tv DHS Secretary Nielsen on Homeland Security Budget CSPAN May 4, 2018 12:15pm-2:57pm EDT
is just to honor our past and our history. tyler has a rich history connected with the confederacy. but in the black community, this was very much seen as, you know, a thumb in their eye and a gesture of defiance. watch c-span's cities tour of tyler, texas, saturday at noon eastern on c-span2's book tv and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on c-span3. working with our cable affiliates as we explore america. homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen testified on the budget request along with immigration enforcement issues before the house homeland security committee. the 2-hour and 35-minute hearing was chaired by texas republican michael mccaul.
committee on homeland security will come to order. committee is meeting today to hear from the secretary of the department of homeland security, kirstjen nielsen, on the administration's priorities for the department. i now recognize myself for an opening statement. our homeland faces threats on multiple fronts. international terrorists seek to attack our country and kill americans. human traffickers, drug smugglers, and gangs are crossing our borders and infecting our neighborhoods. nation states and hackers are engaged in cyber warfare. and the next natural disaster can strike at any moment. we cannot let our guard down. we need a budget that matches
these most pressing needs. the president's budget request addresses many of these concerns. the $1.6 billion for a border wall and additional funds to hire more i.c.e. officers and border patrol agents will help curb illegal immigration. securing our borders continues to be one of my top priorities. that is why i introduced legislation to get the job done. my bill authorizes $18 billion for the construction of a border wall a wall, ends funding for sanctuary cities, and puts more boots on the ground. it also secures ports of entry, authorizes national guard to provide aviation and intelligence support, and targets visa overstays and also provides for strong technology, which is desperately needed down there. this administration has been a strong supporter of these solutions, and i commend the recent decision to deploy the national guard to the border. i'm pleased to see that $713
million requested for cybersecurity operations was requested. cybersecurity is one of the most important missions of the department, as the secretary knows. as americans become more reliant on cyberspace, we are all targets. this committee has a strong bipartisan track record on this issue. we pass bills to expedite hiring at dhs and enhance cyber threat information sharing. we also recently secured 26 million to support election infrastructure. in january, the house approved our landmark bill to create a standalone organization to elevate the cybersecurity mission at dhs. i'm hopeful the senate will get this bill to the president's desk very soon. another area of concern for me is aviation security. i have been very disappointed, i have to be honest, at the slow pace of installing computed
tomography scans in our airports. however, i was pleased to see we secured 65 million for tsa to begin installing this technology immediately. these ct scanners provide 3d imagery to help stop ieds and other threats from boarding airplanes. compared to the technology we have now, it's the difference between an x-ray and an mri. the fy-2019 budget request also requests an additional 71.5 million for ct, which will certainly help, but i don't believe that's enough to mitigate the threat we have currently. many terrorists are only one plane ride away from the united states and our aviation sector is still the grown jewel of targets. dhs must fight through all bureaucratic hurdles so ct sk n scanners are in our airports and last point of departure as soon as possible. some parts of this budget request will help dhs carry out
its mission, but others, i believe, miss the mark. the 473 million cut to fema grants for state and local first responders is a major step backwards. many parts of the country, including my home state of texas, were devastated by natural disasters last year. i personally toured the devastation after hurricane harvey, and our first responders played a key role in saving living. last week our committee reviewed the lessons learned from both the boston marathon bombings and the recent bombings in my hometown of austin. our first responders were crucial in both cities, and they need our support. i hope today's hearing will shed light on why these grants are targeted for cuts. protecting our homeland must be a unifying cause. partisanship should end at the water's edge. last july the house passed the first ever comprehensive reauthorization of dhs with overwhelming bipartisan support.
this reauthorization reasserts congress' authority to write laws, streamlines redundant programs, protects taxpayer dollars, and supports america's front line defenders and first responders. unfortunately our friends in the senate have yet to pass our bill. i strongly urge them to do so without further delay. madam secretary, in this congress alone, our committee has passed 82 bills through the house and six were signed into law. politico named us as the hardest working committee in congress, a strong dhs is our goal, and we are here to support you. all of us are grateful for your service and for the hard working professionals, the men and women at dhs. we all look forward to working with you in keeping our homeland safe. chair now recognizes mr. thompson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome, madam secretary. today is your first appearance before the committee on homeland
security, 4 1/2 months after your swearing in as secretary. i've served on the committee of homeland security since its establishment, and i have been fortunate to work with all five of your predecessors from both political parties. each of them, including your former boss, secretary john kelly, stopped by to establish a working relationship within days of being sworn in to the position. that did not happen with you, which is a shame. just like you met some of the republicans on this committee this morning, democrats stand ready, likewise, to meet with you. perhaps next time, another 15 minutes from your schedule, and you can stop by and meet some of the wonderful democrats who love america too and want to do all they can to continue to keep america safe. while we fundamentally disagree
with many of the trump administration's policies, i can assure you that democrats on this committee are just as committed as our republican counterparts to keeping our nation secure while upholding our most important values. chairman mccaul has said, even in his opening statement of this committee, perhaps if others in congress did as we do, we could in fact have a better situation. 82 pieces of legislation passed by this committee is no small feat. i would say, however, it's not democrats' fault that the legislation hadn't been signed. so we'll try to fix that too in time. i hope that in the future, madam secretary, you'll make more of an effort to conduct outreach to
members of the democratic side on the committee. we have former chiefs of police, county commissioners, members of the legislature, district attorneys, everyone you can name. and they all love this country. the american people expect no less, that we engage each other in these important issues. indeed, this is a critical time for the department of homeland security. america faces threats from the troubling rise of domestic terrorism, mass shootings, and foreign terrorist organizations that seek to do us harm. russia and other actors are likely to continue their interference in our election systems, including the upcoming midterm elections. puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands are still devastated by hurricane maria and irma and
another hurricane season is just weeks away. meanwhile, the department is dealing with problems of president trump's own making. his muslim travel ban, his decision to term nainate the da program, his executive order on immigration enforcement and border security, which seeks to make us a nation of immigrants no more. no longer the department's chief of staff but now its secretary, you are its leader. the buck stops with you, madam secretary. i'm concerned that since becoming secretary, you've not always been forth coming on certain matters. you testified before the senate that you do not specifically remember whether president trump used a slur to describe african countries during a white house meeting. you claim, i actually do not know that, when asked at the
senate hearing whether norway is a predominantly caucasian country after the president questioned why we could not have more immigrants from norway. and most recently, you declined to explain the president's tweet referring to a breeding concept in sanctuary cities in california. if this is an indication of how you as secretary interact with the white house on homeland security policy matters, there may be cause for concern. your recent statements on homeland security matters have been less than encouraging. based on your press release this week, you would think the most important homeland security problem facing the nation is a handful of central americans moving through mexico. that does not make it so. we know who they are. we know where they are. and we know they generally do
not attempt to evade the border patrol but rather present themselves to the agents and officers upon arrival. before fomenting fear gets air time on certain media outlets and plays well with president trump's political base, better to distract the american people from the real issues facing the department and perhaps from the president's own problems too. likewise, we've heard a lot in recent days about so-called loopholes in our immigration system as it relates to children. these are not loopholes. they're basic humanitarian protections enacted by congress to protect vulnerable children and ensure that those who have legitimate asylum claims are heard and those who do not are returned home safely. we need only look at some of the
terrible cases that occurred within this legal framework with implemented to know why congress acted. politicizing and sdemonizing children should be beneath the department and congress must not go down that path. as you know, madam secretary, the mission of the department of homeland security is to safeguard the american people, our homeland, and our values. i appreciate this and understand that is no easy task and that we're living in challenging times in more ways than one. i hope that the department, under your leadership and with over 240,000 employees strong, live up to that. with that, mr. chair, i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. other members are reminded that opening statements may be submitted for the record. on december 6th, 2017, kirstjen nielsen was sworn in as the sixth secretary of the department of homeland security. this is also the secretary's
first appearance before our committee. we thank you for being here today. your full statement will appear in the record. the chair now recognizes the secretary for an opening statement. >> thank you. chairman mccaul, ranking member thompson, and distinguished members of the committee, it's a privilege to appear before you today. i'm honored to present the president's 2019 budget request for the department of homeland security and discuss how that budget will help keep america safe. let me first take a moment to thank this committee for its support for the 48.2 billion provided to the department in the recently passed consolidated appropriations act. the support of this committee is critical to advancing the many dhs missions, and i truly thank you for your continued support. i'd also like to thank you for your support for our reauthorization. as you know, it is critical that the men and women of the department have the tools, resources, and skill sets that
they need to further the mission of this country. the president's 2019 budget builds on the fy-'18 budget and requests 47.5 billion in net discretionary funding for the department of homeland security. it also includes an additional 6.7 billion for the disaster relief fund for response and recovery to major disasters. today i'd like to outline several core missions empowered by this budget. first, securing and managing our borders and enforcing our immigration laws. two, protecting our nation from terrorism and countering threats. three, preserving and upholding the nation's prosperity and economic security. four, securing cyberspace and critical infrastructure. and five, strengthening homeland security preparedness and achieving resilience. within all of these missions, we're aiming to put our employees first and empower our frontline defenders to do their job. this will help mature the department, and more importantly help us better secure the homeland. for border immigration, first we're focused on securing and
managing our borders and enforcing our immigration laws. while we have made vast improvements in border security over the last 15 months, we continue to see unacceptable levels of illegal drugs, dangerous gang and transnational criminal organization activity, and illegal immigration flow across our southern border. the current statistics for last month tell a dangerous story. overall, the number of illegal aliens encountered at the border increased more than 200% when compared to the same time last year. perhaps more troubling, the number of unaccompanied alien children encountered has increased over 800%, and the number of families encountered increased over 680%. we also saw an increase in drug seizures at the border many march. and i'm sad to report we have an increase in 73% in assaults on or border agents. this is unacceptable, and it must be addressed. we must do more to security our
borders against threats and illegal entry and close dangerous loopholes. we have been apprehending gangs, tcos, and aliens at the border with historic efficiency, but illicit smuggling groups understand our ability to actually remove those who come here illegally does not keep pace. they have discovered and continued to exploit legal loopholes to avoid detention and removal and have shown no intention of stopping. these legal loopholes are strong pull factors that entice those looking to circumvent our laws. for border security to work, violation of the law must have consequences. as i've said many times, interdiction without the ability to promptly remove those who have no lawful basis to enter or remain is not border security. it undermines our national security, and we must work together to close these loopholes. this budget would invest in new border wall construction, technology, and infrastructure to stop this illegal activity. i would be remiss if i did not say that one of our greatest
investments is in our people. recruiting, hiring, and training additional u.s. border patrol agents, additional u.s. customs and immigration enforcement officers, and additional support personnel to carry out these vital missions. secondly, we must continue to protect our nation from terrorism and decisively counter threats. this is the reason the department was kraetd, and it remains a cornerstone of our work. terrorists are adapting. they're taking an all of the above approach to spreading violence. that includes promoting tax on soft targets, using homemade weapons, and weapons they can bring in a bring your own weapon style approach. it includes crowd sourcing their violence through online radicalization, inspiration, direction, and recruitment. they also remain focused on conducting sophisticated attacks, including using concealed weapons, weapons of mass destruction, and modifying new technology such as drones into deadly weapons. this budget ensures that our defenses keep up with the
innovation of our enemies. for instance, it allows tsa to employ advanced tools to detect threats. it funds new cbp initiatives to identify high-risk travelers. it ramps up our defenses against wmd, and it provides vital funding to protect soft targets from concert venues to schools against attack. third, we are focused on preserving and upholding the nation's prosperity and economic security. on an average day, the coast guard facilitates the movement of $8.7 billion worth of goods and commodities through the nation's maritime transportation system. each day at our nation's 328 air, land, and sea ports of entry, cbp welcomes nearly 1 million visitors, screens more than 67,000 cargo containers, arrests more than 1100 individuals, and seizes nearly six tons of illicit drugs. annually, cbp facilitates an average of more than 3 trillion
