Skip to main content

tv   Homeland Security Nominee General John Kelly Testifies at Confirmation...  CSPAN  January 14, 2017 3:53pm-6:20pm EST

3:53 pm
the great equalizer, how main street capitalism can create an economy for everyone. he will discuss the rise of populism, the decline of globalization, and ways president elect trump can boost the economy. and chair of the american conservative union joins us to discuss president-elect trumps agenda, his cabinet picks and his relationship with the media. be sure to watch washington journal, beginning at 7:00 a.m. sunday morning. join the discussion. ♪ >> on newsmakers, the house democratic whip of maryland talks about the future of the affordable care act, president-elect trump's cabinet choices and how democrats will deal with the republican majority. newsmakers, sunday at 10:00 a.m. on c-span. on tuesday, the senate homeland security and
3:54 pm
governmental affairs committee held a confirmation hearing for retired general john kelly, nominated to become the next homeland security secretary. this is two and a half hours.
3:55 pm
[chatter] clicking]
3:56 pm
3:57 pm
[indiscernible] >> that was just a warning shot. sen. johnson: this hearing of
3:58 pm
the senate committee's called to order. i want to welcome general kelly , his family wife, daughter and , son-in-law are here. i will let you introduce them. i would like to welcome secretary gates, a real honor and privilege to have met you and have you introducing general kelly. i do want to welcome our new members. they are not all here but we do have senator hassan from new hampshire and senator harris from california, the senator sen.north dakota and daines, montana who has joined our committee. i want to welcome all of you. this is a good time to issue a warning. in the first confirmation hearing, there were instructions. those will not be tolerated.
3:59 pm
thatt to remind everybody these confirmation hearings and display america. to preside.or we have senator harris from california, welcome. it is an honor me to preside as chairman of this committee for my second congress. firstnly, this is the hearing of the full congress. this committee has a history of bipartisanship. when i joined the senate, senator collins provided that leadership. then it was senator carper.
4:00 pm
and last congress, it was myself and senator carper. now i am happy to welcome my new ranking member, senator mccaskill from missouri. just as an example of the bipartisan cooperation, and the debt in the last congress this , committee passed 83 pieces of legislation and 56 were passed by the senate. 49 were signed into law. and some relatively significant pieces of legislation. the way we have done that is by concentrating on agreement. what we first and foremost agree on as members of this committee, i think the witnesses, members of the audience, we share the same goals. we all want a safe, prosperous and secure america. in this committee, we established a mission statement. it is pretty simple to enhance , the economic and national security of america.
4:01 pm
we established four goals of the homeland security side, border security. we held 19 hearings. trips down to central america where john kelly escorted us through guatemala. cyber security. are critical infrastructure. working with secretary johnson to make sure he fulfilled his mission of keeping this nation safe and the quadrennial review , completed in by the department 2014, of homeland security mirrors those goals and priorities. that is why we have been able to cooperate and achieve those results. and that is something we are looking forward to. general kelly, i knew you have -- i know that you have extraordinary people here introducing you and i do not want to steal their thunder. i just want to say i think you , are an extraordinary individual, great american who has served faithfully and sacrificed mightily for this nation. you and your family it is a
4:02 pm
, family affair. we recognize that, four-star general, goldstar parent. your experience as head of southern command with the threats this nation faces, you fully understand what the causation of that is. what the root causes are. as head of southern command, you served as america's chief diplomat to the region. you did a splendid job. i can't think of a more qualified individual at this point in time to serve as the fifth secretary of homeland security. and i want to personally thank you for your past the sacrifice service, sacrifice and your , willingness to answer the call one more time for america. again, thank you. i think it is incumbent on this committee and the united states senate to recognize how important it is for any president to be able to set up and established the national security team from day one. certainly what happened in 2009 with secretary napolitano.
4:03 pm
i think that is exactly what should happen with general kelly. and the senate hopefully will confirm general kelly on the first day of the administration. there are a number of written statements provided this committee which i would ask to be entered into the record together with my written open ing statement without objection. i will also say because i am , sure will have great attendance. we have senator hassan, i appreciate you joining this committee. i could either go five-minute rounds or we can go a full seven. but then, i think i will go full seven. but we really want to discipline that. watch the time. asking questions and not beyond that. general kelly has agreed to look at that. every senator can have a chance to have some questions. with that, i am happy to turn it over and welcome my new ranking member, senator mccaskill. sen. mccaskill: thank you.
4:04 pm
today is the first full committee hearing of the first and one ofcongress the first of president trump's nominees. we have worked together before on a subcommittee. i know we have many areas of agreement. and just a few of this agreement. i'm confident we can work past of those and great work on behalf of the iraqi people and -- the american people and especially in the area of aggressive oversight of our government. as members of this committee, we have a constitutional obligation to review the nominations made by the president and consent to their appointment. we are not here to put a spate in a partisan exercise. we are here to fill the constitutional obligation as part of the transfer of power to a new administration. general kelly has answered all of the committee's advanced questions and has provided all of the information required for us to hold this hearing. i cannot say how grateful i am that that has occurred. it was going to be an awkward moment when i was going to have
4:05 pm
object to thisto hearing because the fbi check had not been completed. i am pleased to report that all has been completed and i am very appreciative of that. welcome, general kelly. thank you for your service to this country and most important ly, thank you for being willing to serve again. it is important for somebody to stand up when the country calls. and i appreciate your willingness to do that. you have been asked to service serve as secretary of the homeland of security. at this moment in our history, i cannot emphasize enough the need to protect our critical infrastructure, whether it is electric grid, public transportation or power plant. we need to understand the steps you will take to defend against intrusion and harm. our intelligence community of which dhs is a vital part of his is among the finest in the
4:06 pm
world. i would argue it is the finest. it is made up of dedicated public servants, including members of the military. in order for these people to do their jobs, they need the support of our government, all the way to the top. i want to understand whether you will take intelligence seriously and engage with the people whose job it is to give us good information, so that we can make better decisions, and so the president elect can make better decisions. in your answers, you said drug demand in the united states is causing much of the violence in central and south america. and that this violence is the major reason for the large number of people moving illegally from that area to the united states. the issues underlying border security are complex. but one thing is clear many of , the people coming across the border are not trying to sneak in under the fence, they are seeking refuge from the incredible violence in their home country. i know that your experience will
4:07 pm
help you in developing a comprehensive, inclusive approach to addressing immigration issues. and it was encouraged to see you discuss medical treatment and rehabilitation, and local communities in a drug demand reduction campaign that includes the opioid epidemic as a driver of heroin use. i hope this will remain at the top of your list. another major component of protecting the homeland is the counterterrorism efforts. efforts you are familiar with with your experience as a leader in our military. in today's environment, effective counterterrorism efforts require using existing and new technology as well as other tools to counter adversaries -- other tools to encounter adversaries. i also hope you will employ the same thoughtful and multifaceted approach to counterterrorism as in your proposal to address the challenges at our border.
4:08 pm
recent events have shown us that terrorism has many faces. we have to get at root causes of extremism in making sure people in our community feel empowered to report concerns. i hope to hear from you today that you understand that in our fight against extremism, it is not singular and that you will fight against any narrative that encourages committing crime against any american based on hate or country of origin. as members of this committee, we have a constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight of taxpayer dollars. this is one of my favorite areas. i can tell you that if you're confirmed when you come before , congress to seek funds you , have got to be prepared to answer some tough questions. i am going to continue to be interested in cost-benefit analyses. and i want to see cost
4:09 pm
estimates. decisions need to be made on facts and data. i expect someone on your experience to be a strong leader. and i believe the whistleblowers are essential to good government. i've made it a mission to expand and enhance protection for them. i want to make sure that you owe -- that you understand open lines of communication responsiveness to employee , concerns and a swift response to retaliation are things i can expect from leadership. i encourage whistleblowers to contact my office if they have information to report. i believe that you will take seriously the role of congressional oversight. i am glad that you have agreed to work with me as ranking member of this committee, because we have a lot of work. if you are confirmed, i will look forward to building a strong working relationship with you. our country is facing a difficult time and we have difficult problems. the department of homeland security needs good management. and strong leadership. in your responses, you said that one of your greatest strengths as a leader is speaking truth to power.
4:10 pm
general kelly, i cannot tell you how that was music to my ears. i believe very much in that principle. i think we all anticipate that you will need it in your next job. you will have the responsibility and obligation to speak truth to the commander-in-chief. who has used some of his most extreme and divisive rhetoric on issues under the department of homeland security jurisdiction. with your experience i expect , you to be up to the challenge. if you are backing down, you'll hear from me. i thank you for being here and i look forward to your testimony. >> thanks, senator mccaskill. sen. johnson: we have three individuals making introductions. we'll start with senator mccain who needs no introduction. sen. mccain: but he enjoys it.
4:11 pm
[laughter] sen. mccain: thank you mr. chairman. ranking member mccaskill and honors of the committee, it is an honor to say words of support of general john kelly to be the next secretary of homeland security. he is an excellent choice and superbly well qualified for the position and a person with the highest integrity. the american people are fortunate that a man of this caliber is willing to serve them in an important office after having already devoted many decades of his life to this -- to the distinguished service of our country. when he retired from his last command, the southern command, he was the longest serving marine corps general on active duty. having worn in the uniform for almost half a century. and he is the longest-serving active duty general and modern -- in modern history. when he was nearing the end of his tour of south, commander and
4:12 pm
approaching retirement, he said that his greatest fear was that i would be offered another job. mr. chairman, i have no doubt that general kelly statement was entirely sincere. those of us who have had the privilege of knowing him for a while and heard them testify -- him testify before our s we paid attention , to his answers know that john kelly says what he believes to be the truth always no matter the inconvenience it might cause him. speaking truth to power is something he is renowned for. and no less for his respect for the chain of command. secretary gates was one of our great leaders, and will mention his relationship with him when they served together. if anyone has earned a peaceful
4:13 pm
retirement from public duty, it is general kelly, but he is a patriot always. like jack vessey, he doesn't refuse his country's call. president reagan called general vessey out of retirement to serve as a special emissary to vietnam, to get an accounting for america's missing from the war. president trump has asked kelly to lead america's homeland security and help keep the american people safe from those who wish us harm. it is work he is well-qualified for. he served three tours of duty in iraq as a key figure. he helped to sustain the awakening. and with the search turned , around the war that we were close to losing. he developed local relationships based on mutual respect, a lesson that served him well in the future. as a southern commander, he was
4:14 pm
and had success, developing close working relationships with those in the caribbean. and many of those leaders continue to consider him a friend. they all respect him. even more important for his pending assignment general kelly , has had extensive experience with many of the challenges that await him as secretary of homeland security. threats posed to our security by judge and violence that come into our country through our southern border, and the potential for developing strains of islamic extremism. and of homeland attacks here. he is the right man to meet these and many challenges to -- challenges awaiting him. general kelly is a graduate of the united states naval academy. it might surprise the committee that i do not find that lack of credentials disqualifying, i barely graduated from the place myself.
