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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 10, 2015 5:00am-7:01am EDT

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pharmacy plan. it will be up to the states to decide. you will also have a health savings account. you can get birth-control through a public health unit for five dollars for a month. so she will have the option she can have the option to purchase it elsewhere or the health savings account will cover it. the private insurance company -- the states will have the control over the insurance market. the states have the control over the insurance market. perhaps you are not seeing the answer. the states have the control over the insurance company. if the people of that state wish
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to have at site of -- sort of coverage they can. if they wish to have the insurance market cover contraceptives, they will get it. that will be between those who govern and the governed. we think that the patient should have the right to speak to her elected representatives on the state level to decide what the benefit packages. >> it doesn't matter what i think. what really matters is we don't have kings. we don't have people who tell people what people's value should be. we have a system with john a federal basis, the people who are governed have the right to advocate for the laws they wish to have. if you will, there will be a lot of things i would like to add. but i am not the autocrat. i am the person who returns that
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power of the vote overseeing we forced to purchase and the insurance companies. that is how we go back to the state insurance commission. you can't have it both ways. >> under your bill, people in difference but subject to different federal --? >> theoretically, they are only a resident in one state. the patient freedom act is focused upon those 8 million people living in those states affected by king versus burwell. signing up for an obamacare exchange which i have the option for, to do nothing and everything goes away, again we believe in the 10th amendment that the states should have the right. and lastly to elect the patient freedom act, in which you would do only with penalties and mandates. in that regard, yes. those who adopt the patient freedom act, they will not be
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subject to mandates. which, by the way, is something that i can recommend adoption. you can all do -- argue that under medicare some have provided taxes which some states do not have. the states can construct their tax system with an impact on the federal legislature. >> would you describe it as a conservative plan? if you play it out filibuster and so on.
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if you are dealing with the practical problem and what happens if you really guest obama camp and this plan has no democratic support? >> every democrat is whistling by the graveyard about the roles of the administration. i think it would be naive to ask that them to make a commitment early on. to suggest that it cannot pass it is i think it runs suggestion. may i also point out it is not my responsibility or any other senators responsibility to guarantee the president signs the law. the responsibility to put forward good public policy. that is my responsibility. good public policy that protects those who the ill illegal implementation of the law that replaces something which is a intensely unpopular, driving up health costs, which more reflects american values and
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give the american people a contract. the obama administration wants to talk -- want to tell us what to do. at that point i have to live up to -- leave it up to the president whether he continues to call worse, or if he prefers to work with the american people. the subsidies by the court, we don't yet know what will happen with the. alito, during the hearing, may put a stay upon the implementation of it. but it will be included that there is that those currently receiving subsidies -- i will first say if that patient is in the middle of chemotherapy i want her held harmless. we don't get how it will come up
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from the supreme court. the supreme court may put a stay upon implementation on a subsidy and you have to adapt to whatever the supreme court does. that is pretty easy to add on to it we think we can do that. this is about what we replace obamacare with. for those affected. there are others, including
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leadership, who said they will address the issues of those who will lose their subsidies and perhaps lose access to coverage. we can marry that legislation on to what we have. but what we have is that which replaces that portion of obamacare that would be repealed by the supreme court decision. it should be obama's. i think we are going over the same territory. thank you very much. i appreciate it. >> health and human secretary sylvia burwell testifies this morning about the supreme court case challenging federal subsidies in the health care line and we will have live coverage starting at 10:00 eastern on c-span three.
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also on c-span3 a senate panel holds a hearing on automated robo calls and other telemarketing technique aimed at senior citizens. our live coverage starts at 2:30 eastern. the u.s. capitol police received a bomb threat that caused the evacuation of a tsa oversight hearing in the dirksen senate office building. that hearing is next. topics on today's washington journal include the washington internal is live at 7:00 eastern. >> mary todd lincoln was known to be well educated and bright. she spoke several languages fluently and has a strong interest in politics. she took an active role in her husband's career. she suffered a challenge -- emotional challenges. mary todd lincoln.
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this sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's original series, first ladies. examining the public and private lives of the women who fill the position of first lady and their influence on the presidency. from martha washington to michelle obama and director of clinical cardiology at brigham and women hospital in boston. dr pepper o'gara on the advances on heart surgery and the progress being made in the understanding of heart health. >> this is a valve that has been crimped onto this catheter that is being positioned into the diseased valve and it will be developed -- deployed with the balloons being inflated and a new valve will be inserted inside the old calcified valves.
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as you can see here the delivery system is being withdrawn and then the wire will be withdrawn. what we have just seen in this toil display, his replacement of a diseased aortic valve in a manner that does not require open-heart surgery. we are trying to become smarter about predicting who will get disease. we are trying to become smarter as to identify the most effective means or attenuate the disease and then smarter about following up over a longer. of time. we are currently trying to harness the promise of the human genome research project that has now been in existence for one in a decade with all of the information that can be driven by the giants of the industry's like google, for example. and information about sociology geography, demographics, where
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you live, where the railroad tracks are in your city. what is your likelihood to get diabetes on the basis of your educational background what is your likelihood of developing something like that, hypertension if you live in a certain part of the city where you have less access to the right kind of food or instructions about sodium consumption, little things like that that could have enormous impacts on population health. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span's qa day. >> orissa government investigation revealed that transportation security administration agents failed to find fake explosive weapons during internal test. tsa and homeland security officials testify about the findings. senator ron johnson chairs the committee. this hearing was interrupted because of a bomb threat. >> good morning. if we will come to order.
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i would like to welcome our witnesses. thank you for your very thoughtful testimony, looking forward to oral testimony and answers to the questions. i do want to point out that this hearing is necessary. i think it is unfortunate that some information was leaked prior to our ability to analyze it. we want to make sure that as we are asking questions and you are answering questions that we do not reveal classified information to give our enemies information to harm us. if -- i have said this repeatedly, we have to recognize the reality and describe it. the folks in any hearing under my chairmanship is that in the end, following the hearing that every member of the audience and
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dais takes the first step to solving a problem which is to admit we have one. i have been thinking about struggles with tsa. since it was first established. understanding how it has two missions, and then they are by and large almost completely contradictory. on the one hand, we are looking for 100% security to keep airline -- not only airline, but all public transportation 100% safe and secure. on the other hand, we are looking for complete efficiency so the lines don't backup,. it is an enormously complex and difficult task. because of the bleak information and i have to commend you for your independence, for taking a hard look at the spirit do in the -- a hard look at this. what we are finding out that contradictory goal we are not
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meeting both of those, not by a long shot. with secretary johnson inspector general, the acting tsa administrator now and tsa nominee i have had some serious discussions. i have asked them to completely analyze the problem. start thinking outside the box. we need to look at more effective solutions and have to step priority i what we can do is going to improve security in the most effective way. the example i will use is after 9/11 a pretty simple solution is providing the greatest security so at least airlines cannot be used as the most effective weapon to be able to fly into things like the world trade center. that was just locking the doors and securing the cockpit door. we found that with germanwings that is not a complete solution either. the point i am making is that
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this is enormously complex difficult issue. we need to approach the solution soberly and honestly. and lay the problem. i would like to first of all asked to have my written opening statement written -- entered into the record. we also had another witness, mr. jason harrington who was unable to make it due to illness. he was a transportation security officer from 2007, i ask consent to enter his testimony in the record as well. i would like to read a couple statistics that describe the difficult mission of the tsa. tsa is comprised of 46,000 officers. 20% of the tsa employees are veterans. that's a good thing. i would like to see that increased your tsa screens nearly 2 million passengers. 2 million passengers each day
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60 -- 660 million each year. that is enormous challenge and task that screens one point one million checked bags, 3 million carry-on bags for explosive items on a daily basis. tsa use more than 700 advanced imaging machines at airports nationwide. tsa is responsible for security 25,000 domestic flights per day 2500 outgoing international flights per day. it also secures 4 million miles of roadways, when hundred 40 million miles in railroad tracks, bridges and tunnels, 350 maritime ports, and pipelines. it is an enormous challenge. we need to recognize that reality and again, take a look at this problem, it is one of a significant challenge. and talk about it as honestly as possible. >> thank you for bringing us
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together today. thanks to the witnesses. thank you for your attendance and your preparation. few federal agencies interact with the american people more than tsa. men and women who work have been difficult but extremely important job. less mope -- month i spoke about two women who dedicated their lives to keeping our aviation system and its users secure by working for tsa. one of these two women was shot in the line of duty, showed up for work the very next day. every day these women and their colleagues, thousands of them work in a very challenging environment to keep our aviation system safe and for those of us who use it, safe and secure. we don't do it enough to acknowledge that and to thank
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them. i believe it is important for us to recognize a come complete performance. this committee also has an obligation to exercise our oversight responsibilities and performance falls well short of the standard. next to the witnesses today, we have been alerted to a number of instances where performance by tsa at his employees appears to be disappointing and even troubling. yesterday for example, we learned from the inspector general that 73 individuals that with possible links to terrorism had been granted credentials to access secure airports across our nation. lesson week we learned about significant vulnerabilities at checkpoints uncovered by the inspector general. the reported failure for
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detecting items that checkpoints are more than troubling, they are unacceptable. i look forward to reviewing the departmental inspector general's full report, recommendations later this summer. that said, i encourage the swift action by the secretary of homeland security to address the inspector general's findings. since 2001, transportation security administration transitioned from a one-size-fits-all philosophy to one that is more risk base. that approach is designed to allow tsa to place limitations -- however they have identified a switch -- swiss transition to the vulnerabilities. it is more important than ever for the transportation administration to have a confirmed leader of place. i think the chairman and the staff for working so wiggly and does so quickly with our staff.
