tv U.S. House Morning Hour CSPAN May 13, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm EDT
in philadelphia. sorry, we are going to have to end the conversation, but obviously, more to come on what happened in philadelphia last night. that doesn't for today's "washington journal." thank you for watching and we will be back in tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. we will bring you live coverage of the house.
y day peace officers rush into chaos and toward crime that everyone else is running away from. and every day these officers risk their lives for the rest of us. when new york police officer brian moore set off for patrol may 2, last saturday, he did not know that would be his last day on patrol. officer moore and fellow
officer eric janson were driving in queens, new york, that evening when they saw someone that was obviously suspicious so they did what they should do, they went up to that individual to check out what was going on. as officer moore drove up behind the suspicious individual and asked him this question -- do you have something in your waist? and allegedly the callus individual said, yeah i got something? h in my pocket and he pulled out a gun and fired and shot officer moore. the soulless criminal fled in the night and he was rushed to the hospital where he spent two days before he died. he was 25 years of age when he was killed. he was young, he was bright and he was committed to the badge that he wore over his heart. and in his short career, officer moore had received two exceptional police service
commendations. commissioner bill braton of the new york police department noted, they don't give those medals away. he worked very hard for those. and officer moore earned those two medals in less than five years. he was an exceptional police officer even at a very young age. being a peace officer wasn't a job for officer moore. it was a call. it was in his blood. he was the son, the nephew and the cousin of new york police officers, and the job had deep roots in the moore family he lived with his father, a retired police officer, and he was meant for the uniform. and he was killed because of the uniform. it's an absolute tragedy that his young life was stolen from not only his family but the police department and the community that he honorably served and protected. last monday, as officer moore's body was transferred from a queens hospital, the ambulance drove by a thin blue line of peace officers that stood in silent salute paying their
respects for officer moore. peace officers mr. speaker are the first to respond to the call for help when someone's in trouble. that's who they call. the police are the first and last line of defense between criminals and citizens, and it's somewhat ironic mr. speaker, that our society counts on police officers to protect their community, to protect their property, restore order yet they are targeted and criticized when they try to do their job to protect the rest of us. we thank the peace officers who in spite of this continue to serve and protect neighborhoods. as long as criminals are on our streets and our neighborhoods refusing to follow society's law, peace officers are absolutely necessary. as a country we should mourn the loss of all those in law enforcement that devote their life's work to restoring order in our community. since officer moore was murdered on may 2, two other peace officers were murdered in hattiesburg, mississippi. mr. speaker this week is national police week, and this
friday, over here on the west side of the capitol the families of peace officers killed in the line of duty last year the 124 plus all of the families of previous years will gather. they will be surrounded by thousands of peace officers from all over the country and by citizens showing their respect during police week. of the 126 killed last year, that's 24% increase from the previous year. 11 of those that were killed were from texas, and here's who they were. the roll call of the fallen. mark kelly of the trinity university police department. detective charles dinwindle of the killeen police department. sergeant buckles of the potter county police department. chief of police lee dixon. chief of police michael penell of the elmendorf police department. border patrol agent robello.
seen senior deputy sarah hollis. sergeant naler of the midland police department. deputy valdez. constable robert parker white of the el paso constable office. and sergeant alejandro martinez. mr. speaker, all of those died because they were wearing the badge. as a former prosecutor and a former judge, i've known a lot of police officers. i've known some that have been killed in the line of duty. they, like officer moore, represent the best of america. and this week other police officers throughout the country will be wearing the black cloth of sacrifice over their badge or their star showing respect for those that have fallen in the line of duty in this country. so we thank the families of the fallen, we thank the fallen for what they've done and we thank all of those who still protect
and serve america. they are the best we have. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: mr. speaker as the clock ticks down may 31, 18 days away and six legislative days away, the expiration of the latest of now 24 short-term extensions that are testimony to congress' inability to face up to its america's transportation challenges. as i predicted last summer, states around the country are now cutting back on their summer construction projects because congress has not met its responsibility for the transportation partnership. why is it that five states have been able to raise the gas tax this year 19 in the previous two years and we in congress are confused and in disarray? we have to think of elaborate mechanisms to enact short-term
patches and not give america the certainty of a big bold six-year transportation re-authorization the country needs. maybe it's because we never listened to the strong voices with real experience about those needs. it's past time to have that broad perspective. maybe if we had two days of honest to goodness hearings, like legislative bodies do in the states, like we used to do in congress, it wouldn't be so hard. what if we invited the president of the afl-cio, tom donahue, the president of the u.s. chamber who don't usually agree much on anything but do on this? former kansas governor bill graves, who's not just president of the american trucking association, he was a republican governor who raised the gas tax not once but twice. former mayor bloomberg, rendell. we brought in the electrical
contractors are in town this week. they could tell us. i got a great constituent, ted adlin, who used to be chair of a.g.c. there are countless people, legislative leaders that have stepped up and met their responsibility all expecting that congress would do its part. these experts, leaders, politicians know what the problem is they fashion st. louises and -- solutions and are willing to give the politicians in congress cover for something that appears hard only in the abstract. there is broad consensus for the same solution that was advocated by ronald reagan who in 1982 raised the gas tax. or dwight eisenhower who helped establish the gas tax for the modern transportation system. it's hard only because we don't do our job. the leaders who say the gas tax is off the table never explain why is it off the table. and more important have not allowed the experts, the
advocates from around the country to come and make the case. republicans took control 55 months ago and we have not had a single hearing on transportation finance before the ways and means committee. not one hearing. maybe if the ways and means committee would do its job, not with carefully scripted witnesses that reaffirms someone's biases, but those that have the organizations that do this work, that understand the need, that have helped states around the country meet their responsibility maybe we could act. i suspect after two full days of hearings the american public and the rest of congress would get the message. it doesn't have to be this hard. show some courage, show some vision show some action. maybe then we won't have a 25th short-term extension. what country became great building its infrastructure nine months at a time?
but maybe we could finally enact a six-year robust re-authorization that would solve this problem for the current administration and the next and put hundreds of thousands of people to work at family wage jobs. let's end this hopeless charade that somehow is too hard for congress to do. what happens in new hampshire, south dakota, georgia wyoming utah and iowa. let's get a grip, people. do our job listen to the experts, no more evasion gimmicks and short-term extensions. raise the gas tax, put those hundreds of thousands of people to work rebuilding and renewing america make our families safer healthier and more economically secure. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. walker for five minutes. mr. walker: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to speak on behalf
of those who cannot speak for themselves. as i consider the current state of our nation's debate about abortion i'm a bit puzzled when i hear the word health care in discussing such a topic. unlike procedures for common ailments that would be typically associated with the term health care, abortion has, as its very object, the taking of a human life. the term abortion forces the question, who or better said what is being terminated? without a doubt it is clear that abortion ends the life of these little human beings. many will want to discuss health care today, but i ask -- who is responsible for the health care of the baby? who among us is assigned to protect this most precious life? each baby bears the unique imprint of our creator, with goodness, truth and beauty to offer the world. yet, these children will never be able to grow, play, dream
and reach their full god-given potential. my wife, a nurse practitioner, and i faced a very unexpected pregnancy in our late 30's. after the shock wore off, we embraced the idea of a new little girl that would be part of our family. in fact, i've decided to bring the picture of her today. here's a great screen shot of the ultrasound three months into the pregnancy. interestingly enough, we never referred to her as fetus number three. we called her anna claire. just like any of you, parent or grandparent we take all great pride in displaying new life. please allow me to make this clear. i don't speak ill of or despies anyone who has made a faithful but very difficult decision. as a former minister, i've seen the anguish and the hurt both before and after what can be an excruciating process. yet today, we are faced with an
historic decision that has nothing to do with trade or with budgets but rather has everything to do with life. in this moment, we have the opportunity to address something that many countries have already outlawed. though many of us would prefer legislation that would go even further, this bill would impose a simple restriction that follows naturally and universally shared rules of humanity and compassion. to that end, h.r. 36 protects the unborn child from being aborted after 20 weeks of gestation. medical science tells us that the baby fights for survival in the second or third trimuster abortion. he or she recoils in the pain of the poison intended to stop their heart and the clamps used to dismember their tiny little bodies. we cannot deny this evidence. we must not look the other way. while we show compassion to mothers who are facing difficult decisions, we-plus also protect the babe -- we must also protect the babies who are counted among the least
of these. who will be their voice? god forbid if we don't speak out. martin luther king jr. said our lives will end the day we become silent when things that matter. when this final page of human story is turned, what will we have done to embrace justice to love mercy and be a voice for those who have none? the american people have grown weary of the rhetoric in d.c. attention and being aware is good but there comes a time when we have to move from the awareness stage to the action steps. today is that time. . i urge my friends on both sides of the chamber to break the silence, stand up for life, and support h.r. 36, the pain capable unborn child protection act. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, for five minutes. without objection.
mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, a few weeks ago moms rising, a national grassroots organization of moms, delivered a petition signed by more than 25,000 moms from all across the country urging this congress not to cut snap in the fiscal year 2016 budget. every member of this house received a petition signed by moms in their districts. today that petition has grown to nearly 50,000 signatures and it keeps on growing. this is just the latest petition for moms rising urging congress to prioritize children in the budget and protect snap from cuts and other structural changes. i want to share one of the stories from a mom, monique from ohio writes, i quote, i was raised to always work and so has my husband. we have tried to instill this in our daughter. even going so far as to work opposite shifts and have family babysit if there was an overlap. when my husband was laid off two years ago and then couldn't find
work, i tried my best to keep us floating on just my income. walking to work because i didn't have the bus fairment often having $20 or less after paying the bills to feed my family for a week. i resisted getting on welfare having been raised never to take a handout. my pastor was the one who pointed out that i had already paid for that right through my taxes over several decades. since signing up for snap benefits, i can feed my family, filling nutritious meals again. of course my husband is still looking for work, that will pick up the slack again, if he gets work. and once he finds it, we will happily forgo the benefits again. until then all i can say is thank god and the government for having a safety net in place. end quote. unfortunately, monique's story is not unique but it shows without snap her family would have been much worse off during these tough times. one in five children in the united states experiences hunger. without the supplemental
nutrition assistance program, or snap, that number would sadly be much higher. already nearly half of all snap participants are children under the age of 18 nearly half, mr. speaker. and this is despite the fact that snap households with children have high work rates. families with children who are working continue to earn so little that they still qualify for snap and they will struggle to put food on the table. mr. speaker, we know that hunger can lead to a myriad of negative outcomes for children. from health problems and compromised immune systems to poor nutrition, to an inability to concentrate and succeed in school, childhood hunger means kids suffer. despite these stobering statistics, the republican -- sobering statistics, the republican budget resolutions, passed by the house and senate, made draconian cuts to snap and other critical programs to help poor children and their families. and the budget conference report only makes these cuts worse. it builds upon $125 billion cut
to snap in the house budget. to achieve a cut of that magnitude by block granting the program and capping its allotment, means that states would be forced to cut benefits or cut eligible individuals and families off the program. there are simply no good choices. in short, it would make hunger worse in america. much worse. mr. speaker, snap is one of the only remaining basic protections for the very poor. for many of the poorest americans snap is the only form of income assistance they receive. snap provides food benefits to low-income americans at a very basic level. snap benefits are already too low. they average less than $1.40 per person per meal. we should not be balancing the federal budget on the backs of the poor and working families. we should not be making childhood hunger worse in america. i commend moms rising for their leadership and taking action to protect snap and ensure all
children have access to healthy nutritious foods. later today, moms rising will start a twitter storm under the hash tag, mission possible, the highlight how building a strong economy for women, families and the nation is mission possible with policies to protect snap from promote healthy nutrition, guaranteed paid sick days, require equal pay for equal work, and make childcare more affordable. these are economic security priorities that boost our families and our economy. as the old adage goes, mother knows best. we should listen to our moms especially as we gather only a few days after mother's day. we should be strengthening families' economic security and we should be working to end hunger now, not making it worse. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from arizona, mr. franks, for five minutes. mr. franks: thank you, mr.
speaker. mr. speaker, for the sake of all those who founded this nation and dreamed of what america could someday be, and for the sake of all those since then who have died in darkness so america could walk in the light of freedom, it is so very important for those of us who are privileged to be members of this congress to pause from time to time and remind ourselves of why we are really all here. thomas jefferson, whose words marked the beginning of this nation said, quote the care of human life and its happiness and not its destruction is the chief and only object of good governance. unquote the phrase in the fifth amendment capsulizes our entire constitution. it says. no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property
without due process of law. and the 14th amendment says, no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law. mr. speaker protecting the lives of all americans and their constitutional rights, especially those who cannot protect themselves, is why we are all here. and yet today mr. speaker, a great shadow looms over america. because more than 18,000 very late-term abortions are occurring in america every year. placing the mothers at exponentially greater risk and subjecting their pain capable unborn babies to torture and death without anesthesia or federal protection of any kind in the land of the free and home of the brave. and it is the greatest human rights atrocity in the united states today.
and almost every other civilized nation on this earth, mr. speaker protects pain capable unborn babies at this age. and every credible poll of the american people shows that they are overwhelmingly in favor of protecting them. and yet we have given these little labories less legal protection from unnecessary cruelty and the protection we have given farm animals under the federal humane slaughter act. mr. speaker, it seems we are never quite so eloquent as when we decry the crimes of past generations. and yet we often become staggering blind when it comes to facing and rejecting the worst of atrocities in our own time. it is a heartbreaking thought, but i would submit to you, mr. speaker that the winds of change are indeed now beginning to blow.
and that the tide of blindness and blood is finally turning in america. because today today we are poised to pass the unborn child protection act in this chamber. the pain capable unborn child protection act in this chamber. mr. speaker, no matter how it is shouted down or what distortions deceptive what ifs, distractions, diversions gotchas, twisting of words changing the subject, or blatant falsehoods the abortion industry hurls at this bill and its supporters, this bill is a deeply sincere effort beginning at their sixth month of pregnancy to protect both mothers and their little pain capable unborn babies from the atrocity of late-term abortion. ultimately it has won all humane
americans can support if they truly understand it for themselves. mr. speaker this is a vote all of us will remember the rest of our lives. and it will be considered in the annals of history and i believe in the councils of eternity itself. and it shouldn't be such a hard vote. protecting little pain capable unborn children and their mothers is not a republican issue. or a democrat issue. it is a test of our basic humanity and who we are as a human family. and it's time to open our eyes and allow our conscious -- consciences to catch up. it's time for the members of the united states congress to open our eyes and our souls to remember that protecting those who cannot protect themselves is why we are all here. it's time for all americans, mr. speaker, to open our eyes and
our hearts to the humanity of these little pain capable unborn children. of god. and the inhumanity of what is being done to them. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. defazio, for five minutes. mr. defazio: well, the president came to oregon last week and he's taken to insults and misstatements of fact in order to get his trade promotion authority bill done. and the transpacific partnership. he said, quote, number four critics warn that parts of this deal would undermine american regulation, food safety, worker safety, even financial regulations. they are making this stuff up. great applause from his audience. this is not true. no trade agreement is going to force us to change our laws. well, you know, the president
has store of a technical point there. he's a lawyer. they can't force us to change our laws. they can just make us pay to have them. and it has happened. mexican fishermen were paid by the u.s. government to not kill dolphins because we had adopted a tuna safe label dolphin safe label for tuna. we had to pay damages to mexico because of their forgone profits because we wouldn't let them kill the dolphins. mexican trucks wanted to come into the u.s. they don't meet our standards, rind of a problem. mexican trucks rumbling around the u.s. with drivers that don't meet our standards. but they won a judgment under these same provisions and no, he's right. they couldn't make us change the law, they just impose add whole range of punitive tariffs, politically targeted against people like me who opposed the mexican track, then speaker pelosi, and others. the u.s. relented. they didn't make us change our
laws, we volunteered to do it after they imposed massive and infarr -- unfair tariffs. there is a u.s. mining company that just won a judgment against nova scotia. they want to put a huge pit mine on native funding. they were denied. they won a judgment against the government of nova scotia and canada. they don't have to change their laws, they can pay this company $300 million of damages because they can't destroy the fishery with their pit mine. now, the president's a smart guy, went to harvard. i consult add little bit higher and smarter authority last night. i was at dinner with a nobel prize winning economist. he was on the obama team, economic team when nafta was adopted. he said, we made a huge mistake. we did not understand that this isds was creating a regulatory taking in a special court
available only to corporations. we didn't know that. and it opened the door in chapter 11 in nafta, and he says, obama is opening the door all the way and putting full force behind those provisions in this legislation. bottom line what he said, people will die. people will die because of this provision of t.p.p. it's a huge win for the pharmaceutical industry. they get to wipe out the formularies in those countries both developing and developed countries who are part of the t.p.p., which lowers drug prices. they will not be allowed under this agreement, and they can go to a secret tribunal to get damage it is those countries won't revoke them. it will wipe out access to generics in developing countries who are part of this agreement. that means aids, drugs, and other things they can't afford no longer generic. people will die. now, these are people overseas. maybe we shouldn't care so much. i do.
but others might not. it's all about profits. but ultimately it's going to come home. because the u.s.-based pharmaceutical company can open a subsidiary in any one of those countries and it can go to a secret trade tribunal and it can challenge our reduced drug prices for veterans which the pharmaceutical industry would really love to undo. that's billions of dollars of profits forgone every year because our vet rants get the lowest price for drugs. under this trade agreement, ultimately that will be challenged and in all probability we will lose. . we will just have to pay the pharmaceutical industry billions of dollars a year to continue to give our vets the drugs at a lower price so we can provide more care for more veterans. this trade agreement unfortunately is what those of us who are critics say it is.