4:15 pm
impressivemore credentials he enlisted in the , united states marine corps. general kelly came from modest beginnings. as do most enlisted men and women in the armed services. he is a proud son of his working-class family and a great and the great city of boston. in conversations with me, he recalled a childhood friend he has lost to the scourge of drug abuse. before he went to college, he volunteered to risk his life in an infantry company and the -- in the second marine division. he was a sergeant when he left the marine corps and a second lieutenant when he returned four years later. what followed was a career with many challenging assignments and quite a few dangerous ones to which he gave every measure of his talent, discipline, courage and love of country. general kelly has sacrificed a great deal for his country, more than most. and in every day of his service, he knew and respected and
4:16 pm
those men awe of and women enlisted officers who stand in harm's way so that the rest of us can pursue our aspirations and lead our peaceful lives without fear of the terrorists they face for our sake. should he be confirmed, i am confident he will be, he will be the title "the , honorable." i endorse his nomination wholeheartedly with gratitude for his willingness to serve in -- and for the honor of introducing him to you today. sen. johnson: thank you, senator mccain. we are going to move the microphone. guestxt distinguished offering introduction will be senator carper who also needs no , introduction. that works.
4:17 pm
sen. carper: i would like to yield to secretary gates. thank you for the courtesy. sen. johnson: our next guest is secretary robert gates. the former secretary of defense and former director of central intelligence. he let the department of defense from 2006-2011. prior to this, he served as president of texas a and m university. he began his career as an officer in the united states air force and joined the central intelligence agency in 1956. he served 26 years with the cia. and is the only career officer to rise from infantry level employee to the director, a position he held until secretary 1993. gates has earned numerous honors and distinctions during his career, including the national security metal, the national intelligence distinguish service medal twice and the distinguished intelligence metal -- medal which is the cia's , highest award tree times.
4:18 pm
it is an honor to have you here today. you chairmanhank johnson. distinguished members of the committee on homeland security and government affairs. it gives me pleasure to introduce my friend and former colleague, john f kelly as the president's nominee to be the next secretary of homeland security. in today's world, the department of homeland security is much like a combat command, perhaps the most complex defending our nation and our people. among its diverse responsibilities is protecting us from terrorism, guarding our coasts, deciding who gets into our country, protecting our transportation networks and infrastructure, defense against cyber attacks, and providing help when disaster strikes. i can think of no one more qualified or familiar with these threats and challenges for better prepared to lead with
4:19 pm
these threats than john kelly. the department of homeland security is a complicated mix of multiple agencies and organizations with different cultures and history. yet as commander, general kelly successfully managed relationships and partnerships with seven different cabinet departments and more than 20 civilian organizations. -- leading abatant combat command requires managing multiple relationships and general kelly did so with great skill and success. i'm confident he will do so as well as secretary of homeland security. in addition, as the senior military assistant to two secretaries of defense, he led one of the most complex organizations in the country. he was invaluable to me and leon panetta in breaking down barriers to cooperation and holding senior officials accountable for decisions and for performance.
4:20 pm
and the needs on the troops on the front line were always foremost. of special importance, john kelly was twice assigned as marine corps liaison to the congress. the second time as the commandant senior legislative assistant. as a result, he is a deep -- has a deep understanding of the legislative process and especially of the need to be responsive to congress and to have a relationship of openness and trust. in terms of skills, general kelly is in my view, superbly qualified to serve as secretary. it is john's character that sets him apart. to put it quite simply he is one , of the finest people i have ever known. i would trust him with my life and indeed many others, mainly young marines, literally have done so. and how often is it that a tough commander genuinely is beloved by his troops?
4:21 pm
integrity in word and deed is a source of moral authority. it is moral authority that moves people to follow a leader even at personal risk and sacrifice. john kelly is a man of great moral authority. if he is confirmed, the professionals throughout the department of homeland security will realize their new secretary cares about each and every one of them and he will do everything in his power to protect and support them and to get them what they need to do their jobs. protecting all of us. i commend the president-elect for nominating general kelly for this position, because john is a straight talking, candid, courageous leader who will say exactly what he thinks. his values are a reflection of america's best values and he will not disappoint. over a military career spanning more than 40 years, john kelly and his family have sacrificed much serving our country. and yet here he is willing to , serve again.
4:22 pm
it is with great pride that i introduce him to you today. thank you. sen. johnson: thank you secretary gates. center carper? -- senator carper? sen. carper: thank you. it is good to see all of you out there. it is a privilege to join senator mccain with whom i served during the vietnam war. and i would just say from my vantage points, john, you are a hero and i am proud to have served with you and proud to sit with you today. secretary gates, one of the finest secretaries of defense we have ever had. i am honored to be with you today, as well. we are introducing a man who needs little introduction to this committee. john kelly, john francis kelly, and to welcome his wife karen
4:23 pm
and their daughter, kathleen and her husband, jake. sitting behind us in this confirmation hearing. karen, i said yesterday, given all the years he served -- thank you. straight to heaven. thank you for continuing to share with us and extraordinary man. about a dozen or so years ago, the department of homeland security's employees get up everyday and go to work to protect our homeland and all of us who are privileged to live here, and almost every month i have gone to the senate floor to talk about the remarkable work they do for all of us. they respond to devastating hurricanes, saving lives and helping people put lives back together. they protect us from cyber attacks and help secure thousands of miles of our borders to the north and south, east and west. they move billions of dollars of commerce every day, while
4:24 pm
intercepting drugs and stopping trafficking rings. they keep us safe when we fly the sometimes not so friendly skies of this country and this world. they protect presidents and vice presidents as well as candidates for these officers. and the leaders of scores of other nations that come here. they do all of this and a whole lot more often times without a word of thanks. general john kelly is a well-qualified nominee to lead the department of homeland security. if confirmed, he would succeed another exceptional leader, secretary jeh johnson. jeh johnson with the help of his leadership team, this committee and congress, has begun a remarkable transformation of the department that was badly needed and much welcome. i found over my lifetime that the key to success for any organization, i've ever been a part of or witnessed, was
4:25 pm
enlightened leadership. john kelly is a leader. he is humble. he has the heart of a servant. he understands that his job has been and will be to serve. not be served. he leads by example. with general john kelly, it is not do as i say, but do as i do. step apartcourage to from everybody else. he surrounds himself with the best people and when is team does well, he gives them the credit. and when the team falls short, he takes the blame. he doesn't believe in raising himself up by pushing other people down. he is a purveyor of hope and appeals to people's better angels. throughout his 45 years in military service, he is decided -- he has sought to do what is right. he embraces the golden rule,
4:26 pm
treating people the way he wants to be treated. he looks at adversity and sees opportunity. he believes that in anything we do, we can do better. he is tenacious. there is no quit. when he knows he is right, he doesn't give up. when we met in my office yesterday, general kelly spoke of the importance of addressing the root causes of challenges we face as a nation. not just the symptoms. as an example, the transmission -- transformation of columbia, and almost filled -- field -- failed nation, and how they are today. he also spoke of our addiction to drugs and how that is the root cause of much of our violence and in countries like guatemala and el salvador. and while he was speaking creatively of ways to secure our southern border, he understands that those steps need to be embodied by others
4:27 pm
others, like honduras, guatemala and el salvador. and is supported by the u.s. finally general kelly , understands the importance of working cooperatively with the congress and secretary gates has given us a couple of explanations on why that would be the case. i think you understand the importance of working with this committee. general kelly may not always tell us what we want to hear, in this room or outside of it, but he will always tell us what we need to hear. when it is needed, he will remind people to just use some common sense. the way my dad used to remind my sister and me when we were young. in short, he will provide the leadership that will enable the department of homeland security to continue the transformation that it has begun. he will make us safe as a nation, even as he makes us prouder as a country of the team
4:28 pm
that i hope will be confirmed. thank you for your willingness to do this. and for my colleagues for welcoming him and given me the opportunity to speak truth to power. sen. johnson: thank you. general kelly, it is the tradition of this committee to swear in witnesses. so if you will please stand and raise your right hand. deuce where the testimony will be the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth so help you god. ? be seated. general kelly? gen. kelly: ranking member mccaskill, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for considering my nomination to lead the men and women of the united states department of homeland security. senators mccain, carper, secretary gates, thank you for taking the time for being here
4:29 pm
on my behalf. my wife and family have already been introduced but i will say it again, my wife karen is with me here. she is my hero. she has put up with more in our 40 years of marriage than you could ever imagine. my daughter is here as well. her recent husband, jake, a lance corporal, another american hero. i thank them for their service and for their sacrifice. over the past 45 years, i have been privileged to serve my country. i have led platoons through divisions, held senior positions in iraq. served as head of the southern command and as the assistant to two of my heroes. i have worked across other agencies and allies, the private sector and independent experts , to identify innovative and
4:30 pm
comprehensive solutions to current and emerging threats. these assignments while varied share the common characteristics of working within and leading large, complex and very diverse multi while under great pressure to produce results. i am humbled to be called to serve, this time with the many women with the department of homeland security. key threats to our homeland have not receded it anyway. the challenges to our life have not diminished. before mynly swore god, i will defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign or domestic every second of every day. i believe the principles in which our country's way of life is guaranteed. i have a profound respect for
4:31 pm
the law. i have never had a problem speaking truth to power. i firmly believe those in power believe -- deserve full candor. i also value people that work for me, for people speaking truth to power. i love my country and will do everything to preserve and enforce our laws and protect our citizens. i recognized the many challenges facing the department. should i be confirmed, i look forward to working with you to protect the homeland. i look forward to answering the committee's questions. thanks very much. >> i want to remind numbers i will limit questions to seven minutes. there are questions i will ask, then defer to senator mccain. let me start with three
4:32 pm
questions. general kelly, is there anything you are aware of in your background that might present a conflict of interest to which the duties of office you have been nominated? gen. kelly: there is nothing. ohnson: do you know that anything that would prevent you from fully discharging the responsibilities of the office to which you have been nominated ? gen. kelly: there is nothing. mccain? sen. mccain: as you know, we passed legislation on the defense bill prohibiting torture, including waterboarding. do you intend to follow that law? gen. kelly: absolutely. sen. mccain: what is your personal view of waterboarding and other forms of torture? gen. kelly: senator, i don't think we should ever come close to crossing the line that we as
4:33 pm
americans would expect to follow with interrogation techniques. sen. mccain: without basically be the geneva conventions? gen. kelly: yes. sen. mccain: thank you. there is an epidemic in this country with opioids. it is manufactured in mexico. regrettably, according to information that i have, a lot of it is coming across the arizona-mexico border. coming into phoenix, arizona and being distributed nationwide. we are seeing a mass increase of death from overdoses. place amongst many older americans that have turned from oxycontin and other substances. a in fact, former governor of new hampshire will testify here
4:34 pm
of the release of your aspect -- aspect oflly severe this epidemic. if there is a demand, there will be a supply. what is your view of that situation? i will start off by saying, i found out that an old friend, who is not so old, 62 years old, after a successful life, just overdosed on heroin. to your point, it is cheaper and more available in many ways. the point is that most americans don't realize it. consume in heroin we
4:35 pm
the united states is produced in mexico. they have responded in cartels. in south asia,nd it is all produced here in the western hemisphere. ppies are now grown as far south as colombia. opioids are of produced in mexico, then pirated up through the border. problem, and this would be outside my particular area is confirmed, though we're an overly medicated society. huge amounts of opioids are prescribed legally for things that in the past would probably not receive that little of medication. -- that level of communication.
