tv Vatican Nominee Callista Gingrich Testifies at Confirmation Hearing CSPAN July 24, 2017 3:43am-5:03am EDT
behind schedule. part of it is because there is a new administration. it takes a while to get the full cabinet implemented and the budget written. they also had to finish carryover work from last year. they are behind schedule, playing catch-up. there is no time for regular order process, where they bring these bills to the floor one by one. there were 12 bills. they were hoping to do all 12 of them at this week. there was not enough support among house republicans to do this, so they decided to do these for bills instead -- four bills instead. somepackage does fund republican priorities, such as the border security funding and defense spending. >> ryan mccrimmon covers appropriations issues.
mr. george edward glasses the nominee to be the u.s. ambassador to portugal. is nominated to be the counselor for foreign affairs. i want to welcome the nominees, their families, and this committee congratulates them on their selections. we havee that congressman rooney here supporting mrs. gingrich. he was the ambassador to the holy see during president bush's term. we are honored to welcome our distinguished colleagues who will introduce our witnesses. and sen.ron wyden, portman: ohio -- from ohio. thank you for your courtesy. as senator portman knows, we are in the middle of debating tax reform. i know it is a topic of great interest to many senators, and i am trying to help out chairman
hatch. i will make this a filibuster , mr. chairman,y and it is a great privilege to be able to introduce a longtime friend, george edward glass. knowing mr. glass as i do, i am confident that as all of you get to know him and better, you will report him favorably to the senate floor. as he is going to tell you, george glass is an oregonian through and through. eugene, he in
attended college there, graduating from the university of oregon. and he, he is a duck, has continued to be involved with the university, with the community, as he has been recognized as a pillar of portland's financial, real estate, and tech communities. he has been involved in a number of projects to help our community. i am particularly pleased that interest in the health and science university . they play a lifeline in reaching out to our community, and those who have found it hard to access health care. he has been a trustee for the oregon health and science university. he is the former president of the university of oregon .lumni's is -- association
i feel strongly that as you look to portugal and that part of the world, we are going to need track who demonstrated record of stepping up, being involved in their community, someone with expertise in a variety of areas, not just his chosen profession of finance, but health care with his background at the oregon health sciences center, and i believe as you get to know him and confirm him after you have had a chance to hear from him, you will come to the conclusion i have which is george glass has values shared by americans, by those in the country he seeks to serve, portugal, and i very much appreciate my colleagues going out of order to extend this courtesy to me a
and my guess is chairman hatch is grateful to you all as we keep the matters proceeding in the finance committee. thank you very much mr. chairman. i look forward to the members of the committee getting to know george glass as i have area i think you will come to the same judgment i have. he will serve and reflect great credit on the united states in this position. think you very much. >> thank you senator. as long as we are taking a look at corporate tax reform, i encourage you to get out of here and get back to the task at hand. senator portman. >> thank you, chairman johnson. i will join my colleague in a minute, but i wanted to be here to welcome this distinguished group of nominees. thank you for your willingness to serve. your. resch and mr. glass, have just gotten a nice accolade from someone who will help you
not just in this committee but in the vote on the floor. to callista gingrich, thank you for serving. you could have no better person behind you then francis rooney, and that means a lot to all of us. we look forward to supporting you. finally, nathan sales is from ohio. you would not have guessed. did i tell you that, he is from ohio? nextpport him being the court for counterterrorism at the state department. a very vital position that needs to be filled as quickly as possible. in these national security positions, we need honorable, capable individuals who understand the importance of that mission, protecting the homeland but working with our allies as well to combat global terrorism. are pleased to have you here. did i mention he is from ohio? ok. canton, ohio, to be specific.
he also attended ohio university. he headed south and went to duke law school. following law school, he clicked for the honorable sentelle for the d.c. circuit. a prestigious position. he is no stranger to public service. he served in the department of and at the department of homeland security during the george w. bush administration, where i also served. he focused on intelligence, he the current legislation to improve the security of our visa waiver program. in the past few years, he returned to the private sector and academia. has been an associate professor of law at syracuse college of law.
he teaches national security law and counter and -- countertop -- counterterrorism law. forward to supporting nathan sales as our next coordinator for counterterrorism, not only because of his ties to the buckeye state, but more importantly because of his relevant experience, his strong record, and his lifelong commitment to our constitution and laws, and the security of our country. i hope my colleagues will join me in this effort to fill this critical national security role. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. portman for your introduction. by all means, go back and work on that corporate tax reform. again, thank you for that. as great as it is to have nominees from oregon and ohio, i certainly appreciate the fact that i have the privilege of introducing our nominee am wisconsin. although i am chairing the
hearing, i also have the honor of introducing my fellow callista gingrich, nominated to be the ambassador to the holy sea. she is from a beautiful area of the state, though you drop cell coverage frequently. it is hard to do interviews from that region. she graduated from whitehall memorial high school as valedictorian. luther collegeed in iowa where she was a regent scholar and graduate. almost a decade ago, she came to washington. she became a member of staff,sman gunderson's and served as a chief clerk on the committee of agriculture. she left capitol hill, founded gingrich productions. andhas been the president ceo of gingrich productions for a decade, producing documentary
clients.d advising she works to support charitable causes as the president of the gingrich foundation. callista is a lifelong catholic. she has been active in her faith community for years. she sung in the choir for 20 years. of the national shrine immaculate conception in washington. as part of her work, callista collaborated with church leaders to post "nine days to change the pope," documentary about john paul's pilgrimage. a documentaryced about pope john paul ii's canonization. president reagan's friendship with pope john paul ii helped establish relations with the 1984, and they orchestrated the fall of the soviet union.
