tv Vatican Nominee Callista Gingrich Testifies at Confirmation Hearing CSPAN July 20, 2017 12:13pm-1:36pm EDT
3. the senate foreign relations committee held a hearing for the nomination for four candidates for state department positions, the nominees included calista gingrich to be the ambassador to the vatican. committee members questioned her and other candidates on a range of issues, including travel visas and terrorism. this hearing is about an hour.
>> mr. nathan al kpapder sales, with the rank and status of the ambassador at large. mr. george edward glass. and mr. carl c. rich to be assistant secretary of state for counselor affairs. i want to welcome the nominees, their families to this committee, congratulate them on their selection by the president and thank you for your willingness to serve, i also want to note that we have congressman rooney here supporting commissioner gingrich. congressman rooney was the ambassador to the holy c. during the commissioner's term. we'll introduce two of our witnesses, the senior senator from oregon, senator ron widen, an esteemed member of this
committee and senator portman from ohio. we're pleased to have you here today. >> mr. chairman, thank you for your courtesy, as senator portman knows, we're right in the middle of debating tax reform, i know a topic of great interest to me here. and i'm trying to help out chairman hatch. so i will make this a filibuster free opportunity, mr. chairman and it is a great privilege to be able to introduce a longtime friend, george edward glass. mr. glass has been nominated to serve as our next ambassador to portland. i'm glad that the president has presented more nominees to the senate because we all know that having a confirmed ambassador makes a world of difference in the challenges that emerge.
knowing mr. glass as i do, i am confidence that as all of you get to know him better, you are going to report him favorably to the senate floor. as he is going to tell you. george glass is an oregonian through and through. like me, he is a duck. and he has continued to be vovds with the university, with the community, as he has been recognized as a pillar of portland's finance real estate and tech communities.
they play a live line in reaching out to our community and those that have really found it hard to access health care, he's been a trustee to the oregon health and skings university, a former president of the university of oregon alumni association and also a member of the catholic business leaders association. i just feel very strongly that as you look to portugal and to that part of the world, we are going to need people who demonstrated a track record of stepping up, being involved in their community, someone with expertise in a variety of areas, not just his chosen profession of finance, but health care in his background at the oregon health sciences center and i believe that as you get to know
him, you will come to the conclusion that i have, that george glass has values shared by americans and by those countries he seeks to serve, portugal and i very much appreciate my colleagues going out of order to extend this courtesy to me and my guess is chairman hatch probably is grateful to you all as well as we try to keep matters proceeding in the finance committee. so thank you very much mr. chairman, i very much look forward to the committee getting to know mr. glass as i have, i think you'll come to the same judgment as i have, he will serve and reflect great credit on this committee. >> as long as you're taking a look at corporate tax reform, i urge you to get out of here and get back to the task at hand.
>> i will join my colleague in a minute back down on the tax reform front but i want to be here to welcome this distinguished group of nominees and thank you for your willingness to serve, to mr. rich and mr. glass, mr. glass, you've just gotten a nice accolade from someone who will help you not just in this committee, but in the vote on the floor. to calista gingrich, thank you for serving, you could have no better person behind you performing as ambassador to the holy c. finally nathan sales. mr. chairman, he's from ohio. you wouldn't have guessed it. did i tell you he's from ohio? we're very proud of him, he's in front of this committee to be the next coordinator to the state department so a vital position of national security
that needs to be filled as soon as possible. we need hon -- protecting the homeland but also combatting the threat of global terrorism. so we're pleased to have you here. did i mention he's from ohio. canton, ohio to be specific. also i tended ohio's miami university. he then for some reason headed south and went to duke law school. following law school, he did clerk for the honorable david dd. sintel. and he served in the office of legal policy, and as deputy assistant for policy during the george w. bush administration where i also served. there he focused on intelligence, information sharing, terrorist travel, at dhs, he drafted critical legislation to improve the
security of our visa waiver program, something that the chairman has had a role in. in the past few years, nathan returned to the private sector and academia as associate professor of law, he teaches in national security law and counter terrorism law among other areas, so he's perfectly qualified for this position. so i look forward to supporting nathan sales as our next coordinator of national security. because of his strong record and because of his lifelong record in the security of our country. i hope my colleagues will quickly fill this position with this capable candidate for
coordinator of national security. >> again, thank you for that. now as great as it is to have nominees from oregon and ohio. i certainly appreciate the fact that i have the privilege of introducing our nominee from the state of wisconsin. i also have the honor of introducing my fellow wisconsinite. craig w calista was born in the state of wisconsin. she graduated from white hall memorial high school as valedictorian, attended college in iowa where she was a regents scholar and respect honors
gradua graduate. he became a member of congressman gunderson's personal staff. after 18 years of service, calista left capitol hill to found gingrich production, a multimedia production company. she's been the president and ceo of gingrich production. calista also works to support many charitable causes through her role at the gingrich foundation. calista is a lifelong catholic, she has sung for 21 years in the choir at the national shrine of immaculate conception here in washington. calista hosts nine days that changed the world, about john
paul ii. calista's interest in john paul ii is fitting giving her nomination. president reagan's friendship with pope john paul ii led to re-establish formal relationships with the holy c. in 1984. and helped negotiate the fall of the soviet union. since then the pope and calista have coordinated on a wide range of issues. calista's understanding of the catholic church make her an ideal candidate to be ambassador to the holy c. mr. rich is a highly regarded pennsylvania attorney and current acting chief of staff in
immigration services. he was previously the field office of american services in seoul south korea. a senior administration official in washington, d.c. for over a decade and former foreign services offer, mr. rich is an expert on the responsibilities of managing affairs worldwide. i would like to introduce my colleague senator murphy. >> we have actually a good full house of members here, so i'm going to defer my opening remarks, thank all of you for your service, mr. sales and i had a chance to sit down and have a very productive conversation yesterday, i'm very glad for your testimony and for ugh us to engage in a dialogue. >> the order will be ms.
