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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  May 16, 2013 5:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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convictions and get to work and get this done. we can. the tools to do it already lie all around us. this can all take place quite rapidly. let's get it done. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. president, i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of s. 982 introduced earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 982, a bill to prohibit the corps of engineers from taking certain actions to establish a restricted area
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prohibiting public access to waters downstream of -- mr. mcconnell: i ask that further reading of the bill be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now ask unanimous consent that on monday, may 20, at 5:00 p.m., the senate proceed to executive session to consider nomination number -- calendar number 45, 46, that there be 30 minutes of debate equally divided in the usual form. that upon the use or yielding back of that time, the senate proceed to vote with no intervening action or debate on the nominations in the order listed. further, at a time to be determined by the majority leader after consultation with the republican leader, the senate proceed to executive session to consider nominations 11 and 12. 30 minutes for debate only divided in the usual form.
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upon the use or yielding back of that time, the senate proceed to vote with no intervening action or debate on the nominations in the order listed. further, following votes on calendar number 12, calendar number 46, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table, no intervening action or debate, that no further motions be in order and any related statement be printed in the record and that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the appointments at the desk appear separately in the record as if made by the chair. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the following resolutions -- s. res. 145, 146, 147, 148. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. is there objection? without objection, the senate will proceed en bloc. mr. reid: thank you, mr. president. i ask consent the resolutions be agreed to, the preambles be agreed to, the motions to
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reconsider be considered made and laid on the table en bloc, with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask consent the senate proceed to s. con. res. 16. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. con. res. 16, concurrent resolution authorizing the use of emancipation hall in the capitol visitors' center for the unveiling of a statue of frederick douglass. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the concurrent resolution be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, there be no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 2:00 p.m. monday, may 20, 2013. that following the prayer and pledge, the morning business be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day,hat following any leader remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business until 3:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak for
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up to ten minutes each. that following morning business, the senate proceed to calendar number 73, the farm bill. and finally, that at 5:00 p.m., the senate proceed to executive session under the previous order. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, then on monday, there will be two roll call votes, confirmation of chappell and mcshane, and as indicated we will move to the farm bill. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. previous order. >> the senate today unanimously confirmed mit physics professor to be energy secretary. on monday the senate is expected to take up the five year farm bill. the senate agriculture committee approved the legislation earlier this week
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>> learn more about your senators and congressmen with a 2013 congressional directory. contact info, district maps and committee assignments for each member of the house and senate. also cabinet members, supreme court justices and the nation's governors. the directory is $12.95 plus shipping and handling. you can order it online at >> the house ways and means committee holds a hearing tomorrow on the irs targeting conservative political groups apply for tax-exempt status. the acting head of the irs steve miller will testify. he submitted his resignation yesterday after the treasury secretary asked him to step down. the treasury department's inspector general for tax and administration will also testify. that is at 9 a.m. tomorrow live here on c-span2. >> this weekend booktv is live
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from maryland. live coverage start saturday morning at 10 eastern including author scott deberg at 11:15. >> live all day saturday on c-span2's booktv. >> an educated woman and as a believer in women's rights she had frustrated with the traditional roles of mother and wife. during james garfield front doors and paper present she reluctantly played the role of, but when he was assassinated she returned to ohio and ensure his legacy by making their home into an early version of the presidential library.
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we will look at her life and that of mary arthur m first lady when her brother becomes president. join a conversation about the lives of first ladies live monday night at nine eastern on c-span, c-span3, c-span radio and >> fbi director robert mueller testified on capitol hill today. he discussed the investigation into the boston marathon bombing and furloughing fbi agents because of the sequester budget cuts, which he called quote demoralizing. his testimony before a senate appropriations subcommittee was almost an hour. [inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible conversations] >> good morning, everybody. today is the commerce just and insightful here from director of the fbi robert mueller about the fbi's budget and its priorities for fiscal 2014. this process today will be in key areas, one, open and public
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hearing cement sector will move to a classified meeting to go over other aspects related to our global war against terrorism. we want to welcome director mueller for his last federal hearing before sieges. director mueller will be the longest-serving fbi director since j. edgar hoover when he retired in december. is the only director to serve out a full 10 year term, plus an additional two. director mueller, we want to thank you for your service. want to thank you for leading the fbi, probably one of its greatest transformations in fbi history. we want to thank you for staying an additional two years, as we moved into a new enduring war, but cybersecurity aspect. and we also want to thank you for being one of the nighthawk people who were always available 24/7.
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because that's the nature of threats that we face in our country, both here and in the country, and those from around the world. your leadership has transformed the fbi from a domestic law enforcement agency also into a global antiterrorism police force. so while maintaining a vigorous domestic law enforcement agency, there's also been the evolution to do with these predatory threats. we're going to listen to your testimony today about what we need to make sure that the fbi is the premier federal law enforcement agency in the united states of america, and i might add in the world. we do know that there are many eyes in the fbi right now, particularly those related to the boston marathon bombing. i know all of us, all at the fbi, know what happened there.
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a 29 year old preschool teacher from trinity episcopal, the episcopal children's center, she lost her leg but she hasn't lost her spirit. she was there with her mother, her sister, and her sister's husband on that day. all the family members suffered some form of injury, but all are on the road to recovery. but every family has a story. and we want to thank those who responded. we prepared for the worst, delivered the coordinated law enforcement efforts pics i know we'll be talking but probably there will be a number of questions about that, particularly entrance of the authority that the fbi needs to do its job, to be able to prevent such things from happening, the resources necessary to do the important work, and whether any investigatory gaps. but, you know, while all eyes
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were on boston, also all eyes are on the fbi. i was struck by the last couple of days about how, with the fbi has been involved with, like the ricin laced letters, the plant explosion in texas, the melancholy event was an act of a predator or was it an accident? those three girls in ohio. the fbi was involved there. $45 million atm heist which was exposed, $45 million in international coordinated effo effort. and all the time after when everything from every other bank robbers to those of a predatory intent to our country. so we want to listen to the issues facing the fbi, and we are concerned about the budget. the president's request is at
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$8.4 billion. we know that the fbi appropriation was in active at the .1 billion, but after sequester it was 7.5 billion. we are deeply concerned that if sequester continues in 2014 there will be an additional 700 million-dollar cut to the fbi. this is a stunning amount of money, particularly when we look at the incredible things the fbi needs to do. we are heartened by the fact that the president has increased the appropriations request for a new major program, one, the next generation of cyber or $87 million, anticipating a national, for expanding the national criminal background check system.
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$100 billion -- 7.4 million for bio efforts technology. an important facility i believe in alabama. support for critical programs but this is not funded. amateurism, violent crime and exploitation of children of which i know you've been enormous advocate in the protection of civil rights i investigating crime and the despicable practice of human trafficking. we are also concerned about than reduction, particularly in something like eliminating the national gang intelligence center and the consequences of that. so, mr. director, we are looking forward to hearing what the request will be, how you think it will lead important fbi needs if we also welcome you to comment on the sequester today, and whateso the fbi if sequester continues in 2014.