they have collaborated on a wide range of issues, including promoting human rights, interreligious understanding, and economic progress in the developing world. callista's understanding of the catholic church, her considerable experience, makes her an ideal choice to be the representative of the holy see. a. >> thank you, mrs. gingrich, for your willingness to serve. the president's nominee to be assistant secretary of state for consular affairs. he is a highly regarded attorney and chief of staff in the u.s. immigration services. he was previously the field office director for the immigration services at the american embassy in seoul, south korea. he is a former consular former service operatives, he is an
expert in the responsibilities of managing consular affairs worldwide. i would like to recognize the distinguishing member for his comments, senator murphy. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we have a good full house of members, so i will defer my opening remarks. thank you all for your service. i had a chance to sit down and have a very productive conversation yesterday. i am very glad for your testimony and for us to engage in a dialogue >>. >> thank you, senator murphy. order will be mrs. gingrich, mr. sales. mrs. gingrich? >> chairman johnson, ranking member murphy, and distinguished members of the committee for foreign relations, i am honored to appear before you today as president trump's nominee to
service the united states ambassador to the holy sea. i am thankful to president trump for the confidence and trust he has placed in that need to be his representative at this important embassy. in addition, i want to secretary of state rex tillerson for supporting my nomination. special honor to be introduced by chairman johnson, from my home state of wisconsin. thank you. i am also grateful to appear before this committee today with the full support of my husband, newt.as veterans of capitol hill . l, we both have great respect for your assessment and confirmation of those representing the american people abroad. if confirms, i look forward to working closely with the members and staff of this committee. like the united states, the holy globalactive on a scale.
to fight terrorism and violence, to combat human trafficking, to prevent the spread of diseases like ebola and hiv-aids. and to seek peaceful solutions to crises around the world. those who serve in the state department are known at the world over for their patriotism and dedication. the professional staff at the u.s. embassy to the holy see exemplifies the streets. they worked tirelessly to leverage the vatican's global reach and advance our strong, bilateral relationship. charge d'affaires in the embassy timedid an extra ordinary posting the president on his visit to the vatican in may. during that visit, president trump and pope francis dilated shared concerns, including the protection of christian communities in the middle east.
pope francis has powerfully leaders andligious people of all faiths to unequivocally reject terror -- in thesm and violence name of religion. the vatican and its organizations play an active role in troubled areas around the world, rum venezuela to south sudan to the democratic republic of the congo, countries where the holy see's support for peaceful solutions and democratic institutions directly benefit the interests of the united states. a uniquelic church is global network, overseeing the world's second-largest international aid organization, operating 25% of the world health care facilities, and administrating -- and ministering to millions around the world. as global leaders, the united states and the vatican must
continue to work closely to advance our shared values of human dignity and freedom. this can only happen if we maintain and build upon a strong foundation of trust and mutual communication. confirmed, i will continue this vital united states and the world. i understand how the united states and the holy sea can act as a worm wide forceld wide force for good when we work together. several years ago i had the honor of producing a documentary film entitled "nine days that changed the world". it chronicled the historic visit to poland in 1979. producing this film required ubstantial work with key church leaders and other understand how the united states and the holy sea can act experts in the united states, poland and the vatican. this
film has been well received by the catholic church and is usedreligious programs throughout the united states. this is an example of the powerful role the vatican plays in international affairs. recently i produced another documentary film entitled" divine mercy." these projects along with my decades long membership, have given me the opportunities to build relationships with many church members, clergy and religious scholars. these have instilled n my the highest respect for the holy sea, a deep the holy sea, a deep appreciation for the responsibility of this post and confidence that the united states/vatican bilateral relationship is a force for
good and one that cannot be ignored. as a lifelong catholic, business owner, documentary film maker, author and former public servant, i am profoundly humbled at the prospect of serving my country as the united states ambassador to the holy sea. if confirmed i will work diligently to develop even stronger ties between the united states and the holy c. mr. chairman, mr. ranking member and members of the committee, i appreciate the opportunity to be before you today and would be pleased to answer my questions you may have. thank you. >> thank you. our next nominee will be mr. sales. >> thank you, chairman johnson, thank you ranking member murphy and members of the committee. it's an honor to be here with you this morning. let me start by introducing my family. my wife margaret along with our daughters ana and kate. my arents alex and marsha are
here. they came out from ohio. i'd also like to acknowledge my father-in-law and mother-in-law home in boston today. special word of thanks to senator portman, my fellow buckeye for his kind words of introduction. you can take the boy out of ohio but you can't take the ohio out of the boy. i also want to express my gratitude to president trump and secretary tillerson. if confirmed, i'll do everything in my power to earn and pay back the trust and confidence that they have shown in me. i came to the field of counter terrorism almost by happenstance. in 2001 i was a young lawyer at the justice department. i'd been hired to work on administrative law issues. it was the middle of august 2001. three weeks later
was 9/11. i still recall the chilling rumors that flew that morning as we evacuated main justice. a car bomb at the state department, fires on the national mall, another hijacked plane heading for the capital. some of those rumors turned out to be false alarms, but that was little consolation. the reality was bad enough. my job and everybody at the administration, everybody in congress now shifted to one fundamental and over riding priority, preventing another assault on our homeland. 9/11 wasn't just an attack on our citizens and landmarks. it was an attack on our very way of life, our democracy, our commitment to the rule of law. our top priority at the justice department was to equip our nation's cops and spies and soldiers with the tools they needed to confront this new menace and just as importantly