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we look forward to the testimony and thank the witnesses for being here today and are grateful that the current front-line employees who join us today to discuss the perspectives my father used to drive my sister and me crazy when we were growing up by saying some of the same things over and over again. one of these things he said is if the job is worth doing it is worth doing well. he said that maybe thousands of times. i took this lesson from that. we should be focused on perfection. we will never get there, but that should be the goal. if it is imperfect, we need to make it better. clearly, some things are going on at tsa. our job is to help you get closer to help them help tsa get closer to the goal and protect the people who use the airlines, including all of us. thank you. >> i would only add in a quest
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for perfection the way you achieve it is continue improving. it is a tradition of this committee to swear in witnesses. if you will all stand and raise your right hand. do you swear the testimony you will give before this committee will be the truth, the whole truth, so that the god? our first witnesses mr. roth:. prior to serving as dhs inspector general, mr. roth was the director of the office of criminal investigations and had a career as inspector general. mr. roth: thank you for inviting me here to testify today to discuss our work examining tsa's programs and operations very before discussing the
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challenges, i would like to acknowledge the tsa whistleblowers today. we are grateful when tsa employees as well as employees from other parts of the department of homeland security were willing to settle for to identify problems within the agency. whistleblower disclosures have saved lives as well as taxpayer dollars. they play a crucial role in keeping our department efficient and accountable. we review over 16,000 complaints per year. more than 300 per week to better understand and respond to abuse in the program operations. with regard to tsa, we face a classic asymmetric threat in attempting to secure our transportation systems. tsa cannot afford to miss a single, genuine threat without catastrophic consequences. yet, terrorists only needs to get it right once. tsa has thousands of security officers conduct that require
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constant diligence. complacency can be a detriment of their ability to carry out its mission. insuring consistency across dhs is largest workforce will challenge even the best of organizations area unfortunately, although nearly 14 years have assets tsa's inception, we remain concerned about its ability to execute its important mission. we have published more than 115 audit inspection reports tsa's operations. we have conducted a series of covert integration tests essentially testing tsa's ability to stop us from bringing in simulated explosives through the checkpoints as well as testing if we could enter secure areas through other means. we identified vulnerabilities caused by human and technology base failures. i aware of the media room towards regarding our most recent testing. although the details are
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classified and i will not be able to speak to the specifics of them today i welcome the opportunity to brief members of the committee and his staff regarding their findings in an appropriate, closed setting. we have also audited and reported on tsa's acquisitions the results show that tsa faces challenges in contracting for goods and services. despite sin test spending billions, testing has resulted no resulting improvement. we have examined tsa's approach to risk based screening and while we apply the const that -- concept in transportation security, our audits and inspections have uncovered significant problems. this includes tsa's use of managed inclusion its risk assessment rule in granting expedited screening to those were not part of a project and the administration of the pre-check program itself.
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we have also examined performance of tsa's workforce, largely a function of who is hired and how they are trained and managed. our audits have found that human error often a simple failure to follow protocol every time poses significant vulnerabilities. we have also looked at how tsa plans for, but employees and maintains its equipment and have found challenges in every step of the process. these weakness have a negative impact on transportation security as well. tsa has taken some steps to implement our recommendations and address security vulnerabilities. nevertheless some problems appear to persist. while tsa cannot crawl all risk many issues are well within its control. sound planning and strategies for efficiently requiring and maintaining screening equipment, for example would go a long way towards improving overall operations. tsa needs to have a better understanding of the limitations of this technology, and does --
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better training and management of tso's would mitigate the effects of human area -- human error. taken together, tsa's focus on management practices and oversights of its workforce would help in an security as well as customer service for air passengers. this can include my prepare statement. >> thank you. our next witness is ms. roering:. during her 25 years of government service, she has served the federal aviation administration this as a federal air marshal and a security inspection specialist. >> thank you for inviting me here today to discuss the important security concerns related to the tsa and security
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at our nation's airport. the mission of tsa is to ensure the freedom for people and commerce which is a difficult challenge. it is also the mission of tsa to protect the traveling public against terrorist attacks. the ability of tsa to execute its mission has been called into question by many oversight groups. my testimony today will focus on a number of this very concerned and agency policies that resulted in vulnerability and morale issues across the work horse. over recent years, tsa and number of former airline employees to place more emphasis on customer service and passenger wait times than on security and protection rights. anyway time that is deemed by the agency that is excessive requires immediate reporting thorough analysis, and corrective action. the local monthly testing of our officers to determine their ability to detect weapons and explosive is not associated with any performance metric.
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when this results in a failure to detect an item, there is a basic remedial training before the officer may return to duty. a tsa officer may never be subjected to a covert test based on limited resources to conduct test and sheer volume of the officers. this lack of really stick testing on a regular basis -- it does not until recently that detection rates of iuds have become a topic at tsa. this is a direct result of covert testing and numerous airports that cause great concern. leadership recognizes that detection rates are in part related to the poor morale that exists across the work force. the 2014 federal survey resulted in dhs receiving the lowest ratings of any federal government the, and tsa receiving more than their fair share of low marks area the
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survey demonstrated that while the front-line employee ease know the work they do is important, they are not valued by the leadership. the job of the tsa officer is a challenging one with a great deal of pressure and scrutiny. a culture of fear and to trust -- distress is impacting the morale and performance. this is documented in the results of the survey. equally as troubling are the security gaps in the pre-check program. while this approach to security screening is essential, tsa has a standard pre-check to large passengers who are not enrolled in the program. in the fall of 2013i expressed my concerns with expansion of the pre-check to myi later reported it to, my allegations were substantiated by the dha is inspector general.
