tv Attorney General Loretta Lynch Testimony on Fiscal Year 2017 Budget CSPAN February 24, 2016 10:25pm-12:33am EST
at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." meeting on the annual budget, loretta lynch answered questions about the president's plan to close guantanamo bay detention center, efforts to address opioid abus , and the government's demand that apple assist in on locking cell phone of one of the san bernardino killers. congressman john culberson chairs this two-hour hearing.
>> the appropriations subcommittee will come to order. it is a privilege to have you with us here today, attorney general lynch. our first hearing together with you as the attorney general and me as the chairman. on behalf of the law enforcement community across america and for all of us as americans who depend on the good work that you and your officers and every law enforcement officer at the state and local level do, we want to thank you. we are counting on you to keep us safe, to ensure that laws are enforced as written by congress. we are immensely grateful for the sacrifice that you and
everyone w in uniform make on behalf of our great country. we willl year 2017, work to ensure that the department of justice has the resources that it needs to do enforcing ournly laws as written by congress, but to combat cybercrime, gangs, terrorism, human trafficking, and espionage. of course, our subcommittee is responsible to ensure that hard-earned tax dollars are spent wisely and frugally, in compliance with federal law as written by congress, and we are confident that the relationship that you and i and your staff have are developed, -- have developed, we are moving in the right direction. we will find ways to continue that cooperation and ensure that that that is hard-earned our constituents pay to the irs
and the federal government is used to heat our streets safe and is spent wisely and frugally. it is very important, and i know you as the new attorney general will do all you can to ensure that we don't hear that any of our hard-earned tax dollars are spent for lavish parties, unnecessary expenses, or unauthorized activities. in our hearing today, and in the weeks and months to come throughout the remainder of president obama's term in office, i know you will work to convince this committee that the department of justice is working to diligently enforce federal law and spend our hard-earned tax dollars wisely and frugally to protect us. even though there are federal laws the administration wants to change but does not have congressional support to change, it is our sponsor as good stewards of our constituents' dollars. i would like to hear how your
department is protecting the second minute rights of americans, ensuring -- second amendment rights of americans, officials are not releasing violent alien criminals into communities. as the new chairman of the subcommittee, the rule is that if a federal agency or state or local government expects to receive general -- federal money, they have to comply with federal law. i am delighted with the letter you sent me. it seems like we are on the same page. very pleased to hear that. we also want to talk about what the department of justice is doing to combat cybercrime and espionage, and above all protect the united states from terrorism. i look forward to working with you throughout the year as the appropriations process moves forward. i would like to recognize the ranking member, mr. honda from california, for any remarks he would like to make. >> thank you. i would like to thank you for your leadership and a very collegial and open atmosphere amongst the members of our subcommittee.
i would also like to welcome to our subcommittee attorney general lynch. thank you for coming here to testify today. as our nation's chief law enforcement officer, we are grateful to you for your service to our country and commitment to upholding the rule of law. we also >> thanks to the thousands of working men and women that work around the clock to keep us safe. i look forward to building upon last year's successes by putting together a strong appropriate bills that supports the mission agenciesw enforcement and protecting the american people. especially among the most among us. i'm pleased that the president's budget provides for a healthy increase for what has been a relatively stagnant department justice. this year's request includes
needed resources for law enforcement at the federal, state, and local level to help combating you and evolving for the american people. it also provides resource to distress such as the andims of sexual assault and human trafficking as well as tribal crime victims. i think we all agree that the mission of your department is critical to our country. they have the resources it needs to effectively enforce our nation's laws. with that, aisle going to thank you again for joining us this morning. hearing yourd to testimony and response to questions from the members of our subcommittee. you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. honda. madame attorney general, you are recognized for your opening statement. if we could, i'd encourage you to keep your statement to five summarize, and that will give us additional time for questions.
again welcome. hearing yourrd to opening statement. madame lynch: thank you. good morning. good morning to ranking member honda, the distinguished members and hard-working staff. it is an honor to appear before you today. grateful for the opportunity to discuss the 2017 budget for the department of justice which reflecting our commitment to creating the stronger nation and more empowered communities that deserves.ican in the last year, thanks to the thousands of dedicated men and served the department of justice and thanks to the ongoing support of the distinguished committee, we have taken tremendous steps toward that goal. we have prosecuted violent extremist and dangerous criminals. we have defended the integrity of our markets and the beauty of resources.eally we've also worked to end human trafficking, to disrupt the flow and weapons,ugs and to eradicate international
corruption. created new opportunities for second chances in our system and new foundations of trust in our cities and towns. these are real and meaningful achievements. the request set forth in the president 2017 budget request will allow us to build upon this encouraging progress. as always the department of justice's first priority is the safety and security of the american people. president's budget would invest an additional $781 million in the national security capabilities. including critical measures to radicalism and sophisticated encryption. that request contains funds for new, state-of-the-art fbi headquarters which would reduce insufficiently and streamline and significantly boost our ability to thwart
terrorists threat. it is $63 million for intelligence-sharing capabilities. would allow us to more ally coordinate with the central counterpartsthe overseas. it is a direct $38 million for the tools that we need for encrypted data and communication investigate and prosecutor criminals and terrorists to attempt to hide the evidence of their crimes. seen recently, this is not a theoretical issue. as we've made clear the going problem is a very real threat to law enforcement's mission to protect public safety and ensure that criminals are accountable.ld it is a long standing principle anthe justice system if independent judge find reason to believe a certain item contains evidence of a crime, that then judge can authorize the government to conduct a limited search for that evidence. thehe government needs assistance of third parties to
ensure that the search is actually conducted, judges all the country and on the supreme court have said that assist if it must is reasonably within their powers to do so. we've been asking. we owe it to the victims and safety we must fully investigate terrorists attacks on american soil. as technology continues to focused onre also stepping up our work against those who attempt to use the energy to attack america's infrastructure, steal trade secrets, and jeopardize the privacy and property of everyday citizens. accordingly, the fiscal year would dedicate $121 million in additional resources investigating cybercrimes and fortifying the justice department's vital information networks. the majority of our resources, used toion, will be enhance the fbi's ability and
capacity to collect and analyze increasevidence and to the overall number of cyber investigations. together this important funding allow us to keep pace with landscape ofging cybercrime. now our commitment to protecting the american people is matched our dedication to ensure that they benefit from a criminal fair,e system that is efficient, and responsive. 2017 budget request and increase of $247 million for one of our most successful and ground breaking undertakings in the area, the smart on crime encouragingwhich to incarceration non-violent. a portion with go to the
rehabilitation and mental health programs. which are essential components to help formerly incarcerated make the most of their second chance while ensuring our communities are strong and safe. those are the kind of communities that we seek for every american. trust andre bonds of respect between law enforcement officers and the people we serve. helping to repair is one of my top priorities. the presidents request reflects that focus with an increase of of million and an number programs designed to foster collaboration between residents enforcement, including reconciliation and data collection. it includes additional funds for smart policing program, which encouraging local jurisdictions to improve police-citizen interactions while developing cost-effective crime in their communities. it enlarging our investigation
community-orientated policing services hiring program which extends funding to state departments to hire or retain officers so that they can rangeue to meet the full of their constituents' needs. those of us who work in law have a special responsibility to protect the most vulnerable among us. crimes prey more on the vulnerable than human trafficking. destroys families, weakens communities, and erodes the foundations of decency and security. sets aside budget $89.3 million for the combatents efforts to the scourge, including $45 efforts to help victims of trafficking rebuild their live and reclaim their futures. that each and every one of the young people should grow up in safety and security. the budget includes a net increase of over $64
justicefor office of program grants focused on at-risk justice and youth, including an increase of delinquencyfor the prevention program which seeks to prevent young people from criminal justice system by providing it as early as possible. i look forward to work, the committee and with congress to there the timely passage of presidents budget which asked for a total of $29 billion in funding for the department. including $27 billion for programs and $2 billion for state, local, and tribal assistance programs. of funding will ensure that the outstanding men of women of the department justice whom i am so proud to lead can continue their tireless america'sotect citizens, to defend america's values, and strengthen the the days andn months ahead.
