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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  November 19, 2010 6:00am-9:00am EST

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i want to thank you for your service as well and appreciate your forthright answers. thank you. >> thank you, senators. >> and we will now take the third panel. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> thank you all for being here. let me introduce this panel. gordon heddell ancestors for inspector general since july of 2009. he was acting inspector general from 2008 until 2009. prior to joining the dod ig, mr. heddell served as inspector general for department player. harold geisel, and i seem to [inaudible] >> okay, herald geisel served as deputy inspector general for the
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state department says june 2008. he is more than 25 years experience for the state department improves a certified teen inspector general since 1994. michael g train to a served as deputy inspector general for the u.s. agency for international development, u.s.a. ig since february 2006. mr. carroll is a member of the executive service with 126 years government service. prior to his appointment, mr. carroll served as director administration for the bureau of industry and security in the department of commerce. stuart bowen, enter standard that feeling today, mr. bowen. try not to breathe on mr. carroll. last back last night mr. bowen is served for iraq reconstruction since october 2004. mr. bowen cert is a george w. bush as deputy assistant to the president. deputy staff secretary, special assistant to the president and associate counsel. mr. bowen spent four years on
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active duty as intelligence officer in u.s. workers achieving rank of captain. thank you all for your service to our government and we obviously this is a full panel. it is our third panel. i'll stay here all night. you know this is what i enjoyed and this is the stuff i enjoy, but i don't want to prolong the hearing for any view any longer than necessary. so feel free to make any testimony you bike as long as it's less than five minutes. if you want to do a semi, that's fine. if you want to just answer questions, that's fine, too. but i'm anxious to hear from all of you. mr. heddell. >> thank you, chairman casco. ranking member brown and distinguished members of the subcommittee. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you this afternoon to discuss our oversight efforts in afghanistan and throughout the region. effective, meaningful and timely oversight of u.s. contingency operations in southwest asia is
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critical to our success in afghanistan. i would like to focus on one of the fundamental reasons behind our success, the effective and efficient coordination of the audit, inspection and investigative assets of the many agencies in the region. this cooperation has not only maximize the ability to complete our mission, but is reduce the amount of impact our presence has had on the commands in theater to complete their mission. due to the complexity of contingency operations, and the involvement of votes for federal agencies, interagency coordination is essential to identifying whether critical gaps exist in oversight effort in recommending actions to address those gaps. i appointed mickey mcdermott of the special deputy inspector general for southwest asia in november 2009. his role is to ensure effective cordon nation within the defense
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and federal oversight community. mr. mcdermott reports directly to me and courtney occurs within the southwest asia. it was forward deployed on a two-year assignment and over the past year has worked with the oversight community, department of defense leadership and the supporting commands to improve communications and identify oversight requirements. mr. thurmond also serves as the chairperson of the southwest asia joint planning group, which developed a comprehensive oversight plan for southwest asia. the joint planning group is developing a comprehensive strategy for the oversight of the training, equipping and mentoring of the afghanistan national security forces and have plans to develop a comprehensive strategy for the oversight of contingency contract team in afghanistan. ..
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a member of taskforce 2010. we have learned from our experience in iraq that maintaining the presence is essential to providing effective oversight and overseas contingency indictment. additionally, one of the most important lessons we have
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learned is the value of having the special deputy inspector general as our single point of contact in the region for knorr domingo oversight efforts and to ensure effective communication with senior leaders in the theater. this is key for minimizing the impact on the daily operation of the activities we visit and provides those activities a single point of contact. another important lesson for and is contacting in a contingency environment presents many challenges. in may 2010 we summarized experiences in the report, and i have it here in title contingency contacting a framework for reform. this report identifies key system a contingency contracting issues as well as actions that need to be taken to correct these issues for future contract. by compiling the data and
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summarizing our findings, we were able to provide a useful tool for operators on the ground to improve their operations by avoiding past mistakes. in closing i would like to thank the subcommittee for the opportunity to discuss the work in afghanistan, and i look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with the congress, the department and all agencies and southwest asia, thank you. >> now i can't remember which we to say it, geisel? geisel. >> thank you, chairman mccaskill and ranking member brown for the opportunity to appear. i have prepared remarks but ask my written statement also be made part of the record. our oversight in afghanistan includes reforming off its, evaluations, inspections and investigations with respect to activities funded and managed by the department of state. these managed programs include
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activities and of such as worldwide protective services for diplomats, embassy security, counternarcotics and police training programs as well as construction and maintenance of u.s. embassies. our middle east office has an office in kabul with the boots on the ground to provide quick and timely evaluations of high-risk, high dollar programs. in addition our office's investigations provide on the ground investigative support in afghanistan and our offices of audits and inspections also perform work there. we have provided the committee with a list of all bits, evaluations and inspections related to the department of state operations in afghanistan that have been issued by our office since 2004. we have used congressional increases since 2009 with supplemental and the appropriations peace to greatly increase the number of plant of its evaluations and inspections in afghanistan during 2,009 and
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2010. approximately 25% of our ongoing or planned oversight for the middle east and south asia regions which include 33 countries will take place in or otherwise related to afghanistan. madam chairman, coordination occurs at several levels within the oversight community to reinforce efforts. in washington, d.c. coordination occurs to the southwest asia planning group which meets quarterly to plan on going activities to ensure minimum duplication of oversight and maximum collaboration. there's also a separate group which meets to address oversight work in pakistan and afghanistan. this working group is where the i.t. coordination inflection and agreement ochre. oig personal from the part of state, usaid, gao and sigar members are part of the group. and for all coordination
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regarding oversight work in afghanistan and elsewhere in the region also takes place between the same organizations as well as other oig. these groups continue to play a vital role and serve as a model for new and flexible groups formed in response to future contingency operations regardless where they occur in the world. in afghanistan there are additional coordination groups. the ig is facilitated in country by u.s. forces, afghanistan and the dod ig. participants meet monthly and include all oig offices working in afghanistan. madam chairman, senator brown, the concept of creating a permanent inspector general, that is one of the questions we were asked in alpheus, to oversee contingency operations merits serious consideration. however, existing departmental oigs have proven walter were
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together with special igs to provide effective coordinated oversight in contingency operations. the existing process these, organizational structures and institutional knowledge of the programs within their departments that facilitate the efficient oversight of those programs and eliminate the learning curve required of contingency ig. moreover, in an era of fiscal constraint reading a permanent ig to oversee contingency operations might not be prudent. many start dollars would be required to sustain a new bureaucracy. current organizations already in existence such as the southwest asia joint planning group and the international contract corruption taskforce could be used for in regency coordination or as models for the fast creation of other coordination groups for new contingencies around the world has the need arises. these groups have the means, methodology and practices in place to facilitate the
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efficient, cost-effective oversight, and through planning, coordination and the complexion. once again, thank you, try mccaskill and senator brown for the opportunity to appear today, and i am ready to answer any questions. >> could thank you, sherman mccaskill and senator brown for having me here to brief the subcommittee on our oversight activities and afghanistan, working relationship with sigar and finally our views on the feasibility of the special ig for contingency operations. i want to start by saying that from its inception almost 30 years ago the usaid has operated in an overseas environment with service auditors come investors and management analysts providing audit investigative coverage of u.s. aid programs and we think that gives a unique advantage in providing oversight
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and contingency operations. oversight afghanistan has devolved over the past, well, since we had boots on the ground in november, 2002. we started out as a covering as a country portfolio in the philippines and we are all the largest country office we have over our overseas offices with 14 auditors and investigators. our relationship with the sigar special ig for afghan reconstruction i have to draw a distinction between audits and investigations as i describe the relationship. on the audit site characterize relationship as productive, cooperative and productive. it's taken time to get to that point because obviously we have duplicative authorities and we have the authority to look at the same programs. so it's taken some time and
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effort, but i can say now that taha for planning and conviction we will not have overlaps and audits. i can't characterize relationship with sigar investigations in the same way. we seem to not be able to come to terms with jurisdictions, the of jurisdictions over programs and so do we but we feel as the statutory ig for the need we should have primary law enforcement jurisdiction over any allegations of the corruption and to aid programs against the aid employees and we should leave any investigation that has to do with the programs and employees and we are still trying to work with that with the sigar folks. i also if i could share my views
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as mr. geisel to date about the practicality and feasibility of statutory ig for contingency operations. i can't imagine an entity that has a better vantage than the statutory igs for doing oversight work. when you talk about contingency operations i think we would all agree that the two best examples over the past ten years are iraq and afghanistan, and you have before you today the three statutory igs, the department of defense, the part of state and a ied. and i think with our collective experience, our in-depth knowledge and understanding of our programs, people, systems, policies, i think that properly, of brough data to the unfunded i think we can as a collective
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group provided the same comprehensive oversight and reporting a statutory ig for contingency operations could. thank you for your time and i look forward to any questions you might have. >> thank you. simic's before ms. mccaskill to appear before your subcommittee. and to testify on the critical issue of oversight and contingency operations. it's an issue that has been with us for the last eight years in iraq and indeed almost seven years ago the congress created an office the special the inspector general for iraq reconstruction because the weakness regarding oversight by the department been in iraq and significant ways that ochre. i carry out my organization on four critical principles. one, real time auditing. we get our of that out quickly
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of averaging six per quarter because the operators need to get answers fast. if you wait the typical nine to 15 months for an audit of the world's changed. it's not a useful audit. second, country engagement. we are at 22 now and that is the largest single contingent oversight operators and country in iraq and investigators, audits, evaluators, and that is given the capacity, the special capacity with no focused mission to be highly productive. third unprecedented transparency. we offer a fairly unique that we meet every week with the subjects of oversight to inform them what we are doing, the progress we are making and what we are finding. so to bareboat improvement in the overall reconstruction program has the component which is a fourth mandate that i give my auditors and inspectors to be
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consulting. just a week ago i was in iraq at cannes victory meeting with general austin, the commander in iraq on critical audit we have that's going to produce tough findings in january but he needed to know them today because they affect an enormous contractor for him. that's the kind of work we are able to do by being engaged on the ground with leadership. we have produced 27 reports five less purge reports to strengthen performance and they've been focused on accounting for taxpayer dollars, the four major funds that comprise about 46 billion of the money. the question you asked me to address particularly is this the specialist after general for overseas contingency operation makes sense? and different from my fellow panel members i say yes absolutely. because of several reasons.
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one, the crosscutting jurisdiction. i have a card i can go to any door of any department with any funds and a lot of these projects and programs are multi funded from different sources. police ran for example and i can get answers from any department, and i don't have to operate in a stovepipe. second, a singularly focused mission. i have a staff that's focused on one thing, protecting taxpayer interest and improving the mission performance in a contingency. buffaloes aggressive oversight and its quick reported. we focused on coordination and talk about that a lot today. the iraq inspector general's council was something i formed within a couple of months of starting at seven years ago and we've met every quarter and now this quarter we are going to fold it into the southwest asia program but it has facilitated strong interaction with my fellow inspector general of a terse.
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the table in iraq and on this side of the world. next come flexibility in hiring practices. we have unique authority and have been able to maintain high-quality staff throughout the life of our organization. we are highly independent and report quarterly, not semiannually, so you get a comprehensive detailed analysis and factual data what's going on in iraq every three months. a permanent special ig would eliminate the challenges that arise when starting up the ig in a contingency. oversight has to be present from the beginning you know he would add that if you had one in existence. he wouldn't have to have a department will to formulate to draw their own resources the capacity to deploy and execute that kind of oversight. a feasible operation standing probably have a staff of 25 and
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cost about 5 million per year. such an organization had existed at the beginning of the iraq reconstruction program the amount of waste it would have averted would pay for it through our lifetime. there's no doubt it would be cost-effective. the return on investment and cost for sigir has been financed-1. nada there will be other contingencies and we will have significant operations. how do we avoid the kind of waste we've seen in iraq and afghanistan? significant, unacceptable, high levels of waste in the future. one would be as we heard to fund more the department told igs to give more audit and inspectors but to ensure it would have the capacity capable and ready to deploy it is a good answer. thank you, madame chair. i look forward to your questions.
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>> how many people do you have on the ground in afghanistan right now? >> right now i have 15 auditors, eight criminal investigators, to administrative staff and in addition to that a compliment that with forces that enter and exit on a regular basis. that's just in afghanistan. >> mr. geisel how about in afghanistan? >> we have five auditors and analysts in kabul and that will increase to eight by january. our investigators are always on tdy status and i think we have two investigators in the country. >> mr. carroll? >> we have not and auditors, and hopefully very shortly we will have five investigators.
