tv Secretary of State Pompeo Testifies Before House Appropriations Subcmte CSPAN March 28, 2019 5:32am-7:45am EDT
in the northern triangle which we think about the ecosystem of development creatively rather than a large terminal road and collect development but how we get underneath the structures of deep wounds instructors of poverty and assist economically but stability so people can have flourishing lives where they live. >> the model -- >> significant pathway. >> different than we have done before in multiple dimensions not the least of which involves private sector as well. we have watched other countries tie their government to their private sector in ways we would never do and probably have the separation in the united states, i'm not suggesting we should behave as they do with their government but having understanding, american values talked about explicitly, is
incredibly important. >> it doesn't function properly. it needs capital assistance to springboard into viable partnerships that should be virtuously committed to the long-term ecosystem of proper economic well-being and development and this is getting us there. there is one pathway for reform of fragmentation we have. the ideal of correcting market failure but leveraging private outcomes so there is continuity and sustainability of the initial aid. sometimes we do the right thing by trying to build out of school but not soldiers or troops leave, it reverts to what it was, not sustainable. sorry for the speech but i'm trying to immerse myself in this space.
i need to talk to you, miss roby, about this. we have a mapping strategy where key principles in this area from the world food programs and world bank and agricultural funds? to try to rethink whether we are overlapping or too fragmented or imaginative for assistance programs. >> thank you, miss lee. >> mister secretary. i asked you earlier about countries in africa and deep cuts that are being made by this budget. now i would like to ask about the cuts proposed for the western hemisphere which i believe you proposed one third
of us assistance because in these countries include countries in latin america and the caribbean, very real challenges the region faces from the humanitarian crisis in venezuela and migration challenges, to recent civil unrest in haiti to the vulnerability of countries in the caribbean. these significant cuts which cut across the board in proposed budget for the western hemisphere appear to be at odds with the state department to promote economic growth and prosperity and democratic governance. and china is still filling the void in many ways that have historically been neglected by the united states. in addition i'm concerned that your budget again, pulling funding from several countries
in the caribbean and attempts to -- your intent to not continue. only 35% of people living with hiv therapy. i would go in the opposite direction and try to help this in terms of economic growth. and geopolitical issues the country has with china, see what china has engaged in in caribbean countries and send a signal we care about this region. my second question i will ask quickly with regard to cuba i want to know what impact has reduction of staff at the us embassy in havana, and i would
like to know the status of 26 members of the us embassy community stationed in havana including cognitive issues, the status of the investigation into these unexplained injuries, we have been following this closely. there seems to be no conclusion yet and the efforts toward people to people exchanges, moving toward some semblance of private-sector and people involvement in cuba has been stopped and health issues have been used as rationale and beginning to pool out quite frankly. >> take your first question, chinese influence in the caribbean region is real? it is an attempt to undermine western democracy, western values in those countries, we
are the first administration to take this issue seriously and predate this administration. we confront it and you can look at our state department mission statement and priorities i set out with ambassadors from all across the region in the world into the state department in january this year. and directing foreign assistance directly at competing every place china is trying to compete. it is the fact we will never show up with as much money as china. that will never be the basis. >> i'm asking why are we cutting where we never invested. >> the previous administration failed to invest. we are focused on this, to talk about the important issues in
your second question, i remain concerned about those, in cuba. and in the state department expended enormous resources to identify the cause of this issue for the broadly defined needs of those who have been injured by these health attacks. we have not been able to resolve this not just in government but across the global medical system, have not been able to identify and connect up to find the costs. it has proven incredibly vexing. i continue to worry about officers we have there. we are doing all we can to make sure they do not suffer health incidents as well. that is the cuban government to
help and they have done nothing to help us identify, they had nothing to do with it and suggested we are making it up or it is not real. john sullivan runs the health incident task force that needs each and every week to talk about status of every dimension. do we have the right staffing level? we provided resources to assist those who have been injured or the right thing to protect not only ours but other americans, we are focused on this issue but remains a real concern. >> thank you. miss meng is next. >> i want to ask about iran and syria, over the last several years the conflict in syria, iran has managed to entrench itself deeply within syrian territory. what more can the united states do to stem iran's involvement in
syria. and talking to the us retreating, how will the retreat from syria affect iran's presence? >> we are not retreating and had the previous administration not refused to take any action that might have upset the apple cart with respect, we would not have the problem today not only with iran and syria but support of the who sees in yemen, iran is running militias inside iraq, hezbollah's influence, the list goes on, iran was on the march. we have done a number of things to turn that around. we acknowledge the permanent pathway to a nuclear weapon, in the united states of america, they put on historic sanctions which are having an impact.
