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tv   Hearing on Presidents 2021 Foreign Aid Budget Request  CSPAN  July 27, 2020 9:19pm-12:08am EDT

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the foreign affairs committee holds a hearing to examine president of trump's 2021 budget request. appearing before the committee is the u.sof the u.s. agency for international development acting administrator. he outlines the $19.6 billion budget proposal and lawmakers asked about the humanitarian efforts, the pandemic and the potential effects of the budget cuts. >> the committee on foreign
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affairs will come to order. without objection the chair is authorized to declare, a recess at any point in all member and s will have five days to submit statements. extraneous materials and questions for the record the subject to the limitation. to insert something into the record, please have your staff e-mail previously circulated address or contact the committee staff. as a reminder to the members, staff and others, physically present in this room for guidance on the office of attending physicians masks must be worn at all times during today's proceedings except when a member is speaking in a microphone. please also sanitized or seating area. the chair views these measures as a safety issue and therefore it's an important matter of order for this proceeding. for the members participating remotely, please keep your video function on at all times.
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even when you are not recognized by the chair. members are responsive over meeting and i'm muting themselves and please remember to un- mute after you've finished speaking. the system of houseaf resolution 965 and the accompanying regulations staff will only meet with members and witnesses of appropriate when they are not under recognition to eliminate background noise. i see that we have a quorum rupresent and i now recognize myself for opening remarks. welcome. i am glad that you're here and not you realize its importance to appear before congress and answer questions. we have had some difficulty getting administration people to appear before congress. so, your being here is very appreciated. somebody said it was like spotting a unicorn.
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pursuant to notice, the committee has convened today to hear testimony on the trump administration's foreign assistance budget request for the year 2021 fiscal year. your predecessor and i didn't agree on everything but he did a good and a serious job and in the foreign-policy we really think he was terrific. for whatever he felt certainly didn't go on with the administration which we have seen again and again in the budget that was sent to congress. up to congress. the budget request is a lot more than numbers on a page. it is a statement of the values and priorities and the administration's values and priority is to say that we should cut our international affairs budget by roughly a quarter and cut spending for global health and cut food aid and we should cut assistance.
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frankly, it's almost what we've come to expect and after three and a half years we have heard the administration loud and clear and the message seems to be we don't care about the good or bad t development efforts around the world. we don't care for the people, the communities, the benefits or the harm done in the global stage or the people working at usaid which has only reject that every budget the white house sentt up and we vote again. we get it. it starts at the top. one of the reasons i think that it's so important is that it's a reflection ofnt the countries compassion and generosity and it's at the heart of the policy that we are at our best. apparently, the president doesn't think that way. he doesn't look back on things like the marshall plan, the
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berlin airlift orhi that the hallmark of the leadership. this is a president that writes off most of the continent using a term i will not repeat here. it's really off base. unfortunately, we know what to expect. theni administration's think its better to die than to have access to reproductive services. its cost the administration and the agenda and we should scapegoat desperate people rather than get them on the course of migration. it is especially is even in the global pandemic, the methods common to cost the
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administration wants to still/funding for global health efforts. the increase requested for the mobile code security is good but it's overshadowed by massive proposed cuts elsewhere. the withdrawal and the world health organization with the international body best equipped to coordinate global response to covid-19 is almost as though we are waving the white flag. so, i'm afraid that you are going to run into a little bit of skepticism today if you try to make the case of a foreign assistance budget. i think that they are also going to need answers about a number of troubling decisions he' we've made since taking over for the administrator. i will recognize you for five minutes to summarizing statement which i will yield to the
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ranking member for any opening remarksng he has. >> thank you mr. chairman for calling this hearing. acting administrator barsa, it is good to see you again. thanks for being here i want to start by thanking you and your team and/or partners in the field especially amidst the global pandemic. the tireless work of the men and women of usaid to save lives around the world is critical. the united states continues to be the global leader in the foreign assistance spending supporting economic growth and providing food, shelter and health resources for the most vulnerable populations. this work continues as the world grapples in the pandemic. so far the united states has provided 1.5 billion to over 120 countries to control the spread of this deadly disease. this commitment builds on over two decades of u.s. investments,
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140 billion responding to infectious disease outbreaks and strengthening health systems. the fy 21 request prioritizes funding to the key policy priorities and includes implementation of the strategy and resources to counter malign activity and misinformation campaigns in china, russia and iran. support for our allies and partners in the middle east and the support for interim president and democracy in venezuela as well as countries supporting venezuelan refugees. prioritizing funding for the united states international development finance corporation which provides a critical alternative to the lending to developing countries and also advances initiatives to promote
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women's empowerment and economic opportunity which i i strongly support. unfortunately, the isequest also cuts the key humanitarian assistance resources. globally almost 89 people are currently displaced around the world and that number is expected to rise. the world food program isbe estimating that 270 million people will need urgent foodd assistance due to covid-19 and 82% increase from last year. covid-19 is already racing against extreme poverty to combat hiv aids and malaria and other infectious diseases. the authoritarian regimes and terrorist organizations are looking to exploit this chaos for strategic gain such as areas like [inaudible] so that spreads across africa
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and existing economic hardships and political challenges in humanitarian emergencies will worsen. in other words, itrs is now not the time to cut this key aide. i'm deeply concerned at the impact of covid-19 will push more fragile states and the conflict. our existence must prioritize prevention and in addition to the long-term impact including the education assistance, food security and vaccine distribution this global pandemic continues to spread and the work they do overseas makes us safer here at home. as i've said before, successful diplomacy and development of cost-effective. fully funding the foreign assistance programs will ultimately save taxpayer dollars. tth today's growing fiscal challenges, we must double our efforts to ensure that every dollar spent is strategic in advancing u.s. interests.
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so we look forward to hearing from our assistance and as we mitigate the impact and ensure the continued use of leadership around the world. with that i will yield back. >> i agree with the testimony, and i think it's very important that the point were made by both the chairman and the rankingng member. the acting administrator of the united states agency for international development mr. barsa, we are happy to have you here and you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ranking member and members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today. it's an honor, privilege to testify in front of a the committee and i look forward to your questions. i'd like to thank you for your bipartisan support has allowed
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the u.s. agency for international development to mount a robust response of the pandemic thatt has touched neary every person around the world, both at home and overseas. the united states must continue an aggressive, competitive response for health, humanitarian assistance and address the ongoing second order effects such as food, security, economic growth and preventing democratic backsliding. i'm committed to doing so, utilizing all available resources whetheresources with r or future supplemental and not let any opportunities arise for the adversaries to fill the vacuum in a turbulent world. everyday usaievery day usaid hiy professional dedicated staff worked to develop, to deliver development, solutions and build self-reliant, project globally anand advanced foreign-policy ad national security objectives. the president's budget request for fy 2021 for a count of usaid is approximately $19.6 billion
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including $2.1 billion for u.s. 80 global health programs in 5.9 billion for the economic support and development of the fund. usaid will use each resource to advance the u.s. foreign with the objectives by fostering stability in the country's, free, fair and equitable societies and expanding neportunities for american businesses. investments will also strengthen the national security by addressing a drivers of the violent extremism and combating the spread of infectious diseases each of which represents a threat. faced with covid-19, america's demonstrating clear decisive leadership. the united states combats both at home and abroad by committing more than $12 billion for the response of the pandemic. usaid has acted decisively since the cases first began to arrive internationally. working with the u.s. department
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of defense, health and human services and the state as a part of an a all-american. with $2.4 billion in emergency supplemental funding generously appropriated by congress including nearly 1.6 billion for the foreign assistance implemented by usaid and the state department, we are providing health care, humanitarian assistance and economic security stabilization efforts worldwide. this funding is saving lives by improving publicth health education, training healthcare workers, strengthening laboratory systems,e supporting disease surveillance and posting rapid response capacity more than 120 countries around the world. we are providing assistance to support communities and equip them with the tools needed to mitigate the impact of the virus. the u.s. response to covid-19 builds upon decades of the investmeninvestment in global h. in the 21st century alone the united states contributed by than $140 million to the global health assistance. over the past 2 20 years from usaid funding has helped vaccine
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alliance vaccinate 760 million children which has prevented 13 million deaths. last month the united states committed 1.16 billion over the next four years with the goal to immunize 300 billion additional children by 2025. the malaria initiative has helped save more than 7 million lives and prevent more than 1 million cases worldwide since 2000. america has invested more than $85 billion to fight hiv aids for the largest by any nation to address a single disease in history. the power has saved millions of lives in africa. usaid continues to invest two address existing and emerging diseases which account for more than 70% of new infectious disease outbreaks. we invested 1.1 billion is critical agency in 2009. even us last month we declared an end to the outbreak that depicted the eastern democratic republic of congo since august
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of 2018 we are scaling up the response to fight the confirmed it wasn't outbreak ingh northwestern. lothese investments in global health throughout the decades have enabled partner countries to strengthen health systems and democratic institutions, enabling them to better respond to global health. we are in unprecedented times with a rapidly evolving situation on the ground almost every country. we are working aggressively to obligate the resources as swiftly and effectively as possible. at the same time, we want to ensure we are accountable for the funds and good stewards of taxpayer dollars. as we consider how to prevent the next crisis, we have to address the root cause of these outbreaks. i remain focused on the efforts to help per or countrie countrie journey of self-reliance and will continue to build on the fish in each of the programs should be looked forward to be that they can end. investments in global health tthroughout the decades are cornerstones of this approach. we weren't outbreaks and
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epidemics are often exacerbated by failures of governance and transparency and when we do not address the poor governance and conflict, we write off investments in education and other basic social services. we also recognize the health emergency for consequences that could rapidly have broad assistance whether support for the children against sexual exploitation and abuse, likelihoods in addressing the root cause and governance. while the hallmark of the journey is using analytics to measure progress, we must also measure aggression to see how we may need to adjust the programs. looking long-term, we remain committed to helping communities in partner countries in the pandemic and the second and third order effects. the pandemic isn't simply a health crisis, and our response can't just be a health response. we must use a totality with the tools at our disposal as well. they focus on how to best operate in this world, i established a temporary agency
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planning so and executive steering committee called over the horizon. while the task force manages near term challenges, the over horizon team will provide research, to conduct outreach and picture in ... around the strategic questions to help prepare for the lasting challenges to the developmental humanitarian landscape. we provide this information to the executive steering committee for those across the country will craft recommendations for consideration. we are already planning for the medium and long-term impact of covid-19 come in because i'm committed to make sure that it will remain a trusted partner, the preferred partner in countries across the world. thank you for the opportunity to testify, and i look forward to questions. >> thank you very much. let me say this. over the past several years, this administration has attempted several recessions and benefits of slowing down or stopping for an foreign
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spending. we have seen from an obligated in fits and starts with scrambling at the end of the fiscal year. we saw this again with a slow disbursement of the supplemental funding hampered by policy decisions and bureaucracies. the foreign affairs committee strongly objected to these tactics in the past and fully expects the resources provided to be fully utilized in a manner for which they are provided. so, mr. barsa, they ask you how much of usaid funds have been up located to date? >> [inaudible] congressmen come i don't have the exact figure of terms of the
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number of t funds to date, but i know we are making good progress and certainly expect if obligated by the end of the fiscal year. say this then, do you commit to obligate them all expiring funding as well as current supplemental money before the end of the fiscal year? >> certainly that is the goal and the direction and i look forward to working closely with the staff to keep you apprised regularly. >> thank you. if congress provides additional supplemental funding, how will you ensure the money will get out the door where it is urgently needed? >> this has been a learning process. this pandemic has affected the entire world, so i'm happy to say that as a learning organization we have improved
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the process for getting money out the door expeditiously. weus are grateful for the generosity. should there be another supplemental, i am very confident we have the systems in exace to get the money out of expeditiously and in a responsible manner. >> as i eluded to there have been several management positions under your leadership and usaid and some of those are troubling to myself and some of my colleagues. the recent influx of appointees serving your agency with a record of homophobic anti-immigrant, is homophobic and other p derogatory comments appear to be in direct contradiction to the agencies aimeagency'saims and an affronte dedicated career staff who serve at usaid. so, is this the kind of person you want representing usaid and the american people? what message are we sending usaid and this is?
