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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 16, 2013 3:00am-5:01am EST

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unacceptable situation. you have a website that is not working at the time when people actually do want to sign up and get their health care this way. so the numbers we saw, i think, about 25,000 from the federal side. significantly better from the state side. and 975,000 people who have completed their application and ready to shop for their plan. the president has pledged to change this. he must. one of our minnesota companies is leading the way to fry to fix it. which i'm glad about. i'm hopeful that the significant improvements can be made. to step back a minute. people remember originally the idea of the exchange was a bipartisan idea. the health care bill i.t. wasn't. this idea was. it came out of the simple notion that individuals and small businesses should be able to pool their numbers. leverage the numbers so they can
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get rates that corporations get. they were paying nearly 20% more for insurance. that's the simple idea behind the exchange as we have learned the implementation is not that simple. and the hope is these improvements will be made so people can sign up for their health care. >> i have to respond a little bit because i think we're going to find that the problems with the website are the least of the problems with the affordable care act. ii was in maine the past weekend. and a small business man called me, whose insurance had been canceled because it does not comply with obamacare. he's facing a 54% increase in his premiums. another constituent contacted me because her insurance also had been canceled. insurance that she liked.
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she has a 19-year-old son with cystic fibrosis who has been treated his entire life at boston children's hospital. under the new plan that the exchange is offering in the state of maine. she can no longer take her son to the doctor who is treated him his entire life at children's hospital. so i think we're going find there are far bigger problems with obamacare than just the website. >> we're starting to see, i mean, susan, i know you saw senator feinstein talking about the number of people that called her with similar stories. and she has now joining with senator landrieu and bill clinton from the outside and saying maybe change the law. doing? about the people who are having the insurance canceled. are you going join that effort? >> first of all.
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we have to make changes going forward. one of the changes is a medical device texas. i would like to see that changed, repealed. because it is essentially a tax on manufacturing. either have a better plan on the exchange or able to keep their own insurance i think one of the problems with making these changes is terrorist general agreement we can't throw out the entire thing. people have gotten used to their benefit. we have literally high cost. high low cost. high quality care that is really a model for the rest of the country with the mayo clinic and other things. maine also has good health care. the idea is to try to keep those
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things in and keep a strong bill while making so. changes inevitably going have to make going forward. it's been difficult to make some changes to what is a big bill. the biggest problem with the affordable care act is that it does so little to reign in the cost 77 health care. after all the reasons why we have people without insurance is because insurance is so costly. unfortunately the result of obamacare is to drive up those costs for many middle north carolina americans and small businesses and reduce their choices at the same time.
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i think there is a lot that has been could be done to expedite delivery reform to focus on chronic illnesses. for example, in the medicare program we spent $1 out of $3 on people who have diabetes. yet our reimbursement system doesn't incentivize a physician officers to check on their patients with diabetes. we could -- there's so much we can could do on medical liability reform. and every study shows would save money. what are you going tell him? >> first of all, we've had many discussions thon with the president. and just to get at susan's point here. one of my main argument on delivery system reform.
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when you look at the fact we've actually seen the slowest increase rate in decades the health care costs. their numbers are out there in the last two years. because a lot of hospital and doctors are starting to respond to look at delivery health care in a more cost efficient way. that's why many of us think -- we have to keep in the good part of the bill. and to allow just to pull back on the exchanges now, when people finally have this opportunity to get a dependenting on what their options are for plans. repealing the whole bill. >> there was a big mistake in the first place we should have worked together in a bipartisan way. >> it was crazy. a bill like this without a single. >> and remember -- we tried. and they tried to do it that way. >> i really disagree --
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>> remember, the theme today is bipartisanship. [laughter] but seriously, amy and i share an interest in the health care delivery reforms because both of our states long before the affordable care act have been leaders. the mayo clinic, obviously is well known for that. maine has several hospitals that have lead the way. if you look at the cart mouth you'll see maine and minnesota are known for high quality and lower costs. >> we should have learned from that. i think there was a lot that both parties would have agreed on that could have provided the basis far bipartisan bill. and i think it's really sad that
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instead the bill was jammed through -- >> it's hard to go back. >> kind of support. >> so i want to move on. i joke. 9% approval rating in the congress in the latest gallup poll. an all-time record. but you two managed to find a way to work together. and when we were talking earlier, you won reelection with a -- 35-point landslide. it looks like christie's race look like a nail biter. senator colins you won 62% of the vote in maine. significantly more than president obama won the state. both of you way outperform the president in your state. more significantly, we had a shutdown debacle. i have a 17-year-old dhawr doesn't pay that much attention to politic. one thing she noticed is things started to change. there started to be a solution come forward when you started to work together. it was the women senators that kind of said --
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at least that was the perception. tell me what was actually going on. >> well, that -- you have a very studious daughter, i might add. the women of the senate, for years, have gotten together for dinners. we get together about once a month, once every six weeks. and -- >> where do you go? >> well, we went to my house last time. >> yes. we had a pot luck like in minnesota. [laughter] susan sliced up a bunch of tweet potatoes for one of our meals. >> maine potatoes. >> sorry. [laughter] >> but the point actually is a serious one. and that is those dibbers have forged bonds of friendship and trust among the women senators. and in times of crisis such as the shutdown, that has been very
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helpful. i'll never forget being in my office on saturday, october 5th, and end the first week of the shut down. i was listening to the floor debate and colleague after colleague on both sides of the aisle alternating back and forth were come together floor casting political stones at the other side. and no one was offering a solution. so then -- >> i remember it well. >> so i charted out a three-point plan, went to the floor. gave that speech and challenged our colleagues to come out of their partisan corner and stop fighting and start legislating. it's significant that the first calls that i got just as soon as i got off the senate floor were largely from my female colleagues. amy was one of the first. lisa murkowski, kelly ayotte. and we built from there. there a few good men too.
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i want to make sure. >> john mccain. >> and john mccain, joe machin. there were several people who helped out as well. but we started meeting day after day and perhaps more important than the fact women lead the way. the fact it was truly bipartisan. we had seven republicans, six democrats, and my independent colleague from maine angus king. not a member of leadership, which i think might have been significant. leadership kind of came in -- the point we came together and basic framework we agreed on was basically what they did. we would have done a few things differently. there would have been some nice add on. we were ready to announce our agreement. they worked with us. we were talking to them.
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it wasn't like we were off on our own. i think the the bigger thing is on the issue of the women and the leadership. there's our group but also is a fact that susan lead the way on the senate pass. debby stab stabenow is leading. and it passed with big bipartisan support. boxer was to be get with inhoff and work out an agreement on the transportation bill and senator vitter on the water resources development act. murray and mikulski are leading the way on the negotiations going forward. so the women in the senate while only 20% of the senate, we have an outsize role when it comes to some of these chairmanships and other things. i guess it's because we keep getting elected. and to sit in the chairman -- i'm sure that the joint economic committee on the senate side. i goat go to chairman lunches. and to see all the women in leadership roles. it makes a big difference. what susan said is true.
