tv Review of 2018 Federal Budget CSPAN August 25, 2017 12:32am-3:20am EDT
>> c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up friday morning, and author talks about his book "the impossible presidency: the rise and fall of of america's highest office." then, we talk about president trump's recent rally. we have someone from the woodrow wilson center of international scholars talking about the u.s. policy towards venezuela. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal live at 7 a.m. eastern on friday morning. join the discussion. >> now on c-span, a review of the 2018 federal budget from the money the president requested to congress, who holds the purse strings, ultimately decides. >> joining us from capitol hill is the senior congressional correspondent for bloomberg. nancy of done of which -- nancy
ogdanovich. tell us what the president requested for 2018, and what were his top priorities? >> the president stuck with the overall number in the law. the budget control act requesting basically a little , over $1 trillion. 1.1 trillion, as the law allows for. but within that number, he really departed from the budget control act numbers and requested a lot more for defense programs. about $54 billion for security-related programs. he covers that within equal amount of cuts in nondefense spending. that is a violation of the budget control act there. more than that, it is very
politically unpopular. members really like the defense spending increase, but they don't like taking it out of nondefense programs, like agriculture, cut more than 20%. transportation, federal housing programs cut 15%. labor, health, education programs, cut similarly. state department programs cut tremendously. congress is rejecting that. they don't really have their own plan laid down just yet. but while they are inclined to get a lot more to defense, they are not as interested in those nondefense spending cuts. >> and it matters, this budget control act. the cap's that were put in place, explain to the viewers, give them a reminder of the budget control act, and why the president has to stick to it. >> this is a law that was passed when obama was president, and he was working with the congress among with leaders in a different party. it was an agreement that they need to set caps on discretionary spending.
not those mandatory programs where you have your social security checks and so on at going out every month, but discretionary pending. they agreed to a very firm numbers area if those numbers are not honored in the annual appropriations process, then you have something called budget sequestration kick in and take the funding for all the programs down, and down a lot. budget sequestration is something that members of congress understand and they want to avoid. so if a budget came across the floor of the house and went to the senate with numbers that don't comply with the budget control act, the package can be challenged under a budgetary point of order and can be knocked down. that is what we would expect to see if somehow the house gets a package like that through and sends it to senator mitch mcconnell, majority leader. we don't expect he will get the 60 votes for that package.
greta: our c-span viewers saw the president's cabinet members , the heads of each of these agencies go up to capitol hill and testify about the president's priorities for their individual agencies. how did congress respond? what did the house appropriators do? these are the lawmakers who get to decide what the final number is for each of these agencies. nancy: the house appropriations committee, the members, the chairman rodney freeman house and was very polite with cabinet officials, but it seemed at hearing after hearing he told , the cabinet officers, remember, congress has the power of the purse and we set the spending priorities. that message was hammered home time and time again. , we heard the same thing at senate appropriations with the republican subcommittee chairman there also. they will not follow the president's budget.
they are going to set the spending levels like they always do. i think one of the problems this year has been that they haven't really found the president's budget submissions that credible. the first one was what they called a skinny budget that only dealt with discretionary spending and not with the mandatory programs, tax revenues, economic forecasts. and then, when the full budget came out in may, that document had a $2 trillion error in it. these things were not credible. the members of congress reacted pretty poorly to all of this. the worst thing really, is that there wasn't enough guidance in those documents. so appropriators were mostly on their own to figure it out. greta: and what have appropriators done so far? how much has been approved in the house and the senate? when lawmakers return in september, what is left for them to do?
nancy a lot is left over. : what happened in the house is is that, the house appropriations committee worked very hard in the last few weeks before the august recess to get all of their bills out of committee. they were working night and day, day after day, to report their bills. four of those bills were put in something called a minibus and taken to the house for the last week before congress went out of session. that included the big defense bill. that covered about $800 billion in spending. but none of those bills were passed individually this year. over in the senate, they were working the last few weeks before the august recess to six billsx bales, -- but none of them have so far gone to the senate floor.
we will be waiting to see if they get other bills through committee in this is one of the september. first years where we didn't see even an attempt to bring individual spending bills to either the house or the senate floor in the summer. so when they get back in september, house speaker paul ryan is going to bring up the other eight unfinished appropriations bills and the house at the package, bring them -- as a package, bring it to the floor then the word is, at the , end of that process, attach 4 bills that were approved in a minibus, put them in the final package, create a 12 bill omnibus appropriations package, then send it over to the senate. but because that package is going to violate the budget control act greatly exceeding , the caps in the law, it is not likely to get the 60 votes that it needs for mitch mcconnell to bring it up on the floor. and then, congress will only
have a week or two before the government runs out of money once again, and the leadership and the white house are going to have to get serious and negotiate the stopgap spending bill and prevent a government shutdown on greta: nancy from september 30. bloomberg, thank you. >> thank you. the hearing rooms, we take you to late may when mick mulvaney testified before the house and senate budget committee on the overall budget request. >> chairman black, thank you for having me. ranking member, thank you for the opening statements. thank you, ranking member yarmouth. thank you for making it. i would not dream of doing this without you. thank you all for having me here today. [laughter] [indiscernible] it is really an honor to be here, to be back. i served in this committee for
two years, for those who don't know and it is an honor to be , here on behalf of the trump administration. mr. lewis, welcome. you are sitting in my chair. it is an honor. i will not read my opening statement. i will make a couple comments and we can get to the questions and answers. when we looked at the budget for the very first time, i picked it up on i spent most of the friday, weekend as you can imagine, reading it. as i went through it, it struck me that we could've come up with a different title. the title could have been the "taxpayer first" budget. the first time in my memory at least, this is a budget that was written from the perspective of the people who actually pay for the government. we went line by line through what the government does and asked ourselves, can we justify this to the folks who are actually paying for it? if i'm going to take money, can i justify it?
actually spending that money? can i look you in the eye and say, i need to take this money from you in order to give it to a disabled veteran? i think i can. i'm not sure i can look at mr. woodall and say, i'm going to take your money to give it to a program that is completely ineffective, doesn't help anybody, and is rife with waste , fraud and abuse. that is the perspective we brought from the beginning. maybe that is what is new about the new foundation for american greatness budget. the other thing it does is balance. you know that it has been a longtime since the president's budget has balanced. it has not happened since i arrived in washington dc in 2010. someone mentioned on the news that this is a moral document. it is. here is the moral side. if i take money from you and i have no intention of giving it back ever, that is not debt, that is theft. but if i can show you how i intend to pay it back, that is debt.
what we have been doing for too long, both parties, by the way, we have been taking money without laying a plan on how we will pay it back. this budget does balance in the 10 year window, something that is new in this town. what is the foundation? the foundation for the plan is tempers -- is through percent growth. that is trumponomics. that is whatever can get us to 3% growth. when i'm in the oval office with the president and we talk about trade policy, energy policy, health care reform, budgets, we trying to figure out a way to get to 3% growth. to both parties, if we do not get to 3% growth, it is unlikely to ever balance the budget again. that is not a plan for the future. it is not moral to continue taking money from people without a plan to pay back. we do everything we can to get to try and get to 3% growth.
i look forward to questions about how we do that. we do all of this and still fund the president's priorities. you heard by now we wanted more money for national security, law -- boris -- border security, law enforcement veterans, school , choice, even paid parental leave for the first time ever president trump, the first , president is proposing a national paid parental leave program. there is $20 billion in the budget to do that. we don't touch social security and medicare. following through on his campaign promises. we are able to do that and still balance. why? because what we did here is try and change the way washington looks at spending. we no longer want to measure compassion by the number of programs that we have or the number of people on those programs. we want to measure true compassion by the number of people we help to get off of those programs. we don't want to measure our commitment to the country by the amount of money we spend, but
instead on the number of people we help get off of these programs and get back in charge of their own lives. that is what we think makes this the american greatness budget. because we are going to try and get the country back to where we have a healthy economy, people are working again, people are optimistic about the country again. i remind you if you are under , the age of 30, you have never had a job as an adult in a healthy american economy. a healthy american economy is very different than what you have seen for the last 10 years. the dynamism and optimism that comes from that is what this , administration is about and what the president promises. it is what we will do everything in our power to deliver. the budget is a start. with that, madam chairman again, thank you for having me. i look forward to answering questions. >> you have said that the foundation of your budget is 3% growth. i have looked every which way at
how you might get there, and you can't get there. as a consequence, i think it is just disastrously consequential to build a budget on 3% budget. best 3% growth. the bible says you can't build a house on a sandy foundation. what it does is it perpetuates a myth that we can go out there and balance the budget without touching entitlements. it's not only a myth, it is frankly a lie. if you get started at the executive branch, it moves from there. i think this notion, 3%, i heard literally the speaker of the house talking about the notion of 3% and how we can balance the budget. as earnestly as i have looked at this, i don't know how you get there. what this does is it creates debates. legitimately, myself and democratic colleagues can see things quite differently but for , us to have a debate, we have to base it on real numbers.
i would also say it is important because i am a deficit hawk, if you know, and if you are wrong on the numbers, all of a sudden 2+ trillionted a dollar hole for our kids and grandkids going forward area i want to walk through some numbers with you. this budget presumes a goldilocks economy. on which to base a budget, that's difficult. if you look at the average economic expansion in the history of the country, it is 54 to 58 months. the current expansion we are in is the third longest economic expansion in american history. we are at 94 months. but what you presume in this budget is not only will we not have a recession, in the third longest economic expansion in history, but it's going to keep going for another 214 months. it's not only unprecedented, i would think it is unreasonable.
