and identification of missile testing. is there anything in place to let the american people know what's going on? mr. countryman: i'm soarry. what's going on -- mr. wilson: to identify a missile test and the implication of the missile test? by iran? mr. countryman: there's a lot of information. some of which is not appropriate for this forum, but we are always prepared to brief members on the full range of information that we have about iranian missile tests. mr. wilson: american families are at risk. they need to in a moment i yield the balance of my time. mr. royce: mr. cicilline ofryry. mr. cicilline: thank you, mr. chairman and witnesses. i appreciate the testimony with respect to the compliance. i think for many of us who supported this deal we are pleased that compliance with he requirements have been met.
that iran has taken the steps required. i think part of the challenge for us, though, is we were told during this process that getting the nuclear issue off the table was so critical and that we actually could expect iran would engage in additional destabilizing activity. in fact, people suggested some of the resource that is they would have access to and some of the political needs that the regime would have would cause them to be worse in many areas. in terrorism and human rights and other areas. so we were assured that this would give us an opportunity to push back hard in these other areas because the danger of a nuclear iran would be off the table. i was persuaded by that. i'm very interested to hear the administration's efforts with respect to pushing back hard. i want to begin in the area of human rights. what has the administration done since the signing of the jcpoa with regard to imposing sanctions on human rights violators in iran, by all accounts there's been an
increase in human rights violations. i think in part as the regime shows they are still in charge despite this agreement. we have seen an increase in human rights violations. what has the administration done since the signing of the jcpoa with respect to human rights violators in iran, if anything? ambassador mull: thanks for the question. as i mentioned earlier to congressman smith the obama administration is deeply concerned about the human rights situation in iran. and in confronting that situation, we have a variety of tools available at our disposal. sanctions are certainly one important part. mr. cicilline: i probably should have been more precise. has the administration done anything with respect to the imposition of sanctions on any individual or entity since the signing of the jcpoa with respect to human rights violations? ambassador mull: there has not been a specific sanction on
human rights case. since the signing. but we have managed to address human rights concerns, for example, by getting americans out of -- mr. cicilline: i congratulate you on that. the existing sanctions greem has not caused the administration to impose a single imposition for human rights. second question, there's been a loft discussion about additional sanctions. i think everyone acknowledges the jcpoa deals with nuclear sanctions and that nonnuclear sanctions are -- remain a tool. i would ask -- mr. szubin, you recently expressed some concerns about the overuse of sanctions. and that sadgeses, -- sanctions, imposition of saxes can -- sanctions can impose costs. do you think we should impose additional sanctions on iran particularly in the context of the ballistic missile testing? it appears as if it is not a violation of jcpoa according to the administration but clearly
a violation of security council resolution 2231. if additional sanctions are not useful tool, what do you suggest we do to dissuade or put pressure on iran not to engage in this very nefarious activity with respect to ballistic missiles? mr. szubin: do i want to clarify the quote you are referencing about the potential overuse of sanctions was made in a broader discussion about this tool as we move potentially into -- for certain into a new administration. and how to use this tool, the tool of sanctions both on the congressional side and the executive branch side into a judicious way that would preserve its influence. with respect to their ballistic missile program i think sanctions are a key piece. i think we do need to keep the pressure on. and i find particularly important those brokers, procurement agents who are helping to mask the ultimate end user. that's who the group i mentioned yerl, that's who
iran's missile agencies are using to get the parts they need in violation of u.n. security council resolutions. the more we can expose those actors, both the individuals involved in the companies, the better and more we have seen it frustrate them. i do want to say that that public effort is not the only thing we have going. obviously there's strategic interdictions that are going on some of which you would see in the papers, some not. we have our own version of that in a financial sense, which is payments that are being made to broker procurement of dual use items where sometimes -- we are sometimes able to block those payments mid transfer which not only causes real damage to the procurement efforts, but also can sometimes spark a lot of useful intelligence from the affected individual. mr. cicilline: am i correct in assuming that it would be useful in terms of sending a message to the iranians that congress and the united states is serious about stopping their ballistic missile system and stopping their gross violations