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you look at the violence against women act. the women in the senate every single one of us voted for the bill. that is what broke the dam so the house adopted some of the provisions in the senate bill that were important to protect triable women and other things. it's been happening time and time again. where things are going pretty bad and the women are able to step in and i hope we see more and more of it in the future. i i esspecially we see on the judge conformation going forward. >> yeah. >> we're not letting poor john -- >> just one quick comment on that. amy raised an important point. there's a critical mass of women in the senate now. but also women are in key leadership roles. back in 2003, when i was chairman of the homeland security committee, i was the only woman who was chair of a major committee.
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this is the change. >> by the way, there are no women chairman in the house; right? the house is -- >> i don't know. >> i believe that is the case. so we're almost out of time. but how much of this -- oivelt so much behind -- the congress and frankly washington generally is just -- just can't seem to get anything done. we toon in ab watch the blame. so given the progress the clear progress that women how much is more moderate like yourself or the fact that, you know, you spend time together. the dinners. the trust relationship where we have where we know each other and know, you know, where we can find common ground and where we can't. it's like how washington used to run. people knew about each other. they cared about each other. i think that makes a major
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difference. age lot of women that have gotten elected we can't get there by walking around in a white suit. some of us have actually. but for the most part, it's a focus on results. when i was running for prosecutor my first time i would look at janet napolitano's website in arizona even though she didn't know me. because she was focused on results. she would show what she promised and what happened. and someone once said women candidate -- i don't agree with the first part. they speak softly and carry a big statistic. and i don't think we speak softly. i think we more focused on the number and accountability and results. i think that makes a big difference. i'm hopeful as we add more women to the senate and have some opportunity in the next election that the culture can change. we had for the first time in the history of the united states of america a traffic jam in the women senator's bathroom. we want to see more of that. that is just basic idea that you
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get people in there that like each other. actually you can get things done instead of standing in the opposite corner of the boxing ring throwing punches. you finally realize that courage isn't just that. it's standing next to someone you don't always agree with for the betterment of this country. >> i want to stress amy's last point. women span the id logical speck strum. we don't think alike. we don't have the same positions on various issues. where i see a difference is the women of the senate are more likely to collaborate and realize that we can disagree on an issue but still seek common ground. that is what changed in the years that i've been in washington. it there's been a reluctance to try to sit down, find out what
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is most forpt other side and seek common ground. it used to be those of us in the middle of comprise were we're vilified by the far left. >> by some of your own colleagues. >> right. and so in the last minute or so we have left. the big question when it comes to leadership. hillary clinton the democratic women senators all signed a highly secret letter we know about. >> nothing secret about it. >> encouraging hillary to run for president. how hard was it to get elizabeth warren's signature on the letter. >> i don't think it was very hard. i think people are very excited about the possibility of her running. and so -- it was no surprise. we all signed the letter. the acclamation.
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the democratic primary. it seems as long as joe biden. >> if you have a way about it. if it doesn't make good news coverage. i don't have a crystal ball on that. there's clearly growing support for her. i did the arizona democratic dinner on saturday night. i've been around country doing a lot of these things. and there's a lot of positive sport. >> if she doesn't run amy klobuchar run for president? >> no. i'll be working with susan colins. >> you noticed it was not a denial. >> not yet. >> you noticed she's traveling all the other the country. [laughter] did you pick that up. >> a bigger margin than christie. >> thank you very much. [applause]
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two-hour transportation subcommittee hearing. >> committee on homeland security will come to order. the subcommittee is meeting to hear testimony on the tsa behavior and lessons learned from the tragic shooting at lax
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on friday october 1st. i would like to welcome everyone here and thank the witnesses. a lone gunman opened fire at lax and killed one transportation officer, gerardo hernandez, along with an injuring two others. on behalf of the community, our thoughts go out to the agents. transportation officers take grant risk every day and we thank them. i would like to ask everyone to join me in an moment of silence to honor the life of gerardo hernandez. thank you. in light of the recent tragedy
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that occurred at lax it is critical for tsa to work to perform a review and make sure resources are being used an effective manner and coordination with law enforcement is seamless. airports are open to anyone who wants to enter, including someone with mulicioush intent. there are unavoidable risks of being in public spaces. it is important to identify if there were things we could learn from. did the tsa and airport police have seamless communication? can thinks be shifted to create
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more robust? i don't expect to get all of the answers, but i do expect the screening program, known as spot, deployed 300 officers in an effort to identify passenger that may pose a risk to aviation security. they are not trained law enforcement officers and rely on state and local law enforcement to handle situations that might arise. the way to determine if someone is acting suspicious isn't based on science.
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the threats are real and colleagues agree we need layers of security. but they have to make sense and can't be based on hunches. they have to be proven. i want to command pistole for his. his programs are a huge step in the right direction. but spot doesn't address threats from overseas. it may not provide the deterance we are looking for. calling it risk base and proving that is two different things. an officer hasn't informed an officer of someone deemed a terrorist so it is important to
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measure. human ability to identify deceptive behavior based on indicators is the same or slightly better than chance. the tsa has limited availability to evaluate's how affective spot is. and it will be years until a record. we recommend limiting future funds until evidence is shown to show that they can use them to identify passenger who seem to be a threat. with that being said, i do see the value of using behavioral analysis to bolster the security but only if we can prove the taxpayer dollars are being used as best as possible.
