Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 24, 2016 4:00am-6:01am EDT

4:00 am
however, given the pressure on federal funds, and the pressure on us, that you have indicated, we have to make sure, and iparty pledged earlier and will pledge again today, we will not use the federal funds for this and not do the project unless the finances can stand completely on their own. including not interrupting other flows of funds that we have to do. i can't tell you today whether the project will come to fruition. i hope to have an answer for you and/or board of regents on the second week in april at our next meeting. but i think it is an exciting prospect. we have to have it stand completely on its own bottom. ms. mccollum: real quick, the smithsonian art and industry building is an icon. it is right next to the castle, an important role in the
4:01 am
history of the smithsonian. at one time it was included by the national trust, one of the most endangered historic sites me united states. it was closed in 2004 for renovation, and it was spring, almost 10 years later that they mentioned they would use it for short-term exhibits. could you update the committee on how you see the arts and industry buildings on your campus. the current condition of the building, and when will you finally be able to host events? is the challenge still adequate plumbing and hvac systems there? and i hope you also talk to congress about renovating the gardens there, too. they are adjacent to the building. dr. skorton: i will talk specifically about the arts
4:02 am
industries building, and if you have more specific questions about the gardens are the areas surrounding i will answer those as well. i have one of these dream jobs. i have a tree office that looks right at the capital. in my linef sat --e, of young people enjoy, i often focus on the art industries building and asked myself the first time i came for interviews nearly two years ago, what are we going to do with this beautiful victorian building? the second oldest in the smithsonian universe. only recently has the building been reopened. the systems you mentioned are up and running now. i asked for it to be their last october. think you for recognizing that. it was a beautiful chance to use the building. and so it is ready for those occasional uses right now. we are opening it for those
4:03 am
kinds of uses this year. we are beginning to plan and are now at the point where i have something concrete and intelligent to share with you about more strategic uses of the building going forward. it is another one of those areas where we need to stay in touch with this and the other subcommittees to oversee the funds for the smithsonian. but this will be the year where you will see more use made of that building. ms. mccollum: thank you, i will follow-up with your staff on other questions. >> wonderful exhibits.
4:04 am
>> thank you for all you do for us. >> thank you, mr. chair. thank you to everybody who brought such interesting exhibits for us to see. that was really a pleasure. we are very appreciative of the work that you do. i echo all the things that they said earlier. i want to talk a little about the things you say you do to the smithsonian, outside of d.c.. we have been fortunate to work with you on a variety of things. recently, the portland museum of art had a retrospective on realism, which we were able to do with the cooperation of the smithsonian. that is really important for small states like maine, that do not have the resources, and can access your resources. i wanted to talk to you about the program that is growing within the smithsonian. it is an important part of what you do in research. a lot of coastal communities interested in things like climate change, but we do not have a marine geode site in maine. we'll be able to expand the number of partner sites? have you thought about how you
4:05 am
could work with more narrowly focused organizations interested in becoming research sites, either by allowing additional resources to expand research, or allow them to contribute? dr. skorton: thank you very much. i hear two important questions embedded in what you asked me. let me take a moment to talk about our activities outside of d.c.. it is really important. it is a lucky subset of the united states that can get to them all. it is expensive to get here. one of my predecessors began a vigorous thrust on igitization. those who have access to the internet, most but not all, can review major parts of the collection. and also cap, -- also, being in the public sector, where the
4:06 am
taxpayers are paying for it in every corner of the country, it is extremely important that we are responsive to their appetite to taste the smithsonian. the traveling exhibition service, embedded in your comments about the portland museum, we have other projects on the research and, that touch the nation and the world. our mission, which was part of the letter to establish the endowment, 107 years ago, our mission is to increase and diffusion of knowledge. we talk a lot about the diffusion of knowledge, the interface between the public in these unbelievable collections. but the research part is unbelievably important, whether we are talking about zika, climate change, you name t.
4:07 am
in that geode consortio were set up for the research thinking of the smithsonian touching communities everywhere nd help improve knowledge. and so, for those who are not familiar with it, the marine geode examines coastal waterways. coastal waterways are very important because that is where there is a tremendous concentration of life forms. in our country, a tremendous population. the interaction between the human population in the wildlife that lives at the edge of the coastal areas is very important to study. we do not have enough funding so far to expand to the extent that i would like to expand. we do have a request as part of this to continue staffing and planning for marine geode. it was made possible for a
4:08 am
combination of your support and generous contributions of individuals from the national board. it is my hope to leverage the funds through true philanthropy so we can begin to think more broadly about bringing more partners on. we have very good intentions in that regard. and i need to because us and what i promised because we do need to raise more funds. but i think, spending my whole life and science, but it is very important that that scientific research touches parts of the country, but scientists and people who want to participate, be able to access areas far spread. i am with you in intention, and will work my best to make it a reality. >> thank you very much. >> thank you mr. chairman, and thank you for being here
4:09 am
today. come by my office and talk to me. i would like to talk to you about some of the things -- panama, what is going on in panama, and what the smithsonian does there is very important. the same thing that happened with the national art gallery, it needs to be replaced, the exterior of it. dr. skorton: in a sense yes, and a sense know. isn't that a hopeful answer? >> i get that answer all the time. dr. skorton: it turns out, that when the exterior was cut, it was cut to a thickness about twice as thick as the thickness of the clatting of the air and space museum. it was to speed along construction at a time when we were trying to get the building done for the bicentennial. in the case of the gallery of art, it was possible to reuse
4:10 am
that figure -- thicker clatting. in my response, that is why it is such an expensive project. >> at the same issue, relative to what caused the necessity for replacing it? dr. skorton: in part, it s.
4:11 am
4:12 am
>> the other thing i would like to talk you about is, are you getting pressure on the arts and industries building down there to use it as the hispanic museum? or is that a question you don't want to answer? dr. skorton: i want to answer any question you have, i want to give you the right answer. first of all, part of our charge, part of what you expect us to do, is tell the story of america in all its completeness and beauty. the story of the american latino is a very important part of telling the story. as you know, a new museum for the smithsonian is always established by an act of congress. that act has not occurred. however, my predecessors have already begun some years ago, to begin to gear up our efforts to tell the story of latinos in america. the two secretaries that preceded me, we have a project that you have been very generous in funding for a latino fund that allows us to fund some projects that have been very effective. we also have been hiring coming even though we don't have a specific museum, we have been hiring curators with expertise in telling the story of latinos in america. they are working in various places throughout the smithsonian. we have multiple exhibits, five or six in the last year, touching on some of those areas. so, it will be in your hands to decide, should we have a national museum of the american latino esther mark in the meantime, we're -- continuing to tell the story of the american latino. >> i got a tell you, it is not fair that you bring in all this neat stuff that distracts us so we can even your testimony. you have an advantage that others don't. dr. skorton: it is true, the world is not fair.
4:13 am
but i am so glad to be on my side of it. >> thank you for your work in bringing these treasures. i want to talk about your comments on the value of that region education. i think we are in environment in this country where we are witnessing -- institutions across our social spectrum. part of that i believe, is a lack of civic engagement. part of that, is because we just don't teach civics anymore in our classrooms and in our schools. there is this a missed quiz circulating that when you ask a certain age cohort who won the civil war, the majority will say the british. that is a function of just not having access to history or the raditional civics lessons that we all were taught when we were growing up. so i would like you to amplify in your comments the importance of education, not just in ashington. and whether the smithsonian has a mission, or would consider having a mission, with respect to greater civic engagement and civic education across the country.