in legitimate trade while enforcing u.s. trade laws and processing more than 2.4 trillion in trades every year. the president's budget helps provide critical resources to these efforts to keep our country competitive and to advance the prosperity of our people. the budget also will help us continue efforts to keep foreign adversaries from stealing our trade secrets, tech noshlknock, investigation. fourth, we must secure cyberspace. this is one of my personal priorities, as there's much to do in this area. our networks are under attack constantly from all corners of the physical world. that's why dhs is taking historic strides to address systemic cyber risk, secure dot-gov networks, and strengthen the security and resilience of critical infrastructure. the budget would enable dhs to support state and local election officials in defending the integrity of our election systems. as you know, the department's mission is to provide assistance to election officials in the form of advice, intelligence, technical support, and instant response planning with the ultimate goal of building a more
resilient and secure election enterprise. through investing in hardware, software, intrusion detection and analytical capabilities, we're better able to secure the digital ecosystem that makes our american way of life possible. fifth and finally, it is a core mission of dhs to strengthen homeland security preparedness and achieve national resilience. last year, according to noaa, our country experienced one of the most costly and damaging seasons for natural disasters in its history with a cumulative effect costing $300 billion. through the fema and in cooperation with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments across the country, we will devote the resources and attention needed to ensure recovery. but we must also help communities across the nation create a culture of preparedness to be more resilient to disasters. a culture of preparedness is a national effort to be ready for the worst disaster at all levels. this budget helps us with these efforts and supports the drf, which is necessary to help state and local governments respond
and recover. in conclusion, we need to empower the men and women of the department to carry out these five missions and many others by giving them the resources they need. in addition to the various areas i mentioned today, i'm also firmly committed to maturing the department and putting our employees first. it is an honor to serve alongside the men and women of dhs who work tirelessly each day to secure our country and who are often unrecognized. i thank them for this service. i thank this committee to support our budget, supporting our employees, supporting our missions, and helping to make our nation more secure. thank you for your time, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, madam secretary. i now recognize myself for questions. first, let me just say, this committee passed a historic border security bill providing $38 billion in funding for the wall, technology, personnel. the joint chairman and his legislation to close legal loopholes. i think before we get to that, i think you have to justify that
need. it's important to look at the threat we face from the southern border. your predecessors, both general kelly and acting secretary duke, talked about transnational criminal organizations, providing a potential means for transferring weapons of mass destruction to terrorists. there are reports today that this caravan is on its way to tijuana. can you tell us a little bit about the threats that we face as a nation and why border security is so important. >> yes, sir. i think the way to think about it is any threat we face as a nation, if it can get across our border, our adversaries will do everything they can to bring it across the border. we look at everything from drugs to the transnational criminal organizations you mentioned to smugglers and traffickers who smuggle all kinds of illicit thin things, not just people, but weapons, other illicit
technology. they avoid our trade regulations, putting our economic prosperity at risk. we see increasing violence on the border. i would also point out that we have seen isis in written materials encourage isis followers who cross our southwest border given the loopholes that they also are aware of. we have a multitude of threats. we have emerging threats, as you know. we're probably likely to talk about uas at some point today. but uas is yet another form of threat we're beginning to see more and more at the southwest border. >> and i recall being briefed on isis sort of bragging about the ease with which it would take to bring a weapon of mass destruction into the united states. i have to take that seriously, as they appear to be warning us of their intentions. when we talk about closing legal loopholes, the first bill i ever filed in congress 14 years ago was to end the catch and release program. and here we are 14 years later
still dealing with this problem. i'm very frustrated, as i know you are. can you tell me why this is so important. >> i can. so the way i think about this is in terms of home security. if you have an alarm in your home and you catch a burglar and call the police and the police come and in fact it is an illegal entry into your home but the police tell you they have absolutely no ability to detain or remove those criminals and the criminals stay in your house, you would not tell me that is home security. that is what we face at the border. we stop people. we interdict them, but we do not have the authorities given the loopholes in many cases to detain and remove them. we are forced to release them back into the communities after they have committed crimes. we have eliminated the administrative use of catch and release, which was popular in the last administration. we do all we can to enforce the rules you have passed, but given some of the court cases and legal loopholes, we're unable to
do that in all cases. >> i think to most americans, they just don't understand that, how you can detain but can't deport them and they get released into our society in the united states. there's this so-called described caravan. as i understand it, maybe already in tijuana. in your opinion, if they cross into the united states, which is their full intention, what will you be able to do? >> well, i think we have made white clear -- first of all, the attorney general has made clear we have zero tolerance for illegal entry. we have advised in every way possible that we are aware of to let those participating in this so-called caravan know that participating in a caravan does not give you any additional legal rights. if you illegally enter our country, you will be referred for prosecution. if you file a false asylum claim, you will be referred for prosecution. if you aid and abet or coach someone to break our laws, you also will be referred for prosecution.
so we're very clear about this. we will enforce our laws. it's an unfortunate situation that there's a belief that by coming in groups, it affords you some sort of legal protection that is not otherwise afforded under our law. >> my concern with the legal loopholes, which is really congress' rule to act, if we fail to act on these legal loopholes, my concern is they will be released. you'll have the same problem with this caravan once they come to the united states. they'll be released into our society. that is congress to blame, madam secretary, not you. that's why it's imperative congress act on this bill we have before us. my final question has to do with aviation security. as you've received the breatthr briefings, everyone on this committee has received the
briefing involving computer laptops and poisonous gases. i think i speak for everybody on the committee, we're very alarmed by this, and we want to do everything in our power to make sure the american people are protected on flights both domestic and international. we appropriate in the onmnibus there a $65 million to move this forward. we'll complete that in september for 300 ct machines so that your men and women can properly screen at airports to protect americans from explosive devices that may not be seen today. my question is, how quickly can these machines be deployed? finally, i think the highest risk, places where airport security is not as good as ours. what is your plan to make sure this technology is also at those last point of departure airports? >> as you said in your opening statement, sir, unfortunately,
the terrorists continue to see this as a crown jewel, if you will, of attack vectors. we also remain very concerned about aviation security and in particular how quickly the adversary is advancing tactics and techniques to bring down an airplane. the ct machines, we thank you for your support. they're critical -- very critical -- in our ability to detect these emerging threats. as you know, we're testing the machines as well as the algorithms that go with them to allow us to detect these new threats. we look for to appropriations in 2019 so we can cover the united states in terms of protecting americans here. last points of departure are another type of threat area that obviously a plane comes from a last point of departure to the united states. what we have done there is you know last year we substantially raised the bar in aviation security across the world. we had a tiered plan. we continue to work with
countries to encourage them to adopt the ct technology. in exchange for that, we pulled back on other requirements we have leveed on them. we have tremendous outreach occurring. i met with my g7 security ministers monday and tuesday. we talked about this again. we talk about this almost in every way we can. but you're exactly right to highlight the threat, and we will continue to focus on it. >> thank you. i think it's one of the biggest threats we face from terrorists today. it's a spectacular event they like to talk about, not a one to two-man operation or a vehicle assault. it would be a major event that we want to do everything we can to work with you to make sure it never happens. thank you for being here. i now recognize the ranking member. >> thank you, mr. chairman. madam secretary, one of the oversight responsibilities we have with dhs is to kind of see whether or not things are going
according to the wishes of congress and this committee. and to that extent, there are a number of policy deliverables that are outstanding from the department at this point, and i'm going to go through the list and try to get some idea on when we will receive them. the quadrennial homeland security review was due december 31, 2017. do you have any idea when we might get that document? >> yes, sir. i believe we've coordinated with this committee as well as our -- your sister committee on the senate side to work through the best way to present that information. we want to make sure that it is part of a larger national security strategy, counterterrorism strategy. as you know, we have other strategies that are due at the department. so the idea is to get the timing right so that they actually work
in parallel and we don't have one that's inconsistent with another due to timing restrictions. i'd be happy to brief you further into progress and how that nests into many of the larger requirements we have. >> madam secretary, it's the law. >> no, i understand, sir. we have worked with you on the timing, but i'm happy to come brief you, as i've said, specifically. >> so you don't plan to follow the law on delivering the report? i mean, that's all i'm asking. it's due -- to say you coordinated, that's all right. but it's the law that you have to produce the report. >> respectfully, sir, i did not say i would not follow the law. what i did say is that we're working on it. we have told you what the time is, and i'm happy to brief you further if you would like. >> well, i'm not necessarily looking for a briefing. >> okay. >> i need from you, very simple, when you plan to follow the law. >> we will get back to you. >> beg your pardon? >> we will get back to you. >> well, will you get back to us
in writing? >> if you would prefer that instead of a briefing, i'm happy to do that. >> i would absolutely prefer it in writing. we have also a department-wide cybersecurity strategy that was due march 23rd, 2017. >> yes, so we were out at the rsa conference last week. we spent quite a bit of time talking to stakeholders to finalize that as a last very important effort to make sure we had stakeholders involved. we'll have four pillars of that strategy. we're looking to identify the risks to reduce threats, reduce vulnerabilities, and mitigate consequences. we also have it based on five trends -- >> i appreciate that, but when can we as members of this committee receive the written report? >> shortly. >> that's outstanding. >> shortly. >> a week? two weeks? a month? >> it should be within the next
two weeks, yes, sir. >> within the next two weeks. thank you. now, the long-awaited update plan for the department's major headquarters consolidation project, it was actually due august 27th, 2016. when do you anticipate getting that to us? >> that one i'll have to get back to you, sir. i'm not as familiar. i know we continue to be in discussions. as you know, we've had some funding issues as well as some construction delays given the his historic nature of the property. >> thank you. and those three reports, if you would provide in writing the status updates and when we can expect them, i would appreciate it. with respect to hurricane maria, are you satisfied with fema's response to hurricane maria as it relates to puerto rico and the virgin islands? >> fema -- well, as you know, it's not over yet.
fema will continue to provide recovery services under its mission until they're complete. we continue to work very closely with the governor and the local government of puerto rico. we can always do more. it was a very difficult situation, as you know, given, especially in puerto rico, the status of the infrastructure before the storm. fema prepositioned more than it ever had before. we had many people there in conjunction with our interagency partners, and we're going through the formal lessons learned process now. but recovery is ongoing, so we should have the findings from the initial response shortly. >> so, your testimony -- you're not satisfied with it, or you are? >> it was a big storm, sir. i think fema went above and beyond in performing its statutory mission, but we always learn lessons and we always make it better for the next time. >> what systems have you put in
place so that whatever shortcomings occurred with hurricane maria won't occur again. >> one of them is the administrator is deploying federal integration teams. the concept here is to send steady state people out into the field who are experts in incident management, preparedness, prevention, to help jurisdictions prepare for an event. so what we're trying to do at this point is push to resources to left of the event. studies have shown for every $1 of miprevention and mitigation,e have $6 saved in terms of response and recovery. so, what we are doing is relooking at all of our systems so that we can build those cultures of resilience and preparedness. >> thank you. madam secretary, on january 16th, you testified before the
senate that 90% of unoccupied alien children released never show up for court. can you provide this committee with how you came up with that 90% figure? >> sure. when we encounter uac, we register them. as you know, we at the department turn them over to the department of health and human services. so, we have the numbers, and then we -- >> what i'm saying is, in writing. >> oh, okay, sure. >> i yield back. >> gentleman yields. chair will recognize members who are present at the start of the hearing by seniority on the committee according to the rules. chair now recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. king. >> thank you, mr. chairman. undersecretary, thank you for your testimony here today and thank you for your service. i have basically two questions. i'll ask them together so you have more time to answer them. first is on the issue of grants.