i don't know if the leader of hezbollah -- 6, 8, 10 days ago, rattling his tin cup around the world begging for money. that's a good thing. when hezbollah can't pay its soldiers, that is a good thing for freedom and stability in the middle east. we are working with allies and partners, we convened 60 plus nations in warsaw to talk about the threat from islamic republic, israel and arabs working together to find ways to resolve this threat to the middle east and the world. and i'm confident the iranian people will be the ultimate beneficiaries of the work we are doing. the iranian people get what they so richly deserve, highly
educated population with reserves -- the autocracy that is the coming any regime. >> your president has been very clear in wanting to retreat. i was just confused. >> you are just wrong about that. >> the president was very clear in wanting to retreat. >> i'm happy to respond to that if you like. it is just untrue. >> we can pool video clips but my next question. >> give me 30 seconds. >> if i could finish my question because i'm running out of time. and talking about rebuilding syria, how are we ensuring rebuilding efforts are not benefiting a sod or iran, what message are we delivering to entities willing to participate? >> let me answer your previous comment as well. we along with europeans made clear we will not provide reconstruction dollars to areas
under the control of the aside regime, we are supporting eric peterson in his un efforts. and and it is a precondition. and we have humanitarian assistance, but the full intention to get the political resolution. it is not retreat. the previous administration invited the russians to syria. just fact. this administration took down the caliphate along with great partners developed to create the isis coalition of 80 countries that took down the last real estate owned by isis, threat
from radical islamic terrorism remains, is not going away, west africa, asia, lots of places. it remains in the middle east, we are determined to do this, sometimes we will increase and sometimes decrease but to describe what this administration has done, complete the section of the caliphate, heads cut off on beaches, we took that down. to describe that is retreat. >> i'm repeating what i have seen in the media. we can have another discussion on iran and syria and the support of russia under this administration as well. i yield back. mister price. >> let's return to the northern triangle, this is a critical issue i think as need serious attention. when we see people fleeing their home countries, women and
children, violence and corruption, we look to the humanitarian conditions, economic conditions in their home countries. what is driving the migration? in the previous administration with the support of congress and as you know general kelly played a southern control in this. us increased assistance to guatemala, el salvador and honduras. we also know consistently three budget the row the trump administration has proposed to cut this assistance by 30%. now the president publicly threatened to cut all assistance to the northern triangle as punishment for the ongoing migration we need to figure out how to mitigate. let me quote the tweet from the president. guatemala and el salvador doing nothing for the united states
but taking our money. word is a new caravan is forming and honduras and they are doing nothing about it. we will be cutting off all aid to these three countries, taking advantage of the us for years. now we have a news report saying the funding -- congress has largely restored the funding the president wanted to cut in the intervening years. that money is sitting there undistributed. this is quoting one of your state department officials. we have paralysis moving this funding through the northern triangle because people don't know what the president wants, one state department official said. no one wants to do something that is not following his guidance.
it is being slow, it threatens to undermine efforts to address the root causes of migration from the region. okay. what can you say about that? they have had in the past bipartisan agreement that root causes need to be addressed. now the aid we have voted is being held up. is there anything inaccurate about these reports? what is us policy? >> i'm happy to take the basic question. i prefer we avoid using a name -- unnamed sources. that is not constructive. the things we are doing -- >> since you make a point of it it is very common practice to have officials quoted in that way.
