Secretary Tillerson Testifies on FY 2018 State Department Budget CSPAN June 14, 2017 10:06pm-12:03am EDT
thursday epa administrator scott pruitt testifies before house appropriations subcommittee on president trump's fiscal year 20 team budget request for the agency. live coverage at 11:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3, c-span.org and the free c-span radio app. >> barack is very deeply committed to presenting his story and i think that's different from history.
>> i think that barack's political aspirations and sense of destiny lead him to push yeager a side. that time there was a well-known political figure in chicago, hugely respected man senator neuhaus who everyone in black chicago believed could never go higher because he was married to a white woman so it is in the political tradition of black chicago in the late 1980s, in the early 1990s that for a black man to aspire to represent black chicago, it is necessary to have a black spouse. secretary of state rex tillerson was on capitol hill for a second day of testimony on the president's 20 team budget
request for the state department. testifying before the house foreign affairs committee. the committee recessed for a short time in the middle of the hearing so members could join their colleagues on the house floor to acknowledge those injured in the shooting and alexandria virginia. the entire hearing is just under three hours. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] c before we say or do anything else today i want to pause to extend our thoughts and our prayers for the well-being of with scalise and our colleagues. police and staff who were attacked by gunman this morning in virginia. several members of this committee were there. this is a sad day for our country. we still don't have all the details but we do know that there are those who want to use
acts of violence to create chaos , to disrupt our democracy. the american people will not let them when. so after deliberation with the ranking member, we have decided to proceed. the secretary has a very challenging schedule. given the circumstances of the delayed start of our hearing, i want to appeal to members who intend to use less than their full five minutes so that more of our colleagues have a chance to speak and i will be abbreviating my opening statement. today secretary tillerson will testify on the administration's budget and reorganization plans for the department of state. first off mr. secretary let me welcome you to this committee. this committee and your department manage an essential responsibility for our government set at its founding.
that is defending our nation. the committee strives to be bipartisan. we are fortunate to have a ranking member, mr. ingle who shares this approach. we look forward to working with you mr. secretary. we wish you success in your tenure. for generations america has been the leader of the world. this has required great sacrifice that our commitment to stability, to the rule of law, open markets, human rights and our work through alliances all paid off greatly. we have made mistakes, no doubt sometimes by overreaching and our commitments and sometimes by not reaching at all but our nation has certainly been a force for good. if we do not lead in security
and commerce as well and in values and in ideas, the vacuum will be filled by others including jihadists and others wishing us great harm. leaving takes resources. sufficient resources are needed for our military for sure but also for her diplomats working to and the many conflicts impacting your security. that's what the generals say. today's well-connected age in which threats can come from anywhere we need a very broad diplomatic process and that takes resources too especially to keep our diplomats safe. resources are also needed to support our humanitarian relief to support development. their work abroad benefits america at home. consider that a modest emergency investment and west africa's health stopped cold what looks
like and emerging ebola epidemic in our country a few years ago. mr. secretary i am confident that you will find new efficiencies in your department. there are ways to attack but many here remain concerned by the hand that you were dealt with in the budget and look forward to strengthening. congress also has a responsibility not to hamstring the department with mandates and with restrictions and these have accumulated over years compounding your management challenges. for our partnership to succeed we need to communicate often, too often administration's go it alone. it's frankly the last administration did. iran and cuba policy are examples. let's break that pattern and i will now turn to mr. ingle.
>> thank you very much mr. chairman. i know that the shooting in alexandria this morning is on our minds. it's shocking and we are hoping for the best for our colleague steve scalise and the other victims of the attack wish them a speedy recovery and we are thinking of their loved ones this morning. mr. secretary we are glad to have you here. i wish you well but i have to tell you i'm deeply skeptical about this budget which in my view is part of a broad policy strategy that would cripple american diplomacy and development efforts around the world to the strategy has two carry out first and foremost an action with an initial purge that pushed out some of our most accomplished career diplomats. the administration had lemonade tears of expertise expertise and experience in one fell swoop.
with a few exceptions the president simply has not nominated anyone to help you run the department. mr. chairman i ask my graphic he displayed. this is an organizational chart within the state department with boxes of president trump confirmed nominees. officials in place in the last administration. the yellow boxes are nominees waiting for action and all the right boxes forward to president hasn't even submitted a nomination. far behind where president bush and obama were this point and that doesn't cover the dozens of vacant ambassadorships. we shall keep this in mind the next time there is talk about construction in congress. people have not been confirmed not because of the destruction but because they haven't been submitted. career diplomats devoted public servants but there unable to
direct their foreign policy. what is the presence approach to russia's hacking or election or nonproliferation or human trafficking or africa or the arctic? when will we have the under secretary and assistant secretary and ambassador's at large but these policies in place? the second indication of the administration's view of the state department is document. it's the budget. the 2018 state department budget submitted to congress by the secretary of state. calls for 32% cut to our international affairs budget. i've never seen a budget proposal so reckless in all the years i have been here so it's insulting to our personnel and quick to have bipartisan opposition. mr. secretary when we spoke he said we hope to put the state department glide path to reduce spending levels. a one third cut is more like a nosedive. imagine being an american diplomat learning this is the
value the administration puts on your service would imagine waking up every morning a dangerous place and the other side world knowing the officials responsible for your safety haven't even been nominated and america's top diplomat which is you mr. secretary coming to umatilla asked us for a 32% budget cut. some consequences of his budget will hit us down the road if we fail to invest in diplomacy and develop now. the concepts welcome back to us and the worst we'll need to fight. senator lindsey graham said it well and that will make him implement this budget to put a lot of -- he said we would have quote a lot of them got a in the making up we actually implemented the state department cuts unquote. he is right, the budget cuts embassy security by more than a billion dollars, 62% embassy security cut 62%. on this point congress retains the power of the purse so we
will have the last word on this issue. so i think we need a lot of clarity on this and i think this committee should keep pressing these issues until we have the answers we need. i'm going to stop the mr. chairman. i will submit the resume statement for the record. >> thank you mr. engel. this point we are pleased to be java mr. rex tillerson the 69th secretary of state. prior to his appointment as secretary spent four years at exxonmobil culminating as the chairman and chief executive officer. secretary tillerson also has long been involved with the boy scouts of america most recently serving as the boy scouts national president. mr. secretary welcome to our committee. without objection the witnesses both appeared statement will be made part of the record. members will have five calendar days to submit any statements or any questions they might have of the secretary or any extraneous material for the record.
also we want as many members as possible to have a chance to question the secretary so to accomplish that i just ask that everyone respect the time limit and if that means leaving an adequate amount of time for the secretary to answer your questions. we will begin with secretary tillerson's testimony. >> thank you chairman royce, ranking member angle and distinguished members of the committee. of course we were all stunned by the news of the shooting involving your colleague members of congressional staff and capitol police. congressman scalise is a friend of mine and he is a friend and represents many friends of mine back in louisiana. my prayers and those of my colleagues at the state department are with the injured and with those members of law enforcement who responded to this morning's attack.
