tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 27, 2015 9:00pm-11:01pm EST
chairman told us that we could only have a vote on kplit tee rules if we agreed to vote on his rules, even though we think that they're unfair. i don't know what kind of logic that is that you can have votes as long as it's to go for what i want. we've been left in the dark. worse, the pla jorty has manipulated facts and negatives. when convenient they've left out key witness testimonies that don't coobama rate that they're seeking to prove. and when the facts don't add up they just continue to make more fanciful claims. for example back in september an art kal reported that former deputy assistant secretary of
state came forward with a startling allegation. that allegation was that former secretary of state hillary clinton's aides ordered the destruction of documents to prevent congress and the arb from ever seeing them. chairman dowdy called these allegations that the committee would be investigating this. what he failed to admit was that at the time of the chairman's fox news interview republicans had already investigated the maxwell claim and only found evidence against it.
but when democratic staff spoke to that witness he said he didn't recall having been in the document review session that mr. maxwell described. he also denied ever being instructed to flag information and documents that might be unfavorable to the department. he further reported that he never edge gauged in or was ever aware of any destruction of documents. that witness was perfectly willing to talk to democrats and has always been willing to talk to us. he also never asked to be treated as a confidential source. he's never explained that. as a former prosecutor mr. chairman, you understand that evaluating the credibility of witnesses and our allegations depends on whether the information that they provide can be coobama rated or not.
although your staff stated that they learning e.ed nothing, in fact, it was learned that this claim was not substantiated by key witness and to me, that's incredibly telling. unfortunately, because the facts didn't go into the conspiracy narrative, they failed to divulge that information to our side. if our goal is the truth, these interviews should have been conducted jointly with democrats and republicans in the room. facts that do not guilty support allegations that we are investigating should not guilty and cannot be igs norred. i, for one, and not willing to sit by silently any long r. maybe there is a good reason.
they have yet to yield any new information that has not been uncoverered by the previous eight, count them agt, in-depth investigations on the embassy in benghazi. if we sound a little frustrated today, well, it's with good reason. we've had enough of this pursuit and this quest to catch this mythical unicorn. eight sprat investigations where both sides agreed on the rules have been conducted./nñ if some member of the american
public were tried in a court of law, we would say that it was lunacy to expend the time, effort and money to continue to put them through that again. and, yet, here we are again. the american public and the victims themselves deserve better. i'm urging you to adon't the rules that allow for participation of both republicans and democrats so that we can conduct credible nonpartisan and transparent investigation into this matter.
in the time that i have remaining, i want to apologize to our witnesses. we kind of suspected that this is where it would end up. and i hate to say but those who were more cynical have the better argument. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you, ladies and gentlemen. i can assure i will never give veto power over subpoenas that thinks any entity that thinks no subpoena issish shooued. mr. smith said you're never going to get it.
concerned, but you're speaking in seasons of the year. you said with some happiness, we've produced two witnesses since the fall. isn't that ironic? that you're not speaking in ternls of days or weeks or months, but you're characterizing timing of the department of state in terms of seasons of the year. now, you've come into this with an opinion, haven't you, based on your past writings. you wrote a piece about the politicizing the benghazi attacks in october of 2012. isn't that right? let me read the first two
paragraphs. i want to get your opinion and how that opinion intersects with today. so, you wrote, the killing of four american patriots in benghazi last month was an act of terror. those four americans representeded the best of our country. they put their lives on the line to advance american interests in a volatile region. they deserve the support of their government back home. paragraph two. instead of getting that support, their deaths are being made used as a partisan attack on president obama, part of a false narrative that the president failed them. what has failed them is our political system. rather than supporting a serious, nonpartisan investigation into what took place and to what went wrong, waiting to get all the facts out, conservatives are trying to affix blame for their debts, for political advantage. now, i recognize, mr. reuben, there's been a lot of things coming off of capitol hill as it relates to benghazi, but you don't think this is a prif louse partisan investigation, do you? >> chris stevens was friend of
mine. i worked on capitol hill. >> i understand that. >> sir, i'm sorry -- >> you think this is a frivolous partisan investigation? >> sir, i'm not commenting on the question of is this a frivolous investigation because you're citing to -- >> accepting the reasonability -- department of state. and i'm interested in a simple question. do you think that this investigation is frivolous and partisan? what's your opinion? >> sir, again, in 2012, after chris stevens was killed and i remember the morning because he was a friend and i remember when his name was announced on the radio and my heart sunk to my feet because i knew chris because he represented the best of the state department and i'm sorry, sir, his name at that time was not being used in the manner i felt respect.
>> mr. reuben, is this frivolous? i'm asking you an opinion about your opinion about this process today. is this frivolous and is this partisan. what's your answer? can you not give an answer? >> the state department is and has been, from secretary on down, happy to comply and work with the committee as the chairman himself has said in a letter as well as in public comment that -- >> mr. reuben, i thought that was an easy layup. i think it was an easy thing to think, no, of course this is serious and not partisan and let's get to it. i find it shocking that you can't give a straight answer to that simple question and you're not going to give it to me, so let's move on. i find myself oftentimes -- language up here, state department and you're in the business of understanding foreign language and you have misinterpreted the language -- because to come in here and to sort of claim that we are, you're gratified that your
cooperation, let me translate for you. he's not pleased with your cooperation, he durant think this is going well and he thinks you're part of the problem. now, you claimed in your original testimony, in this role, i serve as chief liaison to the house, ensuring foreign policy issues, et cetera. so, your testimony is that you're responsible, right? >> that i am the chief liaison that the state department has a significant number of people working on a significant number of issues. in my job, i convey that, those issues as requested by congress and back and forth in the dialogue with the foreign affairs committee. >> back in november, november
18th, a season ago, this committee requested the documents, the e-mails, communiques and so forth of 11 of the principles on the seventh floor. now, i brought my computer here today and i know it's mott the same thing. i don't want to oversimplify it through the sake of being gratuitous, but when i go to my e-mail, which has thousands in it and i type in something like united airlines, for example, and i sort it, dozens and dozens of things come up within the twinkling of an eye. when can we expect you to use a similar enterprise, is there a date certain that we can rely on because the admonition that you have never said no is ridiculous. you don't have to say no. as a dad, when my kids could come to me, i would say, they'd ask to do something and i didn't want to do it, i'd say, let me think about it. you're doing the exact same thing. you're saying, we're working on it. remember that scene in raiders of the lost ark at the end when
indiana jones goes in and is talking to the government guy and he says, where's the ark? and the government guy says, we have top people working on it. and indiana jones says, what people? and the government guy says, top people. you're the government guy. you're standing up for top people. you've got to bring your game. quouf got to be the expediter. the one that sheds your past opinions about congressional investigations and takes on the job of being an advocate so that we can all get to the bottom of this. the other side doesn't get to argue in the alternative that it's not moving fast enough and they're being passive aggressive by not participating. it just doesn't work and it's very flat footed. but what we need from you is a disposition of expedition, that is recognizes that a chairman is
not happy. don't misinterpret the charm and graciousness of the south. i'm from chicago, we have none of that. and we're trying to be very, very direct and that is to be to be part of the remedy, mr. reuben, to be part of the solution and to get things done. >> as i've said, sir, and as i can assure you as i said in my testimony, we will begin with production of additional documents to the committee within days. we are also needing the guidance from the committee as to its top priority and sequencing. >> no, no. >> the committee had told us -- >> you're making an argument that says these things have to be consecutive requests. they're not. they're concurrent requests. you can walk and chew gum at the same time.