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i'm going to ask my entire statement be included in the record. i now turn to my vice chairman, senator shelby. >> thank you, madam chairman. director mueller, we thank you for joining us here again today. you are no stranger. and we also want to thank you for your service to the country. i want to begin by also thanking the men and women that work with you at the fbi who work every day to protect this nation. we're all indebted to them for the sacrifices that they and their families make. since the attacks of september 11, the fbi has been tasked with additional national security responsibilities. today, the fbi's mission includes among other things protecting the united states against acts of terror, foreign intelligence threats, cybercrime while simultaneously maintaining focus on traditional criminal activities such as violent
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crime, public corruption and white-collar crime. criminals and terrorists are increasingly agile and sophisticated. the same is required of the fbi. the constantly changing landscape of criminal activity at home and abroad has challenged the bureau's ability to respond to emerging threats. in recent years we've seen threats arise in the areas of home mortgages, financial fraud, cybersecurity and, of course, terrorism. but it won't stop their big i believe that new, unimagined threats will challenge the fbi and all of us in the future. to remain effective i believe it's imperative that the bureau had the inherent capability to retool and refocused to address these threats. without a plan to address these threats, the fbi will continue to lurch from crisis to crisis, whic s want to happen. in the past the bureau has received additional resources
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from congress precisely because it has not been agile enough to refocus its efforts internally. th effectivew to address such pressing issues. the fbi request for 2014 is, madam chairman says $8.3 billion. director mueller, while the budget request targets a number of new initiatives and maintains core missions, i believe it lacks focus on how the bureau will address future, unexpected threats that i just mentioned. recognizing the world in which we live and the tough fiscal climate, i'm concerned that the budget priorities reflected in this request do not always in short that the bureau is efficient, effective, and more importantly, nimble for the foreseeable future. i'm committed and i know the chairperson is, to working with you and the others, and i believe, what i believe are deficiencies in the budget, and
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the budget limited resources in a manner that safeguards taxpayers while preserving public safety. i look forward to in from you, as directed, about the abuse budget and its priorities. i'm also interested in hearing about the fbi's work pre- and post-boston bombing. and, finally, the recent acknowledgment by the department of justice that they have obtained the telephone records of "the associated press" journalists as many people concerned. and while i appreciate this is an ongoing investigation, i hope that you'l you will be as forthg as possible in addressing the issue here today. thank you mr. director. >> mr. director. >> thank you and good morning chairman mikulski and ranking member shelby. and even though not here i thank the other members of the subcommittee. i served over to the time on the subcommittee. i want to thank you for the opportunity to appear here today and only half of the men and
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women of the fbi. and let me begin by thanking you, particularly you do or your continued support over these 11 years that we have worked together. as pointed out we live in a time of diverse and process to threats from terrorists, spies and cybercriminals. at the same time, we face a wide range of criminal threats, from white-collar crime to public corruption to transnational criminal syndicates migrating gains, and child predators. and just as our national security and criminal threats constantly evolve, so, too, must be fbi counter these threats even during a time of constrained budgets, as senator here pointed out. today, i would like to highlight some of the fbi's highest for a national security and criminal threats. i'll start with reference to boston. as illustrated by that recent attack, a terrorist threat against the united states remains our top priority. over the past few weeks we've
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seen an extraordinary effort by law enforcement, intelligence, and public safety agencies to find and hold accountable those responsible for the boston bombing. as you know, one of the bombers is dead. chged and we continued and ongoing efforts to identify any others who may be responsible. collaborative efforts of all our partners with help and the cooperation of the public have led to the result so for. and let me assure you it will be no pause in that effort. there are limits to what we can discuss publicly about the case today as the investigation is active and ongoing. but as this case illustrates can we face a continuing threat from homegrown violent extremists. these individuals present unique challenges because they do not share a typical profile. their experiences and motives are often not distinct, which makes them very difficult to identify and to stop. and yet at the same time,
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foreign terrorists still seek to strike us at home and abroad. terrorists to they operate in more places and against a wider array of targets than they did a decade ago. we have seen an increase in cooperation among terrorist groups and evolution in their tactics and their communications. core al qaeda is weaker and more decentralized than it was 11 years ago, but it remains committed to attacks against the west. al qaeda affiliates and circuits, in particular al qaeda in the arabian peninsula pose a continuing and a growing threat. and delight of the recent attacks in north africa, we must focus on emerging extremist groups capable of carrying out such additional attacks. next, let me turn that for a second to discuss the cyberthreat, which has evolves in the thickly over the past decade and cuts across all fbi programs. cybercriminals have become increasingly adept at exploiting
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weaknesses in our computer networks, and once inside they can exfiltrate the state secrets and trade secrets. and we also faced persistent threats from hackers for profit, organized criminal cyber syndicates, and activist groups. as i said in the past, i believe that the cyberthreat may well eclipse the terrorist threat in years to come. and in response we're strengthening our cyber capabilities in the same way we enhanced our intelligence and national security capabilities in the wake of september 11 attacks. the cyber division is focused on computer intrusions and network attacks. fbi special agents work side-by-side with federal, state and local counterparts on cyber task forces in each of our 56 field offices, working to detect and disrupt computer intrusions. we have increased the size and scope of the national cyber investigator joint task force, which brings together 19 law
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enforcement, military and intelligence agencies to stop current attacks and prevent future attacks. and together with dhs and nsa, we have clarified the lanes and roads for our collective response to significant cyber intrusions. now, cybercrime, as many other global crimes today, requires a global approach. in the cyber arena, through fbi attaché offices, we are sharing information and coordinating investigation with our international counterparts. we have special agents in bed with police departments in romania, estonia, ukraine, and the netherlands to identify emerging trends and key players. at the same time we fully recognize that the private sector is essential partner to protect our critical infrastructure and to share information, threat information in particular. let me turn for a moment to the fbi's criminal programs. the fbi's responsibilities range
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from complex white collar fraud to transnational criminal enterprises, from violent crime to public corruption. and given limited resources, we must focus on those areas where we bring something unique to the table. for example, violent crime and gang activity continued to exact a high toll on our communities. through safe streets and safe trails task force is can we identify and target the most dangerous of these criminal enterprises. to track and disrupt violence along the southwest border, we rely on a partnership with the dea led special operations division, the organized crime drug enforcement task force's, and it's fusion center and the el paso intelligence center. and at the same time, we are required to you and must remain vigilant in our efforts to find and to stop child predators. our mission in that regard is threefold.
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first, to decrease the vulnerability of children to exploitation. second, to provide a rapid, effective response to crimes against children in programs such as the child abduction rapid deployment teams. and third, to enhance the capabilities of state and local law enforcement through task force operations such as the innocent images and the innocents lost national initiatives. now in closing i would like to turn to sequestration. the impact of sequestration on the fbi's ability to protect the nation from terrorism and crime will be significant. in fiscal year 2013 the fbi's budget was cut by more than $550 million, and in fiscal year 2014, proposed cuts would total more than $700 million. not to mention in 2013 the recession of approximately $150 million additional.