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perhaps officers that are trained to directly look for behavior. these are questions we should exam. according to the congressional research service tsa spot program is the only stand alone behavior protection behavior. if this program worked we might see other agencies with missions deploying the stand alone agents. i look forward to hearing how they plan to address the regulations and address spot's affecti affecti effective ness. mr. richmond will talk for five minutes in his opening statement
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now. >> thank you for calling this meeting. and the bipartisan manner in which you did. i would yield by opening to the general lady to the lady from california, waters, so she can make a statement. i need to ask for consent for them to participate in the meeting. >> without objection. >> so ordered. >> thank you very much. i appreciate you mr. richmond for allowing me to give the statement. and chairman mccall and thompson for allowing me to participate which will consider the lessons learned from the shooting that
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occurred on november 1st at lax. i want to join with my colleagues to honor the live and service of gerardo hernandez. i honor all of the tsa officers, lax police officers and other first responders who risked their lives to stabilize the sipuatisi situation in the public. they offer 680 flights to 96 cities and 30 foreign countries. in 2012 lax served more than 63 million passenger, processed more than 1.9 tons of cargo and 16 thousand landings and take'
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offs. the security is of utmost important. the shooting incident raises two concerns: the first the need for law enforcement officers to be at passenger screening checkpoints. and the second is to have access to security cameras. both issues were raised in the letter from american alliance of police officer to john pistole on september 28th, 2012. more than 13 month before this tragic incident occurred. it was signed my the president of the los angeles peace officer association and the president of the port authority association. in a response dated october 12,
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2012 john pistole agreed both merited further discussion. i request the committee include the airport police officer letter and ad ministration john pistole letter. the fix post method requires a police station to be stationed at the passenger screening checkpoint. the flexible response method allows the police to roam the surrounding area but they are recognize to respond to a problem within a specified program. the letter explained it is impossible for a police officer to respond to a problem with the officer is responding for patrolling an entire terminal. the letter recommends this be a standard for all major airports
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and would require an officer within 300 feet. lax police officers did provide fix post and roaming police officers at the time the letter was written. and last april, six months after john pistole agreed to discuss the issue, a discussion was made to wave the fixed post officer and there was none stationed when the shooting began. the airport letter also shutdown the access to cameras. most airports don't have a system and instead airline vendors own and operate their own cameras and there is no requirement they provide the airport police with a camera
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feed. >> the time has expired. >> i happen this was about spot program and the tsa spot program. i didn't refer to it specific because i don't think it is viable or doable and i do believe it is profiling. i want to talk about the issues you could entertain. >> time has expired. a gentlemen from texas mr. mccall may be recognized for states >> thank you for holding this hearing and thank you for the witnesses for being here. i would like to commend administrator pistole with the leadership and the pre-check system we have talked about in terms of rolling out across the
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nation. and i think if we get southwest airlines to sign-up and haz that is a huge change while being passenger friendly and targeting the threats. your years at tsa you have been a true public servant and we appreciate your dedication to airport and aviation security. two weeks ago a lone gunman carried out a shocking act of violence at los angeles int international airport. the individual who carried out the assault took one life and wond wounded three others.
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what this demonstrates is how much publics spaces are targets. the swift response by local law enforcement was fabulous, but there are unanswered questions about the shooting itself. a week after the incident took place i was surprised to learn that the police officer assigned to patrol may not have been in the correct vicinity to respond when the shots were fired. to me this is significant. while we have since been told the officer may have in fact been within the required three minute radius of the checkpoint this issues raises questions about the response protocols in place and how they work.
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the evacuation that saved lives, no one at the screening checkpoint pushed the panic button that is supposed to be used in situations to alert local authorities. a landline at the checkpoint was almost used to communicate with police. but the phone was abandoned during the evacuation because it wasn't mobile. police responded based upon a phone call from an airline contractor. the response to the lax shooting was swift and successful. local police, tsa personal and the medical personal who responded deserve tremendous praise. having said that, terrorist are looking for things like this in the system. we must do everything we can to
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security airports and use elemelamen limited resources affectively. the response saved lives, the government had four minutes in a time like this is a long time. and with 150 rounds is a long time. it is a miracle more lives were not taken and we thank god that didn't happen. but four minutes to wreak havoc. several questions coming to mind. our emergency response times at airports adequate? does tsa have appropriate plans and means to community with law
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enforcement in the event a checkpoint is evacuated? lax did exercise, and i commend john pistole, just weeks before this event. i am pleased that the tsa is undertaking a review to see what lessons to be learned from lac and i look forward to the results. i encourage them to bring in stakeholders. they have a significant role to play. and in addition to the hearing is an opportunity to also exam some of the findings in gao's report on screening passengers by technique program. referred to as spot. i had the opportunity of
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observing this on 9-11. i am a fan of the program. i have seen it work firsthand. i have been a strong advocate of this. but the studies have shown less than favorable and show they limit the funding until an accurate study is included and use behavioral indicators to identify behavior. it will be three years before we can begin measuring the effecti effectiveness of spot. i look forward to hearing the argument and the argument that spot is risk-based. i think that is a good premise. i would like to hear the explanation used to support this. i am disappointed with the
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findings because i believe there is value in associating the behavior. there are century old techniques including israel. many people point to israel as a model. that allows individuals to assess behavior. but if this program isn't working we need to find something that will more effectively. i am concerned that the tsa will continue to so-call spin wits wheels with this program instead of developing a more effective approach. i hope i am wrong on that. i look forward to discussing the recommendations for this program and also if there are better ways of integrating behavior analysis. perhaps by reinforcing law enforcement and other pre
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approaches. where we need to do all we can to protect. >> and to close by again to jump so i admire what you are doing. it isn't easy representing n agency that comes under scrutiny and i think you are doing a good job making that face a better face and more passenger-friendly and targeted toward the terrorist. i don't believe as some say -- i got asked if i favor scrapping the program and i don't. i think detecting behavior is important. but i believe it could be more effective and efficient for the taxpayer and that is what we are
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here to do. thank you for induend indulging. >> mr. thompson is no recogniw recognized >> i would like to join my colleagues in expressing sympathy to officer hernandez wife, children, friends and family and all of the employees of the transportation administration. i am joining the chairman and congresswoman waters in introducing a resolution to condemn the shooting at lax. it appears that the majority leaders protocol will not afford for the resolution to be
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considered on the house floor. to administrative pistole please note and take back to the workforce that this committee stands with the agency in this trying time. the shooting that took place at lax was a tragic act of violence. all evidence points to a shooter with extreme anti-government views and exclusively targeted tsa employees. these are some of the federal officers for protecting the nation against terrorist attacks. i hope it will result in less rhetoric about deeming transportation officers. and it is my hope that tsa takes a look at how such an incident can be presented and mitigated in the future. i applaud administrator pistole of announcing he is going to
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conduct a review and for conducting outreach to a wide variety of people. this review should serve as an opportunity to examine the partn partnership and their programs and policies that affect checkpoint operations. from the shooting at lax we will examine reports issues by the accountability office and the department of homeland security office of inspector general regarding the tsa screening of passengers by observation technique program commonly referred to as spot. goa's report pulls no punches when it comes to this behavior program that cost taxpayers more
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than $220 million. recommending that congress consider the lack of scientist evidence when making the funding decisions. the report released in may concluded that tsa couldn't provide evidence of the cost effectiveness of the program. given the limited theres available for transportation security we don't have the luxury of spending hundreds of millions per year on programs for which they can not prove the effectiveness of. since 2007 tsa has spend nearly $1 billion on this program. they admit it will be years before the agency may be able to display the effectiveness of the program. and that means hundreds of
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million more would need to be spent just to find out whether the program is effective. it is no secret i have been a critic of the spot program since it inception and expansion prior to be validated. in june i offered an amendment to prohibit tsa from using spot funds. even if i were the most vocal supporter i would not be able to justify after the report that would be examined today. to be clear, i have no doubt the men and women on the front line a are performing liberties
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are not a part of the protocol. so you can do behavior detection in countries where civil rights are not part of the protocol.