it assumes that the stars perfectly align with regard to economic drivers. can you guess the last time we had an unemployment rate of 4.8%, growth at 3%, and inflation held at 2%? it's never happened. the last time the growth was at 3% for a sustained period of time, the 10 year buying yield below 5%, can you guess the last time that has ever happened? >> again, i am trusting on the ups -- on the assumptions -- >> it has never happened. we are going way out there in the curve in terms of assumptions. in terms of the ingredients of growth, i broke out some numbers here. capital formation would have to go to the record level we have seen in terms of capital growth from 1965 to 1974. though capital formation actually goes down as people retire. they withdraw from the savings
accounts. labor force growth would have to go to what we saw in the 1970's and 1980's, when women were joining the workforce en masse. even if you take them back up to the labor participation rates, the numbers we saw in the we 1990's, would see a 2/10 of 1%, decimal increase, not percentage increase. it would require either radically opening immigration or a radical change in demographics, we her 10,000 8 -- we are having 10,000 baby boomers retiring today. productivity growth would require numbers we have not seen since the golden days of 1958 to 1967 in the final wave of consumer appliance and the completion of the highway system, to achieve what we are seeing. even if we were at the 1990 numbers, we would only see one quarter of what is necessary to achieve 3% growth. although the rand corporation 15% is a group that is
aging. i would lastly submit this for the record, which is to say if you look at the correlation between omb and seemed -- >> i'm sorry, the gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. before we go further, i find it a little bit unfair that mr. mulvaney and many people in the trump administration disparage the director of the cbo. when it was tom price, the former republican chairman of the budget committee, who appointed him in the first place. let's get that cleared. mr. mulvaney, as you know, the u.s. today has more income and wealth inequality than any major country on earth. the top 1/10 of 1% now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%. 52% of all new income today is going to the top 1%. but your budget thinks it is good public policy to provide $52 billion in tax breaks to the
wealthiest families in this country, families already worth $128 billion. you think that a family like the walton family, one guy that owns four ferraris and a maserati are in desperate need of massive tax breaks. do you think that sheldon adelson, who among other things contributed $5 million for the trump inaugural needs a tax , breakm as well as the koch brothers? my question is simple. i want you to tell the american people why you think it is a good idea to give $3 trillion in tax breaks to the top 1% at a time when the rich are becoming much richer, while at the same time you are going to throw 17 million children in this country off of health insurance because of the unconscionable cuts you
are making to medicaid, why you will throw seniors in wyoming or vermont off of the meals on wheels program? maybe the one nutritious program that they get in one day. why you are going to throw women and low income babies off of the wic program at a time when infant mortality rates in the country are high -- do you think it is a great idea to tell a low income pregnant woman you will take away the wic program and take away nutrition programs from children, in order to give a massive tax work of to the $52 billion walton family? please explain your logic to the american people. >> i will see if i can handle each of those in reverse. let me deal with this cbo first. i don't think i've ever disparaged the director. >> you made a dismissive remark. even the cbo. you guys appointed the director! >> again, all i am telling you
is that the results are awful. >> but you appointed him. let's go with that. >> i measure performance by results, mr. sanders. >> your opinion is that the results are terrible. i'm suggesting it was a member of the trump administration who appointed this gentleman, not a radical democrat. we can agree that the cbo puts out bad numbers? sanders we can agree that you : guys are beating up on a menu appointed because you don't like his results. -- a man you appointed because you do not like his results. anyhow, get back to the question. why tax breaks -- >> wic serves all the projected participants. there's no change. meals on wheels is not reduced. the change we make -- senator sanders: you eliminate the block grant and tell me -- >> the program is funded through the old age or senior nutrition program through hhs, which we don't change. >> that is not true -- >> it is true, actually. it is a block grant and some states do choose to use --
.> some of them you are eliminating the program. mulvaney the total money for : meals on wheels that comes through cdbg is 3%. that's it. i don't know how you can possibly contend that we are -- >> but you are eliminating the program that funds not only meals on wheels, but many other programs at the discretion of governors. >> i would be happy to have a long discussion about. cdbg's, and medicaid as well. the dramatic cuts to medicaid is a slower growth rate of medicaid. there is one year exception during the affordable -- american health care act, where the bill calls for the end to expansion and there is a small reduction that year, but generally speaking, medicaid spending goes up -- sen. sanders: but so does help. -- so does health care inflation. we go through these games every
year, inflation is going up much faster than the money you are putting in. let me get back to one question. why do you think the walton family needs a $52 million tax break? >> my guess is you are basing that assertion on the only tax detail in the budget. >> the repeal of the income tax. mulvaney if we want to have, a : talk about why we are repealing that i would, be happy to do that. sen. sanders: tell me. >> ordinary people are paying more. sen. sanders: ordinary people do not have a wealth of $128 billion. you are not answering the question. answer the question. the wealthiest family in america gets a $52 billion tax break as a result of the repeal of the estate tax. tell the american people why you think that is good when you are cutting medicaid and programs for kids. mulvaney we don't cut medicaid. : we are talking about repealing obamacare. sen. sanders: 23 million people off of health insurance. let's right? mulvaney that's the cbo number, : which i think you agree could be wrong. sen. sanders: i did not agree to that at all.
why does a billionaire family get a $52 million tax break? please tell the american people? >> we think ordinary people lose coverage. sen. sanders: ordinary people. are the waltons ordinary? >> no, the ordinary people are losing -- sen. sanders: i ask you why the wealthiest family in america is getting a $52 billion tax breaks? >> and answering because we repeal obamacare. sen. sanders: no, it's the estate tax you are ending. mulvaney: sorry, i thought the assumption was we are looking at the tax reductions that are contained in obamacare. sen. sanders: no, no, no. we are talking about the repeal of the estate tax. >> the budget assumes a deficit neutral tax plan. because when we wrote the budget we did not have nearly enough , specifics to assume what you are assuming, specific reductions. yes, the proposals the white
house published, that doesn't include reduction of the estate tax. sen. sanders: repeal of the estate tax. >> yes. but it is mathematically impossible to take those general principles and assume a direct impact on a particular family. i have seen estimates from groups that say -- sen. sanders: that's really not true. we don't know when people will be dying, that's for sure. but you can make those estimates. you don't know when it's -- the truth is, if the family is worth -- >> i'm sure they will die eventually. sen. sanders: that we can be sure of. >> at least we can agree on something. [laughter] >> thank you. mr. secretary, the floor is yours. >> german thornberry, ranking member smith and members of the committee, -- members of the committee, i appreciate the opportunity to testify in support of the president's budget request for fiscal year 2018, and i appreciate the committee accepting my written statement. i am joined by chairman dunford
and the department's new comptroller david norquist, as noted by the chairman, he's new, but will be vital to gaining your confidence that we know where our money is going once you give it to us through a good audit. this budget request hold me accountable to the men and women of the department of defense. every day, more than 2 million servicemembers and one million civilians do their duty honoring previous generations of veterans and civil servants who sacrificed for our country and it is a privilege to serve alongside them. we at the department of defense are keenly aware of the sacrifices made by the american people to fund the military. many times in the past, we have looked reality in the eye, met challenges with the help of congressional leadership, and built the most capable war fighting force in the world. there is no room for complacency, however, and we have no god-given right to victory on the battlefield. each generation of americans,
from the halls of congress to the battlefields earns victory , through commitment and sacrifice. yet for four years, the department of defense has been subject to or threatened by automatic across-the-board cuts as a result of sequester, a mechanism meant to be so injurious to the military it would never go into effect. but it did go into effect, and as forecast by then secretary of defense the net a, -- defense panetta, the damage has been severe. in addition during nine of the past 10 years, congress has enacted 37 continuing resolutions to fund the department of defense, inhibiting our readiness and adaptation to new challenges. we need bipartisan support for this budget request. in the past, by failing to pass
a budget on time or eliminate the threat of sequestration, congress sidelined itself from its act of constitutional oversight role. continuing resolutions coupled with sequestration blocked new programs, prevented service of, stalled industry initiative, and placed troops at greater risk. despite the tremendous efforts of this committee, congress as a whole has met the present challenge. i retired from military service three months after sequestration took effect. four years later, i returned, and i am shocked about what i have seen about readiness to fight. we have only sustained our ability to meet america's commitments abroad because our troops have historically shouldered a much greater burden, but our troops commitment to not reduce the greater risk. it took us years to get into this situation. it will require years of stable budgets and increased funding to
get out of it. i urge members of this committee and congress to achieve three goals. fund our request that requires an increase to a defense object -- defense budget caps. second, pass a budget in a timely manner to avoid yet another harmful continuing resolution. third, eliminate the threat of future sequestration threats so we can plan a stable budgetary planning horizon. they are necessary because of four external forces acting on the department at the same time. the first force that we must recognize is 16 years of war. when congress approved the all volunteer force in 1973, our country never envisioned sending our country -- our troops to war for more than a decade. america's long war has placed a heavy burden on men and women in
uniform and their families. a second concurrent horse is the worsening global security situation. we must look reality in the eye. russia and china are seeking veto power over the security decisions on the periphery. north korea's rhetoric continues despite united nations censures and sanctions, while iran remains the longest long-term challenge in mid east stability. tourist -- terrorist groups threaten us. a third force acting on the department's adversaries actively contesting america's capabilities. for decades, the united states enjoyed uncontested or dominant. already in every operating -- in every operating domain. we could operate how we wanted. today, every operating domain,
including land, sea, and cyberspace, is contested. a fourth concurrent force is rapid technological change. among the other forces noted, technological change is one that necessitates new investment, innovative approaches, and new program starts at half and denied by law when we have been forced to operate under continuing resolutions. each of these forces, 16 years of war, the worsening security environment, contesting operations in multiple domains, and the wrapping -- rapid pace of technological change interferes with our ability to protect our citizens. i reiterate that security and solvency are our words as secretary of defense. the fundamental responsibility of our government are to defend the american people, providing for our security, and we cannot defend america and help others in our nation is not both strong
and solvents. we in the department of defense oh it to the american public and the congress to ensure we spend every dollar wisely. president trump has nominated for senate approval individuals who will bring proven skills to our fiscal processes to ensure we do so. this verse that tourist storing readiness is underway thanks to congress possible in this to support the resources for fiscal address more .ighting readiness shortfalls it puts more planes in the air, ships at sea, and troops in the field to train. it will take a number of years of higher funding, delivered on time, to restore readiness. president trump requested a $639
billion dollar top line for the budget. this reflects five i or these. the first is to improve readiness, filling in the holes when trade-offs were made during 16 years of war, nine years of continuing resolutions, and budget control act caps. the second priority is increasing capacity while preparing for future investment driven by results of the national defense strategy. our 2018 budget request ensures the nation's current nuclear deterrent will be sustained and supports its much-needed modernization process. the third priority is reforming how the department does business. i am devoted to gaining full value from every taxpayer dollars spent on defense, thereby earning the trust of congress and the american people. we have begun implementation on
a range of initiatives. we are on track to enter into a full agencywide financial statement audit as required by statute. i urge congress to support the department's request to conduct the 2021 base realignment or background. i recognize the careful deliberation that members must exercise in considering it, but it is one of the most successful programs. a proper effort will generate $2 00 billion or more annually over a five-year period, and after apache herrick -- enough to buy apache helicopters, or for virginia class submarines. the fourth priority is keeping faith with service members and their families. talented people are our most
valuable asset, but we must continually balance these requirements against other investments critical for readiness and modernization to ensure the military is the most capable fighting force in the world. investment in military compensation, blended retirement, the military health system and family programs are in central in the fielding the talent we need to sustain our competitive advantage on the battlefield. the fifth i already is support for continued overseas operations. the 2018 budget requests $64.6 billion focusing on operations in afghanistan, iraq, and syria. increased efforts to sustain nato's defense is deter aggression and counterterrorism operations. isis and other terrorist organizations present a clear and present danger, and i
encourage our allies to share the burden. the fy 2019 budget informed by the new national defense strategy will have to make hard choices as we shape the defense programs. the department will work with president trump, congress, and this committee, to ensure future budget requests are sustainable, and present the commander in chief with viable military options that protect america's security. i am keenly aware of both of you -- all of you understand our spots ability to ensure our military is ready to fight today and in the future. i encourage you to inform -- and the need for congress as a whole to pass the budget on time. thank you for your strong
support over many years and to ensure that our troops have the resources and equipment they need to fight and in on the battlefield. i pledge to collaborate closely with you for the defense of our nation and the -- chairman dunford is prepared to discuss the military dimensions with the budget request. >> chairman thornberry, distinguished members of the committee, it is an honor to join you tonight. i am honored to represent the men and women in uniform, and it is because of them that i can begin saying with confidence that the armed forces are the most confident in the world. the competitive advantage we have long enjoyed is eroding. a number of factors have contributed to that erosion. since 9/11, an extraordinarily high operational tempo has exceeded the wear and tear of our equipment. budget instability and the budget control act have forced the department to operate with fewer resources than why are for the strategy. we prioritize near-term readiness at the expense of replacing aged equipment and cap -- we have a four second sims readiness as fast as we build
it. we lacked sufficient capacity to meet requirements in rebuilding and maintaining full spectrum readiness. we have addressed the dynamic in their testimonies, and i fully concur with their assessments, that beyond the current readiness, we are confronted with a significant challenge. we are primarily focused on the violent -- on violent extremism, our adversaries have developed advanced capabilities designed to limit our ability to project power. they recognize our ability to project power is a critical capability necessary to defend the homelan, advanced our interestsd -- homeland, advance our interests. these are specifically designed to limit our ability to deploy, employ, and sustain our forces. russia and china have also modernize the nuclear arsenal, while north korea has been on a path to build a missile to reach the united states. if we do not change the directory, we will lose our competitive advantage.