you've got 70,000 employees. so, to make the add machine igs of the committee that you've got to line up single file and you're going to be admitted in, we're going to get you this piece of evidence if you ask the right way and that piece of evidence, come op. that's an old trick. >> we have a record of cooperation with this committee. in recent days, we proactively offered to this committee -- >> a brief. come on. we need documents. 11 people on the seventh floor. we need it promptly and -- >> and we are committed. >> my time is expired. i yield back. >> chair, we'll go to the gentleman from california. >> thank you, mr. chairman. still trying to figure out who's indiana jones in that analogy. i want to comment on a couple of
things and i'm not sure that i have a question for any of the panelists. thank you for spending your time with us today. i'm not sure why you're here, but i appreciate your presence end mr. reuben, looks like your reason for being here is so that we can beat up on you, which i think is grossly unfair to you and the state department considering that if we're going to look to assess reasonability for the slow pace of this investigation, we have to look to ourselves before we look to the state department. given that we didn't ask for a single new document from the state department for the first half year of existence of this select committee, it seems a bit disingenuous to be criticizing
the state department for the pace of our investigation. the entire katrina investigation had finished its work before we requested a document from the state department. and certainly, before this point in our investigation. i think the problem here is not with the pace of the state department's response. the problem all along has been this committee has such an indefinite scope. we don't know exactly what we're looking for. this was a big part of the reason why many democrats had reservation about participating in a committee or forming the committee. as the chairman pointed out. on the vote to form the select committee, originally, only seven democratic members supported it because unclear, other than the political purpose, what was the purpose of this select committee and in the reauthorization, which took place as part of the rules package, not a single democratic supported it. in fact, four republicans voted against the rules package, which reauthorized this committee and a big part of the committee is that even now, eight months later, we still don't know wh we're looking for and this is a problem not only in terms of this select committee and investigation going on. it's also a problem in terms of which we can expect to get our document requests responded to. if we had a better idea of what we were looking for, of what was
in controversy, then we could narrow our requests and i'm sure we could get it complied with with much more lackrity. part of the reason why i think the charter for this select committee is brought as the chairman mentioned is that we didn't really know the purpose of this committee. were we looking at gun running or nonexist ens stand down orders or military assistance that was ordered not to be provided or any number of myths. the challenge has been that on these issues, it's not as if there was a factual controversy. there wasn't before this committee was established. we've had innumerable investigations and we couldn't narrow in on a particular set of facts in dispute because it really wasn't the fact based dispute as much a political dispute. about how to interpret the events, so the charter was broad
and for that reason, it was voted on on the party line basis, but the committee was established and we agreed to participate in the hopes that against our expectation, it would turn out to be different. and initially, it looked that way and i'm grateful the first two hearings were on a very productive course and that is what have we done in terms of recommendations -- where are we in the hunt frs those responses. we haven't narrowed the scope at all. we still don't know what we're looking for, but we know we're looking for something. and it's part of the reason why we feel it's so important we agree on the scope of this investigation, otherwise, it's going to go on forever. it will be a partisan fishing expedition or drawn out to affect the presidential election cycle. at the end of the day and i want to use an idea suggested by my colleague, we have never asked
for veto over subpoenas. what we have asked for is to be notified of them. to have a chance to weigh in. where they're not disputed. our ranking member and chairman can agree and where they are, we ought to have a vote on them. that's not a veto. they have more members than we do. provided their members agree with the question, with the subpoena request, they should
always be improved, but we ought to have an open debate about it to prevent this from being a purely partisan exercise, unless that's the goal. so i think defining the scope is going to be important. ifst going to have credibility. the final point i would make on this is if this investigation doesn't produce a bipartisan report, it will have been a complete failure. it will be a meaningless failure because if we don't produce a bipartisan report at the end of the day, it will have no credibility. so if we're going to invest our time in this, let's make it worthwhile and that means let's make it bipart son. so, that the country and the families will have the confidence of knowing that this was a objective work product.
questions. and you have to interview those who were involved. but when the incident involves numerous documents, typically in any investigation, you try to get the documents ahead of time so that you run an efficient, fair investigation when you get to ask witness questions, you have documents in front of you that you can ask them the most relevant questions. and that, i think, is -- has been the problem that we have had is that while you, mr. ruben, have talked about cooperating, you have required us to prioritize rather than giving us, as ms. roby talked about, the universe of documents.
and so things have been, you know, dribbed and drabbed out to this committee over a period of time. and in large part because of that, that is why we have not had interview -- have not interviewed witnesses yet because we've been waiting on the documents for months, and i think when this committee was established, the state department knew, as we said we were going to take the work, the documents from the other committees, we didn't want to duplicate the effort. we wanted to take the documents from the other committee, and it's taken a long time just to get those. what was produced ogr, what was produced to intel? so i just want to say, we are -- have tried in a very thorough, fair manner to try to extract the documents from the various agencies that have already given the documents to different committees.
our recommendations do plan to be very -- we do need to make bipartisan recommendations. i agree with that. but in order to conduct a fair, authorize re, thoughtful, efficient investigation, we have to have the documents first. that's why we focused on the documents. and i have to ask how can we possibly learn from the attacks if we don't learn about the attacks? we can't make recommendations going forward if we don't have all of the facts about what happened before, during and after the attack. and there are documents that remain to be reviewed. we've learned that. you have recently given us new documents that were never
reviewed prior to the establishment of this committee, even though there have been eight committees that received and requested documents in the past, this committee is still getting new documents. and our challenge is we don't know how many more new documents are out there. and how can that be after two years, since this tragic incident, how can it be that we are still getting new documents? and the need to review those documents is anyone who conducts any investigation, that is critical prior to interviewing witnesses. who have yet to tell their stories to congress. so many witnesses have yet to tell their story to congress. and i want to focus on our request to interview those witnesses. our first two requests -- and there will be more requests, mr. ruben -- our first two requests to the state department were to interview 22 state department personnel. 18 of whom were in benghazi in the months prior to the attack. and experienced firsthand the deteriorating security posture as well as the four who were in benghazi. none of those people have been interviewed by congress, to my knowledge, none. and so for the other side to, you know, really try and capture all that's been done, how is it that 22 people who have direct knowledge have not yet been
interviewed by any committees in congress? so there are no asked and answered questions from 22 different people with firsthand knowledge. so we're not seeking to duplicate any work that's already been done. this is new, fresh work that needs to be done. people who were there, people who were in benghazi prior to the attack and actually people who were there during the attack. so would you agree with me, mr. ruben, that firsthand knowledge rather than a summary, a report, another agent coming in and talking to us, firsthand information is better than secondhand information, would you agree? >> sorry. ma'am, the request for these interviews came on december 4th, i believe, and we spoke quickly with the committee and the staff to try to figure out what the highest priority were, and it
was communicated to us that the four diplomatic security agents, ds, and that's where it runs into this complexity of an ongoing investigation to prosecutor potentially the individual that is in custody for those terrorist attacks and the justice department has raised concerns that need to be -- we need to be mindful of. that's the only discussion that we've had related to that. >> thank you. and please note that as a former u.s. attorney and someone who is in charge of victim witness subcommittee for attorney general ashcroft and attorney general gonzalez, i'm very concerned about prosecutions and about victims and witnesses. and let me just share with you that our staff is in communication with the justice department, and we will handle these witnesses appropriately. but if we made a request to you on december 4th of all of these witnesses, and i appreciate you would like them to be prioritized, it's january 27th today. there is no date yet scheduled for an interview of any of these people. we're not going to wait to
receive now all of these documents, which would have been the more efficient way for a real investigation to be done. so we'd like to know what date, and because we want to preserve the safety and security of these personnel, we'd like to know, i would say within the next 24 hours, which witnesses will be made available next week, and which witnesses will be made available the following week? and which witnesses will be made available the following week and so on? and we all have a certain number of staff, but our staff will go to these witnesses, or we will work with you to make arrangements to get these staff back to washington, d.c., to conduct these interviews. are you in agreement that that can be done? >> to provide a bit of context -- >> and we will be working with the justice department on all of this as well to ensure their safety and security. so assuming that we take the justice department prosecution
off of your plate and assume we work with them on how this will be done, will you work with us to get these interviews set up in the next week? >> ma'am, we're always open to communicating and speaking with you. the experts, i am not the legal expert for the state department. i will not take on that role. >> who is the legal -- who is the legal expert? >> we have lawyers at the state department that are continually in touch, and individuals and staff with the staff of the committee. >> and who is -- >> and we're always open to that conversation. >> i appreciate that. who is the lawyer from the state department that we should be communicating with with respect to scheduling these interviews of up to 22 different witnesses? >> i'd have to get you the specific person, but i'm sure that the staffs know who they are speaking with directly about these issues. >> who is the head of legal affairs for the state department? >> well, the legal adviser is nancy mcleod. that's -- that's the legal adviser, the top of the state department bureau for legal affairs. but the context of the letter request for these interviews, it's important to remember that