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by allowing the appointees like those thats have referred [inaudible] "false pretense women's equality with men. >> those are obviously troubling to us. i hope it's troubling to you and i hope that is not allowed to continue. >> i can commit to you and your colleagues on the committee that all employees regardless of the categories are held to the same standards usaid has always had in place. >> i now turn over to the ranking member. >> thank you, administrator. the consulate in houston just got closed yesterday, and the chinese communist party has been doing this for decades. they've been stealing
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intellectual property. they are currently trying to do the research and development for the vaccineor for covid-19. now they want to steal our vaccine to save the world. the irony is just mind-boggling. they are a force to be reckoned with, and i think that if anything comes out of this experience, this twilight zone experience that we are going through, it is the people waking up to the chinese communist party's are and what they have done to the world, and what they've done to us for the last few decades. the agency has a role in this and i want to commend my dear friend. one of the best bills that were
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passed out of this committee in the finance corporation which is going to be the key to defeating the chinese communist party and its bell throat initiative and developing nations. so, my question to you is congress should fund and for all of those reports they turn on its investment it's one of those departments or agencies that actually doesn't spend all the money. actually the money comes back through the treachery. how about that? so, my question to you is i see usaid and other entities like acxiom bank. can you explain to me how you can transform your agency in
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this countering initiative that we are taking on right now? >> thank you, congressman. certainly when we come to the positions we have, we bring previous experience and certainly i came to usaid from the department of homeland security where i certainly had plenty of exposure to malicious, malevolent intent, so coming over to the usaid heading up the bureau i certainly saw firsthand how the chinese were trying to exert their influence with that diplomacy, onerous deals where they were taking advantage. there can't be a greater contrast in terms of the developmentle. we have a concert we help the countries stand up on their own
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with the chinese model of development it couldn't be more opposite. we seek to emphasize three open enterprise development to build resilient market economies founded on democratic principles and good government. certainly the chinese, their efforts to undermine sovereignty and leaving two unsustainable debt and resources and assets could be further from the truth, so i would agree with you the act has been an incredible piece of legislation and i want to thank you for your supporte im. of course leading dsc, we communicate regularly. know i sit on the board, so one of the things we have been able to do is ensure that we have communications at all levels between usaid. ist only is there a communication of the leadership level and washington, d.c., and
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more importantly in the field. we are working closely together. so, usaid staffff and omissions are in the field are positioned to be able to find potential deals, potential private sector partners by having that close coordination with the dnc we are able to bring these potential deals and opportunities to the attention. they can come in and help finance the deals. so, i am happy to say that the relationship with usaid is strong and looking forward to continued cooperation in the toyears to come. >> one of the best ways is to continue to do what weio do. we have no better development model. our efforts to help countries stand up on their own on the self-reliance is vastly different from the chinese model, we are proud to provide this alternative to the country and we are proud of our work and we will continue to do so.
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>> thank you for that and for your service to the department of homeland security, and also it's exactly what i wanted to hear. working together, coordinating together, there is a lot of overlap between these two entities, i think him and the more you coordinate and work together not just to provide foreign assistance and humanitarian, which is vitally important for the nation and the world,th but also in this important foreign policy that we lie embarkingn on to counter ts maligned behavior from the chinese communist party. so, but they just say thank you for that and i look forward to following a up with you and i wl yield back. >> thank you. i hope you take back some of the criticisms and problems that we have with what was submitted.
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i hope you take it back and i hopeav that we can have producte discussions on how to improve it. we met with mr. green all the time and came up with good things that are needed, so i hope that we can establish that with you as well. i will now recognize members for questions under the five-minute rule. under the house rules all of the time yielded this is for the purpose of motivating the witness hi questioning the witn, sorry. the format of the hearing i will recognize the members by committee, seniority, alternating between democrats and republicans. if you miss your turn, please let our staff know and we'll comwe willcome back to you. if you seek recognition coming to rest on me with your microphone and address the chair or verbally. verbally. i will begin by recognizing myself for five-minute.
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>> okay we will go to mr. sherman. >> listening to the first of three speakers, it's surprising to see the administration cutting their foreign assistance budget. i think the chairman at the ranking member were eloquent as to why we need to expand what they spent to help the developing world and the acting administrator explained how the money that we do spend is spent effectively coming yet the administration seems hell-bent on putting the aid anytime of pandemic, which is taking lives around the world and at the time when the disruption caused by the pandemic is leading to hunger, food security and death. and at a time when this cutback is going to increase the influence of our geopolitical
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rival. the particular cut that is being suggested is a 35% cut from what we appropriated last year, down to 627 is with the administrations of justice rather than 9.5 billion we actually appropriated. and this continues a trend. it would put our aid at less than one tenth of 1% of our gdp at a time when there is general acceptance in the international community that the nations subscribe to spend seven tenths of a%, and many countries are above that. when the average for wealthy nations is .4%, so i wondered if the acting administrator can explain how would you explain to our men and women in uniform that they may be deployed, they
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may die in the future crises that could have been avoided with expenditures far lower than what we spend in defense and four. how do we explain this cut?istrations congressman as you know the budget you have before you today was developed over a long period of time, certainly started up long before the onset of the global pandemic. and as you are aware -- if i could interpret you, this says the pandemic has advised and they pose additional assistance in the supplemental appropriations bill are you a strong advocate for the supplemental appropriation, knowing that the original budget they put together was before the pandemic? >> certainly. we are in touch with the omb and the state department on a daily basis. >> how much should we have in the supplemental appropriations for the international
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vedevelopment? spinet omb and the white house are approved of the challenges of -- >> i need a number. >> i don't have a number for you, sir. it's part of a larger deliberation. >> you can absolutely count on me to advocate for a the administration has talked of discontinuing the program and moving topr something also a do
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you support this and do they predict number two and if we do, what is the successor program? >> we certainly recognize there is an opportunity to leverage. leverage the coalition prepared us. there are mandates to develop vaccines. their goal certainly aligned with the objectives of the global health security program to prevent the implication, amplification and spread emerging threats. we are looking at potential partnerships. i have nothing to announce today, but they are having internal discussions about possible partnerships. regarding the project, but predict project com, it had a nl lifespan to it. so, it was extended past its normal termination date.
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what we have is a follow-on project called stop spillover, which is a natural follow-on to that. >> you do have a successor program. your predecessor stated on the record the usaid is committed to the clearance of landmines and do you continue that dedication? >> via dedication was well-founded and we are happy to have received reports with the diminished returns and huge success rates ands terms of the amount of work that has been cleared today. we still need to finish the job. i won't yield back. >> thank you. mr. smith. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you administrator for your testimony. thank you for the work you are doing on covid-19. congress and a bipartisan way iy came together and provided substantial new money to combat thisey disease. my own state of new jersey certainly has had its disproportionality in terms of
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death and sickness. half of all of those that have died in my state were in nursing homes, so hopefully there's some lessons learned there for all of us going forward. "thank you for your leadership on that. i'd like to bring up two issues. first is ebola. i cheered for hearings on the outbreak in sierra leone and liberia. we all came together and came up with significant amounts of money to combat the portable manifestation of the disease. likewise, that happening again, and i know we've spent $342 million at usaid on the ebola issue, and i want to thank you for that. and the congo experience, there are now therapeutics, there is a vaccine to help to protect our health care workers and of course other people. on june 25 of the administration told the board drc declared the end off the ebola outbreak in
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eastern drc. it's affected 33 333 about 2,000 related deaths, but as you pointed out there's a concern about a new outbreak. maybe you can speak to that, because it obviously needs to be very robust and again, thank you for the deployment. it is f a story that hasn't been told by the media or anybody else. there've been vaccinations. i remember we had the doctor coming to testify at my hearing. he's one of the lucky onesne who survived. so many others obviously succumbed to death. all those lessons learned from that horrible has now been to come in our government under both administrationadministrations ho this one continue to work hard to find a therapeuticti vexing. you might want to speak to that. second, on the desert locust crisis, i've introduced a bill while my colleague from
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california that frankly sets up a working group to try to be proactive on this latest problem. obviously it is -- we've made it clear that we really want a forward thinking, this isn't the last time the potential of a crisis here exists. they are going to see it again and again. so to come up with best practices and hopefully on telling these bugs before they ravish the crops. and the food insecurity issue, others have pointed to the looming crisis. i still don't think we'veth done enough. i'm not saying you, but i think as the world we $20 million into the effort. perhaps you could speak to that as well, because you and i have talked so many times over the
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last five months. our ambassador to the un food agencies, talked to him several times as well. you know, this idea of a new bill and thankful the chairman is putting it on the docket for next week, it would create a working group that would really hopefully be forward thinking and doing more to mitigate this crisis. >> thank you, congressman and thank you for your support at usaid. it is the honor and privilege of a lifetime to lead the talented men and women at usaid, specifically when you see how the ebola disaster response teams, the way they deployed into the face of whatever crisis and as you mentioned ebola. their herculean efforts in combating kabbalah. ebola. while it ended we've remained concerned individual went. wfund. we are monitoring nearly 1,200 survivors and east of the drc.