it will affect our deterrence, and our ability to return if deterrence fails. alternatively, we can maintain our advantage with sustained, sufficient, and protectable -- predictable funding. to that end, the fy 20 budget is an essential step, however this for us alone will not store readiness or arrest the erosion of our competitive advantage. this will require sustained advantage -- specific
recommendations will be informed by the forthcoming strategy development. however, we know now that continued growth in the budget, at least 3% above inflation, is the floor to maintain today's relative competitive advantage. we ask for your support and we recognize the ability to maintain -- we take that seriously and will continue to eliminate redundancies and achieve efficiencies where possible. thank you again for the opportunity to appear before you, and more importantly, thank you for ensuring america's sons and daughters are always in a fair fight. >> secretary mattis, you have been blunt in your assessment of russia as a threat to the united states. russia has been seemingly relentless in its provocations, buzzing our ships in irresponsible and dangerous manners, flying along rain the -- flying long-range strategic bombers to alaska, and violating the imf. the president has been silent about these hostile actions. there is much speculation as to
why. but i guess my question to you, mr. secretary, is do you believe vladimir putin has any interest in a mutually beneficial partnership with the united states? general dunford, how do you plan to respond to this russian military provocation? >> at this time, congresswoman, i do not see any indication that mr. putin would want a positive relationship with us. that is not to say we cannot get there as we look for common ground, but at this point, he has chosen to be competitive -- strategic competitor with us,
and we will have to deal with that as we see it. >> general? >> congressman, last year we requested $3.7 billion in what is called the european reassurance initiative. this year we have requested $4.8 billion. that money is designed to increase our presence in europe. we will increase the combat teams and the equipment. it increases the exercises we conduct in europe, all of which is the signed to determine russia and in sure our partners we can meet our nato commitments. we have changed our posture in europe, and our exercises and capability developed with our partners in response to growing russia capability and aggression. >> do you believe that russia is our adversary? >> i believe we have an adversarial relationship with russia. >> secretary mattis? >> mr. putin has chosen to be a strategic competitor, yes. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, i was disappointed by the significant proposed cuts.
the program which helps the most at risk urban areas such as new york prevent and prepare for terrorist attacks would be cut by 26%, and the state homeland security grant program would be slashed by more than 25%. overall, the fy 18 -- 2018 budget proposes a cut through programs that really help law enforcement prevent and respond to terrorism and other disasters. to put that in perspective, we would cut by -- vital funds to protect the top terrorist -- you would cut vital funds to protect the top terrorist targets in the u.s. by 31%, which is equal to roughly half of what you are proposing to
build a wall on the mexican border that is not needed. state and local jurisdictions cannot effectively plan for, establish, and maintain their preparedness programs when support from their federal partner is inconsistent and subject to major deviations. mr. secretary, could you please share with us the impetus for proposing such drastic cuts to the programs? is it based on any sort of analysis that our states, major urban areas, in other jurisdictions, are well prepared for terrorist threats without federal assistance? >> i would offer to you that in the 120 days, give or take, that i have had this job, i have visited a number of larger cities, new york, chicago, boston, mcallen, texas, a number of places. met with the mayors, the police
chiefs. i have been to a number of very large police and sheriffs organizations that have met here in the go a couple months ago -- in d.c. a couple of months ago. met with them, talked to them a lot. i interacted with the national governors association that was here in d.c., which was 48 of the governors. the point is, the state and local men and women of law enforcement and the people we work with --fema works with, are highly capable. there was a time i would offer -- before 9/11, we did not think much about it because terrorism had not really come to our country. many of these grants and initiatives were put into place immediately after that, but as you might imagine, the men and women in law enforcement locally and on the state level, with federal help, have risen to the occasion. they are very, very capable, fema type people in the states and in deed many cities have them.
i would not say these funds are not very helpful for those states in localities, but i would offer that it is not as grim as you described in terms of taking them away. what i mean is, if we take away this money, which the budget does some of that, their efforts against terrorism and other aspects of disasters won't immediately collapse. my offer would be that we were looking for money and we evaluated a number of different places, obviously, and we took where we thought we could take
from. but again, i am absolutely confident that the men and women out there in the lands of the united states have risen to the occasion over the next -- last 15 years and are very good at what they do. >> thank you for giving me the opportunity to ask the question, mr. chairman, but i am really surprised, mr. secretary, at your response. there is no question that in new york city these people are capable and are carrying out all their activities with distinction. i will check with them. i have not heard they don't need that money and that money is an essential. if new york is a target, it is beyond my comprehension that you could think it is ok to make those deep cuts. >> i didn't say they don't need the money. i just said we have found places where we think that the funds no longer needed in the way they once were. >> i will be happy to get back to you, but i would like that response in writing, and i will check with the people who are responsible for these programs in new york and maybe have them document how essential these funds are.
thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you for your service to our country in the marine corps and your present -- prudence and the president prudence in's being careful in spending our constituents'precious tax dollars. in particular, i want to thank you and the president for focusing on restoring the rule of law, which is the one thing that unites us as americans. we understand in this country that our liberty lies in law enforcement. that is a fundamental principle of who we are in the united
states and we appreciate you focusing on that. i would like to say that congressman duncan spearheaded an effort to build a wall on the border, and israelis know how affective a wall can be. it makes sense -- river country in west texas may not be as necessary, but above all, we appreciate your focus on law enforcement. existing law has been on the book since the 1950's that the individual crossing the southern border is subject to up to six months imprisonment if they enter the country illegally. on the second offense, they are subject to imprisonment up to two years. i want to bring your attention to a successful effort. a good friend of mine is well acquainted with them. in the dell rio sector, they used their good hearts and their common sense in a compassionate way to ensure that existing law is enforced uniformly and fairly, and as a result, before president trump came into office and the promise of the enforcement of the law resulted in such a precipitous decline in
illegal crossing, simply enforcing existing law, they saw the lowest level of illegal crossings since border patrol began taking -- keeping records, as i recall. we have worked together closely to support judge moses. i want to bring her to your attention. mr. secretary, the program she put into place is called operation: streamline. i encourage you to expand that up and down the border. i will do my part to ensure the department of justice resources are focused there with the additional prosecutors, personnel, u.s. marshals to ensure folks are processed in a way that protects everyone's to process rights and ensures that people are handled expeditiously by immigration judges, because you are exactly right. we need to make sure those judges are on the border to handle people who come across and receive that notice to appear. i believe they call those permiso.
in previous administrations, they got the notice to appear, and they were gone. disappeared, never to show up again. by simply enforcing the law and ensuring people show up in from of those immigration judges -- in front of those immigration judges, you can have a germanic effect on protecting our southern -- a dramatic effect in protecting our southern border. we all know we need that good relationship with mexico, to have people cross back and forth legally and freely with goods and commerce and for workers. but it begins with law enforcement. i wanted to ask you, mr. secretary, about operation: streamline, if you are familiar with it, and what is currently happening under your leadership if an individual is apprehended, and when and how dhs decides to
give them expedited removal proceedings before a judge like judge moses? >> i will get smart on operation: streamline, and it sounds like a need to get to del rio to visit. one of the things i have learned in this job, this immigration and is the most complicated -- if we try to make it any more complex and hard to understand, we could not have done it any better. but all sorts of categories, right? if they catch a mexican on our side of the border wrong -- >> she will give them a week. >> they can say i don't want to enter the system, and they can go right home. one of the things we found -- an anecdote, but in talking to an officer, i think the second week i was in the job i went down to texas and walked the terrain and
the rivers edge with the real people who understand the legal immigration, drug movement. the cbp officers, great men and women each. they said, we will find -- we will stop traffickers, mexican traffickers, on our side of the border. i have been here for 14 years and i know the names of many of them because we will pick them up, and they will say -- they will simply go back to mexico. whether it is one month or one year later, they catch them again and they go back. one of the things we started doing was holding them and in the process of prosecuting them for human trafficking. the process -- and this is important for numbers across the border, the cost of going from el salvador to the united states, the fare to travel in
the network and get to the united states, grew from an astronomical figure to one that simple people, peasants mostly from central american republics, it could be $4000 life savings. an incredible amount of money to them. now it is about $12,000. they can't afford it. that simple thing, starting to arrest and prosecute them. >> i want to mention that i also learned from judge moses that she cannot this -- seize the assets from the smugglers. that is a lot we need to make. -- a law we need to make. >> mr. secretary, i want to say thank you for what you do, what your men and women do, i appreciate it. i am from laredo, texas. my family is there, i breathe
the air, i drink the water. i do not visit for a few hours and take off and think i know the bet -- border better than those who have lived there all their lives. through my time here, i have seen a secretaries come and go. we will probably see you come and go, with all respect. my advice is understand the system we are in. some of us might disagree with you. i don't think it is correct for you to tell members of congress to shut up if we disagree. some of us might agree with you than others, but i am just saying -- otherwise it will be a long term for you if you do that. i believe you did that 90 days after getting sworn in. i want to focus on the wall. i do not support the wall for several reasons. one, private property rights. in texas, we respect private
property rights. number two, the cost. a regular fence will be $6.5 million per mile compared to $1 million. i think mr. taylor, there is a lot of technology that works very well to the military that should work for us down there. that is number two. number three, the international water commission, there is a treaty between the u.s. and you about -- about whether you can put barriers. also, space. 40% of the people there are overstays. you can put the most beautiful wall there, but they will either fly in, drive through a bridge or come through a boat. a report released two days ago talks about overstays. in fiscal year, there were 630 visitors that failed to leave the u.s. that is compared to the
thousands of people who came across the border. more overstays than people coming across or who were intercepted on the border. what was interesting according to homeland, there were more canadians two overs they'd than mexicans. i think your reports say that 20,000 canadians with expired visas are believed to still be living in the u.s. compared -- and those stats are probably not correct or accurate, because i think you only looked at planes and boats and i think the visa stay should be one. number five, why i don't support the wall is natural terriers, and i think president trump in april knowledge there are natural barriers to the border. this is the most beautiful wall at the port of lucia. if you have seen big ben, those are walls.
i don't think you can come in and put another wall on top of this clip that we have. i think you would agree with me. if you go down some the lower part of the river, the rio grande, which is the natural barrier, does not go straight. it snakes up and down, and that is my district down there. the u.s. side is the top part. look at the river and the way it snakes. i have taken a small plane from laredo to bronxville going a few miles an hour, snaking over. it will be very hard to put a fence, unless you take private property rights that we have. all i am asking you is that you work with the local border patrol, worked with us, and just say that we can't just use the fence. we know what happened with the
berlin wall, we know what happened with the chinese -- the great wall of china, we know what happened with that. if -- we have to be smart with how we secure the border. we spent $18 billion a year with border security. the last time we were together with chairman carter, we were in the center border with mexico with $80 billion we put there to help mexico secure the border. $80 million compared to $80 billion. they stop or people coming across than the whole border patrol did. all i am saying is we want to work with you. i know it is a very difficult job you have. some of us have been doing this for a long time. we want to see legitimate trade, tourism, do not impede that, and we just want to work with you. just to conclude, my time is up, some of us want to work with you and please take advantage of our expertise. >> i am probably in dangerous ground, could i make a comment? >> yes. >> two comments, really. since i have been in this job, everything the congressman has said about the border and where
to build it, where not to build it, there may be places we do it, other places we don't, we have said that since day one. >> yes, you have. >> what you have said about the southern border, when i was on active duty helping the mexicans construct this border strategy and help them implement it, under the radar, quietly, and it has worked very effectively. they stopped illegal migrants last year and returned them to the countries of origin humanely. great progress. we stopped more than that last year, but the point is the southern strategy works. you have also probably heard me say that the one yard line stand a in and day out does not work. the protection of our southern part -- border starts -- everything you have said about what we should be doing i have been saying and thinking about for 120 days.