after we received the request, we have gone to the committee to ask for the priorities. in that interim process, we have prepared briefings. we have been engaged, and it took several weeks to get the priorities from the committee. >> why do we need priorities? they're all priorities. 22 people -- why do we have to prioritize? why does our staff have to prioritize to the state department? >> because we want to know for your work to make it as easy as possible what it is that you are looking at as the highest to-do item on your checklist. >> when we don't know what they have to say, it is difficult, mr. ruben, to know who has the most information. and so at this point, we have the bandwidth and i would suggest that the other side has the bandwidth to set up a schedule as to when we will interview each of these 22 witnesses. 18 who have not been interviewed who worked in benghazi and in libya prior and four who were there at the time of the attack. and so will you work with us? will you commit --
>> of course. >> -- that your legal department will work with us to -- and we will pledge that we will work with the justice department on these witnesses, too, because we absolutely do not want to compromise that investigation. but these are individuals, some of whom have been interviewed by the arb, is that correct? >> i'm not intimately knowledgeable of every individual the arb spoke with. >> we must have these interviews done in an expeditious manner, and if we could please get the documents ahead of time, it will make it most effective, and we won't need to have multiple interviews with these important eyewitnesses. >> thank you. >> thank you. i yield back. >> the chair would now recognize the gentleman from kansas, mr. pompeo. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's been a very productive hearing. mr. schiff seemed confused by why you're here, mr. higgins. i'm go to enlighten him perhaps a little bit about why you're here today. the central intelligence had turned over a series of documents to the house permanent select committee on intelligence when it wrapped up its
investigation. it returned those documents as it did under its instructions andity rules and provided them to you in a letter of may 8th. then chairman of the committee, mike rogers, asked you to hold on to those documents, to secund them in a way that would be available to this committee in a very expeditious manner. since at least october, this committee has been seeking those documents. november 19th, one of your staff said, quote, working to try to set up a time next week. end of quote. december 8th, one of your staff attorney says quote, we're in the process of organizing and page numbering. end quote. and then december 15, one of your staff attorneys said quote, we'll reach out to you soon, end of quote. this is a series of documents you've already identified. you turn them over on thursday of last week. after chairman gatty had to go through the process that you were going to have to come here today and answer to why you hadn't turned over the documents. coincidence? >> no, sir. thank you for the question. and i absolutely understand your frustration and the committee's frustration. producing these materials has
taken longer than you consider acceptable, and certainly longer than we anticipated as those e-mails from november and december suggest. if you bear with me, let me see if i can explain the delay. >> if you will do so quickly, i'd be happy to bear with you. >> i will do so as quickly as i can. let me see if i can explain the delay. the committee first requested access on november 14th, one of the e-mails you reference. over events overtook that request. the committee revisited the issue on december 8th asking to see the documents during the week of december 15th. at that point, those of us in contact with the committee, as those e-mails, again, suggest, thought that it should be a pretty straightforward process of delivering to you the materials that we previously produced to the house intelligence committee. during this time while we were in contact, our staff most familiar with theback-related documents have been working on the state department document request, reviewing those 40,000 pages for cia equities. when we asked them to prepare our own documents for delivery to the committee, they made
three discoveries. first they discovered the documents we had provided to hipsi and they had returned to us. we were disorganized. they were not in chronological order or any logical order. secondly, they realized that the documents did not comply with the limited redaction criteria that we have previously discussed with this committee staff directors. third, they learned that cia had not kept an exact soft copy of what had been produced to hipsi. so what that meant was that we had to go through a fairly time-consuming process of identifying the matching soft copies for the hard copies of thousands of pages that were produced to hipsi, pairing them up, the limited redactions that we had agreed with staff directors and then inserting them in chronological order and run into technical problems with bates numbering them, but we were hoping they would all be able to be bates numbered as well. >> let me see if i can summarize. you couldn't figure out how to get them back to us in a timely fashion.
but when the hearing was noticed, you figured it out. >> our internal goal was to finish it -- our internal goal was to finish it by this friday. we did accelerate that time line. >> you bet, to meet the hearing. >> to meet the hearing deadline. we planned to finish the process as i designed as bureaucratic and as cumbersome as it sounds, by this friday at the latest. >> i appreciate that. >> i apologize for the delay. >> this was a pretty simple request. some of the other challenges that the state department identified didn't exist. >> we discovered it was more complicated. >> let me talk about witnesses. there have been comments from the other side that we haven't asked for witnesses. we're going to. will you agree that you will help us find those folks, we'll
do all the right things to safeguard these folks, they are warriors, we don't want to compromise them at all. will you agree that you will work with us closely to help us get those folks so that we can get their testimony as well? >> yes, sir. we actually just received today the committee's request to speak with the eyewitnesses, and we will do so. >> great, thank you. that brings up a point. you just got it today. i assume when these witnesses come, you're going to hope we only have to interview them once. is that correct? >> i would hope so. >> it would be your strong preference that we not turn up a document after we've brought these folks back from goodness knows where to come testify that we don't have to call them back to address another document. so one time is better than two. and certainly better than three. right? >> absolutely. >> and mr. ruben, you'd agree with that? >> yes, although i'm not the expert in interviews. >> but you'd prefer if we have to round up, we just do it once and not have to gather them up, get your lawyers, all that goes with that a second or a third time. that's better from your agency's perspective. fewer of your 70,000 top people, right? >> i can't speak to the effectiveness of interviews, but -- >> here's what i can say. we have heard today from the other side that we haven't called witnesses. and i will tell you, until you get us the documents, we're going to be very loathed to bring them because i know we will never get these folks back a second time. you all will find hundreds of reasons not to bring them the
first time and thousands of reasons not to bring them the second time. and we're just going to do this right. we're going to do this where we're actually going to pursue this inquiry in a reasonable way. mr. higgins, it took us a long time to get some of our sf star clearances. we had a three-star general that couldn't get an sci completed until when was it? when the hearing was noticed, shortly before the hearing is noticed, we get the final set of clearances that we need. can you assure us that that won't happen in the future? we'll probably have additional folks that need to be cleared. this is a comedy between the branches that you all have done good work on in the past. and it's one of the things, again, we've been trying to move this along. now we have the minority saying we're too slow. but we didn't have clearances for staff members in a timely fashion. >> we will commit to working with you to make the clearance process work as smoothly as possible. i'm happy to explain in more detail if you like the various
-- what cia's limited role is in the clearance process and why it's taken as long as it has in a few instances. but the bottom line is we will work with you to clear individuals as quickly as possible. >> in the case that we're doing something wrong, you don't have the information, we are happy to expedite that as well. but the executive branch sat for far too long and plea vented this committee from taking on the task that we have been charged with. and so we hear the minority today talk about it. but the executive branch prevented us from having access to information and having staffpeople having access to information that was necessary for us to execute this investigation the way these families deserve. >> usually when clearances have taken longer than we would like or you would like, it's because necessary information to adjudicate staff access to sensitive compartmented information which is the limited piece that cia does was not provided. and we either had to come back to the committee or go back to our interagency partners. we've worked through that. i think our security officers and committee security officer now have a good understanding of how we can move forward in an expeditious fashion. >> have you received any documents from the minority? >> no, i have not. >> have you received any witness requests? >> no requests independent from the requests that we received this morning. >> mr. ruben, have you received any document request from the
minority on this committee? >> we have not, sir. >> have you received any witness requests from the minority on this committee? >> similar to mr. higgins. >> so this -- today this is fascinating to watch, mr. schiff and mr. cummings talk about us being too slow. you've seen all the impediments that have been put in our way, whether it was clearances or priorities or documents we can't get our hands on. they claim that they want to get mr. cummings says, i want to make sure we complete a fact-finding investigation. he hasn't asked for a single fact, not one. it must be the case that he believes every fact has been
gracious chairman with respect to a witness that they wanted to call before this witness or a document they sought from any group within the executive branch. the hypocrisy to come today and say we are both moving too slow and asking for too much is something the american people will get to judge as we move forward. but i can assure you that everyone on this committee -- and i hope the minority will join in this effort in a serious way as well -- we're going to ask the questions, and it may be the case as mr. smith said, we won't get to all of the answers that we would like to get to, but we're going to work at it. we're going to take this charge seriously. and i hope the minority will participate as well. they talk about us being too slow, and yet they act as if their job is to play defense, right, to stop us from engaging in this inquiry. not participate in it. not say mr. chairman, i think we ought to ask this witness questions x, y and z. mr. chairman, might it be possible that we could obtain documents from this particular group. no, rather they simply act as if they are the break on this committee's investigatory work. as if their sole role is to claim that this investigation is political and not to participate. we still have men and women out in the world who are engaged in important intelligence collection activities and keeping america safe. we have an obligation to make sure this committee gets it right. and i hope the minority on this committee will begin to take that role seriously, that they will participate actively, that they, too, will seek witnesses and documents and information such that when we get done, they, too, will be able to sign the report. i would love nothing more than to have a bipartisan report that gets to all the facts. but if the minority continues to believe that their role is to play fullback to our efforts, to block everything we do, not to clear the way, but rather to obfuscate, i suspect we'll end up in a place where we get a good factual report, but the american people don't get the full resolution that they deserve. with that, i yield back my time, mr. chairman. >> thank you. the gentleman now recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr.