today i would like to continue the conversation that we have started about the administration's state department and usaid budget request for fiscal year 2018. before i begin my testimony on the budgeted like to offer a point of view on the russian sanctions legislation currently being considered by congress. i certainly agree with the sentiment that has been conveyed by several members from both parties that russia must be held accountable for its meddling in u.s. elections. i would urge congress to ensure any legislation allowing the president to have the flexibility to adjust sanctions to meet the needs of what is always an evolving diplomatic situation. essentially would ask for the flexibility to turn the heat up when we need to but also to ensure that we have the ability to maintain a constructive dialogue. as we all know america's global competitive advantages and standing as a leader are under constant challenge to the dedicated men and women of the
state department and usaid carry out the important and often perilous work of advancing america's interests every single day. that mission is our -- unchanged however the state department and usaid like many other institutions here and around the world have not evolved in their responsiveness as quickly as new challenges and threats to our national security have changed and are changing. we are challenged to respond to a post-cold war world that set in motion new global dynamics and they post 9/11 world characterized by extraordinary threats that present themselves in ways never seen before enabled by technological tools that we have been ill prepared to engage. the 21st century is argued presented many evolving challenges to the u.s. national security and economic posterity. we must develop more accurate responses to protect and advance the interests of the american
people. with such a broad array of threats facing the united states in fiscal year 2018 budget request $6 billion in the demonstrations objective of making america's security are top priority. the first response ability of government is a the security of its own citizens and we will orient their diplomatic efforts for fulfilling that commitment. while our mission will also be focused on advancing the economic interest of the american people the state department's primary focus will be to protect our citizens at home and abroad. our mission is at all times guided by our long-standing values of freedom, democracy, individual liberty and human dignity. the conviction of our country's founders is enduring that all men are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. as a nation we hold high the aspiration that all will one day
experience the freedom we have known. our young administration's foreign-policy where motivated by the conviction that the more we engage with other nations on issues of security and prosperity the more we will have opportunities to shape the human rights conditions in those nations. history has shown that the united states leaves a footprint of freedom wherever it goes. ensuring the security prosperity to the american people and advancing our values has necessitated difficult decisions in other areas of our budget. fiscal year 2018 budget request includes substantial funding for many foreign assistance programs under the auspices as the usaid and the state department but we have made our choice is to resist funding for other initiatives. even with reductions in funding we will continue to be the leader in international development, global health, democracy and good governance
initiatives and humanitarian efforts. if natural disasters aren't epidemic to strike overseas or america wrote respond with care and support. i am convinced we can maximize the effectiveness of the programs for america's helping hand in the world. this budget request also requested every tax dollar spent is aligned with the department of usaid's mission-critical object gives greater press focuses the state department and usaid efforts on missions which deliver the greatest values and opportunity for success for the american people. the state department usaid budget increased over 60% from fiscal year 2007 reaching a record high of $85.6 billion in fiscal year 2017. recognizing that this rate of increasing funding is not sustainable for fiscal year 2018 budget request seeks to align
the core missions of the state department with historic funding levels. we believe this budget also represents the interest of the american people including responsible stewardship of the public's money. i know there is intense interest in the state department usaid redesign efforts. we just completed information on our organizational processes and culture through survey made available to every one of our state and usaid colleagues. over 35,000 surveys were completed and we have held in person listening sessions with creative individuals to obtain their perspective on what we do and how we do it. i met personally with dozens of team members and spoke candidly about their experiences. from this feedback we have been able to get a clear overall view of our organization. we have no preconceived outcomes in our discussions of the goals priorities and directions the
state department and usaid are not token exercises. the principles for listening sessions and subsequent evaluation of our organization are the same as those which i stated in my confirmation hearing for our foreign policy. we will see the world for what it is and be honest with ourselves and the american people, follow the facts where they lead us and hold ourselves and others accountable. we are still analyzing the feedback we have received and we expect to release the findings of the survey said. from all of this one thing is certain, and listening what my people are telling me are the challenges facing them and how we can produce a more efficient and effective state department at at usaid and we will work with the team and work with congress to improve both organizations. throughout my career i've never believed nor have i ever experienced that the level of funding devoted to a goal is the
most important factor in achieving. our budget will never determine our ability to be effective. our people will pick my colleagues at the state department and usaid are deep source of inspiration and their patriotism professionalism and willingness to make sacrifices for country our greatest resource. i'm confident the u.s. state department and usaid will continue to deliver results for the american people. thank you for the time and i'll be happy to answer your questions. >> thank you very much mr. secretary. this committee has worked to make the state department more efficient and as you know the first aid authority and over decades was signed into law. that was our work product. we stand ready to work with you to reform the department and reorganization on this question i just asked that you commit to it intensify consultation between your staff and the
committee and plans for reform. >> we certainly will do that and we welcome your input. >> i only have one question that goes to the issue of north korea secretary tillerson. the situation we were encouraged yesterday first to hear news that auto warm beer would be returning to the niceties but then we found out about his condition. we were horrified to learn that he was in a coma. this is outrageous and on monday we heard secretary mattis call north korea the top security threat to the united states. you have been working a strategy to ratchet pressure on the regime. the last congress we passed and signed into law a comprehensive north korea sanctions bill to go after those assisting the regime and recently passed out of this
committee again another piece of legislation. this one to exact north korea's use of overseas labor indentured servitude and the check goes to the regime and they use it for hard currency and they can use it for their nuclear weapons program. we heard to mix reports on china's cooperation on this and there is a new report out this week that shows by cracking down on a relatively small number of interlinked chinese companies that deal with north korea we can really crank things up and reportedly the administration has asked china to act on some tim entities. if they do that every prepared for the sanctions we put on the books now to act unilaterally with third-party sanctions in order to cut off the hard currency.
the very expensive program to run costing billions and billions of dollars a year and frank a. they don't make much of anything so they need the hard currency coming in and order to fund this program. this is what i wanted to ask you. >> thank you chairman. i am familiar with the reports you are referencing. the treasury department has that report and will examine the study that was done and the results they found. the approach we are taking with north korea's as your where is one of the eliciting countries all over the world to support us in putting pressure on the regime to change and alter their position and their view before we are willing to sit down and conduct discussions with them. clearly china is the capstone to achieving this kind of pressure. this was the topic of significant discussion and president xi and president trump summit inn mar-a-lago. the communications having clear
and our expectations have been clear with the chinese. their cooperation has been notable but it has been uneven and we continued that dialogue with the chinese specifically around their support but also taking actions against entities inside of china that may be supporting revenue streams as well. we will be having another high-level dialogue next week with secretary mattis and myself and my counterparts here in washington. that will be one of the first topics on the agenda. we have made it clear to them and we have provided them with a list of entities that we believe need to take action. we have asked that they take action for president trump's has also been clear with president xi bad that either they don't want to take the action or they do take the action but we will to act on our own. >> i concur.
we have been hearing that dialogue forever mr. secretary. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. secretary i just want to say i heard what you said but i don't find it compelling that we can operate the state department with a 33% cut over or a one third cut. this seems to me like you know you do the best with what you have obviously but i just think it's showing where priorities are not in priorities don't need to be with the state department and diplomacy. because we are short on time mr. secretary at like to start by getting you to respond to a series of questions. i'd like it to be a yes or no if you can. as you may know and we chatted a little bit before this committee and the chairman royce and myself have a long-standing bipartisan tradition and of course closely with democratic and republican administrations.
i was taken aback by apparently the trump administration's apparent decision to ignore oversight requests for democratic members of congress. in the letter the president called the -- a departure from long-standing practice and i was pleased the homeland secretary, homeland security secretary kelly said and i quote him regardless of where the letter comes from a dozen outages come from the ranking member or chairman. we will respond to any congressional inquiry end of quote. i would like to ask you mr. secretary will you join secretary kelly and committing to respond to congressional inquiries and information requests regardless of the political party. >> iir to have been a bill. >> thank you. can i be a commitment that he will direct the department to respond to requests for information made by the committee staff and the chairman and ranking member?
