tv U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business CSPAN June 7, 2016 2:30pm-4:31pm EDT
the nazis, prevented proliferation of nuclear weapons in 1990's and fought against terrorists after 9/11. yet for most of modern history, americans and russians have found themselves at cross purposes. throughout the cold war we trained to obliterate each other. senator corker: with the fall of the berlin wall, many argued that difficult days of confrontation were behind us. leaders like gorbachev and yeltsin worked to place russia on a path toward democracy and peaceful engagement with the rest of the world. reagan asked for the wall to be turned down. george w. bush had putin come to his ohm and obama sought to reset the relationship in a way that prioritized communication and cooperation. scholars will long argue other exactly when the u.s.-russia relationship again became confrontational, but looking back, the russia-georgia war in august of 2008 seems to be the mark of they have beginning of a new age.
since that summer, a so-called resurgent russia has pushed back on the institutions and allifes the west. russia invaded georgia and ukraine, striking them in way designed to prevent their integration into the neuropeen unit and north atlantic treaty alliance. they've acted contrary to the nuclear forces treaty, the new strategic arms reducks treaty, the open skies treaty and the incidents as sea agreement. russia has altered the human rights landscape within its own country, decreasing democracy and begging questions about the future of governance, not just in moscow but across the federation. moreover, russia joined the civil war in syria and began militarizing the arctic. now when we talk about u.s.-russia relationship, the ways we interact globally, the days fol throwing end of the cold war seem very far away. as the relationship has once
again grown distrustful and confrontational. as we meet today to talk about the role that russia has come to play in the last several year must address these topics through the lens of realism. it would be easy to simply cat willing the event that was brought taos where we are today but we are charged with a higher responsibility which is not only to diagnose the problem, but to begin generating prescriptions for where we go next. discussions about violations of norms must be paired with conversations about ways of effectively setting boundaries and engaging with russia. in order to make our world more stable and ultimately to serve u.s. national interests. our countries are too powerful and the interplay between us too important to resign ourselves to the increasing risk of confrontation and escalation. i look forward to hearing today how we can recognize the new realities of the u.s.-russia relationship and implement a new strategy that puts us on a
better trajectory. with that i turn to our distinguished ranking member, senator cardin. senator cardin: chairman corker, let me thank you for calling this hearing and i concur with the statements in your opening statement, i agree we points you raise and the challenges we have in regards to our relationship with russia. today we meet to discuss russia's efforts to undermine institutions that have maintained peace and security in europe since the end of the cold war. russia's actions in georgia in 2008, support for separationists enclaves in georgia and moll doe varks invasion of ukraine, illegal annexation of cry mia, and the ongoing support of exind separationist forces in ukraine have challenged the security of sovereign bordersering something that's been a mainstream of relations in europe since the signing of the helsinki accord in 1985. we have serious concerns about russia's compliance with seminal
arms control treaties. while i understand that russia complies with treaties like new start, it is in violation of others like the i.n.f. and their compliance issues with open skies treaty. i'm concerned about these violations and look forward to hearing how we can strengthen our ability to verify and enforce their terms. there are legitimate questions about the value of such accords as russia wantonly disregards its international commitments. this should not lead us to the conclusion that all arms control agreements should be ripped up. while not perfect, these agreements afford us some visibility into russia's intentions. i want to underscore the importance of these treaties to our allies, especially open skies, as we seek to bolster unity, pulling out of open skies would send the wrong message to our friends. at is often loss in russia's
work abrord, is how they treat those at home. is murder of boris yotsov the most sobering example of the danger facing the opposition. we are honored to be joined by a prominent member of the political opposition who was oysonned in moscow under suspicious circumstances and spent months in a coma. vladimir thank you for your courage and all you do for the people of the russian federation. new laws targeting foreign agents which label n.g.o.'s as trayors -- traitors of the russian state have impeded the work of foundations like the mcarthur foundation. putin has fueled corruption by weakening the rule of law and his associates know their fortunes depend on access and allegiance to the regime. those who make public these corrupt acts are threatened, abused,s or worse. sergei nitsky was one of them
and he paid the ultimate bryce. the law targets human rights abusers inside russia. while 40 people have been sanctioned since 012rks i call on the administration to hold accountable more human rights abusers in the country. as human right violations increase, so should our response. in summary, russia under putin regime. tocratic we have shared interests with the russian regime and we need to pursue them but we can never forget our principles and turn a blind eye to human rights violations committed by the putin regime. mr. chairman, again, thank you for convening this hearing and i look forward to hearing from our witnesses. senator corker: we do appreciate our witnesses being here. i don't think we've had so many people on the outside of the building trying to get in, so it's obviously something people care about. we thank the honorable victoria newland, assistant secretary of
state for qurepeen and eurasian affairs for being here, we look forward for your testimony. r. michael carter, assistant secretary for russia and eurasia. , if you en here before can summarize, we read your ritten submission already. ms. newland: thank you for allowing me to be here today. for more than 20 years, following this ecollapse of the soviet union, the united states has sought to build a constructive relationship with russia and to support that country's greater integration into regional and global institutions and the rules-based international orde ms. nuland: our working assumption in doing this was that a more integrated, democratic, secure, an
prosperous russia would be a safer, more predictable and willing partner for the united states and our allies. by 2014, however, we had no choice but to re-evaluate our assumptions following russia's invasion of sovereign ukrainian territory, first in crimea and then in eastern ukraine, which shattered any remaining illusions about this kremlin's willingness to abide by international law or live by the rules of the institutions that russia joined at the end of the cold war. our approach to russia today seeks first to deter further aggression through the projection of strength and unity with our allies. second to build resilience and reduce as a rule neblet among friends and allies -- vulnerability among friends and allies facing russian coercion. third to cooperate on core security priorities when our interests and russia's do align. and fourth to sustain tie toths
russian people to preserve the -- ties to the russian people to preserve the potential for constructive relationship in the future. first, strength and deterrence. to counter the threat posed by russian aggression and deter any military moves against nato territory, over the past two year the united states and our nato allies have maintained a persistent rotational military presence on land, sea, and air, all along nato's eastern edge, the baltic state, poland, bulgaria. as we look toward the nato summit in warsaw this coming july, ally wills institutionalize a more sustained approach to deterrence, including by enhancing forward presence in the east to reduce response times to any aggression. to support this commitment, the president has requested $3.4 billion to fund the european reassurance initiative. with your support, these funds will be used to deploy an additional rotational armored brigade combat team to central
and eastern europe and for prepositioning of combat equipment as well as additional trainers and exercises in europe. dr. carpenter will talk about this in detail. to press moscow to bring an end to violence in ukraine and implement its commitments under the minsk agreements, we have worked with the e.u., g-7 and other like minded groups to impose sanctions on russia over the past two years and we are now working intensively with europe to ensure that e.u. sadgeses are rolled over at the end of this month and to support france and germany in their lead diplomatic role to push for the full implementation of the minsk agreements including the withdrawal of all russian forces from ukraine and return of ukraine's sovereign border. even as we defend nato territory, we're also looking to reduce the vulnerabilities and increase the resilience of those countries across europe that face pressure from moscow.