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tsa is handing out pre-check status like halloween candy in an effort to expedite passengers as quickly as possible despite security gaps that are being created by the process. the pre-check enrollment program did not meet the expectations in terms of volume, therefore rules keep expanding as a matter of efficiency even though the agency is a well aware of the associated risk. as documented in recent reports the insider threat concern at our nation airport. although screening is conducted on cargo, checked baggage and passengers, there are other airport employees who have access to sterile areas of the airport, who are not subjected to only criminal record checks assessments. this group has unimpeded access to aircraft and it was discovered that some who worked at msp airport later trevor to syria to fight for isis. tsa has increased the use of
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teams with a focus on insider threat. at many locations, the federal security director is reluctant to initiate enforcement action against the airport carriers. conflict of interest exists any efficacy reports on air carrier to provide certain services. and has overall responsibility for the execution of the regulatory program. additionally transportation and security inspectors are being used to provide a wide range of duties not related to airport functions. such duties include at the checkpoints and conducting audits to determine such items as whether or not there is hand soap in the restrooms or if the staff is friendly. these audits should be done by a contracting office or rather than regulatory inspectors. dhs should read considerably in reporting structure to eliminate any potential conflict and pressure to employ the
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enforcement actions. tsa uses prohibited personnel practices to pressure employees to resign when management wants them removed from the agency. when allegations of ms. conduct in certain position, the fsc must refer the allegations to the office ends section. if they do investigate, they sent criminal investigators to conduct an investigation and even minor administrative matters. is a waste of taxpayer dollars to conduct routine administrative investigation and destroys the morale and trust of our work force. and conclusion the culture that exists is one of fear and distrust. well tsa cannot control all the risk with all the aviation security, leadership is an applied position to impact change. better training can improve my.
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if a tsa employees feel valued and expected this will be risk selected in a positive way. dhs should reconsider the reporting structure for inspectors to avoid any conflicts. mr. chairman, this concludes my prepared statement. i welcome any questions. thank you. >> our next was mrs. robert mclean. is currently a federal marshal aced out of los angeles field office. >> thank you, chairman johnson. this is a great honor to be here, and active duty federal air marshal. due to my 12 year case that
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finished before the supreme court four years ago and my role as a national whistleblower liaison for the federal law enforcement officers association, which is not a union, dozens of air marshals come to me with their concerns about aviation security threat. this is a huge responsibility. being a voice for those who are tasked for stopping terrorism. the public wants to continue enjoying the great privilege and miracle of flying jetliners. tired of the complaints and want their tax money spent wisely unrealistic measures. the 9/11 attack should prove how volatile as it is inside a credit, pressurized, thin tube traveling 500 miles per hour, 40,000 feet up in the sky. air marshals most common concern ? improvise explosive devices, bombs. if a terrorist group is responded to it, it is easy to's neat small bombs in threats -- in jets.
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bombs just will not pastor checkpoints, but purposely by airport workers or delivery drivers bringing in daily megatons of items consumed by passengers and the boarding areas. that cargo includes food, drink condiments, cooking oil, cleaning products, then all of the packaging that goes with it. then you have all of the dense stacks of newspapers, magazines and books. this mountain is nowhere near getting the screening that passengers are getting at the checkpoints. up arms smuggler will hide and neil in a hay wagon before sneaking us day passed a pack of wolves. one remedy is to take more tso's off checkpoints and get exhausted air marshals out of airline shares and apply them deep inside the bowels of the train stations and airports to do traditional footprint role such as the uniform fiber teams and the undercover red teams. when i flew missions, i desperately tried to find the terrorists.
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instead, i disrupted three illegal alien smuggling operations because of my experience of learning the monday routines of the traveling public, building rapport with the airport workers and local authorities, knowing the area, and reading faces. tsa pre-check with the prove months -- improvements, should be greatly expanded and it should be free of charge. more people in pre-check frees up resources to focus on attackers. i would like to see tso's roaming airports with mobile pre-check application kits and soliciting passengers during their delays in we need to have more faith than human intelligence gathering and the intuition of bold officers. in order to get more air marshals on the ground you need to completely secure the flight deck or the cockpit where the pilots are in control of the jet. every flight deck should have a modified shotgun with an emergency lock switch.
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shotgun pellets are an ideal since a primary concern is to stop an attacker trying to force the door open. in an highly unlikely -- shotgun pellets will not harm passengers or the aircraft. pilots use or own funds spending a week being trained and issue a tsa 40 caliber semi automatic pistol can miss and kill an innocent passenger at the very back of the cabin with a jacketed bullet. this is highly unlikely, but it is possible. our pilots are not allowed to carry the pixels on international flights due to very restrictive handgun laws in foreign countries but a shotgun modified to set one or two hijackers trying to break into the cockpit from one foot away would be an aim for a host country to deny and risk another 9/11 style attack. it is an extreme hazard whenever a pilot opens the flight deck door to use a laboratory --
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laboratory. an attacker can dive inside and destroy the jet. there is a perfect solution. secondary barriers. horizontal cables attached rate poll i flight attendant can stretch across the forward galley and walk in place. this provides a flight crew plenty of time to get the pilot back into the flight deck and locked the door. in order to control unruly passengers who could be suicidal attackers setting up a ruse every cap and be equipped with restraint systems and nonlethal tools to restrain unruly passengers or stop murderous attackers. flight crews and law enforcement officers need the legal authority to deputize and indemnify vented vetted to protect passengers. we can do this during the pre-check. there is no reason why an athlete or military can walk into a cabin to restrain
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somebody. we can ask passengers to volunteer to be these deputy air marshals during critical events and qualify them at training centers. passengers may do nothing because of the potential civil liability and because they are expecting air marshals to respond. an air marshal taken away from protecting a flight deck endangers the entire jet. the pilots may not be able to safely land a jet for hours over an ocean while attackers are going on a murder spree. in the case of chaos in the cabin, the pilots need the ability to disorient attackers by shutting off lighting while washing blinding strobe lights are high pitch sound alarms. when that doesn't stop the mayhem, pilots can don exigent -- oxygen mask and depressurized the cabin. due to all of this and give the flight attendant's and regular passengers the right of their
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lives. or the lives of others on the ground in you can assign air marshals and airports to find terrorists and bombs before they go off in the sky, hiring thousands of air marshals after 9/11 was a natural reaction. it should have only been a temporary detail and not a career. not many young and ambitious people at your for a career in an airline seat. when i was recruited day, have the job is flying and the rest of the time is training and investigate. they stress that nobody can fly five days a week. there is still not ground opportunities. we should train federal and local law enforcement officers to quickly and ploy as reserve air marshals in order to reserve special threats. all federal employees are reluctant to report money requested and dangerous security lapses a cousin i do not want to gamble with their careers.
