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tv   U.S. Ambassador State Department Confirmation Hearing  CSPAN  August 9, 2020 6:29pm-7:53pm EDT

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several days. on the 75th anniversary of the ships sinking, congress awarded the entire crew the congressional gold medal, its highest civilian honor. watch monday night beginning at 8:00 eastern and enjoy american history tv this weekend every weekend on c-span three. ♪ week, c-span's the contenders looked at the lives of 14 men who ran for the presidency and lost, that changed political history. watch the contenders this week at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. starting on monday, 1844 presidential candidate henry clay. announcer: next, a senate
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foreign relations committee hearing on the president's pick for several ambassadorial positions including james story to be u.s. ambassador to venezuela, and william douglas to be the u.s. ambassador to the bahamas. want to thank each of our nominees today for their willingness to serve in these important roles and to my colleagues on this committee for joining this hearing. one of this committee's most important tasks i have discovered is to review and evaluate the president's nominee to serve in critical posts around the globe, like those you aim to serve. these nominees serve as the most window into america and to our universal values. ,he willingness of talented qualified individuals to serve has never been more valuable than it is today. as american leadership is crucial in bringing the world out of the shadow of covid-19. in advocating for american values, defending human rights,
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transparency, and economic freedom and seeking to ensure a more secure, stable, and prosperous world, where democracy and freedoms are able to flourish, we are all working towards that end. with that in mind, i wish to again thank our nominees for appearing and your willingness to continuing our nation. today, this committee will consider the nominations of six individuals to represent the united states of america. the nominees before us are mr. william, doug douglas, to serve as the u.s. ambassador to the commonwealth of the bahamas. higgins to be the u.s. to the republic of burgundy. ms. jean maloney to be the ambassador of the kingdom of s bikini. mr. michael mccarthy to serve as
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the u.s. ambassador to the republic of liberia. singh toable monisha be u.s. representative to the organization for economic cooperation and development with the rank of ambassador. and mr. james story to you as -- to serve as u.s. ambassador to the republic of venezuela. thank you all again for your willingness to serve this country. friend andrn to my fellow senator, bob menendez, i wish to underscore to our nominees the need for a passionate defense of american values in your future positions. if confirmed, each of you will be presented with an challenges. i know all of you are committed patriots, and i hope you will direct that spirit toward the preservation of peace, the expansion of opportunity, and a fervent enthusiasm for your post and for the values you
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represent. i look forward to hearing how you will seek to do that very soon. i now wish to recognize my distinguished colleague and friend, senator menon does, for his opening comments. sen. menendez: thank you, mr. chairman. a moment before i address the nominees themselves, i am compelled to note for the record that this unfortunately is another, in a series of hearings that chairman risch has noticed unilaterally. violation ofalso a committee practice which requires seven days notice and with a democratic ranking member. unfortunate, we have to acknowledge that the chairman has established a new set of precedents that will govern the committee regardless of who was in the majority. sen. young: if the gentleman will yield. sen. menendez: surely. sen. young: i will respectfully note for the record also, it is my understanding that there was consultation between staffs
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before this hearing was noticed. sen. menendez: i appreciate that, mr. chairman. consultation, as someone who has been on this committee since i came to congress 15 years ago, consultation is not the modus operandi of the committee. it is consultation that ultimately arrives in an agreement between the chairman and ranking member, whoever they may be. so i appreciate that constant reference that has been made to consultation. it is -- i'm sure consultation will take place the same way. i'm pleased, however, to see that we are considering today the nomination for our next u.s. ambassador to venezuela. as we heard in tuesday's hearing on venezuela, the situation in venezuela requires our urgent attention. despite the international community's unwavering support of juan guaido, the regime intends to hold another fraudulent election. a massive humanitarian crisis,
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armed groups including colombian guerrillas, paramilitaries, drug traffickers, operate across venezuelan territory with impunity. and the governments of cuba, russia, china, and iran have gone through lengths to prop up the maduro regime and undermine american influence. against this incredibly complex landscape, i look forward to hearing from today's nominee about what steps the united states needs to take to better achieve our shared bipartisan policy objectives i'm pleased. to see that the administration has a new bomb -- nominee for the bahamas. the u.s. must recommit to our bilateral partnership with the bahamas. from deepening the ties between our people, to strengthening our work on maritime and narcotics issues, to building on economic links between our countries. i look forward to hearing how
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the u.s. can expand our cooperation with the hamas. mr. douglas, i understand you know the bahamas well, and we look forward to your insights today. ways, it is a success story after decades of brutal civil war. president george way was inaugurated in 2018, making the country's first transfer of power between elected heads of states since 1944. however, challenges remain. liberia's economy has still not recovered from years of conflict. the devastating ebola outbreak from 2014-2015 killed 5000 people and pledged the country into recession. now liberia is confronted with the prospect of a covid-19 epidemic. if confirmed, mr. mccarthy, your voice will have significant influence due to the unique relationship between the united states and liberia, and i hope to hear today how you plan to
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use that voice to speak on the issues related to transparency, good governance, and respect for political freedoms. andpolitical situation brandy remains precarious. there have been allegations that this year's elections were marred by targeted attacks against oppositions, restrictions on freedom of speech and expression, hate speech, and widespread irregularities in the voting process. more than 300,000 refugees remain abroad due to fears of violence and ethnic tensions remain high. the impact that covid-19 is having on veranda he is unclear but of around a's weak health system coupled with the failure to have a lockdown is cause for alarm. if confirmed, -- i'm sorry, miss higgins, if confirmed, you will serve in a country where civil and political freedoms are harshly circumscribed, and corruption and gender-based violence is rampant, in with the highest hiv-aids rate in the
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world. . i look forward to hearing from you as to how -- both of you, actually, as to how you plan to meet the serious challenges ahead. finally, i also look forward to hearing from ms.singh of what she hopes to accomplish at the oecd which has been an important tool for u.s. diplomacy and collaboration on global economic policy. at a time of growing national sentiment, we must retain our leadership of international financial institutions, and not russia.them to china or we must work with our allies to create a more inclusive global benefits and we must reinvigorate the instruments of economic home, so that the department of state, commerce, treasury, and ustr work in tandem to promote u.s. businesses and economic ideals across the globe. thank you, mr. chairman. sen. young: thank you, senator menendez. i too look forward to hearing
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from our nominees. we will do so momentarily. i will say as the powerful chairman of the multilateral institution subcommittee, i say that a bit tongue-in-cheek, but i am chairman of the subcommittee, the oecd is of particular interest. allratulations, again, to of you on your nominations. these important positions. thank you to you and your families, for the sacrifices you have made and will continue to make in service to our nation. without objection, your full written statements will be included in the record. ie to the size of our panel, ask you summarize your written statement in no more than five minutes. we will hear first from mr. douglas, the president's nominee to serve as the u.s. ambassador to the bahamas. mr. douglas has worked as a businessman, and an investor for over 35 years. he has led his own investment firm from 1994 until 2015.