i thank you once again for the opportunity to appear before you today. i'm happy to answer any questions. thank you, mr. chairman and mr. ranking member. mr. chairman: thank you very much. general, there's been a lot of concern expressed by our constituents and across proposalry about a just released yesterday that the department of defense released to close the military detention navalty at the u.s. station in guantanamo bay. holds 91sent detainees. in the appropriation act, it includes two very specific provisions that prohibit funds transfer, used to release, or assist in the detainees to the united states or its territories. it prohibits the department of justice from acquiring, modifying any facility in the u.s. or the
those.ries to house i wanted to ask and make sure to reassure the country and congress would you agree the prohibitedernment is from establishing such from transferring guantanamo detainees in to the united states and its territories. that'slynch: certainly the law as it respects the departments appreciations. ongoing goalis the to close guantanamo bay because ongoing problem it causes our country particularly as a terrorist recruiting center. we do see the effects of that. the administration is committed to closing that. we support those efforts. i would note that the administration is committed to working with congress to make that happen. certainly in light of the current statutory framework, we is what willat occur. if there's any request of the
department in connection with that effort, we'll be happy to in that regard. mr. chairman: you will not take assistion of any kind to in the transfer of guantanamo detainees until congress changes the law? madame lynch: it will be prohibited. of any efforts to do so at this time in any event. veryhairman: thank you much. in january the obama administration announced through executive action taling with americans right to keep and bear arms. that's a source of great to americans across the country. certainly the second amendment is an absolute right guaranteed all americans and as the subcommittee chairman it is vitally important that i will do everything in my power to ensure armsright to keep and bear is protected. i was particularly concerned with the guidance on firearms on licensing that was published as part of the executive action. wanted to ask in
particular if the guidance -- guidance in any way impact hobbyists who main gauge in just ordinary laurel transfers? madame lynch: thank you for the question. it is an important issue and worthy of debate. guidance recently published by atf which is going to be distributed at gun shows and individuals who have questions about whether or not they are required to obtain a license to firearms is designed to gather existing law in one place in a clear, easily-understandable version of the various court cases that have opined on the issue. so that individuals who have those questions who routinely either the booth at gun shows or frankly either by atf headquarter will be able to have at their fingertips the currentf what law requires. the current law does contain the exception. hobbyist or collector, you are not engaged in the business of dealing with
firearms. required fornot those type of transfers. particularly if one is a family giving a gift, again a license is not required for transfers. of mr. chairman: terrific. they know if you are a hobbyist family member as part of the inheritance, for example, or a hobbyist or are a collector one don't need to worry about this new guidance. is that what you are telling americans? madame lynch: that's correct. encourage you to look at guidance. we try to have clear examples of the typical situation where activities fall within the category of being engaged in the business and also where they typically fall in the category of a hobbyist transfer, collectors transfer, and i think in thosell see examples the types of everyday activities that are typically the law thaty requires them to get a license and would distinguish them from individuals who engaged in the business.
mr. chairman: for americans unless they are engaged in the regular buying and selling of firearms for a a part of their daily life, that's what they do as a lives, those folks need to have a license. otherwise you are not targeting or going after individual right to keep and bear arms or transfer them to family and sell them casually or occasionally? they are not on your radar screen? madame lynch: while i would say generally the case. there are situations where the the sale ofund even a few weapons, if there's other factors, they hold themselves have a business card, for example, they may go to -- not but even a flea market, the court has held individuals can be considered as the business.in our concern is that, again, as i a number of people do reach out to atf.
these are generally individuals who want to comply with the law. we felt it would be helpful to provide them with clear examples of situations where the courts have found that individuals with engagedactivities are in the business of dealing with firearms and provide the assistance to help them gain a if they want to continue making certain types of sales. the number of guns is not the only factor. someone it need not be whose only job or only source of economic income is the selling of firearms. that also. we also felt that as much as i weoy being a lawyer, shouldn't impose that on everyone else to seek out the to trynd do the search to find on their own what the courts have said about these particular situations. we felt it would be useful frankly in response to a request this information in one clear, easily understandable format. i appreciate the response i got from the director tf.a
it is important to assure americans unless you are making profit on a regular basis. that's very important for all of us. i deeply appreciate your answer. recognize mr. honda. thank you. honda: thank you, mr. chairman. last year we dealt with sexual assault kit testing. are estimated over 400,000 untested rape kits still collecting dust in the evidence room of law enforcement crime labs across the country. the technology and the means to process these samples, adequatest provide resources, funding, and collaborative efforts to ensure the testing actually occurs to the existing rape kit backlogs. fy 16 included $48 million for
nationwide. backlog this is in addition to $41 15.ion included in fqy the president's budget request included another $41 million for the program. are there any best practices that have come out of the work far? would you share with us communities that are these policies and the progress? madame lynch: thank you for that. thank you for your commitment to the issue as well. noting therect in current budget request includes $41 million for a community to ensure the resolution of the sexual assault cases to get these kits tested are, in fact, kits that have never been submitted to crime labs and the numbers the country are literally staggering. cities, 11,000 in other cities. victims andnt individual women who have suffered one of the most heinous
crimes that we can. respect to this, we have, in fact, funded the different laboratories who are working with a dna-related forensic program to reduce the backlog also. weaver looking to enhance the the capability. since 2009 we've been working with the effort. the labs who were funded by the dna capacity enhancement and backlog reduction program have half a million cases, 550,000 cases. as a result of justice work, over a quarter of a million uploaded toeen codex. we have 100,000 hits. 92,000 hits. meaning we've corrected the the rape kitith with someone in the system. to closeallowed us numerous cases. i don't have those figures. cases allowed us to close and further investigations.
we announced the recent grant last september. i was privileged to be in knock with the vice president at the forensic laboratory and announces that in connection with the manhattan district attorney. time, we received communication from other district attorneys across the country that money that the federal government had provided and also money that the d.a.'s office was allowing them to close open rape cases and provide comfort to the who were living without knowing whether they would ever find justice. rep. honda: thank you. as we proceed, would be thermative to us to know progress that's being made and the impact on our system. you said, if they are untested, we have victims and perpetrators being denied the process.ystems it will be very important if we could be kept up to date on the
of that. madame lynch: yes, sir. we will to that. rep. honda: on parts of the tribal justice and victims of americans are two half more likely to experience violence than other americans. tribes have not been receiving the necessary funds from the crime victims fund. between 2010-2014 only 16 states money to tribal totally half of a the funds. that request of $25 million to tribal assistance for victims of violence from the crime victims funds, can you which youhe ways in anticipate this funding will
help provide tribal members with crime victim services that they really need? madame lynch: yes, thank you for the opportunity to talk about the important work that is department of justice involved in. we take our obligations in the indian country seriously. we have a trust relationship with tribal nations. and's a special obligation a special bond. look a commitment that we forward to living up to. we can requesting $25 million victims fund. i would simply those that the other funding request that obligations tor work with our tribal partners are also the office of justice programs is requesting $71 flexibles part of the tribal grant program and also c.o.p.s. program that will support the tribal access program. these are found that it is very helpful of tribal law accessment has the same to the system and computerized crime information as other law agencies as well as money for the environmental
natural resources division to address environmental problems in indian country and money for the office of tribal justice. in the crime victims particular, we're focused on the victims of violent crime on indian country. they tend to be statistically more often women and children. particularly sexual assaults. that includes children as well. toward creating programs for counseling these survivors as well as enhancing justice to ensure that their perpetrators are caught. these membersat are aware, two year ago in the violence against women act, an amendment allowed tribal nations for the first time to have jurisdiction over non-indian perpetrators of violence against reservation.on the this was a gap that presented justice for a number of victims. this year we're including grant money to help tribal law enforcement agencies and tribal courts with their court programs to actually focus on prosecuting
those cases as well. so it is our hope and our intend to deal with the issue of on indian lande both with a view toward focusing trauma,ng with victim particularly that of children, strengthening the tribal justice systems that allow for theecution of the crimes on actual reservation. the sexual assault kit testing issue -- is there an issue there in the indian country? are the programs and the funding making available, are they also available to the tribal indian country? yes, indeed. rep. honda: thank you. mr. chairman: thank you. mr. jolly. jolly: i'm sorry. i was delayed on the floor. i missed part of your opening statement. a couple of questions this morning. i work very closely with our
enforcement leadership county, florida. members heard in december when the memo went out announcing the reimbursement. that created a lot of concern among local law enforcement. of the rescissions that had some up and some of the additional rescissions that led to that decision. a understanding -- we had very constructive meeting with your senior leadership on this ago, is that the department anticipating renewing the equitable sharing of the asset forfeiture program in the few coming months. could you comment on where it is? lynch: thank you for the opportunity to address this
issue. is a concern to those in the department of justice who rely upon them for the work they do in the task forces. if you look at the task forces department of the justice law enforcement agency, 60% are 50 to sometimes local law enforcement because they have the best information. we found it to be an incredibly helpful partnership and one that has saved lives and built cases. rescissions were given to the department late last greater thanmount had been anticipated, certainly the $1.2 billion was larger than we had anticipated, we were forced to temporarily suspend those payments. i've been in contact with the leaders of the law enforcement groups, including police as well sheriffs groups as well to discuss the situation them as i'md advise happy to advice you this is a temporary deferral of payment. we anticipate that through the course of our work over the year
they asset forfeiture fund will be able to replenish where we resume the payments. we had promised the law enforcement partners than update the action.h after i spoke with them at the end of january. them promised to update also on a monthly bases and a bymise to update this body mid march as well. we essentially are looking at the fund to make sure that as we obligations that it sustains to the victims, et the ability we have to start those payments. it is our intend. we have, in fact, made the request of our law enforcement partners to remain in the task forces and continue submitting requests to us so we can funds areem as available. we have noted and made sure they the equitable sharing is deferred what's jleop, the joint law
payment,nt operation have not been. it goes to s.p.o.t. -- support the overtime and equipment they use. we are prioritizing those so the immediate term they will be able to cover those expenses. we have asked them to continue. have received commitment from many of them they will continue working with us. rep. jolly: i appreciate that answer. i want to work with you on this and your team. i think there's a little bit of disagreement on how we got there. the rescission was larger than anticipated. theou are aware, there was anticipated settlement of roughly $900 million coming in to the fund. providedittee also flexibility as to when your department could execute the rescission. and while i look forward to working in a constructive to make sure the committee stays on top of restarted.t is ebbing questioned table sharing has restarted.
