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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 2, 2016 2:00am-2:46am EDT

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about brotherhood and shared history were enough to give cubans a heart attack, he said. raul castro made similar statements. there is a myth of american hostility toward cuba and we have completely destroyed that and they have nothing else and are extremely nervous as a result of that. >> if i could, i will introduce you to the students who are here, the school is for governmental and -- and international studies. it is in the neighborhood where i lived, it was a vacant and abandoned building when i unelected and over the course of about evan years, we worked with governments in the region to
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build it into this high school that is now commonly ranked as one of the 25 best public high schools united states and the students are here as part of a constitutional competition that they have been participating in and i am really happy to have them here. this is a good hearing for them to be at. i have the opportunity last week asking essence of this hogan and mr. paul mary with respect to the northern triangle and i will focus my questions to the secretary. yesterday, i had a meeting with senators baldwin and coons with inspirational city councilwoman and -- in in stable. she founded the istanbul pride parade in 20 -- 2003 and there were 30 marchers. by 2014, there were over 80,000 marchers and last year, the turkish government use water cannons to shut the march down
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and disperse everyone after it had grown so large. she was visiting us to talk about ways in which the united states could be helpful and when senator coons asked her how we could help human rights in turkey. this was her answer and i wanted you to hear this because it is about your -- she set the help we have had that has enabled us to do a we have done has been the united states. the support of the ambassador and the consul in that -- in his temple has enabled the lgbt community in turkey to not avoid execution, -- persecution but enabled us to come out of the shadows to some degree to organize and we have been note that there have been no greater friends and when we asked for we can do to help. she said the main thing we could do to help would be to thank the diplomats and members of the
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state department. talk about the work you are doing in your bureau with respect to lgbt rights around the world. whether it is in turkey -- turkey or russia, we see serious challenges. >> first of all, it is a very heartening story and i will pass that on to the ambassador, who is one of our best ambassadors on so many different scores. i know that he has been principled in reaching out to the lgbt community and the broader activist community in turkey, which is facing a lot of challenges. i would say, first of all, it begins with recognition of the legitimacy and dignity of people around the world, who are working for the human rights of lgbt people and simply asserting their own right to live in
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safety and dignity and simply reaching out, meeting with these folks as you mentioned in turkey, is an important part of it and i tried to do it on all of my trips. we provide materials to people who are on the front lines of the struggle. we have a global equality fund which we have gotten other governments to contribute to, is one of those emergency funds that i mentioned in my opening statement that we can deliver $3000 and 48 hours to someone who needs help for security or travel, for basic support for an ngo that is doing good work, sometimes for legal support. there have been successful legal
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challenges in countries around the world, have a restrictive or repressive anti-gay laws that we have provided support to. just at the rhetorical level, we are very careful in our public statements not to suggest that this is about carving of special rights for special kinds of people, we are talking about simply basic human rights that everybody in the world enjoys, whether straight or lgbt, no one should be subject to violence, no one should be persecuted because of who they are and i think that message increasingly resonates in countries, even where there is nervousness about the events of this issue. >> a number of us met in istanbul in january, we were right in the heart of the city under the blue mosque before the bombing. she definitely connects the feelings of government persecution of the lgbt
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community to the worries that other religious minorities or political opponent are feeling in turkey. i would like to delve into turkey further in another moment. i like to move on to press freedom. around the world, we are seeing -- turkey is a good example, russia, honduras. i actually worked at a radio station in honduras. a number of journalists have been killed. this is so fundamental and you see government cracking down on the free press, you can debt that they are cracking down on political opponents and they will be trying to engage in other authoritarian activity. as much as we politics -- we would not trade a free press for
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anything. tell us how your bureau tries to it is the notion of texting him of the press around the world. >> when a government crackdown on free press, he spake out about it -- we speak out about it and talk about it in our diplomatic engagements. we have done it with turkey and egypt where we have worked hard to get journalist out of prison. we have done it in china. sometimes we are successful and sometimes we are left out. journalists are persecuted because they are doing effective, hard-hitting work. corruption is coming to the fore in many countries and is making many governments nervous about the work of the free press that is uncovering their secrets. oftentimes, they will find that we are supporting those
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journalists, and not just rhetorically. more generally, we also have programs that are specifically designed to help train journalists in difficult environments to stay safe. programs in digital safety, physical safety, that do not provide 100% protection, but that i think are very helpful to journalists that are facing very real danger in the work that they do. >> a quick question about the lgbt community inestimable -- in istanbul. is that criminalized under turkish law? >> i would have to get back to you.