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he has managed the international business of several prominent securities and business organizations. he is an avid philanthropist, both in the united states and overseas, including in the bahamas. and he has won numerous awards for his entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavors. mr. douglas, thank you for your appearance today. please proceed. mr. douglas: mr. chairman and senator menendez, and distinguished members of the committee, i'm honored to appear before you today as the president's nominee to serve as the next u.s. ambassador to the commonwealth of the bahamas. i'm grateful to president trump and secretary pompeo for the confidence they have placed in me. if confirmed, i commit to work closely with this committee and its staff, and other members of congress to advance national interest and deepen our already close partnership with the bahamas. i would like to take this
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family,ity to thank my my wife, kristen and children, elizabeth, and william. for over three generations, my family has maintained connections to the bahamas, its business leaders, and residents. the bahamas is a proud independent sovereign nation, having gained its independence in 1973. it is therefore one of the great honors of my life to be considered for the position of ambassador to the united states of the bahamas. the bahamas was struck with back-to-back disasters of hurricanes and now the covid-19 pandemic. both are taking a severe toll on the economy as well as affecting u.s. interest and poses severe economic and social challenges to the country. the united states has proven itself a strong and stalwart partner in assisting the bahamas. if confirmed, i intend to
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continue working with the bahamas to restore the country's economic strength, and protect vital u.s. interest, investment, tourism, and importantly, security. it is in our interest that the bahamas remain a strong and stable partner. butat its nearest point, country allows 45 nautical miles from the coast of florida. our countries have worked steadfastly together to intercept narcotics and reduce human trafficking. ambassador, is continue to advance these efforts. i have been visiting the bahamas for more than 50 years. over the past decade, i've witnessed firsthand china's efforts of gaining a foothold in the bahamas. this has been a shared concern of both countries. china's president -- presence is evident, and has included road projects, facilities, hotels,
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resorts across the area, and the use of their technology. if confirmed as ambassador, i will not only seek to increase american investment and promote our country's shared values, but also clearly communicate the risks of dealing with china, which often come with strings attached and limited appointment value for citizens. the u.s. should be there country of choice for foreign investment. i strongly believe american companies can compete when transparent regulations, practices, and the respect for the rule of law prevail. in closing, i commit to you that i have the integrity, experience, and passion to lead our bilateral relationship with the people and the government of the commonwealth of the bahamas. if confirmed, i pledged to uphold tradition and high standards of public service
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expected of the u.s. ambassador. thank you, and i welcome your questions. sen. young: thank you, mr. douglas. next we will hear from ms. melanie higgins. ms. higgins is a career member of the foreign service, class of counselor. she served in the office of central african affairs at the state department as director since 2018. previously, she served as principal officer of the u.s. consulate in auckland, new zealand. and as deputy chief of mission at the u.s. embassy in new guinea. additionally, in a career of over 20 years, she has served in cameroon, australia, bosnia, and sarajevo. and indonesia. and filled many positions at the state department here in washington. ms. higgins, thank you for your service and please proceed. young,gins: chairman ranking member menendez and members of the committee, thank
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you for the opportunity to today. before you it is a great honor to appear as the president's nominee to be the ambassador to the public of morandi. i would like to acknowledge my family members, especially my paul, who is a security service special agent serving as the regional security officer of the u.s. embassy in mogadishu, somalia. he may be half a world away, but i know he is here with me in spirit and i cannot ask for more support. i would like to mention my myents, my sister, brother-in-law, and nephews justin and ryan. chairman, i come from a family that believes deeply in service to the people of the united states of america. all of my relatives served or have served in the military's, teachers.ement, or as in 1998, i chose the foreign service and was thrilled to get my posting to the central african company of cameroon. i've had the privilege of representing our country as well as representing my home state of
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georgia. i'm grateful for the confidence president trump and sec. pompeo have placed in me for this nomination. if confirmed, i look forward to working with colleagues across the u.s. government to advance and uphold u.s. strategic interests and ideas. the united states has important interests in the republic of rudy. this year on may 20, they had elections that were a significant step forward, though imperfect, because they represented the first time since its independence that a president entered office peacefully through a constitutional transfer of power. i have been inspired by the commitment of the people to a election. as we go forward, it is imperative that a bilateral dialogue and engagement for the respect of the cultures so we must meet direct in discussing our concerns. especially on human rights issues where the conversation can be difficult. the president has announced a plan to fight corruption and covid-19, in the dialogues he has launched for the range of political stakeholders is
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positive signs for those -- but there is more work to do to bring the people the democracy they deserve. i look forward to working with their government and all people to advance beneficial interests on behalf of the american and meridian people. highly skilled and dedicated locally employed staff, are hard at work to advance america's interests. the u.s. remains the key partner in addressing food insecurity and the health crisis. if confirmed, i would be honored to lead during a time when we seek to redesign our them.onship with i promise that no goal will be more important than protecting the welfare of u.s. citizens living and traveling in marin d. i will look -- work closely with you and the members of committee on behalf of those citizens. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. i welcome any questions you may have. sen. young: thank you, ms. higgins. our next nominee is ms. jean maloney who is the nominee to be
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u.s. ambassador to the kingdom of asp teeny. they are a career member of minister counter. currently serves as the foreign policy advisor for u.s. army africa. she isrly 30 years, overseas in iraq, and now in italy. she has led international security and counterterrorism efforts both here and in washington and overseas and has extensive experience in the bureau of african affairs. ms. maloney, think you for appearing today and please proceed. ms. maloney: thank you very much. mr. chairman, ranking member, distinguished members of the committee, it is a privilege and honor to appear before you today as the president's nominee to serve as the u.s. ambassador to the kingdom. i appreciate the confidence the president and secretary of state have placed on me through this nomination.