some of the decisions regarding accounting of the fund were not made for political purposes but in the best judgment of the department. because in the estimation of someone on the committee, it could have been held off for and perhapshs prevented a delay. obviously at the end of the they, we appreciate the partnership as you have said before local law enforcement and your department. many critical to communities, including ours particularly in the area of human trafficking which, i know, priority of yours. i thank you for that. i'm about out of time. i would ask one more question. if you could provide your perspective on the 1033 program. know it is largely a department of defense program that shares with local law enforcement. program that in some ways has been under very top ofm the the president of the united states himself on down. could you provide your perspective as the attorney terms of the role that surplus equipment provides in supporting local law enforcement leadership or your concerns about it?
madame lynch: i think this has over thepic of concern last year since i've been in the chair. i've had the opportunity to talk state andgain with my local colleagues as well as my law enforcement officers and sheriffs about this issue. sure the group is aware, essentially the administration guidelines on the acquisition of surplus d.o.d. federal funds. departments using other funds would not have to deal with those particular guidelines. we hope they would be instructed. the focus was on making sure the not only was appropriately sourced but that appropriate training was provided for the equipment. we see great value and great having the partnership again where state and local law enforcement entities or police officers or the sheriff department can obtain surplus equipment. certainly it has been very effective in specific operations that we can all come to mind.
effective, for example, helping making sure the are adequately sourced and resourced. we want to make sure that again training is set in place and that the equipment is accounted for. review was to determine what types of equipment worked best and where federal funds were involved to come up with a list that would at least in the view continue's to meet local law enforcement needs and also deal with the issues of perhaps overuse of equipment or use of the by departments that were not as well trained as iters and where the use of rather than being in the sense of protecting the community and s.w.a.t.-type situations was used in ways that imflamed tension. it is not the intent of anyone. had an ongoing tie log as i've noted with the law enforcement groups as well as my sheriffs about the program.
it is our hope that as we work find that they will they can still obtain the equipment that they need using grants, fors or example. that it can be put to good use, use, in terms of public safety without the intended -- the unintended collateral consequences of having the more open program that exists before. rep. jolly: i appreciate that. i know the full committee chair came in. i offered and shared this with folks in the white house as well. mineis also an interest of given my relationship with local law enforcement. my approach is pretty simple. legislation that's been introduced. it keeps the 1033 program in require local law enforcement to certify they have personnel capable or trained on they arement receiving. it leaves the decision as to which equipment is most for local law enforcement in the hands of local law enforcement, but it does require the training to that any equipment is operated within the means of
their mission. i appreciate your comment this morning. thank you, mr. chairman. my time.ack mr. chairman: thank you. formerrecognize the different attorney from gentleman, chairman of the full tee, mr. hal rogers. rep. rogers: thank you. thank you for the recognition of enjoyed --fe that i enjoy is not the word. i appreciated the time i served in d.a. and law enforcement. thank you, madame attorney general, for being here. your request totals $29.5 bottom. overs a 3% increase current levels. this committee has a theonsibility to prioritize administration of justice and support for our men and women in law enforcement. can do swatted spending away our financial integrity. though it highlights some
important programs, your budget request doesn't reflect the very real budget constraints that we with.ced and we look forward to working you to meet the challenge that we both face in that regard together. that being said, let me ofcifically mention a couple concerns that i have. i'm disappointed that you proposed to slash burn justice $36.6ance grants by million. i've heard from law enforcement people around the country about the importance of the flexible grant program to their crime prevention and drug activities.ment such a drastic reduction in support will be devastating for my state and local partners. particularly as we work collaboratively to address the opioide and magnifying epidemic facing the country.
losing 100 people a day epidemic, by the cdc's definition. alsoing of opioids, i'm concerned that you proposed to cut money from the national monitoringn drug program. $1may seem insignificant, million. it is 8% of the programming. that's where the states are able people who are abusing prescriptions. i can't imagine you would want any kind of harm to that kind of program. it's been extremely successful. every state has a program except one, missouri. are coming around. boy, are they slow. it works. prescription abuse in 49 states. it you are trying to shave
away. there's still progress to be made. the grant program is part of the epidemicto the opioid that's facing our country. a0 families a day are losing member. to death. my district was leading the way time. i hate going to the emergency room and seeing a dead young familyr with a surrounding them. this program is critical to just that. i'd appreciate your telling me what you are going to do about it. stateose pdmps in each are learning to link up with each other. that the person in kentucky, for example, goes off to tennessee thinking they can the system and the pdmp
picks it up and tells ours we have a problem. inoperability. we're trying to make it now real time. it has been facing a delay. if we can make it realtime, we have a real thing going. i would hope you can help us. with they concerned department's suspension of ebbing questioned table sharing from the proceeds of the asset forfeiture program. essential inre helping law enforcement fight drug trafficking, among other things. the men and women working are your partners. working side by side with federal agents. to restorend a way those payments as soon as permanent harmid to public safety around the country. critical.s i can't believe the action of
to it.artment in regard most troubled by your continued of marijuana legalization efforts around the country. violation of federal law. four states and the nation's legalizedve recreational use of this drug federal response. casting aside the fact that marijuana is a known gateway young people, it has long-terms effects on the isellectual development still unknown, the bottom line is this, congress makes the laws the country. the executive branch enforces laws. you are tasked with enforcing nation'saw as our chief law enforcement officer. hope you'll cease 2017 as an
yourtunity to fulfill mandate given to you by the congress in this regard. we thank you for being here. briefly aboutyou prison construction. as you know, overcrowding in the ten penitentiaries poses problems for guards, prisoners, increasingmisconduct in overcrowded facilities. meaningful work opportunities decrease. abuse increases. overcrowded also poses a tonificant security threat guards. they are already basically outnumbered by inmates. especially dangerous in medium and high-security prisons of inmatesajority are serving sentences for
violent crimes. with this in mind, i'm highly concerned to see your request bureau prison construction funding by a $417 million. suchy 80% at a time of federalthese crowded penitentiaries. tomorrow'sdline in newspapers. the overcrowding in federal prisons. the treatment that we're subjecting people to, including guards and the staff. that's going to be a story. help us keep it from being a story. cast aside any talk about about
criminal justice reform, how do you tend to deal with the short-term problem with such a tomatic reduction facilities and improve the old. madame lynch: thank you for the on one ofy to speak the described challenges from the prison system. fromureau is not immune that. i thank you for not only your attention and interest but for your support over the years. committee was instrumental certainly in prior years up to 2016 for the providing the department with $444 millionmately 2016. those funds are going to build a new prison. i believe it is going to be in county in kentucky. so that's one that is certainly an important part of reducing issues of overcrowding as you so accurately note. of correction officer safety as well as inmate safety are certainly implicated by that. reason why that same number was not reflected in the 2017
because we did receive that money in 2016. thosee begin to utilize funds the multi-year process as i know you are aware to build a prison and do the studies. therefore we did not need those 2017.to recur in fy i want to assure you that the funds that were appropriated to specificically deal with the important issue are, in fact, being put to good use as we speak. so the defense -- the fact that you do not see the same number is not ain the budget receiveon of the sayings of work. we would not ask for the same funds again. that's going to help us tremendously with that. the other as you mentioned the issues result not only in harm but exacerbate of
inmates.sues for the you mention mental health in particular. of'll see within the portion our budget funding to deal with those issues also. because where we can deal with have safers we will institutions for the inpates and for the correctional officers who work there. >> thank you. kilmer.ize mr. rep. kilmer: thanks for being us. i have a bunch of questions. i share the chairman's concern abuse.pioid that's certainly hit a number of communities and in my neck of the woods, i have a lot of rule communities, including the town where i grew up in the small town. the need i understand to balance prevention and treatment and enforcement to stop the spread high. i know the office of justice program provides grant funding for state and local law
enforcement assistance. i guess i'm hoping that you speak to how those funds are distributed and whether the ones i'mike -- ruralbout, rule towns, small towns, if they are and what theit committee can do to help the communities struggling with the epidemic and what they can do to realize the support? madame lynch: congressman, i that you for raising issue. it is becoming the law enforcement issue of our time. opioid issue is a precursor to the heroin epidemic. as we look at the heroin epidemic, they began with prescription drug abuse. they move on to heroin. the opioidly also abuse, the prescription drug abuse, is leading to increasing particularlylence, in the rural areas.
