tv Rep. Michael Mc Caul on U.S. Foreign Policy Priorities CSPAN April 1, 2019 2:10pm-3:11pm EDT
the house on c-span and the senate on c-span2. we take you live to remarks from house foreign affairs committee chairman mccaul. >> they have a vested interest in oil. the fact that the russians are in there, it almost rivals, you now, the cuban missile crisis. one can only imagine the scenario where they would say let us build a military port in caracas and we'll keep you in power. we'll hope that doesn't happen. but one thing is clear to me, as long as maduro is there, we're going to continue to have this problem. i think the real question is how do you get rid of them.
i think that's a difficult foreign policy challenge. >> don't you think the people on the ground in the country should be the leaders of, do we get rid of them, how do we get rid of them? and which side is the domestic military on at the moment, they're on maduro's side. >> if you poll themmed privately, the president of colombia said 94%, 95% are not with him. e problem -- president guaido's wife and the wife of the chief of staff who is now in prison met with us. he cubans are threatening. they spy on the military and threaten their families so it's more an extortion situation. everyone we have talked to is against maduro. i think the people of venezuela are against him. -- it'sery heavy handed
a state oppressing their own people. we always stand for democracy and fre and fair elections, not dictator ships. >> if you were very candid looking at goffs the u.s. still supports, i'm not say anything head of government is exact lew like maduro but we support some governments that are not democratic with a little d, and where -- more autocratic. >> this is in our hemisphere. three million refugees come ought in colombia. what does that mean for the united states of america? they're running all orts of narcoactivities, it's a threat to the united states. mrs. harman: i'm not arguing for maduro but trying to assess what our options are. when the president says all options are on the table do you think there's any serious chance that we would consider qusing the military option there? mr. mccaul: very small percentage, when i talk about
people like elliot abrams. when i talk to the president of the columbia, he said if it wasn't -- president of colombia, he said if it wasn't for the threat of force he would have left. i think it's important that the venezuelans know that is an option on the table. it give ours diplomats more levranl as well. mrs. harman: i mentioned that maybe the analogy is syria. when you look at syria, which has a leader we don't like but he's still there, it is hem -- it has hemorrhaged -- about half the country is displaced. half of the half is in the country and half of the half is destabilizing the economies of neighbors country which is is taking them in at gigantic amounts of refugees. i was recently in jordan, alistening the syrian border, and there are 1.4 million refugees in jordan. that's about 20% of their population or more. they're doing a pretty good job
along with the u.n. high commission on refugees taking care of these folks. chance to -- what happens to colombia which is moving out of a dark path to a much better governance, or the other countries around venezuela, what what happens -- what happens? mr. mccaul: they are all taking in refugee but they told me it is unsustainable. his could affect clomia. colombia was a success story, but i think it's having a negative, the venezuelan crisis had a negative impact. they have -- i think if anything, you got a couple of options. you can do secondary sanctions which would have more effect on maduro and the supply of energy to cuba. and then there's always plan b
which i think if anything happens militarily it should not be the united states, per se, but rather the people of venezuela, the colombians, the lima group, arch entina and brazil and o's. 54 nations have recognized guaido as the legitimate president. mrs. harman: i don't think the lima is group is in favor of the military option. mr. mccaul: colombia is. i don't know in a option should be on the table. mrs. harman: let's stay in that hemisphere for one more question. the north american triangle, three country that are basically the push factor for the migration through mexico to our border. our president said a few days ago he's thinking about cutting off aid to all of them and closing the border. what do you think and what do you think most of your colleagues think about that? mr. mccaul: i think some people if they haven't studied the issue or been down there maybe
don't understand what the foreign aid actually does. it's a big thing to say, they're sending migrant, i'll cut off their foreign aid. the fact is that that foreign aid, and we have the presentation on what usaid is doing down there, rerouting at-risk youth into training, computer science, away from ms-13. an we got the international law enforcement that's taking place in el salvador where ms-13 is prevalent. that's been a hugely successful -- they briefed us on the arrests they made, how they crack dund on ms-13. in the last two years the numbers with respect to this aid has actually lowered the crime rate, helped the economy, we got to stabilize these areas and if we don't, it's going to get worse and it's not going to help the immigration system, it's just going to get worse. we can be very reactive at our border to stop them from coming
in, but jane if we done address the root cause of the problem through the central american security initiative, we're going to continue to have this problem. mrs. harman: in 2017 in this administration there was a summit in miami. i remember this. vice president pence went, john kelly when he was secretary of homeland security went, and so did luis moreno,ed of the inter-american development bank, i think they were the three co-sponsors with the government of mexico, if i remember this right, i'm looking at duncan. mexico institute, very good job d the point was to provide help to these governments, it ll clean up corruption and provide to deliver services and stimulates the economy so people will yen rate jobs to employ people in stable countries. i think as we -- at least i