it is a -- is built upon the faulty foundations of past agreements, such as korea. it's unbelievable we have 20,000 more cars into korea last year. this thing is a success. i said oh, mr. ambassador, how many korean cars came in last year as a result of the agreement? well i don't have that number. well he knows the number. it's 461,000. so we got 20,000 cars into korea. they got 461,000 more into the u.s. that means a net loss of 440,000 cars. that's a heck of a lot of jobs lost. it was a great day yesterday as the senate slowed them down a little bit. as the america people know more we will stop them. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will remind members of engaging in personalities towards the president of the united states. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr.
zeldin, for five minutes. mr. zeldin: i rise this week as we celebrate national police week. we recognize the service and sacrifice of the brave men and women who have lost their lives in the line of duty while serving to protect us. national police week began in 1962 when president john f. kennedy signed a proclamation designating may 15 as peace officers memorial day and the week in which that falls as police week. the memorial service began in 1982 as a gathering in senate park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement. decades later national police week has grown to a series of events which attracts thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to our nation's capital each year. national police week draws in
between 25,000 and 40,000 participants. the national peace officers memorial service, which is sponsored by the grand lodge of the fraternal order of police, is one in a series of events which includes the candlelight vigil which is sponsored by the national law enforcement officers memorial fund and seminars sponsored by concerns of police survivors. the attendees come from departments throughout the united states as well as from agencies throughout the world. this provides a unique opportunity to meet others who share a common brotherhood. our police force all around america plays an essential role in our communities, putting their lives on the line every day to protect us. just last week in my home state of new york, a member of the nypd 25-year-old brian moore from long island, was killed in the line of duty.
i'd like to take this opportunity speaking for many fellow long islanders who want his family to know that brian remains in our thoughts and our prayers during this very difficult time. mark, a floridian and former new yorker recently wrote to me very passionately defending the law enforcement community stating in part, police officers merit our unwavering appreciation and support as loyal americans and our awareness of the traditional and touching parting words almost always used amongst them, stay safe. it is my strongly held belief that no child should grow up fearing or lacking respect for law enforcement. and for those who consider themselves to be protesters who resort to violence and stealing and burning down a church-run
senior center, you lose any shot of moral high grounds when you resort to those tactics. it's so unfortunate that today in our society we have this anti-police culture with people acting with unjustified acts of violence against our police force. our police serve and protect us to keep our communities and citizens safe. this week we honor them for their acts of selfless courage and leadership in our community. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from california mr. costa, for five minutes. mr. costa: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. costa: mr. speaker last night america witnessed a tragic accident that occurred when the amtrak train going from washington, d.c. to new
york derailed outside of pennsylvania. we mourn the loss of lives and those that were injured and our thoughts and prayers go to the families who were involved in that accident, that tragic accident last night. and while we do not know the cause of that accident we do know that america desperately needs to invest in its infrastructure. yes, this week is national infrastructure week and we have six days left of legislative days to fund america's national transportation system. six days. for two years we've been kicking this can down the road, and i suspect we will find some temporary means of funding before the end of this month. however, america needs a long-term means of investing in its infrastructure.
a long-term means that will allow for five years of planning for investments in our roads, our bridges in our transit systems, in our railway systems and in our water infrastructure. we're experiencing a terrible drought out in california, and it's long overdue that we invest in california and america's water systems. and so as we acknowledge this week being national infrastructure week, it's important that we remember that it's long overdue that congress come together in a bipartisan fashion to provide long-term funding that will allow long-term planning to provide the same kinds of investments that our parents and our grandparents made in this country years ago that we are living off of today. in addition, mr. speaker i rise to honor the service of
mong and lao americans who fought during the vietnam war. the central intelligence agency in the 1960's covertly trained mong men and women in laos and the special guerrilla unit was formed, otherwise known as the c.g.u. they supported u.s. forces. these indigenous forces conducted direct missions against communists fighting for americans. side by side american soldiers saving countless american lives. that's why they signed an executive soldiers granting them and fair tham lease access to permanent residents to our country if they could make it to america and many of them did. more than 100,000 mong soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice. today approximately 6,000 of
those veterans are still with us. to honor to recognize the service of these nations, congressman paul cook and i will be reintroducing a bipartisan piece of legislation for the mong veterans service recognition act. this legislation would allow the burial of these veterans who live here today and their families in national cemeteries like the san joaquin valley national cemetery in merced county. this recognition is long overdue. we granted it to filipino soldiers who fought side by side with american soldiers in world war ii. i hope my colleagues will support this legislation to ensure that those mong veterans and their families receive the proper recognition by providing them burial rights that they have earned. again, it's long overdue. there are less than 6,000 of them that are still alive today in america. i think it's appropriate that we finally honor them.
thank you and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from west virginia, mr. mooney for five minutes. mr. mooney: thank you mr. speaker. i rise today to speak about an issue that i care deeply about, protecting unborn babies. later today, this body will vote on h.r. 36, the pain-capable unborn child protection act. this legislation should not be controversial. it simply protects unborn babies that a prepond rance of scientific -- approximate of scientific evidence saying they can feel pain. we're talking about a sixth month of pregnancy. i'm a proud co-sponsor. i look forward of casting my vote in favor of this legislation later today. later a group of students at west virginia university made news courageously speaking out in defense of life at an
abortion clinic near morgantown. i know firsthand that it's not all is politically correct to stand for your values, but we should never back down from protecting the unknown and i applaud these brave w.v.u. students for their actions. their willingness to stand for life reminds me of my life at dartmouth college. i remember standing in the cafeteria and handing out educational materials about protecting the unborn and the development of human life. while i may not have won any popularity contest by standing up for my beliefs that life is precious and abortion is wrong i sure got my fellow students thinking about the pro-life issue. my pro-life commitment was cemented even further when i became a father. i have three children and actually today my youngest daughter turned 7 months old. i'm pleased to represent the state of west virginia where the pro-life movement is thriving and the rights of the unborn are being restored.
in fact, just this past february our west virginia state legislature passed our own pain-capable unborn protection act by wide bipartisan margins. in the state senate of west virginia, the exact same bill, banning abortion after 20 weeks passed the state senate of west virginia by a vote of 29-5 with 11 of 16 democrat state senators in my state. that's 68% of the democrats voted for the bill. in the west virginia state house of delegates the vote was 88-12. again, with 2/3 of the state house members that are democrats voting for the bill. this is a bipartisan issue. i'm hopeful today that a strong bipartisan majority in this chamber will follow the example of my home state of west virginia and pass the pain-capable unborn child protection act so these protections are extended to unborn babies in every state in
the united states. i'm honored to also be a lead -- the lead co-sponsor of life of conception act which simply clarifies that life begins at conception. there's no question that we in the pro-life community have our work cut out for us. president obama and most democrats in congress refuse to protect life at any stage. one of the best examples of how out of touch the other side is on this abortion issue came just a few weeks ago across the aisle in the senate where democrats were willing to block a bill aimed at protecting victims of human trafficking simply because it included a provision that prohibited taxpayer funding of abortion. they are the extremists on this issue. look at president obama himself. in 2008 when he was running for president and in a debate against john mccain in the saddleback church forum moderated by rick warren. the moderator asked president obama when life began and the
president's response was, and i quote, whether you're looking at it from a theerlogical perspective or scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade. the president of the united states said it's above his pay grade to say when human life begins. that is a shame. when i ran for congress i made the commitment to the people of the second district of west virginia that i would do everything in my power to defend the unborn. i continue to be guided by my faith my values, my education and my constituents on this issue. i look forward to working with my colleagues to defend the innocent and give a voice to the voiceless unborn babies. thank you mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from delaware, mr. carney for five minutes. mr. carney: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. carney: thank you mr. speaker.