i live right outside new york city. new york city, suffolk, westchester county, the number one terrorist target in the country by all accounts. police officers work full time on counterterrorism, and we have subwa subways, we have commuter lines, long island rail road and metro-north, thousands more. and yet, your grants are being cut, and to me, there may be some other alternative plans, but the fact is, these police departments and these fire departments and these emergency service units -- they're not disparaging any other part of the country. we have been attacked many times, twice just in the last six months, 20 attempted attacks
against new york besides the two attacks on the world trade center. i would ask you to reconsider and look at how that money is being distributed and why we have cuts at time like this, when again, in many ways, the threats are more than they were before 9/11. there may be not the same magnitude as 9/11 as far as numbers and metastasizing of islamic terrorists as more threats today than there were then. that's my first question, an easy one. second is ms-13, who is to a large extent focused in my district. we have had over 25 murders in the last two years, out digging for bodies within a mile of my house. this goes on continuously. but let me commend both hsi and i.c.e. for the work they're doing. they're working very closely with the local police, with local district attorneys, with the fbi. so, progress has been made. but one of the deficiencies we have, and this is not really your department's responsibility, but i think you have a say in this. this is on the question of unaccompanied minors. it was brought to my attention last year, both by federal
intelligence and also local police, that many of these minors who come across -- and i say many -- maybe 5% or 10%, whatever the number may be -- are actually sent here by ms-13 in el salvador. when they come to the border, they're apprehended by border patrol but then turned over to hhs. and then hhs places those kids with families around the country. a disproportionate amount are going to brentwood and centralized in my district. intelligence, as i understand, is showing that the families who are asking thfor these kids aren many cases or too many cases, are either supporters of ms-13 or their relatives in el salvador are being threatened by ms-13. in the recent murders of the 11 people indicted for the murders, 6 of them were unaccompanied minors that came across the border within the last two or three years. when i talk to the school superintendents, they talk about how a number of the unaccompanied minors are recruiting within the schools. and yet, hhs office of refugee
resettlement does little in notifying the local police when these children, unaccompanied minors being placed in the community. i would ask if you'll get the administration to work with hhs and your own department to better coordinate this so the local police are told who these kids are, where they're coming from, and also, a better job of vetting the families that they're in place with and also a better job of vetting the families they came from. so, those are my two questions. thank you. >> thank you, sir. as you said, grants are not an easy conversation. the way we're looking at this, and we'd love to work with you further, we've put out, as you know, about $50 billion in grants since 9/11. and the idea there was to help state and locals build capacity to threats that they hadn't necessarily had to address before. it was very important at that time to make sure that the state and locals had what they needed to protect their communities. as the threat environment quickly changes, what we're
trying to do is find ways to have grants, not just maintain and help state and locals continue the capacities they've built, but enable them to focus on the new and emerging threats. so, what this budget proposals is a new $525 million program, preparedness program, to focus on emerging threats. so, it's not -- i understand the question, but i just want to make the point. what we're trying to do is use the grants holistically in a way that we can cover down on the known threats that we know we have, but also the threats that are emerging. >> i would just say that threats -- i realize there's new threats, but again, a large amount of this money are spent on surveillance, on programs which are ongoing. the threat is ongoing. and it's not as if they always need new equipment. sometimes they do, but it's also they have to have the training and the, again, constant work goes on. when you have 1,500 working on it and working full time, whether or not the threats change, those 1,000 or 1 ,500
still have to work. >> yes, so we need to balance the maintenance and sustainment with the idea of the grants to begin with, which is to build capacity, to build new threats. but i did want to take just a few minutes to answer your other question. ms-13 does continue to be a problem, as you know better than most in this room, given the violence that has occurred in your area. through "operation matador" and others, hsi does play a very active role. we continue to work closely with our colleagues at the department of justice to attack this from a network perspective, which means going all the way back to where they're originating, watching their travel patterns, attempting to stop them at the border, of course, but should they enter, make sure that we understand where they are and where they're headed. i'm happy to work with hhs to make sure that that referral process works better and more effectiveless. i would also say that one of the loopholes that i often talked about is the fact that we cannot, based on gang
affiliation alone, prohibit somebody from entering the united states. it is not a legal criteria in and of itself for admissibility. so we have to look at that when it comes to gangs so we can make sure we can remove them. the final point i would say on the uacs, we are working with hhs to better vet the sponsors and family members so that we can understand where the children, for the children's safety, are going and who will take care of them, but also so that we can identify other issues that might occur. as you say, we see recruiting from the gangs in new york all the way down to central america, and we see the push from central america to send uacs who are gang members into the united states. >> again, let me emphasize that homeland, hsi, i.c.e. are doing an excellent job working with the fbi and local police. >> thank you. >> thanks. >> gentleman yields. chair recognizes the gentle lady from texas, ms. jackson lee.
>> chairman, thank you very much and thank you for this hearing along with the ranking member. let me welcome you, and i don't often make this comment, but i think the ranking member made a point that i quickly want to say, and that is that i had the tragic privilege of being on this committee shortly after, the beginnings of this committee shortly after 9/11. and i was able to go to ground zero during the long, extended period of the recovery of remains. and so, there is nothing more precious than the security of this nation, and i think it's bipartisan. i do want to mention takala and madison. it is take your children to congress and they are in the room today and i wanted to acknowledge them. i am going to put a series of questions on the record and then tell you which ones i'd like in writing, or indicate.
i want you to tell me how many african-americans do you have in your immediate circle, staff? i don't see any in the room that seem to be with you today. so, i'd be interested in that and your efforts on that. as it relates to the wall, i'd be interested in knowing whether mexico is going to pay for the wall, and so how the wall is going to proceed. as well as the 4,000 national guard you mentioned, and certainly, i want to respond to the assaults on border patrol agents. i think we should respond to that and whatever recommendations that you may have. but the 4,000 national guard, as i understand it, coming from texas, being on the border, they will be unarmed, and i see no way that they will have an impact on the protection of border security, border patrol guards that are there now, and so, what is the purpose of the 4,000? and did you have input into that selection? we know that there's a recent court decision that indicates
that the daca structure right now and the president's removal of daca status is illegal, and frankly, there has been no placement. we have a number of bipartisan bills to be put on the floor. would you and the president ask and demand that paul ryan put these bills on the floor for us to be able to vote for them? and then secondarily, would you instruct your border patrol agents to not treat daca-eligible and/or daca status individuals unfairly at the border by stopping them at the border, not allowing them to come back and forth? the other question is that i have been working extensively on a young man from el salvador who lived in this country more than half of his life, two american children, citizen wife, manager of a paint store. and i have repeatedly asked the homeland security department to address the question of jose escobar, who was, i would say duped into doing what he always does, is reporting to the i.c.e.
office and precipitously being deported to a place that he has no knowledge of, and we have not gotten one answer regarding the ability for him to have humanitarian parole to come back to this country and to address his status because he's daca-eligible. tsa is in definitive need of retention programs and salary programs, because in your major airports -- and i don't know if you've been to all the major airports -- there is a constant rotation or departure of tsos, and that needs to be fixed. fema needs to be fixed in terms of bifurcating recovery as opposed to rescue. and in houston, reimbursement. and i want to thank fema and their staff. they're dedicated persons, but reimbursement monies have not yet come to schools and other facilities, and people in desperate need. two other points -- domestic
terrorism. the marc anthony conduit killed two people in boston but he killed two african-americans initially and it is inappropriate for us to think of his inclination and call it domestic terrorism. we heard nothing from the department of homeland security. finally, the president has gone to mar-a-lago one day out of every week that he's been president and 110 times he's played golf, and i want to know your response to the secret service's long hours. so, let me ask you to answer the african-american question, all the others i want in writing. the tsa retention question and the domestic terrorism, and you can just do quick sentencing. and secret service in terms of payment and the responsibility of taking secret service to these joyful places and the long hours that they have to do. tsa retention. are you working on that? >> yes, ma'am. throughout the department, we do
have some attrition problems that remain. it is a priority of mine as far as maturing the department to become much more innovative, so we're looking at mobility programs -- >> i'm going let you go quickly. >> okay. >> domestic terrorism. >> domestic terrorism. we've created an office of terrorism prevention partnerships, as you know, to take very seriously all forms of terrorism in this country and work on -- >> did you speak about the incident in austin, texas, in terms of the potential of being domestic terrorism? >> i can speak only to say we are working with state and local -- >> okay, if you have anything in write writing on that, i would appreciate it. mr. escobar, would you look up mr. escobar? i've joined a bill with mr. green asking for him to return, but more importantly, this can be handled administratively by homeland security. will you look at the case? >> we will, yes. >> secret service and the many trips of the president to places beyond camp david, which is an appropriately beautiful place, and the extra hours and the
tiredness of secret service and the need for extra staff, how are you handling that burden? >> we're working on hiring initiatives, we're working on cross-training. we thank congress for recently passing the bill that allows the secret service to be paid overtime. that will help very much with attrition and morale. we also in that case are looking to cross train and give them more ability to move within the secret service to reduce some of the burden that they have. >> african-americans and your staff. >> i don't have the exact number in front of me. we do have diversity programs. we take that very seriously. i'd be happy to get you specifics -- >> do you have any on your immediate staff? >> my immediate staff is rather large, but i don't know. >> in your office? >> in the personal front office, we do not. >> all right. all the other questions, i'd appreciate it if you would more extensively answer in writing. and i just want to conclude by emphasizing the treatment of daca status individuals.
what is the department's position, since most courts have indicated that daca is a legitimate status to indicate to your employees that they should not be treated precipitously and disrespectfully and detained, which is what is happening? >> we are complying with all court orders. so, what that means is if you are currently registered daca recipient, you will not be deported. if you have applied for recertification as a daca individual, you also will not be deported. >> and you'll take new applications? >> we are not taking new applications right now, no, ma'am. >> all right. if you could give me answers to all the rest, including why you're not taking new -- >> it's not required at the moment, so as you know, we ended the program because it was an inappropriate use of executive power. >> i understand. if you could put that in writing since the courts indicated the ending of the program was incorrect, why you're not taking new applications -- >> to be clear, what the courts have said of recently in the last couple days is they've
asked the department for 90 days to provide them additional information. should they find that that information is not sufficient, they reserve the right to take additional action. no court has ordered me to allow new daca recipients. >> i disagree with you, but i would prefer if you would submit that to me in writing, along with the other questions that i did not specifically get. i thank the chairman and the ranking member. i yield back. >> gentle lady's time's expired. gentleman from alabama, mr. rogers, is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and madam secretary, thank you for being here and thank you for your service to our country. on a parochial note before my questions, i want to personally invite you, now that you're settled in, to visit the center for domestic preparedness in alabama. as you know, it has done a stellar job since 9/11 in training first responders all around the country, hospital personnel, and it has the only live agent training facility for biological and chemical agents, so i think you would find it interesting.
the last secretary to be there was janet napolitano, and i'm sure you'll be as impressed as she was. in your written statement, written testimony, you stated that, "investments in our layered defense at the border would include 65 miles of new border wall construction in the highest traffic zones along the southwest border." yesterday, we had the sbp commissioner testify before the transportation security subcommittee. and he talked about in addition to the wall itself, the importance of technologies associated with it, to give us situational awareness at those borders. can you describe for us what you see as your idea of a border wall system, and meaning not just the wall itself, but what would that system be comprised of? >> sure. the border wall system is the infrastructure which is important for the impedence and denial capability. it's the technology which among other things helps us with the domain awareness, situational awareness.
that's the sensors, technology. it's also at the ports of entry, the nonintrusive technology that helps us detect drugs and illegal entrants. it's personnel mission readiness and making sure we have a workforce who's trained. and the last is access and mobility. so, it's very important that the border patrol is able to get to parts of the border where there is a wall or there isn't a wall to be able to interdict. so, it's a combination of all of those things. >> have you been able to ascertain what percentage of a cost associated with the border security system is actually the wall and what is the rest of that system that you just described, which is substantial? the technologies and personnel are substantial. >> yes. in fact, we had asked for $1 billion alone for some of the technology when we were talking about the $25 billion total number for the wall system. i can get back to you on that. it changes, frankly, as we work with congress and we're appropriated money. and then as you know, in the last omnibus bill, we had some
specific restrictions on how we could build the wall and where we could build it, so we're reprioritizing and reorganizing some of those funds that were given to us by congress. so, happy to get you specific figures. >> yeah, i'd like to get a proportion. >> happy to. >> because one of the things we've heard is a lot of the critics of securing a southwest border talk about the numbers being unreasonably high per mile for this wall. and in fact, we're not just talking about the wall or the fencing itself. we have to help people understand that there's a lot more than putting that fencing up, or whether it's see-through or concrete or whatever at different points. do you feel like you have enough money right now to take to that challenge and secure the southwest border in its entirety? >> not in its entirety, no, sir. so, our goal is operational control of the border. that would have those four master capabilities i mentioned. we do not yet have funding to secure the whole border. >> well, one of the things that
my friend and colleague from texas, ms. jackson lee, requested information about a little while ago was whether or not mexico or south america is going to pay for the wall. one of the things i would draw to your attention, if you're not aware, is a bill i introduced called the border wall funding act, which would assess a 2% fee on all remidances going to south america. half of that -- and it would generate right at $1 billion a year. half of that coming from mexico, the other half from the other south american countries, where most of these illegal aliens who are coming to our country are leaving, which would, in fact, require mexico to pay for at least half of the wall. now, granted, it wouldn't do it all, but i hope that y'all will look at embracing that as one of several funding mechanisms to get us the money we need to secure that wall. you also in your testimony said, "some critical missions are impeded by jurisdictions that
refuse to cooperate with dhs on enforcement of federal law." i think you're talking about sanctuary cities there? >> yes, sir. >> can you tell us briefly, what kind of added expense do you encounter when you have to go into an area that's a sanctuary city or a county, and they refuse to cooperate? >> i'll get you the figures, but it's additional use of technology. it's certainly an additional use of manpower. it's additional planning, additional contingencies that are built in. but in essence, what it requires us to do is rather than being able to take the criminal in a safe environment, which would be the jail, we then require our agents to go out into the community, putting themselves at risk, but putting the community at risk, to be able to interdict yet again, unfortunately, that criminal to be able to remove them. >> well, if we can get our heads around that added cost, i want this committee to consider legislation that would force those sanctuary cities to reimburse the department for those added expenses that they're imposing on you. with that, my time's expired.