to help ukraine, the yithes has committed over $600 million in security assistance, we've trained 1,700 ukrainian conventional forces and national guard personnel, we provided artillery and countermortar ray tar, over 3,000 secure radios, and a number of other pieces of equipment to help ukrainian troops successfully resist further advances and to save lives. to continue our work across europe and eurasia and strengthen democratic institutions, fight corruption and build the resistance of our partners, we have requested $787 million in f.y. 2017 focusing on our priorities on those countries that are most vulnerable to russian pressure. our programs and advisors focus on improving governance, squeezing out graft and fraud, strengthening justice systems, improving election standards, hardening border security and
homeland defenses, and building energy independence to make countries more resilient and stronger in the face of pressure. we're also deepening intelligence cooperation across find and eurasia to russia's covert and overt attempts to pressure european politics. the united states will continue to look for areas where our interests and moscow's align. we've worked with russia, for example, to remove syria's declared chemical weapons to prevent iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, to contain the nuclear threat emanating from the dprk and to negotiate and implement the new start treaty. over the past eight months, secretary kerry has led multilateral efforts to try to resolve the crisis in syria, establishing the international syria support group and forging critical agreements on a
cessation of hostility which is has reduced violence even as that agreement is tested every single day. these efforts have all required hard headed diplomacy with russia and we continue to call on the kremlin to bring its influence to bear on the assad regime to prevent civilian casualties and to end barrel bombing and the regime's obstruction of humanitarian aid deliveries to the besieged communities. finally, we must continue to engage directly with those russian individuals, businesses and organizations who want to work with us, who share our interests and values, and who are working for a better future for their country. despite moscow's crackdown on civil society and a free press, our exchange programs and our scientific cooperation remain hugely popular with the russian people. we will also continue to speak out against laws and policies that impede the work of russian civil society and contravene the
fundamental rights of freedom of expression, assembly and association in russia and else where in the region. the approach that i've just outlined is not without challenges and contradictions. i will not claim that it is yet brought an end to russian aggression in ukraine or moscow's unmitigated support for the assad regime or its violations of treaties and global norms. however, i am convinced that u.s. and allied unity regarding russia over the last two years has been esen torble deterring even worse behavior to protecting our own security and to bringing the kremlin to the table on critical issues from ukraine to iran to syria. thank you very much for your attention and i turn to dr. carpenter. senator corker: thank you, dr. carpenter. mr. car spenter: i appreciate you taking a strong and balanced approach on defending the
homeland and -- mr. carpenter: i appreciate you taking a strong and balanced approach on this issue. russia's approach to ukraine than georgia have shown a blatant disregard for nternational commitments and a disregard of sovereignty including borders. they have allied themselves with the iranian revolutionary guard corps. russia's nuclear saber rattling raises questions about their commitment to strategic stability and reforms to use of nuclear weapons. with regard to arms control commitments, russia's record has been mixed. it violated those agreements that pose impediments to its military plans, such as the intermediate range treaty. however it honored others such
as the new start treaty which limits russia and u.s. supplies of nuclear weapon historically low levels. russia seeks to be a qualitative, if not quantitative peer to the united states across the land, sea, and sare and space domains, in addition to in cyberspace and across the electromagnetic spectrum. our approach to countering russian coercion and aggression involves coordinating efforts across the force to strengthen our capabilities, postures, investments, plans, we aim to do this without foreclosing the possibility of working with russia when it's in our interest. the most critical element of this is ensuring deterrence to support our most vital missionsing testifies of the homeland, reflected in the president's $583 billion fiscal year 2017 budget request. we are modernizing our nuclear forces. this recapitalization program
includes a new long range strategic bomber, air launch cruise missile as well as life extension programmers in b-61 gravity bomb. we are also moving forward in the development of new technologies to ensure we maintain a qualitative military edge over potential high end adversaries. these include new unmanned systems, enhanced ground based air and missile defenses, new long-range anti-ship weapons and innovative technologies like the electromagnetic rail gun, lasers, and new systems for electronic warfare in space and cyberspace. we will also continue to strengthen our alliances and partnerships. i thank congress for its continued support for the european reassurance initiative. as secretary nuland mentioned, e.r.a. has enabled us to strengthen our assurance megses in europe. the president'sphysial -- fiscal year 2017 budget proposes
quadrupling the budget to $3.4 billion, allowing us to increase force posture by implementing two brigade teams with an additional armored b.c.t. as well as a fourth b.c.t. of prepositioned war fighting equipment. with our non-nato parters in, our goal to improve their capability and capacity to deal with conventional and unconventional threats. we have provided over $600 million to enhance security since the start of the crisis. our support has consisted of training programs to enhance ukraine's internal defense capabilities, equipment to support the operational needs of its security forces, and advisors to advance the implementation of key defense reforms. so far, we have trained six companies from ukraine's national guard and five land forces battalions, or rather are in the process of training five land forces battalions and one special forces battalion. while the scale of our
assistance to ukraine is unique, we're engaged in other efforts with nonnay the partners such as georgia and mull doe va. he -- and muldova. the approach lees the door open to russia to rush to compliance with international norms and constructive engagement with the international community. in the meantime in concert with our allies and partners we'll continue to respond in a way that's defensive and proportional. we'll continue to advance our strategic vision of a europe whole, free, and at peace. senator corker: we have votes at 4:00 and have two panels, i've asked to put five minutes on the clock and ask everyone to stay within that i'll just ask one question. secretary nuland, we met briefly prior pryor to this hearing. there's a narrative out there
that the u.s. and nato pressured russia by expanding to areas adjacent to their border and that's what generated some discord between our countries. you were involved in those negotiations extensively. i wonder if you can give us a brief summary of your view of that? ms. nuland: i completely reject this narrative of grievance that it's somehow our fault. as you know, nato is an alliance, as we said to russia at every stage in the expansion of nato, we are not a threat to russia in any way. as we, through the various expansions of nato we sought to deepen nato's own relationship with russia, first through the creation of the permanent joint council. i was, as you said, active in those efforts both in negotiating and as ambassador to nato to tie to implement those
agreements. i think russia did not take advantage of the opportunity that nato put before it for cooperation. we really could have got ton a place with a different attitude in the kremlin where much of the affirmative security that we were seeking in europe and we were seeking against terrorists and with regard to dangerous iranian behavior could have been done jointly in that structure but we could never get there because of old efforts. also in the ought years we reached out to russia quite strongly, to try to work together on missile defense programs, to try to cooperate. and the kremlin was never willing or able to take us up on those opportunities. so i regret very much that we are where we are but i really do think that we tried very hard on the u.s. side across three administrations of both parties to reach out and we will continue to try to do that, as i said. senator corker: i'm going to reserve the rest of my time for interjentions and --
interjections and turn to the ranking member. senator cardin: thank you. it would be nice to know why russia is doing what they're doing. they have used their military in an aggressive way to violate the sovereignty of other countries. could you share with me your thoughts as to what russia's game is here. are they trying to get a greater russia? are they trying to take on more territory under the umbrella of russia? trying to recreate the soviet union? what's their game plan here? ms. nuland: i would simply say as a u.s. official i don't think it's particularly help to feel try to speak for russia. i would highlight to what russia's president said. i point to his speech at the munich conference in 2007 where he very much regretted the loss of control over soviet space. the loss of control over the failure, the end of the soviet union, etc.
so clearly that's something on his mind. but i would defer that question o russians, frankly. senator cardin: it's not safe to be in the political opposition these days in russia. what's the administration doing to help political pluralism in russia in regards to those opposing the putin regime? either one of you. ms. nuland: we continue to speak out strongly whenever russia takes moves to further constrain the space for the nongovernmental organizations to restrict human rights, as i said in my open, to constrain suppress freedom. we've lorked with vladimir and others who are seeking a different future for russia. we have programs both inside russia and outside russia to work with those russian activists who want to work with
us to try to strengthen rule of law, to try to strengthen a free press. we have a large numb of russian journalists who have actually fled russia now who are working with us and with others in europe to try to ensure there is independent russian language news going back into the country. we also work on lgbt rights and other things inside russia with those who want to work with us. senator cardin: i'll follow up with some questions on the record for this, but let's move to the arctic. climate change is changing the arctic with ice melts. russia has 4,000 miles of arctic coastline. they have six new bases in the arctic circle and deployed certain weapons systems there. what are we doing to respond to russia's militarization of the rctic?
>> you are right -- mr. carpenter: you are right that they are trying to militarize much of the russian arctic. we seek to preserve the arctic as a space for cooperation on scientific issues, as we have in fact with russia in the past, working on things like black carbon and the danger that it poses to the arctic environment, as well as other issues. however, we take very seriously russia's advancing capabilities in the arctic, including the possibility that over time, russia will be able to create in the arctic elements of area a2ad bubbles if you will that will preclude other nations from being able to enjoy freedom of navigation in the arctic and so we are investing, and the president's 2017 budget
invests in the types of capabilities to allow us to augment our force posture in the arctic and also develop the sorts of capabilities that will help us to ensure freedom of navigation and freedom of flight for our troops in that region. senator cardin: and i take it we're working with our other arctic partners to try to minimize the potential of conflict but it does seem like russia is investing an awful lot in territorial claims in the rctic. mr. carpenter: we do have a good working relationship with russia in the arctic council where we try to preserve, as i said, those areas of cooperation that are ongoing, including environmental cooperation, but also importantly, our coast guard has a search and rescue agreement with its russian counterpart that has worked very successfully over the years. so we seek to preserve these
areas of cooperation but at the same time, develop our own military capabilities so that we are not caught offguard and so we are keeping track with the types of investments russia is making. senator cardin: i'm going to be respectful of the five of-minute clock but i'll be asking other questioners in record, including russia's aggressiveness in revising history and using communications to try to change the narrative of what is reality and how we're trying to counter that. propaganda can have pretty strong impact and part of our strategies must be to make sure that people understand what is -- what are the facts and we welcome your response for the record in regards to those issues. thank you, mr. chairman. >> with the debt crisis we've got and the popularity of your hear, we may start charging.