of human rights by enacting additional sanctions in a nonnuclear sphere as an expression of congress and ultimately the american people's strong condemnation of ballistic missiles or human rights violations, it would strengthen your hand as the administration to know that, for the iranians to know, there are members of congress that feel very strongly about this reflecting the sentiments of the american people and we are committed to using all the tools at our disposal outside the jcpoa to really effectively dissuade them and persuade them and empose costs on them for engaging in ballistic missile testing or human rights violations? mr. szubin: i think the focus of this body of congress on these nonnuclear threats has been and remains essential, and frankly the fact it's been a bipartisan focus has been extremely powerful and it does give us leverage in talking to the iranians and international allies. with respect to the enactment of new sanctions legislation, i
say what i said to the chairman. as a technical matter the deal is talking about nuclear sanctions. as practical matter, if legislation were to undermine the deal by taking off the table commitments that we had put on the table, that would be a problem. obviously we don't want to see new legislation interfere with our fulfillment of the jcpoa. mr. cicilline: i yield back. mr. royce: mr. randy weber of texas. mr. weber: ambassador mull, you said in your opening comments jcpoa had been implepted cutting the enrichment program by more than 2/3 and the breakout time from two months to more than a year. it's your estimation that it went from two months, 12 months on your opinion we gained 10 months? ambassador mull: yes, sir. mr. weber: just as we have preserved our abilities to snap back penalties. then you further said at the request of our foreign friends,
i'm paraphrasing, we have been explaining the lifting of our sanctions. so the explaining of the lifting of those sanctions, that discussion time is going to be -- is that going to teak a month or two? ambassador mull: we try to be responsive, congressman, to whenever our international partners express questions about u.s. law and u.s. procedures, not just on iran but on anything. since the implementation day was reached in the agreement back in january, there's been a flood of requests, mostly from the world financial centers in asia -- mr. weber: a flood of requests from around the world. in the event that iran would get very aggressive and start doing things again we felt like a snap back sanction was in order here, it would take time, would it not, to explain to our friends around the world as to why we think they violated it and why we think an action is necessary? ambassador mull: i don't think it would take that much time.
mr. weber: how much time? ambassador mull: to notify the world of an iran rainian violation? mr. weber: that and to explain and get their buy in why snap back sanctions were necessary. ambassador mull: well, i think -- certainly if we decided to snap back we would make an instant announcement of that. i couldn't speculate if there are questions from our -- mr. weber: it would take a month or two. i'll leave it at that. it's not going to be instantaneous. i think snapback is the wrong word there. mr. countryman you said it's not sanctions but u.n. resolutions that cause iran to change its pursuit of weapons. not sanctions or u.n. resolutions but trade control. i notice you didn't read from your remarks. you pretty much spoke from the heart, i guess. if trade control was really the force du jour there we needed,
didn't we have member going in the right direction? -- didn't we have them going in the right direction? the sanctions? they were hurting. mr. countryman: if you'll give me a moment. i make a distinction between sanctions that are intended to impose an economic cost and change behavior, and that's something that my colleague, in. zubin, specializes and strategic trade control which is how the united states cooperates with countries around the world to ensure that states of concern and nonstate actors don't get their hands on dual use technology, whether it's nuclear, missile related, or anything else. mr. weber: you're saying the force behind the sanctions was the trade controls. mr. countryman: there have been a number of institutions in place for years. the missile technology, control regime, for the most advanced countries in the world on ballistic missile technology
that cooperate against providing that kind of technology to countries like iran. the proliferation security initiatives started under the bush administration and they are back. mr. weber: i get what you meant. the denial of access to our monetary system being somewhat one of those sanctions agreed? mr. countryman: i would put that again, i'm not trying to make fine distinctions but i would say that's more in the category of economic sanctions. mr. weber: i want to go to mr. szubin on this because he did say, supercharged sanctions could be used. describe for us, if you would, the difference between normal sanctions, lesser sanctions, and supercharged sanctions. mr. szubin: i would be happy to. i did not mean to coin a new term and certainly not that term. mr. wesh: when i was in high school supercharging meant something different. go ahead. mr. szubin: what i meant was to refer to the reach of a targeted sanction.