gingrich, mr. sales, mr. rich. >> chairman johnson, ranking member murphy and distinguished members on the senate committee on foreign relations. in addition i want to express my gratitude of secretary of state rex tillerson for supporting my nomination. it is a special honor to be introduced by chairman johnson from my home state of wisconsin, thank you. i am also here with the full support of my husband newt.
we both have -- those who represent the american people abroad. i look forward to working closely with the members and staff of this committee. like the united states, the holy see is active on a global steal. -- scale. it is engaged on every continent to advance religious freedom and human rights, to fight terrorism and violence, to combat human trafficking, to prevent the spread of diseases like ebola and hiv/aids and to seek peaceful solutions to crises around the world. those who serve in the state department are known the world over for their patriotism and dedication, the professional staff at the u.s. embassy to the holy see exemplifies these traits. they work tirelessly to advance our country's global reach.
the embassy team did an extraordinary job preparing for and hosting the president on his visit to the vatican in may. during that visit president trump and pope francis highlighted shared concerns including the protection of christian communities in the middle east. pope francis has poweredfully called upon people -- the vatican and its organizations play an active role to troubled areas around the globe, from venezuela to south siudan to th democratic republic of the congo, democracies that support peaceful solutions benefits the united states.
the catholic church is a global network, operating 25% of the world's health care facilities. and ministering to millions in every corner of the world. as global leaders, the united states and the vatican must continue to work closely to advance our shared values of human dignity and freedom. this can only happen if we maintain and build upon a strong foundation of trust and mute m wam -- mutual communication. if confirmed, i will continue this dialogue that is so important for the people of the united states and the world. i understand how the holy see and the united states can work together. i produced a film called "nine days that changed the world."
it chronicled pope john paul ii's pilgrimage to poland. producing this film required substantial work with key church leaders and other experts in the united states, poland, and the vatican. this film has been well received by the catholic church. and is used in religious education programs throughout the united states. most importantly, this film is a powerful example of the invaluable role the vatican plays in international affairs. recently, i produced another documentary film entitled divine mercy, these projects have given me the opportunity to build
relationships with many church leaders, clergy and religious scholars. these experiences have instilled in me the highest respect for the holy see. a deep appreciation for the responsibility of this post and confidence that the united states vatican bilateral relationship is a force for good and one that cannot be ignored. as a lifelong catholic, business owner, documentary filmmaker, author and foreign public servant i am profoundly humbled to be asked to serve my country. if confirmed i will work tirelessly to improve relations between the united states and the vatican and the holy see. i would be pleased to answer any
questions you may have. thank you. >> thank you mrs. gingrich. our next nominee, mr. sales. >> thank you, chairman johnson, thank you ranking member murphy and members of the committee for holding this hearing today. it's an honor to be here with you this morning. let me start by introducing my family, my wife margaret, and my daughters anna and kate. my parents alex and marsha are here, they came out from ohio and i would also like to acknowledge my father-in-law and mother-in-law who are in boston and couldn't be with us today. my thanks to senator portman for his introduction. i also want to express my gratitude to president trump and secretary tillerson for putting me forward for this important
position. it if confirmed, i will work hard to pay back the trust and confidence they have shown in me. in 2001, i was a young lawyer at the justice department. i had been fired to work on administrative law issues, it was the middle of august 2001. three weeks later was 9/11. i still vividly recall the chilling rumors that flew that morning. car bomb at the state department, fires on the national mall. another hijacked plane headed for the capitol. some of those rumors turned out to be false alarms, but the reality was bad enough. my job and the job of everybody at the justice department, everybody in the administration, everybody in congress now shifted to one fundamental and overriding priority, preventing another assault on our home
land. 9/11 wasn't just an attack on our citizens and on our landmarks, it was an attack on our very way of life, our democracy, our commitment to the rule of law and venn ration of our liberty. just as importantly to do so in a way that maintained faith with our fundamental values as americans, our basic natural values. we couldn't allow our fundamental values to become a casualty of war. i took that commitment with me to homeland security a few years later. at dhs, i learned the importance of working with our allies around the world to confront the specter of terrorism. i learned first hand that our -- because of our shared values.
before she became a lawyer, my wife earned a master's degree at georgetown school of foreign service and many of her classmates went on to serve at the state department. getting to know them, i have developed a deep appreciation for their extensive knowledge, their commitment to the mission and the sacrifices they have made to our country. it will be a privilege to serve alongside them if i am confirmed. i started with my family and i would like to end there too. i come from a long line of patriots, my father was a navy officer during the tumultuous conflict with north korea. my grand father was an infantry captain.
he earned a bronze star for valor and a purple heart. it will be a great honor if i'm concerned to continue their legacy at state. thank you mr. chairman, members of the committee, i look forward to your questions. >> i appreciate you introduce your family. to mr. glass, if you have members of your family here please introduce them and then we look forward to your testimony. >> mr. chairman, ranking member carden and members of the committee. it is with great humility and honor that i appear before you today. if confirmed i'm committed to focusing all my energies to -- i would like to introduce my family. my wife mary, who's sitting here with me, who came out from
oregon and i would also like to acknowledge my three sons and their wives who are supporting me from afar. my olde esest gorden and his wi live in japan. and my second oldest is expecting our first grandchild and our youngest, andrew who is in the throws of his very first job just after graduating from college. i would also like to acknowledge my mother and stepfather and mary's parents and lastly i would like to thank my father who is here in spirit and it's courage and wisdom that brings me strength every day. portugal is amongst our oldest and most reliable allies, the history of our two nations has always been one of mutual respect and support.