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i would like to thank our families for their sacrifice. the united states has enjoyed good bilateral relations since 1968. country, they have pursued an independent foreign policy. it is the only country in africa that maintains the dramatic -- they have benefited from decades of political stability and limited internal conflict. there are areas of tension. 15 years ago, the country enacted a new constitution but enshrined a broader political freedoms, and expanded the roles of the legislative and judicial branches. progress has been made, but more is needed. if confirmed, i will continue to engage on the need of political reform, transparency, and inclusivity. i will seek to expand dialogue with you.
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the second key area concerns health. hiv-aids has had an impact on them. they have the highest hiv prevalence in the world and over half of women aged 30 to 34 are hiv positive. they have made significant progress. have beenof lives saved thanks to the generosity of the american people, and strong bipartisan support for health programs. if confirmed, i will continue to focus efforts toward a sustainable, epidemic control while promoting self-reliance. faces economicni uncertainty. even before covid-19, the country had a tenuous position and the percentage of its population living in poverty remains high. it will be important to coordinated with organizations like the imf and world bank, as well as like-minded partners, to help eswatini's stimulate broad-based economic growth and
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opportunities. if confirmed as the next u.s. ambassador to the kingdom of eswatini, i will continue to strengthen our partnership with the government and people of eswatini, in support of u.s. interests. i will promote an embassy team that reflects the diversity and values to the united states, and will prioritize the safety of our staff and u.s. citizens. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. i look forward to your questions. sen. young: thank you, ms. maloney. next we will hear from mr. michael mccarthy. nominee to serve as u.s. ambassador to the republic of liberia. memberarthy is a career of the senior foreign service class of minister counselor. he served as u.s. counsel general at our consulate in johannesburg, south africa, since 2017. he has additionally served overseas and highland, sri lanka, uruguay, india,
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germany, and south sudan. he is deputy chief admission that the u.s. on busy. he first got a taste for international service as a peace corps volunteer nearly 40 years ago. mr. mccarthy, please proceed with your statement. mr. mccarthy: mr. chairman ranking member menendez, and members of the committee, it is a great honor to beer -- to appear before you today as the president's nominee to serve as the u.s. abbasid or to the republic of liberia. i'm deeply grateful for the confidence the president and secretary pompeo have placed in me with this nomination. i welcome the opportunity to speak with you today, albeit virtually from terry a, south africa. if confirmed, i look forward to working closely with the members of this committee and your staff to promote and protect u.s. interests in liberia. mr. chairman, with your permission, i would like to first express my deep appreciation for the love and support of my wife, who is
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herself a foreign service officer. i also want to acknowledge my deceased parents, john and helen mccarthy, who raised seven children while serving in the foreign service for over 28 years. christopher, who served in the foreign service for 11 years before his untimely death. it has been my great privilege in 34 years of public service to have worked as a foreign service officer, as a civil servant, and as a peace corps volunteer in west africa. sudan ased in south deputy chief and another post-conflict country in transition and i've worked on african issues for much of the past two decades. most recently as the counsel general in johannesburg, south africa. mr. chairman, senators, i can think of no higher honor then to represent the american people as the ambassador of the united states to the republic of liberia. a country with which the united
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states shares a special bond rooted in our deep historical ties. 2017, liberia achieved a new milestone in its post-conflict journey. when it undertook the first peaceful transition of power between two elected presidents and over 70 years. this achievement followed a liberia's success in combating the ebola epidemic. liberia is currently contributing military personnel to the united nations peacekeeping mission in malik, making it symbolically an exporter of security and a contributor to regional stability. these are tremendous achievements for a country still coping with the after effects of war. and they signal the promise inherent in liberia's democratic future. if confirmed, i will lead our embassies highly cooperative team of nine agencies to ensure that liberia remains on a path to self-reliance, and that ordinary liberians see the
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benefits of private sector growth and accountable government. i will work to attract private investment and technical assistance, and i will strive to see that liberia remains the united states most steadfast partner on the continent of africa. chairman, i thank you for this opportunity to appear before you and the other members of the committee. and i look forward to your questions. thank you. sen. young: thank you, mr. mccarthy. our next nominee is the honorable monisha singh who has been nominated to represent the united states at the organization for economic cooperation and development, the oecd, with the rank of abbasid or. ms. singh has served as assistant secretary of state for business affairs since her unanimous confirmation in november, 2017. in that position, she served as acting under secretary of state for economic growth, energy, and
