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tv   Capital News Today  CSPAN  December 15, 2009 11:00pm-2:00am EST

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unavailable to perform as they responsible military. ..
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interstate conflict and it's largely succeeded in doing that. it can help provide a greater legitimacy to institutions. it helped orchestrate and was the center orchestra in the u.s. peacekeeping force, the only space elections in 40 years in congo. it can do more and it must do more to protect civilians which is the core mandate now. i was out there in may. i met with victims of atrocities and raped and saw firsthand both the horror of what is happening, but also the contribution that the u.n. is making through some innovative means that i feel are
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not well known, joint project teams, rapid response, salles phone networks that allow ordinary citizens to phone and to a hot line innocence where they seized rebels and insurgents or for that matter government forces threatening them or on the rampage and at least in certain parts of north keeper now the number developed capacity to be able to respond in some instances within seven minutes. that is their standard. now that isn't uniform, because it's not to full strength, doesn't have the helicopters all that it needs, the mobility is limited and it has been involved in operation providing logistical support to elements of the government forces, the
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fardc trying to tackle the insurgency. the problem is that the fardc for the reasons i just described commit atrocities, too, horrible atrocities not on the scale, and this needs to be understood not on the scale of the fdlr but nonetheless intolerable atrocities. the u.n. has taken a decision which we support to suspend support to worker operation with units of the fardc that have engaged in of atrocities. we are in the process in the security council as we speak of revealing the mandate and we are working with others to identify very specific conditionality for win support to the fardc can be allowed and when it can't but i think people need to understand this is a very difficult issue. it's not black and white. if the u.n. for example work
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tomorrow to say we are not providing anything else to the fardc or having nothing to do with them, no food, no support, no assistance, that's not going to solve the problem. the fardc will do what it is inclined to do on a much greater scale which is rape and pillage and steal from the population to acquire what it needs, and it will become that much more rapacious. there's a huge dilemma here of dealing with those that have committed genocide and are continuing to kill and having only undisciplined if not worse of an armed force to go after them. >> we have a few minutes left. i want to take a few questions from the audience and then let you have dinner with your family. >> think i missed dinner. i would like to see my kids before they go to bed. >> i would like some subjects i
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haven't talked about. do you consider the language used by a iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad as genocide. we have called them outrageous but some certain legal experts called genocidal. do you agree? >> i don't feel equipped to make a legal judgment. i think the obvious is it is absolutely hateful and intolerable, and whenever you suggest or call for the elimination of a state or its people that is the worst kind of hate speech and one of the many reasons why our concern about iran acquiring nuclear weapons capability or nuclear capability, that is for peaceful
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purposes is so real and urgent. this is not an idle problem. i will let the lawyers judge the genocide question but it's a violent, vicious hate speech. >> i would like to ask a question from mark hammes, a friend of genocide intervention at work. what if anything can the women of -- when can the women of darfur see a reinstatement of the gender based services they lost following the humanitarian groups? >> i can't answer that with specificity, but i think what i can say is the humanitarian groups played a crucial role. unimed and its police component embroil of all component is trying substantially to step up protection to women in the camps to provide training and capacity for local protection forces within the camps to address these issues on a real-time basis. we don't have, to the same
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extent we did the ngo presence following the expulsion of the 13 international ngos but we do still have and are working to increase the capacity in the camps to protect women from rape and violence and to give them the ability to tackle with themselves and cover from -- >> i'm going to depart from the hard news. one final question can you describe your daily activities as ambassador, was it like? given the in the life of the u.s. ambassador to read >> it really depends on the day. often a typical day begins with a morning hot -- huddle with my senior team and give my daily intelligence briefing. and then more likely than not, going to the security council,
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whose sessions usually begin at around ten in the morning to deal with whatever topic happens to be on the agenda today. it was iran and the year on sanctions committee report and the report of the peacebuilding function. that just gives you a sense of how varied the agenda is on a daily basis. i might also often meet with other representatives or participate in the meetings or negotiating sessions of the general assembly on various risch u.s. we are now in the latter stages of working through the annual budget. the scale of the suspense which determines our portion of what we pay. also on a typical day i might participate in the senior level interagency meeting by video teleconference. and then we will huddle at the end of the day again with our
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senior team and wrapup sharing of information and then more often the model i might be off to a reception or dinner or the work of the united nations, which continues in these more social settings until 9:00, 10:00 or later at night. that is more or less a typical day. >> all right. there are many questions i could have asked you but you've answered a lot of them. some of them hard, not all but i would like to thank you very much for this stimulating conversation. i would like to thank those in the audience and vose to ninian via webcast for being here. one of the things we do the museum is encourage visitors to reflect upon their personal capacity to make a difference and so if you move tonight we encourage you to fill out pledge cards inside your programs and hand them to the museum staff as you exit and those watching from home can make a pledge on line on our web site,
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for those in the offing as we are keeping exhibitions open until 9:00. one action that ambassador rice salles highlights contemporary genocides, the others stayed of deception focuses on the nazi propaganda. i would just conclude by saying a big thank youtube investor's rice for taking the time. we very much appreciate and welcome you to come back again to see that ruminant exhibition when you see a few minutes to spare. >> thank you, mike for those to me and all of you for being here and participating and most of all for the extremely important work you do on the real issues of genocide and atrocities every day. we need it and evaluate. >> thank you very much. [applause]
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now, in homeland security oversight hearing with secretary janet napolitano. members of the senate to choose erie committee ask about airport security, the upcoming trials of alleged 9/11 plotters and counterterrorism grants. this is a little more than two hours. [inaudible conversations] >> good morning. thank everybody for being here, and i welcome secretary napolitano back to the committee for a second oversight hearings since her confirmation in january. and the first several months of the secretaries tenure the department of homeland security we've seen some changes in the
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with immigration enforcement, a domestic security are conducted. a new approach i hope will serve well as we consider blot immigration reform legislation in the new year, and i know senator schumer as chairman of the subcommittee will be working on that, and we will try to huff immigration reform legislation. we often hear that we can't begin comprehensive reform of our immigration laws until we have won control of our borders. since the samet last considered immigration reform and many of us, republicans and democratic members alike work with the former president george w. bush to try to get comprehensive reform, and several times i've publicly applauded him for his efforts on matt. but most of the enforcement
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benchmarks and triggers and would prior legislation have been substantially met. indications are illegal immigration is reseeded and madame secretary we commend you and the men, women and border for their extraordinary efforts. the results more proud babich and effectively detour if employers from hiring immigrants not authorized to work in the united states by conducting targeted of its and appropriately the groundwork for full prosecution of and for and players. prior administration worksite immigration rates disrupting business operations often depriving a arrested workers to process. i.t. there was an overreaction and madame secretary, you've adopted a sensible approach to immigration enforcement. it probably reflects your significant experience as a prosecutor before you were here.
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and as a governor. since the current law we will not by itself solve our problems we do need reform, comprehensive reform. an example from my home state of vermont demonstrates how badly we need a broad base reform of immigration laws. three weeks ago these four vermont dairy farms were visited by the immigration and customs enforcement agents as part of a nationwide workplace immigration audit. vermont dairy farmers, law-abiding people, they want to respect the law. they want to hire local workers but struggled to find american workers. and unlike other agricultural businesses, they are not eligible to hire temporary foreign workers under the h2a visa program. we do hire temporary vermont workers for apple picking and things like that. unfortunately for dairy farmers
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you need year round. you can't tell the cowles we will be back to bill cubin six months. it just doesn't work that way. as a the result is to make dairy farmers the forced to choose between their livelihood and at hearing faithfully to immigration laws. and i have urged the department of labour to modify the program as current rule making process continue to fight for enactment of the jobs legislation and i would urge you, madam secretary, to support these. another example from, again, vt. the demonstrates how we can use immigration laws to promote job creation for investment in the united states we have found a hearing in july. we saw how the investor program known as eb5, regional center program is bringing dollars to the state of vermont helping create jobs in places like j.p.. i want to commend senator sessions who's been a strong
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supporter. we work together on legislation on this and i want to thank the secretary from the department's recent approval of the expansion and vermont. a long advocated making this a permanent program extended for another three years i think it should be permanent. it worked across the country. alabama, iowa, new york, oakland, california, illinois, pennsylvania, south carolina, wisconsin of course vermont it creates jobs. we also have to have immigration laws that reflect our american heritage. and on that score i appreciate the steps secretary napolitano has began on our detention system. to have systemic reform including enforceable standards of detention conditions and internal independent oversight of broad security made
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alternatives to dissention, expanding access to the legal counsel for the detained. we want america to live up to our ideals and welcoming and protecting a silence from refugees. the problem is made progress that result in the harm to genuine refugees caused buy overly broad application of the material support. we all say we are a nation of immigrants attack. my paternal great parents from ireland. it is what makes this country what it is. but more still needs to be done. the second to react swiftly on issues of regulation on severe gender based persecution as a basis for asylum claims. landmark case in this area a matter of ra has now been
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hinting for 14 years. we need regulation in place to protect other victims. but i want to commend the secretary for working in a constructive manner to address the impending december 31st real id compliance deadline. the residents of states of nonmaterial compliant with real i.t. they would other wise be denied access to airplanes and federal buildings. the national governors' association stated last month as many as 36 states failed to comply by december 31st i can think of thousands of thousands of americans from these states that have ideas that will get them on plans to visit relatives over christmas and strict enforcement laws when they come to fly back home they will be towed they can't. senator akaka, i co-sponsored a bill called pass on the d, which makes reasonable alternatives to
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the real ied. the bipartisan national governors association supports this bill. the bill awaits action on the senate floor although there has been anonymous told. i hope that hold will be lifted. i suspect whoever is doing the holding will become clear when thousands and fell a sense of people from that senator's states calling will be sure to direct the calls in the right place. senator sessions. >> thank you. madam secretary, thank you for being with us. you have one of the great large departments in the country, not too long ago we cobbled it together. it takes strong leadership from the top and you have the background that would qualify you for that and we want to be supportive when we can and provide the oversight that we are required to provide. the primary mission of the
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department is to lead a unified national effort to secure america to the tours terrorist attacks and protect against threats. i believe the attorney general holder who testified before not long ago, his decision to bring khalid sheikh mohammed and other terrorists to new york city forcible the -- for civilian trial makes action difficult. bringing foreign national into the state requires immigration laws and various rights and federal courts. though our last department of justice oversight hearing of the attorney general seemed unfamiliar with fees' consequences when asked about them. so i would hope that you can clarify that for us today and see what we can do about this action that i think would bring into the country some very
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dangerous people and has the potential of resulting in their being released in the united states. in a major component of your mission is securing of the nation's borders, a touring those who attempt to enter a legally and finding and removing those who've come here in violation of law. while facilitating the entry of illegal immigrants and visitors and a fair and timely manner. so i am disappointed by some of the actions that you've taken that i think undermine the enforcement measures for those in the country now illegally, which i think is critical to curbing illegal immigration in this country. at a time the unemployment rate is 10% i believe it is not responsible to invite or allow illegal workers to take jobs that should be available to american citizens and legal immigrants. now, buy pushing for the legalization of an estimated 12 million people here illegally
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or by turning a blind eye to the estimated 11 -- 8 million illegal workers now displacing americans from jobs, i believe your policies are not helping. earlier this year i told the president and a meeting that we had that there should be a real possibility for us to reach an agreement on a number of important immigration issues. the american people however cannot accept and will not accept another bait and switch like the 1986 bill, where it in effect provided immediate amnesty to millions of people who entered illegally in exchange for promises in the future for enforcement that never occurred. so why do think it's important that we demonstrate enhanced and improved enforcement if we are going to be to ask the american
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people to support any kind of comprehensive bill in the future. we have i am pleased to say made important strides in securing our borders and i know the department undertook some effective steps in the final years of the bush ad that distinction to strengthen interior enforcement. through the construction of fencing and increased border patrol agents we have seen a dramatic reduction. really significant reduction in the amount of apprehension and i hope and believe fewer people are trying to. in fact the number of people caught illegally to enter the united states dropped by more than 23% in 2009, and the 556,000 apprehensions made in 2009 the present in almost 50% decrease from the 1.1 million
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arrests made at the border from to paulson five, 2006. department of homeland security has completed over 340 miles of pedestrian financing and almost 300 miles of vehicle barriers and this in addition to almost doubling the amount of border patrol agents since 2005. cities are developments that have been critical to this progress, but to be frank, the leadership did not come from the executive branch. it came from congress and the american people, who are consistent these things be done. the fact is that the current dhs policies are systematically weakening, i think, our interior enforcement. we need to talk about that. i believe that -- that the american people rejected this philosophy in 2006 and in 2007,
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and we need to be able to show the american people that laws will be forced and we are not just going to look the other way. faith in the system is eroding and massive descend worldwide we need to reinforce our laws and the messages if you can just get into this country you're safe, don't worry about that. enforcement has been in a freefall. based on statistics released from i.c.e., as the minister of unrest inside the country% to worksite enforcement actions have fallen 60% since 2008 to 2000 line, dustin that period of time. criminal arrests have fallen 60%. a criminal indictment has fallen 58%. and criminal convictions have fallen 63%. so i think the dramatic
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reduction in worksite enforcement efforts is not healthy and is not going to be made up by audits which have not proved historical to be effective. under the current policies, dhs has rescinded the no natural, weakened the 287 local law enforcement cooperation program and pressed for passage of a bill that with unacceptably weak in the real i.t. act. -- i.d. act. these actions are troubling because they indicate that the administration is saying if illegal aliens are able to get in their country they will not be barred. so this is i think a wrong policy in the wrong message.