thought then, i still think, i think you agree with me that that option would be better than cutting all these folk office cold turkey. if they cap even do it. can congress stop the president from doing this? mr. mccaul: i don't want to give away -- we are planning to have a hearing on this coming back. about strengthening the central american regional security initiative. i think it's a great return on our investment. because if you can stabilize those nations, take the root cause of the pob away. the immigration things change. when i was a federal prosecutor, usually it was a 20-year-old man getting in. now they know how to exploit our laws. we're seeing family units. they come out of the northern riangle. caravans and all that stuff. if we cut all this fund, a lot of it, quite hopsly is serious law enforcement down there,
f.b.i., d.e.a. i think it's going to be things tragically worse, not better. mrs. harman: i don't want to be misheard. oom not saying there will be no problem even if you do that. ms-13 is still a big problem. mexico has a lot to do on its southern border and northern border and the chi yes teesougged to be prosecuted and ought to do comprehensive immigration reform. mr. mccaul: we try. mrs. harman spg i know. we need to try harder. we need to get something to happen. interestingly, senator cornyn will be here tomorrow talking about a whole series of thing he's been thinking about. i think it's gate. i think it'sst it's going to take some big thinking by people who want to make this a priority in congress. mr. mccaul: it's basically responsible for all this law enforcement response to ms-13
and other threats. i don't think they've thought it through. if we cut off foreign aid that goes away. i mean, tell me how that makes us -- protects us? it's more of a threat if we take that piece out. mrs. harman: we say around here, i'm in violent agreement. we had senator ron johnson here last week from wisconsin saying people misunderstand what foreign aid and what it does and it's less than 1% of the federal budget. some people think it's 50%, it's not. it's a hugely important investment on behalf of our country. mr. m kahle: i think it's a worthwhile investment. mrs. harman: let's cover a few more hot spot, i want to show off how smart you are. we do a lot of work here on the arctic. we have a pelar initiative that's gotten enormous attention in this town. we say we are the arctic square in washington where all the
different issues can be discussed. one of the new issues is that china has said that the initiative extends to building infrastructure and ice breakers an other assets in what could become the new shipping channel between asia and europe because the polar icecap has melted to cause sufficient -- melted sufficiently to cause, or create, a new ocean. it's a much shorter route than going through the panama canal. what are your committee's thoughts about china's road initiative extending to the boarder of the united states, literally? mr. mccaul: the last briefing i had when i was chairman of homeland, i had the f.b.i., foreign counterintelligence they told me, they said we're shifting from radical islamic terrorism which is still a thrit, but we're shifting to china. which indicates to me that china is the number one splet. russia is a threat but the --
but china, through their one road, the chinese, the current president who is outgoing, was cutting a deal with the chi meeze to give up two sea ports to allow the chinese come. in they overleverage country, bring their own workers in, and effectively economically take over the country. they're going to bring their 5g in, the telecommunications. if china brings its 5g in, they own those countries. twhare doing? it's a playbook that the he sador gave me, it's -- did everything he said he was going to do in that boom. the chinese have written their manifesto as well. it lays out exactly what they're doing. they're in africa. african nations really don't have much of an alternative. they say we'll come in and invest. they overleverage them, they've
taken over the sri lanka port. they're building a military base next to ours in djibouti. they're hugely aggressive. mrs. harman: and in europe too. but they would argue it's in the about world domination from their perspective, it's about economic commerce and they have the right to trade the way we trade around the world. mr. mccaul: but when they overleverage the country and take over the sea ports it's global domination. mrs. harman: countries don't ave to sign the deal do, they? mr. mccaul: no. but i had dinners with eight african ambassadors and said why are you signing these deals? they're going to take over. nd they said we know that, but you aren't there. so we needy employee macy, we need to focus on what are you doing to focus on the american
interest in business. look at the mission statement of the consular service, that's their basic mission statement, further american business interests. mrs. harman: let's take that comment, we're not there why are we not there? does it make sense to do massive cuts to the state department budget po posed by the administration now? mr. mccaul: africa is a hot spot. you have the threat of terrorism. the caliphate is falling it's just not gone. northern africa is where the hot activity is going to be. the military will tell you that. i introduced, along with eliot engel and lindsay graham on the senate side and senator coon, he global fragility act that has the state department and others working together to deal with the extremism issue and stabilize nations just luke
central america so that down the road, we've done a pretty good job defending the nation. i'd say 95% of the attacks we have stopped. pretty good offensively. you know. we've gone and done what we've donening get rid of al qaeda and isis. done a poor job on prevention. i think this piece goes to prevention piece just like it should go to northern triangle and venezuela. mrs. harman: the caliphate is the territory that isis held. a lot of it in syria that it declared was the new state. we have deprived isis of territory but we haven't defeated the idea of isis. i think that's what you're talking about. mr. mccaul: we destroyed the government space and now they're embedding in syria, maybe to rise another day. certainly libya.