thank you very much. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. keating, is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, madam secretary, for being here. you said in your opening remarks that you're trying to create a culture of preparedness. and in response to congressman king's questioning, you said you want to build up a greater capability for emerging threats. you know, we'll never know where the emerging threats may come from with surety, but we're pretty sure we know where the response to those threats are coming from, and those responses are coming from our front line. in fact, my years here on the committee, i often ask, you know, what's the most important aspect to our homeland security, and the answer almost always is our frontline responders. that being said, this budget does not reflect that commitment to preparedness at all in terms of those responders.
there's cuts to the state homeland security grants that states like massachusetts, my state, use, of $157 million. the urban area security initiatives, which were so critical in the boston bombing marathon and the response in cities like new york, cut $180 million. the transit security grants, which is a target of great concern, given what's happened in other parts of the world, cut $64 million. the emergency performance grants, $70 million. the funds to local fire departments' frontline responders have been cut. so, if you could, tell us how cutting this type of funding helps america be safer. >> yes, sir. so, grants are part of a holistic approach to help state and locals prepare, as you know. as i mentioned earlier, it was the national institute of building sciences that released the report, but $1 on the front end saves us $6 on the back end.
so, that's what we mean by culture of preparedness. it's capacity-building. and we do a lot of that through programs that aren't a direct distribution of funds. we help with exercises, we help with training. we do have money in the budget for equipment through our cwmd office, to provide detection and training for those particular threats. we have money in the budget for ppd to help state and local officials as well as infrastructure operators and cybersecurity. we continue to invest to provide additional -- >> i understand that, madam secretary, but why are you cutting where we know with certainty the response is coming from? those are wonderful things. >> yeah, but those do that, sir. >> but these are the first responders -- >> but that's what all those programs do, they help local communities and first responders be ready to respond. >> but these are tried and tested. >> exercises in training, yes. >> the things i've mentioned have all saved lives. and so with a culture of preparedness we merging threats, how is that greater? how are we safer with that?
those are critical monies to police, fire, that they cannot do on their own. it includes regional kind of preparedness. so, i'll leave it with that, but i'm concerned. and i think i'm not alone on this committee on both sides of the aisle in terms of that concern, because we have seen the effectiveness. if i could shift to one other area quickly. president trump in his private life, even though he's president, he continues in his private life and private business life, to take advantage of h-2b visas for his personal purposes. they're there for him. they're not there for everyone right now because there's a demand. i represent a seasonal area where small businesses really rely on this. and under the bush administration, they merely raised the cap on the obama
administration. they raised the cap several times in the past responding to this demand. but you've had the opportunity to deal with it. and the small businesses in my district are telling me that the way that rolled out last year, the regulations, the uncertainty, the burdens on a small business was so great that they didn't even dare, and they were being advised by their own attorneys, even, not to enter into it. now, could you tell us the time frame for acting on these additional h-2b visas? the clock's ticking and businesses are losing money. american jobs are being hurt by this, because by not hiring a full complement of workers, they're closing down for weeks that they would normally be open, days that they would be open. so, it's hurting american jobs as well. and why, if we're going to roll this out, why couldn't we just do what president bush did, what president obama did, and just raise the cap on returning workers? those are the safest workers. you don't see returning workers
overstaying their visas. we have a problem with that in other visas, but these are people that have a history of working -- by the way, paying into social security, the benefits that they're never going to realize -- going home and coming back. they're safe. this is tried and tested. this is common sense. why can't the department simply have the cap raised on returning workers and deal with this in a timely fashion and not leave so many revenues that would be important for our economy wasted and lost? it doesn't affect the president, but it's affecting people in my district. >> yes, sir. so, as you do know, we did raise the cap last year. i worked into -- >> yes, but excuse me -- >> yeah. >> i told you what my businesses are telling me loud and clear. many of them wouldn't even take advantage of it because, supposedly, a pro business-friendly administration
made it so uncertainty and -- they wouldn't even dare try. they just shut down for weeks. >> sure. >> i know you did it last year. i'm asking you not to do it the same way this year. >> yeah. so, the reg is done. that was actually a result of talking to many members who have a concern in their district, and the concern was that the visas are being given to those who are not seasonal workers. we have seen an increase in fraud, so what it was meant to do was to get -- >> but again, excuse me, that's an enforcement issue. so, the answer to better enforcement -- >> it's not an enforcement -- >> the answer to better enforcement is not to scuttle the program, to make it ineffective. >> >> right. >> it's to do better in enforcement. and you know -- >> yeah, but i would ask congress to act. i personally worked into the wee hours of the night to try to get this addressed in the omnibus. it's congress' job to legislate administration. i have asked repeatedly for you to put the cap in law and for you to put in law -- >> again, if i could amplify
that. 89 bipartisan members signed a letter saying, asking the leadership to do that. now, they didn't. they gave you the authority again as they did before, but within that authority, you still have the ability to do it. >> yes, so, the visas -- >> so i'm asking you to do it and act in a timely way and in a way that businesses can take advantage of this. >> i agree. there is no reason to have a visa program that puts american businesses out of business. that's not the intention. we are working. we should have -- >> if you could get back to me on that, i'd appreciate it. thank you, madam secretary. i yield back. >> gentleman yields. gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. perry's recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. madam secretary, you have a tough job, and we appreciate your service. i have four questions. i'm going to try and ask them all. there's a little narrative with each one for context. then i'm going to let you answer and be respectful of everybody's time. cases in the past, including iraqi refugees living in bowling green, were arrested in 2011, and a saudi immigrant living in oklahoma arrested in february of
this year demonstrate how individuals have been able to make it through dhs vetting, despite being associated with terror groups. in both of these cases, derogatory information was then later discovered in dod databases showing that the men in both cases were linked to al qaeda. ensuring the battlefield data is available for dhs vetting is essential for homeland security and the question's essentially, will the proposed national vetting center created by this administration in february of this year prioritize addressing this vetting vulnerability and how you feel about that, if you think that's going to be adequate? question number two, what is dhs doing to collect dna from non u.s. persons being detained under the united states laws, understanding that there's a requirement that their collection of the dna from detainees to send a cotus for law enforcement purposes? three, many americans hope we end the catch-and-release
program, but it seems the current parole policy is almost the definition of catch-and-release, and that parole policy is not codified into law. that was enacted into the last administration and can be unenacted, so to speak, under the current administration. people with valid claims of asylum should receive it, but those who claim it unlawfully should not be paroled into our country where we rely on those individuals who were unlawful and dishonest to willingly reappear or appear at a hearing. and then question number four. i have the privilege of chairing the oversight and management committee, one of the roles is to look into what financial waste could be eliminated in dhs. in this congress, we have held hearings on the consolidation of st. elizabeth's campus, integration and updating of financial systems for some of the components at dhs, which is currently, i might add,
undergoing its fourth iteration and failure. and some of the cumbersome character fitness examination processes that contractors undergo before they can work on some project. here's the problem, ma'am, none of these things are specifically headline-grabbing topics. they're not real sexy. and while i know that the country and you have much bigger fish to fry, they remain systemic problems year after year, and i'm just wondering, you know, let's just pick, like, if we look at the individual disparate parts, they all seem to be doing their job and doing it fairly well, but the immigration component, where leadership is required to bring them together never seems to somehow come through. so, i'm wondering -- the question is this, does the agency have benchmarks in that regard for congress to evaluate not only immigration, but some of these other problems and the successes? and i'll stand ready to reask
any of those questions. >> the national vetting center, the short answer is, yes, that's exactly what it's created to do, to use both high-side information, information from our allies to help us screen those who have benefits. unfortunately, sometimes between the initial screening and granting of a benefit, additional information comes to light that would necessitate us changing the original determination. >> we know it's hard to be perfect, but we strive for that, right? >> yes, and we continue to expand hspd-6 agreements, which is an agreement with a foreign country to provide known suspected terrorist list. we have 160 now and we continue to work with our allies to implement the security council 23996, which would include that transmission of passenger name record information. the second one, the dna. so, yes, it is required in law, but as you also know, a waiver was signed between then attorney general holder and then secretary napolitano, exempting
most of dhs from that. >> but do we -- don't we want to side on law enforcement and collect the dna while we have those people? i know there's a waiver, but shouldn't we -- >> we are working with the attorney general currently to form a pilot to start doing that, start collecting the dna. >> do you have an expected start date? >> we're working on the pilot right now. >> the pilot is occurring right now? >> yes, sir. well, we're in the planning stages and are doing it in batches. so some of it is the processing. we want to make sure we have a chain of custody, but i'm happy to get back to you on that. >> i want to keep the conversation open on that. all right. >> the third one, i.c.e. parole. we have eliminated what we call administrative catch-and-release, which i believe is what you're talking about. >> so, you come and you claim a credible fear, right? >> oh, i'm sorry. so, if you claim a credible fear, you do then go into the asylum process. if it's deemed that you have a credible fear, you then go through an immigration judge and go through -- >> right, right, but in the past, there wasn't the parole situation, right? so, you claimed a credible fear. we detained you to determine, do
you have a credible fear, and if you didn't, then it was essentially fraudulent and then we had the opportunity to send you back to wherever you came from because that was erroneous, right? but now people know that they can claim a credible fear, we'll parole you, right? you're released out into our country, and then we never see you again, and we don't know whether you had a credible fear. and it seems like the current parole policy is actually a magnet. people know that, and they know they can just come and claim it and they'll be paroled and they'll never have to answer for that parole. and that's what i'm -- i think most of my constituents that are interested in ending catch-and-release are concerned about. >> understood. part of it is the detention bed capacity. so, if you're not a flight risk, there are a limited number of people who are provided essentially monitoring ankle bracelets so that we can track them in different systems when we detain them, and we don't have -- >> do you need more money for ankle bracelets? >> we need more money for detention beds. the numbers keep going up -- >> can we use the ankle
bracelets if you're going to parole people? is that a viable -- is that viable? is that not viable? do they take them off or what's the story there? >> they can evade them, yes, sir. so, it does help us. it's not a silver bullet. but in terms of numbers, and if we need more, happy to get back to you on specific numbers on that. >> yes, ma'am. >> the last one was more broadly, immigration. unity of effort should not be, it's not a destination. it's a constant endeavor. we have developed some benchmarks internally, everything from measurements to performance controls, internal controls to work on joint task force, to eliminate inefficiencies. i'm happy to give you more detail on that. >> could we get that? >> happy to. >> i yield. >> chairman recognizes the gentleman from new jersey, mr. payne. >> thank you, mr. chairman. madam secretary, thank you for being here. i apologize, initially i didn't recognize, but when they brought
up the norway, you not knowing norway was court case accompanied, then i remember and i knew who you were. >> that's a funny one. i'm very proud of my heritage, but i am an american. all scandinavian countries are not the same, and i wasn't going to, the way the question was asked, testify under oath to something that i can't guarantee was right. >> i understand. >> so, i'm not really sure why that became a story. i don't know why it would be a requirement of the secretary of homeland security to know the racial makeup of every country. i do not do screening based on race, religion, or creed. but thank you for raising that again, sir. >> as we have had to do in other committees, reclaiming my time, i would think that -- it was just saying i remember who you were and identify related with that. let me ask you also, since we're on topics, the wall.
the wall is something that seems very important to many people in this country. would you agree? >> yes, sir. >> and who's going to pay for it? >> the president continues to ask congress to appropriate. and so, we thank you for the funds this year. as you know, we have $1.6 billion requested in 2019. >> but during the campaign, who was going to pay for it? >> i can't speak to the campaign, sir, but right now we have given you our budget request -- >> no? i'll tell you. i didn't even watch that much. mexico was going to pay for the wall. how much have we gotten from mexico for the wall? >> we have, as i said, continued to work with you all to request money in the budget to build the wall system. >> not mexico? >> we have requested the money from congress through the appropriations process. >> okay. well, i heard a lot about mexico paying for it. i just wanted to be clear.
you know, there are a lot of issues in tsa with low morale. i can see why. what are you doing in terms of looking at this issue in your organization, you know, when it comes to employee satisfaction with their job, their pay, organization, and their willingness to recommend their organization as a good place to work? >> i think morale's a multifaceted issue, one that is very critical. we must look at it very importantly. i think helping to understand the mission and your part in the mission is part one of morale, making sure that you have the training, that you understand what is available to you for retirement, understanding the mobility that you might have within an organization. these are all things that are important.