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the tiny underfunded agencies that rules on was the blower replies of plans. faa aircraft cabin safety blew the was line faa 12 years ago for cases she had a hearing 18 months ago and still the judge has not made a hearing. -- made a decision. if i had a jury, i would have won six years ago. federal employees are the only workers in the u.s. who do not have access to jury trials. a restaurant cook reporting slow food being served has more due process than an air marshal reporting security lapses that can kill hundreds of passengers. the list goes on. what a bear air marshals -- i have availed myself to meet with members of congress and my fellow tsa force. many think my proposals here are risky or even crazy. i'm limited in my opening statement to go into detail
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about how the benefits can greatly outweigh the risk. other marshals and i are just doing our best to think like a suicidal attacker. i hope we don't need another 9/11 to prove we were accurate. i'm excited to serve with the new leader of the ts a -- tsa. i look forward to answering your questions. >> appreciate your testimony and your willingness to blow that was worried our next witness is jennifer grover. she is a director of transportation security and coast guard issues before the government accountability office. she has worked for the gao includes assessing the vulnerabilities throughout the tsa screening process. >> thank you. good morning. last week, renewed concerns arose about tsa screening systems come and whether they are sufficient to identify
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prohibited items. tsa has developed a layered security approach that is sound in principle. the move is supported towards risk-based screening. to deliver the promised protections under both traditional and expedited screening, tsa must do two things. first, take more rigorous steps to ensure that each layer of security works as intended and second put systems in place to continuously monitor their effectiveness. over many years, gao has supported -- reported weaknesses in the screening systems raising questions about whether tsa is falling short in its ability to save security. tsa has taken steps but additional actions are needed to today we will focus on four areas. first, the secure flight program which matches passenger information against federal government watch lists, to identify those who should not fly or should received enhanced
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screening. second, the ait system, the full body systems at checkpoints. the mannish inclusion screening process, which tsa uses to provide expedited screening to testers not previously identified as low risk. and criminal history checks to airport workers. first of all, regarding secure flight, we found in september that tsa did not have reliable information about the extent or causes of system matching errors. which occur when secure flight failed to identify passengers who were matches to the watchlist. in response to our recommendations, tsa has developed a mechanism to keep track of matching errors and is considering methods to evaluate overall flight accuracy rates on an ongoing basis. second, regarding the ait body
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scanners. we found that tsa did not include information about screener performance when they were evaluating the effectiveness. rather tsa's assessment was limited to the assessment in the laboratory. after an ait machine identifies a threat, an officer has to do a patdown. that is the consistency with which they conduct a patdown's properly and identify all items is key to ensuring effectiveness of the ait system and the operating environment. consequently, we recommended that tsa assess the effectiveness as a function about the technology and the screening officers who operated. tsa concurred with the recommendation and recently sent updated information about their efforts to address this. in december 2014 we found that tsa had not tested the security
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effectiveness of the mannish inclusion process as it functions. as part of managed inclusion tsa uses multiple layers of security to mitigate the inherent risk that is associated with screen them randomly selected passengers and a system that was designed for low risk passengers area if the security layers are not working as recommended, tsa may not be screening passengers. tsa has tested layers of security and reported them to be effective, but gao has concerns about the effectiveness of some of those layers. tsa is planning to complete testing of the manage inclusion system by mid-26 18. -- 2016. we found in december 2011 that tsa and airports were conducting background checks based on limited chris -- criminal
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history, tsa's level of access to fbi criminal access was excluding records. tsa and the fbi confirms that was a risk of incomplete information, and the fbi has since her ordered expanding the criminal history records it provides to tsa for the security threat assessment. in conclusion, tsa has made progress in improving its oversight, such as taking steps to assess the vulnerabilities in the secure flight program and by working with the fbi to obtain access to complete criminal information. more work and managed inclusion to make sure it works as intense. this concludes my statement. >> thank you. r inspector generaloth, i want to be careful can you speak to the level of preparation
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sophistication of the people on the red team and trying to assess the effectiveness of the system? >> that's a difficult question to answer in this environment. i will say that the testers we use our monitors, they are members of the oig workforce they don't have any spread background in this work. >> can you speak to differences between airports question where did we see some airports perform better than others so maybe we can see what works or doesn't work? >> i can't get into the specifics of the results of the testing. you should know that we have done fieldwork in this area but not written a report yet. the chronology is we do fieldwork and then analyze the results and do the kinds of
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comparisons you are talking about and report them out. the results were consistent across airports. >> i understand. i would like to talk about the number of standard operating procedures, the number of protocols. whoever else wants to speak to that how many are there? are you have seen all of the acronyms. the point i'm trying to make is how overwhelming these detailed operating procedures are for tso's. >> yes, there are a number of standard operating procedures. all caps come i don't know the specific number but i can see there is a checkpoint sop knowing crewmember sop a video sop, and those are just the ones i can think about off the top of my head. >> how detailed are they? >> they are very detailed.
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>> we are just humans, and it is kind of hard to have at your fingertips and the training involved to follow every one of the sop's with the volume. this is a real problem to try to achieve area >> there are a number of specific procedures in the sop's. in the training process, they are being -- referring to thesop's that applies. some of it does not apply to all of the officers across the workforce. a normal tsa would not need to know about the normal sop. while there are a number of them you don't have to be proficient and every single one of the sop's. >> i do want to get into the
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project program. my concern that what i think is a good idea but only if we do complete background checks. whoever is best able to answer the question in terms of how may people have been cleared for pre-check. i have information from 100,000 but i'm not sure that is accurate. how many actually went through a thorough vetting that we would expect versus under pressure to again accomplish the objective how many have been approved in a very watered-down process? >> i believe that there are about a million people now who have applied for pre-check. but there are 7.2 million people who have a known traveling number who would routinely get
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pre-check on their boarding pass because of their affiliation with certain groups, such as people who are in the trusted traveler program, or dod active duty military. an addition to that, it was discussed earlier, there are people who can get a pre-check on a one-time basis through the automated risk assessment or at the airport >>. >>talk to me a little bit about automated risk assessment. >> yesterday. the first thing that tsa does is they check to see if a passenger is on one of the terrorist watch list. if they are not then tsa checks to see if the person is already a known traveler. if not, then all of the rest of the passengers are screened against a set of risk rules that tsa has designed based on
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intelligence and based on certain characteristics of the traveling passenger, including information about their flight that they are looking at. an individual can receive a pre-check on a one-time basis. >> would anybody else like to comment on the watering down the vetting process? >> tsa has increased and radically the use of pre-check over the last several years. it has gone from a test kind of case to a situation where between 40 and 50% of all the traveling public gets an expedited screening, whether it is through managed inclusion part of a government trusted traveler program, or whether a risk rule. >> pre-check was originally conceived with a full vetting
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process, how may people received that full process >>, qualified for pre-check? >>the tse recently celebrated one million people who have applied for pre-check through that venting --vetting program. some folks get grandfathered in. members of congress and other trusted populations did grandfathered in. again, you're talking about 1.8 billion people per day traveling. you are talking about a significant portion of the line public that is truly unknown to tsa and goes through. >> i am out of time. >> thank you so much for joining us today and for your testimony. let's talk about, give us one
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thing they are doing well. >> certainly. that is the hazard i have in this occupation. i only focus on the negative. >> certainly the two people sitting at my left arm people with the courage to see something that has gone wrong and try to fix it. i suspect within the tsa population, their people every day, thousands of people who get up and put on the uniform and go to work and try to do their best every single day. again, when you only focus on the negative you forget about the overwhelming majority of that population that really wants to do the right thing and cares about their job. >> when i fly, most of my -- our entrance.
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when someone want tsa is doing a good job i thank them for what they do. one of the things that makes people like their job as they know what they do is important and they feel like they make progress. we just had an interesting study of month or two ago that said why people are leaving the federal government positions. as hard as they were, they never get thanked. it is a little thing, that you want to keep in mind. but when someone is out of order doing things inappropriately, i will tell them. give us one thing that >> they are doing well. >>risk-based security is a
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procedure and as long as there is not risk associated with it, 99.999 percent of the traveling public simply wants to get to from point a to point b securely . we need to focus on that small percentage of people who pose a flight to aviation security. >> thank you. >> once again i like the project program. it just blows away hey from the haystack. so we can get down to the one needle. that had a program i really love is the viper teams visible prevention and response teams. i want officers down in those airports, establishing relationships with the guys whose job it is to mop up hydraulic fluid. he probably --
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>> thank you. >> i would like to echo what you previously heard anne say that risk-based security at tsa has the opportunity to offer tremendous efficiencies. i would encourage them to go ahead and work on that. >> the most is -- the most important element i have ever seen his leadership. if you have good leadership you have a fighting chance to be successful. john is a good leader. if the admiral were here and you had an opportunity to say, this would be a top priority for you
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what would that priority be? >> i would go back and neck of the remarks of chairman johnson made at the beginning and point out that tsa's primary mission is for aviation security. and another important competing mission is to ensure the free flow of commerce and passengers. at this time when questions have been raised about whether or not the fundamentals are working properly is important to have a strong leader in place to be able to guide the organization to figure out how to balance those two elements. >> thank you. one piece of advice for the admiral if he is confirmed >>? more -- more efforts to secure the cockpit. >> i think the leadership of the agency is one that focuses on wait times. we need to focus less on wait
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times and be more concerned about detection rates and giving our officers the time they need to process the passengers and a manner they feel that is sen. carper: thank you for john roth. john: i had a good fortune of meeting with the admiral in one of those hearings. i think the biggest thing in its understand and i think he does understand this is that there is a significant challenge here. i'm not sure that has been embraced tsa wide. in order to fix a problem, yet the fully understand it and i believe he is fully committed to that. sen. carper: my last question. give us some good advice. let's get back to one point. it is great. that is our to do list in terms of waste and abuse fraud. give us one great to do for our
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list. give us one good one. robert: understand thejohn: understand the risks behind your management processes and manage those risks. if you do not manage those risks, you will not be able to manage it right. sen. carper: thank you. rebecca: i will take one out of my statement and that is that we have no one in the field overseeing the numerous contracts with their tsa has engaged in. we have no way of measuring the performance of the contracts as being acceptable. we have contracts with representatives in the field that would let us manage those contracts better so we are not wasting taxpayer dollars. sen. carper: mr. mclean, real quickly. robert: i would pass a law giving flight attendants more training and authority to have passengers save their lives. sen. carper: thank you.