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the environment from september 2018-june 2019. she served in government both as an aide on capitol hill, and formerly as the deputy assistant secretary of state in the bureaus of international organizations, and economic, energy, and business affairs. in between those roles, she has pursued a successful legal perk -- legal career. thank you for your appearance before this committee, and please proceed with your testimony. ms. singh: thank you. chairman young, ranking member menendez, and distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. i'm very appreciative of the time from you and your dedicated staff. i am deeply humbled to be considered to be the next permanent representative of the united states of america to the organization for economic cooperation and development or oecd. i want to express my gratitude to president trump and secretary
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pompeo for the trust and confidence they have placed in me. it has been the honor of my life to serve in my present position of -- as the assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs. i'm incredibly blessed to have a loving family and great friends. my parents are watching from home in the sunshine state of florida where i grew up. my sister, her husband, and their two daughters are cheering me on from northern georgia. pleased to be considered for a role in an institution which can serve as a valuable platform to propel our global economic recovery. if confirmed, i will ensure that we fully engage with the like-minded members of the oecd to return growth and employment to pre-pandemic levels. to the oecd was created out of america's dedication to post-world war ii
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economic recovery as part of the marshall plan. will see an important milestone this december. ae 60th anniversary of signing -- of the signing of the oecd convention. it is an ideal moment to read -- to review how we work within the oecd to create a level playing field for american workers. to solve issues preventing our companies from accessing markets. and most importantly, how to return to a sustainable, working economy in light of the pandemic. oecd,eading, voice at the we consistently share our best practices with both members and nonmembers. to create new jobs here at home, we need to have equal opportunities to export to foreign markets. commit tofirmed, i advocating for market-based principles which create free, stable societies, and for
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policies which include everyone in the benefits of economic growth. our leadership is needed, now more than ever, to ensure that international organizations focus on their original mission. another important event is the upcoming selection of a new oecd secretary-general. it begins in less than a month on september 1. as the original visionary for this organization, it is incumbent upon us to play a strong and central role in the selection of new leadership. reportmmittee issued a under the marshall plan. the report stated that provisions should be made for representation of the united states in such organizations as may be established. it confirmed -- if confirmed, i will ensure my representation on
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behalf of our country reflects the historic magnitude of the public trust which is being placed in me. my initial engagement with the oecd began when i was a staff member with this committee more than 15 years ago. it was there, under the mentor lugarf senator richard that i learned how important it is for diplomacy to succeed. i have remembered this sentiment as i have worked for the last three years with a talented team of civil servants and foreign service officers in the navy ask in the economic bureau. -- in the economic bureau. i will work with an excellent team at the u.s. mission to the oecd. i look forward to collaborating with you and your staff to promote american interests in this organization. thank you again for this
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opportunity to appear before you and i welcome any questions that you may have. >> i thank you. our last nominee is mr. james story, who has been nominated to serve as u.s. ambassador to venezuela. mr. story is a member of the senior foreign service, he currently serves as the turgid affair for venezuelan affairs at the u.s. embassy, previously served as the u.s. counsel general in rio de janeiro, he has served overseas in mexico and mozambique. in washington, he has spearheaded conservation, security assistance efforts at the state department. please proceed. much, mr.ou very chairman, making member, numbers of the committee. i am greatly honored to appear before you today as the
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president's nominee to serve as united states ambassador to the republic of venezuela. i appreciate the trust and confidence shown to the president and secretary of state in asking me to take on this responsibility to represent the american people. i look forward to working with this committee and congress in advancing our goal of the restoration of freedom, democracy, and stability in venezuela. achieving this objective is key to maintaining the western hemisphere as the hemisphere of freedom and vital to providing for the security of the united states. the opportunity to appear before you today would not have been possible without the support of my wife, who has been my partner in diplomacy since she agreed to move our wedding day to accommodate the department of state. son have served and i am grateful to them. i come before the committee after serving two years in venezuela.
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i have been blessed to work with incredible teams in bogota on, washington, and throughout the interagency. i would like to assure the committee that dedicated public servants working on venezuelan issues are committed to the responsibility of representing the united states. the u.s. was one of the first countries to recognize the venezuelan republic. venezuela now faces its own fight for freedom from tyranny. our commitment to the venezuelan people and democratic ideals upon which the republic was founded is unwavering. a field -- a failed economic perspective led to the inevitable dissent into the telik arianism. totalitarianism masquerading as democracy led to corruption in this management that destroyed nearly every institution in the country.