communications from leadership i find to be very important. i don't expect employees to learn about things in the news. i hope to always keep them in the loop and help them understand what it is we do on a day-to-day basis. >> there seems to be a question of consistency in training. new tsa officers, tsos as opposed to old tsos not getting the same training, and therefore, creating gaps in the system, which they're working in. also issues around, you know, not enough tsos that they can even take bathroom breaks where i've even had a report of a tso having an accident on herself because they weren't allowed to leave their post. now, that's going, you know, a bit too far, where people can't
do humanly bodily functions because they're not allowed to leave their post. that is something that i think really needs to be looked into and addressed. we have to make this a situation where people want to come to work. they're on the front lines. they're doing difficult work with people that are not necessarily always patient with the processes we have to go through in order to make sure that they're safe. so, there's a lot of stress on these officers. so we need to do what we can to identify ways of making this circumstance a little more palatable through them throughout the course of their shift. and i see my time is up and i'll yield back. >> sir, if you could provide me the name of that employee, i'm happy to personally look into that. that's not an acceptable
situation. >> yes. i was shocked by that myself, so i'll try to get that information to you. >> thank you. >> gentleman yields. the gentleman from new york, mr. katko is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your testify today. it's good to have you before the committee. i do, however, want to echo the sentiments of my colleague earlier today, the ranking minority member, because it is something, a problem that preceded you at the agency, and that is, basically, ignoring deadlines, both statutory and our congressional deadlines. i was a federal prosecutor for 20 years and wouldn't dare ignore a deadline set by a court, and i see the same obligation with respect to your agency. we had a similar problem with respect to tsa and we have had some very frank discussions on n my subcommittee oversight with tsa and they have improved dramatically in honoring deadlines. the culture that preceded you, nevertheless, is under your watch now. and i would implore you to
follow the deadlines and not -- i don't think they're optional, and i don't think responses such as we'll get back to you are acceptable, and i think that that's a bipartisan feeling. and especially when it's a statutory deadline. that's law. i would ask that you treat that less cavalierly and understand that those are deadlines that should be answered. now -- >> sir, if i could, i apologize if i misspoke earlier. all i was trying to suggest is i can't give you today a specific date, so i would get back to you on giving you a specific date. i completely understand what you're saying and you have my commitment to work not only with tsa, but throughout the department to meet all statutory deadlines. >> that's all we're asking. thank you very much. switching gears, with respect to the border. i spent a lot of time down there as a federal prosecutor in el paso, going after cartel level members and i saw the border for the siv that it is, but i also spend a significant amount of time as a prosecutor on the northern border and i think it routinely doesn't get the attention it deserves. about 95% to 96% of the northern border is unsecure. and i just wonder how much time
you spent analyzing the issue and whether you've had any -- have you taken a look at the northern border threat assessment that was recently done? >> yes. and as you know, what comes after that is the northern border security strategy, which we hope to release shortly. we do spend a lot of time talking about the southwest border, but we do have issues on the northern border. i was in canada monday-tuesday, talking to my counterparts there about ways which we can coordinate better some of the unique aspects on that northern border. but yes, we need to keep that in mind always. >> thank you very much. switching gears again. during my oversight at tsa, we've had much discussion with the chairman here as well as others about replacing, like having the updated technology. we all know the bad guys are getting more advanced with their technologies, especially with respect to aviation, and it's quite concerning. and we also believe, and i think you will agree that the ct scanners are a new generation of
helping to ameliorate that threat. not only does it help ameliorate the threat, it really would expedite throughput through airports, which is always a concern, especially with coming, the high travel season coming. there is about 2,500 x-ray machines and if you replaced those with cts, what we're doing next year is really a drop in the bucket. we've asked tsa, and i don't know if they spoke with you about it, about reprogramming some of the money from other areas of homeland security to plow that into getting more of these x-ray scanners or ct scanners up and running. and i say that because we saw them firsthand myself and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle here on a delegation to europe. they're already on the front lines there. they're already being used there, and i understand the need to test these things, but there must be an expedited way to test them when they're already being used overseas. by the way, they are american companies and they're ready to provide these to you, and number one, the delay, but number two,
more importantly, the reprogramming of that money. if you can look into reprogramming areas of homeland security, i think it would be a prudent thing to do. >> just to answer quickly. as you know, we did that in 2017. the current plan is, if tsa is working as quickly as they can with industry to deploy them, and if, in fact, they're able to deploy the ones that we have appropriated, we will look to reprogram as we have done before. >> thank you very much. and lastly, with respect to tsa, there seems to be an ongoing practice here, and we've tried hard, both in this committee and in my subcommittee, to try and stop tsa have having people go through precheck lines when they're not precheck registered. precheck is a known and trusted traveler-type program, and it's there because you minimize a risk because of the revolvement in precheck. the practice started as manage inclusion. then they had body detection officers and they were throwing people into that lane that they shouldn't have been. now that we told them they can't
do manage inclusion, they can't do some of the things they're doing, they're just basically calling it by a different name. and we've made it clear to tsa that we're going to introduce some legislation to make it mandatory that you not do that. but i just wondered, if you had any discussions with the administrator at tsa about this precheck problem? >> not this specific problem, no, sir, but precheck, as you say, should be reserved to those who qualify for precheck, so i will work with the administration. >> i'm very glad to hear that and i thank you for your time. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> gentleman yields back. gentle lady from new jersey, ms. watson coleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. madam secretary, is this budget your budget? did you have any input in this budget? >> we did, yes, ma'am. so, the men and women of dhs put together their request and it goes all the way up, if you will. >> okay. so, this happened under your watch, too? all right. >> the '19 budget. well, in part, i joined in december, so we were already well into budget. >> our greatest value statement is where we're putting our resources, and i'm not 100% sure that there is a consistency
between where your people or your budget applies its resources and its ability to keep this homeland safe. with regard to land transportation issues, there is a reduction in the security grants. there is a reduction in the vipr teams. there is a reduction or elimination of the law enforcement officers grants. there is a reduction in the exit lane staffing. there is tso staffing still is somewhere around 2,500 people short. i don't know how that helps us to be more secure in those areas where we're supposed to be. i don't understand where we are addressing the fact that our subways and our land transportation areas are soft targets and are being targeted. and so, i'm going to ask that you respond to how this budget,
in writing to me, because i've got a lot of questions -- how these particular issues that i raised are a reflection of more security for our homeland. i want to know the difference, or i want to know if there is a difference between refugees and illegal immigrants as far as you're concerned. i want to know, is there a written statement as to what our u.s. policy is on people who are fleeing very dangerous companies or very oppressive countries or famine or whatever, versus other types of people who are coming over, because i get the sense that we're locking them together. i'm particularly interested in this caravan that is coming, reaching our borders. i got the impression that we think of them as illegal immigrants who are going to come to our border and then we're going to detain them.
these are women and children. yet, we know who's in that caravan. if we really wanted to know if there's any danger in that caravan, you would have the capacity right now to be vetting some of those people. so, i want to understand what your policy is going to be when it comes to that caravan actually coming to our borders, willingly acknowledging that they're here and why they're here and what they're looking for. so, i'd like you to answer that in writing. i want to understand this policy that we have where since, i guess it's december or october of 2017, we've taken more than 700 children away from their families. 100 of those children were under the age of 4, and they've been taken from their parents in immigration detention. i want to know how that makes our country safer and more secure, and i want to know what our policy is with regard to
dealing with the trauma that is inflicted upon both these children, these babies and these children, as well as their families. i have a question with regard to the secret service. i sent a letter asking you all to explain to us the cost associated with protecting the trump kids going around the world doing trump business. i need to have an answer to that question. i want to associate myself with mr. katko, because i was up there on the northern border, and a lot of concerns were expressed with regard to trafficking as well as drugs, opioids in particular. and it just seems to me that we think that we have this responsibility to the southern border and not to any of the other areas. and i guess the last thing i need to understand from you in writing is, explain how we're
justifying putting additional resources down the southern border, particularly in the form of our national guard when all of the data that we have been receiving, even data coming from your office is that there has been quite a significant diminishment of people coming across the border. so, what is the justification for putting more people and ramping up the southern border as opposed to shouring up some our soft targets? i mean, is there really a rationale, or is this just a campaign promise that's being fulfilled that has absolutely no anchoring in logic or consideration of where our tax dollars are going. i'm 23 minutes over my time, so madam secretary, i'd just
appreciate it if i could get the answers to all of my questions in writing. and mr. chairman, i would just like to acknowledge that i have two foster daughters here, amina and lauren, who are observing democracy in action. thank you very much. >> and welcome to the committee. >> thank you, madam secretary. >> thank you. >> welcome to your stepdaughters. very nice. chair recognizes the gentle lady from arizona, ms. mcsally. >> thank you, chairman. secretary, good to see you again. earlier this week, yuma border troll apprehended 68 people who entered the u.s. illegally. one of them claimed to be an unaccompanied minor. he later admitted he was an adult and a part of the ms-13 gang. uacs from el salvador and other countries are given different treatment than those from mexico or other contiguous countries, or canada, and are allowed to remain in the united states only to disappear into the shadows. we have other data points, as you know, that in a joint
dhs/doj/ms-13 operation last year, of the 267 gang members arrested, approximately 25% entered the u.s. as unaccompanied minors. and in june of 2017, a spot check of one of the hhs facilities that had 138 teens being held, 39 of them, roughly 30% had ties to ms-13 and other gangs. is it in your view ms-13 is actually using the loopholes in our law in order to send individuals to the united states. there's about 10,000 members of ms-13 estimated in the united states, and their motto is to kill, rain, and control. and i just want to hear your perspective on what's going on with ms-13 and how they're using these loopholes in order to further endanger communities around our country. >> we see them starting in their countries of origin. they recruit young children. they train them. they train them how to be smuggled across our border, how to then join up with gang
members in the united states. we similarly see gang presence within the united states reaching back down into countries within central america and recruiting and also providing instruction. we see smugglers increasingly smuggle specific to ms-13, and we see all of the resulting effects of that from violence in general across the border, but also the drugs and other illicit things that go with that smuggling. >> thank you. so, these loopholes we're talking about are very real, right? because you're saying ms-13 gang members that are here are recruiting minors and they know they'll be able to be let into the united states. >> yes. >> and others, probably that are adults, they either, like in this case, try and pretend they're minors, or they tell them to say the right words, right, have a credible fear. >> that's right. >> but what's happened is they're released with a future court date they never show up for, right? >> that's right. we estimate we only have 3.5% of uacs that are eventually removed because they do not show up. >> so, closing these loopholes is paramount for security, for
our national security, for our public safety. and the bill that chairman mccaul and i have that we have been working diligently with you on that i know you support, closes these loopholes. and i really want to urge our colleagues that we have to bring some form of our bill to the floor. this is just one of the many issues that we're addressing in that bill. >> yes. >> to close these loopholes. this is not partisan. this is a public safety, local community, an important security issue that we're trying to address, and specifically highlighting this gang issue. so, we also saw in california, according to dhs, 100 gang members, many of which belong to ms-13, were recently released from october 2016 to june because of their sanctuary policies in california. so, you have these gang members and other violent felons, violent criminals, that because of the dangerous policies of california, these individuals are being released back into our communities to be a further danger to our communities, instead of being handed over to
federal authorities in prison where it's safer for the community and safer for your agents. can you just speak to specifically the dangers of that and what needs to be done? >> yes. so, sanctuary cities began as a sanctuary for victims, as you know. what they have become over time, unfortunately, is a very contorted version of that, which is a sanctuary for criminals, and we need to be very clear about that. sanctuary city protects criminals. it is not protecting the community. as i mentioned earlier, what it requires us to do is send our agents not moving from a controlled environment back into the communities, putting that community at risk and other immigrants in that community that are not serious felons, and putting that puts agents at risk. it doesn't make any sense. it's a way in which we're pitting blue against blue, federal law enforcement against state law enforcement, where we should be working together to protect our communities. >> great. thank you for clarifying that again, because sometimes this gets misunderstood by people as to what the real impact is. and again, cracking down on
these sanctuary cities is also in chairman mccaul's and my bill, and we look forward to working to move that forward. i fully support the national guard being deployed to support border security at the southern border. i represent a can you touch on how it's going so far? and we'd love to have you back to arizona. love to host you there in order to talk to the local residents and see how things are going on the border. >> thank you for the invite. i try to get to the border whenever i can. it's important to learn from the people on the front lines of what works and doesn't. we have about 1,000 deployed. we have around 600 active within the border communities. they're supporting cdp so they can do their law enforcement mission. they're helping with intelligence, road clearing. all of the enabling functions that help cbp to do what they need to do. >> great. thank you. i'm over my time. i yield back.