westmoreland. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i just wanted to make a couple comments about some of the statements that's been made about the delay in this committee. and the request for documents. this committee was formed in may, and i don't know, as the minority leader, didn't appoint the other side's members for two or three weeks. but we had -- we had to staff up. both sides had to hire staff. and then once we hired the staff, they had to get security clearance, which mr. higgins and mr. pompeo alluded to. we had a retired three-star general that applied for clearance last september. and i think he got it last thursday. you know, if that's not dragging your feet, i don't know what is. but i don't know why we would have wanted all these documents, 40,000 pages of documents, if we didn't have staff cleared to read them. i mean, we members of congress,
i know y'all don't think we do much, but, you know, for us reading 40,000 pages of documents, that's what the staff's for. and so just in the amount of time it took to staff up to find the right people from both sides of the aisle and then to get their security clearance, i think everybody needs to understand it took a while. and then as far as the delay, you know, i think the delay has come from our chairman being too bipartisan. i know there was hours, if not a couple days, spent on arguing about how much time each member would get.
and i think the minority wanted it down to nine minutes and 20 seconds each, the way this thing was deliberated. and so when you have to spend a couple days arguing about, you know, 40 seconds or 20 seconds or whatever it is, you're not going to get very far. and as far as us being in a majority, i think the president said in 2009 elections have consequences. as mr. pompeo said, he and i both sat on the intelligence committee. and reading the resolution that was put before the house, we have those same authorities as the intel committee. mr. higgins, would you agree with that? >> the resolution does carve this committee into house rule 10 which establishes the intelligence committee's authorities over intelligence sources and methods. >> so you will give this committee the same respect that you would hipsi and any request for documents or witnesses that they might request? >> i'd be happy in a classified setting to discuss it is materials that cia has provided as well as the limited set of redactions that we are
implementing pursuant to conversations with this committee's staff directors. >> okay. and 40,000 pages came from the state department. and mr. ruben mentioned that there were a lot of -- talking about redaction, there was a lot of other agencies, i guess, that had to look at what was in there as far as redacting the information. when the cia received this, were there any redactions already done? >> we had a team that we sent down to the state department to review. these are materials that had prooely been produced in part in unclassified form with redactions. we sent a team down to review the redactions, see which redactions could be lifted. as mr. ruben indicated, the documents are now less redacted
than they were previously in part because other agencies like cia lifted their redactions. again, any remaining redactions that are cia redactions are pursuant to discussions that we've had with the staff directors here. >> so is the cia the only redactions that are there now? >> i can't speak to that, i'm afraid. >> mr. ruben, is that the documents, the 40,000 pages, only the cia redactions? >> so the different agencies that have redacted in different areas cut across the entire interagency as all -- many agencies involved in foreign policy. i'm sorry, sir. >> no, i'm sorry. do we know what agencies redacted what parts of -- >> we'd be happy to meet with your staff to go over specific documents to identify where those redactions came from. >> okay. but you know where they came from, the redactions, and why they're there, right? >> again, if another agency did it, we would engage with the committee staff and with that agency to help figure that out. >> so by sending this to the cia -- and i'm assuming that the cia
had, unlike the state department, had some people specifically set up looking at these benghazi documents? >> between our office of congressional affairs and our office of general counsel, we have people that we have designated to review benghazi-related documents. so we actually sent people to the state department. they didn't send it to us. >> so you sent them to the state department rather than the state department sending you over some documents and you looking at it. you actually send folks over to the state department. >> that's correct. >> is that correct? now, and i'm assuming that for both the intel committee and this committee, that the redactions you make are for methods and sources, is that correct? >> that's correct. again, i'd be happy to provide more detail and in a different setting. we have discussed that with the staff directors from both sides. >> okay. so do you think that the state department shares e-mails between employees that would have methods and sources in it? >> there may be times that e-mails in the state department's possession do include cia information that would speak to intelligence sources and methods. >> between employees? >> or between, say -- >> the state department feels like they're employees that can
see methods that members of congress can't see? mr. ruben, i'll ask you the question. are there e-mails between state department employees that disclose me methods and operations and stuff that they can see that members of congress can't see? >> there may be times that they do have nchgs that will speak to intelligence methods. >> between employees? the state department feels like employees and members of congress can see. >> is there e-mails between state department employees that disclose methods and operations and stuff that they can see that members of congress can't see? >> terms of communicating with other agencies, we have
classified communications systems that are part of the daily operations on foreign policy probably smeeking national security. >> well, i know that mr. higgins testified that all of our facilities have been secured and certified by the cia. i think most members are taugs security clearance. are you saying that the state department employees send these e-mails back and forth or something that we should be seeing now. >> no, sir. reat a timed to the document there's classified and unclassified. >> what would be considered classified from another agency that members of congress would
not need to see? >> flstthere's a process of determining when it's classified. generally when commune kaigs classified within agencies that type of information we're all seeking. >> i believe the process is we've gone to all the agencies are relevant to these documents and sdasked for review. >> mr. higgins said they lifted some of the redactions. >> we went over the documents
were redacted we have reduced. >> i yield back my time. >> the chair will recognize mr. jim. >> as i sit here i want to make sure we're all doing the same things. i've heard a lot of comments that concern me. let me be clear we've never ever tried to veto the chairman's is. it just never happened. i made it clear to him over and over again. we have asked to be true partners in this investigation.
i think it's sad that, in my 18 years in the congress, to see how the stress builds up and when distrust wells up, it's very hard to get anything done period. i was watching you a minute ago when you talked about am basket eded about ambassador stephens. i watched you as you, you may not have realized it became emotional. as you became emotional i couldn't help but think about the other employees add state
who are probably watching this right now and how they give their blood, sweat, tears away from their families to do the jobs that they do. the first thing i want to do is thank them. the same thing for you. when i think about this effort that we're making and i don't care what anybody says, it is search for the truth. be clear what is one person's truth somebody else may say something opposite. our effort is to bring our heads together our best efforts and
hopefully some trust to look at all the facts and come to some conclusions conclusions. you're absolutely right. if we end this with a republican saying this and democrats saying that what have we really accomplished. one of the things we did and i thought it was great that we did it, was to sit down and meet with the families. i met i made every one of those meetings. it was painful. it was painful. they did not ask for republicans to sit on one side of the room an democrats to sit on the
other. they wanted us to sit down and work together. period. one of the things they said over and over and over and over again don't make this a political football. they talked about how they wanted closure. they talked about how they wanted us to truly work together. i've said it before and i'll say it again. i'll say it until i die.
each one of us represents over 700,000 people. all of us bring something to the table. it should not be about the gotcha moment. it should be about the big picture moment. it should be about how we make sure this does not happen again. as i listen to a lot of discussion it was an issue of the question of whether the democrat put forth witnesses and the fact is that we need a scope. we need an id of what we are going after. woint even be here wouldn't be talking about this if we didn't already have any reports.
we've got a situation where millions of taxpayers dollars have been paid. we've had members of congress that have been paid to sit in hearings. we have staff members and producer. some of them are bipartisan. some of them are bipartisan. we got our staff involved. we created something that answers questions. it's not contrary, we didn't say that these are things that we judge to the facts. documents presented and just the very questions that have been
asked. we just presented the documents. that's all we tried to do. then we said now that we've done that, no that we've got that, let's see what it is that we can work together on if there is something that has not been answered. you talked about priorities. the chairman lays out, as i understand it what he wants. have you been given priorities? >> thank you. we have been given pie yourriorities which is to ensure that we provide additional documents related to a special search for former secretary clinton as a to
priority. >> how did that come about.? how did that happen? why did it happen? >> it was initiated through the contact and communications between staff and committee in our officials our personnel at state including with the letters on december 4th and at the end of november i think november 18th. >> i agree with that needs certain information. when it comes the priority, shets theshethe sets priorities, not you.