mr. speaker, i rise today to irge my colleagues to pass the bipartisan delaware river basin conservation act. behind me, next to me, is a beautiful photograph of the university of delaware crew team rowing along the christina river, a tributary within the delaware river basin. this site is just outside the city of wilmington, delaware's largest city, just south of the thriving riverfront development and amtrak station. it was taken by one of my constituents, mark atkins, along with mark, more than 200 delawarians over the past three weeks sent my offices photographs that demonstrate the importance of the delaware river basin to each of them. we receive lots of beautiful photographs all along the river and bay from upstate to new
york along the pennsylvania-new jersey side, down to the bottom of the basin, and the delaware on both sides of the delaware river and bay. these photographs tell the story of the basin as a home to wildlife, thriving wildlife, and a very well populated area. as a spot for recreation, like these rowers here in the photograph. and as a place to enjoy natural beauty. and it is truly a beautiful part of our great country. this photo contest we have used to draw support and interest and attention to our effort. i even did a little dance step which was caught on a youtube by my staff to promote this nishtifment -- initiative. the delaware basin covers over 12,500 square miles from delaware to upstate new york. it's the home to more than eight million people anti-basin provides drinking water to over 15 million -- and the basin
provides drinking water to over 15 million people inside and outside. this drives the economy of the most important region in our contry. the dell vation reservation conservation act would encourage restoration and protection of the basin through competitive grants and public-private partnerships. we expect lots of partnerships among local governments up and down and all those states and nongovernmental agencies like ducks unlimited, the delaware nature society, and many others. this legislation has co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle and every state in the basin. eight democrats and nine republicans. and when you consider the difficulties we had in this congress getting bipartisan support of any bill, that seeks to the importance of the basin and to this bill. and i want to thank each of
those co-sponsors for their support. i look forward to working with them. so today i'm asking congress to pass this legislation and protect and preserve the delaware river basin so americans from new york state to the great state of delaware can continue enjoying it for many generations to come. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentlewoman from north carolina ms. foxx, for five minutes. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, each year more than 600,000 students across 50 states play the sifma foundation game an online simulation of the global capital markets. the program introduces students to economics investing in personal finance in order to prepare them for financially independent futures. last week, i had the privilege of visiting a high school in statesville north carolina, where students in miss
campbell's personal finance class were wrapping up participation in the 12th annual capitol hill challenge. the capitol hill challenge matches members of congress with students teachers, and schools competing in the stock market game. the 10 teams with highest ranked portfolios at the end of the competition win a trip to washington, d.c. for 14 weeks nine teams from west idle, managed a hypothetical $100,000 online portfolio and invested in real stocks, bonds and mutual funds. unfortunately no one from the school finished in the top 10, but when the final results were tabulated at the end of the compi contiguous, five of the teams increased the value of their online portfolio. for high school students with little to no experience in investing that's a significant accomplishment. four of the teams at west idle finished with less money than when they started however they
lost less than $3,400 combined. as i said to the students, even great investors like warren buffett aren't bulletproof when it come to the stock market. they may call him the oracle of omaha, but even warren buffett gets it wrong sometimes. these students made an admirable effort and learned some important lessons about the volatility of investing. during the visit, i also participated in a simulation with students about the realities of money. everyone was assigned a job and a salary with which to develop a budget and make purchases. this former educator was a teacher making $60,000 a year a scenario that definitely hit close to home. as part of the simulation, students had to purchase a new door for their house. if they paid cash for the door they discovered it would cost only $300. however, if they bought the door on credit with the terms and conditions offered, they would pay nearly $800 for the same
door. students learned important lessons about how interest is a double-edged sword when you invest your money it gains interest. when you buy on credit you pay interest. west idle high school and miss campbell are doing these students a great service by teaching them the importance of financial literacy and ensuring they have a strong financial education. it's my belief the lessons they are learning in the classroom will lead to careful and thoughtful decisionmaking in the real world. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from puerto rico mr. pierluisi, for five minutes. mr. pierluisi: mr. speaker, earlier -- earlier this week i sent a letter to president obama regarding a problem that is unique to puerto rico and the other u.s. territories and that can be called the medicaid funding committee. this morning i rise to advise my
colleagues about this cliff which each territory will reach by 2019 and which puerto rico could reach by 2018 or even 2017. my goal is to ensure that federal officials have advance notice of the problem so we can begin working together now on a fair thoughtful, and bipartisan plan to address this problem before it arrives. timely action is critical. inaction would be unacceptable from a moral and public policy perspective. let me outline the problem. the territories are treated unequally under medicaid. which is funded in part by the federal government and in part by each state or territory government. in the states, medicaid is an individual entitlement, meaning there is no limit on the amount of funding the federal government will provide so long as the state in question provides its share of mching
funds. -- matching funds. the federal contribution known as fmap, can range from 50% in the case of the wealthiest states, to 83% in the poorest states. by contrast, there is an annual ceiling on federal funding for the medicaid program in each territory. when i took office in 2009, puerto rico, home to 3.5 million american citizens, was subject to a ceiling of $280 million a year and had the minimum statutory fmap of 50%. indeed, because of the annual ceiling our tree fmap was less than 20% a year. puerto rico was spending more than $1.4 billion in territory funds each year to provide health care services to about 1.2 million low-income beneficiaries, and receiving only $280 million from the federal government. to place this in context
consider mississippi, which has a 73% fmap. in 2014, mississippi, home to fewer people than puerto rico, paid $1.3 billion in state funds and received $3.6 million in federal funds. or take oregon, with a 63% fmap, which paid $1.8 billion in state funds, and received $5 billion in federal funds. again, puerto rico was receiving just $280 million a year. the affordable care act provided a total of $7.3 billion in additional medicaid funding for the five territories, with puerto rico receiving $6.3 billion of that amount. each territory's fmap was also increased from 50% to 55%. the result is that instead of receiving about $300 million a
year from the federal government, puerto rico now draws down about $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion annually. that is a major increase. and i cannot adequately express how hard we had to fight for it. but let me be clear, our funding is nowhere close to state like treatment, and remains deeply inequitable. moreover, this additional medicaid funding for the territories expires at the end of fiscal year 2019, the only coverage provision in the law that sunsets in this manner. the puerto rico government has less than $3.6 billion of its $6.3 billion in funding remaining. this is the cliff. it is coming. one way or another, it is just a question of whether it will arrive in 2017, 2018 or 2019.
if this pool of fund something not replenished, puerto rico will go back to receiving less than $400 million a year. in the coming months, i will continue to brief federal officials on this subject. i will explain how inaction will deepen the current health migration and fiscal crisis in puerto rico. and why action is not only in puerto rico's interest, but also in the national interest. in short, i will fight as hard to continue this essential funding as i fought to obtain it in the first place. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. dold for five minutes. mr. dold: thank you madam speaker. madam speaker, i rise today to honor the life of peter shipman and his many fishments to this -- accomplishments to this great
institution and community. he's one of the many unsung champions of this body that kept the house running over the course of his career. peter began his career for the united states house of representatives in 1979 shortly after graduating from v.c.u. with a degree in arts specializing in furniture making and design. peter soon established himself as a highly regarded craftsman, among a shop of senior cabinet makers. as his passion and talent for his craft became air parent, he soon earned the role of producing more high profile projects. peter's drive for perfection and creativity and attention to unique detail were second to none. many of his workers, co-workers are still using his techniques tay. from the time he became a shop foreman until his retirement, peter had a hand in the deseen of most of the pieces of newly
constructed furniture, built by the craftsmen in the cabinet shop. his hard work and dedication to his craft and this house earned him the much sought after job of shop foreman in 2001. indeed manager of the shop in 2007. upon his retirement in 2012, peter was asked about his proudest accomplishments during his service here in the united states house of representatives. peter said he was, quote, proudest of the individuals who have made up the cabinet shop, finishing shop, drapery up hole strirks and carpet shops and my association with all present and past individuals who have been part of these groups. sincerely this is my proudest achievement, end quote. a small sample of the projects that peter was involved with including the construction of the speaker's chair, madam speaker. he also designed and managed the construction of the podiums we are using on the house floor. the sideboard for speaker gingrich, the hand painted
hummingbird desk for speaker foley, and display cabinets for leader bob michel. examples of peter's superior talents along with his loyalty to this house will live on for many years in the capitol and in the house office buildings. his artistic approach to furniture design add add special touch that few craftsmen possess. he was truly dedicated to his art and the talented individuals that he mentored along the way. madam speaker, he will surely be missed by his peers that knew and loved him as well as by the entire house community. peter is survived by his wife, jennifer, their son walker stepson derek, brother torn, sisters cary, and melick. our thoughts and prayers are with his family and colleagues who continue his tradition of beautiful craftsmanship today. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house
also the house begins work today on defense department programs and policies for 2016. a number -- the number of amendments allowed hasn't been determined yet. those will be coming up tomorrow. votes expected -- first votes this afternoon about 2:00 eastern. again, live house coverage here on c-span when they return at noon. until they return we'll take you live to a house oversight hearing on airport security. they're hearing from among
other people john roth talking about issues, including passenger screening, employee credentialing and parameter security. they've been under way for about an hour. >> did not report any i.e.d. checkpoint results. is this correct? jennifer: yes, sir, that's correct. >> at not much from what you found, mr. roth, on operation, training and auditing, is that correct? john: that's correct. mr. mica: and the third point. this is what you found. we examined the performance of t.s.a. work force which is how they're hired and how they're hired and trained and managed. still problems with recruiting, right, mr. roth? still problems with training, mr. roth? john: correct. mr. mica: still problems with managing right? john: yes.