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mr. grover. jennifer: i will like to see you hold tsa's top leaders accountable by asking for data on the effectiveness of their operations. sen. carper: what you can't measure, you can't manage. thank you. sen. johnson: i do have to give a shout out to my tsa tso's. i travel pretty light. but i do attend a boy scout event and i was rushing to the airport and they gave me this package in which i put my briefcase and it was my boy scout knife and they caught it. so again, there are a vast majority of tsa and tso employees trying to do a very difficult task of staying alert and protecting the public. those were my own experiences. i got caught. senator ernst. sen. ernst: thank you mr. chair
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and ranking member carper for calling this timely hearing can i want to thank all the witnesses here with us today and we appreciate your testimony very much. senator carper, i think touched on the questions i think we had. there has been an issue with a lack of consistent state. i think it is something that tsa has been suffering for across the various aspects of the organization and its mission for a while now. but referenced in all of your testimony across the board is varying degrees of lack of certainty and consistency with people, processes is, and operations. whether it is in row of the organization or the personnel or day-to-day operations, they are just so systemic.
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you mentioned ideas on where you like to see leadership go. a couple of suggestions were for congress. but bottom line -- do you think it is really more of a management issue? are these issues the admiral can influence through his management style or is it something that needs to be addressed through legislation? i would like to hear the perspective that you have on that. one or the other or commendation of boat -- or a combination of both. ms. grover, would you start. ? jennifer: i think there is a concern about morale at tsa. as mentioned earlier morale as a department is very low and morale at tsa is even lower. that doesn't affect people's engagement to their work. but there are weaknesses in
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equipment that tsa uses in terms of its effectiveness and there are challenges in encouraging a workforce of 45,000 people to do the job properly every day. that is just a lot of people to manage. it is morale. it is management. it is attention to the technical specifications of the equipment. and i would like to see tsa spending less time on standing up new programs and more time on making sure that the programs that they have stood up working properly. sen. ernst: good advice. thank you. i appreciate that. mr. mclean. robert: a big problem with the air marshal mission is that there's nothing going on. which is a good thing. there is no arrest happening. there's no casework happening. as you would get in a cpb or border patrol situation, you get hundreds of thousands of arrest
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and hundreds of drug cases happening. the managers of busy. they have things to do. when an air marshal commits an infraction, and causes a -- it causes a huge ripple in the water. a lot of local managers do not want to make a decision on something, so they wait on headquarters to make it for them. i think a possible solution is to put air marshals underneath the purview of a pure law enforcement agency. there's a huge amount of former border patrol agents in the air marshal service. they feel like it was when they were under the ins. it was an agency that had conflicting missions. one was to nationalize people and at the same time to catch and deport them. they feel that that is a problem. because there's so little casework so little to do, which is great because there's nobody dying, but board managers are
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looking for something to do or they are afraid to protect the -- proactively take care of a situation until they get a phone call from d.c.. sen. ernst: you would say to separate the two programs and really empower those officers to do more? robert: many air marshals say why don't we go under the purview of customs and border protection? the facilities are already and all the airports in the management is already there. it could be a good transition. it happened once before. the original air marshall director had put the air marshal service underneath relations and customs enforcement. he did that because he saw the air marshals burning out. they were bored. you hire these high-speed, eager beaver guys and gals and they get out there and they're strapped down. it is like pressure cooker's. it's happened. he saw it.
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he thought it was going to be a quick burnout. we put them into ice to have a better career path and make arrests and start investigations. sen. ernst: very interesting. i appreciate that. i do want to address some of what senator johnson alluded to in his statements about the recent media report that indicated the inspector general -- or by the inspector general that the tsa failed to identify at least 73 people employed in the industry that were flagged under terrorism related activity codes. according to the tsa, part of the reason for this is that the agency is not authorized to receive all the information under current inner agency watch listing policy. i've huge concerns with that as i'm sure most of the public does as well. employees are often granted special access without having gone through a thorough background check.
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inspector general, if you could speak to that just a briefly. john: we share your concern and the summary of what you found was accurate. there is the database which is large terrorist data mart environment. tsa by law did not have access to some of the codes. in 2014, the administrator asked for access, but again it is a process that apparently is taking some time. it isn't quite there yet, but i think they are moving quickly on it. sen. ernst: i thank you all very much for your testimony today. thank you, mr. chairman. sen. johnson: mr. sasse. sen. sasse: thank you for your testimony. i wonder if you could impact for us the structure of your organization. i think you have the largest i.t. office in the executive branch. is that correct? john: i think we are number three. dod and social security administration, i think.
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sen. sasse: how many employees do you have? john: approximately 670 employees altogether. it is broken into an audit function and an investigative function. we have two hundred 20 criminal investigators who do internal affair work. we have an internal affairs agency for border protection. ice is the largest standing law enforcement agency in the government. we have a separate section that does both inspections and audits. we do the traditional financial audits, but we do program audits. we do information technology audits. we do inspections of various things and write reports. sen. sasse: can you talk about the backgrounds of your investigators and auditors and how diverse those experiences are? john: they are quite diverse. they are individuals who grew up in the ig world or came from other law enforcement agencies. there are trained criminal
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investigators and they are armed and have arrest power like any other criminal investigator would have. our auditors come from a variety of places, some within the inspector general community. some from agencies and some from private businesses and private enterprise, all of whom are governed by the auditing standards of the yellow book. sen. sasse: you have a team that report to you? john: we don't identify ourselves as red teams. sen. sasse: the leaked report last week show that there have been 70 attempts by your investigators to smuggle weapons or improvised explicit devices or fake explosive devices onto planes. the failure rate was 67 out of 70 finds -- times. the public is taking some comfort that the investigation was done by super terrorist, the term reported in the media by
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the red teams. the red teams are not yours. and this leaked report is yours. john: i cannot confirm or deny this pacific results or the specific methodology by which we did our testing. as i said, we do not identify ourselves as red team. these are auditors that we use who are members of the attack in general's office. sen. sasse: i appreciate this and i appreciate the classified briefings that you have given a number of us. i think what we hear you doing is clarifying that in your employee, there are no red teams. john: correct. sen. sasse: you understand how the department and how the stories that are out there that says that these were red team investigations? john: we don't. john:i was disturbed as anyone by the fact that this information gotten to the media. we have done a number of classified penetration testing with absolutely no incident of leakage. we have started a preliminary
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investigation into this to try to determine where the source of the leak was. sen. sasse: do you have any discomfort with communication strategy of the department that appears to be echoing these media testimonies? quote number one from secretary johnson -- "red team testing of the aviation security network has been part of the tsa mission for 13 years. there are indeed red teams at dhs. =" you are not going to clarify the nature of your investigation that was leaked, but i think we have clearly heard you say that your employees are mostly auditors. john: that is correct. sen. sasse: thank you. last week's report was just one. can you tell us more about the number of classified and unclassified tsa and dhs and ig report that you have issued since 2004? john: i cannot give you an exact number. approximately a dozen is my best estimate of what we have done
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since 2004. we did a series of penetration testing's in 2011, both penetration testing to determine the testing of the sterile area and to move into the sterile area without any sort of examination. covert testing of, for example carry on luggage through the screening process. we had done penetration testing of the ait machines. those were first-generation ait machines, which were different from the ones that we have done most recently. as well as penetration testing of check agates -- baggage process. that report was earlier this year. sen. sasse: are all of your investigations ultimately briefed to the leadership of dhs? john: yes. sen. sasse: you said in testimony last month that tsa disagreed with most of your recommendations to a classified report and you concluded and i quote "we believe this
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represents tsa's failure to represent the gravity of the situation." can you explain what that means? john: that of also pre-check program and that there are number of different ways that you can get i did screening without having an application and your fee and your biometric taken and your backgrounds to be investigated to become a known traveler. we found security vulnerabilities as a result of a number of whistleblowers including the ones to my left. some security vulnerabilities -- we investigated those. we wrote to making recommendations that would eliminate those four abilities. tsa declined to take a recommendations. we are sitting at loggerheads as we speak. sen. sasse: do you think it is possible that tsa could really have not understood how great their problem was before last week's leaked report? john: it is something we think about all the time for sue they truly understand the nature of the risk that they face? candidly, i worry about them. sen. sasse: i would like to ask
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director of one question. are you saying that regular passenger screeners have no metrics that have to do with their success or failure rate at predicting weapons? rebecca: that is correct. sen. johnson: thank you senator. senator ayotte. sen. ayotte: i want to thank all of you being here. i want to follow up on a couple of questions. first of all, to understand that we have not been vetting all the workers and the workforce against the fbi data bass -- database. i understand, you mr. roth, you are saying that we are not able to fully do that because of an access code issue. could you let us know more about this? i have to say that all of us are quite shocked by this in terms of just basic common sense.