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before economic sanctions were introduced, venezuela's ability to deliver basic services were in freefall. today, more than 5 million venezuelans have fled their largest the displacement in the history of latin america. another 7 million venezuelans face malnutrition and are in need of assistance. i want to thank congress were its recognition of this crisis. it supported through resources and its commitment to the venezuelan people. because of this support, the united states is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance for the venezuelan regional crisis, providing $856 million in humanitarian end of element assistance to support programs inside venezuela and its neighboring countries. while at nearly all of venezuela's institutions have been destroyed, the national us in the of venezuela, despite intimidation and unconstitutional arrest of several members, continues to
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work to restore a democratic government. these efforts have been led by the president of the national assembly and interim president of venezuela, juan guaido, who is recognized as that j med -- who is recognized as the legitimate leader of venezuela against the illegitimate regime. i salute the bravery of juan guaido as a member of the national assembly as well as journalists, medical professionals, students, and others fighting for change. earlier, the united states presented a plan to resolving venezuela's crisis, the democratic tradition framework, a peaceful, democratic transition to venezuela in the interest of all venezuelans, its neighbors, and the united states. if confirmed, i will work with my team to ensure the transition is successful and look forward to raising the american flag
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above our embassy in caracas. i place to continue to work with to international partners uphold the democratic principles we hold dear and to proudly represent the american people. mr. chairman, ranking member, rumors of the community, just members of the committee, i welcome any questions you may have. >> thank you. thank you all for your careers of service and your willingness to be nominated for these posts. now we will open it up for questions. we have a vote coming, it is around 11:30, so we will not recess, we will forge on and continue with questions. when i depart to vote, we will adjourn this hearing. i would like to remind my colleagues, we will do five-minute rounds, but please keep in mind, we will be using the honor system, given our
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virtual environment. i will defer my questions and handed over to my colleague, the senior democratic member on the foreign relations committee, bob mendez -- bob menendez. >> i am pleased to see so many career members of the foreign service up for these important positions. mr. story, section 151 of the. act called on the administration -- the dodd act called on the investigateon to the maduro regime. what is your understanding of the value of assets stolen from the venezuelan people? is it fair to say it is in the tens of billions of dollars? >> i believe it could be more than that. our assessment is hundreds of billions of dollars. >> can you speak to the
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importance of these funds to the venezuelan people in the hope that they be recovered? >> certainly, you are asking a very important question. we are working to locate these funds and protect these funds. the reconstruction of venezuela under a democratic government or through a transitional government will need these funds in order to rebuild the institutions that have been decades ofor two dictatorship. tuesdayve a hearing on from the special representative on venezuela. what additional steps do we need since you have been on the ground and working on this issue , what steps do we need to take regime'snter the cuban activities inside venezuela?
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how do we change the calculations for putin's maneuvering in venezuela, turkey --nsactions in venezuela turkey's transactions in venezuela? those are some countries hoping to prop up what euro -- hoping to prop up maduro. if we end the congress were to say to you, help us devise a series of steps, what would your suggestions be? as federalthat representative abrams pointed out on tuesday and the actions we have taken, we have increased costs for malign actors in venezuela. we have to consider other ways to do that. we are concerned about the transport of gold bars to iran for purchases of which we are unaware, certainly free export of diesel and oil to cuba, propping up the castro regime.
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at the same time the venezuelan people need these resources is something that is hard to fathom. i believe we need to consider all opportunities to go after companies, we have done that in the case of russia and other entities. we have to continue to focus on those opportunities where we have them to continue to constrict the access that maduro and his cronies have to funds that should be going to the venezuelan people. we are working closely with washington on these issues and continue to look at other things -- other ways we can have an impact. >> i think some of the messages we should be sending to the russians and the chinese is the investments you made, if you want to ensure -- monetary investments -- to ensure they are there in the future, you should not support a regime that cannot guarantee them at the end of the day, a democratic regime to do that, but it will look at
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what you have done today. one last question to you. in the hearing on tuesday, the toinistration admitted protect venezuelan women and children. i'm troubled by the fact that venezuelan women and girls are suffering higher rates of gender-based violence. as you speak to expand humanitarian access in venezuela, will you increase support for reproductive health care as well as efforts to address gender-based violence? the explanation from administrator hodges on tuesday, our program has a gender component to it. we have to continue to do that, do more of that. i will commit to focusing on that. i have been in the hospitals in venezuela, the hospitals on the
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border in columbia as well. 98% of live births are from venezuelan women who have to flee to columbia to receive health care. there are areas we have to work across the humanitarian space, the issues of gender are important in venezuela. i committed you we will maintain that focus. i have several more questions but i don't know what the time is it so i think i may be close to my five minutes. there will certainly be an opportunity for you for a second round, perhaps a third round. we will have opportunity to go back and forth. to ask a series of questions for ms. singh, the oecd, who service
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rlso happens to have a luga bullet point on her resume which does not hurt one's background, having served with senator lugar for a long time. i have had several conversations with your colleagues, especially secretary keith prague, in considering what america's strategy should be as we think about competing with china, leading into our strengths. efforts on the future of innovation has been valuable in this endeavor. my staff has enjoyed working with the entire team there. to get us started, i introduced some legislation with senator schumer, the endless frontier act, which will leverage america's technological expertise to invest in emerging
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technologies of the future. a part of that legislation is working with trusted allies and partners to broaden the pool of knowledge and seek better outcomes at a faster pace and lower cost. if confirmed, how will you seek to strengthen transnational science and tech partnerships within the oecd to increase the study and fielding of emerging technologies like ai, quantum computing, advanced biology, manufacturing, and so forth? >> thank you for that question. reallyd to say, i appreciate your recognition of our joint service. i know you are a mentee of senator lugar as well, so in his memory, i want to thank you for that recognition.