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the ongoing hiring freeze will result in 220 vacancies at the fbi by the end of this fiscal year with 1200 additional vacancies in 2014. we also anticipate furloughs for our employees during the next fiscal year. i have long said that people are the bureau's greatest asset. additional operation cuts in furloughs will impact the fbi's ability to prevent crime and terrorism, which in turn will impact the safety and security of our nation. and with regard to non-personnel resources, the fbi will have to forgo or delay long needed i.t. upgrades. in addition, we will be unable to obtain the tactical surveillance tools needed to keep pace with our adversaries. we understand the need for budget reductions but we would like to work with the subcommittee to mitigate the most significant impacts of those cuts. chairwoman mikulski, ranking
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member shelby, i personally would like to thank you again for your support to the bureau over the tears that i've been director and for your support of our office. our transformation over the past decade would not have been possible without not only your cooperation but your support, and for that we in the bureau thank you. and again, i look forward to any questions you may have. >> thank you very much, erector, for your testimony. and i anticipate other members will be joined this committee, but all of our appropriations subcommittees are holding hearings today, so everybody is spread a bit thin. i want to go to the impact of literally the reduction that the fbi has from fiscal 2013, a reduction of 8.1 billion, and the sequester even more. let me go to both the consequences of your request,
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then the consequences of sequester in 2013 and 2014. so we are already in a tight budget. even before sequester. >> yes. >> you already faced a reduction. >> yes. >> go ahead. >> i was going to say, yes, in response, one of the comments senator shelby made in terms of being a nimble fbi and to continuously reprioritize. i would say early on we recognize the necessity for doing that, and we have moved from a system where our metrics were coming arrests, indictments and convictions we had, to what is the threat out there and what is the impact on that particular threat. and if that threat has been addressed and let's move onto something else. the fact of the matter is that we've got two components when we cut. one is are people, which is what a last resort because it's our
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persons, we don't have planes -- were not like the military with aircraft carriers and ships and all the rest of that stuff. we have our people. the other part of it is the infrastructure that gives us the ability to work as an intelligence and a law enforcement agency. we protect our people. when the cuts come it comes in these other areas that are of tremendous importance to us but our second for people. and so as we address the cuts in 2013 in 2014, we will have to reprioritize to meet the cuts, but they will be things as i point out in my statement that we will not be able to do that would keep us on track with what we've been able to accomplish the last 11 years. >> so let's go to that, because first, the tools of technology, whether it's cybercom biometric
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aspects support, the technology that goes in it and the great laboratory get a at quantico of course are one thing, but we go, i me, the fbi is known for its agents, and is literally coming in, the agents on the ground also working with state and local law enforcement. so what will be the impact with a hiring freeze and what you anticipate that you will not be able to do as you prioritize? in other words, what, what -- >> there are a number of things that fall off the list the one defending the national gang intelligence center, which is been in operation for a number of years. that centralize gang intelligence, which is good or important around the country. we'll have to centralize that. and try to replicate many of its attributes with personnel assigned from headquarters.
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will be losing several million dollars in the critical incident response group, which is hrt, which has hostage risky teams, which has been very active recently not only in boston, but in alabama with the individual, the boy who was kept underground, who was taken off a bus. but it was a hostage rescue team that was the entity along with the state of local authorities that were able to resolve that particular situation. and we will have to cut back on critical incident response group training and capabilities. we would have to cut down on personal transfers. facilities reduction, we have 400 -- 400 resident agencies around the country, and we're going to have to look at addressing those and seen if we can combine some of those, but
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those give us the capabilities of responding any place in the country to a substantial federal crime. those are just some of the things that will be impacted by these budget cuts. >> well, what it seems to me is with the challenges you're facing and the management endeavors to deal with the consequences, that the threats don't go away. and we're going to make do, but this is not like the flooring maintenance, you know, on a dorm somewhere. this is actually primarily personnel, personnel needs the most up-to-date i.t. look, we've already been talking about the watch list. we can go into detail about that in another setting, but my concern is that, yes, the people are the greatest asset. that's what senator shelby and i
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feel. our high regard for the aging. i can just tell you in maryland, the high regard that the fbi is held, home to the premier programs that protect children on the internet, but also the day-to-day work of the fbi. and the way they work with the joint task force, the way they work with our u.s. attorneys. we have this integrated effort to protect the people of maryland against everything from mortgage fraud take counterfeit drugs that are coming in where you're working with the customs people, local law enforcement. again, these joint task forces seem so crucial. and these are the threats come in at the local level, except where you're talking about the big international stuff. and my concern is come is that
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this will have a showing affect on the realm, and i know you're agents, many of them personally, our very duty driven, very duty driven, but still it will have an effect and it has an effect when our effectiveness at the state of local level. do you concur with that? >> absolute. and particularly if we have to go to furloughs. there's nothing more -- how to want to put it? devastating is perhaps too strong a word, but demoralizing is the word i'm looking at. is demoralizing when you are faced with furloughs, unable to pay your bills, working hard, but the government has to for low you because there is insufficient money to keep you on in the position that you are on. we take cuts elsewhere but the furloughs is the last -- >> would you anticipate the agents would be furloughed? >> yes. my belief is that it's very
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difficult -- >> i've got together, i mean, this is shocking. this is self-inflicted wound but i'm going to turn to senator shelby in the second. this is a self-inflicted wound on this. this is not an external threat from a foreign country. or organized crime is doing to us. it's what we're doing to ourselves. and i think we have defined a solution to canceling sequester, not better managing sequester for both this year and the next 10, because that's i think the real ultimate corrosive effect. let me turn to senator shelby. >> thank you, madam chairman. director mueller, last month boston as you well know was the target of a terrorist attack that killed three people and wounded more than 260. i want to first of all commend the work of the fbi and the people of the fbi, and the state of local law enforcement for the response to that incident. they did an exemplary job i
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thought. i'm trouble, however, by reports, and a lot of people have been, that the danger posed, and hope i get his neighbor, tamerlan tsarnaev gushing is close to it, i guess. was not identified because the government, again, was unable to connect the dots. we talked about this before in the intel area. is disappointing sometimes that after 12 years and hundreds of billions of dollars in investments we're still discussing the government inability at times to connect the dots where it's very important. would you walk us through, which again, with the fbi knew about tsarnaev, and what action it took and why it did not take further action after learning that he had traveled to russia? and while the fbi i just and contends that it was not aware that he left the country, "the boston globe" has reported that the wife's list system generated
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and automatic notification to an officer in the joint terrorism task force in boston. are you aware of that report? >> yes. >> do you agree or disagree with the report? >> if you talk about "the boston globe" report, i'm not specifically -- i understand what they are addressing in terms of the text notification that went out. >> what about if the joint terrorism task force, and they didn't come had received this information, what action could they have taken based on the fbi's previous inquiry regarding the subject? >> let me start if i can -- >> walk us through it if you can. >> i can walk you through maybe 75% of it. >> we're going to have a hearing -- >> covering closed session. but in 2011 approximately in march we received notification from the russian authorities that an individual, i will call
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tamerlan, was the older brother, and his mother, had, it appeared to be very religious and at least as far as the older brother was concerned, intent on returning and perhaps participate in jihad in russia. and pass this information on to us to follow up on. we initiated an assessment, an agent was assigned and the agent, very good agent i might add, undertook to look into the background. did a background on tamerlan. he went and visited the college where he had been registered for a period of time and did a thorough background on him. and then interviewedtheparents,d tamerlan himself. as a result of this i was a
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thorough investigation based on the leads that we got from the russians, we found no ties, we found no ties to terrorism. later, that summer, in august we got back to the russians and indicated we did not find any ties. that, then in october i think it was we also went back to the russians. on both occasions and the third occasion we met back with the russians and asked them if they had any further information that would educate us in terms are elaborate for us their concerns about this individual. and we got no response. and so that ss that was close without any further information. and, but what you refer to is the travel the tamerlan took in january through july of 2012, where the russians had asked to
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be notified if you were traveling, what they call a text notice had gone to the task force do a very good customs agent on the joint terrorism task force, and we do not have any action that was taken on that particular notification. likewise, when he returned to the united states there was an automatic message that was pushed outcome and that also came to the task force in that way and there was no additional action taken on that. it may well have been because of the numerous inquiries that we handle, that particular joint terrorism task force handles hundreds of similar assessments, and leads and the like, but to the extent that we go back and look and scrub and see what we could of done better, this is an area where we're looking at, scrubbing and doing better. i will tell you, on the other hand, that i do think that we ha iroved our systems tremendously, dramatically since
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september 11. to the extent that, in almost come you can almost be assured that in any event there is somebody, if they have had some leanings, more than ladies, but some participation, discussion or what have you about participating in terrorist events they may well come across a radar screens but we would not have sufficient information on a variety of sources to be able to confirm that. you also have occasions where persons who, at one point in time, appear not to be radicalized, but very quickly thereafter, after their offer screen they become radicalized and you could not have anticipated that they would have undertaken such an attack as we saw in boston. >> we don't know because some people have fallen through the cracks. no system is perfect, yours or ours, anything. some people point that out as a lost opportunity. maybe we'll learn from it. maybe the bureau will. in april, the "boston herald"
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reported that the commonwealth fusion center was unaware that the fbi interviewed tamerlan sarna of -- tamerlan tsarnaev as part of an investigation after the russian agency you talked about alerted u.s. officials to is increasing radicalization. it's my understanding that these entities are supposed to serve as clearing houses for information about potential threats. and the fusion centers contend that they are charged with helping connect the dots, you know. given that the fbi is responsible for the oversight of fusion centers, how would you characterize their role with respect to intelligence gathering, analysis and dissemination? and is it their responsibility, the fusion centers, to connect the dots? and if so, how?