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i want to thank each witness appearing before the subcommittee and i look forward to your testimony and response to toe to questions. and i would like to thank the others on the side to give their opinion. >> opening statements maybe considered for the railroad -- record -- mr. duncan would like to open up for the record. we are pleased to have a panel and the witnesses full written statement appear in the hearing record. john pistole is the first
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witness. he is administrator at the department of homeland security since 2010. he oversees 60,000 employees and 450 airports and security for highways, ports, mass transit systems. you have a big job and i commend you for the job you are doing. the chair recognizes mr. pistole to testify. >> thank you the members of the committee. let me start off by expressing by deep appreciation to you chairman and others who have expressed sympathy for hernandez and his family and the two other officers who were shot and wounded on november 1st.
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there was great outpouring at the memorial service held by the city of los angeles and the local police. law enforcement community pulling together and demonstr e demonstrating support for officer hernandez family and the two other officers and family. so thank you for that. the bottom line is these are challenging time for members of tsa employees especially those that lax who have been affected by this and lost a wellli-liked and well-respected colleague. i want to commend the action of those at the checkpoint for their action in helping move passenger away from the point of danger. the two officers who were
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injured were wounded because they probably stayed too long helping an elderly gentlemen away from the checkpoint and they were shot as the shooter went to the upper level. the question is what is the response to the trammigic incid. i will outline five things we have done. during the shooting i convened a crisis action team by senior leadership at tsa to assess what was going on even during the lockdown after the shooting. and challenged the senior leadership team come up with what can be done to protect the officers at the checkpoints around the koucountry.
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we worked to deploy uniform officers in and around checkpoints in the hours and following that's. that is continuing. third we redeployed a number of viper teams for that response to and just the notion of having additional security officers protected with this show of force. we have communicated with the workforce regarding the events because the absence of information is a concern. and we have listened to their concerns particularly at lax where i have visited twice in the last ten days to hear concerns and provide counselors who hundreds of tsa have used the services. and fifth last thursday there
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was a meeting with stakeholders from the aviation sector and law enforcement agencies and representatives from 30 agencies to listen and hear their views on what may happen or be some of the solutions as we look forward. that review is ongoing and i look forward to updating the committee and getting input on possible steps we can take. second, the other issue we are here for today is on the behavioral detection program, spot as it is referred to. over the last several years both from this subcommittee, full committee and american people, there has been call for tsa to use common sense in doing things and being less invasive. fewer pat downs and imaging
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machines. and we have done hose things and that is what risked-base security is about. 15 steps including the pre-check. a known crew member for pilots. and expanding the partnership to allow dod members to go through expedited screenings. these are to bring common sense and less invasiveness in the program. and management inclusion and our behavioral detection officers serve a key function and for example on monday this week we had 80,000 passenger around the country go to expedited screening because of the behaviors not observing anything suspigs -- suspicious -- we have
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increased our gel goal and met it. they have done several studies on the program and the 2010 review was very helpful to us. it was helpful so we can take the strength to the program. we recognize the work they have done. we disagree with conclusions but recognize the valid points. we can and will strengthen the program. this initiative is the one that looks at intent and motivation rather than a prohibited item. that is important to look at that. so defunding the program isn't the answer. and i would say if we did that i
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would envision viewer passenger going through expedited screening, increased pat downs and more complaints by the public. >> thank you, administrator pisole. >> daniel gerstein gained experience experience in sectors while serving in positions of civilian government. before joining dhs he served in the office of the secretary of defense. i am disappointed you failed to comply with the committee rules for not submitting a written testimony for the letter. i believe it is the first appearance as acting secretary for snt. i am willing to wave this
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requirement rather than barring you from giving oral presentation but please note we are making an exception and failure to submit impedes the oversight and prevents our audibili ability to prepare. so i ask for you to cooperate in the future. but at this point the chair does recognize you to testify, sur. >> thank you, mr. chairman. sorry for that. good morning members of the committee. i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you with administrator pistole to discuss the collaboration. this collaboration occurs across the broad range of programs. all of our efforts are designed
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to support tsa and their efforts to improve security effecti effectiveness and passenger experience. i am develop three overarching themes. the spot program is part of a layered security system. it doesn't exist in isolation and must be considered in terms of the contribution to improving the overall detection of people that knowingly try to defeat the security process. relying on any single process isn't an acceptable strategy. this layered program consist of several opportunities. behavioral detection officers check for threatening materials and carry items and check bags
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are screened as well before allowed. there are unpredictable protocol on planes to identify and mitigate threats. the focus is to increase the probability of a person trying to defeat the security process. second, they are based on research and represent the best practices. they have become accepted based on years of experience in these fields in attempting to identify persons that should receive additional scrutiny. what the spot process does that hasn't been done previous is identify and assess a broad range of characteristics and provide a scoring system.
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as part of the spot effort in 2009, snt initiated a research program and they contact traed ari one of the largest non-profit organizations that design and assess independent research. the spot identified high risk travelers nine times more often. it is worth noting a number of other governments have developed and deployed behavior detection protocols. i have toured the facilities and received briefings in australia and israel. we recognize the results of the study must be considered in the
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context of the limitations described. we believe the sampling and measurement errors that are sited are due to limitations and they are minimal given the large sample and multiple outcomes around important population parameter essence. snt does agree with the primary studies design and recommendations for further research. further more additional research could be conducted to include a more extensive review of the conduct and reliable study and empirical comparison of spot with other screening programs. some of the efforts are ongoing
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although snt isn't involved in those study efforts. my third and final point is collaboration between tsa and snt. our relationship has never been stronger. in physical year 2013, rnd supported 19 projects and $108 million. we work with them on examining checkpoint operations to determine how business process refo reform and others can be employed to enhance checkpoints over the next 3-5 year period. it could boost effective ness and boost the experience for the
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customer. we look forward to work wilderness generation the committee on the program and improving performance of existing and emerging operations. i thank you for the opportunity to present before you and present oral remarks. >> stephen lord is the managing direct of the team at the government accountable officer. he oversees forensic evidence and abuse. the chairman recognizes you to testify. >> thank you, chairman hudson and others. i am happy to be here to discuss the new report released yesterday. the recent events remind us of
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the role tsa plays in providing support at the airport. i do agree with mr. pist elpist that it is important that focus on highest need and potential and focus on screening for bad apples and moving away from screening for prohibited items or objects. the question i am hoping today's hearing can answer is what is the best way to do that. tsa spent $900 million since 07 on the spot report. i would like to highlight things. research supporting the behavior indicators to identify threats. and whether tsa has the data necessary to assess their
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effeceffec effectiveness of the program. the research doesn't show whether behavior indicators can be used to identify threats and deception or mal-intent. hundreds of studies so the ability of humans to identify deception based on behaviors is same or roughly especially the same as chance. slightly greater than chance. 54 percent. and dhs's validation study of the program, we view it as an important initial step, had design limitations so you have to be cautious about the findings. the study made 13 recommend azs. the study relied on the database
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that we found was unreliable for conducting the analysis of behaviors and outcome. the database only allowed them to enter concern number of behaviors even though you know the behavior detection officers are trained to identify 94 accept -- separate -- indicators. they agree some of the indicators are subjective. we found the passenger referral rate, the rate they are pulled out of line, ranged from 0-26 a month. and the average base was 1.6 per
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month. so this raised questions about the usefulness of the indicators. and they have limited information to evaluate the prapra program. they are taking steps to help craft better americmeasures and plan to develop 40 measures and that will help them gain insight and on the performance of individuals and ensure they are consiste consistently playing them. they will need three mere more years to this and in closing it doesn't appear to talk to the behavior indicators to be used in the individuals who might pose a threat to aviation.
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it is is still in the process of evaluating the effectiveness of the program it is important to note this started in 2007. usually you validate first and then deploy. and tsa chose to deploy at the same time they were validating. and this is why we recommend they limit future funding until they can show evidence these indicators could be used effectively. the members are worker hard to make it work, but it should be based on sound evidence and not hope and faith alone. this concludes my remarks.
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>> charles edward is the inspector general of homeland security. he has over 20 years in experience with the government. the share recognizes mr. edwards to testify. >> good morning members of the subcommittee. thank you for inviting me to testify today. i would like to take a moment to express my sympathy for the tsa officer gerardo hernandez was killed and other officials were wounded one of who is a behavior detection officer. $870 million has been spent on the screening of passenger by observation technique program
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commonly called spot. it is operating in 176 airports and more than 2,800 behavior detection officers. they are not started a plan to assess or ensure the program's success. my testimony is addressing the need for improvement in two areas. first measure. ment of the effective ness and training for bdo's. they don't have a plan that will identify goals and missions needed to check performance measure. their purpose is to identify high-risk individuals but they
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have not given performance measure for the program. instead they collect data, such as the number of passenger referred, but that doesn't provide measures of effecti effectiveness. they document items and undeclared aliens but this program doesn't do that. additionally our testing showed that data collected wasn't complete or accurate always. tsa hasn't developed a training strategy for the goals of the program. video training isn't consistently provided and there is no process to evaluate video instructors. acknowledging the skills are
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parishible they didn't start it until five years after the start of the program. of the 88 eligible we contacted 65 or 74 percent had not received the refresher training. they might be operating at vary levels of proficiency. and there is no program to provide training to instructors to assure they have the knowledge to instruct the classes. in response to the report and recommendations officials have taken numerous steps to addressing these issues. officials have provided verification that measures are
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being used to collect the data and there is a plan for current training for video instructors and refresher training for the video workforce. and the ones that have completed the video plan that contains tools designed to help the program office gauge selection, allocation and performance. without the spot plan that contains appropriate measures tsa cannot evaluate the performance of the program to ensure that passenger at the airport are screened in an objective manner are showed it is cost effective and justifies the expansion. >> thank you, mr. edwards. we appreciate you being here.
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i recognize myself for five question to ask questions. administrat administrator pistole i was pleased to learn that tsa trained for an active shooter situation recently and that helped the response to the actually shooting situation that led to saving lives. they knew what to do exactly and certainly saved lives as a result. as chairman mccall indicated the communication between the police and tsa when shots were fired broke down and could have been connected better. do you agree communication is one area you need to review? >> yes. >> thank you. during the time of the shooting at lax were there any bdo's in terminal 3 when the shooting took place? did they witness the behavior of
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the shooter before the incident took place? >> they were deployed in terminal 3. the area the shooting took place was on a lower level before the actual checkpoint so the initial officer hernandez that the shooter encountered that was seconds after the shooter entered the terminal so there are none there at that level. but they are stations and one was up there after the shooting took place. >> can you explain the protocol they follow when they refer to local enforcement? >> they work in pairs so it isn't isolated. if one makes an observation they confer with their partner to see if that is what they observe. depending on what the behavior
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is they may engage the passenger themselves most likely to get a sense of that person and who they are. if it warrants a law enforcement response because it is something that is beyond the norm or if they have been refer today second screening and there is an issue there that is when the law enforcement officers are called in to help with the situation >> are they able to contact local law enforcement through radio communication or how does that take place? >> 450 airports and depending on what the airport is and what the communication apparatus is. they have radios they can call into a command post which is staffed, or a coordination system depending on where you
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are, that is staffed by tsa employees or airport police if they are onsite. depends on the airport. a lot do have an officer at the podium check-in. >> and is the local law enforcement required to responds? if so, how quickly are they required to be present to respond to that? >> generally there is about 330 there is a law enforcement reimbursement agreement where we help pay for the cost of the officers to be present in those airports under the security aviation program there is an agreed upon response time and that is typically five minutes.
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but in smaller ones it might be 10-15. it is typically five minutes and that is an agreement between the tsa and police. >> do you think the response time is efficient? >> that was designed with the idea you may find somebody not causing intent to do harm in the sense of having a gun or prohibited item. gi given a shooting we are evaluating that. and even though the police responded and stopped the target within four minutes. there are dozens of passenger he could have shot and walked past. there are people at his feet and
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he goes back to shoot officer hernandez the second time passenger are laying on the floor right by him. so clearly five minutes was too long in this case and that is something we are looking at as part of the review. our time is expired and we recognize mr. richmond for questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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it's difficult to measure whether it consistently honing in on the same behavior will -- in fact, that is why you see a great der ration. we saw an average of 0 to 26 referral per month on average. >> first of all, thank you for
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your service. let me ask you, did any other referrals by our officers result in arrests that indicated a terrorist plot or something of that nature? >> 0 not to my knowledge. they were for other criminal oarch -- ovens. whether it's drug trafficking, money trafficking, being in the country illegally. to my knowledge, just for context, there's not been a single attempted terrorist to enter a u.s. airport, aircraft since 9/11. >> any human trafficking? >> yes. there was an instan, for example, last year in miami where there were two men -- young women and the situation and intercededded in arrest of the two individuals. and then whether rescued that woman from human trafficking or what? at least for the immediate
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time. >> let me ask you another question. before i ask a question, i want to say thank you for your leadership, and when i talk about leadership, it's sometimes the leadership is when you go down a path and you realize it's not working. that it may not have been the best decision to reverse it. that's the hard part of leadership. so thank you for your decision with denies and all of those things. my question would be, can you find a place within your agency to better spend $200 plus million a year than on this spot program? >> thank you. i have given that question a lot of thought. given the concerns it's been raised both by gao and the i think. we are smaller agency today than a year ago. i believe that trend will continue primarily through attrition. it's not that we are letting people off.
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my concern with that is that if we remove one whole layer of security, that being the who are the least invasive and looking for intent rather than item. it gives us an exposure to potential terrorists that we don't currently have. the risk reward equation is difficult at gao and ig have pointed out given my experience in law enforcement and national security, i know how it works, and so i'm a strong advocate because i don't want to take away a security that may identify the next punitive terrorists who may decide they want to get to an airport in the u.s. to do something bad. >> well, i would love to have at least a statement or analysis on our return of investment on the $200 plus million.
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let me just say this, in my final few minutes. because -- few seconds. because i know that we've made a lot of statements about the incident at la x and you and i talked on the phone. when we talk about response time and when we talk about what could have been done to do things circhtly -- differently and prevent loss of life. i think the other side, my colleague on the other side, all the time remind us we can't be everything to everybody. we don't have the money to pay for it. it's unfortune this happened at the check point. it happened within the airport. but if we just take a moment to think if it happened in the parking garage, we wouldn't be there. if it happened curb side, we may be there. so at some point, we have to thank the people that put their lives on the line and do it knowing they're putting their
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lives on the line. but also, that we just don't have the capability, and we don't have the resources to make sure we're on every street corner, every parking garage, and every place else. with that in mind, thank you for being very thoughtful and meth call where we place people. there are lessons to be learned from this incident and communications and all the things we need to do better. but we have to look at other things besides what happens when somebody is holding a gun to prevent them from having it in the first place or that rage to to do things. thank you for what you do. it's not a shot at my colleagues on the other side. but, we as society, have to work more on the underlying factors. because we just can't be everywhere. thank you. >> i thank the gentleman. the chair recognizes the averaging minority member from the full committee from
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mississippi, mr. thompson, for any questions he may have. >> thank you very much. administrator, can tso and la x communicate with the los angeles police department? -- and airport by radio? >> yes. >> so there is communication? >> yes. >> i want to -- at some point, provide you information that says that is not the case. and i want to make sure that we are on the same wavelength for that. by communicate -- i talk about radio not telephone, not panic button. >> yes. >> but radio. >> yes. let me go through the court nation center for tsa with the police as pot-friendly -- a opposed to an officer around the corner they direct contact
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to. maybe we can clarify that. do tso have radio? >> the macker, yes. was there a supervisor or manager on duty? >> yes. >> did the supervisor or manager call on the radio? >> no. the supervisor picked up the dedicated line as lirmly red phone to call in, and as they were getting ready to speak. in watching the video she drops the phone and runs because the shooter is coming up the escalator having fired additional rounds and so she didn't stay. >> the radio was not -- >> no. >> okay. doctor, this validation report -- you referenced.
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are you comfortable with the result of that contract -- >> we looked at the validation of study. we believe the findings are nine times greater the detection is important. when i say nine time it is means 900% better. that is an important statistic. >> you standby the validation report? was your analysis -- >> unfortunately i'll have to respectfully disagree. and the fact, i think it's important to look at the report itself. it was couched as an initial first step that made several recommendations going forward to improve validity, reliability, and the technical advisory committee report that was associated with it raised some similar concerns.
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it was useful. we provided some insight. we don't think it should be used to -- if i can give an example. the indicators even though we had concerns about the reliability of the data. but replicated the results. we found some negative associations. it means they are honing on some more behavior associated with low-risk passengers. we were concerned that was included in the report. so it appeared they perhaps were highlighting the positive and not accentuating the negative. >> in essence, as you said, you disagree with this report? >> yeah. i don't think it can be used to conclude. it's nines more effective than random. >> mr. edwards, can you speak
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about how training and evaluation of b -- o is important, and i have a concern that we have a number of people who are bdo who never made a single refeferl. i would assume they are considered successful employees. can you explain how people don't do referrals or anything for the committee? >> well, thank you, sir. they have taken a number of steps including collective reliable data. -- five years after the program came in to existence, you know, they started it. and out of the folks that we had interviewed, you know, out of the 88 people that we interviewed. a number of them are 713 out of the 2800 were ready for the
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training in two years. and the other problem is, this training held in a classroom and the bdo are not able to practice what they learn in class until they come back to the airport. and not having this consistent training az cro the board -- not everybody is referring what they need to refer. because the varying level of training one has gotten and not gotten. >> thank you. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. comp thompson. the chairman recognize other members for the committee they may wish to ask the witness in accordance with the committee rule and practice. at this time, the chair will recognize the gentlelady from indiana for any questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for holding this hearing in such a timely way. i want to just speak to
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administrator pete and offer my condolences to your officer and to those who were injured and to the entire work force. and i applaud the fact you reminded us since nieflt we haven't had an incident -- a terrorist incident at an airport or on any of our aircraft in large part not there haven't been attempts occasionally on-air craft. but tsa has been doing what it was founded to do. i was u.s. attorney at the time, tsa was started. and i want to talk with you and a couple of panelists about behavior detection, which is the heart of law enforcement. whether you're a local law enforcement officer, or whether you are -- had which is tsa is about. is it not about behavior detection. whether they are coming through check point, whether they are
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informing airport police officers. and with your fbi background prior to tsa, can you talk a bit more about behavior detection and its importance not only for bdo but what are the tsa officer and the supervisorrers, you know, if we were to -- it's i believe it's hard to study because i believe it's something -- the heart of what these officers and are trained to do. and, you know, -- but yet how officers learn over time. and based on the time they are there, can you just talk about behavior dpe -- detections specifically in law enforcement and in the role of tsa which are not specifically law enforcement. >> thank you, congresswoman
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brooks. and thank you your kind words.. sure. some is frankly common sense that it's just human nature. what people do every day and assaying others. i ask given a number of about dote. just the notion that we have taken that basic training, looked at what the israelis did continue to do in term of their assessment of people through behavioral detection officers and say how with we apply it in the airport environment and trained, again within our budget
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to say here's is what we do to equip our officers on those frontlines for making that noninvasive, nonintrusive assessment that can either help identify somebody who may be high-risk such as human traffickers. not that they're terrorists. but what we're doing now under risk-based security is making the other side of the equation -- identifying low-risk individuals. so where i mentioned earlier 80,000 passengers on monday alone went through expedited screening that's because behavior detection officers did not detect suspicious behavior. how do you quantify that? a return on investment. you ask the people i appreciate the bdo making a judgment about me. but i got through expedited. basically tsa precheck. it's one of the things and didn't have a chance to address that. because that is a new -- that's an evolution of our -- different manifestation. it really is one of those key
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enablers for us as we trants suggestion from one size fits all to and how can we employ all the tools available for so the concern is if you think of a measure web or something why will we take one of those layers of security off wouldn't it allow possible terrorists to get through if they have either an underwear bomb or, you know, there's been dozen in the past about surgically u implanted devices that technology probably won't pick up. we rely on the bdo to make assessment about people who may manifest on suspicious behavior. utilize involved in assistanting those agencies with developing their behavior detection tools and techniques? >> we have a number of ongoing
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initiatives with both it and primarily custom and border. none of them, to any knowledge, are directly related to the behavioral -- we are -- we go where we're asked by our partners and so it's that is an area we want to get in. we assist with that. >> time expired. and the entire community and to thank the law enforcement community of that area for the most passionate and dignified tribute to him.
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and enormously heart warming to see the law enforcement community both at the airport and the surrounding area come together. i hope it concludes any comment that tso are not first responder or dealing with the security of the nation and put to rest the qualified privatization as a substitute for a professional federal work force. so let me thank you again for that. hopefully it was a productive meeting and you continue to do so vigorously. i am toward the continental airport and secret police and
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other law enforcement walking through our airport after this tragic incident and looking at the tsa areas security areas and at least for our terminal there. we'll continue the dialogue with them. one of the issues that is important to the chairman is the idea or concept of reimbursement for added security in the perimeter area. as a frequent traveler, i view the perimeter area in meeting the external and ticketing areas as a concern leading up to the secured area where our tso are. my question to you is, what proposition could you put before
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with respect to funding on reimbursement to both law enforcement or enhanced security that many of the tso -- all of them -- have a chance to speak to have suggested should occur? >> well, thank you, first, congresswoman, for your gesture of condolence and your call for appreciate that and pass that on, obviously, to mrs. hernandez. what you address is one of the things the working group we establish internally and in discussing with the aviation security advisory counsel and the broader community what would those cost look like. i don't have it right now. if we, for example, reduce the response time from five minutes to three minutes. or how much additional it would cost? how much should be born by the federal government in term of
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leo reimbursement agreement. and how much would be worn by the local airport. how can we buy down the risk? and part of the discussion we had last week armed officers at and through check point that may be doing other things. there's a number of things i have to get back with you on that. >> let me make formal request the inquiry be made. but put in place. it's no doubt that the presence and the quicker response of armed law enforcement is part of the solution. certainly the slowings is not armed tso officers in the small area they have to deal with innocent traveling passengers. let me quickly ask gao did you detect any racial profiling in the work of the bdo?
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and -- improve it? are you suggesting there should be other improvement and are you also suggesting that the program should be slimmed down? i think he makes a point onleyering. but i would be aplayed and in great opposition if there was racial profiling. i think one of the issue of the bdo the overall impact is not immediately detectable because it is sort of a floating -- floating issue, if you will. of whether or not there's safety. so could you answer that? then the enhanced training, would that have an improvement -- i would be willing to look at enhanced training, slimming down the program to get where gao thinks it needs to be to be able to have it as a complimentary layering of security at airports . >> happen to let her answer that. even though her time is
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expired. >> i thank the chair for the generosity. the allegations involving boston and found in the study there was no evidence racial profiling. they believed they interviewed all the behavior detection officers on site. although, they did note, which was is one interesting thing, they did note that some cases there was what they termed appearance profiling. i'm not sure to what extent that overlaps with racial profiling or define it. it was one notable finding, perhaps, mr. edwards can respond. in term of limiting funding and our recommendation. we obviously, as i said in my opening remarking, i believe there is value and focusing resources on screening for potential bad actor at the airport for behavioral detection technique. the question is how do you go about it?
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and i think as part of the review a spot we believe is very complicated scoring process. we believe it could be streamlined, simplified, perhaps focus more on passengers deemed high-risk. some passengers come to the airport are already preselectived for secondary screening and the tsa is developing on the new risk methodologies to supplement them. perhaps it might be a way to do it rather than trying to do it on the has standoff surveillance basis which is very difficult. as a report notes each passenger on average is screened for 30 second or less. that's difficult to do that to every single person coming in to the airport without interacting with them. so we think there is a way to make it more interactive. more risk-based and more simplified and that's essentially what we're referring to in our report. thank you. >> i thank the gentleman and the
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gentlelady for the question. the chair recognize the gentleman from south carolina for any questions you may have. >> yes, sir. i appreciate the testimony of each of you. gordon, the retired general, wrote a book a long time entitled "hope was not -- it seems to me when i look at the fundamental of the spot program it seems to be a cart out before the horse. indeed you have it before validation of effectivenesses. and the whole idea of spending a billion dollar and having 3,000 folks employed in the endeavor from a statistical standpoint the results are 50/50 seem to be a good use of taxpayer money. but i want to zero in on what my associate was touching on a moment ago. thing is a real with the component to what is going on here.
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i tell my boys all the time, guys, have the wisdom to know what you don't know. and mr. ridgeman was touching on the notion of how do you get inside somebody's head. a moment ago. indicate stress, fear, or deception. i would ask you, mr. pistol, you know, if you were a young kid the baby got off the track at the earlier age you served some time. but you paid your price to society. but you have a criminal record. would you believe you exhibit stress or fear? >> it depends on the individual, yes, sir, probablily. >> what if you were a staunch right-wing spiritter with strong anti-government leaning. you forecast things you probably weren't supposed to post on the
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internet. now you have law enforcement probing asking you questions. would you exhibit stress or fear? >> again, it depend on the individual. potentially, sure. >> if you're an immigrant whose dad and mom come here illegally. would you exhibit stress or fear if asking -- >> it's situational, again. >> say you're a wife whose husband has been beaten and try to get on an airplane and get out of town. would you exhibit stress or fear if somebody was doing entire gracious? >> situational. >> i think raises question that the report has broughten and testified, which is again, entirely situation but the question is. in this instance, the different with a front line officer who is there on the street you fowm a car you don't know what they got in the car. you don't know who they are. you have to nothing to -- you better be give those are the
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tests that have been made with regard to, you know, this person is, do you, in addition, have to go through a screening process based on somebody's interpretation of what they think might be inside your brain? >> yeah. i mean, you raise good point, congressman. let me address a couple of things. i would love to have the -- in the airport and christmas day in 2009 to see how the 24-year-old with the underwear bomb would have appeared. we don't have it on cc tv. and most notably. >> what if it was a cool customer and -- that is exactly. you wouldn't know. and that's -- but it gives us another opportunity. there's no perfect size or article -- >> to your point how many underwear bombs have been
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detected with these 3,000 officers? >> store row. -- zero. they deserved as a deterrent. i know, we have classified briefing next week we can talk detail. what we do in the u.s. >> we have to look at cost-effectiveness. we have screened by observation over 4 billion passenger it comes out to less than 50. in some sense 25 cent per passenger is a cost for bdo is reserved. >> my time is coming to an end. and i think we can could argue that point. i think there is a bigger civil liberty point, which is whether
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there has ore hasn't been deterrence. a flip of a coin. on the opposite side of the equation in addition to possible redeployment of the 3,000 folks and the taxpayer costs associated with that. there's a big civil liberty question to get on an airport. does it require more than in essence undressing and having all of your equipment checked but now a second level of screening based on somebody's interpretation of what they think ised in your head? >> gentleman's time is expired. it you want to briefly respond. >> thank you, chairman. so there's only a small percentage of people who are referred by additional screening. that's one point. another is that the whole impetus of the risk-based security. dod, 12 and under. all of those are designed to address the concerns about the invasiveness and intrusiveness of the one-size-fit-all-approach. how can we work collaboratively