>> i will go to the appropriate channels and processes. >> a member of your staff and or my staff that they reorganization of your planning of the state department will require statutory changes so i'm glad to know that is your position because i agree with that. when you're reorganization is complete we you commit to coming to this committee the foreign affairs committee which is oversight and responsibilities for the state department and a request to have for organizational changes at the department? >> we would expect to work with you on that to develop it. >> it was recently reported that within the first few weeks of the administration a top white house aide attempted successfully to lift economic sanctions imposed on russia in response to the illegal occupation of crimea and the 2016 presidential election.
this repeated contacts with the russians included jared kushner michael flynn jeff sessions another so do you expect a conclusion mr. secretary of the intelligence committee that russia criminally in interfered in last year's election? >> yes i do. i have no knowledge of any of those efforts that you mentioned. >> you believe it's in the u.s. interest to relax sanctions on russia before she has fully complied with this framework and left crimea? >> i think it is important that we be given sufficient flexibility to achieve the object is. it is very possible for the government of ukraine in the government of russia to come to a satisfactory resolution for some structure that would achieve the objectives which we are committed to trade policy is i would want to have herself handcuffed to minsk if it turns out the party decides to a different agreement. >> let me say i hear what you
are saying but i disagree because i believe the only thing that russia understands is its tough talk. they think that we are somehow willing to relax sanctions on them before they complied to sanctions in crimea. >> that is not our intent or will we do that. >> let me funny ask you what is the administration done to respond to the russian assault on our presidential election tech-savvy spoke with the present about how to prevent it from ever happening again? >> i have spoken to the russians are we about it paid their response is pretty much as you have seen their response publicly but we have registered our complained about that and it is going to be a constant obstacle to our ability to improve our relationship if they do not address it.
>> thank you very much mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. engel and we now go to congresswoman iliana ros-lehtinen. >> welcome mr. secretary but i'm strongly against the proposed -- democracy and governance program especially cuba nicaragua and venezuela where civil society is facing increasing oppression. in last two months nearly 3000 venezuelans have been jailed, over a thousand have been injured and nearly 17 people have been killed. i ask you to please -- plays more human rights violators are sanctions list. on her second topic the state department determined the plo and the palestinian authority have not complied with their commitment under u.s. law in potential sanctions were way. i ask how you can justify an increase in so many things in
that budget are cut and where there is an increasing your budget request and also israel's prime minister calls for a unrwa to be in the commissioner for refugees after a hamas timer was found beneath two unrwa schools. if the u.s. willing to support her ally israel and give funding to unrwa and finally on iran is the witness told the committee at a hearing at gaborik the international atomic and agency quote is not able to state that iran has concerns and questions about past nuclear weapons at who these and it also has not stated it successfully is verifying the jpp away prohibitions on specific nuclear weapons development activities. considering this lack of verification how does the justice department justified
certification that iran is in compliance with the jcpoa as it did in april and i don't want to take more time but if you could answer adding names to the venezuelan sanctions list, underfunding for noncompliance. >> we are working with treasury to develop a very robust list of individuals and most recently he saw sanctions imposed on six members of the venezuelan supreme court in response to their decision handed down which we felt certainly in not in keeping with the constitution. we are going to be very nascent with the situation but the challenge of the u.s. is to do this in a way that is productive and constructive as opposed to the u.s. being used by the madero regime as a tool to justify their actions. rest assured we have active
efforts working with others and oas in particular. with regard to the iraq compliance we rely upon a process called for under the jcpoa and iata. we do question that very vigorously and we are in discussions with them to ensure are they meeting all of those obligations to certify compliance to us? we are relying upon them to make the certifications to us in order to make decisions around compliance and then filing the sanctions waivers and follow on with that. with respect to the palestinians we are in a discussion with palestinian authorities. you know we had a meeting here in washington. i had my own bilateral meetings with president abbas pat we had meetings with the authority in bethlehem. these discussions are around issues of how they manage terrorism and how they manage
violence within the west bank and gaza but it's also hopefully setting the stage for re-engagement on the peace process with the israelis. all those issues of concern have been discussed with them. >> bank you and i won't take up any more time. >> mr. brad sherman of california. >> my hearts go out to the victims. this is an attack on our democracy and the best response is for us to be here doing our job so thank you mr. secretary for being here. most of my questions will be for the record because we want to be as brief as possible through discussion about what resources the state department should have without objection at what to put in the record a letter from 123 four-star flag officers urging that you have more resources that you are asking for and of course senator corker made more comments to you yesterday. we in congress decide how much money is going to be spent. we have got your world view
whether savings in another part of the budget. we do our best job to give guidance. i would hope that you would submit for the record how you would spend 10%, 20% or 30% increments. your recommendation to us is if we can find the money to provide that and i thank you for nodding i'm going to move on to the red boxes that the ranking member brought up. the undersecretary and in the assistant secretaries that haven't been appointed. we have talked about this and i commend you for your decision praise the people who are filling these positions as acting undersecretaries. they are doing a spectacular job except they can't do the job because they are temporary. they are not authorized to make policy and there are hundreds of decisions.
it shouldn't reach your desk that need to be made by someone who isn't just there holding down the dash so i'd urge you to submit a list of those who you would recommend doing -- keep their job because they're doing a spectacular job. they have had their security clearances and make it the ground running and not only have incredible confidence as you and i discussed but also have the authority of saying this is really my desk. i would urge you to designate the iran revolutionary guard corps as a specially designated foreign designation that quds force. he could designate geek subsidiary he should apply. you should certainly designate the irgc given the thousands of
people that they killed and serious. we place an ideological threat on radical terrorism. i would hope we would print and provide textbooks to parents who otherwise have to pay them and expand particular he and the regional pakistan. now a couple of oral questions. i think this is an easy one. as the trump administration committed to the implementation of last year's extension of the u.s. israel memorandum of understanding regarding security assistance? >> yes. >> the other one might be a little tough. they are talking about an arms package for saudi arabia starting at 110 billion, perhaps three and 50 billion over the next 10 years. can you provide the committee with the assurance that the state department will closely scrutinize any proposed sales to ensure that they do not
adversely impact israel's qualitative military edge and that you would oppose the transfer of f-35 aircraft? >> we will ensure that all of those sales need all of our obligations both in israel and others. >> i yield back. >> i yield to the secretary. >> i would like to respond to the ranking member's charts and all the red boxes since you brought it up the first we have named and have names in the process of the white house for about 50%. the undersecretary insisted secretary position we have candidates list that we are narrowing down for the remainder. the same on the ambassadorial world. we have 212 ambassador representative positions. over 140 of those are filled and that the remaining 70 half the party ben names are in process.