>> we're responsive. >> tell me the priority list right now. what is that list? number one. >> it is the production of documents that we're requested regarding former officials and top of the list was former secretary clinton. number two is the interviews of the four diplomatic security agents that we referenced. that's not to say that the other requests are forgotten. those are the items we have worked most diligently on. those documents that were requested. it's only been six weeks since the initial request and a few about a month of the finalization of that.
>> we got to move to higher ground. that's the families deserve. that's what the american people deserve. i think that's all we want. >> the gentleman from ohio. >> democrats asked for no hearings in august and october, and now they complain the democrats picked the topic for the first hearing, the arb recommendations. now they complain. democrats asked and got a second hearing on the arb recommendations. now they complain. in that second hearing, mr.
smith, has given the kurty i have not seen in my eight years after summery to call in and ask questions. now they complain. i mean, so suggest that the chairman has been unfair is ridiculous on the face. now, the one thing they have said that makes some sense is the pace is way too slow, and that's why we've got you guys here today. we have got to pick up the pace for the families that mr. cummings just referenced. so mr. ruben, i'm going to start with an issue i dealt with in my work on standing committee here in the house and has carried over to this committee, and that's the arb process. are you familiar with that, mr. ruben? >> i'm not the expert on the whole arb process. >> specifically, do you know something about the benghazi arb process at all? >> i do in general terms. >> we've had two hearings on it. the first two hearings that the democrats requested. it's a pretty important issue. >> and secretary stark came and testified. >> he sure did. many claim the arb process and the arb report was independent. mr. cummings said this. he said -- called it the independent accountability review board. the report was independent. jerry connelly, another member of congress, said it was the independent accountability review board process. greg starr who you just referenced, a colleague of yours who's testified twice on this committee.
the first two hearings said this. thank you for inviting me today. this is at the last hearing. to provide insight on the department's progress to implement the recommendations made by the independent benghazi arb. i mean, they use the term independent almost as if it's part of the title. part of the official title. now, i think there are problems with that claim. secretary clinton picked four of the five members of the board of this so-called independent board. secretary clinton was never interviewed by this so-called independent board. sheryl mills, her chief of staff, wasn't interviewed by this so-called independent board. sheryl mills, her chief of staff, was given a draft copy of the report before it went public to make edits of this so-called independent board. admiral mullen, a co-chair of the board, after interviewing charlene lamb, employee at the
state department, then called up sheryl mills and said hey, ms. lamb's going to testify in front of a congressional committee. she's not going to do a good job. i'm giving you a heads up. when the co-chair gives up a heads up about a potential witness coming in front of congress, that doesn't really scream independence. but mr. ruben, let's assume they're all all right. let's assume they got it right, that this is independent. in spite of those facts, in spite of the fact the secretary picked four of the five people who were supposed to investigate her, i don't know where anywhere else in life with a potential subject gets to pick their investigators. despite the fact she wasn't interviewed, sheryl mills wasn't interviewed, despite all those facts, let's just assume that mr. cummings, mr. connelly, mr. starr correct when they say independent, how do we test that claim if you guys won't give us the documents? how do we test the claim of independence if you guys won't let us see the record? mr. ruben, you've had a subpoena congress issued in august of
2013 saying we want every single document, or as the chairman's made clear, all documents relating to the arb investigation, we want to know, when are you going to comply? >> sir, as -- >> when are you going to put those top people that mr. roscum, when are you going to put those top people on a subpoena that's been issued a year and a half ago to get us the documents so we can test the claim that this arb was actually independent? >> sir, as i just mentioned with mr. cummings, the top two priorities that were communicated to us for the immediate term were these interviews and these other documents. >> here's what we've got to get past. wait, wait, wait. this is what we've got to get past, this priority line you keep using. the subpoena was august 2013. this wasn't -- we're not talking a couple months ago. we're talking a year and a half ago. so you got top people working on it. so here's the point. you can't have it both ways. you can't claim oh, this was the independent be all, end all
definitive statement that the arb made on benghazi. and then not let us see the record. all we're saying is okay, we'll accept this fact. we don't think it is independent. we'll accept it. show us the record. >> so we had two hearings with secretary starr about the arb implementation. the arbs themselves are crucial to providing security for our people. that's why they're there. and the documents request that you're referencing, there are documents as well in the 40,000 pages of documents that are related to the arb. >> that's where i wanted to go. you're right where i wanted to go, mr. ruben. you've given us 40,000 documents. are contained in that 40,000 documents, are -- within that 40,000 documents, is every document that the arb received from the state department, so the state department gave the arb a bunch of documents, are everything the arb had contained in that 40,000? >> i have not read all 40,000 pieces.
>> no, i don't expect you've read them. >> i don't want to misstate that. >> have we received everything the arb received? >> again, sir -- >> simple question. >> -- i did not draft the arb, and i have not read all 40,000 pages. i'm here to convey to the house, to the committee, what it is that we're working on. so the -- it's not something i would be able to testify on here. >> this is the key question. the documents the arb got from the state department, are they in the 40,000 that we now have? every single thing that the arb got from the state department, are they in the 40,000 documents we now have? yes or no? >> the document that you requested -- >> you can say i don't know. >> the document request was related more broadly to an overall search for documents from the state department. now, as far as the arb investigation, it's important to also recognize that arbs, over time, need to stand independence as you've cited, and that is for the security of our personnel. >> mr. ruben, there's two
components to the subpoena. there's what i was just talking about. does this committee now have everything that the state department gave to the accountability review board? that's question one. question two is, the notes, the records, the files, the interview, notes, everything that the arb compiled in their investigation, we want toes, too. does this committee have those notes, records and files that the five-member arb panel had, do we have that information? >> again, i cannot tell you specifically every single document has been in there. again, if the committee tells us that that is in their priority, the number one thing, i'm happy to convey that back and have us move on that. >> mr. ruben, are you familiar with the statute, the statute pertaining to arb says this. records pertaining to administrative proceedings under the arb process shall be
separated -- shall, not may -- shall be separated from all other records of the department of state and shall be maintained. so here's the point. you should have a file already with everything nicely and neatly organized of all the documents that the state department gave the arb and all the notes, files and records that the arb compiled in their investigation when they did the interviews, how many people they interviewed, did they do it alone or in groups. you should have all that in the file. that should be the simplest thing in the world to hand over to us, and you haven't done it. and yet -- and yet everyone claims the arb was independent. how can we test the claim when you won't give us what the statute requires? separated, segregated file on what the arb did and you guys keep it. >> part of the core integrity of the arb -- >> do you have that file separated and segregated like the statute requires? >> sir, the core integrity of the arb is reliant upon discretion and the ability -- >> mr. ruben, these questions are so simple. is there a segregated file like the arb statute requires, do you
have that separated, segregated ready to hand over to us -- a long time ago, frankly -- but do you have it separated and segregated? >> i'd have to go and ask our experts about that. the liaison -- >> this is amazing. you were invited to come here today to tell us about the documents. the statute says you're supposed to have them separated and segregated to maintaining those, and you don't know if you have them and can't give them to us? >> no, i'm saying i'm going to get our experts -- >> you said i don't know. i got that answer. >> -- to convey that. i want to get you the proper information. >> one last thing, mr. chairman. in the article you wrote, one month after four americans were tragically killed, one of them a friend of yours and a great ambassador, in the article you wrote that mr. roscum cited earlier, you talked about not rushing to judgment, and you specifically said we should wait to get all the facts out. direct quote from your guest blogger column. and here's the irony.