4:36 pm
huge problem, getting worse, and the prophets are unbelievable to the cartels. there has been a great deal of conversation about building a wall. it is my experience that we need to have barriers. building a wall is not a way to prevent the flow of drugs or people illegally across your border. i think it requires ranging from of someo towers to use of the technological advantages we have. could very briefly tell us what you think is necessary to have a secure border. a physical barrier will not do the job. it has to be a layered defense.
4:37 pm
if you were to build a wall from the gulf of pacific to mexico, it would still have to back that up with human beings, trolls, sensors. -- patrols, sensors. i believe the defense of the southwest border starts 1500 miles south. that means partnering with great countries as far south as peru, who are cooperative with us in getting rid of the drug transportation. we should include mexico. we can have better partnerships. we should work closer with them. we already share intel with them now. we have legal attaches in many countries. they develop unbelievable amounts-- sen. mccain: i don't mean to interrupt. isn't it technology that will help us secure the border as
4:38 pm
much as anything else? i'm talking about surveillance, take abilities to intercept, gen. kelly: but not just to sit there. frankly, the kind of border security that we see in israel. gen. kelly: technology would be a big part of it, yes. sen. mccain: would that be drones, towers? the observation devices mounted in certain terrain features, uavs for sure, sensors in places where a wall won't or can't be built anytime soon. but yes sir. sen. mccain: finally, the morale of our border patrol is not that good. i think you know from your ifdership experiences that the morale of your force is not good, it is hard to get the
4:39 pm
mission accomplished. i know you are aware of that and i hope people spend some time with these really outstanding men and women, who are doing arduous work. sometimes under very difficult conditions. it gets very hot on the sonora-arizona border. there are morale problems. >> on friday, the director of national intelligence released a declassified report on russian activities and intentions in our recent election. i will quote for the record "russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election represents a recent expression of moscow's desire to undermine
4:40 pm
the u.s. liberal democratic order. these activities demonstrate a significant escalation inactivity and scope of effort compared -- of activity and scope of effort compared to previous efforts. vladimir putin ordered and influence campaign aimed at the u.s. presidential election. russia's goals were to undermine faith in the u.s. democratic process, denigrate secretary clinton and harm her presidency. we further assess putin and government developed a clear preference for donald trump." general kelly, do you accept the conclusions of the intelligence community? gen. kelly: with high confidence. sen. mccaskill: convoy security, our budget equals the combined
4:41 pm
dea, secreti, atf, plus theu.s. marshals, entire new york police department budget. that is $19 billion in fiscal year 2017. and in fiscal year 2016, we had 331,000 people apprehended at the border. almost 50% of those terms themselves in. all the border security agents in the world, all the fences not have made any difference because they said, hey, take us. do you have it on your agenda to examine the spending priorities of that $19 billion and look at its efficacy? most importantly, how will you address that almost half of the
4:42 pm
people coming to the border that we are apprehending are not trying to evade detection, but find someplace safe? firstelly: on the question, anytime i have taken over any organization, i look real hard on how we are doing business. mearly those who came before did a great job, secretary johnson and others. my typical approach is to do a top to bottom assessment. on the asylum issue, i am confident most of the people coming from central america are reasons.r probably 3 first, that it is unsafe. , there is a lot of economic -- lack of economic
4:43 pm
development. and finally they are confident. paintwork, it the will be unlikely in their view that they will be going back to honduras or guatemala. sen. mccaskill: i look forward to your assessment. we talked in my office about drug cartels. most violence is attributable to those seeking asylum. mention thing i want to is the enhancement on electronic system for travel authorization. i am aware of a situation recently where because of the electronic enhancements, we were able to stop someone from coming to america that was coming from a visa waiver country to south america, then planning on doing
4:44 pm
us harm. we were able to stop that travel. 40,000 individuals have been denied visa free travel due to the enhancements. we tried to do pre-clearance in various countries around the world, so that we are checking people before they get on the plane. maybe you would call it extreme vetting. have you had a chance to look at that? that is the border i am most worried about in terms of our safety. our people traveling here from visa waiver countries with an eye towards doing her country and -- our country harm, our ability to stop them? gen. kelly: the visa waiver countries have law enforcement and information systems in place that we have confidence in.
4:45 pm
nothing is perfect. many other countries don't have that system in place. we would not have the confidence there. many countries have a high degree of confidence that their citizens will not cause problems. we are ever vigilant. for the countries that don't have systems in place, we have to sometimes convince ourselves that everyone coming here, we have a reasonable expectation that they won't do us harm it. sen. mccaskill: some of the enhancements put in place -- present in bolivia, sudan after march 2011. do you believe it is important that we expand this program, enhancements in the preclearance program? gen. kelly: i think it is a good idea.
4:46 pm
it would appear to be a good idea. we need confidence in the information we are getting on-site to prevent people coming here to do us harm. -- ourrd next new member next new member has shown up. i gave my questions of to senator mccain. sen. hoeven: i appreciate the chance to meet with general kelly. in my earlier days in the senate, there was a change in the makeup of the majority. created a problem with a vacancy in the foreign relations committee. i haven't to get that foreign relations committee spot.
4:47 pm
they had to redo all of the committees. apparently no one wanted one because i became the ranking member on it. that was shortly before 9/11. i had people saying, so, how did the new guy get the anti-terrorism committee? i was on a united nations committee that was supposed to find the bad guys. just about all of us were accountants. so we followed the money, and got 133 countries involved in it. several of them found and prosecuted the bad guys, and in some cases executed the bad guys. it was effective until they found out what we were doing. they have a huge role in the anti-terrorism area. we spent $46 billion on the
4:48 pm
budget. we have to be sure we are finding the bad guys. i would be interested in any approaches you would be doing to effectively spend that money and develop policy to help us. gen. kelly: to the degree i am a lawyer what is going on already, when we can work with partners overseas -- and we have representatives, law enforcement and until people in the most important countries around the world in our embassies. they have good relationships generally speaking with local law enforcement and local intel people.
4:49 pm
southern command is an example. most of the intel that i've used tended to come from the fbi and dea representatives in our embassies. enhance i can do to information karen between other countries it ourselves, especially in our own interagency. we have gotten much better at it 11 in terms of information sharing. if confirmed, i will find out how well that is going domestically. the department has responsibilities in terms of information sharing. we have an awful lot of systems in place. i don't know if they are all talking to each other and sharing in a way they should be. sen. enzi: i am glad that you mentioned that.
4:50 pm
one of my pet peeves is that people coming in legally, we check them in on a series of computers and check them out on a series of computers, but i don't think we ever got was computers connected. i think the most effective enforcement is if we find them as soon as their visa runs out. i hope you put that on your list of things to do. recently i was flying back to wyoming, and the person sitting next to me was a member of the border patrol. he didn't know that i was a senator. i was curious about how things were going. he had been training for quite a while. he was pretty depressed, low morell. -- low morale. he told me they could do a lot of things, but because there is ltmpant lawbreaking, he fet
4:51 pm
that orders from washington tied his hands and he could not respond effectively. as a commander, i know you rely on your officers and troops. you develop plans and execute missions. very difficult situations for keeping them around going -- keeping the morale going. for you developed any plans checking on border patrol? gen. kelly: you have to get out and about. you have to kick the tires and look around. interesting that you make that point. leaving active duty, because i work so closely with homeland security and law
4:52 pm
enforcement, even though mexico is not my area of interest, i took a trip to el paso in uniform. i met with some officers just to thank them. i met with some border patrol folks, same thing. when you say listen, how are things going? pull out a tape recorder and find out. encourage people to speak truth to power from the bottom up. certainly anytime a whistleblower calls in and makes an accusation, it is very worth listening in. sometimes you get in your full and wish you hadn't asked the question, but you should always ask the question. sen. enzi: i used to be in a small business and sitting in an office did not solve the problem. you had to go out. thank you.