the other half we have dilutions with candidates underway. one of the real obstacles in the process is i followed up with people is a lot of people were named literally months ago. when we called them we find out it's getting their paperwork done. the paperwork burden and clearance to satisfy the office of ethics which is important is extraordinarily burdensome. for my own experience i had to hire individuals to help me get mine done to get it done as quickly as i can. most too can afford to do that so this is an extraordinary chore for people to get through. even former senators who have been nominated for positions are struggling to get through the paperwork. just the point that it's not because people haven't been named and they are not in the process. they are in the process. >> we go to mr. chris smith of
new jersey. >> thank you very much mr. chairman and thank you and welcome to the committee. we all know the country ratings will soon be released and are under active israel right now. tragically the obama administration in the last two years ignored recommendations and artificially inflated gave e china cuba milan malaysia who have agreed his records when it comes to human trafficking. they ignore professionals and they politicize the outcome. reuters confirmed this and his investigative report that was decisive in brilliant pair i held several hearings on it. we sell out the victims of human trafficking when we misappropriate a tear it, tier 3 being the worst. please ensure the committee that this year's tip report will be
honest, transparent and will follow wherever the human rights abuse goes. what you do with sanctions is all up to you. hopefully very informed and he will make a great decision on that. at least get the tip report right. we have to restore the integrity of that report per second lan food aid on october 15 i held a hearing on why everyone it seems were exiting the middle east and going to europe. some want to come here but most flooded into european river told by the high commissioner for the regional representative that the trigger was a 30% cut in the world's food program provisions and the unacr appeals have been so under realized average 40% and 6% unrealized so people feel helpless and dependent in those refugee camps. they finally said we are out of here, we are going somewhere, germany wherever they want to go
but it was triggered by a lack of food aid and other humanitarian assistance. i would appeal to you, karen bass and i just returned from south sudan and my second trip within the last nine months. went to refugee camps. one refugee camp one of the largest in the world in uganda, they are cutting food rations by 50% because it's not there. we did go to another camp which is an idp camp in unity state. frankly they had food and a lot of it was courtesy of the afghanistan government and thank you for that but we have to ensure that food does not diminish the need. we had a hearing for tomorrow scheduled for today on the fact that some 40 million africans are at risk of famine and the driver frankly is complex but they have to get the food aid. finally i will say this on the issue of conflict i believe and i think karen would agree with is that there's a window of opportunity with south sudan and
the leadership to really put pressure on them to and the conflict. we have a new chief of staff for the military who seems to be saying all the right things. the previous one was a disaster and the interruption of convoys on their way to deliver foodstuffs and humanitarian assistance are disrupted by the military. there is an all-out effort on south sudan right now to act on this window of opportunity. >> as to the human trafficking report as i said in my opening statement we will see the world as it is. we will be honest with ourselves in the american people. let me assure you that reform will be reflect did avoid circumstances actually are. on the food aid you are correct. so much of this is complicated by conflict. we appreciate congress giving us
a big plus-up on food aid this past year. some of that money, i guess i can say regrettably is going to carry over to 2018. has to do with our ability to deliver particularly to some of these conflict areas. we have had difficulty working with ngos getting some of the food delivered because of issues and in the case of conflict around syria issues with ngos and turkey that you write about. we are working with the government of turkey to facilitate them approving and not stopping our ability to get aid into the regions. you mentioned part of africa and yemen there's a serious famine famine -- famine crisis. blocks aid workers are blocked from delivering to the people who need it. we are trying to work on solutions and all of these areas with our first and highest priority create conditions where we can get the humanitarian aid in while we are working on the
conflict resolution itself. >> we go now to mr. meeks of new york. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. secretary think her being here. let me first say mr. secretary i understand of difficulty with the paperwork. the obama administration was way ahead at this point in various levels of the state department. let me ask a couple of questions and maybe you can clear them up for me as i travel around. these are questions that i'm often asked and i have been unclear of some of the answers. maybe you can answer them in the vein of what we talked about. are you in favor of america first nationalism? >> a america first as we said does not mean america alone. we'll continue our our strong alliances and partnerships and
maintain friendships and the relations we have around the world. >> because of some of the statements the present is made about america first, he said a lot of the other countries around the world have to get things back or we are not going to do this or that. by his using the words america first in that regard do you see any negative consequences america's standing internationally as a result of the america first which would seem to indicate to the rest of the world that it is about us and only about us in that language. >> congressman that's why the vice president, myself, secretary defends another's had been making numerous trips with the president himself and his trips abroad. tish ensure that our partners and allies understand that moniker conveys. i think we have had good
dialogue with them, that we only worry about our own -- as indicated we live in challenging times and a lot of things are changing. we have to ask our allies in runs to take more responsibility in these great alliances that we have. what i'm hearing back is they are glad we are engaged. i've seen no indication that our relationships have been undermined with this very open and honest conversation. >> bashar period of time i have so let me as we can be clear. i know that the president has said he doesn't generally agree with most agreements and organizations want to do things on a bilateral basis. do we support the eu? >> we have been quite clear that we do. >> nato? >> without a doubt. >> oas?
>> certainly. >> wto? >> yes. wto needs some reform. >> the u.n.? >> yes, the u.n. needs a lot of reform. >> the economic cooperation? >> we are engaged with everyone of those organizations you names and those that are quite effectively want to strengthen them. some of them need significant reform and that's not just the u.s. point of view. >> i just want to make it clear because for some quite frankly the truth of the matter is as you have traveled and as vice president they have heard that people are relieved and then the president tweets or send something out that seems to contradict what you say. so then people come to me and they don't know what to believe, whether or not it is the word of the secretary of state or the
president of united states. in a little bit of time i have i really want to jump quickly into this issue that we have talking about the budget. 20% of the diversity in the state department has come from the utilization of the fellows from either the pickering or the rangel fellow and there is a freeze is going on and we have already spent $85,000 per person on the students. i'm wondering if these bright young individuals can help diversify the state department that they can be waived from this freeze. they have been paid and we have invested the money so that they can be in the foreign service. is there any opportunity for them?
>> there is no freeze. the structure of the program wrangle pickering which is very important to us and we have every intention of continuing at the obfuscation in the contract that the young people and others engaged with us when we fund their tuition and for their graduate studies is that we confirm we will offer them a position in consular affairs. that is confirmed that the five-year commitment on their part to serve. we then say we will put you on the list for consideration for the next foreign service class. we are holding the next service class because frankly right now are foreign service officer staffing were actually up to 50 people from the beginning of the year with our expected manning which will begin in a% reduction by the end of fiscal 2018 in order for us to have time to manage how we want that to occur
so we do not diminish the strength of the foreign service corps. we are holding on the next day classes so nothing is then frozen and they are all offered in a position of consular affairs. that is no change from the past. there's never been a guarantee that anyone would have a clearer offer for pathway to foreign service that would be considered for service based upon the work they completed that they always have been offer to go to work in consular affairs. >> mr. dan roebuck of california. >> thank you mr. speaker terry and i would just note from the very beginning you outlined for us we have been spending more money on our foreign projects and foreign goals then we have that historic levels and have actually been lower. let me just note for the record that this increase in spending levels especially in the last
eight years has not resulted in a more peaceful world or a lesser -- secure situation for the people in nine states of america. let me note also mr. secretary that i am proud that we have a government now and we have a president who makes no apologies for putting america first and his priorities. what is important for the well-being security and prosperity of the united states is our jobs and for us to try to blur that is not doing anyone a service. achieving our goals however let's note putting america first achieving our goals is not necessarily derive from higher budgets but like you have committed to us today working with other countries and making sure that we reach out to make
friends and to make sure we turn enemies into friends and get the job done for helping the less fortunate people of the world is something we will work together on and not just bear as a burden or the united states taxpayer so i appreciate number one what this administration is doing and what you are doing mr. secretary, to achieve those goals. ..