portugal was the -- if confirmed i also look forward to working with the outstanding personnel that currently serve our country in liz ben. the presence of 1.5 million portuguese-americans living in the united states make the relationship between our two countries one of three focal points of foreign policy. this relationship has allowed us to turn to portugal in every peacekeeping mission since the end of the cold war. if confirmed it will be my job to lead portugal to enhance this economic relationship. the republic of portugal was hit especially hard by the 2008 recession, where a financial package was adopted in 2011. mary and i were in portugal for
an extended trip in 2012. at that time unemployment rates were over 15% and they were double that for young adults. what we witnessed on that trip endeared us to the people of portugal for life, even with the economic backdrop, theyer with focused on the same values we hold here in america, god, family and hard work will enable one to succeed. portugal is now in the midst of a remarkable economic recovery. the united states is portugal's number one trading partner and the fifth largest trading partner overall. 24 resecuurgence of bilateral te in the shipment of natural gas. this is an exciting time to engage in commerce between our two countries, lisben is now
ranked one of the hottest start up countries in the eu. i i will specifically partner with portuguese businesses. if confirmed, i can't wait to join the 200 strong at mission lisben to help them in their endeavor to expand their business ties between the united states and portugal. lastly, i would like to express any deepest sorrow for the family and friends of the over 60 dead in the latest forrest fire in portugal. this is a tragedy and it's seldom that we see this large a tragedy. i know the pain that can a forest fire can render and the
burden that an entire people can feel. mary and i continue to include the families of those who perished and the brave firefighters who battled mightily in our prayers. i hope someday we might be able to prevent something like this from occurring in the future. i thank each and every one of you for your time. if confirmed, be assured that i will serve the united states of america to the best of my abilities. thank you. >> the next nominee will be mr. rich. >> chairman johnson, ranking member murphy and members of the committee. i'm honored to appear before you to be the president's nominee for -- senator rich has supported me throughout my career and has accompanied me on three overseas assignments. wendy also worked with he on two
of my overseas tours. i would like to thank my daughter, a rising eighth daughter and my other daughter, a rising sixth grader. i am grateful to the president and secretary tillerson for the confidence and trust they have placed in me. it is without a doubt the greatest honor of my professional life to be nominated. and if confirmed, i will devote all of my skills, experience and attention to performing my duties. my wife and i are both natives of central pennsylvania where we were born, raised and educated. i practiced law there for eight years. my father, a veteran of the korean war worked for 30 years in a factory, now closed, which made auto motive parts, my mother stayed home with me after my adoption. being an adopted person i have felt a special kinship with the abandoned, the orphaned and the
forgotten. this kinship has affected me throughout my life. i have volunteered for -- where i worked for resettlement to the united states of hundreds of victims of persecution and torture. as an attorney and civil servant, i will bring to the bureau of counselor affairs, the same value and principles that have guided my career for the past 22 years, a commitment to the rule of law, to efficiency, to justice and to transparency. my entire career has been focused on serving the public, especially americans living and working abroad and to the equal and fair application of the law. i began my government service as a foreign service officer. i am grateful and honored to
have had the opportunity to work with the dedicated men and women of the state department, especially in the days and weeks after 9/11. in 2006, i returned to public service as a civil servant with u.s. citizenship and immigration services. it is at uscis where i expanded my knowledge of immigration and nationality law. i rose through the ranks at uscis as a manager and finally as chief of staff at the agency. in 2013, my wife and i made the decision too return to international service and i have spent the past four years serving uscis in south korea. during those years i had the honor of working side by side with consul members around the world. if confirmed, it will be the privilege of a lifetime to lead
the fine men and women of consul affairs. the consul is our first line of defense against those who will do our country harm, they are the most dedicated and brave servants of the american people. this work is both complex and emotionally taxing and i am immensely proud to say that i was once one of them even for a short period of time. stings my days as a consult officer so much has changed for the better at the state department. the interview of the processes, continuous vetting of applicants, using updated technology, biometrics capturing, a long vetting program, a serious commitment to fraud detection, close cooperation with the department of homeland security and a culture of making national security a number one priority. this has strengthened state's share mission to protect our
homeland. every shared decision that the state department makes as a national security decision. i will make sure that our officers continue to have the training, resources necessary to facilitate legitimate international travel and protecting our national security. should i be confirmed, i commit to working with members of this committee and to being responsive to your questions and concerns. thank you for your time and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you mr. rich, i want to thank all of you for your testimony. mr. rich, congratulations on the arrival of your first grand child. i'll told hold off my questions until the very end and senator
isa isaacson, if you're ready. >> i came to pay tribute to ms. gingrich. calista is a lady of great talent, in fact one of her great, great persuasive talents is not only to convince newt to marry her but to convert him to catholicism. we're very proud of newt and we know you'll do a great job and i just wanted to be here and tell you how proud we are of you. >> thank you mr. chairman sand thank you to all of the nominees for your willingness to take on these nominations and your willingness to serve this country. it you talked about the important role of catholic
charities and the catholic mission around the world and i had the opportunity to visit a mission in northern new hampshire on friday that is operated by catholic charities in the state taking great care to people. i wanted to ask you,er know that pope francis has called on america and the rest of the western world to uphold our tradition of moral leadership by welcoming vulnerable refugees fleeing violence and oppression to our country. i just wonder how you would argue the united states' position that was taken by this administration that has been less welcoming of refugees and how will you work with the holy see on that very critical issue? >> the president and the pope have grave concerns regarding the global refugee and migration
p crisis and this is a priority for our president to deal with right now. we have a great commitment in this country to work towards peace and stability so people don't have to become refugees. the united states has and continues to be the largest provider of relief around the world. and i look forward to working with the holy see to -- >> certainly we aren't additi disengaging on foreign aid, especially in places where we're seeing famine as a result of man-made conditions. but this administration has reduced the ability of refugees to come to the country, particularly syrian refugees who are fleeing violence and a horrible situation in their own country. is this something that you think we can work with pope francis
and the holy see to try and ensure that we can help those refugees who are trying to get into the country? >> i need, yes. >> thank you. professor sales, secretary tillerson has spoken repeatedly about the possibility of increased cooperation with russia and syria. we have a ceasefire that still seems to be holding in a very southern part of that country. but time and again putin has demonstrated that he is interested in preserving the assad regime. so do you believe that we share the same interests and objectives in syria, and if not, how would you describe our objectives differently? >> well, thank you for the question, senator. i think the answer is, yes and no. i think we do have some shared objectives in syria. we face a common enemy in isis.