and i think we're seeing a lot more increased activity in the sahale, the middle portion of africa. i think that's where you'll see if we don't do something, we'll see more radicalization, more extremism and yes, more terror. mrs. harman: so do something means what? mr. mccaul: the global fragility act. mrs. harman: which is bipartisan. eliot engel is a democrat, you're a republican. and senator coons is a democrat, graham a republican. mr. mccaul: as lindsey graham said he's going to like this bill and the report the most. -- who is going to like this bill and report the most in the department of defense. if we fail on the prevention side we have no alternative but to go to the military. it's always the last option. we cant the diplomats, when they fail, the military goes, in you want the diplomats to succeed at their job.
stabilization of these countries , if there is governance if you don't have stability, that is when they go in and take over these countries. mrs. harman: let's turn to a few ore things. turkey had an election. ered juan's party suffered major the feet in cities. ukraine just had an election, now there's going to be a runoff for president of the country. how do those elections affect us? mr. mccaul: i think it's interesting to see elections in support of edjuan waning. they're a nato ally. elliot and i met with the prime minister and asked, why are you supporting maduro? he's our one-time friend. why are you buying the russian -- mrs. harman: the s-400. mr. mccaul: why aren't you
buying the american, you're a nato ally built to protect us from russia in the cold war. i see them going down a path, edjuan, it's like going back to the ottoman empire. he's a dick -- dictator that started to do things not in our best interest. mrs. harman: he just lost a lot of his power in the cities, he doesn't have a majority, his party doesn't, in several cities including the capital, ankara. what do you think that will mean? will it change his attitude toward us? his attitude toward the other nato? mr. mccaul: i hope. there's no lack of confidence or ego, he'll try to remain in power as long as he can. it shows his support is waning. i disagree with theth when he's going to pull all the troops out of syria because they're our
sworn enemy they call them terrorists. the first thing is turkey will come in, slaughter the kurds and then all the -- the 2,000 jihadists we have in prison, the yef, have in these prisons will be opened. m gld that lindsey graham is able to make the argument and have the president change his position. mrs. harman: and he has changed it. we'll kept a smaller force but we will keep a force that could increase. but let's say, i was talking about nato. ukraine is not a nato member but ukraine is certainly right on nato's border. the secretary yen of nato comes wednesday, address the joint session of congress. he was invited on a bipartisan basis by mitch mcconnell and nancy pelosi. there's been some question about whether the administration supports fully article 5.
of nato. which is the common defense provision. nato, you would know this, mike. right after 9/11, invoked article 5 to help us even though we hadn't requested the help. so what do you think about nato and do you think this visit will -- what will be the significance of this visit? mr. mccaul: i think it's very significant. nato is our strongest alliance in europe. yet they have to pay their fair share, of course. but the rhetoric doesn't have to be quite so harsh. i think nato traditionally they've always been there. for us. it's an alliance we -- it's very strong, you know, in our best national security interest to have a strong relationship. so i don't like some of the rhetoric that seems to mean that. i do think they have to pay 2% of g.d.p. which they agreed to do. but nato is, i mean, in cyber
security when estonia was taken over by russia, ukraine you mentioned earlier, it's the biggest playground for the russians in terms of cyber security, throwing all these weapons in and testing them and ukraine to see how effective they are while at the same time a kinetic war on their eastern side with crimea and they're building this land briverage that will cut off the ukrainian port. very aggressive. i know the prime minister not too long ago and the feeling is, it's a lot of anxiety when russia is your neighbor and they're being so aggressive. mrs. harman: let's talk about russia and its disinformation campaigns which have been used as you said in ukraine certainly in major parts of europe also in georgia. and here. this might bridge your last gig as chairman of house homeland.