4:53 pm
my time is about to expire. >> we talked about this when he visited me in my office. there is a unit within the department of homeland security that goes by an acronym. ppd.acronym is n people often say, what is that, what does that represent? there is often not much understanding. to cyber security and infrastructure protection. it is an agency that is supposed to do both of those. just by hearing the name you would never know. -- thoughts onat that? gen. kelly: when i first started i thought, what does that block do> i think a name change is not always important but in this
4:54 pm
case it might be. other people within the organization, not within homeland security. i have not spoken to anyone in homeland security because of the mou. people have brought it up to me in the past. we would take a look at that. sen. carper: thanks so much. in san diego, you venture down into mexico. there was a time where people went back and forth rather easily. at a time there was a huge amount of illegal immigration into the u.s. through mexico. i am told today there are more americans going into mexico than mexicans coming into the united states, why do you suppose that is? is there anything from that development that might be applicable for the immigration of people from honduras,
4:55 pm
glenna mollo, and salvador? -- guatemala, and salvador? gen. kelly: that is a great question. i have a great deal of experience in south america. i hold the people to our self in high regard. -- south in high regard. i understand and empathize with their problems. they for the most part do not want to come up and leave their homes and families. honduras was an example. honduras was the most violent country by u.n. numbers. 91 deaths per 100,000, in contrast our country is about five. through a lot of good work down there, not always perfect, but the president has taken that down by one third. still horrific levels of violence. my point is that most of the
4:56 pm
time they don't come here for any other purpose than to have some economic opportunity and to escape violence. my view, and i stated this for three years when i was at southern command and when i testified before this committee and april, my view is if we can help them by reducing our drug demand, which is the fundamental problem of many of their problems, by reducing our drug demand and at the same time helping them improve their police. their military is pretty good. human rights is very much part of the way they operate. and, if we improve the situation of violence then my belief is investment would come and there would be opportunity for economics there. the three countries in the northern tier, el salvador, guatemala, and honduras have banded together to develop their -- the name escapes
4:57 pm
me -- but we help them develop . they are putting their own money against it and they really seek foreign investment. not money from the united states , but investment may be from the united states. i think if we were able to do that for them there would be a a lot. they would tell you as long as the migrants leave honduras and get into united states easily, safely, and don't come back, it will be a draw. sen. carper: when we were together the other day we talked about colombian how 20 years ago, a gunman rounded up the supreme court of colombia, took them into a room, and shot them all to death. a perfectombia is not nation, but fairly vibrant democracy there. none of us are perfect.
4:58 pm
i like to say in plain colombia, which is where a number of people worked for clinton, joe biden was before me i think the chairman of the foreign relations committee. also the alliance for prosperity -- i collect the home depot. depotall it the home advertising. home depot advertising says, you can do it. we can help. in this case and honduras, you can do it, we can help. in this case we were prevented to do that. -- prepared to do that. we have committed so far a one-year funding. the president, president obama has asked president biden and any thoughts along those lines? gen. kelly: senator, any time someone tells me in a lot of people have told me, reference back to my time at command, the, central american republics cannot be helped. look at colombia.
4:59 pm
colombia was in the exact same place 20 years ago. looking into the abyss. they made some fundamental changes to how they did business, how they allow their military to operate. i call them exporters of security. by that i mean they go out and help other countries in the region, particularly in the central american isthmus, help them help themselves. they are our best friends in my view in latin america and they are already stepping up to help and would like to do more. you know, the alliance for prosperity, when we are helping them, my original thinking was we need to call this plan central america. like plan colombia. plan colombia really came out of this institution, and the clinton administration picked up on it. 4/10 on the u.s. dollar. all the rest was paid by the colombians. and central america, there were
5:00 pm
people in the central agency that did not think we should do that so we went up with the alliance for prosperity. a rose by any other name. >> just for any other senators, here's the order. that is the order. senator portman. sen. portman: thank you mr. chairman. first off, let me echo the comments of others and thank you for your remarkable foreign have decades of service to our country and the sacrifices are family has made. i am particularly satisfied to your wife karen who told you had to answer the call once again. we have seen with your introductions again you're likely to be confirmed and i am delighted you want to serve. i do have three areas of inquiry i would like to touch on. we talked about some of it in our meeting. the first is your management challenge. you have said you have been in
5:01 pm
charge of some large complex organizations. this will be the largest. 240,000 employees. there are probably 20 major offices and departments within it. as you know i was part of the select committee and i put this together after 9/11 knowing the left-handed not know what the right hand was doing and we had to protect the country. frankly, i've been frustrated by the lack of progress. having a department worked as one. it has been mentioned, the world problems. there is a lack of coordination and many inefficiencies. the first question not ask you is a management question. what are the three things you would do to help make the department work more effectively to protect us? gen. kelly: the first thing, i am sure you are aware i know that the unity of the effort that secretary johnson has embarked on. taking a look at the other
5:02 pm
bureaucracies, not in a negative way at all i mean it but in the way of the other departments work. the senate is very aware that the department of defense is a at a place today than a was 40 years ago. people of my rank, it was not my fault at the time but people of my rank fought tooth and nail against the congress for 30 years, ultimately laws were passed. we have become a better place because we have knocked down a lot of the rice bowls, got people talking to each other. yes, the marines are still the best but the other services are pretty good, too. [laughter] we all have our traditions and ways of thinking and doing business and we did not have to give that up. there is a place for that. i know secretary johnson has already done that and i am going to get smart about that as fast as i can. i think the mission is homeland
5:03 pm
security. that is a mission i believe everyone can get behind. just like dod, the mission is to defend the nation abroad primarily. i do not know there's been it enough but i understood if everyone can understand first and foremost that we protect the nation and we do it in different ways, much like dod. i think it would go a long way to bringing the department together much as secretary johnson has begun. and then it is other things. some of the senators and others have recommended some organizational changes. personnel changes. not individual people but you know, why has this person got this many undersecretaries? to senator mccaskill's point, there are probably inefficiencies there and savings there. we commit to the committee for sure. sen. portman: we appreciate that. it is always a good idea when
5:04 pm
somebody comes in, especially with an agency as complex as this, one thing we ask you about us intelligence. we are concerned about redundancies in our intelligence community. there are 17 intelligence communities in the government if you count them all. two reside at homeland security, one is coast guard intelligence, another is the office of intelligence and analysis. frankly, i have not been as impressed as i hoped i would be with their mission, which is really to diffuse intelligence from all the different sources together to protect the country, including a private sector liaison. they're supposed to track terrorists, assess risks, and so on. what is your sense of that entity and do think it could be improved? gen. kelly: i think everything can be improved. what i have learned, and i've been restricted from dealing with homeland security but what
5:05 pm
i get from the transition team and others of work is homeland security is that it could be better. the information sharing within the organization and even out to law enforcement. again, it is way up on the list in terms of what to look at. sen. portman: what about fusion centers? are they effective? are they redundant? should they be wound down or read in first? gen. kelly: depending on who is talking to me about them, they are both redundant and effective. sen. portman: in our states, we will find some are more effective than others. i hope you would look at them. my sense is they were also supposed to compile information and intelligence as you know is sometimes because it is classified intelligence is difficult to compile if you are not deeper in the community so perhaps it has been done in
5:06 pm
other agencies and there is not -- i would love to have information about that. the final question i would ask about the drug issue and you and i have talked about it. i have complimented you in a committee since then. you have focused on the demand side. i am a strong believer that until we deal with prevention and education and treatment and recovery, it will be difficult to stop this flow of drugs. they will find other ways to do it. on the other hand, almost unimpeded now across the southern border. almost all of the heroin produced is consumed here. two questions, what would you do to increase the apprehension? we have legislation called the stop act which is supposed to deal with the problem of fentanyl, the next wave in the communities. that mostly comes by mail and some of it from mexico and coming from china directly and sometimes mixed with heroin and
5:07 pm
mexico and brought back in a drug form. it is not taken by package is across the border, goes through the u.s. mail system. we try to work with customs and the dea on this. i wonder if you have any sense of that and what you would do and your general thoughts on this addiction. gen. kelly: i believe addiction starts really where it is produced. the colombians to use that again, do tremendous work in terms of eradicating and destroying labs and that kind of work. taking huge tonnages off the flow with very, very few naval assets and i use the coast guard there as well. very very few naval assets. my information is at least one year old, but tutankhamen a couple years. 3 ton lots.ton,
5:08 pm
it is a big take. cocaine or something like that might be 5, 10, 15 kilos. if we could do more with our partners. not to harp on the demand thing, but if we could make it so they cannot get through the southwest border, the so-called balloon effect. they will find ways around it. the profit is so outrageous that is why believe it is all about the demand. >> thank you for putting yourself up for this. to think your family for sharing with us one more time. i appreciate your commitment to this, because it is not easy.
5:09 pm
general kelly, thank you for getting your ethics and background complete. your pre-questionnaire and your thatcials, i appreciate very much also. your job is a big one and i know from our meeting in my office and i want to thank you for your direct answer of the questions we talked about. we talked about order -- border security. we hear a lot about the southern border which is critically important. the northern border, along montana alone with one national park bordering canada and and indian reservation bordering canada and there are three indian reservations 100 miles from canada. it adds to the complexity. i think you have a grasp of that. i am going to start out parochial but take it to the
5:10 pm
bigger issue. we talked about the poor north. dhs wanted to close a 24-hour port. it is my view that this port was critical under border security. it had a long distance between the other 2 24 hours on the east and west. what is your idea of border security not only as it applies to the folks on patrol but the folks in the ports? gen. kelly: it is clearly a balance. we cannot stop the normal flow of commerce and people. by the same token, we have to do better at closing the border to things we do not want to come in. i am not as familiar nearly as we discussed with the northern border. but as i promised you in your office the other day i will be very quickly to come up on that
5:11 pm
and perhaps during the summer i will visit your state. sen. tester: i will take you up on that and we will make sure we don't get you into north dakota because they will give the wrong impression. [laughter] we will follow up on that. there are grants which are incredibly important. there are efforts to be made with local farmers and ranchers on the border, and i need to get you there. you could talk to these folks because i think they are not paid by you or us but they are still part of the overall structure. i want to talk about immigration for a second. office, you in my we maked that when folks get a visa and after they enter the country we never tell them to go home. how do you intend to make it work windows visas expire, to notify those folks it is time to head back?