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>> senator cardin. >> let me thank all of our witnesses for the work they do every day on behalf of human rights. mr. malinowski, i want to ask you a couple of questions. the russian media has been actively engaged to try to rewrite history as to what happened with the tragic arrest, torture and death of -- the administration has used its inherent authority to grant certain types of sanctions against those who perpetrated those crimes in russia and has also used the authority under the law that was passed. can you comment as to the basis for imposing those sanctions as it relates to the allegations that have been made by the
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russian press? >> one thing i have learned that our sanctions rims in this job is how high the bar is for our lawyers, our investigators, the folks who determine whether a particular individual needs -- meets the criteria that congress has laid out for application of a particular sanction, and i can tell you in the -- in this case, we rely on multiple sources of information in making these determinations. is reviewed by many people in the unit since governments who have to be confident the information is credible before we put somebody's name on that list. the justice department is involved, the treasury
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department is involved. in addition to the state department. we are very confident that the people on that list deserved to be on that list based on hard evidence. >> i thank you for that. there have been several people who have been sanctioned as a result and there has been congressional involvement working with the administration. it is clear that the information we have received, the type of conduct that they perpetrated in russia to a person that was trying to bring to attention of the authorities the correct situation and in fact became a victim and lost his life. i thank you for clarifying that point. i want to move on to a tragic situation. we are seeing an increase in the number of political prisoners in that country and the repression against those who differ with the government in iran. one of those cases, a political prisoner and radio liberty reporter is currently serving a 7.5 year sentence on charges
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that many human rights organizations regard as politically motivated. she has been a tireless reporter on corruption the country and it is believed she was targeted for her work. could you just comment as to what diplomatic tools we have available in order to raise this issue? >> i would say first of all that we have called and will continue to call for the release of her. we are very well aware of her case. in the last several weeks, we have engaged. attentively with the government on human rights issues. i think it has attributed to the government to release a number that we consider to be a recognized human rights lawyer, the chairman of their election
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monitoring and democratic center, and we have seen some i think very positive stuff by the government in response to our engagement that we would certainly be the good news that we have seen is not yet enough and there are still others. we very strongly believe that releasing the remaining political prisoners and expanding freedom of expression and freedom of the press would be good for that country's future and our relationship with them. >> lastly, let me just raise the
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tragic death that we saw in bangladesh a few days ago that the u.s. aid employee. he founded the first bangladesh lgbt magazine. that murder still being investigated. we know that an isil related group claimed responsibility, but this is just outrageous. i would hope that the administration would keep a bright spotlight on this tragic death and make sure we have full accountability as to who is responsible, and that we hold the government to doing everything possible. not only to hold the perpetrators responsible but to protect the civil society in bangladesh. it is challenged and clearly
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this murder will have an impact on the country. >> we are outraged by it. it is the latest in a series of killings, as you mentioned. this one hit particularly close. we will do everything we can to encourage the government of bangladesh to investigate this and bring the perpetrators to justice. we will support them in doing so, and as i mentioned in my opening regards, we also can use and are using some of our emergency assistance programs to provide support in getting people who are threatened, so threatened in bangladesh, to safety. >> thank you. i think all the panelists for the commitment to these issues. senator markey? senator markey: thank you. there is an epidemic in the united states and sources now say that it is clear that china
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and mexico are the two principal means by which been to know is coming into the united states. the number of opioid deaths has escalated with the single largest addition to that plague been a killer in the country. what is our government saying to mexico about the implication of the drug? it comes from mexico and winds up in massachusetts where people died, but what is it that we are telling the mexicans about this importation? >> it is the state department that has the lead on that dialogue, so i would ask my colleagues to respond. >> thank you. we are engaged in a broad effort
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to reduce addiction and improve their ability to eradicate poppy cultivation inside mexico, as well as strengthen our border and law enforcement cooperation to prevent those kinds of drugs from leaving mexico. senator markey: are you talking about fentanyl? it is like the chemical concoction that is put together. what are you saying about fentanyl specifically to the mexicans? it is a killer. >> we have a broad-based conversation with mexico on counter narcotics. our law enforcement agencies are engaged with mexico on a full range of drug trafficking that emanates from mexico into the
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united states. senator markey: are you having specific conversations about fentanyl with them? it is much more deadly than heroine or anything that has ever been seen before. what are you saying to them about this one specific new edition to the opioid death spirals that too many families in america have now fallen? >> we are pressing the mexican government to do all it can to prevent illegal narcotics from entering the united states into working collaboratively with our law enforcement agencies and fentanyl is one of the substances we are focused on. senator markey: i would urge you as strongly as i can to elevate fentanyl to the top priority whicyou have. it has potential to kill tens of thousands, tens of thousands of
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americans over the next several years and the route in is through mexico. this is something that i urge you to elevate to the level of intense dialogue between our two countries so that they know we mean business and our issue. it is a critical concern. not just an urban america but every city and town in our country. fentanyl is the new drug that is killing people, andrea got to stop it. mexico must be our aggressive partner in this. on human rights in mexico, the security forces have been implicated and repeated serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture, and the government has