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they arere monitoring the new outbreak in the northwest drc, and we are always on the lookout and cognizant of the constant threats of new ebola outbreaks occurring not just in the drcut but other african countries as well. so, one of the things we are able to do, is as the outbreak was coming to an end in the east, we pitted the resources and redeploye redeployed to stuo having to deal with the outbreak. so, watching the outcome of the professionalism of the men and women that are able to do that, it is ao great source of pride for me. and certainly i have learned a lot since becoming the acting administrator of usaid. part of what i learned is the lifecycle ofat the of august. the pandemic and food insecurity is very much on my mind. particularly in so, one of the things i've learned, sole certainly while aerial spraying is the preferred method to treat infestations, it certain periods
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of the lifecycle. after the locusts hatched before they grow wings. so what is the key that is monitoring to ensure that the available aircraft with its pesticides can deploy during that window. so, it's been challenging to maintain the monitoring withgi e pandemic and some rain that is occurring right now. but we are adding additional resources to monitor to ensure that the purpose of the event organization can deploy pesticides to meet and get to the locusts during that crucial period when they are most vulnerable for the eradication. ..
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heavy heart today with the passing of a great american and a true humanitarian, congressman john robert lewis. and annually, representative lewis and i along with representative hastings have proposed a language to the state and fore >>ig and in my estimation
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there's no greater way to honor the legacy by bolstering diversity and inclusion here in the united states and abroad. i will have more questions that you can answer so i will ask them quickly. perhaps afterward you will give me answers and writing. let me also say i want to reflect for the record the administration humanitarian account morally and absolutely send the wrong message to the world. my first question mr. ambassador, do you agree
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that upholding diversity and inclusion to distribute us foreign assistance is in our national interest? >>. >> thank you very much. yeslu sir. >> so for the accountability in that regard the first critical steps is tracking and reporting with the companies and the organizations you contracted with and then as it relates to gender or ethnicity or sexual orientation and with
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the same high standards for diversity and inclusion. asking about the mechanics and how we hold our partnersch accountable. i don't have that data with me but i would be happy to respond for the record and work with you and your staff afterward. >> if you have it then we can see the number of african-americans with that transparency. the it would be a good idea if you have this data for transparency and accountability. and also i would like to work with you in regards to working together small and minority owned many have come to me
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gaout encountering difficulties navigating from usaid. i would love to work with you on that end. time is running out quickly. we talk about development solutions to chinese loans in africa and then to gain access and we have the largest financial market in the world we can make deep inroads by usaid. also want to bring to your attention the covid pandemic is devastating the likelihood of millions as well as those of african descent. likewise i have been one of
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the cochairs of the colombian caucus to be one of the strongest allies in the western hemisphere and i would hope we would have a plan we are looking at to make sure the indigenous communities are protected with the usaid funds and in the effort to protect these individuals. i am out of time. i yield back i look forward to talking to you to answer these questions and writing or set up a meeting so we can talk about these important issues. i yield back. >> thank you. i wonder if the witness would like to answer some of thosee questions? >> dance on - - the witness would like to answer all the questions. congressman, as we discussed
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before, as a former staffer in the house of representatives working for a former member i fully appreciate the role of congress of appropriations and authorization oversight. i value in know intuitively where there is communication if i don't get to anything right now during my testimony look for continued conversation any point in time a lot of things were touchedre on. certainly will try to get them in order. infrastructure investments in africa by the chinese the partnership with usaid is key in terms of helping identify other investments we can make. one of the best things we can do to counter chinese influence and investmentnfes iso gather information of onerous deals with the chinese take advantage of other countries and share that with other hostnd
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countries so they don't go down the same path to allow the chinese to take advantage of them to work and information sharing and alternatives to investment and regarding afro colombians bring up the latin america caribbean bureau there is abu great honor and privilege to meet with those leaders within columbia and other groups that have been traditionally disenfranchised. i'm proud to see the work usaid does to ensure they are fully integrated into the economy and society i'm pleased. but understand there is more to bebe done but i am very proud of the steps we have made. the third issue i should have written it down but anything you haven't gotten to i will be happy to respond to our with follow-up meetings or phone calls. >> there were a few other questions we will follow up.
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>> will you yield for a question mr. chair? >> who is asking? and the doctor, mr. chavez. no. mr. chavez? >> go ahead if it is quick. >> it simply a question he was looking for diversity numbers. i am wondering is there a metric he wanted to see match not just out of the blue but was there an expectation maybe he can answer that on somebody else's time. what number does he want to see met for all those things he was asking about. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman for holding this hearing and for being here today in answering your questions.
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a number of us on both sides of the aisle have done a lot of work on genocide over the years i went to recognize joel carly that is very involved for a long time i've worked directly with him i cannot tell you how much she has done for this cause. he is not here to pat himself on the back so i will. he was very committed and a real loss to this institution iis believe. i was hoping you could update us on what is going on. what is the outlook on the intermediate long-term? how does the administration budget request reflect efforts toti support and hold the burmese military accountable to alleviate the desperation of 1 million refugees who are currently in bangladesh?
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>> thank you congressmen. certainly and relationship government to government contacts i am proud to report that since august 2017, the united states has provided more than $951 million in emergency assistance. the support is to the refugees and affected host communities in bangladesh and populations within burma. we work with impacted host communities by providing support and development assistance. 17 percent of the people live below the extreme poverty line which is a full 5 percent higher than the rest of the community orth country. we fully recognize the host communities have borne the
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influx so efforts don't just support the refugees themselves but the host communities that shelter them to givee them space. i wish i had an answer as to when the crisis would end. but we are doing what we can to support the rohingya. >> with everything around the globe and in this country it's easy for, us not to remember those people that there is a lot of peoplee suffering and the administration is committed to improving that. last year congressman connolly and i introduce the global health security act which i'm pleased to say what is included in this year's national defense authorization act in which among other things affirms us commitment to the global health security agenda. can you discuss how
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investments made have helped member countries cope with the latest crisis of covid-19? >> the united states o of america is the most generous people in the history of the world. our investments over decades in global health have enabled countries not just to deal with a crisis or an outbreak at hand but to build infrastructure and capacity. we know for example clean water is an essential health service and not are able to provide for the populations the way they should. part of the larger health issues so country's ability to respond to p the pandemic isn't just access availability of
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ppe but infrastructure developed with usaid over decades to help with detection and communication and all manner of services and healthcare responses best built upon the existing infrastructure. i'm proud to be leading the agency. >> absolutely. one more question. the united states can't solve every problem. we wish we could. can you identify and problems from crafting the budget that this is that thexp taxpayers could not or should not foot the bill? >> is not a specific example that we cannot do it alone i'm happy to report i have regular meetings with counterparts in
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uk and canada to realize those developmental challenges are what we should tackle together. we are the most generous country in the history of the worl world, fully cognizant that not all the stress should be borne on our shoulders. we should be working collaboratively with other countries. >> thank you very much. i yield back.k. >> the gentleman from florida who was with us virtually. how is the weather down there quick. >> we are doing okay. thank you mr. chairman. also thank you administrator for your testimony. we appreciate you joining us for this hearing. for nearly 60 years democratic and republican demonstrations usaid has had performed invaluable life-saving work around the world for hiv age access to water family planning and investing in nutritiondu education and
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unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe even before covid-19 helps to make our country safer before the pandemic and since then it has grown the supplemental human to on - - military andnd account is a tool in the response i know how critical it is in north africa with $150 million supports pandemic response as a refugee population but there's more work to do to us foreign assistance only undermines us national security and global stability usaid's importance of us foreign assistance particularly seeking now for global health is an issue a bipartisan issues that all of us on this committee have rejected and will continue to
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reject the budget to politicize the agency's work with global and us security. this is why must join myol colleagues to express deep concerns of the agency for the president to knowingly appoint people with a history of derogatory comments about refugees, and women that deeply contradicts usaid's mission to undermine the important sufferers on - - efforts around thed world call into question to effectively the this agency and the workforce and i am not so tinclined to share and i would urge you to reconsider your support. so i would like to ask about the focus and in particular
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the west bank in august 2018 administration announced the white house review at the end of 2019 congress passed a law to help remove legal barriers and restore palestinian assistance as you know that provides funding to hospitals to the coexistence programs and offering stability to strengthen the security of palestinians and israelis but since the bill passed they had a freeze on usaid except a few staff members working original programming providing $5 million in assistance fund to help meet the challenges of
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covid-19 congress approved $75 million in a bipartisan way subject to all conditions that the administration has not yet spent and on july 9th the house appropriations committee has $225 million for development and humanitarian assistance for west gaza. what is the status of the readministration's review? and will it be completed in time to program the 20 - - $225 million recently appropriated? >> thank you for your question and your long-standing support of usaid and your efforts of passing this i wish i had an answer that the deliberations have completed but the discussions are still taking
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place i look forward to working with you and your staff once i have something to report on implication - - implementation. >> i appreciate that. can you provide some light into what the interagency process looks like? who has reviewed? what needs to happen for that to be completed? >> you don't have the details as with any major policy many actors need to be consulted with but the internal deliberations aree still ongoing. i share your help they can finish early so we can report back to you how we are movingg forward. >> i appreciate that are you a part of the devil are on - - deliberations? >> my staff is. >> so presumably they report back to you. can you share that process
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it's been ongoing for a long time and certainly it feels like it is being dragged along. who else is participating? t i cannot tell you the internal deliberations but they do hope they conclude forward.o we can move >> i fully understand and appreciate that. >> the goal iso to strengthen security and stability that's at the funding can do if we can get to the process once and for all and we appreciate your commitment thank you mr. chairman i yield back. >> thank you mr. chairman.