we have other interests that diverge as you well know, senator. as to what we can do with russia or other members of the international community to achieve our objectives in syria, our number one priority, i think, as the administration has made plain, is to defeat isis. what that means is taking their leaders off the battlefield and the foot soldiers off the battlefield, liberating the cities that they have seized, defeating their ability to recruit foreign fighters from around the world, particularly europe, and drying up their sources of funding. the key question after that goal is accomplished is what comes next. and i think one important thing that has to happen is a political process involving all of the relevant stakeholders that can produce stability, such that the people of syria can chart a way forward. that is something that cannot be
accomplished entirely by military force. it's something that's going to require sustained diplomatic engagement. senator, if i'm confirmed to this position that's going to be a priority of ours. >> well, thank you. one of the -- one of the benefits that we have in fighting terrorism at home is engagement from the communities that terrorists have often come from, in the muslim community, for example. making sure that there are good relations with people in the muslim community here has been very helpful. how would you see our promoting those kinds of positive relationships? >> i couldn't agree with you more, senator. it's absolutely critical to maintain strong relationships with domestic populations as well as international populations because oftentimes these are the groups of people who have the first insight into the fact that a problem may be taking place and it's critically important for us to have open lines of communication such that
our friends are confident that they can tell us we think that something amiss may be afoot, without fear of stigmatization or other repercussions. so i strongly agree with the sentiment behind that question and look forward to maintaining those strong relationships, senator. >> well, thank you. i have other questions for the panelists but my time it up, sadly. >> senator kaine. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks and congratulations to all the witnesses for your nominations. to mr. glass the u.s./portugal relationship is a important one, i do a lot of work on the iberian peninsula and applaud you for that nomination. mr. risch, consular officials have very tough work, they really do. when i travel for the foreign relations committee i always ask to meet without the ambassador with fsos on their first or second tours and they are almost always out of the consular section and i basically say
congratulations, you have achieved a wonderful job working for the state department. what will be the difference as to kwl you make it a career or whether you leave after a few years? and that's usually all i have to say to engender about a two-hour conversation and i really enjoy visiting with our consular officials and your work will be very important. a question or comment for each mr. sales and miss gingrich. miss gingrich, i'm very happy that you answered senator shaheen's questions about refugees. i was at the vatican in february and had an opportunity to meet briefly with the pope and then with other vatican officials purely on the refugee issue. in my conversation with the pope i thanked him for his leadership, obviously a key aspect of his speech to congress in 2015 was about refugees. he had given a speech the day before my visit in rome focused on refugee issues and he was pleading with the united states, please be a leader on these issues. you know, i was thanking him for his leadership but he wasn't just going to accept a thank
you, he wanted to put an ask on our shoulders and as you know there are so many issues in this important bilateral relationship, but i know that that will be an important one. i'm worried you are not the budget official so i completely get this, you play the hand that you're dealt by a president's submitted budget and also the budget that congress comes up with, but the cut to the refugee bureau proposed in the president's budget, the refugee burrow within the state department is 31%. i think that sounds a very loud message. rhetoric sends a message and budget sends a message. probably the two most significant messages you can send are with the rhetoric and budget and we are sending a message. i hope it is the will of this body to do some repair of that message so that the message is not one reducing america's traditional commitment to those issues. i take you because of those background. the comments that you made to senator shaheen that you will do all you can to advance our long standing policy of being a statue of liberty nation that el with comes people that are
oppressed. i appreciate your commitment to this. >> mr. sales, let me just ask you this: i'm on the armed services committee as well and last year we were able to get something done in the nda that i thought was pretty good and my colleagues agreed. we enabled through the ndaa the dod to transfer funds to state or usaid on the say so of the secdef for countering violent extremism. so in sclar areas it's really been more in the expertise of state or usaid to do particular programs that could counter violent extremism and sometimes the state and diplomatic touch is better than the military tough. so if the secdef agrees there's now transfer authority. i hope that that's something that you will look at. i have noticed there has been some discussion, a stripping away some cve aspects of the
administration's counterterrorism strategy. to your knowledge -- and i know we're not presuming nomination so you are not there yet, but will cve remain a strong priority of the ct bureau at the state department? >> yes, senator. if i'm confirmed it will continue to be a top priority for me and for the bureau that i would lead. i think all counterterrorism has to involve encountering violent extremism component. terrorism is a global problem with all sorts of different facets. some of those facets require different kinds of solutions. sometimes military solutions are required, sometimes law enforcement solutions are required, but it's not just hard power that has to be deployed to counter isis, al qaeda and other like-minded groups. we also have to use the softer tools in the national tool kit such as moral suasion such as engaging at the community level,
such as providing off ramp for those tempted to take a path towards radicalization. i'm grateful for this capability that you and others have worked to build in the state department. if i'm confirmed i will continue the good work that's been done, senator. >> ms. gingrich, you have a communications background and of course cve is an important priority of the vatican as well. can you talk a little bit about how you see your role as the ambassador to the holly see and what you could do to counter extremism. >> well, it's very exciting to have the opportunity if confirmed to be working an embassy, to lead an embassy, that has a global influence and works on a global scale. i'm very interested in working on projects to advance religious freedom, to fight terrorism and violence, to combat human trafficking, to fight diseases like hiv/aids and ebola and to
work on -- to seek peaceful solutions to crises around the world. so this is an awesome opportunity if i am confirmed. there are many issues in which we do agree. we have a very strong bilateral relationship with a shared agreement to many issues. of course, there are always issues where diplomatic partners don't agree, but i look forward to working on those issues of our shared policy opportunities. >> senator menendez. >> mr. chairman, congratulations to all of you. mr. risch, in 2007 you appeared before the house subcommittee on the civil service agency organization on the committee of government reform. in a hearing titled strengthening america, should the issuing of visas be used as a diplomatic tool or security measure, you said and i quote during my tenure at unit chief i adjudicated approximately 25,000 visa applications. i resigned in may of 2002 even though i received top evaluation