i think the rise of these traditional rivals are concerning to people back home. mr. perdue -- senator perdue: i'd like to talk about russia and i have a followup on the hybrid warfare. i want to talk about georgia for a minute. the russians have a history of creating these frozen conflicts where, without a peace treaty, everything seems to be going in the normal and yet i know next res, in one of their they're rumored to be having a referendum about joining russia again. so this is a pressure that russia keeps putting on there and i'm very concerned, james clapper, director of d.n.i., national intelligence, testified e nation of georgia, despite its focus on reform, said increasing risks from russian agregs and pressure. i met the georgian defense minister last year, and heard
her concerns about the ongoing pressure and so forth in georgia. what lessons have we learned in terms of standing up, i nina georgia national georgia in the u.s. has a forward deployment there, i'd like some feedback on that and what are we doing the d.o.d. standpoint to put pressure on russia relative to georgia and what lessons under secretary -- assistant secretary nuland, what have we learned relative to crimea and the ukraine? mr. carpenter: well, thank you, senator. i completely agree with your assessment that russia is putting pressure on georgia by a variety of means. they occupy 20% of georgian territory. senator perdue: a third of the population, right? mr. carpenter: it's a significant portion of the population and those
administrative boundary lines that russia maintains continues to shift, especially in the south asetia region, claiming ever more pieces, increments of georgian territory. russia is putting pressure on georgia in a variety of other ways, including this proclaimed desire by the leader, de facto leader of south ossetia to have a referendum on russia. our goal, since the russian invasion in georgia in 2008, has been to build russia's resilience and reduce its vulnerabilities to russian coercion so we spent about $480 million on security assistance in georgia since the crisis. just recently two weeks ago i was in tablese, to participate in the noble partner exercise that we conduct with georgia where we had about 650 u.s. troops alongside about 500 georgian troops and about 150 u.k. troops where we had
airborne jumps into georgia and we had abrams tanks and bradley infantry on the ground helping them with their self-defense capabilities. over the course of the last 10 years, georgia has contributed mightily to our nato efforts overseas, including especially in afghanistan where up until recently they had been the second largest troop contributor after the united states with 850 troops. and in fact they have suffered about 32 casualties, if i am not mistaken, about 282 wounded, so they had major sacrifices there. and a lot of our training program over the course of the last decade has been focused on preparing georgian troops for these overseas deployments, including iraq and then later afghanistan. now we're starting to position ourselves to devote more attention to training up georgia's troops for their self-defense capabilities. senator perdue: do we have permanent troops on the ground in georgia? mr. carpenter: we don't plan to
have permanent troops on the ground but we do plan to increase the tempo of our exercises and trainings with georgia. senator perdue: what lessons have we learned relative to georgia as it relates to crimea and ukraine? ms. nuland: senator, the first one, our security partnership with georgia spent a lot of the last decade helping georgian forces prepare for expredigsary deployments to afghanistan, etc., and probably not enough focus on strengthening georgia's own homeland security, which is what we're now trying to correct and not just as in u.s.-georgia relations but also in nato-georgia relations. the other lesson is the abiding one which has significant applicability for ukraine which is the best antidote to russian pressure is a successful increasingly democratic georgia or ukraine and to take maximum advantage of the association agreements that both of these
countries have with europe. so that's why all of the programs that we manage from the state department are designed to squeeze out corruption, improve justice. senator perdue: with due respect, and i have all the respect in the world with you, assistant secretary. i watched you -- i'm sorry i'm over time. i hate to -- i walk away -- i've been over there quite a bit and i walk away with a feeling when we deal with russia and ukraine we deal with russia and georgia. i don't want to belittle this. it sounds like it's their fault, it's ukraine, it's georgia, because they are not quite as western as we want them to be. therefore, we haven't been able to do everything we need to do to help them. i know we got corruption issues in ukraine and western issues in georgia. but we have an invasion that occurred and sovereign erritory being possessed and violation. we're talking about this at the same level of the invasion issue.
i am -- ms. nuland: we can't -- we need to help them in economic and security terms. >> thank you. senator coons. senator coons: you recognized the difficult balance of cooperating with the russians n a number of important areas. some of our bilateral treaty and other areas where we have discorded interests and where we're trying to strengthen our allies in the ballotics in the face of russian aggression. i came away with a meeting with the ambassador to say they'll try to protect iran and their ballistic missile launches. am i wrong? what level do we have to sustain russian engagement in a
concerted effort to put aggression on russia outside the jcpoa that are destructive to iran's intentions or expressed desire to rejoin the community of nations? ms. nuland: senator, i think you're not wrong in your assessment that russia has only joined us in joint work against a nuclear threat from iran. having worked with russia over many decades to try to encourage them to understand that that nuclear threat was a threat to russia, too, i would say that is the number one trajectory we have to work with with regard to the missile threat now that russia shouldn't be so secure in its confidence that it couldn't be on the other end of said missiles and therefore it has an interest in limiting or stopping iran's missile program. that's where we have to work and we're continuing to try. senator coons: i would be interested, dr. car per, the european reassurance initiative is genuinely working and
whether they're confident with regard to our security and what we in congress can and should be doing to provide support across a whole range? muldova and now for at least the time being in the ukraine, it's my hope and you both were very hard on this that our e.u. allies will be advancing and continuing sanctions and continuing to engage with us. what can and should we doing to strengthen our baltic allies? mr. carpenter: well, thank you for that question, senator. i think the e.r.i. is working well and i think when we begin to implement the 2017 requested portions of e.r.i. we will be dramatically increasing our force posture on the eastern flank of the alliance which will have a significant deterrent impact on russia. it will also at the same time assure our allies that we have force post, that we have genuine high quality, high-end war fighting equipment in place
as necessary in the event of a crisis. i think the other piece to this we cannot neglect is working with our nato allies to ensure those allies also have skin in the game and so as we talk about augmenting nato's presence in these countries, a lot of what we're doing under e.r.i. is bilaterally with each of these allies in the east. but as we talk about increasing nato's footprint i think we'll be in a better place to have allies with skin in the game, as i said, and with additional assets which we bring to bear which they uniquely express because of their proximity to some of these countries that will greatly aid in deterring russia in case it thinks about potential aggressive action in any one of these countries. senator coons: and assistant secretary nuland, as we look forward to the nato summit, have we done everything we need to brace up and shore up and fully engage our nato allies to provide that deterrent impact so we have a chance at
meaningful diplomacy? and how do you assess putin's willingness to engage in rational diplomacy around the ukraine conflict? ms. nuland: two big questions. just to add to what dr. carpenter said on the baltic states. two pieces here. as i said in the opening we over the past two years had an ad hoc approach of land, sea and air presence in the baltic. what will you see at the warsaw summit is a sustained approach so these allies can be confident they will have regular persistent support and to make that much more routine and normal to create joint headquarters in all of these countries and to ensure we can get there. the other piece on the ballotics that i think deserves highlighting is we've worked on the spectrum of their resilience, so not just hard military but also border security, integrated communications across domestic
agencies, etc. we've had our homeland security folks out there and we made pretty good progress but we need other allies to be as vigorous and rigorous in their support and we are working on that as we head towards warsaw. with regard to russia's readiness, willingness to negotiate with regard to ukraine, there is an agreement on the table, as you know, the menks agreement, which -- mensk agreement, which calls for a cease-fire across ukraine. and then a complete package for the people of dambas and the withdrawal of weapons. so the french and germans have taken a lead in trying to see that implemented. we have in the last month and a half greatly increased the role the u.s. is playing in parallel working with both i could eve and moscow. -- in kiev and moscow. on the progress with the
political package with dambas, we have not seen the security piece and we will have to do a lot more to push russia and the separatists to end the violence to allows the oscu fully in. senator coons: thank you for your willingness to testify. senator barrasso: i want to talk about the intermediate range, treaties. russia has been violating the i.n.f. treaty. it was finally made official in 2014. the administration said they're exploring their "economic countermeasures in response to the violation." in the president's speech back in april of 2009 in practicing, he committed to ridding -- prague, he committed to ridding the world of nuclear weapons. he said for a nonproliferation regime to work, he said violations must be punished and he said words must mean something. president obama, words must mean something. this administration has now