are we doing enough to prevent russia, russia's disinformation campaigns from skewing the results in our 2020 elections? and if we're not what should we be doing? mr. mccaul: i think we're doing a better job at it now. the ukraine, you know, leaders talking about how they're cobstantly throwing disinformation campaigns into their lexes. i -- into their elections. i went to a gang of eight, i got invited, jeh johnson, in october of 2016, this was happening. it was very clear. you know, it's taken people a while to accept that intelligence that it happened. how much of an impact did it have on the election? that's the issue. but the fact is they're trying to influence the election. they're for government. i would say for the first time that's happened, they've done it many years prior. i prosecuted the johnny chung case, director of chinese
intelligence because china air pace clinton's policies of satellite. they put money into his hong kong bank account for the clinton campaign. they just have a new tool. they're very effective at it. mrs. harman: under our constitution, the states regulate the time and man over elections. a number of states have taken a while to get around to the point of view that gee, maybe this is a national problem and we need help. it was jeh johnson who declared state election voter machines as part of our critical infrastructure and what that means is that federal money is available for this. do you think that the federal government has an interest, you know, and the congress, has an interest in making sure our elections are free to the maximum extent from influence operations from foreign governments.
mr. mccaul: the states initially didn't want department of homeland security in their lebs, i think the states have broadly accepted it, not to take over the machine bus to help them. congress re-authorized tribal $300 million in grants to states to assist them in their elections. you get into whether it's adicalization or the internet, you perfect it to this kind of stuff, you get into social media and that's where i think our -- our facebooks of the world out there have a responsibility. mrs. harman: i think the private sector, the tech sector, is waking up to this. there's a lot of government pressure on the tech sector. and certainly my hope would be that the people who vote in our 2020 election are americans, registered voters, and the information on which they base their information is -- and the information on which they base their vote is accurate. mr. mccaul: there's a huge role
in this. as i mentioned, when we were looking at foreign fighters, it shifted to, oh my god they're using the internet, very astutely to radicalized people ll over the world. it was a whole new phase of terrorism events. i sat down with tech companies, this was probably five, six years ago. there was a bit of a reluctance from them to get into this game. i will say they have come around one ing off the -- every of these terrorists, they're looking at lane stuff, now they've got algorithms, they have a queen of terrorism, so to speak that makes decisions about what they take down. mrs. harman: tose efforts, 12,000 people at facebook or whatever working on this, have been criticized too there's a free speech issue but also there's a capacity issue.
is that enough? will there be a way to screen out or at least to use transparency so that people using social media know where the information came from? mr. mccaul: right. i think that's where the algo rit. s come into play. mrs. harman: last question for me is on north korea. i think the good news is, there is some good news, the president focused on north korea from day one. i think that was an important thing to do. i think other good news is that the rhetoric on both sides has subsided. there have been a couple of face-to-face meetings. however the bad news is, so far as i know, there's no progress on the nuclear -- on denuclearization and in fact the intelligence in the public press has shown that north korea is continuing to advance its capabilities. so now what?
mr. mccaul: we've had three prior administrations working on. this now they have intercontinental ballistic missile. their accurate -- rack rah -- accuracy isn't great but they can hit the united states now. to not engage would be irresponsible. i commend the administration for engaging and having conversations. will they be able to talk in a week of fully -- denuclearization? i don't think so. there's theals equestion of what that definition means. it's different to kim jong un's to what it is from our point of view. they have a i gree on that definition. they have to stop -- they have stopped launching missile they brought some remains home. i think those are two positive thins. i think when they had the meeting in hanoi and the north koreans only divulged probably half of their nuclear sites,
that was not good faith. i think the decision to walk away was a good one. when reagan walked away from the soviets, it was smart and we ended the cold war eventually. i think you know, just to get a deal, if it's a bad deal, you have to know when to walk away. i do know president moon will be meeting with the president in the next couple of weeks. i just again, this is not, the kim dynasty, their whole power is on having this nuclear. mrs. harman: having nuclear weapons makes it very hard for them to be -- mr. mccaul: it's hard to give up. mrs. harman: it's a local decision, wie not talking about how we're doing it, but it's very hard. and kim jong un looks at what happened in libya, where gaddafi gave up his purchased nuclear
weapons, en route from pakistan, and then was murdered by his own people in the streets. he also may look at what he did with the iran deal whether you were for or against, we had a deal with iran and then the administration decides to can sell the deal. -- to cancel the deal. there's a lot going on that influences. this i don't think anyone disagrees that finding a path forward would be productive and prevent north korea from using nuclear weapons on its neighbors or us would be a good idea. mr. mccaul: that's why the maximum pressure campaign is the right strategy. the problem is enforcement because the chinese and russians are violating it. mrs. harman sneck sanctions, yeah. mr. mccaul: and putting maximum pressure. you put the maximum pressure you get to a point where, ok, this is the way it's going to work. i'll give up my weapons, i need economic assistance. and you know, i want to be a vibrant economy, not one of the worst economies in the world.