5:12 pm
general kelly: to the degree it has been in discussions on this point, apparently we do not have a particularly good system to kind of alert when, the day after someone's visa expires, we do not have a very good system to say this person expired and to show that information, whether it is within the department or local law enforcement. it is not until as you know, senator, people get caught doing something wrong, speeding or something like that that they get caught. so, the discussion i've had is that we've got to do better with systems. first of all alert you that someone has passed and then if that is appropriate perhaps send someone to their home, their last known residence and ask them why they have not departed yet. at the last issue, i will be brief, and this is hard. but when noncitizens come in.
5:13 pm
we record them and when they go out by air, commercial air, we record them leaving. what we don't do very well apparently is set the ground entrances so i will look into that as well. sen. tester: i would appreciate any kind of work you do on that because i would help solve not all but certainly a fair amount of the problem. something of controversy in montana since my days in the state legislature 10 years from now dhs has waived part of the law requiring destruction of the nationwide database required by the law. i know that senator paul is also concerned about this. what are your plans to implement the real id issue as it applies to states like montana that don't want to see this nationwide database, and still keep our country safe? gen. kelly: i understand it is
5:14 pm
in the law. it is my understanding that the secretary has an elbow rooms in in terms of waiving it. i would like to think in a small number of states that have not met the point at which they have safe id cards, i would like to absolutely work with the states and find out way ahead what we can do to come to an agreement. there is always the possibility of additional time waivers but i would like to work with the states on that, senator. sen. tester: in your particular case, this is a big department. a lot of different arms sticking out there. your deputies are going to be really, really important. what we be looking for for your deputy secretary? gen. kelly: for anyone that works for the federal government, but first of all,
5:15 pm
people who know what they are doing. understand the importance of following the law in understand the importance of taking care of their people. to senator mccaskill's point again, people that will listen to their subordinates when there are suggestions on how to do business better. listen to their subordinates when there are more serious problems and not retaliate against anyone when they come up and raise issues. sen. tester: last question, what is your highest priority considering antiterrorist efforts? gen. kelly: stopping them somewhere far away from our country. >> one thing you'll notice general kelly, the northern border is well represented in this committee. [laughter] sen. daines: thank you for considering coming to montana. taking a look at the northern
5:16 pm
border as the chairman just mentioned, i just counted heads. eight out of 15 members are on a border. -- on a northern border. that is not to say the southern border is not as important. but let us not forget about the northern border. i also want to thank your family. as a son of a marine, my dad would be very proud knowing we had this conversation if he were here. my family sleeps better at night knowing that a four-star list is a marine new , leading the department of homeland security. so thank you. thank you karen and to the rest of the family for allowing the general to continue to service our country. general kelly, as we discussed yesterday, i spent years in the 28 private sector before he came to the hill. 10 years with a global cloud computing company. we faced cyber threats daily. the company expects their data to be secure. we delivered our data for
5:17 pm
compromised. i was elected to congress in 2012 and lo and behold, you got the same letter i got in terms of our information being compromised as federal employees because of a cyber breach. the internet is a great tool for creativity communications, , commerce, but it is also the tool for bad actors engaging in fraud, terrorist propaganda, espionage. as secretary, how will you come to counter these cyber threats to protect our nation and our families? gen. kelly: if confirmed i will , get deep into it. my job as a military person, i understand cyber out there. i know whatever capabilities are, u.s. capabilities out there. i also know that 3, 4, 5 years ago we talked about that the united states would not have a
5:18 pm
cyber for 20,r in 25 years. now we know we have some pretty darn close competitors. waant something that ash -- tched ash carter when he took over the department of defense. he reached out to the commercial world silicon valley, that kind , of thing to engage them at least to get a report card on how we are doing within the federal government. there is unbelievable talent out there in the civilian sector and i think at this point in time, everyone realizes that it is in everyone's interest whether it is personal security or corporate security, certainly u.s. security, everyone realizes i think that working together makes a lot of sense. there are clearly privacy issues the skies of things -- the
5:19 pm
law would always have to be followed. just more cooperation amongst the private sector in the federal sector, the state sector, think that would go a long way. i think ash carter was onto something in a big way when he started to reach out to the commercial world. sen. daines: thank you. i want to turn attention back to the northern border. agriculture is our biggest economic driver in states like montana. canada is our largest exporter market. we want to make sure our farmers and ranchers do not have disruptions as they go north and south as it relates to commerce. this 5500 mile long border on the northern border, we know there are a lot of bad actors out there. they view that northern border as a soft underside. with the current administration we have had challenges with insufficient staffing to make sure we are protected to the north. as secretary, how would you
5:20 pm
increase customs and border patrol and recruiting, retention, and mitigate staffing shortages without reducing services? gen. kelly: in the world i came from, there was a time where back right in the vietnam time, we cannot recruit and retain good service members. mostly because of morale, mostly because when other young men and women talk to their older brother, they said no, it is not worth it to join the armed forces. a lot of the retention problem comes from the morale problem within the department. i was talking to a couple gentlemen earlier who said they were lifelong members of the federal law enforcement world but would not recommend their sons or daughters join up. the best recruiters in the organization are people already in the organization.
5:21 pm
if they value or have a sense people value what they do, that there is a future, upward mobility, that you get a fair recruitmentturns and retention around. what i hear mostly is that we are not appreciated, we are not able to do our jobs. i would take a long did hard look at that right away. sen. daines: yesterday we talked about the government earning the trust of the people. dhs and immigration services play a company role in vetting immigrations before they reach u.s. soil, background checks, creating biometric data and so forth. how can the american people regain trust that any future refugee will not be a risk to our families and what will we do to make sure there are comprehensive background check s completed? gen. kelly: one of the problems
5:22 pm
with refugees is a comes in from countries that are dysfunctional. and i think many american citizens feel that if you are taking in people from a country that simply has no law enforcement bureaucracy, clearly they don't have things like the fbi and homeland security, how can you guarantee? there is no guarantee. you cannot guarantee 100%. if you are taking in the large number of people or any people from places where we can vet them very well, i guess you do the best you can. sen. daines: lastly, you talk about telling truth to power. how does this integrity serve you in making tough decisions? gen. kelly: it made it easy. as secretary gates said, it is a moral responsibility. it is what you do. and i found if you don't, organizations like the united
5:23 pm
states senate and house figure 30 quickly that what they're getting from a witness is not straight. it certainly kind of marginalizes it you. i think truth to power is the way to go. sen. peters: general kelly, wonderful to have you here. i join everyone else in thanking you for your service and certainly for your family's service as well. it is truly a family of fair, public service and particularly for your many years in the marine corps. i appreciate your patriotism and sacrifice. it is good to see you again. i had the privilege of being with you in guatemala. that was probably midyear last year as part of the committee trip and had the benefit of your briefings. and the benefit of being on the border between guatemala and mexico and talking about some of the issues related to
5:24 pm
immigration from that country and latin america as well. it is certainly very refreshing director ofmany for homeland security be someone who has been on the front line dealing with those issues. i also appreciate from your briefings the fact that you understand this is an incredibly complex issue. it cannot be solved simply by building a wall. it requires a much more thoughtful approach and i am confident based on your experience and statements that you bring that to the office. i wanted to pick up on what senator daines talked about in regards to cyber security, as we talked about in our previous conversation. without question the number one national security threat to us is cyber. not only do you russian attacks you addressed earlier in the hearing but attacks occurring on a daily basis.
5:25 pm
as you know, a person or entity trying to use cyber to attack as often looks for the weakest link , and that weakest link tends to be entities like small governments or perhaps local or state governments that do not have the same kind of cyber protections we may have at the federal level. although that is certainly open for attack as well as we have seen from the past. the last congress i joined introduced the small business cyber security improvement act, and it is now law. it requires the fbi and the dhs to develop a small business development center for cyber strategy. i wanted to get your thoughts on and your support on that endeavor and how you see the dhs working, particularly with small business owners that don't have the resources to have elaborate defenses to protect themselves as well as larger networks. gen. kelly: part of the mission .gov nets, andhe
5:26 pm
work with the commercial world. since it is part of the mission. again, i don't know the level of effectiveness, i suspect i know jeh johnson, a good friend, has this on his scope. i do not know the degree of how successful we are being but he started for sure this process of outreach and i will continue it. sen. peters: i appreciate that. i've some direct questions i would like to ask that are important to folks in my state. as we spoke about earlier, i represent a very large muslim american community in the state of michigan and outside the middle east in the united states. based on comments made by the president-elect i will tell you there is a great deal of fear in the community. a great deal of unease about what the future means for them under the new administration. certainly the department of
5:27 pm
homeland security is a place where their particular anxiety. i am curious as to your position on a couple things. first off, do you agree that putting a mosque under general surveillance and establishing a muslim database, to proposals discussed by president-elect trump would raise constitutional base issues under the first amendment and equal protection laws of the 14th amendment? gen. kelly: i am not a lawyer, but to the degree i understand the laws yes sir. ,sen. peters: would you ensure that religion does not become a basis for u.s. law enforcement or counterterrorism policy particularly as it relates to people with ancestors from muslim majority countries? gen. kelly: i don't think it is never appropriate to focus on religion as the only factor. so yes sir. thatkelly: do you think those of muslim or asian dissent
5:28 pm
will have to register with the government, and if so, what purpose with a be used? gen. kelly: i know there was a program some years ago where they had this on the books. i know it is no longer on the books. it would have to be legal if it was listed but there has to be some really compelling reason. so yes i agree. ,sen. peters: i think the program you're talking about is the end-cr program. it was supposedly to catch terrorists. it never had any impact whatsoever. it sounds as if he would not be supportive of breaking that. -- of bringing that back. the supreme court case, korematsu versus the united ,tates was a landmark case which questioned the order ordering japanese americans into internment camps regardless of their citizenry.