mr. mica: and their responsibility of conducting audits and oversight? john: right. mr. mica: and they have found human error and often a simple failure to follow protocol causes significant vulnerability, is that your statement? john: that's correct. mr. mica: let's look at the last one here. t.s.a. plans to buy, maintain its equipment. the history -- the threat people -- people don't realize that threat is very serious and ongoing and that the bad guys are one step ahead of us. just look at the history. the shoe bomber, t.s.a. never detected it, right? john: correct. mr. mica: the diaper bomber never detected it, right? john: right. mr. mica: the -- "the new york times square bomber, he bought his ticket on the phone, went to j.f.k. and went through all the screening systems, was not
stopped until he got on the plane and it wasn't t.s.a., right? john: that's my understanding. mr. mica: ok. that's my understanding. but these are failures of this very expensive $7 billion, 61,000-people system. this is an indictment, and it -- it's very concerning. the equipment failure is also very concerning because that's sort of your last line of defense. we have advanced imaging technology and yet people are not trade to operate it or detect it -- detect threats is that mr. roth? is that what you found? john: we found significant human error. mr. mica: and the last is these guys are smart. when the members and staff get the next briefing, the thing that concerns me is right now all these systems are pretty much metal or nitrate based is
that pretty much an assumption, they detect metal or nitrates for exexplosivives? john: i can't testify about that. mr. mica: ok. well, i can tell you is what they are. we tried to put in place behavior detection system which was a total failure. other committees have looked at how we did it. it's wrong. israel does it but israel can profile. we can't profile. israel can do other things that we can't do, and behavior detection as far as you're concerned and in one of these reports is a failure too. that's looking at people detecting behavior. john: both the i.g. as well as g.a.o. have done work on that. mr. mica: then finally some of the safeguards aren't in place for the passenger -- what is it precheck system, and making certain we eliminate people who pose a risk.
that's still the case, yes or no? john: yes. mr. mica: it's still the case, ms. grover? jennifer: yes, sir. mr. mica: what's most astounding, this particular individual i cited before, the woman was so notorious that t.s.a. officer identified her by her -- by other pictures he'd seen of the terrorist, went to a supervisor and she got not only a free pass but expedited through t.s.a., that's a fileure, is it not mr. roth? john: yes. mr. mica: ms. grover? jennifer: well the system in that case actually worked as t.s.a. intended for it to work. that's my understanding. mr. mica: her data never came up because she was -- jennifer: she was not on the watch list. mr. mica: exactly. exactly. that's where we need to get this information. people who pose a risk we can identify, go after them or stop them and they can't -- they can't get -- fainlly, the badge issue. the badge issue.
it was almost -- was it a couple years t.s.a. approved the badges at atlanta where they gave badges out and didn't do the proper background checks, is that right, mr. roth? john: we have done some work on that. in 2013 we had an audit where we found that backlog was so great that t.s.a. allowed airports simply to grant the badges without a background check being done at the time. mr. mica: of the items that were cited by mr. ron, one of the issues is people inside the system who pose a risk, the perimeter, also, which poses a risk that we don't have systems in place for and then the outdated structure that we have where t.s.a. tries to do everything and does nothing very well which is well documented by your report. thank you, mr. roth. and i yield now to the -- mrs. maloney, the gentlelady from new york. mrs. maloney: i thank the panelists for your testimony and your work and i thank the ranking member and chair for
calling this important hearing. and i agree completely with the statements of mr. roth when he said that the terrorist only has to be right once. we have to be right 100% of the time. we got to stop them from coming through. i would say nothing is more important than protecting our people. and i will say that since 9/11, the new york city police department has documented well over 17 attempts to murder new yorkers, and they have been thwarted through the combined efforts of all of law enforcement, including t.s.a., which is working every day to stop it. for some reason in our intelligence -- classified intelligence briefings airlines continue to be a top priority for terrorists, a top target. they keep trying different ways. we hear it from press reports, your report and reports from airline stewardesses and captains of how they're trying to break the perimeter, how they're trying to get into the
cockpit in different ways. i see this as a collective effort to fight back. it's not just t.s.a. but all of us working with them to fight back. the program -- the precheck program, we also need commerce to work and first airlines were so backed up people weren't flying anymore. i will say now in new york the precheck program is a success. now the precheck line is longer than the normal line. more people are in the precheck line than any other. so many people are in it which i think speaks well that we processed a lot of people and made it more efficient. so i want to ask mrs. grover, apparently 33% of the passengers now pass through precheck, is that correct? about how many people are in precheck now, would you say? jennifer: well, the last data i saw almost half were receiving expedited screening in one form or another. mrs. maloney: well, that's remarkable achievement from
where you started. i see this also an effort in many ways, we are trying to crack down also on terrorist financing and many of the banks are complaining about having to do precheck or pre -- they have to validate every single one of their customers and there have been ideas letting their system work with homeland security on combining a prechecklist. they are -- they have to report, you have to report on who's in precheck. i think that's a valuable new tool we could look at in making it more efficient and also stopping more people. and i wonder, ms. grover, what you think about that and i have a proposed outline of a project -- pilot project in that area that i'd like you to look at, have your department get back to us. jennifer: thank you. we'd be happy to do that. right now the background checks for individuals who sign up for precheck are conducted by t.s.a. and it includes a
criminal background check, a check on immigration status and a third aspect of the check and that's against the terrorist screening database. and so i'd be interested in talking with your staff about the specific work you'd like to do in terms of opportunities to expand that. mrs. maloney: you know, there are other units in our country that are also doing background checks. so if we could compile them together and make it more efficient in knowing who these people are and increasing our ability to keep bad people out of new york or out of the country -- out of the country, period, but as one who represented many people, many families who perished on 9/11, it's an issue of grave concern to me. when we created this whole system of review at airports, it was hotly debated whether it should be private or government. and many of us believe that our
police and fire who are charged in protecting us are government and t.s.a. has the same level of importance in protecting our people and are now a huge target area which continues for some reason airlines. and i believe it should remain a government function. it's too important protecting lives of citizens. there is a movement in congress to privatize it. i am opposed to that. i believe it would weaken the system not strengthen it. but i welcome this hearing of ideas of how we can strengthen this very important program. but the bottom line, we haven't had another tragedy in a long time. when was the last time we had -- we had many attempts, but when was the last time there was a terrorist attack that was successful on the airlines, ms. grover? jennifer: well, i guess 2009 attack would probably be the last significant one. and that was an attempt to take
down an airline. it was the gentleman that was bringing it on the plane and that was stopped on the plane and in response to that t.s.a. put systems in place to be able to detect nonmetallic explosives and they also started expanding the watch lists. but as part of our work, we have found that there are weaknesses in the ability of the current systems to be able to identify all of the people who are on the watch list. in fact, there are still errors in there. and we also have work that has exposed weaknesses in the a.i.t. systems and t.s.a.'s knowledge in how they work so there is still work to be done. mrs. maloney: it's a work in progress and the bottom line it was stopped. so we join you in your efforts and thank you for your testimony. my time has expired. thank you. mr. mica: thank you. >> thank you. mr. ron why do you believe
preventing perimeter breaches should be a top priority? in your testimony you mentioned perimeter breaches. you mentioned the wheel well situation, but why do you believe perimeter breaches should be a top priority? rafi: because at the end of the day, everything that we do at the checkpoint can be boiled down to the need to prevent a passenger from bringing an explosive device or a weapon that will allow an attack against the aircraft, the flying aircraft. the same target can be achieved simply by breaching the perimeter and the problem with breaching the perimeter is that we have reports about 230-something cases that the
associated press reported, but those are the cases we know about. keep in mind most airports around the country do not have a detection system on their perimeter and therefore one could enter and leave the airport without leaving any traces. there's no systematic way to prevent that. at the end of the day it leads to the same result we are trying to prevent at the checkpoint i would consider it as being critical. mrs. walorski: kind of negates -- mr. walberg: kind of negates the process. do you think they're taking insider-outsider threats seriously? rafi: there is a division between federal responsibility and local responsibility. it leads to the failure to upgrade standards on perimeter security. when it comes to direct responsibility and
implementation of responsibility of t.s.a., we see all the resources available and a screening takes the major -- almost all of t.s.a.'s operational budget. when it comes to the perimeter security, it is expected that the airport will take care of that. the airport doesn't have neither the manpower to do that the number of police officers is too short for that, the ability to invest in detection technology around the perimeter which doesn't come cheap is also very limited and if in the past the -- and i refer to 9/11 when f.a.a. was the regulator, the only regulator, and it also controlled the a.i.p. program
which provides ground to airports for improvement, security was part of it. now the security is not very much a priority for f.a.a. because it has been pushed towards t.s.a., the idea of funding those necessary steps is falling between the chairs. mr. walberg: so the coordination is out of whack as well with the resources. let me just move on. asking each of you to respond to this question. do you believe t.s.a. overprescribes technological solutions and fails to think creatively about airport security? rafi: yes, i do. i think that basically we do not pay enough attention to the passengers themselves. the fact that we have started implementing steps in the direction like precheck should be welcomed, although we need to carefully look at what is