his people are really hurting. the human rights abuses are just -- mrs. harman: question, will he really give up his weapons? won't that mean if his people are integrated into the world economy and see what their options are, will his regime survive? different question. mr. mccaul: i think that's right. mrs. harman: good questions. smart, good questions. identify yourself and ask a question. not a -- do not make a speech. ight here in the middle. >> my name is tom dine. i was going to ask you, do you need glasses? mrs. harman: do i need demasses because i couldn't see you in the dark? hi, tom. >> this is a good discussion, thank you. let me get very specific because i like jumping around the world in terms of hot spots but this
is sometimes what we really want to do, can do. i lived in prague, etc., i'm very much interested in that area of the world, particularly internal politics as well as what the russians are doing. but lately we've had other problems in that area of the world, including hungary. and a couple of us alumni of radio free europe want to go to the hill and get your approval, authorization, to go back into hungary. with broadcasting. the soft power angle, etc. what do you think about that? mr. mccaul: i think it's a great idea. i look forward to meeting with you. >> if we dent get our message out it's not going to get out, right? radio efree europe is a way to get our values out.
i can't think of better place for it than iran. the ayatollah is, probably won't be in this world much longer. the younger people do not like the oppressive theocracy. they're just under it. i think that's a great opportunity to if we can message it right if they like western culture, sometimes music and entertainment can be some of our best, you know, diplomats. getting that message out i think is an effective way to do it under a dictatorship. or a theocracy in that case. mrs. harman: other questions? duncan, i'll call on you next. over here. on the right side. my right side. >> hi. i'm a reporter from voice of america, my nam is connie. i want to ask your stance on north cree -- north korea sanctions. do you think it's time for congress to put additional sanctions on north korea and if so what kind of sanctions will
be effective? and how do you think congress can effectively enforce north korea sanctions? mr. mccaul: it's not really a question of do we need more, which i would probably support. it's a question of are we enforcing existing sanctions. i would hope that this is part of the president, our president's meetings with president xi, we need to work with you to resolve the situation, you know, right next door to you. we all know that china has the greatest influence on north korea and kim jong un. i do know that that's part of the trade, part of the trade negotiation including intellectual property. while they're talking my understanding is they may have a sign aid greement within the next month. i hope so so we can move forward. but i think that should be part of the discussion because if china enforces the sanctions and china, they have the greatest leverage over kim jong un and
they're the biggest player in this negotiation. mrs. harman: that brings up a related question about linkage. i think that criticism of this administration is, it does one transaction at a time. more like a real estate transaction. do the purchase here, then the sale over there. we're talking about the same country. china has leverage, it hasn't historically had great relations with north korea but they are improving according to our scholars. there's the china and north korea issue, there's the china belton road initiative we were talking about and there's the china trade deal and should we be linking or should those who were negotiating the trade deal be linking it with the other issues? mr. mccaul: i do i think the intellectual property theft shower part of that as well. they steal trillions from our economy. they are in our universities and research and development, you know, particularly medical.
there are a lot of ongoing f.b.i. investigations right now. they have a thousand towns program. remember, they stole 20 million security clearances including yours and mine. which i wasn't happy about but then, there were no consequences to that behavior. i will say theus kit department has now indicted probably 10 chinese nationals for espionage which i think is a positive. mrs. harman: and the trump administration is focusing on that issue, they should be commended for doing it my hope is the resolution of these different china-related issues will advantage us in all the areas. and we won't just leave a couple outside the deal. mr. mccaul: i think all these issues should be part of the deal, if not part of an ongoing conversation. you know if we can reduce our trade deficit, that's a huge deal.