no decision as to be taken until we create the policy review as you get under standard to appreciate pakistan and our relationship touches on some much broader issues relative to stability in afghanistan in the region it is a very complex relationship we have with the government. we take a realistic view and sometimes that means biting the bullet and having when you are dealing with someone but we have been two-faced with us for so long now pakistan is acknowledged by most of the
people i dealt with a. of looks like it isn't going in the right direction and there are some creative ways to handle this. we continue to have troops involved. i hope we look for other methods rather than sending american troops into afghanistan. you cannot have one without the other. in the interim we have ha had interagency discussions with the president about how.
we've never allowed afghanistan to become a platform for terrorism to be launched against the united states. that worat work we expect to coe over the coming weeks. it hasn't been going well in afghanistan and i would defer to the secretary's assessment when he testified to that effect this week. and there are steps we need to at least prevent further deterioration when we get the policies in place. what we are following now in the prior administration we need to take some steps while we get the policies in place. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. secretary, thank you for being here. i was number one in this country
born in cuba growing up as a little boy, but i remember is the process of indoctrination where the premise was the destruction of america. everything that was evil. we have a situation now where we have a white house that seems to ignore the fact russia was meddling in our democracy the most important thing in the world is a democracy that we have here and the fact that some of these intelligence agencies confirm the involvement in this. i ask you why are we treating russia like this, with why are you telling us to give you flexibility when we have the premise to destroy the country i think the fact that we have a bipartisan effort now to the.
this is something that we would not allow. i cannot understand why this white house seems to treat this man with such a. told the people of america in the white house i know you have spoken about it and other members have spoken about it. but, can you tell me please so i can rest a little better? >> as i characterized the relationship and i've done this after walking out of president putin blank office to the press avail in moscow that relationship in the united states and russia is at an all-time low post-cold war. they undermine us and it's
getting worse. the nuclear powers on the planet cannot have this kind of relationship. we have to move to a different place. and that is what i've been asked to do is to determine whether we can move the relationship to a different place that doesn't present the kind of threats. the current relationship does and further deterioration would. do we want to make the relationship worse and where will that leave us next and do we want to see if we can stabilize it and begin to deal with it.
when we have progress to this discussion at some point i will be the one to tell you we are not getting anywhere. >> we seem to be just getting into this. there are things that we can do to send strong messages to this country. sanctions are very useful tools. unilateral sanctions are not quite as useful as the multilateral. and we are as we think about additional sanctions one of my challenges, and i take this as my responsibility help to bring other allies along with us to say to them you must respond in this way as well. to be the effective pressure that i know we all want.
if we take it alone and gets little support from others, they will be hollow. so this is a bit of a tactical discussion you and i are having at this point. not a fundamental objection. it is a tactical difference of opinion. i hope you send this message to the president and tell him they are looking at how they behave to russia. thank you, mr. secretary for being with us today. i've been a member of the committee for new decades now and i've chaired the middle east committee in the asia and
pacific as well and i would like to discuss with you this morning as taiwan. as a founding member of the caucus and having been to that nation, and i use that term nation intentionally and i take the commitment to the country that we made with taiwan very seriously and i believe that you do. it is an unrelenting threat from china which is nearly 600 ballistic missiles aimed directly at taiwan. although they enjoy the effective independence, the ultimate goal as we know is the annexation of the island. it remains a potential hot spot. the aggression has only grown
over the years. more and more it is referring to the core interest to them and they continue to block the participation and international gatherings in the world including the united states embarrassingly bad yields to the writing and further continues its long campaign to pressure the nations around the world. the act is still alive and in place and this historic legislation has maintained peace and stability. if push comes to shove the united states stands with taiwan. a couple of questions, china would never allow us to determine who they can meet with coming yet because of the fear of offending china principally, we won't allow officials to set
foot in the city. including myself they had to get on the plane and fly to new york city one evening after the votes to meet the president of taiwan. to build a remedy in this that i've introduced as well in the act would allow th the president and vice president and foreign minister and defense minister to come here and it's being marked up tomorrow in the asia pacific subcommittee, and i would welcome the administration's support for the measure and appreciate your comment, please.
>> as you know, the china u.s. relationship has been defined for the past 50 years by the one china policy. in our agreement had on the one china policy they have their interpretation and agree that we will accommodate each other's interpretation. bubut its lead to 50 years of stability in the region, and it has prevented conflict and it has allowed for this economic growth that has gone on, for much of which we have benefited from. as we begin our dialogue with leadership in this administration, as you know, there were some questioning of the commitment early on and the president has reaffirmed if we are committed to the policy, we are also completely committed to the relations act in fulfilling all of the commitments to them under that act. but we are also in the discussion with china about the
relationship and how do we enter another era of stability and absence of conflict and taiwan clearly to the chinese is a part of that discussion. we are able to fulfill the commitments which we have every intention of giving come in at the question is the one china policy sustainable for the next 50 years and those are the kind of discussions we are having that are extremely complex in many regards. north korea is a big element of that.
they make sure we have a continued era of no conflict and stability. thank you mr. secretary for being here today. it looks like making america great again is a unilateral withdrawal in description. we have renounced our own transpacific partnership trade agreement with the threat to renegotiate nafta with our two largest trading partners and have had unfriendly assertions with both. what a proud moment for a
country. they threatened them with being obsolete and refused at the moment it was expected to reaffirm. we have embraced russia in a way that is disturbing i think the most. it is the enormous consternation of our ally in the united kingdom. he has embraced to the philippines, putin and russia and lcc at egypt while lecturing the closest allies about their commitment. he's proposed a 32% cut to the budget that would cripple the ability to engage in a serious diplomacy, and of course the un with constant threats of pulling out the specialized agencies and even the peacekeeping operations.
mr. secretary, how does a reasonable observer of that litany not conclude otherwise that this constitutes a serious collateral withdrawal from the post-world war ii commitments and values and policies in the united states government? >> iif a listed in tiger list of areas, we can go down now. the withdrawal was by and large supported by most people in this body and appear on the hill. there was little support -- >> i know we can pick one or two from the litany.