my "shut up" comment. one thing that is different in the u.s. military and now is the men and women of the u.s. military -- you can throw rocks or criticize and god knows we deserve some criticism. you can criticize the policy of what they are trying to execute in the world, but the one thing that we never hear -- certainly from this institution -- his criticism of the rank and file men and women who put their lives on the line in the u.s. military every day. you never hear that. in this job, all i heard day in and day out, nazis, stormtrooper tactics, talk about the foot soldiers who stand on our border or inside our country and protect it. i would just ask that -- criticize me, criticize the
trump policy's but please recognize that my men and women are doing the same kind of thing a day in and women in the military are doing. give them a break, and that is what the shut up, it was about. >> i just need to respond quickly. let me say this. nobody has attacked the men and women. they are attacking the policy. i have been attacked as well, because you and i agree on a lot of things. >> i want to welcome secretary kelly. this is a hearing on the department of homeland security's fiscal year 20 18 budget. this is the third time that secretary kelly has appeared before this committee, the second time as the secretary of
the department, and we welcome you and appreciate your service to this country. many, many years of it. in lieu of my opening statement, i want to make a couple comments. five location, i am an accountant, so i have gone through budget meetings many, many times. i want to talk about the history of the budget of the department of homeland security. when you take a look at the budget authority, the department -- the first fiscal year was 2004, and the department's budget was $36.5 billion. had that budget grow by inflation, today's request would be a little under 40 bit -- $50 billion. instead, the total budget authority is 70.6 billion dollars, about a 93% increase.
from my standpoint, that represents president bush, president obama, and now president trump, they realize the threat environment that american space has become more severe. it is metastasizing, and they need more resources to keep our country safe. as much as i am concerned about the long-term budget situation in this country, the $20 trillion we are already in bed, we cannot be penny wise and pound foolish. i have not seen an accurate assessment of how much economic lost we had because of 9/11. we need to do everything we possibly can, and that is the top priority of the government. i want to be completely supportive of the secretary's request. tough budget times, but we need to allocate the resources to keep our homeland safe. the next point i want to make is the dramatic change we have had in terms of total apprehension. we have a chart here. what i have done, because we only have three months of history under the new administration, i have gone back and had my staff prepare a three
month moving average of apprehensions along the southwest border. and it is incredibly revealing. prior to the last three months, on average, we were apprehending a little more than 120 2000 individuals coming to this -- 122,000 individuals coming to this country illegally. we are about 40% -- 46% of the previous four or five year average. that is a remarkable result. i have then on this committee -- i have been on this committee looking into illegal activity on the southwest border. i have said repeatedly that the worst thing we need to do is be committed to securing the border and a limit incentives for illegal immigration. i would say lax enforcement of our laws is a reason. under the new administration, we have committed to securing the border. i was a little concerned when
people were taking creditf or this -- credit for this reduction. i think that signal alone that we are committed to securing this border and will enforce our laws has had a powerful effect, and i think we are seeing the results right now. i commend the secretary for standing strong against severe criticism and enforcing the laws of this nation. with that, i will turn it to our ranking member. >> thank you, and thank you secretary kelly for being here. you appeared here a couple months ago after being confirmed. look at the developments that happened -- have occurred since then.
you have had to be all hands on deck for serious issues facing the national and homeland security. on may 11, you met with the airline industry executives with concern over electronic bans in terms of international travel. we had a ransomware cyber attack that struck 150 countries, shutting down auto production in france, and closing doctors offices in britain. and more tragically on may 22, a terrorist bomber killed children and adults in england. these are just a few examples of why we are counting on you and respect the job that you have to do every day and how difficult it truly is. the importance of your work also speaks to the critical responsibility this committee has in providing oversight. i have never, ever known of a government agency that works better with less oversight. asking hard questions is of course the way you do aggressive oversight, and i am to give really pleased that you are not afraid to ask tough questions. it is who you are. you have been that way with -- throughout your career.
i noticed that in the speech you get to the coast guard cadets, tell the truth to your seniors even though it is uncomfortable, even though they don't want to hear it. they deserve that. tell the truth. i know you will continue to speak truth to power, and i look forward to your honest assessment and how. we can help you in that regard while none of the three terrorists would have been impacted by the proposed travel ban, a lot of discussion in the united kingdom is about the government -- the conservative party's cuts in police resources over the last decade and how many fewer resources there were on the ground to try and prevent those terrorist attacks. i am concerned that the
president's budget plans to cut critical tsa programs at a time we cannot afford to let up on the security measures. a large portion of these cuts are taken from the visible response teams that are deployed throughout the country to provide critical assistance in securing some of the most attractive soft targets for terrorists in our country. the president's budget aims to cut the viper teams from 21 to 18 to cover the whole country. the urban area security initiative, which has been a lifeline for major urban areas to have so many -- that have so many soft targets because of the large population, those also have the cut. the president's budget will eliminate the law enforcement reimbursement program, which provides assistance to law enforcement agencies who help secure our airports. hundreds take part across the country, particularly for smaller airports, this is critically important. the president's budget programs that -- the
grant program will be cut in half. the port security program will be cut in half. the president is calling for complete elimination from the terrorist attacks grant program. i am concerned that these priorities are not getting the attention they deserve, especially in light of what is going on around the world. we may be focused on the shiny objects known as the travel ban when instead we need to be focused on how many people we have, in your terminology, it's on the ground in terms of being able to identify, -- boots on the ground in terms of being able to identify. -- the difference in terminology is very important, because as you know, the majority of drugs and other contraband come through our country through the
ports of entry, and the cpb officers are responsible for finding them and stopping them. we cannot neglect our ports of entry as we tried to increase resources in terms of border control and i.c.e. agents. there are a lot of important issues ahead of us. i have questions and i know the committee does, too. i cannot tell you what it means to us to come here and asked -- and answer our questions. i hope the rest of the administration follows your example. >> it is the tradition of this committee to swear in our witnesses, so if you would please rise and raise your right hand. >> do you swear the testimony you will get before this committee will be the truth, the whole crew -- the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? you may be seated. >> secretary john f kelly, prior to joining dhs, he worked closely with u.s. law
enforcement and dhs personnel in a coordinated effort to combat the flow of drugs, people, and other threats into the united states from across the southern border. secretary kelly's career has included included service in the marine corps, and served as assistant to two military -- must than a year from his retirement, he returned to serve the american people as secretary of homeland security. general kelly is a retired four-star general, a goldstar parent, america could not be more appreciated to have you serving in this capacity. we look forward to your testimony. >> ranking member mccaskill,, distinguished members of the committee, every day, the department of homeland security protects the american people. it is my pleasure to appear before you today to talk about the tremendous and and women of the department in the missions
they carry out in service of america every day and night, 24/7. anyone who understands the fundamental role of our government understands that the responsibility every day begins and inns with the protection of the homeland and the security of our people. no other mission is more important. no other issue more pressing. the president fiscal year -- the president's fiscal year 2018 budget allows us to expand our ability to protect our people. the word -- the world is a different place today. you must think in terms of the security overall of the homeland across the numerous domains of a potential attack and defense. the department of homeland security is making a difference in fighting the home game while the department of defense fights the away game. together with and because of the effectiveness of agency
integration, with the fbi, nsa, dts, and a million state, local, and tribal professionals, america today is safe. it is prepared in a way that most could not envision the day before a 9/11. the plots to attack the country are numerous. we need a fully funded budget that matches our mission. no more continuing resolutions. i think this budget does it. the budget requests $44.1 billion in discretionary funding for the department of homeland security. he also requests $74.1 billion for major disasters. when talking about numbers like these, it is easy to lose sight of what is behind each dollar, but when you get down to it, behind each and every dollar i hard-working men and women who have dedicated their careers and risked their lives to protect the american people.
every dollar invested in the tools, infrastructure, equipment, and training they need to get the job done is an investment in prosperity, freedom, and the rule of law. above all, it is an investment in the security of the american people. recent events show you cannot invest too much insecurity. terrorist attacks on innocent civilians in kabul, manchester, london, are perfect reminders of the dangers we face globally. they also demonstrate the need to do whatever we can to keep our people safe, that means verifying identity, making sure people are who they say they are, and working with our international partners to raise their awareness and their defenses, and force them to do so, at least operate at the levels we work at.