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we use the fbi background checks on people who deal the public in a variety of contexts. and to not in this context seems kind of mind-boggling that that step would not have been in place already. john: a little context of what list we are talking about. there is sort of a large list -- the terrorist identity in a market environment, which has information of individuals but verify an unverified. it is a broader list that is cold to the terrorist watch list. what tsa did not have access to a certain codes within that larger environment. again, some of this information is not substantiated. once tsa realized, i think around 2014, that they did not have this information director pistol signed a letter asking for that. and it is now in that very agency environment in order to do it.
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we were able to in the course of our audit run 900,000 names against the database. as we sit now, i think we have some comfort in understanding what that environment looks like. in other words, the 73 individuals we believe as some entirely of what was missed. we gave those names to tsa as soon as we discover them and i think they are following up on each of those. to the extent that there was a older ability, i believe it hasn't been closed, but it does give you pause that the situation was allowed to continue. sen. ayotte: it does give you pause because it really only takes one versus 73 in this context. as we sit here, even the fact that there is still a bureaucratic step that is being expedited, with this request being made by director pistol already in 2014, i just can't imagine that the fbi would not
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have moved on this with most haste that they could possibly move given especially your recent undercover findings. so i think that is something that we should follow up on. it is a matter that bureaucracy cannot hold this up when it comes to basic betting that needs to be done. i also want to follow-up on the conclusion on what is being done with that. i was interested also to see director roaring referred to it as a pre-check being given out like halloween candy in your written testimony. i think that pre-check is a very important program for the public. to the extent that we do have a category of individuals that has grown as financially, that is being used, it may not go through the entire vetting process. if you could share with us what you are able to share here, what you think would be better in terms of some reforms for the
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pre-check process properly so we really are allowing the members of the public to use it that should and still maintaining a thorough vetting of the individuals that we should. john: the basic principle behind pre-check is great because it is this idea that if you are known traveler, we have to spend less time on you then an unknown traveler. really bringing pre-check back to its paces warm -- basic form, which as we know who you are. we wrote this report. we briefed members of congress. there is propose legislation in the house of representatives called the security expediting screening acrt, which basically directs tsa to bring it back to what it used to be which is somebody looks at you and knows that you are a trusted traveler. as opposed to some of these risk roles that they are now applying. sen. ayotte: i also wanted to follow-up.
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we heard a lot of discussion today about the vetting process but one thing -- because they also serve as the chair of the aviation subcommittee that has been an issue is the badges. i want to fully understand from all of your perspective on the tsa's role in issuing badges. many of them are not being kept track of. that responsibility is left to the local airports. is this -- what would you assess in terms of this issue? is that a potential mobility -- boulder ability what recommendations you have on that front? to whomever would like to answer. jennifer: let me start by saying it is the airports is possibility. and our mechanism -- there are mechanisms at the airport level to make sure that badges can be accounted for. i believe that there is a trigger, like a 5% trigger of a
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servant -- certain number of badges that have been lost and they will all be rigid. there are some controls in place, but i think it is an issue that wards additional attention. john: we are doing some work on that, given sort of the news that has been recently out there. sen. ayotte: we have had other incidents with the badges. it is a deep concern. john: we are doing field work right now in regards to that to be able to go to the site to figure out whether the airport authorities are appropriately and properly accounting for the badges, whether or not tsa is doing their oversight responsible be in a prudent way and frankly doing some testing to see if we can get into secure areas and those kinds of things. jennifer: we also conduct tests were we will call the airport and report that an employee has been terminated to determine how quickly they turned off the access according to the badges. robert: thatrebecca: that was a special
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thing we did recently. when the badges were reported missing, the airport to turn off the access associated with a badge. sen. ayotte: i think all of you for being here. let me just say to chairman johnson's point. certainly the tsa agents that have interacted with on manchester at regular basis are very hard-working. putting together the right process for the people who art right to do this job effectively every day and making sure that they have our support, i think that's important. i think also ensuring that those agents that are doing well are empowered to do their job. i think that is part of a function here as well. so thank you all. sen. johnson: thank you, senator ayotte. senator mccaskill. sen. mccaskill: there is no evidence that you have that contracted tsa is cheaper or better, correct? john: i do not, no.
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sen. mccaskill: and you are not aware that it exists? john: correct. sen. mccaskill: the magnetometer versus ait -- do we have numbers on speed of use on those two different devices? john: we have not done any work in that area. i know that tsa itself has metrics with regard to that, but i don't have that available. sen. mccaskill: i feel like i'm handcuffed because we do not have tsa here. i will request different tsa if it is available. it is very obvious to me because i'm always looking for ait. because i haven't been -- a kn ee. i either get someone to touch me a lot or i do a i.t.. so even if you do not know this unless you start asking, i go to the tsa pre-line and i go over to the ait machines. some airports immediately
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accommodate you and others say no you can't do that. every airport is a little different. some say that you get to leave your shoes on and everything in when he go to the other live. if you have a tsa boarding pass, the tsa reporting pass with the. others are not -- you know. it is kind of a mess. i don't care as long as they get to go through this instead of this. about 50% of the time they have ait shutdown and i have to ask for them to open it. so they may have one sitting there. some airports don't even have one sitting there. it wasn't until very recently that they had some at the southwest terminal at reagan. i'm curious if your work has focused on this. maybe the marshall can speak to this, too. why aren't we keeping those ait machines going all the time at
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every facility? because we spent a lot of money on them. i know this is the whole thing of time versus safety. and how quickly can we move people through, right? is that what it is? jennifer: yes. robert: it is muchrebecca: it is much faster but this is better security than going through a metal detector. a metal detector not detect one of the biggest threats unlike in ait. sen. mccaskill: what about those who don't know they have knees or hips and they do not know how much time the tsa will save if they go through the ait instead if they were to ask a guy ask. i am worried that they're letting me use it because in some of the airport simon especially at home, they know who i am. and that is really wrong. anyone with a hip or knee on to
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be told that they should go to the ait to save time and money and, of course, be more say. i want to keep following up on this. why can't we have more ait machines? well, because we're cutting the budget. we've got to remember as we all sit and pound the desk about how bad tsa is we keep cutting the amount of money that they have and we asked them to do more and do it better. clearly one of the issues is in fact resources and how many people are working. the times that i've gotten it to difficult conversations at people at airports about why ait is an open, they say, they don't have the staff. it takes more staff to read. we just don't have the staff to run it. i think that is also an issue. the marshals -- are you saying that now, mr. maclean, that they are preboarding marshals?