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this country is a nation of immigrants. we do well, millions of people, the millions each year who follow below and enter the country through the lawful channels. this country as a nation also laws and we cannot refuse to enforce those laws. it undermines respect for the great tradition and heritage of american laws so i look forward to discussing these issues with you during the hearing. the important questions really and truly believe that we have an opportunity to continue to make progress and immigration far greater than a lot of people have fought and at this time of surging unemployment i think it's important that we do so. thank you for your work and for the skills and talent to bring to the office and i look forward to working with you and matters which we can agree to raising matters where we don't agree. thank you. >> thank you, senator sessions. madam secretary.
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>> thank you, chairman lee hee. senator sessions, members of the committee, securing borders and enforcing immigration laws made top priorities for the department of homeland security. over the past year we have taken unprecedented action to achieve our goals and the results have been striking. as part of the southwest border initiative we have added more manpower, technology and resources to the border. we've implemented a southbound strategy to prevent illegal weapons and cash from crossing the border into mexico and supporting a large drug cartels and we have expanded our partnerships with our federal state tribal and local partners along the southwest border and with mexico and mexican law enforcement. compared to last year seizures in all categories, drugs, smuggled cash coming illegal weapons are up dramatically as a result of the southbound
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strategy. as noted apprehensions are also at decade lows, down 23% this year. and senator sessions, i agree with you interior enforcement is part and parcel of immigration enforcement. we have in the last year identified and removed criminal aliens, fugitives and gang members that record numbers. in fiscal year 2009, i.c.e. removed a record number of illegal immigrants, to 387,000 of which 136,000 or criminal aliens. secure communities, which we are expending for law enforcement agencies in the united states that check the biometrics booked in local jails, identified more than 111,000 criminal aliens trusten this first year. we have improved oversight of the 287g procrit and renegotiated agreements to make them more effective.
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we have enhanced and expanded the e-verify. this is also part of the interior enforcement. over 175,000 employers and more than 600,000 work sites are using the system with thousands more joining every week. and that is important because that provides a way for the american worker to know that the legality of workers is being checked. we've taken action to reform immigration detention system to ensure those in custody are treated humanely, given appropriate time leave medical care. we are increasing federal oversight and management including more direct supervision of detention facilities by i.c.e.. we are also developing strategies for alternatives of detention to be used where appropriate. these efforts are part of our enforcement, but as you've noted, we also facilitate the illegal entry into the united
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states. and mr. chair, had the honor of being at ellis island last friday and swore in 140 new citizens to the united states including ten active-duty military command that is one of the great pleasures of being the secretary of homeland security. and while i was there they gave me the ship register where my grandfather came over and integrated. so it illustrates once again we are a nation of laws and immigrants. with respect to that, we have eliminated the name check backlog at usc on yes. we launched a very customer oriented website. we also have eliminated the so-called with no penalty and other things that were not consistent with our overall immigration values. finally we have continued to ensure lawful travelers and commerce move across the border swiftly and secure. we have been fully implemented
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out land, sea and airports, compliance remains very high above 95%. we are strengthening u.s. this at and then last on the issue of the drivers' licenses. 9/11 commission recommended that there be more secure positions surrounding the issuances of drivers' licenses. there was a provision tacked on to an appropriations bill called real id to do that. unfortunately it was tacked on without adequate consultation with the states who have to administer the driver's license program. working with the national governors' association, working across party lines, past i.d. was developed. i urge you to see if you can move this legislation forward. this deadline is fast approaching and as mr. chairman, you noted this is something even if we extend the deadline we have and furthered the 9/11 commission report which is to get to a more secure system --
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>> but you do support the past i.d.? >> absolutely. and we are very interested and i think the national security as we build the architecture of it requires that we take on that recommendation and move the issue forward. finally, we need to know or we look forward to working with you want immigration reform. the president is committed to that. he is committed to reform that includes serious effective and sustained enforcement that includes the beagle flows for families and workers and a firm way to deal with those already illegally in the country. we need to demand responsibility and accountability from everyone involved. the department of homeland security, law enforcement partners, businesses who must be able to find the workers they
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need here in america, and immigrants themselves as we enforce the law moving forward. so i look forward to working with you, mr. chairman, senator sessions and others on this committee to develop a path forward early next year to reform the immigration system as a whole. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. we are going to give a little out of order. senator schumer asked to ask a question and has to go to the meeting for the white house. i've already discussed with senter sessions. >> thank you, mr. chairman and colleagues on both sides of the aisle and secretary napolitano just a brief question on the wtii to read it went into effect on our northern border we seen a precipitous withdrawal and a good part of it at least the people there believe it is because of a lack of education. the canadians believe they need a passport to travel across the border.
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obviously wtii was put together to make it easy to travel across the board, but the problem is they believe that and a good number of our americans believe the same western and york buffalo depends on cross border traffic. it's probably the number-one thing in its economy so online asking is would you be willing to work with me and commit to working with you and your canadian colleagues to get an education campaign on both sides of the border informing people with the requirements are of wtii that you don't need a passport and that it's not very hard to travel across the border because it is hurting our economy and they're pretty badly. >> senator schumer, said that we have had extensive education campaign for several months in putting when people get to a crossing point they are given a tear off sheet singing this is all you need to do and you can go over here and get your card right there one-stop shopping has it worked. but we are more than willing -- >> the problem is the people who don't go because they think they need a passport and they would
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cost money to it less than one-third of canadians and slightly higher -- less than one-third of americans are slightly higher percentage of canadians have a passport in its travel so we need the education to the people who haven't gone across the border and if he could help us with that and work with your canadian call degette would be welcomed. >> we would be pleased to do that. >> thank you three >> i also had the same -- i had the same questions in vermont many of us go back and forth as we are going to another state, and it does affect considerably on both sides of the border. and others, as my wife does have family members in canada and i don't -- this is a personal thing but i know some of the hundreds and hundreds of people in our state of vermont who do
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it becomes an issue with family. so education is exciting, the canadians doing the same would be very helpful. last, apparently the transportation security at administration you and i discussed posted a and a manual on line last spring and tito procedures for screening passengers house certain materials can be masked and so long, they describe the settings for x-ray machines and explosives, listed the country's four passport holders are subject to greater scrutiny and apparently tsa learned of this last sunday after a blogger put it on the internet and initiated a review. who should be held accountable?
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>> first of all, mr. chairman, let me say two things about the posting itself. and that is that the security of the travelling public has never been put at risk, and the document that was posted was an out of date document. nonetheless the posting did not meet our own standards for what should be available on the net and not available on the net. so we've already initiated personnel actions against the individuals involved in that. we have already instituted an internal review to see what else needs to be done so the incident ever recurs. and i've directed that not just at tsa but we do a free view department wide on all of our components because as you know we have one of the biggest departments around to make sure that we are being rigorous and
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very disciplined on with this post and what is not treat >> am i correct this involved a contractor? >> the individual involved was a contractor. some of the supervisors ultimately work in tsa. i shall also say with respect to this particular incident we've also asked the inspector general to do his own independent review to supplement and complement what we are doing. >> thank you. >> these terrorism charges for filing in the cases of david headley coming u.s. citizen of originally arrested for conspiring to commit terrorist attacks in denmark but now he's been charged with helping plan the deadly mumbai attacks in india last year and there's been a number of arrests within the united states, a person charged with plotting attacks. i'm not asking to given to the
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individual cases but you can imagine this raises a great deal of concern among americans we have people plotting attacks from the united states even though they may be conducted outside the united states because it is easy to apply such attacks and plot them inside the united states. how does the dhs plan to contribute to confronting the problem of homegrown terrorists when the target effective manner? how much coordination goes on here? we know that 9/11 could have been stopped before it happened if all of the dots have been connected. i will go back and rehashed who dropped the ball but how do we make sure we are not dropping the ball today? >> mr. chairman, with respect to headley i will keep my remarks
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restricted on the nature of the case and in the justice system as you yourself noted. but we coordinate and our cord meeting extensively with the fbi, the cia, dni and other intelligence agencies in terms of cases that emanate from abroad and threat streams that now emanate from the interior of the united states. second, we are increasing sharing of information to state and locals so those are lies in the years local law enforcement the need to be engaged and in paul waide and watching for those who would seek to do harm and have the information, the situational awareness to do it. one of the ways we are doing that, mr. chair, is through support of fusion centers across the country. >> support what? >> fusion sampras will be a federal, state and local law
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enforcement colocate and to give you some nuts and bolts one of the problems we are working through the challenges security clearances so that people can get information top secret and above levels and that is a process that is underway right now. and last, we are asking the american people to lean forward to the individual, a community level, wherever, to recognize that our security is a shared responsibility. and there are things that can be done tall levels even as we work at the dhs to prevent something from occurring. >> but i agree with you it is important for a person to come forward with things but then we've got to make sure the word gets in throughout the government. i mean 9/11 could have been totally avoided. there have been warnings from at
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least one fbi agent to washington about concerns he had with the people getting flight lessons and he was told that is above toward a great. we've got it under control and nobody -- nobody did, and it really worries me that could ever happen again. one issue totally different which i hope you can help and i mention this in my opening statement, the age to a agricultural worker visas, i would like to have the bill go to dairy farm workers. the fact that the dairy farmers can't use this program is a problem. it makes no sense when you consider the reason for each age to a visa program. it's not just vermont, it is a problem when wisconsin and every state that has a very industry. i've commented the department of labor's rulemaking process
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secretary solis about this, each way the rules permit on the western range to obtain the visas even though the jobs are exactly would prevent the dairy farmers from taking workers and that is really not fair, not suggesting we cut off from them by any means, but when you get serious consideration addressing this issue as the secretary of labor to encourage labor department to make the rules necessary on the h2a program? >> mr. chair, yes and we have been working with the department of labour. there is the issue presented is whether through roel or schrag we can fix this issue for the dairy farmers under h2a or whether they need to be a statutory change. and the lawyers are looking at that issue right now. >> god bless the lawyers.
