tv Secretary of State Pompeo Testifies Before House Appropriations Subcmte CSPAN March 27, 2019 11:14am-11:42am EDT
>> i'll always talk about the things we're doing. mr. price: since you make a point of it, it's great common practice to have officials quoted in that way. maybe your official was out of line, but is your official, as quoted here, is incorrect? secretary pompeo: i'm happy to talk about the policy. president trump has made very clear that we're going to make sure that u.s. tax dollars achieve the outcomes. it's not enough to talk about them, feel good about them, show how much money we spent. it's not metrics that deliver. you talk about the money that's been spent in the past years. previous administration and the first couple ones of this one and then you said we have an enormous problem. that's proof of its own that this has not been effective. and so our mission, the mission president trump has given to me, secretary nielsen as we're
trying to address the sets of issues is develop a set of programs that reward effective outcomes, leadership, that will get us to a good place where we actually achieve the outcomes. this is about reality, not feeling good we spent money. it's about delivering on these programs. it's proving vecksing for that administration and this one to stand up, to your point -- you made the mention of caravans. we have people coming across the border today from these countries in numbers and in groups that was onesies and twosie. it's now families coming across in significant numbers in the dozens and dozens. i think it's evidence that the policies we had before have not been effective and so we are trying to take the money that you have appropriated and the taxpayers have graciously provided to actually achieve important outcomes for the united states. that's the president's policy. mr. price: well, we would certainly welcome some
indication of what that policy consists of you know, you seem to be saying -- let me check you on this. you seem to be saying that because this is a vexing problem, because we have not solved it and that our efforts to solve it have proved very, very challenging and very, very difficult that therefore the rational response is to become punitive about these countries to cut off aid entirely or to hold up the aid that has been approved and what your officials say seek clarification, that's what we're seeking this morning, clarification. what's going on? secretary pompeo: i hope i didn't use the word punitive. i may have misspoke. mr. price: you don't think the tweet was punitive? secretary pompeo: i think our policy is to get an effective outcome. that's what we're trying to achieve. we're making clear to leaders of governments, not just their
presidents or senior leaders, we're making clear throughout their immigration teams, their security teams, their economic teams that we have expectations for how their behavior will change -- must change in order to continue to maintain u.s. taxpayer support. that seems imminently reasonable. mr. price: word is a new caravan is forming in honduras and we are doing nothing about it. we will cut off three countries and you would not define that as a punitive statement? secretary pompeo: not going to comment on my evaluation. you asked me about the u.s. policy and i have done my level best to articulate it for you this morning. mr. price: thank you, madam chairman. mrs. lowey: i do want to express my appreciation to you, mr. price, for referencing that aid. in fact, i have been very concerned for a while, having been part of vice president
biden's task force. and i remember it very clearly. i cannot say we were successful but i don't think we can give up and i look forward to continuing the discussion, mr. price, and with you, mr. secretary, about what more can we do to deal with the root causes. because these root causes and the effect of these causes directly impact what is happening at our border. so i do hope mr. price and this committee can work with you and see if these programs can be more successful in making root causes changes more successful in those regions of origin. so i thank you for mr. price for referencing it. ms. frankel. ms. frankel: thank you, madam chair. mr. secretary, you and i were -- i think we're getting along very well right now. we did -- we did agree that
when you educate girls and women and they're healthier it's better for the world. let me find something else we can agree on. rape wrong to torture, to women who are merely protesting for their human rights. would that be wrong? secretary pompeo: want to make sure not to get a double negative. that would be wrong. ms. frankel: there we go. we agreed on something else. seriously, i want to ask you about what's going on to some of the women rights activists in saudi arabia. there are so many that were protesting for the end of the ban on women driving and for abolishing the male guardianship system. they have been thrown into prison where they are being subject to torture, rape, electric shock, sleep deprivation, really no justice
occurring there. i would like to know what, if any, interaction the state department has had to try to alleviate what -- the situation. secretary pompeo: we have had nearly ion i think at every level, more specifically the policies we have every hope the kingdom will have expectation. i say nearly every level. i had conversation with the king and crown prince and my counterpart, the foreign minister. i know our team on the ground -- i hope i'll get an ambassador confirmed in saudi arabia before too long. his directive for me will continue to talk about these things in a way we've done for i think this predates me. ms. frankel: do you put pressure on them to do something? secretary pompeo: we've seen some progress, right? we've seen -- ms. frankel: yes.