to do so in a way that maintained faith with our fundamental values as americans, our basic national values. we couldn't allow our fundamental values to become a casually of war. i took that commitment with me to homeland security a few years later. at dhs i learned the experience of working with our allies around he world. i saw firsthand that our alliances are strong, not security a few years later. at just because of our shared economic and military might, but because of our sharded values. let me also say a few words about the dedicated career professionals at the state department. i've eveloped a deep appreciation for their extensive knowledge, their commitment and sacrifices. it will be a
privilege to serve alongside them if i'm confirmed. i started with my family and i'd like to end there too. i come from a long line of patriots. my father alex was a navy officer in the vietnam era. my grandfather clarence served in the army corps of engineers in world war ii. he was stationed in england, which is where he met my grandma. my other grandfather was an infantry captain. he saw action at normandy, helped liberate france and earn add ed a bronze star for valor. it will be a great honor if i'm confirmed to continue their legacy at state. randfather was an infantry thank you again, mr. chairman, mr. ranking member, members of the committee. i look forward to your questions. >> i appreciate you introducing your family. i was remiss in
not encouraging everybody to do so. mr. glass. >> mr. chairman, ranking member and distinguished members of the committee, it is with great humility and honor i sit before you today. i'm deeply grateful for the trust and support in me. if confirmed, i'm committed to focusing all my energies to -- i'd like to acknowledge my wife mary sitting here with me who came out from oregon. i'd also like to acknowledge my three sons and their wives. gordon and his wife currently live in japan. george and emily are due with their first child here in august. that's actually our first grandchild. and our youngest andrew who is in the
throes of his very first job after graduating from college. 'd like to thank my father who's here in spirit. it's his courage and wisdom that brings me strength every day. i take seriously representing the united states to the republic of portugal. portugal is amongst our oldest and most reliable allies. the history of the two nations has always been one of mutual respect and support. if confirmed i look who's here in spirit. it's his forward to working with the outstanding personnel who serve our country in mission lisbon. 1.5 million portuguese americans live in the united states. this unique relationship has allowed us to
turn to portugal for political support in almost every peace keeping mission. the united states, nato and the united nations has led since the end of the cold war. more recently the republic of portugal was hit especially hard by the 2008 global restoegs the point -- ecession. in 2014 we saw for ourselves what the wage and spending cuts and tax increases were doing to the business environment. at that time unemployment rates were over 15%. what we witnessed on that trip endeer endeared us to the people of portugal for life. god, family and the belief that
hard wlorkork will ultimately help people to -- the united tates is now portugal's number one trading partner outside the e.u.'s single market and the fifth largest trading partner overall. in 2016 portugal one trad received the first ever shipment of liquified natural gas from the united states to europe. it is this newfound momentum in portuguese business that makes it an exciting time. lisbon is currently one of the hottest tech startup cities in he eu. i'm uniquely situated to help businesses build upon the technology boom we're seeing today. the emergence of startups looks like san francisco did in the late '80s and early '90s. lastly, if i
may, i'd like to express my eepest sorrow for the families and friends for the over 60 dead and hundreds injured in the latest forest fire in portugal. this has been a tragedy of great proportions. it's seldom that we see this kind of tragedy today. coming from oregon, i know the pain that a forest fire can render. and the burden that an entire people can feel. mary and i continue to include the families of those who perished in the forest fires in our prayers. i hope we can prevent something tliek like this from occurring again in the future. if confirmed i will serve our great country the united states
of america to the best of our abilities. >> final nominee will be mr. risch. >> chairman johnson, members of the committee, i'm honored to appear before you as the president's nominee to be assistant secretary of state for consular affairs. i'm joined eded by my wife of over 22 years, wendy taylor risch. she worked at the department of state as a spousal employee during two of my overseas tours. i'm joined by my daughter anthterdaughters. i am rateful to the president and sec tillretary tillerson for the confidence and trust. if confirmed i will devote all of
y skills, experience and attention to performing my duties. my wife and i will both natives of central pennsylvania, where we were born, raised and educated. i practiced law there for eight years. my father, a veteran of the korean war, worked for 30 years in a factory, now closed, which made automotive parts. my mother stayed home with me after my adoption. being an adopted person, i have felt a special kinship with the abandoned, the orphaned and forgotten. over the past nine years i have volunteered to abandoned, the orphaned and serve on refugee processing trips for my agency in thailand, pakistan, malaysia where i worked toward the resettlement of hundreds of victims of persecution and torture. as an attorney and
civil servant i will bring to the bureau of consular affairs the same values and principles that have guided my career for the past 22 years. a commitment to the rule of law, transparency, justice. and to the equal and fair application of the law. i began my government service as a foreign service officer. my consular tour is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. i am grateful and honored to have had the opportunity to work with the dedicated men and women of the state department, especially in the days and weeks after the attacks of 9/11. in 2006, i returned to public service as a civil servant with u.s. citizenship and immigration services. it was at uscis where i expanded my knowledge of immigration and nationality law. i rose through
the ranks at uscis first as n-- in 2013 my wife and i made the decision to return to international service and i have spent the past four years serving u.s.cis in the embassies in the philippines and south korea. during those years i had the pleasure of working side by side with konsconsular sections throughout the world. i remain a dedicated civil servant to this day. if on firmed, it will be the privilege of a lifetime to lead the bureau of the fine men and women of consular affairs. they are among the hardest working,most dedicated and bravest employees in government service. they work in dangerous uncomfortable places all to serve the american people. this work is complex and emotionally taxing.