we do have -- we have a request in our budget of about $383 million for the j.a.g. funding which is an increase fy 2016. programs thate address the specifically opioid abuse in rural areas. grants are available to all theenforcement agencies for purchase of tools. we have spent a great time in discussion with the local partners. this particular tool is extremely helpful. it is the rapid response overdose treatment. using grant money to make sure may not be able to fund a clinic, we can make sure the small police departments and sheriffs offices have access to an unlock zone and go a long way towards literally saving a life and getting someone to the hospital on time. that we'resomething hoping is going to be helpful
with regard to that. when it come to the problem very wellly, the administration is taking a whole of administration approach. not just the department of justice, but a number of other in lookinge involved at the issue: health and human services, veterans affairs, for example. all of us focus on finding the best way to deal with this. emerged fromt has our discussions is that we have to view this as a public health as a law well enforcement issue. and not just focus on law publicment but have a health component to improve treatment and resources for the people who fall victim to this. rep. kilmer: thank you. i appreciate the focus on that. i wanted to switch gears. stories one hear distrust between the neighborhoods and the police who protect them. some good news stories out there. one of the cities i represent, tacoma, and cities like them, are working very hard to try to
a good relationship between law enforcement and the populations they serve. by thea great effort city's leadership and the law enforcement leadership called which was trying to bring people together to improve ties between the and police. i guess i'd pointous those sorts of efforts are costly. and programs like project peace often can be limited in the do to themply resources being spread thin, you know, in a large city. know that the departments budget proposed doubling the community policing development program. i'm grateful for that. i'm concerned as to whether enough.ven still sense that how confident it will meet the needs in our communities. madame lynch: i think that's an
excellent question. the needs are deep. deal of timegreat issue. on the i did travel to the pacific northwest also. this year i'll travel to six more cities, focusing on cities that have had a challenged relationship with the police and shooting pattern and practice investigation and even a law enforcement. they have found a way to create a dialogue between law enforcement and the community and include young people in that to restore the bonds of trust those bridges again. this year i'm focusing on cities exemplifying the six pillars in the 21st century policing task force that was the year's work.st i'm particular with some of the programs that you mentioned. to pull moreppy in. we do have, in fact, as you key increases for building community trust and policing for cameras, collaborative
reform, and i think our ismunity relations service going to be important in this. we're asking for $3.5 million enforcement reconciliation work. community relationship services not law enforcement officers. they go in to the community and work to build the bridges. they with work community leaders in particular and law enforcement and the local elected officials as well to foster dialogue around these important problems. they are not investigators. are not gathering evidence for our law enforcement components at all. additionalsting funding for them. so i think that will be helpful. tell you that i think the most promising efforts that i've seen as i've traveled the country are those that come from the community, as you mentioned, such as project peace. look for ways to continue to support them through our grant programs. need.a deep it is an ongoing need. incredibly impressed with the work that i've seen going on
across the country. hopeful that the funds we request for a host of issues involving community policing will help in the regard. as i've talked to police departments, for example, we're number of them with body-worn camera initiatives. this is an area that i think opinionsve different on. as the body-worn cameras come in to use, i think people on both the debate are seeing their utility in provideing for accountability and a level of trust in the types that law enforcement has with civilians. we see them go down in communities and departments that are implemented the body-worn cameras. we see incidents in reports of down. force go that's all part of the web that theave to build to rebuild trust bonds that have been frayed in some areas. frankly, that this can be accomplished. it happen.
rep. kilmer: thank you. like torman: i'd recognize mr. carter. rep. carter: thank you, mr. chairman. here.ad you are my first opportunity to be able to speak to you. he says i come from a background of what is the highest tribal court in our state, the great state of texas. i have some familiarity with the theinal justice system in united states. this last monday -- i did what we call a telephone town hall. we did a -- roughly 35 to 50,000 onlineone -- people get and ask questions on the phone. when we get about 10 or 15 of people asking the same question, we pick that question. came up.tion this is a tough one. people will be saying this is
policy. would ask you. issue: the state department e-mails sent and clinton's personal server are classified. the refuse for numerous e-mails as they contain top secret information. the secretary of state and one seeking the highest office in the land, she should have known better. if the fbi makes the case that hillary clinton mishandled classified information to put america's security at risk, will case?osecutor the do you know of any efforts underway to undermine the fbi investigation? and please look the american people in the eye and tell us your position is. you are the chief prosecutor of the united states. madame lynch: thank you. with respect to our to howgation in information was handled by the state department and how they
classified information, that matter is being handled by career independent law agents, fbi agents, as well as the career independent attorneys in the department of justice. they follow the evidence and look at law. they will make a recommendation appropriate. is beyond that i'm not able to comment on the specific investigation at this time. i will say is again that this will be conducted as every other case. review all of the facts and all of the evidence and come asan independent conclusion how to best handle it. i'm also aware of no efforts to of ourne our review atestigation to the matter all. rep. carter: there are enough about that are concerned that. maybe the justice department won't do this for political reasons. accusing you of that. i would certainly not expect you investigation.he i didn't ask for that
information. would ask yout i the question. i would say that no one is above the law in the united states. brought before a grand jury, the right thing to do somebodybringing before a grand jury. that's where you are. i hope you remain there. another question -- do i have enough time for another question? in the history, it has been difficult to be a police officer. today it is. you often have belligerent cameras in your face every time the officer wants to make an civil unrest, and you don't feel the department of justice really supports them. importantly i'm concerned perception among our law enforcement officers that the
investigationsng and the administration to solve the crime. the are you doing to change perception amongst many of the law enforcement agencies that d.o.j. is looking their own shoulder and waiting to sue their department every time they arrest? i've heard horror stories of u.s. attorneys refusing to drugs and alien smuggling cases along the border. you getell you, if caught with 200 pounds in in belle county, you are going to go to prison. yet i can't say that about the along the southwest bored person it needs to change. would you please comment? madame lynch: thank you for the about they to talk important relationship that the department has with our colleagues in state and local law enforcement. are very much our colleagues with respect to the
important work that we all do protection of the american people. i think the issue as we've recently of trust between communities and the law enforcement particularly law communitiesin the that we all serve is an important one. messageell you that the that i've heard as i've traveled the country speaking to law officers, i speak to the rank and file officers and members ismmunity how dedicated they are to their job and how focused they are on their mission. i talked to them about why they become police officers and the mission that they feel. pressure that they feel. this is a time of great change in policing. hear the dedication and commitment to continuing their work in protecting the american people. have situations where those bonds have been enforcementhere law feels undersiege as well. i've had the conversations with officers. we try to engage them also in discussions about why it is and
what might be the causes of it. one of the things i will say, congressman, is a benefit of prosecutor for over 20 years is that i've noted a very positive view the do interact in the current administration. i was involved in reviewing police issues in the 1990's when a u.s. attorney in new york at this time. i've been involved in reviewing them as a u.s. attorney from 2010 on and now attorney general. i think one of the benefits of is theationship now department has police departments actually coming to asking for assistant through our community orientated policing program, which people refer to as the c.o.p.s. program , we fund police officers and have all of that to increase to provide additional local law enforcement support.