said for years they're considering economic sanctions against russia for the violation of the i.n.f. treaty. is russia still in violation of that treaty and when is the administration finally going to get around punishing this violation in the treaty? ms. nuland: thank you, senator barrasso. dr. barrasso, as i'd like to call you. as you have said, we have found russia in violation over the last two years. we are engaged in discussions, negotiations with russia to try to bring them back into compliance. we are also working with allies to bring pressure to bear on russia with regard to the violations. we are also working intensively, and this is part of our package with the warsaw summit, to ensure nato's own deterrent, including its nuclear deterrent, is updated and strong. we are, and this is about all i can say at this point in an open hearing, we are reviewing and working on a full range of options, a full range of
options to make sure that russia cannot gain any significant military advantage from any system that they might develop outside of the treaty. and we are also investing in u.s. technologies that are designed to deter and defeat any russian provocations. but i think going further than that we'd have to be in another setting. senator barrasso: in line of what we can do, the open skies treaty, according to the state department report on arms control, compliance, russia is failing to meet its obligations on the open skies treaty. it's restricting access to some of its territories. it's shown repeated pattern of violating its arms control obligations, including as we talked about, the intermediate range nuclear forces. so it's now asking that the open skies consult of commission for -- for permission to use more powerful collection, capabilities on flights over the united states. to me it says the u.s. shouldn't be approving such a request for these upcoming --
these requested censors, at least make it contingent, first, with russia to become comply with the open skies treaty and the i.n.f. treaty. i want your thoughts on that ms. nuland: you're not wrong that russia has been restricting some overflights. there is a list of places, low altitude over moscow, etc., where they've been restricting open skies flights. they had been restricting open chechnya in over recent weeks. they reopened it in part of the pressure, particularly the europeans who highly value this. i think you know that the first round of russian requests for higher definition cameras were within the constraints of the treaty. and so from that perspective, where we to -- were we to
unilaterally restrict those flights, we could just expect they would do the same to us and that would make us less capable ourselves. with regard to their more recent requests for really potent vis ules, we're still reviewing that internally. i don't know if dr. carpenter has anything to add on that. we can brief you in a closed setting as well. senator barrasso: doctor. mr. carpenter: to answer your question, senator, yes, russia is in violation of the i.n.f. treaty requirements not to produce, deploy cruise missile within 500 kilometers. we're looking at a range of -- we're looking at this more broadly in the context of russia's aggressive behavior so we're taking a number of steps that are being taken in that broader context to include expanding and modifying air defense systems together with our allies. we're also looking at investments together with our
allies and partners in advanced capabilities that will allow us to defend against complex cruise missiles threats. on the open skies issues, i would just associate myself that assistant secretary nuland has said. the treaty process already provides a way forward for certification of the electroopt cal camera. as web film goes out of business, essentially. so our ability to use this same sensor down the road is impacted by the decisions we take today. senator barrasso: in terms of security risk, secretary nuland, you said we want to take it. are there vulnerabilities if in fact these new type of sensors are allowed on open skies aircraft for us? ms. nuland: senator, i'm comfortable with the decisions we already made. we're reviewing the exact set
of issues as we look at the next set of requests from russia. senator barrasso: thank you. senator menendez: madam secretary, to some context to my question, let me summarize the current events as i see it. as russia's september 18 primary parliamentary election draws closer, the kremlin is preparing the groundwork for another victory of putin's united russia party. the current douma itself, the fraudulent 2011 election, has rubber stamped a slate of new laws targeted the electoral process from impeding, campaigning and observation to authorizing police forces to open fire on protesters. the state sponsor ballot stuffing that sparked the oscow protests in 2011 has now evolved. the kremlin and douma are barring opposition now. vigilantes have stepped up attacks on opposition. putin himself has repeatedly
implicated in political assassination in assassination attempts as with one shot outside the kremlin. then outside of the kremlin. -- . karamuza, who is a cara-murza, who is a witness here, was burned to death. and this is bright as putin's venture that seems to be part of the campaign to make russia great again. whether in ukraine where with the exception of congressional sanctions that i and others helped authored and pass through this committee and the congress passed in 2014, the administration has done relatively little to hold russia accountable in meaningful material ways. or in syria where we have been coordinating with russian forces who neither share common interests nor pursue common goals while hundreds of thousands have died and millions have been displaced. or at the u.n. where they
resist sanctions on iran for missile violations in violation of u.n. security council resolutions which they supported or in violation of the i.n.f. treaty which two years we had discussions but no consequences. so i worry that the message that putin must be taking from ur responses is that his limit testing, aggression and opportunism is the right approach, tibblingly when there are negligible consequences at the -- particularly when there are negligible consequences at the end of the day that i listed, among others. this is a dry run for the 2018 presidential elections in russia where we would certainly expect putin to continue to take advantage of the opportunities that he sees, whether that's the arbitrary violation of international borders, treaties, human rights compacts or whatever he decides that suits his personal interests at the time. so i'm trying to get a grasp of
which push the ukrainians really hard to meet their four pillars which was testified very hard but on the security side we're failing dramatically but we're pushing the ukrainians. we don't talk about crimea anymore. i guess that's gone. we have this violation of the i.n.f. treaty, yet, there are no consequences two years later despite whatever engagement in conversations are to bring them back. hy aren't we more aggressively engaging in tools of diplomacy that can help us hopefully have russia understand there are consequences? why aren't we using the o.s.c., which clearly they are a signatory, too, and have clear violations? why aren't we looking at more visa denials? why aren't we looking at more frozen accounts? hy aren't we looking at more
listings? i don't get it. i heard your testimony. i read it before i quame and i wanted to listen to it again. why is it we don't seem to step up towards the challenge that we have? ms. nuland: senator, i would not take issue with anything that you have said here with regard to the constrange of space inside of russia and ramp up to the elections and russian external behavior. i would take issue with whether russia is paying a price for this. we talked about the economic sanctions that this committee has supported over the last two years. i think russia has paid a steep price, not simply through sanctions, but also to its overdependence on oil. we now have russians, you know, 13.4% of russians living below the poverty line. we have g.d.p. contraction of 3.7% in russia in 2015. mr. menendez: why not answer my
core question? why not more visa denials? why not more listings? why not more refusal to u.s. banks? as you hear witnesses say, don't let the ill-gotten gains of his cronies end up in the united states? why aren't we prosuing all of those? ms. nuland: we are working on all of those things. we add names to the list. it is relatively constrange. it has to go to that particular case. but we have denied a number of visas in the context of ukraine sanctions, in the context of syria sanctions and we're continuing to look at what we ore can and should do. senator corker: senator gardner. senator gardner: i want to follow up on senator menendez talked about and consequences of bad behavior. this past week we had an opportunity to go to southeast asia where we visited with people from singapore, miramar, to new leadership in taiwan.
participated in the shangry la dialogue which we visited with leaders around the world who participated in that defense ialogue, including our own secretary of defense ashton carter. when meeting with leaders, they talk about u.s. leadership and they talk about the positions we are trying to secure, positions that we're fighting for like the south china sea. we we ask them to -- when we ask them to take a side, they see our lack of consequences on other circumstances and question whether they should take a hard line position against a powerful nation or a situation such as their neighbor, china. and so we can't look at things in isolation as how we are responding to russia. because it affects what's happening and going on in southeast asia. in singapore. it's people around the globe looking at our lack of response and lack of consequence. and deciding whether or not the
u.s.'s somebody they should hitch their wagon to, so to speak, or not. and i think that's a great challenge. and so whether it's crimea, ukraine, i.n.f., syria, georgia, they don't see the consequences. when we ask them to take a tough position, they don't see why the reason should because they know the united states isn't going to follow through. and that's hurting our leadership around the globe. and it's hurting our rally, our allies to our side and to create the rules-based order that we need to in order to counter the behavior of china, the behavior of russia. and so i guess a couple of questions. in your testimony you state, quote, we have worked with russia to remove syria's declared chemical weapons to prevent iran from acquiring nuclear weapons to contain the nuclear threat emanating from the dprk, north korea, and to negotiate and implement the new start treaty. obviously i think you'd agree the nuclear threat in north korea has not been contained, is that correct?
ms. nuland: it has not. senator gardner: what is it we are actually getting russia to accomplish? is it united nations 2270, the sanctions bill against north korea? ms. nuland: against the latest round of sanctions we had difficult conversations with russia but we were able to get russia to join a deeper regime against north korea than we have had in the past. we will, you know, and they had particular interest that they wanted managed there, but we did better than some expected because of the pressure from the ashan allies. senator gardner: are they completely implementing 2270? ms. nuland: i frankly don't have the details. my understanding is in the broad strokes they are. but whether more detail i will you that.ve senator gardner will be what about thad in north korea, dr.