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when it comes to innovation and the economy of the future, this has been one of my priorities in the economic bureau. our bureau has held a series of innovation roundtables where we invite the technology industry in, whether it is artificial intelligence or robotics or quantum computing, advancements in 5g, we have invited industry and to see how we as government can assist the private sector in providing the best platforms for them to be able to succeed. we know the best innovations of technology have come out of this country and i want to make sure it is american companies and american workers that are at the forefront of that. these roundtables have been successful. we have heard from the private sector on what china has been involvest basically stealing our intellectual
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property, that involves forcing our technology transferring, they are advancing their 5g, a settechnology with still in from american industry. we have made an effort to andate ourselves, and i -- at the oecd, i would do that same sort of research and analysis, getting information directly from the private sector on exactly what we as policymakers need to know. what do you foresee based on your experience in leaving the business and economic partnership initiatives of the department -- what are thatreatest challenges face our country so that we might spur more innovation in coming decades as it pertains to
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our interactions with other countries? ms. singh: one of the things that we have tried to achieve is necessary but not a burden some regulation. we would like to see a light touch regulation atmosphere that enables our companies and private sector to innovate. we are also looking at regulatory burdens that have been imposed upon our companies by foreign countries. you may know that the european union, many of its member states have decided to impose a unilateral digital services tax, which unfairly targets its test unfairly targets american -- unfairly targets american companies. we can have a conversation with these number states to solve this issue on a multilateral basis. we are trying to find a solution , which specifically
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hampers american ability to succeed and hire more americans. i would ensure that that conversation precedes -- proceeds. sen. young: i think that is an important priority, opportunity -- identifying opportunities, light touch regulation as it pertains to these technologies. do you have reflections on how we might, in certain circumstances, share data with trusted partners? the feedstock for machine learning and artificial intelligence and arguably the chinese, which don't have the innovations -- inhibitions that our country does and the same limitations ,ith respect to collecting data
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they might outpace the west as it relates to out official intelligence not because they have better engineers but because they have more data to one through their iterations. do you see opportunities there to cooperate with our oecd ,artners in pooling data assuming it is properly circumscribed and protected? ms. singh: absolutely. i think we can encourage the free flow of data, which is exactly what has enabled our companies to innovate, as you have observed. we need that advantage of sharing data while also finding that balance with privacy. we do not want that information to be compromised by any government, in particular, we do not want the chinese government to acquire privacy information about our citizens. i think the oecd is the perfect
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form for us to find that balance about how we can encourage a free flow of data in a protective manner while still finding a way to ensure the privacy of our consumers. we have had conversations with our european union trading partners about this issue and if i am confirmed, i will find a way to have that conversation to come up with the right balance. sen. young: thank you. senator menendez? thank you. story, one last question for you. on tuesday, special representative abrams confirmed that criminal actors, drug traffickers are operating with impunity across venezuela.
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a lot of that seems to me in an ungoverned space. would it be your assessment that in the event of a potential a u.n. stabilization mission would be required, similar to what we have seen them do in haiti or liberia? have asked au difficult, important question. i have worked in ungoverned spaces in columbia, iran iograms in law enforcement -- ran programs in law enforcement. these are tough issues. in addition to the state actors we talked about, you have these illegal groups inside the country. ifill commit to you, confirmed, we will work with the interim government as well as with neighboring states, international community, to come up with the best mechanism. i don't know if it will be that
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mechanism or another mechanism that a democratically elected government will come up with, but it is an issue. takes not only the venezuelans, but obviously it is a danger to the neighbors and to the ultimate security of the united states. ic large part of largerned space -- i see parts of ungoverned space with criminal activities and icy the challenge -- i see it as a challenge within the hemisphere itself. i look forward to getting your ideas as we move forward. mr. douglass, you demonstrated generosity towards the bohemian -- bahamenian people after hurricane dorian devastated the island.
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you called on the administration to issue 10,000 visas for mians displaced by the disaster. i issued a similar statement and introduced legislation that would provide tps to national. that is not advanced. i know this has fallen out of fashion in the current era. can i have your commitment that if confirmed, you will remain true to your beliefs and use your position as an ambassador to advocate for a compassionate policies towards our bohemian neighbors? bahamian neighbors? mr. douglass: 100%. sen. menendez: as they respond for future hurricanes?
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thedouglass: under caribbean resilience initiative started in 2016, we have given significant aid to the bahamas to prepare for natural disasters. frolicking hurry and -- following the hurricane, we have given support for the bahamian people, which included everything from transporting people to usaid. one finaldez: question, what steps do you to bewe need to take engaged with the bahamas in strengthening their and him under a laundering -- their anti-money laundering framework? mr. douglass: they are taking steps to comply with u.s. framework and i would seek to persuade them that that is the right thing for them to do and the u.s. should be their partner of choice. well, i hope we
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can work with them more robustly to achieve that because at this transit in that regard. they have done some things but there is more to be done. mr. douglass: absolutely, you are correct on that point. sen. menendez: ms. singh, let me ask you, what do you view as the major goal the united states should be pursuing through the oecd? what you think the administration's policy objectives should be accomplished for the oecd echo -- oecd? ms. singh: the major goals we should be pursuing his cooperation with our like-minded partners at the oecd, creating a level playing field for american companies. the oecd is in a naval enough form where we can have conversations with our european
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allies on regulatory standards, which may be hindering market access. we want a free flow of goods and commerce, particularly in light of the pandemic. we want to see on interrupted supply chain. we don't want artificial barriers for our companies and our workers to compete and succeed globally. term, weink longer should be working within the oecd to look at the economy of the future. this economy is not just the future, but it is here and now and we want to always cd to transition into a form where we conversations about the technologies of the future. sen. menendez: i appreciate that but as you may know, the administration has decided not to seek any funding for the oecd in fiscal year 2021. adon't know how one pursues
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valid mission as he stated without any funds. are there reform efforts that the administration is seeking at the oecd and should we be reconsidering a zero amount of money in the midst of a pandemic echo -- pandemic? ms. singh: we are seeking funds and in fact, many of our like-minded partners would like to see similar reforms. we would like to see accountability, transparency. we would like to see an external evaluation at the oecd as is customary with all our international organizations. receivethe oecd will the support and resources it needs from the united states but i would commit to you that i would work with our partners to --e sure that the reforms at reforms make the oecd into a better organization for the
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american taxpayer. sen. menendez: i appreciate that. i would just say that at zero, there is not much that can be done. we are for transparency in any institution, but i'm trying to determine whether there are specific reform efforts. one final question, then i will yield back. our pandemicse to crisis continues for the next several months and maybe extending in a year or more, how will you advocate that governments and international actors ensure that their responses are implemented according to international standards and best practices on social due diligence, human bites, and transparency? oecd ish: i think the an organization where the united states does share best practices