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in other words, sharing information you and i know it's difficult. >> let me start by saying we do not supervise the fusion cente centers. >> who does? >> department of homeland security. but we work very close -- even though we do not have -- >> you work with them but you are not their supervisor? >> we are not. and we were very close within. i can tell you that in boston we have between the joint terrorism task force, the fusion centers, the very state entities, we have a very close sharing relationship. and if you talk to the person who are participating in this, they would be very vocal in terms of how well we work together, which was example fight in the response to the bombing on april 15. there was a question raised in testimony by one of the chiefs of police in boston about his knowledge about the interview with tamerlan. the fact of the matter is that
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the joint terrorism task force have state and local law enforcement personnel on every one of those task force. i think it's optical -- >> that makes a lot of sense to have that, doesn't? >> it does. that's exactly what we want. and i would say perhaps 40%, maybe more, of task force that runs country or state and local law enforcement. now, what the joint terrorism task force and fusion center does is takes emirates of threats, hundreds, hundreds of over a bit of time, particularly a year, and goes through them the same way we went through this, particular threat. others on the task force may participate in some way or shape, but because it was close to me was not that serious, this enough to be taken up to the leadership. in other words, it wouldn't take it up to the chief of police or the head of the fbi office where you look at it, where it has been closed, with the finding of no association with terrorism. so to the extent this is pushed up as being indicative of broken
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relationships, to the contrary. and i think if you talk to anybody in the boston task force fusion center, state police, boston police, i think they would say that relationship is excellent and that phishing is excellent as well. >> but we still have to continue to work on sharing information with our law enforcement people, don't we? >> absolutely. >> we've come a long way since you've been the director we have gone on that for years and years, and i know it's a challenge for you, it's a challenge for the caa, it's a challenge for the nsa, everything. in homeland security. but the more you can work and share the safer we're going to be, aren't we? >> absolute. and i will tell you and everyone of these incidents we go back and look and see what could we have done better? this particular incident handling the text notice is in everywhere going to do better on the next time. >> let me get into another area
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since this is in the boston area but it is improvised explosive devices which we all see so much because of our troops and so forth. but they have come to america. the boston bombing highlighted what our troops have been encountering for years overseas. the devastation caused by improvised explosive devices, or ieds. the threat from ieds here, director mueller, you've talked about this before, is widely recognized. in february the white house released a report on the threat and established a new task force. inspite of the spotlight the administration placed on understanding and countering ieds, we know it's very complicated and challenging. this budget request before us fail to prioritize funding for the terrorism, terroristic explosive device. however, i believe it is essential to our understanding of ieds, and the overall war
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which is coming to this country. it certainly proved important in need of the following the bombings in boston. does the 14 budget request ensure that tdac has sufficient resources to complete its new facility and make substantial progress on the existing backdrop? and how will the 150 million recession requested in the fbi's budget impact tdac if it does at all? and could you detail that? is that too much? not for you. >> i can break it down. let me first talk about tdac and its relationship and its utility in going to the boston crisis. immediately, upon the explosions we had in boston are bomb techs out there with bomb take some state police and the others. we thereafter flew down to our
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laboratory pieces of fragments of the bombs as we picked them up. and brought them down to our laboratory in quantico whether analyzed by tdac. very quickly and by very quickly i mean within 24, 40 hours we had identified the mechanisms, the contenders, the kind of black powder and the like that were utilized and within tracing the there is components such as the pressure cookers to determine who i purchased them where. the tedac bomb technicians serve three roles during this period of time. the first one is a number of them were on scene, i think about five on scene that were helping pull together the fragments. they then put together intelligence bulletins to provide the intelligence to others around the country as to what was seen in hopes that we bu if we didn't, have ane. understanding of the device that was used here.
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and then the third area was the examination of the components and the tracing of the particular components. this was done by tedac staff. now, our future of tedac, as you well know, is we have the facility down in redstone arsenal that is fully financed through next year and at the end of 2014 showhouse tedac. the issues that are outstanding relate to own him and a necessity for maintaining this capability. let me add one thing at address one lasting image and that is a backlog of reviewing the ieds that have been forwarded to us from iraq and afghanistan. we have a very large database of such ieds that provide intelligence to the military day in and da day out, as well as law-enforcement and intelligence kindred around the world.
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we have used that backlog to identify individuals by fingerprints or dna, or for the method of construction of the bombs come who may been trying to get you states or appear to be terrorist trying to get into of the country, whether in europe or elsewhere. but we have a backlog of devices that we picked up over the years that we are trying to run through. but that in order to continue that process we need additional funds to run through that backlog. we've had to prioritize, but again this is one of the things where we prioritize. with sequestration and the 2014 budget is will have to cut back substantially in terms of our ability to address that backlog. >> tedac should be a prior to considering the threat in this country. >> yes. >> thank you, madam chairman for your indulgence. >> picking up on what senator shelby was asking, because my first one of questioning was
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about what we have called the focusing on the local law enforcement, the criminal aspect. these are national crimes like mortgage fraud would be one. but turning to issues related to terrorism and counterterrorism, and this goes to what you need. so on, for the boston bombing, the first thing was to catch the bad guys. so there had to be a tremendous mobilization of law enforcement, which meant the fbi was involved, because my first question, i'm sure your first question, the boston law enforcement was,on this it?
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are they planning more attacks around boston? who are these people? are they part of a larger conspiracy that is connected to al qaeda or al qaeda inspired? and is the conspiracy in boston? is going to occur in other parts of the united states? there were other marathons coming up, international events. i believe it was either the london or the paris marathon, the london marathon. so the fbi had a major role, because of what had happened, one, all of the resources, technical as well as law-enforcement, but also your role unsure was called up to function internationally about, first of all, nationally, was this going to be part of a larger threat? and you don't go all round canceling events and canceling marathons or whatever, et cetera. so my question was, everything
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had to be, you can't dial up an agent, and the reaction then, in other words, in order to be accepted, you have to have the right agent in the right place doing the right thing with the right relationships. am i correct? >> yes. >> and isn't relationships developed over time? and if these agents are, one, for load, if there's a hiring freeze, it would have an impact, am i correct? >> absolutely. absolutely. that -- >> what would've happened in boston if we had been under a furlough? there were many things that work very well in boston, and are areas that are going to require reform. i think you would agree with that. >> i can tell you that furlough or no furlough everybody would've been in immediately. even if you didn't get paid. on somethi l that you make in terms of getting the right people in the right place is not
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accurate just for th the good bt for the relationship with state and local enforcement. if you look at, if your fun with the incident down in alabama, it's having our persons, hostage negotiators working with the sheriff and the district attorney down there, and the hostage rescue team, we need those particular publics that are important to that particular case. that's not one we could have prepared for. the shooting in a rural -- in aurora, colorado, when i went out afterwards and talked to the chief and our special agent in charge, the want of everything they told me was we did so well on this particular case because we trained for this before. in boston if you talk to the individual in boston, talk to the chief of police, the campus police department or the massachusetts state patrol, or state police, they wil tell you that is the kludgy of the, the working together on the joint
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terrorism task force and other areas that kicked in to place when that happened on that monday. and kudos to the first responders from boston, the boston police and the others who were responsible for security. they ran towards danger. did not run away, and together were remarkable in the capabilities and the success they had in savings -- in saving persons life. developing those relationships before something like this happens is absolutely instrument. when you have sequestration, when you have the budget cuts, what gets cut off and is training, and training develops relationships and enables you to respond effectively and efficiently to something like boston. >> well, and this is going to take me to the prevention part of it. but i recall really when we're facing this type of s capital region, and the work of the fbi
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and the atf, then with local law enforcement, if a fantastic job that was done, we didn't have to nationalize it, though it involved two states in multiple counties within those states, and the what everybody works together. and i have a chance, along with then senator sarbanes, to observe it very up close and personal. it was an amazing effort of coordination where everybody was best at what you're best at the best of what you need for. but ultimately it was the federal agencies that had the resources both nationally, technically, that we could identify it. ..