and i am immensely proud to say that i was once one of them even for a short period of time. since my days as a consular aurs officer, so much as changed. continue yous vet continuous vetting of applicants, a longer and better training program, a serious commitment to fraud detection, close cooperation with the department of homeland security and a culture of making national security a number one priority. this has strengthened the shared mission to protect our homeland. every visa decision the state department makes. if confirmed i will strive to make sure our officers continue to have the training, resources and leadership necessary to accurately adjudicate applications in accordance with the laws of the united states while also facilitating legitimate national travel and protecting our national
security. should i be confirmed, i commit to working with members of this committee and to being responsive to your questions and concerns. thank you for your time and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, mr. risch. ms. glass, congratulations on your soon to be first grandchild. i've got three now. all the joy >> thank you, mr. risch. ms. with a lot less responsibility. >> wonderful. i'm looking forward to it. colleagues for your strong attendance in respect to your time. i'll hold off my questions until the very end. senator murphy >> i didn't really come for a question. i came to pay tribute to ms. gingrich. we have something in common. she married mr. gingrich. i replaced him in the house of epresentatives. calista is a lady of great talent. in fact, one of her great persuasive
talents is not only convince newt to marry her but convert him to catholicism. we're very proud of you and newt. i'm just here to cheer you on and tell you how proud we have of you. >> thank you so much, senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. hank you to all of the nominees for your willingness to take on these positions and serve this country. i want to begin with you, mrs. gingrich, because you talked about the important role of catholic charities and the catholic mission around the world. i certainly agree with that. i had the opportunity to visit a nursing home in northern new hampshire on friday that is operated by catholic charities in the state, providing great care to people. so i wanted to ask you -- i know that pope francis has called on america and the rest of the western world to uphold our tradition
of moral leadership by welcoming vulnerable refugees freeing violence and owe rogression into our country. and i just wonder how you would argue the united states' position that is taken by this administration that has been less welcoming of refugees and how will you work with the holy sea on that very critical issue? >> the president and the pope have grave concerns regarding the global refugee and migration crisis. this is a priority for our president to deal with right now. we have a deep commitment in this country to work to forward peace and stability so people don't have to become refugees. the united states has been and will continue to be the largest provider of humanitarian aid in the world. we aren't >> certainly we aren't isengaging with foreign aid.
we should continue to support that in any way we can especially in those places where we're seeing famine as a result of man made conditions. but this administration has reduced the ability of refugees to come to the country, in particular syrian refugees fleeing violence and a horrible situation in their own country. is this something you think we can work with pope francis and he holy sea to try and ensewerure we can help those refugees trying to get into the country? >> i think we can communicate our commitment to help those most in need, yes. >> thank you. professor sales, secretary tillerson has spoken
repeatedly about the possibility of increased cooperation with russia and syria. we have a cease fire that still seems to be holding in a very small southern part of that country. but time and again putin has demonstrated that he's interested in preserving the assad regime. so do you believe that we share the same interests and objectives in syria? and if not, how would you describe our objectives differently? >> well, thank you for the question, senator. i think the answer is yes and no. i think we do have some shared objectives in syria. we face a common enemy in isis. we have other interested that die iverge, as you well know. what we can do with russia and members of the international community to achieve our objectives -- our number one priority is to defeat isis. we can do with russia and what that means is taking their
leaders off the battlefield and the foot soldiers on the battlefield, liberating the cities they have seized, defeating their ability to rekrutd foreignre recruit and drying up their sources of funding. the key question after that goal is accomplished is what comes next. i think one important thing that has to happen is a political process nvolving all of the relevant stake holders that can produce stability such that the people of syria can chart a way forward. that is something that cannot be accomplished entirely by military force. it's something that's going to require sustained diplomatic engagement. if i'm confirmed to this position, that's going to be a priority of ours. >> thank you. one of the benefits that we have in
fighting terrorism at home is engagement from the communities that terrorists have often come from in the muslim community, for example, making sure that there are good relations with people in the muslim community here has been very helpful. how would you see our promoting those kinds of positive relationships? >> it's absolutely critical to maintain strong relationships with domestic populations as well as international populations. often times these re the groups of people that ave the first insight into the fact that a problem may be taking place. it's critically important for us to have open lines of communication such that our friends are confident they can tell us we think that something amis amiss may be afoot out fear of stigmatization. i look forward to maintaining those strong elationships, senator. >> thank you. i have other
questions for the panelists but my time is up, sadly. > senator kaine? >> thanks and congratulations to all the witnesses for your nominations. the u.s./portugal relationship is a very important one. i do a lot of work in the iberian peninsula in my work on this community. when i travel for the foreign relations committee i always ask to meet without the mbassador with fsos on their first or second tours and they're almost always out of the consular section. i basically say, congratulations you have achieved a wonderful job working for the state department. what will be the difference as to whether you make it a career or whether you leave after a few years? and that's usually all i have to say to engender a two-hour conversation. a question or comment for each mr. sales and ms. gingrich. ms. gingrich, i'm