we also provide collaborative perform. they come to us. they say they are having a problem or issue. it may be a community relations issue. it may be a training issue. it may be keeping up with the latest data. it may be finding the resources as we've done to support them in buying vests and buying body-worn cameras, as i mentioned. i've seen a positive relationship between law enforcement at the local level the department of justice through this. where we have to look at issues of accountability we speak directly to those departments and try to engage them so they person holdingt an officer accountable when there's been a problem. we all know that there will be issue. the important thing is to make sure as we deal with those issues the american people see we're dealing with them in and fair wayt way and everyone is treated equality before the law. we've had a great positive that.se to we provide a great deal of
support for the local law enforcement officers. c.o.p.s.ough the program as i mentioned. you'll see in the budget a areas in which we're seeking to provide support to the state and local colleagues. spend a great deal of time trying to get their input. to havend it positive their input in the policies that the department is putting forth. recently we -- pom mu gaited policies on dealing with sexual assault and domestic violence. this policy was greatly informed state and local colleagues. they are the first responders to the cases. types ofport those cases, for example, grants for training, we rely on them to on-the-ground experience to talk about the and the bests policies. i would say the department of is, in is focused and fact, working well with state and local law enforcement. a very positive bond with them because if we do the
samework, we have the mission. we all want to improve as we, in fact, carry out our highest duty is the protection of the american people. carter: quick follow up, yesterday i found a bill. withepartment is working me to include the active shooter criteria, the cops the small departments around the country want to train on the active shooter issue. have the funds. helped us. office we appreciate it. i hope you support adding active shooter to the criteria. finally the reason i mentioned clearly told are -- i think the chairman has been told also it has to be over 200 pounds on marijuana in the rio the justicey or
we appreciate your response to judge carter's question. laws important for every enforcement officer to know that the justice department has a back. it is a message we hope you will continue to speak out loudly and clearly and repeatedly to make sure that all those local law enforcement officers know how dedicated you are and your department is to supporting them and helping them. last august, our neighborhood deputy, darren goforth, was murdered in our neighborhood. it was a catastrophic event. everyone on this committee and around the country are very concerned. we want every law enforcement officer in the country to know that members of congress, particularly the department of justice, that we have the back and we support them. i appreciate you saying that. thatcognize, as a part of relationship you have with local law enforcement, one of the most critical part of that successful relationship is a sharing of
information at the local and state and federal law enforcement officers have to know, have to have complete and open relationship where they share every bit of information possible about criminal defendants. it is a source of great concern to the country. i know from our conversations before the hearing began, a concern that you have as well. i am delighted we are headed in the same direction, with century city policies, were state or local jurisdiction refuses to share information with a federal -- whether it be homeland security judge carter or with the department of justice. policies that a lot of these cities and counties and states have come of where they will , tose to honor a detainer hand over a criminal defendant in the custody to federal , isorities to be deported
just unacceptable and terribly dangerous. it is standard procedure. before they are released from the county jail, there is long-standing common sense that plastic county sheriff will check with state authorities, with federal authorities if there is an outstanding warned. and that -- outstanding warrant. and that individual will not be released if there is a warrant in michigan. they will call again and say, do you want this guy? and michigan will pick him up. until you get to these century cities, they will not release these individuals. if they have a criminal warned further arrest, these communities have policies they will not release them to federal authorities for deportation. this is absolutely unacceptable
area it is best unacceptable. it is outrageous. it is responsible for the murder of untold thousands. the woman shot in san francisco who died in her father's arms was shot and murdered by a seven-time convicted felon, a five-time deportee who was released onto the streets of san francisco due to their utterly unacceptable and illegal century policy. that refusal to share information, that refusal to cooperate with federal law enforcement authorities is just absolutely unacceptable. the newd earlier, as chairman, the rules will be in the subcommittee, if you expect to receive federal money, comply with federal law. , attorneythank you
general lynch, for your timely response to a letter i sent you earlier this year on century cities. you said in part that, where the -- after theyment have assured the department that they are in compliance with applicable federal laws, where that entity, where you have credible evidence that they have violated specific applicable federal law could potentially seek criminal options against that entity as we discussed. viii specifically -- that losses clearly that local jurisdictions cannot
interfere in any way with information with federal authorities. could you assure the committee that the department of justice will review grantees with such houses to ensure they are in compliance with all applicable federal laws? >> that is certainly a part of our grant process. as also conveyed in the letter, i want to reiterate the fact that one of the things we are hopeful will be as effective moreand more in -- immediately affected is the bureau of prisons, instead of referring to the state or lower -- or local entity, instead immigration customs enforcement or ice will instead have the ability to step in and exercise their detainer first. we have in the past deferred because, again, we work with our state and local colleagues. we will make sure they can adjudicate their cases as well. the particularly where we are dealing with a jurisdiction that
essentially is not prone to detainers -- and those vary across the country, over time and place -- our policy is going to be that ice will and said that's will instead have the first detainer. this may have the effect that there may be local cases that to be prosecuted because, again, the person will be taken into ice custody and then deported. if a jurisdiction has a concern over that, we will talk to them. but we will have assurances that ice will be able to get the individual back at the end of an adjudication. so we are joined to be respectful of our state and toal colleagues' desires prosecute local cases, but also with this issue as well. >> i generally appreciate that.
i want to express my sincere gratitude for you for this new policy that you adopted. mr. chairman: i'm not clear. department seek to anye any grants going to particular so-called sanctuary city if they violate your terms? will you see to stop that grant program? >> where they grant is tied to the applicable law, again, there has to be a condition -- a connection between the issue and the grant. grant for human trafficking would be different for a grant for community policing. of the overall grant management review, the department civil and criminal
division can take under investigation if we receive a credible allegation that a grantee has violated a specific applicable federal law, we will make the referral. there is a process in general. we also have the office of inspector general who can step in and do a specific investigation of the specific jurisdiction of a municipality. civil andve air criminal division, depending on how the allegation arises. >> is this a new policy? >> it is in response to the concerns expressed and the result of discussions we have had with the chairman here as well as other members. but as i indicated, we feel that a way to deal with this issue immediately is to make sure that individuals who are being released from the bureau of prisons, rather than be released into stake is the, would go directly into immigration custody and be dealt with for deportation there. -- frankly, a large part of the problem is that, as
part of our collaborative working relationship with our state and local partners, as you indicated, is there is a detainer on an individual coming out of the growth is in, certainly, when i was a young individual would be released from federal custody and have to go into new york state custody come either to finish a sentence or be prosecuted. at that point, at the end of the state case, deportation would be an option. is not necessarily inclined to work with the department of homeland security, and frankly as a general matter, we will instead use the immigration detainer first. as i indicated, where jurisdictions indicate this will likely be a problem, we will talk with them and work with them. but it is an area of great concern for us, particularly an area concern for us because there is unfortunate case law that exists only in one circuit, but there is case law with a particular holding that come in certain circumstances, cities compliance with the requirement
that they provide us information may be voluntary. we are actively litigating the matter into other jurisdictions. so this matter may be unsettled for some time in the courts. we feel that a way to deal with this issue immediately and directly is to have the policy changed as well as the review of the grant program that we have been discussing. a great example, mr. chairman, the cooperative relationship that this community has had with the department of justice. i am very grateful to you. she has announced today a new policy. first of all, the department of bureau prisons will first check to see if there is a criminal alien in custody of the federal prisons, has a deportation order, and where that individual may also come in the case of san francisco, where they have a policy they are not going to honor the federal the tenor in response to the concerns of -- that this subcommittee has
suggested, the department of justice, you have changed the policy of the bureau prisons, that you will not release that individual to san francisco. you will hand them over to ice, chairman carter, so he can be deported. we thank you for the change of policy. that is very important. we also learned today the department is moving towards -- because this will be litigated forever and we cannot wait on that. the lives of callous americans depend on quick and decisive action. countlesses of americans depend on quick and decisive action. working right away to move quickly. and i will provide you those jurisdictions with policies where they will not provide information with federal authorities. they have explicit policy on the books. we can provide you with that list and you indicated you will begin an audit process to
ensure, to encourage them. because we wanted to change the policy. we are not looking to cut them off from federal money. we want to give them a chance to -- chance to change their policy. could chairman, if i suggest something. >> yes, please. what this is encouraging to hear this. but i believe the old saying of trusting and verifying -- question ronald reagan -- >> yes. if you could give us a report after a period of time here, say, four months? give us a report on hand many of these instances you have actually had success with. so that we have some way to gauge how things are going. and maybe make course corrections as we go. this is significant, a very important matter for a lot of us.