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thank you i appreciate you being here.. administrator come you said earlier usaid should not be doing and does not do works untethered from national security. is that right? >> yes sir. >> is it your assessment the state and foreign appropriations bill under consideration pursues agenda items untethered from national security policy? >> i have not seen the details it is my belief that we are all in agreement usaid is the method of smart or soft power. since the inception it has played a role in national security apparatus and we are proud to do so. >> anything inin particular you would like to elaborate on based on your experience you have seen in the past you would prefer for us not to
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engage or expectations of the conversations what we will be forced to engage in based on the agenda and the appropriations bill as you understandns it? >> i'm not sure i understand your question. >> is there anything we will fund that we have had to do in the past that we shouldn't or that you think we will be. >> i am not cognizant of anything. >> how do you think usaid can help counter actors like russia and china in the arctic? >> in the arctic that's outside my zone i do not have a mission in the arctic. >> should we? i'm serious. they are there and you are part of national diplomacy and national security. you are not present.
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right? but they are. >> in terms of economic development programs now i'm not currently in the arctic. >> and we shouldn't be? >> we are looking at all these opportunities in greenland we are part of a mission they are looking forsi opportunities we have no commitment on programming that we are looking at ways to buildn expertise to help out there if need be. >> as china and russia also pursuing opportunities in that location and others adjacent? >> in terms of their activitiesti in the arctic i have to refer you to state or dod. >> what are the more successful tactics to push back against the balkan road initiative at the state and local level from years dan point at your agency? >> the best thing is to
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communicate. of the best things we have to counter china is to let people know anden build awareness of our true and honest pathway. development models cannot be more diverse. when i was leading the latin american bureau i would emphasize was information sharing within the western hemisphere. if there was an attempt by the chinese to engage whispering sweet nothings in their year to lead them down a path, one to the things i was trying to emphasize then is the ability to communicate to have my team share information. because once other countries realize the pattern of behavior information becomes more clear. then with the united states
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works they can provide alternatives it is much easier. the best thing we have to counter chinese influence is to be honest and open. faulty ppe, there is a slew of evidence to show our model is the preferredd model. >> is it successful? obviously that communication is important but, money talks and most of these places are aggressively seeking financial assistance in that regard. so the rhetoric andnd the track record is viable, that money talks so how successful have you been? >> money talks but short-term many in get a bunch of money from the chinese right now thatw, long-term you will be strangled by debt for decades
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and you will lose sovereignty and autonomy. so we're realizing the short term checks from g the chinese they will pay that back for decades you will lose autonomy and sovereignty. >>. >> you say you coordinate with health and human services. and a pandemic to put us onn a selevel.
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and i could take that for the record. >> and our allies that have come together in unprecedented ways. >> that we have a force multiplier in general? >> we do. absolutely. >> does it undercut with the global response pledge? and mexico participated.
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>> and it undercuts our access they can you explain why that's in our best interest to work with our allies of the global response pledge? >> regarding specifics of that pledge i cannot comment but i can tell you. >> $18 billion together but the us is absent. >> in terms of the actual interaction i have to get back with you on details but i am in regular contact with my counterpartsr ac in the uk and canada and other countries. >> we just said money matters.
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even mexico 47 countries and we are absent. it just strikes me for everything that you said. >> congressman i'm sorry we have conductivity issues but the larger principle to coordinate with other donor countries, it is very important and we certainly do do that. all have to get back to you in terms of that specific argument that just because we coordinate internationally does not meanin that every venue, the coordination happens in a variety of different ways. >>. >> it is a global pledge. this is a no-brainer for the us and we are not there.
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so i think it sends some kind of message were closest allies that undercuts everything you are working for at usaid but is also mind-boggling. so in any case i just question if we are pulling out of the who now along the same lines, i agree that when major acts are taken. >> again thank you for your long-term supportive usaid we are so grateful for that so
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last year the world health organization received 4 percent overall us funding on global health issues. 96 percent of our friends went to organizationsur activities outside the who. since the decision was made to withdraw we have been actively looking for alternative partners. our commitment to global health remain strong. we will not be retreating w. >> we will leave it atav that. >> what about the global pledge? i yield back. >> we appreciate your strong and bipartisan efforts i'm also grateful that you are here administrator. with your services as a congressional staffer so i know you are well-trained we
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have a greater appreciation of what usaid has achieved around the world and you should point out the most generous nation in the history of the world. and in line with that with the wuhan virus global pandemic it is exacerbating the exacerbated crisis around the world as the world food program has estimated there will be 82 percent increase of people needing food assistance as a result of the pandemic. how is usaid prioritizing food security to respond to this? >> thank you congressman it is an honor to serve as well. my first full day as acting administrator was april 13.
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on that day i sent the video to the entire workforce laying pt my three priorities. number one physical and emotional well-being of staff, number two is continuing operations around the world, number three was thinking through the second and third order of effects of the pandemic it was clear to me the secondary and tertiary effects on society and economy and democracy that would be with us for a while. understanding this, seeing this coming down i set up the planning we call it the over horizon task force is to break up the silo to think collectively about the challenges usaid will be faced with not just in the next three, six months but six or ten years down the road. food insecurity is certainly one of those challenges.
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as we have seen with the economic contraction throughout the world which has led to disruptions of supply chains, ability of people to harvest food and getting through to market. so they forecast globally 25 percent increase of food insecurenc people. we are very much looking at secondary effects of the pandemic the over the horizon task force their work should be completed by the end of the fiscal year. the data they provide from this comprehensive view will inform not just our decision-making at usaid but omb and the products of that analysis will be shared here to inform your decision-making as well. >> additionallydeg , i'm
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encouraged to see our relationship with india developing. i was honored to be with president trump and the prime minister in the largest welcome of the united states to welcome a foreign head of state. to see the relationship and that positive development he hashas achieved with the world's largest and oldest democracy, what is our relationship with india? >> a wonderful success story it has evolved from a donor recipient relationship from peer to peer. right now we are proposing us india development foundation where we would help india mobilize their own resources to address the most developmental challenges and innovative finance tools. that peer to peer relationship we look forward to working with them. >> also human trafficking. what are you proposing?
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>> similar to food insecurity we are right about human trafficking. during this cove it affected world to see criminal elements as well. all of the programming has historically has an aspect of human trafficking on - - trafficking so again just like food insecurity i am afraid we may be seeing increases. but my gut tells me we need to be more on the lookout. >> we are grateful for your service. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. chairman. when i think about one of the best investments we have made
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on - - made post-world war ii really it is the aid and development if you think of the history of what we have been able to accomplish last 75 years, the marshall plan the most successfulll plan ever in the history of the world to rebuild japan, step up and taking korea from one of the poorest nations in the world 40 years ago to this remarkable developed economy. you talked about cap far one - - pet far in the millions of and dollars of investment but women i think them for the work that they do every, day. we face this unprecedented challenge since world war ii in the global pandemic of covid-19 we talked about this a little bit with the legislation and to introduce
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the say fact we think this is a smart piece of legislation and that would be incredibly helpful. also those alliances comingce together come i appreciate you mentioning gabby in your opening remarks. part of this is part of the initiative when we think about it, there is roughly 219 covid vaccines under development around the world that's why we need something like this. we may need more than one vaccine to beat the virus. we don't know which country will develop it but we all know if we work together at a global level, for instance united kingdom comes up with a
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successful vaccine for seniors maybe the united states comes up with one that works better for kids, we have to work together w. the president said and doctor faucit said it until we find a safe and effective vaccine to have six or 7 billion doses , we will not defeat the virus. that's why it's incredibly important to be a part of the global alliance. it's the idea of safety in numbers we don't know which vaccine willow work and we can pull resources from around the world it doesn't forget what the administration is doing with bilateral agreements. i believe it's complementary to some of these bilateral agreements with the manufacturer's. the acting administrator can you share that opinion it's
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important for us to be part of a global vaccine t coalitio coalition? >> absolutely. i agree we are looking at ways we could potentially partner with them. one of the things that is worth reiterating is that vaccines are one portion of the response. the holistic response my belief in the importance to water and sanitation services a response to thehe pandemic while vaccines are important, the holistic approach at usaid gets to the infrastructure to help governments respond to the health crisis. often times it follows a political order sometimes there are challenges with governmentsbe to provide clean water and clean services why for us to be fully integrated we feel is the best way to build capacity for governments
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to strengthen the health sysystem response. we certainly agree with the critical role vaccine it's a portion of it. access to clean water and other things that areis critica. are proud to have integrated at usaid. >> a few members have brought up the chinese approach economic coercion et cetera. will never have the resources of a single nation to combat the billions that china can do but you talk about the multilateral nations can you give a quick example of the multilateral conversations taking place with aid and development?. >> also the communications between organizations occurring at different levels
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the staff level we are coordinating with the eu and others and i participatedco in meetings virtually with counterparts in the uk and canada and britain. we are discussing it at different levels. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you for being here. i appreciate what was said about the dnc but that was a team effort that was congress working closely on a bilateral, bipartisann manner and we need to continue that we are focusing on what's best for america. if we do that things will work out a lot better instead of dividing. what the dnc does need from numbers here is it is critical to have equity authority. we put in $150 million to run that but only if it has equity authority. if not we need $1 billion to
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work properly. you know the numbers. you have talk to them and it is imperative if you talk to the administration are members of the appropriations committee, your ex-boss, recommend to him how important it is to have that. i want to move on.atat i tend to be blunt on things sometimes. [laughter] it's hard for people to understand. i don'tn' mean to. is to call things out i heard gregory meeks and i have them out on - - utmost respect but diversity and things like that so we have an array of all people involved. i agree 100 percent but do you feel or are you mandated by congress that is the role of usaid or usb administrator should there be a separate gao person to do that or a special
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inspector general? quickly. >> my time in and out of government for decades of service every organization has an office of civil rights for diversities i do believe the need of having the diverse and inclusive workforce to make sure everyone has opportunitiesne not just for hiring but to advance with overall responsibilities of who was in charge. >> the question was he wanted thehe numbers. we have had that mandate for a long period of time. do you have a feeling it's not being fulfille fulfilled? >> i'm cognizant we can do better. the gao reportea shows where we are doing better i embraced the report and i look forward to committing to improve within my span of control what i can d do. >> that's all you can do.