4:14 am
dr. skorton: thank you very uch. first of all, before when i quoted the mission statement of the increase and diffusion of knowledge, it is incredibly important that it involves not just people crossing thresholds of our beautiful museums here in new york city and elsewhere, we need to go out and help people where they live. as i mentioned very briefly in the opening remarks, the education work of the smithsonian, for example, in stem disciplines, is very well established throughout the country. s people wish to use it. as you know, our k-12 system is a local phenomenon, largely. we are therefore for people who want to use it. that use occurs in every state of the united states. however, i think we could be
4:15 am
doing even more in terms of outreach. i think that outreach could and should have occurred in two directions. it is one thing for us to offer educational services and arts nd culture and history and science, or to partner with people who want to do scientific research as the congressman burr -- brought up. it is another to get their input. one of the hallmarks i hope to bring to the smithsonian, which is already been a part, but i hope to strengthen it, is to listen more to the public about what they want. the first thing i will do is start small and close to home. i think we also focus on the city of washington, the city of washington is where our home base is. with the help of mayor bowser, i am establishing a youth advisory council to meet from high school students in washington, d.c.
4:16 am
i am hoping those high school students will be able to tell me what they're interested in, what they believe they need. and i want to go directly to the place where we would like to education to occur. the first meeting of this group i hope will be the very next month. and i hope to ask them the very uestion you're asking me indirectly, and that is, what you think we need that we could do for you? in terms of a direct answer to your question about the lack of focus on civics, i am sure you know because it is an area of interest of yours, and everyone on the subcommittee, there is a lot of consternation about where american youth are in terms of their knowledge of american history and ivics. there are other organizations, nonprofit, that have been brought up to deal specifically with the citrix problem. what we can do is treat things that the smithsonian. we can offer exposure to the history of the united states and its culture through the
4:17 am
collections themselves. secondly, these museums already offer enormous numbers and are very effective types of public programs, public outreach programs. some are doing through smithsonian associates, some are done individually in different ways. again, all the can do is offer and hope they will come. additionally, i want to find out what the public would like from us. in asking us questions, asked what we can do to be helpful in broadening your perspectives. and one last thing, when i have a few minutes and my daily schedule, i walked from my office and go to the museums and talk to the visitors. i talked to the families and tourists who come in. one of the things they ask most consistently, not a scientific sample, but just in my nine months of asking them, parents will ask, what can you do to help my parents understand a fast-moving world? if they don't specifically ask about civics, they want to ring our kids along. so i appreciate your uestion.
4:18 am
>> if you would find some time to visit with me in my office, i would love to follow up and discuss valerie's you have for teachers across america and how it can be helpful. > thank you, and we would love to spend the day with you doctor, but unfortunately we have to go vote. i would like to get into more depth somewhere down the road. i will visit the air and space museum with you, that is a huge number, as you know. mr. calvert: we can find out how we are going to do this. i know it has to be done, a visible museum and a national
4:19 am
treasure. with that, we are adjourned. dr. skorton: thank you very much.
4:20 am
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2016]
4:21 am
4:22 am
the proposed budget cut funding by about 2% from the previous year. at this hearing senator barbara middle class ski delivered her final statement as part of the subcommittee and reminisced about her work appropriating funding for nasa. this is about an hour.
4:23 am
we hoped the administration would leverage the solid foundation we provided to move forward on all of nasa's goals. but i think that hope was short-lived. the budget that nasa has presented to us claims to include a total level funding level of $19 billion. but we have to look at this closely. this overall amount is achieved through a combination of discretionary spending and an unprecedented amount of funding disguised as mandatory when it is in fact it is not actually mandatory. since the budget rollout of february 9, nasa has used zossy rhetoric to mask the fact that $763 million this agency
4:24 am
requested is offset by proposed tax increases such as a new $10 tax on each barrel of imported oil that congress has not yet considered nor do i expect that we ever will consider. nasa's request is only $18.26 billion, a cut of $1 billion from what the subcommittee provided in the last fiscal year. these cuts, if enacted, would a road ongoing science missions, jeopardize core operations, and delay exploration launches. i'm sure it's no coincidence that most of those proposed cuts target programs that are supported by this committee and other members of congress, in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle. the administration -- if the administration prioritizes funding, they cannot find enough discretionary spending for nasa.
4:25 am
nasa failed to propose a truthful budget that can be accomplishing the agency's goals. to move forward in 2017, the subcommittee must set aside those so-called mandatory spending units. instead, we must provide honest funding that is necessary to advance our nation's ram using iscretionary spending that does not us the budget caps agreed upon last fall. this proposed budget presents staggering reductions that would lead to a nearly $1 billion reduction to nasa's discretionary budget compared to last year. those proposed cuts has implications that if not corrected will delay ongoing work and drive of development costs, outcomes that the subcommittee is worked hard to avoid.
4:26 am
i look forward to particularly with the concern of consistent ack of support with nasa's human exploration efforts to go beyond lowers orbit. -- low earth orbit. the crude vehicle or e.on would be cut by $217 billion. proposed funding and development path forsls ensures that our next crude expiration vehicles were not even meet nasa's far from ambitious target of launching in 2023. surprisingly, nasa has not proposed a single dollar for the development of the upper stage engine that is absolutely necessary for a crude omission that is only seven years away. the request were not allow nasa to stay current on its own production and launch schedule. you have traveled around the country in recent months,
4:27 am
touting nasa's strong support for sls and orion missions. in reality, this budget will effectively delay any advancement in a nasa human-led mission. if this budget expiration is what the administration calls strong support, i hate to imagine what the requests would look like if there was only a professed marginal commitment from nasa. other missions across nasa will feel the detrimental consequences of this request level. planetary space missions would rely on imaginary funding to fund operations and effectively cancel this budget trade under this year's proposed budget equest, the new horizons mission to pluto which had its
4:28 am
mission extended will essentially have to depend on a tax increase that has virtually no chance of being enacted. even the recent high-profile announcements of error not ask the experimental flight vehicles have become greatly dependent upon budgetary immicks. many other activities across nasa are open to additional risk caused by budgetary uncertainty. the inspector general and the government accountability office have cited risks from funding uncertainty as a top chronic concern at nasa, and this budget has borne out these concerns even further. this budget creates more problems than it solves. i find it disturbing that nasa's true priorities are not better reflected in an honest legit. i look forward to hearing your views on these matters and ask
4:29 am
you to work with our subcommittee members to grant our concerns. before i yield our vice chairman, i want to recognize that today is the last scheduled cgs budget hearing for this year. this could be the senator's final hearing as a member of the subcommittee which he has helped to lead as chairwoman or ranking member since 2005. senator mikulski has been a great champion of our federal science agencies over many decades, especially nasa, and you have also served as a vigilant steward of our tax dollars. you have consistently challenged nasa to be better and because of your leadership, nasa has better served america upon strive for exploring space and making new discoveries. extending the life of the hubble space telescope, rebooting the james webb space telescope construction, returning the vehicle -- space shuttle to fly after the columbia accident -- these are just some of the very important activities we fought so hard to achieve and did over the years. you are a true and valued
4:30 am
partner and it has been a pleasure and honor to work alongside you these many years. i look forward to one last year writing the subcommittees appropriations bill with you together and it is my hope we can get nasa's budget again this year. senator mikulski? senator mikulski: thank you, senator shelby. this is my final scheduled hearing of what is called the cjs subcommittee on the budget of such an inspirational agency, the national space gency. i came to the appropriations committee in 1987. i was one of the first women to serve on this committee. now there are so many able on both sides of the aisle who continue to serve. when i came to this committee or subcommittee va hud, an
4:31 am
ndependent agency. i so loved america's veterans and wanted to help anyway i could. i wanted to be on a committee that funded hud because i come from the gritty streets of baltimore and worked as a social worker and a new what a powerhouse the hud could be for economic and job development opportunity. then there were those independent agencies one called -- agencies, one called asa. in my campaigns i would come to hear about something called god or -- from va hud to cjs, we have been here. and i'm so proud of the men and women that have worked
4:32 am
here. and though i knew little about the space program, i certainly wanted to get started. today i want to pay special tribute to senator j garn. when i first came to the subcommittee, it was chaired by a republican from utah, a senator who himself had flown into space. what a wonderful human being. he was gracious in his welcoming and patient in his tutorial. between he and john glenn, i learn so much about the american space program and what it took to be great. not only great to be a great agency and in spaceflight, but how great men can make great things happen. since then we have had a bipartisan relationship. i'm grateful for what senator garn did, and that i can work hand-in-hand with my own college senator, and then of course there was a unique friendship i was able to develop with kate bailey hutchinson as we put together a space coalition. and then you, senator shelby.