very happy that your answer to senator sha shaheen's questions about refugees. in my conversation with the pope, i hanked him for his leadership. bviously a key aspect of his speech to congress in 2015 was about refugees. he was pleading with the united states, please be leader on these issues. i was thanking him for his leadership but he wanted to put an ask on our shoulders. there's no many issues in this important bilateral relationship. i'm worried you are not the budget official, so i completely get this. you play the hand you're dealt by the president's submitted budget. the cut to the refugee bureau proposed in the president's
budget is 31%. i think that sends a very loud message, rhetoric sends a message and budget sends messages, probably the two most significant messages you can send are with the rhetoric and with the budget. we're sending a message. i hope it is the will of this body to do some repair on this budget so we're not reducing america's traditional commitment to those issues. i take you because of your background that you'll do all you can to advance our longstanding policy of being a nation that welcomes people who are oppressed. mr. sales, let me ask you this. on the armed background that you'll do all services committee as well, last year we were able to get something done in the nda that i thought was pretty good. my colleagues agreed. we enabled through the ndaa the d.o.d. to ransfer funds for countering
violent extremism. if in particular areas it's really been in the expertise of state or u.s. to do particular programs that could counter violent extremist. i hope that's something that you will look at. but i have noticed there has been some discussion of stripping away some cve aspects of the administration's counter terrorism strategy. to your knowledge -- and i know sumeing nominations. will cve remain a strong priority at the state department? > yes. if i am confirmed, it will continue to be a top
priority for me and for the bur royeau that i would lead. all counter terrorism has to involve a countering violent extremism component. terrorism is a global problem that presents all sorts of different facets. sometimes military solutions are required. sometimes law enforcement solutions are required. it's not just hard power that has to be deployed to counter isis, al qaeda and other like minded groups. we also have to use the softer tools in the national tool kit such as engaging at the community level, such as providing off ramps for those who might be tempted to take a ath towards radicalization. if i'm confirmed i'll continue the good work that's been done. >> mrs. gingrich, you have a communications background too.
of course cve is an important priority of the vatican as well. could you talk a little bit about how you see your role as ambassador to the holy sea to counter extremism? >> well, it's very exciting to have the opportunity to lead an embassy that has a global influence and works on a global scale. i'm very interested in working on projects to advance religious freedom, to fight terrorism and violence, to combat human trafficking, to fight diseases like hiv/aids and ebola and to seek peaceful solutions to cry crisis around the world. this is an awesome opportunity if i am confirmed. there are many issues on which we do agree. we have a very strong bilateral relationship with a shared agreement on many issues. i look forward to working on those issues of our
shared policy opportunities. >> senator menendez. >> congratulations to all of you. mr. risch in 2007 you appeared before the house subcommittee on government reform. in a hearing, you said during my tenure as unit chief adjudicated approximately 5,000 visa applications. i resigned in may of 2002 even though i received top evaluation and a challenging assignment. while i longed to return to my private practice, i was discouraged by the state department's lack of dedication to the enforcement of laws. i took my job very seriously. the state department did not. do you believe state department isn't committed to the rule of law and the national security
of the united states. >> thank you senator, for the question and for the opportunity to address that testimony. the testimony was in 2002, not in 2007. it was 15 years ago that that testimony took place. it was during the time that the department of homeland security was just eing stood up. i believe a lot as changehas changed at the state department in 15 years. i'm enthusiastic about the future the way the bureau will be fulfilling itself function with interagency cooperation, continuous vetting. >> i don't want my time to expire. do you believe the state department is committed to the rule of law and the national security of the united states? >> currently, senator, i absolutely do. >> you went on the same hearing to say the fact -- this is a quote. the fact that even i was terrified by state's incompetence and apathy towards law enforcement proves just how
far the department has progressed. i urge the congress to support the transfer of the visa issuing function from state's bureau of consular affairs to the new department f homeland security, a department that will be committed to the rule of law and the national security of the united states. now, prm's mission is to provide life sustaining assistance to those who are persecuted,astaining asissistance to promote best practices and ensure humanitarian principles are integrated into national and foreign policy. for example, igration is an important issue in countries like turkey and iraq. so do you believe that the department of homeland security, which is notoriously bloated with a whole host of dysfunctional components, should be responsible still to have the visa, the very essence
of the department you're being nominated to, to be transferred to the department of homeland security? >> well, 15 years ago, senator, i stand behind my testimony. it was a complete lip different time. and there were a lot of talk about consolidating different things into the department of homeland security. currently, i watched the deputy secretary testify yesterday that it's currently not the intent of the department of state -- > i'm not asking the intent, i'm asking your view. you're nominated for this position. i'm asking your view. you're nominated for this position. >> i will follow the leadership of the department of state if i'm asking your view. you're onfirmed. but as of today, i intend to lead the bureau of affairs as confirmed. it will be a strong leader of all functions of the cons lurular bureau. >> the united states has been trying to combat violent extremism. and our experiences in iraq and afghanistan leave little doubt that many flourish and reflect in areas of poverty
