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tv   Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Ambassador Confirmations  CSPAN  September 10, 2018 5:27pm-6:57pm EDT

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join the discussion. ♪ ♪ >> tomorrow is the 17th anniversary of the september 11th terror attacks. on c-span we'll have live coverage of president trump's remarks in shanksville, pennsylvania, scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. eastern. on c-span2 from new york city, the annual ceremony and reading of the names of those killed at 8:10 a.m. eastern. and on c-span3, we'll take you to me moral service at the pentagon. that starts at nine eastern. and all of the 9/11 memorial services re-air tomorrow night on the c-span networks. >> the senate foreign relations committee held a confirmation hearing for several ambassador nominees. they included businessman david fisher to be ambassador to morocco and earl miller to be ambassador to bangladesh. this is an hour and a half.
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>> good morning. this hearing of the senate foreign relations committee will come to order. i want to thank senator merkley, and i'm grateful for our continued partnership on so many issues, senator. i'd also like to thank the senior senator from indiana, senator donnelly. as well as senator peters of michigan. the purpose of today's hearing is, of course, to review the nominations of five individuals for key positions. they include the following: david t. fischer, nominated to serve as ambassador to the kingdom of morocco; the honorable earl robert miller, a career member of the senior foreign service, to serve as ambassador to the people's republic of bangladesh; mr. daniel rosen blume, a career -- rosen blum to be ambassador to the republic of uzbekistan. easy for me to say.
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mr. kim tom to be ambassador and u.s. representative to the united nations agencies for food and agriculture. the honorable david yamamoto, a career member of the senior foreign service, to be ambassador to the federal republic of somalia. i want to welcome even of you and thank you -- each of you and thank you for being here today. most importantly, i want to thank you for your willing areness to serve our country. i'd like to extend a special welcome to mr. tom from indiana based on kip's tremendous experience and status as a fellow hoosier. i wrote a letter to the president last year recommending that he nominate mr. tom for this position. as i said in that letter, kip has more than four decades of domestic and international experience related to food and agriculture and is uniquely qualified. so i'm glad that you're appearing before the committee today as a nominee for this important position. i'm also grateful that you've invited so many members of your
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family. in fact, i cannot recall having so many family members attend one of these hearings. and they all shared with me -- i think your parents shared with me -- we'd have a lot more if it weren't harvest season. [laughter] so if they could raise their hands just to represent -- that's a lot of individuals, a lot of hoosiers. so thank you for being here. during his may 24th appearance before this committee, secretary pompeo said, quote: with so many challenges before us, the state department needs a full team on the field from locally-employed staff around the world to senior leaders in washington. unquote. secretary pompeo expressed concern about vacancies in key positions and said we need our men and women on the ground executing american diplomacy with great vigor and energy and representing our great nation. i completely agree, and that's why i'm excited to have five nominees before the committee today. i'm hopeful that the committee and then the full senate can
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process their nominations expeditiously as possible. with that, i'd like to recognize senator merkley for his opening comments and also indicate that our other senators do have time commitments. i know senator donnelly has another committee hearing, and they all need to be out of here roughly around ten after in order to make that. so with that, senator merkley. >> thank you much, mr. chairman. i'm glad we're able to have this hearing and expedite the process for so many individuals in key positions. thank you to mr. fischer and ambassador miller, mr. rosen blum, mr. tom, ambassador yamamoto, for being here today and for being willing to serve in critical posts for our nation around the world. i have seen the work u.n. agencies perform in the food and agricultural sectors during my congressional delegations abroad. i'm glad to see a nominee for
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ambassador for these vital institutions. and i'm pleased to see on this panel career foreign and civil servants who have come to their positions with years of experience. ambassador miller, saturday will mark one-year anniversary of the start of the brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing conducted by the burmese military against prohinge georgia which, of course, is relevant because of the 700,000 refugees who have fled to neighboring bangladesh. i look forward to hearing from you how the united states can assist bangladesh in addressing this very, very challenging situation. and i'm also pleased ambassador yamamoto's nomination is moving forward. i know the challenges that you'll face in leading this mission in somalia. a part of the world that's wrestling with climate, chaos and conflict. and corruption. the combination has substantial challenges. and it's kind of exciting to have a president there who is also a dual citizen with the
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united states. and i think, certainly, working as, to bring some real policy efforts to bear on those challenges. i hope you will be given the necessary security resources and support from the department to do your work. when i visited the representatives of the united states, said we are the only ones who can't leave our come pound, and to do our work, we need to be able to get off the compound. an issue identify i've raised with secretary pompeo. i want to make sure that our team there is able to do the work. mr. rosenblum, if confirmed, you'll need a message in uzbekistan, important hub for supplying our troops in afghanistan. they play an important role in resolving the conflict there including recently hosting some of the conversations with the taliban. and i look forward to hearing from mr. fischer. morocco is a fascinating state. i've appreciated our conversation yesterday and give
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you an opportunity to address a couple of the issues that the committee had raised that they wanted you to clarify. and thank you all. >> senator donnelly, i welcome you to make whatever comments you'd like to make. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank all of our witnesses for your service to the country. i am here to introduce and proud to introduce my fellow hoosier, kip tom, who has been nominated to serve as america's ambassador to the united nations world food program and agriculture organization. before i speak about kip, i would like to take a moment to recognize some of the people who are here support him today, and there are a lot of people here supporting him today. his parents, everett and marie, have traveled from leesburg, indiana, to be here today. he's also joined by his wife marsha, his sister, melinda, his children, his daughter-in-law, his grandchildren as well as other family members and friends. i am sure they are all very,
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very proud of your accomplishments. a native hoosier, kip is a seventh generation farmer and a has been active in agribusiness in indiana for over 40 years. he's a current chairman of tom farms in leesburg, indiana, which is one of the largest corn, soybean and seed growers in the state. kip's agribusiness experience spans the globe. it includes work in north america, south america, africa, europe, the middle east and asia. he serves on the boards of the indiana economic development corporation, the indiana chamber of commerce, the future farmers of america foundation and the national 4-h foundation. his leadership in the field has also been recognized by the agriculture future of america which awarded him the 2015 ag leader of the year award. i believe kip is highly qualified and will be committed to achieving the goals of the united nations world food program and food and agriculture organization as they strive to defeat hunger and to achieve
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food security worldwide. i look forward to hearing his testimony and your questions. as i said, we are very, very proud of mr. tom, and i strongly, strongly, support his nomination. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator donnelly. with that, senator peters, i welcome you to make any comments. >> well, thank you, chairman young, thank you for holding the hearing, ranking member merkley and other senators who are here. each of the folks who have been nominated, your willingness to serve, if confirmed, is certainly very much appreciated. i certainly appreciate the opportunity to introduce david fischer, a michigander, nominated to serve as u.s. ambassador to morocco. he is also backed up by a very large contingent of 17 members of the fischer family. it was certainly great to have an opportunity to meet them before this hearing. david is a leader in the metro detroit business community. he built his family's auto