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it's been a remarkingability transformation. it occurred under your leadership which is a phenomenal feat and under your stewardship. you are to be commended. my question is, since 9/11, can you estimate how many terrorist attacks the fbi has thwarted? >> there's is, i would say over the last three or four years, which we looked at close to hundred terrorist attacks. individualses contemplating, were involved with, or otherwise over the last four years. people talk about the several hutched. it depends upon your definition
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of terrorist attack. i'm comfortable in the last three to four years we disrupted anywhere from 90 to 100 attacks. each one of those attacks would have caused casualty would had a massive impact on the economy? >> i would say for a majority of them that is accurate. there are others i couldn't go so far to say that. some are providing support to a terrorist attack. it's not going to be the person who punches the button. >> i'm sorry. those figures are fairly accurate. >> i know that the senator is here. we were about to recess. >> yes, ma'am. i'll ask my questions there. i just want to thank you for your service, again, director, for all you have done. i know, you worked hard to keep it safe. appreciate it. >> thank you, sir.
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>> there other senators we're going to encourage them to go to the other meeting. the committee will recess and reconvene in the visitor's center where we can proceed with the brief and some of the other questions that senators would -- senator colins, we're about to go to the classified briefing. did you want to ask a question here or can it wait until we go over there? [inaudible] >> yeah. let's recess, go over there, and you have your time will be duly served. we know there are many hearings. recess. we will reassemble in whatever it's called 217. [inaudible conversations] >> learn more about the senators and congressman with the 2013 congressional district i --
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directly. cabinet members, supreme court justice, and the nation's governor. the direct i have $21 $12.95 plu shipping and handling. you can order it online at the house of weighs and means committee hold a hearing tomorrow on the irs targeting conservative group applying for tax exempt status. the head of the irs will testify. he's admitted the resignation yesterday after the treasury secretary asked him to jump down. the tax measures will testify. at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow live here on c-span2. >> weekend booktv is live from maryland. live coverage starting saturday morning at 10:00 eastern including authors scott berg at
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11: 15. at 1:15 iconic image of the kennedy white house. neil on the global financial crisis recession and aftermath. followed at 4:15 by a panel on the publishing industry. was an educate wimp and as a believer in women's right she expressed frustration with the traditional role of mother and wife. during james garfield front porch campaign she played role as hostess. we'll life at the like of first lady and that of mary arthur who built the role fir lady when her brother becomes president. join our conversation about the
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lives of first lady, live monday night at 9:00 eastern on c-span, c-span 3, c pan radio, and today at the white house president obama met with the turkish prm and took questions from reporters. one question was about the irs. >> i can assure you that i certainly didn't know anything about the ig report before the ig report had been leaked through. trying to protect the integrity of. but what i'm absolutely certain of is that the action described in the ig report are
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unacceptable. so in addition to making sure that we've got a new acting director there. we're going to make sure that we gather up the facts and hold them conditional and responsible -- accountable and responsible anybody involved in this. we are going to make sure that we identify any structure or management issues to prevent something like this from happening again. we're going to make sure that we are accepting all of plannings in the ig report. and a i look forward to working with congress to fully investigate what happened. make sure it doesn't happen again. also, look at some of the laws create a bunch of am -- and not be clear about what they need to be doing and doing it right so the american people have
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confidence that the tax laws being applied fairly and evenly. so in terms of the white house and reporting, i think, that, you know, you've gotten that information from carr any and others. i promise you this, the minute i found out about it, then my main focus is making sure we get fixed. i think t going to be sufficient for us to be working with congress, they have a bunch of committees, we have ig already there. the ig has done an audit. it's my understanding going to be recommending an investigation. and attorney general holder announced the criminal investigation of what happened. between those investigations, i think we're going to be able to figure out exactly what
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happened, who was involved, what went wrong, and we're going to be able to implement steps to fix it. that's the main priority i have and the american people have. we understand that we've got an agency that has enormous potential power and is involved in everybody's lives, and that's part of the reason why it's been treated as a quasi independent institution. but that's also why we have to make sure that it is doing its job scrupulously and without even a hint of bias or a hint that they are somehow favoring one group over another. i'm outraged in part because i'm a public figure and if a future administration is starting to use the tax laws to favor one
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party or over other we're vulnerable. and that's >>, as i said, it doesn't whether if you're a democrat or republican, you should be equally outraged at even the prospect that the irs might be acting with the kind of deplete neutrality we expect. i think we'll be able to get there and get it done. we have begun the process. we'll keep going until it's finished. the acting head of the irs, steve miller, will testify. he's admitted the reds nation yesterday after the treasury secretary asked him to step down. the treasury department inspector general will testify. that is at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow live on c-span2. th irs was a topic on
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capitol hill today. the congressional tea party caucus hosted a news briefing outside the capitol. it's chaired by minnesota congresswoman michelle backman. >> there isn't a weekend that hasn't gone by that someone said, what in the world are you all waiting for in congress? why aren't you impeaching the president? he's make been making uninstitutional action since he came to office. i'll tell you what i'm hearing from people back home. is there anyone that would like to address that? >> reporter. >> we need an investigation. it's why we need to know who started it and why and when. and only contained in the irs -- we are interested in creating our own fact contrary to some of
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federal agencies. glmpleght the irs targeting conservative political groups apply forking a tax exempt status. the acting head of the irs will testify along with the treasury department inspector general for tax administration. that is at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow live here on c-span2. the the senate today -- you're watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs weekday featuring live coverage of the senate. and walk night watch public policy events. >> this weekend booktv is live from maryland at the book festival. live coverage starting saturday morning at 10:00 eastern. including scott berg on the data
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koa data warriors. at 1:15 iconic image of the kennedy white house. book festival live all day saturday on c-span2 booktv. and that committee ranking republican lisa mor cow sky spoke on the senate floor. here are their speeches starting with senator wyden. >> the domination of dr. earnest to head the department of energy is now the pending business here in the senate my colleague
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senator murkowski is here. we will take a short amount of time to discuss the doctor's qualifications. and i would urge colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support the nomination of dr. earnest to serve as a secretary of energy. in my view, the doctor is smart about energy policy. he's savvy about how the department of energy operations. and he's solution oriented. which is what democrats and republicans on the senate energy and natural resources committee to consider his nomination. i'm going to talk about why i believe he is well qualified to spare head our effort, evolve our country's energy system. to increase domestic sources, emit less carbon. first, i would like to talk for
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a few minutes about the job that the doctor will be stepping in to once he's concerned. right now the energy department is at the senator of issues that are hugely consequential to our economy and the environment. they are how to manage the newly assessable reserve of natural gas. combating climate change, and making our economy more efficient. i believe our country needs too that's that kind of energy to transition to a lower carbon economy. it's built on three pillars strong economic growth, shrinking our carbon footprint, and spurring energy innovation. what is unique about this moment is now on the issue of energy,
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our country is truly in a position of strength. historically lawmakers have avoided energy issues until there's a short term crisis. usually that crisis is a spike in the price of gasoline. then as we no we there's a cry topaz a comprehensive energy bill. kind of put that in quotes, mr. president, and it ends up being, quote, comprehensive and still lasts relatively short period of time of time until there's another human cry to pass one more comprehensive bill. right now the congress and the executive branch, the energy department are in a rare position. in a time where our country doesn't face those kind of short term calamity.