maybe your official was out of line but the official is quoted, is that incorrect? >> i'm happy to talk about the policy. donald trump is made clear we are going to make sure us taxpayer dollars achieve outcomes. is not enough to talk about the more feel good about them or be able to show how much money we spend. none of those are metrics that deliver. you talk about the money spent over the last years, previous administration, there is an enormous problem, proof of its own that this is not effective. the mission donald trump has given to me, secretary neilsen, we are looking at these issues developing good leadership to get us to a place where we actually achieve outcomes. this is about reality, not feeling good that we spend money but delivering on these programs. it has proven vexing for that
administration, to stand up, effective governance. we have people coming across the border with groups on mondays and tuesday that has not changed dramatically. this is evidence the policies we have have not been affected. the money we appropriated, it to actually achieve important outcomes for the united states, that is the president's policy. >> we would welcome indication of what that policy consists of. let me check you on this. this is a vexing problem because we have not solved it and our efforts to solve it has proved
challenging and difficult. the rational response is to become punitive about these countries, to cut off aid entirely or to hold up the aid that has been approved, and what your official says seek clarification. that is what we are seeking, what is going on. >> hope i didn't use the word punitive. >> i may have misspoken. you don't think the tweet is punitive? >> our policy is aimed at getting an effective outcome and that is what we are trying to achieve. we are making clear throughout immigration teams, security teams, economic teams, we have expectations for how their behavior must change to continue
to maintain us taxpayer support. that seems eminently reasonable. >> word is a new caravan is forming and honduras and they are doing nothing about it. we will be cutting off all aid to these three countries taking advantage of us for years. that -- you would not define that as a punitive segment. >> we have done level best to articulate that. >> i express my appreciation to you for referencing that aid. and part of vice president biden's task force, i cannot say we were successful but i don't think we can give up. i look forward to continuing the discussion with you about what more can we do to deal with the
root causes, these root causes and the effect of these causes directly impact what is happening at the border. i hope the committee can work with you and see if these programs can be more successful in making root causes, changes, more successful in those regions so i thank you, mister price, for referencing it. >> mister secretary, we are getting along very well right now. we did agree when you educate girls and women and they are healthier, we found something else to agree on. it is wrong to torture, to rape women who were merely protesting for their human rights. would that be wrong?
>> don't get a double negative. that would be wrong. >> here we go. we agreed on something else. i want to ask you about what is going on to some of the women rights activists in saudi arabia. we know that there are so many who were protesting for the end of the ban on women driving and abolishing the male guardianship system that they have been thrown into prison, being subject to torture, rape, electric shock, sleep deprivation, no justice occurring there. i would like to know what if any interaction the state department has had to try to alleviate the situation. >> we had interaction at nearly
every level about specific cases we were aware of. more generally the policies we have every hope and expectation the kingdom of saudi arabia will engage in. i had this conversation with senior leaders including the king and the crown prince. my counterpart the foreign minister, my team had similar ones. i hope i get an ambassador confirmed in saudi arabia before long, his directive will be to continue to talk about these things in a way that predates me. >> you put pressure on them to do something? >> we are seeing some progress, right? i absolutely think -- >> women are still being tortured. i want to say this. it is important to put as much pressure as possible to stop the torture that is going on to these women.
i will find something else we can agree on. >> free for 3. >> now you go four to four. i don't mean this as an expression, i'm not talking about south of the border. the disease spreads. one reason, not just humanitarian reasons we go into places like africa, and -- >> global endemic is a real risk. >> i want to go back to the discussion about this -- what i call this ultra obsession your administration has with abortion. we don't use federal funds for abortion. i may disagree with that but the
fact of the matter is your new interpretation of what was called a gag rule is harming organizations that are doing general health care whether it is contraceptive care, hiv or just maternal care. i'm going to give you an example. there is an organization called a mafia, the only health provider in mozambique. they lost funding due to the expansion of the global gag rule estimated that it affects 500,000 people receiving care for hiv, tuberculosis and malaria. here's my question to you.