carpenter, if that's more appropriately to you? mr. carpenter: russia has traditionally opposed the advanced air defense capabilities that we provide to allies, both in europe as well as in east asia. senator gardner: what is their position? they're teaming up on china with thad and our efforts to contain the nuclear threat in north korea, are they teaming up with china and freedom of navigation operations as well in opposing our efforts to provide rules-based governs according to international law? mr. carpenter: senator, i don't see them teaming up with china on freedom of navigation. although clearly the chinese and other great powers are watching to see what russia is able to get away with with respect to -- senator gardner: have they supported our efforts in the south china sea? mr. carpenter: no. senator gardner: and so they are taken the same thing on freedom of navigation? mr. carpenter: senator, i would
characterize they have not taken a vocal position one way or another. they have largely remained in the background on this. senator gardner: and so dr. carpenter, while i'm with you -- i guess we can have that conversation as well in terms of what we're doing to push russia to 2270 and a true commitment to a nuclear-free peninsula. i want to talk about a report that came out several months ago and i'm sure you're familiar with it. the rand report. russian invasion in 60 hours. this article was published in february of 2016. that's about the time of the report. i'm sure you're familiar with this report. has this assessment changed in your mind since this report was first published? mr. carpenter: senator, i would say russia clearly possesses a time distance advantage if it were to decide to be an aggressor in the baltic states. and that that poses certain
limitations that we would have to overcome in terms of our ability to defend our nato allies. now, we are making the investments through e.r.i. to have forces prepositioned along with war fighting equipment so we are better able to deter russian aggression in the first place. senator gardner: has this changed your mind substancively since this report came out? mr. carpenter: senator, we've done our other number of exercises and reviewed our plans and we looked very carefully of the geography of the baltic basin and precisely the advantage that russia possesses and we're taking things to mitigate. senator gardner: sour' basically saying nothing has changed since this report substantively and are you saying your report is subsequent to the rand report? mr. carpenter: senator, i would say by the end of 2017 when we implement all of the e.r.i. funding that is coming online that we will be much better poised to address the
challenges and much better poise to deter russian aggression in the region than now. senator gardner: so it is 2017 until we are better posed to deter the russian threat? mr. carpenter: we're prepositioning equipment on a sort of ongoing basis. i don't know we're significantly more advanced now than when the rand report came out but i'm confident by the end of 2017 when we have an additional armored brigade combat team worth of force posture on the ear flank of the eye lieans i think we will be -- alliance i think we will be. senator she houston: thank you, chairman. and thank you, both, for your being here and your ongoing efforts. as part of russia's campaign in eastern europe and the ballotics and eastern ukraine has been to produce disinformation. they're spending a lot of money on r.t. television and lots of other ways to get their message
out. and to -- into parts of eastern europe. can you talk a little bit more about what we're doing to respond to that propaganda? i don't know which one of you wants to address that. ms. nuland: thanks, senator. well, as you know, there has been a line of effort we've been working very hard with members of the congress and the senate since 2014. the total appropriation now, state department, usaid, b.b.g., broadcast board of governors on the u.s. side is about $100 million to counter russian propaganda. that money, as you know, goes to a number of things, from clean honest russian language programming that b.b.g. is now putting out every day, the expansion of radio free europe, to about $88 million that we use in state department and aid money to support civil society, independent media, journalist training, including outside
russia for the russian journalists who have fled. we're also doing quite a bit to bolster programming inside russia to the extent that we can but this pales in comparison to the $400 million at least russia is spending and frankly to the levels that we spent during the cold war on these kinds of things which were over $1 billion a year in a.i. ys of old u.s. senator shaheen: can you talk about who was working with us on the content? is it journalist who is -- reporters who have fled russia who are helping us look at what kind of messages we're using? are there others who are ngaged in that effort with us? ms. nuland: i will be 30,000 feet, if you'll allow me, to protect those who participate in these programs.
many of those depend on that protection. but we can -- we conduct training programs throughout europe for journalist who is have fled or have come out to get training and are planning to go back in. we support a number of russian language news organizations in the baltic states and other periphery countries that are designed either to address russian speaking populations in those home countries and counter russian propaganda or to beam back in. we support russian language programming in ukraine which has some impact also in russia as well. and then this good portion that goes to b.b.g. and b.o.a. programming which is u.s. government free news content. we also do quite a bit to pull together efforts of the e.u., u.k., baltic states, central europeans through consultation, through sharing of programming, etc. senator shaheen: you raised
ukraine and obviously there have been a number of questions around what's happening in ukraine and russia's failure to comply with minsk ii and there was a period where there were some countries in europe that didn't seem to appreciate the extent to which this is a failure on russia's part and viewed it more as a part of ukraine. i wonder if you can talk about where we are with respect to how the e.u. is viewing minsk ii at this point and what more we can do to put pressure on russia to comply. ms. nuland: as i said in my opening, senator, i think we are cautiously optimistic that e.u. countries will again roll over sanctions at the end of june because they see what we see, namely, that minsk is far from being implemented on -- in any of its components. we have intensified our own diplomacy after the president's
meeting in hanover with president hollande and chancellor merkel to support what those countries are doing to get minsk fully complied with. they are pushing on two fronts. both to negotiate a fair political decentralization deal for dombas, which does not cross over the line of a permanent enclave of russia in ukraine. at the same time we are trying to get the commitments that russia and dombas made to the pull back of weapons implemented. as i said at one point it is this security package that is not being implemented well. we had a sharp spike in attacks over the last six weeks, in articular, and we've had a conscious blinding of the eocu, shootdown of cameras, so in
both our own advocacy at every level, the president, the secretary, my work with the president putin's advisor on this work we are calling this out. so we're working on it very hard. i think the point is for ukraine to fulfill its obligations and then we test whether russia was ever serious about these agreements. senator shaheen: thank you. my time is up. senator corker: thank you, senator rubio. senator rubio: thank you. secretary nuland, let me read you a quote here from the same individual. it's general breedlove. russia poses a long term existental threat to us and our european partners. they don't want to challenge the agreed rules. it wants them to rewrite them. is that your assessment of the state of russia today under vladimir putin in the international scene? ms. nuland: senator, i don't have a problem with that characterization at all.
senator rubio: let me ask you about ukraine. roman sone, a ukrainian activist, he called minsk a farce. while russia does nothing to implement the agreement, they are forcing minsk ii down the putin says v, and it's easier to forge -- including sanctions on russia, end quote. i seem to share those views given the fact it appears that russia's perfectly comfortable what they view is a frozen conflict in the region. obviously some of what they're doing in syria is distracting attention. we don't talk about ukraine around here nearly as much as we once did. everyone's focused on the role they're playing in syria and part of the calculation that putin did is that. it is a frozen situation. i walked in late when senator menendez was asking about this. why is he wrong when he characterizes it as a farce? why is he wrong when he characterize it is as a
situation where no one is pressuring russia to comply but they know that west and our european partners are pressuring kiev, especially the germans, to comply? ms. nuland: senator, i think the largest piece of leverage that we have on russia is the sustainment over two years of deep and comprehensive sanctions across the u.s. and the e.u. countries, japan, canada, etc. so, again, this is why we are advocating because minsk has not been implemented that sanctions have to be rolled over again. we are continuing to press, as i said, in response to senator shaheen's point, that ukraine cannot be asked to vote on the political decentralization pieces of minsk until the prior actions that are demanded in cease-fire, real access in dombas, is
implemented. that's the frame we're using. that's the frame germany and france is using. i think ukraine does itself a disservice to be ready with text on an election law, being ready with special status to implement when those agreed conditions are met but russia has not either itself or with its clients in dombas got the security met. senator rubio: why not increase sanctions? these are violations of an agreement me reached and have not complied with. am i right in guessing or in stating that your argument is going to be that we can -- we don't want to go any further than our partners in europe are willing to go and they're not willing to do additional sanctions? ms. nuland: senator, i will say i was quite grad find when the g-7 nations -- gratified when he g-7 nations that met said we're ready to increase sanctions if we need to. the united states not only
maintains the sanctions but does regular maintenance to them to make sure they can't be circumvented. we've done than on two occasions and we're prepared to do that again. senator rubio: can we say that the pain threshold has not impacted his behavior or do you argue the sanctions have impacted his behavior? ms. nuland: well, all i can tell you is we have deterred further land grabs in ukraine and that was a real risk when we first started with sanctions, that they would try to run all the way to kiev and to harky. i will say that the russians are openly talking about about the pain of sanctions including when we worked with them on the minsk thing. so i know what it takes to get the sanctions rolled back and it's their choice whether they want to do what's necessary. senator rubio: what about crimea? is it a de facto now as a matter of fact? is it something that we accepted as reality or does that continue to be part of our
conversations that crimea should be returned rightfully? ms. nuland: senator, i mentioned crimea in our opening. the secretary mentions about it when he speaks publicly in russia. we will maintain the crimea sanctions which is significant. both u.s. and e.u., until crimea is returned rightfully to ukraine. senator rubio: i thought it would be a boondoggle to the russian government. it would cost a lot to maintain that area. has it turned out, do we have any sense as to how many resources they're having to put in to uphold and maintain as part of their national territory? ms. nuland: it is our estimate that russia is spending billions of rubles trying to maintain its foot hold in crimea. i think the most concerning factor, though they are further militaryizing crimea. dr. carpenter might want to speak to that. mr. carpenter: thank you. i would say russia is militaryizing crimea. they put in very --