5:29 pm
that --elieve i don't agree with registering people based on race, religion, ethnic, anything like that. i would agree with the supreme again, i'm not a lawyer but i can understand. sen. peters: i appreciate those responses. as follow-up, i know we talked about this in our meeting earlier, but if you would let the committee know how you would approach communities in this country who are made up primarily of arab-americans, was your past experience, how easy or role as homeland security director in reaching out to those communities and making them part of a solution? gen. kelly: as we discussed in the office, our success in iraq
5:30 pm
certainly my time in iraq is , because i out reached with people across the spectrum of society, all of them were from the islamic faith. obviously, the men, the clerks, the communities come of the way we won certainly in my part of iraq was we out reached two people, convince them we are there for good not evil. that we are there to protect and help them. overnight, with the awakening and other things i won't go into, it was the thing they gave us success. outreach to the community and touching everybody in the community to gain their trust. i know secretary jeh johnson does that, i will continue that. >> i appreciate those responses, general. if confirmed, i would love to host you in the detroit area with a community that would be very eager to meet you and certainly needs reassurance from someone in that position. >> i look forward to it, senator.
5:31 pm
>> senator harris. senator harris: thank you. general, thank you for your long-standing service and sacrifice, and to your family as well. i would like to ask you a few questions, starting with the deferred action for childhood arrival, also known as daca. dacaeds of thousands of children are afraid right now because of what the incoming administration might do to them and their unauthorized family members. these young people submitted extensive paperwork to the federal government including detailed information regarding themselves and their loved ones. they also had to qualify, as you know, for the program. in qualifying, each person's case was reviewed and determined on a case-by-case basis. the young person must not have been convicted of a felony or a significant misdemeanor or three or more misdemeanors.
5:32 pm
they must also not pose a threat to national security or safety. the young person must currently be in school, have graduated or contained a completion certificate from high school, and/or haved a ged, been honorably discharged as a veteran of the coast guard or armed forces of the united states. among other things, daca applicants must submit proof of identity, time, and admission in the united states, proof of relevant school completion or military status, and biometric information. as part of the daca application process, we conducted biometric and biographic background checks against a variety of databases maintained by dhs and other federal agencies. if a daca applicant knowingly makes a misrepresentation or
5:33 pm
fails to give facts in an effort to maintain daca, it is a felony be subject to removal from the united states. this means applicants know if they are not giving us the whole truth about their story, they are putting a target on their own back. at the time, the department of homeland security assured them that it would follow the long-standing practice of not using the information for law enforcement purposes, except in limited circumstances. these young people are now worried the information they provided in good faith to our government may now be used to track them down and lead to their removal. my question is, do you agree daca, and those young people have relied by hundreds of thousands of them on our representation, do you agree with that? that we would not use this information against them?
5:34 pm
gen. kelly: the entire development of immigration policy is ongoing right now in terms of the upcoming administration. i have not been involved in those discussions. if confirmed, i know i will not be involved in those discussions. there is a big spectrum of people who need to be dealt with in terms of deportations. >> i am speaking specifically of daca. gen. kelly: those would be prioritized, i would guess, as part of the process right now. this might not be the highest priority for removal. i promise you, senator, i will be involved in the discussion. >> i would like if you would read or become familiar with a document, it is frequently asked questions.
5:35 pm
question 20, the question is, if my case is referred to ice or if i receive an nta, will my family also be referred to ice for enforcement purposes? the answer, according to this document, is if the case is referred to ice or they receive an nta, it would not be referred to ice. are you willing to maintain that policy of not referring that information to ice? gen. kelly: i would definitely look long and hard at the document. i do not know where the upcoming and ministration is going with this. i will be a part of that. i can promise you i will keep a very open mind. >> are you familiar that under your predecessors, the director of homeland security made this decision and issued the information to the troops, not the president? are you familiar with that? gen. kelly: yes.
5:36 pm
senator harris bang and do you agree that many of these children are studying at colleges and universities and graduate schools on summer working at torch and 100 companies, major institutions, and this is a small and large? -- and businesses both small and large? gen. kelly: i am aware that some are, yes. harris: are you then going to use the resources of dhs to remove them from the country? gen. kelly: we have a limited capacity to execute the law, so we would look at the highest priority activities and -- but i will follow the law to the extent that i can execute the law, if that makes sense. harris: i wasen.
5:37 pm
formally attorney general of california and before that a district attorney, elected to terms in office, we all have limited resources. i am interested in knowing from your perspective where the students in the young people who applied for and were eligible for daca would fall on your priority list. gen. kelly: i think law-abiding individuals would in my mind with limited access to execute the law went probably not be at the top of the list. sen. harris: would you agree that state and local law enforcement agencies are uniquely situated to protect the public safety of their own communities? gen. kelly: i would agree with that. sen. harris: are you aware state and local law enforcement leaders across the country have publicly stated they depend on the cooperation of immigrant communities to come forward and the witnesses -- come forward as witnesses to crime? gen. kelly: i am aware of that. senator harris: and in the past when government has done immigration sweeps, many
5:38 pm
law enforcement agencies have been concerned there is a deep freeze of emigrants reporting crimes? gen. kelly: i was not aware of that. senator harris: will you make it your priority to take a look at that when they are concerned the dhs may direct sweeps against entire immigrant communities? i fall back on the law will guide me in everything i do if confirmed. senator harris: i would encourage not only the law, but how it will practically apply in the streets, in terms of the perception of the interpretation of the law to those communities, and what we should all do to make sure all victims of crime, regardless of their document status, are protected and receive justice in the court of law. gen. kelly: acknowledge. >> thank you senator harris, senator paul.
5:39 pm
sen. paul: general kelly, congratulations, and i also want to join in thanking you for your service and sacrifice. division you are up for is obviously to defend the homeland, the country. but it is also to defend the constitution. that is the open we take. it is the own few in the military as well. that is an important distinction, because it does not mean we want security at all cost. we want security to have our liberty. liberty is an important part of this. there have been times in our history when i think we let fear sort of overcome our ability or our desire to defend the constitution. in the civil war, we suspended habeas corpus. we kept people in detention without legal access. we arrested 3000 editors during world war ii. 100,000 japanese were detained. we let our fervor or our fear
5:40 pm
the place are both -- our oath to defend the ready, defending constitution. we have on the books and we pass about five years ago a law that says an american citizen can be indefinitely detained. not an american overseas. not someone captured in syria on a battlefield. someone captured in the united states and accused of terrorism can be kept indefinitely. they can be sent to guantanamo bay, a variety of places. this president said he would not use it, but he signed it anyway, much to the chagrin of some of us. but it is on the books, my question to you would be, do you think we can adequately arrest people in our country who are somehow a threat to our homeland security, do you think the restitution could be enough? the due process in all courts of law and our country would work , or would you think there would have to be times when we have to detain people without trial?
5:41 pm
gen. kelly: i was not aware that, it surprises me. but i think we have enough laws to help us out and that regard. sen. paul: i think it is important, and obviously the future is unknown, but you and i talked about it in the office, if something terrible happens we need people in places of leadership that do not let us succumb to our emotions and fear, whether they are irrational fears of others or whatever they are. that is what our soldiers sacrificed so much for. with regard to how we collect data on people to protect harvey -- once again, are we so fearful we will correct data on everybody? there have been instances when we have. for instance, we had bulk collection of everyone's phone records. some will argue a technical part of the fourth amendment is your phone that are -- your phone records are not really protected.
5:42 pm
some will say they should be protected. but this debate is also about how you come to security in our country. can we get it by individually going after suspects or people we are suspicious of, or should we have blanket surveillance of everyone, which means we have to give up liberty and privacy? i will give you a specific example from homeland security. a couple years ago, they decided they would use license plate screeners, and apparently they are very rapid and can collect hundreds and hundreds of. thousands of license plates an hour. they decided they would go to a gun show. why this particularly troubles you can picture the people going to the gun show expressing some kind of ideological belief wanting there, not just to buy a gun, but defending their right. what alarms me is that if we are going to check license plates at a gun show, we might go to a pro-life rally or a pro-abortion rally or elsewhere.
5:43 pm
i don't want the government's getting license plates. i don't want them to get all of our data just so we can possibly be safe. i want the individual to be protected. i'm not against the department going after individuals and digging as deep as you want with the proper process. my question is, how can we defend the country? can we do it with the traditions of looking at individuals for whom we have suspicion, or are we going to have to gather all of this data and give up our privacy? gen. kelly: i would go with the traditional route. the scanning of the license plates may be a reason. i can't think of one right now. but i am not for the mass collection of data on people. i would go the other way. sen. paul: this is an amazing amount of information. if you had all the information of everyone's these a purchases purchases in the country, they are is no end. this is a big part of what your job is, people will be saying to
5:44 pm
you protect us. we want to be safe. at the same time, what are we willing to give up? can we keep what we are as a people? i hope you will keep that in mind. thank you, senator paul. senator hansen? sen. manchin: -- senator hanson: thank you. i look forward to working with both of you. general kelly, thank you so much for being here today. for your service. to your family, i echoed the thanks you heard today for your service and sacrifice. we're very, very grateful. i wanted to start by asking a question on cyber security that kind of hit my neck of the woods a little bit in the last couple weeks. two weeks ago, "the washington post" reported that a hacking group connected with the russian government managed to infiltrate the burlington electric power company in vermont.