and i'd like to know is working. there's -- is that agreeable? >> i think we are all moving to an evidence-based model on a host of things. we are willing to work with you and your staff to provide you the information, both with regard to the new gop policy, which i think will be instructive, and in any instances, again, where we have allegations occur. matter goes was a into investigation, it can be referred to the inspector general aaron -- inspector general. we would not have information about the allegation available at that point. the we can work with the community to for -- to find a way to keep you informed. >> just a quarterly report for a while to see the things are going. so we would expect it she would give us a report on how things are going, as much detail as you can give us. the first quarter.
>> i think that is a good idea. with of the agreeable? -- would that be agreeable? you, sir. is happyre the country to hear that you are moving in this direction i know the grant solicitations are just coming in. the jurisdictions, local, city and state jurisdictions across the country, madam attorney general, are just beginning to send in their applications for the rear slot enforcement grants. so this is a good time for this change to kick in. for the law enforcement grants. so this is a good time for this change to kick in. i deeply appreciate your moving in this direction and we will find a way to move this in a cooperative and friendly and supportive way to ensure that these jurors actions are in compliance, that they have a chance to change their policy and try to avoid losing their
federal grant money. but if they insist, then we will .ork with you if they insist to hang on to their policy and will the chain information, don't bother applying for federal money. make sure law-enforcement communities across the country continue that close, cooperative , working relationship that has been so successful in the past. we really appreciate very much her help in this matter. >> as a ranking member, i will request the congressional five may.es, if i i just want to add my congratulations to the attorney general also. how will you respond to our questions.
i understand it is very complicated and there are a lot of different tiers that need to be considered as you move forward on this complex issue of criminal justice and civil rights and things like that that we have to face. and i, too, would look forward to seeing you at -- seeing a report. i am confident in the good judgment and laws that i expect we will be able to follow. hadink that mr. chairman touched upon some of the issues on policies and clarification and the guidelines on the sales and handling of firearms for hobbyists and those folks. i do notice that a lot of the concerns we do have a chance
been based upon the lack of resources and things like that. say, we ased to congress have been part and parcel of the providing you the appropriate resources in the past. very glad this past year that we have had an increase. i think that bodes well. all members of the subcommittee have an expectation on increasing staffing, in each precinct training -- increasing training. of this is because we are able to hire more folks to do things that is expected of your department. i see that we are making progress on sexual assault on college campuses. , there is a lot of clarification on the kinds of priorities and policies that are promulgated by the fta -- by the atf.
in terms of law enforcement hiring overall, this is an increase. so there should be an meeting some of these. and i'm glad to see cops coming back here -- coming back. i think ops have a basis for improved community and police force, relationships, that they understand working in conjunction with communities is beneficial for everybody around. we will learn a lot from them. one of the questions i wanted to formulate his around human trafficking and cyber systems and cyber stalking. bowlst finished the super in sarah clapp -- in santa clara county. the super bowl is the culmination of a lot of work done by a lot of different agencies. i noticed that each department was involved in providing
arvices to make sure we had safe environment and successful outcome of activity like super the nextch i think room will be in houston. over the alaska bolivia's in this year, we have been looking at the services as expected in terms of providing a safe environment. so i wanted to have some kind of personnel,et, assignments in such a way that you can provide those services without having to juggle the different departments. and in the next super bowl in it will be run smooth and seamlessly throughout our cancies so the congressman expect the super bowl to come out well as it did this past year.
team,t care who is in the but i hope it is the 49ers. [laughter] but the basic question is can you give us some feedback on the budgetary approach to providing the necessary resources and personnel to address the kinds of expectations that one would have been having a safe environment at the next super bowl? we have a template. we have folks who have been involved in it. i will be asking that question of every department, federal, local, state, that houston will preparation.solid whatever event that team goes to the super bowl will have a good outcome. i think the two things that are very prominent in the timing would be human trafficking and
cyber security and cyber stalking. do you have any comment relative to? yes. those two issues collide added an event like the super bowl or the olympics, if we were to hosted here. again, it would be somewhat situation. not just you, richmond, but i thank you for this of oort in human trafficking. i know it is an issue for you and your efforts have really made a difference in the lives of april area i think you and the committee for your support over the years and in this most recent budget as well. so which -- so with respect to human traffic generally, i think the request is about $89.3 million for 2017, with $45 million going to victims of , foricking program and cyber, we are asking for a total of $121 million that would increase physicians.
the fbi would receive funds to enhance their personnel and attendant money to increase doj's internal security, the ea's internal security and our grants as well. with respect to a specific event like the super bowl, i would like the opportunity to come back to you and your staff with more specific information on that. , for thei can tell you super bowl in particular, and other large events, what happens a greatunning stage is deal of coordination between the department of justice, department of homeland security, as well as the intelligence community to see if there are any national security threats. for human trafficking in particular, every u.s. attorney's office now is rick i do have a human trafficking coordinator and the -- is required to have a human trafficking coordinator and provide information on the current state of affairs
involving cases and investigations, but also things that are about to occur at large bowl, areke the super put together. super bowl was in new jersey a few years ago. when i was in the u.s. attorney's office, my office was involved with the u.s. attorney of new jersey for preparation -- in preparations for that event. the planning for how to both have law-enforcement presence and also protection for any victims that we may be able to rescue begins to occur. in terms of every agency involved, looking at the resources they would need. this is another example also how we work so well with our state and local counterparts. so much of the work in an event like that will depend of course upon working closely with local law enforcement and providing resources from fbi, from dea if we feel narcotics will be involved, and where we have had,
for example, situations where we had increased funding to our human trafficking task force is, we use the information and the intelligence gathered from them also. toppreciate the opportunity give you more specific information about a specific event. if that comes to fruition, we do have templates for have the security protocols are put together for that. we feel confident that we can take them to texas and received as warm a reception as we did in new jersey and san francisco, and making sure that the event is as safe as possible. that it is not used, and has these events often are, as a cover for illicit incidences, such as human trafficking. the human trafficking task force is "missing on these events months before they come to fruition. and specific plans are set in place, specific operational plans are put in place. >> thank you. and my thanks to the chairman for helping us putting into law
the establishment of human trafficking survivors advisory, which is going to be very help all. also look forward to hanging out with the chairman when that event comes around. it will be a lot of fun. i wasn't at the super bowl. i was at the command center watching the other stuff. >> i would be happy to have you. >> three very specific questions. the bureau prison staff is down by $3 million. 300plans to hire over positions in fy 17, we have heard some concerns about some of the prison locals, the employees about the use of augmentation and what that means
for their own security and their own operational abilities. can you provide some perspective on the decrease of the funding in -- funding request, what that means for hiring and these of augmentation? -- with respect to the bureau of prisons, we discussed that with i think mr. rogers. the budget numbers are certainly lower than the request for last year. again, we did receive a $444 million in construction funds that we did not need to ask for again this year. the amount may be lower but those funds are being used to alleviate overcrowding and building the new positions. so the operation of bureau prisons are not being cut. our role numbers are going to be requesting not only additional new positions, but additional funding to some or those in positions. a lotof new positions will be in correctional area, but they also will be in
the mental health area. this is a problem that is cutting through all of our prisons to it is a role in that i hear from my state local colleagues also. dealing with individuals who present these issues raise concerns for the inmates and for officers. >> the reliance on augmentation though, to what extent are you relying on that compared to even more than the 336 positions that may be hired? >> can you give us some context? >> in terms of reassigning duties of individuals to support those full-time security officers at facilities. we hear from several prison locals about the concern of using employees that perhaps are not as trained or at least well trained in certain specific tasks within the prison system, that they are being asked to fill in for those duties. it has raised concerns for security for some of the prison locals. >> i don't have information for
you at this time. but we can have staff talk to you and provide you some information for eight years i will say i have had -- 48. i will say i have had a chance to meet with the officers of the bureau prisons. their concerns are very important to me. they do impact safety throughout the institution. federal prison industries, the program that work in thees to production of supply goods for other federal agencies in return for a stipend. what is the maturity of the program?is there additional capacity ? are there other saving for additional departments relying on this? what is the state of play for federal prison industries? >> think you for asking. it is one of the ways in which we can not only provide our inmates with job training and