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>> what do you have currently in iraq? >> just last week with 21 personnel there were 14 auditors, three investigators, 3e evaluators and chief of staff and support staff. islamic what was the high market iraq in terms of how many auditors you had on the ground? >> total number of auditors? notte inspectors just auditors we were up to 29. >> how many times of the four of you been in the room with general fields? >> i would reckon at least five times. >> i mean all of you together. have you ever been in the room with all four of you and general fields at the same time? >> i think there may be times at
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the monthly meetings and a general fields frequently attended those. >> i'm not talking about at the cigie meeting and of course the cigie is where the inspector general's come together, i don't want to see its like a rotary club, but it's your association where you come and network -- [laughter] and talk to one another and that is the people the peer review comes out of, correct? i'm talking about how many times have the four of you sat down with general fields and talked about contingency operation audits at large? >> not as a group, but frequently individually. >> okay. islamic senator mccaskill if i could add to that i think the point you're getting at is how much we talk to each other and share information, and assess risks, and that's one of the reasons that the department of
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defense inspector general created a special inspector general also chairs the joint group where all of our offices are representing, in fact almost 25 agencies submitted, so that does happen. it's just not the same personalities. as amihai understand. i'm not implying the fact that five of you haven't been in the same room together toward agencies are not talking to one another and not trying to coordinate. how many independent contractors have you hired relating to the work of afghanistan? or relating to reports or anything you need to produce for congress? can anyone think of any independent contractors? >> as part of our audit work we hire both ourselves and help the agency how your independent financial firms to conduct financial audits in afghanistan and also since it's difficult to
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get out to do our field work in some of the more dangerous places we've also why your to local firms to go out and do visits on performance. >> okay. what about you, mr. bowen, yours is not depend what commodores is a book on lessons learned which time a battle in their list i have to memory was a contractor hired for that effort? >> for hard lessons? know this was done by government staff. >> the and printed baiji psp we estimate i don't want to put to what is in an awkward position for professional auditor but i have a lot of concerns that
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someone would think it is appropriate to do a risk assessment and call it a risk assessment without an audit her on staff. does that cause you concern? >> without an audit her on staff yes it would cause me concern. >> does it cause you concern mr. geisel? >> definitely. >> mr. carroll? mr. bowen? >> yes. >> i'm curious, has there been a sense of that the leadership of sigar was not up to the professional standards you know are required for this kind of very difficult and very important audit work? >> are we the only ones that have an oversight capacity? do you all as auditors that are in a unique position to know
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whether or not the agency is standing up in a way that would reflect the standards and let me say for the record the yellow book, i keep seeing yellow book for the record i should explain the velo book is called that because it's yellow but it is the book of standards for government auditors and the silver book is the book of standards for government investigators. if you are working with another agency and i don't know the ethics are candidly if you're working with another audit agency and have said that the standards are not being complied with to you have a duty to report it to anyone? >> allegedly the diplomat here i will try to answer. [laughter] the simple answer is yes. let me give you two examples where it worked very well. we did a joint audit with the
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dod ig with the presence in afghanistan and that this police training. that activity was carried out was funded under state department of 40 to high -- of doherty and is going over to dod and from a lot of problems. >> was it your audit that found out they were not citing the rifle's? >> is as a matter of fact that was another audit but that was our audit. >> that's fairly important to know how to cite the rifles. >> it's also important when we found that the dogs supposed to sniff for explosives were not trained to sniff the explosives. but in our work with the dod ig there were slight differences of opinion but we work them out immediately, and i can tell you without exception there was
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mutual respect. i knew some of the auditors and i thought the will of them. >> i guess when asking is if you work with an audit agency you don't think professional standards are being met -- >> i would pull out, pure and simply wasn't hesitate i would try to do it nicely but i would say we seem to have different objectives and perhaps different standards and can't work together. i would do that in a heartbeat. >> anyone else? >> i would say as sigir is standing by can't think of a case we were not together with them we have worked together with them on some investigations and they have assisted us on some investigations but we never work with them together on and on it like state and dod ig did on the police training, so we
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may have missed the boat but we were completely focused on our work and not necessarily what was having at speed sigar. >> office never worked sigar. we have worked with sigar on the law enforcement task force. >> before i turn over to senator brown you have a comment? >> we work very closely with a variety of permanent inspector general's and other law enforcement agencies and have done joint audits as well. >> with sigar? >> no, with state. >> have you done any work with sigar? >> our jurisdictions don't overlap. >> i just want to be sure to read >> we were very closely supportive of them in their first year in their stand-up as
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evidence in my submission. >> thank you, madame chair, i just have a couple of questions i know we may be voting in a minute, but as you heard from my previous line of questioning i am greatly concerned as i know the chairwoman is on the allegation that there is money going to the insurgents, taliban in particular. what role do you collectively have to determine whether in fact that's the case and how we can stop that russia took -- booze responsible -- >> one of our primary responsibilities and concerns isn't just money is the life and safety of our men and women in afghanistan during the fighting for us we look at things broader than money in a of
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the determining the success we are having with weapons accountability for instance. >> the whole thing. and that's something we do focus on. our weapons and getting to where they are supposed to get in the hands of people we want them to be placed in and we did a tremendous amount of work in iraq and that is for continuing to increase focus and afghanistan on those kind areas. so we are concerned about money and the amount of money that remains $14.2 billion for instance the it's going to going to ask them national army and police training and getting them
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to the capability levels that will enable the united states to achieve its goal in afghanistan so we are very involved in those kind of issues. >> having been there i am gravely concerned as well that a lot of the folks supposed to doing the training fulfilling obligations with coalition forces and that is a whole different story but when i say funds i should say weapons and supplies in communications and the whole 9 yards. madame chair, i focused on where wanted to go i want to stress to say thank you for collecting the money and finding where the waste fraud and abuse is, and i think it helps for to justify were those funds are going and i have nothing further. thank you. >> thank you, center.
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i have great respect for all of you here that work for state and dod the of and a understand it feels like someone is permanently going to be on your turf and i'm not discounting your opinions. what we've heard today in the testimony about sigar is in many ways to me depressing. standing at an organization in contingency is difficult and that is the one organization where speed is incredibly important. you will understand your product as a short shelf life in a contingency operation.
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it is easy to waste a lot of money on an audit in the contingency operation if you can't get it to the decision makers quickly enough. so when you establish an inspector for afghanistan and it takes 18 months to produce the first of it on a contract and the audit portion of that report is for pages that makes me weep. something is terribly wrong there. now, was there appropriate expertise and please? clearly not. it didn't take too long to get appropriate expertise in place? obviously. and if we had a permanent inspector general on overseas contingency operation we wouldn't have had that lag time. can't you a little which $5 million a year is a pretty
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good investment if we can to the contingency operations inspector general office if we can stand one of and sustain one for the long haul because i've got to tell you the irony is, and some of you may have told you this before that in speaking with somebody in the army who is involved in bosnia, the lessons learned in bosnia on contacting they were not learned. we went back to the drawing board in iraq and by the time mr. bowen arrived we had an hour of control contract with no oversight whatsoever. nobody had any idea why it was over the estimate in its first year of operation, and it took awhile. and i think that cunningham is doing a much better job of us can stand in a lot of the folks were doing in afghanistan, i
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mean in iraq, and i think we have made improvement, but i'm just worried. i don't have confidence in this agency after this hearing today. and i have a sense that if we had a permanent office i wouldn't have this sensation we don't have the right leadership and we've missed a lot of its that should have been done. comments? >> i will, senator mccaskill, i certainly of a great respect for my colleagues and inspector general bowen and i never discount anything he says but i am not totally convinced and this isn't a turf issue for me. i've got more than enough work, quite frankly i take any help would can get but i am not convinced it's the solicitor general for contingency operations is the most effective efficient way to was a difference between the way we set up sigir, mr. bowen's operation and the way we set up
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sigar. when we set up sigir, the department inspector general provided 144 investigators some full-time, part-time for a lengthy period of time. i'm not saying that's why bowen was so successful, but it got sigir off on the right foot. on the other side of the claim, that wasn't done with sigar. i'm not saying it would have been better or suggesting their women have been hiring and performance problems. what we heard today goes far beyond that. >> the problems we heard today go far beyond the ability to stand up quickly. >> that is correct. but what we are talking about the right this moment is what is best for the future, and i think that for instance the response by the inspector general to katrina which was a contingency
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operation by and large was relatively effective. i think we have the floor and for some expertise in our community at large to respond to the contingency operations very effectively. i think it is a tossup as to whether you go the special ig routt but the aspect is that if you do that two things happen. you don't have enough people in a special inspector general contingency operation on a full-time basis to be able to respond quickly, and number two, the cost of maintaining force waiting for the contingency to occur, so until we sit down and figure it all out, to me it's not an efficient proposal. >> i know all of you probably
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want to comment on that and i've got to vote that's been called in by not going to me to sit here while i vote and come back as much as i am tempted to because i could go on a will and i know inspector general bowen and i have discussed this one on one before and i am a little biased towards his opinion on this and i certainly will go out of my way to have one-on-one conversations with you mr. geisel and to mr. carroll. but you intimated that and referred to problems working with the law enforcement end of sigar. i find that fascinating since they have had a cigie review of their law enforcement, and it was as somebody who's a former prosecutor, as i read the review
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of the law enforcement problems could i was surprised basics hadn't been done. are they trying to assert primary jurisdiction even after cigie said that they are so far out of compliance with government standards of investigations? >> yes. >> that is outrageous, and i will follow-up. i think our office needs to follow and have significant questions. it takes a lot of nerve for an investigative agency to a surge primary jurisdiction over a aid after the independent review determined they are not in compliance with the government investigative standards and so i would be irritated if i were you if they were trying to step on you i would be here to this they are trying to stick with you after they are only one of 51
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agencies looked at, 52 agencies looked at that were not in compliance with government standards of investigation. so i am glad that you've indicated that to me. i have to make a vote by 6:15. please, if there is anything i haven't asked that i should have i implore you to give us the information as we look at this issue. you all are the front line of probably the most challenging environment that exists in the world in afghanistan right now. the enemy we are fighting is yes taliban, yes al qaeda, but make no mistake about it is a culture of corruption, and the american people have no idea how much money is probably walking away from its intended purpose in
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afghanistan so please convey to the men and women who work for all of you and we will probably have another opportunity, mr. bowen, for the end of the line in iraq but please convey to all the people that have worked in iraq. we've spent a lot of time praising the men and women of uniform as we should and i don't think enough people realize there are men and women putting their life in danger with a very difficult work in a very challenging environment so please convey to your staff the appreciation of the american people for the work they are doing. it's essential to the safety and security of the nations of thank you for your attendance today at the hearing is adjourned. >> t
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question will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition?
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>> madam speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass emergency unemployment compensation continuation act, h.r. 6419, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 6419, a bill to amend the supplemental appropriations act, 2008, to provide for the further extension of emergency unemployment benefits, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, and the gentleman from la, mr. boustany, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. levin: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. levin: madam speaker, this is called an emergency bill because it's an emergency. for millions of people, this is an emergency. unemployment benefits will run out in a few days.
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therefore it's an emergency for the united states of america. and let me just indicate what's at stake here. through january 1 of next year, close to two million people will not any longer be eligible for benefits. and then a month later the amount almost doubles. this is an emergency. i received a call last night i was in my office at :30, and a person called from atlanta, georgia -- at 9:30, and a person called from atlanta, georgia, to thank me and to thank mr. mcdermott and to thank our party for bringing up this extension. i don't know what more any of us
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want. i don't see how we can go home for thanksgiving when as a result of failure of benefits hundreds of thousands of people may not have a turkey on their table because they can't afford it. and the next week may not have the moneys they need to meet their daily needs. this should be a bipartisan effort. this is a totally human effort. this is totally an urgent effort. these are people laid off, people who have been looking for work, people who cannot find work. for every job at least five people are looking for employment for that job.