where people have no hope for the future. the 2016 seed department and aig joint strategy on countering violent extremism outline five objectives. and in those objectives, they talk to the very issues i just spoke about. so my question is, how to propose cuts to the u.s. state department and the usda program that is are the foreign assistance tools that advance the goals of combatting terrorism and violent extremism actually in line with our very own policy. >> thank you for the question, senator. i have spent time in bureaucracies, and in my experience, it's usually the case that they can afford to tighten the belt a bit. now, as far as the overall state department budget is concerned, senator, congress has the power of the purse under the
constitution. so congress will have to decide the levels at which it wishes to fund these activities. >> my problem with the answers is you all want to kick the ball to someone else. but the nominations are, in essence, part of the policy decision making. you'll be in a room to be able to advocate on the interagency issues. so saying that congress has the power of the purse, i'm fully aware of that. the question is, what is your advocacy at any point in time? are these the essential programs necessary as secretary mattis said, these are how we ight the idealogues. this is a secretary general. i would like to get better answers than that. and mr. glass, we have a lot of portuguese-americans in new jersey and from the azores, an extraordinary group of citizens that have done extraordinary things. have you isited portugal? >> i have. >> do you speak portuguese? >> i will utilize the experts
to learn the language. >> i ask that question because in the past the questions were >> do you speak portuguese? >> i will utilize the experts asked when i was the chairman of nominees. for some, it was disqualifying. for me, it's not, but i just wanted to know. thank you very much. > mr. glass, why don't you take this opportunity right now to find some comfort to senator me menendez menendez, talk about your experience to portugal that you conveyed to me in the office. >> the trip mary and i took to portugal was three years ago on a pilgrimage. and when we got there, it truly transformed our lives. it transformed the way we look at each other, it transformed the way we look at our religion, and as we traveled throughout the country, we realized the hospitality of the people there was extraordinary. and this is at a time that three years ago they were under a very severe recession. they had an usterity program enacted. so there was a lot of unemployment, yet that didn't stop everybody from welcoming us there. so we knew at the time when we left, we frankly
left a big piece of our hearts there and wanted to come back and just certainly had no idea we would be possibly coming back, if confirmed in this role, but portugal is very important to us. and we look forward to serving the united tates in portugal. >> new mexico is my home state, and it's been over 400 years since the catholic church was first established in the state of new mexico. which obviously wasn't a state at that time. those traditions still run very strong in the state. and like pope francis, many new mexicans have a strong reverence for st. francis de asissi. in fact, the missionary efforts were started by the order named for him, the franciscans. the full name of my hometown of santa fe, the oldest capital city in the
country is also nicknamed for t. francis. its full name is la villa real. the royal town of the holy faith of st. francis of asissi. the that dipgss of st. francis run strong. the pope honors the saint by taking his name and working in his tradition. riding in his incyclical praise be to you and it was subtitled on care for our common home. pope francis stated, i believe that st. francis is the example par excellence of care for the ulnerable and of an intrical colleague, he's the patron saint of ecology and much loved that st. francis is the example by non-christians. he was
particularly concerned for god's creation and for the poor and for the outcast. those are the words of the pope. the pope gifted his inciclio on president trump when he visited the pope at the vatican. pope francis and many other occasions have called on catholics and people from all aith to work together to address climate change and protect the environment. in new mexico, my constituents are at the front lines of global warming and were already beginning to see the impacts of extreme weather events. ms. gingrich, could you share your thoughts on lodado c and what you would regard when it comes to climate change and how we shape the future of the planet? >> well, the pope and the president share a great concern
about our environment. president trump wants to maintain that we have clean air and clean water and that the united states remains an environmental leader. as president trump said, we will disengage and pull out of the paris agreement. and either reenter the paris agreement or an entirely new agreement. one that is fair to americans. if confirmed, i look forward to working with the holy c as the united states pursues a balanced approach to climate policy. one that promotes american jobs, american rosperity and energy security. >> and i really believe the essence and core of diplomacy is listening and having an open mind. and i hope that you will go over there with that approach and listen to the pope. the holy cs played an important role to improve elations with our island neighbor. the cardinal ortega and cuba and pope francis have used the dialogue to help resolve differences between the
united states and cuba. what re your views on the dialogue? and would you be willing to work with the vatican to increase ties between the united states and the cuban people? > the concern for a better relationship between the united states and cuba, and if confirmed i look forward to working to addvance religious freedom and human rights in cuba. >> do any of the other panelists have a view on the pope's incyclical on climate change? i take that as no, no, no, all three. thank you very much. senator murphy, i wanted to talk about senator menendez
mentioning this to you, you are going to be asked for your opinion. in fact, you are being ominated to your positions because of the policy expertise in both of the areas. he's right, it's simply not enough to suggest you're going to follow orders. it is important for the nominating committee and for the senate to know what advice you're going to be giving. so let me just drill down to ask you a question that you haven't answered yet, which is if you are asked for your opinion as to whether states should retain function over isa responsibilities or it should be shifted to the department of homeland security, what will your advice be?