domestically, one of the most important enhancements of this effort is an enhancement passed into law 12 years ago by congress, one that most of our states and territories have taken seriously and already adopted. many others are working hard at compliance. in those 12 years, someone elected or appointed state and federal position to have the responsibility to safeguard the nation have chosen to drag their feet or ignore the law passed by congress. i will not. real id will make americans safer. real id will soon be enforced at airports, ports of entry, and all federal facilities. there is a critical recommendation that others have been willing to ignore. i will ensure it is implemented on schedule with no extension for states that are not taking the effort seriously. for those states and territories that cannot or will not make the deadline, they should encourage now their citizens to require
other forms of id compliant with the real id law. like passports, available of course from the state department. we need to prevent bad actors, regardless of race, religion, or nationality from entering our country. we have witnessed an unprecedented spike in terrorist travel. there are more terrorist hotspots and foot soldiers now than any time in modern history. in syria and iraq, there are thousands of jihadist fighters who have converged. it is our superb military machine acting in coalition with other like-minded partners as they succeed on the battlefield in the caliphate, these fighters returning home to europe, south asia, southeast asia, australia, and the western hemisphere. who knows what they are up to,
but we can guess. they are heading to what they think are safe havens to continue their plotting and advance their toxic ideology of hate, death, and intolerance wherever they are allowed to hide. we expect some will look to travel to the united states to carry out attacks. with this context in mind, the president has issued an executive order to the entire executive branch to prevent the entry of aliens who seek to do us harm. for the current court injunction, it prevents us from taking steps to improve the security of the homeland until we see how the court action plays out. while some debate and argue the name of -- professional men and women like me are in the business of limiting the president's intent to secure the nation, and we are doing that. we will let the self-appointed critics talk about the name. we hope credit -- congress sees the wisdom of what the president is trying to do to protect the people, and that congress are
willing to work with those of us in the business of securing the nation. it has been my experience that congress is in fact committed to that. the injunctions have prevented us from putting a temporary ban on travel from aliens from six countries in states of civil war, our state sponsors of terrorism. nations of great concern. at the time, the expectation was those in the business of securing the nation lawfully would focus additional attention on these nations and others in similar circumstances for accurate vetting. it has nothing to do with religion or skin color or the way they use the -- live their
lives, but the security of the united states and nothing else. these countries are either unwilling or unable to help us validate the backgrounds of persons within their borders. i can tell you right now, because of the injunctions, i am not only confident we are doing all we can to beat out potential wrongdoers from these locations. the injunction also prevents us from looking into the information we need to conduct proper screening, not just from the six countries identified in the executive order, but every country across the globe. it also prevents me from conducting the review under the executive order with the goal of improving security of our refugee program. bottom line, i have been prevented from doing these things that would keep america safe, and i anxiously await the court to prevent its action so i can get to work. the men and women of dhs will do everything we can and always within the law to keep the american people safe. but the delay has prevented us
from doing that, what i and those familiar with the threats we face believe we need to do to protect our homeland. again, sir, i appreciate the opportunity to appear before the committee today. thank you for your continued support and the committee's continued support for the great men and women of the department and the mission we take so seriously. i remain committed to working with congress in protecting the american people. i have made changes to the organization to do exactly that, to increase responsiveness, availability of witnesses. we have done all of that in a big way. i'm glad to answer any questions you may have, sir. thank you. >> you are watching c-span's review of the federal budget process. president trump submitted a budget request of $1.1 trillion to congress, and since then, house and senate has held meetings with cabinet secretaries to work toward finalizing the budget for each agency. when congress comes back into session, there will be 12 legislative days to finalize the
spending bill or 2018, which begins on october 1, 2017. next, we go back to june 13, and a hearing -- where rob rosenstein testified on the president's budget request. >> our 2018 budget request shows a strong commitment to the justice department's top priorities. it provides more funding to fight terrorism and cyber crime, to tackle the opioid epidemic, and illegal immigration. it gives us the resources we need to support our state, local, and tribal partners. this budget reflects three important pieces. number one, truth in budgeting. number two, increases in efficiency, and number three, focusing on priorities. these changes are critical and
support the executive order of the president to reorganize agencies for the goal of increasing efficiency and effectiveness. one,udget is honest eliminating from the books thousands of vacant positions that give the on -- give the impression of the number of personnel on duty. these numbers have been vacant for years or never been filled at all. secondly, this budget seeks to identify areas where we can cut back without harming our mission a finally, the budg -- our mission. finally, the budget allows us to do our work with every tax dollar. national security remains our highest priority. we price a wide array of threats of terrorism to cybercrime. we also need to come to terms, senators, with the growing challenge which i know you are all familiar with. growing dark refers to law
enforcement's increasing inability to lawfully intercept real-time communications and stored data, even with a warrant, as a result in changes in technologies. this severely impairs our ability to conduct investigations and bring criminals to justice. our law enforcement officers operate within the constitution, and they respect privacy, but when there is a legitimate need to access information and we have a court order or other authority, click safety is jeopardized when we are unable to obtain that relevant information. -- public safety is jeopardized when we are unable to obtain that relevant information. the justice department is also committed to protecting the american people from violent crime and the adverse effects of illegal drug distribution, both
of which are spiking at alarming rates. violent crime is rising in areas of our nation, and drug-related injuries and deaths are increasing across the country. the evidence of this is indisputable. rising violent crime and increasing drug abuse are devastating many american families, and the justice department is confronting these crises head on and we need your help. the proposed budget provides law enforcement agencies with extra support so they can target the worst violent criminals and drug trafficking rings. it also provides to 30 additional assistant u.s. attorneys to focus specifically on our efforts to fight crime. those in additional resources will enhance the abilities of law enforcement to fight crime
and keep our communities safe. we are focusing also on getting a licit drugs off of the streets through strong enforcement efforts, and through our drug take back programs. in addition to that, we call on doctors, pharmacists, and pharmaceutical companies to take a hard look at their practices and help us develop ways we can reduce the harmful over prescription of pharmaceutical drugs. the american people also expect our government to secure our borders and restore a lawful system of immigration. our proposed budget provides much needed funding to hire 75 additional immigration judges and support personnel to reduce the unacceptable backlog in our immigration courts. it will also allow us to hire more marshals and more prosecutors so we can effectively apprehend and prosecute criminal aliens who threaten our communities. the federal government does not maintain public safety alone.
85% of law enforcement officers in our country work for state, local, and tribal partners, and we rely on them heavily. the men and women serving on the front lines are the first line of defense and keep our communities safe. they deserve our support. the budget maintains our commitment to these valued partners and prioritizes grant funding to the programs that have proven to be effective. this budget funds important priorities while helping us to achieve a more efficient department. we will do all we can to be good stewards of the resources. we have a duty to avoid waste and safeguard taxpayer money so it will be available to fight crime and protect people. the justice department is home to 115,000 men and women who work every day to serve, protect, and defend the american people and respect the constitution of the united states. this budget makes it possible
for us to do our jobs with the investments set forth in the budget, and with your support, we will continue to fairly enforce our nations laws and ensure justice for all americans. i look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead. if i may, with my few remaining moments, i learned this morning about an incident in georgia in which to correctional office -- two correctional officers were murdered. we have committed all federal resources to help catch the fugitives and hold the perpetrators accountable. our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and in support of law enforcement personnel are working on the case as we sit here today. an attack on any law enforcement officer is an attack on every american law enforcement officer, and the principles we believe in. i will be happy to take any questions about our proposed
budget, and i look forward to that. thank you. >> thank you for your testimony. i would try to stay in the budget area this morning. what specifically is the department of justice doing to accelerate the hiring of new immigration judges? >> thank you, senator. top has been one of my priorities. i have been on the job six weeks and i learned-- > >> moved the mic up to you a little bit. >> this has been one of my top priorities, to adjust that. includes2018 budget millions of dollars to enforce it. people --it is for 50
450 people. it exceeds 500000 and approaches 600,000. u.s.so includes additional attorneys and $7 million to prosecute violations of immigration laws, additional equity u.s. marshals and additional attorneys and the civil division, but with regards specifically to your question about the backlogs, we are focused on that. one of the challenges we had was your credit delays in hiring and filling vacancies. so in addition to creating 75 new judges and feeling those positions and their support personnel, we are also expediting judges to fill the vacancies. it is a big challenge, top of the leadership of that office, and will make it a top priority to first put an end to the increase in the backlog and then the work on waste to efficiently
reduce the backlog. my view is that everybody has a case pending and the higher immigration court deserves a resolution of that case. >> as you know, the in the eye is in a time of transition and it has not been easy on any of us. director coming was a thoughtful and inspiring leader. he fostered a number of priorities make the fbi better and stronger from improve its of the way we collect and share intelligence, our cyber programs come to leadership and diversity issues. we are going to do our best to make sure we continue to make progress in all of those areas. the threats we face are constantly evolving. we too must continuously examine the way we do business to ensure we are doing everything we can in the best way that the can. i firmly believe that the fbi maintains a sacred trust the american people. to protect them and uphold the constitution. we do that with the precious
resources that those people and this committee of us. -- give us. the fundamental element of that sigrid trust, to make sure we are always good stewards for the taxpayers money. we have tried to be good stewards with the funding provided and we have been conservative in our budget requests. we ask for what we need and when we need extra come up we don't hesitate to tell you. and yes, i have a few of those extras to talk to you about today. the fbi budget request this year proposes $8.7 billion for salaries and expenses and this will support 33,000 500 agents, and2,000 18,099 our professional staff. single one of those people, they are the lifeblood of the fbi.
over and the on everything else, our best and most impactful resource. budgetlear, the fy 2018 represents a decrease in over $400 million from the fy 2017 levels. this'll result in a net reduction of over 6000 editions and $44 million for salaries and expenses. so let me shift briefly to program enhancements. i would like to highlight a few of the things we requested. cyber, weforemost in have asked for $41.5 million to build on our cyber capabilities, these are investigative capabilities, election capabilities, and analytic capacity. the frequency and impact of cyber attacks on our networks has increased to medically. we need to shift from reacting after the fact to preventing such attacks before they occur. we have to collect the best intelligence and we have to share it with our partners in
law enforcement and the private sector in real-time. do that, we have to hire and develop the best cyber talent. in the counterintelligence area, we are asking for $19.7 million to counter threats foreign intelligence services. we will also use these resources to focus on insider threats from trusted employees and contractors. we refer to as going dark, we ask for $21.6 million to address this problem. i can tell you this is more than getting into locked devices or to medications, which is certainly a part of the issue, not the entirety. going dark is impacting our ability to execute lawful court orders on electronic devices across the spectrum and that is a growing problem. still have our priority of violent crime. violent crime remains one of our highest ironies for good reason and it is one of the things that challenges our partners at the
state, local, and tribal level every single day. we are asking for 33 positions and millions of dollars to represent the attorney general's task force and crime reduction and safety. eight point $2or million to maintain our surveillance keep abilities. as you know, that. period of time, within which a counterterrorism target receipts orm merely being radicalized deciding to operationalize their intent has condensed over the last several years and as you are most concerned, with modalities that include vehicles and weapons, some of which we have seen earlier today in michigan, that will further compressed that time we refer to as from flash to hang. when of our best tools against that threat is lawful surveillance.
if you give me a minute, i will talk about one of our highest legislative priorities for this year, julie one of our most important -- truly one of our most important. section 702 gives us the authority to collect foreign intelligence from foreign that we reasonably believe to be outside the united states. this is important to us. it is a tool we benefit from and if we lose it, the country will be less safe. without it, we don't have a window into the activities of terrorists, spies, weapons proliferators, and other foreign adversaries that may be coming after us. we don't know what they are planning or what they are recruiting or what is coming our way. oversightm undergoes from the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, and that is just late we want it. forre asking for resources
transactional syndicates. and to maintain our metrics technology center. these are important and necessary and we know we can always count on the resources we need to keep the country safe. we are grateful for that. in conclusion, our leadership has changed, the fundamental things about the fbi will not ever change. giving theent to american people safe, our fidelity to the constitution and rule of law, and our core values , respect, passion, fairness, integrity, accountability, leadership, diversity, and adherence to the constitution. these are the values that made the fbi what it is today. we will stay focused on the mission trip -- mission, and keep doing our work. with that, i'm happy to take your questions. >> your salaries and expenses request this year is $45 million
andw the 2016 appropriation i know this is the result of the thatption that lindy made we would be continuing resolution which would not happen. i don't want to get you cross wired, but the request appears to leave the fbi with a hole to fill and to help us assist you with that, let me ask you, with affect thetion effecti fbi in investigations? >> it will impact us in many ways. it is a broad and deep production that will touch every program, headquarters, and ever field offices. nots a reduction that is possible to take entirely against vacancies. it is a reduction that will touch every discussion of employee within the fbi. we will lose agent positions and
of course professional staff. know, we went through a period of sequestration and it has taken time to build back up to full strength. we should be. by the end of this year and the reductions that you have described will take us backwards step. gorsuch'sre recommendations. you know how strongly we will support your work and we will do our very best to help you deal with that. a short you don't have adverse impact. millionrequested an $8 increase in the safety of high-priority targets. how is the fbi meeting their current surveillance needs? >> we are in good shape now, the $89 is for personal funding and it enables us to protect 70
positions that will likely have been added to the reductions that have been discussed. the demands we placed on our surveillance teams and last several years have been enormous. homegrownber of extremists and targets grow, the folks we need to keep an eye on a day-to-day basis, those resources and come all the more important. production in that area is -- a reduction in that area is tough. it affects the whole country, but unfortunately because of houston's location, we have a terrible problem with women being exploited and sold into slavery. it is catastrophic and heartbreaking. can you talk to us about the work the fbi is doing to help fight them in trafficking -- human trafficking? >> particularly in the southwest offices, we we have
have made a significant investment in terms of our task forces, the work we do with our partners at dhs, cbp, and others. we find ourselves looking at the same crime groups engaged in narcotics trafficking and human trafficking. it is that combined work we do in the task force environment that lets us be as productive and effective as we can be. we recognize that as a growing threat and it is an area we will focus very closely and make sure we have the right folks doing that work. is the budget request satisfactory in this regard what youthe community do to help beat this terrible epidemic? >> the most bible thing for us would be to try to restore those reductions that we are likely to sustain in 2017. >> one of the main challenges
the fbi is encountering regarding the supply chain, critically with the concern we all have on backdoors or trojan horses being the into hardware. and incredibly important area, one we have tried to expand the outreach across the government and private sector. we are in a unique position to see the threats from the position we are in and we have tried to spread that word to utilizing things like the best practices document you are familiar with let folks know these are the threats they need to be aware of across the government as they acquire high-tech infrastructure for the systems. , it has beennt great to see in the last several months the new demonstration -- new administration has the deep interest in addressing some of the things we have seen from the program. there are ways we can be more effective in foreign investment
and high-tech industries that will also help in that area. >> thank you, director. mr. serrano? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'm concerned that the special counsel you are importing to instigate the ties between the industry ship and russia will not have adequate resources. it is a special counsel think provided to all fbi resources needed for foreign investigation? yes, sir. i can assure you of that. i have had many interactions with the special counsel and his representatives and we are meeting in the next 24 hours to discuss exactly that. we have a number of folks who have been detailed to that team and i have been assured -- i have a short director mueller that we will do everything we the resources he needs to do that work. >> the fbi investigation is continuing concurrently with the special counsel investigation
will have all resources and personnel have been chance for the director mueller's office? >> all the resources to conduct the investigation that rector mueller is responsible for have been designed -- assigned to that effort under director mueller. to maintaininues response ability for counterintelligence issues against all of our foreign adversaries, certainly including our russian adversaries. we still do work in the russian our intelligence space, but we are careful to leave what is the special counsel's to the special counsel. >> this budget reflects the residents strong personal commitment to the nation's veterans, also will need to achieve as secretary providing greater choice for veterans, -- including the timeliness of our services, and a suicide prevention.