what kind of analysis have you done or are you doing to understand the effect of cutting off these funds? >> appreciate the question. we disagree on abortion and i take that as a fact and how i respond. i cannot see how first of all you call it a gag rule, no one is stopped from speaking anywhere. >> i don't want to cut you off but you have taken it so far that an organization that doesn't even do abortions are not even allowed if they are asked a question, they are not allowed to be told, not allowed to have a pamphlet lying around
that gives women alternatives. it is a gag. maybe you want to look into it. >> i am happy to look into it but know what is being denied the right to speak, they can say what they want. >> how about getting the healthcare? >> what they can't do is take taxpayer funds and perform abortions or abortion-related services. we have continued to provide not a single dollar reduction with respect to women's healthcare associated with the president's mexico policies and all the ways we are implementing that, not one single dollar reduction, it is perverse when i think about places like china where most of the abortions that take place are women. it is perverse to me -- >> let me reclaim my time to say this. some of the things we agree. i don't believe in forced abortions, okay but i don't believe in forcing women to have children if they don't want to have children. here is the thing. i'm urging you, i am begging you
to please do an analysis of how this gag rule is affecting healthcare around the world. you and i both agree that when women succeed the world succeeds and with that i yield back. >> with that i turned to miss taurus. >> back to central america. i am concerned about the reliability of our security partners in the region, specifically in the northern triangle. i want to make sure we are not sending good money after bad. i am not confident that honduras's government is a reliable partner in the fight against narcotics, narco trafficking. they recover less then 1% of what is trafficked through the country, not even the cost of doing business so on that note are you aware that on november 26, 2018, the us attorney's office for the southern district of new york
indicted hernandez's brother on drug trafficking charges? >> yes. i didn't know the date but i knew of the indictment. >> according to the indictment he had access to cocaine in honduras and colombia. this cocaine was stamped tah or his initials, tony hernandez. are you confident president hernandez was unaware his brother, and alleged narcotraffickers? >> may i answer that in a different form please? i will try to answer the question you're getting too with respect to policy. >> a classified briefing on this -- >> ongoing -- i prefer to do that if that is acceptable. >> i can respect that. i am very concerned that we
continue to work with people and invite them to groundbreaking ceremonies for our us embassy buildings. so we do business with those people, we should be holding them accountable for the crisis happening at the southern border. you have to be serious about helping these three governments accountable for what they are doing, forcing young children and women out of their countries. i was one of those kids. my parents didn't see a future for me in guatemala. they sent me to the us to live with my father's oldest brother. no parents should have to make that decision, no child's future should be robbed from being able to have a successful life where they were born and we can agree
on that and i hope we can continue to pay attention to the region and to hold people accountable including the state department. the state department is severely underfunded. i don't blame them for some of those missteps, but at the same time we have to put on a serious face in front of these people. the attacks against -- we may disagree on press releases that might have been sent. it wasn't from them but the attorney general's office, you and i know about the investigative body. they were able to do their own investigations. that is not happening, with president hernandez in honduras and hopeful in el salvador, we
will have an opportunity to do better. we can't do better with the new administration when showing a terrible example of continuing to support bad actor in these two countries. i would like you to respond, we passed an amendment, required the state department to provide congress with a report, a report that includes a list of corrupted officials, they were supposed to do this 180 days after it was and acted. can we expect that sometime in the near future? >> it was overdue.
i will get your response on when we can complete that task, legally required task. >> i yield back. >> before i turn to mister rogers i want to thank you for your comments and i want to say, about 1 billion left in that account, the us strategy for engagement in central america, we appropriated $4 billion to the account. i would hope we can continue this discussion. good to know from your perspective what we have accomplished, what remains to be accomplished, a great deal. i am not sure, it is not a lot of money. and all the actions that addressed the serious challenge in the region. >> we provide that in the committee. >> thank you, madam chair.