and a challenging onward assignment. while i longed to return to my private practice i was also discouraged by the state department's lack of dedication to the effective endorsement of the immigration laws of the united states. mr. risch, do you believe the state department isn't committed to the rule of law and the national security of the united states? >> thank you, senator, for the question and for the opportunity to address that testimony. i will point out that that testimony was in 2002, not in 2007. so it was 15 years ago that that testimony took place. it was during the time when department of homeland security was just being stood up. it was in the almost immediate aftermath of 9/11. i believe a lot has changed at the state department in 15 years, i'm very enthusiastic about the future of the way the bureau of consular affairs will be doing its -- or fulfilling its function with interagency cooperation, continuous vetting -- >> so let me -- i don't want my
time to expire, we have a lot of candidates here. do you believe the state department is committed to the rule of law and the national security of the united states? >> currently, senator, i absolutely do. >> all right. now, let me ask you you went on the same hearing to say the fact -- this is a quote -- the fact that even i was terrified by state's incompetence and apathy towards law enforcement proves just how far this program has progressed. i urge the congress to support the transfer of the visa issuing function from state's bureau of consular affairs to the new department of homeland security, a department that will be committed to the rule of law and the national security of the united states. now, prm's mission is to provide life-sustaining assistance to those who are persecuted, uprooted people by working through multi-lateral systems to build global partnerships, promote best practices and humanitarian response, ensure that humanitarian principles are thoroughly integrated into u.s., foreign and national security policy. for example, refugees and
migration are important policy issues in our bilateral relations with countries like turkey and iraq. so do you believe that the department of homeland security which is notoriously bloated with a whole host of dysfunctional components should be responsible still to have the visa, the very essence of the department you're being nominated to to be transferred to the department of homeland security? >> well, 15 years ago, senator, i stand behind my testimony. it was a completely different time and there were a lot of talk about consolidating different things into the department of homeland security. currently i watched the deputy secretary testify yesterday that it's currently not the intent of the department of state -- >> i'm not asking you what their intent s i'm asking you your view. you're being nominated for this position. >> my view is i follow the mission of the department of state if confirmed, but as of today i intend to lead the bureau of consular affairs as it is currently formed. i believe that i will be, if
confirmed, a strong leader of the -- of all functions of the consular bureau including the visa function. >> mr. sales, since 9/11 the united states has been developing and redeveloping strategies to counterterrorism and violent extremism. our experiences in iraq and afghanistan leave very little doubt that extremist i had logs and terrorist flourish, found the best recruits in areas of poverty and where people have no hope for the future. the 2016 state department and eid joined strategy on countering violent extremism outlined five objectives and in those objectives they talked to those very issues that i just spoke about. so my question is how do proposed cuts to the state department and usaid programs that are the foreign assistance tool that advanced the goals of combating terrorism and violent extremism actually in line with our very own policy? >> thank you for the question, senator. i've spent some time in academic
bureaucracies, i have spenty some time in government bureaucracies. in my experience it's usually the case that they can afford to tighten the belt a bit. now, as far as the overall state department budget is concerned, senator, congress has the power of the purse under the constitution and so congress will have to decide the levels at which it wishes to fund these activities. >> my problem with these answers is that you all want to kick the ball to someone else but your nominations are in essence going to be part of policy decision-making. you will be in a room to be able to advocate at the state department and interagency issues. and so simply saying that the congress has the power of the purse, i'm fully aware of that. the question is what is your advocacy at a given point in time? are these the essential programs that are necessary as secretary mattis has said that these are how we fight these i had logs. this is a guy who is a general? so i would like to get better answers. finally, if i may, mr. chairman, mr. glass, we have a lot of
portuguese americans in new jersey and from the azors, an extraordinary group of citizens. have you visited portugal? >> i have. >> do you speak portuguese? >> at this time, no. i have had some spanish and working on portuguese and will certainly utilize the experts that are in the embassy to help us learn the language. >> i did that question because in the past these questions have been asked when i was the chairman of nominees and for some it was disqualifying, for me it's not, but i just wanted to know. thank you very much. >> mr. glass, why don't you take this opportunity to provide some comfort to senator menendez. talk about your experience on your trip to portugal that you conveyed to me in my office. >> well, the trip that mary and i took to portugal was three years ago, we were on a pilgrimage to fatima. when we got there it truly transformed our lives. it transformed the way we look at each other, it transformed the way we look at our religion and as we travel throughout the
country we realize the hospitality of the people there was extraordinary. this is at a time that three years ago they were under a very severe recession, they had an austerity program that was enacted. there was a lot of unemployment, yet that didn't stop everybody from welcoming us there. so we knew at the time when we left that we frankly left a big piece of our hearts there and that we wanted to come back and we certainly had no idea we would be possibly coming back, if confirmed, in this role. but portugal is very important to us and we look forward to serving the united states in portugal. >> senator udall. >> thank you. thank you very much, chairman johnson. new mexico, my home state, has one of the oldest catholic traditions in the country and it's been over 400 years since the catholic church was first established in the state of new mexico which obviously wasn't a
state at that time. those traditions still run very strong in the state and like pope francis, many new mexicans have a strong reverence for st. francis dee assisi. the catholic missionaries were started by an order named for him. the francis cans. the full name of my hometown of santa fe is also named for st. franc francis, it's full name is [ speaking foreign language ] . the traditions of st. francis runs strong in new mexico, the pope honors this saint by taking his name and working in his tradition, riding in his encyclical, praise be to you, and it was subtitled on care for