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i don't know what other evidence needs to be brought here. it can be stated very briefly and directly. if the two million people who are going to lose their benefits looking for work were brought here so we could see them, would anyone vote no? would anyone vote no? do we need the two million here? can we put ourselves in their homes, in their shoes, in their places with their families, with their children? this is an emergency. this house must act. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from louisiana. mr. boustany: thank you, madam
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speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. boustany: as yogi berra said , this bill is like deja vu all over again and not in a good way. the bill before us today is a ninth extension of unemployment benefits since mid 2008. benefits recently stretched up to 9 weeks or almost two years in most states. and with the exception of just one billion, last november every one of those extensions was not paid for. that's a total of $135 billion added to our $14 trillion debt. meanwhile, our democrat colleagues swore their policies would create jobs but they haven't. instead of paychecks, millions of americans were left with only an unemployment check. in february of 2009, the president signed the democrats' trillion dollar stimulus plan.
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democrats at that time promised that the plan would create 3.7 million jobs and lower the unemployment rate to 7% by now. none of that happened. instead, over two million private sector jobs were lost and unemployment has spiked to 10% while the debt has grown by almost $3 trillion. a total of 48 out of 50 states have lost jobs since this democrat stimulus bill passed. here we are again extending unemployment benefits because the democrats' trillion dollar stimulus failed to create the millions of jobs that they promised it would. but even more sadly, instead of doing this responsibly, this bill will simply add another $12 billion to our current mountain of debt and we can do better than this. we certainly can do better than this. both republicans and democrats support helping long-term unemployed. the chairman of the committee
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expressed a great deal of empathy in his opening statement. we share that empathy. every one of our congressional offices has dealt with families dealing with this tragedy of unemployment. but republicans and even some democrats want to sonsably pay for these benefits. in fact, there are sufficient unspent stimulus funds to do just that and cover the $12 billion cost of the bill before us. this is not a new republican idea or a new idea, this is something we have discussed before. but the other side insists on bringing this forward unpaid for. the chairman of the senate finance committee has proposed cutting stimulus to pay for certain measures. last june the democrat leader himself, mr. hoyer, admitted there was spending fatigue across the country and that if, i quote, if we have dollars not yet expended in the recovery act they should be applied to new
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spending like this, end quote. that would be far better than adding to the unchecked growth in spending and debt that has already cost us an estimated one million jobs. the fact is we can both provide this help and pay for it. by cutting less effective stimulus spending. that's what we should be debating today and not a bill called up under special rules that permit no amendments and no chance to offer ways to pay for this. even if this were to pass, the sad thing is there are no plans in the senate for a vote on this bill any time soon. so the fact of the matter is this bill is going nowhere. the american people know it isn't right to add these costs to our already overgrown -- overdrawn national credit card. they want -- we all want to help those in need. but the american people also know someone has to pay when
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government spends money. and it shouldn't be our children and our grandchildren. madam speaker, the american people sent us here to do a job. we should pay for this spending today. we can pay for this spending today. there is no reason why we couldn't bring a bill forward with a way to do this. a way to pay for it. i ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reject this bill today and instead let's work together to quickly pass the bill to extend federal unemployment benefits while finding a responsible way to pay for it. madam speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan. mr. levin: i yield myself 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. levin: i say to the gentleman from louisiana, the people of this country looking for work don't want empathy. they want unemployment insurance that they worked for. and you're standing in the way. don't send them empathy. send them what they worked for.
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i now yield four minutes to the author of this bill, the gentleman from washington, and i ask permission that the balance of my time be taken by the gentleman from washington. mr. mcdermott. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from washington will control the time and is recognized. mr. mcdermott: may i ask what the division of minutes is at the moment? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 16 1/2 minutes. mr. mcdermott: on the republican side? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from louisiana has 15 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. mcdermott: thank you. i rise in support of h.r. 6419 which will extend current unemployment insurance benefits through february of next year and provide much needed help to unemployed americans during the
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holiday season. from the beginning of the unemployment insurance program 75 years ago, we have never cut off benefits for out-of-work americans where the unemployment rates have been this high. without this extension, temporary federal extended benefits will shut down shortly after thanksgiving, the 27th, and denying benefits to two million of our fellow citizens over the holiday season. it's unthinkable to me that we could allow these benefits to last during the holiday season and before the economic recovery is on solid ground. despite the severity of the republican economic collapse, which started under mr. bush, there have been 10 straight months of private sector growth under this democratically controlled congress and administration. despite the huge accomplishment of digging the american economy
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out of the republican economic ditch, two of the americans remain unemployed. there is still only one available job for every five unemployed americans. to make matters worse, the president's now carrying reports that employers around the country are refusing to hire the unemployed. they are saying to the unemployed, we want to hire somebody who has a job to come over and fill our job. because we know you were laid off because you weren't a good employee and that's why they let you go. we don't want to hire people who aren't worth anything. that's the message that's going out in this country to the unemployed. and many of those people are middle class people who worked very hard and through no fault of their own their industries collapsed. banking, housing direct results of what the bush administration did or didn't do, really, that
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is regulate wall street. unfortunately the republicans who already made it clear that instead of helping the middle class one of their top rightors is to give millionaires and billionaires a huge $700 billion break. now, the same people who are saying this should be paid for will be out on this floor sometime in the next couple of weeks saying, we don't have to pay for a tax break, why that will just -- that will pump jobs into the world. all we have to do is cut taxes everywhere and we give $700 billion to people who make more than a half a million dollars a year, that's ok. but an unemployment check for somebody to keep bread on the table and keep their mortgage paid is not ok. we can't not fund that. this is an emergency.
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people who talk like that on the floor of this house have never been unemployed or never have known anybody who was unemployed. you would not talk that way about unemployed people if you knew them. now, this should give every middle-class american a lot to think about the results of this last election. this is your first chance to observe what you can expect in the next two years. the majority leader -- the minority leader in the other body said, my number one priority is to prevent barack obama from having a second term. not public policy, not jobs for people, not health care for people, but political games. and that's what this is all about. the experts agree, two out of every three people who get unemployment benefits are in the middle class. we are not talking about people who weren't trying or weren't
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working or doing their part as americans. while the republicans were bankrupting the country to help the rich with one hand, giving tax breaks all over the place, the republicans were using the other hand to push the unemployed middle class of america out of their homes and never dealt with the foreclosure issue to prevent them from having food on the table and keep their children from being properly clothed. . on the campaign trail republicans called the unemployed lazy. you have never met an unemployed person or you would never say that a second time to them. they say unemployment benefits spoil out of work americans. they get lazy and sit around the house and wait for their unemployment checks. those checks aren't that big in the first place and secondly, people don't like to be unemployed in this country. people look for work and they're looking for work and
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they're now being told, you've been out of work for two years, we don't want you, we want somebody who already has a job over here. some republicans question the constitutionality of the unemployment insurance program. the health and welfare of the american people is unconstitutional, according to some people. fortunately, the american people don't feel the same way. a recent poll showed that 86% of americans believe the unblowed really want to work. that's what the people think. that's not the political rhetoric of people running for election. but that's what the people really think. the election is over now and americans are have said, we want both parties to work together to get things done and do it by listening to the american people. americans don't want to push american families whose breadwinners lost their jobs through no fault of their own into poverty during the holidays.
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i think we should end these debates and extend benefits longer and allow benefits to be scaled back on the economy as the economy improves. the reason we've had all these votes out here is because the senate is unable to do anything. we've tried to extend this for extended periods of time and over in the senate they can think, let's extend it for a month. see if we can starve them for a month. they let this program lapse for three months over there. and you're telling me that we're going to work together. i think we ought to work together. the short-term extension is an effort to see if our republican colleagues will support any kind of help for the unemployed. i'm told by the other side that there's no plans in the senate to take up this bill. well, they're waiting to see if we can get it out of here. if you don't help, maybe it won't get out of here. but the message to four million
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americans will be, the republican party doesn't care whether you have a christmas or a way to fund your mortgage or a way to put food on the table for the first three months of the next year. i hope my republican colleagues will join the american people in supporting this bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from louisiana. >> madam speaker, we're hearing oversimplifications from the other side. mr. boustany: this is not one of those either you pass it or you don't types of issues here. we could pay for this. and the sad thing is, all i'm hearing on the other side is a great deal of cynicism. furthermore, look the american people have spoken about this. they are saying, we've got oget a handle on national debt if we're going to get the economy going again and create jobs
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because the american people want paychecks. they want good-paying jobs they want an end to this uncertainty. we have information from the mcarthur foundation, a very respected organization, they released a poll showing that 70% of voters in month's leches say it's important to reduce the national debt. overwhelmingly, voters want us to reduce the debt by cutting spending. instead of doing this, fiscally responsible thing and paying for this new spending which we could very easily do, the bill before us today does exactly the opposite. it adds $12 billion to our nation's debt in a program that's already added $135 billion to the national debt. the sad thing is, madam speaker, we could extend these unemployment benefits and we could pay for them. look, the bill reflects, i think, a very cynical political maneuver by the democratic leadership because they know that the senate has no plans to pass this unpaid for bill. we've been down this path
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before. in fact, the liberal "huffington post" has broke then code on what's going on here. there was a recent headlines, jobless benefits about to lapse as senate democrats mull strategy. that was the headline on tuesday. and, quote, no plans in senate for a vote on unemployment benefits, read the headline yesterday. the quote senator -- to quote senator reid from rhode island, a democratic leader on the legislation, i quote, at this point it's not been scheduled. i can't point a specific time it will come up for a vote this week. end quote. the american people are tired of the cynicism and they want answers. the sad thing is, there's a simple answer on this one. unlike many of the other problems our country is facing, which are much more complex. we could extend unemployment benefits and we could pay for it. but our friends on the other side of the aisle currently
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control the house, control the senate, kohl the white house and they can't even get their act together to do this. -- control the white house and they can't even get their act together to do this. especially since there are republicans who one willing to do this extension if it were paid for. there is a way to pay for it, yet our friends across the aisle refuse to see this. i are reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington. mr. mcdermott: i use 30 additional seconds. my friend on the other side clearly understands, i'm sure, the legislative process. we put a bill over to the senate, they can make a change. if they want to pay for it, they can pay for it. they are safe. they're comfortable. because they know you're going to stop the bill. or try to stop the bill. they know that the house republicans are determined that they're not going to let this bill through here. so they say, all right, we can say we have -- we won't do
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anything with it. my opinion is if we put a bill over there, they'll pass a bill. i yield two minutes to mr. davis. mr. davis: spaung, mr. chairman. i believe the american people want to work. those who are unemployed want jobs. those who are out of work want employment benefits. i don't think that there is any excuse that could be given. there's no reason that one can conjure up. i would say to a person who is unemployed, out of work, have no -- has no food, can't pay their mortgage, can't enjoy the holidays, that there is a reason, especially since they have worked, that they can't have benefits to get them through this season on an
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emergency basis. i'm amazed. i'm dumbfounded, i can't believe that i'm hearing what i'm hearing. that somehow or another, the democrats, in a technical sense, are keeping individuals from getting unemployment benefits. i would hope that we could change our minds, change our positions, and know that when we do this for the least of these, then we're doing the work that we ought to be doing. let's pass this measure to provide benefits to the unemployed and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will take this opportunity to remind all members to address their remarks to the chair. the gentleman from louisiana. mr. boustany: thank you, madam speaker. i want to remind our friends on the other side that in the past when they did bring the bill up on suspension, it failed and
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yet when you did on one occasion bring it up on regular order, it did pass. we all have to work hard to listen to the will of the american people. yesterday, speaker pelosi herself said, i quote, our consensus is we go out there listening to the american people, it's about jobs -- it's about jobs, it's about reducing the deficits, end quote. yet here we are again today being asked to increase the deficit by another $12 billion, another $160 million in debt for every family of four in the united states, just for three months of benefits under one program. all of the -- all on top of the $.8 million of debt we wracked up since president obama took office. the question, madam speaker, is , is the speaker really listening to the american people? what we heard earlier this month is that people want us to
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provide help to those in need but not add a mountain of debt that we are currently leaving to our children and grandchildren. the sad thing again, i are repeat, the sad thing is, we can achieve both goals today. we could have. the congressional budget office has informed us there's enough unspent stimulus spending that we can cut to cover the additional spending in this bill. it's unconscionable that the other side has not heard the american people about the concerns about unfettered debt passed on to our children and grandchildren. again, mr. hoyer this past summer suggested we do just that, in june, he said, i quote, if we have dollars not yet expended in the recovery act, they should be applied to new spending like this. in july, 59 democrats signed a letter saying, and i quote, extending critical economic
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investments is no more important than paying for them. america is facing a debt crisis that is threatening to undermine our economic and national security. we can no longer afford to exacerbate the problem because the decisions about how to pay for what we spend are getting harder, unquote. this one is so easy, we have a way to pay for it. yet the majority chose to bring this to the floor unpaid for and without an opportunity to even offer an amendment. so i ask our colleagues on the other side are you listening to the american people? madam speaker, are they even listening to each other? and do they agree with the speaker that it's about debt? all we're hearing are mixed signals. if so, join us in voting down this unpaid for bill and working together on a new bill which we could do very quickly that does right by the unemployed as well as our children and grandchildren.