>> i did meet with the orange county sheriff. it was of interest to me with sanctuary cities. while they're barred by their state law, they put their i.c.e. detainees on a website. they can make the safe transfer of the prisoner without releasing them into the streets. i think that's innovative. with that the chair recognizing the gentle lady from new york, miss rice. >> thank you, and welcome. i have three questions. hopefully it will be quick so you can answer. my first is what is your personal opinion in your capacity as secretary of homeland security on whether russia interferes in our elections in 2016, and the likelihood that they'll continue their attack on our democracy in 2018 and beyond. that's number one. number two is earlier this month uscis released reports that
stated many of the conditions in haiti remained in that country was still vulnerable. despite this report, director, elaine was written to that haiti no longer met the conditions of the designation. why did director sisna make that recommendation which was clearly in conflict with his own agency's internal findings, and number two, are there any similar internal reports on the designation for el salvador, and if so, if you could provide the documents to the committee. and my last question, when you testified before the house appropriations homeland security committee earlier this month you committed tone suring that, and this is a quote from you, any pregnant woman in our care in detention receives adequate
care. based on the recent change to isis policy on detaining pregnant women. so three questions. which detention facilities currently offer prenatal care. can you define what dhs's definition of adequate care is and how you as the secretary intend to each pregnant woman receives it and how will you hold centers and individuals accountable? and what steps are you taking to ensure that ice is meeting the ainsurances you need? >> on russia, yes, i don't think there's any question that russia did interfere in our election system through a variety of means. as you know, they released everything from e-mails through foreign influence techniques and used social media to try to manipulate public opinion and attempted to undermine our elections by attacking our election infrastructure.
i have no doubt they'll continue to try to do this. it's a priority of mine, we try to help the state and locals. they have the primary responsibility in protecting the critical infrastructure related to elections. so we'll continue to do that. on tps haiti, tps decisions require us under law to look at, and maybe this is what you're referencing. the originating conditions that necessitated the designation of tps. if those specific conditions no longer exist, the statute requires us to terminate tps because it was meant to be a temporary program. i'm not particularly familiar with the back and forth that you reference, but i can say broadly unfortunately what that means is some countries remain, perhaps, unstable and have difficult conditions. but if they are not a result of the originating designation, that designation must be terminated. >> if you could look into that a little. it seemed clear that the
report -- they say many of the conditions -- i don't know if one doesn't exist that means it's over, but that seems pretty arbitrary. if you could just, you know -- >> i will look into it. with respect to your question for documents regarding to el salvador, we'd be happy to provide any relevant wants. and neo- nattal care. i take this seriously. we screen for pregnancy for women ages 18 to 56. we do provide -- we put them in a center if they must be detained that does provide the neo-natal care. i'll get the names. we provide counseling and outside experts if they seek outside medical guidance or prescriptions or other things they need that we can't provide, we give them that option. and then in terms of how i'm making sure they do that. i've had many conversations with the director. we have audits in place. we're taking this very
seriously, and i just would ask as i did then, if you have concerns or specific examples of when that's not occurring, let me know. >> thank you. and i appreciate you following up as we discussed and thank you for your service. i would like to note i think i'm the only person that stayed under five minutes, mr. chairman. thank you for that, secretary. >> thank you. >> congratulations. thank you so much for that. the chair recognized mr. donaven. >> and i thank you, miss rice. thank you, mr. chairman. before i begin, i'd ask you to insert into the record a letter from the jewish federations of north america discusses the importance of the not for profit security for grant program. it's made a big difference in communities like mine. madam secretary, i have to go into speaker's chair in about four minutes up the legislative business. i'd like to open my questions.
earlier this week there was a field hearing in my district focusing on the importance of counterterrorism support to high risk urban areas like new york city. witnesses representing first responders discussed the importance of intelligence information sharing and homeland security grant programs to their operations. we must fully fund these grant programs particularly in light of the evolving terrorist threat. another topic of discussion at the hearing was the difficulty in securing mass transit systems. the transit security grant program is vital to those efforts. but the overall focus on surface transportation security programs dwarves that of other. it's a concern i share especially in light of the attempted bombing at the new york city port authority terminal in december. can you please speak or write to us to what more we can do to enhance the security of this transportation mode. how is dhs supporting information sharing when it
comes to threats to mass transit? and my other question would be involving the countering weapons of mass destruction office. the president's budget request for that office proposes changes to the securing the city's program. a program that has proven successful in new york city. we're hearing concerns from securing city jurisdictions about proposed changes in permissible equipment, to whom the equipment would be provided to and the impact it would have on the jurisdiction's ability to conduct radiological detection and response operations. this committee has supported the city's program as it is operating and the house passed my legislation authorizing the program last year. my three questions involving that would be what changes did the department proposing to the program. what outreach have you done to participating jurisdictions to solicit their feedback, and how are you addressing the concerns that the department is receiving from securing the city's
jurisdictions? i thank you for your service to our nation. i thank you for answering my question, and i thank you for indulging me. i have to run, and i yield back, and mr. chairman, i used less time than rice did. >> for the record, 2 minutes, 15 seconds. that's a record, i think. thank you for that. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from california who i noticed brought in three or four children to the hearing? >> yes. >> and i want to welcome them as well. >> thank you. they're all our children. those are survivors of our veterans that made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for our freedom around the world. i thought it was important for them to follow us here and shadow us, so thank you for pointing them out. >> thank you for bringing them. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and ranking member for holding this hearing, and miss nielsen, thank you for being here. i wanted to follow up on some of
the comments made by my colleague, mr. katko from new york. i represent california, orange county, california. our nation's security is very important to my constituents and my state. these are issues that are also very important to our taxpayers. right now as i travel through our district which is democrat and very republican as well, i don't hear much talk about undocumented workers. as a matter of fact, in central valley i hear the need for more farm workers. new port beach area, i don't hear people talk about the nannies that are undocumented. i don't see that as a complaint. and then in disneyland, our area is heavy on tourism. i don't hear a lot of people complaining about the undocumented workers, waiters, waitresses and cooks. but i'll tell you what i do hear complaints about in my district,
i think throughout the country. this opioid crisis. some numbers have it as high as 500% increase in usage throughout the nation. deaths have skyrocketed because of the opioids. so my question really is according to one of your dhs reports, a northern border threat. northern border threat. do you have more and more drugs coming through canada? what are we planning to do in the northern border? as many katko said, 96% of the border is essentially open. so any thoughts about where we're going in terms of protecting our northern boarder? >> yes. as i mentioned, i was just speaking with my colleague in canada about this. part of it is the partnership on both sides to make sure that we facilitate legal trade and travel but reduce any illicit activity including drugs.
as you say, opioids continue to be a problem throughout the nation. >> if i may, what kind of partnerships do you have right now with people north and south of the boarder? >> thank you strong with the canadians. >> how about with the mexicans? >> strong with the mexicans as well. >> general kelly who was in your position here a few months back made some comments, and i agreed with them, to the effect that if anything gets near our border, we've essentially lost the battle. if we're going to top terrorists, we have to work with not only the mexicans and the cade nad dans but brazilians and afghanis and others. are you working with those others? >> we are. yes. >> so following up on that, we're looking at building a border wall in the mexican border. i presume we're going to do something like that in the northern border as well? >> well, we're working with the
canadians. >> are we going to build a northern border as well? >> in some places we need impea dense and denial. >> but a physical one like the one on the southern boarder? >> we do not have a current plan to build an equivalent structure. >> coming back to the opioid issue, before this committee, this homeland security was created, 30 years ago we had a lot of our drugs coming into this country through miami, through florida. this country did a great job of stopping those trades of illicit drugs through the caribbean. what we did is we shifted it inland through mexico. as a result, we detablized the whole country with our money that went to buy drugs, weapons, so on and so forth. as we cut off the mexico side, are they going to start flowing in through canada and are they
starting to go through the sea ports? i say that because here a few months back, our coast guard commandant told us they identified about 600 known drug vessels bringing drugs into this country, and they did not, the coast guard did not have the resources to stop the shipments. so, again, as a taxpayer, i'm running out of time, my question is is the money best spent on a border wall, or is it cooperating with the nations. or is it -- if you had a dollar, where would you spend it? >> if i had a dollar, i think it needs to be all the above. zbh if you had a priorly, ma'am? >> we have to secure our southern borders. that's where we see the greater threat between the two borders. >> threat in terms of? >> drug smuggling, terrorist traffickers, illicit activity and violence. >> mr. chair, i'm out of time.
i'd love to have pertinent information on that compared to what's coming through canada and through the ports. mr. chair, i yield the time. >> gentleman from louisiana, mr. higgens is recognized. >> thank you. madam secretary, i appreciate you appearing before myself and my colleagues today. thank you for your service to our country. i'm concerned about authorization of department of homeland security. as you know this committee crafted in the house of representatives in july of 2017 with overwhelming bipartisan support 386 to 41 by vote passed full authorize dags of department of homeland security. we've seen no action in the senate, and it greatly concerns me and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and the house. how has this lack of action in the senate injured our ability to serve and protect our nation, m madam? >> first, i want to continue to thank the committee for your
support. it's important to have the reauthorizati reauthorization. as you know, it would give us additional authorities that we need. it would clarify parts of the law. it would clarify our mission sets and give us the ability to more effectively manage to the mission by reorganizing within the department. >> and centralized command and control, isn't that by your definition and by those of us that sit on this committee, we would concur that centralized command and control is crucial to the efficiency of any operation. would you not agree? >> i would agree. we do this based on risk. it has to be a centralized look at risk so we can match the resources cordingly. >> the effect of reauthorization, do you see it as allowing your department to operate in all the departments, the agencies within your department to operate more efficiently and be better able to serve the nation and to
protect the interest of national security? >> yes, sir, not having reauthorization binds my hands and those of the men and women in the dhs. >> thank you. i hope my colleagues are listening in the it's been stated by some in the committee several times regarding the caravan that you know who those people are. i find it difficult to believe, madam. is that true? how is that possible? have they been vetted or interviewed by your agents? >> no. >> how would you know who they are, then? >> i don't know. >> thank you for clarifying that. regarding my colleagues' request for confirmation of your 90 % number for those that have been issued a citation, it's a summons for court. is it not? >> yes. >> yes, and a summons for court calls for probable cause stating that there's been some criminal act. that criminal act would have
been illegally entering our nation. is that correct? >> yes. >> the illegal immigrants receive a summons for court and you're stating that 90% don't show up for court. i'd like to see the demographics of the numbers as well. because i'd be surprised if 10% show up for court. during the course of my career as a police officer for over a decade, i had many interactions with illegal immigrants, either in field interviews or by stopping a car with no registration, expired inspections, tag, et cetera. and there's nothing that can be done. you stop these guys. they have no driver's license. driver's license is fake. might be three or four of them in the car. you can't -- pointless to give him a citation for a misdemeanor traffic violation because it's certainly not returning for traffic court. you can't tow their car because then they're on foot in your jurisdiction and you got phone calls all night. you can't bring them to jail because i.c.e. won't pick them
up. as an american citizen in the same situation would be cited, issued a summons, or perhaps brought to jail. i'd be surprised if 10% of those that are issued a summons to american court and federal court for entering our nation illegally show up. so i would be interested as well to receive the demographics. can you respond and do you have the demographics? who they are, their age, gender, nation of origin, whether or not they have an anchor family? can you provide that information? >> we do have much of that, yes, sir. >> i would appreciate that. i'd be interested in looking at it. thank you, madam, for your poise, and your grace during your testimony. your continued service to our country is greatly appreciated. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> miss demings is recognized. >> thank you, and thank you to our ranking member. before i get into my line of questioning, madam secretary, and welcome. it's good to meet you.