wait to get all the facts. you said wait to get all the facts, and now you're the guy who can give us the facts. you're the guy who should have the arb files separate, segregated, ready to hand over, and you guys won't do it. after you'd said that a month after this tragedy and now this should be ready to give over to us, and the state department's saying keep prioritizing. we've got top people on it. keep getting in line. we're working with you. we promise we'll work with you. we're going to get to it someday, sometime, somehow. it's not going to fly. >> sir, we've been proactive with the committee. we have provided briefings that the committee didn't request, and we're always open to, as i said earlier, to have these communications. >> the subpoena was a year and a half ago. i don't know how you can say you've been proactive and helpful when you won't even comply with the statute and give us -- give us what the law requires you to give us and have it segregated and separated for us. and oh, by the way, claim
independence in the process. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> the gentleman from ohio, mr. ruben, and mr. higgins, i think both of you have something in common with every member of the committee, which is a deep and abiding respect for the four people who gave their lives for this country. so i think that you share our desire to do what the house instructed us to do. and you'll note the department of justice is not at the table. you made reference, mr. ruben, to the department of justice. ms. sanchez made reference to the department of justice. and i asked her to yield time so i could clarify that. and she's well within her rights not to do so. the department of justice did write us a letter. and we met with them. and we addressed the concerns that they had about protecting the integrity of their prosecution. which i can assure you, given my former line of work, i want them to be wildly successful with their prosecution. so i would never do anything to jeopardize that. we met. we discussed it. we worked out the issues. they're not at the table. that's why they're not at the table. i don't enjoy these hearings. i'd rather have a hearing about substance, not about process. i don't want another hearing
like this. but when my colleagues are complaining about the pace, and i've got colleagues on this side which i never thought i would ever hear in my life that i am too polite, i never thought i would hear that. i hope my three sisters are watching. we're going to have to ratchet it up. and if the letters don't work, then we're going to have to resort to a more formal legal process. because i want this concluded. and i will note -- i don't think any of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have had an opportunity to highlight this
point yet, but i'm sure that they would agree with me, there's not been a single leak of anything that either of you have provided us. there's not been a single selective release of information. not one. so the people on this committee take their responsibility seriously, this is not a political exercise for us. most of the people who ask me about benghazi i could not tell you their political ideation, if they have one. they just want to know what happened. and i intend to tell them, and i intend to tell them sooner rather than later. so the letters haven't worked, and the southern politeness has not worked. we're going to ratchet it up. because i need access to the documents and the witnesses, and we need to be able to conclude our work. with that -- >> will the gentleman yield? >> certainly. >> just for one question. you know, as i listened a few moments ago to the last questioner, you know, i just want to make sure that the -- in consistent with what you've just said, us getting the job done, that apparently they have priorities that are being set.
and i want to make sure that they have the proper instructions. i mean, on the one hand, we have some members saying, you know, give them everything and don't worry about priorities. but on the other hand, they say that you've set certain priorities. i just -- i mean, i want to make sure that they are clear as to the marching orders, that's all. >> well, that's a great question, mr. cummings. in a perfect world when people ask you for priorities, that's exactly what they want. they want to know what your priorities are because they intend on complying with all of your requests. they just want to know what are we going to do tomorrow, the next day and the next day. after a year and a half of waiting on compliance with a subpoena, the argument that we need priorities just rings a little bit hollow. and if i were to tell you, if i were to tell you i want you to prioritize mr. cummings' e-mails, then someone is going to spin that into the we don't care about the other people's e-mails. we're just obsessed with the
gentleman from maryland. we don't care about any other witness. so i'm not going to fall for that. i'm not going to fall for the trick of telling you what's really important. it's all important. that's why the word "all" is in the resolution. so i can't tell you -- i can tell you this. if you start producing documents on a regular basis, consistent with our request, nobody is going to complain to you that you're not giving them to us in the order in which we want them. >> the gentleman yield? >> yes. >> the reason why i asked that question is because it's my understanding that your staff had told them that it was okay to not make the top priority the arb information. and you can correct me if i'm wrong, and then concentrate on the other things. is that right? >> that's my understanding. >> and so all i'm saying is, you know, i just want -- i understand what you're saying. and it makes a lot of sense. i just want to make sure that
we're clear. and that way you talk about not wanting to have more hearings. i understand that, too. but then i don't want folks to be in a position where they come back and say well, he said one thing, and we tried to do what you said, to ask us to do, and then there's no -- i don't want any wiggle room, i guess. >> i appreciate the gentleman from maryland's point. i guess my point would be that this committee did not even become constituted until last may. so what was the priority between the time oversight sent you the subpoena on the arb and this committee even coming into assistance? because god knows it couldn't have been anything we asked for. so you kind of get my point. i mean, you can't wait a year and a half and say well, we didn't give it to you because we didn't realize it was a priority. >> we were producing significant numbers of documents throughout that period. we've been producing documents practically every month since october of 2012. >> i understand that, but it's
been how many years now? >> unfortunately, two, 2 1/4. >> i've asked if there are some people in the administration that benghazi happened a long time ago. i'm telling you that family members waiting, it might as well have been yesterday. so they want the truth. and nobody gets better with time. memories don't improve. documents get misplaced. recollections fade. that's why we have a speedy trial clock. it's ironic, the department of justice has to try khattala within a certain period of time tore that very reason. so to ask me to prioritize when all of it is important, i'm not going to fall for that trap. with that having said that, i will repeat it again, i have no interest in having another hearing like this, zero. none. and i don't think for a second that you're the decision-maker. at the state department. no offense to you. i don't think you decide which documents to produce and which ones don't. so what i would like you to do is go back to your department and say i don't want to go back there. so let's find a way to be in
compliance with the request sooner rather than later so the committee can do its job, and then we can all produce a product that we can take pride in, that answers the questions, and we can all go back to whatever we were doing before the speaker asked us to do this. okay? fair enough? >> thank you. we're happy to. >> with that, we are add journed. journed. journed. on the next washington journal, congressman charlie dent of pennsylvania on the role moderate republican will play in the 114th congress. he'll look ahead to the 2016 presidential race. representative ron kind of wisconsin, chair of the new democrat coalition will discuss the group's agenda and president
obama's push for new trade deals. you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. loretta lynch heads to capitol hill wednesday for her confirmation hearing. we hear from ms. lynch live at 10:00 a.m. eastern. thursday the committee hears from other witnesses about the nomination of ms. lynch at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. she would a position from 1999 to 2001. ms. lynch is a graduate of harvard university and is 55 years old. this sun, dr. frances jenson
on the discovery of the teenage brain. >> they can't reason and cause and effect of actions are not clear to them. their frontal lobe is not readily accessible. the connections can't be made as quickly for split second decision making. a lot of hormones are changing a lot in in the body of the young men and women. the brain hasn't seen these yet in life until you hit teenage years. the brain is trying to learn how to respond to these new hormones that are rolling around and actually locking on the receptor receptors receptors. they're trying to, it's sort of trial and error. i think this contributes to this very roller coaster kind of experience that we watch as parents.
i want to thank ambassador froman for being here today. the trade agenda is looking up since the last teem you testified. things seem to be improving with our ongoing trade negotiations. for example, significant gaps remain the administration seems to be inching ever closer to the transpacific partnership agreement. morale at the office after a long period of decline is beginning to rise. first there's still a lot to be done. even in that regard things seem to be looking up. compared to this time last year the administration is much more engaged at all levels of making the renewal of tpa. president obama's strong call for tpa in the state of the union was welcome. in my opinion, it was long overdue. i hope that you'll follow his latest call to action with a real concerted effort to help us
get tpas through congress. here in the finance committee we're doing all question to help in this effort. the bill i introduced last year received broad support. i'm currently working to see if there's way to address some additional issues raised. we're working with chairman ryan as well. while there will may be some improvements we can make to the bill shs bill, i want to make one thing clear, the time for tpa is now. tpa empowers our negotiators to get the best deal possible for american workers. we will need an all out effort to make the case for why tpa is so vital to fairly engage in international trade an enhance the health of our own economy. simply put trade means jobs.