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that's what the american people expect of us today. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington. mr. mcdermott: can you tell us how much time we have left? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington has seven minutes remain, the gentleman from louisiana has nine and a half minutes remaining. mr. mcdermott: i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from new york, mrs. maloney. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. maloney: madam speaker, the joint economic committee, which i chair, released a report today that finds that if congress fails to extend the federal unemployment insurance benefits program, the unintended consequences could be extremely serious. serious, not just for the two million americans who would see their benefits expire in december, but extremely serious for the larger economy as well. prematurely ending the program would drain our economy of some
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$80 billion in purchasing power. just as our fragile economy is beginning to recover. this would result in the loss of over one million jobs over the next year. even now, there are five americans looking for work for every job opening in the land. and more than 40% of those unemployed have been out of work for 27 weeks or more. including over 159,000 in new york state with some 95,000 in my home of new york city. choosing to vote against an extension and thus add a million americans to the ranks of the unemployed cannot possibly be considered as a wise economic policy choice. the nonpartisan congressional budget office ranks the
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stimlative effects of unemployment benefits as one of the most effective policies to reduce growth that they have studied. and the president's council soft economic advisors estimates that every dollar spent on unemployment insurance benefits increases gross domestic product by $1.60. economists predict that without extended benefits, the economy will suffer, consumer spending will fall by .5%, and economic growth will be reduced by almost a half of a percent. the facts and the numbers in the -- i request five seconds. mr. mcdermott: i yield the gentlelady 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. maloney: the facts and numbers in the new report make it clear that extending this program benefits those who need our help most, benefits the larger economy, and thus
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benefits us all. so i urge a yes vote on this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from louisiana. mr. boustany: thank you, madam speaker. i, again, say there was a way to pay for this. we have to be frank with the american people on this. jobless benefits have cost so far $319 billion, and yet unemployment is still at 9.6% and we've seen really nothing coming from the other side who controlled the majority of the house, controlled the senate, controlled the white house. we've seen nothing to help small businesses get going again. we've seen nothing to promote competitivive -- competitiveness in the economy. it is unpaid for. nothing -- there was an agreement.
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we're saying let's do it in a responsible way and pay for it. you know, it wasn't always this way. this is the ninth attempt to extend this program, and when democrats passed their only paid for unemployment insurance extender bill in november of 2009, the only one that was paid for, the administration, the obama administration hailed that fiscally -- i quote, fiscally responsible approach to extending unemployment insurance, end quote, add, again, quote, fiscal responsibility is central to the medium-term recovery of the economy and the creation of jobs, end quote. that was from the administration's statement of policy about the democrats' one paid for u.i. extension bill, which was h.r. 3548. 156 republicans supported that november, 2009, bill. but the administration's only logic, democrats had an
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irresponsible bill which increases the deficit by an estimated $12 billion undermines the medium-term recovery of the economy and the creation of jobs. the sad thing, madam speaker, is this -- we could extend unemployment benefits and pay for it. this is not a hard one. there are harder decisions coming with the debt our country is facing and economic uncertainty. republicans are ready to move forward and get this country going in and to restore american competitiveness, but i see our friends on the other side of the aisle are up to their old ways. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington. mr. mcdermott: i have no further speakers, madam chair, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from louisiana. mr. boustany: madam speaker, i believe we concluded debate on our side of the aisle, and i'm prepared to yield back if the gentleman's prepared to close.
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mr. mcdermott: yes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. boustany: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington to close. mr. mcdermott: madam speaker, i found that the other side is very adroit at finding some reason not to help the middle class. now, there's plenty of evidence to suggest that the people in this country are not interested in cutting off food and housing and medical coverage for people who are unemployed in this country. and do use these arguments, well, we're going to get the money from the stimulus money, i defy anybody on this floor at this moment to stand up and tell me where that stimulus money is and what the impact
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would be if you cut it. because that money was allocated to various agencies, some to purchase -- pay salaries for school teachers, some to pay salaries for policemen and firemen and local government, some to pay the states for medicaid. all this money is out there. maybe some of it hasn't yet been spent, but it's allocated. some of it is for construction projects. i suppose you, like that governor in new jersey, who really think it's politically smart to stop a public works project on the hudson river because then he can use that money to pave potholes in new jersey and he puts the construction workers out all over the place, out of work. those infrastructure projects, you can't spend all the money on the first day. it does take a little while to build it and you pay it out as you build it.
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now, you know that. you're -- republicans aren't -- they're not -- they're just being deceptive. they think because it still is there in the treasury it can be used for something else. it might have been committed for something else, but not my republican friends. this emergency that these 4.5 million people have over here who have no benefits coming by the end of march, you folks understand that you shouldn't worry about this. i mean, the speaker -- the speaker will explain it to you that they -- you just have to wait until we find where that money is in the budget. this is an emergency for people who have no check coming. now, we would all like this thing to be all over. there isn't anybody on this floor, republican or democrat, who wouldn't like the mess that was created by the bush administration to be over with.
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it isn't. and the problem is a guy in my district is, jim, i can tell you what the problem with america is, and your republican side has a bad dose of this. he says it's the belief in the microwave. if they have a problem they come down to the refrigerator, they open the refrigerator, pull something out, open the microwave, throw it in, push two buttons and then they have lunch. they think everything can be solved like that. it took eight years for mr. bush to create the mess that we are dealing with, and it's not going to be over in 30 seconds like the microwave dinner is. and the fact is that you got people who contradict you directly, the real budget. no one's ever going to accuse me of being a big budget warrior or deficit warrior. but the president of the
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concord coalition, the organization dedicated to eliminating federal budget deficits said, and i close, as a deficit hawk, i wouldn't worry about extending unemployment benefits. it's not going to add to the long-term structural debt, deficit and it does address a serious need. i just feel like unemployment benefits wandered into the wrong street corner at the wrong time and now they're getting mugged. and he's absolutely right. for us to pick on the unemployment benefits as the problem for this deficit, wait until we have the debate on taxes on this floor, and i hear people whining around here about people making more than half a million dollars and we have to give them a tax cut. i urge my colleagues to vote for h.r. 6419. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 6419 azzammed.
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-- as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana rise? mr. boustany: we would like a recorded vote, the yeas and nays, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman ask for the yeas and nays? mr. boustany: yes, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this
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>> an operative caller has killed about 1100 patients in
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the past month. the state department special coordinator for haiti, thomas adams, and officials from the centers for disease control and the u.s. agency for international development briefed reporters at on current conditions in haiti. this is just under an hour. >> we will make some very brief opening remarks, and then take your questions. after the earthquake in haiti, we knew that the island would be particularly susceptible to waterborne diseases and other medical threats. and we, along with the international community, set up a robust surveillance system which did indeed detect the outbreak of cholera which was confirmed on october 20. the reason that this collar is spreading, which was also predicted, are the poor sanitation in haiti, which shows
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you serving have seen. also the fact that for at least 50 years and perhaps as long as 100 years, haiti has not had any cholera. so there are no immunities amongst the population. also, this strain of cholera seems to be more beer let than the normal strength -- virulent. and cdc will talk more about that and are doing some investigations to try to get a better picture of that. because haiti had such a poor health infrastructure, we, the united states, as part of our broad assistance there has made is one of our pillars that were going to invest a lot of money in the health system over the next five years. and we've already started on several parts of it. but the challenges as we go forward on cholera are many. and we are meeting them and
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trying to overcome them, but this occupies us everyday. and a great team of people down there as well, spent a lot of time on this. so with that introduction i'll ask mark ward from the office of our disaster assistance at u.s. aid which is doing a lot of the initial work and respond to this to say a few words. >> hello again. i think i was here last to talk about thomas. i was in haiti last week to take a look at the car situation. let me begin by expressing a lot of confidence in the average that the government of haiti has undertaken in treating the disease from what we've seen so far. i was impressed by the professionalism that i saw when i was there last week among their medical professionals. i think you know the numbers.
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the cases reported are going up, over 18,000 now, and, unfortunately, the death toll is also going up, over 1100 now. o. fda has provided about $9 million, about $9 million so far. that number is going up every day. and you wonder why. going forward, our strategy right now is to focus very much on prevention. cholera is not very hard to prevent or treat if you get it early. but without to provide provide the tools to treat it, and make sure that people know how to use those tools and take better care of themselves. if we are successful, the number of severe cases will decline. we won't, they won't overtax the government treatment facilities, and the death rate will drop. we've got an aggressive plan on prevention and it has four parts.
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number one, clean drinking water. a subject we talk about a lot. we talked about sorting during the pakistan floods. clean drinking water is critical. chlorinated clean drinking water is even more critical to stop cholera. because the chlorine kills, they can tell us what it is, a nasty thing inside the water that causes the cholera. he can explain to us what that is. many haitians get their water, particularly in the urban areas, from government sources, from public sources. when i was in haiti, i was in port-au-prince on friday. we saw people gathering and filling water containers from public pipes. and we tested that water on the spot. good news. it was chlorinated. but we've got to ensure that there is plenty of chlorine coming into the country over the next couple of months so that they don't run out, and we will
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do that. and then for the rural areas where they do not have access to the public source of water, a government source of water, we are providing millions of aqua tabs that families can use to clean the water themselves. second, or a rehydration therapy. cholera causes, as you know, severe diarrhea, and dehydration. and this is what kills. it's easily treated with oral rehydration therapy which is a simple mixture of sugar and salt and, very important, clean water. u.s. aid is pretty proud of fact that about 50 years ago we developed this therapy in south asia. and all of us in the foreign service know it very well. from our service overseas. we'll keep a couple of sachets in our desks at work. it is easy to make come is easy to administer. you don't need to go to a hospital or at clinic to use it. so it's critical to our
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prevention efforts in haiti. and we, the u.s. government alone, among many donors, will be sending 2 million sachets to haiti over the next month. about a third of it will be distributed through usaid's network throughout the country, and the rest through the united nations. there are 400-point in the country there were people can go to get it and we'll be adding more because we want to be sure it is available in all departments of the country, even though the disease has not yet shown up. education and messaging. the third part of our new strategy. cholera as you here, as your tom-tom, and you will hear later, is new to haiti. it leads to adequate got to redouble our effort to be sure that the haitians know how to care for themselves and prevent its spread in more severe cases. messages are pretty simple. drink clean water.
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we are giving them awkward to have to and chlorine to do that. wash your hands with clean water and soap. we are disturbing as many hygiene kits as we can, as fast as we can. currently we've got enough hygiene kits in the country for about a thousand people for about two weeks. use o.r. as. if you or someone in your family develop diarrhea and when we give it to people we show them how to make it in case they have trouble reading directions on the sachet. we've got a network of ngo partners, committee health workers across the country of 4000 locations where we can be spreading this message. as well as text messaging, as well as through the local media. and then finally, we know the fourth part of our approach. we know there will be some severe cases still developing. they are prevention efforts won't entirely succeed.
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and people need to have a place to go if they develop diarrhea and it is not going away. so we will be adding additional money to expand the facilities that are available either in color trimming is our cholera treatment centers, in places where the disease is showing up so that if the diarrhea presents and people need to get additional help, and that addition of this year was just an i.v. drip for a while and someone needs to monitor your vital signs, but you need to get there quickly once the diarrhea develops. we need to make sure that these treatment facilities are available to people without too long of a journey. so we'll be working working with ngo partners, particularly in the camps to make sure that people have a place to get you quickly and with the government to expand the bed space that they've got for people outside of the camps so that again, if the diarrhea shows up, people can get to a treatment facility as quickly as possible.