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you have people that monitor that stuff to make sure that's done. your job is to make the mission and get the response. as a look at what you d do. i have a pie chart from july 172020 that talks about where the money goes then usaid. 26 percent humanitarian 32 percent health and population but when it comes down to it makes a difference in a country which is infrastructure development and that flows into dfc only 3 percent goes intoo that. we are talking about ebola. that was discovered in the early seventies. 1974. the canadians had a vaccine going through phase one trials 76 or 70 and was tabled. since the discovery of the virus a total of 12950 people
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died from ebola total. we knew about it we could have done something. this is why the bill we have cosponsored for the authorization is so critical we get it through. because what it does is coordinate efforts between other nations to bring this together so we are ahead of the next zoonotic virus. i don't want to tell you your mission but we should triage any country heyo goes into. in medicine myopia in your eyes and hyperopia and there's another one is nearsighted one is farsighted one is r self-explanatory.
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if we don't focus where we will go do you think the budget cut is bad today? look at the pandemic look at the decrease of revenues and unemployment it's time we raise up our vision and looked down the road of where america is going because china is killing us progressions a killing us. but they are beating us around the world and we can do better and we need to do better. people like you and your organization if you focus on a mission, he will make a significant impact for generations to come. if we don't we will be a footnote in history. >>. >> thank you to the administrator for being here.
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so with that work with usaid. and to see all around the country. and then to do so much with so little. and then what you provide such a big part of diplomacy. im a lot concerned with the people that you have on your team and i know they are not alone and that is contrary to the goal and the mission of usaid. and then the tyrannical lgbt
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agenda and mark low-wage and he is a religious freedom advisor who was shared islam a phobic post to his twitter and facebook pages calling islam barbaric and then katrina is advisor to you on the center of excellence for democracy and human rights and governance comes from the family research council who is a designated hate group that is anti- lgbtq and opposes reproductive r rights. usaid's role is to empowerment and diversity around the globe to have inclusion or inequality and zero-tolerance policy.
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i wonder how you reconcile these people's background and agenda with the agenda of the agency? how you are keeping track with what is going on with the various minority groups. and how we will deal with this with the covid pandemic that exacerbates the discrimination and harassment of these groups. >> thank you for your long-term support of usaid. as alluded, the importance of usaid mission is critical. we are mission focused. and i can assure you and your colleagues that every usaid employee regardless of hiring category is held to the highest standard that usaid has always had.
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>> it just seems a little contrary to what you are supposed to be doing with people in these leadership positions who take contrary agenda. how are you checking on this policy or monitoring the impacts the covid on the lgbt community or on women's rights in some of these places where the virus has led to more discrimination and violence inand harassment? and people in charge of these divisions you don't have that mission in their heart even if that's what it says on the application. >> as i mentioned before, early on it was clear this pandemic was more than health care crisis. the effect on society and democracy and economies will ,be long-term and serious.
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when you have economic contraction in any country of the worl world, you often see things that flow from that. some of that is increase levels of violence we talked about human trafficking comment in particular for women and other minorities , women throughout the world have a greater percentage of involvement of informal economies for example. with economic contractions those economies are the ones most often affected first. in terms on the onset of the pandemic ourer concern is that because of the secondary and tertiary effect of the orndemi pandemic, a lot of our work promoting inclusion for women into the workplace and the economy and society, a lot of these are put at risk. we are increasing surveillance
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on all efforts and doing our best to rise up to the challenges as they present themselves. >> i know people don't work with usaid because of the tomoney. is not a job they get rich on but because they care in their heart to pursue these programs abroad. and it also helps us it would be extremely difficult with that empowerment if you don't have it in your heart and it's not about those things of usaid. i yield, back. >> thank you mr. chairman.
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i know how many are still watching online but an argument i have heard over and over bipartisan is one of the most frustrating arguments i hear coming off of capitol hill is bull shipped that people come into this room and stand on the hill and continually say what do i say to the servicemember going overseas be could have prevented it by sending a us taxpayer dollars somewhere else? that is a false narrative. it is a false argument one or the other. either we send something of usaid ord servicemember has to go somewhere else to fight. that is not the truth. that should not be put forward on this committee. it's one of the worst things i hear over and. over. i want to diminish the work usaid does. they do some humans work and
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in some terrible places across the globe but my colleague pose the question what do we say to the servicemember who comes from injuredk,? we could have prevented this by sending bad over? we cannot allow those arguments to continue. it is a false argument. thank you for your service. thank you for knowing full well the hazards of your chosen profession. army, navy, and marines, air force coast guard, they know what they are signing up for in the hazards posed toe them by the job they choose to go out and do. they are proud of the work on behalf of every citizen of the united states of america. so for anybody still watching online that didn't come to the floor of the hearing, pay
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attention and start making that argument stop using our servicemembers as an excuse to send a taxpayer of a working citizen over to another country. but this cannot be the excuse it is a falsera narrative every time we send one dollar overseas somewhere else we take a dollar that could have been spent here in the united states of americ america. ask this question in the rear in an outbreak or we are not. if we are come is there a better time to take those dollars that would have beenso somewhere else and keep them here on us soil helping american citizens? helping people in our cities and towns in areas? if not now, then when?
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keep them here in the united states of america. if we cut 35 percent from foreign funding this goes on in perpetuity forever. now is an important time probably to keep those dollars here to help people iner our community. the argument is to send it over to someone else and then use the servicemembers as a false narrative to say that's why it has to be doneisivto. i will repeat my statement from thegi beginning. that is bullshit. i yield back. >> i respect your service with a false narrative he just presentedbo f one. dollars going overseas are an
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opportunity cost because they are not invested in america. that has been proven false over decades. to effective programs on investmentsve for america. and to lay the groundwork for trade and investment and for the creation of many kinds of neww jobs for americans, investments for expanding the economy and as we learn what covid-19 we do not live on an island all alone. we are part of humanity. when something happens over there, it can affect us over here. and to protect american americans. i reject the narrative we have just been given and i hope most americans will as well.
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foreign assistance can be when effective a very inexpensive investment. and it protects the world from all kinds of harm. cyber, physical and economic. . . . . statements about lgbtq members and those that adhere to theho islamic faith. you have one member on your staff on the family research council where it's been dubbed a hate group.