so just to give you a very specific example. if we target a human rights actor in democratic republic of congo and add them to the sanctions list, that binds the angsts of u.s. banks, companies, foreign actors are still permitted without any fear of u.s. consequences to do business, as long as they keep their transactions out of the u.s. so they can't be routing those transfers through us, but if they want to do it in local curncy, fine. when it comes to iran, what congress did was to say, no. anyone who does business, anywhere around the world, in whatever currency, with an iranian actor that's on the blacklist faces a potential cutoff from the u.s. financial system. that's what i was referring to as these greatly augmented sanctions designation. mr. weber: thank you. r. chairman, i yield back. mr. royce: mr. meadows of north carolina who was instrumental in the hezbollah sanctions legislation, we referenced yerl, he was the driving force
-- yerl. he was the driving force, the driver behind the bill. mr. meadows. mr. meadows: i thank you, mr. chairman. i thank you for your leadership in that particular effort. mr. szubin, let me come to you. all these sanctions and as we talk about this it gets very confusing, and so we have removed some sanctions, left some in place. to the average elected official, do we have really the intellectual discernment to decide which sanction is which and when it should it be applied and when it should not? is that easily done? mr. szubin: i sure hope we have that capability. that's what my office is there to do. mr. meadows: it's not necessarily what my office or other elected officials offices in terms of figuring out sanctions and how they should apply. if they apply in every case, is that correct? so if we have questions you are the go-to person to figure out whether we are complying, is that correct?
mr. szubin: we would be happy to provide any consultation on that. mr. meadows: since we are talking today about compliance and center fugse and all kinds of other things -- centrifuges and other kinds of other things, can you tell me, ambassador mull, when we look at the jcpoa talking about centrifuges, they were, quote, to be made inoperable. you have changed the language to be disabled, and most of those centrifuges from what i understand have been turned off and put in a storage place in iran, is that correct? ambassador mull: sir, the centrifuge that is have been dismantled had all of the equipment -- they are allowed -- mr. meadows: disassembled? ambassador mull: they are allowed 5,060 to be operating. mr. meadows: of the 19,000 you disassembled all of them and they can't be put back in place quickly. ambassador mull: that's right. mr. meadows: are they being
stored in iran? ambassador mull: yes, sir. mr. meadows: how long would it take them to get out of storage and put them back in operation if they decided to do that today? ambassador mull: if they decided to do so, it would depend, some of them are stored -- mr. meadows: they got rid of some not in use. what i'm talking about is the ones they were supposed to dismantle, how long would it take them to get that from storage and get them -- ambassador mull: this factors into our calculation of breakout time. it would be a matter of several months. mr. meadows: not my question. great answer to a question i didn't ask. how long would it take to take the centrifuge from the storage and actually get it back in place again and flick on the switch? ambassador mull: well, again, it depends on the centrifuge. it depends on the location. all of this, the storage is completely, sir, under monitoring full-time by the
iaea. mr. meadows: i didn't ask that. that's two answers to questions i didn't ask. i asked you how quickly from the storage could they be back in place? a month? ambassador mull: which centrifuge and from which location? mr. meadows: let's take some of the centrifuges of the 19,000 we put in storage. what would be the fastest time that they could get one of them that is most operable and put it back in in place? the fastest time. ambassador mull: sir, i don't have an immediate answer for you. i would have to consult -- mr. meadows: range? seven days? ambassador mull: i have to check with our technical engineers. mr. meadows: let me tell you the reason why i ask. i've got a letter here that went to governor mccrorry from descriptions ny is a pro-iranian marketing material suggesting that we ought to do more business with iran. and it says we need to check on sanctions and asking the
governor to do that, of which they don't have the expertise, they have asked me about the expertise in terms of compliance. why would you send a pro-iranian marketing letter to my governor? ambassador mull: sir -- mr. meadows: who instructed you to do that. ambassador mull: i disagree that's promarketing. mr. meadows: we'll disagreement who instructed you. in the agreement the -- ambassador mull: in the agreement the united states government permitted to inform the state and local authorities about changes in the nuclear situation in iran. mr. meadows: you sent a letter like this to all 50 states? ambassador mull: that's right. because the united states government -- mr. meadows: in doing that, you went to great lengths, number of paragraphs, to talk about how great this is and all that. instead of just saying you need to look at changing your laws as it relates to that, why was it in such a pro-iranian manner? ambassador mull: sir, i disagree it was in a pro-iranian manner.