we are taking steps to meet the challenges we face. at the presidents direction, we have established of the eight accountability office. the recent decisions made by the senate will help us with that. we removed to medical center directors and three other senior executive senior leaders. we will not tolerate employees that put veterans at risk. i and announced a new waste and abuse prevention advisory committee which will be set up later this summer. i directed to be a central office remain under a hiring freeze for demonstrated positions as we consolidate offices, implement shared services, and realign overhead to get money back to the field. we have same-day services for primary care at all of our medical centers. veterans and access wait time data using an online easy-to-use tool to understand access and quality. no other health system and the country has this transparency.
we made it easier for veterans develop online health applications. we received eight times as many online activations than the year before. processed ae disability claim in three days. i said that right, a disability claim processed in three days. using a new process called decision ready claims. we will be introducing decision ready claims nationally september 1. at our regional offices, we will be paperless for claims by mid- 2018. a few months ago, the veterans crisis line had a crawl over rate of more than 30%, today it is more than 1%. tohave a lot the v.a. provide proactive support for veterans who are at higher risk for suicide. we all watching an initiative getting to zero. this is our top clinical priority.
to keep moving forward, we need your help. thousandfied a facilities that are vacant or underutilized and we are looking to move forward with 132 of those facilities and with your help, we can do more of the same. when he congress to fund our legacy systems to keep them from failing. datawill put all patient in one shared system, enabling seamless care between the v.a. and dod without manual and electronic exchange of data between separate systems. we need congress to authorize an overhaul of our broken claims appeals process. we work closely with other stakeholders to trap a proposal to modernize the system and we are pleased to see the house your kind the bill last month. now we need the senate to act. we need congress to ensure the continued success of choice for veterans. veterans are responding to our modernization efforts by
choosing the eight more than before. choices,p with those we need to fully fund choice and modernize the care program. it will cordon it will courtney care so veterans get the right care at the right time with the right provider, whether in a v.a. facility or a high-performing the eight care provider. -- high-performing v.a. care provider. thank you and we look forward to your questions today. >> thank you, we appreciate your attendance. i want to start off with my questions on the appeals losses. -- appeals process. i have consistently said that any change in the process to improve it must include an acceleration of the pending veterans claims today. would you agree with that? >> i would like to see that happen.
both appeals reform and budget request are adopted in this budget. would be a be able to accelerate decisions with those 475 appeals pending? >> the appeals that are in the board of appeals are the ones we are most concerned about it if the senate votes to vote for the modernization forward, we will have a process to expedite those from the time the law passes moving forward. you are asking about the legacy claims. and appeals. >> correct. >> we do not have a plan to make significant progress on those. we have to whittle away at them. 142 staff toll add the board that will allow incremental progress. but the backlog will deal with to try six before we deal with the backlog. the one hope that i have, rather
than adding a large number of staff to deal with the backlog, is that we will give current veterans in the appeals process the option of opting in to the new process. if they choose to opt in, it will be their choice, they will have their appeal dealt with in an expedited fashion. that is my hope to accelerate the backlog to encourage veterans who unfortunately would have to wait years to get decisions, to opt into the new process. >> first of all, let me commend you because you just gave a patently honest answer to my question, not that i expected anything else, but it is easy for a department head to talk at ease. what i heard you say in effect as of our as those legacy appeals are concerned, this is not going to do much even if it
is adopted to take those claims and move them forward, which means we will have 470,000 veterans claims out there. one of them is 25 years old. eventually he will die and we will get that solve but we have so many more to get to. quote what i heard secondhand and i will say up front this is secondhand, that i have been told that the v.a. told a congressional budget office that the das plan to gradually adjust the legacy appeals if appeals reform is passed. is that the plan and how long will that take? iteard your answer being will be gradual and 2026 before we got to it. let me just add, because we show that frustration. i find it really difficult to tell people who have cemented
into the appeals process that they have six years to wait on average to get a response. i have asked the question, how much more would it take to get that backlog addressed? >> and the answer is? >> i'm not sure you want to know because i was astounded. around $800 million. everything we do at the committee will pale in comparison to the help we are going to catch if it will take $800 million to handle those claims before 20 try six. -- 2026. for the legacy appeals out there, they will be out there still, the anger will get louder and the frustration deeper. -- you need to
and we need to prepare to try and find a way to do it because all that will happen is that a lot of people will get more anguish and less service and it will cost more problems. thank you for being candid about members of thes committee to be aware of that. one will be to get the legacy claims done and not let them build up in the future. if you put the new program in, it will solve the problems prospectively, it sure as hell better because we fixed those backup, we another will be matter than a wet hornet. >> you are watching c-span's review of the budget process. president trump cemented a budget request of what $1 trillion to congress, since then, they have held committee meetings to work toward finalizing the budget for each agency. when congress comes back into
session in september, the house and senate will have 12 legislative days to finalize the 12th spending bills for fiscal year 2018, which begins on october 1, 2017. next we go back to june 22 at the hearing of the senate and national hearing committee where energy secretary rick perry testified on the president 2018 energy budget request. >> president trump's fiscal year billion toes $20 advance our key missions and focuses on important investments the safetynsuring and effectiveness of our nuclear weapons arsenal, conducting our energy interceptor from several attacks and other threats, achieving the amazing network of our national laboratories on early-stage research and develop . and my goals are straightforward. advance our r&d mission,
strengthen nuclear security, fulfill our environmental management commitments. i pitied you a rather rosy picture. -- i painted you a rather rosy picture. there are other hard conversations we need to have. as you are well aware. 120re are approximately sites in 39 states storing nuclear fuel for high-level waste. havers of this committee waste in their states. we have a moral and national security obligation to come up with a long-term solution, finding the safest repositories available. this is a sensitive topic for can, but we no longer continue to kick the can down the road.
as a former legislative appropriator and agency heads and governor, i understand how important following the rule of law is. i have been instructed to move forward towards that goal. request $120 million to resume licensing activities for the yucca mountain repository and to initiate a robust interim storage program. we also need to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. congress has spent $5 billion on the mocks project that is way over budget with no end in sight. the army corps of engineers suggests $7.24 billion and the 2028 completion date. the money could be used to other priorities like national security or cleanup at other sites. there are better and cheaper ways to dispose of plutonium.
we are using that process now. i look forward to having that ongoing dialogue with many of andabout his tough important issues in the days to come. >> thank you for being with us today. it is my first chance to get to know you a little bit and i hope we can find ways to work together although you heard a lot of us on the committee have a concerns about the president budget so i hope we can course you to making changes in his budget as we move along. , we certainly disagree with the administration's stand on a paris court and i come from the state of maine where people have concerns about climate change and it has an effect on our lives every day. i want to mention i was in a bipartisan group in germany when the announcement was made and a lot of our colleagues were shocked we would make this theyion and also worried
couldn't trust the united states anymore to keep with an agreement and i want to echoes those sentiments. i want to get into specifics because we picked these and parental issues and talk about them as an idea of environmental extremists against businesses. as someone who comes from maine and understands the informant and economy working together and how much i hear about it from my constituents, coming change to us is very real. it is not an environment to poverty. -- environmental auditing. to highest -- environment platitude. i see lobster fishermen every day and they look at me with this fear in their eyes, saying what are we going to do? the ocean is warming around us, we are watching the migration of lobsters up to the coast. once they get into canada, they belong to them, not us. we have seen disappearance in the shipping industry between
tourism, theyd are important to our identity and economically. i can't say to people this isn't happening. don't worry about it, it will go away. we may disagree on this committee about the causes of climate change, doing something about it is critical and we can't back out on these agreements. i represent the huge coastline rising, wea levels might not see it. these are economic issues and you talk about uncertainty in the market place, whether fishermen or farmers or people in coastal communities, these are people i deal with everyday and they are looking at this with fear and concern and they are saying to me and i'm saying to myself, what am i going to tell my grandchildren if we can't do something about it? , -- myecond concern
second concern, this economic question for tourism states, fishing states, national resources states, maybe you say one size does not fit all and i understand it is different when it is in your backyard. i represent one of those states in the tailpipe of the fossil industry and i want to talk about clean air. we have deep concerns about the cuts in your budget and your approach to it. i'm looking for anyway i can to work with you but people in my area have deep concerns. you are the attorney general that sued the epa and was the company that got a lot of money from the fossil association. we get criticized for who supports the work we do and i will take you at your word, so i want to tell you this does not work so well. oil dependentt state in the nation so we know how hard it is to get over our
fossil fuel dependence and we are deeply concerned about cuts potentially to energy independence. if we can't have more solar and more wind, we can't have a healthy balance and we are deeply concerned about the rollback of clean air roles and the cuts in this administration. we have the highest rate of childhood asthma and that is a tragedy fact that so many in our state have to deal the impacts at being the end of the tailpipe and the dirty air coming to our state. it is like toink see the highest rate of emergency room admissions because of asthma or to have ozone alerts in the middle of our tourism season? we can't say to people, don't come to our state because the oil is making the air 30. we talk about uncertainty in the marketplace, this creates uncertainty. you have heard our concerns and he said we should celebrate the downturn in co2 levels, those are because we have had higher
fuel efficiency standards and because we have invested more in clean energy, but your budget does all the opposite of it it also cuts your commitment to our states and we can't leave states holding the bag. our protection are funded by the government. we don't get that money back if you take it away. i have piled on a million concerns, but i represent what i'm hearing everyday and i don't see have more corporation or more efficiency replaces those 4000 employees your are about to cut up with some of the money back to the programs you care about. >> let me say first that i look forward to us working together. i appreciate you saying that and it is something i endeavored to do as well. with respect to attainment issues, it is a priority of our administration to focus on achieving better outcomes. two you look at asthma, the criteria pollutants we regulate
under the program, there are several, six, but two of them productively impact asthma. standard is better than any in europe and we are making tremendous progress toward achieving good health outcomes for our citizens. i believe we can do more. when i see celebrate harvest, i think we need to recognize we have prioritize it has a country , that we should recognize , but hewe have achieved does not mean we should stop. we should work with states to get better data, real-time data, and focus on compliance and assistance with those states to achieve better outcomes. with respect to co2, i want to say to you, the president, when he announced withdrawn from the paris the court, said something else. he said he wanted to continue engagement on this issue. i left the g7 and spent four
days with my counterparts and we started bilateral discussions, i started bilateral discussions with them with respect to our continued leadership with respect to co2 production. that is an area you need to recognize progress has been made. it has been made to government regulations, predominately in the mobile source area. innovation and technology has brought about a tremendous amount of co2 reductions, particularly fracking and natural gas. what we should focus upon as a nation as we generate electricity using a response of energy from coal to natural gas to oil to hydro to renewables, we need to focus on using the latest technology that reduces emissions in a very meaningful way and focuses on leading international exports. this is not a sign of disengagement. the president made this clear. it is a sign of approaching it
from a way of demonstrated action to reducing co2 through the limitation of what we have done in the past several years. >> i appreciate your thoughts and i hope it is not a sign of disengagement and that we are going to continue to be focused on co2. i'm not clear how to do that if we reduce funding in all these areas and i hope you can continue talking to me about that. >> if i may in this regard, it is important congress has not addresses from the stationary perspective. sector takingto significant steps to reduce emissions and it has done an extra ordinary job. as far as stationary sources, i don't know how many of you were here in 1990, but if you ask members who amended that act in it as being aibed
glorious mess. epa, we can't the make up authority. we can't make up processes to address what ever objectives that have been identified. we have to receive authority and direction from this body. as we evaluate steps we take at the agency, it will be focused upon, what are the tools of the toolbox we have? and if there is a deficiency in those tools, we will let you know and revise accordingly. it is important we recognize that. discusst hope we can the clean power plant again because that was about stationary clean air. >> i will recognize the chairman. i will briefly say the clean air act is very important to me and certainly to my state and certainly my area. know,t, as you
administrator, california is state towas the first beforep its own air 1963, before the clean air act was envisioned, california was already stepping forward to clean up its air and to step up with pollution rules. as a matter of fact, there is a history of bipartisan cooperation and jerry lewis, a congressman here that helped create the policy. there are concerns about clean reaganred with governor back in 1966 and provisions in california to deal with that. in fact, one thing that is important to california is our waiver. we have had these waivers for over 50 years.