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just finally, you become we are not doing this alone. there are a number of other countries around the world that are also really stepping up and helping out with cholera effort, just to name a few, brazil, european union, spain and japan. this prevention campaigns i've talked about will cost more money. the number will go up every day. but we have to act now. to keep this as well as possibles, so i don't think money will slow us down. thanks very much. >> good afternoon. as the set, both mark and tom cholera is a preventable and treatable disease. sometimes the situation gets more severe based on the conditions on the ground. and we know that they're certain risk factors for cholera outbreaks. those include lack of access to safe drinking water, contaminated food, inadequate
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sanitation, and large numbers of either refugees or internally displaced people. the earthquake on january 12 of this year, worse and those conditions by damaging drinking water treatment facilities, i'd water to dissipation scissors, and displaced over 2.3 million patients. further increasing the risk of cholera and other waterborne diseases. with the earthquake also did was heightened surveillance. the laboratory capacity by the ministry of health and by the national lab in conjunction with partners including the u.s. government and the centers for disease control has allowed for a heightened surveillance. when the first case of cholera, or the first suspect case of patients with acute diarrhea were announced on october 19, those were reported to the minister of health, and within four days a national public health laboratory confirmed the diagnosis of cholera. it's really this rigorous effort
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to restore surveillance and lab capacity that really allowed for the effort that we're working on now to have commenced. it was declared a public health emergency, any government worked closely again with international and nongovernmental and governmental organizations to raise awareness of cholera and treatment and prevention measures. cdc also has a long history of working on cholera outbreaks in asia, africa and latin america. there's really five areas that we want to focus on and continue to focus on while in haiti. one is we want to focus on patient to make it to the hospital. to reduce the case fatality rate ago she that we're working with clinicians to educate them to a training and a trainer program. clinicians in haiti as mentioned are not used to seeing patients with cholera. it's not reported to have been there this generation, likely in past generations as well. so the education and training on
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how to diagnose and manage a patient with cholera is not present. and so we have a training system which will reach both the department hospitals and reach its way to the community as well. to community health workers. work with patients who are sick or require or by providing health education, advising them as market mentioned, on the proper use of oral rehydration salt and a poorly advising patients once they have accused water diarrhea to seek health care. three is prevention. again, as was mentioned the improve access to safe drinking water and educating unimproved hygiene, sanitation and food preparation practices. fourth, working on surveys both laboratory surveys and epidemiological service to monitor the spread of disease and provide timely detailed information about infections, death, and fatality rate. this information can be used to correct public health resources
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and support to the areas where it is most needed. and five, to continue to work on the science to adjust interventions as necessary. each cholera outbreak, the vehicle of transmission, the knowledge of practices of the local population may be slightly different. in haiti where cholera wasn't present again, the knowledge of cholera is the way it is transmitted, the way to use oral rehydration salt may not be used in other parts of the world. so working on those five aspects we feel like we can help support haiti and work on reducing the burden of disease. thank you. >> this question is for any and all, if after the earthquake you knew that this was likely to be a problem, how did this spread so quickly and -- how did he get so bad so fast? and it was inevitable, and
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knowing what you know that haiti has had a case of cholera, however long it is, why weren't people being trained in recognizing this earlier? this four-day diagnosis seems to be a bit long, to me. and i'm not suggesting that anyone is to blame here, the u.s. or anyone else, but it seems like if the international community was aware this is going to be a problem, steps could have been taken to at least contain this before it got so out of hand. >> i hope i didn't say it was inevitable. we didn't wish this on anybody, or we helped haiti would dodge this bullet. but they haven't dodged any bullet, as you know. we knew they were susceptible to waterborne diseases, not necessarily cholera. it might be another disease. but we had prepared supplies for
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that and set up a surveillance system. frankly, i think people thought that if the pro-god it would be in crowded port-au-prince it wouldn't start in the -- so, you know, the disease fooled us. but i think the point there is that were preparations made that allowed us to get an early start on tackling this problem. that said, it is a serious major problem, and it's going to present challenges as we go forward. >> i would just like to add a comment in the early 90s when there was a latin american outbreak of cholera, again, a naïve operation and cases spread throughout the content in south america, and throughout the country, we saw cases in the united states as well. surveys was heightened both there and integrating. and since that time we've never seen a case of cholera despite heightened surveys that there
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are two factors, until now, there's two factors that are required to have a cholera outbreak that one, the presence of the organism. and two, a breach in the water hygiene infrastructure. currently, both of those factors are met. but previously we had the reason to think you organism wasn't there spent what was the breach? >> as was mentioned, there's a couple aspects. one, after the earthquake with a displacing over 2.3 moving people, it created a population that was a truly displays which was an enormous factor for cholera spent giving cholera can just appear magically? it doesn't have to be introduced? >> no, i'm not saying that. i'm saying the displaced people contributed to this bread that we are seeing now. spent right, but as you said all along, i mean, haiti is one disaster after another for the last, how many historic this hasn't happened before.
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so i mean, there's populations have moved red haiti and lived in unsanitary conditions for 100 years. >> that's correct. >> so something had to introduce the -- >> that's actually quite. two things. one, we don't know how the surveillance system prior to the earthquake would it even detected this case. laboratory capacity and epidemiological surveys was happened passionate heightened now. i will address your question now. specifically, how the organism was introduced we don't know. it's very difficult to the spread of infectious diseases where the strength of this organism came from, how i got there, what the origin was. we will never know that, that answer. >> okay, but i will stop after this. if -- i let someone else go. >> let me just say, tell you something i saw on friday, to dispel the notion that we were
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not taking steps to prevent the spread of some kind of an infectious disease by water. i visited a very large camp in port-au-prince on friday, 26,000 residents. and they have set up a cholera treatment center. very impressive. all the steps you go to the i walked through it. i walked through so many puddles of chlorine, i think my shoes were going to dissolve. they had followed the protocol. they were ready. they hadn't had one patient yet. because in that camp, there were the ingredients to avoid cholera. clean drinking water, clean latrines, and families being taught every day how to keep their children and their families clean. i wish services like that were available in all the camps. and part of our new strategy is to make more services like to avail in the camps where we haven't had this presents. >> i had a question about the
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source of this strain. i know you said there's indication of where it came from yet. can you rule anything out? there's been a lot of political backlash by the u.n. for brad's -- [inaudible] can you rule any of that out there was also some suggestion that perhaps because of some misguided of latrines, that kind of thing being dumped into streams. that kind of thing. >> we can't rule in or rule out either scenario. the cdc in conjunction with the laboratory in haiti are conducting a variety of laboratory tests to further characterize the strain of cholera. but again, with global trade, global movement of population, we will never know how these strain arrived in haiti. >> what about the analysis you're talking about? >> there's a host of different types of laboratory analysis. we have done already e&a fingerprinting of an organism.
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with coulter the organism. and now we've made available to the scientific community the whole genome of the organism. so that they up to the scientific community to assess as well as they can compare it to other types of cholera. the problem is there's not that many types of cholera to compare to the genome sequencing. [inaudible] >> we will likely never know where this came from. spent i just want to ask one of the question, sorry, and then i will be done. on the political side, one of you have mentioned the haitian government's response. there was some suggestion down there that the president, this was an election become at some point he's adjusted that people avoid bottled water, just trying to stir the pot a bit. i wanted you to speak about how the government is trying to put people. >> the government response has been very good.
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very strong, ministry of health. responded amy lee. they asked us to set up treatment centers of port-au-prince and identify the sites rapidly. they worked on a messaging, a loud message is going up. president preval all has gone on the telling people can accommodate take steps to seek treatment. and so the government has done very well, helped by international partners, in on this. so i guess your question is, is there in some other agenda being pushed without? >> i was -- reporting on present the vols suggesting. >> i didn't see that. spin and just brought it about how this is being pushed about the election campaign decreasing a lot of that, a lot of candidates? >> some opposition candidates are using the anti-minister
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senate a bit but is not getting very far. frankly. i think most candidates have been, you know, responsible in this. and the other question related to the election is so far the governor has given no indication this will postpone the elections. is that i a question about given the current state of the a break and inefficient that you have underway, i'm one if you can tell us what models you may have about where we are in the epidemic? is this something that we will continue to see rising, rising fast, or is it peaking? how does that work? >> thank you. it's very difficult, as you can imagine, to project the number of cases, the number of deaths we're going to see. in an outbreak of any infectious disease, including cholera. we do have some figures in terms of comparing the scope of this outbreak, in terms of the number
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of cases we're seeing now compared to previous outbreaks. and that helped us guide for planning purposes, for the provision of the different preventive measures that we have discussed, the establishment of cholera treatment centers. but to give a number of where we are, the outbreak is very difficult as you can imagine. >> is it possible to sort of right this outbreak in severity as compared to previous one's? >> so, one of the things they did after the latin american epidemic is they look at what factors into the country allowed to evaluate for the transmission of cholera. and i found a couple of things that the most important thing infant mortality. the had infant mortality, the increased spread of cholera, which seems quite intuitive. but they're modeling suggested that. so we need as a high, relatively high infant mortality. and so we expect using that model that haiti is going to
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have sustained transmission for a number of years. we hope that given the current preventive and treatment measures we have, transmission will, the biggest burden will be heard on any academic. and that's what we're seeing now, but we expect that cases will continue, and the organism will likely be present in the environment for a number of years. >> let me just add, maybe a little counterintuitive. a big part of our messaging is if you get sick, sick -- seek treatment. so in some ways we hope the numbers that are seeking treatment go up, because it shows that people are listening to us and taking advantage of the centers and the unit where setting up around the country. so when i get a report about more people going to seek treatment, it's unfortunate that they have something to seek treatment about, but it tells us they're getting the messaging.
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and industry but centers, they can get the id trip, they can get the orf if you haven't already got, and take steps to turn this around. specters a current case of a woman in florida who has gotten, contracted cholera. and judges come back from haiti. so i'm wondering, is there any containment measures for that? >> again, based on our evidence of the latin american epidemic and the current state of cholera and all over the world in asia and africa, we do see cases each year, arrive here and are diagnosed with cholera. one thing that facilitates that is that a large percentage, up to 75% of patients with cholera are asymptomatic. and a smaller% have less severe illness. they may arrive not knowing that they contracted the infection in another country. we expect the cases will be seen in florida, in the united states. nearly half of the haitian
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population isn't for the so inclinations, we put out a message to clinicians that they should seek diagnosis and treatment for cholera, put cholera and a diagnosis for anyone with acute diarrhea. we don't have any expectation that cholera transmission will continue in the united states. we will have a geisha, a case there, but the one that any sustained transmission of cholera in the united states, given the health and sanitation infrastructure that we have here. >> any questions? >> do you think it would undermine the troops enough so that they won't be able to survive the elections appropriate? >> we hope that. two days ago very violent demonstrations up there were some things seem to come down
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pretty much yesterday. is a little bit of protesting today, but it's kind victory day. the protest i just had a report of port-au-prince, pretty small, 200, two and 50 demonstrators. so we hope they don't get out of hand. president preval as you know has condemned this violence. has urged calm. we hope it passes, and doesn't keep them from doing the very important job they're doing for the elections. specs and growing protest outside the presidential palace. get in reports of what's going on. >> is a very small number of protesters at the last one i saw. >> thank you. >> thank you guys. of the next on c-span2, the
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senate confirmation hearing for the military nominees.