being done as was suggested here earlier, but i think it is a step in the right direction. mr. walberg: ms. grover. rafi: i think that the aviation detection is part of it but obviously i have a dispute on that with some of the other -- mr. walberg: ms. grover, could you respond? jennifer: i would respond to your question i think t.s.a. is overemphasizing getting the programs up and running and underemphasizing technological solutions. mr. walberg: are we lacking imagination? jennifer: t.s.a. is open to different options. but creativity is not helpful if t.s.a. doesn't have evidence to show it works. mr. walberg: ok. mr. roth. john: just briefly, yes, i believe that best technology solutions in the world, if the work force is not trained to use them does not follow the protocols that they're supposed
to do, is useless. there is that -- mr. walberg: as i travel through detroit and washington most generally, i see -- i see t.s.a. agents attempting to perform their functions in most cases with courtesy doing their jobs as it's been clear they've been told to do but i just wonder, if there aren't some great ideas that could come from t.s.a. agents themselves that people like mr. carraway and others aren't given time to listen to on how to deal with our passengers and our security risk which includes the perimeter because they hear about it just like us. and know for a fact all that they've done at the precheck line or the general line can be taken out of any type of positive results simply because we haven't looked at all the places we could go. so thank you for your
testimony. i see my time has expired and i yield back. mr. mica: mr. lynch, you're recognized. mr. lynch: thank you mr. chairman. mr. chairman, if i could just ask -- i know that because of the scope and depth of the problem here mr. caraway's attendance here would be very, very important. i'm just wondering if the committee has any plans to subpoena him, mr. chairman. mr. mica: i don't. i honestly don't know. i discussed it with the staff before -- mr. lynch: and i yield to the ranking member. mr. cummings: what was the question? mr. lynch: we have some wide problems here, you know, from perimeter security to people that are on the prechecklist that are felons and it's a pretty wide gap in our security. and mr. caraway's attendance would be extremely important to us and i'm just wondering, are
we going to get him in here? a lot of my questions are for him? mr. mica: same here. you yielded. mr. lynch: i did want to ask the ranking member. mr. cummings: chairman chaffetz and i discussed this. he was trying to avoid a subpoena. and what we are going to try to work out -- i mentioned it a little bit earlier in my opening is get -- i agree. we really do need caraway here. and so i -- carraway here. and so i asked the chairman to get a date certain to get him in so we can get him in here to ask the questions because you're absolutely right. mr. mica: i would agree with mr. lynch. you asked me in the beginning. mr. lynch: sure. mr. mica: we talked about it with the chairman. i would be supportive of a subpoena if necessary. mr. lynch: if it's needed. i just want to voice my support for that as well. mr. mica: thank you. mr. lynch: and the fact that the gentleman is not here sort of feeds into the whole narrative here that we have a
bureaucracy that's not really responding to the problem that's out there. but i do want to thank the witnesses who are here. that should not diminish your attendance and i appreciate your valuable testimony. it's already been helpful. as i said, we got some major gaps in security. there have been several notable security breaches. i note that on september 14, 2013, a t.s.a. employee was arrested along with five others for participating in a scheme to smuggle undocumented immigrants into the united states. additionally, two airline employees were arrested in december of 2014 for smuggling weapons, guns and ammunition on at least 20 flights from atlanta to new york over an eight-month period. two t.s.a. security screeners at san francisco international airport were also arrested in 2015, march of 2015 for
allegedly operating a drug smuggling conspiracy. in addition on march 9, there's a report that was in the press i believe nbc had a story about these 1,400 badges that were -- and these were for security badges for employees to access secure areas, they had gone missing over roughly two years. that was at the heartsfield-jackson atlanta international airport. -- hartsfield-jackson atlanta international airport. in the city of boston, the closing arguments today on the death penalty question for one of the marathon bombers, and the brother who is now deceased was missed. he actually left the united states, left boston, went and we had report from the russians
to our security officers, the f.b.i. and the c.i.a., to alert them that he had been engaged in alarming behavior, contacting terrorist groups in chechnya. and he was on the tide list, 700,000 names. so this is widespread. mr. roth you've done a great job in terms of authenticating some of the gaps here. but do we need to give you more power to actually try to address some of this stuff? there seems to be a division of labor here between the airports and the t.s.a. in terms of whose responsibility it is to set these security protocols. john: it is a massive job when you talk about the number of badges out there for example.
in 2012 we reported there were 3.7 million badges for secured areas. so the idea of trying to keep that secure with that size 450 airports across the country, it's just a massive job. 50,000 t.s.o.'s, 46,000 transportation security officers, we have initiated a number of criminal investigations against individuals which is i think typical anytime you got a work force that size who has that responsibility. so is it a massive job. mr. lynch: is there a lot of turnover among these t.s.o.'s, transit security officers? john: i haven't looked at that. i don't know if g.a.o. has looked at that or not. mr. lynch: i think a lot of things we need to talk about probably has to take place in a classified briefing, unfortunately. i won't -- i won't waste any more time. but i look forward to that opportunity. thank you. i yield back.
>> thank you. i just have a couple of questions. first of all, how many -- you said before how many supervisors you have as part of t.s.a.? jennifer: so i'm not sure exactly how many supervisors there are, sir. that would be a better question for t.s.a. mr. grothman: ok. none of you would have an opinion? john: we have not looked at that. mr. grothman: when you review or you audit them, i have heard from t.s.a. agents that they feel there's some overstaffing going on here. do you concur with that or do you feel they're trying to do what they can to kind of tighten things up a little?
jennifer: so we haven't looked specifically at the question of whether or not there is too much in the supervisory area. we did a report in 2013 that looked at the issue specifically of misconduct and found there were about 9,600 misconduct cases that were adjudicated by t.s.a. over a three-year period. and at that point the total personnel was about 56,000. mr. grothman: how many? jennifer: total personnel was about 56,000 i believe at that point. so i would say there's certainly a need for some supervision. mr. grothman: ok. could you give me -- rattle off like the three major causes of doing things wrong, misconduct? jennifer: sure. the largest category of misconduct was attendance and leave issues. so essentially being absent from work without prior
approval or extensive tardyness. the second category of misconduct was screening and security errors. that counted for a full fifth, 20% of those roughly 10,000 misconduct cases. and those would be instances where the s.o.p.'s were not followed, such as screeners allowing individuals or their bags to bypass screening. or where t.s.o.'s were bypassing the equipment check. so those are types of misconduct cases that could lead to a degradation of security. mr. grothman: so collectively if you feel, if anything we could be tightening things up a little bit more? jennifer: i don't know if that necessarily translates to more additional supervisors. mr. grothman: no, no. jennifer: certainly, yes there's room for addressing those issues. mr. grothman: ok. different people have opinions on that but thanks. i yield the rest of my time. mr. mica: thank you. just -- on your time, now the
figures we have are that there were 61,000 t.s.a. personnel. that's the latest that i had. and we had a cap of 46,000 screeners. so which leaves you with about 15,000 people who were not screeners, is that correct? and we had just under 4,000 people in washington, d.c., within close proximity making on average $104,000 apiece. pretty hefty overhead, wouldn't you say? jennifer: thank you sir. i am not familiar with the exact numbers. those sound right to me yes, sir. mr. mica: those are pretty close. but we felt a huge bureaucracy, never intended it to be that way and we have to get it under control, better managed, whether it's training, acquisition of equipment performance.
the passenger facilitation systems that don't work. a lot of deficits. and then mr. ron mentioned the issues of trim ter security. i just visited an airport this past week in knoxville and looking at their vulnerabilities, but you could take any airport and just -- whether it's la guardia where you could get a little rubber raft and end up on the runway or any major airport in the country is easily pen trabble by their perimeters. some -- penetrateable by their perimeters. some of the issues you raised, mr. ron. let me conclude -- you yield back your time? you have the time.
mr. grothman: a few years ago they instituted these new things to see through you, it was a little controversial at the time. have you thought of restricted their use or could you comment on them in general? john: what you're referring to is the a.i.t. machines where you have to put your hands up and the things go. we're doing some covert test really on that as we speak. we'll write a classified report with regard to that. earlier returns give us concern. mr. grothman: of what nature? john: of their effectiveness. mr. mica: i might point out for the record -- and i pointed out at the beginning -- i don't know if you were here sir, but the acquisition of that equipment was very controversial. and mr. chaffetz objected to them buying some of the
equipment that he felt violated people's rights. they went ahead and split the contractors, i mentioned, between mr. chertoff's client which was rapid scan and between l-3, which was ms. daschle, half a billion dollars worth of contracts split evenly. they ended up, the rapid scan could not be changed so that it wouldn't violate people's privacy and those -- that equipment after being installed was pulled out. so we've been through that three-ring circus. now that this report focuses on the deployment of some of that equipment, for example the advanced imaging detection which is millimeter wave where you put your hands up, and we have problems with maintaining the equipment, operating the equipment, auditing the performance of the equipment all outlined by these
witnesses. mr. desauliner, the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. desauliner: thank you, mr. chairman. let me begin by -- the opening comments, recognizing the enorm out of the responsibilities that you have and assuming that there have been many successes. but mr. roth, i want to talk about really two subject areas that mr. ron, part of the second part is the perimeter given i'm from the bay area and we had a lot of news on that case and other cases. mr. roth, you mentioned in your opening comments that complacency is a huge problem and that human error is too common and it basically is the human error is follow protocol. and you mentioned you have to be -- t.s.a. has to be right every time and a terrorist only has to be right only one time. so we have lots of examples in proper quality assurance in different fields in similar situations in hospitals or industrial facilities.