4:33 am
we know each other from energy and commerce house of representative days, the incubator of senators. there were a lot of people in that committee who saw a rising stars that were a lot more glamorous, they were on all the editorial boards, and they were on their way to be president. but we were on our way to being very solid senators. we've had such a superb relationship, i appreciate the gracious way you have governed, to get to know your wife, to get to know alabama, the only community in america that has its own foreign policy. because we have worked together, having this zone of civility, mutual respect, we have been able to do mutual accomplishments. i am proud of this committee. i'm proud of the way you helped transform the fbi, modernize the weather service, focusing on violence against women and making sure we have more cops on the beat and that they have the right equipment. we certainly have done a lot. we have seen great accomplishments and great hallenges.
4:34 am
when i came to the committee, it was days away from the terrible challenger accident. at the same time, whether he was the challenger, the columbia, the hubble telescope the needed the most extensive contact lens in american history, we were able to solve those problems because we worked together. we have seen great discoveries. ne of the greatest discoveries as getting to know the
4:35 am
american space program, from the astronauts who dared to go where no one has ever gone before to then deliver the greatest discovery since science, for all those who work in space science and error not ask, i am proud of them. i'm grateful for what maryland has been and got her to the space telescope institute. the greatest discovery has not only been what is out there, but the wonderful men and women who work right here. i look forward to hearing your appropriations. all i can say is, may the force be with us. >> thank you, senator mikulski. you proceed as you wish. >> i am pleased to be here today to discuss with you president obama's $19 billion fy 2017 budget request for nasa. it's been my honor to serve as nasa administrator throughout the obama administration and as we submit what is likely my final budget, i'm proud of the
4:36 am
many things this agency has accomplished on the behalf of the american people with the resources the president and congress have committed to us over the past seven years. i also wish to personally join you, mrs. chairman, in recognizing senator mikulski for her leadership throughout her service in congress and her dedication to a robust, balanced, and bipartisan nasa program. senator mikulski, you will be sorely missed. together we have enabled our nation to continue leading the world in space exploration and scientific discovery. last week american astronaut scott kelly returned home from he international space station after 12 months working off the arth, for the earth. his year in space will pay
4:37 am
scientific and medical dividends for years to come, helping pave the way for future astronauts to travel to mars and beyond. commander kelly significantly advanced our journey to mars, and i trust that you will join me in saluting his service to our nation. nasa is closer to sending american astronauts to mars than at any point in our history. this budget will keep us moving forward. the support of this committee and congress is essential to this journey. the international space station is the cornerstone of our exploration strategy. thanks to the determination and ingenuity of american industry, we have returned space station target resupply launches to u.s. soil and sourced jobs and help establish a new private market. american companies are now ferrying supplies to our stronauts on the international space station from the united states. space x targeting a resupply mission in early april. in july, orbital will return to its home to conduct a return to flight mission for the waltz flight facility. -- wallace flight facility. thanks to this committee possible funding and last year's budget, boeing and spacex continue to make great progress toward certification
4:38 am
in 2007 to safely transport our astronauts to the space station from u.s. soil, ending our sole eliance on russia once and for all. nasa is making significant progress on the journey to mars, developing our newest, most powerful rocket ever built, the space launch system. this budget supports the agency's baseline commitment for an uncrude test flight in 2018 and a crewed flight by 2023. with the additional funding provided by congress, teams are working towards an earlier aunch date for the first crude mission. the budget increases funding for habitation systems development, a key component of our steppingstone strategy to send humans to mars. the president possibly funds a robust science program with dozens of operating mission
4:39 am
studying our solar system, the universe, and earth. this coming july 4, independence day, the juno spacecraft will orbit jupiter while the cassini spacecraft will prepare to exit its dramatic grand finale orbits of saturn. osiris rexx will launch to a near asteroid to collect a sample and return to earth in 2023. in 2017 and 2018, nasa will launch seven exciting science missions, including the james webb space telescope. before we send humans to mars, robots are paving the way, with mars insight slated for launch in 2018, another mars rover set to launch in 2020, joining the curiosity and opportunity rovers now exploring the red planet. we are formulating missions to explore jupiter's moon europa and are accelerating the
4:40 am
building of land set 9. nasa technology drives exploration. with this request, nasa will continue to conduct rapid development and incorporation of transformative space technologies to enable future human and robotic missions, increase capabilities of other u.s. agencies, and address aerospace industry challenges. space technology investments will ensure that we continue to lead the world in exploration and scientific discovery. nasa's aeronautics program advances u.s. global leadership i developing and transferring key enabling technologies to make aviation safer, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly. with this request, nasa error not x is ready to take the next step, to develop and fly explain demonstrators. in partnership with industry and academic, including sub
4:41 am
sonic transporter experimental aircraft and the world's first low boom supersonic flight demonstrator. we appreciate the support we have received from this committee during my tenure, and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much. administrator bolin, the discretionary budget request proposes that i mentioned to cut sls by $770 million in or e.on -- in orion by 2017, that's nearly one billion bucks. these proposed cuts are necessary under a constrained budget profile to continue progress towards a crude launch as early as 2021.