5:45 pm
new hampshire and vermont have many shared utility connections along the border between the two states. i think we all agree that foreign infiltration into our utility infrastructure or any infrastructure is unacceptable. with dhs being responsible for securing critical infrastructure, i am curious about what steps you think dhs needs to be taken to prevent cyber attacks on critical infrastructure and confronting foreign nations' cyber espionage efforts. gen. kelly: the best we can do is outreach to everybody, whether it is power plants or other commercial interests. discussed, iss we it is congress, -- constant, relentless, from nationstates, from mafia type organizations,
5:46 pm
from vandals. but i think the solution is outreach to provide the protections that exist now. the threat changes so rapidly we cannot keep up with it. we have to find a way to keep up with it. senator hassan: there has been discussion among community members about the opioid and heroin crisis that is devastating all of our states, but new hampshire has been particularly hard hit. there has been excellent discussion, i thought, about issues on the southern border crisising the fentanyl in particular, because that is changing the way drug dealers canoperate the way fentanyl be made. the profit margins are huge, and the addictive nature is even greater than other opioids. one of the things i am heartened by is your focus on the demand side of this crisis.
5:47 pm
i think it would be heartening to the people of my state and our country if you can commit on behalf of dhs to partner with this committee, with governors around the country, to really look at the overprescribing of opioids in this country? is it something you can work with us on? gen. kelly: i look forward to that, senator. sen. hassan: thank you. northernd to the border chorus, by the way, just to say don't forget us. lastly, i wanted to focus on one other issue, concerning terrorism. certainly we are all concerned about terrorism that is a threat from faraway places. earlier in your testimony, you indicated that one of your goals would be to keep the terrorists as far away from united states soil as possible. but the nature of the threat is always changing.
5:48 pm
of late, i think we all agree there has been a disturbing rise in homegrown terrorism. no matter how secure our borders are, terrorist groups like isis and al qaeda certainly, we know, use the internet to encourage and inspire troubled americans to carry out violence at home. how do we go about tackling that particular challenge, and what partners will be most valuable for dhs and the american people in this fight? gen. kelly: tough problem, to say the least. as i have discussed with a number of senators, i think it starts with families, churches, synagogues, mosques. nothomegrown terrorists are just isis-inspired. otherare some pretty granim
5:49 pm
groups. white supremacists, that kind of thing. i believe it starts with peoples parents understanding what is going on in the bedroom when the son and daughter is in there all the time on the internet. we worry they are on inappropriate porn sites or something, but i think it is where it starts, who knows why they get disaffected by the country, but they get on those websites and it poisons their mind, i think. in the church, synagogue, wherever, people hear them talking and should turn them in, or at least be concern and talk to their parents. i am reminded of a young woman in the south who was getting radicalized clearly, and her parents noticed in and turned her into the police. by the same token, there are other examples to where people knew that people were getting radicalized. i think the san bernardino couple, but people were afraid
5:50 pm
to raise the red flag because they thought, maybe they will do something to me, and b, maybe i will be legally held accountable. but it starts there. clearly our law enforcement role,sionals serve that but it is a tough nut to crack. 's question senator about engagement with some of the, you know, parts of america that have a lot of arab americans so they feel is so they can report and not be afraid. but i think if we are going to get at this problem at all, it is really energizing communities and families to keep an eye out for the tell tale signs and seek help before it gets out of hand. as i know, in the south, just before it got really out of hand they turned the daughter in. it was an act of love.
5:51 pm
it was an act of love to get her help. that's where i am on that. : thank you,an and thank you for your service. >> thank you, senator hassan. welcome to the committee. i enjoyed our phone call and look forward to working with you. senator langford. sen. lankford: janitor kelly, thanks again -- general kelly, thanks again for your service. you have done a remarkable job in your career for the nation and i appreciate you stepping out again. it is a tremendous asset to the nation. you know full well when you were asked by the president elect to do this that every time there's a problem in the airport, every time there is a shooting, if there are two people across the border, whether north or south, someone will call you on the phone and say what is not working? so i appreciate that. we release a report and try to
5:52 pm
identify all areas, and it just been an area for morale. let me give you a piece of good news. the 2015 review of 22 major acquisition programs at dhs found only two of the 22 were actually on track. the inspector general at dhs and their report found that dhs's major acquisition programs cost more than expected, take longer to deploy than planned, and deliver less capability than promised. dhs was also identified and has been identified by gao for 13 years, not getting up to speed on its human resources programs. we have now spent $180 million over 13 years just to get an hr program working at dhs. while we have all talked often about issues at the border, which are serious, there are some internal things that are undone.
5:53 pm
while you are focusing on other areas, i would encourage you to assign a deputy to finish the unfinished product of how we handle acquisitions, the cost overruns, and how we handle hr within dhs. gen. kelley: if confirmed, i have my work cut out for me, obviously. sen. lankford: yes, sir. gen. kelley: there are some great people in the organization. i hope to retain some of them or higher others who have been involved in homeland security. i think this is also part of jeh johnson's unity of looking into our bureaucracy and seeing, how do they do it? no one is perfect, but how do they do it? we have to have an acquisition force in dhs. we don't have the same capability as d.o.t. does. but yes, my commitment. sen. lankford: thank you.
5:54 pm
a couple things that have been touched on before, there is an ongoing conversation about cyber attacks into the united states. two specific areas i want to bring up. one is jurisdictional. this committee is very engaged in cyber as a homeland security issue. armed forces is obviously very involved in that, and what is happening with cyber issues, as well as intel. what i am looking for is some cooperation. a sense of, this is not going to be a jurisdictional fight and no one does it, but how do we build it so that teamwork between operations and intel, so we can build a real sense of a cyber doctrine, and how we will respond to cyber attacks has been discussed for a decade, and it has been met to death with no set of decisions on that. help me understand how we get to a decision and move on in cooperation with other entities. gen. kelley: i think i agree, senator. the worst thing this city deals
5:55 pm
with is the stovepipe mentality and the rice bowls. people, in my view, if confirmed, the way i have operated, i have no rice bowl. if i have to give something up or go across town to someone else's meeting, i will do that to improve whatever it is we are trying to improve. there are unbelievably talented people in the u.s. government across bureaucracies, but my sense is that there is not enough interaction. we obviously can't do certain things because of laws, but laws can be changed if need be. 10 years ago when we started talking about this, we were probably a little ahead of the problem. 10 years later, we are behind the problem now. now is probably the time to act. we easily could suffer a catastrophic -- seriously catastrophic cyber event because
5:56 pm
we didn't do our jobs as the u.s. government. there is probably on awareness right now that it is time to sit down and work these things out. i think the commercial world, the security world, is as much a player in this as the federal government. sen. lankford: this committee is eager to have a partner to discuss what is needed to be done legislatively. we will have witnesses here say, i cannot give a recommendation to you. when we know the administration officials deal with it all the time and know the barriers to the issues they face, we need good cooperation for people to be able to sit down with us and say, here is what we are bumping up against. two areas. one area is working with cities that don't want to cooperate on the issue of immigration. sanctuary cities that have determined we do not want the federal government killing with -- dealing with individuals who are clearly in the united states illegally and have a criminal record. what are your thoughts on this?
5:57 pm
gen. kelly: as a public servant, then't think i have authority to pick and choose what laws need to be followed. i think it is in a lot of ways dangerous to think you can pick and choose which laws -- i understand maybe the perspective of some of the local leaders, but i do think the law is the law. i think the law has to be followed. sen. lankford: yes sir, i would agree. let me bring in one last thing with you. that is the northern triangle, and our good relationship with guatemala and el salvador. some leaders who are doing a remarkable turnaround. we spoke about guatemala and the new president and the attorney general there, and the remarkable work they are doing. what practically can we do as a
5:58 pm
nation to help them as we deal with cocaine use, for instance? around 90% of the cocaine that comes to the united states touches soil first in guatemala. what can we do to be able to partner with them? gen. kelley: stop the demand. sen. lankford: that's a big one. gen. kelley: we are never going to get to zero. we have talked about this, you never get to zero. but stop the demand. we never have had a truly comprehensive demand reduction that goes everything from law enforcement, treatment, rehabilitation, interdiction of large amounts of drugs as it is in the flow, working with our partners down south. we've never had a real serious public campaign. i testified in this room in april and had real experts up here about behavior modifications, tobacco, mothers
5:59 pm
against drunk driving-type campaigns. you never get to zero. but we have to get -- we have to reduce the amount of drugs used. 47,000 americans died last year from drug overdose. we got to do something. >> i would agree. >> now back to the northern border, senator heitkamp. sen. heitkamp: i deserve that. there are a lot of critics of the northern border here. [laughter] sen. heitkamp: i'm going to rapidly go through a number of things that you and i have talked about, that you know are of great interest. i think the senator hit on recruitment. absolutely critical. we think dhs has begun a process that can result in successes. please stay on top of that. it is not fair what is happening to a lot of our border patrol
6:00 pm
agent's, customs and border protection who are told they literally cannot move to other parts of the country or transfer. you are going to lose those folks to other federal agencies who will give them an opportunity to move. it is critical that we pay attention to the workforce. northern border, pass the bill, sign the bill, we look forward to your analysis. putting your touch on the northern border challenges and issues, and greatly interested in how that whole thing comes out. cyber security. i joined senator langford in saying we hear it coming at us from all directions. historically, the intel community has taken a little jurisdiction there. we don't want a stovepipe or rice bowl, i think you are saying. rice bowl, that is a new one to me. we don't want to silo these issues. we want dhs to assert their important role in cyber security. human trafficking, we just did a
6:01 pm
hearing this morning for the permanent subcommittee on investigations. with backpage. it is a scourge. obviously, you know the blue campaign is working to train officers, has been a critical resource for people in my state as we confront the area of human trafficking. please look at that program. i think there are improvements that could be made, but i will tell you that your officers and investigators within dhs has been critical in advancing the cause of protecting children in this country. something i don't think has been raised here, which is first responders. i challenge you to take a look at what is happening with volunteer fire departments. the vast majority of area in this country, the fire protection comes from volunteers. maybe there is a professional or paid staff person, but the volunteers provide that service. having a hard time recruiting volunteers. some of that goes to equipment, some goes to losing a culture of
6:02 pm
volunteerism, someone else is going to do it. i think it is critical that you role, and going to ask that you pay attention to our response act, which just passed, which would look at fema's role with flammable material on the rails. i think the senator was hitting on something critical in the anti-radicalization. have you had a chance to visit with the folks within dhs who are working on the program and evaluate what you think of that program and how you change the the current program that they have? gen. kelley: i have not. because of the in going/outgoing mou, memo of understanding, we can't directly touch. but i am in their it confirmed. -- there it confirmed.