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dealership p business into one of the largest dealer groups in the entire country. he and his wife jennifer are known for dedication to the community and charitable causes, particularly focused on efforts to fight cancer, help children and improve schools. david and i have talked about the importance of vocational education, and his company has invested in these programs at michigan schools, providing students with the skills, training, meals and for those who earn the required certifications, a good paying job in his company. david's company also recognizes local teachers who have earned the distinction of teacher of the year in their districts, and he allows them to pick a car to use for an entire year at no cost to them in honor of their recognition. david has raised millions of dollars for renovations at the college for creative studies in detroit. and thanks to david's leadership on the board of trustees,
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students have a cutting-edge learning facility contributing to detroit's long history as a leader in innovation as well as creativity. david and his employees have generously supported a number of charitable initiatives including fallen heroes, the red cross, the american cancer society and ford mobile food pantry, among many, many others . confirmed, david will have an important job ahead of him as the ambassador to one of america's first allies. but as someone who has navigated the darkest days of an auto industry on the brink of a collapse to the road to recovery and has done that through collaboration and bringing people together, david has demonstrated tenacity, adaptability and, most importantly, leadership. thank you. >> well, thank you, senator peters. and welcome you to stay if you like, but i understand your responsibilities may also carry you elsewhere. i gather senator flake also has
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an introduction to make. senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's tradition, if somebody's from your state, a foreign service officer, to introduce them here. earl miller is not from arizona. i'm sure he wishes he was at times. [laughter] maybe at some point. but he's not. but i chair the africa subcommittee, and i've had occasion to spend a considerable amount of time in southern africa ca. and to be able to witness what he has done in the country of botswana as its ambassador -- or as our ambassador to bots wan ma for the last three and a half years. he's here with his partner michelle and son alexander, i believe. and andrew is elsewhere. but i just want to say that it makes me so proud and one of the best things we get to do as members of the senate is to travel around and see good work that foreign service officers are doing around the world. and particular in botswana, so
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many challenges there with one of the most successful efforts the u.s. has ever put in place with pepfar. bots wan ma was taken from a one that was in severe danger of total collapse there to a situation where we're in a good position and moving toward at least a position where everyone is getting treated. and the efforts that ambassador miller made in that regard are commendable. also wildlife preservation and environment and habitat protection. we have a wonderful partnership with the government of botswana that would not be possible were it not for the efforts of ambassador miller. and i just want to say that south asia, bangladesh is going to be grateful to have him. he's done a great job in his previous posts, and i gist wanted to commend him -- i just wanted to commend him here today for all he's done for southern africa. thank you, mr. chairman.
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>> well, thank you. and once again, i want to welcome all of our witnesses. without objection, your full written statements will be included in the record, and at this point i'd like to invite eachover you to summarize your -- each of you to summarize your written statement in no more than five minutes. i welcome to introduce, if you like, any members of your family that may be present here today. so we will go in the order that i announced you, beginning with mr. fischer. >> [inaudible] thank you so much, senator. thank you. as always, jennifer's there helping me turn the button on. [laughter] if i may, with the fischer family, are you all here? everybody here? okay. presiding member young, ranking member merkley and distinguished members of the committee, i am honored to appear before you today as president donald j. trump's nominee to serve as the
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ambassador to the kingdom of morocco. first, i would liked to ec -- like to ebbs press my profound thanks to the president and the secretary of state for the confidence they have placed in me and the opportunity to represent our country. presiding member young, i know that you and the members of this committee have a profound dedication to serving the american people and representing american interests around the globe. the opportunity, with your consent and approval, to work with you and your colleagues, the secretary of state pompeo and the devoted members of this committee on behalf of the president is both humbling and invigorating. i am strengthened every day by the love and support of my family including my wife jennifer who is here with me today and who will join me on this journey. my sons david jr., zachary and jeffrey, all of who can i could not be more proud of. together as a family, we have championed countless causes
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related to social, civic and community well-being. i have dedicated my career to developing our business across the united states and canada. today my company, founded nearly 75 years ago by my father, employs more than 3400 people in the united states. such lifelong endeavors will serve this country well should i be confirmed. morocco is one of to our oldest allies, and as you know, our treaty of peace and friendship with morocco, ratified in 1787, is the longest unbroken treaty relationship in the united states history. our friendship and continued economic, political and security collaboration are vital and must be strengthened. with my business background, i appreciate the tremendous opportunities more trade as exports from the united states to morocco have tripled in
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recent years. morocco is one of the few countries to which we have a free trade agreement. it is also a gateway for u.s. companies to enter other markets. if confirmed, i would work closely with this committee as well as all other relevant departments and agencies to expand these opportunities for u.s. businesses. i also understand that no position is without its challenges. while the unwavering resolve of men and women of our military continues to protect our nation and the world against the islamic state and other terrorist organizations, our fight continues. the united states and morocco stand firm in advancing religious freedom and rooting out extremism. morocco is an active and capable partner. it was one of the first african countries to join the global coalition to defeat isis. and as co-chair of the global counterterrorism forum, morocco
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plays a global role in the fight against terrorism. if confirmed, i will seek to further strengthen our security cooperation with morocco to protect u.s. interests in the region. i will support the united nations' efforts to adjust -- to advance a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution that provides for the self-determination of the people -- for the people of the western sahara. today the united states confronts complex foreign policy challenges around the world. morocco is a bridge to africa, to the middle east and to the muslim world. building a strong relationship with king mohamed vi will be paramount as we strengthen our collaboration from the foundation of trust. if confirmed, i am confident that my experience in building and strengthening strategic alliances and cultivating and
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building commerce and supporting and promoting community, social welfare and human rights will serve this administration and the united states well. if confirmed, i will work with the government of morocco to continue political reform and encourage further progress on human rights. i fully understand that it will be my duty and privilege to work on behalf of the president, in lockstep with the state department and this committee to represent the united states of america in advancing our interests and help strengthen morocco as a secure, prosperous and vital ally of the united states of america. thank you, presiding member young and members of this committee. >> and thank you, mr. fischer. ambassador miller. >> mr. chairman, members of the committee, i am honored to appear before you today. i would like to thank the president and secretary of state for the trust and confidence they have placed in me as their nominee for ambassador to the people's republic of wang