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but we do want a solution one way or the offer as soon as we can. >> agreed. >> senator sessions again i appreciate your courtesy. >> senator leahy is always working to be effective in helping his constituents and there are some problems with this farmworkers' policy that we have. let me just say fundamentally what i think we have a problem with andre the last two proposals of comprehensive reform it basically allowed people to come to work temporarily for three years to bring their family and read up again. that is clearly not a strategy that would be effective in the sense that they -- it has no real potential to see them return home. they put down roots children
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start going to school than -- if we are going to have the agricultural program i think it clearly has to be on a temporary basis where if a person wants to come for a season or in the case of garrey maybe they would have people that work in months in that fashion but the idea that we would call a temporary worker program and program in which people come from multiple years with their families with the ability to extend is an immigration policy and puts us in a very difficult position. so many tough questions on these immigration issues but that is one of the matters i think we have got to get our thinking correctly. madam secretary, i was troubled, i raised earlier your statements and washington state workplace investigation and you said you were going to get to the bottom of it and the way i understood
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is the message you were sending an witold to that that you didn't want those rates. you didn't want the agents doing with all required and that is to investigate businesses who have large numbers of people here illegally and statistics by i.c.e. shows that administrative arrest of illegal immigrants are down 60% and that is the category i am talking about. criminal arrests are down 6%. criminal indictments are down 58% and criminal convictions are down 63% last year. the only activity that's increased is the amount of requirements under the online audits to be. such were a fixture of ims policy during the clinton administration are widely considered to be ineffectual. the fines businesses face are small, too small to detour the activities we are concerned
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about. in addition to folks in paperwork issues the administration has repeatedly refused to take into custody or deport illegal aliens found working when you do the investigations. one high-profile case for the disabled american apparel, the notorious el late los angeles based immigration law garment manufacture were allowed to terminate hundreds of illegal employees in a series of small weekly is missiles and the illegal aliens are in a way that would allow them to seek employment elsewhere so a recent story on minnesota public radio recounts a similar practice where 1200 illegal aliens were found in paul waide, a well-paid janitorial job instead of detaining and deporting them officials went to great pains to assure the public they were not
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being arrested. when we spoke about worksite enforcement at the last hearing he told me we continue worksite enforcement command, quote, we continue all enforcement actions and we will very vigorously. in a written response you also stated i.c.e. worksite enforcement strategy would target and lawyers who knowingly hire illegal labor while continuing to arrest and remove illegal workers, end of quote. you promise, quote, worksite enforcement operations will continue, administrative and a list of illegal aliens will occur and i.c.e. will conduct work side enforcement investigations of any business regardless of size that is suspected of knowingly employing authorized workers. so how do you square those statements on the numbers that
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indicate a significant reduction in enforcement actions? >> well, senator, i'm glad to answer those questions because i think it's important to emphasize all of the work that has been done on the interior of our country to enforce the immigration law. let me repeat just this year since i have been secretary, rac removed a record number of illegal aliens and record number of criminal aliens. and what we are doing is really focusing on those in the interior of the country who have broken the law and also those who impact the public safety. now with respect to the work site enforcement itself, we have and we can if we have not supplied you with these numbers i would be happy to do that, record number of businesses and individuals to guard from federal contracting for immigration violations. record number of notices of intent to fine and i agree the fines are too low. it's one of the things i hope
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the congress will take a look at when it addresses immigration reform. final orders to cease violation, to see some violations at record highs. we have literally done dozens and dozens of worksite enforcement and i think one of the key differences that i would like to emphasize is almost the change and intent as we go into a work site. when we go into a work site, our focus and intent now is to go after the employer him or herself, themselves because they are creating the demand and you have to deal with immigration and its supply and demand issue. that's difficult under the current law. i will say because the current law doesn't give the enforcement tools we would like to do. but that is why i think you have to look at all of the numbers
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and not just a few to see that there has actually been more worksite enforcement this year than in prior years and last i would reiterate e-verify. e-verify is a fast-growing system. it is a way that is easy. it is continually being built and improved, what have you, for employers to verify that employees they are hiring are here in the country legally, and i hope to keep driving the immigration system as a whole toward employer use of e-verify. >> thank you. the border area is very important. progress is being made. but we do need to reduce the jobs that particularly in a time of record unemployment for a country. >> i agree. >> thank you, senator sessions. senator feingold? >> thank you.
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madam secretary, thank you for being here. >> fema obligated 44 billion in response since hurricanes retype and katrina in 2005. however in the parties in the system, the epls, fema has not debarred a single contract. does this mean your department maintains no fema contractor has committed fraud during the reconstruction efforts or otherwise? >> senator, let me have the opportunity to take a look at that and give you a more thoughtful response later. >> do you have any initial sense -- >> i have made no conclusion whether there are any actions under way and that is what i would like to check for you. >> i would very much appreciate that response and i would like to know if this epls database is being used properly.
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if in fact there have been fraud investigations, and if not i would like to know why not. >> fair enough. >> august of this year the department issued new policies, governing searches of travelers, electronic devices such as laptops, ipod said the border, i'm deeply disappointed with the policies the department adopted in particular the refusal to adopt any standard for searching u.s. citizens at the border and madame secretary, in addition to the inconvenience that cause international business travelers these policies also do nothing to assuage concerns of the department could be engaging in racial profiling when it conducts these border searches. this is unacceptable and that is why i plan to reintroduce the travelers privacy protection act in the coming months. i've been told the department was at least attempting to to increase transparency related to the searches but given the
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vastly different standards that are laid out for i.c.e. and the cdp under two different policies it is unclear whether even that goal has been accomplished. so the two policies when read in tandem c to create a series of loopholes that would allow these electronic devices to be held and searched for long periods of time without requiring a showing of probable cause. for example, isn't it true that cbp agents have to obtain supervisory approval to keep a laptop for more than five days? but an i.c.e. officer doesn't have to attain any additional approval to hold and search of a laptop for up to 30 days? >> well, but we are talking about seizures of the border and that would be conducted by the cbp. >> that's my point, isn't there a differential between the two agencies? one standard with regard to a laptop and the other with regard to ayaan ipod? depending on the agency?
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>> senator, yes but i think we would differentiate based on the different types of investigations each of those components perform. >> i understand from discussions with your staff that it is really a i.c.e. officers conducting in-depth searches of electronic devices and enhanced it is the i.c.e. policy, not the cbp policy that would apply. is that correct? >> i would have to have greater context, but i think we have to step back and look at what is it we are doing from the law enforcement perspective? first of all, we have changed the policy with respect to search of electronic media particularly the laptop, the was the genesis of the originals of questions i think that you posed at my oversight hearing a few months ago. that policy was revised significantly to have more supervisory oversight. the plain fact of the matter is that we sees electronic media.
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sometimes icy seas is it in conjunction with a criminal investigation. sometimes the secret service seized it in conjunction with a criminal law serve asian but the concern was raised with respect to business travelers traveling international being stopped at the border. that is the policy that we have revised and provided more supervisory and port. but i also have to say as someone whose agency is responsible for the counterterrorism mission or partially responsible for it this is an import capacity for us to have as a law enforcement act. >> i don't doubt that at all but i am looking here for some appropriate trigger for this kind of search which i think it's serious business and for consistency between the different agencies. >> senator, if i might, at the border fell law has been for many years now that the reasonable suspicion standard does not apply for somebody
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entering the country and at the border, and if the question is why don't you apply the same standard of the border as is done in the interior of the country where you would have to have a higher standard the answer is because entry into the country is something that is not viewed as an absolute right, and that is why the law in that area differentiates the standard for search. >> madam secretary, we will continue to discuss that over time. over the last several years the dhs substantially increase reliance on state and local law enforcement authorities to enforce federal immigration laws including recent expansion of 287g partnerships with law enforcement into a secure communities program. and in both of these programs the state of their goal was to remove dangerous criminal aliens from local communities and yet there's been numerous reports of widespread abuse of the programs by law enforcement including selective enforcement of certain laws against latinos and other
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minorities and pretext will traffic stops and other arrests for minor violations. i think this is unacceptable especially because most of the law enforcement community is that have signed on to these agreements do not have policies prohibiting racial profiling. i understand dhs tried to address some of these concerns by coming up with a standard to 87 shia agreement would require the law enforcement to prosecute any charges the fight against an individual the unrest, but i don't think this will get at many of the concerns, many civil rights groups have raised about the rest for minor traffic offenses and immigration related charges. so if the goal is to prioritize the rest of dangerous criminals might not set clear guidelines that limit their best and referrals to felonies? took 287g and by the way we still have, there has been some suggestion made that
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we have reduced it. no, we have refocused it on to areas. one is in the jails come to run immigration checks in the jails and that way if securer-- garr koppel mance of each other and secondly in conjunction with federal task forces whose priorities are a federal fugitives and felony gang members, you know, the higher level criminals to impact public safety. >> of that is the effect why not have the guidelines to say that? >> well, senator, i think that's that in effect is what happened and those agreements now have all but been renegotiated. >> i would urge the guidelines reflect the purpose which is to get the more serious offenses but i thank you for your answer. >> thank you. senator kyl.
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>> madam secretary, governor, thank you for being here. you sprlier the t f and iud you >> you talk about the tsa breach and i applaud you to ike thviag review. can i make another recommendation? eat win breaches like this gency in the intelligence community, a cia does say damage assessment by somebody not within the agency itself to determine what advantage a potential reco ctionscould have gotten from mage.nformation and then decide what action said necessary to renew the rate wat damage. themittee wd you do that and then then provide with a hingsified version of the report quicksand or nearly really .hese are best done really any c enatory. and a comment? >> that is something we have
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my f actlylooking at. wasirst question is what wise ay put out there that was not otherwise available? choint or either by observation by a airport checkpoints or the like. but then indeed if it is t otherwied there was some serious and permission that was not put out then i would consider it. fromome of the. >> just for public reports there are things that you do not want out there like explosive detectors, passenger and luggage screen details. autho thosecredentials. of those kinds of things clomebody clearly somebody could take a vantage. it is really important not department of homeland security but somebody outside the department make f th evaluation. >> right. bad is the genesis for the
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ig to take a look at it and i am happy to entertain. c you know, operation streamline which you deter illegal immigration by a charge of those who mieanor repeatedly cross the border with misdemeanor offenses i wassure that they have jail time. encee are two basic questions. inest of all, i was botppointed they said this yo was a report that i have asked to be done both your department and doj to make available to maintain and is th this program. thias been very effective in two areas and my ive.rstanding in rocky start k has third. texas and arizona barry good. tucson i think it is not fully implemented but lack of detention space. so whour plans with i wnding operations
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questline? onere do think it might be? >> great i think first of all, i support operation streamline i think it is i think i effective. ink wit with respect to the arizona -- tucson sector it mathe larg e, by magnitude the largest that we have, to provide hdeadic difficulties. i do think we have the bed space available and solving sog your d the issues. nthhad an issue with the ninth circuit recently with ne the streamline backed just ayse down a couple of days heo about how it matters and volume given the volume of know turthousew, the courthouse well, we have to be working in terms of how ationae operationally address the court of appeals concerns so we can continue tor, and a streamlined in the tucson sector?