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now i say that in no way minimizing the extraordinary challenge of climate change. that is, in my view, mr. president, a potential catastrophe that demands real and immediate action and something that cannot be done. it is something that cannot be ignored. on energy, however, the usual calculus has been flipped on the head. new technology have unlocked potentially supply of natural gas as well as new oil reserve. carbon emission actually fell recently. a decade ago no one dreamed of either of those facts. one of the most immediate issues that will face him, if he's confirmed, is the question of how our country can maximize the benefits of unconventional shale
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gas. abundant, low cost natural gas provides our country right now with a competitive, economic, advantage. the reality is all over the world, mr. president, others want our gas. they want what we have. our competitor in europe, asia, the costs are four to five times high as the manufacturers. i think it's obvious it's a national security advantage to be able to rely on our own energy resources instead of the sources that come from unstable part of the world that certainly don't get up every day wishing the united states well. i was encouraged by the commitment the doctor made to me to use the best most recent data to look at questions like how building natural gas export terminal are going to affect the area adjacent to those facilities as well as the larger american economy. in myexperience working with
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the big angs think he's our country faces as we eal with t historic transition in our energy sector. he knows how the department works from the inside, and he knows that because actual has experience there. his background is a well respected scientist. i'm confident he's going to use the best science, the most current data in considering the key policy issue. he's shown he's going to take a independent data-driven approach at the director of myth and there they have lead numerous cutting-edge study on a range of energy issues. mr. president, in one sense, the department of energy really ought to be called the department of innovation. one of the bright light is the
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advance research agency which funds research of the potential to produce major breakthrough in energy technology. it was authorized in 2005, and w the first project there and to his credit he was an important champion for that agency in the early days. one of the dozen of efforts that were supported by it is a project at the university of north dakota that aims to reduce water usage of power plant. according to the department of energy, the university is teeing and air -- that retains and releases moisture to the power plant that can result in efficient power production with minimal water loss. i think it would be fair to say, mr. president, you put together a pretty impressive filibuster if you want to describe the
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various type of research going on or research that is funded by the department. the leading rurnlg research to a number of area our country needs to connue towork on if we are to achieve that objective that i have staked out. that is to secure a lower carbon economy. energy efficiency, the lowest way to reduce energy is going to be a big part of the department's mission in the next four years. our committee it moving ahead in that area starting with yet another bipartisan bill. a bipartisan, mr. president, the legislation that in my view, is really the standard barer now for energy efficient legislation. passed it out, the committee with broad bipartisan support. i hope it will come to the floor of the united states senate very soon. the department is also doing part work on carbon capture, carbon sequestration and
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utilization. storing them underground reduce the impact. the chair of our public lands forum my friend senator machin has a great interest in the particular area and the from, to his cred said it'sn area that deserves a significant amount ofio doe research helped shothat natural gas and renewable aren't mutually exclusive. the country doesn't have to choose between the two. in fact natural gas plans, in my view, make great partner for intermittent renewable like wind and solar because they can fire up and power down quickly. that's an important part of our future energy agenda. we want to have more wind and solar. we know they are intermittent sources. some of the challenges in the senate knows about how to find innovative approach to storage
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and looking at natural gas. help us get wind and solar to the base load power structure. this is an important issue with renewable benefiting a natural gas, the energy department's pacific northwest lab in rich land,agton, across the river from oregon is going to soon test the product, use solar energy to make natural gas plants 20% for e esht. it i'm not to going to pretended to know everything about engineering, but i think it's worth noting that "the new york times" said earlier this month that idea, the idea that is being stored in richland, washington would use concentrated solar ray to heat natural gas and water to 1300 degrees fahrenheit and break open the natural gas and water molecule. it creates synthetic gas which burns more efficiently than natural gas alone. it would give you more energy
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for ever molecule of gas burns which means lower cost and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. this is just one of many projects that the department is backing. not sure what we're going to ultimate life, you know, pan out. but the potential for breakthrough like the one i described are exactly why it's important for the energy department to have a broad research portfolio. our country's competitive are to do all of the world's enelevation. china, germany, and others are pouring resource to the r&d to get an advantage, and the fact that we have our energy department on the front line of the fight to show the world how to innovate is a huge american asset. finally a significant portion of the energy department's budget goes to an office that is described as environmental management in which essentially means cleaning up america's radio active nuclear waste.
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there are 17. active sites that the department is currently cleaning up including the site in southeastern washington. whistle blower and independent watchdog like the nuclear facility have identified troubling problem with how waste stored there. they have also flagged ongoing design issue with the facility that will treat the site's nuclear waste. another matter that the department of energy must solve. people who live near there depend on the river receive welcome assurances from the doctor at the hearing that senator mor cow sky and i brought some of these issues up in where the doctor said that the status quo with respect to the department of energy is not acceptable. i look forward to working with them on the long-term solution. finally, mr. president, i think it is fair to say that the
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doctor and the appropriate to close with this, has a long track record of collaboration. that's why i mentioned early on that he showed his conformation hearing and showed democrats and republicans alike that he is solution oriented and collaborative on the difficult questions that are ahead. he brings that scientific credibility i outlined with real world policy experience that is so important to managing a major federal agency. based on the bipartisan support, my colleague both sides of the aisle expressed for the doctor in a usually gridlocked congress. i feel like c-span almost ought to put out a warning to viewers not to adjust their television. because this really is how the united states senate ought to be working. one of the reasons we had the bipartisan approach on energy issues that i've been discussing and a demonstrated again this
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morning in the energy committee as my friend and colleague, senator murkowski consistently meets me at least halfway. often more on the big issues. i want to thank her for the cooperation on the other matters and, mr. president, i look forward to senator murkowski's comment. i see other colleagues here who may wish to speak at this time. i yield the floor. >> mr. president, i appreciate the opportunity to follow my friend and colleague and senator wyden from oregon, the chairman of the energy committee to speak today about the conformation of dr. earnest to be secretary of energy. and i think it is good when we are able to stands ben ranking r and really come to term of a
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agreement in as inso far as support of an energy. important position within the administration how we move forward in the country dealing with our energy issues, dealing with our energy future. which i think is where we get relatively enthews yaysic about this nomination. i would like to thank our chairman, my friend from goodbye to for his leadership in advancing the nomination to the finish line. i also want to recognize and thank the member of our committee for their thoughtful questions. when we had the doctor before the committee, it was perhaps one of the mooter conformations hearings we have had in some time. and i also thank the full senate
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for working with us so we can fulfill our constitutional responsibility. before i speak to his qualification, i think that the senator wyden addressed those very well. i would like to take just a moment to discussion discuss the agency that he will soon lead. the department of energy was created in 1977. it was just following the oil embargo that caused the gasoline shortages that we saw around the country. the architect, those who put together the contour of doe were surveying a different energy landscape than today. back then in 1977, energy was really viewed from the position of scarcity. rather than the abundance wecog. and those architects, as they
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defined what a department of energy would look like, what it would hope to achieve, the missions there, it's a high hope for what the department would accomplish. i think you need to go back to, look back at the organic act which doe "promote the general warfare. the aim act goes on to list 18 different purpose. a few of which they are repeating. one of them is to assure to the maximum extent practical. policy and purpose of the act. another one of those purposes is to provide for the cooperation of federal, state, and local government in the development and implementation of national
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energy policy and programs. .. is for breakthroughs g. weapons program and yet more than three decades later it would be difficult to find many who truly believe that we have achieved this coordinated and effective
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administration of federal energy policy. in fact you are going to have some who would disagree as to whether not we have developed a federal energy policy that adequately serves our national needs. instead, we have seen energy related programs and initiatives that are fragmented and scattered throughout the federal government. not enough money in my few in getting to the bench for research and development, a critical aspect of how we build out that energy policy, critical component and how we move towards our energy future. all too often it appears that we have silos within the department that stand in the way of progress. in recent years, i have had a concern that doe has not clearly and unambiguously w t gy abuant, affordable,
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clean diverse and secure, principles that i think really go into defining a good strong federal energy policy. doe in particular must be a stronger voice in the councils of administration for energy supply. and in light of several costly failures the department must become a better steward of taxpayer dollars. all of these challenges and more will be inherited by our next secretary of energy but along with the challenges i think we recognize that there are great opportunities within the energy sector and that is why i believe that we will do well to place dr. ernie moniz who is clearly a man with a talent and experience in both the laboratory and in public policy. i think we will do well to place him at the helm of this department. dr. moniz has impressive credentials. he is a physicist.