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bangladesh. mr. chairman, i would like to introduce my partner michelle edelman and youngest son alexander who just finished an internship at the state department this week. i also want to recognize my son andrew who is completing his studies at the university of south florida. their love and support over the years have been invaluable as they accompanied me around the world. it has been a privilege to serve the american people in eight countries across five geographic regions over the past three decades and see my sons grow in such smart, caring, accomplished young men and even consider following in dad's footsteps. it is an honor to be nominated to serve the united states in such a strategically important country at such a critical time for our bilateral relationship. as the world's eighth largest country by population and third largest muslim majority nation, bangladesh is known for its moderate, secular, pluralistic traditions. with an annual income growth rate of roughly 6% each year, bangladesh aspires to soon
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become a middle income country. it is increasingly important trading partner and destination for u.s. investment. it is a vital link between south and southeast asia. it is a country of promise and opportunity with a vibrant civil society poised to play an even greater role on the regional and world stage. we work closely with bangladesh and hold regular, structured dialogues on bilateral and regional issues, security and defense cooperation as well as trade and investment. the united states is committed to a free and open indoe pacific, expanding our partnership with bangladesh in support of good governance and rights and liberties, open access to seas and airways, peaceful resolution of territorial and maritime disputes and free and reciprocal trade. we cooperate closely on counterterrorism, insuring threats do not grow and threaten to destabilize the region. we do so in a manner consistent with the rule of law and respect for human rights. we seek opportunities to increase our security and defense cooperation in
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recognition of bangladesh's equitable contributions to regional security and active roles in u.n. peacekeeping operations. bangladesh faces senate challenges we can -- significant challenges we can work together to address in partnership. one is the prorow hinge georgia crisis. hosting nearly one million refugees, the largest refugee camp is now the fourth largest city in bangladesh. we are deeply appreciative of the generous soy the -- generosity of the people and government who have opened their heart toss the community that has suffered greatly. and the united states, as always, is doing its part. we are the largest donor addressing this humanitarian crisis, providing $204 million since august of last year, and we are grateful for congress' funding and continuing support. as we approach the one-year anniversary of attacks in burma that drove so many from their homes, it is clear the crisis requires sustained efforts. we will continue to work with
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bangladesh, u.n. agencies and our international partners to meet the urgent needs of the rohinga will continuing to bless burma to create the conditions necessary to allow for safe, voluntary and dignified return. the upcoming national elections is an opportunity for bangladesh to reaffirm its commitment to democracy and the rule of law by holding free, fair, credible and inclusive elections that reflect the will of the bangladeshi people. to do so, all parties must be able to fully engage in the political process. freedom of expression and the press is also vital for healthy democracy. media, civil society, members of opposition groups and peaceful protesters must be able to express their views and advocate for change without fear of retribution. the ambassador has been a superb champion of all voices in a democratic process, and if confirmed, i pledge to follow her admirable example. the united states remains concerned about recent trends in democracy and human rights in
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bangladesh, we remain troubled about reports of attacks on vulnerable populations, political violence, extra additional killings. if confirmed, i will work to support efforts to promote accountability and strengthen human rights and democracy in bangladesh. mr. chairman, if confirmed, i would assume the responsibilities of my position with humility, dedication and joy. i often tell my colleagues at our embassy in botswana that an ambassador's greatest superpower is simply and wonderfully the power to do good. throughout my career, including 24 years as a special agent with the state department's diplomatic security service, i have worked to insure the safety and security of our embassies and people around the world in some very challenging environments. i appreciate this most soars responsibility, and it will also -- serious responsibility, and it will always be a top priority. thank you for you strong interest in south asia. if confirmed, i welcome the opportunity to work with you, your committee, other members of
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congress to advance america's interests in bangladesh and throughout the region. and i'll be honored to answer your questions. >> thank you, ambassador miller. mr. rosenblum. >> chairman young, ranking member merkley, senator shaheen, i'm honored to be here today as the nominee for u.s. ambassador to the republic of uzbekistan. i'd like to introduce a few members of my family who have joined me today. my wife sharon, my son jonah and my daughter leanna and my sister miriam who's come down from boston to be with us today. they keep me grounded, and i'm grateful for that. they've already taken to calling me ambassa -- dad, although i reminded them they can't call me that until i'm confirmed by the u.s. senate. the life journey that led to my sitting at this table started in ohio where i had the good fortune to be the son of louis and evelyn rosenblum. my mother was an educator who passed on to me her love of
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learning and fascination with history. my father worked at massa for over 30 years -- nasa for over 30 years developing rocket fuels that took the first americans into space and later solar cell technology for use on earth. my dad was also a human rights activist who in the early 1960s helped organize the grassroots movement that provided moral and material support to jews and other oppressed minorities living under soviet communism. his advocacy efforts eventually led to package of the jackson-van ec amendment and mass emigration of soviet jew swrks to israel and the united states. i was deeply inspired by my father's activism and motivated to learn more about that faraway place that occupied so much of his attention. no doubt this influenced my decision to study russian, history, language and literature and later to pursue a master's many soviet studies. i also consider myself extremely fortunate to have spent four
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years here in the united states senate in the 1980s learning from one of the most brilliant and hard working public servants i have ever known, senator carl levin of michigan. during more than two decades at the state department, i have relished opportunities to collaborate with congress to further our foreign policy goals. and if confirmed, i look forward to working together with members of this committee to promote u.s. interests and values in our relationship with uzbekistan. what are those interests? why does the united states care? we care because what happens in uzbekistan directly affects the safety and security of american citizens. we have seen what can happen around the world when we disengage and ignore the root causes of instability. a stable and secure uzbekistan is very much in american interest. we also have a sound, longstanding, bipartisan policy of supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the independent states that emerged
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from the collapse of the soviet empire. uzbeks appreciate america's steadfast support for their sovereignty. since 1991 when we were the very first country to recognize their independence. a fully sovereign uzbekistan, free to align itself internationally as it sees fit, is very much in american interest. uzbekistan currently is going through an exciting phase in its history as an independent nation. over the past two years, the president has launched a series of sweeping economic and political reforms aimed at modernizing uzbekistan's economy, improving its citizens' quality of life and making its government more accountable. more than 40 activists and journalists have been released from prison. restrictions on civil society and the media are being loosenedded. incidents of forced labor in the annual cotton harvest has been reduced. child labor, virtually eliminated, and important first
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steps have been made to expand religious freedom. the president has also fundamentally reoriented uzbekistan's foreign policy by vastly improving relations with his central asian neighbors and actively supporting regional cooperation. uzbekistan has also begun to play a prominent role in the search for peace and reconciliation in neighboring afghanistan. if confirmed by the senate, my number one priority will be to insure the safety and security of my embassy team as well as any and all american citizens in uzbekistan. beyond that, i will make it my priority to, number one, deepen our partnership with uzbekistan in pursuit of shared regional security goals and achieve a new level of cooperation to counterterrorism and other transnational threats; two, support the ambitious reforms the government of uzbekistan has initiated; three, help u.s. companies take full advantage of opportunities to sell american
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products and to make investments as policy reforms make it easier to do business in uzbekistan; four, continue our focus on further improvements in the protection of basic rights and freedoms; and, five, expand educational, business, science and cultural exchanges between uzbeks and americans in order to establish a solid foundation for a long-term partnership. mr. chairman and members of the committee, if i am confirmed, i pledge to work closely with you to support america's growing strategic partnership with uzbekistan. i'm grateful for this extraordinary opportunity to serve my country, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, mr. rosenblum. mr. tom. >> chairman young, ranking member merkley, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for this opportunity to appear before youd today as the nominee to represent the united states of america as the ambassador to the united nations
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agencies for food and agriculture in rome. i won't spare you any more time with the introductions of the family, we've covered that a few times, but i really thank them for being here today. it means a lot to me to have them in the background. sometimes for the first time in d.c. so i am grateful to be given this opportunity to outline my qualifications and discuss my vision with you today. i would like to take this opportunity to recognize the committee's leadership on global food security. not only in the u.s. as the largest food provider in the world, but you have led a whole of government effort to address the root causes of global poverty and hunger by giving farmers the tools and knowledge to help them feed themselves. this approach will provide economic and stability at a time when the world needs it most. i cannot imagine a better honor than to serve in the leadership capacity and be a small part in advancing u.s. global food security earths to create -- efforts to create a more stable
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food-secure world. i've been privileged to visit efforts in afghanistan, iraq, kenya, tanzania where food security continues to be a challenge, in some cases in the midst of protracted conflict. most of these people are farmers, and i witness the challenges they face in growing enough food to feed their children and family. as a farmer and as a father, to see these people struggle in this way is heartbreaking. while the world will always see crisis, i know we can do better to lift people out of poverty. my story is an american story. i was born in lees burg, indiana, one of five children in a sixth generation family farm. we were raised on a modest 200-acre farm that our family settled back in 1837. we may not have much materialistically, but my parents gave us what they could, instilling strong family values, work ethic, leadership skills,
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many gained through organizations like h-6 and -- 4-h and ffa. it was because of these experiences that we quickly understood the freedoms and opportunities this country offers. our family's experience is unique but is familiar to many americans across rural america and through our country's history. it was on this same farm where i raised my own family of five children and grew it into a larger family farming business that is recognized globally. ..
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to develop an advanced new technologies that have driven agriculture project committee. from 2005 to 2015 hours honor to serve as governor daniels as governor daniels and then governor pence on the economic development corp. board. during my time serving on the board, we saw high levels of job growth while attracting record levels of capital investment to our hoosier state. today, indiana is rated as one of the top states to call home. as a business leader, whether working with government officials, startups are established multinationals, i believe there is nothing more important to success than his or her ability to unite those of different backgrounds and viewpoints in object is behind a common purpose. although i've always call my hoosier state home and will always call myself a farmer, i look forward to begin this new chapter of confirmed. i'm eager to represent my country come and build consensus
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amongst organizations and forge new relationships to advance u.s. interests. the u.s. is the largest donor of the u.s. agency providing more than two points $6 billion a year in funding for humanitarian response efforts among bearded confirmed coming tend to bring private sector perspective to the government over several of the u.s. mission to help enhance the effective investment abroad. mr. chairman, michael and serving as ambassador to the united nations agencies for food and agriculture would improve our missions outcomes to serve the american people. if you confirming i bring all of my knowledge, worth that it and schools on turn skills to bear. i'll do it in way that brings honor to our country, our values and national interest. thank you very much for your time. >> thank you, mr. tom. ambassador yamamoto. thank you, mr. chairman. thank you ranking member and
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members of this committee. it's a great honor to appear to you today to be considered for position as u.s. ambassador to the federal republic of somalia and i'm very humbled by the nomination by the president and secretary of state. like to introduce my wife, margaret who has many other dependents and family members of the foreign service constantly make sacrifices each and every day and contributions to the u.s. government did to the people of the united states. through two evacuations in supporting times a day, we have two children who are also committed to service. our daughter, laura is a cadet at the u.s. military and our their son, michael service in the u.s. army singapore and is great honor for me to also serve in afghanistan for my son served on two occasions. mr. chairman and members, and have been very fortunate to serve in the foreign service for the last two decades in africa
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and multiple ambassadorial assignments as well as mogadishu, somalia years ago to set up operations there. and also the secretary acting for the african bureau. over the past several years, they designated somalia has made great strides in improvements and that is due to not only the united states leadership program, but also the people and governments in somalia. they can only hope through sustained good governance, to security challenges and determination to bring a better future for the country and its people. the united states is an important partner in the implementation of political economic and security reforms. we at the united states earned critical leadership role and if confirmed, mr. chairman, i'll continue to advance u.s. leadership role in four critical
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areas. first, in building democratic institutions and holding them accountable developing effective security forces, implementing stabilization and economic recovery programs in delivering humanitarian assistance. coordinating the partners will also be critical to the most effect the abusive u.s. influence and resources and strengthening the positive relationships we have such as the african union and the amazon truth contribution in the organizations in somalia will be our top priorities with your confirmation, sir. about all of confirmed or to ensure the safety and security of the staff from the u.s. government colleagues, u.s.a. descendents amalia, security challenges in mogadishu and there are significant, challenging, dangerous and will
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continue to challenge us for years to come. mr. chairman, somali is on change. we have the return of the aspera and the american citizens investing in amalia. somali products will continue to the efforts we make and deal with coordination with our colleagues. mr. chairman and members of this committee, i'd like to take this opportunity to say if confirmed i will do my utmost to seriously dedicate myself to service some values of this nation into people and objectives in somalia. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. ambassador. for the information of all the nominees as well as the members present, it is unclear at this point whether we will have one or two votes, but will make every effort to expedite this process and keep it going if possible otherwise we may recess.
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there will be seven minutes for member staff questions at least in the first round of questions. i'll begin with mr. tom. excerpt from your nominee to serve as ambassador to the u.n. agencies for food and agriculture and let me just reiterate how proud i am to have such a qualified individuals from her home state of indiana nominated to this position. you will promote if confirmed u.s. interest confirmed u.s. interests and policies with respect to free entities come in the food and agriculture organization, the world food program and the international fund for agricultural development. as chair of the subcommittee that oversees multilateral institutions, including the united nations and related entities and in my efforts related to the poor famines, in particular endowment, i worked particularly closely with the world food program executive director beasley has appeared before my subcommittee twice over the last roughly 18 months.