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but i can say that in my addreomeully addresses some of the issues. nk you y thatnk you for that. this study that is required port to you to report to to ou your evaluation of what else you need to extend the program effectively. cem concerned because the conference does not increase detention space at all. of cos include money for alternate-- to alternative treaut that is not the wnt is th of the point* is the deterrent effect of thention. somee issue however if you them ine some of the other nativetionand put them an alternative detention you can put the streamline detainee's and a hard bed. ectfuest thaink it is adequate then i would -- concl studectfully request you
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amonge that argument in this study that you perform because i think there is ally concern among some of us also e need attention n th -- additional detention space to make so nderational -- operation areamline work. this also gets to that the fundingt the of border is not secure late yet. of the first line of defense aquiresorder patrol agents. borhe bill only calls for an additional 100 agents but 700,eport also requires the hey ha t border increase agents 1525 up at 2012. der.ously they have to come from somewhere, presumably -- oneuthern border. que do e goalnot do that. do still try to reach the ents.of 20,000 asians? cond, ll how will we maintain? you said your goal is to
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maintain a force of 17,000 of course, to have 14,715 nd it a e wein need more. have reduced where the members and the fact the above the administration only requested funding at tion s weget to the root of your question is how do we keep meeting ber gentsur congressional arkss of the southern border and also on the northern without them contracting? hours plan calls for us. we will reduce its ther patrol staffing and academy staffing in order to aye sure we hit both of ofse marks and stay within ve financial needs of the country. congress has been very clear that we need to be as rigorous budget surely as we can be. we really need to do race grab. gt just s good.
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fwill interrupt what is the o activethe southern border for next year with active thets? >> i will have to give the exact number but it is around 20,000. a couppreciate that. >> that is the congressional marks direct a couple of the questions my time is expired will submit those for the e.cord. >> thank you. irmator whitehouse? ouldhank you chairman. we'll come. if you don't mind don't like hitehoefly shift. >> senator cardin i did not see him stand there and he ext.upposed to be next. >> the senior member of our class of senators who came in two years ago. >> i appreciate the courtesy but i am prepared for a
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senator white house. to >> go-ahead. i think both senators. we had a hearing it is good h in his or cardin is here he held it with the subcommittee. your deputy undersecretary torneyere. the associate attorney from nsajames baker was d ire and also from the nsa iof themere there. i asked them if any of them were satisfied with the existing legal structure ntly which the cyber defense unart currently operates? of n and that unanimous array of the word no. from each of them. erste is, as i understand the interagency process lead byugh th through the national security council. but given all of the l, ionsibilities of the
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national security council i am not entirely comfortable governmea good and lasting structure for our cyber s. security efforts. of that is more as the interim structure. snd i would love to hear your thoughts on the leguacy of the present the eral structure and concur of with the other views of the officials. dnd rethink our garments should go bearing in mind a lot of principles at the cabinet meeting have a piece thihe issue. >> two things. ht, thou are right. of the legal parameters of e beingre handling the cyber
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yssues are being looked at ouldvery deeply. e would not say it is simply a domestic issue but an arationa f thrnational issue. cal networks are tternational. some logistics' involve things like servers that are not located in the united withes. bair yes. iat is part of the impactgency process on going. with respect to have a disorganized, what has fuseened is dhs has moved as the president policy review suggested to be the lead agency for the protection of on debt the site as well as sites and indeed i toot had some meetings in the silicon valley quiet out quite negative bit. >> if i could interrupt on
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ultimadoj will ultimately doj will have the ale dawn of the legal determinations? that is their main of the ulti. ultimately other agencies the d,ll have the technical tec, because of the thatnical complexity of undertaking the efforts that we do. when you take out the aspects,l aspects and legal howcts, it is hard to see how homeland security and up with a very strong platform sor of persistent leadership of less there is some the a call -- a vehicle for coordinating and the attorney general and everybody together? ly.m not comfortable that interimy a excess. it is a good interim measure
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but it seems it should entlve into a more cyber a stru specific realrnor -- structure and are you confident that dhs erybod in a lathat for everybody else until there it i houseshouldn't that the white house leadership on is wh theere is a warehouse with leadership through the process but i would suggest the dhs platform is much more significant than your le otion suggest. virginiaple, i was in virginia at the end kick enter is a huge computer th center that is part of the ow. structure now. w course, we're working with the doj on matters that are investigatory in nature nd ohat they need to bring cases but the nsa with all of the technical capacity
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provides assistance both to us and it dod what has the e ou@@n the other side of the world and retake our road map from the president's review. now. will we're focusing still is a former doj prosecutor said the alliance there could not be closer. in any event, we take our review organization in terms of how the cyberworld is divided and one of the key things we are focused on now is staffing up. >> just let me ask precisely for you accountable with the existing structure or is that still a work can process and or can we expect governmeermanent structure
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ts str acyber attacks to eragcesss the interagency senats goes forward court. ld i would think that there is an evolution patent if this is where the question is going with the absence of wee of czar it is not the way we have organized. ultimately it is what it will evolves. eryme, what will evolves out robu c this is a robust withinnation component within thought structure of the operational side, dhs on intersec as i have suggested for the .gov and also a and .org.
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>> senator cornyn has the >> tha >> >> madame secretary. adsecretar good morning. ednesd you tesu. last wednesday you testified before the security challenges post 9/11 and one question had to do with deether you were consulted by the attorney general before the decision was made iratry call the sheik muhammed and other co-conspirators and new york since yo or at least them to try them there. cents a judge will altman they decide where that child will take place. were you consulted? >> no. that is a prosecution decision as to where and what did you to bring a case td i think that is properly held by the attorney general onei read the attorney
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general makes that decision preliminarily. to harse, the president of united states has to make a itarsion whether the military authorities will turn these it detainee's two civilian authorities. the aney gene authority will be granted since i cannot icat thethe attorney general would not have announced haveout least he had , iicated he would agree. e of te question i have, i ask the attorney general of uhe immigration related issues. you know, that i know that sking senators wrote a letter asking for further dethe detail on the immigration ave aionf these detainee's record you have an opinion ont legal status would be conferred once they are terms i to america is a real
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rges wat implications ld beer charges were indissed or they could be detained indefinitely? l reos. we have sent to a formal response to your letter. mple,is the way it works. her example,, for a detainee ter is by here for purposes of prosecution they are coun paroled only did too actual benefits accrue for that. with respect to the second part of your question, if there were to be an acquittal, then what we would have been is immediately take that individual and move them into proceedings. >> that would be litigation?
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>> they would go through the process. but we would remove them from the country. >> they get no immigration rights in that context just like they would have no heirountry wghts as they do not now. >> where would you take them of the home country does not i d them back? back to gitmo? >> i do not like to answer culatiquestions on a speculative basis. >> speculative? >> yes. first of all, the question tion tha that was raised in the rpos they me was for what untry?es are they out of the applyry? rna allow it to apply for status asylum are reviewed the heatus? no. ehe chance that there were to be an acquittal they
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procand depoately be put ountryroceedings in deported from the country. >> anderson and that would some legintention but once theye country there would have some legal rights, would they not? you would not be making that some j decision but a judge. insenator, the statutory doeuages to this effect th would only brought into the country for the purposes of ell, a prosecution civic this goes ge s tmy questions i have four saysade alder. foul he says he made a ould bon that these individuals can be safely tried in manhattan, judges or nyecide on a change of venue whether or not they will be tried there or ought e else. once they're brought into the country, and they have
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ofht to t certain additional rights of american soil. rdu will not necessarily be the worst -- the last word hatthey invoke the jurisdiction of the courts sion. pens ieely make that decision. i asked general older what atioens if for some reason since the administration iminalhe decision now undawses will be treated like criminals rather than in me combat in this under d askaws of war and a court and bs when called the rcivst for a lawyer and he was denied it because of inrse, if enhanced interrogation techniques his testimony cannot be used guado weed in court. what guarantees do we have e o som be detained indefinitely here or somewhere os?
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attorin. eral the attorney general deciding is based on a firm oneviction and the values inherited from the american yort system and the trial could be held successfully in new york city. >> i think what concerns me the most is actually i think fullycision was not fully vested and thought out in of whe poten bt as of the potential rney'suences. i have no doubt as to what the attorney general's finalions are. andne is not the final judgments of the speak. se supreme court said you count thisfinitely detained somebody in this country and the question is if they are hey'vailabble for repatriation to their home tuntry, we keep them parks y poiet my point*.
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printer stand we did not get the letter yes. >> we on ald get it today. mugglicast question about human smuggling initiatives. was in the rio grande valley artelsly and selling me of the wire transfers to talk i'm y impre d somople but they tell me that we need additional adal legal resources. for example,, the of the of money transfers people can tran claim to be there somebody there and rot and there is not sufficient to have ar officials trace the source of the funds. are you aware of that issue generally? is tha there are a veto authority
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is that your paise needs to ndack down and prosecute the orres transfers involving their products or human this month going. we would be happy to work with you on that. >> think you senator. hatm very aware of the issue migrated on that when i was courney general of arizona. i hope when they take up the issue of immigration some of his tesols can be populated. >> the chairman indicated preve like to take it up next year. >> i worked with former president bush and complemented his efforts. i hope they can get back to trying that. it will be something that don'tequire republicans and democrats to come together. it can be done.
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i don't think anybody feels the system we have today is working perfectly buy any thinkand i hope to have a --prehensive bill and i would cee efforts will be there. ith s certainly be willing lse ork as i have. >> mr. chairman i look nd i hd to that. comprehewill try to address ssuerehensive immigration reform and like the information they need to ansfersown the wire transfers seems like such a wrrow issue. >> hope sey don't wait. >> i hope some of those antime can be done in the nforceime. and we should be able to do it. younu have been waiting patiently and i thank you for your courtesy. go-ahead.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman p onsecretary i will mmitte-up on the first one the comments on in the cyber security. vulne es t subcommittee statistics ree sobering the vulnerability of america. there are nation states rity i unitedng to compromise our cyber security and the united sates. untry ththese efforts to ace.orist war criminals and tary being our things that came out, that hearing when aske we ask how effective are we cameresent this that 85% number came out but it would to think there is s 20% success rate. teat is a lot of private resources not only always government resources being but it attacked buy it does mean
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hrougheign taxillions of dollars per year through toerattack and it does mean erfere vulnerable to the wi compromiforce trying to come men and compromising our r res you systems and out they. a your response you talked about the fact we have a repute going forward and foce is an issue hong if rhere needs to be a more focused person but clearly itical rs a critical role and for the defense has their own. i am still concerned as to whether they have a game plan. the initial review show there was a lot more to be ane. emp thean urgent and issued heremphasize the urgency of action. effnessegal base at acquit?