job skills, but also help their into the community. we have had employers connecting with the federal industry and finally they receive not only well-trained individuals but incredibly loyal people who appreciate being given a chance to become productive members of society. we are very supportive of that. general, a federal prison industries provides a wide array of services. frankly, the department of defense is a huge purchaser of our products. they have been very pleased with their product as well. it is no longer mandatory to use them, but we are encouraging our fellow agencies to consider them. we are looking to actively partner with other agencies to help in that effort. with respect to the current state of the operation, we are very pleased to know we recently brought in a new ceo on board it
comes with 20 years of experience in the private industry. he is very excited about the prospect of rebuilding this a great program. frankly, enhancing this great program. tremendously looking forward to working with him as well. >> i want to give him a question and. i look forward to working with your department. we provided language of last year's bill regarding digital rights management. come icontent management know there have been incidents including the last calendar year where the identity of fbi agents was released. if you could just provide some perspective on where the department is with secure content management. plans going for neither in your budget, or on those needs. loretta lynch: with respect to that issue, it is very important to us because you mentioned the release of personal information
for anyone, the citizens, or someone in law -- who is a law enforcement officer. certainly with our enforcement officers, that is enhanced. we are involved in prosecuting individuals who have released information at the behest of designated terrorist organizations. it is something that we take very seriously. with respect to the cyber budget over all, we have a larger number in their. i would note that in that we are requesting for $26.4 million to own cyber doj's security environment. also, to bolster literally the physical security of our systems. a are all -- i refer to number of other agencies -- we are dealing with the greatest of last century's technology. well put together, well aretained, but systems
approaching end of life. systems are changing. of maintaining the systems are growing. the department of justice is committed to this. looking to ways to ensure we have the most efficient services possible is included in this budget request. >> come move quickly on outside vendors. i serve on the v.a. committee. this is a huge issue when it comes to scheduling. there isr not commercial off the shelf availability that could we be an environment that continues to so rapidly change and create vulnerabilities everyday. is there a balance between what you're doing in-house and relying on solutions out there today in corporate america? certainly try we to find that balance. we are allowed to use a variety of vendors if they meet those needs. the process can be somewhat lengthy. it is there for a reason. good example of all
the issues we're discussing. i look forward to working with you to ensure that the department of justice can also be in that stream of improving our technological capacity. , congressman, we can use up products depends on the system we're talking about. certainly, when it comes to case management, for example, managing data for the lawyers who are litigating cases -- there are several excellent programs were able to incorporate into the department of justice system. when it comes to managing secure data, our national security data, they are not. there are just fewer options. a lot of it will depend on the type of system we're talking about. i want to recognize our ranking member, the gentlelady from new york. >> i like to join my colleagues
in welcoming our attorney general here with us today. i apologize, but the secretary of state was next store. -- next door. we're moving efficiently and i hope effectively. thank you so much. i have a question regarding the proposed in the president's budget. the budget request includes funding for additional atf agents to help investigate gun and strengthen the firearms background check system to ensure that firearms are not inadvertently sold to persons legally prohibited from obtaining one. in addition, they are requesting funding to improve the national integrated holistic's information network. congressers of often express opposition to new gun restrictions by saying that we need to do a better job.
that is enforcing the gun laws already on the books. isn't it fair to say that the budget initiative that you are requesting, fiscal 2017, are designed to do exactly what so many in congress said they want to do? that is, to enforce the gun laws that are already on the books by helping state, local, and federal law enforcement prevent apprehend andand prosecute those that violate firearm laws? loretta lynch: thank you for the question. certainly as the department of justice was looking at the recommendations to make to the president most recently, our mandate was exactly that. existing firearms laws, determining how it could best martial and leverage department resources to better protect the american people within that framework. as you noted, we have taken some
steps. we have requests for atf funding that could increase resources. it would allow us to bring on additional personnel, 80 of which would be agents, 120 would be industry investigators. that would support a new review engaged in who are the business of dealing firearms. the special agents who would be working on violent crime issues, trafficking cases, and the like. they would enhance our efforts in reducing violent crime across the country. certainly, the network has been of great use to law enforcement over the years. the sharing of information the state and local level about ballistics being used in crime has been extremely successful. the other initiative we propose would enhance our ability to
detect a when guns are lost or stolen in transit to much earlier. they tend to be used in crimes. we have seen that. in terms of firearms recovered from crime scenes post of having the ability to start those investigations earlier would enhance public safety. indeed, the recommendations we made are designed to tackle these difficult issues of both violent crime and also keeping guns out of the hands of those who are not authorized to have them. at the same time, strengthening the background check system so that the licensed dealers who rely on those checks have the best and most efficient system that they need. individuals who are also relying on that system as they go through a routine firearm transaction will have the best and most efficient system. lowey: i appreciate you mentioning the system.
i want to follow up on that issue. we know the current the law prohibits individuals from buying a gun because of a mental health issue. they could either be danger to themselves, or others and unable to manage that own affairs. the social security administration has indicated it will begin the rulemaking process to ensure that the national criminal background check system receives all appropriate information on the tens of thousands of persons who have found each year to have a documented mental health issue, received disability benefits, and are unable to manage those benefits because of mental impairment. if you could just to give us an update on this effort? including the justice department's efforts to assist the social security administration and help to ensure that person with serious mental impairments do not have access to firearms.
loretta lynch: thank you, thatesswoman, portrays important question was a lot law does prohibit individuals with certain types of mental illnesses from being able to purchase firearms. there are very specific delineations of the adjudication for required to meet that. every federal agency is required to provide information to the system that would assist it in being as complete as possible. the social security administration is engaging in this rulemaking so that they ,an, in fact, produce a clear legally consistent definition of which type of individuals involving their mental health would be required to be turned over to the system. withepartment's role, as all rulemaking, is to provide legal assistant and clarity. they will craft to the rule.
it will go out for public comment. those comments are received back. the relevant agency, in this case ssa, will provide a response before any will will be promulgated. it is designed to make sure that the individuals who fall into that category are those that are clearly connected to the legal prohibition against being able to buy, or maintain, if iran. -- a firearm. >> thank you come mr. chairman. -- thank you, mr. chairman. i think you could figure out a i am the chairman of homeland security appropriations committee by the combination of the chairman is to be canted investigate criminals and illegal aliens. as the chief law enforcement officer, you must do your part.
the past few years you requested and received funding for immigration justice. you, these are courts use 99% of the time by foreigners seeking immigration benefits, yet still we fund them to taxpayer dollars. why are we not placing these immigration judges on the border? wait -- wait times increase. why does my staff report to the city and immigration hearings we see case after case of administratively closed allowing thousands. would you like to answer those questions? loretta lynch: thank you for raising this important issue. managing the immigration caseload has become increasingly challenging for all of us.
the border,ed at those of us involved in prosecuting the case is that arrived, the department of homeland security. as they deal with notches notrtation but managing -- just deportation, but also managing. thank you for your commitment to that issue as well. with respect to our immigration we have received increases over the last two years for the hiring of immigration judges. let me thank this committee for recognizing the need for hiring more immigration judges and expressing the department's appreciation for your support with that. certainly, with respect to the total officer immigration reform, we are in fact requesting additional funding. we have brought the judges on board, we are in the process of hiring more and using the funds that were provided to us. the additional funds is to make sure those judges are up and running.
and are often long waits, crowded court. we're using the additional theing request to support infrastructure for those judges. we want to be responsible with our request and fully integrate those judges and continuing hiring with the money we already received. with respect to the border, we have tried to be flexible. within the last year, or so, it may have pleaded it a bit of my time. as you will recall, we have waves of individuals coming across the border at different times. the composition of the groups will change. when we had large numbers of unaccompanied children, and very young people, for the department of justice did was temporarily reassign the immigration judges to the border area to handle the influx of cases. we look forward to continuing to be responsive in that way.