4:42 am
without these funds, i believe nasa's ability is at risk of delay. the discretionary amounts being requested by the administration in 2017 do not even meet the agreed upon funding levels in the agency's decision documents. asking for less invites delay, increased cost, and inefficient program management. a couple of questions to you. why is nasa not even asking for the discretionary funding needed to achieve results at the confidence level set by the agency in their planning agreements? how can you justify the financial risk nasa has taken with its exploration program? i know you don't make all those decisions. >> yes, sir. nasa form where i sit, we are
4:43 am
requesting a $19 billion budget for this upcoming fiscal year. i know that may sound trivial, but i leave it up to the budgeteers and folk to determine where all the money comes from. >> i know my agreement with the director of omb and subsequently the president of the united states is that we are requesting $19 billion for the nasa program. >> i want to get into another aspect. there's been a lot of debate over whether to limit the number after outright ban of the russian engines used on rockets launched in the u.s.. there are some who have threatened to enact a total fan, which if enacted would seriously impact missions and capabilities. what is rarely discussed is the impact such drastic measures could have on nasa. contractors for commercial crude and commercial cargo missions intended to use the
4:44 am
atlas five -- atlas 5 rocket. science missions are also currently being designed with the intent of using reliable rockets. a couple of questions for you. if a comprehensive engine purchased on russian engines regardless of being designated as national security or scientific missions were successfully implemented, what would be the impact on nasa, and how confident are you that the number of rd 180 engines currently available will allow nasa to continue with these planned flights? mr. bolden: i am in full favor f the tests that secretary james has given on numerous occasions. we commiserate with each other
4:45 am
on a regular basis. she and i both agree that while we want to rid ourselves of dependence on the russian rocket engine, it should be done in an orderly -- >> we all want to get rid of them, that we have to be measured in how we do it. mr. bolden: i agree with that sentiment exactly. that is the plea we have made. we are counting on ula being ble to get the number of ngines that will satisfy the requirements for nasa to fly the dream chaser in 2019. more quickly, to fly the boeing cst-100 star liner. the american industry has risen
4:46 am
to the occasion, when you look at blue origin and jeff bezos and what he is doing with the team there, they helped develop a new launch system. i think you heard far too much that we don't gain by developing a rocket without a full system in which it is integrated. we support what secretary james has said. >> also the position of the secretary of defense, is it not? also the national director of national intelligence and others. mr. bolden: that is correct. she speaks for all of us although she does not speak for civil space for it and i are in lockstep for that. sen. shelby: getting into nondiscretionary funding, nearly 5% of nasa's budget proposal is comprised of funding gimmicks which are contingent upon tax increases and other legislation that is yet or maybe will never be enacted by congress. with such a reliance on nondiscretionary spending to accomplish its goals, nasa would face difficult funding choices if the agency were to only receive $18.26 billion in discretionary dollars requested. significant impacts would follow nasa's vehicles that enable plans of traveling to mars. other missions across nasa
4:47 am
would likely be shut down, severely cut back, or not start it at all. what specific legislative language you are sharing with the uprising committee that if enacted would provide nasa with $773 million in funding? mr. bolden: i will just say -- it's out of my league. sen. shelby: it's not a tough question to find the money. mr. bolden: my hope is that we will be able to work with this committee and the committee in the house as we have always tried to do to come up with a way that we reach an
4:48 am
appropriate amount of money for nasa's budget. my submission to this committee and the appropriations committee and the house is for $19 billion. sen. shelby: i think we've got a lot of work to do in the committee, but with senator mikulski's experience and help, maybe we can work through it. but it's going to be difficult. senator mikulski? sen. mikulski: yes, i too am concerned about the mandatory funding. it sounds like it's mandatory. for the folks back, who don't understand washington speak and budget lingo and the way words mean what they don't mean in washington, they either have no meaning or a different meaning. mandatory means it's mandatory to get the revenue. that will be a stretch in the short time allocated. but i believe the hallmark of this committee has been the b word, bipartisan working together, and also here, a
4:49 am
balanced space program assuring human space exploration, space science, error not x, and a reliable going out into space transportation system. if we stay with our balanced system, i think we will be able to get through it. mr. director, i know this is your last time before this subcommittee. i want to thank you for your service, both as a marine corps officer, as an astronaut, and now the leadership you have helped to provide nasa. i want to get to the question about space science and the james webb telescope. it's got to go right. this committee was able to fix the hubble, and it performed in a stunning way. the hubble telescope not only
4:50 am
brought us great science, it brought is great prestige, and it also was an inspiration to young people. but we don't have the money now to go back and fix the james webb. number one, are we on track for the james webb to go, because if it makes it, it will secure america's space and astronomy for the next 50 years. are we managing the project to maintain the 2018 launch isk? do you have adequate resources to prevent problems, and including the scheduled reserve? if it breaks, i'm not sure we can fix it. mr. bolden: as i promised you when we met some years ago when i came before you to admit that we had james webb in trouble,
4:51 am
we were underfunded and we had overestimated our ability to deliver -- i think it was a 2014 launch -- the agreement we made was that we would go back and take a look at it and bring you what we thought were reliable numbers. we are now well on course to deliver the james webb in 2018. we have a 7 1/2 month contingency reserve in terms of ime on the schedule. that means we have the funds available. in a simple word, yes. we will deliver james webb to its position, i million and 1/2 kilometers from earth in 2018. sen. mikulski: maybe we will go to that together. it's got to work. i want to bring up the issue of satellite servicing. this has been developed at goddard space agency. last year we provided $138
4:52 am
million for satellite servicing to support the restore mission to demonstrate the ability to reform on orbit government science satellite. it means things like refurbishing the weather satellites, where all they take is either a nudge to a new orbit where they have drifted out or two refuel. i'm concerned that we have educed the funding for satellite servicing in fiscal 2017 and we are also going to rely on a mandatory request. could you tell us where we are in satellite servicing? it will really help refurbish other government satellites, and also could be an opportunity for lucrative and roductive rabbit sector work
4:53 am
-- private sector. we could refurbish, we could save money and yet maintain productivity. could you share -- mr. bolden: what you and i have discussed is a program being headed up by the goddard space flight center. it is in formulation right now, and we have put $130 million towards the restorable program. we have moved it out of human exploration and operations mission and into space technology, a place where probably better fits it. we have had to make sacrifices in space technology. we are well on the way to delivering restorable and a satellite commission. the other thing we are getting from it is finding synergies with the redirect mission, something which is a part of our journey to mars, if you will. in working with industry and academia and entrepreneurs, we are finding that we are learning a lot and gaining a lot by working on restoral.
4:54 am
it is another thing that restore rail has done -- when you look back on the lessons learned from previous shuttle missions, some will remember a mission where we attempted to go and save a spent upper stage rocket using a probe, if you will, looked like a jousting stick, to go up in the end of the rocket and bring it back to the shuttle. as a result of the preliminary work we have been doing on satellite servicing, orbital 80 k, working with a company right ut in maryland has developed a satellite servicing device that we think will, when teamed with worcester royal, -- restorial --
4:55 am
sen. mikulski: that's my point, its government and industry together in this country. mr. bolden: yes, ma'am. sen. mikulski: thank you very much. >> mr. chairman, thank you for the excellent job you're doing. i especially want to complement barbara mikulski for her outstanding service on this committee and how much we are going to miss her. it won't be as much fun and probably not near as effective as it has been. we will work together and try to live up to the statute. we appreciate the good work of the administrator of nasa as well. this is one of those situations where our committee has the opportunity to learn more about these programs under the jurisdiction of the committee that have such long-lasting and far-reaching consequences.
4:56 am
we need to get it right, we need to be sure that we understand the best in our national interest, and that we provide the funding that is needed for the important programs that come under the jurisdiction of this committee. i want to congratulate barbara and think our distinguished witness for his service. mr. bolden: thank you very much. >> i too would like to add my voice of admiration and gratitude to senator mikulski. she is a wonderful champion for many things, one of which is nasa.