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effective for getting the n, brmation that we need and a place we need a projector nation but also privacy. looking at einstein part to they were concerned there ersight onnel acted to a -- information we made sure we have that employs with adequate oversight and cerns we move toward einstein par-3 the same we w ure te'veare in place. we want you to work with us ionalize to make sure we formatat'snalize privacy for dedrican citizens that is not needed for our security. ure t uatendly, we have to make thatthere are adequate plls and structures to have nght players that are with ae premier collection
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agency in the world is actively working on this. yhave been called to your attention to give this agre you matter the highest attention secuet of one of the cyber missions is one of the )ason of the whole environment also a rapidly evolving one and changing almost by the time you talk about it of a particular intrusion, it is passed and you are onto the next one. i just want to clarify one thing. that is i don't think there is any confusion with the cabinet as to the division of labor. the department of defense operationally department told me and security, .org and then assay provides technical assistance to
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both. their privacy and protection of privacy issues is now dhst into our own dhs process. from the operational standpoint, we have moved past the initial review. thestion i of the question senator whitehouse had goes to some ts the coordinating in the operation efforts in the case of a major attack from the white house. >> >> i think that was his but i torn also on the issue to make sure we have them place the coordination that requires. ely whether that is .dequately addressed a think i t ntat is still an issue that is tore not quite clear but i mati he has taken steps but the initial information indica indicates there was a need
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onatiostronger coordination. i tenator, i think that is correct. since t in the month since een review of a great deal of work has been done. tealty continued to be done in this regard. ef this was an area if i might say, that we really have a priority on and run of the chief challenges one h the priorities is speeding up the hiring process for those that work work in nk you thaena. >> we really wit to work within a osely.y. an another hearing that we had been our subcommittee. he cously of concern was the attack on the congress it t.lf. fort dietrich and merrill lynch is going forward before last but we are he wor pought of the work they are
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againand they're very dedicated people. ere' of federe's also an issue of coordination of record agencies involved tuning with the containment tbs and reports indicating y aatorat the committee of homeland security lieberman that beins have filed legislation. deith sel that will try to deal with thererect list by two years th there are added precautions to those to deal be uthose chemicals and agents secretary will be used as say weapon of mass tystruction and require greater background .hecks, security issue gr training, , etc., inventory controls at the two year i. ephe have you had a chance to review those havemendations? bersheave reviewed them and discuss them with members of
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the department including the newly confirmed. the way we look at it is the department of romance oecurity provides standards that would need to be met similar or analogous to the alemical three never go where you have that during one to come with 34, but in an engagement and standards justlished. >> i would urge you to have a system that promotes best practices. there is a lot of good g on. things going on. we need to have a much more oophisticated background checks for those that have items to those items that
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ponassvery well be a weapon i t senatortruction. said of the provisions point* is to try to move us otmmenda welhe recommendation but i hope we can move quickly on these issues as well. >> i concur. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. bad of secretary, i just want to talk. over thecerned remade the over wittingly overlooking ure. nevermise of american seeculture i have never seen more stress. i tesome from the largest rniacultural stage in the nd ses a california is a driver. seetimes for good or not so good. but i am growing for rues moving to mexico operating land in mexico, hiring exiccans and importing into
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int country. one example the man by the name of steve, 2000 acres, 500 jobs ond 50 million operation in ortsfornia goes to 2 guadalajara at today h-exports 2 million pounds of lead his per week and he has spent thousands of wllars to start up his new s happ but that is what is happening there growers tell me i assume that at least 85 dozen acres of farmland from o andornia and arizona are now in mexico and at least least 22,000 agricultural jobs. formerly these two states are now in mexico. ane pairs, it with apple's commentary, payers, row if add and if you add to that some the fi other economic stressors.
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for the first time in my lintime i have seen farmers in bread lines in the central valley and add to this the of 99 audit which has a chilling effect over the rest of agriculture. wi lture beully i do not agree with the ranking member. ricultur i think we're destroying agriculture because like if xten it depends on eight non domestic work force to the es do. heatest extent. virtually all of the big agricultural states do. we have to recognize it. ty tve been increasingly legerned with the inability to move any legislation that workegive some protection to workers who were agrifor a committed to work nam agture for a period of years. job namely is at it.cultural jobs. , 365s are 24/7 it will not
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do it. i and increasingly concerned by what is happening. orecourse, the product is we import more food produce from outside our country and therefore there is more erven elah concerns as there were with peppers and other rong reaoming into the country. and one country is strong tic la should be able to produce its own food but you fact. do it with domestic to have that is just a fact. t youe to have public becau that deals with it. hammnd to say that publicly e're is they average and no ge pays attention. we are in this great thrust to drive anybody else they illet of t aluart of this country no matter how by abell their e.rvices may be. another problem that i have
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waive had is the visa waiver program. ess thee he said chile is the soft underbelly of the havesystem. we have 35 gountries, 60 million people coming 10, i believe that overstay runs 40% of the undocumented population. ally d k 40% that you really don't know where they came sa alwaynd i have always on visitoreople come in on toisitor's to be set and fust decide tuesday and added some large part of the n.documented population. so let let me ask you this. hasen to has dhs taken to begin to track who has entered the united states through the visa waiver program and if they have left or overstayed their 've t?
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n tsenator we have taken a yumber of steps on the issue. 'd comwould be happy to supply eou with a more complete comple comeing 14 your staff but in ir traularly those that come by air tracking them as they theybeen in now being able to measure if they have oeft. we're also working. spec?w you do that specifically? cumentause we have better a hr documentation than we did before. other programs that we're g help using help us. there are mechanisms in are giv pare giving us better control in the environment to is coming in and who needs needs to be leaving which ing thos leaves open the question of measuring those who are coming and not leading >> her leaving. >> how would you know, today how many are the being what% and if you do know, what%
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>>'t thinkly leaving? >> i don't think we can say with precision, what percentage the some holders stay over but i think we can say that the issue of the heace is one of the most difficult top very programs. la >> i know. we have talked about it. but to be candid with you, there still is not a way to know if people have left. that is the nitty gritty of iis issue. her specifileft the country? that are here for a specific res,yd of time, the visa rm as i, i do they leave? gen if it is a simple form as in china, you just fill out a slip in triplicate bether the business or pleasure and where you stay. we do not even do that. essen't know.
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is essentially if that visitor has left the country ravelest of all, we are getting more information on the incoming traveler. air f the wayrly in the air e oironment. icondly, one of the ways we are now picking up is by the ng andement of other emenvities that we are fo doing. for example,. co es we expand secure years it inand in the next two years we hope to have it in every jail across the wi about.y there will be a nd tetric taken when you are booked and if you are in overstay we will pick you up then andan and there and there will be a removal mech think w instituted. >> i hf the other mechanisms that we have built up i think will help reduce the en years n overstay problem.
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wilble have been trying at tis nine or 10 years. when do you think we will waste system where we will be able to know fifth the the seven wafers have left >> s,ountry? >> . we keep increasing the pool th p if countries. think wetarted i think we countrieor 14 countries but tha35 countries that people pe visa.ome in without visa. todon't have the data as to whether they leave. the blame for the illegal immigration problem is put borhen itople who come over the border when that may now be the major part of the problem. senthink yway of knowing. asyour comments illustrate needs ofth know the complexities of this issue. uld cae thing i would caution us against is the
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no notion that we would build bui massiveild a massive biometric exit system around the country. ure expense and added value of the security i think is a us.ious. there are other mechanisms yo tell us those who are who is here to do us harm the. .> thank you. senator franken? >> thank you. mr. chairman. they give madam secretary. 104e october 2003, 104 immigrants detainee's have the c of t custody for custody of immigration and customs enforcement. i am sure some of those were inevitable. but others are likely for, inable. in 2006 one-man from gonna die in custody from a heart
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attack after guards waited aloinutes to provide medical attention let alone open the sell. they would not open that sell 40 minutes. last year one detainee died after falling and fracturing his gold then being shackled and pinned to the floor as the moaned and vomited then being left in a disciplinary sell for more than 13 hours. one ecuadorian woman died in a minnesota facility three years ago and her death was inevitable but also found she had not undergone herb mandatory medical intake exam despite being detained for two months. you inherited this problem. i know that. i know you are trying to fix it. but the first step to
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improve conditions is identifying the problem. my question to you is what went wrong? >> we did an extensive review that i seth, senator. nk we think several things which we have moved to isrect which is we decentralized too much. we did not have a base personnel on site or clear standards that we enforce. the contract thing de particularly as the what'slle of detention ndcilities was not all that it should have been. thoave moved to correct all of those problems and to reallyevaluate that the tension and system and told it to the standards that it
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should be with any legal >>stem. >> i want to to talk about aside from immigrants, as seekers of the asylum. t of year tens of thousands of democracy and human ofhts activists are victims derseligious persecution and proic cleansing come to the borders, with these really are the huddled masses. eed our asylum and refugee reograms from our country are important part to make akes u us the land of the free. minnesota is a special place as rese programs as e tently as 2006 we took more refugees than any other state except california isningow ice detaining fousands of applicants for asylum months at a time if
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anything more asylum seekers are detained for longer your notrtment has discretion ainr whether or not to detain asylum seekers why are we detaining applicants? enatorator, oftentimes what untry ilsomebody in the country illegally is nt theim and picked up and at that point* they claim asylum they have not as they enter the country we have dividuo areries of redividuals who were seeking asylum the we are looking at it as to whether or not they should fall within eligibility. of that is another process th h the departm on with the respe tryingent and justice department and then with
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respect to move for an th icatease this stage of the eing wetion process, we're ertaineverything we can to limi streamline the there are mitation certain imitations better on ty of in terms of availability officers, evidence communicators and will like. peoplave read about people who come seeking asylum that is why when they arrive and they know that if they go back they will be subject to eiolence or retribution. and had been imprisoned. ound005 a congressionally authorized bipartisan ate n amission said it was not risoopriate to detain asylum
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seekers in prison. and was four years ago but ngsiy they continue to be detained in the state and county jails alongside putitaryriminals and they wear prison jumpsuits and ehackled and even put into peoplommentfinement. asye are people who come and say they are seeking asylum, not criminals. ice currently detains asylum seekers in county jails in ae to tak and october your announced s likeuld take special steps for the asylum seekers but ncluatingudes separating them from accused and alsvicted criminals and getting them out of prison like conditions? hat.uld encourage that. ofsenator, part of the overall the tension reform s foo really do a risk
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analysis for every tem.vidual who comes into an the system. o bthey are not found to be odanger to the community or else wise to look at how hou should be housed and under what conditions, not and berybody needs to be housed in the same way as your >> jtion. s> just following up there inteo detible fear interviewed to determine areher these people have incredible fear and very itn heyen they continue to be detained after it is german at we h they have incredible fear if work they go back. >> right. we're working with the field specers to increase and a speed up the process by painto cich they are paroled into the country temporarily if feae has been adjudication. >> thank you.
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i would encourage that. >> absolute a. olutely. ou.thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. n.join my colleague to welcome you here and i jo commend you for the good job you are doing. i appreciate the meeting partici that you participated in when you were in philadelphia some time ago havt manufacturing vaccines and we have seen a very proble h1nnes problem with 81 and one and the swine flu vaccine with the delivery anticipafar behind what was anticipated because they are foreign manufacturers by and stralirative using it for their own resoses and with respect to there'g lislity of terrorism there is a long list of problems, anthrax, botulism,
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smallpox, and we seem to be bogged down with the bu lereaucratic infighting between a couple of federal r de of def the rumor, department of defense not wanting to see us go ahead with hhs. briefings at the very th highest levels was secretary high sebelius herself and peter mysel. my question to you, isn't this a problem of such magnitude and with our ptly tonce with h1n1 we to fome waymove ahead promptly with the rori -- way to do with the vaccines to we have a buyer terrorist attack? >> senator, but i think stion of all, on the vaccine p istion, we are now
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catching up in terms of orojections and availability and we still need to 1ncourage the american public to get that. verow aot been too good so on schand >> but now it is a very .obust production schedule e atome point* in december will be at the number we predicted in the fall or that the manufacturers said quehich ie but the real ticallyn is the availability domestically the t capacturing capacity i think that episode reveals w useseful it would be to have that capacity domestically with the second trt of your question comes s withk that is the urgent issue with respect to other bio agents moving forward. i thinnk you.