so the weekend apply judges to those areas where their colleagues would be overwhelmed. judges thatontinue were hired last year will go a long way towards that. i believe we have additional hiring planned it with the money already appropriated. we feel that we can be flexible. we look forward to continuing to be flexible. if there were to be a crisis again, not on the border but maybe the northwest border. we would, again, use that flexibility to make sure we could staff those judicial offices. that is how we would tend to deal with that. we are requesting additional funding so we can bring on board the judges. >> than the last four months, we've had a sudden drop-off, but
our numbers have gone right back .p to 25,000 or 30,000 it is really unusual at this time of the year, for those of us that it lived in texas and know what goes on at the border. it gets cold, people don't go across the river. when it gets warm, people go across the river. it is pretty simple. -- it istion is contrary to what we would expect. them before an immigration judge, there then picked up by an of the federal agency and transported god knows where in the united states for stomach and be other way to maine, or washington state, or florida.
are, most of the 41117 years old. 14-17 years old. we have to fix that. i know you are trying. you asked for more money for judges. , personally, will give it to you. i want a real hearing, not an agency of bureaucrats. thank you for what you are doing. i personally will be on your side. loretta lynch: thank you, sir. >> i recognize the gentleman from new york. mr. serrano. serrano: congratulations on being our attorney general. when i first came from puerto boy, i started
paying attention to what was being discussed in my house. it was at the beginning of the civil rights movement. both movements had something in common, which was voting rights. in our case, it was whether we took a test in english or in spanish. that was settled by the courts. know,, many of us, as you have felt we are making it harder for people to vote, not easier. it brings me to the question of what happened with the assistance commission. they said you can't ask for citizenship. that has always troubled me. in my case, and so many other people, we don't walk around with proof that we are citizens. that is just the way that it is. this voting card is probably -- my congressional voting card -- is probably the only proof on me
that i am a citizen. we would assume that all members of congress are citizens. that is it. roleestion to you, what does the justice department playing on that particular issue, with that commissioner from the elections commission? toyou feel he had a right write that letter? what in general are we doing to protect people's rights to vote. it seems to me that at this time , and the history of our country, to be fighting the voting rights issue all over again is a very sad state of affairs. loretta lynch: with respect to the specific case you raised, it is currently in litigation. typically, it is the department's responsibility to represent federal agencies. we advise on our client agencies on the applicable laws and issues raised by their actions.
with respect to this case, it is currently litigation for some cannot give you specifics on that. e judge will hold a hearing seem to review whether or not there is a legal basis for certain actions. i will leave that the matter there. with respect to voting rights generally, it is one of the department priorities to make sure that we fully enforce all of the relevant and applicable laws. certainly, there have been changes in those laws recently. preclearance is no longer an option or tool that we have. it does not diminish the department's resolve and commitment when the issues are brought to us. where there could be evidence of irregularity or issues arising later in the process of starting investigations and working there . i would note this is an important issue in the field.
with respect to the u.s. attorney community also, they're concerned about the local level. focused on that. we are very committed to protecting the right to vote for all americans. exercisede that it is in as free and open a way as possible. we provide the guidance to states, some do come to us and ask us questions about changes. we will consult with them, and have had heard positive dialogues on the specific issues about the best way in which to andre an open right to vote went to litigate those issues, also. we will then let a court decide where we feel the right to vote is being infringed upon in a way that is inconsistent with the values of this country. that is that every american gets to participate in this great
democracy. we bring those actions as well. errano: i know you can't comment on litigation. are you at liberty to, whether it is true or not that the justice department has asked the judge for a stay on the issue on the elections commission? loretta lynch: i think the pleadings have been filed now. i think the plaintiffs did ask the court -- i think the matter is under consideration now. mr. serrano: thank you. >> i appreciate very much you focusing on making sure that every american has the right to vote. that means eligible. i deeply appreciate that. that you also depend -- and defend federal agencies and on there will be elections commission. i think that is very important. i want to recognize mr. kilmer,
then i believe we will wrap up. kilmer: i'm thankful the president established a task force on 21st century policing. to provide a roadmap to build trust and incorporate best practices to reduce crime. madew that the task force several recommendations that tqre specific to the lgb community, and making sure everyone is safe. the department has taken a lead on promoting the adoption of those best practices. i was hoping you could give an update on how that is coming, and with the strategy is for getting these measures adopted nationwide. loretta lynch: this is an important area. essentially an area in which some of our most vulnerable citizens have often either felt that police protection did not extend to reluctance towere
seek police protection because they viewed it would not receive it. it is also an area that when i talk to law enforcement they don't want anyone feeling that you can't call on an officer for help. provideave tried to guidance. we've tried to provide training another deal with individuals in this vulnerable situation. traininged to provide to deal with individuals who present issues of gender identity so that police officers have the training they need to recognize the issues that come from that. ranging from booking, to housing, for example. so, one of the things that we have done is -- i mentioned in an earlier response -- we have recently released to guidance on sexual assault and domestic violence. this focused on identifying and preventing gender bias in law enforcement's response. closely withlted
state and local law enforcement. both through their experiences and the questions that they had. it does identify and recommend practices that will help law enforcement agencies develop this -- best practices. not just additionally domestic violence against women and sometimes men, but also the lgbtq community, to recognize those and to respond to those individuals. it also seeks to make sure we have ways to connect law verycement with a important part of the community when it comes to all types of domestic violence. that is, other agencies and resources often community couldces for ngo's provide support for victims of domestic and sexual violence. : with the time i have left him i represent a district
that has a large navy base. i think i represent more military veterans than almost anybody in this place. i feel very lucky about that. i fundamentally believe if you serve, we should have your back. my states human rights commission has had, to me, a surprising amount of instances where veterans to voice concerns around housing or employment discrimination. i know the civil rights division under your jurisdiction deals with those issues. i want to get a sense whether it is properly resourced to deal with the needs of service members and veterans in this regard. and what sort of demand are you seeing for those services? loretta lynch: i will say that i certainly agree with you that we all our veterans the greatest support when they return home. be it an issue of health or services for the all-important right to vote when they're also stationed overseas.
one of the things we do in the civil rights division is have a very active practice of making sure that services overseas have the information they need to know how to vote. and that that particular right is the sum of just about more other issue. we do in for service of the federal laws that do help them return to their workforce when i come home from the military duty. also, we've seen a number of disturbing cases that involve financial exploitation of our service members. both of their coming and try to seek housing, and also on active duty. we have seen some unfortunate instances where that have of fraud is growing. that is the manner of grave concern to me. we also have issues with many of our service members returning injured. some of these are visible, some are not visible. with aents them disability that gives them
special needs in terms of housing, and employment. we take very seriously our responsibility to defend their right to those reasonable accommodations as well. currently, the fy 27 budget -- 2017 budget allocates resources that will help the civil rights cases. we also have a service members initiative at the department of justice that is led by my outstanding associate attorney general. it really has been inching mentally making sure we at the department look at all of the issues that our service members present. mention the fraud cases growing. the criminal division as well. we are trying to look at all of the issues presented by our service members and be responsive. mr. kilmer,berson: thank you most of committee members, thank you.
lynch, i wantal to thank you for your service to the country and keeping us all safe. and for your corroborative relationship with this community -- committee. it is deeply appreciated. making sure americans can sleep soundly at night knowing that the department of justice and their state law enforcement officers are working together to protect themselves and their families. the hearing is adjourned. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
>> tomorrow, the house foreign affairs committee holds a meeting on the state department budget with john kerry present. that is on c-span3 and www.c-span.org. >> c-span's campaign 2016 is taking on the road to the white house. saturday's the south carolina democratic primary. our live coverage begins at 7:30 eastern. also get your reaction to your phone calls and tweets. join us saturday for live coverage on c-span, c-span radio, and www.c-span.org. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] >> every election cycle we are reminded how important it is for citizens to be informed. to me, c-span is a home for political junkies and a way to track the government as it
happens. > it is a great way for us to stay informed. >> there are a lot of c-span fans on the hill. >> it to make sure people outside the beltway know what is going on inside of it. >> senate republican leaders have said there will be no confirmation hearing for any supreme court nominee, from the obama administration. president obama talked about this up and put vacancy and the confirmation process. this is 10 minutes. >> that they are not planning to hold hearings whatsoever. president obama: the constitution says that i nominate candidates for the supreme court when there is a vacancy.