it will help the economy as well. mrs. harman: director of our mexico institute, duncan wade. >> i would like your opinion as a congressman representing texas about the president's threats to close the border. i'm deeply concerned not just about the impact on the mexican and our economies, but also the willingness the mexican government has shown to work to stem the immigration and what potential effects it could have in the mexican congress as they try to ratify the trade agreement. mr. mccaul: i went down though mexican president's inauguration. they're my neighbor in the south, i don't view them as the enemy. they're the largest trading partner in texas. if you seal the border, you're going to cut off significant
trade, it'll have a significant impabt on the economy. i think the president made that statement out of frustration. he's frustrated that we have 100,000 per month now trying to get into the country. and that's probably why he's threatening to cut the foreign aid off as well. he's in a very -- we try to change some of these laws but we were unable to do that. so he's doing a lot of this out of frustration. i don't think he's going to actually completely shut off the border. it would have a significant impact on our economies. i forgot, what was the -- mrs. harman: usmta. mr. mccaul: i'm a big proponent. we had a meeting with the president last week. there are 20 of us that have been sort of on the whip team to try to get this through. e can't afford not to do this. it has a very positive effect on our economy. i think that some of the abuses
were remedied. i think it was modernized and the energy changes and digital changes, i think modernize the nafta usmca agreement. i think the other side of the aisle has issues with respect to labor unions and probably more so on the 10-year passes, obligations with the pharmaceutical companies. really two of the sicking points. mrs. harman: but both party, i remember this vividly, i was not in this part of my party, have strong anti-trade wings. will there be enough votes to get it ratified? mr. mccaul: i think you're going to see the votes on my side of the aisle. i can't guarantee on the other. i think you have people who understand it, but then off more leftist wing of the democratic party that will never agree to this but it's abvutery --
absolutely critical that we do it. the president of mexico, they -- the president of can dark they want. this mrs. harman: lot of questions. red sweater in the middle in the back. icrophone. >> thank you, senator. mrs. harman: identify yourself. >> former director of the middle east down soifl churches. could you comment on the move of president trump about golan heights? mr. mccaul: as you know, that's a strategic piece of real estate so they can see into syria. and lebanon. i think the threat level in israel is increase, not decreasing right now. last time i was over in israel, prime minister netanyahu, he talked about what he called the
shia crescent which is expansion of shea shia militias into iraq and sir yasm they have the hewittcies in yemen. n lebanon, hezbollah has built rocket manufacturing plants and now their capabilities, about 150,000 rockets now. they also have these in the gaza strip as well. poses a -- it's so many that it can overload the iron dome. i think that's what they're worried about. you're going to see this conflict. that will be of massive proportions. mrs. harman: but the golan is on the syrian border. i saw it a couple of summers ago, you can stand up there and look at the war in syria from golan heights. you're saying strategically it's too important to keep it part of israel. it was unresolved, it's not that israel has been the dominant force in the golan, but you think it's important, i think that's the question.
mr. mccaul: i think -- the united states recognizes it's part of israel, does the rest of the world? i think -- i'm for a strong israel. i think there are very strategic ally in the region. surrounded in a pretty bad neighborhood. the king of jordan was with us last week, god love him, he's lways been our ally. to your point, 1.5 million refugees is killing his economy. mrs. harman: over here on the aisle. third row. >> now that mueller investigation is over no collusion is found, do you recommend president trump to have a summit with putin to see if they can find a compromise
nd get out of this crisis. mr. mccaul: which crisis. >> u.s.-russia relations. mr. mccaul: i think the president in his way admires putin because he's a strongman. and we have passed most effective, comprehensive set of sanctions on russia for what they did in crimea and the election. i always think it's healthy to have conversations. you know. between two leaders. goden verysians have aggressive. i think putin's mindset is to be one of the great leaders like stalin or one of the great czars. and try to regain the glory of the old soviet empire. it's a threat to ukraine and the baltic nations. they went into syria because they want the ports and the mediterranean. now they're putting military
assets in caracas, in wednesday vela. so i see very afwressive russia. my wife used to track soviet submarines, that's why i asked her out to go on a date, to track soviet submarines. when that ended, the subs left but they're back off the coast of the united states. so i think this russian aggression is a serious threat tour security interests. should they talk? yeah. i think they should. conversation -- having a conversation is always good idea. once k.g.b., always. i don't think -- i know you're from moskau, don't take this the wrong -- moscow, don't take this the wrong way, but i don't think he has our best interests in mind. mrs. harman: ok, this side, woman in the blue shirt. >> thanks very much, my name is
lin, i think that tom dine and our colleague from voice of america will like this. the agency that oversees the oar and other broadcasters as well as the media is u.s. agency for global media. part of the diplomacy architecture of the united states. i don't necessarily need to inform you of this, mr. mccaul, because when you were new you had people from the then-bbg come up and brief youened i was with that agency back then. public diplomacy is one of our front lines when it comes to influences povens people overseas about the united states as well as about the values we hold. including democracy and transparency and such. can you tell us something about your commitment to supporting public diplomacy and in particular, now that you're in a position of pow ore then committee, do you have a staff member who holds that portfolio? mr. mccaul: we do. if you want to come to the hill we can have a meeting.