> thank you, senator. this has been a subject of debate for quite some time. my understanding is currently the debate is framed around government efficiency. when i've seen this proposal bubble up, usually it's been in the context of these efficiency initiatives and brainstorming sessions. i cannot speak to whether or not it would bring a certain efficiency to move that function from one department to the other. and i don't intend to advocate for that. i'm simply not in a position to make that efficiency call around that function. my concern in the past in criticizing the state department was around a lack of respect for counselor work, around national security concerns and around rule of law. i believe those issues have been addressed. so i do not intend to add have to cat for that change based on any concern around the way the state department does its job. >> okay, i think that's fairly clear. it's important for us to understand why you're being nominated to this position to end the functionality. but i hear you saying that's not your intend. >> that's not my intend. i do not intend, if confirmed, to lead a bureau of counselor affairs. consular affairs. this will gain an importance in
protecting >> thank you. mr. sales, i appreciate your answer around efficiency. i don't think any of us did disagree every bureaucracy can get more dishtefficient, but this is not he department of state. this is a greatly diminished apacity, and specifically some of the biggest cuts happen under your portfolio. so there is a 10% cut in funding for the is a greatly diminished ounter terrorism bureau. but then more damaging, there's a 30% cut to nader funding in the president's budget, the counter terrorism activities at state. that budget request moves a 1.1 billion fund down to a 680 million fund. do you think hat they can effectively carry
out on the set on the responsibilities you're given with a 30% cut to nader funding, which seems to go beyond just those savings that can be captured by efficiency. >> thank you for the question, senator. i'll answer it as best i can from my van teenage point as an outsider. someone who has not gotten a lot of great visibility on the internal deliberations on these very important questions. so with that caveat, what i can tell you is, if i ever thought, and we talked about this yesterday in your office, senator, so i can assure you that if i ever thought that i didn't have the resources i needed to do the job to which i have been confirmed, i would have no hesitation whatsoever about raising that and advocating for what i deem to be necessary. >> i appreciate that answer. i think that's your sincere answer. you would be in a position to advocate very vigorously and early. the
hiring freeze that first applied to the entirety of the federal government now applies to only one agency. and that is the state department. and you will all feel that because you will not be able to hire individuals that you need in order to perform the tasks at your departments and your embassies. extraordinary measures have been taken. the revent lateral transfers within the department of state, thus you will see certain functionalties hallowed out because the traditional ways in which state moves people back and forth are no longer available. there's something extraordinary happening. and many of us can't derive the motivation for it. but you're all going to feel the brunt of it. and i hope that all of your answers would be the same as mr. sales, if you felt you didn't have the resources, the notwithstanding decisions by the white house, you would argue for more resources. thank you, mr. chairman. if you have a second round, i might have one or two more.
>> before i turn to senator markley on the subject, ms. sales, talk about your experience with dhs and the coordination that will be incredibly important between the department of state and dhs. and i think that is a legitimate discussion point. in terms of where are the activities best carried out. >> thank you, senator. in my experience at dhs the, one of the most important areas of international engagement, that there's rule fruit in terms of counter terrorism, is information sharing. it's really critically important for our international allies to tell us if they know about a known or suspected terrorist who might be traveling to the united states. to tell us if they know about something who has a criminal history as long as your forearm trying to travel to the united states. we have made some great strides towards ensuring more effective sharing of that kind of information since 9/11. here in the united states, we have
pioneering information sharing. after 9/11, one of the refrains that we constantly heard was the need to tear down the wall. well, there's not just walls in our domestic law, there are also walls in our international relations that impede the effective sharing of information. so if i were confirmed to this position, that would be, i think, a top priority of mine. working with our allies around the globe, to talk about ways to share that information, to enhance our counterer the terrorism offenses on both sides of the action. >> we look at the massive federal government with the results of the 9/11 commission, talking at the stove pipes, it's a legitimate management discussion. and quite honestly, an initiative to take a look at where best should these functions resign. so i don't see any problem whatsoever in having this administration do a top-to-bottom review and take a look at that where it all shakes out. there's a second branch of government here and congress will certainly engage
in that, certainly my other committee and the chairman of homeland security will be discussing these things. you are looking at the most effective way to spend the money to get the best result. so to senator merkley. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. it is a pleasure to join my colleague, senator widen, in welcoming welcoming mr. grass being nominated to serve in portugal. mr. glass has been describes in terms of the details that he's a proud graduate of the university of regon. but i want to emphasize those things again. that he certainly has some tremendous passions like the love of oregon's outdoor spaces and ducks football. hopefully a good season ahead. and i'm grateful he's willing to put those loves on hold to be
overseas to serve our country. a warm welcome to mr. grass' wife mary. thank you for joining us today. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> ambassador posts are not necessarily family affairs, so i appreciate the fact that mrs. glass is willing to join her family in traveling and representing the united states in portugal. portugal has been a very important outlie. and we have seen a very intriguing and successful economic story unfold there. and nurturing this relationship will be of great service. and i thank you, mr. glass, for being willing to undertake that mission. >> thank you for serving the great state of oregon and the united states senate. >> we appreciate it. >> you're welcome. ms. gingrich, i want to follow-up on the question on the pope's incyclical. he gave it as a
present to president trump when he was there there, has president trump had a chance to read or digest that incyclical? >> i have not been informed whether or not he's read the incyclical. >> have you had a chance to take a look at it? >> i have looked at some of it, sir. >> are there pieces of it that particularly resonate for you? >> well, i think we're all called to be stewards of the land. as i said earlier, president trump cares for our environment. he wants to sustain our clean water and our clean air and wants the united states to be an environmental leader. we are not backing off of that, but we are looking to increase the security of this country, to promote jobs for