i want to ask a question, do you plan to continue the clean air act as the agency granted to california? >> currently the waiver is not under review. you are right, this has been something granted. going back to the beginning of the clean air act, because of the leadership california demonstrated, it was preserved. it's important to recognize the role of the state in achieving good air standards and that is something we are committed to and the waiver is not being reviewed by the epa. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. .hank you for your new role a lot of nice things have been said about the leadership from you and people in this initiation from paris to rightsizing the agency and i want to associate myself with those accolades and components. a couple of quick things. i think you have heard clearly
around this table and i know you feel as well, we all appreciate, we love clean air and clean water. in west virginia, our mountains and forests are second to none. the we are an energy state in west virginia. gas, oil.ld, natural we are also a human resource state with the hardest working people i would put up against anybody in this country. and your processor and the prior -- predecessor and the prior demonstration did everything it could to put west virginians out of work. my collegeect to from across the aisle from washington, worrying about 3200 employees from puget sound at risk of losing their jobs. in west virginia, as a result of the prior administration, we did lose over 10,000 direct jobs of coal mining, good jobs. we put so many people on the
unemployment line because of the actions of the prior administration and the prior epa administrator. chairman freezing house mentioned committed ago, i know i have been working here in this committee to use the power of the purse to influence the direction and influence of the epa in policies and i simply want to say thank you for creating signs of hope and opportunity for the hard-working people of west virginia. we do have cold mines that are opening up. we have people going back to work to create a sense of hope and opportunity in allies, so i want to thank you for that. a couple of questions, number one, i want to make sure it is clear for all to see and hear and listen. does this illustration make it a
priority to have an all of the above energy policy? >> yes, congress meant. if you look at how we generate electricity in this country, we need to have true feel diversity. gdp, have 1% growth in our there is not as much concern about grid stability and great 3-4rity, but as we see percent growth, it is important utility copies across this country have diverse portfolios to generate electricity. store, and this is important, you can store hydrocarbons on site. there is only so much natural gas you can get through the pipe. if there is an attack on the transportation system, it puts your ability at risk if you have a heavy reliance on fuel source to generate electricity. if you lose that client, your business goes away.
it is important the american citizens know our price per to luck compared to europe, compared to other nations, is very competitive. it provides the ability to grow a manufacturing base and the stability of our great is important -- our grid is important. whether it's hydro or nuclear or coal, we use innovation and technology to achieve the lowest emission standards possible in each of the areas we regulate. this illustration and you in the leadership role of the epa do see a future for coal? >> it is absolutely essential that we have a robust feel diversity and how we generate electricity in this country and we are receiving optimism across the country. in the strategy. >> this is important. many people on this committee talk about perception drugs as a
huge driver in issues. in genericsnd is and orphan drugs is critically important and i would love to do more with less, but we have to do a lot more with a third less. i don't see how that works. you don't have to justify this because i have heard the more with less from a lot of different folks. but the truth is, if we are going to hold you accountable and you come back in and say, i did not have the manpower to do it, that is our job, to make sure that you have the manpower to do it and your recommendations are really important when it comes to manpower. there is fat in every agency and priorities in every agency, so i would hope you would be honest with us and say, this is a big issue. i think this generic drug thing is a huge issue. to get these generics out is something we should try to need to bet we also
realistic on a manpower and budget it takes because it is important. >> you are trying to think through what will be the appropriate allocations, i would be happy to work with you. >> not only may come but this entire subcommittee on your budget. i would love to get your recommendations because i think this is an incredible driver in health care and we need to figure out ways to reduce costs. generics will be one of the bright lights and so when we see hedge fund folks buying up position drug companies and doing those kinds of things senator collins talked about, we have to figure out ways to block that. >> we also have to contemplate the issues that we can do for you before congress right now. >> thank you, now i want to talk about prescription drugs. there has been all sorts of efforts and the last 20 years that i know of from montana, hauling busloads of people into canada buying prescription drugs.
there have been bills put forth revocation, some good, some not so good. do think americans should import drugs from other countries? puthis question has been through commissioners across both republican and democratic administrations and there is a certification that it is currently legal to have drug the epaation as long as approves it. i have not taken a fresh look at this question. i'm happy to look at it but i would remind the committee that have notommissioners been able to make that certification. >> they haven't been able to make the certification of it being a safe product. >> the ability to put in place regulatory architecture that if you have reimportation of drugs, to make sure the chain of
custody can began team that you are actually getting a drug that is manufactured legitimately. >> that is a legitimate concern. there is also a legitimate concern of americans being gouged for their perception drugs. almost to the point of where we might be subsiding other countries for their cheaper prescription drugs. i don't know that for a fact, the truth is, when i go into montana or north dakota or organ, we hear about this issue a lot. >> i am trying to take steps to address it further to what we are trying to do to bring mark opposition to the market. subsidizing drugs from other countries for the high prices we pay here for research and development and when it to address that, too. can withg to do all i my agency. answers,you for your
and thank you for allowing me to go overtime. >> on chess petition we all share the same goal, to ensure our country's transportation systems are safe, dependable, and ready to adapt to chester missions a new technologies. the president's 2018 budget represents double move forward on the infrastructure and it has taken a closer look at programs that may not be needing their intended purposes, outlasted usefulness, or might be used in a better place. requesting $76s billion for chester tatian, -- for transportation. it provides steady state funding for the majority of other transportation programs. the budget provides new policy .irection in several key areas first, transportation infrastructure is humbling and
in urgent need of attention. to address this concern, the president has incremented long-term reforms. plant willnt's create incentives for state local, and private funding and will in short federal funding is leveraged to maximize efficient or investment. ae president has identified commitment of $200 billion for in the structure improvements of which a portion will be directed towards rural america. the fiscal year 2018 budget also includes a proposal that represents a major shift for the faa. despite spending billions of taxpayers dollars over decades of efforts, the government has not been able to fully implement state-of-the-art air traffic control technology. air traffic controllers still use paper strips to keep track of flights and pilots are guided
using 1960's technologies, radar for example. congestion and delays cost more than $25 billion annually and higher fuel costs, lost activity, and quality of life. by 2020, air passenger traffic has sort to over one billion annually. airfreight is expected to more than double over the next three decades. drones and unmanned aircraft systems will have to be integrated into the national airspace. without change, the current air traffic control system will be unable to keep up. proposedster's and has moving air traffic control operations to a nonprofit, nongovernmental independent cooperative. the safety regulatory oversight functions will remain at faa. selfwill also involve and a long-standing conflict of interest issue with the
operating entity at traffic control regulating its own safety. more than 50 countries worldwide currently have this structure of the separating out after control and air safety regulations. finally, the president calls for reforming some of our other test efficient programs like fda's capital investment grants program, this cautionary portion of the essential air service, and amtrak's long-distance routes. the president also recommends that we revisit the tiger grant program, the intersection and civil outlines by the president will highlight alternative ways to fund roads projects using a different funding formula moving forward. it will also recognize the illustrations commitment to rural america as we revitalize our transportation and for structure.
they give very much for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the president's budget. i am actually 20 seconds ahead of time. i will be more than glad to answer your questions. , secretary zinke he for being here. my state is home to two of the largest parks, mount rainier and olympic and your proposal would cut both parks about 7% format ready air, which would see -- mount rain geer, -- for rainier. these parks were already underfunded and the funding cuts would only make the problems worse. can you explain why you think cutting these parts and support functions and part personnel were on the front lines is the right strategy of bouncing on the budget? >> the interceptor increased $38
million. that is not a cut. -- the interceptor increased $38 million. that is not the cut. i have been to maine, new talkhire, let's see, you -- utah, montana, alaska, connecticut. i have two or monuments and it is clear the frontline is too thin. of the department of interior is that we have too many middle-management above and too many in the park. we are looking at going through a process, in correlation with you, how to push more assets to frontline. and we have seen it. every cost-cutting measure previous to this has always regionalized assets up and we find ourselves to short where we are needed in the parks. we need more scientists in the but also less lawyers,
you look at the stacks on the region, we are too heavy in the regions and unfortunately, that has taken a toll at our parks. best funds fore the parks through the door? we had millions of visitors last year. we divided in a tiered system and many of our parks don't follow the tiered system. we have to look at revenue and public and private partnerships. we are looking at some of our parks on transportation. if you go to you somebody, the experience -- yosemite, the experience is going up the freeway. has an expense wither the i-5 and too much traffic. how to move people and maintain the experience of the park is
important and we are looking at everything. >> i find the budget so focused on the oil and natural gas aspect of revenue that i think you are neglecting the fact that the outdoor economy generates $887 billion a year. $65 billion in federal revenue, 59 billion dollars in state and local revenue, $124 billion to the government. that versus the $2 billion you are talking about or $18 billion depending on price fluctuations, i want to make sure we are putting the middle as it relates to the outdoor economy and the opportunities. that is what will generate more revenue for us as the government. haver fiscal year 2018, we crafted a budget of $322 million. that is 5.2% below the prior fiscal years spending levels of $339 million.