militarizing crimea. they put in weapons there. senator corker: thank you. senator murphy. senator murphy: welcome to both of you, for taking so much time with us. i know there was conversation with senator perdue over the u.s.-georgia bilateral relationship. i wanted to explore that relationship in the context of the upcoming nato summit. we are hopeful that we will continue on track to offer membership to montenegro. i think they're ready and it's an important signal that nato still has an open door policy for those that are ready and that in general trans-atlantic institutions are still open for business despite the aggressive tactics of moscow. but the georgians are likely either going to leave warsaw disappointed and the question remains whether there is any
future for georgia inside nato while there is still a contest over these territories. what we know is putin's ambition, i don't think -- what i believe that putin's ambition is not to militarily own ukraine. clouted o continue title over the portion of that nation so there's political turmoil that is government is installed in kiev. to the attempt they're successful in ukraine or other places in creating clouded title over portions of it that it doesn't prevent those countries from being eligible to join trans-atlantic institutions. happy to both of you are involved in this book of business. so talk to me about what the future of georgia's potential nato membership is. i am someone who supports at least a membership action plan
for georgia. but -- and is concerned that without the settlements of these territorial questions georgia will forever be disappointed walking away from nato summit after nato summit. ms. nuland: senator, i think we expected the warsaw summit that the alliance will reiterate the message that we've had to georgia since 2008 regarding our expectations of membership. one of the things that we are seeking to do as an alliance for georgia is reorient nato-georgia relations, u.s.-georgia relations away -- in security terms away from simply preparing with them to deploy with us in iran and kosovo and focus on their homeland security needs, their national defense resilience, etc. so we're working on that. the best antidote to russian
pressure is a successful, prosperous, democratic georgia. this is why we work so hard with them on justice reform, on rule of law, on strong institutions, on market access. we're also encouraging georgia in its relationship with the european union, as it implements the trade benefits -- at to reach out to the them, through tablese, to have the trade benefits with europe so someday those parts of georgia may see stronger benefit from at that bleesy from anything that is being offered from any external neighbor. you're absolutely right it's essential for us to continue to be strong supporters of georgia's aspirations. senator murphy: let me ask a different question of you, dr. carpenter, and you can answer this one as well if you like. we're obsessive in this place
about military assistance for military assistance for the ukrainians. there have been many members of the senate who have been disappointed about the level of military assistance we provided. but it is not a coincidence that the ukrainians have become much more effective at rebutting russian advances, and it is not a coincidence this has happened during a time in which notwithstanding -- >> we'll break here and let you know you can watch this later in our program schedule. taking you live to the house floor. a dozen bills dealing with airport security lines. live coverage of the house on c-span. on under clause 6 of rule 20678 recorded votes on postponed questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 5 38 a check point optmyization and efficiency act of 2016, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 5338, a bill to
reduce passenger wait times and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york, mr. katko and the gentleman from mississippi, mr. thompson, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. cat coe: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. katko: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. katko: we have all seen, heard about, or experienced ourselves, the increase in wait times at t.s.a. check points at airports across this great nation. with record passenger volume, inefficient staffing models and inefficient collaboration with airports and airline, t.s.a. has found itself stretched way too thin. and uth is, security efficiency are not mutually exclusive.
it is time to remove the nightmare scenarios that have been playing out in recent months. passengers should not be missing flights due to listening lines when they're arriving two hours prior to their flight. airports should not have a round stop related to f.s.a. problems nor strog sleep on cots snafus. s.a. get manager passengers enrolled in precheck is esen torble security and efficiency and identifying travelers and expediting them through screening. we have the opportunity to act again and act swiftly. i made the commitment to my constituents to tackle things head on. a few months ago, we convened representatives from airports and airlines to hear directly what they think needs to be tone to help.
the message was consistent and it was loud. t.s.a. needs to collaborate with individual airlines and airport authorities to coordinate sufficient staffing levels on a local business wem heard their message and this bill will require t.s.a. to maximize models and give airports, airlines and labor organizations a seat at the table to be sure they're being used in the most effective and efficient manner. the checkpoint optimization and efficiency act will make a meaningful impact on shortening the burdensome wait times on americans traveling through airports across this country. it is critical that congress act swiftly to get this bill to the president's kesk. specifically, it redeploys t.s.a. assets, such as behavior detection officers, of which there are ,000, and kay neighbor teams, so more personnel are ailable to perform screening
functions. they must be empowered to make decisions on an airport-by-airport basis, rather than a top-down approach this t.s.a. headquarters. they will also undergo a work force assessment and ensure they're deploying personnel in the most risk-based manner. ey must also share their staffing schedules this wait time crisis an an issue that touches airports across this great country and a swift response to problems like this is what the american people send us here to accomplish. this legislation implements common sense practices while preventing a one-size-fits-all approach to aviation security and above all, the bill explicitly states that security is paramount and wait times should not be prioritized at the expense of effective security screening. i want to thank the chame of the committee, mr. mccaul, for his
strong support of the legislation and ensuring it was top priority for the committee. additionally, i'd like to rank -- thank ranking member rice and representative ketoing for their support. i want to thank the ranking minority member on the homeland security committee, my colleague who works with us hand in hand on these matter, mr. thompson, and again and again we are here before congress passing another bill in a bipartisan manner. this is what congress is supposed to do i thank mr. thompson for your support. i'd also like to express thanks to each of the bill's co-sponsors for recognizing this -- recognizing the importance of this issue. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. mr. thompson: i rise in support of h.r. 5338, the check point optmyization and efficiency act of 2016, and yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thompson: thank you, mr.
speaker. mr. speaker, over the past few month the transportation and security administration has been scrutinized and criticized regarding wait times. as the peak travel season began, there were several reports of wait times that exceeded two hours. those lengthy waits caused anxiety and disappointment among travelers at time -- travelers. at times the prolonged wait times caused many passengers to miss their flights. in response to this crisis, the department of homeland security and the transportation security administration took a series of actions. t.s.a. deployed additional canine teams to screen passengers at check points, intensified its efforts to promote participation in the precheck program, partnered more closely with airlines and airports, and increased research and development efforts for technologies that will improve
screening. this bill codifies many of those actions. however, it does not encompass the entirety of the department's efforts to address the wait times crisis. d.h.s. secretary johnson also requested that $34 million in appropriations be reprogrammed from other t.s.a. accounts to help cover the cost for overtime, converting part-time workers to full-time, and expediting the hiring of new transportation security officers. d.h.s. requested and it was approved. just two weeks after the reprogramming, secretary johnson requested an additional infusion of cash to t.s.a. operations, $28 million. that reprogramming request is pending. the infusion of $34 million in adecisional resources to t.s.a.
security operation has had a tremendous impact on wait times at the nation's airports. in fact, during the memorial day weekend, most airports reporting wait times of less than 30 minutes during peak times. if t.s.a. is to main tame the operational gains realized in recent weeks and keep wait times down, it will require congress stepping up and providing resources. information in this bill will codify what d.h.s. and t.s.a. are already doing to address the issues, the only time to -- only way to have long-term, manageable success is by giving t.s.a. the resources it needs on an ongoing basis. t.s.a.'s current staffing is out of step with its own projections for volumes in fiscal year 2016. as you can see from the poster,
t.s.a.'s staffing in fiscal year t.s.o.'s, nearly 2,500 less frontline staff than fiscal queer 2011. t.s.a. is expected to screen nearly 100 million more passengers in f.y. 2016. with about 2,500 fewer staff. that is why i join representative defazio and representative dold in introducing h.r. 5340, the faster act. bipartisan legislation that directs the money collected from the flying public through the september 11 security fee actually to be used to secure the nation's commercial aviation system. unfortunately, a significant portion of the funds collected,
which totaled $12.6 billion over 10 years, is diverted to offset the federal budget. i urge members to support h.r. 5340, the fast act, and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. katko: i yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from ohio, mr. joyce. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. joyce: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 5338, the check point optmyization and efficiency act of 2016. every week when i come and go from the cleveland airport i worry about the chaotic lines and long wait lines in security. i'm glad for the opportunity to speak in support of legislation that intends to alleviate this ever-growing problem. i'm increasingly hearing from constituents about the frustration of subjecting one's sell to have air travel. traveling with children is even more stressful, as my wife and i
can empathize with. missing a flight because of ridiculously long lines at security is unacceptable. at the same time we need a system that guarantees passenger safety. it is all of our jobs here in congress to ensure our constituents are safe. it is rethe re-spobsability of the t.s.a. officers to ensure travelers are forly screened and this legislation will boost efficiency in doing so. reviewing the t.s.a. staffing model necessary to determine best staffing practices and implement them as soon as possible. it increases transparency and accountability. examining big picture problems and tackling issues at the source will help reduce passenger wait times and ensure the safety of all our constituents this legislation presents a commonsense approach to the wait time issue and i encourage my colleagues to support h.r. 5338. thank you again and i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has ex--- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new york reserves.