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have a change that -- they changed that? robert: it is hit or miss. it depends on when they are flying from. sen. mccaskill: i still see them preboarding. it is pretty obvious who they are. robert: the way it should be done is that they should be boarded with the passengers. sen. mccaskill: by the way, isn't that better security also? are they cope mingling with the passengers with more opportunities and eyes and ears to figure out who there might be on that plane who might be a problem? robert: correct. sen. mccaskill: when they get at the beginning of boarding and they go on, clearly they are not physically impaired. clearly they're not traveling with small children. now they are not in uniform, but they are usually in jeans. it's not like -- and they are
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sitting at strategic places on the airplane when they get on. i do not understand why -- is this something that anybody can speak to. ? why do they think this is a good idea to put these people on ahead of time? robert: we cannot dictate what the foreign countries can do. sen. mccaskill: it is here the united states. robert: i'm not aware that. i understand that the air marshals have the 100% option to board with the passengers, but most of the air marshals now are flying long, long routes to places where they are mandated preboarding. so the janitor see them. sen. mccaskill: i see them on my plan. -- my plane. shouldn't they be required to be standing in line with everybody else and co-mingle?
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>> i would like that. absolutely. sen. mccaskill: a perfect place to walk around the airport is waiting in line with all of the passengers. is there a reason they are being given the option? >> i don't have an answer to that. we could ask to find out and get back to you. sen. mccaskill: it is more convenient for them to get on first. >> i could only speculate. they may not want to lose their overhead bin space. that is speculating. sen. mccaskill: especially when you are traveling an airline like southwest, which i travel frequently. >> southwest airlines, it is a free-for-all. sen. mccaskill: correct. i bet we could figure it out.
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>> that all depends on how smart the flight attendants are going to run that operation. sen. mccaskill: i want to stay on the contractor versus employee -- would you all be willing -- it seems to me that you all ought to start putting in the audit in the report from gao, the budget for the year for which you are doing the work compared to previous years. i think everyone needs to understand that there is a price to be paid for us continuing to cut and cut and cut the domestic side of homeland security, the domestic side of our national protections. it is a problem we are seeing this year again, where we are going to create a $40 billion slush fund in the department of defense, but we are going to
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shortchange port security, airport security, cyber security, cia, fbi, all in the name of holding onto a ill-conceived sequestration number. i think you should think about doing that. thank you. >> when we talk about resourcing, i do have to throw out the word prioritization. this will be the first of a series of hearings on tsa. senator baldwin: i appreciate you holding this valuable hearing. i want to thank our witnesses for being here to share your stories and your experiences. you raised the alarm on in adequate background checks.
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as you are stationed at the minneapolis st. paul airport where the chairman and i know many of our constituents fly in and out of on their way to other destinations, we appreciate your leadership. i wanted to follow up on the line of questioning of a couple of previous -- the line of questioning that a couple of previous centers went down -- senators went down. with regard to tsa access to the terrorism related information in these databases and in particular the lack of access to certain code, i thought i heard you say earlier that there was a statutory impediment and then
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you indicated that it is in the process of being worked out bureaucratically between agencies. i want some clarity for our committee, as to whether we need to see legislation on this pushed through in an expedited fashion or whether this is on the verge of being resolved between agencies. >> thank you for the question. my apologies for the confusion. it is an administrative process done within the government itself. there is not a need for legislation. the access to that information is not governed by statute. only if the committee that decides whether or not tsa refuses that access, there could be a statutory fix that may be
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needed. sen. baldwin: while i am on the topic of legislative or policy changes that we should be aware of, i think most of the testimony that i have heard points to leadership, points to management, points to following the rules already in place -- all of which the agency would have the authority to do as it currently stands. please highlight for me is anything in your testimony that we should highlight -- pay attention to that require statutory change. anybody? thank you. i wanted to have you speak a little bit further about this issue of performance metrics
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that are skewed towards timeliness rather than accuracy. i know you touched on this briefly in response to senator carper. can you elaborate more on performance measures that track wait time versus detecting explosives and how that affects safety and tso performance. >> thank you for the question. when there is an excessive wait time and that is currently over 20 minutes in a regular land there is coordination of a report that requires a thorough analysis of the individuals, the
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training, or those called off sick unscheduled absences. there is a lot of focus and information that is needed to be gathered when we have excessive wait times. in terms of our monthly testing we brief once a month and the result of the tests -- there is no metric associated with it. the test results are shared among screening management, but there is just no metric to focus on the detection rates and whether or not that would reflect badly on the scorecard. sen. baldwin: mr. mcclean you have brought to our attention a lot of information about the threat of ied's. given the failed bombing attack the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber, the evolving
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ability of terrorists to assemble ied's or the increased threat of larger ied's in the airport perimeter -- these are huge concerns. you have already commented a little bit further in the questioning. how do you believe resources should be re-prioritized to better protect against these threats and, if you could elaborate a little bit more about the things you were talking about earlier in that capacity to help address this threat? mr. maclean: i am glad you asked. i really want to talk about it. the pre-check is done well when it reduces the time the screeners need to focus on nonthreatening passengers. i would like to see those tso's
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who participate more and then the four points that i mentioned on the physical security implementation on the aircraft so that you can get more air marshals on the ground. i love that thought -- these are not teams that i want down there ripping and arresting anybody that they see. this is purely trying to build rapport from the local authorities all the way down to janitors and cooks. for instance, you might have a cook that sees something every day, the same thing, but one time he reported it to his boss -- it might be some knucklehead who says, i don't have time for this, you are not a cop, quit playing cop. he is frustrated. he barely speaks english. he does not want to go forward with it.
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if there is that guy who has built their rapport for him asked him about his family, is very interested in what he sees every day, he might come to him for something that is out of that ordinary. that little thing just may be that ied that air marshals are scheduled death to be stuck flying with. sen. baldwin: thank you. sen. johnson: thank you senator baldwin, senator langford. senator langford: thank you. millions of americans fly every day and they are very dependent on security. what you are doing is very important. mr. roth, you repeatedly found that human error poses significant phone or abilities. what do you attribute that to?
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systemic, training, management morale? mr. roth: i think it is all of the above. you have an enormously large workforce. you are right, it is one of these things that you have to follow the sop every time. senator langford:: there is all kind of accountability built into the system. if you go past five minutes or 20 minutes, there was all kinds of accountability. is it became -- same kind of structure built-in for someone not following protocol? mr. roth: i am not aware of that. senator langford: have other folks seen that? or is it a time-based standard at this point? ms. roering: it is a time-based standard. the agency treats not following the sop as a conduct issue. senator langford: sure.
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tsa agents and the department of homeland security has been terrible for morale as a whole. these are great folks. the people that i travel with every week are terrific folks. extremely friendly very engaged, they are great folks. the morale seems to be bad time and time again and that does not help us. mr. roth, there have been ongoing issues with procurement with tsa, both getting equipment that is outdated the wrong equipment, too much equipment --this is been an ongoing problem. is it getting better? mr. roth: it is hard to determine that at this point. this is a continual problem. we just did a report with regard to tsa maintenance contracts where it is about a $1.2 billion set of contracts over a set of
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four years in which tsa does not have the ability to understand whether or not routine maintenance is being performed or whether they are being billed for things that actually occurred. senator langford: basic sustainment. mr. roth: correct. senator langford: what is happening on the procurement side? vendors know there is a very large market. is there a good standard of improvement to say that this piece of equipment is better? how are the standards for procurement coming out to try to increase our effectiveness? mr. roth: dhs-why this is the emphasis that the secretary is trying to professionalize the acquisition process within dhs. i cannot speak to how it is working on current acquisition projects, but it is something that frankly remains a challenge. ait machines, that is a single
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vendor. there is no competition within the market for what is a very significant capital purchase. senator langford: we have had a lot of conversations about pre-check and about how pre-check, you have had a million people who have gone through that process, but we have 7 million people that are authorized to go through other variations. do we need to change the name from pre-check to something else? we have a large number of people that are just being expedited through this process. is that correct? mr. roth: go ahead. >> yes, that is correct. these are not individuals who were previously identified as low risk. tsa's premise is that they are providing real-time threat assessment through the use of behavior detection officers and explosives detection.