women are still being tortured. listen, i just want to say this i think it is very important that you put as much pressure as possible to stop that -- the torture that's going on to these women. ok. i am going to find something else to agree on. secretary pompeo: 3-3. ms. frankel: now 4-4. that is -- listen. i am going to say this as expression. we can't wall off the world. i am not talking about the -- south of the border, ok. that disease spreads. one of the reasons -- it's not just humanitarian reasons that we go into, let's say, places like africa to stop the spread f disease where it's h.i.v., tuberculosis because we know these disease spread, correct? secretary pompeo: pandemic is
always a risk. ms. frankel: i want to go back to some of the discussion some -- had about this global what i call this ultra-obsession that your administration has with abortion. it's one thing -- we don't use federal funds for abortion. may disagree with that but the fact of the matter is your interpretation of -- what was -- is a gag rule now harming organizations that are doing just general health care. whether it's contraceptive care, h.i.v., or just maternal care. i want to -- i'll give you an example. ere's an organization called amodifit which is the only provider in mozambique and they have lost funding due to the
expansion of the global gag rule. estimated that it effects 500,000 people who are receiving care for h.i.v., tuberculosis and malaria because they're closing their doors. here's my question to you. is what kind of analysis have you done or you're doing to see -- to understand the effect of cutting off these funds? secretary pompeo: i appreciate the question. we do disagree on abortion. i'll take that as a fact in had how i respond to this. i cannot see how -- first of all you call it a gag rule. no one stopped from speaking anywhere. the gag -- ms. frankel: well, let me -- i don't want to cut you off. you've taken it so far that an organization that doesn't even do abortions are not even allowed to -- if they're asked
a question where they can get an abortion, they are not allowed to be told. they are not allowed to have a pamphlet lying around that gives women alternatives so, yes, it is a gag. maybe you ought to look into it. secretary pompeo: i'm happy to look into it but there's no one being denied the right to speak. ms. frankel: how about getting the health care? secretary pompeo: what they can't do is take u.s. tax funds and perform abortion or services. we have continued to provide -- not a single dollar reduction with respect to women health care that is associated with the president's mexico city policy in all the ways we are implementing that. not one single dollar reduction. it's perverse to think -- when i think about places like china where most of the -- most of the abortions that take place are women. it's perverse for me to say they are denying abortion -- harm's life. ms. frankel: let me reclaim my time to say this.