4:57 am
thank you for the inspiration that you provide for us and the future in this senate. general bolden, i would like to thank you for coming to west virginia state university and delivering the graduation address. it was very much appreciated. >> i discovered a new nasa hero in miss catherine johnson. she received the presidential medal of freedom this past year. it was a great opportunity to meet a real american hero. >> i want to follow-up on one of the questions senator mikulski was asking about satellite servicing capabilities. most of it is done at goddard but some of it is done at the west virginia robotic technology center and west virginia is an elite academic institution. i did not hear in your answer, there's a small cut to this
4:58 am
program -- no. mr. bolden: no, ma'am. that was a question that senator mikulski had asked. i think this year it is $130 million in the next budget. it is fully funded, it's in formulation right now, and the enter at west virginia is also ecause that is an extension of goddard and the robotic lab at he robotic spaceflight enter. the team enables them to bring n graduate students, college
4:59 am
students, and others. sen. moore capito: also i like to say i was honored to attend the sample return robot challenge winner level 2, which was at wvu. they not only achieved a victory, but received $100,000 which they will put into scholarships for future students and to enhance their capabilities there. you and i have talked about how do we inspire future generations, and i think those challenges are always very inspirational. now i'm going to go way out on something i need you to educate me on. the president has proposed an increase in the area of helio physics. can you give me an understanding of what the benefits of this program would be? west virginia university faculty of dave -- members that are involved in this. i know it has some weather implications. mr. bolden: helio physics is the study of the sun. the big implication is space weather. it is the study of our sun and it's really trying to help us understand what potential impact solar flares called coronal mass ejection's that are big bursts of energy from the sun, what would be the
5:00 am
effect on our communication system, on all of our networks, since most things are space-based today. that kind of energy made it through to the orbiting satellites, it could have an adverse impact. understanding the energy coming from the sun, we know how to harden satellites now. it's critically important to essentially the satellite infrastructure of the nation. sen. moore capito: i noticed in your testimony that it involves some of the technologies that have been developed, getting closer to the sun, in a more detailed and innovative way. it's good for me to know more about the sun. mr. bolden: that's what they told me. sen. moore capito: one last thing. we are still falling short in our stem education. nasa has been working with the
5:01 am
education resource through space grant programs. i would ask a rededication from your position and certainly nasa's position to inspire that next-generation we talked about, that low percentage of minorities and women in the field. we talked about partnership working together. nything you can do or we think you can help with that, please ake sure we are there on the front with you. mr. bolden: one thing that is absolutely necessary is continued emphasis from people like you who have a voice to help us understand several things. the critical importance of stem education in this nation. i believe nasa dedicates $19 billion in its 2017 budget to
5:02 am
stem education. when we launched orion on december 5 last year, it had a student experiment on it. that is something that a students normally would not get from a classroom. there was not the dime that came out of the formal education budget. it came t of our exploration budget. that is stem education. we are the only budget in the federal government that says every dollar of our expenditures contributes to stem education. we need help encouraging people to take seriously the critical need to increase the numbers of women and minorities in the stem fields. we are challenged. we think we have some answers, but we don't have all the answers. sen. moore capito: as a zoology major in college, you can do other things with a science degree besides be the administrator at nasa. there is hope. thank you. >> i would like to follow-up on senator capito's question about the funding for the science. i appreciate what you're saying, what you do and things is viewed by a lot of people and things and that is an educational opportunity.
5:03 am
you are still cutting the office of education and the budget. can you talk specifically about that in a state like west virginia, in a state like arkansas, that really does make a difference. there's not many dollars at all. it really is getting involved young people who are going to be the future of nasa as we go forward. these are minimal dollars. tell me a little bit about the importance of the office of education and why we are cutting back. those aren't very many dollars at all, especially for states like arkansas and west irginia.
5:04 am
mr. bolden: with funding being limited the way it has been since i became a nasa administrator, it is decreasing. as we have level budgets, that means it is decreasing. we have had to try to find innovative ways to continue to fund education in the manner we did before. one of the things we have done at nasa is we consolidate inside the agency. rather than having every project responsible for managing its own little education program, those funds are consolidated. what we are getting is more efficient application of our funds towards education, trying to do more with less. hate saying that. we are trying to be more efficient with the fewer
5:05 am
dollars that we have. sen. boozman: i understand the budget constraints and things. i understand what you are saying in efficiency. in this case, the reality is there will be less programs in the states that are important. it's not a lot of dollars, but it's one of those things when you look at dollar spent versus return to your program, it really is important. i appreciate your hard work and the agency and all you represent great thank you, mr. chairman. enator mikulski: mr. administrator, we could go through a lot of the line item questions, but i'm concerned about america's future. i'm concerned about where the
5:06 am
jobs are going to be, where will our young people work great this is why i'm a big believer in american innovation. you and i talked about the generation we are from. e have seen great discovery, great jobs. the angle we see in america right now is directly tied to the loss of jobs. my question to you is, how do you see this budget posing the innovation deficit? what is it that we are doing? senator capito's question is, is this science for science sake? where is it going to take s? nasa, goddard, and the space institute -- we have three nobel prize winners. dr. adam reese, who just won the nobel prize.
5:07 am
i want to win the markets. where do you see -- what are we promoting in innovation, and what is in this budget and what is in your strategic plan in this administration to transfer to the next, whoever that might be, tech transfer, so we win the prizes but we win the markets and our young people can see that they have a future where we are going to continue to make something of ourselves. mr. bolden: if you look at the budget, inside the human expiration mission, there is a line item called application systems. under habitation systems are a number of lesser projects that are all technology development innovation to help us get humans to mars. another one of those things --
5:08 am
i want to say that is 12 individual contracts that we let over this last year. among them is some work to shore up the laboratory for dr. reverend james diaz. we're talking about advanced in space propulsion. we're making small investments, incremental investments in american industry, but more importantly, in small businesses and entrepreneurial entities that will keep us on the cusp of being the innovation leaders in the world. hopefully every member of the committee has a copy of our flyer on the future of flight. this is all fueling the engine of innovation in the error not excommunicate a. balance of trade items in this nation. the reason we are so excited about this is because it is returning nasa to the position
5:09 am
where we are the leaders in erin on x exploration -- aeronautics exploration and development. sen. mikulski: thank you very much. we have to stand up for the future. >> there are no further questions. senators may submit additional questions for the subcommittee's official hearing record to the nasa administrator. would request if those questions are sent to the administrator, that they be answered within 30 days. we appreciate your appearance and look forward to trying to work with you on putting this appropriation together. the national captioning institute] national cable satellite corp. 2016]
5:10 am
5:11 am
5:12 am
5:13 am
members heard from the acting chief of the u.s. border patrol, law professors and refugee advocates. this is an hour 45 minutes.
5:14 am
every year tens of cargo contapees while tens of thousands of illegal cargo entries are seized and hundreds of thousands of unauthorized migrants are arrested or denied entry. hundreds of thousands evade detection and thousands of drugs are smuggled into the country. recent terrorist attacks have
5:15 am
highlighted the national security challenges that we face. the november terrorist attacks in paris transformed europe's migration crisis into a security debate spurring cause to eevaluate their open borders policy. yesterday's terrorist attacks demonstrate the strength but highlight the policies that have facilitated the establishment and growth within these countries parallel to rather than integrated in western society. concerns about borders are not limited to europe. recent reports state that the protection has apprehended several members of known islamist terrorist organizations. the texas department of public safety has reported that border security agencies have arrested several smallie immigrants crossing the border which are known members of al shabab the delivered oup that
5:16 am
an attack as well as other groups including one funded by osama bin laden. the texas dps stated it had come into contact with special interest aliens who come from countries with known ties from terrorists. in all immigrants including 30 countries in asia and the middle east trying to enter illegally in the rio grand valley. and now the committee has obtained information from the customs and border patrol that confirms thousands of indians, chinese, and others have been apprehended at our borders in 2015 and first quarter of 2016. this data also shows individuals have sought to enter illegally from afghanistan, pakistan, syria turkey and beyond. one potential vulnerability that such individuals could attempt to exploit is our nation's generous asylum system. aliens making asylum claims
5:17 am
after they are apprehended are being released into american society by the obama administration. the numb of aliens making credible fear claims has increased exponentially in recent years. according to information provided to the committee the number of credible fear claims increased from 4,995 in fiscal 01 in fiscal 51,0 ear 2014 an increase of 9 21%. additionally d.h.s. is approvaling those claims the vast majority of the time. in fact the approval rate is 87%. by claiming to have a credible fear of these set in motion that can forestall their removing allowing them to remain in the united states for years. dangerous individuals and even supporters of terrorist groups can exploit this system.