mr. meadows: we'll give it to the press and let them opine on t is this something you released to the press? ambassador mull: i did not. mr. meadows: we'll let them do that. i guess the other question is, since we have our ally, israel, am of them are under attack by a bds movement, is the statement department going to send out a similar letter saying that states should not actually embark on a b.d.s. movement for all 50 states for our ally, israel? ambassador mull: i'm sorry. a b.d.s. movement? mr. meadows: boycott. ambassador mull: sir, our relations -- mr. meadows: it's troubling you wouldn't know what that is. i yield back. mr. royce: mr. scott desjarlais of tennessee. mr. desjarlais: mr. countryman, did i hear you say it was your belief that iran never intended to slow its testing of ballistic missiles?
mr. countryman: i don't know about never. it's difficult to talk about intent. but the record shows that they have had a consistent study program of ballistic missile development for missiles of various range similar to that of a number of other countries in the region and beyond the middle east. mr. desjarlais: it's your job to prosanctions for violations? mr. countryman: it's my job with the support of a number of agencies, both to acomply strategic trade controls to inhibit iran acquiring the technology, and in cooperation with treasury and others to apply sanctions to entities in iran and outside iran that violate those restrictions. mr. desjarlais: you stated in your written testimony all the sang authorities we need are already in place and repeatedly used our own domestic authorities to sanction and will continue to do so as warranted. you can say that you've got the
authorities to deal with t. but that rings hollow the iran, north korea, and syria nonproliferation act of 2006, which levies u.s. sanctions on entities connected with iran ballistic activity, but the g.a.o. study commissioned by this committee from last year shows the state department to be completely deling one minute in applying these sanctions. the report that triggers designation for sanctions for 2011 showed up in december of 2014, 36 months late. the last report sat on the deputy secretary's desk for more than a year, according to g.a.o. the state department needs to comply with six month reporting cycle and minimalize the delays in its ability to impose sanctions, would you agree? mr. countryman: i read the g.a.o. report. it's a good one. i agree that we have been slow. i would not say delinquent. i think the report did a good job of stating the important
verification process that we have to go through in a complex interagency process. i'm determined to do better. mr. desjarlais: they also stated that political concerns, such as international negotiations relations with countries involved in transfers, can delay the state implementing the process. would you agree with that? mr. countryman: no. mr. desjarlais: the ben rhodes comment and all that has nothing to do with protecting the president's legacy in your opinion? mr. countryman: i don't know which comment you are referring to. mr. desjarlais: the echo chamber. the fact they were trying to hide the fact this is not a good deal. you said that you don't think you're completely delinquent. do you not think 36 months behind on a six-month window is delint went? mr. countryman: if you wanted a report every six months you would get an inadequate report. i think that we have to do better and faster. mr. desjarlais: they are shooting missiles now. there are missiles that have --
israel needs to be abolished. and you're saying we have all the people in place to apply these sanctions. that's not comforting when we are looking at two, three year delays in a program where we have a deal that's designed to curtail the development of nuclear weapons, but a ballistic missile is the essential component to delivering these not only to israel but our allies and the united states. you say you have to do better doesn't give me much comfort. where are the delinquent reports right now, where are they in the process? mr. countryman: first, i would note that it's not our only tool. it's a congressionally mandated tool and we take that very seriously and we want it to be a good decision process and one that can be justified and explained fully to you when it is delivered. but we have other tools available if we need them in order to move against individual entities. in terms of where we are in the report, i am hopeful that you will get the 2013 report in the very near future.
the 2014 report is well in preparation and as i said, we are trying to -- mr. desjarlais: do you know where they are at. we are talking reports from three years ago. you are saying we need to do bert. do you know where they are at? mr. countryman: yes. mr. desjarlais: who has them? mr. countryman: they are in the process and will be completed shortly. mr. desjarlais: we are going to do bert. we are three years behind. they are shooting missiles. we are in the middle of a deal that secretary kerry all admitted it's not a matter if it fails it's more when. which could be a year, two years, three years. you are acomplying sanctions from reports from two to three years ago things happening now. is that what you're telling us? mr. countryman: i'm saying we have sanctioned the primary entities involved in iran's missile program. and if we rush this to you any sooner, it will not make a dramatic change in the entities that are already sanctioned. mr. desjarlais: or the president may look bad.