some of the things we agree. i don't believe in forced abortions, ok. but i don't believe in forcing women to have children if they don't want to have children. here's the thing. i'm urging you -- i am begging you to please do an analysis of how this gag rule is affecting health care around the world. because you and i both agree that when women succeed the world succeeds. and with that i yield back. mrs. lowey: and with that i turn to mrs. torres. mrs. torres: thank you. we're back to central america. i'm concerned about the reliability of some of our security partners in the region. specifically in the northern triangle. i want to make sure we are not sending good money after bad. i'm not confident that honduras ' government is a reliable partner in the fight against
narcotics, narcotrafficking. they recover less than 1% of what is trafficked through the country. that is not even the cost of doing business for a narco trafficker. so on that note, are you aware on november 26, 2018, the u.s. attorney's office for the southern district of new york indicted juan antonio hernandez alvaro, president hernandez's brother on drug trafficking charges? secretary pompeo: yes. mrs. torres: so -- secretary pompeo: i didn't know of the date but the indictment. mrs. torres: mr. hernandez had access to cocaine labs in honduras and colombia. there cocaine was tagged or marked t.h. for his initials, tony hernandez. are you confident president hernandez was unaware his brother is an alleged narcotrafficker? i'll answer peo:
that in a different forum, please? i understand what you're trying to get to with respect to the policy. mrs. torres: i'm happy to a classified briefing on this. secretary pompeo: i prefer to do that if that's acceptable. mrs. torres: i can respect that. i'm very concerned that we continue to work with people and invite them to groundbreaking ceremonies for ur u.s. embassy buildings when we should not be doing business with those people. we should be holding them accountable for the crisis that is happening at our southern border. we have to be serious about holding these three governments accountable for what they are doing, forcing young children and women out of their countries. look, i was one of those kids. my parents didn't see a future for me in guatemala. they sent me to the u.s. to
live with my father's oldest brother. no parent should have to make that decision. no child, no child's future should be robbed from being able to have a successful life where they were born. i think we can agree on that. and i hope that we will continue to pay attention to the region and to hold people accountable, including the state department. the state department is severely underfunded. i don't blame them for some of those missteps that they have taken, but at the same time, we have to put on a serious face in front of these people. e attacks against the sig, while we may disagree on press releases that might have been sent -- and it wasn't from them. it was the attorney general's office. you and i know that it's an investigative body.
their charge is to investigate corruption and hopefully someday that these governments will be able to do their own investigations. that's not happening. not with president morales. it's not happening with moxie, ith president hernandez in honduras. i'm hoping in el salvador with the new president we will have an opportunity to do better. but we can't do better with a new administration when we are showing a terrible example of continuing to support bad actors in these two other countries. secretary pompeo: i'm sorry. you didn't ask a question. mrs. torres: i'd like you to respond and commit. last year we passed an amendment in the ndaa which required the state department to provide congress with a report, a report that includes a list of corrupted elected officials. they were supposed to do this
180 days after the ndaa was enacted. to my account, it's 226 days now. long overdue. can we expect that sometime in the near future? secretary pompeo: i will look into that. i was unaware that we had a due out that was overdue and i'll look into that and get a response, a legally required task. mrs. torres: thank you and i yield back. mrs. lowey: thank you. before i turn to mr. rogers, i want to thank you, mrs. torres, for your comments. and i do want to say, mr. secretary, i think it's about $1.2 billion left in the account. u.s. strategy for engagement in central america. we had appropriated $4 billion and there's about $1.2 billion left in the account. i would hope we can continue this discussion. it would be good to know from your perspective what we've accomplished, what remains to
be accomplished, a great deal, and what we can do about it. i'm not sure it's just another billion. that's a lot of money, but i would like to see from you a review of all of our actions that have frankly addressed the serious challenge in the region. secretary pompeo: we'll provide that to you and the committee and ranking member. mr. rogers: mr. secretary, syria. i understand the top u.s. objective there is the enduring defeat of isis. i assume that means not only the destruction of the caliphate, which has occurred, but also preventing a return of the conditions that allowed isis to arise in the first place. during testimony before congress earlier this year, the u.s. commander of centcom said, and i quote, the coalition's hard won battlefield gains must be secured by continued interagency efforts and
mobilizing the international community to prevent a return of the conditions that allowed isis to arise. to accomplish that goal, what sort of sustained efforts, political, diplomatic, military ll be required of us and our partners to -- in eastern syria? secretary pompeo: to your permission let me extend it to eastern iraq, the place where the caliphate existed as a contiguous institution. it will take efforts in each of those two places that have mostly a political and diplomatic component to them so there will be an element of diplomacy, humanitarian assistance, reconstruction aid. we will need to the continue to defeat isis coalition that will continue to bring people, money. it will take the reconstruction in these places that will be an