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made little progress investigating or prosecutors in those responsible for abuses. what is happening in mexico to five's belief in september 2014 43 students disappeared in mexico. that was nearly two years ago. at the time, i wrote a letter urging the secretary of state to do everything possible to support the mexican government by making additional investigated and forensic resources available. my letter also encourage the systems to the mexico government to bring all those responsible to justice and to ensure positive postmortem identifications to allow families to begin grieving and healing processes. the mexican government has not done this. in 2015, a disciplinary group of experts from human rights went to mexico to investigate the case and worked for about when you're to uncover the truth. but then the mexican government
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refused to extend their mandate prematurely and the their work. this past weekend, they released their final report and found serious abuses and inconsistencies in the mexican government investigation. it throws the mexican government's version of events into question and suggest that the government did not seek to discover the extent of official culpability for the crimes. "the new york times" reported that the group of experts had injured carefully orchestrated attacks in the mexican media, a refusal to turn over documents or grant interviews with central figures, and even a retaliatory criminal investigation into one of the officials who appointed them. what is our government doing to
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persuade the mexican government to allow the group of experts to continue its investigation, and what will we do now in response to the reports? >> senator, we did take notes of the april 24 report of independent experts from the commission on human rights. we commend the commission's work and we do urge mexico to consider the reports and respond to the recommendations, specifically to provide assistance to the families and the victims, to bring the perpetrators to justice and to evaluate the suggested actions to address the actions associated with that. senator markey: what actions can we take to show how serious we are about this? mr. palmieri: we do have an ongoing civil rights dialogue with the mexican government. this topic has been raised that
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many different levels and will continue to be raised with the government. senator markey: we have a huge problem here, twentysomething thousand mexicans have disappeared over the last 10 years and the government has done little to investigate. i think this is just an escalating problem inside of the country and it is up to the united states since they are a partner on so many other issues to use every bit of leverage we had to let them know that we are dead serious about this issue and it cannot be allowed to continue. thank you, mr. chairman. >> we will drop up. i have one more question. a significant uptick in cuban migrants. in this five-month period, 18,000 immigrants arrived. we are also getting similar reports since october of last year, cubans have attempted to enter the u.s., but what is more concerning is the number of
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people we talked about last week of people coming into ecuador, panama and costa rica. some of these governments, the body language or attitude is that we will put them on a plane and fly them us close to the u.s. border and we don't want that problem. much of this outsource has occurred since the deal. what is driving the migration and what is our position toward those countries that are talking about frequently moving these people and is it our job to facilitate them to get them to the u.s. to where they want to go? i we confronting the attitude they have? and third, what is the best way to handle this? mr. palmieri: the focus is on encouraging them to ensure state and legal and orderly aggression.
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much of this migration is undocumented and a regular as it passes through. -- and irregular as it passes through the central american region. costa rica and panama worked with the government of mexico and they did their let almost 8000 cuban migrants from both countries to the northern part of mexico, where they crossed into the united states. costa rica took a step at that time of making it clear that after that backlog was addressed that they were going to be more aggressive in forcing their immigration laws and returning people to their last point of origin. we now see an additional backlog of these migrants in panama, and there is now at least as reported by the press, talk of another possible airlift but in
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panama and mexico. we continue to urge the countries to enforce immigration laws, to strengthen their border controls, and to address undocumented and irregular migration by returning people to their last point of origin. we think that is the best way. senator rubio: how we pronounced ourselves against these airlifts, whether in costa rica or panama? if word gets out that you can get into this country and they will fly you close to the u.s. border to get in, you are encouraging more people to do this, so have we said, do not airlift those people? we have significant potential leverage over these countries. mr. palmieri: we have direct with all three countries to make sure they're going to strengthen their border controls and to put in place that are mechanisms to prevent this undocumented -- senator rubio: that is the future, but what about the current backlog? mr. palmieri: we have encouraged
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the countries to figure out the best solution to this surge of migration, and we believe the best solution is stronger enforcement of their own immigration laws. sen. rubio: we have not told him not to do the airlifts? mr. palmieri: no, sir. >> cuba has been oppressive for 60 years. what is the difference now? the fear that the cuban adjustment act is going to go away and people of coming here before it goes away? mr. palmieri: we have no plans to change the cuban adjustment act at this time, senator. there continues to be a large migration flow out of cuba. it reflects the difficult economic and human rights conditions in the country. sen. rubio: i understand that the administration has no plans to advocate for a change in the cuban adjustment act, an act of congress, but is there fear -- what i hear is that people in
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cuba think the cuban adjustment act might go away so they're trying to get into the u.s. before that happens. mr. palmieri: i do not know and cannot comment your agree on the individual motivations of these cuban migrants, but i can make clear that the administration is not entertaining any idea of a change to the cuban adjustment act, so that should not be a factor in their decision calculus. sen. rubio:: i would like to thank all of you for being here today. i appreciate you dissipating in this. i think it was informative and i am pleased that we have so many members attending and asking great questions. we always think you for the work they do on behalf of our country. with that, i want to know that the record will remain open until the close of business on thursday, april 28. with that, the hearing is adjourned. >> thank you.