and it means not only the destruction of the caliphate. preventing a return of conditions. the us commander of sense, the battlefield games, by continued interagency efforts and mobilizing the international community to prevent a return of the conditions that allowed isis to arise. and what sort of sustained efforts, diplomatic, military
will be required of us and our partners in eastern syria. >> it is a continuous room -- it will take efforts, to places that have mostly political and the phonetic component to them. and not only brings people resources, money to this challenge, it is we enormously costly undertaking. the work we do, i will meet with them, the speaker of the house equivalent traveling to the united states this week. i will meet him this weekend to work with political leadership
in iraq to assist them with the iraqi security forces to maintain control and keep the country secure so that isis can't arise, and in syria we have all other forms of radical -- the list is long. this threat of terrorism remains going to take political resolution in syria to create the conditions where syria can rebuild and build out its security forces as well. >> you don't request any funds for syria. >> we are not there yet. we can't operate in two thirds of syria today and we won't operate while asad continues to be there and wreak the devastation he has.
until we have a pathway where we have a political resolution, we believe we have the resources to continue to do the work in the eastern third, northeast part with the kurds and the turks so we get an outcome there that is stable and lasting, the capacity to take the security council 2254 implemented. we believe we have the resources to do that. there are also resources in the state department. your quote was from someone at centcom with dod resources as well. >> the syrian democratic forces, how do we help them with a large number of captured foreign fighters? >> they reside today mostly in eastern syria though some are transported to other places as a real threat.
had a really senior military leader reminded me he did not want his children and grandchildren fighting the same human beings because he risked his life to get them and we were risking putting them on the street. the state department led an effort to repatriate and have justice systems in the capacity to hold them for an extended time. some terrorists that were captured early on in this fight after 2011 had 20 year prison sentences and getting out pretty soon. this risk of foreign terrorist fighters and their reentry, they have not changed their ways or their desire to destroy america. and commit acts of g hard, a very real challenge. >> there are many nationalities. >> we repatriated countries in northern africa, repatriated to arab countries to take back our own and there are many.
that we won't be able to return. we have to find a solution we have not yet done. they are working closely with the iraqi and others to figure out the best way to ensure they -- >> thank you for your time, thank you very much. >> i appreciate that. >> mister secretary, i want to thank you again for spending time with us. i would like to ask if you think the state department has gotten its swagger back? do you have resources to fund your important work here and overseas? as we contemplate your budget for 2020, if there are specific requests we would be happy to assist you in your important work. has the state department gotten its swagger back? >> i hope so but i will leave it
to others to judge. i will leave it to others to make that decision. it has been a privilege to lead amazing diplomats, civil servants, local and police staff around the world who are doing remarkable work while i have been secretary of state and been fortunate to be their leader. i hope i have helped them perform their function better and that is what i'm and by getting swagger back. >> i appreciate that and i am honored to be chair of this subcommittee, all of us who serve in this committee made this important choice and we want to be sure we are responding to your request to the urgent needs. i know we can't solve all the problems of the world but we certainly would like to work with you to adjust to many challenges we have. enclosing, thank you very much.
>> is a look at live coverage thursday. on c-span the house is back at 9:00 am to consider a resolution opposing the trump administration's transgender military ban which will go into effect next month. later in the day we hear from donald trump as he hold the campaign rally in grand rapids, michigan. on c-span2 the senate returns for more debate on a bill to provide additional funding to areas affected by hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters. at 10:00 eastern on c-span3 the senate energy and natural resources committee considers the nomination of david bernhard to be interior secretary. mister bernhardt is serving as acting far from the department since january following the resignation of ryan zinke. >> sunday night on q&a.
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learn more about the most diverse group of lawmakers in history. >> i am authentic. i am not a polished politician. >> i'm a small-town lawyer. >> the national guard, served in afghanistan. >> mcdonald's franchisee for 22 years. >> a fascination with this idea of finding answers to questions nobody else can find. >> i have been a physician all my professional life. >> my dad is a lifelong republican who never voted for a democrat, voted for me. >> washington journal live, join the discussion. >> had a house hearing pentagon officials discussed military operations in east asia including joint military exercises with south korea and strategy for countering threats from china and north korea. congressman adam smith chairs the