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we have raised concerns about the lack of effectiveness data. during the time of our review we found that tsa was not consistently using the explosives trace detection as protocols called for. senator langford: if i remember the report correctly, basically, when they were evaluated for behavioral detection, it did not come out any different than random chance did. ms. grover: that is right. senator langford: that is not really pre-check. it is difficult to collect pre-check when there is really in no check line. part of it is just a random chance. my understanding is that this is a faster process because they have done a more thorough background. i understand what you are saying before. there is great benefit to be able to help separate a huge set to blow the hay off the stack to
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find the needle, but we can't collect pre-check if it is no check and pre-check combined. mr. maclean: it border who apply for century -- a border patrol agent who applied for century got denied because of a juvenile fight. maybe things are not being put together and implemented right. i love the program. senator langford: i am good with the program. there are a lot of americans who are regular flyers. to be able to go through the line faster, they pre-checked online. if it is pre-check, let us really have it pre-check. if they are a trusted traveler i have no problem with that. if we have folks randomly coming to the area and we are saying, you don't look like a terrorist -- that is not really pre-check. we have a line for that.
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we need to be able to evaluate. there are 73 people. 73 folks where their code was related to terrorism. i would assume that they would be on the no-fly list. these were individuals that tsa had allowed to go through the system as employees behind the perimeter. mr. roth: they would not necessarily be on the no-fly list. it is a broad list of terrorist identities, some of which is verified or not verified. the no-fly list is a subsection of the larger list. senator langford: how quickly can that be corrected? where that record can be tied into tsa so they can have access to look at those? mr. roth: i don't have that information with me. i know that the specific 73 names we did report back to tsa and they are taking action. senator langford: we don't
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health -- know how fast they can take action? mr. roth: we don't. senator langford: we will follow up. thank you. sen. johnson: a quick follow up on that. you are saying we do not need legislation and the authority already exists? mr. roth: that is my understanding. sen. johnson: i want to summarize some things we have heard. we are basically trying to detect explosives or weapons. the failure with the ait's, we put those in place to try to detect explosives because metal detectors don't. we use the ait's. wouldn't a simple solution be either two views through the ait -- frontal and side -- as well as putting a metal detector on either side? that would be a relatively
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simple solution which would increase the rate of detection -- isn't that true? >> i would assume it would be for weapons. sen. johnson: with explosives what work has been done with bomb sniffing dogs? bomb sniffing dogs are extremely effective. can anybody speak to that? mr. maclean: i worked at a border patrol checkpoint. i was blown away with what a dog can sense. i have seen heroin wrapped in coffee duct tape, saran wrap hermetically sealed, and then dumped in a tank of gasoline and the tanks sealed unsecure and the dog still hits on it. if they could do that with drugs, if they could do that with bombs, they are amazing. they are amazing creatures. ms. roering: currently, the regulatory program has oversight
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for the canine passenger screening program. i have witnessed the use of a decoy, where an individual would be carrying an explosive and the doc was able to detect the explosive was very favorable results. ms. grover: tsa has about 800 canine teams total. they have been found to be effective. they are expensive. sen. johnson: so is the $7.2 billion we are expending on security theater. ms. grover: yes, sir. sen. johnson: i think security theater, to a great extent, does deter. i think we need layers, layers of defense. we need to think outside the box. we need to think smarter. if you've got a very high percentage, in terms of
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effectiveness of a bomb sniffing dog, i think that solution is pretty obvious, isn't it? mr. roth: i think it is important for two yes eight to look at all options and figure out exactly -- tsa to look at all options and figure out exactly what would work best. the reliance on technology has challenges. they need to start looking at other things, as well. sen. johnson: as americans, we watch movies -- we always have a silver bullet, a solution, we are finding out that these technological solutions are failing at a very high rate. maybe we need to step back and look at, what actually works? i would argue, the bomb sniffing dog -- they may be expensive but if we are not 100% effective , think of how expensive that will be. how expensive are these units? have you done a study on that? ms. grover: i believe that the
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startup cost is about $100,000 for the conventional canines and about $220,000 for the passenger screening canines and an annual cost of about $60,000 per year for the conventional canines and about $160,000 per year for the other canine teams. sen. johnson: i would love gao to provide us with a report about the cost and the number of teams. mr. maclean: every canine comes with an officer who has a keen sense of feeling people out reading faces, building rapport, sometimes having a dog with you people approach you or you become more approachable. sen. johnson: my point is what we are doing is clearly not working.
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we have to think outside the box and look for different solutions. i do want to give you the opportunity, you are not able to tell your story of whistleblowing. i want you to tell your story and how you retaliated against -- that has been a problem that i have seen repeatedly in my four years of people who have the courage to come forward tell stories that have to be told, and then they are retaliated against, which has a chilling effect on those individuals that we do need to come forward. take this opportunity. mr. maclean: in july 2003, it accidentally fell on my lap. after a lot of problems with preboarding before passengers having to wear somewhat a uniform to get on every flight we were brought in for an unprecedented emergency suicidal, al qaeda terrorist hijack emergency briefing. we were all told that in any
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moment we were going to be under attack and the flight deck was going to be breached and those aircraft were going to be flown into east coast u.s. targets and european capitals. two days afterward, all air marshals got an unsecured text message sent to their unsecured phone instead of their encrypted smartphones -- a message that there is -- we want everyone to avoid late cancellation fee therefore we need to have everyone cancel their hotel rooms indefinitely. later on, the gao and inspector general discovered that that was going to be the plan for the next, until the new fiscal year. for 60 days or longer, any aircraft that was going to fly four hours or longer was not
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going to have an air marshal team on them. i initially -- first of all, we thought it was sort of a test. we get this text message that made no sense to us. two days after this emergency briefing. i just wanted to confirm it with a supervisor. the supervisor told me -- he goes, we have run out of money and we are going to have to fly puddle jumpers until something happens. sen. johnson: this occurred when? when did this briefing occur? mr. maclean: late july 2008. i called the inspector general hotline and i got routed to the two other officers. sen. johnson: we need to have standard recess for this committee hearing. the capitol police is clearing this. we should stay in place? we are clearing the floor. if you could move in an orderly
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fashion and exit as quickly as possible, thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] sen. johnson: i would like to gavel this hearing back in. it is unfortunate what happened here as we were concluding. a threat was called in. in today's world we have to take the threats very seriously. i want to commend the capitol police for asking -- acting responsibly and swiftly. we cleared the floor. fortunately, the threat was determined to be false. that is the world we live in
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today. it is very unfortunate. suffice it to say, this is going to be the first of a series of hearings in terms of the challenge that the tsa has in trying to succeed in its dual mission of keeping the station safe, identifying every possible threat, giving those things from her naming -- harming any american -- and at the same time, allowing efficient throughput so that americans do not miss flights or any form of transportation. we will continue to explore this and i will continue to work with secretary jeh johnson and the new tsa administrator and i will ask those gentlemen to think outside the box, take a look at the priorities that we need to establish in terms of being most effective and most efficient at providing the kind of security
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and traveling convenience that we possibly can with the tsa. with that, the hearing record will remain open for 15 days for the submission of statements and questions for the record. this hearing is adjourned. >> "washington journal" begins in a moment. we will look at the news and take your phone calls. the house gavels back in at 10:00 eastern. at noon, work on a defense
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spending bill continues. live coverage here on c-span. >> the new congressional directory is a handy guide to the 114th congress. it has bio and contact information and twitter handles and district maps, a full. map of capitol hill, and a look at congressional committees federal agencies, and state governors. order your copy today. it is $13.95 plus shipping and handling at >> coming up, we will talk to colorado freshman senator cory gardner about the defense programs build the senate is working on this week. california congressman john garamendi will talk about the strategy to fight isis in iraq and syria. later, philip gordon from the council on foreign relations talks about his recent piece for "politico."
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you can join the conversation on facebook or twitter. host: president obama is getting ready to deploy more military advisers to iraq. he said the strategy is not yet complete. they amount toys to take -- poised to take this next step. we want to get your opinions. republicans, (202) 748-8001 democrats (202) 748-8000 independent