the gentleman from mississippi. mr. thompson: i don't have any requests on my side for time and i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. mr. katko: i yield three minutes to the distinguished gentleman from illinois, mr. dold. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. dold: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank my good friend from new york for yielding the time. i want to thank my friend from mississippi who talked a little bit before about the bill that we're working on together, the faster act which i do believe is a step in the right direction. mr. speaker, i represent a district just north of chicago, so the airport that i go in and out of right now is chicago's o'hare. busiest airport in the country. and in fact, we believe it's about 7 million passengers are going to go through o'hare this year. 77 million. and so it's not uncommon obviously for me to come in there and have extremely long wait times in t.s.a.
unfortunately what we've seen more recent sli the wait times continue to build. so that the wait time is longer than the flight itself. which to me is completely unacceptable and frankly the public, the american public, should deserve a little bit more accountability. over the past few weeks, these long wait times obviously have been exacerbated and so we've put a band-aid a patch to try to make sure that we have a little bit more staff at some of these busiest of airports around the country. we've seen those wait times come down. but what we do know is people missing their flights, people missing their flights were able to at least in the last couple of weeks be put on a flight without too much inconvenience. but what we do know is if this were to happen this summer, the chances are, at least from the airlines, they wouldn't be able to get on their flight from a week or more, which could completely disrupt family vacations and the like. current screening procedures need to be updated to ensure we protect passenger safety from terrorist threats and also to make sure that passengers are
screened in the most efficient manner possible. so i believe this is really a two-pronged approach. one, my friend from mississippi talked about the faster act which is again trying to make sure that the resources that passengers pay are actually going toward the t.s.a. to make sure that they have the manpower necessary to do the screening. today's bill, the check point optization and efficiency and will go a long way to ensuring that t.s.a. updates the procedure to improve customer service at the nation's busiest airports. it makes sure t.s.a.'s screeners are where they're needed most. which i think is critical. it will allow the t.s.a. to reallocate canine teems to the busiest airports or where they are needed. canine teams are a vital tool in ensuring the quick and effective screening of passengers. just this week i was at o'hare and had a chance to talk to some of the kay neighbor screeners in chicago.
one came from fairbanks, alaska. the other was coming in from cincinnati. there's no question that there was a huge issue at o'hare that needed to be rectified. what this legislation does and the gentleman from new york is proposing will allow that flexibility to happen. finally so finally i want to talk about the t.s.a.'s federal security directors and make sure they're placed at the busiest airports and have the flexibility they need to make the staffing decisions that are best for the people. so the bill today i believe will go a long way towards alleviating the crisis at our busiest airports around the country and will help make sure that our hours' long wait will be reduced and diminished. i hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will support this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from mississippi. mr. thompson: mr. speaker, i have no further speakers and am prepared to close if the new york is
prepared to close. >> i will close once the gentleman from mississippi does. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, the measure under consideration will codify much of what the department and t.s.a. have been doing to address wait times in our nation's airports. thankfully through bipartisan negotiations on this measure, we were able to ensure when local airports working groups are stood up the airport operators, those that represent the men and women on the line of aviation security will be heard. i'm pleased that the bill, as amended, takes a broader view on how behavior detection officers could be used in our
airports. i've long been skeptical of t.s.a.'s investment in the behavior detection officer program given the risk of racial or ethnic profiling and the lack of science to back t.s.a.'s claim of this security effectiveness. i'm pleased that chairman katko was repurposing this at the federal security director's discretion to any alternate position within t.s.a.'s checkpoint screening function. i once again urge members to 40, the faster act, to make sure that t.s.a. maintains staff and resources to firtly carry out its mission without compromising security effectiveness. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi yields back. the gentleman from new york is recognized.
cathy lanier mr. speaker, the threats -- mr. katko: mr. speaker, the threats facing our aviation system are constantly changing and adapting. for this reason t.s.a.'s mission is not only difficult but critical to the national security of the united states and the safety of traveling americans. i again wish to thank all of the bipartisan co-sponsors of this legislation and urge all of my colleagues to support this bill. thank you, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 5338, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended and the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? mr. tiberi: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3273, the helping hospitals improve patient care act of 2016, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 5273, a bill to amend title 18 of the social security act to provide for regulatory relief under the medicare program for certain providers of services and suppliers and increased transparency in hospital coding and enrollment data, and for ther purposes.
the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from ohio, mr. tiberi, and the gentleman from washington, mr. mcdermott, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio. mr. tiberi: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and tend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 5273, currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. tiberi: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. tiberi: today i rise in support of h.r. 5273, the helping hospitals improve hhipc act. act, or this represents a bipartisan effort. and i want to thank my colleague, the distinguished colleague from washington state, dr. jim mcdermott, for working with me on this bill. it fully represents what the speaker calls true regular order. prior to this bill, the ways
and means held three hearings during this congress and the committee marked up the bill in an unanimous way. h.r. 5273 strikes the right balance of preserving site neutral payment policy which i support and providing essential relief for hospitals that were caught up in this policy change from last year's budget deal. specifically, this bill helps many hospitals around the country and my state of ohio, including a facility by ohio health and nationwide children's hospital that was started a year ago last summer and will benefit from full outpatient payments under the bill as they planned to when they dug the hole for their facility. further, the james cantor hospital, part of my alma mater at the ohio state university, will have their cancer designation protected under the bill along with other designated cancer centers. it touches on three important
themes in the medicare problem. giving provider regulatory relief. ensuring access in rural areas. three, protecting medicare beneficiaries access to that important service that -- under the topic of regulatory relief reincluded three ways -- three priorities. representative diane black's bill that provides physicians who primarily practice medicine and -- relief in the electronic health records program. representative vern buchanan's bill ensuring full access to medicare advantage plans. and finally representative mike kelly's bill requiring fair and transparent reporting on congressional district on the enrollment of beneficiaries on both the tradition fee for service medicare and medicare advantage programs. all these priorities previously passed the house during the 114th congress session. under the topic of access in rural areas, the bill allows for continuation and expansion of a participation in the rural
community hospital demonstration program. championed by my colleague, senator grassley in the senate, and chairman don young here in the house, this policy is a continuation from the medicare modernization act of 2003. under the topic of beneficiary access in medicare, the bill requires the secretary to revise the pre-medicare eligibility notification, adding greater transparency for beneficiaries which was led by my colleagues dr. mcdermott and representative pat meehan. finally, the bill includes two member priorities that advance important medicare hospital issues. first, requires the secretary to ensure there is proper adjustment for socioeconomic factors. my colleague, representative jim renacci from ohio, has championed this issue for some time. jim's policy ensures that hospital readmission programs provides an apples to apples
comparison based on the specific population -- patient population the hospital treats. and a crosswalk of hospital codes. back when paul was chairman of the ways and means committee he actively pursued medicare hospital issues. his crosswalk is an important building block of a future system that promises to streamline the operation of hospital services. i encourage my colleagues to pass this legislation, send it to the senate and let's get this to the president's desk. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the entleman reserves. i'm sorry. the gentleman from washington. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of the helping hospitals improve patient care act. this bill makes important changes that will help hospitals continue to provide
high-quality care to patients as they implement the recent payment reforms. this is bipartisan legislation, unique in itself. i'm happy to have introduced with my colleague, mr. tiberi. i thank the chairman for his willingness to collaborate on this bill and also the staff of the ways and means committee for their hard work and helping us to come to an agreement on language that members of both parties can fully support. this final bill isn't perfect, but it's truly a bipartisan product that reflects the spirit of compromise. whenever we head back to our districts, we all hear from our hospitals about the effects that our policies are having back home. although we made a smart change to hospital payments when we passed the bipartisan budget act last year, we are beginning to recognize that the unintended consequences of the legislation are we did not really expect everything that's
happening. many hospitals that were in the process of constructing outpatient departments will be hit with unexpected payment cuts due to the b.b.a. in addition, many cancer hospitals would be harmed by the new payment rules. these -- this bill fixes these problems in it a narrowly tailored way that doesn't undermine the goals of the b.b.a. looking forward, hospitals will no longer be encouraged to consolidate by buying up physician practices for the purpose of billing medicare at an inflated rate. this is a good policy that is consistent with the recommendations of a g.a.o. report that was released last year. but facilities that were under development when we passed the b.b.a. as well as cancer hospitals will be protected from these changes. this is not a giveaway to the hospitals. the industry will pay the full cost. in addition this bill makes
refinements of the reduction program. to ensure the hospitals serve a large -- that serve a large number of low-income patients are not unfairly penalized, the bill will require c.m.s. to make apples-to-apples comparisons between similar facilities. as we await additional data that will soon be available thanks to the impact act, this will ep sure that the hospitals are -- ensure that the hospitals are not hit with undeserved penalties due to a flawed methodology. finally, i'm happy we were able to come up with an agreement to the beneficiary enrollment process. each year thousands of people enroll in medicare and thanks to this bill, seniors will have more information about their benefit options when they become eligible for medicare. providing complete and easy-to-understand information
is critical. the decisions that beneficiaries make when they enroll in medicare have serious long-term implications, including a potential lifetime penalty if they fail to sign up for part b. this bill will also help beneficiaries make informed decisions by improving the welcome to medicare package. i again thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for working together on this bill. i'm pleased we were able to craft a bipartisan compromise, and i look forward to continuing to work together on these and important issues in the weeks ahead. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. tiberi: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from alaska, mr. young. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alaska is recognized for two minutes. mr. young: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. young: first, i want to thank chairman tiberi for his kind work and mr. mcdermott, listen to me a moment.