we also will not need any directed move or restocking funds which amounts to $440 million and $60.9 million in fiscal years 2016 and 2017, respect play. we plan to reduce 111 million. we can all agree that budget reductions don't come easily. we face the same challenges as other agencies in doing more with less. ,nd permitting budget cuts while maintaining essential services, means rolling up our sleeves and rethinking how the commission options and does business. havee past, fcc chairman's emphasized we are a funded agency. ,t is important to remember someone is paying our freight. that someone includes small businesses, individual essences, as well as larger companies, which pass along those fees to
consumers. it is imperative for the sec to be fiscally responsible and to avoid unnecessary spending and i firmly believe that if we refrain from predatory ovaries, we realize additional cost savings as well as more economic growth. staffinghave a springs reductions in the past several ensuredetter i.t. has that the sec remains productive. with 100 fewer staff than last year, we have managed to pursue an aggressive schedule for our open meetings. commissioners considered the highest profile matters. in 2017, we are averaging more than double the items per meeting then we considered lester. 5.83 versus 2.58. i expect this increase in productivity to continue into fiscal year 2018. since i became chairman in january, we haven't aggressive in looking for cost savings and the set has identified
substantial productions like closing the off-site warehouse and improving our mail services for a projected annual savings of $3.1 million. we will save $280 million by reducing on-site printers and machines. as a move into fiscal year 2010, we will focus the sec resources on advancing the four strategic goals outlined in our budget request. first and foremost, consistent with your comments, we will concentrate on closing the digital divide. among other things, we will implement the phase two and reverse auctions to fix broadband and 4g to more of rural america. is complicated, but the task force is a solid plan for getting the job done. if i may say on a personal note, i appreciate your
initiative. this would be a potential effort in connecting unserved americas with digital opportunity. i thank you for your leadership. second, we will work to promote innovation from implementing policies to ensuring leadership to authorize and television broadcasters to use next generation television standards. also to move full feed ahead on implementing the spectrum pipeline act to get more airwaves into the commercial marketplace for consumer use. third, we will concentrate on protecting consumers and public safety, from combating illegal robo calls to improving video relay service, we will continue to pursue an aggressive pro-consumer agenda. when it comes to public safety, we will continue to support those on the front lines across the country who protect us everyday. fourth and finally, we will focus on reforming the fcc's processes. the american people deserve to have a transparent and responsive regulator. we have already made substantial progress on this fun by making -- progress on this front by making public commissions at
least three weeks before we vote. there is much more to do, and do it we will. looking ahead to the next fiscal year, i'm excited how the sec can bring digital opportunity to more americans, promote innovation and protect the american people and improve operations. i believe this special request will help us advance these goals in a fiscally responsible way. i given the opportunity to discuss the budget proposal. >> i wanted to raise a question on net neutrality. i looked at the trump budget proposal. it cuts the fcc's core budget by 5%. it is significant for an agency whose budget basically flat funded for years.
perhaps it is an example of an agency walking away from some of its core responsibilities. nowhere do we see that more with net neutrality and broadband privacy protections. this is something i hear every, single time i got home. in the airport, the grocery store, church on sunday, i hear it everywhere. in fact, nearly 4 million americans -- 4 million, and unprecedented number, called the fcc wanting the internet to be a free platform. small businesses and large businesses have said the same thing. they want stronger, meaningful rules to protect consumers and small businesses and startups. they want the internet to be protected as open forum.
small businesses told me why the rules are so important. they don't want special treatment. they simply want insurance the internet remains an equal playing field so they can use it to expand their businesses beyond their vermont board without protective fees. one company has they don't want special preference and what they don't want to be in a position where small companies can get squeezed out by the companies that can afford it. they said otherwise, you will never see a small company start up again like them. the fcc landmark opener rules reflected the concerns of small businesses and millions of americans. the rules bend paid to play, and
could stifle innovation. the rules in the landmark opener rules and sure the internet remains open to free speech, but -- immediately after president trump appointed you, the fcc did an about-face. you could almost hear the tire squeal. your action is to cut the open rules, and it seems to be to ensure the large corporations can maximize profits at the expense of hard-working
americans and small businesses that many of us have in our state. i am troubled. i'm very troubled that under your leadership, the fcc has turned from a primary objective of competition in the marketplace to one that has been co-opted by moneyed interest and big businesses that can squeeze a competition. i hope you reconsider your it was devised decision on the open internet rules, undermining net neutrality harms consumers. i will close with this. the past few months, we have seen undermining of consumer protections, not only within the fcc but congress. i am sadly not surprised. the republican leadership and president trump have teamed up to side with corporate interests over consumers when they rolled back common sense broadband protections. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, you have a lot of businesses, a lot of startups, they will be killed by this.
if corporate interests are placed above the interest of consumers, hard-working americans, america deserves better. i will place my full statement in the record. >> at this time, we will proceed without questioning, each senator will do five minutes per round. i will begin. my first question is about something that was alluded to in your statement, but also in commissioner o'reilly's statement about helping states figure out the best way to deploy broadband, eliminate some of the barriers. could you give me a quick status on that? west virginia did just pass a semi-controversial broadband expansion bill.
>> we've taken aggressive states -- aggressive steps to work with states to make sure we have put broadband front and syntel -- and center. i set up the broadband deployment advisory committee. one critical working group of which is devoted specifically to states helping to find a model code so that states interested in broadband deployment can take an approved, off-the-shelf set of guidelines to promote deployment. similarly, some of the stewardship of universal service fund, we have worked with states to make sure every dollar that is spent is spent wisely in unserved areas. we've met with a number of state officials. >> is there one state doing it well? >> a number of them. in tennessee, they have migrated next generation 911. they have been very forward-looking. i worked in new york state to deliver subsidies to upstate new york. a lot of states -- every state i think shares that interest. they might have different challenges. >> turning to the budget quickly
or some comments that commissioner clyburn and o'reilly made, coming from different angles. i wanted to give you a chance to respond, or anybody really, but first your thoughts on possible agency structure, losing fte's, a 5% shrinkage in the budget, how do you see that in terms of your ability to get your job done? >> obviously, the office of management and budget offered guidance in terms of the 5% figure, and we crafted the budget on that guidance. we also wanted to make sure we had our eyes on the prize, to make sure the fcc discharges its core responsibilities even if staffing is lower. despite the fact that we have fewer staffers, we have been able to focus on doubling the output with respect to meeting items, the highest profile issues.
in the first month, we got across the finish line in a bipartisan way. we had a program to make sure that broadband reaches unserved americans. we've also considered structural changes to make sure we use the assets you got in the most -- assets we have got in the most effective ways. i proposed the creation of an office of economics and data. one thing i have found is that the economists are sprinkled throughout various offices. some are not as busy as others. if we have an office of general counsel, and engineers have an office, what we consolidate all the economists in one office? we would deploy resources more effectively, attract economists to the agency and give them an academic environment to consider bigger picture things, right white papers, generate innovative ideas. we are doing the best we can to meet those core responsibilities
within the constraints percentagewise. >> thank you. commissioner clyburn, we have talked about this in terms of coordination between the fcc and other agencies, we have resources for broadband deployment. we have some issues in our state with the initial stimulus package and the deployment of those funds. what are you seeing in terms of coordination with the fcc? is this an area of strength or things that need to be worked on? >> i think both, to be honest. we have a framework where we are constantly in contact with our state counterparts about what we can do and how we can build better relationships. the chairman was right to point out that nash -- points out that we have a blueprint for people to weigh in. there is only one local representative on this right now, and i'm hoping what we will continue to do is work with
local authorities, work with companies, work with us and come up with maybe an infrastructure consortium that will better and in a more streamlined way get everyone's voices at the table, come with a collaborative framework and really do what you and i want, to connect america. i think there are better ways to do it, but only three concerted effort that only through a concerted effort in listening to state and local voices. thank you. >> thank you, chairman. commissioner pye, there is widespread concern that the administration has not responded to requests for information from democrats, what can is a
long-standing tradition in both parties as to how federal agencies ought to respond to questions. will you commit to responding to all questions, whether from the majority or minority in congress? >> absolutely. i have done so and i will do so going forward. >> thank you. i appreciate that. as we discussed yesterday, consumer privacy is concerned to me. president trump signed into law a new enactment that nullified the fcc that provided protection for internet privacy. it is currently outside the federal trade commission, so they cannot provide that protection. what privacy protections are currently in place and who is enforcing them? to think there should be privacy protections for consumer products on the internet, and
how do we achieve a restoration of or move toward a place where there are robust privacy protections for consumers? >> thank you for the question. i appreciate your concern and a courtesy you extended to me yesterday in having this conversation. i think the baseline expectation of every consumer and regulator should be uniform expectation that sensitive information will be protected when every consumer goes online. the federal trade commission was the cop in the -- cop on the beat out you 2016. after 2015, when -- we stripped the ftc of jurisdiction. that left a hole in terms of privacy protections. thus far, the only thing that applies is the communications act, it applies to telecommunication characters. the ftc's rules privacy have not gone into effect. essentially, in 2015, we had to figure out how to go forward. we established guidance based on our enforcement bureau, which
provides guidance to the industry, anything going forward what we want to ensure is we protect consumers is this weekend were collaborate with the federal trade commission make sure that regardless of what agency's handling the issue, when make sure consumers are protected consistently. >> do you think it is clear who was responsible and has jurisdiction, or do you think is additional action easily taken? >> the f cc has jurisdiction over trade compliance. that's why i have committed to work closely with members of the federal trade commission to make sure we have a consistent framework that protects consumers when they go online. >> the other area we discussed have concern about is net neutrality. when the fcc first proposed the role -- the rule, an record number of americans commented, i
think it crashed the website. that just indicates there is a lot of americans with strong views about trying to keep the internet open. how will you consider the public comments received and how will the commission way the voices of millions of americans who have serious concerns about internet freedoms? >> an important question, and that's part of why we're having the public conversation. we could've continued to proceed, something that what the previous fcc is a novel and -- is null and void but it was important to estimate short we had the notice and comment process prescribed by the procedure act. we had a full 90 days of public comment in addition to the three weeks for the fcc vote to allow for that comment. once the common period closes in the middle of august, we will take stock of the turkic staff and try to figure out whether the fcc should move ahead and how. we will be got it by printable's
-- by the principles of substantial evidence, by the facts in the record and the motivation to figure out what is in the public interest. >> i would be interested, commissioner clyburn, and your comments on those two issues. >> i find myself wondering who is the referee on the field and the cop on the beat when it comes to broadband access service as it stands now. with the passage of the cra and the direction we have taken, i am not an attorney, but i don't think anybody is directing, monitoring balls and strikes. i am worried. i'm worried as a broadband customer and worried for the millions of others who are. i forgot the other question. >> consumer privacy in the neutrality. had we provide reasserts to the public the concerns will be
taken seriously? >> i'm hopeful that the over 4 million comments will be taken seriously by this body. regardless of what form they came in. people took the time to weigh in. the voices should be hurt. we are government agency, responsible for doing the will of the people. >> congress returns september 5 and plans to take up several key issues this fall. funding for the federal government ends september 30, the congress must pass federal spending bills to keep the government open. also, congress must increase the debt ceiling to avoid a default on u.s. debt. other items on the agenda are rewriting the tax code and continuing work in the senate on health care legislation. watch live gavel-to-gavel coverage on c-span. follow the senate on c-span two.
journaln's washington live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up friday morning, jeremy surry takes up his book, "the impossible presidency: the rise and fall of america's highest office." on c-span. president trump's recent rally and his performance after events in charlottesville. eric olson of woodrow wilson international center for scholars discusses u.s. policy toward venezuela. be sure to watch washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on friday morning. join the discussion. >> sunday night on "q&a," the lives of winston churchill and george orwell. we talked to thomas ricks about his book. >> they never met, but the hero of 1944 was named winston.
orwell was a real leftist all his life but admired churchill and wrote he was the only conservative he admired. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on "q&a." >> defense secretary james mattis held a joint news conference with the president of ukraine in kiev. secretary mattis reiterated that the u.s. would continue to put pressure on russia to withdraw troops from the ukrainian territory. this is 25 minutes.