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and we learn from our partners and member states on how they are handling the response to the crisis. theof the things we and u.s. government have been trying to do is restart international travel and tourism as a part of our economy. i plan to have conversations with our european member states on how we can get transatlantic travel and trade started again and booming as it was before the pandemic. i want to ask unanimous consent to enter into the record a statement from myself. sen. young: without objection. so ordered. singh, i would like to pick senator menendez's line of questioning. oecd andrested in the
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its effectiveness, as are you. it lacks strong enforcement mechanisms and compliance mechanisms, so it is going to continue unless things change to rely on the power of persuasion to affect change. oecd and every single multilateral organization of which the united states is a member and to which the united states sends taxpayer dollars to be scrutinized. it ought to be scrutinized for for how ity, taxpayer dollars, opportunities for improvement, just as we would scrutinize the mystic programs. i expect senator menendez and others who may be watching these earrings will agree that we need to scrutinize these
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organizations. i happen to believe that the multilateral review act is deserving of bipartisan support. unfortunately, we have not received such traction but the multilateral review act, once we received a report, we look forward to implementing whatever recommendations might be forthcoming so we can improve the oecd's operations. ,hould that legislation passed do i have your commitment to work with me and other members to assess someee recommendations and implement those that might improve the operations of oecd echo -- oecd? ms. singh: you have my commitment. i share your view that multilateral organizations
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should be subject to scrutiny, to accountability. beyond them have grown their original mandate and in order to make them more effective and a better use of time for all of the investment that we put in these organizations, we need to scrutinize them and that is why i mentioned the external evaluations with respect to the oecd and every organization. iu have my commitment that will work with you and the committee to ensure proper reviews of all organizations. sen. young: thank you. you have my commitment, should i remain chairman of the subcommittee, to appear at a hearing pertaining to this topic of reforming multilateral institutions, pursuant to any reports we receive, like those
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multilateralhe review act? ms. singh: i commit i will do what i can to appear. sen. young: fair enough. douglass, bahamas risk being exploited by criminal enterprises, terrorist organizations, and state actors seeking to evade sanctions and financial regulations. this is a problem, you have studied the country, you have made visits to the country. how would you work with the state department and treasury to ensure american interests are served through a transparent financial sector in the bahamas? mr. douglass: thank you for the question. realize that they need to
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really adopt our stricter policies in the banking sector to account for money laundering, etc., and the irregular transfer of moneys that may be endo's bank accounts. -- may be in those bank accounts. i would push for them to adopt our policies. thank you. let me pivot to china. and over utilized phrase. but when appropriate here. is coming toative america's doorstep, in the caribbean basin, but the bahamas have not signed a cooperative agreement with china. chinese controlled firms have undertaken major infrastructure projects, including the
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container facility in freeport. do you have concerns about chinese investments this close to home? mr. douglass: absolutely. it is a significant concern for the united states security. of the first port entry for the united states. aving the chinese funding port of first entry into the united states that is 60 miles from our border is a concern. sen. young: how do you look at such issues? the fact that a port is being built -- i suppose it is not by definition a bad thing. it is advantageous to the citizens in the bahamas, it is advantageous to the governments. is it the terms and conditionality of individual
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infrastructure investments that are of concern to you or is it just the fact that these investments are being named by china and that becomes a peas a broader narrative that the chinese -- a piece of the broader narrative that the chinese are good actors in the world stage when in fact they don't share our values and their form of government is antithetical to the values in which we believe? mr. douglass: the problem is done,eals that have been which include the largest hotel than $4 billion project, is wholly owned by the chinese. the hilton hotel across the street from paradise island and near our mission is wholly owned by the chinese and funded by the chinese government erred --
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government. the port in freeport is operable and is operating. be aware that the chinese do have significant interests in its. -- in it. sen. young: thank you. my time has expired. we have been joined by senator , who, if he is ready, the nature of these jobs, we move from meeting to meeting, so desperate i >> can you hear me? sen. young: i can. >> thanks to the witnesses. i have been hearing you for the last about 40 minutes, it is
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just i was not able to be seen or heard by you, which is to your benefit, it is a plus that i can see and hear do and it is a plus that you cannot see and hear me. question that the senators story, it isr. good to see you again. we were together in the spring up2019 and i want to follow on one of many tough issues dealing with venezuela. that is the challenges that venezuela posed to columbia. jut -- if just jut you align with authoritarian nations like russia, china, iran, cuba, here is what your life is going to be like. if you allow an authoritarian to one things into the ground and use the revenues of a fairly to the pockets of
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cronies that stick by you and everyone else suffers, look what you are going to get and look who is aligned with venezuela. you are going to get the same thing in iran, russia, china, turkey is also popping up venezuela, as is cuba. next door, you have a perfect counterexample. if you go down the path of democracy, solving tough internal issues, if you try to invest more in parts of the country that have been disinfected in -- disinvested in, the path for your citizens will change for the better. we have made investments in columbia, administrations of both parties, and we have , i almostery much
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think that just a spotlight on columbia and venezuela is about all you need to know in order to decide which path you would rather pursue. however, that means the investment we have made in columbia need to be continued and there are vulnerabilities to columbia's progress posed by the massive migration from venezuela and other challenges, including venezuela allowing by means of colombian rebel groups to seek safe haven. talk to me about your goal in venezuela but also your understanding of this important relationship between these two neighbors that are important but also paint a clear distinction life why that's about under authoritarianism and under democracy. mr. story: i will try to be brief. this is one we could spend a week talking about and not even
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scratch the surface. my job running the law 20102013nt office from -- 2010-2013 was to help columbia enter negotiations so they could get past 50 years of civil war. we have that investment also allowed us to work with the colombians in central america and other countries in south america, extraordinary opportunity. i salute the colombian people for their ability, their working with us. now they are facing this situation from venezuela. immigrants from venezuela, i call them immigrants, i think there is a better term. they have been forcefully asplaced from venezuela, difficult environment, right
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when columbia is attempting to get past five decades of internal strife, they are met with having to figure out how to clothe and feed and provide medical care for large numbers of people. that that without opportunities, they have become rich breeding grounds for illegal arms groups. i think columbia has done an extraordinary job, difficult circumstances, i applaud the u.s. government for all we have done to support columbia and other countries in the region dealing with the situation from venezuela. the biggest impact we can have and the biggest help we could give to columbia is restore democracy in venezuela. sen. kaine: thanks for that answer, i look forward to working with you together with my colleagues. i yield back.