mr. countryman: pardon me? mr. desjarlais: or the president may look bad as the g.a.o. reported that's the reason for the delays. mr. countryman: the g.a.o. not correct. mr. royce: we are going to mr. lee zeldin of new york. mr. zeldin: ambassador mull, you referenced earlier historic verification and monitoring regime. have you yet read the verification regime outlined between the iaea and iran? ambassador mull: i'm not aware. which side deal? mr. zeldin: the deals between the iaea and iran to decide how the jcpoa will be implemented. what governs the verification of the iran nuclear deal. ambassador mull: iran and the iaea have a confidential safeguards agreement just like every member of the iaea. mr. zeldin: have you read that? ambassador mull: no, sir. mr. zeldin: i would offer you
for you for secretary kerry, it's difficult to vouch for a historic verification and monitoring regime when you don't know what the historic verification and monitoring regime is. all you know is what's contained in the jcpoa. but you don't know what's included in the agreement between the iaea and identify rafpblet especially when we read about how iran might be collecting their own soil samples. responsible for collecting some of the -- inspecting some of their nuclear sites. as we read what the associated press reports as far as the verification of the jcpoa, if you haven't yet read it, it's impossible to say that it's a historic verification and monitoring regime because you don't know what it is. the administration says this deal is not built on trust but verification. why hasn't the obama administration, why didn't obama administration ask the iranians to sign the jcpoa? ambassador mull: why did we ask them -- mr. zeldin: didn't we ask them to sign it? ambassador mull: the jcpoa is a
political agreement. and that emerged -- evolved that way in the course of negotiations that in order to preserve our ability to exact the kind of penalties, kind of nimble ability and agility we would have to exact penalties if the agreement were not implemented correctly, we believe it served our interest best to have this as a political agreement. mr. zeldin: i would assume if you bought cars in your life, houses, you have signed many agreements, you have signed your name on all sorts of things. i would imagine if there was an example we need to come up with of something where you should get a signature, that the jcpoa is a great example of something where you ask the iranians would you mind signing it. the administration decided not to. what is a political commitment? the secretary kerry has referred to the jcpoa not as a treaty, the reason is he said because he wouldn't have been
able to get it passed. that's what he said right here. the reason why this is this isn't a treaty is because it wouldn't be passed. ridiculous answer, moving on. he says that's not an executive agreement. it's a political commitment. what's a political commitment as defined by the obama administration? ambassador mull: political commitment is one that is the official policy of the united states government that we are fully committed as a government to implementing the deal on its terms. as a political commitment we are or any future government is free to withdraw from that agreement with a minimum of legal difficulty. we have decided that -- mr. zeldin: you are allowed to withdraw from the political commitment without legal difficulty? ambassador mull: that's right. yes. mr. zeldin: that's what we are defining the jcpoa as something that you can withdraw from without legal difficulty? ambassador mull: well, if other parties, namely iran decides to withdraw from it, there are going to be serious
consequences for that. we have preserved by establishing this is a political agreement a freedom of action of ensuring there are dramatic consequences from withdrawal from that agreement. mr. zeldin: should the iran sanctions act be extended as is? ambassador mull: i know it's in place until december of this year. we are ready to work with the congress in addressing that question. mr. zeldin: what is the administration's position on the iran sanctions act. should it be exextended? ambassador mull: we are billing willing to talk with the congressional leadership about that. mr. zeldin: when do you plan on coming up with a position on the act? ambassador mull: we are opened to work with the congress on this. at your disposal. mr. zeldin: i have a position, the iran sanctions act should be extended as s what say you? ambassador mull: let's sit down and talk about what that means. mr. zeldin: it means the iran sanction act as is should be extended. ambassador mull: in previous efforts to extend the act have
been efforts, suggestions to change the implementation of it. mr. zeldin: extending as is. ambassador mull: there are voices in congress o who would like-to-mend it. we need to have a conversation. mr. zeldin: the obama administration needs to -- i know this whole thing about legacy and turning over to the next administration that iran never acquired a nuclear weapon, but many of you-all need to pray to god the next administration cleans up your mess. i yield back. mr. royce: the gentleman's time has expired. we go to mr. scott perry of pennsylvania. mr. perry: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. countryman, good morning. you started with the administration in september of 2011? is that correct? mr. countryman: i have been a foreign service officer since 1982. i started my current post in 2011. mr. perry: did you have any participation in the negotiation/agreement that we are speaking of, the jcpoa?