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he graduated from boston college before completing his ph.d. at stanford great he served in the white house office of science and technology policy and as undersecretary of the department of energy during the late 1990s. the vast majority of his career he also served as the director of the m.i.t. energy initiative. he has studied and written about nuclear energy, natural gas, innovation, really in a number number of topics that would have direct relevance to the future of our energy policy. so he has both. he has the academic experience most certainly as we see at m.i.t. and at stanford but he has also got that practical application. my colleague from oregon describes him as solution oriented and i think that is a very apt impressive nominee. in our meetings, where it's nice
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and casual and relaxed you can have a pretty good conversation. i have been very impressed with not only dr. moniz' background and experience but how he views moving forward within the department of energy. there is a level of comfortable confidence that i found encouraging. he has shown that he understands what his job requires and because of that i believe he will be a capable secretary. he is knowledgeable. he is confident and he is refreshingly candid and i think that's an important part and challenging him in the confirmation committee to keep that up. don't be afraid to speak out, to be refreshingly candid. i think that is good advice.
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if his approval can be navigated successfully without undue delay as long as questions are answered and concerns that were raised by members were taken seriously and i think he did attempt to do that. it is my hope that after the confirmation dr. moniz will guide our nation's energy policy as a respected scientist that he is and do so rigorously, robustly, free of preordained conclusions and again not afraid to speak up or to speak his mind. his departmendepartmen t will benefit and i think that the country well as well. as i indicated in my comments i think the department of energy needs good strong direction. it needs that leadership and i believe that dr. moniz will provide both and that is why i'm supporting his nomination and why i am, my colleagues in the senate to join me in voting to
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confirm him later this afternoon. after senators murkowski and wyden spoke on the floor of the senate unanimously confirmed m.i.t. professor ernest moniz to be secretary.
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>> i'm going to make the attempt.
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imagine that you have a yardstick and you cut it into 10 equal pieces you go from something this big to that big. take that remaining thing and cut it into 10 pieces. if you do this process 10 times to get the size of the atom. suppose you do that 35 times. we have no instrument to measure that and so people like me have been working on a piece of mathematics called string theory and super string theory to answer the question. >> i tried. >> my wife is often asked by people who find out that i'm a theoretical physicist, what does your husband do? the way i prefer to tell my story is the following. most people know what novelists do. the novelist takes words and makes characters and tell stories. a theoretical physicist is the same thing except we use mathematics to make up our characters and tell her stories and then if we are really good
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at what we do our stories correspond to something that happens in nature so that little clip that you saw a few moments ago is my attempt to sort of boil down a 30-second sound bite describing what it is that i and the people in my community do. senator frank lautenberg today returned to capitol hill. he has been ill since february and today was a second time the hill since then. the new jersey democrat is the oldest sitting senator at 89. today the senate environment committee voted on the president's nominee to head the epa and senator lautenberg arrived at the committee meeting as senator david vitter was speaking. >> making real progress on the five key transparency request that have been the focus of all
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of the republican members concerned about this nomination process. again, from the very beginning we have made it very very clear our key focus has been these five key transparency request and for good reason. i think it's very clear that the cpa has epa has had a pretty visible transparency record with e-mails completely contrary to federal law and practice, with the foia policy that regularly frustrates public access to information and doesn't properly allow it -- >> just after senator lautenberg arrived the senate environment committee approved the nomination of gina mccarthy to head the environmental protection agency. her nomination now heads to the full senate. >> the hearing will come to
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order. for the benefit of all of you and your schedules first of all thank you for being here. when we have 10 presently will vote. in the meantime what what we will do is we will begin our opening statements. if it's okay with you when we have 10 we will vote in than those who wish to make opening statements can stay. i will certainly stay after that. i just want to thank everyone for their help on the water resources development act. there was a major bipartisan victory. this one has been a little bit rough going as we know so we take it as it comes. we are meeting again today to vote on the nomination of gina mccarthy to be administrator of the environmental protection agency. i was fairly and certain as to whether we would have our colleagues on the republican side. late last night i received news that we may have a few present and i'm grateful for that. senator lautenberg is on his way
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and he will arrive momentarily. when he does if we have the 10, we will vote and if not we will wait for our 10 and we will ask colleagues to withhold their opening statements. jane is tremendously qualified to lead the epa. she has more than three decades of public service experience including at the local state and federal level. she understands the importance of protecting the health and safety of children and families. she knows how to get the job done. gina -- i hear our colleague with a sense of humor on his way. gina has already won unanimous confirmation for her current job. she has demonstrated the record of working with republicans and democrats and we need her strong bipartisan commonsense approach to help lead this agency. she has worked for the republican governor of connecticut, the republican governor of massachusetts jane swift emmett romney and the
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democratic president barack obama. gina has received support from business health officials environmental organizations and scientists. she is a woman most worthy of a promotion. following the nomination heang in thisommtee gina responded to more than 1000 questions that were submitted to her by republicans which is unprecedented. she did it in the full spirit of bipartisanship and respect. now i hope they respect her. the time has come for this committee to vote on this highly qualified nominee and to move through the nomination to the full senate. this meeting has been delayed for four weeks and now we must move forward and we are going to do that and i'm most grateful for that. today's vote will bring epa one step closer to getting the leadership it needs to accomplish its mission and a commonsense bipartisan way and i would like to call on senator vitter for his opening statement and again as soo we will then vote. it looks like senator lautenberg and senator gillibrand are
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joining us. we are absolutely thrilled to have them here. >> thank you madam chairman. i am very happy to be here particularly because we are finally making real progress on the five key transparency request that has been the focus of all of the republican members concerned about this nomination process. and again, from the very beginning we have made it very very clear, our key focus has been these five key transparency request and for good reason. i think it's very clear that the epa has had a pretty dismal transparency record with e-mail abuses, completely contrary to federal law and practice, with the foia policy that regularly frustrates public access to information and doesn't properly allow it, with a lack of transparency in terms of
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producing e-mails and when they are produced they are extremely heavily redacted. with unresponsiveness in terms of requests for the underlying research data behind crucial epa regulations including those gina mccarthy has been in charge of. with completely inadequate and in some cases laughable economic analysis that don't begin to account for full cost or benefit. and with often secretive unsettled agreements behind closed doors which advance an environmental agenda without proper openness, transparency and input. so that has been our focus from the beginning. the good news is as of last night there has been meaningful progress in terms of our five key transparency request and that is why we are here today, to recognize that progress and to urge additional progress.