today 95% of the world's consumers live outside the united states. these customers account for 92% of global economic growth and 80% of the world's purchasing power. maintain a healthy economy we need in these markets. right now the united states is engaged in some of the most ambitious trade negotiations in our nation's history. the first, which i already mentioned is the transpacific partnership or tpp. renewal of tpa is key to the success of this agreement. without tpa the administration will not be able to bring back the high standard agreement congress needs to ensure its enacted. it will be a grave mistake for the addministration to close tpp.
jeopardizing the prospects for passage in congress. there are also some outstanding issues that need to be resolved in tpp. as i've stated in the past my support by no means ensures that i will support just any version of tpp that happens to be submitted to congress for approval. for me the agreement must achieve a high, a very high standard pr the protection of intellectual property including 12 years of data protection and strong trademark protections. provision mustards the theft of trade secrets and insure effective implementation. it's also critical as is real market access for u.s. exports. there are other major negotiations that are ongoing. i'm confidence that renewal of
tpa will help and will help bringing those to success. most notably there's the transatlantic and trade investment partnership. it must be a comprehensive agreement and include provisions of financial services, regulation and strong investors dispute settlement mechanisms. the agreement must achieve a high level of protection and address the geographic indications to create market barriers. i expect to see progress in advancing the negotiation of the trade and investment services agreement and environmental goods agreement. all of this represents a very ambitious agenda for your office and for the administration as a whole. if i haven't been clear up to now, let me restate.
tpa, must be considered an essential element for all these endevours. i believe congressional renewal will unleash new energy on the international trade agenda helping to propel to greater growth an prosperity. history shows that trade agreements create new economic opportunities and importantly higher paying american jobs. this year we truly are at the precipice of opportunity. the only question is whether both parties of congress and the administration can work together to put in place the necessary tools to seize this opportunity. i certainly think we can, and i will do everything in my power to ensure our mutual success. i look forward to your testimony today and to working with you to advance a strong pro-growth trade agenda. now i'd like to turn it over.
>> thank you very much. it's good to be working with you and have the ambassador here. today's global economy seems to mover at a million miles an hour. clinging to yesterday's out dated trade policies is a loser for the millions of middle class american workers counting on political leadership to create more high skill, high wage jobs. trade aagreements need to bulldoze the trade barriers and open new markets to exports made by america's middle class. the things we grow or raise build or forage. done right trade agreements can help grow the paychecks of middle class families. that can help take our economic re re recovery from walk to a sprint. many export driven jobs from
precision weldsing to engineering design offer higher pay and more generous benefits than jobs that are not tied to exports. american workers who dine and build products like machinery electrical gear can get into the winner's circle when the goods they make are exported. it's easy to understand why many american workers are frustrated when they haven't seen a meaningful pay rise in decades. when discouraged americans argue they've been hurt pi trade those voices must not be ignored. those vises have to be heard and those who favor a trade agenda that takes on the challenges of a higher competitive global
economy have a responsibility to make the case it's going twork for the middle class. i'm raising that issue because the president said during the state of the union address, past trade deals haven't always lived up to the hype, end quote. i'm looking forward to the ambassador out lieping how the administration plans to change that. it's al important to hear what safeguards will be in place to ensure that any workers impacted by trade have basic says to retraining, health coverage and other sources of sporlt that connect them to new opportunities. the face of unfair schemes by
government. trade enforcement is essential. just ask anyone with hundreds of workers who work in my state at solar world. when the chinese made an end run around our trade losses and threatened solar world the company fought back and won. that victory preserves 900 good paying oregon jobs. american trade enforcers have to keep at it. china and other governments won't stop trying to get around the trade laws any time soon. those are bedrock elements of a trade agreement and they cannot be ignored or pushed tothd eded to the sidelines. the second issue to address is
technology. the internet is changing trade in the 21st abling more efficient ways to change goods and services. three decades ago an entrepreneur with big dreams in a town like mt. vernon oregon didn't have the internet. today the entrepreneur does. the nation's trade policies must take advantage of economic areas where there is clearly advantage usa. that means promoting an protecting a free and open internet. keeping open, is in my view, shipping lane of the 21st century. the last point i want to mention is transparency. the american people have made it clear they are not foing to accept secretly written agreements that don't see the light of day until the last minute. that was too often the way
things work in the past. it's not good enough anymore. nor is it enough to respond to important questions with the same inadequate refrain. somehow, some way people will benefit. the american people have the right to know what's at stake. our trade policies are stronger when the american people are part of the debate and when elected officials can conduct vigorous oversight. once it's ready that bill must be available to the public. finally, whatever member this committee feels with respect to trade, let's have a serious debate and work together on a bipartisan basis to find as much
agreement as possible. my focus will be on finding new opportunities to sell red, white and blue overseas. thank you for the opportunity this morning to discuss these important issues. we're dpladglad the ambassador is here. i look forward to his views. >> appreciate you working this area. we're highly hopeful question continue to work in a bipartisan way to do this very important work. we're so happy to have you here. i don't think you need an introduction beyond we're very pleased to see you working in this area. you're one of the best people we've had. you come here with a lot of
credentials. we're looking forward to working with you. we'll turn the time over to you. >> thank you, chairman hatch, members of the finance committee. thank you. as a central part of the president's overall economic strategy our trade agenda committed to supporting good jobs. we're advancing those goals by knocking down barriers to u.s. exports and leveling the playing field for american workers and businesses for all sizes. as we work to open markets around the world -- >> people the truth. we no the transpacific -- you're trying to rush us. >> let's have order. remove this person.
>> we're not going to allow us to protect our workers. you're not going to get past what the american people -- no trade deal. >> no tpp. >> no one super size. >> sir. >> who are these people? >> we don't want it. we believe in democracy not secrecy. >> no tpp. >> no tpp. >> no tpp. >> no tpp. no tpp. no tpp. >> all right. let's take them out. if committee will be in order. comments from the audience are inappropriate, out of order. if there's any further disruption the committee will recess until the police can restore order.
i understand that some people have strong feelings about the subjects we're talking about today. that's fine. we have to allow civil discussions to occur in the context of this hearing. for the people that are protesting i ask that you respect the rights of others. we're not going to put up with it. if we have to recess this committee we will which will be shame. we'll recess until order is restored. let's have no more of that. i ask our capitol hill police to make sure that we don't have anymore of this type of activity. we turn the time back to you.
you're not representing your people. >> i am. >> no you're not. take him out. >> this is wrong. corporate secret deals. >> you're not helping your case. i'll tell you that right now. >> to open markets around the world -- >> if any signs go up again we'll throw you out of meeting too. let's stop the cheap politics. >> as we work to open markets around the world we're enforcing our trade farmers ranchers get the full benefit of the economic opportunities the united states has negotiated over the years. taken together the efforts have contributed greatly to america's economic comeback. since 2009 exports have grown by nearly 50%. during the most recent year on
record, 2013 u.s. exports reached a record high of $2.3 trillion and supported a record breaking 11.3 million jobs. at a time when too many workers haven't seen their paychecks grow in much too long these jobs typically pay up to 18% more on average than non-export related jobs. i've heard many of the stories behind these taststatistics. across our country i've heard the same resounding message, confidence that workers and businesses can win. these companies are able to increase their sales and payrolls. this success is all the more impress ifr when you consider
the united states is an open kpli economy and other countries aren't playing by the rules. that's why we're working harderen than ever to bring home trade aagreements that will unlock trade and investment while raising other important standards across the board. the contours of a final agreement are coming into focus. we made important progress in the market access negotiations and in addressing a number of 21st century issues such as digital trade computation with state owned enterprises and labor and environmental protections.
if we build upon the $1 trillion dollars. in november president obama and eu leaders reaffirmed their commitment to an ambitious and high standard t tip agreement. it could cover roughly 1 trillion dollars in trade. this will be a critical year for trade. we look forward to continuing our efforts to engage the public, stake holders and members of congress in creating opportunities for american exports.