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>> the senate armed services committee this morning consider the nominations for air force general, train a coming to of u.s. strategic command, an army general carter ham to lead u.s.-africa command. the generals face questions on a wide range of issues including the don't ask, don't tell policy, national missile defense and the s.t.a.r.t. missile treaty. this is just over two hours. >> good morning, everybody. the committee meets this going to consider the nominations of general robert kehler, u.s. air force, the commander of united states strategic command, and general carter ham, united states army, to be commander of
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the united states africa command. we give both of you a warm welcome and we also have a warm welcome for two new colleagues, i believe comply with us this morning. senator coons is with us this morning. delaware. warm welcome to you. senator manchin is not here, but we expect he will be here. senator burris is still with us. general kehler and general ham, each of you have a long and distinguished careers into the united states military. and it's a real pleasure to both of you with us here today. as you and we all know, without the strong and continuing support of your families, that your military careers would not be possible. so we thanked each member of your families for the sacrifices that they have made, and will continue to make, when you assume the commands for which you have been nominated. general kehler, you are well
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suited to be commander of the united states strategic command. you spent your entire career in space and nuclear assignments, and that includes two and a half years as the deputy commander of the strategic command. as you well know, strategic command is a challenging command with a global reach. and a large number of challenging missionaries, including the following, ensuring the united states has access to and freedom of action in space and cyberspace, maintaining a reliable nuclear deterrent, and being prepared to respond if deterrence they'll. providing targeting and other support to u.s. joint forced commanders, synchronizing global missile defense plans and operations. coordinating regional efforts to combat weapons of mass destruction, planning, integrating and coordinating intelligence surveillance and reconnaisreconnaissance, isr, assets in support of strategic and global operations, and
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guiding the implication of the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty when it is ratified. on the subject of the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty, i would note that there've been multiple hearings and briefings on the new treaty. hundreds of questions for the record have been answered. a robust budget request for the weapons complex has been submitted to congress. it's now been ages since the united states has gone without any replacement for the expired s.t.a.r.t. treaty, and thus no ability to implement the new and important inspection and verification regimes of the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty. it will be asking general kehler for his views on that new treaty. much of the technical superiority as u.s. military forces is reliant on space systems. but these systems provide significant advantages, they also present the potential for significant vulnerability. strategic command helps to ensure that the global access to
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these important systems is maintained and sustained. one of the newest and most challenging areas for responsibly for the strategic command is the area of cyber operations, protecting and defending defense department networks in cyber assets, and it's, if corrected engaging in offenses of cyber operations. the strategic command must also plan and be prepared, if called upon, to assist other government agencies with the defense of their network. there are many issues that remain unresolved in this area, to which you will be involved, general, and we look forward to your views on these issues, including the questions of authorities, responsibility, and rules of engagement. . .
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>> general ham the issues facing africom are staggering. terrorism and violent extremism in somalia and west africa, conflicts between state and nonstate arkters that rage across borders, fragile governments that lack the capacity to project their presence from the bonds of their capitals, illicit smuggling routes, nations where peacekeeping and keep-enforcing forces are the best and sometimes the only hope for security and stability. so we look forward hearing your views on these and other matters. at present, one of the most pressing concerns in the view of
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members of this committee is the evolving threat posed by certain al-qaeda and al-shabaab elements of al-qaeda and these elements to attack the united states. in addition to somalia, there are a number of other areas where the committee will be eager to learn of your views including the january, january 2011 referendum in sudan, the pose threat of al-qaeda and in the lanes of the islamic aqim. ongoing atrocity's of the lord's resistance army and potential areas for expanded military-to-military relations with a number of key countries in africa. one area where you will be working together is in combating the regional spread of weapons of mass destruction. you'll be working together on those and that issue. and with the support of this committee, the cooperative threat reduction or ctr program now has the authority to make a
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more global approach to combating weapons of mass destruction including identifying issues in africa. the responsibility for coordinating both regional and global approaches to combating wmd and the ctr programs new authorities should result in a more comprehensive, coordinated approach to dealing with these challenges. senator mccain? >> well, thank you, mr. chairman. let me thank our distinguished witnesses for joining us this morning and for their service to our nation. i also like to join chairman in welcoming our two new members, senator coons and senator manchin. we look forward to working with you. i say to the witnesses if confirmed your respective commands will prove critical in countering a variety of asymmetric terrorist threats in the united states.
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general kehler, the strategic command is for snug freedom of access to space and cyberspace and coordinating global missile defense plans. and operations. missile threat from rogue nations like iran and north korea is increasing but equally worrisome is china's growing air and conventional missile capabilities. according to the u.s./china economic and security review commission, 2010 report to congress it concludes china has the ability to strike 5 out of 6 u.s. air force bases in east asia. the report also highlights china's increasingly sophisticated cyberwarfare capabilities. earlier this year, the chinese internet service provider redirected global internet traffic for at least 18 minutes briefly highjacking what the commission report refers to as a, quote, large volume of internet traffic.
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including data from the u.s. military. a large scale cyberattack against google and china was also a reported. an incident google described as a, quote, highly sophisticated and targeted attack on its corporate infrastructure originating from china that resulted in the threat of intellectual property. i predict that this committee and you will be spending a great deal of time on this whole issue of cyberwarfare. we don't know a lot about it. we haven't really understood some of the things that are both friends and adversaries are doing and it opens up a whole new type of warfare that we're going to have to be much better prepared for than we are today. as commander of the u.s. stratcom, you will serve a critical role in countering these threats and advocating for our own nuclear missile defense space and nuclear capabilities.
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one of these responsibilities which the senate has spent considerable time reviewing, the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty, its references and legally binding limitations on ballistic missile defense and the modernization of both the nuclear weapons complex and the triad of nuclear delivery vehicles. i look forward to hearing your views on the treaty's handling of missile defense, the current health of the nuclear weapons complex and the need for investing in the development and deployment of the next generation of delivery vehicles. general ham, i believe you're nominated for this command at a critical time. not only with respect to security on the continent but with respect to possible growing threats to our homeland. in the past, i've been critical of u.s. military involvement on the horn of africa. other than providing more financial support for the u.n. mission, there and humanitarian support, i'm unclear of what the administration short or
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long-term plan is to achieve stability on the horn. but the threat from the region is our friends, our interest and even our homeland has changed significantly in the past few years. africom was born in the shadow of qualcomm fighting two wars. concerns about basing rather than the mission dominated the debate for years. and given the command's integrated interagency command structure, africom remains unique monday equals. and it's why africom must be prepared and resourced to protect americans, american interest, and american security throughout its area of responsibility. as we all might remember in 1998, al-qaeda launched attacks on the u.s. embassies in kenya and tanzania killing 12 americans. al-qaeda and related groups have executed subsequent terrorist attacks in east africa, including an american suicide bomber in somalia in october, 2008. and this summer in uganda,
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al-shabaab, a somali islamicist insurgent groups with ties to al-qaeda conducted its first successful attack outside somali territory killing 76 people including one american. while al-shabaab has focused primarily on its neighbors, the then director of national intelligence dennis blair at a senate select committee on an intelligence hearing testified, and i quote, we judge most al-shabaab and east africa-based al-qaeda members will remain focused on regional areas in the near term, but al-shabaab may elect to redirect to the homeland some of the westerners including north americans now training and fighting in somali. -- somalia. on august 5th more than azin somali americans, permanent residents, were arrested. attorney general eric holder
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announced that 14 people are being charged with providing financial support to al-shabaab. i trust that africom will continue to deliver its unique brand of interagency theater security cooperation and building partner in this capacity. however, it's imperative that africom also evolve and acquire the necessary capabilities to identify, deter and counter all relevant threats to our nation's security. i look forward to our witnesses' testimony. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. excuse me, senator, mccain. senator manchin, welcome. >> there's a series of standard questions that we ask all of our nominees that i'll now ask and you'll each just give us your responses together. first, have you adhered to applicable laws and regulations governing conflicts of interest? >> i have. >> do you agree when asked to
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give your personal views even if those views differ from the administration in power? >> i do. >> have you assumed any duties or undertaken any actions which would appear to presume the outcome of the confirmation process? >> i have not. >> excuse me. will you ensure that your staff complies with deadlines established for requested communications including questions for the record in hearings? >> i will. >> will you cooperate in providing witnesses and briefs in response to congressional request? >> i will. >> will those witnesses be protected from reprisal for their testimony or briefings? >> they will. >> do you agree if confirmed you appear and testify before this committee. >> i do. >> and finally do you agree to provide documents including electronic forms of communication in a timely manner when requested by duly constituted committee or it off consult with the committee regarding the basis for any good faith delay or denial in providing such documents? >> i do. >> thank you, general kehler, general ham.
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we're going to now to turn for your only remarks and please feel free to introduce any members of your family or others who may be with you today. thank you. general kehler, why don't you start. >> before i begin i would like to introduce my wife, marjorie, who is here. this is the first time she's attended a hearing in the senate. this is an exciting time for the kehler family. unfortunately, our two sons are grown. they couldn't be here with us today. but i can tell you if i may just put a plug in for military spouses, the phenomenal things that they do for our airman, soldiers, marines, coast guardman, marge certainly represents that. i'm very proud and very grateful for the things she does especially she has set aside an accounting profession to be part of a team to take care of our troops and their families and i'm especially proud because she
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and others like her have been doing an awful lot of work in support of our wounded warriors. >> well, we thank her for all of that and all the things she does for us and for you. we could use maybe some of your accounting talents in the pentagon. have you thought about joining forces with your husband? [laughter] >> you're very welcome, ms. kehler. >> thank you for this opportunity to come before you today. it's my sincere honor to appear as the nominee to lead u.s. strategic command. i thank the president and the secretary of defense for nominating me for this important duty. i also thank the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff for expressing his confidence in my ability to serve as a combatant commander. if confirmed, i look forward to working with you to address the strategic challenges that face our nation. they are complex, unremitting and compelling and u.s. strategic command plays a key role in each.
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previous nuclear threats continue while new ones state and nonstate are emerging. new you and complex transitional linkages provide opportunities for terrorism and other security concerns. space is no longer the sole purview of two superpowers and it is certainly not a sanctuary. cyberthreats present national security problems that we are only beginning to understand and organizing for this challenge is still in its beginning stages. international security relationships need to be forged with rapidly growing new regional powers. all of these developments will require more intensive and extensive cooperation across many elements of our government and the governments of our friends and allies. in our ability to shape events to our interests will depend as always to the skill and dedication of the great men and women who serve our nation. leading strategic command is an awesome responsibility. if confirmed, i pledge to you
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that the strategic challenges facing our nation will command all the energy and commitment i can muster. i'm very fortunate in that i have been the beneficiary of assignments and mentoring and operational opportunities that align with strategic command's mission set. and that i believe have prepared me for this challenge. and if confirmed, i will also be fortunate and deeply humbled in following the pathways by some of our truly great national leaders. i want to particularly mention the most recent one. kevin chilton. his leadership has been deeply important in these past critical years in shaping our national posture and marge and i are greatly if to count chilly and his wife cathy as our dear friends and we certainly wish them the best as they proceed into retired life. and, of course, as always, if confirmed, i will look forward to working with and caring for the world's best soldiers, sailors, airmen, civilians and
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their families. mr. chairman, senator mccain, distinguished committee members, it's a privilege to be here before you today, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much, general kehler. general ham? >> thank you, mr. chairman. my family is not here but i'm hoping they're watching by webcast. my wife, christie, is a long life educator having taught and served as a principal in numerous schools as we move during our army service. our daughter, jennifer, was born in italy. and she and her husband, army captain kyle burns, a silver star and purple heart recipient for actions in afghanistan live near ft. benning virginia. they are parents to 3 1/2 month old jackson our first grandchild. our john burris then was bort in germany, graduated from the university of georgia. he and his wife sarah live and work in northern virginia and they're expecting a baby girl this spring. i'm certainly proud of all of them and draw my strength from all of them and thank you,
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mr. chairman, for allowing me to mention them. mr. chairman, senator mccain, and members of the committee, when i enlisted in the army as a private in 1973, never in my wildest imagination did i envision appearing before the arm services committee, the united states senate to be considered as a combat and commander. the day secretary gates told me that he intended to recommend to the president that i been nominated to be the next commander of u.s. africa command i was struck by two contradictory feelings. first, i was exhilarated to have the possibility to serve in a command which i believe is of great importance and for which there is such great opportunity. but secondly, i felt the tremendous sense of humility. the humility and sense of honor that comes from being asked to continue to serve alongside the men and women of our armed forces as they and their families unselfishly serve our nation. i also recognize that if confirmed, i have big shoes to fill.