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in response to the progress made as of last night, i am sending a letter today to the acting administrator and to gina mccarthy and i just want to read relevant parts of the letter. dear acting administrator and assistant administrator my carthy, thank you for the letter of yesterday committing to significant steps forward with regard to all five of the transparency request of the senate epw committee republicans. because the steps forward are significantly want to thank you and acknowledge progress including by moving forward with the committee markup of gina's nomination. because the steps forward are limited in did not include everything required under the law they want to request additional progress as outlined below. should major additional progress be made and all of the five categories over the next two
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weeks, i will strongly support the mccarthy nomination on the senate floor without a cloture vote or any 60 vote threshold. should all of our requests in the five categories be granted, i will support mccarthy nomination and then in this letter i outlined each of these five categories where we are and where we would like to be. then i conclude, i will leave the above outline a very productive path forward. i hope you concur by agreeing to travel, sincerely david vitter. i think that very much incorporates where we are and particularly where i'm coming from and where i hope we go in terms of the productive path forward. and with that madam chairman i would like to make this latter letter part of the record. >> without objection.
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let me say before we moved to a vote i welcome all of our colleagues and i think the colleague from jersey. it's a joyful experience to see your beautiful face here. all of us feel that way, believe me, all of us do. i want to respond briefly and i want to go to a vote because i don't want want what senator vitter said go unheard. i have seen nominees, but i couldn't agree with and i didn't agree with the agency, the way was run or anything else but i never took it out on the nominee who has an opportunity to do her job. i'm stunned at this. it is holding somebody hostage until you get an answer that you want to have. this is an important position. she is qualified. she is decent. we have voted for her before unanimously and i just feel very bad for gina mccarthy right now. she is still being hung up here
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with threats, if i don't like the answer i get, i will, i might, i won't filibuster. i would just urge my colleagues, put aside the filibuster. if you don't like the epa and you obviously don't, although the american people do if you look at the polls, 78% but that is your right to vote no. but please let's treat her well. with that we are going to go to the boats. no we are not going to do that. >> madam chair? >> no, we are not going to do that. >> you directly responded to my letter and in fact -- >> we will hear your remarks after the votes because there are certain senators that need to leave. i will sit there for hours and listen to you. believe me, i will. i have no problem doing it though we want to move forward. i move the nomination be reported favorably to the senate. do i have a second?
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all those in favor say aye. opposed, say no. in the opinion of the chair the ayes have it. >> may we have a roll call vote on that? >> of course we can and of course we will and of course we won't of course we want to so let me get to that. in the opinion of the chair the ayes have it good in the nomination will be reported if there is a favorable vote as we do the roll call. please commence the roll call. [roll call] >> aye by proxy. [roll call]
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>> no by proxy. [roll call] earl. >> aye. would you repeat that please? thank you very much. and we will move forward. and now we will hear from senator vitter who wishes to respond and i just have to say and repeat that the a's were 10 and the nays were eight. the nomination is reported to the senate and i really appreciate the attendance of everybody who is here. senator vitter your response. >> thank you madam chair. i did just want to respond with a few points. first of all i want to
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underscore from the very beginning you know this and gina mccarthy knows this and epa knows this, everybody knows this from the very beginning our key focus for the five transparency request. so we are not asking for anything to change its policy in on any fundamental epa issue. we are asking for openness and transparency for these five requests for things that are clearly required under current law that we are trying to get out of them kicking and screaming and one is very consistent with openness and transparency that they have the full capability and authority to do. and again these are in the areas of e-mail and foia policy, getting unredacted e-mails which are due to us, getting the underlying research data used to promulgahe rules, having full economic analysis
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performed with regard to major rulemaking as required by law and executive order and having openness and transparency to these agreements. that is the first . we are not asking this epa to change its policies and views. we are asking for openness and transparency as required by law. secondly you expressed shocked and said you have never seen this before. in fact the order you participated in 2003 -- in not back. >> okay. you did participate in this in 2003 with regard to the nomination of michael levin and in fact that markup was originally scheduled and did not happen because no democrat on the committee participated and that was postponed for two reasons and in fact in that
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situation it is noteworthy that michael levin wasn't a part of that current epa. he was a complete outsider in contrast to the situation for obviously gina mccarthy has a major position in the epa and has had one for the last three and a half years. so i think those are all very important points, and i would end by saying i think my letter is very positive and i pulled out a positive path forward so that we can build on the beginnings of transparency, build on that didn't and have a positive outcome for the american people in terms of openness and transparency and have that reflected in the nomination process as we proceed from here. so thank you. >> thank you. we will go to senator -- and then we will go to senator
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wicker. >> thank you madam chair. it's clear to me that gina mccarthy is exceptionally capable and talented person and should be immediately confirmed to the position. based on her experience in other capacities and other areas and based on how good she is at listening to both sides of an issue. she is known as a person who does the right thing. she is not an ideologue. she wants to implement good policy listening to all sides. that is gina mccarthy and frankly i think we are very lucky that someone of that caliber wants to serve, wants to work so hard in these very difficult times to take on that role and i confirm her. you are are not going to find anybody then -- better than gina
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mccarthy. she is very good. >> senator wicker and then senator carper. >> thank you madam chair. it seems to me we really ought to be all smiles today. the impasse that occurred on this committee much as it did with secretary leavitt's. a path forward has been agreed to to move this nomination to the next step and i think we really ought to be celebrating that rather than expressing any sort of negative feelings. we have tried to make it clear on our side of this dais that our requests have been for transparency that is needed for all decisions by the epa and its critical to the taxpayers to shoulder the burden for extensive regulations. a request is still with issues on openness and transparency
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only. and frankly, this shouldn't be a partisan issue as far as getting the information. i am sort of disappointed that the idea of a request for underlying research staff used to promulgate rules for cost-benefit analyses should he an issue at all. and so i'm glad that we have taken this step. i think we are on a path for further information to come forward and actually this milestone should be celebrated and i appreciate the chair and the ranking member working together to get us this far and hope to get further. >> senator wicker, said the wife. i can't celebrate a partisan vote. i love that happened in the senate yesterday. we had 83 votes and when we get to the point where we have a partisanship i will celebrate, i
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will and i will take everyone out to lunch but right now i can't celebrate a partisan vote e-rate i'm so anxious for this woman and i think she is so qualified but hopefully we will work together and we will have a moment when we truly can celebrate. it was a celebration to see senator lautenberg, i must say that. senator carper. >> i want you concur with senator wicker. this is a glass half-full moment and we would like to have this class even fuller and sooner but we have a path forward here. mike levin was one of my closest friends and he succeeded me as chair of the national -- mike levin. eventually the democrats showed up and we reported him out over where merly and he was confirmed on the floor overwhelmingly and that's a good president and my hope is that for the good
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dialogue that i think has been entertained between senator vitter and others have epa including the nominee hopefully that will continue and we will find yourselves in a position where we can take his nomination to the floor and give her the kind of food that we gave mike leavitt. >> thank you again everyone for coming and david i look forward to working with use you so we can move this nomination forward. >> can i just say one other thing? before you leave, i just want to thank you and the chair and our staff and your staff for the way you lead us on this issue and yesterday, i think that was a great moment for the senate terry thank you. >> thank you. all right, we stand adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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