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once confirmed, and will you let me know, let members in my office now what we can do so that we can work together and ensure multilateral effort ours affect that is absolutely possible with respect to food security. >> senator yong chi mei thank you for the question. if confirmed, i will report back in this committee and let you know what my experiences are, the solutions i find and the work i have come to grow with executive director beasley and others that usaid to make sure report back in and understand success is measured by those we lift out of poverty and help it comes insecure. thank you. >> relatedly i'd like to take this opportunity to indicate how pleased i was that section 1290 is a provision in the national defense authorization act
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working with senator shaheen and others on was included in the acts of president trump signed into law. i look forward to reviewing secretary pompeius written detail in unclassified submission related to the yemen by september 12th in accordance with the law. ambassador yamamoto come the list as one of your top priorities to eliminate emergency food and crazies. based on your most recent position in preparation for this hearing, can you just provide this committee an update on the food and security crisis in somalia and indicate what tangible steps we should be focusing on as a committee of the country to help alleviate the food and security situation. thank you, mr. chairman. in somalia with a population of 11 million, over 50% are acute
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food insecurity. i put 4 million people. i just amalia, but the entire region poses a huge problem and challenge. the united states is the major donor for food assistance and we will be working very closely to my colleagues here, mr. tom on a certain security issues and the way we deliver is that the united states remains critical to the humanitarian assistance, not just amalia, but the entire region. >> you preempted my follow-up question. i wanted assurance to be working closely with mr. tom. my presumption is he'll be working closely with ambassador yamamoto and both of you will be reporting back to my office in this committee on your efforts. is that a correct presumption?
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>> it is correct. ambassador. >> ambassador miller, your nominee to serve as ambassador to bangladesh and as we know the burmese military has conducted a systematic and horrific campaign of ethnic cleansing against the rohingya. as a result, we see hundreds of thousands of rohingya refugees in bangladesh from rohingya states in burma. along with senator merkley i've been active in the senate on issues related to burma in this crisis and i plan to continue my efforts. mr. ambassador confirmed in coordination with our ambassador to burma, do i have your commitment to keep this committee in my office regularly updated on the rohingya crisis related, you know, for not crisis and indicate what is perhaps more importantly what can be helpful to you. >> thank you for the question
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and thank you for leadership on this important issue. i certainly make that pledge. i also want to recognize and thank senator merkley for leading the first congressional to see the ground truth of this humanitarian crisis. if confirmed that pledge to continue to have this issue be the top priority. as dave mentioned, but the government is open to orders and the people of bangladesh open their hearts to over a million refugees for the last two decades including 700,000 since august. want to recognize the generosity of the american people. their hard-earned taxpayer dollars are saving lines that will make you one of my top goals to make sure it continues to be the case in those dollars are spent wisely. right now providing protection, emergency shelter, food, health care, psychosocial support and
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host communities in bangladesh. we have to come a senator, also focused beyond the immediate needs of this vulnerable population in basic health and safety in medium and long-term planning. this crisis is not going to a base in the next year or possibly two or three years. rarely can a schooling, livelihood training and it's also imperative that any repatriation be fully voluntary, safe and dignified and burma must commit to creating those conditions on the ground. the military security forces must end the violence and adhere to the rule of law. those responsible for ethnic cleansing and other abuses should be held accountable. in a letter that this committee sent to secretary pompeo last week urging the robust response to the crisis, ellie whitesell, one of my heroes was quoted as
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saying silence encourages the tormentor. i pledge to you in this committee if confirmed i will work tirelessly with you, with their superb interagency team with daca come with bangladeshi officials and partners to help the victims of this great injustice. what all that you state above all is to know they are not alone. that we are not forgetting them. that when their voices are stifled, they can borrow ours. while their freedom depends on us, the quality of our freedom depends on their spirit if confirmed i would always remember american diplomat, our lives no longer belong to rest. they belong to those who need it desperately. >> welcome to thank you mr. ambassador. and encouraged to speak with such clarity and precision, thoughtfulness and eloquence on this issue. with that, senator shaheen. thank you, mr. chairman. congratulations to each of you
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on your nominations. i look forward to working with each of you with confirmed. mr. tom, you spoke quite eloquently in her opening pavement about the importance of the security and what you claimed as he traveled. i'm troubled because the last two budgets the administration has proposed food for peace and to sadly reduce spending for the international disaster assistance, which supports food for peace. so, based on your experiences, what kind of impact do you think he would have missed the united stated dramatically reduces funding for food programs and stepped away from the role we played in the world? >> senator shaheen, thank you very much for that question. if confirmed, i look forward to making sure that the united states who has always been
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generous, send very passionate in making sure that those around the world who are food insecure receive the resources they need to stabilize their lives. let's face it, we live in the midst of the crisis globally were this year we have 11% were people hungry then we have a year ago. this is more than we can do ourselves. we need to reach out to alliances around the world and measure our success not a dollars and as, but by the numbers would lift out of poverty. >> was encouraged by your comments about the importance of collaboration i certainly agree with that. but as much as they collaborate, it still leaves the vacuum there. and so, i'm pleased to hear you say that still advocate for continued funding for these important programs. the rescission in the state department and usaid budget of two to $4 billion.
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we don't know yet because we haven't seen where that is going to come from. we know that they intend to do it in a way that will prevent us from using those funds because it will be at the end of the year when those funds will expire. i expect that we will see an impact on virtually all programs within the department of state in a way that will be challenging. ambassador yamamoto, talk about if you would how you would continue to help our partners fight against terrorist groups that we are seeing in somalia. you talked about some of the aid. what else can we do? >> thank you from a senator you continue to support the amazon forces and continue to work with our partner countries of the european union. also other like-minded countries to support and assist somalis
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after to address the security needs of the country and that means working in coordinating what the president from russia and the regional state. and in that context it is exceptional will make an exceptional conference. spent a great at that mr. rosenblum we've been talking about -- one of the, i do want to say the only reason, but one of the reasons we didn't working very closely with the uzbek government is because of our efforts in afghanistan and is pakistan and it has been very cooperative in this effort. as we see the continued evolution of the conflict in afghanistan, are you concerned about any fellow into uzbekisan and what might happen as a spillover result in that
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context? >> thank you very much for that question. there is potential for spillover in the conflict and the government of uzbekisan is aware of that. they have which prioritized the peace effort in afghanistan. in the past few months we've seen a reinvigorated effort by the government to play the role. they hosted an international conference on peace in an in march. they've invited members of the afghan government and the taliban as well to talk and we've been encouraging news. they have a strong stake, strong interest in the settlement. and we think that they can play a very overall. if i am confirmed, that will be one of the main priorities of engagement with uzbekisan.