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i've been an admirer of the general and mrs. joyce ward for a long time and i'm proud to be their friend. africa is important to u.s. interest. these interests include concerns over violent extremist activities, piracy, illicit traffic can, africa's many humanitarian crises, armed conflicts and more general challenges such as the effect of hiv/aids. u.s. africa command is the military component of a u.s. whole of government approach has a role in addressing each of these issues. the key remains that africa's future is up to africans. if confirmed, i look forward to building upon the command's efforts to continue expanding the unique interagency composition of the headquarters and to enhancing partnerships with african nations. i acknowledge that if confirmed, i have a lot to learn about africa and about u.s.-african
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command and i pledge to you, mr. chairman, to senator mccain, and to the members of the committee, the same pledge that i gave to secretary gates. i will do my best each and every day to uphold the trust and confidence you place in me. to accomplish the many and varied important missions of the command and for the very best of my ability provide for the well-being of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coast guardman, civilians and families entrusted to my care. and if confirmed i look forward working closely with this committee to ensure united states-africa command is focused in its u.s. policy objectives in africa. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you so much, general ham. let's try a first round of seven minutes. we have a good turnout here today. general kehler, the committee has a provision in our 2011
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defense authorization bill that would require the secretary of defense to report to congress by march 1st, 2011, on cyberwarfare policy. the committee conducted an extensive examination of the department's proposal to establish u.s. cybercommand as a subunified command under u.s. strategic command. our examination reveal that there are substantial and worrisome gaps in the policy and guidelines needed to govern u.s. military operations in cyberspace. senior department of defense officials testified to this fact and assured the committee that the secretary of defense understands the situation well and intends to have answers to many if not all of the major policy questions by the end of this calendar year. now, these are just a few of the unresolved issues. first, rules of engagement and authority for various command
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echelons including cybercommand itself. second, how to limit escalation. third, what constitutes a use of force in an act of war in cyberspace including for compliance with the war powers act and, fourth, the lack of a deterrent stock, what deters cyberattacks? now my question is kind of a status of process question. if you know the answer. what is the status of the secretary's cyberpolicy review and is the department on track to fulfill the year-end commitment to complete the review that was given to the committee during the confirmation process for general alexander. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first, let me say i recognize that in the whole area of cyberspace, i have much to learn. if i'm confirmed this is one of the areas that is going to command a great deal of my time and energy early on.
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my perspective today is as a service component to strategic command. we have been working to align our cyberspace activities under the new construction of strategic command, u.s. cybercommand and then the service component that fits that. there's much for me to learn here if i'm concerned and i would be delighted to dig into this further. my understanding -- you have defined, i think, the issues very well. in my mind, this is about authorities responsibilities, oversight, doctrine, all of the pieces that need to be nut place to drive forward in where we need to be postured in cyberspace. that work is underway. i think you and the committee are aware that department of homeland security and department of defense have just signed a memorandum outlining roles and responsibilities and other steps that will be taken to partner together. those are all positive steps but there's much more to do.
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my understanding is that fair there is -- that the work on the report that you're referring to is continuing. in my preparation for the confirmation hearing, i was -- i was told that the expectation is that they will be delivering that on time. >> thank you. >> last year, the secretary of defense and the joint chiefs from the combat and command adopted the phased missile approach in europe. and the president approved their recommendation. this year the administration produced the ballistic missile defense review report that set forth u.s. strategy, policy and plans for missile defense. and my question is, do you support the administration's missile defense policies and priorities including the phased adaptive approach to missile defense in europe? >> yes, sir. i do support those policies and i do support the phased adaptive approach.
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>> general kehler, secretary of defense gates, admiral mullen, general chilton, current commander, strategic command and lieutenant general o'reilly have all testified that the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty does not limit or constrain our missile defense plans or programs. do you agree? >> mr. chairman, that's my understanding is well. yes, i do. >> do you agree -- let me ask you a couple of questions about the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty specifically. does the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty limit our nonnuclear long-range weapons? >> mr. chairman, the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty, as i understand it, does not limit. it does, however, under certain circumstances cause them to be counted under the limits of the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty. >> does the new s.t.a.r.t.
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treaty constrain our development of deployment of missile defense capabilities? >> sir, my opinion it does not. there's one relationship in the treaty to put a finer point on it about not being able to deploy missile defense intercepters in existing ballistic missile silos except for the five that we have already done so in -- at vannenburg air force base. but it's not in our current plans as i understand them to do that. >> is the administration committed to replacing and modernizing our aging nuclear weapons laboratory and industrial infrastructure? >> my understanding is that -- the '11 is on the hill and has sustainment and modernization funds in it. i have not seen the '12 budget and can't comment on the '12 budget. >> all right. thank you. general ham, you and jay
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johnson, the dod general counselor serving as cochair of the defense working group tasked by the secretary of defense to conduct a review associated with implementing a repeal of the law that's commonly referred to as don't ask, don't tell. your report is due to the secretary of defense no later than the 1st of december i believe. and when we met yesterday you told me you are not authorized to talk about the content of the draft report before that time. and this committee will hold a hearing on the report shortly after the secretary provides it to congress. we're urging that be done by the way prior to december 1st if possible. and you will be available at that time to discuss the contents of the report. my question is just on the timing issue then 'cause i won't ask you about your views on the substance or what the substance is. do you anticipate that the working group's report will be
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ready to be presented to the secretary of defense before december 1st. >> mr. chairman, i think it will take us until the 1st of december. the key factor remaining for us in the review group is to -- is to receive the review and comment by the service chiefs and service secretaries which is ongoing. we anticipate their comments soon. mr. johnson and i will review those comments, make final adjustments to the report which is currently in draft form and then deliver it to secretary gates on 1 december. >> would you make every effort to deliver prior to december 1st if possible? >> yes, sir. in consultation with the secretary's office. >> thank you. senator mccain? >> general ham, since the issue has been brought up, the survey went out to 400,000 military personnel; is that correct? >> that's correct, senator.
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>> and how many -- what percent responded? >> senator mccain, we received a little over 115,000 respondents. >> like 25%? >> a little more. about 28, sir. >> excuse me. 28%. and isn't it true that the survey said in a preamble said that dod is considering changes to the don't ask, don't tell policy that, quote, would allow gay and lesbian service members to serve in the military without risk of separation because of their sexual orientation? is that true? >> yes, sir, it is. >> questions also preceded by a presumptive declaration that if don't ask, don't tell is repealed, quote, the services will maintain their high standards of conduct, quote, is that also true? >> yes, sir, it is. >> thank you. general ham, what do you understand be the relationship
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between al-qaeda senior leadership and al-shabaab? >> senator, i know from open source reporting that al-a shabaab has claimed that there is a relationship between -- >> what's your view of the relationship? >> sir, they are stating that they believe -- that they have a relationship certainly conveys to me that -- that that's the type of operations that they want to engage in. i'm not privy to the detailed information and intelligence yet that would verify or refute that allegation. but they are certainly a dangerous and disruptive organization. >> well, i'm sorry you couldn't answer the question. i was asking your view on what the relationship was. but what is the threat to the u.s. from al-shabaab particularly given recent arrests of u.s. citizens apparently planning to travel to somalia to join al-shabaab? >> senator, my understanding is
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that al-shabaab -- while primarily focused on internal matters in somalia, their recent activities outside of the country conveyed to me a very disturbing interest in conducting more widespread terrorist activities which certainly are of concern to the united states. and if confirmed, it would be a very high priority for me to understand better how we might counter that threat. >> well, again, it's evidence that americans are joining al-shabaab, right? >> sir, my understanding in this particular case, that's true. >> general kehler, notwithstanding russia's threat to withdraw from the treaty, are you committed to advocating for the funding, development and deployment of all elements of the phased adaptive approach for missile defense in europe as well as implementing the
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strategy as portrayed in the ballistic missile defense review? >> yes, sir, i am. >> do you believe that the russian unilateral statement that the treaty is, quote, effective and viable only in conditions where there is no qualitative or quantative buildup in the missile defense system capabilities of the united states of america? have you heard -- you know, that statement way part of the signing statement at the time of ratification agreement, right? have the russians made any public statement refuting that signing statement they made? >> sir, i don't know if they have or not. i'm not -- >> to your knowledge -- >> to my knowledge, they have not. >> and given your involvement, you might know probably if they did? >> yes, sir. yes, sir. although i will tell you that at this point in my current seat, i may not have seen everything, but i've not seen anything -- i guess i'm not trying to be evasive but i've not seen
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anything. >> does it concern you that they would make a signing statement at the time that the agreement was signed? that basically said that if there was any change -- qualitative or quantative buildup in the missile defense system capabilities of the united states of america that the treaty would not be viable in their words? >> sir, all i can answer with is our position as i understand it has been that those two are not related. >> but the russians have made no statement that it is unrelated? it's just our position, right? >> yes, sir. >> a recent statement that north korea weaponry is showing design characteristics associated with the shabaab 3, iran's most advanced missile.
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are you concerned that apparently the two countries, iran and north korea, are collaborating to produce improvements in both arsenals? >> sir, i'm most definitely concerned. >> and we have seen -- i mean, in an unclassified manner the published reports have been apparently they are working in coordination together to improve both arsenals; is that your view is well? >> it is. the proliferation of missile technology, i think, especially in those areas like north korea and iran is especially disturbing. my view, the number one threat that we are facing these days is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the and of the regional actors that are -- that pose a threat. >> do you agree with dod's assessment is sufficient foreign assistance that, quote, iran could probably develop a test an
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intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the united states by the year 2015? >> i agree with the dod assessment, yes, sir. i'm not -- i wasn't aware it was 2015. i've read that but i am -- i do agree with the dod assessment on that. yes, sir. >> so again, i return to my previous statement. it seems to me that it's deeply concerning that both countries have areas of expertise on both nuclear capability as well as missile technology and transfers between the two countries is deeply concerning. >> yes, sir, i would agree with that. >> and are you concerned about mr. mahmoud ahmadinejad's new relationship with mr. chavez down in venezuela? >> yes, sir. >> how serious do you think that relationship is? >> again, from my current
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perspective, i'm not much more aware of that relationship than what we've just been discussing here in an open forum. this is one of those areas that if confirmed i'm going to have to push into to get a better feel for those specific points. stratcom does have some responsibility here working with the regional combat and commanders to address these kinds of threats that can gee outside of the regional boundaries. >> well, thank you, general. i just want to repeat again what i said in my opening comments. this whole cyberwar issue is one that we've been working with senator lieberman and the homeland security committee and other -- and the intelligence committee and it covers a number of jurisdictions here in the congress. but i would argue that it is the greatest threat of which we have the least knowledge and expertise than just about any threat we face. would you view that as an overstatement? >> sir, i wouldn't view that as an overstatement.
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i do think it's a significant area of concern. certainly, again, in stratcom's portfolio, if i'm confirmed, this is one of those areas that demands, i think, the same sense of urgency that has been put on it here in the last year or so. and my pledge will be to dig right into this and be as helpful as i can. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator mccain. as senator mccain points out, the relationship of our committees that have jurisdiction over parts of that issue is extremely important and our working together which is underway with senator lieberman and his ranking member, senator collins, and the intelligence committee is if not as important, very important, just the way interagency working together is very significant and very important as senator mccain points out. senator lieberman? >> thanks, mr. chairman. let me just pick up from your
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comments and senator mccain's about how real the threat of cyberattack is. and how much i think that members of congress and the general public are not aware of it, perhaps even some are skeptical of how serious it is. yesterday, on the homeland security committee we held a hearing on the worm that was discovered. this is another world but the ability -- i mean, just to show how complicated it is. the experts said yesterday we don't know where it originated. we don't know what its target was, but we know it's out there and it has the capacity -- it's now infected 60,000 different computer systems in the world including some in the u.s. it has the capacity essentially on command to disrupt the digital systems, the computer systems, that control, for
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instance, the electric power plants. and when you think of the havoc that could be -- that could be unleashed in a country like ours, it's profoundly unsettling. so i appreciate a very significant step forward in the memorandum of understanding between the department of defense and the department of homeland security. a pretty clear division of responsibility here. dod has responsibility obviously of defense websites and our offensive capacity and defensive capacity. department of homeland security for these civilian infrastructure and the federal government nondefense websites. but dod and, of course, nsa have such extraordinary capabilities that they can now inform what dhs does. i appreciate that. our committees are going to continue to work together. i was actually very proud yesterday that all the witnesses agreed that it was the -- a
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group at the department of homeland security more than anybody in the private sector or anywhere else that actually had the comprehensive capability to unravel the puzzle if you will. but we need your help and i appreciate your commitment to that, general. i look forward working with you on both committees. thank you both for your service to our country. you're both just extraordinarily prepared for this next assignment that the country has asked of you. general ham, i just want to ask a quick question about the working group on don't ask, don't tell. first i appreciate that you've told us this morning that the report will definitely be out by december 1st and if possible, working with the secretary earlier if you complete the work. i wanted to ask you just for informational purposes, not about the contents but in a sense about the table of contents. there's been a lot of focus on the leaks about the survey done of military personnel. but am i right that it's just
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one part of what you're going to do. and i wonder just in summary if you could describe what else you and mr. johnson intend to cover in the report? >> senator, i would essentially in terms of reference which secretary gates issued to mr. johnson and myself gave us two tasks. the first was to assess the impacts upon effectiveness, readiness, unit cohesion, recruiting and retention should repeal occur. and then the second part of our charge was understanding those impacts, develop a plan for implementation so that if the law is repealed and the policy changes, the department is prepared for that. we would call that in military parlance, contingency planning. >> right. >> the directive to assess the impacts contain a specific issue -- or statement from
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secretary gates to conduct a systemic engagement of the force to include families. we did this in a number of ways. the survey of the service members, active guard and reserve was one. we also had a survey for family members. in addition to those two statistically sound and analytically rigorous assessments, we conducted a number of engagements across the force in groups both large and small to get a sense of what were the topics of interest to the force and to their families. we conducted small demographically focus groups. for example, a group of perhaps nine to twelve junior enlisted marines from the combat arms. and other similarly organized groups. we established what we call an online inbox, an opportunity for members of the military and their families to provide
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anonymously their comments to us with regard to their thoughts about don't ask, don't tell. the most difficult challenge we had probably at least in my opinion was how did you get -- how do we get the sense from those who are -- gay men and lesbians that are serving in the force today without triggering the requirements of the law that would cause them to separate and so we established what we called a confidential communication mechanism through a third-party nondod entity to try to get a better assessment of that. all in all, senator, we believe this is probably as far as i could tell the most comprehensive assessment of a personnel policy matter that the department of defense has conducted. >> thanks for that. and obviously i agree it's very comprehensive and it should inform the decision that congress makes in voting.