mr. countryman: i was not a member of the negotiating team. mr. perry: what was your involvement? you are the assistant secretary for the bureau of international security and nonproliferation. i would think that this would fall under the nonproliferation moniker, if you would. what was your duties regarding this program, the negotiations, the deal, etc.? mr. countryman: as you know the negotiating team was small. and worked very well. i provided a couple of my experts for technical support. mr. perry: you are fully aware of what was happening and who was doing it even though you weren't there. you provided experts but you knew when things were happening. mr. countryman: i knew when people were talking to each other. i did not know a lot about the substance that was being discussed. mr. perry: you knew when people were talking to each other. so then you knew when ben
rhodes made the claim that we were dealing with moderates in iran that that was completely false. that was a fraudulent statement. you knew that because you knew the time line, right? you started in 2011 and you provided expertise and then you would have known that negotiateations started -- negotiations started in mid 2012. mr. countryman: no. when negotiations began under the previous iranian presidency , the negotiations began under president a hani's presidency. did not know the substance of it. mr. perry: you knew when that happened. when ben rhodes said we were dealing with -- sold this to the american people and the rubes up here in congress, us primitive people up here in congress that questioned the timeline, you knew at that time that that was a falsehood, right? you knew because you knew it started in 2012 and rouhani wasn't elected until june of
2013. knew that, right? mr. countryman: i do not believe it was a falsehood, and no. mr. perry: did you not know that. mr. countryman: there is no secret. there was nothing concealed here. at the time of the preliminary -- mr. perry: you knew the negotiations started in 2012, right? did you know that? mr. countryman: did i know the instant they began, no. mr. perry: around sometime mid 2012. maybe december 2012. sometime in 2012, right, you knew that, because you were providing material help, right? mr. countryman: i was providing an expert who gave advice. mr. perry: did you know or didn't you know? mr. countryman: did i know what, sir? mr. perry: when negotiations started generally speaking based on that? when did you provide the individuals that helped? mr. countryman: generally speaking i knew. mr. perry: so -- you also knew, i'm thinking, that rouhani wasn't elected until june of
2013, right? mr. countryman: yes, sir. mr. perry: so then when ben rhodes made the statement that we were dealing with the moderate in rouhani -- mr. countryman: at what time? mr. perry: he made the statement throughout the negotiation because that was what we were supposed to accept here even though many of us did not and questioned that. mr. countryman: in 2013 when the jpoa, the interim agreement with iran was concluded, there was extensive briefing to congress and to the press about the history of contacts between iran and the united states. mr. perry: leading up to that we had questions about that. the word was we were all supposed to accept it these were moderates and this is where the negotiation began. i'm not saying you came to congress and said that, but you knew that that was not necessarily the case. mr. countryman: i strongly disagree, sir. i have not heard any false statements from the white house. i have heard a lot of statements during the discussion of this agreement. but not false ones from the
white house. mr. perry: did you make any statements in support of the claim that this administration was negotiating with moderates from iran on this deal. did you make any of those statements? mr. countryman: not that i recall. mr. perry: did you support any of those statements and any you made. did you support them? mr. countryman: not that i recall. r. perry: not that you recall. mr. countryman: my focus has been on the substance of the agreet. having done nonproliferation for five years i see an agreement that is the most detailed. mr. perry: that's great. mr. countryman understand while the last questioner outlined the fact there were 36 months late on triggers designation for sanctions, we have a trust issue here. we have a trust issue between congress and the administration who objectively falsified the timeline when many of us here knew t i think you could have said something but chose not to. for whatever reason that's your business. mr. countryman: i have not -- mr. perry: i yield back. mr. royce: we thank the
witnesses. we thank general scott perry and the other members of the committee here for this participation as well. and we'll continue the dialogue on this issue. thank you very much. appreciate your attendance. we stand adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. isit ncicap.org]
their annual budget. later, ail see members continue work on amendments to the to 17 energy and water spending bill -- 2017 energy and water spending bill including one with california water policy and drought in that state. this is live coverage of the u.s. house here on c-span. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the prayer today will be offered by the guest chaplain, reverend joshua berkley from san bernandino, california. >> our father and our god, w pray for this session of congress in light of all that is going on in the world and threats that face us as nation that you give clarity as they follow their agendaoday. i pray that you give them knowledge to determine the best course of action that would affect the greatest good for all who would be affected by their decisions. i pray ta