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also being stability and peace in the neighborhood. >> that's very encouraging and what's happening there is very encouraging and i think their engagement, both in afghanistan and the region offers a real opportunity as we look at coming to a pivotal time in afghanistan i look forward to working with you and not effort. ambassador miller, i really can't say anything more to add to your statement. it was very pleased to hear you say about which your priorities will be as ambassador in bangladesh and certainly look forward to working with you if confirmed in all of this effort. mr. fischer, one of the things, the disappointing things we are
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seeing in morocco despite all the progress in so many areas has been their lack of success really in combating human trafficking. we have seen that some of the human rights violations that have happened in morocco has increased in recent years. can you talk a little bit about if you're confirmed in your role as ambassador what you can do to encourage the moroccan government to better address both human trafficking and other human rights violations? >> senator, thank you very much for that question. trafficking is and has been an issue in morocco. they are ranked a tear or two in the state department's annual trafficking in persons report. the government does not fully meet at this time the minimum
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standards for elimination of trafficking, but it is my belief that they are trying to make significant efforts to do so. in 2016, the government of morocco enacted an anti-trafficking law prohibiting all forms of trafficking and establishing an interministerial anti-trafficking emission. if confirmed, i will urge the moroccan government to increase its efforts to investigate and prosecute potential trafficking crimes to identify trafficking victims and provide protection services catering to the needs of those affected. >> well, thank you. i'm pleased to hear that. so you are committed to continuing to speak about those violations of human rights? >> senator, thank you. i am commended has confirmed and i'm happy to discuss it.
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>> i have to go vote. i am going to recess this hearing until they return and again, thank you all very much for being here this morning and for your commitment to serve this country. as you all know, it is that public service that makes the difference for america and for leadership in the world. thank you all very much. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> i called the subcommittee back into session and thank you all for staying with us through this short break. i wanted to start with mr. rosenblum. what role can uzbekistan play immediate talks with the government of afghanistan? >> senator, thank you for the question. it's a very important role that uzbekistan can play in since president mary celia became president, they've increasingly played a role in regional security improving relations with their immediate neighbors, one of which is of course at the end of an. and judging by some of their initiatives over the past few, i think uzbekistan is trying to promote peace and reconciliation in a very active way. it's clearly in their interest to have a stable neighbor. i think you recall that there
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was a high-level international conference held in posh times in march hosted by the government of uzbekistan peered uzbekistan has also been making efforts to boost trade. they signed a number of trade agreements in the past few months with afghanistan. uzbekistan supplies a lot of electricity to afghanistan. much of kabul is coddled. in all fields we are seeing an active effort on their part. we want to make sure that their efforts are well coordinated with broader international efforts and reconciliation in afghanistan. but as i said before, no one has more at stake in stability and peace in afghanistan and its neighbors including uzbekistan. >> thank you. imagine the power provided to afghanistan.
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can you describe the makeup of uzbekistan's electric power and how that might may potentially change over the years to come? >> uzbekistan's power system, senator is primarily powered with oil and gas, some of which they produce themselves and some of which they bring in from neighboring countries. they do export electricity to neighboring countries in afghanistan as i mentioned. we also know they are very interested in developing renewable power and we work through some projects under usaid to give them the need to develop that, especially solar and wind. this is an increasing move on the part of the government to diversify its energy generation and that is something we are working on through technical
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assistance. >> thank you very much. ambassador miller, we urge on behalf of the united states government of afghanistan to strengthen the infrastructure and the refugee camps and particularly provide for the opportunity for education for the children there. >> i certainly will, senator. i mentioned your leadership on this issue to see the facts on the ground. we discussed when we met recently about what needs to be done to sustain the population in bangladesh. not only will i do my utmost to make sure they are supported in the camps. we discuss an island and how that could be problematic even
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the infrastructure and sea walls with the 100,000 refugees to the island as they talked about could subject them to flooding during monsoons and high tide. i want to make sure that any repatriation to burma or inside bangladesh is done in a safe and dignified manner and if confirmed, one of my first trips would be the following method types. i'll get up to the camps as soon as i get into bangladesh to see it for myself. >> thank you very much. you mentioned the island. this is a plan that i understand the government of bangladesh is going forward with good is it my understanding that the low-lying island and it has the possibility of flooding during the monsoon plus the isolation that occurs in that situation.
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it sounds like the policy of the u.s. is to not encourage or to discourage the government of bangladesh from proceeding with that effort? >> i checked on my question, senator. the united states has not done in the u.s. taxpayer funds built into the infrastructure supporting development of the island. it is an island built on sentiment that runs into the bay of bengal in the delta. it's an island during the monsoon season can effectively be underwater. there's also some real issues and how you relocate 100,000 people in the fact that the island is isolated it can be a target for piracy, trafficking and other criminal activity. >> and are we concerned about isis recruiting from the refugees who are in a difficult
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situation coming down, not much future for opportunity -- economic opportunity? >> was certainly are. historically the rohingya has been muslim practitioners. but we have a population of 700,000 living in desperate straits in dire conditions with the prospect of repatriation not clear at this point, we have to really be careful about the possibility. al qaeda in isis are using the rohingya crisis on their propaganda internationally and is certainly worked very closely with the government of bangladesh to keep a very close eye on that. >> thank you did my time is up and going to yield to my colleague, senator king. >> thank you, senator. congratulations to each of you for your nomination.