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on the question and also obviously if it's repealed to make the transition. so i thank you for that. i want to ask you a question about the africa command. it seems to me and i agree with you, of course, in highlighting the threat possessed by al-qaeda and al-shall be that you are highlighting the two priorities and the war against islamist terrorism is a world war. we're obviously involved intensively on the ground in afghanistan and scaling down in iraq. but this enemy is appearing all over the world. i view these two terrorist groups in africa and the countries in which they're located as a test of whether we can essentially stop them or contain them before they spread and they become something like afghanistan if you will. i note in your response to advanced questions that you've said that the africom, the
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africa command, faces significant resourcing challenges in almost every field. i hope upon your confirmation that you'll conduct the top to bottom assessment of your command's requirements for a personnel isr security assistance funding and other resources and convey them directly obviously both up the chain of command but when you appear before the committee, to this committee, can we count on you to do that? >> yes, sir. >> thank you. that's all the questions i have this morning. thank you. >> senator lieberman, senator inhofe? >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me get the unpleasantries out of the way first. as i read this -- there are many things about the s.t.a.r.t. treaty that i don't like but the major concern is one that's brought up by senator mccain. and when i read something like this, the unilateral statements, this is the word that they used, they talked about the extraordinary events would cause them to be released.
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the events referred to in article 14 of the treaty also include a buildup in the missile defense system capabilities of the united states of america such that it would give rise to a threat to the strategic nuclear -- and then that was further simple fly by the russians and only if the united states refrains from its missile defense capabilities quantitate actively and qualitatively. i guess my question is, what's ambiguous about that? >> sir, i'm not exactly sure what you just asked me. >> what i'm asking you -- i mean, i read that and it says that they'd bail out -- >> well, i see. i don't -- i don't -- it doesn't sound the russian position is ambiguous. but again, as i understand it, our position is not that one. our position that these are not related.
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and again, as i understand it, the regional threat drives our missile defense planning. the strategic balance between the united states and russia is driven by the strategic forces that are covered by the treaty. >> we're going to have to be enhancing our missile defense system. i think most people here -- they may not say it that way but we are going to. i know a lot of us are very much concerned when the ground base capability was taken out of poland. and as it was just appointed out by senator mccain that iran would have the capability with a delivery system by 2015. that's not even classified. that's a position that everyone agrees with. now, i guess i'd just ask you one question, ask you in that absence of the capability we are not more in danger and i'm talking western europe and the eastern united states by the removal of that system in poland. a quick answer. >> as i understand it, i don't think we are endangered provided
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that we go ahead with the phased adaptive approach. >> general ham, i enjoyed our long, long, long visit that we had. on the subject that's been discussed here. i can only tell you that the soldiers in the field, the ones you talked to, don't feel that their input was heard during this inquiry that was announced that it was supposed to be taking place until december 1st. it was the impression at least what i hear from them in the field that they are saying, all right, we're going to adopt this position. now, how do we best implement this thing? i only want you to know that we'll be talking about this in some length in the future. but i am interested in what you're going to be doing as i told you in some of the problems in africa that i'm personally very interested in. general wall handled this thing during the transition and then general ward has come along and has done an incredible job and i think with limited resources, with inadequate resources at
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least is my impression. we've had a lot of little problems in africa that people don't know about. of course, they are familiar with what's happening in zimbabwe. they're familiar with somalia. the problems between the two countries. one of the biggest things i've been concerned with and personally involved in trying to do something about is the lra had the lord's resistance army. started in northern uganda and it also spread through rwanda, eastern congo. and it wasn't until a few weeks ago that we passed -- and it was signed by the president a policy of this country to take out joseph coney and the lra. i would like to get your opinion as to the -- for those members of the committee who might be new. let them just say joseph coney started about 30 years ago. and some people call it the child soldiers, little kids, 13, 14 years old.
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they train them to be soldiers and the first thing they have to do and go back to their villages and murder their parents off and if they don't do it they will cut their limbs off. what's your level of concern and your interest in implementing the direction that we gave and the law that we passed a few months ago concerning the lra. >> senator, i agree with you. i need to learn more about the lord's resistance army but what i do know in my previous assignment from the director of operations and joint staff and what i read in open source, it is a horrific situation. and as we discussed yesterday, senator, i look to learn more about that personally and find ways that if confirmed, that africa command can contribute to the solution to that problem. i am aware that africa command has been engaged in developing the capability of the ugandan forces and i think that's a step
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in the right direction. >> uh-huh. >> and if confirmed, senator, i'll look at this issue much more closely to see what the command might be able to do. >> i would say presently 70 in uganda and rwanda and all three agree it's kind of a joint problem. because of the fact that this movement is moving around between these two countries. and central africa, too, i guess. central africa, the republic. so anyway, that's going to be something that i would like to be the clearing point for any activity that you have and be updated on a regular basis because i would like to have it during your command and i think you're going to be doing a great job in that command. that we will have this problem eradicated by that time. people know about somalia. people know about some things about the pseudoand there's a lot of publicity and there's a lot of things that are happening that they are not aware of.
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i'm quite upset with the morocco attack on the western sahara that took place. i'm going to try to do something on the floor with the resolution on this thing, the horrible thing that took place there. and these people who have been out in the wilderness for some 30 years now -- are you interested in trying to come up with a solution that james baker was not able to do? i've not been able to do but working with us to try to correct the problem that is out there in the western sahara? >> senator, my understanding is that the issues in western sahara and morocco are not primarily military but if confirmed, i certainly want to explore what the role of u.s.-africa would be in a whole of government approach to that matter. >> and i appreciate that. i would think, though, that it becomes military when armed forces are invading there. although, i understand what
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you're saying. my time is up. and it went task force so you and i talked at some length and i just want to make sure that you are on record and some of the things you want to get done. one last question, if i could, mr. chairman, that is we made a decision -- a good decision on this question several years ago -- in fact, it was right after 9/11 that we would assist the africans in building five african commands geographically located in west africa but the west is kind of in lingering. people are not really -- the africans are not as aware as to how we're trying to help them take care of their own needs. and so what i'd like to do is have you look at that. and i'm sure that general ward would agree that we haven't done enough with that. and before the terrorists start coming down in greater numbers through the horn of africa to
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try to have this in place so that we'll be sending our troops over and would you consider that to be a priority? >> yes, sir, senator and i believe regional approaches are a good way in africa. >> thank you, senator inhofe. >> senator ben nelson. >> thank you general kehler and general ham for your service and extending yourself to and for your families in supporting you in this effort. general kehler, the current commander of strat connells general kevin chilton recently said -- has been very vocal by the need for a new strategic headquarters building. and i've been extremely pleased with the progress that we've made so far in addressing this vital need. the existing facilities have put stratcom's mission and personnel at some risk.
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i know you have previous duty as the vice commander at stratcom and you would have views on the need and importance of the new stratcom headquarters facility. to date, the design is 60% completion and they plan to break ground in late 2011. the progress is a strong indication of the department's commitment to stratcom's mission. what is your view on the need for a new headquarters at stratcom to replace the existing facility. >> senator, i can base my view on this from the time that i was the deputy commander there and we went through a series of electrical fires and electrical problems that reflect i think the -- sort of the state of health of a building that was built in the 1960s and clearly something needs to be done about all of that.
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the demands of the mission there at stratcom have placed some stresses on that facility. that whole complex as you know there's an underground complex is well. that it was never designed to address. and so if i'm confirmed, certainly, i'll make sure that i am looking into that and looking after an appropriate way forward to make sure that the people there have what they need to get the job done. >> i appreciate that. one of the things that i've always tried to look for back here as a governor is well stovepipes within government, whether it's in the military or whether it's in civilian government, which establishes duplicate services, duplication of efforts over the mission effectiveness or the expenditure of taxpayers money. general chilton has previously highlighted the importance of sharing information among the agencies including homeland security, the intelligence
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community, department of defense in addressing the security risks particularly in cyberspace. just yesterday secretary gates said future cyberthreats is, quote-unquote, huge and that's no understatement. my concern is without strong coordination, agencies will continue to build their own protective walls around their own -- their own unique situation. and what is your view of the role of stratcom and its subunified command cybercom -- what is the role that it should play in coordinating this national defense against a growing cyberthreat both to our military and to our civilian agencies? >> senator, i think that strategic command sits in a very unique position to have a very strong influence on the way the department of defense proceeds
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and also on these other relationships that you talked about. i think that as we look at stratcom's role to intergrate, stratcom's role to advocate, stratcom's role to oversee some of the activities that go on in the subunified and the other activities, stratcom's role to engage with the other combat and commanders to make sure that cyberspace is being addressed across the military forces and then, of course, stratcom's ability to look up into the policy world where i think there's a role for the commander of strategic command to play there is well. so i think there's a big role there for strategic command to play in all of this and most of that is handed to them by the president in the unified command plan. >> if we partner with all the private entities, whether it's google or any other similar
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company that has significant interest and considerable experience in what we would call cyber, in developing that partnership would that also, let's say, enhance our national defense? in other words, can we learn something from the private sector as well as having the private sector learn something from us. >> my experience to date is that in many cases we're learning more from the private sector than they are learning from us. some of the latest technologies, of course, techniques and approaches are there. i think, again, you're defining the big challenge of cyberspace. it is the ultimate partnership activity and that is something that we need to be working on. and again, i think secretary gates made comments yesterday that dhs/dod partnership is a real positive step here in terms of aligning responsibilities and authorities. >> maybe we'll some day tear
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down all the stovepipes. general ham, africom has limited personnel to address rather vast and diverse continent. one of the deficiencies we experienced in afghanistan was that we lacked a cadre of soldiers that possessed the right language and cultural training. given the diversity in africa, are we developing the right skills and right mix of skills if our forces to be able to engage in successful operations recognizing the diversity in africa? >> senator, if confirmed i'll look at that. my sense is yes, but not quickly enough. i think we start to see that cultural understanding, the language skills emerge first in our special operating forces where they develop those attributes as forces become available.
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i think it would be highly appropriate to seek ways to further understanding of africa roles through the state program. >> this will be one of your high priorities as you step into the new position to make certain that we direct our -- enough of our resources so that we can get the kind of result that we need to get. we can't get it any other way. if we don't have the cultural and language understanding that is required, we're not going to be able to do -- make our mission as successful as we might otherwise. >> senator, i agree. and if confirmed, i know i have to do that personally. and also look at that across the command. >> my time is expired. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator nelson. senator thune? >> thank you, mr. chairman. general kehler and general ham thank you very much for your great service to your country and your willingness to take


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