does this add up to a radical alteration in the policy. in my view and assessment, many of the institutions have not responded to the post-cold war era with the fall of the soviet union a whole array were released after 9/11 a whole new array of threats were released and we continue to try to address those with the old constructs not that they are not valid or that they don't give us the frame in the relationships, but we have to begin to examine the effectiveness of those and i think what the president is doing is examining all of these
elements, and we are questioning whether they are as effective as they should be and whether our partners and allies have come as far as we have come in commitments. so, i would call this an elevated level of engagement, not in any way a withdrawal. i think what people are questioning is because we are making certain demands of the allies and partners and we are having this very frank and open and honeshonest conversation wim that needs to occur. >> we take as difficult a decision around this as we take and that will strengthen our alliances and there will be a greater commitment. to call this an elevated involvement in the world, i will yield back. >> we go to mr. joe wilson of south carolina. >> thank you mr. chairman. our prayers are with our
colleagues that are not here today due to the shooting. congressman cox of alabama. i especially appreciate your exxon service. my great grandfather started with the enrichment in 1990 and my grandfather was the manager in new jersey and south carolina. my dad was a sales representative, and my brother has ran oil chauffer for excellent, so i know the integrity of the company that few have fled and also i was pleased to see background. we have for eagle scouts an foue company, so thank you for what you've done. with so many global challenges, the rogue nation and north korea continues to push the international norms and threatens the security of our allies. i am concerned that the cuts in the foreign affairs budget that
will leave the role played by the diplomats so capably. i appreciate your willingness to make reforms to the foreign affairs budget. in support continuing the mission around the globe. on the threat of a north korean regime, each week there are reports of nuclear developments i,ridiculous videos showing americans being killed and unlawfully detained. the bipartisan support and concern. recently we introduced a 2730 t2 the north korean control act which would prohibit travel to north korea to be given the recent release of the travel to north korea do you support the prohibition of the u.s. tourist travel to north korea? >> we have been evaluating
whether we should put some kind of a restriction. we haven't come to a final conclusion, but we are considering it. >> simply supporting the totalitarian regime, i say this with my colleague to those that have actually been to pyongyang that it was on the delegation. thank you for your service. >> we now go to florida. >> thank you mr. chairman. even as we pray for the majority whip and the others who were injured this morning, i would like to take a moment to express our gratitude to the capitol police who permit us to do our job every day keeping us safe as well as all at work here in this room today, so we are grateful for what you do. mr. secretary, thank you for being here.
i want to add my voice to those that have spoken out against the budget in support of the robust national budget i would point out a 32% cut to the state department cannot be solely about cost savings to the government where the defense budget is being increased by 54%. american leadership as you know mr. secretary has always been and must continue to be about more than just military might. i wanted to ask about a hearing yesterday. you were asked about payments made to palestinian prisoners and their families. payments are for suicide bombers, payments but only have violence and to prevent movement towards a two state solution. the issue came up as you point out in bilateral meetings and yesterday in the question you said they changed the policy and the intend is against others.
since they quickly responded by saying that there are no plans to stop these payments to families killed or wounded while carrying out these attacks. >> those were assurances given to me in the most recent trip to bethlehem. we have had conversations with them and told them they cannot continue these type of payments and expect the u.s. or the american people to see any explanation for why they do th that. they have indicated they would. they indicated they are in the process of changing that and they did say we have to support widows and orphans. i said that is one thing. attacking the payments as recognition of violence or murder as something the american people could never accept or understand. so, we will continue this dialogue with them.
we have been quite clear as to our view. >> i appreciate that you are making that clear but it appears the position has not yet changed. i want to raise an issue that i've raised every single time the secretary has stepped forth here and that is the case of my constituents robert levinson. he is the longest held american hostage. as you know was not part of the deal that saw five citizens released from iran that as a part of the deal commitments were made to assist in the case and i have no doubt that there are those in iran and know where he is or how to locate him, and i hope that the administration is making every effort to prioritize the case unfortunately, the family has not received much since january and i would like to acknowledge the children that are here with us today. his oldest son and youngest son.
so first mr. secretary, i would like to ask will you commit to meeting with the levinson family? >> we are happy to provide an update. we have a number of american citizens that are detained. i just want to let you know we treat them as individual cases. >> will you meet with the family and to designate an official in the department or fill the position to hostage negotiations to the regular basis with the family and others? >> we are evaluating people to fill that position. but i will tell you it is important we do not stop our efforts just because we do not have someone in that role and i hope the evidence of our success already during this short term of the administration securing the release of those that have been detained i hope people look at that and i promise you that
we have efforts underway for every detained person. >> i would ask that you raise the case in every opportunity that you have. to impress the advice to raise the communications ten years is too long to go with other husband father and grandfather. he's going to become a grandfather for the seventh time in a matter of weeks and should be home celebrating with his family. i'd appreciate your efforts and urge you to do everything you can to bring them home. >> people go to mike of texas. >> thank you mr. secretary for being here. it's good to see a fellow texan.
i just got back from mexico city and i chaired the us-mexico parliamentarian and i just want to let you know that it was a very productive respectful meeting on security energy issues and nafta in terms of how we can put energy you know more about the topic than we do and it will be a win-win. we have the ability to sneak people including potential terrorists and dirty bombs into the united states. and finally, he stated the nexus
between the networks and we can get more sophisticated. do you agree with the comments? >> yes i do. that's why we've taken this joint effort with our counterparts in mexico around these organizations. the other activities are carried out across the borders. we clearly see the connections. these activities and the organizations all the way back working with our treasury counterparts this is part of the effort to deny that her breast financing as well. but this effort gets at the challenge to our own national security and the health and well-being of our citizens from the number of drug-related
opioid deaths. we are advancing with cooperation from mexican counterparts and i think you are going to see a very different approach to how we attack the problem of the cartels. >> i think we have long neglected this. the self column commander without getting into the details of that i know that you are aware of the threat. it does worry me as the chairman of the committee what is coming from the ties to the western hemisphere and in particular across the us-mexico border which i think that is why getting security both at the border with mexico but also the southern border i think it's so important. let me just thank you for your attention and i look forward to
is the severe cuts in the budget. from the national security perspective, we know on the continent of africa their fragile democracies that can collapse and open the door to terrorism. i'm concerned about the cuts to the democracy programs in the cuts to un peacekeeping. we pay a considerable share but we do not send our troops and other countries do. in terms of humanitarian assistance, especially including health and cutting food aid, when we have the crisis with ebola, we certainly know how quickly that could have spread to the united states. our interest is very much at stake. when i think of the economic perspective on africa and we discussed are tremendous opportunities for u.s. businesses, u.s. jobs but then i look at the budget cups for opec
african development foundation and all of those are key institutions to lay the basis for our businesses to do business on the continent. one of my questions to you is, you described a process that you are going through with the state department, listening tour to look at how to run things more efficiently. usually what happens in these processes is you have the process first and then you come up with the number with what the state department and usaid should do. where you involved in determining the cut or was it imposed on you? >> we had an interactive process on the omb director and then we
were given the budget back for what we're here to present. my view is these are the resources to be available for us, how do we want to prioritize the areas that we can of greatest impact. i indicated this in my opening statement. in terms of africa, and i appreciate the discussion we were having we see the same concern that you do and i would say that we have other areas of our budget to bear. we have money in our deice is budget that allows them to address some of the threats of the emergence and certainly were keeping our i am libya. but we are working with multinational partners to defend against and not allow a reemergence. >> i'm sorry to interrupt but i'm almost out of time. i want to ask about another area.
i had heard before you are confirmed to go through and identify any program that was focused on women. i want to know number one was that true, there is a specific program, the african women's entrepreneur program and i can't tell from the budget detail weather that is scheduled to be cut. just returning from south sudan and knowing that rape is used as a weapon of war, i'm very concerned about family-planning services and i mean birth control not abortion. but whether or not we would seek to eliminate birth control, especially in countries where we know that rape is used as a regular practice of war. >> i am not aware of any directive that was sent before my arriving there. we have not carried out a directive of that nature.