is there a basic -- or maybe mr. ron knows this or ms. grover: these basic tools to make sure that complacency isn't the order of the day? john: i think it's several fold. one is oversight. t.s.a. has what i think call red teams that go in and do testing on systems and individuals to ensure that they get it right. we obviously do covert testing as well. and then i think it's a matter of training. as in the military, if there's a training culture that you do a certain protocol the same way every single time, then you're going to at least lower the incidents of human error. mr. desauliner: so that's not sufficient in your view? john: the results we have found is there's room for improvement. mr. desauliner: in your view is there misprioritization? should there be more emphasis on this as opposed to
technology? john: i think there needs to be more emphasis on training. mr. desauliner: mr. ron, very alarming that we put a lot of emphasis on the front door but the back door is wide open. and given your experience in both israel and massachusetts, are there best practices both on a low threshold cost, sort of a medium and higher level? because you also mentioned basically we don't have the resources to do the higher level. rafi: thank you. i think one thing that i find missing in the debate is there's a lack of comprehensive approach to the challenge of aviation security. we have -- we are defining relatively narrow angles and we take care of those angles but sometimes we miss the wider picture. i think, again, that perimeter security is a perfect example of that because while we're trying to prevent one side we
invest a lot and the other side of the operation we allow the situation to remain as poor as it is for many years despite all the red lights that blink at all. mr. desauliner: so in your previous experience, you had to balance your resources, your funding with the risk assessment. are we doing that sufficiently in this instance? rafi: yes. i think risk assessment is an ongoing process that has to be part of our operation continuously. it needs to be present all the time. it has to be done at every level. so when we talk about passengers for example there's room for individual risk assessment per passenger. in order to identify the level of risk of that passenger. i think that the criminal background check is not enough for that. mr. desauliner: i was speaking more about in relationship to the front door to the back door are we putting enough -- is this a proper risk
assessment that we should put more in the front door and not in the back door? you implied in your opening comment that we weren't. rafi: yeah. my answer is there's room for that as well yeah. mr. desauliner: ms. grover, do you care to comment on either the complacency problems or the perimeter problems? jennifer: yes, sir. in earlier work that we did looking at perimeter security issues, what we found is that t.s.a. had not been able to do a complete risks assessment because they weren't -- they weren't sufficiently assessing the vulnerability at different airports. they have since made steps in that area and we do have a review under way now to look at that issue. the other thing -- the other issue that i would raise to t.s.a. is a question of whether or not they're making adequate use of the data that they have. they do require airports to report all incidents dents to t.s.a. but when we looked at that data set previously we
found it wasn't organized or reported in a way that t.s.a. could specifically identify how many of those incidents were related to perimeter or access breaches. again, they have made some changes and so we'll be able to report back in the future on whether they're able to analyze that data. mr. desauliner: thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. mica: i thank the gentleman. mr. hice is recognized. mr. hice: thank you, mr. chairman. this past february nbc news reported that over 1,400 security badges were missing in hartsville-jackson atlanta international airport just over the last two years alone. mr. roth, could you briefly explain how t.s.a. responds when some of these security badges turn up missing? john: we are doing some ongoing review of t.s.a.'s security controls so my answer will be
preliminary but my understanding based on my conversations with t.s.a. officials is once a badge goes missing it is turned off. so this has to be sort of a two-factor authentication. you have to take the badge and swipe it to be able to enter a secure area. the difficulty of course is this i.e. of piggybacking, somebody else opens the door and you walk through or other ways to gain access to these secure areas. and that is the whole challenge behind these access badges right? if you work in a mcdonald's at the airport you get a badge. and then you quit the next day and you still have that badge and it's incumbent on the airport to report that to t.s.a. so that badge gets turned off. it is a vulnerability. mr. hice: you would say the responsibility rests with the airport, not with t.s.a.? john: it is a joint responsibility, as i understand it. mr. hice: right. it ought to be a joint responsibility. and the airport -- atlanta airport was just the only
airport reporting on that particular study. 1,400 badges missing in two years. how many would there be across the entire nation? mr. ron, just yes-no type of question regarding this would you consider 1,400 just out of one airport security badges shown up missing a major security breach and a potential problem? rafi: well, it's a matter of proportions. atlanta is one of the largest airports in the country and i assume that number of badges that they issue is larger than the -- most airports around the country. and i do not know what is the percentage. but i would say that every airport worldwide that i know suffers from that problem. mr. hice: ok. my question is, is this a security threat of significance that needs to be looked into, yes or no? rafi: it is.
mr. hice: all right. we obviously have a major problem here. we have badgets that are missing, stolen -- badges that policing, stolen for whatever reason but to the tune of thousands across the country and what i'm hearing from you, mr. roth is there's really no -- at least to your awareness -- no policy to deal with this and yet we have a major potential security breach here of insider threats really. assess real quickly the vulnerability of insider threat. john: well, if you have access to secure areas that means you have access to the aircraft the dangers there i think are self-evident. mr. hice: all right. let me go back to another situation in atlanta mr. roth, and i'll just continue with you. as we all know there was a combun smuggling insider ring -- gun smuggling insider ring at the atlanta airport. it was discovered this last december. to your knowledge, has there
been any changes in security checks and so forth since that gun smuggling ring was discovered? john: as i said, we're in the middle of the audit of this exact problem so unfortunately i can't give you a complete answer as i sit here today. mr. hice: should there be changes? john: absolutely. mr. hice: all right. what changes would you subject? john: at this point i think i have to defer until we get our audit completed so we can make recommendations to t.s.a. first, what we find and make recommendations that make some sense. mr. hice: all right. what kind of -- what needs to be done with varyfying that those who have security badges -- verifies that those who have security badges do not have a criminal history? john: we are about to come out with a report with regard to that to check the t.s.a.'s efficacy on doing criminal background checks. i know g.a.o. has done some work on that in the past. mr. hice: how many background checks are there? john: it would be one for every
t.s.a. employee who has a badge. mr. hice: ok. so in that scenario it would be one background check. is there anything to protect the public from one of these individuals getting involved in criminal activity after they have already had the initial check? john: no. we have a number of investigations that are set forth in my testimony. mr. hice: should there be? john: well absolutely there needs to be a vigilance or criminal investigative presence against the t.s.a. employees. mr. hice: i would ask you please to report back to our office on this type of thing. john: absolutely. mr. hice: i would very much appreciate it. thank you. mr. mica: i thank the gentleman. mr. clay. mr. clay: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, ranking member cummings for conducting this hearing. i appreciate the efforts to streamline the security screening process for low-risk
individuals and shift focus to those who are deemed at higher risk. my understanding is that all airline passengers are compared to federal government terrorism watch lists through the secret flight program. ms. grover is that correct? jennifer: yes sir, that is correct. mr. clay: only those enrolled in the precheck program are checked against other law enforcement lists such as immigration and criminal databases, is that correct? jennifer: if they apply for precheck then, yes, they are -- then they are checked against the criminal background information. mr. clay: and the precheck program requires individuals to self-report any new criminal activity or convictions after they are enrolled. in other words individuals have to self-report any new crimes, is that cricket? jennifer: sir i'm --
mr. clay: is that correct? jennifer: sir, i'm not sure but i'm -- i believe the same thing applies to precheck as well. mr. clay: mr. roth does this self-reporting requirement pose a potential security risk? john: it does and in fact in the precheck program, it does require self-reporting. there is no continuous pinging of the criminal justice system to figure out whether if i apply for precheck and then i get convicted of a crime a year later my precheck is still good for five years. if i don't report that to t.s.a. t.s.a. is not going to know about it. mr. clay: any idea of how many have self-reported? john: i don't have that information. mr. clay: ms. grover, do you have any idea? jennifer: no sir. mr. clay: the recent report identified instances in which secure flight did not accurately identify passengers on the government watch list, is that correct?