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [indistinct chattering]
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>> tomorrow, amended bennett addresses.y note this is her first public appearance since being soworn i. 12:10 onrage begins a c-span2. general david goldstein is currently the vice chair. james at the lee
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announcement. this is about 15 minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. i am very honored to bring to this room a tested war hero, one of the most proven strategic thinkers across our joint force and that is general david goldstein. i want to extend my deep this congratulation today on his nomination by president obama as our next air force chief of staff. he wrote in his book, sharing , the single most important element of success in war is leadership and it was because of his strong and also visionary leadership over a demanding succession of rules, including the commander of the u.s. air force central command, director of the joint staff, and most recently, vice chief of staff of the air force. -- theyend to give him
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recommended him to serve as the next chief of staff. in each of these positions, he has led with the courage and commitment of the compat tested pilot combat tested that he is. from his experience and his combined forces, dave developed a deep knowledge of a region where the u.s. air force is now carrying out the vast majority of strikes against isil. it was also during that tour that he advanced integrated air missile defense in the arabian gulf, working closely with nations who today are critical partners in the counter isil campaign. force chief as air of staff, his extensive political and military experience will be to our great benefit as the continued to accelerate our efforts to
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deal isil a lasting defeat. as director of the joint staff and as vice chief of staff, he has demonstrated timeb skill during a when our need for global power has only incu increased. he has helped to expertly manage competing demands on the air force's fighter squadrons and ofer forces in an era exceptional demand. i myself have worked with him frequently as a secretary, deputy secretary. we go back quite a ways and i see how his strategic approach and his management skill have helped the air force maintain investments in a near-term readiness, well making sure we continue also the air force's vital modernization efforts. i have seen him bring creative
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bearlem-solving to during a time of insatiable demand for these resources. as they work together to move forward with critical new 35atforms, including the f fighter, i have seen his ability to manage current demands, and steer a course for the air force of the next five to 50 years. he understands deeply the evolving nature of warfare and the threats we face. dave knows how the security environment today is far different from what we've confronted over the last 25 years. he's developed a keen appreciation for the strategic horizon and in particular, the to develop resilient cyber into space capabilities as well, which will allow the united states to continue to dominate
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across all domains. he knows how to foster innovation by conducting what then chairman dempsey called a campaign of learning, a program which drills tunnels through the halls of the pentagon and brings in experts from academia and private sector to lend insight to our efforts. across dave's career work all of that, he's also never forgotten where our greatest strength lies, and that's in our people. and in fact on tuesday, when his nomination went to the hell and was announced publicly, he was with one of the people who has been so vital to his own career and one might even say to his own longevity to his being here in the first place. he was at a summit for wounded warriors and care givers at the time and jeremy hardy, one of the airmen who rescued him after his f-16 was hit in serbia 17 years ago, was that his side,
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just happened to be at his side. great, great, meaningful coincidence. dave has never forgotten the men and women he served alongside or his responsibility to the people under his command. that is important to me. i know it is important to the president and to all of you. his nomination will ensure that -- his commitment to the people extend to make sure the air force of the future remains as a strong as the air force of today. as vice chief of staff he has emphasized the air force's ability to recruit and maintain talented men and women in some of the most critical fields of the future, including cyber, intelligence, battlefield airmen, from cyberspace, to outer space, to defense of the global comments, everyone of us, not just in this country, but around the world, benefits from the peace of mind the united states air force provides the there is nobody more qualified than him to serve as our next air force chief of staff to lead
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660,000 men and women of the air force as they confront today's full spectrum threats and prepare for future challenges. it's my hope that his nomination will move quickly through congress. i'm sure it will. i also want to congratulate dave's wife dawn and not here, and danidaughters diana you're getting the pattern, this will be easy to remember. this is good. dave, dawn, diana and dani. we'll all be in the same row boat here for quite a while, good to have a way to remember that. dani is an air force captain herself, carrying forward a proud family tradition. i want to thank them also for their continued service and support. and finally, while there'll be ample time for celebration and congratulations, i also want to thank general mark welch for his