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yourrrenceo have your movurrence and hope that we notherve ahead. i turn to another subject that is the subject of the ebs created by the program by which gives the individual who wants to s to b become a u.s. citizen tatuerred status by snvesting $500,000 in the at ld states and creating thieast 10 jobs from that. progreen an enormously successful program in pennsylvania promoted by ed rendell and it is produced $2,300,000,000 in investments from the creation of more than 6,000 jobs the expectation diately immediately of 6,000 more jobs. un tave run into a very toious problem with regard to investments of one
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pennsylvania project where there was a change in chan investment and at the time the processes were made, there was a disclosure an spelly provld be the business plan specifically altern ernatiestmentshe alternative investments. re those were made. -nd there were investors who put up $205,000.2 put up a puty chimber of jobs. it theld berom the deputy investme operations center there to be alternative and investments and now the eir apave being challenged
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and the appeals have been denied. hlearned about this matter only recently and i wrote to the director and ask a consent mr. chairman? unanimous consent? >> and i request to you, that madame secretary to take a look at it. there needs to be rid 10 e odelines and it seems to me on the merits as a matter of equity aware there is a stitutio substitution investment, that was stated thght to y advance there would be no problem but the appeals have up been denied with the amount irness d by a the uscis as
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someorness we need to do goi toem. of somebody will be deported damper uese circumstances that would be a damper on nis important program and especially at the time with appyef the job stimulus eeeded that we can get. e ittor be happy to look at d liork ont and see what we can do with that. andngure the director will look at it. entare looking at the guidelines and also with the palmement of commerce to see what would make sense in the environment. lecause as you say these investments lead to american jobs. i i very much appreciate that. es to be saved in the airports, but you wonder sometimes about all of the rigor
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role on the ages of the very young to the very old. and the question arises in my mind as to whether we are not over react team. we had the white house ball on monday night. i didn't see you there. >> i was there. all dressed up. >> big crowd. my credential was checked three times as they walked through a long line. was yours checked three times? >> no, i walked right in. [laughter] >> well, i will not ask you why you have preferred status because i know you are entitled to it. it raises the question in my mind that i'm glad to be checked as often as they want to check us going into the white house. but it's a reaction to the gatecrashers, obviously of a couple weeks ago.
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and they wonder do you have results as to what all of these lab retest that airports show and world war ii is this trip necessary? is all of it necessary because if it is far. >> senator, i think a couple of things, one is i consistently house within the department what is the value added of any procedure we are imposing and what is the threat we are attempting to deal with? a second thing is is there a better way? and this is where, for the sample, there is a project under way that it successfully completed may allow us to get rid of liquid limitation which is a problem for travelers who don't want to have to this silly check a bag so we are
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consistently asking those types of questions and they are the types of questions we ought to be asking because travel and all of that is something we want to foster. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mentioned this earlier my statement by december 31st, short time from now states have to materially be compliant with unreal id going under the act zipped through where the citizens are not maybe using drivers licenses to board aircraft all across the country. 36 states are now compliant. i have this scene of thousands of americans who've flown to visit friends of family and relatives for the holidays but
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no problem and then get to board the plane january 2nd or 3rd or 4th and are told they can't get on the plan having exactly the same id they had to get on the first part of the plan. pledge your agency take administrative steps so we don't have this kind of chaos and confusion after midnight on december 31st? >> mr. who chairman, this is a very frustrating situation -- >> i would love to get the bill passed. >> there's a solution out there -- >> it's been held up by one of these aggravating the polls but go ahead. speed there is a legislative solution and ultimately it will have to be a legislative solution. in the meantime, i have a set of not very attractive options and they are not very attractive for
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the fundamental reason that simply by granting extensions doesn't move us forward on the security side and fulfilling what the 9/11 commission recommended. but i am looking at what our options are now should the congress not act. >> please keep in touch with me on that. >> absolutely. >> you said you were conducting internal review on the effectiveness of internal border checkpoint programs including the one that's on interstate 91 in vermont. that one has been a source of ongoing concern. some considerable distance from the border. there's half a dozen parallel roads, two-lane roads that go along and they get off the interstate, take parallel and come back. gps is pretty easy to do.
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i've always been concerned about these kind of check points from years ago when i was asked if i could prove that i was a u.s. citizen. the license plate on the car, mauney i.d. that said united states senator did not seem to satisfy the person that i was a u.s. citizen. i suspect they had a deficient civics class when they were growing up. i've not had that happened since. but -- and it's been years since that. but i do get four or stories of people who just taking kids to school, late for doctors' appointments, they have to prove that they are citizens, people
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born and raised in vermont and so on. so what about this? >> well, we have looked at the issue of temporary internal checkpoints and i particularly look at the ones in vermont because i know what your interest and will provide you with greater detail on actual numbers. but minute view, senator, is they are and should be part of a border strategy so that we do have some means of the geographical border to see what is coming across. they do provide useful information, and we do make apprehensions. it's been a guy and a stand that but so far we move from the border that the vast number of people going down there -- if you are really wanting to get involved in smuggling you just don't take the interstate. door predecessor probably gave me a list of the number of
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marijuana arrests and people whose visas have been over that they had a period of several months of stopping people and i pointed out that if you really want to find people with visa's on or marijuana or something every day we have hundreds of thousands of people who drive in from maryland or virginia into the district of columbia, just put a roadblock on every single one of the bridges and the roads coming in here. and i can guarantee you get hundreds of people. now it may be a bit of an outcry for those going to work because you would have a traffic jam that would take a week to unravel and i think you and i would quickly agree that for the number arrested yet it's not a very effective thing to do, and i -- we are just a little state. but there are some of us that were born there and are concerned about it and wonder if
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this is overkill. >> mr. chairman, i think it is not. and we have the same question in arizona, which is the state i am familiar with, and mexico which is the state i grew up in, and it is part of -- we need to look at the border as an entire region and have some facilities that are not permanent in nature that are off the border that move are around that surprise people that they can't depend upon as part of our overall strategic look. how we conduct the checkpoints and whether they cause undue delay that is an issue i think we can take another look at. >> it also reflects how we are an account we could not have a better friend. i look at this and then i hear the complaints about, a disappointing number of
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complaints from vermont about their treatment and reentry in the united states from canada but also from canadians in entering. so they've never heard before in recent years just a lot of them and some of them seem pretty legitimate, and we are a welcoming country. if somebody is treated like you are durham all unless you can prove otherwise by the people on the border whether it is -- to get off on an international flight to drive across the border it does not help and to the credit of the customs border protection from vermont they had a recent meeting in newport, vt., a border city actually one my wife was born in come and they made it very clear they want to hear about these negative experiences. i think they were surprised at the number they have, and i know these are hard-working men and women. i know it's not an easy job and
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they are the first people that are going to ask if somebody got through that shouldn't and say hey how did that happen. but it is the image of america. sometimes that is the first things people see of america is at the border, and we should not assume everybody is guilty when they come through. >> mr. chairman we will continue to work to improve that. >> okay. i have questions about what senator kyl and the department authority to provide waivers and exemptions certainly to support cases that may be one for the record but i really would like an answer. also i know judge webster has been asked to oversee the fort hood investigation and your department is involved in that eventually. i told the white house i expect
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a report to come here certainly to senator sessions and myself and ultimately to the committee. did you have any further -- >> madam secretary, as senator conwell asked about the border patrol agent numbers and he indicated there was 100 per cent increase in the budget but you're moving a couple of thousand to the northern border how does that not result in reduction of agents at the southern border? and can you give analysis of the numbers? >> i can and i think more appropriately i should give you and your staff we will give you the staffing plans. but as i suggested to senator kyl, we are not moving agents on the southern staff border it is not going to happen. it is not part of our plan --
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>> well the numbers be a bore down i hear from all? >> they will be up. >> that's good to hear and if you could explain that i would appreciate it. you know the operation streamline since people are not detained for that long appear -- a period of time it doesn't require it seems to me that the quality of housing that he would do maintaining someone in prison institution for longer periods of time, but what we have learned with crystal clarity is that releasing people who've been in the country illegally on any kind of bail results in very few shoring back up when the deportation hearing comes, so it's just a devastation of any enforcement idea if you do not hold them pending of their hearing. have there been any changes in the number of people that you
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are releasing on bail? because we finally got the previous at fenestration to and the catch and release for the most part. i think there are probably some areas that need further in pavement, but it sounds to me like, as you told senator frank in, i think you are on asylum cases you are looking to release them as soon as possible. while often that means they don't return. >> no, senator, and i think those things should not be confused. i think what he was asking about was the and adjudication of credible fear matters. and they have been bogged down in the system. and we are looking to improve the process. now, we also have told the congress and the congress asked us to provide alternatives to detention plans. obviously that has to be contingent upon a credible believed by us that we will have
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that individual back in court and ready for deportation. as a matter of practice, there are ways to help ascertain that and supervise that, and we do that. on streamline as i suggested to senator kafeel i agree that streamline is very useful. we also believe that we have enough detention space identified for the individuals apprehended in the streamline sectors, which include the larger sectors of the border -- >> i hope he will look to expand that streamlined process. it does seem to be effective and it strikes me if you ask the average american when you apprehend somebody than in a country illegally that shouldn't be at least be required to have some sort of conviction of the
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misdemeanor of some kind before they are sent back i think they would all agree that makes sense. with regard to the e-verified, you -- on the understand that the arizona law which you signed into effect is under appeal now in the supreme court that the ninth circuit in strong opinion affirmed the legality of that law which says the state of arizona basically declared that businesses should check with of the e-verify system to verify whether or not the person is lawfully in the country before the higher than. the supreme court indicated they would like to ask the united states government to express final briefing in the case. has a decision been made and why wouldn't we want to file a brief supporting combat law that seems to be working well? >> well, senator, i think that
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the process is under way in the federal government as to how to respond to the u.s. supreme court's request. but you are correct. i did sign that law and i signed it out of my believe that you have to deal effectively with the demand side for illegal labor as well, which has actions involving employers, e-verify, those sorts of things even as he worked to strengthen the border itself. >> i think that's correct, and to suggest that once you have gotten into the country illegally that you are now free to work and stay in the country indefinitely is not the message we need to send. i've really become a strong believer that an important part of your job and the president's daughter and congress's job is to send a message throughout the
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world where large numbers of people through polling data say they would come to the united states if they could, to send the message that you can come. we have large numbers of people that come every year but you must do so lawfully. that is a message we need to send and it's important. i have been somewhat concerned and the recent days as i learned about the cory manner in which this agent complained during a political campaign in colorado that the district attorney was running for office, higher office at that time, had plea-bargain the number of cases to agricultural trespass where people illegally in the country committed drug crime of some other more serious offense and they were allowed to plead to a misdemeanor agricultural trespass because apparently that did not result in deportation.
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after the election was over he was attacked apparently, criticized, prosecuted, acquitted, and it now turns out from your internal investigation of supervisors who were involved in that case have failed a polygraph test and apparently have been determined to have conducted themselves wrongfully with regard to this individual. and let's see how to be briefed -- on understand the office of professional responsibility has documents showing that the supervisor who criticized and apparently moved against mr. forest, who has also been terminated and is now contesting the termination and that i.c.e.