jennifer: yes, sir that's right. mr. clay: what were groo's findings with regard to the ability of secure flight data appropriately designating individuals at low risk? jennifer: so the secure flight system, the first thing that it does is it's used to identify individuals who are on the watch lists and we know that sometimes there are errors there, that secure flight doesn't always identify people on those high-risk watch lists. so after that set of identification is done and those people are tagged, then the remaining passengers are also screened to see if they are a known low-risk traveler. and that's the way that they're then identified for precheck. and then there's another tier where there's some automated assessments done where people can get additional precheck. that's how come sometimes precheck shows up on your boreding pass even if you haven't signed up for it in
advance. mr. clay: what measures can be taken to ensure that secure flight accurately assesses the risk level of all passengers jennifer: we recommended that t.s.a. should have a new performance measure in place so they can keep track on an ongoing basis of how well secure flight is doing at actually identifying everyone on those federal watch lists. and they are working on it but that is not in place yet. mr. clay: then, how do you keep from i guess stereotyping or profiling travelers? i mean, what are the precautions put in place to not do the profiling? jennifer: well, that issue would be most relevant, say at the airport when individuals are being selected, say, for managed inclusion, and the t.s.o.'s are supposed to use like ipads that have randomizers in there so there
should be protection in there. but there's been questions raised over the protection officers over whether profiling could be factoring into their decisions and they're part of that managed inclusion process. mr. clay: mr. roth, you made 17 recommendations to t.s.a. in your march report. many of them dealing with the ability of the precheck initiative to effectively assess the risk level of the individual. can you briefly walk through the areas you see as needing improvement? john: it unfortunately most of those are either sensitive security information or classified so it's difficult to talk about them. but we have made recommendations that t.s.a. really needs to rethink how it is that they use the risk assessment rules. they have largely disagreed with our recommendations. mr. clay: that's unfortunate. thank you, all, for your responses. and mr. chairman, i yield back. mr. mica: you have nine seconds. if i could have them?
mr. clay: sure. i yield. mr. mica: just a couple points. you testified that employees -- well, first of all, they're not checking the backgrounds before they're employed. that's part of your finding. and the -- for instance, with atlanta. then they're not checking afterwards. in other words, there's not a check if they appear on some criminal list or watch list afterwards, that's correct on employees. and then i wanted to know about precheck. is there any -- going back and checking people after they've been cleared for precheck? i know in israel they control whoever gets sort of the precheck and then they're always re-examining those individuals and the information's brought in and they can stop the pass or access from the information
that is concurrently and continuously being examined. tell us about precheck and employees. john: my answer to mr. clay was referring to the precheck employees. there was no reoccur vetting and it involved disclosure. i'm not sure about the employees. mr. mica: do you know? jennifer: so with respect to precheck enrollees, the only recurrent check is they would be checked against the federal watch list every time but not for criminal background. as far as aviation workers, it's basically the same thing. they're checked regularly against the federal watch lists. although t.s.a. has recently announced they're going to start redoing criminal background checks every two years. i don't know if that's in place yet. mr. mica: ok. thank you. mr. duncan. mr. duncan: thank you, mr. chairman. i apologize to the panel because i've been at another hearing. i'm trying to also meet with
constituents. i did want to ask about something in mr. ron's testimony that really stood out to me. you say although most aviation employees are honorable, hardworking americans, recent reports indicate serious reports with firearms. what's particularly troublesome is that crimes are rarely -- are the actions of an isolated individual and networks of employees are bypassing security for their personal notice. they're susceptible to terrorist influences and so forth. now, i know that a lot of times with this 24-hour news cycle we're -- we're also sensationalizing even minor instances but that seems to me a pretty sensational-type statement, mr. ron when you say networks of employees -- and i'm wondering. i know you mentioned the atlanta incident or the atlanta
smuggling. but i'm wondering, is this oversensationalized? is this happening in all the major airports? you say networks of employees. how widespread is this? rafi: most of the crimes that the -- could generate benefits for employees that are willing to act criminally are involved with illegal materials like drugs and weapons that fly through the airport. it is never a single individual person that is involved. usually there's somebody who delivers the substance somebody who actually takes care of it and puts it on the aircraft. if i take, for example, a case of a few years ago ron a --
concerning a flight from miami to san juan, puerto rico. once again there was a matter of weapons smuggling through the aircraft. it was a duffel bag if i'm not mistaken, 14 different weapons, including an ar-15. mr. duncan: but are you say that's a case from several years ago. rafi: that's several years ago, yes. in this case the bag was brought by one employee into the restricted area and there was another employee that actually took the flight and received the bag in order to fly -- to fly with the bag to san juan according to media reports. so the -- this is a very good example as to how these things work. you can assume that similar
involvement of more than one person is the case in -- more frequently than otherwise. mr. duncan: let me ask you something else. you were director of security at the tel aviv airport, i understand. what are some things you were able to do at tel aviv that people in your similar -- similar security field wouldn't be -- wouldn't be able to do or aren't doing here? rafi: well in tel aviv, the system is based very much on our responsibility to recognize the level of threat of individual employees based on a much deeper background check to start with. and the implementing a -- mr. duncan: so we need to give much deeper background checks to all the airport employees? rafi: well, yeah. background checks is one very
important rule. mr. duncan: all right. rafi: beyond that i would say -- and that has to do with the smaller size of airports in comparison to airports like atlanta. mr. duncan: right. rafi: but we were able to actually keep our finger on the pot in terms of what happens to the employees at the airport. if somebody was behaving in a way that indicated that he may be involved in illegal activity, then we were immediately investigating it. there was a dead indicated -- there is a dedicated unit that is actually looking exactly only after that. making sure not only concerning security but also concerning regular criminal activity. mr. duncan: so you think we should have some type of incentive programs for airport employees that turn in or recognize unusual criminal
activity or something? rafi: i'm sorry. i didn't understand the question. mr. duncan: in other words, should we teach other airline employees or airport employees things to watch for when you say that airport employees acting in unusual ways? rafi: yes. obviously there is a -- at the end of the day there's limited access to every person. when you speak about employees this is different because, by the way, badges are also issued to nonemployees. but in the case of employees we are able through the human resources and through intelligence activity at the airport and through our airport to survey a city, those parts of the airport that are
vulnerable to criminal activity in a way that makes it very effective. mr. duncan: i've run out of time. let me ask mr. roth one last question. mr. roth we're spending megabillions now for security at the airports when you add it all together. are we getting a bang for our buck? john: i think there's significant room for improvement. it is a massive task. when you talk, for example, security background checks, individuals that hold the passes to the secure areas. you're talking about 3.7 million people that you would have to give a background check for. this is a massive massive challenge. can t.s.a. tighten up? absolutely. and the reports that we have written over the course of the years show there are areas where they can tighten up. but we need to understand this sort of scope and significance of the problem that t.s.a. faces. mr. duncan: all right. thank you very much. mr. mica: i thank the gentleman. let's see if fedex can track a
package and american express can detect instantaneously some incidents with your credit card certainly we can get this right. i have many more people to deal with. let's yield now to ms. kelly from illinois. ms. kelly: thank you, mr. chair, and thank you ranking member cummings, for holding a hearing on a press issue like airport security. i want to thank the witnesses who took time out of their busy schedules. with the summer travel season fast approaching, our airports will be at max capacity. that means overworked t.s.a. agents and control tower officials. it also means detecting and neutralizing the security threat in a crowded airport can be as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. this is something all americans and of course my constituents in particular know all too well.
the greater chicago area is currently served by two airports. i'm sure most people in this room here today at some point or another has missed a connecting flight or had a long layover in one of our airports. i hear complaints from my colleagues all the time. a culture of delays, overcrowded hallways and long security lines are not only frustrating and inefficient but also unsafe. a need for a third airport in chicago has been known for years. i have been working with secretary fox and administrator to make a south suburber airport a reality. i'm pleased to say that project is close to becoming a reality, and i will continue to push for its creation. therefore, i'd like to ask the witnesses to provide their insights into this matter. how does the fact that a major airport -- how does the fact that major airports operating at capacity impact our national security? i'll ask both my questions. impact our national security and the other with construction of new airports
improve our national security by easing pressures on current airports? and whoever can -- want to take the question. jennifer: so i can start. i agree with the other panelists that t.s.a. is pressed. just the press of business is difficult. and as airports are operating more and more at capacity, there are some inherent challenges that go along with that. but what i would suggest is that the challenges that t.s.a. faces in improving security across their systems are independent of exactly how many airports we have up and running and exactly whether they're working to capacity. because there's -- >> a reminder you can continue to watch this online at c-span.org. all of it later on in our program schedule. u.s. house is gaveling in momentarily. the house will begin debate this afternoon on re-authorizing the n.s.a. surveillance program with a number of changes.
the measure blocks bulk data collection and the storage of phone metadata and increases oversight for the rest of the surveillance program. also today they're taking up a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. it's the second time it's come up in the house but now contains an exemption for victims of rape and incest with 48 hours of counseling prior to that abortion. and also on the house floor today, beginning work on the defense authorization bill for 2016. now live to the house floor here on c-span. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] will be offered by the guest chaplain,, united methodist church. >> father god, we place before your grace this day the united states of america and this government. father, in your word, we are told that you