i just want to follow up on a question that my colleague just asked about -- your answer was you have no way to identify who is possibly in a caravan. i just wonder why didn't you give that answer to the person who asked you that question? >> because he didn't ask. it was just part of his speech, and i didn't want to interrupt. can. >> you didn't feel the need to clear that? that's a major part. you've cleared up some other things this morning. you didn't feel the need to clear that up for the record? >> i was happy to do it just now. >> okay. all right. budgets are certainly, i believe, a list of priorities. many say they kind of express our values, and the things we've talked about this morning, we've certainly talked about building a wall and even detention beds and immigration enforcement when you gave your list of your missions at the department of dhs, it was listed first on your
list. so i would just like to know do you consider building a wall or immigration enforcement a higher priority than, say, restoring or increasing grant funding to local communities, local first responders who deal with violent acts and other threats every day? >> i think they're both important issues. >> do you consider one a higher priority? that's the business that you're in. it's a tough job. let me finish. it's a tough job. and i just want to know do you consider based on your knowledge, training and experience, keeping our country safe and secure is a tough but a big job. and i certainly believe you're capable of doing that. i want to hear from you, based on your knowledge, training, and experience, do you believe that building a wall or immigration enforcement is a higher priority, because you to decide
how those dollars are spent. than increasing or restoring funding to first responders to deal with a myriad of threats every day? >> i think if we can keep the threat out of our country through strong border security, that's the first and best way to help those states prepare. we see 15 terrorists who are known or suspected who attempt to travel or travel here every day. border security is homeland security. if i can do my job in keeping them out of this country, i'm, thereby, helping state and locals. >> can you tell me how many people have been killed as an act of violence at the southwest border during your tenure as secretary? >> i cannot, but i'd be happy to get with you with that figure. >> can you tell me, if any, custom and border patrol officers or agents have been killed at the southwest border or even, severely injured at the
southwest border during our tenure. >> two, and the assaults are up 70%. >> two officers have been killed in the line of duty. >> last year. yes. >> last year. but you can't tell me overall how many persons overall have died at the southwest border through acts of violence j of course, been killed during your tenure? >> i can't give you a specific number right now, no, ma'am. >> and comeing from florida where 14 people died. in orlando we had 49 people who were killed in what we labeled domestic terrorism. and then folks who were just trying to go and enjoy a concert in las vegas died, lost their lives, 58. but you have no idea how many
people overall died during your tenure at the southwest border, but you would consider that a greater priority than the 58, the 49 or the 14, those that are classified as domestic acts of terrorism with your dollars. you believe that putting them at the southwest border is a greater priority? how do you justify it? obviously you do, but please tell me how you justify it? >> sure. and it -- what i was saying is border security is a priority. the reason is because if we can keep the threat from coming into our borders, whether it's drugs or terrorists or gangs, we eliminate part of the threat they have to deal with. >> can you tell me quickly. i'm from florida. i my fema has, gosh, been criticized quite a bit as you know, about their response to
puerto rico. and housing has been an issue. you know there are multiple people in hotel rooms. hotel room, eight people, two beds. but the program that would assist them has not been utilized to assist in the disaster housing assistance program. could you tell me if you have any plans to implement that program to help the victims in puerto rico? >> sure. use know, under the national disaster recovery framework, that's hud that has that recovery function for housing. we're working closely with secretary carson. actually, governor scott from florida has been helpful in providing lessons learned from florida and what we can apply to puerto rico. >> you're working with the secretary to utilize that program? >> of hud, we're working with him and what he can do, yes. >> do you feel like we're going to be able to reach an agreement. >> thank you.
thank you so much. >> thank you. the gentleman from nebraska, the general don bacon is recognized. >> thank you for your leadership. we appreciate all the folks that work at homeland security and what you're trying to do for our country and keeping us safe. we're grateful. i want to follow up on you said 15 suspected terrorists try to cross the border every day. is that correct? >> who plan to travel or travel, yes, sir. >> could you detail for us how are the sunni extremists, whether it's isis or al qaeda, what have you seen with them trying to cross our borders? i think most people don't realize this effort is going on every day. >> yes, sir, much more broadly. let me say that we've also se--
isis and social media has encouraged its followers to utilize our refugee program to come here. they in writing have encouraged people to come across our south western border so we do see an up tick in any type of terrorist groups trying to come here, but happy to come brief you on the specific breakdowns? . >> i think it would be important at the unclassified level vet bid you and your team to put this out to our citizens. i think it's an important topic for border security. people think about immigration and it's caught up in political controversy, but when you know there's terrorists trying to cross and we have data, i think it would help shape the debate in a positive way. that would be my input. >> thank you. >> on a different topic, we know the russians and chinese are working to infiltrate our energy grid. the next december 7th won't be
syrias with -- zeros with torpedos. what is homeland security doing to help build the resiliency and protection for our energy grid? how do we defend against it and how can we help? >> i think you described the threat. i agree with your characterization. it's persistent. they're becoming more creative. what we do is we work with a variety of partners. we put out alerts and a technical alert, joint one last week about how we've seen nation states manipulating some of the systems to do some of the things you were just describing. we work closely with state and local operators and the department of energy. we give them best practices and share information. we've set up secretary counsel with the governing structures. we work through fusion centers. a lot of this is basic hygiene. we want the to make sure we're raising the level. everything from access control
to pass words to basing malware detection. we have a program where we're encouraging more and more people to do that at machine speed we can advise them at incoming threat. >> one last question. we're seeing criminal organizations and terrorists using encrypted data in their communication devices. it's hard to penetrate at times and impacts our law enforcement. what can we do to help you with this, and two, how do you partner with doj or local and state authorities? they're the ones often caught having to deal with this. >> yeah. this is as we all know, a tough area of how to balance the conversation around encryption. we do work closely with doj. dhs, we have many law enforcement men and women, but particular mission sets that require their own use of encrypted data. we have both sides of the debate, if you will. part of this is increasing and
going back to human intelligence. so we can really track those that we're trying to track, understand who they communicate with. who they are participating with. we take that approach in tco. some of this is technological solutions. we're working with the private sector. some of it is going to good old back to good old it could work. >> let us know how we can facilitate or make this an easier problem to tackle. . thank you. >> congratulations. nice job. under five. >> madam secretary, did you testify that 90% of unaccompanied minors don't show up to court? >> so, i believe what has been reference second down my testimony last hearing. >> what was the percentage you said a minute ago? 90%? >> i hadn't said that. i think people were quoting me. >> yes. >> i wanted to correct the record. there's so much false
information that comes out of this administration. this is one of those. my records which is the department of justice immigration court data states that 69% show up to court and when unaccompanied minors have counsel, 95% show up to court. as somebody who's represented unaccompanied minor in immigration proceeding, i think maybe that sends a message that we should make sure unaccompanied minors have access to counsel. your predecessors, secretary kelly, he committed to meaning with the hispanic caucus regularly. will you commit to that like your predecessor? >> i'd be happy to. >> great. hopefully we can get that scheduled soon. since you've been sworn in we've not seen you come in yet. thank you for that. back in mid january my friend senator cory booker asked if you
had met with any daca recipients. at that time you mentioned you had not. have you met with any daca recipients since that time? >> i have not. >> great. thank you. my colleague earlier jackson lee mentioned on this recent court decision that came out this week about daca applications, and i pulled the decision just to clarify for the record the order says dhs must accept and process new as well as renewal daca applications. this is in the court order. now, that is the actual court orderer. the court order goes onto say they're going to have a stay for 90 days. so dhs can explain why they ended the program. because it was arbitrary and capricious. madam secretary, you are head of homeland security.
do you have a better explanation? >> i'm sorry, for the court's decision? >> the court decision said -- >> yes, so -- >> you had 90 days to petter explain why the program ended because what was given before was insufficient. >> the explanation is simple. it was an inappropriate use of executive power. >> do you have a better explanation? the court has already ruled the explanation was insufficient. do you have a better explanation? >> sitting here today, we're reviewing the court decision as you know. that just came down, and we'll be prepared to provide the court the requested information. >> okay. so you don't have one yet. thank you very much. i'm looking -- >> as you know, the justice department does. i defer to the justice department on arguing -- >> the department of homeland security enforces them, and i think the court order is very specific -- >> we will comply and provide
the information requested. >> great. madam secretary, you're responsible for more than 240,000 employees at department of homeland security. is that correct? >> around that, yes. >> and many of those employees have security clearances. is that correct? >> many of them do, yes. >> back in march the ranking member mr. thompson and i sent you a letter. this letter i'm holding up here. it asks questions about your handling of security clearance. you have not responded to that, so i'm going to go ahead and see if i can get some answers here today. were you aware of the allegations of domestic abuse by mr. porter prior to his resignation in february of 2018? >> was i aware -- in whatever was in the press is what i was aware of. >> so you're saying as a deputy chief, as a deputy working under mr. kelly in the white house that you were not aware of
allegations of domestic abuse by mr. porter? >> i was the deputy chief of policy and so i did not review for access clearance request records or adjudications. that was not part of my job. >> okay. so "the new york times" reporting is inaccurate about this, that you as a deputy chief of staff in november when the fbi had a detailed report that was submitted to the white house, you're saying you did not see it and were not aware of it. >> i did not see any fbi report, no, i did not. >> okay. >> so you didn't take any action at all recording his security clearance? >> i would not have. it wasn't in my job description. >> what is your -- what is the policy at homeland security now on interim security clearances? >> so we look at that very carefully. we restrict access when somebody has an interim. there's more particular
circumstances in which someone might be granted but mostly it takes a long time as you know to go through the adjudication process, and so we reserve bringing somebody on board fully in most cases until their clearance is fully adjudicated. >> great. can you commit to responding to this letter of march 5th in the writing? >> yes. >> great. thank you. i yield back. >> the gentleman from virginia is recognized. >> thank you. i want to go quickly first into a particular and specific case with regard to uscis and a constituent whose initials are j.b. i would like to hold up this, the efforts to adopt a young woman from sen gal. i think you might have had conversations with my peers as it relates to this process. i would describe it as tragic and ridiculous which what this woman has been through to include over a dozen trips to senegal that suggests they
cannot complete the adoption of this young girl who has known no family but this woman in her life. while she's in the country, thus regarding or creating a circumstance wherein this six-year-old child needs to be sent back to africa so we can complete the paperwork. i don't take this time to be derisive, but i would ask for your specific attention. i presume there are individuals who are staffing you today. i want to make sure this paper gets in their hand and ask for your specific attention. this is a tragedy of bureaucracy that has a human toll and impact. moving on -- i'm going to set it there. >> you have my commitment to look into that. >> i appreciate it. i understand there are 330 million americans, but this is the right thing to do. there has been some interest expressed by some of my colleagues in priorities as it relates to -- would it surprise
you if i were to inform you that the federal government reporting system indicates that about 20% of all automobile accident fatalities involve unlicensed drivers and about half of those are illegals? zblim not familiar with that, but that wouldn't surprise you. >> would it prize you if the -- >> no, it wouldn't surprise me. >> okay. would it surprise you to learn that in federal incarceration we have 7 09,440 illegal people detained. >> no. >> would it surprise you to learn the best estimate of state and local incarceration figures for illegals in this country is in the neighborhood of 297,000 thus creating an incarceration of over 1 million people in this country illegally? >> no. >> would it surprise you the cost exceeds almost $32 billion
annually? >> that's a large number. >> if we had $32 billion annually to build a wall, could we keep them out and save lives every year of americans who die at the hands of people here illegally on u.s. highways? >> we certainly could keep most of them out if we had a full border system. >> if we protected our southern border and kept them out of our country, not only would we save lives but we'd also if they weren't here, they couldn't be arrested and incarcerated, save about $32 billion a year if that data is correct. >> yes. >> it would amount to ov over $.3 trillion. if we built this wall on the front end? and so if we were able to make
this one time commit tomt secure our southern border, would it be a net cost saver paid for technically, i suppose, the countries from which the individuals come by the denial of admission of individuals? >> it would save lives and protect communities. >> and it would be paid for by -- >> yes, sir. >> i'm just having fun here. i think these points are points need to be made. as it relates to st. e and the homeland security consolidation plan, i comment i am as frustrated as anyone. having said that, sometimes i think it's time to start anew. i read the oig report with jaw agate, when i read that perhaps too much time, energy, and money was spent on revitalizing washington d.c. neighborhoods. is it within the mission of homeland security to revitalize washington d.c. neighborhoods?