our common home pope francis stated i believe that st. francis is the example of care for the vulnerable and of an integral ecology lived out joyfully and authentically. he is the patron state of all who study and work in the area of ecology and he is also much loved by non-christian. he was particularly concerned for god's creation and for the poor and for the outcast. those are the words of the pope. the pope gifted his encyclical on climate change to president trump when he visited the pope at the vatican. pope francis and on many other occasions has called on catholics and people of every faith to work together to address climate change and protect the environment. in new mexico my constituents are at the front line of global warming and we're already beginning to see the impact of
extreme weather events. ms. gingrich could you share your thoughts on how you would dialogue with the holy see regarding climate change and what pope francis calls a dialogue about how we shape the future of the planet. >> the pope and the president share a great concern about our environment. president trump wants to maintain that we have clean air and clean water and that the united states remains an environmental leader. as president trump said, we will disengage and pull out of the paris agreement and either reenter the paris agreement or an entirely new agreement, one that is fair to americans. if confirmed i look forward to working with the holy see as the united states pursues a balanced approach to climate policy, one that promotes american jobs, american prosperitiy and energy security. >> i really believe the essence
and core of diplomacy is listening and having an open mind and i hope that you will go over there with that approach and listen to the -- listen to the pope. the holy see has played an important role along with the united states to engage cuba and to improve relations with our island neighbor. cardinal ortega in cuba and pope francis have used the dialogue to help resolve differences between the united states and cuba. what are your views on this dialogue and would you be willing to work with the vet can to increase ties between the united states and the cuban people? >> we certainly appreciate the holy see's concern for a better relationship between the united states and cuba, and if confirmed i look forward to working with the holy see to advance religious freedom and human dignity and human rights in cuba. >> do any of the other panelists have a view on the pope's
encyclical on climate change? i take that as no. no. no. no. all three. okay. thank you very much. >> senator murphy. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you all for being here. i wanted to follow up on senator menendez's line of questioning, especially to you, mr. risch, and to you, mr. sales, because it's an important point. you are going to be asked for your opinion, in fact, you are being nominated to your positions because of your policy expertise in both of these areas. he is right, it simply is not enough to suggest you are going to follow orders, it's important for the nominating committee and for the senate to know what advice you are going to be giving. so, mr. risch, let me just drill down to ask you to answer a question that you haven't answered yet which is if you are asked for your opinion as to whether states should retain function over visa
responsibilities or it should be shifted to department of homeland security what will your advice be? >> thank you, senator. this has been the subject of debate for quite some time. my understanding is currently the debate is framed around government efficiency. when i've seen this proposal bubble up usually it's been in the context of these efficiency initiatives and brainstorming sessions. i cannot speak to whether or not it would bring a certain efficiency to move that function from one department to the other and i don't intend to advocate for that. i'm simply not in the position to make that efficiency call around -- around that function. my concern in the past in criticizing the state department was around a lack of respect for consular work, around national security concerns and around the rule of law. i believe those issues have been addressed, so i do not intend to advocate for that change based on any concern around the way the state department does its job.
>> okay. i think that's fairly clear. it's important for us to understand whether you are being nominated to this position to effectively end the functionality and i hear you to be saying that that is not your intent. >> it is not my intent, senator. i do not intent if confirmed to lead a diminished bureau of consular affairs, i intend to lead a bureau that i believe will be gaining responsibility and importance in protecting our country. >> thank you. mr. sales, i appreciate your answer around efficiency, i don't think any of us disagree that any bureaucracy can be more strategy. this is a strategic focus on a greatly diminished capacity and specifically some of the biggest cuts happen under your portfolio, so there is a 10% cut in funding for the counterterrorism bureau, but then more damaging there is a 30% cut to nader funding
proposed in the president's budget and that's foreign aid for counterterrorism activities at state. that budget request moves a $1.1 billion fund down to a $680 million fund. do you think that you can effectively carry out on the set of responsibilities you are given with a 30% cut to nader funding which seems to go beyond just those savings that can be captured by efficiency? >> thanks for the question, senator. i will answer it as best i can from my vantage point as an outsider, somebody who has not yet gotten a great deal of disability on the internal deliberations on these very important questions. so with that caveat, what i can tell you is if i ever thought -- and we talked about this yesterday in your office, senator -- so i can assure you that if i ever thought that i didn't have the resources i needed to do the job to which i
had been confirmed, i would have no hesitation whatsoever about raising that concern with my superiors and advocating for what i deemed to be necessary. >> i appreciate that answer. i think if that is your sincere answer you will be in a position of advocating very vigorously very early. the hiring freeze that at first applied to the entirety of the federal government now applies to only one agency and that is the state department and you will all feel that because you will not be able to hire individuals that you need in order to perform the tasks that your departments and your embassies, extraordinary measures have been taken to prevent lateral transfers within the department of state, thus you will see certain functionalities hollowed out because the traditional ways in which state moved people back and forth are no longer available. there is something extraordinary happening right now and many of us can't derive the motivation
for it, but you are all going to feel the brunt of it and i hope that all of your answers would be the same as mr. sales, that if you felt you didn't have the resources, notwithstanding the decisions that have been made by the white house you would argue for more resources. >> before i turn to senator merkley as long as we are on the subject, mr. sales, talk about your experience at dhs and the coordination that's going to be incredibly important between department of state and dhs. i think that's a legitimate discussion point in terms of where are these activities best carried out. >> thank you, senator. in my experience at dhs one of the most important areas of international engagement that bears real fruit in terms of counterterrorism is information sharing. it's really critically important for our international allies to tell us if they know about a known or suspected terrorist who