>> thank you very much. >> we go to ted of texas. >> thank you mr. secretary for being here. thank you for your longtime service. as a fellow i want to congratulate you on your position and i appreciate you being here as well. i live in humble texas so you can know where we get our name from. >> going to thank you for your personal involvement in the release of a person i've been in prison in china unlawfully for over two years. she was unlawfully imprisoned there, she was on a mission from houston to work on economic things in china and was arrested on the plane. thank you for the involvement. now she is released .. home. i think you for that on behalf
of their family. i want to go over several things and will eventually have a question as well. the state department can lead the effort to designate the i rgc as a date or sponsor of terror. i personally think the state department should designate them as a sponsor of terror under 13224. i hope that would be in your radar to do. they are doing bad things for the world. on behalf of terrorism and destroying human rights many people. i would like to know what the policy is in the u.s. toward iran. to we support the current regime? do we support a philosophy of a peaceful regime change? there are iranians in exile all over the world, summer here and then there are iranians in iran
who do not support the tele- terry and state. is it u.s. position to leave things as they are or long-term regime change? i want to mention russia, i was in georgia in 2008 about a week after the russians invaded. congressman smith was there when they did of a. basically the world said that is not nice and nothing happened. in 2014 they took crimea and are in eastern ukraine now. is the u.s. policy that that is unlawful and was still unlawful in those territories in georgia must be returned to georgia to crimea in eastern ukraine be returned or are we just going to accept the russian invasion of those territories? the last thing i mentioned is pakistan.
i think pakistan is a play in this. we give them money. that money is up in the batter hands of bad guys. i personally think that pakistan should not get any american money. they get 500 million a year not count the military. they should be designated as a spencstate sponsor of terror and should be removed from the major non- nato ally status at the have. i know this is been a discussion for years. they tried to get pakistan on board to do the right thing. i what are we going to do, heard your comments earlier. are any of those things i mentioned options. iran, russia, pakistan and i will let you comment on that. >> are policies under development, it has not yet been presented to the president. i will tell you that we recognize iran's continued
destabilizing presence in the region, their payment of four fighters and their export of militia forces in syria and iraq. in yemen, their support for hezbollah. we are taking action to respond to their hegemony. additional sanctions have been put in place. we continually review the methods buzz from the support of diplomatic and international consequences of designating the iranian revolutionary guard in its entirety as a terrorist organization. our policy towards iran is to push back on the hegemony, contain their ability to develop nuclear weapons and to work toward support of those elements inside of iran that would be to peaceful transition of that
government. those elements are there as we know. >> i'm out of time and i would like a written response to those questions. i have a constituents named claudia who sent me some excellent questions to ask you. i will smith these to the record. thank you for your service and for being here today. >> thank you mr. chairman. i speak for my colleagues this morning this been difficult to this hearing to keep in our minds our colleagues steve scalise and our other staff who are injured. and i want to thank you for your willingness to serve your country. this committee has had a great experience as long as i've been here working in a bipartisan fashion with the administration trying to find areas of commonality. i mean the sincere. i'm not going down this path for clarification. for our ability to interact with the administration nothing more
than that, i want to get a better idea to clarify the position of chair kushner in the administration. he has a major foreign-policy position. but is he coordinating with you? what's your experience? has he ever engaged in foreign policy discussions without prior coordination with the state department? how would you define his role. >> mr. kushner is a senior advisor to the president. he does attend discussions, not all but discussions we have in the west wing from time to time. i would say there is a clear recognition by him were foreign-policy is conducted. and so i would say his role as one of any other senior advisor in the west wing. he has freedom and i have invited him and others to call
if there are issues that arise of the west wing, let me know so we have visibility and can begin talking about how we want to address those. >> does he corneille, any incidents where he correlates with state or yourself before engaging with four nationals? >> you would have to ask him. you spoke earlier about the working relationship with china in terms of north korea. there have been positive steps and i congratulate you on your work in that regard. one of my concerns is the fact that as china might move away from trade opportunities to try to pressure north korea, russia seems to be creeping in with replacing the vacuum with their
own trade opportunities and other interactions with north korea. have you address this to russia? this is a problem i think that we will have. if russia just comes in and tries to fill that vacuum that our work with china will not be as effective as it could be. >> we have seen that occur are ready as china has withdrawn certain support. north korea is among our top issues and items that i speak frequently about. i've had extensive discussions with president putin in the kremlin when i saw him. we are asking for their help. think russia is evolving its own position relative to north korea. we're looking for more support from them. to end of occasions as of late is a affirmative vote on north korea, typically at best the russians would abstain and this time they voted for additional sanctions. i think that indicates they see it differently and they have made their own public statements that they see these activities
as being a threat to russia. that is part of our dialogue with the neighborhood. this is not just a threat about us, this can be a threat about u.s. well. >> i yield back. >> thank you for yielding back. and i would go to mr. darrell of california. >> i was delighted when you were named. i keep reminding my friends that one of the last great secretaries we had was george scholz who, for six years before, not immediately but just before, had run a global enterprise, one that was responsible for building large and small cities. i'm going to segue from that to one of the areas you inherited that you have been aware has been the intention of this committee and the oversight committee.
during the george w bush era, under general williams and others, the state department began a standard design build process. this allowed the state department to go from an aging embassy system that lacks security and was falling behind where most of the money was being spent trying to keep kremlin embassies going, to get a new, modern facilities that were secure and predictable in operation. upon the change of administration there is a change under hillary clinton that she began going back to the old practice of new york wine and cheese liberals, happily designing works of art. i'm trying to be over-the-top for a reason. if you go to great britain refined the glass palace on an undersized lot that we cannot use, what you find is a return to embassies that might be works
of art. they may make great statements of america's progress in place in the world, but you're not being given it enough money just to provide security, the likes of which we did not have an ben garcia and other places. i was also thrilled when ambassador kennedy abruptly left with a team of glad to see go. my question is, with the president's current budget reduced in that area, can you, by changing back to a process of efficient design and build, can you begin to get us caught up where never again will we have people tie because they have a facility that lasts the basic security required by your own regulations? >> thank you for the question. the current budget around security, both security services and embassy construction will
allow us to maintain our program through 2018. we will begin to have planning difficulties and 19 and we are in discussions with omb about that. to your points about her execution against embassy construction, it's an execution issue and we need to get back to standard designs, fear scope changes, we do not need to be unique every place. i fit for purpose guy and we need to build what's needed first to deliver the mission. i've been reading reports from oig and audience and i recognize the deficiencies. i've seen that in the private sector when they struggle. we have a great opportunity to get back there. >> i want to follow up with another area.