enormously costly undertaking. second, there's the political piece which is the work that we need to do. i'll meet with the speaker of the house equivalent from iraq who's traveling here to the united states here. i'm meeting him this week to work with the political leadership in iraq to assist them building out the iraqi security forces so they can maintain control and keep their own country secure so that isis can't arise and it's not just isis. in syria we got all other forms of radical. we have al-nusra front. the list is wrong. the threat of terrorism in the region remains. it's going to take a political resolution in syria to create the conditions where syria can both begin to rebuild and begin to build out its security forces as well. it is a -- enormous undertaking. mr. rogers: you don't request for funds in syria in your
budget. secretary pompeo: we're not there yet. there's -- we can't operate in 2/3 of syria today. we just -- and we won't operate while assad continues to be there and wreak the devastation he has. until we got a pathway where we have a political resolution. so we have the resources we can continue to do the work in the eastern third, northeast part of syria to work with the kurds and turks to get an outcome that's stable and lasting as well that underwrites the capacity to take u.n. security council 2254 and implement it. that's the mission statement. we believe we have the resources to do that. your quote was from someone at centcom, if i remember correctly. or d.o.d. resources that will be a central component to that as well. rogério de lima in the short term, how are -- mr. rogers: in the short term, how are we going to help the syrian democratic forces, how
will we help them cope with the large number of captured foreign fighters? secretary pompeo: i'm glad you asked this question. the foreign fighters reside mostly in northern syria. though are being transferred to other places. it's a real threat. i had a pretty senior military leader remind me he did not want his children and grandchildren fighting these same terrorists, same human beings because we detained them. he risked his life to get them and we were risking putting them back out on the street. the state department has led an effort to repatriate these places to countries where they have systems, justice systems and the capacity to hold them, hold them for an extended period of time. but i'm mindful. some of the terroristes that were captured early on in this fight after 2011 had 20-year prison sentences. they will be getting out pretty soon. this risk, this risk of foreign terrorist fighters and their re-entry when they have not changed their ways in their desire to destroy america,
destroy the west, and commit acts of jihad is a very real challenge. mr. rogers: there are many different nationalities. secretary pompeo: we repatriated to countries in northern africa, arab countries. we asked every country to take back those that are their own and we have many that -- that we won't be able to return for a host of reasons. and we got to find a solution which we have not yet done. the state department and department of defense are working closely with the iraqis and others to figure out the best way to ensure they don't return to the battlefield. it's a real challenge. mr. rogers: mr. secretary, you have been very generous with your time. we appreciate you being with us. mrs. lowey: mr. secretary, i, too, want to thank you, again, for spending this time with us. i'd like to ask you if you think the state department has gotten its swagger back. do you have adequate resources to fund your important work, both here and overseas?
as we contemplate your budget r 2020, if there is specific requests, we'd be happy to assist you in your very important work. so has the state department gotten the swagger back? secretary pompeo: i hope so. i'll leave others to judge. those in america and around the world to make that decision. it's been an incredible privilege to lead civil officers, those around the world who are doing remarkable work while i have been secretary of state. been so fortunate to be their leader. i hope i helped them perform their function better. that's what i meant by get your swagger back. mrs. lowey: i appreciate that. i must say i am honored to be chair of this subcommittee. it's a choice and all of us who serve on this committee made this important choice. so we want to ensure we are responding to your requests to the urgent needs. i know we can't solve all the
problems of the world, but we certainly would like to work with you to address the many, many challenges we have. very closing, thank you much. and this concludes today's hearing. the subcommittee on state, foreign operations and related programs stands adjourned. i thank you very much for being with us. secretary pompeo: thank you for conducting a very professional hearing. i appreciate it. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
committee, and that's coming up this afternoon at 12:30 eastern. we'll have live coverage of that beginning at 12:30. over on c-span, you can also -- c-span3, you can follow it on c-span.org or the free c-span radio app. in about 20 minutes on c-span, we'll bring you live coverage of the u.s. house as they take up a bill dealing with pay equity. also, a resolution against the trump administration policy banning most transgender military members from serving. live house coverage is here on c-span at about noon eastern. until then, part of today's "washington journal." " continues. --"washington journal" continues. peter welch.st is good morning to you. guest: good morning. are the reports --committees expected to receive the mueller report in full? guest: