tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 20, 2013 1:00am-6:01am EDT
on 9/11. we had been bombed twice prior. there is nobody that is ready to go? europe had closer assets. did you talk to anybody who did want to move forward? >> everybody in the military wanted to move forward. there are plenty of assets moving. it became a physics problem. it is a time and distance problem. that is who we are. when someone is in harms way. >> i did not get there in time.
there were other people but wanted to go. i wish you had spoken to them. we did not even tried, we did not asked for permission, we did not asked for flight clearances. >> i disagree with what you are saying. >> you just told me they did not get to the ready. , you never asked those nato partners. >> i commanded nato forces and the likelihood that nato could respond was absolutely zero.
i am so outraged by the conduct of this committee today. 83 years worth of service to this country by these two men and they are being treated shabbily and i apologize to you. it is totally unnecessary. we are trying to get facts and where trying to prevent this from happening again and badgering you does not achieve that goal. there also point out that has been a classified briefing, mr. chairman, on the whole issue of whether lieutenant colonel gibson was told to stand down.
there was an armed services committee needing. i was there. there was a press release put out by the subcommittee after that classified briefing. i want to read to you what was posted. attack, colonel bristol was traveling in africa. unreliable communications prohibited from participating in the attack response beyond and a national -- initial conversation. he confirmed to committee that in his role, he gave lieutenant colonel gibson initial freedom of action to make decisions in response to the unfolding situation him and ghazi. benghazi. contrary to some reports, he was at no point ordered to stand remain inrather to tripoli to defend american embassy there in anticipation of possible additional attacks and to assist the survivors as they
returned from benghazi. the colonel confirmed this account of events. when i asked will we ever listen to the facts? this came out of the subcommittee of the armed services committee chaired by a republican colleague. these are the facts. let me move on and asked admiral mullen the question. another allegation has been made by many republicans, including that the military should have sent the fighter planes to fly over benghazi. you still have to say, why weren't there aircraft it capability heading towards them?
the next time this happens, it can we count on this secretary to care about people in harms way? there are some things wrong with this statement. i do not even know where to start. do you agree the president and caretary of state "do not about people in harms way"? >> i do not agree with that. 32 of our report includes an excerpt from your interview transcript where you explain that these planes would have needed we fueling twice. is that correct? that is the same thing general dempsey said in his testimony four months earlier. is that correct? >> that is correct. >> after conducting your independent review how did you reach the same conclusion? >> i did.
quote from31, we your interview transcripts. there is no one i've ever met and the military that would not want to get help there instantly. the physics of it, it it just for 12-20ng to happen hours. i validated that in my review when i went to the pentagon to look at every single asset that was postured in theater. is that correct? >> correct. both the former secretary gates and panetta raised other concerns about sending aircraft to fly over benghazi. are you familiar with their concerns? >> i am familiar with their concerns and you always have to take -- assess the risks. our military is prepared to go into high risk environments if they're able to do that. there was an awful lot that night.
that precluded that. it was not for lack of desire to do that or help someone in harm's way. the other thing i would talk ruefully about is the issue of -- talked briefly about is the issue under the circumstances under which they gave their lives. -- toere killed in a very individuals on top of the building shortly after that. there were three mortar rounds that landed very accurately in a very short. of time in the middle of the night from a place nobody really knew where that mortar fire was coming from. that is how they lost their lives. even the likelihood that we could have provided some kind of overflight over a long period of time for the likelihood that
would have sorted out that mortar fire is virtually impossible. >> thank you for your service and to the families of those who lost their loved ones. >> how did you choose who you interviewed? basically, as mr. of the interviews, -- as the start of the interviews, we took the ascess based on the facts been covered them over time. i did not feel compelled to interview a chain of command in south africa. i know it they were doing that night. i was very comfortable. we interviewed those we thought we needed to interview.
>> i recognize the gentleman from michigan. sullivan, the arb report discussed stove piped discussions by the state department.
regarding decisions on policy and security. to ensure thene security decisions are not stove piped and the individuals making the decisions have access to the necessary security information? >> one of the things we recommended that i mentioned earlier was to create or to elevate the assistant secretary for diplomatic security to an undersecretary. secretaries-- the in charge of security for the department and that authority is delegated down to the assistant secretary. what we found is that that has
led to a little bit of some confusion. when we spoke to people in the embassies, to the ambassadors,
to the deputy chief, it seems like the lines of cavitation, the lines of authority -- an indication, the lines of authority are pretty well understood. at the headquarter level, that was not as well understood. we believe by creating this new undersecretary, it there will be clear lines of authority. undersecretary would be involved in the policy decisions and we believe that would go a long way toward creating clear lines of communication. find thatt practice a briefing of key
participants in a critical event . what is the purpose? >> that happens at the department. it is to gain critical information as quickly as possible before memories start to fade. we did not find any process in the state department. >> there is no lessons learned process at the department of state. your opinion, what should the department due to create an effective lessons learned process? >> from a tactical and strategic perspective within the bureau of diplomatic security. any indication that that is being done? >> not that i know of.
>> thank you. >> with all due respect, you have answered it already. want to asked this question to bring the context back again. why should we not conclude that they had set up -- a heads up is not a desire to coach a witness action,ion -- or an especially in the context of an independent panel? >> the intent was to get the best possible witness identified for the state department. >> an independent panel, coaching the witness. >> there was no coaching. >> ambassador pickering, why did the board decide not to administer oaths? >> no arm had done that in the
past and we have no reason to believe that we would not a truthful testimony. >> this was consistent of the practice? nothy were interviews recorded or transcribed? >> interviews were recorded on that previous had followed. it was a pattern the federal bureau of investigation adopted in its reports as well. we felt it was more than sufficient to record the key points that we would have to take into account in preparing our report. >> could you see a benefit of adopting this practice? this panel has found it impossible of getting full information. between is a difference your access to documents and the
question of the type of documents it should be prepared. believe that transcribed interviews would have created the kind of attitude and approach of give and take which we found with the witnesses which was useful and relevant. the formal process of taking a inhibiting ofis the kind of information we were soliciting, the kind of use we wanted to get on the open character of the kind of approach we were taking. >> the american public and this panel does not feel like we have that access to information necessary to make the decisions about the movement forward. we talk about stovepipes and all of these things that are done at other levels of government.
we have information lacking to us because there is not information that we can read or bring out to the american public. committee will not have chummy discussions that are friendly and cordial in lieu of the kind of interviews that we make available on the record. we will continue to use our process even if others think conversations on recorded aren't more and. -- are important. >> the american public deserves it. especially these -- the family sitting in this room. thank you.
both of you testified it prior proceedings, closed-door depositions. i had the privilege of helping conduct some of that questioning. we have spoken quite a bit at length already. thank you for coming back again today. on this terribly sad chapter in american history. i will start with you, ambassador. usyour deposition, you told to the best of your knowledge, no other arb was so extensive and far-reaching in its findings of personal responsibility or personal accountability or made such far-reaching recommendations at such high levels in the state department. you also told us that in writing this report, you did not want to pull any punches and that you felt that you had a serious obligation under the law and from the secretary to do that.
werelso explained that you deeply concerned that previous arbs had been excellent in the that -- but the follow-through had dwindled away. clintonor, secretary immediately adopted all 29 recommendations in the arb report and the state department is making progress on all of them. is that true? >> yes. i believe they are. >> if implemented, your recommendations will make u.s. facilities abroad and the people
served in them safer -- the people who serve in them safer. would you explain to us how the recommendations will make us safer? >> they will in the cases of posts like benghazi stop the personnel churn which allowed deficiencies to develop, both in continuity and focus and size of personnel. we believe they will provide a better system for the decision- making and respect to the improvement of physical security are the application of higher standards. we believe the training programs that we recommend will improve the capacity of both security specialists and non-security specialist. the serious fire safetybetween preparations and security safe havens illustrated in benghazi
will be ended and there will be appropriate equipment to deal with fire safety and safe haven areas. those are a few of what i think are the most salient points. if i could asked permission to make one brief statement. the chairman implied our interviews and our work was not recorded. the chairman knows and i know that is not the case. >> i want to give you the chance to weigh in on this question. inside the nea bureau of a senior individual with respect to diplomatic security, with the establishment of a separate diplomatic security focused on high threat posts.
one of the things i thought was helpful in your report was this focus on diplomacy. it would be in places like benghazi. in confluence in iraq and afghanistan that we all need -- and consulates like iraq and afghanistan. think the changes that were recommended will have a substantial impact on how the state department moves forward, how we move forward as a country and these very difficult times. the world has changed and we need to adapt to that. in many ways, we have. >> thank you for that, gentlemen. ambassador, we will disagree
on what a record is. this committee makes an accurate for bait him record -- verbatim record as possible. i appreciate the fact that the atlomatic service looks impressions of what was said as a record and i know it is helpful, but it is a different standard in investigations. one of the things this committee is considering, the level of investigation done of any incident, no matter what part of government, needs to be considered for how it will be recorded. that is not to disparage you of the history of how they have been done. i appreciate that you recorded as per your 40 plus years of
history. we were reviewing how we do it. if the fbi were investigating the death of four people, they would tend to want a very accurate record, which is what we are looking for. >> they can speak best for themselves, but our impression has been that the type of recording they provided to us in connection with their investigation of four dead americans was very much along the lines that we were preparing for our own use. reasonable people can differ. investigations and reviews have a different context and purpose. >> cuba, ambassador. -- thank you, ambassador. we now go to the gentleman from oklahoma.
>> thank you to all of you. you have done a tremendous amount of work in preparation. i am trying to gather a group of facts. would you agree we had an overdependence on libyan security that night? we had an overdependence on them. we did not have a sufficient number of our own armed security forces on the ground.
>> i believe the answer to that is yes. your indication that dod was anywhere around benghazi at that time is a mistake. in august?nnel there >> they served a few short period in benghazi, but their assignment was in tripoli. the majority was always in tripoli. >> did they travel with the ambassador when they he was in benghazi? >> no. took twosador department of state security agents with them. >> i think it is really
important to focus on what the mission was. months,e there for many the vast majority of the mission was training. they did make some security recommendations. from that perspective, they provided some input with respect to security. i think it is a reach to think they would have been there. >> fair enough. you.e answer ird gave -- the answer i already gave you. >> do you know how many posts worldwide at that time? the did not meet the minimum standard? >> i am only guessing, but somewhere between a third.
>> 260 or so, it a third did not meet our standards? >> that is my best understanding. principal recommendations was in the building program recommended in the nairobi along 10 years before, it it had dwindled away. to 10 ad to go back year at a cost beginning of $2.2 billion a year. that is in recognition that probably among those that do not meet standards, there are urgent high risk posts that i get priority. >> what about the high risk post's? >> at the time of benghazi, the department of state had an
emergency review of 19 posts, including visits to them, which was their judgment about what was high risk. >> any special chain of authority to have actual personnel there? who makes the decision? made atecisions were the place we identified the deputy assistant secretary in diplomatic security makes the primary decisions. >> that would be charlene lamb, patrick kennedy. with the secretary of state have -- with theon that? secretary of state have to sign off on that? >> no. and there was no one at the ready.
did you discover there was a contingency plan? we are at a high risk location. did you see there was a contingency plan for response in case there was an emergency? >> i do not think there was one. >> is that something we should recommend? x it goes back to available assets. >> 19 is not a small number when you start talking about forces. how are you going to distribute your forces? it is a worthy discussion. i know the pentagon has recalibrated that. the first line of defense is the local government. second line of defense is our resources in place.
those are things we concentrated our attention on. the department of state is assigned an additional number of marines and security officers. >> that was our concern as well. the libyan militia was not sufficient. enoughnot have a high rsonnel. we did not meet the minimum standards. we did not have a contingency plan. the individuals that were there were very naked. exposed at this particular location. it was the deterioration of the numbers and the upgrades over time that did not prepare
the benghazi compound. we twognificant and had or three times the number of people in place that night, i am not sure they could've done much. we lost any kind of deterrent capability so that the enemy would think twice about whether do something like that. >> the gentleman's time has expired and i think the admiral for including the portion of this that talks about if you have a strong force, you often don't get attacked and that might have been the greatest benefit of additional forces. fromw go to the gentleman wisconsin. >> thank you to the witnesses. >> i knew it was not going to be
exactly mr. smith goes to washington but i did not expect groundhog day. i feel like i am watching another copy of groundhog day. we have had 12 congressional hearings on benghazi, three in this committee i have been on. there is three this week alone in the house. i know i sat through part of the closed deposition. we have gone through extensive conversations about benghazi. in the bubble of washington, having come from outside of the bubble railroa where real peopl. members think they know more by visiting basis than the joint chiefs of staff. what i'm most concerned about is what we're doing to make sure this never happens again will
stop to make sure that we are actually honoring the lives of sean smith, tyrone woods, .hristie vince -- chris stevens. so that they don't have to face another benghazi. the most important thing that we can do. we want to make sure that this never happens again. number ofoutlined a recommendations. one of the areas perhaps we have been remiss on, in my opinion coming from the outside, is that we don't talk about what .ongress has to do
this congress has been pretty much failing to get much of anything done. when you look at the recommendations and most recently in the newest reports, there are specific things that congress should be doing. we should be poking and poking and hope we get a got you, which i think happens too often in congress. let's figure out what happen said that this never happens again. ask specifically, ambassador, you talked about the fact that the state department recognize those immediately. have we moved at all on the recommendations that you have had for congress to make sure that we are protected? >> on a couple of recommendations that were made of an emergency character after visits to the 19 posts, there have been moves by congress. grief and been our
responsibility to do the follow- up. there is a number of recommendations and have to be ornslated over legislation legislative proposals. for that, we rely on the state department and the budget process. the congress is not being asked independently to have initiatives but hopefully to support the executive branch's recommendations to take our ideas and put them into action. moving theess not budget, kind of living on a we really resolution, haven't had a chance to address the very recommendations that you have made in this report. >> i don't know if this would be 2015 proposals. that becomes our sponsor ability. i would hesitate at this stage
to try to give you a thought when i don't know. >> is my hope that that at some point as we continue and i know we will continue to talk about what happened on benghazi as a tragic incident because we really focused that congress -- do best to make sure nothing like this happens again. we actually have to figure what we are doing when this doesn't happen. i am full. that will be moving in the future. >> i'm sorry you weren't there in january. we actually saw some of the changes that were made post- 9/11 in morocco and algeria. facilityow you see the in lebanon.
there are several hundred people who guarded it with armed want heavy machinecluding guns. if you are available, i would love to have you go on the next trip to the region and we can begin looking at what recommendations we could help with. >> i think that is a great suggestion. i look at what happened with what we might do a serious and what was one of the first things that happened? we were putting out warnings to make sure. we know there is a threat out there. rather than continuing to look backwards and looking forward.
>> the ambassadors residence to serious on the street. you look at people going by and it has not been selected historically for an upgrade for a number of reasons. whose nation supports. you are lucky enough to ever get to dublin but you will discover that our embassy is on intersection of two streets be be broken can inadvertently by a rocket being popped up and a truck going by. we do have a lot of facilities around the world and the complexity of it is important. when you look in a situation that might be similar to afghanistan or iraq in benghazi, there is a consideration. hopefully, that is what foreign affairs will look at in detail. i look forward to having you on our next trip.
and with that, we go to the gentleman from arizona. >> the best management pack this review panel found that many important recommendations made in the 1999 arb convened after the bombings were not in fact implemented. in fact, he wrote, this report was largely ignored by at a site department and did not receive widespread circulation. many of the senior officials involved, before during and after the attacks including the arb held senior positions within the department. the time, thomas pickering was the undersecretary of political affairs. patrick kennedy was the acting secretary for security. susan rice was the secretary for african affairs. what did your best management panel recommended?
>> we thought that it is really important that this be an enterprisewide initiative that everyone has to be involved in this and everyone has to understand. we talked about how important accountability is and we did not look at this as a negative, we looked at it as a positive. we just felt that with these recommendations, i cannot speak to what happened in the past. we do believe that this is not just about the office of diplomatic security but departmentwide and everyone knowing what their responsibilities are and what their accountability is and everyone works on this together. for example, risk management. we believe that having a formalized risk management model is something that is very
important. not just for the department of diplomatic security but also for the whole enterprise. >> would you agree with that? >> i think that mr. sullivan hit on a fundamental issue. those tactical things were important. the fundamental issue comes down to the state department does not have a risk management makess to determine and informed decisions should we be in so these places with a full understanding of the risks. >> let's go back. panels best management will be done to make sure the recommendations set forth in the report and that these will be followed? >> that is part of the recommendation that created the panel. it called for regular reevaluation. i'm coming back to accountability.
part of that accountability ,ould be part of congresses would it not? >> it would definitely. obviously, some of the recommendations will take congressional action. >> i am a private sector guy. accountability is very implicit. you will have a stack of attorneys, depositions, transcriptions. you don't get to pass go and collect $200. from the standpoint of the record that we have been talking about, the state department is withholding the interview summaries that have come out because there are no transcriptions. in order for congress to do its job, we should have access to those, should we not? >> i think that is a question for admiral mullen. >> yes, i believe so. >> how do you feel about that? documents that
congress is entitled to, that they should have them to review? i have a long-standing history in terms of providing documents that are requested and it is something that has got to be worked out. >> it does not need to be worked out. it is our duty diligence. i am talking to a man who is very accountable and through his whole lifetime has been that way. the mantra in this place needs to change. there needs to be accountability. i would hope that you would generally come forward and say absolutely. >> i have lived my life focusing on accountability. i feel very strongly about that. to sayuld expect you absolutely yes, they should be turned over to congress. i have ever seen or
heard of you, if you would say, absolutely, accountability and transparency should be there. you would see it right to turn those records over. >> believe me, i am right where you think i am. the issue of the specifics and what is inside that has to be worked out. specifically with respect to records. i have been in departments that theyhatever the reason is, don't provide or take a long time. , am not privy, quite frankly to the specifics. >>, so you don't like the status quo? >> no, i think that where we were was to try to get to the best position we could with respect to accountability driven by the law, quite frankly. >> part of that is the oversight of congress and part of the oversight of congress for implementation as we have seen
and timeline of ineptitude implementing these discussions for previous action. we are not having part of the records. legislating is not just budget. >> the gentleman's time has expired. makes a lot of sense. >> i think the admiral. the that, we go to gentlelady from illinois. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in the army, our soldiers live by a creed and a warrior ethos acceptgins with al" i will the mission first, i will never leave, i will never leave a comment behind." i believe they laid down their lives as warriors on that day. admiral mullen, i think that
there is something that is added. i want to go back with what we talked about today. first, the allegations that the four-man team in tripoli was ordered to stand down. there was no such ordered. the team was ordered to provide medical assistance, is that correct? what's that is correct. >> the military flew an ofcraft over in a matter hours and they would have needed tankers. is that correct? >> that is correct. >> in terms of the and identified persons that claim to be an operator, that a special forces team from europe that prevented the attack, that is correct. >> what you are saying is correct. >> i don't understand this. it used to be that when our nation came under attack, we
would rally together and especially around our men and women in uniform. the allegation that anyone in the uniform on that day would ever do anything other than the to thest effort to come assistance of the men and women in benghazi and in tripoli troubles me. you have commanded a tanker, a guided missile destroyer oh, a cruiser. commanded the second fleet. i would suspect that if you could have personally done anything to get there, you would have yourself based on your military experience. >> i certainly would have. on page 32 of our port, you explain how these acquisitions affect our military service members and this is what you said. "the line of questioning, that we would consider for a second not doing anything we possibly
could just stirs us to our bones because that is not who we are. we don't leave anybody behind." did you say that? say to those who question the integrity, the professionalism, and the motorists of our military commanders and our men and women in uniform? >> one of the things that has been evident in this review and certainly even in congressional testimony for former members of servingtary and indeed foreign service officers is that you see is the frustration with the inability to deliver that night. i think it is universal. the lines ofalong questioning. i understand that. manye led a force for years. no one i ever knew in that
force would not give their lives to try to save those individuals. including myself. that is one of the reasons why i paid so much attention to what could have happened that night from a military standpoint. i looked at it as i indicated twice. time,really was a distance, physics problem that would have prevented us from getting their for what seems to be an actual ordinary amount of time. as i indicated earlier, particularly with the f-16s, for example, there are very real requirements to do that. not even how do you mitigate the risk. the military is willing to go into high-risk places. just wasn't going to happen in time. what is to some degree a little bit ironic in all of this is at the compound we lost two great heroes and we have talked today
about the fact that they were not very well armed, security posture wasn't there at all. , thatk rightfully so should be criticized. at the other compound, we actually had a compound that was incredibly well armed, incredibly well defended. and yet, somehow, we lost two people. this speaks to the challenge that you have created security .n every circumstance those two heroes were individuals that come from a force that i know well. there was no one i know in the military that did not do that night all they could and would not do all they could to save those people. >> admiral, thank you. can you say that the military has learned some valuable lessons from that day and doing ? better job
isas far as posture concerned, i know the forces have been re-postured, specifically in that part of the world, although i don't know the details and that was a lesson that was learned and put in place immediately after it happened. >> thank you very much. >> admiral, you are aware of the commandant's initiative and its response capability? >> yes, sir, i am. >> that would be an example of a direct response where if the marines have taken existing assets, repositioned them for a different response. >> to what was discussed earlier, particularly with the cr, i probably have too much expertise in history and budget. there are some new initiatives coming, at least recommended, as
best i can recall. you cannot start new programs under this. the additional force of the marine corps is asking to create an expanded security force and embassies around the world. that has got to be funded. that has got to be funded pretty quickly given the risk that is out there. i don't know if you can do that. somehow make exceptions. chairmanknew that the has every intention of trying to make sure there is a regular where some of these things can be done. with that, we go to the gentleman from pennsylvania. >> thank you, mr. chairman. admiral, i want to thank you for your distinguished leadership for our military. i have a responsibility here and it is in that capacity of oversight that i ask you questions.
under the principles, it is such an important idea. requires the direct commitment of the secretary before it can be changed. the board said the key driver behind the weak security platform was that the decisions to treat the benghazi as a temporary residential facility, even though it was a full-time office facility. is it not correct that the undersecretary made that decision? >> yes, he made the decision to continue for a year the facility that then existed at benghazi. don't know if he made any decisions in the force of the
transformation between april, 2000 10, and december, 2012. >> was this part of the overseas security policy board? >> it was not. ,> the comprehensive upgrades the risk mitigation plan the don't exist. the decision was a flawed process, the decision did not take security considerations into place. interview, did you mr. kennedy? >> yes, we did. >> did you keep a transcript of that interview? >> we have a record of that interview. >> what is the record? is that notes? what is the record? >> the record his notes.
>> will that be shared with congress? >> that is obviously a question we have discussed here many times. in my view, it is a long- standing issue between the executive branch and congress into which i will not get. >> when you asked about the failure of the mitigation plan, all the other things that you identified, what were his responses? >> he was making according to his testimony a decision to continue to occupy the real estate. the responsibilities for providing adequate security rested with the bureau of diplomatic security. >> do you really believe that his responsibility is only to make a real estate decision? >> i believe that he believed that that is decision. >> you are the person who was asking him the questions.
even the slightest change of the directry were the requirement of the secretary of state herself. >> the undersecretary for and the assistant secretary for diplomatic security have different roles and missions. the assistant secretary for diplomatic security makes it possible for providing security. >> do you believe that he had a responsibility to look into those factors? >> i believe that the assistant secretary for diplomatic security had that responsibility. >> what was his responsibility with respect to all of these kinds of shortcomings? >> to provide the personnel and security. >> the security was not there. you cannot find the individual at fault for not having done so. >> to make the record clear, the undersecretary was in place the
year before. the decision to rent that facility in benghazi was made under the undersecretary and the .iplomatic security head why is this merry-go-round between you and the general men from pennsylvania as to whether the undersecretary had all of the authority in front of him but rather wants to blame the diplomat security head he reports to him? >> this is the testimony yesterday of mr. kennedy before the foreign relations committee. these are his words. "every day we review the threat levels at all of the post of the world. we reach a point where we believe that the mitigation tools that are available to us cannot lower the threat level down and then we close the posts."
i concluded that given the situation in the ground of the mask is, we longer mitigate the risks sufficiently. to the secretary of state and she instantaneously gave me approval to suspend operations in damascus and pull our people out. when you what conversations he had in regard to security@ benghazi, what did he tell you? inwe did not ask him he had respect to the secretary of state. >> why not? once we knew and understood that the decision-making with respect to benghazi took place at the level of the undersecretary. >> he just said in syria and in a parallel situation, he consulted with the secretary of state with regard to this. not only did he make decisions, but this is his testimony yesterday. he was the one making decisions with regards to the points where we believe mitigation tools are
not effective. he was assuming this responsibility. he was using this as his shield. i wanted to demonstrate the things that i have been effectively in the past and therefore don't hold me accountable for. i am asking why he is not being held to the same degree of responsibility in a place where you have identified yourself that the security reviews were so deficient in so many ways. >> again, we believe that after looking at this, the initial decisions were made in the bureau of diplomatic -- >> he is the one who made the initial decision. it moves up. he is the one who was responsible. >> know if there is not a dispute. there were 19 different
circumstances when there were very serious things. >> why would this not be bought to the attention where he makes heecision or as he says, discusses with the secretary of state. >> we believe that responsibility. that was lodged by the assistant secretary for diplomatic security. it was very clear that that is where the decision isn't made and were not made. i struggle to understand when he himself says he has these responsibilities and conduct these kinds of things everyday. >> i could only tell you that our full examination of this located the decision-making there. >> i certainly question the
conclusion. >> i thank the gentleman for his line of questioning and we fromo to the gentlelady the district of columbia. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i had a markup. hear all the witness testimony. i understand a question that i had and i think has hung over this entire matter. it has not been asked. i would like to use this opportunity to clarify to get you admal mullen and ambassador pickering to clarify ecretary clinton's role. thousands of pages. and of course the secretary was not interviewed and that is why i think that has to be clarified. the majority has used in every way they can the presence of
hillary clinton to somehow point to an elevator that links up with her name or with her. for example, in an earlier hearing, they pointed out that she signed a cable. when the truth came out, it is a stamp that is on every cable of the secretary. so we take everything now with a grain of salt. but this is an opportunity to claire high in issue. -- clarify this issue. we recognize or at least i recognize that not every important matter, even one as important as this, will necessarily involve an agency head, but again, her name has been raised over again. so i have to ask you, if you received any evidence that led you to believe that the secretary should be interviewed or what is it about your investigation that led you to
believe that she should not be interview although apparently her name does appear in the report a fair number of times? >> i think your statement and the question is essentially what we found. no evidence to believe that we had a need to interview the secretary of state. >> and why was that? >> because we found, as i have just discussed, that the decision making with respect to the security issues were made at lower levels in which we found responsibility. >> are these levels, i want to ask admiral mullen, are these matters you would not expect to go to the agency head but to be resolved by security officials? >> maybe since i have experience in the state department i can answer that question and the answer to that question is no. we would not expect those normally to go to the agency head. >> if i could just pick up on
this and maybe connect it to a concerns that express over here. for agency heads and people that operate at that level, including mr. kennedy quite frankly, they have global responsibilities so that first of all, what we found in execution was this -- the decision with respect to security were delegated and i think you would i -- secretary clinton has said she held herself responsible in her own testimony. but when you are running a big organization, you delegate that and you have principles who work for you that you would expect to raise issues of concern whatever the guidance is or in accordance whatever the guidance is henever something happens. wu found that guidance too, the ssistant secretary
responsibility. the opposite was going on. his immediate deputy si, miss lam michigan held all of these -- lamm held all of these decisions closely from the statute itself which directs us at the level the decisions were being made. that's where we were. just to reinforce what ambassador pickering said, we found no evidence, no lines to kennedy or above with respect to these decisions that got made with respect to benghazi that resulted in the outcome. >> and you were very critical in he report. >> exactly. >> well, i think it's very important when you call out the name of an official simply because she was present and in this case the head of the
agency to lay on the record. what evidence there was that she knew about this matter. and here we find that she not only didn't know but there was an effort to make sure these security matters were kept where they were. now when you consider that you're dealing with security atters, even if you have experience, that is a fear unto itself. don't expect that that normally a -- a agency head would second guess a security official without the same kind of expertise. and accept your admonition criticism of the failure to go up the chain of command. i think you were very forthright
on that. but having found that failure, it does seem to be unfair in the extreme so therefore the official who had no knowledge and from whom knowledge was kept responsible. under great tragedy. >> would the gentle lady yield? >> always glad to yield to the gentleman. >> i don't think you were here earlier when we got into this. we have made it clear that the arbs' inability to deal with policy decisions and other areas outside their jurisdiction, if you will, which through secretary of state's obvious policy decision on normalizeation. a policy decision that was in progress, one of the reasons that we have had testimony that ambassador was in benghazi was because turnover desire by the secretary to put a -- because of the desire by the secretary to put a permanent mission there. she made a decision to cut security at the consulate but
part of the challenge here today or in the earlier testimony is that the a.r.b. as currently structured has a lot of limitations as to what they can do including the four people they recommended for adverse action, all of whom were back on the job without ludesing a day's pay. >> yeah, but that leaves the secretary's name muddied frankly by this committee. and it just seems to me that we ought to lay to rest that matter. never came to her. should have, perhaps. don't know. but certainly never came to her. it is almost, mr. chairman, like and terribly great tragedy when there was a killing and, of course, the committee thought to go to go the attorney general. i do believe in accountability at the top.
>> he was held in contempt with withholding information under his watch. the gentlelady's time is expired. >> i do remember that was one of the most controversial if not the most controversial decision of >> i want to thank you. did you submit written dwose hillary clinton for her response? >> i did not. ?> was she aware >> i think she was. >> was she aware that the british ambassador was almost assassinated in benghazi in the weeks and mops leading up to
september 11 2012? >> i can't be positive but i think she was. was she ware of a specific request from the ambassador himself for improved security at that facility? >> i -- we never saw any request from ambassador stevens to - >> that wasn't my question. was she aware of >> nothing that indicated ambassador stevens. >> my question was was she aware of that? was the secretary of state aware of it? >> i don't know the answer to that. >> all right. and here's what i found confounding about that. the 1998 arb -- you start your arb with a quote from a spanish-american philosopher about history and those who don't study it are doomed to repeat it. i found that interesting because
the 1998 arb recommended this. the secretary of state should personally review the security of embassies and other official premises, closing those who are highly vulnerable and threatened. the secretary of state. that was the specific recommendation from history. so you can understand with all due respect to my colleagues who don't want to mention the secretary of state's name. you can understand my question. did she personally review the security at benghazi? >> i don't know -- not -- all the evidence that we saw indicated no, but i don't know the answer to that. >> did she personally consider closing the facility in benghazi given the fact that a panel exactly like the one you co-chaired recommended -- recommended the secretary of state permanently review it. my question to you is did she? >> i'm not aware that she did.
so there is no evidence, ze despite a previous recommendation from an arb just like yours -- because what our colleagues on the other side say is, let's don't study the past. let's just look forward. my point is we have this recommendation. we had it in 1998. that the secretary of state herself review the facilities and consider closing them if they are not safe. >> i think one of the -- and i think we have -- we have pulled people out where it wasn't safe over the course of those years. >> but my question admiral, you never interviewed the secretary of state about whether she -- whether she -- accepted and performed a responsibility given to her by a previous accountability review board.
>> we comment on that and those that had not been impolicemen. it was not to test each recommendation against those who were in positions in the current administration. >> i want to read you a quote and i want to know whether you know the author of that quote. the independent quality review board is already hard at work looking at everything. not cherry picking one story here or one document there but looking at everything. do you know who the author of that quote was? secretary clinton. how could you look at everything when you don't even bother to look at the person who was ultimately responsible for what happens at the state department? >> i think we have explained that. that we found no evidence that she was involved in decision making and no need therefore to do that. >> but i just cited for you it is her responsibility. according to an arb just like yours from 1998, she should permanently review it .
did you ask her whether she was familiar with that recommendation? >> we didn't interview her, so obvious we will didn't ask her. >> i want to read another quote. over the last couple of months there was a review board that investigated every element of this. this being benghazi. do you know the author of that quote? >> no. >> barack obama. did you interview him and ask can you help us? your guys are under attack? >> we did not. colleague jason cheryl asked you about mills. you wanted to give her a heads up. make no mistake. she is the lawyer for hillary clinton. you wanted to give her a heads
up. a heads up about what? >> i specifically said that having interviewed charlene lamm and knowing that she would appear in congress, that i thought she would be a weakness witness. >> were you concerned she would tell the truth or not tell the truth? >> when you said not be a goodness -- >> i wasn't concerned whether -- be a good witness. >> i wasn't concerned whether she would be a good witness or not. >> gentlemen, we're out of time. >> i would like to hear the nswer to that question myself. could you answer this question? the last question. >> maybe you could repeat the question. >> the question was a heads up about what? were you concerned that you would tell the truth or not tell the truth? >> no, that had nothing to do with it perfect i would never
question the integrity of charline -- >> would the gentleman just let him answer? >> i'm trying to help him. >> he's been around 40 years in the military, so he knows how to answer questions. >> as i explained before, mr. gowdy, i have run departments, i have dealt with witnesses who have come to congress and represented departments i was in as best we possibly could. the intention from the heads up was to just having sat down with lamm, it was the first time i met her in our interview, i thought there could be better witnesses to represent the department. had nothing to do with the a.r.b.. >> better witnesses from what standpoint? >> at that time and place with respect to the events which had occurred in benghazi. >> wasn't she a fact witness? i mean, the facts pick the witnesses. the state department doesn't pick witness, the facts pick the witnesses. she was a fact witness
right? so whether she is good or bad is immaterial. ppach i fact witness standpoint of having run a department and many times having the department represented as best as we possibly could. that was it. >> well, in conclusion, let me just tell you from my previous life, i well understand having bad witnesses. i had plenty of cases where i wished i could have picked them but i couldn't. she was a fact witness. the fact that she was not going to be a good fact witness for the state department to me is immaterial. he's a fact witness. >> one thing, gentleman-the-gentleman -- >> sure. >> this is the question. the reason why i wanted to hear your answer is -- this has -- this has nothing to do with honesty and integrity with
regard to what the witness was saying. nothing like that. i mean, what does it have to do with? in order, does somebody, for example, if it is somebody that may not know the facts. may not understand. >> i take mr. gowdy's point, she certainly was a fact witness. it was, from my perspective, a judgment that she hadn't done this before. obviously this was a terribly important issue to be able to represent that particularly early in the process, i thought was very important. and that was sole reason. >> i take it you wanted the best information to come to the -- >> at that point, sure. and to the congress. to the congress. this had nothing to do with the arb. i yield back. >> thank you. >> we'll recognize the gentleman from new york. for a very generous five
minutes. >> thank you. i would like to thank the chairman and the ranking member for assembling such a distinguished panel. i particularly want to publicly acknowledge the selfless and distinguished careers of admiral mullen and ambassador pickering, both of whom have served republicans and democratic presidents and have taken on some of the most challenging and difficult problems and obstacles that our country has faced. so i want to publicly thank them for their public service and their selfless public service. and i respect your work and i wish all of my colleagues likewise respect theaverping you have done for our country. -- everything that you have done for our country. i'm particularly sensitive of any efforts to roll back gains for women or any attacks on
men and i find the attacks nurbling and consistent against -- unusual and consistent against the former secretary of state, hillary clinton, although the arb rrt, which i thought was excellent and there has been little mention of the fine recommendations that you came forward with to improve the safety in our ebb tiss -- embassies overseas. the state department has starteded to implement many of them. i believe you stated -- and i quote from you, there was no official including the secretary of state, whose involvement was not reviewed extensively. and you stand by that statement? >> i do. >> i found the report that was issued this week by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle a very partisan staff report on its separate investigation of benghazi. i found
it very partisan because even though you say she had no participation and all evidence shows that, it mentioned the former secretary of state 25 times. 25 times and not once does the staff report identify any evidence whatsoever to indicate that the former secretary of state played any role in security-related decisions about the benghazi special mission come pound and i -- i compliment you for focusing on positives of how we can move forward to make our country safer and better in many ways. i would also like to point out that there were personal attacks on national television stating that the former secretary of state lied under oath when she testified before congress that she did not personally approve of a security reductions in
libya. as proof, the republicans produced a cable that had her stamped signature on it. so i would like to ask you, ambassador pickering, since you have spent a majority of your years in the state department and serving our country many times overseas, do you believe because the department stamped the secretary's name on this cable that, she personally approved it? >> no. all cables sent out by the state department are stamped with the secretary's name. and how many cables a year are >> sent out, would you say? >> i think the last estimate was 1.4 million. >> so that would not say that. what does the state department manual say about this? >> i think it says all cables should be stamped with the secretary's name. in the past they used to stamp with the acting secretary's name. that was changed under secretary
powell. wherever the secretary is, she is still secretary and her name still goes on the cables. >> could you mention for the panel the four top recommendations in your opinion of the arb to make our personnel, our professionals, our public servants safer overseas? 24, 29 is hard with classified recommendations. i would center on a number of thoughts that i had mentioned in my oral testimony a minute ago. one the notion that we should carry out the nairobi construction program recommended by admiral crowell just dwindled away way through inflation and reductions in budgetary support. i think those kinds of issues
still are very, very important. i would like to say as well that i think among the others, and i've highlighted them and if i can, i will just give you a sense of what those might be. that we need better risk management assessments and we aid out some criteria in mr. sullivan's report i think produced clear evidence that there were better ways to do that in the state department. y sense is that we can improve intelligence performance and we suggested a number of ways that we could do that. and i think on the question of personal accountability, which is figured here very heavily, i believe we made recommendations that were important with regard to that and my hope is that the state department will carry those out. there have been discussions here about that they to beyond where
the arb is, but our recommendation is to be separated from their jobs and two others be reviewed for deficients in performance. >> my time has expired. thank you. >> we recognize the gentleman from kentucky for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, it begs the question, what was steeveps doing in benghazi? let me read a statement from the report. the board found that ambassador steeveps made the decision to travel to benghazi independent of washington. let me read you the testimony of mr. hicks when he was here before this very committee. asked him did you tell the
accountability review board about secretary clinton's interest in establishing a ermanent presence in benghazi? becausewasn't ostensibley he looked both ways to the members of the board saying does the member know about this? nother factor. did hillary clinton intend to visit tripoli in september? i asked him. this was ambassador stevens in addition to establish a permanent facility there. was that your impression? he said yes. were you surprised by his statement? >> no. i was surprised by the fact that this was a new item of information to us and i wondered how ramified it was understood. >> ok. let me -- >> secondly, i made in my deposition about the new series of statements.
>> ok. i'm short on time. why wasn't that included in the arb report since secretary clinton had directed him to go there? >> she had not, to the best of my knowledge. >> so you disagree with his testimony in front of your board? >> i agree that what he had to say was an indication of what the secretary hoped for. >> let me go on. >> it was a direction from her to go to benghazi. >> i have very little time. i think we all agree that any investigation should include a comprehensive list of survivors and witnesses. do you possess a list of survivors and witnesses present or observing during the attack in benghazi? >> it is in the classified report. all of those people we interviewed. >> can that report be made available to all of the members here? >> it is made available to all of the members here. >> ok. are you at little bit to say how many of those witnesses or
survivors or -- were c.i.a. operatives? >> no. >> can you say if any of them were? >> no. >> you said you had unfettered access to state department employees. does that also include c.i.a. employees? >> i'm not going there because it gets into classified issues. >> ok. how many people were evacuated from benghazi immediately following the attacks? you mentioned an airplane that took people out of there. >> there were i think the first one evacuated 12 and the remainder, and i think that may have been up to another two dozen or so came on a second aircraft. >> so maybe 36 people? >> something in that neighborhood, but that's just a very rough estimate, mr. massie. >> how many were state department employees and how many were military? >> i can't tell you that exactly. i can tell you that there were, i think, five security officers from the state department who were evacuated.
>> ok. do you have a comprehensive inventory of u.s. weapons or small arms that were there or at the annex before and after the attack? >> i do not have an inventory. >> is it true that after the attack, those facilities were left unsecured for quite some time? >> they were, but i believe the weapons and some or most of the security material from the state department facility was evacuated. >> can you give us a list of what was evacuated? >> i can't, but i'm sure the state department could. >> ok. nd i have to ask this question because the public wants to know this. are you aware of any arms not by accident but by intention were being transferred to turkey or syria from libya? >> no. >> can you give us -- can you make any statements or give us confidence that that was not occurring?
>> i'm just not aware of it. i think i have to say i looked into it and i'm not aware of it. >> thank you. i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. i now recognize -- >> thank you. i want to thank everyone on the panel for your service. i'm relatively new to the committee, though not as new to public service. we talked a lot about unfettered access. you all had a role to play. i know the arb was able to accessnologist 10 weeks that this committee has not been able to access. what so much of what we do in public service for better or worse has less to do with the facts and more to do with credibility. folks have unanswered questions. i always tell my constituents
there are more in jail for the cover-up than the crime. it is that undermine of public trust. i want to ask you all, you have all been entrusted with these responsibilities for much longer than i. nderstanding the division. government, executive, judicial. trying to serve that public trust, would you conclude that we can serve that public trust best if this committee could have absess to as much information as possible and then -- access to as much information as possible? >> yes, i do, sir. >> mr. sullivan? >> again, sir, i think -- and i go back to what admiral mullen said, i think this is something between the committee and the state department. i do believe these are documents that congress is entitled to get and they should receive them. again, i think that this is something that should be dealt
with between the committee and the state department. > with respects, i very much appreciate that answer, i actually think it's between the american people and the public servants to whom they entrust the future of the republic. for me. >> i would agree with that too, sir. >> admiral mullen? >> if you could help us with the microphone there, please. >> we talked about this several times, and certainly i think the whole issue of how a government deals with, you know, this kind of situation, i think i told the chairman earlier i think the oversight is absolutely critical. i have dealt too much, too many times with the tension between agencies and capitol hill on what should be provideded and what isn't. it is not for me or us to decide that and i don't think recommend in terms of what is actually going on. i'm not even aware of the
documents specifically of which you speak. >> it gives me no pleasure to disagree with a public servant of your caliber, but - >> you wouldn't be the first. >> i might not be the first. but candidly, it's less your feelings that we ought to be able to resolve these things i was interested in and more the absence of the outrage. that we can't deal with these things. because this process is going to continue. i said when do we come to an end of this benghazi investigation? and the answer was when we can finally get the folks who have the answers to speak with us. you all were able to do it in 10 weeks by your call congratlationses, ambassador. i talked to every relevant witness within 10 weeks and yet we have not been able to do it in a year. powers s less about the of this committee. it is more about the duties that
we owe the folks back home who still have unanswered questions. i'll give you an example. in fact, the gentleman sat there in the seat that you're in, admiral pickering. it was mr. mark thompson. you may have dealt with him professionally. but he said this when he was in that chair, ambassador. he said my biography is in the record. he said we live by a code and that code says you go after people when they are in peril when they are in the service of their country. we did not have the benefit of hindsight in the early hours and those people who are in peril in the future need to know that we will go and get them and we will do everything we can to get them out of harm's way. and concluded with this. he said that night unfolded in ways that no one could have predicted when it first started and it is my strong belief then, as it is now, that we needed to demonstrate that resolve, even
if we still had the same outcome. admiral mullen, earlier in your testimony, you talked about how we were unable to get to benghazi fast enough. you talked about bombs on the racks. munitions on the racks of aircraft, at the ready. >> i used that as an example. the aircraft were at the ready, and what general dempsey testified to today, earlier in a previous transcription of my statements, we just couldn't get there fast enough. i do resonate completely with what mr. thompson said and every military individual to their core feels the same way. and that is the military's ability that night. that is what happened. every asset. every possibility. it couldn't get there in time. >> in retrospect, they could not get there in time.
think the question so many families have back home is can we see the fuel being driven to the runway. folks arriving the next day. this is every bit as much about what happens in the future as what happened in the past if not more so. again, i thank you all for your great public service. >> gentleman yields back. >> we will now recognize the entleman for five minutes. >> thank you. i yield back to ranking member mr. cummings. >> thank you very much. ambassador pickering, sometimes i don't think that the public understands that the state accident often serving in places that don't offer a lot of
options when it comes to facilities. let me read to you what the executive director of eastern affairs told the committee in his interview about how the united states ultimately selected the special mission commound in benghazi for use in the military. he said this. it was the only things that were available at the time that even met minimal standards. remember chris stevens had just gotten off a ferry with cars. he had gone back into a hotel. there had been a bomb that went off. we had to find something and something quick. and i mean the department as a home with had to find something. here is a challenge. in the case of benghazi, you had some very smart people, including ambassador stephens
advising the united states government that we should be in benghazi. but it sounds like there were not many good options available. even the hotel where they first tried to locate came under risk of being bombed. ambassador pickering, isn't it the case that in many parts of the world, state department officials don't have the best of hoices from which to operate a diplomatic post? >> that is true, mr. cummings. on the other hand, we're speaking about april 2010, more or less. and the problem with benghazi was that there was time to make changes and improvements we found people at fault for not having taken the time to do the job. >> whose responsibility was that? >> we believe it was principally in the bureau of diplomatic security which is
charged with oversight and implementation of state department security. >> mr. pickering, i'm gathering that we don't want to lock up our people like ambassador stephens, who was so loved by the people. i understand that. can you tell us in practical terms how your recommendations will help the state department going forward. strike a balance between putting policy imperatives and the fact that there are not always a lot of good choices from which to operate? >> because, sir, it takes or tries to take into account the special disadvantages that you have mentioned in location, in changing threat situations, and in risk management it sees that as a dynamic. where not every day can you
wander the bazaars but when you can, you should understand the risks that you're taking. it also means that on different locations in cities have different requirements for security. cars are different than residents are different than safe havens. and so it provides graduates levels, if i can put it this way of safety and security over a period of time to individuals who might be in danger. hopefully the situation will be in the main in kind of situation that chris stephens really was able in a maximum way to take advantage of, but at the same time it would also be, we hope, the kind of situation that would prevent the death of a chris stephens in times when the threat level had increase and the security would be adequate to deal with that. nd so it is not all in the
buildings but for most places it is nice to have those as what i would call the security anchor for the worst times. >> so then the key to this seems to be risk mitigation. can you explain how your best practice as panel address this issue and explain how our departmentwide risk management model would help? >> yes, sir. what we looked at was risk management, and what we found was that, for. those two -- it is dealt with experience or sbution and those two things are important. >> did you say sbution? >> yes, sir. experience, intuition and background. what comes down to -- there needs or the more
formalized risk management model that would be available not just to d.d.s. but to the department as a whole. risk management when it comes to medical services, risk management when it comes to i.t.. risk management when it comes to where are you going to put a building it would feed into this risk management model when it comes to how do you mitigate the threat? you know, what is acceptable risk? what is the criticality of the program that you're running. how important is it for that program to run? you know all of us know that nothing is 100% certain when it comes to eliminating risk. we all know that the minute you step out the door, there is going to be risk. what we're get at here is there has to to be a collaborative effort with everybody in the department to come up with the best way to manage that risk and make sure we give the safest environment to our diplomats overseas. >> thank you very much.
thank you. we now go to the gentleman from north carolina. >> thank you, plch. some have argued today that this is all about politics. i know i made a reference sandy ook never fills out a again. -- never happens again. so that spd that chairman royce, some of my colleagues here are a co-sponsor of. i want to specifically look at a couple of things that really hopefully will keep us from repeating this tragedy. and i want to address what is w known as the memo that was brought forth under secretary madeleine albright. it made some recommendations that we had an undersecretary for diplomatic security that
report directly to the secretary and ambassador pickering, i want to address this question to you. if you would put a slide up on the screen so that we can know what we're talking about there. if i can ask the committee to do that. in that, you were copied on a memo because you were the undersecretary for political affairs. it talked about the issue and quote the issue of the d.s. or diplomatic security reporting to the secretary of state was controversial with the corporate board. what is the corporate board? >> i suppose that under secretary cohen was referring to group group of people on the seventh floor, undersecretaries who were close to the secretary an perhaps some of her personal staff but i cannot guess. were you a member of that corporate board? >> from time to time, yes. >> so why was this twrofrl that
corporate board? >> i don't know. i personally -- >> but you would support that? >> i think it was about the undersecretary proposal. >> i think the other quote, and i want to quote this as well, there are strong feelings that there are already enough undersecretaries and that the undersecretary of management should be entrusted to make tradeoff decisions. tradeoff decisions between diplomatic security and administrative functions. when we're talking about the lives americans, tradeoff is not a good word. would you agree with that? >> i agree. i believe that there is a natural problem in that particular question between the undersecretary of political affairs and the undersecretary for management between the political imperative of staying in a post and the security of protecting it or leaving it. >> ok. so let's look at this. you had an arb that was extensive. this could be to you ambassador
and admiral mullens, why was this particular issue not brought up when it was learly recommended when we had a tragedy in east africa before? why would you not have addressed this as an issue? >> we did not believe that the deficiencies we found would be cured by that problem. that was my personal point of view. secondly that cure would not solve all of those issues. it would by fur indicate in my view -- >> so having one person in control, a diplomatic -- is not a good idea? >> it is an excellent idea at the steapt secretary level. >> ok. admiral mullen? >> i have seen this brought up today and i'm aware that the panel recommended the same thing. i don't think you fix it by
bureaucratically making the change. >> there may not be one fix but indeed it was recommend before and it was thought to be a good idea and here we are 15 years later not doing it. >> part of the way we tried to address that was to look at previous recommendations and implementation and a lot has changed since 199 . it may be the right answer. there are some bureaucratic issues that are associated with this. it can't be put in place and not be integrated. >> for the record today, each of you, are you for this or against it? this recommendation? for the record. i want both of you to tell me where are you on the record? >> i'm inclined against it because i think the problems it raises are larger than problems it solves. >> admiral mullen? >> i'm against it until i know a
lot more about it. >> i can see my time expired. i will yield back. >> before the gentlemen yield back, i think mr. sullivan and mr. kyle with speak on thsm i think undersecretary kennedy had both parts of this on his watch and it was an organizational failure to weigh the two. mabet didn't come to his desk, but putting a separate undersecretary wouldn't have changed that. mr. sullivan? >> thank you. you know, as the panel looked at this, there were a couple of hings that came to mine. and even here there is debate, i think, as far as who is in charge of security. we believe that having an undersecretary under security that would eliminate all debate, confusion about who in fact was in charge of security. hen we look at the amount of
the breadth and scope of what comes under the undersecretary for management, it is pretty vast and, you know, administration, budget, these -- the foreign service institute, information, resource, we thought that was an awful lot for one secretary. i understand the hesitation because of the -- this may just create another bureaucratic layer and one thing i think is important to understand is you know, my background. as director, i was a direct report to the secretary. we had a deputy direct fror the f.b.i. and his background, the deputy director was a direct report to the attorney general. and i think when you have that type of direct report and it is made clear to everybody, it just lets your interim and exterm partners for that merit matter
just know importance of security and where security stands within an organization. again, we also understand that there is a lot of other factors that are involved here and there is a few things that need to be worked out and i have talked to the current acting assistant secretary and this is something -- after the report came out, he wanted to talk to us about it in more detail. >> anything briefly. >> just quickly msm when you look at our report, all the aspects of our report are interlinked. program criticality and the other aspects, it is not just stand alone. it is interlinked as you read our entire report. it is all interlinked. >> interestingly, just one last point. eric bozz well testified before your staff. it is in the committee report. he said that the undersecretary for management was making all the security decisions.
hat does not integrate well. >> that was my view. >> the intercept of what we did in the arb was to have this and hope that this independent group continues over time to evaluate this issue so that thpt not the last wort -- this is not the last word with respect to these issues. >> post 9/11, i think we all foe that security is a daily relook and not a one-time relook. ambassador? >> i should just mention because the question of the previous arb as raised. secretary albrirktse as a result of that recommendation, met daily with the steapt secretary of state for diplomatic security first thing in the morning and that established a necks us, a
hain which neither her -- -- nexus, a chain, which neither of her three successors kept. i think that may have been an error. i think in some ways, her interests, to put it that way, almost nairobis and dars instinct stict. it was solved by a process. i think that was a rather good process in some ways i'm glad it wasn't repeated. >> thank you. mr. davis. >> thank you very much, plch. and thank you, gentlemen. ambassador pickering, in your deputy decision, you said that no other arp was so extensive and far reaching in its findings in personal responsibility. our personal accountability made
such far reaching recommendations at such high evels in the state department. is that correct? >> yes, i believe it is, sir. >> you further said that you were able to arrive at that conclusion because you had your staff review all of the other amp rps that were report on to compare how they did their work and what they reported. is that true? >> yes, that is particularly jermaine to the level and degree of accountability which i believe you we assessed. >> then can you explain how your review of previous arps led you to conclude that your arp was one of the more comprehensive and far reaching? >> we reviewed the level at which they fix responsibility when they did and the degree to which they discussed that responsibility and the actions that they did recommend or did
not recommend with respect to the people involved in those arbs as a compare or the against which to -- judge. >> thank you, mr. ambassador. i also understand that a principle reason for doing the review of recommendations is that you felt that previous amp rps had made good recommendations, but that the state department sometimes fell short in implementing them. is that correct? >> yes, we did and that is correct. >> then could you tell us what steps you took with this arp to ensure that the 29 recommendations you made would, in fact, be implemented? at least one nded principle unfilled recommendation of a previous arp germane. elt was very
that is a construction recommendation involving large ams of money. we tried to carry that message, mr. davis, by starting each chapter of the arb with the recollection of past recommendations, which we believe hasn't been heeded, needed to be reheed or needed to be reintroduced. >> then have you been able to follow your recommendations and see how they are being implemented and if so, what have you found? >> only in the press and so far what we have seen has shown department action in that regard, but i cannot say that that is a satisfactory method of review. it was not in our mandate. >> one senior state department official interviewed by the committee said that while servinging in libya, he saw evidence that the arp
reputations were being implemented. he said, and i quote, when i was charged in tripoli for six months, for example, there was a huge number of security upgrades that are underway. many of them, you know, attributable either directly or indirectly to arp. are you encouraged by this comment? >> i saw that in the report. i'm encouraged by the comment, but we know that in fact, the first year after the arp is the time of intense activity and i worry whether, in fact, this is going to be continued. whether some of the heavy lifting between this branch of government and the executive branch for additional money and proposals for additional funding are going to be followed through. i hope they are. i can say i remain now conceptically optimistic but i
-- conceptically optimistic, but i live in hope. >> thank you, gentlemen. gentleman from michigan. >> thank you very much plch. -- plch. mr. chairman. i'm going to be real quick. i have a lot of questions but only five minutes to ask them. admiral, i especially took note of your distinguished career and noticed that you were the captain of several ships or navy vessels. correct? >> correct. >> and on those boats, vessels, ships? >> ships. >> thank you. i'm an old army guy. that you probably created a culture on that ship that had a high -- or those ships that had a high degree of morrall. culture safety, risks management as we were speaking about and
maintaining a high state of discipline and readiness. is that correct? >> correct approximately >> you probably wouldn't have been promoted to admiral if you hasn't. your career is one of the most distinguished i have ever read about. i'm really impressed, but i want to get back to this risk management. it seems to me from what i've been hearing all day that there was a lack of it in, well, in the -- in the state department. did you find that also to be true? >> i sort of -- a two level answer for this. one of the things that most of us that grew up in the military do almost instinctively is risk management, particularly with respect to any kind of combat and we have been in a lot of combat in the last dozen years. what i have found and i take -- go to my senior position in the pentagon as the chairman, as the head of the navy, we're not as
good at what i call strategic risk management as i would like to be, specifically and i worked on that when i was a chairman and when i was the head of the navy in those senior positions and too often were great tactically and not good strategicically in many areas. and i found when we did our the arb is there wasn't the existence of certainly a system. systemic risk management program. >> so you're familiar with the military risk management matrix. right? >> yes. >> if we start at the very top, it would be extremely high risk? >> we would look at the combination of what we call likelihood and danger. or most significant outcome. >> i'm from the army and we have low, medium, high and extremely high risk. we evaluate just about every task including when we go into combat. we look at all of those.
and let's see. the part i'm talking about, and i think we touched on this in earlier questioning, you developed or the military tries to develop a culture around risk management. i think that is what you're trying to improve when you talk about discussing this at the pentagon. right? found a --em to have absent the leadership at the state department. we tried to create a culture of safety and evaluating risk at all levels. the imagine. from training -- m yule. -- manual. same, similar classes where they learn leadership skills
>> when are you going to get around to doing a conference on on the farm bill? >> as soon as we can. >> since canter got the nut rigs title are you going to put him on the conference? >> i love those editorial comments that kind of come along with the questions. after we pass the nutrition bill today we will send it over to the senate and as i understand it the senate will probably have to reappoint conferees when they ask for a conference we'll appoint ours as well.
and the sooner the better. >> will you expand the conference to include people on agriculture? >> we'll see. >> are you willing to violate the house rule to pass the cr? >> we expect to have the votes tomorrow to pass the cr. we'll take it from there. >> is there a subsequent vote? >> i'm not going to speculate on what the senate is going to do and not do and what the votes are. it's way too early for that we'll have plenty of time next weekend to discuss that. >> inaudible] >> busy day, busy times.
seems we're always expressing our sadness. our thoughts and prayers today remain with the families and loved ones killed or injured in the tragedy of the navy yard. yesterday we are joined by families from newtown, chicago, aur roara, across the country who had lost siblings and family to gun violence, whether at the navy yard or whether violence occurs in the country, our commitment remains the same. we must honor the memory of those lost not just by moments of silence but by using our time to pass legislation to reduce gun violence. we need more than that moment of silence. tomorrow the republicans will hold their tea party continuing resolution. that tea party resolution is to
shut down government, to double down on the republican sequester that will cost us 1 million jobs. this is a job killer. 2014. end of 2014 -- and it will gut investments in education and research. to put american companies -- what's really interesting about it is it is a wolf in wolf's clothing. it is a terrible appropriations bill, the cr, but it is also a bill that puts insurance companies back in charge of medical decisions for america's families. this is a resolution that dev states health care in other ways other than just defunding the affordable care act and related to that. it effectively eliminates the strongly bipartisan children's health insurance program. when that passed in the senate it was a veto-proof majority
with a 70% cut in the chip program. it reeks havoc by the disrupting provider paying on medicare and it also again the children health program, and cuts billions of dollars from the national institutes of health. this is not a healthy thing for children. i call to your attention from our ranking member mr. waxman and mr. lench about the impact of medicare and schip. the democrats have a responsible balanced alternative authored by our ranking member mr. van holland whom you know very well to reduce the deficit in a responsible way to end the devastating croost the board cuts of the sequester, and to instead make investments in the future and keep the government working. open and working for the american people.
on the subject of the debt limit, it's my understanding that we will be voting on something that's being prepared for us to vote on next week. shutting down the government is one bad thing. you shut it down, you open it up again. not lifting the debt limit is unleashing a torrent, a river of no return. it is beyond caltclizz middle class. as if a government shutdown wasn't enough for the american people, the republicans actually -- i don't even like to use the word republicans because this is a name that has been hijacked by a segment of the republican party, the tea party element in the congress. republicans are determined to hold the full faith and credit of the united states of america hostage to their radical agenda. refusing to raise the debt limit poses a cata clizzmick
danger to the stability of our markets and the economic security of our middle class. but don't take that from me. federal reserve chairman ben bernanke said a got shutdown and perhaps even more so a failure to raise the debt limit could have very serious consequences for the financial markets and for the economy. and what does that mean to you? what does that mean to the average everyday wonderful american? raising interest if we were to not lift the debt limit, the last time just the conversation about it lowered our credit rating. but if we were not to lift the debt limit it would have this impact on america's families. it would raise interest rates on your credit cards, on your mortgage, on your car payment, on your student loan, and if you own a small business on
your business loan. for one. two, jeopardizing the markets as the chairman has mentioned would impact your 401(k) account, your pensions, and your retirement account. the impact on the markets would have a devastating effect on individuals' 401(k) in addition to raising interest costs for families and harming the 401(k)'s, even the talk of default in 2011 led to a downgrade which slowed growth, impacted the markets and caused consumer confidence to plummet. democrats support a clean increase in the debt limit to ensure america can pay its bills and prevent another debilitating crisis in our country. the votes are there. we will provide a huge number of votes for a clean lifting of
the debt limit. it only takes some republicans to do that. this is playing with fire. legislative arsonists are at work when they start using the debt limit for their own agenda. our country cannot afford another republican manufactured crisis -- which this is. it's time for republicans and democrats to join together to put people to work to grow the economy to strengthen the middle class. as we leave here i'll go to the floor and we'll address what we're doing today, and that is reduce the funding for snap. last week i was in houston and the priest cautioned people there in his sermon, he said to be careful about praying in church on sunday and not praying on other -- preying on other people during the week. and this is exactly what this
legislation does. it's hurting our children, seniors, returning vets. so many people affected by this cut in the snap program. on the floor we have a republican majority ready to do just what i said. in the debate today, we will share the real faces of hunger in america. chief among them again are children, our seniors, our veterans, and their families. one in five kids struggles with hunger. nearly half of snap recipients are children. nearly 4 million americans over the age of 60 rely on nutrition assistance, nearly 3 million veterans and their families don't get enough to eat each month this bill will jeopardize food aid for many of our vets and their families. it's time for republicans to abandon this dangerous bill and work to enact the 5-year
comprehensive farm bill. it's necessary for our farmers, it's necessary for our consumers rgs for food security and again for our farmers and ranchers, and strengthens rural communities. five-year farm bill. it shouldn't be this hard. and then to have as a path to the conference taking food out of the mouths of babies. it's remarkable. but it is a manifestation of the budget policies that i talked about earlier. any questions? >> yesterday, the families called on the house to act on gun violence legislation. would you like to see the senate controlled by democrats vote on gun controls? >> as you know, full well, that the reason the bill did not pass in the senate is that it
required 60 votes. and while it had the majority of the senate voting for it it did not have the 60-vote margin. what i would like to see is for us to pass legislation, not not to pass legislation. as i said yesterday, we have no right to have a moment of silence unless we're going to spend our time trying to reach legislation that will reduce gun violence. it's an agenda of things that we need to restore confidence in our economy by creating jobs and stop this foolishness of shutting down the government. it's about who we are with respect to our native american friends, a nation of immigrants. let's pass comprehensive immigration reform. we've taken an oath to defend, let's restore confidps in our communities by passing the background check legislation.
[inaudible] >> well, i'd like the senate to take another shot so that we can win on it. and i don't know what changes they can make. but certainly we believe that the senate bill did not prevail for lack of 60 votes would come up in the house that it would pass. that it would pass in the the house of representatives. so i think that the support is there. what more -- 90% of the american people support background checks. how come that is not reflected in some way for this discreet bill to pass the senate and the house? we're not giving up on this. we're not giving -- going away on it. and as you saw yesterday, we owe it to those families. but for such a long time we've had this problem of violence in inner cities and the rest. and now we see the movie theater and a kindergarten in connecticut and the rest.
everyone, your children, my children, everyone is at risk. protected ly -- as facility as the nea yard, 12 people being killed by a lone gunman, we have to act upon it. many other factors are involved. but all of them come to a place where background checks would be the answer. on nbc resident and news said iran would not try to develop any nuclear weapons, to advance their country to give more freedom of the internet. and the idea when he was asked about the denial of the holocaust, he said, well, i'm a politician, not a historian. i think he struck a moderate tone. do you think he could be a more
willing partner to work with? > i hope that it is not just a public relations campaign but is an accurate reflection of what their views are. we always want to see a diplomatic path. and i do think that, again, to salute the president for his courage to say we will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons and we will act upon that is a message to iran, too. i think the conversations with the russians about how to deal with chemical weapons in syria would serve us well as far as iran is concerned in terms of tom lantose advocated for years, which is to have the spent fuel, et cetera, under international -- not only inspection, but custody.
my daughter, as you may know, received one of those e-mails -- -- when the -- when the usually i don't brag about my grandchildren. christine responded to the foreign minister, not the president, the foreign minister put out a roshshana message, whatever the term is greetings and she said interesting, sir. but how about stopping the denial of the holocaust? to which he responded to her saying, that's not iran. that's one person. and he's not here any more. or words to that effect. so that was encouraging. and more encouraging the words coming from the president of the country. we'll see. we're all looking forward to a speech to the united nations, to perhaps a meeting with the president. again, any engagement, any
diplomatic efforts are welcomed. [inaudible] >> we really do too. because i called on him before. simply because we need the room for the speaker. >> on the cr hoorerks the bill has been written by the house. >> 98. [inaudible] try they said they would to get as high a number. if they strip out health care, can your side take it at 9 86 or does it have to be at 1058 or anything higher than that? >> we're not demanding 1058 or 1057, whatever the score is, but we do think that there is a compromise that can be reached. but i can't tell you what we will take until we see what the bill is. upply democrats can s
votes if democrats have a say in what the legislation is. so again, we'll be interested to see if this senate is successful in stripping out -- i don't characterize it. senator reid already has as well, the attempt on the republican side on the affordable care act putting your health decisions in the hands of the insurance companies. but if they strip that out, we'll see what they do after that and what can pass the senate. but if they want democratic votes in the house, our whip has been very, very forceful and i think speaks for our caucus almost across the board when he says we just cannot have that number -- which is really $20 billion less as you know by january it's $20 billion less purpwutting sequester and be something that we put our imple mat tur on.
let's see what the bill is. we suggested splitting the difference. that didn't seem to work so far from our side, from the house side. but obviously we stand ready to try to work together to reach a solution to keep government open and to raise the debt limit because of what it means to households across america. and we'll see when it comes back. but right now the mood is not favorable to a 986 number. [inaudible] >> you and other democrats have suggested that boehner has lost control of his caucus. could you explain the frustration, the difficulty of trying to make a deal, any deal
with the speaker given that the rebellious caucus he has and the fact that he doesn't seem -- the perception is he is not in charge? >> let me say i haven't said that he has lost control of his caucus. maybe he is in full control of his caucus. i don't know if he is a reflection of his caucus or they are a reflection of him. but let's just say i wish the speaker well. he is the speaker of the house. we have a responsibility. for example, the debt that has been incurred that we have to raise the limit to was incurred by the congress of the united states. so we have a responsibility to lift the debt ceiling. and that's not for new spending. that's for spending that has already occurred. so i think that it is not just up to the speaker but the outside has to weigh in and say we understand the consequences of not lifting the debt ceiling
even if you don't let us explain that to you. to our households, increased car payments, credit card payments, student loans, mortgage payments, small business loans across the board. what that means to anybody out there with a 401(k)? it's very much in danger. so again, this has to be i think a national discussion because i'm not sure people that gain the fireworks are going on by the tea party in the republican caucus and what that means directly to them. so i wish the speaker well. i respect the speaker. i wish him well. and i hope it doesn't hurt him too much that i said i respected him. thank you off see you later.
>> there are some who say probably we don't need to be here because my republican colleagues have been doing a great job of explaining the house plan. for example, senator bur has said the dumbest idea i've ever heard, said a week or two ago, yesterday he reconfirmed that. i don't know if this is a direct quote. i just gave his direct quote. a tweet came from senator corker today that said, i may not be a graduate of princeton or harvard, but i can count and i know that we're headed into a
canyon with no way out. so in case there's any shred of doubt in the minds of our house counterparts, i want to be crital clear. any bill that defunds obamacare is dead. dead. it is a waste o asme i said before. i told the speaker that last week. i'm disappointed that he has decided from what i've heard that he is going to move forward with the full knowledge, that it's a futile effort. they're simply postponing the inevitable choice they must face, pass a clean bill to fund the government or shut it down. the writing on the wall is clear for anyone with eyes to see that they can see. house republicans pointless political games are wasting time. wasted more than a week trying get to a bill that the jean
shaheen and rob portman say and i believe it is, doing something about energy. these are not just games to middle class america. while republicans in washington use these students to raise money and grab headlines, people in nevada and around the country are going to feel the real pain of this economic shutdown. the consequences of shutdown are deadly serious. n fact the chamber of commerce is not unusually a forward-leaning organization, and that is an understatement, yesterday issued a letter that said among other things that republicans should step back from the brink, that they shouldn't even consider closing down the government with the cr or in fact the debt ceiling should just forget about it.
trying to tie this to obamacare. they point out in that letter how disastrous it would be for our country. they are really putting the nation's economic recovery at risk to make an ideological point. so i am glad to see more republicans colleagues speak out against the vocal minority win their ranks. now remember, the people speaking out against the absurdity of the republicans' plan in the house are not just tea party advo cats it's people who feel it's wrong what they're trying to do and i agree with them. only time will tell if common sense will prevail. >> thank you, harry. i've bone in washington for over 30 years. in all the years i've been in the house and senate i've never seen a group of people more extreme than the hard right republicans in the house right now. there have always been extreme
members of congress. but they've been gad flies who come and go without much of an impact. this group of extreme republicans in the house isn't just having an impact. they've been handed the keys to the republican party by a reluctant leadership. they have banded together and literally handcuffed republican leadership. so they are forced to pursue an extreme agenda that defunds or delays obamacare and their my way or the highway approach has carried the day. in this case the highway leads over a cliff to a shutdown or a default, either of which would be devastating for the economy. republican leadership has been dragged kicking and screaming into a fight that they know is bad for their party and bad for their country. and they should know it's a fight they will not win. and the whole country has been dragged closer to a got shutdown and perilously close to a default on the national debt.
but it doesn't have to be this way. the fact is the hard right doesn't have the numbers to run the show on their own. but it's a refusal by the house leadership to stand up to them that's opened the door to the gridlook and potential economic disaster. now, when you look at the body language and the faces of speaker boehner and leader canter, you know they know what they're doing is wrong. for the country and for their politics. so if enough mainstream republicanless come together with democrats we can make the hard right irrelevant. democrats want it, the white house wants it, and in their heart of hearts the republican leadership wants it too. as these fiscal deadlines approach we democrats are standing strong. we're standing together. we're sending a strong message to the house, we will not blink.
don't make it part of your strategy that eventually we'll cav. we won't. we're unified. we're together. ou're not. not negotiate one iota when it comes to the debt ceiling. this country as we get close tore the deadlines is going to come to the realization how bad default and not funding the government is. and speaker boehner will end up doing the right thing sooner or later. it would be better for him, his party, his country if he did it sooner. >> right now house republicans are hard at work mocking senate republicans on twitter and double daring them to fight for their bill to shut down the government. they are so consumed by their internal divisions that they have no idea how this looks to families across our country.
people are watching the news at night and they cannot believe that our country is cruising towards another completely avoidable absolutely unnecessary crisis. they are sick and tired of political games. they do not understand why we are coming up on another government shutdown and instead of working with us to avoid this republicans are actively pushing us closer. instead of passing a clean spending bill to keep the government open, while we negotiate a sequester repolicement, over there they are pandering to the tea party and wasting time with efforts that have no chance of passage. and why six months after the senate passed a budget that they asked us to do and we did, and less than a few weeks before the absolute deadline republicans still refuse to join us at the table and are instead lurching to their right instead of meeting us in the middle. as senator reid has said even
the u.s. chamber of commerce, which doesn't often side with us on fiscal issues, is getting very nervous that republicans have dug themselves into a hole that will end up hurting businesses and our economy. they sent a letter yesterday to members of congress urging them not to shut the government down, not to fight over obamacare now, and not to play games with the debt limit. i think this kind of pressure is going to continue. i hope speaker boehner takes it to heart because democrats could not be clearer. we are not going to delay or defund health care reform. and we're not going to play games with the debt limit. we stand ready and willing to work with republicans on a clean cr while we continue those critical budget negotiations and i absolutely want to work with anyone who is interested in a long-term budget deal that puts jobs in the economy first, tackles our debt and deficit responsibly and spares the middle class.
that is what the middle class are expecting, what we want to do and what we're fighting for. i hope speaker boehner will bow to the int evidentable, ditch the tea party and get to work with the democrats and the many republicans who are fruss traded today. i hope that point comes before we fall into the crisis the tea party is actively pushing us towards. >> is there a way for you to just take out the obama care provision when the bill gets to the senate > let's see what they send us. it's a moving target over there. we've heard all kinds of rumors that they don't have the votes, that they're going to try to come up with another strategy. so let's just wait and see what they come up with and we'll -- my two coleaders have made it
clear. obamacare will not be touched with anything they are doing. >> are you prepared to endure the public backlash of a shutdown in order to protect the health care law? have you thought through what that would be like? >> yes. >> what would it be like? >> senator reid, if you look at the recent history of the debt limit, the only time republicans ever phil bustrd one was when you had 60 votes and they could squeeze you but they knew it would go forward. do you think if you put a clean debt limit bill on the floor that you would eventually see the republicans crack? >> right now i am focused on the cr. the debt ceiling as we know doesn't become operatives until sometime in the middle part of october. maybe later in october. and so we're going to see what we need to do to get the government functioning past tend of the fiscal year and then we'll worry about the debt ceiling when that time comes.
>> procedurally at some point it appears you will need at least some republicans to give you cloture on the cr. how confident are you that you can get at least six republicans to join? >> my concern is whether the republicans are going to be going pell mel to support what's what the republicans have done or will do in the house, is what i should say. if they decide to do that then they're closing the government, clearly. and i think that with all that senator murray has said, senator schumer has said, what i've said, there's really some wrangling among the ranks, not only among the republicans in the house but now we've got battles between the republicans in the house and republicans in the senate. so let's just wait and see if they have a stomach for closing the government. you've worked with some republicans, senator mccain and others on various issues. is this an issue you believe
you can work with them to get those six or more votes? >> well, look, i do think there's a widespread view among the republican mainstream that this is a dumb strategy. many of them have voiced that to me. but we'll have to wait and see what happens. the hard right has a huge amount of weight in the republican party in the house but also in the senate. and it's up in the air right now. >> you've not heard from leader mcconnell? >> yes. >> given the recent history on debt limit, obama negotiated with senate democrats, kent conrad 2009 on debt ceiling. then republicans in 2011. he negotiated then on fiscal cliff and then mcconnell in december of 2010. why should republicans believe
you now when you say we won't negotiate? >> well, the president made very, very clear and we have followed that up by saying we also are not going to negotiate on the debt ceiling. and we're not going to. and that's very, very clear. we can nitpick what happened on the fiscal cliff as to how it came about. it came about. at the time it was the right thing for the country. and i'm glad we did it. we'll have to wait and see what happens with republicans. the ball is in their court. they don't have to -- they should have no wind behind their backs that obama is going to change. he has a country to worry about. >> it's very clear that democrats are going to negotiate on obamacare. ut what about if republicans
attach instruction to deal on tax reform? >> we can speculate all we can here, and all of you could come up with some ideas as to what they might do on the debt ceiling. i don't know. they don't know. so it's silly for us to be talking about it at this stage. >> very quickly. you're going to iowa. i wonder if you're bringing a message that you're talking about here or are you following up -- >> he's running for president. >> no. the last time i ran for president was 1964 in junior high school. i lost. 'm not doing it again.
>> let me thank you for being here today. today is a great day for the american people. we have been in discussions both house and senate as to how best to accomplish the goals that we all believe in and that is keeping the government open and protecting our constituents from the harmful effects of obamacare. we want to thank the house leadership for moving forward in such a bold fashion to put this bill on the floor tomorrow which we're in full support of. we want to thank them for listening not only to our conferences but also to the voices in which we represent from our districts and that's our constituents. i expect that we will have a very strong showing in the house tomorrow as we vote on this bill. and i encourage all our house republicans to support the bill. but as we turn to the senate
make no mistake it turns to harry reid. and the question will be posed to him. and it's a choice he is going to have to make. will he protect the american people from the harmful effects of obamacare or will he coldly force this upon them? the other question is that he is going to have to answer to the american people, why is he willing to protect big business and special interests from the dangers of this health care law and yet not protect the hard-working families of america? we have made our choice. and we're making it clear today. we are here to protect the american people. now the question turns to harry reid what will harry do. i would like to turn it over to snample utah. -- snample utah. >> yesterday was a great day. it was a day of victory for the many, many millions of americans who have been speaking with a sustained voice over the last two months. i want to thank and
congratulate speaker boehner for making the courageous decision to stand with my friend representative graves and my other house colleagues who are up here with me today. and most importantly for standing with the american people to bring forward this legislation that will keep government funded. keep everything in government funded while defunding obamacare. it is one supports by the american people. some 56% of americans believe that congress shouldn't pass a continuing resolution that funds government while defunding obamacare. we look forward to the passage of this resolution. and once that happens we look forward to that resolution coming over to the senate where we demand we expect, we hope to have an upor down vote so that people epeople's elected representatives in that body can have an opportunity to weigh in whether or not they are willing to protect the american people both from a shutdown and from the undue risky consequences of this
unwise health care legislation. thank you. >> everyone knows this law is not ready. just listen to republicans. listen to democrats. max baucus called it a train wreck. howard dean, james hoffa said it is going to change the 40 hour workweek including the president knows this law is not ready. that's why he delayed it for big business and said you don't have to comply with the employer mandate. chicago tribune, the president's hometown newspaper endorsed him twice said in their editorial three weeks ago, delay the entire law. so everyone knows this thing is not ready. i don't think it will ever be ready. let's do what the american people expect us to do. let's fund our glovet and delay a law that's not ready that's bad for the government. simple as that. so i want to commend my colleague tom graves for the work he has done and the rest of the folks up here and our leadership for understanding,
we want to stay on the side of the american people. do what's best for this country. and fund our government and make sure this law doesn't happen. >> two months ago conventional wisdom in washington said this day was impossible and yet i want to command speaker boehner for the american people and for leading for the house of representatives to stand up and vote to defund obamacare is a tremendous victory to the american people and ultimately that is where this battle will be resolved. in just a matter of weeks over 1.4 million americans have signed a national petition to defund obamacare because it's the biggest job kill anywhere this country and it is hurting americans, millions of americans who are losing their jobs, who are forcibly being pushed into part time work, 29 hours a week, who are seeing skyrocketing health insurance premiums and losing their insurance. obamacare isn't working.
with the house of representatives historicic leadership the ball now moves to the senate and to harry reid. this is the moment for republicans to unite, for every senate republican to stand shoulder to shoulder with the gentleman here and the republicans in the house who have been courageous doing the right thing. and this is the moment ultimately for harry reid and the democrats to decide for whom is it they work? in my view, er elected official should listen to the american people and the american people are united. obamacare isn't working. it's killing jobs. and the people who are hurt the most by obamacare are the most vulnerable among us. young people, hispanics, african americans, single moms. they're the ones losing their jobs. they're the ones being pushed into 29 hours a week. so today is the day to celebrate the historic leadership in the house of representatives and today is the day to continue to get ready to move forward for every elected official in washington to listen to the american people.
>> many of you today will be writing about what happens here in washington, d.c. but the real story is about what is happening back on main street in our districts. that's the real story. town hall after town hall i heard real stories about jobs that were lost, health care coverage that was promised but now is not being delivered, and yet what we see is that we focus on the fight here when the fight really is about working with the hard-working american taxpayers back home. the president has talked that this is a bill that just needs a little bit of tweaking as if it were an ap on an eye phone. but the problem is, that an ap on the i phone when it doesn't work game over has one meaning. game over has a totally different meaning when we're talking about health care. and it is time that we fight together.
and i just want to applaud our leadership, speaker boehner, and challenge those in the senate to stand with the american people and make sure that we turn the tide on what shouldn't have been implemented in the first place. >> this is the reason that i came to congress. the reason i came to congress after a 12-year hiatus was because this bill is so oppressive and so hurtful both to small businesses, individuals, and i believe the american economy that i decided to come back. i'm proud to be part of this fight. what's more, i'm really proud of my republican leadership, i'm proud of the speaker for standing up and for listening to the american people. i think it's wonderful. this really -- i don't know that it's democrats against republicans. sometimes i think eist more washington establishment against main street americans. i think that ultimately main street america has to win. one other thing i would like to
comment on. the president knows that this law isn't ready for prime time. that is why he has postponed 41 out of 82 of the provisions of obamacare, postponed, changed or altered them. everybody knows it's not ready. the exchanges are supposed to open on october 1 and none of them are ready. in arizona we're several months away. and one of our community college districts in arizona, the largest one, has already reclassified 1300 full-time employees to part-time status. this is bad stuff. and we have to do everything we can to halt it, stop it. and i hope that the president and harry reid care more about the american people and keeping government open as we do than their stubborn political pride. that's all this is about. >> i can tell you, after august, it was clear where the public in my district is.
they want obamacare repealed. they want it defunded, dismantled. they want it to go away. i talked to businesses. just recently i talked to a business with 57, they're trying to get down to 49. others are moving full time workers to parttime workers. this is not unique to oklahoma. if you look at the jobs report, that's what you'll see. which is why it's so important to our economy that this law be halted. i would like to double down on the thank you to the leadership in the house of representatives for listening not only to the people but to the members of congress as they have come and expressed their views. i would also like to thank senator mike lee, senator ted cruz for their leadership on this. it's been said that first you win the argument, then you win the vote. and these two gentlemen have been out in front on this winning the argument day in and day out. the american people are with them.
so are many of us in the united states congress. and i'm looking forward to tomorrow's vote. >> i want to be very brief. most of you have written stories about how important it is for washington to compromise. i would dare say that every person who is here at this podium would want to get rid of obamacare completely. but the reality is that we have realized that the president and his party are not going to get rid of obamacare. so we're thinking that the best thing that we can do is delay this flawed law for the american people just like president obama has done for his friends and the people that have his ear. that's all we're asking for. i think it's a reasonable approach. you all ask us and the american people asked us to reach a compromise. i think this is a really good compromise. we get to fund the government for an entire year, we get to fund the government at the appropriate levels by only delaying obamacare. we're not asking for a shutdown.
nobody here wants to shut down the government. we just want to be reasonable and we want to give the american people what they're asking for, which is relief from obamacare just like president obama's friends received relief from obama care. thank you. >> good morning. i want to say thank you to each member up here for their work on this latest proposal. i thank our leadership, too, because this is what the american people are asking for. as i traveled home throughout the august recess, this was the number one issue until the syrian issue arose. and now that the syrian issue is hopefully resolving itself, this is again the number one issue. americans are feeling the hurt and the pain and the decisions that they have to make regarding obamacare. as i talked to a mother of a son who had a touch of autism
who lost his insurance, she was asking what do i do now? this is a story that we heard over and over and over again as we traveled across the district and around the state. and i believe that this is our time. this is when it really matters. yes, we voted to repeal obamacare 30 to 40 times but this is when it really counts. this is when it's time to put up or shut up. because this is going to be a law that we see already is hurting people, affecting families, and it is hurting the american economy. and i think that -- i appreciate our leadership being willing to put this on the floor for a vote. let's get it over to the senate, let's let our senate colleagues have this fight. because if president obama and senator harry reid want to force a law that we know by the nbc, "wall street journal" polling is so unpopular with the american people -- if they weren't to for it on -- if they
want to force it on the american people that's their choice. we're going to stand with the american people. the american people are with us. thank you very much for being here. >> to me this is just about fairness. on july 3, the president unelatly delay it had employer mandate for big businesses. in august the president and the administration through opm cut a special deal for members of congress. and even though we had some news on friday about labor unions, i would bet my bottom dollar that at some point the administration will cut a special deal for unions. and so what you have is a situation in which the harmful effects are imposed on society. those who have political connections to the administration or the corridors of power in washington relieve those burdens from themselves and leaving the rest of the american people holding the bag. so we have the power of the purse in congress. if we can't use it for this basic principle of fairness,
then i don't know what good the power of the purse is. >> just yesterday a senior house republican aide said it's disappointing to see that wendy davis has more guts than ted cruz. he used a different word than guts but others have called you a phony and a joke. >> i'm always impressed with the courage of anonymous congressional aides. you know, it is very easy in washington to make this about personalities, to make this about people. this is not about any of us. this is about the american people. this is about the people who are struggling because they can't find a job. this is about the people who are having their hours forcibly reduced to 29 hours a week and they can't feed their kids on 29 hours a week. and so there will always be the back and forth of politics. but i can tell you one of the reasons i'm proud to stand with these gentlemen up here is that
they're focused on doing our job, which is fixing the problem for the american people and bringing back jobs and the economy. obamacare is the biggest job killer in the entire country. and if you want to understand this issue in one sentence, it comes down to the following. president obama has granted waivers for giant corporations and members of congress. why is president obama threatening to shut down the federal government to deny those same waivers to hard-working american families? >> earlier today we'll give you some names though. yesterday congressman tim griffidge said senate republicans are good at getting facebook likes. representative shawn duffy said cruz and lee refuse to fight. raise white flag and surrender. it's time for them to pick up the mantle and get the job done. will you filibuster on the house floor ala rand paul?
that's the only choice you have? >> i will do everything necessary and anything possible to defund obamacare. >> filibuster? >> yes. and anything else -- any procedural means neffingry. listen, this is the most important fight in the country. and it's easy to focus on the political back and forth. listen, this is going to be a process. in all likelihood it's not going to be a single shot cr and everything is resolved and done. as soon as the house passes this into law it's going to be in harry reid's court. and he may well be able to hold his 54 democrats to not listen to the american people to threaten to shet down the federal government to deny american families the same special treatment that big corporations and members of congress have getting. but if that happens, then it's going to go back to the house of representatives. and what we need to do is we
need to be making the case every day in every way to the american people. not about the petty political bickering. americans don't care about pity political bickering in washington. but on the substance. and if and when we win this fight, it is going to be because house republicans have stood up and showed the courage that they are showing right now that they continue to stand up. the house is the one branch of government that republicans have a majority. >> does that fight include the bills allowing a default? >> that's a very good question and it's worth underscoring. the continuing resolution has nothing to do with interest on the debt or a default. yesterday, the president made a reference to a default. we're not talking about the debt ceiling. >> the second bill the house is going to pass will allow the debt limit to rise. is the pledge to filibuster the cr also a pledge to filibuster the second bill if it is to
defund obamacare? >> what i have said from day one, what we have said, is we will not support a continuing resolution that funds obamacare. this is a fight over the continuing resolution. and i thought it was unfortunate that in the president's comments yesterday he tried to distract with an issue of the debt ceiling when this is about the continuing resolution and this is about congress using the constitutional power of the purse. to rein in and overreaching executive and to stand up for the american people, to stand up and say, look, even among those who thought this law might work, we now know it isn't. that's why you've got the labor unions running for the hills because we're seeing in practice that the stated good intentions of obamacare aren't working and the losers are the american people. and we need to focus on the substance of this policy, on bringing back economic growth, bringing back jobs, and expanding opportunity for those
struggling to achieve the merican dream. >> thanks again. >> the question is there was a lot of back and forth about what the senate republicans might or might not do here. can you characterize what house republicans why they were nervous, why there was this tension between the two sides and has that been resolved to your satisfaction? >> i would hope today you see unity from the house republicans and the senate republicans. we are unified behind funding the government and stopping the harmful effects of obamacare 100% unified behind that. clearly there's differences in strategies and thrazz lot of different personalities. but we are focused. we have 11 days to be laser like focused and we will not be distracted. so we will continue pushing forward. >> what was specific? and i guess this is in senator coons' statement last night.
what was said that lit a fire? ow would this resolve this and everybody single kumbaya? >> we are unified behind those objectives. there's never been a doubt. [inaudible] >> you need to ask them. i thought the senator addressed it very well. as for those who sent out tweets i ask you have comments for them. >> what happened and you know what happened is there wasn't 218 votes for the other proposals brought forward. this is something that i believe you're going to a see a strong majority for and maybe you'll see some democrats. we had 35 democrats vote with us to delay the employer mandate. we had 22 vote to delay the individual mandate. so democrats understand how harmful this bill is. the simple truth is there weren't the votes for the alternative and this is where the votes are. >> a little more clarity on
whether -- >> sure. >> do you believe that speaker boehner should abide by the hastert rule if it comes around a second time? i see shaking heads. a sign of hands? >> that's clearly a question for the speaker something that he has been very forthright with in how he is going to operate the house. i heard that question asked of him earlier today and i imagine he was standing about here. i guess you weren't satisfied with his response then. >> i wonder if you're going to hold him accountable. if you believe that he should abide by the rule. you said yes? >> that's what you clearly stated in the past. >> i saw yesterday and i think our colleagues in the house will -- could share this as well -- a resolve in the speaker of the house that was very reminiscent of his early days of being in the house. he is totally committed to
keeping the government open and protecting american families from the hardships of obamacare and it was a very powerful resolve with much constitution. >> is there a worry at all -- i've been the guy in the house that's been driving the signatures on the letter to get the rule codified bn the conference. and i will echo what mr. graves said. i haven't seen this kind of -- i served with speaker boehner before, chairman of the education committee. i sat on that committee. i always thought that he was a fire brand. i said this in conference yesterday. i stood up and i said, i haven't seen this kind of fire in the belly with the speaker since you were part of the gang of seven. and i do believe that this is boehner 2.0 and i believe -- i take him at face value that this is a fight that he is going to fight. he believes that by year's end we will have defunded or post ponde obamacare for a year and
i think that he means it. >> tt government happens to do down, i realize that -- you think there's any way that blame from s escape this or is there plenty of blame to go around? >> if we give the president a bill that keeps government open and his political stubbornness is so intent that he is willing to throw it all away to preserve a bill that's -- or a law that's not ready for prime time even he knows that, i hope the american people and the press would posture it as it really is. we all said we want to keep the government open. we want to do everything we can to keep the government open. but i would hope that they understand that in this kind of a situation the president has to determine what's more mportant to him. [inaudible] >> when this comes over to the
senate, i do predict that republicans are going to stand solidly behind it to fund government while defunding obamacare. i would hope that maybe a handful of democrats, perhaps some of those who are up for reelection in red states, might consider joining us with us as recent polling suggesting 56% of americans think something like this is what congress should do. a solid majority of americans believe this law will make their family health care situations worse rather than better. be a real opportunity. we need an up or down otay -- vote. i hope we will get some democrats joining with us. if the across in the senate upect it, they have to come with a proposal.
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