might be trying to travel to the united states, to tell us if they know about somebody who has a criminal history as long as your forearm trying to travel to the united states. we made some great strides towards ensuring more effective sharing of that kind of information since 9/11. here in the united states we've pioneered information sharing. after 9/11 one of the retrains that we constantly heard was the need to tear down the wall. well, there's not just walls in our domestic law, there are also walls in our international relations that impede the effective sharing of information. so if i were confirmed to this position that would be, i think, a top priority of mine, working with our allies around the globe to talk about ways to share that information to enhance our counterterrorism effectiveness on both sides of the transaction. >> i just want to give you that opportunity because i think when you take a look at this massive federal government with the results of the 9/11 commission talking about these stove pipes, i mean, it's a legitimate
management discussion and quite honestly initiative to take a look at where best should these functions reside. so i don't see any problem whatsoever in having this administration do a top to bottom review and take a look at that. and again, where it all shakes out, there is a second branch of government here and congress will certainly engage in that, certainly under my other committee, chairman of homeland security, government affairs will be discussed in this thing but this is what effective management does, you are always doing post more testimonies and taking a look at what is the most effective way to spend the money to get the best result. with that to senator merkley. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. it is a pleasure to join my colleague, snarenator wyden in hoping george glass to serve as u.s. ambassador to portugal. mr. glass has probably been introduced in terms of the
details, that he is a native oregonian, but i want to emphasize those things again. he certainly has some tremendous oregon passions like the love of oregon's outdoor spaces and ducks football. hopefully a good season ahead. and i'm grateful that he's willing to put those loves on hold to be overseas to serve our country. warm welcome to mr. glass' wife, mary. thank you for joining us today. >> thank you. >> ambassador posts are necessarily family affairs so i appreciate the fact that mrs. glass is willing to join her husband in traveling and representing the united states in portugal. portugal has been a very important ally and we've seen a very intriguing and successful economic story unfold there and i think nurturing this relationship will be of great service and i thank you, mr.
glass, for being willing to undertake that mission. >> thank you, senator merkley. thank you for serving the great state of oregon in the united states senate. we really appreciate it. >> you're welcome. ms. gingrich, i wanted to follow up on the question that was asked in regard to the pope's encyclical. he gave it as a president -- as a present to president trump when he was there. was president trump had a chance to read or digest that encyclical? >> i'm not aware whether or not he has read the encyclical. >> in your preparation to serve have you had a chance to take a look at it? >> i have looked at some of it, sir. >> are there pieces of it that particularly resonate for you? >> well, i think we are all called to be stewards of the land, you know, as i said earlier, president trump cares for our environment, he wants to
sustain our clean air and our clean water and he wants the united states to be an environment leader. we aren't backing off of that, but we are looking to, you know, increase the security of this country, to promote jobs for americans and to have better prosperity. the focus is slightly different, but we do want to remain an environmental leader. >> the pope has indicated that he feels that there is a huge urgency to acting quickly to address the basic factors driving climate disruption. do you share that sense of urgency. >> well, i do believe climate change exist and that some of it is due to human behavior, but i think as the president pursues a better deal for americans, we will indeed remain an environmental leader in the world. >> i appreciate your confidence in that.
i must say i must have missed a few of the president's statements that have given you that faith. i wish it were so. i'm not persuaded, but perhaps we will see more unfold in that -- in that regard. what other two or three things do you see as your -- the key to your particular responsibility should you hold this post? >> if confirmed i'm looking forward to working with the holy see to combat human trafficking. this is a horrific offense that threatens our global security. the president has made it a right to combat human trafficking. chairman corker and other members of this committee have made it a priority as well. the holy see is a value partner in this regard and the pope has lent focus to this issue. if confirmed i look forward to working with the white house, the congress and the holy see to combat human trafficking around
the world. >> my appreciation to all of you for putting yourselves forward in what can be a complex, difficult and trying nomination process, and with that i will yield back the rest of my time. >> thank you, senator merkley. kind of looking at my list of questions when i do some follow-ups of some of the other senators questions i pretty well covered it. the question to everybody except for mrs. gingrich. let me just give you an opportunity. george santiana, i'm probably mist pronouncing it, made a statement that those who do not remember history are going to repeat it. i know your study of pope john paul ii, your documentary "nine days to change the world" from my standpoint that puts you in a very good position to understand exactly the power of leadership and i believe, as i'm sure you do, too, i think america has been a phenomenal force for good
in the world, i think the catholic church that has been a phenomenal force for good in the world. in my community one of the things that got me involved in public service was trying to save the catholic school system there. can you just talk a little bit about your study that introduced those documentaries and how that leadership -- what you learned in terms of leadership and how america and the holy see can work together to help charge the world. >> our movie "nine days that change the world" highlights this exact topic. in 1979 poip john paul ii traveled to poland on a historic pilgrimage to see the polish people and it was against the wishes of the communist government and millions of pols came out to greet the holy father. it was seen as the beginning of the end of communism in poland and eastern europe. pope john paul ii worked very closely with president reagan and ten years later you have the
first free elections in poland. so it's so important that we reach out to places like the holy see to forward good in this world and to make it a better place, to advance our peace and freedom and human dignity. >> i think the ambassador understands that history and understands the power of that leadership is perfectly suited for this position. so, senator murphy, do you have any further questions? >> just additional two questions, one for mr. risch. we've been talking about this administration's policy towards refugees, multiple courts have held that the policy is illegal, in part because it appears discriminatory given that it is targeted only to refugees of certain countries when we, you know, have security vulnerabilities that still exist in many other refugee programs. and many other immigration programs. i would argue visa waiver at the top of that list.