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sen. young: i have also not voted and we will soon be adjourning this hearing. i want to give senator menendez an opportunity to ask another question and i will ask one pointed question to wrap things up, but we will have to head down to vote soon. senator menendez. sen. menendez: when you say adjourn, you are going to noturn the hearing, recessed, not recess, but adjourn it? sen. young: i will adjourn and recess at the same time, yes. sen. menendez: are we going to -- the hearing is not going to continue? sen. young: the hearing will not continue. to --enendez: i just want
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i am going to have some questions for the record, i would say to similar nominees who i want be able to get to is not for lack of affection for the post you are going to, but it is because of time. i want to go to mr. mccarthy for a moment. we marked the first transfer of -- ranthe president one on an anticorruption campaign. there is dissatisfaction with scrutiny to high-profile scandals. what is your assessment of the capacity to address corruption? what would you do if confirmed to press the government to address the corruption issue? mr. mccarthy: thank you for that question. issue and iortant would approach that from a three-pronged approach. embedded u.s. personnel experts,
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administrative experts in various ministries throughout the government of liberia who are teaching their counterparts proper administration of public funds. time, i would publicly recognize nongovernmental organizations that are focused on pushing for anticorruption, such as the anticorruption commission of liberia and the auditor general of liberia in support those organizations whenever feasible. most importantly, i would highlight to the president and the government how essential it to change the perception of corruption and liberia, not just for private investment, but also for things like the millennium
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corporation, if they are interested in -- they are just wrapping up the first compact, $257 million in liberia that is doing things that the president and the people have been asking for. additional electricity, freshwater, and new roads. however, to get a new compact, they will have to re-task the mcc scorecard, which they have not passed for the past two years. highlight the essential importance of taking on corruption as a problem and resolving the problem and the perception of the problem if they wish to move forward. thank you. sen. menendez: i am going to submit for the record additional questions do you on issues
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there. ms. higgins, i have questions about the human rights and what has been done in that regard in your view on sanctions. someld like to hear responses on those. maloney, i want to talk to you about the ban on political parties, has been lifted, what impact does the band have on regards the people exercising political rights as well as women's rights? i will submit those for the record. if you could give me a response, i would appreciate it. i yield back to you. sen. young: they could, senator. ms. higgins -- ms. higgins is still with us. have one line of
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questioning that will be fairly brief, then we will be adjourning this hearing. i will be submitting questions for the record. following the recent elections in burgundy that resulted in a new president and the death of , you andr president the state department have made a case for taking a look at --ooting the u.s.-for monday ndy relationship. how do you envision this working? ms. higgins: thanks very much, chairman. the new president came and asked came in -- came in. it is the first time there has been a peaceful transfer of
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power since its independence. there is less that remains to be done. each president has had important steps such as talking about his willingness to fight corruption and fight covid. we want to use those opportunities where we can find common ground to see how we can work together. you are right that the trafficking victims protection act precludes much of our assistance, such as training of the military. there is a significant amount of usaid assistance that goes towards important programs such as humanitarian assistance for refugees and displaced people as well as help, which is important not just in this covid area, but to prepare for ebola since there was an epidemic just across the border. findingok forward to things for malaria, it has the highest rates of malaria in the world. those kinds of assistance can continue, and i look forward to .orking with burgundy
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thank you for being responsive to that line of inquiry. i will have additional questions that i will submit to some of our nominees for what i hope is a wholesome response. i want to thank you for appearing before this committee, your desire to serve our nation. members,nformation of the record will remain open until the close tomorrow, including for members to submit questions for the record. thanks to each of you, congratulations to you and your family, this hearing is now adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] ♪ journal,'s washington every day, we are taking your calls on air on the news of the day, to discuss policy issues. monday morning, the latest campaign 2020 news with a
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newsing editor on recent against the fight against the coronavirus with george benjamin. what washington journal at 7:00 monday morning and join the discussion with your phone calls, comments, texts, and tweets. ♪ >> monday night on the communicators, american economic liberties project executive advisor ond a senior whether big tech is too big. >> there are not going to be ,ore facebooks, more amazons and more googles. our policy makers have allowed leave corporations to amass an enormous amount of power over their markets to shut down competition and engage in self
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referencing -- self referencing. >> what i heard from those leaders was the american success story and all the things they are doing to help our current economy thrive and grow and how to make america the most competitive tech ecosystem in the world. at 8:00 p.m. eastern on the communicators on c-span 2. now, reaction to the president's executive orders on the sunday news programs from top democratic leaders and white house officials. they talk about what is needed for covid relief and the prospects for further negotiations. >> the president's executive orders described in one word could be paltry. the event at the country club is what donald trump does, a big show but does not do anything.


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