5:18 am
such individuals could attempt to enter illegally. they can remain in the united states. if they get caught they can make a credible fear claim and likely be released. during a recent visit by staff to el paso border patrol and ice confimpled that they are seeing increased numbers of bang las somalis and others coming across the border and claiming fear. these are supported by information that provide it had committee that states that thousands have claimed credible fear in recent years. for these reasons texas has stated that "an unsecure border with mexico is the state's most significant vulnerability as it provides criminals and would-be terrorists from around the world to enter undetected. this is especially concerning today in light of the recent terrorist attacks and schemes around the world" i thank our
5:19 am
witnesses for their testimony today. i looked forward to examining threats and what can be done to combat this problem. i now recognize mr. lynch.
5:20 am
>> over 50% of the population is now made up of children below 18 years of age marking the highest figure in more than 10 years. in 2014, over 34,000 eye sigh lum applications were submitted by unaccompanied or setch rated children across 82 countries. that's highest count on record since the agency began collecting this data since 2006. the war in syria and the rise of the islamic state have been the driving factors behind the unprecedented surge. approximately 7.6 million people have been internally displaced in syria alone and more than 4 million have fled. the stark increase in global force displacement coupled with devastating terrorist attacks in paris, san bernardino, bay route, istanbul, and ankara in
5:21 am
turkey. and just yesterday bruzz else, belgium, have led to ongoing policy debates how to prevent terrorists from infiltrating our legitimate immigration processes. this is a critical and necessary examination that must entail fact-based oversight of our existing immigration and border security policies across the board. in the interest of national security it must also be undertaking that continues to reflect our long standing international commitment. to protecting highly vulnerable individuals who are fleeing from persecution and violence and as stated in a recent letter to congress signed by 22 u.s. national security leaders from democratic and republican administrations alike, i quote, we believe that america can and should continue to provide refuge without compromising the security and safety of our nation. to do otherwise would undermine our core objective of combating
5:22 am
terrorism. these leaders including general avid petraeus, george schultz, and former nato supreme allied commander james streeves who is now at tufts university. in furtherance of this committee's efforts to review our national security framework congressman steve russell and i recently traled to turkey, jordan and lebanon to participate in the vetting process for southeasterns to the united states. after visiting refugee camps along the borders, and meeting with various refugee families we discovered that the vast majority between 70 and 08% are not interested in resettlement at all. rather they seek to stay in the neighboring host countries -- turkey lebanon and jordan -- in the hopes of returning home. the overwhelming sprenches to stay close to syria, indicated
5:23 am
that one of our primary national security goals should be to ensure that financially strained host countries and international humanitarian agencies have the resources necessary to provide a dignified life for their refugee populations in place. regarding the vetting process itself, i must say that prior to our oversight visit i had my serious doubts about the effectiveness of vetting war zone environments. and i supported both the republican and democratic measures to enhance the vetting process. i would note that the delegation arrived in bay route only several months after a double suicide bombing in that city that killed over 40 people we arrived in istanbul only four days after a suicide bombing in a central square that killed. and left one day before a rocket attack fired from syria hit a school. however, for the small percentage of families who do seek asylum to the united
5:24 am
states what we found was a multilayered vetting process that is row bust and extensive. it is conducted by agency personnel trained to ensure that only the most thoroughly vetted and some of the most vulnerable are 1% of syrian refugee applicants are admitted for resettlement. they are also very cautious in their work given that any misstep could not only pose a great danger but also halt resettlement for millions of legitimate refugees. it is this type of fact-based oversight that should guide our procedures. this is absolutely imperative at a time when our federal agencies responsible for securing the homeland security could face severe budgetary constraints and every dollar must be allocated towards the most critical national security risks. i thank you again for holding this hearing and i look forward to discussing these and other issues with our witnesses. i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. i now recognize the chairman of
5:25 am
the subcommittee mr. meadows for his opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your leadership. and thank you ranking member for your not only fact-based willingness to look at the record but also your willingness to work in a bipartisan manner to address the serious issue. from the surge of unaccompanied minors and family uningts from central america coming across our border to the ongoing syrian refugee crisis as well as the visa that was erroneously issued to the san bernardino terrorists, to there seems to be no shortage of immigration issues that impact our national security. so today's hearing takes a closer look at the national security implicationings at our nation's porous borders. now, i want to emphasize that it is a national security interest that brings us here
5:26 am
today. there are plenty of other rhetoric and discussion that can go on as relates to immigration and immigration policy. but indeed, this is looking at not only immigration but border security and how it affects national security. d.h.s. has no official metrics in place to measure whether our border is secure or not. so those statements are very difficult to comprehend if there are no mate rirks in place. representatives from the border
5:27 am
patrol tell us that the situation at the border is exactly the opposite of what the administration claims. undoubtedly the united states has a proud history of providing refuge to victims of persecution and will continue to be unwavering in our commitment. to be that beacon of freedom and hope for those facing persecution around the world. but when this administration fails to enforce our immigration laws or turn a blind eye to the rampant fraud and abuse while rubber stamping credible fear claims at a rate as high as 92%, the integrity of our system is undermined. our generosity is taken advantage of. and our national security is at risk. we should seek to protect the integrity of our immigration system from fraudulent claims made by those seeking to do us
5:28 am
harm or subvert our rule of law. individuals who seek to defraud the asylum process make a mockery of those who are truly persecuted for those who are fleeing for fear. the united states is one of the most generous nations in the world and our asylum system is an extension of that generosity. and yet various organizations are coaching peeming to claim credible fear in order to avoid deportation. by invoking the credible fear claim most aliens enter into a process by which they await proceedings before the immigration judge which at the very least buys them more time in the united states. it often takes years, multiple years, before those court dates take place. and in the meantime, the alien is allowed to obtain a work permit, go about their business in the united states, and
5:29 am
indeed could embed in our communities. it seems to me that the word is out that claiming credible fear is the way to go. the numbers sure say that much to me. and as we look at the credible fear claims that have grown exponentially in recent years as chairman desantos mentioned in his opening remarks one of my biggest concerns is that nefarious actors have taken advantage of our generosity. gang members, cartel operators, supporters of terrorists groups can game the system and make use of credible fear to remain here in the united states. even according to d.h.s. aliens with known or claimed ties to cartels and terrorist groups have been apprehended along the border claiming credible fear. the data that this committee has received confirms that the border patrol is encountering migrants from afghanistan, ngladesh, egypt, iran, iraq,
5:30 am
lebanon, pakistan, saudi arabia, turkey. this is coming across our southern border. these are just the individuals that are apprehended. so what about all of those that were never seen by law enforcement at
5:31 am
>> with that, i yield back. thank you. >> i will hold the record open for five legislative days for any members who would like to submit a written statement. we would now rec news our panel of witnesses. welcome all. all witnesses will be sworn in. if you could please rise and
5:32 am
raise your right hand. thank you. please be seated. all witnesses answered in the affirmative. in order to allow time for discussion please limit your oral testimony to five minutes. your entire written statement will be made part of the record. you're up. five minutes. >> thank you chairman. it is an honor to appear before you today to discuss the role of the united states border patrol in protecting national security and defending threats against our border. during my career of more than 30 years the border environment has changed not only the intentions tactics and capabilities of our adversaries but also our resources. our operational approach to
5:33 am
securing the border. today we focus not only on responding to the complex and rapidly changing border but also decrease the risk and potential threats. we do this through strategic and risk-based resources and by expanding and increasing our capabilities through intelligence information sharing partnerships and international collaboration. in all border environments, land air and sea, technology is critical. effective fixed and mobile surveillance and detection systems provide increased situational awareness of cross-border activity. advanced technology also increasing our ability to identify changes in border environment and rapidly respond as appropriate to emerging threats along and approaching our borders. detecting and interdicting terrorist will always be a focused priority. also the illegal cross border activities of criminal organizations including guns curnlsy human smuggling and
5:34 am
drugs pose a threat. responding to the continued flow of unaccompanied alien children and families is also a priority. the border regions of the united states are most secure when using a whole of government approach that leverages interagency and international partnerships as a force multiplier. the border patrol is an active participant in the d.h.s. southern border and approaches campaign and has a leading role in the joint task force west. an integrated approach. along and approaching the southwest border. this effort directs d.h.s. resources in a much more collaborative fashion to address the broad and complex threat and challenges including illegal migration, arms trafficking, illicit financing and the terrorist exploitation and vulnerabilities. the creation of the task forces increases information sharing between federal, state, local,
5:35 am
and international law enforcement agencies. improved situational awareness. enhances borderwide interdiction of rations and improves counter transnational threats and associated violence. using a risk-based and intelligence driven approach the border patrol and more broadly c.b.p. and d.h.s. will continue to enhance our efforts anticipate and respond to threats to national security and ensure the safety of the u.s. public. the continued focus on unity of effort and conjunction with intelligence and operational integration, the deployment of advanced technology, enhances our situational awareness, better enables us to effectively and efficiently detect respond to and disrupt threats. and approaches to the secure -- to secure the homeland. in closing let me state the obvious. it is the men and women of c.b.p. and border patrol agents who face the threats that we will discuss today. agents deploy in all manner of rough terrain, 24/7, 365.