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presented the supervisor for criminal prosecution to the u.s. attorney and four felony offenses including perjury and providing false statements and that the lpr sustained administrative charges against a supervisor and the final report was complete on april 3rd but apparently i.c.e. is yet to take action against the supervisor but they are continuing to seek to remove mr. morris. do you know anything about that? and i think we need to make sure that this is done right. >> i'm not personally familiar with that matter but i will become personally familiar with it. >> i think it needs to be looked at. i don't believe there is anything wrong with a federal agent or state police officer criticizing a prosecutor. i used to be one, a prosecutor and i didn't make people happy every time we entered into a
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plea bargain but i don't think they should be disciplined solely for that if some violations occurred on the understand it. but likewise, i don't believe you should allow a climate to develop in the department that indicates people who disagree with the policies of the department will be punished if they express themselves. do you understand the value of that? >> absolutely. and as somebody who has run a large prosecution office i can appreciate the value of your comments. >> senator klobuchar will be the last questioner, and then we will finish the hearing. >> very good. i rushed back from the floor and made it in time. i want to thank you, secretary napolitano, for being here. as you know we talked last week or so in the commerce committee and i will say what i said then. i want to thank you for your great help in addressing the flooding in the red river valley
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for both minnesota and north dakota. and i was impressed by the work of the people in your department. and secondly, and one other thing i didn't mention in commerce at the last oversight hearing and may was about a month before the hemisphere troubled initiative took effect and we had serious backlogs of travelers in minnesota who were suddenly going to need passports or other documents to get to canada which had not been required before and this is going on and we have had a decline in the tourism industry and all over the country and i have learned from talking to people in minnesota that the implementation of the western hemisphere travon should have has been much smoother in our state. this is a good thing, madam secretary, people and said he did and were pleased with how things went in a timely fashion and pragmatism of the people in the department so i wanted to thank you for that as well. at the commerce hearing we talked about my concern about the no-fly list and some of the
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secure flight issues and i know i'm not going to go at that again. i did want to touch on something negative no was touched on briefly year about the accidental disclosure of transportation safety administration airport screening procedures. when that confidential document was placed on line i know the use it to an earlier question that it didn't represent a significant security risk but it did violate the standards of your department and i was just wondering if -- what steps you are taking to make sure these kinds of disclosures don't happen again. they are of obvious concern. >> yes, senator and several things. one, we asked the inspector general to look at the entire issue about what occurred. secondly, several employees have already been placed on administrative leave and the contractor involved who actually made the inappropriate posting has been dealt with appropriately.
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third, we are going back through our own procedures at the tsa for what gets posted and how. and also making sure that the employees throughout the department have their training and memories refreshed as to the necessities for when the reaction needs to occur how that is to properly be done. >> very good. thank you and we look forward to hearing the results of all of this as we move forward. i know we have talked before about the border enforcement security task force in the southwest corner of the country and i wanted to get an update on that. i don't think you talked to anyone else about that here and have you seen any change in the drug cartel tactics in mexico since the coordinated efforts began? and the second question would be how you would assess mexico's state and local law enforcement officials work in rooting out
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corruption, going out after the cartels and being more vigilant. >> we've increased the number of border enforcement security teams across the border. they've been very effective in collaborative efforts to make sure that whatever violence is occurring on the mexican side of the border doesn't spill over onto the u.s. side and they are helpful for a number of other reasons going forward after fugitive aliens flexible, criminal alien gangs as another example. is that continues to be a very effective tool for us. our law enforcement relations with mexico are the best i've seen in the 17 almost years that i've been working border related crime issues and for example for the first time we are seeing mexico actually create basically its own vetted border patrol so that we have an agency to work
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with along the border. they basically removed 1500 of their customs officials last year and replaced them with that officers. so our ability to work at the law enforcement level as greatly been improved. and lastly i think that that progress is being made against the cartels. there have been several significant and arrests and seizures. some have been kept on the mexican side. others are being contemplated for extradition to the united states. and at the federal level for coordination between president obama and president calderon is very close. >> very good. thank you. one other thing i don't think we have talked about before is the creation of the import safety targeting analysis center that you have helped spearhead. at the university of minnesota we have a national center for food protection and defense which has been certified as a
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homeland security center for excellence so we have long recognized the importance of securing the safety of the food chain and i'm just concerned about this being from an agricultural state and starting to see some of the products we have the last few years coming from other countries. obviously we are addressing some of our own food concerns. i'm one of the a original sponsors on the bill to bring more food safety. but i continue to be concerned about what is coming in from outside of our borders and the affect that could have on our homeland security. could you talk about that? >> senator, i can. we continue as you know we have opened up a center in that regard. we are also really working with all kinds of food supply chain issues and we will be happy to provide you with a more in-depth briefing. senator feinstein and her questions to me related the fact some agriculture is leaving the
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united states as a homeland security issue and i think she has fielded and else have you by your question so we have to look at that. >> that is why we call the farmville the food security act how important it is to be able to produce our own food. our last question is about the recovery act which included a billion dollars for tsa to procure and install explosive detection systems and checkpoint system for checked baggage at airports and additional 680 million to improve infrastructure and technology at our nation's borders. can you give an update on how much of the security funding has been spent and how you plan to utilize the funding over the next year? >> yes. i can give you a spreadsheet, but in detail the contracts are out. the obligations have been made. and number of jobs have been related to those contracts. the in line baggage systems are being installed in airports across the country and the
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northern ports that the construction contracts have been led and that work is underway. >> thank you very much. appreciate it. >> thank you. we stand in recess. thank you, secretary napolitano for being here. and there will be follow-up questions from several of the members of the panel. thank you. >> thank you. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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alex swain of congressional quarterly, thank you for joining us. >> sure. >> we want to talk about what happened of health care and what is expected tomorrow but first we will hear from senator joe lieberman when he spoke to reporters about the bill. >> it's not necessary. we have a great health insurance reform bill and the danger was some of my colleagues i think we're trying to blow it up with too much, and what happens then is you run the risk of losing everything. so i think what is beginning to
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emerge -- i know some people are not happy about that is a historic achievement. health care reform such as we have not seen in this country for decades. >> alex, how secure is senator lieberman's vote now? >> he apparently took the democratic caucus at a meeting at the white house today body in proposal move to impose to supporting it. i think that he is probably a pretty secure vote for them now. >> how significant has his bin role in crafting the food we expect the senate to vote on? >> he's been significant getting things removed from the bill. i don't know how much is written into the bill. i don't think very much but he's been good at getting stuff cut out of it. speaking mentioned a meeting at the white house between president obama and senate democrats. the president made brief remarks afterwards. >> a lot of the critics of this
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entire process fail to note what happens if nothing gets done, and the american people have to be very clear about this. if we don't get this done, you're premiums are guaranteed to go up. if this does not get done, more employers are going to drop coverage because they can't afford it. if this does not get done, it is guaranteed that medicare and medicaid will blow a hole through our budget. those things are guaranteed. that's the status quo. that is the trajectory we are currently on. i don't intend to have that happen. and i believe the senate doesn't intend to have that happen. and i think any fair reading of this bill will indicate all the criteria that i leave out when i met before a joint session have now been met. it is deficit neutral.
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it bends the cost curve. it covers 30 million americans who don't have health insurance, and it has extraordinary insurance reforms that make sure we are preventing abuse. >> what were the senator is saying about the meeting when they came back to capitol hill? >> a lot of enthusiasm about a. senator jay rockefeller from west virginia told us that his gup was telling him they have the 60 votes they need to pass the bill. >> are there any des democrats whose votes are in the air? >> ben nelson from nebraska. they have not yet resolved this issue over abortion and whether insurance plans receiving subsidies for the government would be able to offer abortion coverage. until that is resolved, senter nelson remains and on known in the state. >> and number of groups opposed to the bill held a rally on capitol hill. some lawmakers spoke in putting oklahoma senator tom coburn.
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>> let me first of all say thank you for taking the time out to be here. what our country lacks is our active involvement to return to freedom that is rightfully ours back to us again. what our country lacks is active involvement of the citizens of this country to return the freedom that is rightfully ours back to us again. the healthcare bill isn't about health care. the health care bill is about government control. the health care bill is about eliminating the liberty and freedom to choose what is best for you and your family. you know, i practiced medicine for over 25 years. i am a two-time cancer survivor in the best health care system in the world. [cheering] and that does not mean that there are not problems with our health care system.
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but i will tell you the government runs 60% of health care in this country. and they don't do a good job in any one of those levels. and this bill will move another 20% of health care under the control of the government. if in fact you are here today because you want a future for your children and you're grandchildren you want to restore the liberty that is rightfully yours that in fact if you want to make choices for you and your family, that right of yours will be preserved please do more. please write more, please have your friends do more to read this bill must be stopped not just for health care. we can fix health care where it's wrong. this bill must be stopped because we have a government that is way too big, way outside the bounds of its intention and we have a government that we cannot afford and this will make it worse by $2.5 trillion over
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the next ten years. thank you all for being here. god bless you. >> alex, did this rally seemed to have any effect inside the capital? >> no i think it went unnoticed by democrats at least. but outside the capitol, you know, the polls suggest there was a sizable percentage of the population that agreed with the crowd out there and agreed with senator coburn. >> what are the implications on the vote this evening on senator dorgan's amendment on importing prescription drugs? >> his amendment failed so that kind of way it's a real ranch in the work for democrats. if his amendment had been adopted, it would have -- it would have meant that a deal between the white house and pharmaceutical industry would have in essence been blown up and we would have seen the pharmaceutical industry turning against this bill. >> looking ahead what can we expect to mauro? is there an end in sight yet? >> we are getting there.
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we expect tomorrow they are going to release cost estimates have some new provisions senator reed wants to add to the bill. once that happens, she will be able to start filing with called the manager's amendment to the bill which is a package of final changes. then he will file with a call cloture petitions which is a procedural move to shut off the debate and filibusters against it and then we start sort of a ticking clock toward passage and will take roughly about one week between the time he starts filing cloture petition and the time they can finally vote on the bill. >> alex wayne of congressional quarterly, thank you for talking with us. >> thank you.
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president obama said earlier that he is cautiously optimistic about efforts to pass health care legislation and praised the latest moves by senate democrats. the president is joined by senate democratic leaders. this is just under ten minutes.