because you vocal funding and because if we look at your facilities around the world there are often facilities in which title x individuals and others assigned to need to operate or at least coordinate in dangerous areas. i might suggest that a very good investment of several billion dollars over the next several fiscal years would be to spring board ahead to have those facilities able to house a diplomatic mission and coordinate others. i'm thinking particularly of africa and other hotspots. what i would like to do segue. you have 1000 marines available to you. this was a post benghazi decision. i can tell you when i hear the new guinea facility can stop a new one getting designed in part of the justifications they needed room for marines, perhaps looking at where you best would have those marines could well be
a good investment moving around. and having match facilities to the greatest extent possible. lastly, the president's budget, 50% cut in office which was conflict stabilization operations in the office of transition initiatives under usaid. we previously sent your agency letters asking you to combine those two. with the budget having 50% cut could you consider a 100% cut by combining them and decide who gets the job either state or usa id, but not both? >> part of the redesign is to look at issues where we have overlap of work, not just in the state department but in inner
agency. this will examine all of the areas which ultimately a suspect will lead to combined efforts. >> thank you, you'll back. >> thank you, i appreciate that. this committee will resource at ten minutes before noon to allow us to join the colleagues on the house floor. following the prayer and pledge there be information concerning the shooting and then this hearing will resume afterwards. i would like to thank the secretary for his flexibility and we will ensure no later than 130. at this time, let me go to mr. david sissel laney of rhode island. >> thank you for being here. it is clear the devastating cuts proposed in this budget would make it impossible to lead the
world and that is why it has been decried by virtually every serious diplomat scholar next. i have very specific questions which i would ask you to answer with a yes or no. first, i've see you are familiar with the first amendment and the rights afforded to the american people. >> yes. >> to you believe in open and unrestricted press is a vital part of the unrestricted government. >> yes. >> in your opinion does russia and china have a free influence? >> no. do you believe they reliably inaccurately report meetings and conversations between u.s. government officials and their government? >> not lately. >> do believe it sends any type of message to any authoritative governments when american media is excluded from reporting on
these events? >> i'm not sure i understood that one. >> do you believe it impacts the narrative or sends a message to the leaders of other countries when american media is excluded from reporting on significant events involving you, the president or others you might remember where american media was excluded in russia media was included. >> it's hard for me to say what impact that incident had. >> next, you are aware that the chechen government, and our move prudent has been part of torture and detainment of gay men in chechnya. >> my colleagues sent you a
letter raising this issue on april 7. my question is, did you discuss issue of these atrocities being carried out when you met with foreign minister on may 10? or any other government officials at any other time? >> those are on our pending list. >> we did not make our way through all of the issues in the meetings we had. >> are you aware whether president has raise these issues? >> i am unaware if he has are not. >> will you condemn the torture and murder of gay men and state that it is the policy of the united states government at the highest level that the russian government must protect the lives and safety of all of its citizens including lgbt community. >> that is our position globally. >> next, assume you're familiar with the events that took place in washington, d.c. outside the turkish embassy on may 6. >> i am. >> i assume you do not believe it's appropriate for the foreign security force to do that on
american soil. >> have you had conversations about this incident? >> we call the turkish ambassador to the state department immediately spoke to him. i've had face-to-face conversations with the foreign minister on the margins of the nato meeting. the matters under investigation washington, d.c. police and the court system. we are waiting the conclusion of that investigation for further action. >> once those are concluded you would consider actions in response to this attack? >> we want our action to be consistent with what the investigation shows. >> do believe it's appropriate for the united states government to sell weapons to the force that committed this attack? >> is under investigation. >> when can congress expect to defeat isis it in the conflict in syria? >> we've had a recent update
both militarily and diplomatically and how to confront the isis campaign globally. both in the communications network and to deny them the financing. >> and when can we expect that? >> i am not aware of there has been a request for one. >> consider this one. at least from one member of congress. finally, would you say that our past efforts to counter russian aggression has been successful. >> it is a work in progress. it requires work every day. >> but hasn't been successful? >> we've had some success if you look at how certain countries in eastern europe are progressed, progress in the balkans but challenged. >> my question is, in light of that after an unprecedented attack in our own elections and
to influence elections how do you prove pose to adequately counter the budget which is almost estimated by 60%. we haven't been successful in your budget proposal is cutting it by 60%. how can we be successful with those kind of reductions? >> our engagement will continue in east it egypt. if we had additional fans we do more in other countries. we will remain engaged with those countries. >> mask unanimous consent of the following three documents be placed in the record? >> we will go briefly to scott. pennsylvania and then we recess.
>> i for one, although i may take differences with some of the lines in the budget request i'm thrilled we finally have a commander-in-chief interested in balancing the budget of the united states. i consider that a national security priority. mr. deutsch asked about the palestinian authority in the 10% increase. i will tell you at least one of us and probably more than one is concerned and tired of continuing to fund the pa and hearing the same rhetoric where we will discuss it, were considering it we have a commitment send the statement to murders and terrorists. i'm wondering if you have a path and i don't want to get into any discussion that apparel your ability to be effective but is there way that you can assess other doing with the venues of the things if they fail to comply with their commitment? >> i think the president has been very clear with the palestinian authority and he has a certain window of patients and in which he will remain engaged.
at some point he will become disinterested. if we become disinterested that will alter our support. >> we will probably look to follow up to see if that takes place. yet it conversation regarding the irg c and i want to throw the muslim brotherhood in there as well. to organizations and actors that have the specific interest and while there might be some good components if you want to characterize it that way for these organizations, i like to engage in a short conversation about designating each one of those and what the pitfalls might be of doing so. what are the american people missing? what are we missing that we need to know about from designating these sponsors of terrorism. >> the muslim brotherhood which
reportedly would have us up to 5 million members has become somewhat segregated within its own ranks within a number of organizations continuing to commit themselves to violence and terrorism. we have designated those organizations read at the top of the quality chain there are elements that have now become part of governments. durham members of bahrain that are parts of government members in turkey. and designating the muslim brotherhood in its totality as a terrorist organization, i think you can appreciate the complexity the centers into our relations with them the government of bahrain another where muslim brotherhood has matriculated to become participants in those elements they have done so by renouncing violence and terrorism.
that's one of the complicated issues but come i will tell you it is on our watch screen. and we revisit this question periodically. it comes up in our foreign relations with others as well. >> i appreciate the answer. i hope we do not allow the more moderate one set to announce violence to have the organization use them to be the umbrella in which they conduct these other things which is the specific downfall of the united states. finally, the deal with saudi arabia, i cannot get an answer specifically on how we were monitoring their support of the terror that goes along with that fundamentalist view of islam
around the globe. to know of any metric that the department is following to support their claim that they are working on that. how are we engage in odd and determine whether they're following along with that agreement. >> one of the outcomes was the creation of the center to counter extreme muslim messagi messaging. the center now exists. it was inaugurated while we're there the center has a number of elements to attack extremism around the world. one element were visiting about and they have taken step is to publish new textbooks that go into the schools that are in the mosques around the world. these are to replace textbooks that are out there today that have a ca advocate extreme viewpoints around the justification for violence. we asked that they publish and
retrieve the existing textbooks we get those back. the center is going to have a very broad range from social media to broadcast, to how young e moms are trained and we are working with them today to establish the new center, what are the measures we will hold our self accountable to. that is the charge the state department is working as we bring this up to an operating level. >> without objection we stand in recess. we will return at approximately 1230.