5:36 am
i'm grateful for their dedication. the nation is safer and the communities they serve are better protected because of their efforts. they have my unwavering support and continued support to help them do their jobs in the safest manner possible. thank you for having me as a witness today. i look forward to the opportunity to testify and your questions. >> thank you. mr. chairman, members, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. i want to echo a few of the comments the chief made. i didn't first mention the governor's comments yesterday on the after math of the brusselses attack, the cowardly attack by terrorists. it pointed out that our hearts and prayers are with the victims. our minds must realize the consequences of open borders
5:37 am
and resolve must be security. including the governor of the texas state legislatures understand the threat and vulnerability to texas and the rest of the nation. what happens on the texas-mexico border doesn't just affect texas or even just the border region. t affects the entire region. clearly, special interest aliens are a problem. we've recognized that. this is not a new phenomenon. in 2002, we learned that we were border patrol was detecting detaining apprehending individuals with known awkpresence at that point in time. that has continued on. it is understandable why texans are concerned. to that point we've talked about change that is we've seen over the years. the chief referred to. and crime is remarkably different. it's more trance tri, it's transnational. it's organized. it's more discreet. certainly, it can compromise
5:38 am
and undermine public safety and national security. from a texas standpoint it has been very clear that two things in terms of guiding principles. sense of urgency and unity of effort. the chief over here i know when he was the chief of the rio grand valley for border patrol he was a team player and we were able to do unity of effort and work closely with him. i can tell you right now that if properly resourced they have the leadership and the type of people that can get the job done to secure the texas-mexico border. and that's important. until that time, our strategic intent by our legislature, our governor that the texas department of public safety working with our local and other state partners including law enforcement, game ward ens, will provide direct support to border patrol in the detection, deterrence. in doing so very aggressyoifl.
5:39 am
every day we deploy texas state troopers, rangers, down to the rio grand valley where right now is the eepie center of drug and human smuggling into the yigse and will continue to do so. it has been our direction until the border is security. there's a number of thing that is certainly can be done if properly resourced. there's no doubt that border patrol can get the job done. we look forward to that day where we have the resources to do that. >> thank you. >> chairman, i appreciate the opportunity to testify on behalf of the 16,500 border patrol agents which i represent. i'm going to stick to my comments on the national security threat on the border leave out the rhetoric and what might have led to it. but what i will tell you is that the obama administration and c.b.p. commissioner have repeatedly told the american
5:40 am
public that the border is more secure today than it's ever been. as a border patrol agent i will tell you the exact opposite. the commissioner and the administration have appointed to a decrease in arrests but that fail to give the american public the key indicators such as the number of arrests with countries from known terrorist ties or compete economically. in all of year 2015 border patrol arrested five from afghanistan, 57 from pakistan, 1,327 from the people's republic of china already in the first five months of this fiscal year the united states border patrol as arrested 18 from afghanistan. first quarter. 18 from afghanistan. 79 from pakistan. all of 2015 again was 18. and 619 from the people's republic of china. those numbers should alarm everyone. and we are seeing a similar
5:41 am
trend from other key countries like albania, bangladesh, and brazil. if the single factor is litmus test is lower numbers then compared one must conclude we are failing. as someone who has been involved in border protection i can tell you that the border is not secure and the situation is getting worse instead of better. arrests are not the only factor. we have to look at the totality of the situation such as violence. the number of persons evading arrest, and whether organized crime continues to turn a profit. in the context of the times, we must also look at whether persons from countries who would do us harm are able to exploit our weaknesses through our policies or lack of man power. it is well documented that criminal cartels control the border. the cartels are extremely well organized, violent and have infrastructure on both sides of the border. in mexico it is estimated that over 150,000 people have been killed in cartel related
5:42 am
violence. they have killed police afsers, judges, elected officials, and sits ow civilians who have crossed their path. and this is what border patrol agents face daily. including narcotics and immigrant smuggling. one key way to determine whether the cartels are winning is to analyze key data of entries to arrest. two weeks ago i was visiting a station during that week that i was there -- i was there one day but during that week in which i was there, a total of 157 known entries came into the united states through that area, that station's area of responsibility. f those 157, 74 were arrested, 54 were known to have evaded arrest, and further their entry into the united states. 17 were able to evade arrest and make it back to mexico and 12 were still outstanding and
5:43 am
unaccounted for. that's a 47% arrest rate. that's not very good. but it's not the border patrol agent's fault. we're just simply overmanned. we don't have the resources necessary. in fact, yesterday i received an email from an agent in arizona. and that email said that there was a 10-mile stretch for only two days and this is documented on the reports from the border patrol management. ten mile stretch of border that was unmanned for two whole days. criminal cartels were able to go to the fens, cut a hole in the fence, drive two vehicles through that hole, and escape. they were able then to put the fence back up and try to hide the cuts that they had made. border patrol agents were able to go down and see the vehicle tracks. there was a camera. they didn't see the vehicle drive through the border but the tracks clearly indicate that it was. and there was no other vehicles
5:44 am
coming from east so it had to have been those two vehicles that crossed the border. the scariest part of those vehicles entering into the united states is we don't know what was in those vehicles. we have no idea. and of those persons that were able to evade arrest in this station, those 54 and the 12 outstanding we don't know where they were from. it's unfortunate that we're currently in this situation in which it appears that we invite what we're currently experiencing. and because we're overmanned -- and it's not that they didn't want to man the border in these two areas in arizona that this vehicle drove through. they just didn't have the man power to do it. and that's the unfortunate situation today. i look forward to answering any and all of your questions. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> i share the comments of my copanelists.