literally the voice of america is hugely important for us to communicate with those -- you so effectively during the cold war, you know, as well. that's one of the reasons we were able to end the war on our terms, i think. nd i think that one of -- when the diplomats fail we go to wars. if you don't fully fund the state department, then you have to buy more ammunition. i think he's right. this gos back to the central american issue as well. there are major cuts, i think it was more of a statement more than a real budget or document, i think you're going to see congress do what they did last time they presented a cut back budget, we're going to restore that funding in congress.
that budget was not received well by myself orel yot engel but also hal rogers, chair of the appropriations subcommittee. very draconian. but long-term, that would have a negative impact on the united states. mrs. harman: amanda bennett who i think still chairs voice of america, has been here recently. we certainly welcome her back and are very reseptember toiv comments like this. we're going to do a lightning round because we're almost out of time. we have someone in the middle in the back that i can't see. ok. is that you? matthew. and someone on the aisle right here next to this microphone. anybody on this side? yes in the middle, three from the edge, you. yes. sorry. couldn't get everybody. yeah. >> hi so i'm matthew silverman
from here at the wilson center. is it good that there's alignment in the u.s. government on china as a new threat and as a potential emerging adversary but is there still any discussion of engagement with china? is there any -- are there words of caution that by talking about china as an adversary it might be a self-fulfilling prophecy or do you think do you feel the tone has changed and move aid way from engagement? mrs. harman: ok, thank you. question here. >> my name is juan from georgetown university, let me take you back, back to latin america for a second. my expertise is how china influences latin america and let me take you to argentina, you are not only the republican leader of the foreign affairs committee but a member of the argentina caucus. there's a deep space observation base in the south of argentina
built by china that is fully operated. the previous administration didn't specify whether it was for civilian usage or only for military purposes. he current argentina said it's only for specific purposes. my friends in the pentagon and d.o.d. are nervous about. this do you have any conversations with argentinian counterparts of the space observation base, thank you. mrs. harman: and a question over there. there. and let me call on you too. we're going to do four. and the woman in front. ok. ? do you want my question now? my name is pete dodson from sterling, virginia. thank you director harman and congressman for doing this event. it's been great. i gave a copy of my book to claire, i hope your staff will review itenedville a chance to get a picture with you. the question is, at risk of tsaoing partisan discord about
p.o.w.'s, soifs in iraq when we were hot and heavy looking for captain spiker so i know that finding p.o.w.'s is a top priority for the country. i just wondered today, recently, given that the veterans administration thinks there's still over 1,000 p.o.w.'s alive and in captivity what we're doing to find them and get them home? mrs. harman: final question, in front right here. here comes the mike. is the u.s. n, how going to be dealing with saudi arabia, one of your strongest allies in the region in case mbs becomes the king suddenly ithout solve manage issues starting from the ka showing gee killing knowing that -- khashoggi killing, knowing that the congress has a different take on the case than the
administration. mrs. harman: yause of our soft powers, tariffs with china, the space in ar jeb tee narc our stand on p.o.w.'s and what we're going to do about saudi arabia eespecial lit in the event m.b.s. accedes to become king? mr. mccaul: starting with china, you know, fulfill a self-fulfilling prophecy, i believe they are an adversary and we need to treat thumb as such. they are all over the globe and their ultimate goal is economic and global dominance and so i think -- it's a common enemy. i would say adversary nation states. in the tenure, i have the chairman of homeland that arised, the caliphate, now i see the biggest threats are our foreign nation state adversaries such as russian,
iran, venezuela. on argentina, yeah, i have been very concerned about that space post and the chinese involvement. it goes right under their playbook. i believe latin america as a whole, having come back there yesterday, i always try to be an optimist. i see there are changes in latin america with colombia, with argentina, the new elections there, and brazil and chile that have really creating a more pro-u.s. alliance. maduro -- i know another issue we have to deal with, but then in el salvador, we have a newly president, young guy, very charismatic, who is very pro-u.s. i think that's why these cuts -- the message to send two weeks after he was received in washington, p.o.w.'s always an
issue. i met with the special envoy for hostages in the state department. in addition to the p.o.w.'s, i have several constituents who are in iranian jails, in assad's prisons, some pretty bad places. several citgo employees in venezuela in prisons, but we always have -- we have to get our p.o.w.'s back and i know the states are working very hard on that. saudi, which is -- thank you for raising that because that is a major issue i think we fail to address but if i can take you back and the crown prince came in and speaker ryan and his brother, the young ambassador at 25 years old, and he talked about modernization of his country, he talked about women driving, we talked about diversifying an economy, again, very charismatic and we all left with this impression, wow, you know, they could really be moving in the right direction.