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.. >> interacting with morocco, i very, very early, nearly immediate ally of the united states and a critically important country. and i want to ask you a couple questions about it. in the region that i serve on the subcommittee, there is an increasing pattern of government crackdowns on political activists, journalists, members of religious and ethnic minorities. and this includes most recently in saudi arabia, the government seeking the death penalty for a nonviolent activist, a 29-year-old woman from the shiite minority. in morocco in june, the government sentenced the leader
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of a protest movement and several other nonviolent actors to 20-year prison terms. as the representative of in this administration and the american people to morocco, will you stand up for principles of justice, democracy, equality and free speech? >> senator, thank you for that question. and the short answer is, if confirmed, absolutely yes. i look forward to working with the president's national security strategy which says governments that respect the rights of citizens remain the best vehicle for prosperity, human happiness and peace. i invite you to morocco, if confirmed. i would love to tour the country, look at those areas of interest with you. and i, again, if confirmed, i look forward to further working with this committee. >> i hope, if confirmed, that you will raise the issue of political detentions and sentencing with the government
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in an appropriate way and keep the committee informed on this. morocco, unlike many of its neighbors, has not experienced a major terrorist attack since 2012, and that is due to very good work that's being done in morocco. we need to give morocco credit for that. but many foreign fighters from isis come from morocco. as isis controls less and less territory and fighters seek to move on or return home, what existing programs or assistance can the u.s. provide to morocco to help them deal with the potential of moroccan native foreign fighters as they come back, trying to stop them from engaging in destructive activity? >> well, thank you for that question, sir. the cup of morocco is -- the country of morocco is doing a good job of trying to identify and create an environment to control anyone that has been
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radicalized. they practice a moderate muslim faith. and that in itself and the export of a modern muslim faith around africa is very helpful to trying to control that. there are much fewer foreign fighters from morocco, and if they are to be -- if they return to morocco, they are identified, in some cases they are held, they are worked -- the country works to try to deradicallize them, and they are absolutely being effective with this from what i have seen. >> i want to ask you one other morocco question, and it's one that has been a longtime challenge for the nation and american administrations for many years, and that's the western sahara. in 2016 following remarks by u.n. general secretary ban
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ki-moon, morocco expelled the u.n. peacekeeping operation civilian staff and military tensions escalated as forces moved into the buffer zone that the u.n. staff had policed. both parties did withdraw in time for the mandate to be renewed in april of 2017, and then the civilian staff began to return. the mandate was set to expire in 2018, it was extended until october 2018. how likely is a new round of direct talks between morocco and the front? how realistic are expectations that those talks could move this stalemated, perennial conflict into a new place? >> senator, thank you very much for that question. the united states continues to support the u.n.-led efforts to find a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political
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solution to the conflict that provides for the self-determination of the people of the western sahara. recently, former german president color, as the personal -- kohler was in morocco. he has visited all of the appropriate players in the region, and they are -- kohler was in morocco, mauritania and met with the poll share ya, and they are in talks. we hope that will be fruitful. if confirmed, i will be more than happy to come up, come back and discuss that with this committee. >> thank you very much. and i know that senator merkley asked a number of questions about bangladesh, which is also in the foreign relations subcommittee where i serve as the ranking member. i applaud the work of senator
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merkley and others who have really made this an area of focus. and i will say to you, ambassador miller, that i didn't have a chance to hear your back and forth questions with senator merkley about that, but i think that this encouraging -- continuing to encourage bangladesh to do the right thing in this significant humanitarian crisis is absolutely critical. and we sometimes have the experience of meeting with myanmar officials and meeting with bangladeshi officials and, you know, kind of having finger-pointing both ways. i would just, i think you're taking this job at an incredibly important time, should you be confirmed. i hope this -- bringing the u.s. humanitarian assistance to bear on providing some solutions here would be a very top priority of yours. >> it certainly will be, sir. >> all right, thank you. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you, senator. mr. rosenblum, i found your story about your father and his
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work to fight anti-semitism powerful, compelling and something that i hope reaches a much broader audience. in the u.s. and abroad, we have seen a disturbing increase in anti-semitic hate crimes and violence. and, sadly, we've seen it in my home state of indiana very recently. these anti-semitic acts, they're contrary to our values, contrary to what america's all about. so, if confirmed, i'd just like to have each of your commitments if from each one of you in your respective positions that you'll do a all you can to name, shame and oppose anti-semitic statements and actions. mr. tom. >> senator young, you have my commitment. >> yes, sir. you have my commitment. >> thank you, ambassador. >> you have my commitment, sir. >> i do so pledge, senator. >> okay. >> i do as well, sir.
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>> thank you all. i have one additional question today, and then i'll turn it over to senator merkley for additional questions, and if, senator kaine, you have additional questions, i want to afford you that opportunity. ambassador yamamoto, you note in your prepared statement that you've recently served as the acting assistant secretary of state for african affairs. and based on that experience, i'd just like you to provide an update, if you will, on the situation in drc with a particular focus on the need for joseph kabila to respect the constitutional term limits of his presidency and the need for credible elections this year. >> thank you, senator. in that context, we have been committed to insuring that there's a peaceful and proper transition from president kabila
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to the next president and that the elections will take place as agreed to by all the parties in this december. and is we are working very hard to make sure that happens. >> well, i'll look forward to working with you on that and being helpful however i can with you and others at the state department. as the chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the united nations, can you also provide us an update on the u.n. peacekeeping mission there? >> the u.n. peacekeeping mission continues to be, face difficult challenges not only because of the security situation in the congo -- it's certainly one of our largest and longest serving operations on a continent. again, the united states remains very committed to supporting the u.n. operations and insuring success and also not only stabilizing the congo, but also insuring the elections take place.
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>> thank you, ambassadors. senator merkley. >> thank you. ambassador yamamoto, will you initially be serving, if confirmed, from within the country or operating out of nairobi? >> we're very hopeful that we'll go in, directly into mogadishu. >> well, that would be, that'd be tremendous. and one of the challenges described by the team in somalia has been that unlike the state department delegations from other countries, our delegation has been restricted to the military compound in mogadishu. do you foresee that might change? >> in my first time there in 2016, we were able to get out to the outskirts of somalia, and we hope to continue to do that. because we need to engage the six region regional leaders and also help coordination with the
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leaders and the federal government. at this point, we can't get outside mogadishu. travel within mogadishu is another issue. it's a challenge. it's difficult, it's dangerous, it's challenging. and, of course, from our windowless bunker accommodations, we'll see opportunities. but again, we'll take it as security merits. >> "the new york times" has been reporting on the use of drone strikes out of jabuti againstal shah a babb -- al-shabaab. do you have any sense of the effectiveness of this as a military strategy, and is there a purely military strategy for trying to change the divided and civil conflict that's occurring? >> thank you very much, senator. in my previous role as the acting assistant secretary, we've held lengthy discussions not only with the commander for
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africa command, but also with other commanders from so-com and other commands. the issue is that there is no military solution in somalia. there isn't. everyone realizes and understands that. yes, the amazon forces have been very successful in containing the rebels and the shabaab elements, but the answer is that it has to be a whole of government approach. and that means you need to have strong institutions, democratic institutions that are accountable to the people. you need to have fighting corruption. you need to have the government with the regional states working closely together to insure that there's economic development, stability, fighting corruption and working together. >> so one of the things that was brought to my attention by the president of somalia was that the extensive trade in charcoal was resulting in devastating deforestation, that they'd lost 80% of their forest in the last 30 years and that the sale of charcoal was funding