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are those people's views representative of yours out of the current philosophy governing? >> congressman, i have to reiterate what i said before. while someone is working for me at usaid, regardless of hiring category, political appointee, everyone is held to the same standards that have always existed that begs the question these are people with a history. are you comfortable with that history hiring them and having them on your payroll representing the united states of america? >> i have systems in place to ensure the people representing the states as usaid employees to live up to the high standards -- >> if somebody came to you with an explosively hate filled, racist rant in the history of it
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posting it, going out and spreading it, as long as they said while, that was then and this is now iowa adhere to standards. from your point of view that is a qualified employee or at least it's not a disqualified potential employee. >> throughout theol appointmentf political appointees occurs as a conversation between the white house and whatever agency is in place. so, regarding the vetting and placement of appointees i'd have to refer you to the white house. i can assure you once they are in as an employee we have certain standards that we uphold people to. >> i've been working with aids for over 40 years, and i've never seen individuals that have of records and i
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think that it's a shameful moment and if you are right that the political appointees from the white house it is another blot on the white house. but they ask quickly the proposal is you take a 50% hit, given the pandemic we are involved in and its ramifications in refugee camps, ramifications and aggravating the crisis is expected to grow by 10% over the next five years, how could you observe a 50% cut and do your job in beating those crises around the world lacks >> as you are aware of the budget you see before you certainly has developed, started its development process that got us here with this budget started for the outbreak of the pandemic, so it is extremely gratefulul for the generosity of the united states congress with supplemental bills. i understand there's another one
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being negotiated wit at the budt before you was developed beforen the pandemic. >> so will there be a revised budget is that in light of the pandemic and in light of the analysis of the impact of the pandemic on your obligations and fewer opportunities to respond? >> my understanding is negotiations on a potential supplemental are taking place right now between the white house and the appropriators, so certainly we are in close contact with omb in terms of the challenges we are seeing here and now. one of the things i mentioned previously in the testimony, on my first day i put off to my staff one of my biggest concerns was the secondary effects of the pandemic. so, i stood up and analytical so we are going over the horizon task force to outside of silos to look at things like insecurity, backsliding in democracy. holistically, what the challenges are going to be before us -- not just six months to six years -- or the out
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years. so, this, the product of this analytical so some of this over horizon task force, will gos to the warm conversations we have with omb on a product of there will be given to you and your colleagues to help inform your decisions so we can all be making data-driven decisions when it comes to allegations. >> when can we expect to see that, i know my thing is that, mr. chairman. >> it is to be finished by the end of september. >> so what if we had a revised budget -- >> i'm not saying a revised budget. the task force looking at the holistic challenges, we should have that information to inform conversations about budget, that information should be available by the end of the fiscal year. >> i know my time is up. i would say to you as the committee of jurisdiction that is the originator of the authorization for aip, i would hope that we could get a revised budget that's much more realistic in light of the
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pandemic. my time is up. thank you.. >> thank you mr. connolly. thank you mr. chairman. add me to the list as i stated earlier i'm incredibly saddened that you will not be back with us. of course i don't know if i will either. rsbut regardless, you've been nothing but class to me and i appreciate it. i still want to take you up on the offer of hanging out with you in new york city one day. somebody said that woulddy be le an episode of seinfeld, in the end you up there that i look forward to that. that would be really cool. thank you, sir, for being here. i am concerned about china and the belt road initiative. i guess i come from a different angle with my father fought the pacific, thought the japanese all the way across the pacific and went to china after the war or a shora short while and fouge communists. i am a very early age found some
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of their goals and things that were maybe a little different than some of my buddies growing up did. so, i've always looked at china through rose colored glasses, or you know what i mean. just very skeptical of anything they do, any initiatives. i wonder if you could explain to me a little more how we are responding difficult and road initiatives. i don't want all this technical garbage, i just want to know from the heart what you say you all are doing.. >> i didn't have any families that funded the pacific world war ii but i had another bad fled communism as a young girl, a young lady so i have a mistrust for the systems i know what they do and how they abuse their people. so, but coming in you go with the data so it isn't just a visceral mistrust of the
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chinese. you look at what they are doing across the world with a deft diplomacy, with one-sided deals where somebody said earlier money talks, but they get the promise of money in the short-term but with these long ended conditions, which basically tie of countries so they lose their autonomy and sovereignty. one of the best things we can do is to providee alternatives to the chinese development model. we truly have a development model that is premised on the journey to self-reliance where we help countries stand upon theiup ontheir own, to stand upt up on their own feet. so, what they are doing across differs. it differs in latin america showing deals the chinese didrin jamaica, letting other people know. submissions have a role in helping to share information with countries who might be tempted to fall. we also help with infrastructure
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development and we mentioned our work and hope to find ways so we can invest into deep water ports and other infrastructure in ways that benefit countries. again the best thing we can do to try to counter china is to be more open and talk about what we do. >> what is working specifically when you mentioned the note for the record of actually china is doubling a deep water port in israel, which to me is just alarming. that's on another subject that i would like to know what is working and what can we do more of that is working? >> i can give more details and follow-up later but an example is what we have done in the solomon islands. we supported the critical infrastructure assessment by solomon islandss engineers. harper and melasia province is one of the last undeveloped deep water ports in the south pacific where chinade has been influenc. usaid staff led to the
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infrastructure scoping mission together with several agencies to assess the port and componentrporch andcomponentry d because of our efforts and our openness, ultimately the nngovernment turned away from te thinese support. that's one example. happy to follow-up with you and your staff with more examples. >> i appreciate that. mr. chairman, i believe that i'm just about to run out of time, so i won't yield back. maybe to mr. castro. i'm not sure. >> you said such nice things about me. youcan have all the time bnt. >> okay, well, bring me one of f those new york pizzas. i drove through your area this past week. i've never been to new york, and it isn'tan fox though, tennesse. i'll tell you that. [laughter] we want you to come back. >> thank you. >> mr. castro. >> thank you mr. chairman, and thank you come administrator for being here to testify on some of these questions are part of the questions that the we have been
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asked i apologize i was on the house floor. we speak of the meaning and significance of usaid global leadership during one of the greatest health crisis the world has known. known. it's critical usaid representatives carry out the true mission in a way that reflects those values. however, a series of recent political pundits to usaid contradict these values. at least three recent positions have been filled by personnel thatl have histories of islamic phobic, homophobic and anti-immigrant. i speak specifically of marriage corgan, mark kevin lloyd and bethany. some of these comments include, quote, america is a homo empire ruled by the, quote, tyrannical lgbtq agenda and islam, quote, a barbaric cult, and women should office because they will, quote, always advocate for themselves at the expense of men and revel s in it, end quote.
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can you please explain to us why these people remain in their leadership positions at usaid and will you take action to replace them, and if not, please explain how usaid will mitigate the damaging message representation in parts to partner countries and agencies and to usaid personnel who remain under the leadership of these people. t >> congressmen come as the acting administrator, usaid, it is my responsibility to ensure that each and every employee of usaid, regardless of their hiring category, civil servants, foreign servants are political appointees live up to the highest legal moral and ethical standards at usaid has always held in place. so, i am proud to say the work of usaid oversees it here at the headquarters remains unimpeded by this. so we are proud of the way we are executing our work and again, i can assure you every employee is held accountable. >> and i appreciate that.
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i do not doubt your sincerity in wanting to be a place that i respects all people. but you have some folks in key positions that have made bigoted comments. haven you had a conversation wh them or admonished them at a minimum, what action has been taken? dimmick i'm not going to comment on personnel decisions that i can assure you and your colleagues do we have the mechanisms in place for the oversight and to ensure every employee regardless of the category actually lives up to the standards and always have. >> i just want to convey to you what a damaging message it sends around the world or usaid which is a developmental organizations opposed to helping people in need, people of color, lgbtq people, portable people all around the world to have folks thlike that and an employee of y agency or reallanagency for real
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agency or government agency that an employee of what is our gem of reaching out to the world. can you tell me what role the presidential personnel office play in pushing these people as nominees did you or someone else first recommend them or were their names initially put forward? stanek certainlyou in this administration if my previous service in the bush administration appointment of political appointees the conversation is between the white house, obviously through the office of the personnel and the host executive branch agency. >> i will yield back. >> thank you very much. thank you come administrator, for being before our committee.
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again, i also want to stress my displeasure and objection to the folks that have made anti-immigrant, anti anti-lgbtq statements. they are there to help others develop and it should be an agency that recognizes diversity and allows the for those diverse groups within the agency and the countryit and abroad to develop. so i am concerned that these statements will hamper if not break the development of the programs of countries that i ned help, particularly during this pandemic across the world, and i would like to see the
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administrator is put out a statement that names these individuals and actually moves away from their statements in a way to send a clear message that the agency and the leadership doesn't stand for what those folks have to say. at the very least, to see whether those practices compared to the agency's ability to do the great work that they should be doing across the world. my question is regarding the inode you have an experience in latin america and in the caribbean and we see how the pandemic is now spreading throughout latin america and the caribbean, brazil and mexico. we know early on at ecuador and
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many in the republican caribbean island nation. i want to know what is our plan with regards to the distribution of ppe, ventilators and other life-saving equipment. they complain about china but the fact of the matter is they go in there and take ownership of major projects. i know we have attempted to do that, but we haven't don done ay significant way iit ina signifi. right in our backyard because they are coming and maybe in a predatory way which i disagree with, but they are coming in and taking on major projects and major infrastructure projects critical to the development of those countries. so i went in a particularly now during this pandemic in the caribbean and in latin america what is the plan for usaid to
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distribute ppe, ventilators and other important equipment to help those nations? >> thank you, congressman. through my time and experience dealing with natural disasters and the department of homeland security, one of the lessons that is ingrained in me is how disasters evolve over time, so a lot of the functions and decisions based in one period of time may be revisited as information changes, so we see just that in this pandemic. part of the benefit of us having country'sce in the mission we are able to work with the host countries and see the needs as it develops cost the regarding ppe come up right now we have a policy in place where we are implementing partners able to purchase ppe locally but we are constantly assessing what the needs are in a particular country. the pandemic is hitting
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countries differently, so it wouldn't be prudent to come up with a cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all response to the pandemic, so it specific challenges. >> let me cite for example, administrator, rapid test kits, which are needed everywhere, because this is a testing treatment. rapid tests are direly needed in many places across latin america. what are wee going to provide to these countries tax >> there is a comprehensive view we have understanding that test kit are part of the response they may not always be available certainly in the amounts we would like and in the terms of the tailoring of the response to response in haiti is different from the response in the dominican republic and from the
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response in colombia so we look to see what assets are available aand what is needed and they try to tailor the response of the ie best way possible to the country's specific needs to. >> let me just say that it's been very difficult for the latin american and caribbean and they are in die her by air needt kitsts and ventilators. we are coming right into hurricane season. i want to know what preparations have you done to help caribbean countries that are on the pathways of hurricanes that will be hit hard right in the middle of this pandemic during this hurricane season, is there any preparation for usaid to assist? >> it is a great point of pride especially from the department
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of homeland security where we are involved with so many disaster responses coming in to find a professional team at a depth so talented in disaster response but similarly to fema, our response is right now are modified based on the challenges of the pandemic so we are closely pervading and coming up with best practices for hurricane response, particularly when it comes to putting people in shelters how do you do that with safe distancing blacks how do you do that with ppe for the displaced personnel? we are in constant communication and sharing best practices on how to respond during the pandemic, but they are ready and we are braced for any hurricanes. hopefully we won't have to, but we have seen certainly the report that this may be more active hurricane season than most. but we are prepared in the best way possible to respond. >> thank you. >> [inaudible] >> excuse the?
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>> [inaudible] >> we all are. thank you. yes, sir. >> finally, the statement on the statement, will you put out a statement? or the appointees, anti-lgbtq, anti-immigrant and his homophobic statements? >> to ensure that there is no confusion, on june 24, i put out a statement publicly. it's available on the website. i can give it to do an you and e staff. it's reiterating our values of excellence, integrity, respect, empowerment, inclusion and commitment to learning. >> would you name the names? >> i commit to you without naming names, because again all employees regardless of r their hiring category are held to the same legal standards.