americans, to have a better prosperity. the focus is slightly different, but i do want to remain an environmental leader. >> the pope has indicated that he feels that there's a huge americans, to have a better urgency to enacting quickly to address the basic factors driving climate disruption. do you share that sense of urgency? >> well, i do believe climate change exists. and that some of it is due to human behavior. but i think as the president pursues a better deal for americans, we will, indeed, remain an environmental leader in the world. >> i appreciate your confidence in that. i must say, i must have missed a few of the president's statements that have given you that faith. i wish it were so. i'm not persuaded, but perhaps we'll see more unfold in that regard. one other two or three things you see as the key to your particular responsibility,
should you hold this post? >> if confirmed, i am looking forward to the holy c to combat human trafficking. this is a horrible thing that threatens our security. the president has made it a priority to combat human trafficking. and members of this committee have made it a priority as well. the holy c is a valued partner in this regard, and the pope has led the international focus to this issue. if confirmed, i look forward to the white house and the holy c to combat human trafficking around the world. >> my appreciation to all of you for bringing yourself forward in the complex and difficult trying nomination process. and with that, i'll yield back the rest of my time. >> thank you, senator merkley. kind of looking at my list of questions, when i did some follow-ups of the questions, i pretty well covered it. the question everybody has more mrs. gingrich is -- let me just give you an opportunity. george
santiana, i'mprobably mispronouncing it like you did earlier, a senior moment, but those who do not remember history condemn to repeat it. both you and your husband are serious students of history. and, in particular, your study of pope john paul ii,your documentary "nine days that changed the world," that puts you in a very good position to understand exactly the power of leadership. and i believe, as i'm sure you do, too, that erika has been a great force for good in the world. in my own community, one of the hings i got involved in, got me involved in public service was trying to change the catholic school system there as a private sector alternative. so can you just talk a little bit more about the study that produced the documentaries and how that leadership, what you learned in terms of leadership and how america and the holy c
can work together to really help change the world. >> our movie "nine days changed the world" highlights this exact same thing. it was to see the swedish people against the wishes of the communist government. millions of polls came out to greet the father. pope john paul ii worked very closely with president reagan. and ten years later you have the first free elections in poland. so it's so important that we reach out to places like the holy c to forward good in this world and to make it a better place to advance our peace and our freedom and our human dignity. >> well, i think it vastly understands that history and understands the power of that
leadership. this is perfectly suited for this position. so senator murphy, any further questions? >> just two questions. we have been talking about this administration's policy toward refugees, multiple courts have held that the policy is illegal, in part because it appears drim discriminatory because it is given to refugees of certain countries when we have security vulnerabilities that still exist in the other refugee programs. and many other immigration programs. can you -- i would argue visa waiver at the top of the list. can you speak to whether you believe that the only means of protecting this country is an outright ban on refugees in the country. or whether at some point you think there's going to be an amendment in this administration, maybe advocated by you once you're in place, to provide amendments of
additional screening within the program to allow it to restart. do you need the ban? or can you ake changes to the program that satisfy the concerns that many people have about it? >> thank you, senator. as for refugee policy, i'll point out that that really isn't something that would fall under the bureau of consular affairs. it would be under prm and their relationship with my agency now, uscis. as for vetting, at least the refugee contacts, i can speak as someone who has done refugee interviews over many years, that interviews are very detailed in going to great etail, either to offer a persecution story or graphic data. and one of them has spoken to by an american officer. so as for whether or not refugees are screened, they most certainly are in the sense that they are spoken to at
great length about their qualifications. as for the current situation with travel pause from certain countries and the way that's playing out, i certainly support any kind of steps that are necessary to review the national security posture and take a look at whether or not our vetting processes are sufficient to protect the united states. >> mr. sales, let me ask you one specific question and i'll defer to written questions for the remainder. we talked a little in my office about some of the current conflict miss the middle east today, the most recent intelligence estimated provided to congress that shows hat aqap that has been the most lethal and most homeland riented arm of al qaeda is growing stronger and stronger inside yemen because of the civil war. under the obama
administration there was a robust political process that secretary kerry was leading to try to end that violence and to try to end the benefit provided to aqap. i have talked to all the players inside this conflict and none of them see that political process happening today. it is by and large dead, in part because the saudis feel empowered by the green light they interpret for green light they interpret for the president's visit there. can you just speak to the importance of a political process inside yemgnen and the danger for allowing this civil ar to persist, given the growth of aqap during that time? >> up couldn't agree more with the premise of the question that purely a military solution is never going to achieve a growth of aqap during that time? counter terrorism gain we need. what is needed is a stable environment because as you put
out, terrorists thrive in political vacuums. that's the lesson of afghanistan and libya. that's the lesson of iraq. so diplomatic engagement is absolutely essential to ensure that we have a durable and stable status quo in yemen to bring the fighting to an end and empower local players to gain control over territory of borders. that's the only way you're going to get aqap under control, senator. >> okay, thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator murphy. again, i want to thank all the witnesses for your testimony. congratulations again on your nominations. i want to congratulate the president. the selection here, your unique backgrounds and capabilities suit you well to which the positions you've been nominated. thank you for your willingness to serve. thank you for your families. you'll be seeing less of your loved ones. these are serious responsibilities. thank you