5:45 am
thanks to the two subcommittee chairmen and all the members for inviting us here today. i also share the concern over the statistical information that the members particularly mr. meadows have referred to. and i share the concern that mr. judd has just expressed about the situation at our border. i want to talk about two issues in particular. expedited removal and credible fear that i think bear on the concern that many of us here share. prior to 1996 we had no expedited removal and arriving aliens in the united states could basically stay for a long time by making an asylum claim. there was an enormous backlog and they were put in line and released on their own recognizance. in -- there was also a of 0 minutes piece which show the people were landing at kennedy airport every single day without documentation and being released into the general population. and that i think pushed congress in 1996 to enact
5:46 am
expedited removal, which on its face provides a way to turn arriving aliens around who lack any documentation and the problem is, as i discuss in my written comments, in one of the classic bipartisan compromises for which congress is alternately praised and condemned, congress enacted expedited removal in a way that provides that if the -- first of all they did two things. they determined that the first interview would be a credible fear interview. and in the end, even though they tried to take the immigration judges out, as i discuss in my written comments, the immigration judges get back into the process anyway. so while it looks good on its face, eek pedited removal and practice hasn't worked out very
5:47 am
well even though it has been expanded not just to arriving aliens but within 100 miles of the border. so expedited removal is potentially a useful tool but it's hobbled by this credible fear determination and by the ultimate right to delay removal by an appeal to an immigration judge. so there are two problems. i talked in my written comments about credible fear. and where did credible fear come from anyway? i have some knowledge about that because i know that in 1991 in the midst of the asian -- haitian migrant crisis, we were trying to kind of in a chaotic situation manage that flow and provide asylum interviews for people. it was very difficult. and in fact we started operating the detention facility at guantanamo in an effort to cope with that migrant crisis.
5:48 am
and we -- the immigration and naturalization service invented credible fear kind of on the fly as a way of screening out people who obviously were not entitled to asylum. if people couldn't even present a story which if true would entitle them to asylum we determined that they could be turned around immediately and returned to haiti without a full-blown asylum interview. on the other hand, for those people who could articulate a coherent story they would be allowed to advance to a full blown asylum interview recognizing there was a backlog for that and would slow the process down. but for those people they would get the full asylum interview. as it turns out that credible fear practice was very short-lived because the numbers were so enormous that president bush george h.w. bush determined that we couldn't continue processing migrants from haiti and he determined that they would all we returned
5:49 am
to haiti without any processing at all. obviously that was challenged by many advocates and went all the way to the supreme court of the united states. and the supreme court of the united states in an 8-1 cision in a case called sail v. united states which i cite the supreme court of the united states held that that was fine. that the united states had no obligation under its own laws or under international law to conduct asylum interviews on the high seas. so credible fear was a temporary measure that probably wasn't even necessary in the end. it only lasted for a few months. and i was startled to see credible fear appear in the statute of the united states and as part of our expedited removal process. when expedited removal came in, credible fear shows up in the statute. where does that come from? so while it was invented as a
5:50 am
device to screen out migrants as has been commented on it's being used now as a device to screen people in so they don't have to actually prove their asylum claims. all they have to do is state a credible fear. and they are basically in. they join the que for an immigration judge so they can make their asylum claim in removal proceedings. and we know that can sometimes take a long time. and the word is out. this is how you do it. you make a good credible fear claim and you're in. and in this age of modern instantaneous communications, that word spreads -- that word spreads quickly. so i'm very concerned about that. and i have a number of proposals. i'm over time already but i do want to say i think we need to train more asylum officers. we ought to train all our immigration officers including border patrol agents in asylum
5:51 am
law. i think we ought to as i proposed remove credible fear from the statute. it doesn't belong there. we should go straight to an asylum interview. and we ought to have enough officers including trained border patrol agents and other custers and border patrol officers to do that. i have other recommendations and i refer you to my written comments. thank you. >> thank you. members of the subcommittee, it's an honor to be here today to offer our views regarding national security at our borders and the importance of the u.s. commitment to protect refugees. the horrific terrorist attacks in brussels yesterday are yet another reminder of the terrible harms terrorists are inflicting on victims around the world. human rights face and operate one of the largest pro bono legal representation programs
5:52 am
for asylum seekers in the country working in partnership with lawyers from some of the nation's leading law firms. we can protect national security and will do so with commitments. it was made clear in a letter referenced earlier by a ranking member. both of the formal points of entry and add our land borders, we have tools and databases, including databases with agencies and foreign source with credible fear. asylum officers create a range of setting and checks. they have to be interviewed by an asylum officer.
5:53 am
only a small portion increases -- the triangle and families, they have reported the countries of mexico, belize, nicaragua, and panama have seen the number grow to 13 times what it was nd a portion of the asylum seekers come from states and china. the leadership protecting refugees advances security interest and i visited to assess this crisis and the critical infrastructure is under severe pressure and they advance stability of the region that is key to u.s. allies. it is critical to distinguish between the victims and the perpetrators. experts have described efforts
5:54 am
to stop syrian refugees. they help a narrative. michael cautions that you do not want to play into the narrative. a stronger adjudication system s timely and essential for ensuring the integrity of the immigration process and
5:55 am
protecting refugees. et, over 480,000 immigration cases have been pending for an average of 667 days. they urge congress with judges and the current asylum system fails to provide protection in a manner consistent with the commitment. added to the asylum system, refugees get many cases day in and day out. t lingers for months and the expedited removal system is preventing many legitimate
5:56 am
refugees from applying for asylum and i am happy to answer questions about this. many go unrepresented because they cannot afford this. i have outlined a number of additional recommendations and i'm happy to talk about that. >> i recognize myself for five minutes. ou recognize this somalian's across the border and the other terror groups. can you describe the special interests you have seen and how texas is dealing with the population? > as testified by others, they have been coming across and it relates to al-shabaab. t would bring somalian's
5:57 am
across and help them resettle and they have been in that investigation. we are mindful of that and until we get a handful on the borders and the points of entry, no one able is going -- no one will be able to cross. frankly, there is no excuse and it can be done if the proper resources are applied. texas has made it very clear that they will spend whatever it takes to get it done, because it is too important to texas. >> they will often say the apprehensions are down and the
5:58 am
border is more secure. ow does that account for the members they do not see? >> there were not agents assigned in the area. we would not have known the vehicles would have crossed and, if we do not have those resources, we do not know what crosses that area. it was not two days it was open. it was open for a stretch of ime. there was at least one shift more than that.
5:59 am
>> they reported lower apprehension numbers and, they fall and they are not counted. you heard a similar report suggesting they may be fudging the apprehension data. >> i have heard the reports and i have seen it. it is a high ranking manager that said you must remove these numbers because there is not an entry point. if there isn't, we can't reconcile the numbers. the question was posed and there was no entry point. we have the evidence they got away. they said no.
6:00 am
>> i hear some of the witnesses talking about resources and i agree resources are an issue. mr. judd, isn't our policy catch and release at this point? in other words, you can have beefed up border control, but if people know they just have to get across the border and the will be given a citation and they will come back in a year or what ever. to me, that is still going to be a major incentive for people to come illegally. am i wrong? >> the resources are important. in part, you are correct. let's say for instance, the del rio sector. it does not necessarily release a lot of illegal aliens. they have customs enforcement and they have the better space to hold onto these people. ain determining factor is, do we have the space to hold onto these individuals? if we do, immigration's and customs enforcement hold onto them


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on