we will miss you, and thanks for this bipartisan effort because this is a good bill and i strongly support it. this measure includes many important provisions that you spoke about, but especially important to alaska, section 103, a five-year extension of the rural community hospital demonstration program. this demonstration program has worked well and has come to the aid of seniors in alaska and health care providers across rural america. congress created the program to provide increased medicare reimbursement for hospitals across the nation that are too large to be considered critical asset hospitals or too small to be supported by low medicare margins on in-patient services. this program has helped three hospitals in alaska. juneau peninsula, the nd and another that serves a
wide variety of patients across those vast areas. and i do believe that this is one of the better bipartisan efforts. go back to the old days when we accomplish things together by talking with one another. it is vital we pass this bipartisan legislation and the senate to act on it and i will suggest respectfully to both the chairman and the ranking member, let's talk to the senate and see if we can't get something done. 400 bills over there is wrong. this is one that shouldn't be hung up. i ask my colleagues to support passage of this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. . mr. tiberi: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington. mr. mcdermott: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis. iffleth the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for three minutes. mr. davis: i want to commend and congratulate the chairman and
ranking member mcdermott for having put together an outstanding piece of legislation . and while we applaud it for being bipartisan i applaud it because it's good. it actually helped to meet needs that exist. it protects hospitals and gives them the opportunity to provide a better level of patient care. i attended just last week the pening of an outpatient center by st. bernard's hospital in chicago. and everybody in the community was there, because everybody cognized that inner city
hospitals disproportionate share -- medical centers that are complex need all of the protection that they can get and we need to have a better understanding of re-admission policies and practices and why some are different than others. so these gentlemen have put together a piece of legislation that all of us can be proud of. i strongly support it. and i thank them for their diligence and cooperation and for their tremendous efforts. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from ohio. mr. tiberi: thank you, mr. speaker. i now yield to a great friend from ohio and leader on the re-admission policy, mr. ren asy
for three -- ren asy for three minutes. mr. renacci: i rise in support of this bill. i thank chairman brady and subcommittee chairman for all their great work to advance this bill that addresses many concerns in payments to hospitals and outpatient departments. i heard from many of the hospitals in northeast ohio, including metro health and the impact of this payment policy had on their new facility. i'm happy we are able to correct those issues for fr facilities already under construction. i thank you for including the establishing equity and hospital re-admission program. this was created due to concerns that too few resources were being spent on reducing acute care hospital re-admissions. we want to make sure they are
reducing acute care re-admissions, we want to make sure those who see a large number of our most vulnerable patient populations, especially those teaching hospitals who see a large number of eligible beneficiaries, low-income seniors or young people with disabilities are eligible for medicare and medicare, who would have been hurt under the current program. i thank the chairman for working on this component of this bill and all of the other important provisions included in this legislation. these are commonsense bipartisan reforms to improve our health care system and i urge all members to support the helping hospitals improve patient care act of 2016, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from ohio reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, i
reserve the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from ohio. mr. tiberi: let me just take a little time here, as much time as i may consume to tell you a little bit about some of the hospital networks in my state of hio. altman, the cleveland clinic, mercy canton sisters of charity, metro health system in cleveland, ohio health head quartered in the columbus, ohio state university medical center in columbus, university of cincinnati health system in cincinnati and university hospitals headquartered in cleveland just to name a few hospitals that are in my state of ohio that are supportive of this legislation today. as was mentioned, passing the ways and means committee in a bipartisan manner.
with that, mr. speaker, i would like to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, occasionally we have an extra minute on the floor that makes sense to acknowledge some people that we trust and rely upon and we don't ever mention, so i would just like to say thank you o the democratic staff, sarah, melody and daniel, j.c., daniel. on the republican side, emily, taylor and the staff at the c.m.s. that helped put this bill together, ira, lisa. and the staff at the legislative council, ed. ed has been there for as long as i have been here.
any bill that gets out of here without ed looking at it is a pretty rare bill and jessica is his assistant. the congressional budget office gets in on these deals, tom, .ori, kevin and james i'm from chicago, i should be able to pronounce that. we appreciate their hard work and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from ohio. mr. tiberi: thank you, mr. speaker. let me just close by saying, thank you, dr. mcdermott and has been enjoyable to work with your team led by amy and we appreciate the bipartisan and you mentioned all those names, stole my thunder, emily and her team and my staff, whitney and abby gail deserve it.
with that, i yield back my time and urge a unanimous vote. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 5273 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended and the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid n the table.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? ms. ros-lehtinen: i move the house suspend the rules and pass house concurrent resolution 129 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the concurrent resolution. the clerk: concurrent resolution expressing support for the goal of ensuring that all holocaust victims live with dignity security and comfort and urging the federal republic of germany and reaffirm its commitment to address the unique health and welfare needs of vulnerable holocaust victims including home care and other medical needs.
the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen and the gentleman from florida, mr. deutch each will control 20 minutes. ms. ros-lehtinen: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material under this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. ros-lehtinen: i yield myself such time as i may consume. first, i would like to thank my good friend and south florida colleague, mr. ted deutch, for his work in this resolution and for co-introducing it together. it's an important resolution, mr. speaker. i also want to thank our chairman, chairman royce and ranking member, mr. engel, for their work and always in a bipartisan manner and for recognizing the importance of
this resolution and for moving this bill out of our foreign affairs committee in an expeditious manner. this resolution, simply put, mr. speaker, urges germany to honor its moral and historical obligations to holocaust survivors and to provide for their unmet needs immediately and comprehensively. i know that for mr. deutch and for me, this is an issue that deeply impacts many of our constituents in south florida. there are just over 500,000 holocaust survivors worldwide. about a quarter of that number live right here in the united states and with over 15,000 living in our south florida communities, mr. speaker. i have had the honor and privilege to work closely with survivors from south florida, many of whom i have come to call dear friends. herbie, joe vid,
and alex. and jack ruben, who has testified before congress on issues related to holocaust survivors, including a hearing that i chaired along side mr. deutch, in the year 2014. and there are so many to thank, so many more, those who have made justice for holocaust survivors their life's work, individuals like sam, mark and the list goes on and on, mr. speaker. it's been my close relationships with these individuals that has helped me to understand the realities that survivors have endured during humanity's darkest period and the sad reality that they face today, today, mr. speaker, especially when it comes to their home health care needs, for the mental care, mental health
needs, to medical care needs. do you know, mr. speaker, that nearly half of all survivors worldwide live at or below the poverty level? after going through what is almost indescribable horror, these survivors are living at or below the poverty level. many survivors are unable to maintain even a modest and dignified standard of living. they lack funds for home care. they don't have the money for medicine. they don't have the funds for food. they can't pay the utilities, they can't pay their rent. and as jack ruben said before our subcommittee in the year 2014, the existing system has fallen tragically short of what survivors need and deserve. the current funding and care delivery systems are difficult for survivors to access and they are severely underfunded. that is why it is so important
that we pass this resolution and urge our friends in germany, good partners in germany, to honor the obligations and commitments it has made to provide for the needs of holocaust survivors. german government has provided through income assistance programs and double funding for home care services in the past five years. so they are trying. they want to do better. in fact, even by germany's own admission, the care financed by the german government to date has been insufficient for those in need of intensive long-term care. mr. speaker, because of the horrors that these survivors have endured and the emotional and physical scars, they continue to carry with them their medical, mental and home care needs are far more complex,
those ofextensive than other ell deerly individuals. these -- elderly individuals. they have survived the torture, labor camps, experiments, the loss of loved ones and even the loss of entire families. we owe these survivors the opportunity to live out the remainder of their days in the dignity and in the comfort that they deserve. germany owes it to the survivors to alleviate and end the continuing injuries inflicted by the nazi regime by finding a way to provide for all of their medical, mental health and home care needs directly and without delay. i urge my colleagues to join mr. deutch and to join me in urging germany to do the right thing, because time is of the essence. with that, mr.