how we're ensuring the government will regulate while giving americans abroad to guarantee. as we move ahead we're committed to providing maximum transparency consistent to negotiate the best agreements possibly. we look forward to working the committee and others to achieve that goal. there's no other area that flekt reflects coordination. to further strengthen that as the president made clear last week we look to congress to pass bipartisan trade promotion authority. tpa puts congress in the driver's seat to define goerkting objectives and strengthens congressional oversight throughout the goerkting process. the previous legislation was
passed over a decade ago. tpa establishes the time line and process for the trade agreements we bring home to be reviewed. the administration looks forward to working this committee and the new congress as a whole. we can only accomplish these shared goals and priorities through strong bipartisan cooperation between congress and the administration. together we can assure that our trade policy continues unlocking
opportunity for all americans. once again thank you for the invitation to testify. i'm happy to take your questions. >> last year i expressed my disappointed you refused to bring a case against india for continuing to undermine u.s. intellectual property rights. i've long feared if you did not act more problems would emerge. less than two weeks ago india's pa tent officer refused to grant patent on important drug that treats hepatitis c. the rationale is based on a patent ability standard that is out of step with the rest of the world in which many believe is inconsistent with india's obligations under the world
trade organization. would you express your plan to take meaningful action of india's breaches of our various companies. >> we have expressed -- we have been concerned about the deteriorate of the environment in india. we have engaged with the new government since they came into office of may of last year. i just returned from india yesterday, as a matter of fact. in all of these areas we have laid out a work program with the government of india to address these and other outstanding issues. recently the government of india published a draft proposal policy proposal that's open for public comment. we're in the process of providing comments on that draft proposal. we're committed to engage to underscore areas worveg that
needs to be done in as well as in the area of patents. i believe we've got a good dialogue going now with the new government on this issue, and we're kplited ed greater role in china's economy yet the government continues to use laws, an instrument of industrial policy. this is increasingly pronounced in the use of china's anti monopoly law. how will you make they are they administer their anti-monopoly law in an indiscriminate matter. >> this is been an interest on the commission we held with the secretary in december. we made some progress in moving ahead of the application of anti-monopoly law that we should
think should be applyied to competition. so we're engaged with them at the department of justice and ftc to work to encourage them to apply the law as it is intended to be applied. >> canada's creation of a heightened standard for patentable utility for pharmaceutical patents is a serious problem for our u.s. vaet or innovators. this undermines the ability of u.s. innovators to obtain and enforce patent rights in canada. it is also inconsistent with canada's obligations under the world trade organization and under the nanta. what are you doing to insure canada's patentability standards are consistent with its international obligations. >> we've raised this concern directly and repeatedly with the kan addian ian canadian authorities. that issue is being litigated.
i believe the canadian authorities are looking to see how it proceeds in litigation as we continue that dialogue with them. >> thank you. ambassador ambassador, last june, you highlighted data localization requirements as a significant problem for u.s. services companies. now some foreign governments require u.s. financial services providers to is the up local data centers as a condition of doing business in their markets. new trade agreements need to fix this problem. do you agree that it's important that all u.s. industries, including financial service providers receive protection against data lekocalization requirements in ongoing trade negotiations. >> i do agree. this is a key area in our tpp negotiations as ranking member widan mentioned the digital economy is playing an increasingly important role in trade. through tpp we want to secure
agreements and commitments to maintain the open flow of data across boarders so our small businesses for example can be based hoor edd here and sell into markets abroad but also that there's not localization requirements which require there redundant infrastructure so this is a key part of our tpp peg oeshiation negotiations. we hope it will set a new standard for bringing trade rules into the digital economy. >> thank you very much. i will be strong on enforcing the five minute rule so everybody can have an opportunity here. senator wadan. the president said in his state of the union speech, past trade agreements haven't always lived up to the hype. my sense is what middle class families are going to ask is so what's going to be different
this time? i think it would be helpful if you'd spell that out. >> well, thank you senator. look i think the president has made clear that as we pursue a new trade policy we need to learn from the experiences of the past. that's sermcertainly what we're doing through tpp and the rest of our agenda. for example, when he was running for president, he said we ought to renegotiate nafta. what that meant is to make labor and environment, not side issues that weren't enforceable, but bring labor and environment in the core of the agreement and make them enforceable just like any other provision of the trade agreement. consistent with what congress and the previous administration worked out on the so called may 10th agreement. that's exactly what we're doing through tpp. there will be strong labor environmental protections in the core of the agreement and they'll be fully enforceable consistent with the rest of the agreement. that's important because it's port of part of our effort to level the
playing field strengthen intellectual property standards and access to their products and creating new disciplines on the issues that are affecting new workers and production. right now state owned enterprises in other countries compete against our private firms on an unlevel playing field. tpp will put disciplines on them for the first time and require the state enterprises if they are engaged in commercial activity to act on a commercial basis and also as you mentioned the digital economy, updating our trade agenda to reflect changes in the global economy. in all of these areas we're working to make sure trying to use every tool at our zploezdisposal to drive trade to the u.s. >> let's talk about transparency next. i think this is another area where the public looks at the internet and says, we can find out a lot of information that you couldn't have for example back when the trade deals were being discussed in the 1990s.
there has been of course a concern about transparency and the transpacific partnership discussion. the concern here is that the president would sign a tpp deal that would be protected by fast track and then you'd have middle class families saying we don't know what's in it. now, you and i have discussed this before and i think it would be helpful if you could address the question of whether you expect the president to sign a transpacific deal before the agreement is made public for the american people to see. >> well, certainly in the past the practice has been for it to be public before it's signed. that's our expectation here. we need owe consult with our trading partners to understand what their processes and domestic constraints are but we're beginning that consultation process with that expectation in mind. >> good. >> on the issue, again, looking at some of the sector pass specific questions that you and i have discussed. there's a lot of concern with
respect to diary. this is a very important issue in the pacific northwest and we, of course, have both defensive and offensive interests with respect to diary. for example, we may be willing to open our market to more diary goods from australia and new zealand but only if japan and canada canada's market is more open to our diary products. how are you going to insure that transpacific agreement on balance is a better deal than what the industry has now? >> well, whether it's diary or our other agricultural commodities, we want to make sure that tpp creates additional opportunity for them. that includes both market access getting access to markets abroad like japan, vietnam, malaysia, canada and others. also dealing with issues like sanitary and phyto sanitary standards making sure they are applying sps issues with
standards and also making sure we can sell our high quality products from the u.s. and have the trade marks in the common names rooer inspectespected in other countries so as a whole we're making sure it benefits our diary farmers and the same could be seen about other commodity groups. >> one last question. it addresses what the president touches on with repektspect to china. the president said if america isn't leaning on writing the trade rules in the asia pacific region. china will. which countries in the asia pacific region does china seek or already have a trade agreement and how specifically would those agreements disadvantage america's middle class workers? >> well, my understanding is china has negotiated 14 ftas since 2002. 1 with ten countries in total. australia, chile, costa rica, new zealand, pakistan peru
switzerland and taiwan. right now they are engaged in negotiations with 16 countries spanning from india all the way to japan. i think what's important about this is these are the fatteststest growing markets the world. right now there are 570 million middle class consumers in asia. that number is expected to grow to 2.7 billion over the next 15 years. the question is who is going to serve that market. is it going to be grown in america products or is it going to be products made by china or others? what are the rules of the road for that reasonablegion going to be? the big difference between what we're doing is in tpp and other trade agreements is raising environmental standards. having strong interllectual property right protections putting into the digital economy, rules like the free flow data and information that come from the real economy. these don't exist in the other trade agreements that's why it's so important for american
interest and american values that we be the ones who engage and lead to create a fair and level playing field to protktect and workers and protect our jobs. >> looks like china has a b robust trade policy. >> senator i want to thank you for the number of times you've taken my telephone calls and given me updates on negotiations that we're talking about here, having the opportunity to get updates is very important. also i want to -- since you talked to the president probably more frequently than i do on trade, get a little bit of advice. i know the president is very much a believer in trade and wants trade promotion authority. i know he's mentioned it at least in the last two state of the union messages to the business round table, to the export console but i hope you'll tell him that if we're going to get trade promotion authority passed, he's going to have