can you speak to whether you believe that the only means of protecting this country is an outright ban on refugees or whether you believe that at some point there is going to be an amendment of this policy by the administration, maybe advocated by you once you are in place to provide amendments -- additional screening within the program to allow it to restart. do you need the ban or can you make changes to the program that satisfy the concerns that many people have about it? >> thank you, senator. as per refugee policy i will point out that that really isn't something that would fall underneath the bureau of consular affairs, it would really be under prm and their relationship with my agency now uscis. as for vetting, at least in the refugee context i can speak as someone who has done refugee
interviews over many years that the interviews are very detailed and go into great detail about their persecution story and bio graphic data and every one of them is spoken to by an american officer. so as for whether or not refugees are screened, they most certainly are in the sense that they're spoken to at great length about their qualifications. as for the current situation with travel pause from certain countries and the way that is playing out, i certainly support any kind of steps that are necessary to review our national security posture and take a look at whether or not our vetting processes are sufficient to protect the united states. >> mr. sales, let me ask you one specific question and then i will defer to written questions for the remainder. we talked a little bit in my office about some of the current conflicts in the middle east
today, the most recent intelligent estimate provided to congress shows that aqap which has always been the most lethal and most homeland-oriented arm of al qaeda is growing stronger and stronger inside yemen because of the civil war. under the obama administration there was a robust political process that secretary kerry was leading to try to end that violence and to try to end the benefit that was being provided to aqap. i've talked to all of the players inside that conflict and none of them see that political process happening today. it is -- it is by and large dead, in part because the saudis feel empowered by the green light they interpret as to have been given through the president's visit there. can you just speak to the importance of a political process inside yemen and the
danger of allowing for this civil war to persist given the growth of aqap during that time? >> well, senator, i couldn't agree more with the premise of your question that a purely military solution is never going to achieve the counterterrorism gains we need. what's needed is a stable environment because as you put out, terrorists thrive in political vacuums. that's the lesson of afghanistan, that's the lesson of libya, that's the lesson of iraq. and so diplomatic engagement i think is absolutely essential to ensure that we have a durable and stable status quo in yemen, to bring the fighting to an end and empower local players to gain control over territory and borders. that's the only way you're going to get aqap under control, senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thanks, senator murphy. again, i want to thank all the
witnesses for your testimony. congratulations, again, on your nominations. i want to congratulate the president. i think really the selection here, your unique backgrounds and capabilities i think suit you well to the positions for which you've been nominated. thank you for your willingness to serve, i want to thank your families, you will probably be seeing less of your loved ones, these are serious responsibilities, but again, thank you very much. with that i've got to find the secret words here. do we have questions for the record? okay. for the information and members the record will remain open until the close of business on thursday, july 20th. this hearing is adjourned.
today arizona senator john mccain tweeted, i greatly appreciate the outpouring of support. unfortunately for my sparring partners in congress, i will be back soon, so stand by. senator mccain was recently diagnosed with brain cancer. president trump yesterday wished him well on twitter says, melania and i send our thoughts and prayers to senator mccain, cindy and their entire family. get well soon. c-span recently sat down with white house deputy press
secretary sarah huckabee sanders to talk about her new role in the trump administration. she is the daughter of former governor mike huckabee and she discussed why she joined the trump for president campaign. here is a preview. >> so when did you say to yourself, i'm going to work for donald trump? >> you know, pretty quickly after my dad got out of the race. even during the campaign i noticed that there was a lot of same later in the rhetoric between my dad and donald trump. my dad is an economic populist so i saw a lot of similarity in that. frankly, one of the things i loved about my dad was that even though he had been in politics, he was an outsider, particularly to washington. and i felt like that was something we desperately needed. i saw that same thing in donald trump, even when my dad was still in the race, and after he got out i moved pretty quickly to get on board with now president trump. i felt like he not only was the right person to come in and shake up washington, but also
thought he could win and i wanted to be part of that. >> but what did you see that a lot of people did not see? i a lot of media, a lot of the pundits, a lot within the gop establishment thinking, this guy is not going to win? what did you see? >> i think i saw every day americans. i spent the better part of a year and a half on the campaign trail with my dad talking to people in iowa, south carolina, new hampshire, arkansas and everywhere in between and they were hungry for change, they were hungry for somebody to really come in and shake up washington and frankly they wanted somebody to come in and burn the place down. they weren't necessarily even as focused as we learned through my dad's campaign, they didn't just want somebody to change it and burn it down, they were less interested in the build up, they just wanted a massive disruption and i saw that every single day on the campaign trail, whether you were at a fundraiser, a state fair or, you know, the taxi driver taking you from
point a to point b. this was something that the country was hungry for and donald trump had tapped into it. >> you can watch the entire interview on c-span tomorrow night at 8:00 eastern. coming up saturday, president trump will be in norfolk, virginia, speaking at the commission of the uss gerald r. ford, a new nuclear submarine. we will have live coverage beginning at 10:10 eastern on our companion network c-span. i sat in my wagon with my dog and i watched the riots. it was right directly across from my paper station a clothing store called jack's place. i saw a guy come out of the clothing store with ten hats on his head, literally in a stack, and carrying bundles of things, of clothes, with him. >> the 50th anniversary of the 1967 detroit riots sunday at noon eastern, american history
tv is live from the detroit free press newsroom. hear firsthand accounts of the riots. >> they gave the order not -- don't shoot, be cool, just let it go. that was the order they gave them. and word got out. word got out and suddenly there is, you know, 50,000 people on 12th street just helping themselves to everything. >> the 1967 detroit riots live sunday starting at noon eastern on american history tv on c-span 3. >> next, a house ways and means subcommittee hears recommendations for simplifying the tax code. witnesses included bill archer, a former chair of the house ways and means committee and a key player in the 1986 tax reform act. he was joined by analysts to talk about proposals for retirement income and updating the nation's