>> no. >> so i would point out by virtue of it, facilities like vent hill which are very large former government facilities located within 53 miles of here, where you could come and build right now and we wouldn't have the drive costs up. i know i'm running over, mr. chairman. we included in the authorizeding budget language the ability to reinstate the waiver for workers. allow me to join my colleague from the other side of the aisle in saying please help. it's not about foreign workers. it's about american businesses around for decades that are shuttering because we can't create a system and circumstance where they have reliability and predictability. >> i understand? >> not to attack you. >> no. i agree. i asked for your help in passing it for congress so it's a
sustained program. >> i agree. however, just because we haven't done our jobs yet, doesn't mean given we've given you the lat dude -- i'm asking you to do that and i would point out a returning worker by definition is someone who has already demonstrated a willingness to go home. >> the gentleman from rhode island is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. madam secretary, thank you for your testimony here today. in your testimony before the appropriations committee two weeks ago you stated that the department is diverting resources to help secure election infrastructure. i applaud the focus on election infrastructure. yet, the budget request included a modest $7 million increase for the organization that carries out this analysis and support.
i worry about the strain on the resources, especially since they are responsible for working with other areas of critical infrastructure, making them a priority to customers as well. is the request sufficient to support important assessments in other areas of critical infrastructure sectors? >> thank you for the question, sir. what we're doing is we're working -- what we did receive in some a we also have 26 milli went to mppd. and we will continue to work with that. my comments on prioritization were that we all take this election seriously. in terms prof seszing vulnerability assessments, sending hunt teams, providing clearances, we are prioritizing the election sub sector. we'll work with the specific agencies that bring funding to
the fight so we can together -- >> all right. so what data are you using to make sure that the mppd has the resource it needs to respond to the other areas of critical infrastructure so it's not being ignored? obviously there's many attack factors that they have to defend against and how do we make sure that those priority customers are not going to be ignored at the expense of the election security which i certainly applaud the focus particularly now on security election and infrastructure, but we need to be focussed on other areas of critical infrastructure. >> yes, sir, you have my commitment. >> your budget request shifts more than $40 million in cyber research from the science and technology director to mppd. i'm going to say i'm concerned about this proposal. and i'm skeptical about it. so what gives you confidence that mppd which has become an
operational organization, that has right tools and the people to take over this responsibility from snt again, because this is an r&d function. i worry that the high op tempo at mppd will distract from the r&d work, whether it takes a backseat. >> that's not the intention. actually, it was to more closely align the needs of the critical infrastructure owners and operates in the 16 sectors to an r&d plan. it's a priority to do so. the threat continues to evolve quickly. we need to be continuing to do our r&d as we operate, innovate, as we go. that was the idea behind moving it to mppd. happy to work with you on how we make sure that that is used in the appropriate way. >> i want to be clear. i'm skeptical. this is something i'm on top of
to make sure it doesn't become an afterthought or ignored. secretary nielsen, some of my colleagues have introduced legislation to start a bug bounty program at dhs. some say it's premature without certain processes. i appreciate the concern. however, the newly revised job security framework and other international standards point to having a vulnerability disclosure program. with or without a bounty as a best practice. in the department of defense and general services administration have both implemented successful policies. what do you mind would prevent dhs from having a disclosure program that helps inform dhs about problems in it own systems? >> first, i agree that i think a bug bounty program is an important tool. it's not a silver bullet.
nothing is. we look forward to learning the lessons dod that has learned. we're watching the legislation going through congress closely and we'll prepare on our paid to have the resources and planning we need to respond to what we find out through the program. >> okay, but we started to talk about two related but different things. also a vulnerability disclosure vector so that when researchers find a vulnerable, they can report it to someone. right now there's nobody home. in other words, the security researchers don't have a way to contact dhs and make sure the dhs will follow up on that program. so we're bounty program is good. do that. but why don't you have a vulnerability disclosure program. others do. dhs does not. no. >> we have a way they can contact us and receive calls frequently within the end kick
or directly to u.s. search. we're formalizing the program. >> u.s. helps outside agencies. so if someone finds a vulnerability in a medical device, they find u.s. sert and they're put in touch with the right person at the company to make sure we hear the vulnerabili vulnerability. that's not the case. they don't do that for vulnerability disclosures within dhs. >> no. they pass it to the correct people. i'm just suggesting the different ways you can get into dhs to report things like that. but we are formalizing the program. it's important. i don't disagree. we need to be able to notify victims, but we need to in a appropriate way balancing it through the interagency process, disclose as a ruler in abouts -- vulnerabilities. >> could you work with us to develop a program like this at dhs? >> yes. >> the gentleman from texas, mr. rat cliff.
>> thank you. madam secretary, thank you for being here today. i very much appreciate your testimony that you've given on all aspects of how dhs is prioritizing resources to accomplish the president's agenda for safety and security of the american people. as the chairman of the cyber security sub committee, i want to focus my few minutes with you on this particular area, and i can start out by saying with all due respect to to predecessors who have considerable talents and ability, i'm of the opinion that you've brought with you to this office a greater knowledge and appreciation and more steeped in cyber security than anyone before you, and i want to help you take advantage of that. i know we share the common goal of wanting to improve dhs's
ability to impact the nation's cyber posture and defense, because i know we also, i think, agree that cyber security poses one of our greatest national security threats right now. >> yes, sir. >> so in the spirit of wanting to help you be successful, one of my priorities early in this term has been to investigate the contin continuing diagnostics and mitigation program. we've held two hearings. we've had a number of briefings. countless meetings, and i'm of the opinion that cdm is certainly a value at to our federal cyber security, a way to fortify our government networks and system. let me ask if you share that opinion. >> i do. i think it's a very important tool to find out who and what is on our network. >> looking toward the continued
success, hopefully, of cdm, help me make the case to appropriators and other members on this committee as well as to the administration about what we can do to ensure the value of the cdm program so it's reflected in future budget cycles. >> yes. thank you. we hope through the newest vehicle, you know, as you know it's called the defend vehicle, we hope to be morae agile, and o be to use it to be up on the emerging threats and to understand the threat patterns so we can come for requests for additional resources and tools. >> one of the other priorities that the chairman and i have spent a considerable time on and will continue to do so is dhs's cyber work force. >> yes. >> in light of the growing cyber threat landscape, i think it's imperative the dhs be properly
staffed with an essential cyber work force to meet the cyber mission, and to counter what are obviously some highly sophisticated cyber adversaries. i know you haven't been the secretary for that long, but early on are there programs or initiatives that you have identified as being most effective in reskrcruiting and retention? >> we have. so the nice which helps us identify the unique skill sets we need to hire is part of it. the other part is helping, frankly, folks within the community understand the mission. when they understand the threat and they understand the mission, i find they're much more interested in coming to serve their government. we can't pay them the same amount, but we can provide them an opportunity to serve their country and to serve a mission.
we are looking at retention, as you know, benefits, different programs, cross training, what we can do on the back end, and we're working on some pilots with industry to cross train or do exchange so we can both benefit from that experience. >> and while i appreciate that, madam secretary, one of the things that we've already done, congress did in 2014 was to provide for some accepted service and expedited authorities to address this cyber shortage, if you will, and the indications are that hasn't been maximized to the extent that we would hope. is that something you're focussed on? >> it is. i agree it has not been yutlysised to the extent it should be. we're actively looking at that and we thank you for that, including the cyber pay. >> let me tell you i think we have a great opportunity under
your leadership to improve the historical reputation of dhs, particularly as it relates to cyber issues. so i pledge i want to help you in that regard to move the needle in a positive and appreciable way. my door will be open to you in that regard. >> thank you. i'll take you up on that. appreciate it. >> i yield back. >> i also want to thank you for your leadership in cyber security, madam secretary. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. fitzpatri fitzpatrick. >> good afternoon. i think we all agree you have a very tough job. i want you to know we do appreciate the work and the difficulty, and the long hours and the stress. keep at it. you're doing all right. i want to talk about school safety. and i don't know if my colleagues have addressed this earlier, but certainly there's a local role to play. certainly there's a state role
to play, and the federal government also has a role. what do you view as the responsibility of the department of homeland security in helping us get to the point where we can keep our kids safe and secure in their schools? >> we actually haven't discussed it. thank you for raising the question. this is a very important topic and one in which we've spent a lot of focussed. we've created internal to dhs a working group, as you know, there are many parts of dhs that are parts of this mission. we do active shooter training and help alert warning capabilities. we've also just released a soft target crowded places plan. a couple weeks ago it goes through best practices on what to do and how to respond. but importantly, how to prepare. we also are part of the commission on school safety. that's led by the department of education. we're working closely with the national governor's association and others.
we're sort of bringing everything we can bring to bear. information sharing. we have suspicious activity reporting. we're updating that process. working with state and locals training. it goes on and on. yes, you have a full commitment from dhs. >> is there a lack of funding we need to be aware of? >> much of this is what we already do. it's bringing it to bear and expanding the circles in which we've traditional provided this. but if i find any, i will be happy to reach out to you and let you know. >> sure, i appreciate it. secondly, and i know this has been discussed but i wanted to raise it independently as the aviation security piece we talked about the transition from the screening devices. ideally, we want them in all the airports. i think there's 450 in the country airports that we have. and i certainly hope that -- cost is never an issue here. with all the tens of billions of
dollars we spend on aviation security, i think this is money well spent. my question is is there any concern about the deployment and the time it would take given that there's only five or so suppliers of these types of machines? so even if we had the full financial commitment and the commitment to implement, are we look agent a lag time based on the supply issue and the number of machines we would sneaneed? >> there's a supply issue. we're working with the industry to speed up the deployment. our hope is that we do deploy the full amount we've asked for in fy 19 and we have a programming request for more. part of this is with a partnership in industry and helping them to go faster. it takes both of us together. >> i yield back. >> closing remarks? >> thank you, mr. chair.
identify record signed by -- for the record, a letter signed by a number of members of this committee both democrat and republican talking about the h 2 b visa program and the speedy implementation of it for this year. to the secretary. i hope we will get some response. i have a letter from a constituent who has had a bid for quite a while using this program, and has threatened to be closed because of that inability to access workers for this program. i'd like to submit these two for the record. >> without objection, so ordered. >> thank you. >> and we have, i'm glad you raised that issue. i've had a lot of members come up to me and ask me about the 2 h2be program.
would you mind addressing that and what's the current stat us? >> sure. so we have finalized as you know the law requires us to work with the department of labor. we've done that. we've met with an i've talked to a variety of members of congress ranking who share your concerns. they have very specific companies within their districts who are a threat to go out of business if they don't receive additional visas. so we are very aware. we have funlized our recommendation. . it's working through the process. we hope we'll be able to issue additional visas next month. >> okay. excellent. let me also mention, i know uas didn't come up. but it's an important to be both of us and the united states security. these drones crossing across the border, and domestically pose a grave threat. can i assure you that we are working on draft legislation right now and working with your
staff, madam secretary, so accomplish that goal. and so i want to thank you for being here. i want to also thank you for your public service. you know, it's a tough job. a lot of people look at homeland security and all they think of is immigration. and it's so many other things that you have as well on your plate. and i want to work with you to make your job successful. and so with that, the hearing record will be open for ten days for any additional questions. and without objection, the econo committee stands adjourned.
>> tonight american history tv is in prime time. we'll take a look at the civil war with recent coverage of symposium hosted by the american civil war museum in richmond, virginia. speakers scholar james robertson who talks about the war's impact on ordinary americans. american history tv in prime time begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span3. and book tv is also in prime time with look at science and technology. the president of microsoft brad smith discusses artificial intelligence in his book, the future computed. melissa shilling lives and traits of several innovators, including albert einstein in her
book, kwquirky. and in his book tyranny of metrics. book tv over on c-span2. and on c-span tonight we continue our series looking back 50 years 1968 with focus the role the media played in the unrest across the u.s. speakers nbc journalist marvin kalb. media politics and public policy. and david hume ken early. who was a west case based urks pi photographer in the late 60s. you can watch that tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on our come panni pannian -- companion network c-span. >> in 1976 troy leon greg convicted murder challenged his death sentence.
his case were considered by the court. the supreme court ruled against him but established stricter guidelines for states wishing to impose the death penalty. our guest to discuss this landmark case carol steaker one of the top legal scholars and professor at harvard law school argued against the death penalty against the court. former clerk of supreme justice. and kent scheidegger more swift juvenile justice system. he's written briefs before the supreme court. watch landmark cases monday at 9 eastern on c-span and join the conversation. our hashtag is landmark cases. and follow us at c-span. and we have resources on our website for background on each case. the land mark cases companion book, interactive constitution,
and the podcast at c-span.org/landmark cases. >> sunday on q&a author and former esquire contributing editor on his new book rocket men, about the 1968 apollo mission to the moon. >> i never realized until i began to talk to the astronauts what a role the wives played that's mostly what they wanted to talk about. all three without their wives figured out they could not pull this off. this was the most courageous nasa had run. it looked like many people to go on certain death. it was done very quickly and everything was for the first time. so these men needed wives at home who were absolutely supportive but not just supportive, but who also did not reveal to their husband's just how much they were suffering. and just how terrified they really were. >> q&a.
sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span. >> acting irs commissioner david kautter testified before the senate finance committee on the challenges at the irs. and his recommendations for change. he also discussed implementation of the new tax provisions. mr. kautter is also the assistants tax treasury for tax policy. and while president's a waits nomination. this is about 35 minutes. >> how are you doing? >> the committee will come to order. we are going to start with my partner today, because he has to get back to the floor. then i'll give my statement after he finishes his. >> mr. chairman, i