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strong and steady leadership as air force chief of staff over the last four years. mark and his family, especially his wife betty, have given so much to this country over so many difficult tours. i have worked so long with him that i hardly know what it will be like around here without mark welsh. on behalf of this department and a grateful nation, i want to say four you tio mark for decades of selfless and a skill for service to this country. let me now turn it over to a leader who knows general goldfein very well and will be a great partner in the time to come and that's our excellent air force secretary, debbie james. secretary james: thank you very much, secretary carter. i too would just reich to take a -- i too would like to take a echooments and first
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secretary carter's comments. but first, i would like to thank you mark and you betty for your dedicated service to this nation. we are looking forward to celebrating your combined legacy extensively later on this year, but from day one on the job, as our chief of staff of the united states army, general welch has made it his daily mission to ensure that we maintain the greatest air force on the planet and because, precisely because of his steadfast leadership and the ability to rally our approximately 660,000 airmen of the u.s. air force, we have done exactly that. you see, it was his strategic vision that established global vigilance, global reach, and as air force
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hallmarks and we were able to deliver these combat capabilities to the joint force and operations enduring freedom, freedom sentinel, and inherent result. -- inherent resolve. it was under general welch's watch that we advanced the ball in so many ways. we improved our nuclear enterprise while maintaining a safe, secure and credible nuclear deterrent. we're working also diligently to modernize air, space and cyberspace capabilities. but most importantly of all, mark and betty understand the importance of taking care of people, which is always number one with us. and together, they have championed our push to improve wounded warrior care and to professionalize airmen development, to improve diversity and inclusion in our air force, take care of our families and the list goes on and on. as i look forward to the future and examine today's strategic landscape, i can think of none other better suited to follow in general welch's shoes than our next chief of staff, general
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dave goldfein. president obama certainly nominated a battle proven and highly respected airman in dave, someone who also cares very, very deeply about our people and as secretary carter noted, i, too, hope his nomination will move swiftly through the process. as the 21st chief of staff of the air force, he will bring his extensive experience and unique qualifications to bear as the air force seeks to address today's increasingly complex and very challenging geopolitical environment. as you already heard, earlier in his career, dave was flying hebat missions and later on, led the entire middle east air campaign during his time as the combined forces air component commander. then, as director of the joint staff, he helped to ensure the u.s.'s ability to defend the conduct missions abroad, despite what i think everyone will agree has been a
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highly challenging fiscal environment. and most recently as vice chief of staff together our undersecretary, he has played a major, major role in developing our air force budget, in developing the air force's input and contribution to the third offset strategy, and also has worked tirelessly to increase our capabilities in all three of our war fighting domains. moving forward, i know we will be able to rely on his ability to partner with the congress and other stakeholders to serve some of our most pressing national security concerns. dave, you are fond of saying, in every challenge there is an opportunity and i say, a in't that the truth? i know if confirmed, it will be an honor, a privilege, and it will certainly be a challenge. i know that you dave, and you dawn, are up for that challenge
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and your family are also thankful for that opportunity. on behalf goldfein, of the entire united states air force, many congratulations on your nomination. [applause] general goldfein: thank you for your trust and confidence. i am reminded of a time when i was a young squadron commander and our then chief of staff of , camer force, john jumper and spoke with us. he said something i have never forgotten. he looked at all of us and a said "never forget." "it is truly an honor to be chosen to lead in the united states air force. and your job every day is to be worthy of that honor." that is my commitment to you. to ensure i am worthy of this honor. not only for you, the president,
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madam secretary, but also for the active duty, guard and reserves who make up the air force. if confirmed, i am also looking forward to joining my fellow chiefs and the chairman to offer creative sloughs to many of the complex challenges we face as a nation. so i look forward to getting started and i thank you again for your trust and confidence. [applause] >> secretary carter, can we ask you something about the afghan hospital -- on wednesday, the house armed services committee held a daylong session marking a bill authorizing defense department for fiscald policies year 2017. this portion of the markup is three hours and 15 minutes.
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>> this meeting will come to order. are you good to go? >> i am. i have an amendment at the desk, mr. chairman. >> if the stuff would please distribute the amendment. >> without objection, the amendment is considered as read and the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. thank you, mr. chairman. the amendment, the first thing it does


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