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>> we are going to have to go on. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. chairman. first i want to thank you for taking time out of your schedule to be with us today. we are facing challenging times both as a country and challenging times againstas the globe. also want to thank you you and i had the opportunity to visit the iphone two and a half, three weeks ago to talk about some of our common and shared interests and also talk about some of the goals of usaid. i want to talk to you and highlight a program that the usaid have and then i'm proud to say in the congressional district in the state university innovative lab for fish and that's part of your agencies feed the future program set for
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september, 2018 and in partnershipp with other research universities, mississippi state has the opportunity to manage the program and support usaid aquaculture research and capacity building and actually it has been implementedh inside of five of the developing countries. we have seen that in bangladesh, cambodia, kenya, nigeria. this is an important project and program where your agency is able to partner with research universities so that we can continue to export acrossth the globe the opportunities for countries to better themselves be able to feed their population. so, first of all i want to thank you for your support of the program and think mississippi state university and mymi good friend for partnering with usaid, and i want to thank the doctor for him being an advocate
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for the global food security. this program and will hope to feed more thaned a ton hundred million people across the globe who suffer from hunger. but i do want to ask you a question as it relates again to the topic that you and i had opportunity to visit on a couple of weeks ago, and that's being a nation of venezuela. i know that the report there on page seven you address on page seven and then on page eight you talk about the administration's stand and about how the administration is working with the people of venezuela to recover their country and actually to change the future as they seek to throw off the chains of dictatorship. so i just want to ask you for a couple of minutes if you could expand before the committee on the usaid is doing specifically
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in venezuela as they seek to help the people began to retake their country, and as you said, we take their future. thank you very much mr. congressman. certainly as it was stated before on a personal level, having sweet communist cuba at a young age, and growing up certainly without having a special place in the sensitivity to the suffering of the venezuelan people inside and outside of venezuela,i' so i'm proud to be leading an organization that is doing so vech to alleviate or attempting to alleviate human suffering within the borders of venezuela and helping with those displaced venezuelans into communities and countries thatth are posting th. certainly to date, the united states provided more than $856 billion in humanitarian development assistance for programs inside of venezuela with 17 neighboring countries. our programs expand democratic spaces by supporting civil society organizations,
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independent media and human rights organizations and democratically electedri nationl assembly. certainly the suffering from a failed economic system, the regime led by another even before the pandemic, we had we were seeing and hearing reports of collapsing medical systems of malnutrition and other suffering inside the border of venezuela into the pandemic the situation was even worse. part ofe. the tragedy before uss the mother of a shame blocking our ability into their country's ability to get much-needed humanitarian assistance in spite of the borders of venezuela. it is extremely frustrating knowing we could help alleviate human suffering and the regime will not let us get in the humanitarian assistance certainly the scale necessary.
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>> thank you mr. chairman. at this time i will yield back. >> thank you very much. it's wild. thank you mr. chairman. mr. barsa, i do not anticipate that we will agree on everything but i think there are probably a few things we could agree on and i would like to be through them quickly. can we agree that responding requires congress to pass emergency stimulus packages in both houses to address the virus spread of the united states? >> i'm certainly grateful to the united states generosity and we've put that money to good use. >> can we agree we didn't have sufficient money appropriated to deal with the pandemic without the stimulus package is? >> wee certainly couldn't anticipate something that hasn't occurred yet. >> and there will probably be future pandemics? >> i guess that it's a mathematical possibility, yes. >> do we agree that it will
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require global propagation? >> we could agree on it, yes. >> because eradicating the pandemic requires global cooperation, can you than sitting here today as the acting administrator commits to a significant investment in global health and foreign aid in fiscal year 2021? >> that is what we have been doing for decades. >> of kate and you would object to the decision to pull the u.s. funding for the world health organization and also object to a president's fiscal year 21 budget that cuts the foreign aid by 21% especially since you know that international health organizations make up a large percentage of that? >> i think that this is where we part ways. no, certainly the world health organization, the decision to withdraw from the organization was based on a number of factors come into certainly that is the prerogative and we certainly do not disagree with that decision.
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as i stated before, in terms of our investment in global growth last year, only 4% of the money inin the unit is spent on global health, only 4% went to the world health organization. and since the decision has been made, we have been looking to find alternative partners to continue the work that we have been doing throughout the world. >> synonymy to finso now we need alternative partners because we pulled out of the who. the fiscal 21 budget includes 821a21% cut in foreign aid that increase in modernizing our nuclear arsenal. how does the imbalance reflect the desire for the cooperation to deal with the future pandemics? >> in my decades of government and out of government by government and agency did say that they had enough money. certainly the decisions are difficult one. there's all these resources in terms of applications between the different entities would have to direct you to the omb.
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>> that you would agree, would you not, that the desire for global cooperation to deal with future pandemics is at odds with decreasing the budget for that kind of foreign aid. >> i am cognizant of the positions are the overall budget are difficult ones for the resources and nobody has everything that they would like to have, so we stand by the budget before you. it's the end product of a process that started for the onset of the pandemic. >> but we have to adjust to changing circumstances. let me ask you have any idea what the pandemic has cost the american taxpayer? >> i don't have those figures before me. >> i di would ask that you would heed the advice of the deputy assistant administrator who said prevention is cheaper than a
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cure. with that i yield back mr. chairman. >> i recognize ms. wagner for five minutes. >> thank you and i think the chairman for organizing the hearing. thank you, administrator for your time this afternoon and for your service to the country. we look forward to working with you to strengthen our international development programming, to promote support for humanitarian aid and maintaining robustness leadership abroad. today we are seeing rivals like china and russia exploit instability and crisis to undermine democratic values and respect for human rights. the united states insistence on
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collaboration and self-sufficiency makes us the partner of choice for countries seeking a helping hand to grow their economies and who both systems by corruption and so on. we must continue to play a role in helping marginalize the poor and vulnerable people around the world to build a better future. administrator, the chinese communist party continues to disseminate the dangerously inaccurate and misleading information about covid-19 and its origins. how is the usaid supporting programs to correct the ccp falsehoods and ensure that our partners are basing the pandemic response efforts on accurate information?
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>> thank you for your question. part of the question is the falsehoods are being perpetrated by the chinese communist party, so one of the best tools we have is to counter with our own information, to expose when they occur and to highlight the instances. communication is one of the best tools. what we have going for us is the honest assessment of what we do, our developmental model, the options that we have in terms of helping companies on their journey to stand up on their own 2 feet so we are doubling down on communications in the indo pacific and everywhere we see the chinese trying to exert no influence. >> when this global health request was developed, we were
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not in the middle of a g global pandemic. how is usaid working w to prevet backsliding in our existing global health program such as hiv aids, tuberculosis, malaria and child health? >> the communist parties lack of transparency and the onset for the pandemic set us back and made it more difficult. and thank you to you and your colleagues for the generosity. when we first started the funding to respond, we initially targeted our efforts in thed io pacific, europe and africa some places that had high transit routes more likely to be the start of this virus that started within china because of the lack of transparency we got there too y.te so we had to expand our
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work. as it was mentione was mentioney spent decades investing in the global health infrastructure, access to clean water, strengthened the epidemiological systems, the whole suite of activities, so we are proud of the fact that these investments have paid off in terms of better response and it is lamentable that because of the chinese, all the systems were being challenged. >> usaid is doing great work to advance the indo pacific strategy reassuring our allies and partners in the region. however, on the frontlines they are escalating competition between the united states and china and worry it will diminish the role in the regional affairs. how will usaid promote southeast
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asian countries centrality in achieving a free and open indo pacific? >> could you get a rapid response because i'm told that they are expecting a vote. >> we have a mission that is a help at the competition with china is certainly not limited to southeast asia. we are seeing the competition worldwide. >> i will yield back mr. chairman. >> mr. phillips. >> i appreciate your time today. i have to start by recounting the phone cal: june 12, which d enjoy and shared some of the concerns about the number of hires you grab and go over the
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ground again i want to focus my attention on the vocal work program first as you know it looks to advance those all the world to take the lead in the development process including the decision-making, management and a whole lot more. i believe that program and a quick synopsis of your thoughts on the program? >> i think that it's emblematic of exactly what they were trying to achieve. to help the private sectors in peach country grow on their own and set the environment jobs are created by government and privator theprivate sector so he programs in place to help the private sector and economies grow what is needed for the long-term sustainable economic development.y >> i couldn't agree more.
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in the economic support fund how can we ensure such a valuable program is still fully funded and an important part of our developmental assistance to. >> in my decades of service inside and outside of the government, never been in the government agencies that had enough money they would certainly like. >> you have my commitment that we will be doing our best with
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these precious taxpayer dollars to further these programs. >> thank you. thank you for holding the hearing into the witness for being here. it's good to see you actually like this. thank you for testifying. they spill over from animals to people for more than a decade if they've been known as the predictor program and they leverage the expertise that has helped officials respond to these outbreaks. this life-saving work has helped identify hundreds of viruses and enhanced gazillions of healthcare systems around the
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world. this administration decided ahead of having the replacement ready to go. this doesn't make sense to be te given to prove the effectiveness of program especially as experts have been warning about the threat of a pandemic. i understand there's been short-term extension and call of proposals for the follow-on programs. that is the basis of my question today. what is the status of setting up a successor program? >> it was always planned on having a full cycle indicate. this is a natural evolution of the program and the follow-up -- >> how can you say that it's a full lifecycle on to future thee
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threats of pandemics existed why would the administration choose to end a program that so far has proven successful without a.m. -- >> is building upon all of the lessons learned and it's improving our ability. instead of continuing something that may be outdated and again we are learning from the programming and our follow-up program which we hope to have an d award by september just a few months from now is building on the success to have a a more robust analytical. >> what are these successes that they will be building upon? >> i don't have the data before me but i'd be happy to get back with your staff for the record or in a separate briefing.