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to have multiple layer of security and expedite and have greater confidence. the notion about profiling. i agree strongly with the ranking men. we will not tolerate if we find any person or employee profiling or race, ethnicity. or any of the things will take appropriate action. >> i have run out of time. i think he raise the question of type of profiling that does occur. and the guy in the business suit generally isn't going to be the most suspicious looking guy. >> we'll do a second round of questions. but i would like to move on to other members. at this point i recognize the gentleman from nevada. >> thank you very much, chairman. and to the ranking member, mr. richmond. the ranking member of the full committee. for alog me to participate in this hearing today. thank you to our panelist. i just want to associate my self-with the comments of the ranking members and the other
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panelists who talked about the need to both protect our national security while preserving americans' right to privates in our civil liberty. and the prior representative who asked you know what is the return on investment for a billion dollars and to somehow suggest from the gao report there is not profiling. i think it deserves some more analysis. and review. administrator, i also want to extend my personal condolences to the tsa officer, mr. hernandez, and to his family for giving his life in the protection of the american public. the tsa form the front line of our nation's aviation, security
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and their work is not only critical but also appreciated. and i think in light of the recent tragic events at the los angeles airport, airport security is once again in the -- and based on the review that we've received on your agency conducted. it's my understanding the shooter entered through the exit lane of that airport. and so i'm concerned that the actions and policies adopt bid the tsa may have some unintended consequences particularly because they are being made without the input of stakeholders who may have particular expertise on the topic. i recently offered an amendment to ranking member thompson participates act which will form the aviation security advisory committee and my amendment out of the issue of exit lane security to the scope of the
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advisory committee's responsibility. and this was done prior to the tragic events at the los angeles airport. so administrator, isn't it true your plan to transfer responsibility of exit lane from the tsa to local airport authorities has been met with near universal resist tens from local airports? >> first, congressman, thank you for your kind word earlier. so the context for the exit lane are that airport current flit u.s. provide exit lane staffing in two-thirds of all the airports in the u.s. or tsa has presence. we're only talking about one-third of the airport. there's 155 approximately u airport that tsa provides some type of staffing. we do it as it relates to screening of law enforcement officer, no crewmembers, pilots, flight attendant. we'll do the screening
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function. the issue with the exit lanes is on access control which access control is just the exit lane is one of dozens of access control point around the airport that tsa doesn't provide an airport functioning. in shifting this responsibility, i understand the concerns that airports have expressed because of the cost associated with this. on the security screening functions as opposed to access control. >> yeah. and i respect that. however, it can't be done in a vacuum. we have to do it with the input of your stakeholders and congress, which signed legislation putting the responsibility under the tsa. we haven't changed that from policy standpoint and to have
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the tsa take this up without direction from congress i also think may be inappropriate from a regulatory standpoint. one of the other issues i have with the tsa procurement procedure for vendor and airport. they assume tremendous risk when they begin the process of adopting new technologies the airport closest to my district recently won approval for tsa for tk solution to the problem of exit lane monitoring for which i'm very excited. but my question is how does tsa expect airports to take the risk of designing, purchasing, and installing these technologies within the time frame presented and without tsa preapriewfl of that technology. >> gentleman's time is expired. ly allow the administrator to respond, if he would like. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we're not dictating how they do
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the exit lane security. if they want to staff somebody. put a person there as tsa has. that's fine. we ask the airport authority to work with the local security directer to have the solution. from a technology solution. that's great. we ask we be given insight to what it is. we will view and presumably approve if it meets standards. but we're not in the business of dictating saying this is what we will do. we are out of the business. >> can i just -- clarify. can you approve and preapproved qualified vendor list. so once they are selected they know that the project can go through u -- >> we have not taken that approach for various reasons. which i can get in more detail later. we have not done that. >> we will do a second round if the committee so chooses or desires. now recognize the gentleman from california. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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and welcome to our witnesses and administrator, i first want to thank you for engaging with me and members on this committee during the knives on planes discussion. i appreciate you working with the asac on that and continuing to engage with me. i appreciate the policy revisions that were made. i also want to express to you administrator, how deeply sorry i am about the shooting at la x. i want to pass along my donl enses to the family -- i am to the son of a police officer and the brother of a retired -- son of retired police officer and brother of a police officer who serves today on a wish well the transportation security officers who were shot. expwreams and tony as well as passenger -- and as far as the federal workers go. the tao in the federal work
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force -- security officers they are some of the newest employees we have in our federal agencies. and, you know, they have been around now since right after 9/11. i think it's easy to forget they are relatively new compared to how many federal employees we have. and still learning their job and growing in their job. we shouldn't take that for granted. they are among the last line of defense between a person who wishes to coharm and passengers and crew on an airport. and many ways mr. hernandez and others are shocked her res but not too often on some. unfortunately i think too many people and i have seen this in this congress continually attack and denigrate the work at the tsa. recently in 2012, the republican
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national republican committee platform called for federalizing -- or defederallizing the tsa and privatizing the tsa. i think we need take a step back in our comments about the tsa and just a tax in general on the federal work force. these folks are doing a public service. they're doing oftentimes at much less money than they received in the private sector. again, they are the last line of defense. and i don't think our comments are well served. ic they can create a culture of hate toward people working in a stressful environment dealing with passengers. myself included not always on our best behavior as we are rushed trying to make our plane. it's a difficult job. and i hope we can be mindful of the job. and in light of that, the administrator, i want to talk about ranking member thompson have some concerns with his questioning about radio communication capability between
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tso and law enforcement personnel particularly armed law enforcement. my question to clarify at la x and most of the airports across the country, is there radio communication can that can take place between tso and law enforcement personnel is it only phone communication that can take place? >> yes. thank you for your kind comments, congressman. so airport by airport. out of 450 airport. i don't have the figure in front of me. which i will get. most of the communication would be with between the tsa employees and a coordination center which may be jointly staffed and which airport between tsa and the airport police or tsa or the coordination center. i'm not aware of ones where the direct link in to a radio contact in to the police, but i'm sure there's some i'm not aware of. >> do you think that co


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