6:03 pm
>> i just really believe it is critical that you bring the expertise of your service historically to that effort. i think it is a little late in coming, but i think it can be a force for good. and i think critically important, there are also some local grants to communities want to bring the collaborative nature, bring people together, build those relationships that hopefully will, number one, prevent radicalization, but certainly reported as a front-line effort. see something, say something. if the community does not feel appreciated, respected, or is afraid to report something for fear it will come back to them, you aren't going to get the intel that you need. i want to talk about the northern triangle. i think i should tell your wife, the excuse he gave me is you no longer wanted him underfoot. i don't know. but we're extraordinarily grateful, and you must be extraordinarily proud.
6:04 pm
this is a remarkable public servant. but one of the reasons i believe dhs won the cabinet lottery, and you can tell perhaps why the love test we are having with you today, is that you have such a breadth of experience in an area that is very challenging to our southern border and our entire border security. your work is critical. you told me that very many of those latin american leaders called you and were very excited. that gives us a real opportunity. one of the things i think we have missed as we look at the rush of those children to the border is the opportunity we have to work with organizations like the organization of american states and u.n.h.c.r. who are trying to deal with people fleeing violence in those communities and countries, and refugee in place by helping
6:05 pm
belize, nicaragua, costa rica a fair number of these refugees into their community. have you had a chance to look at those efforts regionally to look at helping people out of violence, but also then stabilizing communities, and are you at all concerned about blanket statements about nation building and whether that will restrict or in any way hamstring your ability to bring a different perspective to the northern triangle? gen. kelly: senator, first thing i would offer, through my entire career, every discussion began and ended with human rights and discussion of human rights. i have a good relationship in washington, and every country -- every time i visited a country, i would make it a point to meet with the local human rights groups. you get a far different view of what is needed, what the real conditions are from the local human rights people.
6:06 pm
i make the same comment about the churches. church leadership in that part of the world is overwhelmingly roman catholic with a very sizable evangelical christian -- met with those people. often times, maybe most of the time, the ngo's and organizations like that have a very -- a better view and a way ahead that is worth listening to. i spent an awful lot of time with them. but at the end of the day, it is an overused term, it is really improving the security on the ground and investment. not just more money -- investment monitored in the right way by the right organizations. the development bank is a particularly good one in that part of the world. i am not suggesting we give
6:07 pm
them money, i am suggesting they tell us how to invest that money. but it is a tough problem, and it comes back to the incredible profits that flow out of our country because of the use of drugs. the average american who uses drugs recreationally doesn't think there is anything wrong with it. the latins will tell you because of your recreational use or abuse, thousands of latins die every year who should not die. i just wish we had a campaign to let people understand that there is no such thing as a nonviolent use of drugs. >> thank you so much to your family and to you for your long and continued service to her -- to our country. >> thank you, mr. chairman. > i was presiding on the floor from 3:00 till 4:00. one of the good things about coming late is we get to hear all of the testimony and answers to questions. one of the bad things is you end
6:08 pm
up last in line. again, i want to add my thanks to you for your service to the military and willingness to serve again, and your family too. and you bring great experience. think for coming by the office today and engaging in conversation about this important position. i kind of want to start off -- i come from the funding side. i chaired the appropriations committee for the last two years. and particularly in terms of results. so, talk to me for a minute about, how do we make sure that we have secured the border and that we are measuring results so that we know exactly what is going on, and that we communicate those results to the people of the country so they understand what is going on? gen. kelley: the two things, senator -- two ways to measure
6:09 pm
it would be, and my law enforcement friends tell me that -- in the case of drugs that come in, and frankly, i am not arguing for legalization of marijuana here. i am just saying the only drugs that i have ever really concerned myself with are the hard drugs. all the marijuana flow we saw was coming from some of the caribbean islands south. i just focused on the hard drugs. they will tell you that if you have an effective law enforcement strategy, i would argue border strategy, you'll start to see the cost of drugs go up. >> they are dirt cheap now. kind of a supply and demand thing. if you can reduce availability. that is one way to streak the price of drugs. -- that is one way, the street .rice of drugs a kilo in washington, d.c. costs about $40,000. a kilo in most the rest of the world costs about a quarter of a million dollars.
6:10 pm
that is because of the business aspect of the movement. the point is, the law enforcement people say if you see the price going up, you are doing something right. in terms of the illegal movement of people, fewer people come in. in a way, it is anyone's guess. there are certain number we pick up, but it is anyone's guess how many get through. there are pretty good metrics you could use. a range of people that get through, a range of people that are being processed in the legal deportation route. but those two things -- how many are grabbing at the border would be one metric. internally, how many people are apprehended and into the process of deportation, or at least a legal process and the price of drugs. i think those are pretty good metrics. >> are you willing to commit to provide those metrics so we have
6:11 pm
an understanding of what is going on on the southern border and northern border? but also, our international airports and seaports, the issue of these overstays, the work we need to do to verify so we have an understanding of who is coming in, who is being detained at the border, and what is the resolution to someone who is detained? are you committed to providing those statistics so we all have an understanding of what is factually going on? gen. kelley: if confirmed, i'm going to get into how accurate the numbers are in the first place. if you talk to people about the amount of cocaine, as an example, that is produced in the free countries that produce it, you have spectrums like this. i am told 200 tons at the most.
6:12 pm
but i got 200 tons my last year. the colombians got 158 tons. there are wild estimates as to what the numbers are, whether it is people or drugs. yes, the commitment is there. also a commitment to try and get -- much of this data comes from the dea, fbi, to try and come up with better numbers so we really know what we're dealing with. but yes, you have my commitment. >> how do you make sure you secure the border? talk about the wall, people. have you make sure we have a secure border? gen. kelley: perhaps the most important thing right now, as i have heard, and this is not briefed out of homeland security, i am not talking with them right now, but anecdotally. allowing the great men and women in the law enforcement position at dhs, particularly down at the border, allowing them to do the job according to the law. i had an interesting experience just a few months ago.
6:13 pm
i was down on the border in el paso, off active duty, working for the department of defense down there, looking at some things. i was talking to some border patrol men and women, five of them on the border. maybe 200 yards down, there is a big fence there, call it a wall. it is pretty substantial. it is not a chain-link fence. it is 18 feet tall and pretty seriously constructed. i saw half a dozen or so people i'm over the fence, and standing there are the officers to jump in their cars, flip their lights on, and -- down there. they said, what's the use? i was surprised. that's not a good thing for morale. the number one thing would be, in accordance with the law, let people who are tasked to protect the border do their job. >> so they need to empower the people?
6:14 pm
the laws are there. no one says they aren't. very anecdotal, kicking the tires, and we ought to be allowed to do our job. >> touch on unmanned aerial systems, both in terms of using them on the borders as part of the technology effort, but also counteracting them. defense in terms of other countries or penetration by other technologies. gen. kelley: the beauty of the uas is they are relatively low cost, they don't get tired, they don't complain. there's no one writing them around. it is pretty good stuff. one of the things i did in central america -- they thought they needed air forces and cannot afford them. we've got them going down the roads looking at uas's. it is very useful for observation purposes. to answer the other part of your question -- >> one of the things we have done is set up test sites to develop you a yes. we need to do more of that, but
6:15 pm
we also need the ability to counteract any type of uas coming in or penetrating our system and creating a security breach. gen. kelley: one of the things -- and i haven't been briefed in any way on their use, but they do use the ultralights to cross the border. that's another problem. they are very hard to detect. but there are other ways to pick these things up. i am not completely conversant on the technology they use on these ultralight aircraft, but will be if confirmed. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate it very much. again, general, thanks to you for your service and willingness to serve again. >> welcome to you and senator harris, i appreciate you asking some great questions. what you just witnessed here , general kelly, is what i have experienced in my six years on this committee. a committee of people who share the same goal as you do. we share your mission, keeping this nation safe and prosperous and secure. we don't do show trials here.
6:16 pm
we treat witnesses with respect. i reserve my question time, but the community members asked a lot of great questions, so i won't hold you any further. just the last couple of points, every one of these hearings that we hold from my standpoint, is all about laying out a reality. trying to describe the problem, go to the root cause, lay out the reality of the situation. the reality we exposed in this hearing is that, as senator heitkamp alluded to, we have the pleasure, privilege, and honor of holding a hearing to confirm an extraordinary american. someone we are all incredibly appreciative of, of the fact you are willing to answer the call one more time. family is willing to support you. again, i want to thank you. karen, kathleen, jake, your son who could not attend, thank you for serving. our commitment to you is, we want to help you succeed in your mission.
6:17 pm
we made that same commitment to secretary jeh johnson. i want to wish him well. i think we all had a great deal of respect for the job he did. he led the unity of effort. i appreciate the fact that in your answers, you also are committed to that unity of effort. i think it is extremely important. i just spoke with senator mccaskill. we would like to see a unity of your responsibility, a reporting to congress as well. it is a real snarl here, all of these agencies with different committees. we will do what we can to really streamline that so you can concentrate on your important mission of keeping this nation safe and secure. so again, i want to thank you for your willingness to serve. general kelley has made financial disclosures and provided responses to questions submitted by this committee.
6:18 pm
the financial data is on file and available for public inspection at the committee offices. this hearing record will remain open until 5:00 p.m. tomorrow, january 11 for questions for the record. this hearing is adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
6:19 pm


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on