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>> hello, everybody. we just had a very productive session about the final stages of health care reform in the senate and from the discussions we had it's clear that we are on the process of an achievement that has diluted, chris and presidents for generations. an achievement that will touch the lives of nearly every american. there are still some differences that have to be worked on. this was not a roll call. this was a broad based discussion about how we move forward but whenever differences remain, there is broad consensus around reforms that will finally number one protect every american from the worst practices in the health insurance industry. no longer will these companies be able to deny coverage if you have a pre-existing illness or
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condition. no longer will they be able to drop to from coverage when you get sick. no longer will you have to pay unlimited amounts of your own pocket for the treatment that you need. we are all in agreement on those reforms. we agree on reforms that will finally reduce the cost of health care. families will save on their premiums. businesses that will see their costs rise if we do nothing will save money now and in the future. this plan will strengthen medicare and extend the life of that program. and because it gets rid of the waste and inefficiencies in our health care system this will be the largest deficit reduction plan in over a decade. i just want to repeat this because there is so much misinformation about the cost issue here. you talk to every health care economist out there and they will tell you what if your ideas -- whiteaker ideas exist in terms of bending the cost curve and reduce cost for families, businesses and government, those
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elements are in this bill. and in terms of deficits because we keep hearing these ads about how this is going to add to the deficit, the cbo has said that this is a deficit reduction. not a deficit increase. so, all the scare tactics, all of the ads are simply inaccurate some of the same people who cited the cbo when it said it didn't reduce the deficit, the same cbo is the most credible, possible arbiter of whether or not this ads to the deficit now suddenly are ignoring what the cbo says. finally we agree on reforms that will make coverage affordable for 30 million americans who don't have it. every day that goes by another 13 million americans lose health
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coverage. another study shows have all americans under the age of 65 will be without coverage at some point. on the other hand of this reform passes, when it passes for the very first time in their lives these americans will be able to provide health insurance for their families and those americans already covered will no longer have to live in fear their family might fall through the cracks of the system we have now. these are not small changes. these are big changes. they represent the most significant reform of our health care system since the passage of medicare. they will save money. they will save family money, businesses money and government money. and they are going to save lives. that's why this reform is supported by groups like aarp represents most of america's seniors. that's why this reform has to pass on our watch. now let's be clear, the final bill will include everything
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that everybody wants. no bill can do that. but what i told my former colleagues today is that we simply cannot allow the differences over individual elements of this plan to prevent us from meeting our responsibility to solve a long standing and urgent problem for the american people. they are waiting for us to act. they are counting on us to show leadership. and i don't intend to let them down neither to the people standing next to me. there's too much at stake for families who can't pay their medical bills or see a doctor when they need to or get the treatment they need. the stakes are enormous for them. the stakes are enormous for businesses who are already seeing their premiums go up 15, 20, 30%. a lot of the critics of this entire process failed to note
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what happens if nothing gets done and the american people have to be very clear about this. if we don't get this done your premiums are guaranteed to go up. if this does not get donner more employers are going to drop coverage because they can't afford it. if this does not get done, it is guaranteed medicare and medicaid will blow a hole through our budget. those things are guaranteed. that's the status quo. that is the trajectory we are currently on. i don't intend to have that happen. and i believe the senate doesn't intend to have that happen. and i think any fair reading of this bill will indicate that all the criteria that i've laid out when i met before a joint session have now been met. it is deficit neutral, it then is the cost curse, it covers
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30 million americans who don't have health insurance and it has extraordinary insurance reforms that make sure we are preventing abuse. by the way, it also does things tom harkin has been a champion of for years, prevention and wellness, to make sure people are getting a the care they need and the checkups the need and screenings the need before they get sick which will save all of us money and reduce pressure on emergency rooms all across the country. so there are still disagreements that have to be ironed out. there's still work to be done in the next few days. i think it's important for every single member of the senate to take a careful look at what is in the bill. we welcome the scrutiny from the press. recently there was an article in
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the new yorker that talk double the cost savings and how important they are going to be in terms of bending the cost curve over the long term. i am absolutely confident if the american people know what is in this bill and if the senate knows what's in this bill that this is going to pass because it's right for america. and i am feeling cautiously optimistic that we can get this done and start one of our sleeves and getting to work improving the lives of the american people. thank you, everybody. [inaudible conversations] thank you, so much. thank you so much. [inaudible conversations]
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-- to vote for the health care plan? >> you're welcome to stay. >> have you been moved by anything the democrats -- >> it seems like a reagan moment where i should say what? [laughter] >> have you been moved toward voting for anything -- >> in other words as i said last night i think we were having what i consider to be constructive discussions and, you know, it's not finished yet and i think one of the things we learned in the last couple of hectic weeks we all ought to be looking at paper. this is a legislative process. we ought to be looking at specific legislative language before we say i agree or on the
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object, but to be as explicit as i can be now if as appears to be happening the so-called public option government-run insurance program is out into the medicare by an, which i thought would jeopardize medicare, cost taxpayers billions of dollars over the long haul, increase our deficit is out and there is no other attempt to bring things like that in, then i'm going to be in the position i can say i'm getting to the position i can say what i wanted to say all along and i ready to vote for health care reform. my whole point has been here that the president laid out a couple of big goals for this process. and the cost curves down for individuals, families, businesses, the government, economy of health care and secondly bring a lot of people
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and who can't afford health insurance now. the basic core bill does that. i think some of the other things are going to add to the debt, increase taxes which is not necessary to achieve those two goals. >> how much pressure if any have you been getting -- >> i thought you said you're going to be reverend? >> i'm trying. >> i haven't received pressure. i mean it. periodically they will talk to my staff about one thing or another but i've never hesitated to take on the insurance companies. and so the reason i was against the public option is the same reason that a lot of people are worried about this over all health care reform proposal which is the thing it's getting too big and they worry it is going to increase their taxes and increase the national debt that their kids and grand kids are going to have to pay. so that's why i was --
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>> can you explain -- on the medicare bogden? >> i didn't change my mind on the medicare buy yen. this is a classic sort of support of the wood isn't terrible to change one's mind if in fact you do. but i don't want to spend too much time on this. in the 2000 campaign, when i was privileged to be all gore's running mate, the party platform was to suggest one way to reform health care was allow 55 to 65-year-olds to buy into medicare. that is a very stressed age group when you don't have insurance. but a lot of things have changed in the nine years. first is that the 2000 federal government was in surplus and paying off the debt, not having increased the debt enormously. second, medicare wasn't on the verge of imminent bankruptcy which is now. and third, there wasn't a bill on the floor such as the one on the floor now that would extend very generous subsidies to those
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55 and 65-year-olds to enable to buy insurance and reduce the impact of age in the pricing of insurance policy. so things changed a lot. >> [inaudible] >> i finally get to see that on tv last night and looked to me like i was referring back to things i had supported in the past to make the point though i was against the public option file was not against health care reform. and of course i did that before the finance committee bill came out with this very large, and again i say generous but i support this, system of subsidies to bring basically lower middle-income people into the health insurance system. >> what subsidies bakes' beat the victim to the reform [inaudible] -- >> not to that extent. here's the point, the medicare
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buy-in as proposed didn't make sense. you can all focus on it but it ended up it seems to me when advocates of the public option didn't, so they didn't have the votes for the option the kind of tried to get it down another path. and it made no sense. hospitals -- i'm not the only person on the democratic caucus who opposed the medicare buy-in recusal that 11 other democratic senators wrote to senator reid telling him they were against it because the impact they thought it would have on hospitals and doctors and their state, and by cost shifting on 180 million people in america who get their insurance today through private companies, their premiums would go up. so that is where we are now. this was unnecessary. the fact is the more they try to change it to get it through separate insurance pools, separate from medicare, self sustaining them, the premiums have to pay for it.
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as i said to one of the advocates of between 55 to 65 is going to be able to afford this plan and he said to me that's not the point. we are trying to work out a deal here. i said that doesn't make sense to me because in the long-term danger will be the federal government will be pressured to take this over, make up deficits in this separate pool. and again it's not necessary. we have a great health insurance reform bill and the danger was some of my colleagues i think we're just trying to load it up with too much and what happens then is you run the risk of losing everything. so i think what's beginning to emerge -- i know some people are not happy about it -- is really a historic achievement. health care reform such as we have not seen in this country for decades.
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>> [inaudible] -- have you leave rolph at all in your process in terms of supporting or not supporting this bill? >> first let me say that i am grateful for the work that senator lieberman has done. i believe that his principal stands have improved the bill. i very much would like to see a health care bill that is based on lower in costs, expanding access, helping small businesses pass. but i don't see voting for the current bill that is on the floor even with the improvements that have been made. i'm very weary of the impact of nearly $500 billion in medicare cuts particularly the cuts in home health care, which are completely counter-productive of the goal of lowering costs. senator lieberman and donner,
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senator wyden and i have amendments to try to give more affordable choices and to lower the cost of health care. it remains to be seen whether those are going to be adopted. i am concerned about the penalties that would be imposed on the smaller employers. so this bill is getting better but it's still deeply flawed for me to support. >> -- leadership about senator lieberman and senator wyden's proposal on your proposal to include that? >> i have had some conversations, but they have not given me an answer at this point. i should make clear why ally care deeply about those amendments and believe that the make significant improvements in the bill that their adoption would not be sufficient to persuade me to vote for the bill. i'm still very concerned about the enormous cuts in the
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medicare programs and what that would mean to access to health care for seniors. >> why offer them if you don't think -- >> i think something is going to pass, and i would like to make that the bill as good as possible even if ultimately i can support. i believe i have an obligation to try to improve the bill, not to just say no. and that's why i've been working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle on several amendments that i believe will improve the bill. and i'm going to continue to try to improve the bill. >> -- pennsylvania avenue in recent days? >> i have had extensive discussions with the president, with his chief of staff, with the omb director, with the white house health policy adviser. those have been helpful and i appreciate the dialogue that we are having.
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but they certainly have not moved me to be able to support the bill at this point. thank you. [inaudible conversations] mr. president, i wanted to make a point, and i know my colleague from arizonan wishes to engage in a brief colloquy on this point -- the amendment we are offering, a bipartisan amendment dealing with the price of prescription drugs is a very important amendment. we are going to get our vote on that, but then there is also going to be a vote on an amendment that nullifies it read it mollifies and says he passed the second amendment it means nothing happens and prescription drug prices keep going through the roof. i just want to say quickly that there have been very few bipartisan amendment on the floor of the senate during this debate. that is regrettable. this is bipartisan. a wide range of 30 senators
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including republicans, john mccain, chuck grassley, olympia snowe and so on support this eckert and it's simple, trying to put the brakes on prescription drug prices by giving the american people freedom and ability to find competition among drug prices where they are sold in other parts of the world for a fraction of we are charged as american consumers. >> mr. president? >> the center of arizona is recognized. >> i asked to engage in a colloquy if with the senator south dakota. >> without objection. >> i think that it's important for us to recognize what the dorgan amendment is all about. it is about an estimated, according to the congressional budget office, we love to quote the congressional budget office aren't here, $100 billion or more on consumer savings. that is what the dorgan amendment does. and it cuts the cost of the bill of the legislation before us as much as $19.4 billion over ten
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years. so here we are always talking about ending the cost curve, saving money for particularly seniors who use more prescription drugs than younger americans, and get there is opposition. so i would like to ask my colleague from north dakota number one how long has he been fighting this issue, and number two, why in the world do we think that anybody would be a post to an amendment that would save $100 billion to the consumers of america. >> i would say to my colleague from arizona we've been working on this for ten years. ten years, myself and the senator of arizona and others. he knows because he was chairman of the commerce committee. we held hearings on this in the committee. the fact is we've gotten votes on it before and each case the pharmaceutical industry with a lot of muscle around here has prevailed on those boats with an amendment that is a poison-pill amendment saying somebody has to certify with respect to no
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additional safety risk and so on. the safety issues are completely bogus. absolutely bogus. the town in europe for 20 years what we are proposing to do in this country, parallel treading between countries with no issues at all and what we are trying to do as the senator from arizona indicated to save the american people $100 billion in the next ten years because we are charged the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs and there is no justification. i want to show the senator from arizona one chart and this is just representative nexium. if you happen to take nexium for the same quantity up $424 in the united states. if you were in spain and would pay $36, france, $67, great britain $41, germany $37. why is it the american consumer has the privilege of paying ten times the cost for execs we the same drug put in the same bottle made by the same company made in
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the same plant? justify that. >> ka also ask my friend has he seen this chart? this chart shows that the pharmaceutical companies in america have increased wholesale drug costs which it doesn't reflect the retail jug costs by some 8.7% increase just this year while the consumer price index, this whole line here, inflation has been negative 1.3%. now when the world do you justify giving that? attendees are lists of the increase is over a year in cost of some of the most popular or much-needed prescription drugs. so, why would pharmaceutical companies raise costs by some nine per cent unless they were anticipating some kind of deal they went into and i don't


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