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>> what are the weaknesses of the program that would require a new generation who can request for proposals? >> i would be happy to provide more information. it's not so much the weaknesses but the natural evolution that you will have a follow-up program. and again i would be happy to get backde with you for more details. >> typically in evolution is continuous. continuous. here we'v we have a stoppage ofa program that has been known to help our country and the world as it relates to the threat of diseases and epidemics and now we are in a process where we were receiving proposals for the next step in the middle of a pandemic. do you understand the concern that the timing is just inappropriate and hurting our ability to respond? >> i don't know if it's hurting the ability to respond. again we can go back to more ane more detailed discussions after the hearing that this is always
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planned. we are no longer receiving proposals. the window closed on june 1 and we are on the cusp of making an award and moving forward in the follow-on program. >> but i when the global pandemc struck was there ever any discussion that you were unaware of this w perhaps during a globl pandemic where we are having massive closures, the u.s. economy is coming to a crashing end and frankly this is in the right time to pursue the shift? >> but again certainly on looking at how the spillover gets to the human population that is on the front end. the response comes from ventilators, access to clean water. this is a natural follow-on to
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stop the spillover. in terms of the response to the pandemic of course we have been focused on that. >> given the death rate across the united states, i hope that while we are in a position we should focus on what has been working. we should focus on saving lives, and i continue to think that repeated attempts to cut the publicattt health programs inclg those before they become the out because of pandemics such as covid-19 that has now killed thousands upon thousands of americans, i cannot help but wonder about the role they could have played in the lead up to covid-19 had it been able to halt the ability to come to our country and we are currently experiencing them in the under investing in public health domestically and in coordination with international partners.wi
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mr. chairman, i yield back. thank you for being here, mr. barsa. >> thank you. the gentlewoman yields back. let's go back to mr. phillips because i cut him off prematurely. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. barsa, we've been speaking about the local works program and i appreciate your support on this and encourage the incremental investment because i do think that it's one of the most telling programs they offer. the house appropriations committee included my request in the recent report that was management and resolution as well as post-conflict relief and recovery efforts. we all celebrate the fact kids have many of these and so my question to you is how well the
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administration, howil will you prioritize the role of the resolution and recovery because they believe they did have a unique role to play and i would love your comments on that. >> thank you, congressman. i think the old saying holds true in ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. so, investments in education and making sure that the youth have access to education, not just economic integration in the of e country's economic development, but also in the societal and political as well and this is especially true of women by the way. we are always pushing for that. we recently stood up in the conflict prevention stabilization to do just that to doup efforts to prevent the on the front end. just like all the other things he mentioned that were affected in the pandemic, i'm also concerned about challenges and education system is.
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we are very attuned to the a challenges and looking at the program to see what they can do in any number of countries to ensure we do have access to education because the consequences not getting a full education are certainly negative and we would like to avoid that. >> i appreciate that. i also want to talk about the global rigidity act.ou this week i passed an amendment that requires usaid framework is either incorporated in the development cooperation strategies in the country's efforts so my question to you mr. barsa as those usaid have submission standing with the right training to successfully
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implement the gsa, and if not, what they need? >> i want to thank you and your colleagues for your work on the global fragility act. an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. so in these fragile societies, what it's done is put a focus so there's so manyny activities ovr the decades ago t that go to sut challenges of agility debate co- fragility. we are in discussions on the technical details. onconce this argument forward to following upp with you and your staff on the details of how we are going to input the global act. that basically what they are doing is focusing many
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long-standing activities to rise to the challenge of fragility. >> thank you mr. chairman. i will yield back.k. >> it was a pleasure to talk with you on the phone recently as well. my question basically surrounded the same conversations that they have on the phone. i will take you up on your word in ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and when we are talking is typically about the un spa united population fund, there were $32.5 million that were appropriated for the agency. i understand now that will be transferred over to the international organization bureau to usaid. the usaid. and while i think that it's absolutely clear no one can replace the work into places like yemen and venezuela y-yankee in new york city, i
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want to make sure that we are going to continue to support the programs with the same mission that the funds were originallysu intended for. i have not seen with the fiscal year 2019 and 2020 money appropriated will be programmed. so where has the funding and located and specifically what program is being supported? >> in terms of the details of how every dollar went to i don't have any information before me but i would be happy to get back t' you. the activities continued with any new partners that you are aware of specifically to the beneficiaries support the mission and what was originally intended in the essence of the intent of that money. >> to get to that level of granularity i'm afraid i'd have to give this a great one for the record, i would be absolutely
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happy to do so. >> i would appreciate that. but i would also like to know here is can you ensure us that any transferred funds that will be going to assist the family planning will be going to the international family planning and evidence-based reproductive l health programs that support access to contraceptives, ending maternal death, and they are the marriage, gender-based violence and female genital mutilation? >> absolutely. >> you can guarantee that would be the case that the money would go towards the? that's excellent. thank you for that assurance because i would definitely like to emphasize that there are many organizations out there. of course un spa is an irreplaceable partner, but we need to make sure that they are clearly directing those resources towards their original intent. i would love to follow up with you on a subsequent conversation about that. my next question has to do with access to comprehensive health services and i think that we can both agree that gender-based violence is a critical
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intelligence into the long-term well-being locally. is that something we can agree on? the global cost was estimated to be 1.5 trillion or basically 2% of the global gdp or the size of the canadian economy. it's sometimes referred to as the château pandemic. clearly the congress has made this a global priority by appropriating at least $150 million annually. the administration didn't request any specific funding for this issue. can you explain to me why not? >> our efforts suggest violence. certainly they've reached approximately 8 million people in fy 2019. 62 units report activities to provide critical support and care to prevent and respond to the gender-based violence and forced marriages.
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we know they are especially concerned in this world but there is a potential rise in the gender-based violence. so, as a part of all of our programs and all of our mission being on the lookout and looking for ways to prevent the gender-based violence is a part of our programming. >> so why hasn't the administration specifically carved out in the resources and what they've asked for? >> as it was mentioned before, the budget that see before you is a product of trade-offs and physical decisions in term posif the resource allocationss . >> i understand that the budgets are a process of trade-offs they are also the reflection of our values and it seems to me that not only should our values be combating gender-based violence and the economics ointo the ecod compel us to be putting resources toward towards this be an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and i appreciate your term and look
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forward to the low conversations with you. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman and mr. barsa. would you agree that when an effective vaccine or vaccines for covid-19 are developed that it will be in the u.s. national interest for everybody in the world to have access to the vaccine or at least every effective country? >> pandemics know no borders, so certainly it would be beneficial of course. >> beneficial to us, not just for the humanitarian point of view. >> the pandemics respect no borders. >> should the united states do our share with our allies and partners to ensure that everybody that needs a vaccine
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gets one giving many of theee affected countries that may not be able to do that on their own? >> we are certainly par proud oe work we've done for any number of diseases. >> i'm askinged what we've done. should the united states play a role with our partners and our allies and our fair share in ensuring a vaccine is distributed to everybody who needs on? >> yes. >> what have we pledged this far, as you know a number of our allies and partners have made specific pledges to the aid in the distribution of the vaccine. >> i don't have any fixed pledges to report today that we are certainly waiting on the production of a vaccine and we will certainly -- hispanics of answer is nothing. hyou would know if they have touched something. so the answer is nothing. i think canada pledged about
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800 million i think norway pledged if i recall, a million. you were asked about the u.s. attendance at the conference is the you said we have other ways of coordinating with our allies, and that's fine, but at the end of the day as we were discussi discussing, money talks and they haven't made such a pledge. this is something we are committed to in a bipartisan basis here as you know. the senate is working up their answer to our opening bid on the next release package. i've spoken to a number of republican senators about this. and my understanding from the press reporting is that the republican proposal in the senate put forward a very generous number four u.s. contributions to eventual distribution of a global vaccine that the white house is pushing back on. so again, i went to press you on
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what is the administration policy. does the administration believe that we should do our share is a large and wealthy country to fund its tradition of a global ravaccine? >> i cannot opine onn the fixations into the appropriators. >> but you know what the policy is. >> i know that the united states edgovernment we are the most generous people in the history of the world, and our investments in global health infrastructure are unprecedent unprecedented. >> but that is a talking point. >> i have sat where you sit and i've been through the boards and i've read the briefing books and i know there's all kinds of ways they teach you not to answer the question, but what we need is a commitment from the administration you have it from democrats and republicans including strong supporters of president trumpli on capitol hi. we want to do our share and
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right now we are getting resisted out from usaid but from the white housese to ensure we o not share when a vaccine is developed as a critical moment and there will be a tendency by some to say let's keep it, let's not give it to anybody else, we developed it. you know that sentiment is out there so i want to hear it if i cannot hear it from you i hope that you will go back and urge the secretary and others to be very clear about this the united share.will do its >> it is a sincere statement of the fact i am proud of the men and women that have made global health infrastructure our ability to respond. >> housemaid, past tense. >> our generosity is ongoing and continuing. >> oand we pledged nothing. thank you and i will yield back.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. barsa, we have all seen reports, authoritarian leaders taking advantage off a the pandc to increase the crackdown on free speech and independent press. .. >> certainly one of the things
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i am very proud of is to look at influence for example that rests on four pillars and democracy and rule of law independent media, energy independence and economic diversification to her efforts we have beenn able to turn the tide on russian disinformation for example and in georgia in april we so to create maliciously to have a false narrative. we build skills and fact checking to disclose criminal information we are very proud of the efforts to bring light
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to the chinese communist party as well. >>. >> so to highlight the importance of the influence that it seriously reduces capacity building how is usaid going to encounter these russia maligned influences. >> certainly what you see before you is the product of line long process of difficult
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decisions how to allocate scarce resources. that corruption not just in europe but remains a critical part of our programming. >> syria and iraq population andpo displacement the trump administration is trying to encourage foreignea governments for investment in these areas. will the us continue to invest more? >> in terms of actual dollar figures i have to get back to you but certainly most recently in june 30th the special representative for syria announce $700 million in
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erhumanitarian funding that includes $368 million of usaid funding inside syria to meet the region. i'll have to get back to you and your staff with that informatio information. >> name what partners have contributed. >> i have to get back to you i have in front of me i don't want to give you incorrect information. >> so what will happen if we don't get this right? >> the short answer is human suffering will continue that is why we see human suffering
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we certainly hope for the ability to get humanitarian assistancein into needy populations in a free and equitable manner. that's why we value every the taxpayer dollar appropriated to be sure it is spent wisely for proud to say we have those that.ures in place to do >> i yield back. >> there is a vote on the floor thank you for your questions thank you for being here today with the committee on foreign affairs is adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations]
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