and prime minister netanyahu, he is starting to call saudi his ally, his you enemy is my friend, and that is iran. we are seeing the alliance between saudi and israel and iran. and helping in the peace process with the palestinians. unfortunately, khashoggi changed all that. i came out denouncing that execution in a very -- very strong terms. those are not our values. and that was a major setback. i just recently met -- i won't talk about that conversation -- but i think it's been a huge setback and it's going to take time for saudi to heal and for the world to heal from that event. but i'm hopeful at some point we can go back and this interim investigation has to be done and we don't know if it will lead all the way up to the top.
there will be speculation. i think it's unfortunate. mrs. harman: well, let me say a few things. the wilson center is proud to have been voted by our peers the number one think tank in regional studies in the world for the second year in a row. we really excell at understanding other parts of the world. i am impressed, my friend, that you have taken on a new post and you're pretty conversent. everybody was asking about everything, starting with me, and you have thought about this stuff and you can connect a to b to c to d and you were also very candid about your own vuste and what you hope -- views and what you hope congress will do. it is encouraging to hear that a few pieces of legislation had bipartisan sponsors, especially ones with your name on it. we're counting on you. it starts with your sister over here, to deliver some bipartisan championship and to maintain it in the area of
foreign policy because the u.s. standing in the world does depend on a strong foreign policy and a strong congress and congress ain't going to be strong bipartisan doesn't gain some traction. just the last comment on saudi arabia because i'm very glad it came up. khashoggi was supposed to come here as a scholar. there are people here who knew him well. i am not one of those people but they certainly needs to be more investigation. a long nacius wrote editorial yesterday in "the washington post" and he asked a lot of people a lot of stuff. that doesn't mean we know everything. but i think it's very important for our country to hang in there and make sure that we do understand and if there is more responsibility on the part of some people that they are made responsible for what happened. it's atrocious and a violation of all the core values we hold. so on that note, please come back. please succeed.
please succeed. and remember that you got a lot of wind beneath your sails. the wilson center really wants you to succeed. mr. mccaul: jane, you know, i have so much admiration and i a lot of us that are still in the congress had such a strong relationship with her that oftentimes i could almost hear her voice. mrs. harman: good. mr. mccaul: it could be scary at times. really a voice of -- you know, what would jane do? her advice over the years and her leadership and certainly her work at the wilson center so thank you so much for having me. mrs. harman: welcome. thank you, all. [applause] [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]
any requested votes will take place after 6:30. the rest of the week the house will consider re-authorization of the violence against women act which expired two months ago. the legislation aims to prevent abuse and provide resources for victims. it also includes a provision on domestic abusers and firearms. members in the house may also take up a senate-passed resolution to end u.s. military involvement in yemen's civil war. in the senate work continues on a bill that would provide nearly $13 billion in aid to areas affected by natural disasters. also on the agenda, a resolution that would shorten the amount of time the senate has to consider certain executive nominations. from 30 hours to two. you can follow the house live on c-span and the senate live on c-span2. >> this week on "the communicators," ncta president and c.e.o. michael powell. mr. powell is interviewed by a
"washington post" reporter. michael: i think the cable industry is in transition but its talk of devise is premature. i think the industry has nicely chancingsed to the significance of broadband that helps compensate for the market competitive pressures on video. i think they manage the video better than people would have imagined. so i think they are thriving as businesses, as consumer delivery systems. they recently announced a really bold initiative which they will attempt to dramatically increase broadband speeds to the american home to 10 gigabits per seconds in the next several years. >> watch "the communicators" tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> once tv was simply three giant networks and a government-supported service called pbs. then, in 1979, a small network with an unusual flame rolled out a big idea -- unusual name
rolled out with a big idea. let viewers decide on their own what was important to them. c-span opened the doors for washington policymaking for all to see. bringing unfiltered content from congress and beyond. this was true people power. in the 40 years since the landscape has changed. there is no monolithic media. broadcasting has given away to narrowcasting. youtube stars are a thing. but c-span's big idea is more relevant today than ever. no government money supports c-span. its none partisan coverage of washington -- nonpartisan coverage of washington is funded by your cable or satellite provider. on television and online, c-span is your unfiltered view of government so you can make up your own mind. morning. we will wait for your calls to comment on this freshman class. c-span has interviewed over 50 of them to learn about their backgrounds. take ais