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al-shabaab. any sense of how we can take on this challenge? >> thank you, senator. we have worked with the united nations to restrict the sale of charcoal which is being used to earn money for their operations. we are worked with government, and if confirmed, we'll continue to work with the president and his government to insure that we don't have deforestation. again, the -- if you have 50% of the people, you know, in need of food assistance and you have almost 25% displaced and largely because of the climactic control problems, then we need to do much more to insure that we have addressed the climate issues and also the problems generated by the charcoal. thank you. >> i'm not sure if this is the case that somalia is the single worst case of deforestation in the last three decades, but it is one of the top. and, as you mentioned, the funding of not just using charcoal internally for very low
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income individuals seeking to heat their food, but also the sale of it abroad and, i gather, to some of the surrounding nations. so i wanted to turn, mr. tom, to the issues that you're about to upside take. very importantish -- undertake. very important issues for food and agriculture. do you have any sense on how climate chaos is affecting fisheries and forests and aggravating the challenges of agriculture? >> senator merkley, thank you for that question. as a u.s. producer, we know that our family over the seven generations and the entire industry has always dealt with climate change. we know we need to adapt. and fortunate for us here in the united states, we've had the benefit of land grant universities and the private sector and our own sources to try to make sure we can deal with effects of any changes that are happening to the climate. not so, is the case when you get into many food-desperate nations
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around the world that are food insecure. one of my goals with working with the food and agriculture organization will be to instale resilience -- instill resilience and make sure we can develop the capacity, but give them the tools to work with the changing climate that is occurring in many of these desperate countries across africa and the middle east. >> thank you, mr. tom. and i really look forward to the work you're going to do because this issue of food scarcity is affecting so many people. now, there's a high level of burnout in the united states in terms of absorbing the information. it's actually why i went to norb africa, to visit two of the four famines. we in the committee here have held hearings on the four famines which i've appreciated. but the u.n. agencies that you will be involved in are critically important. thank you. and, mr. fischer, i appreciate your interest in morocco and was happy to learn that you had been
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there several times in the course of your life out of just general interest or business interest. there are a couple issues that committee staff raised that are important to give you a chance to address. there was a concern over the 19 -- i believe it's in '87, 1987 case involving linda day and her concerns both about her treatment in the company and about the way she was terminated. and we know a settlement followed, but would you submit to the committee a detailed accounting of that situation so that members can examine that? >> senator, thank you for that
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question. as we had the opportunity yesterday and i welcome the opportunity to talk about it again, we have talked about it with senator menendez's office. we have given a great deal of detail. that case was dismissed without prejudice. the counts in the lawsuit were all dismissed. please recall that while i own the company, i am the registered agent, that was -- i was named in the suit because i own the company, not -- there was no history, there was no discussion, there was not a hint of an allegation against me. but we welcome, again, the opportunity to provide the entire committee any and all information. >> mr. fischer, thank you. so you would submit a detailed explanation of that for the committee? >> but of course. i welcome the opportunity. >> thank you. and i just feel compelled to note that on that particular
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case it wasn't just that that you were the head of the company, it was also conversations that the individual had had directly with you about the situation. so please make sure to address that particular piece of it as you submit your description. the other issue that the committee was somewhat troubled by was that this was not on the list of lawsuits that you initially submitted in your statements. you've already explained that to me. but again, if you'll explain that in writing to the committee, that will be helpful to individuals. and i think the third issue was the issue of recusing yourself mt. case -- in the case of judge gorsica and then unrecusing yourself. and, again, if you could provide -- you're welcome to
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address it now, but if you'd like to just submit a written explanation of that, that would be helpful. >> senator, as we discussed yesterday, i welcome the opportunity. i served on the state of michigan judicial tenure commission. as requested, there's seven members of the judiciary and two independents. i served for six years, and i would be more than happy to discuss that and look forward to that opportunity. >> thank you. the reason i'm suggesting you just submit it in writing is the members who aren't here would just, would appreciate having the chance to understand it, and that way it's just easier than talking to each, each person. >> we absolutely will, sir. >> thank you. and morocco is an incredibly important nation and fascinating nation with such a unique history. and are there any final comments
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you'd like to share in terms of your interest in serving there? >> well, sir, thank you for the opportunity. thank you, senators, for the opportunity to come today. we, my wife and i have been to morocco. it is a fabulous country. there is lots of opportunity to grow commerce, to grow counterterrorism efforts. we look forward to, hopefully, hosting you if you can come, and we can tour the country and look at the opportunity. commerce is better. there's, with the free trade agreement we've seen over a 300% increase in commerce. and as i say, they're great counterterrorism partners of ours. there's a lot to look forward to serving, if confirmed. and again, i invite you to come to morocco, and we can discuss
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it, or i'll come back and appear before the committee. >> professor john domas at portland state university is one of the few americans to have ever received the highest honor from the government of morocco for his work on their country. unfortunately, he's passed away, but i wanted to mention him because of the extensive work that he did and the relationship between the united states and morocco and the important work that was done at portland state. thank you very much. >> thank you, sir. >> well, i want to thank all of our nominees for your appearance here today before the committee, for your strong desire to serve our country in these important positions, for the information of members, the record of today's hearing will remain open million the close of business on friday, including for members to submit additional questions for the record. thank you again to each of you, to your families. this hearing is now adjourned.
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[inaudible conversations] >> tonight on "the communicators," a round table discussion on social media regulation and censorship with tech freedom president ben berin szoka and public knowledge senior vice president harold feld. >> we can have a debate about
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what twitter should do. i just want to emphasize, it's not a political question. it's not a question of policy or what the government's role should be. we can have an ethical debate about that just like we can have ethical debates about how we behave towards each other. perfectly valid conversation: i would certainly be upset if that happened. twitter and facebook have been very reluctant, especially twitter, to take down users. when they've taken people down, it's been extreme examples like alex jones. and the fact that i keep bringing up the president, the fact he's continued to be allowed to use the platform just illustrates how much twitter has erredded on the side of allowing people to use their platform in spite of what their terms of service strictly say to abuse other users. we're not heading towards a world in which people are regularly taken down. >> guest: what are the ground rules, how do people know how to behave, and what are their rights of appeal if it turns out that they feel they've been
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banned by mistake or that they have a particularly important -- even if controversial -- point of view that ought to be heard. >> watch "the communicators" tonight at eight eastern on c-span2. ♪ ♪ >> c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up tuesday morning, with just over 50 days to go until election day 2018, politico campaigns editor steven shepard will preview key house and senate races. and then rand corporation's senior adviser brian jenkins discusses the state of homeland security 17 years after 9/11. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at seven eastern tuesday morning. join the discussion. ♪ ♪ >> tomorrow is the 17th anniversary of the september 11th terror attacks. on c-span we'll have live
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coverage of president trump's remarks in shanksville, pennsylvania, scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. eastern. on c-span2 from new york city, the annual ceremony and reading of the names of those kills at 8:10 a.m. eastern. and on c-span3, we'll take you to me moil service at the pentagon. that starts at nine eastern. and all of the 9/11 memorial services re-air tomorrow night on the c-span networks. >> washington post reporter bob woodward is our "washington journal" guest monday at seven a.m. eastern talking about his new book, "fear: trump in the white house." and then on tuesday at 8:30 a.m. eastern, former independent counsel ken starr joins us to discuss his book, "contempt: a memoir of the clinton investigation." watch next week on c-span's "washington journal." >> next, a discussion about the impact of state policies and
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regulations on economic freedom. we heard about a new report looking at freedom in the 50 states with findings saying that residents of florida and new hampshire experienced the most personal freedom while new york and hawaii experienced the least. held by the cato institute, this is an hour. [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon, everyone. thank you for joining us. on one of the last few days of the august recess, we appreciate you being here for this briefing that the ca cato institute is hosting. my name's matt weibel, director of government affairs at the cato institute, and today we'll be talking about freedom in the 50 states. i'll be moderating today's briefing on the fifth edition of freedom in the 50 states. an


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