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tv   Attorney General Loretta Lynch Testimony on Fiscal Year 2017 Budget  CSPAN  February 27, 2016 10:00am-12:07pm EST

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picture. we will not be any better off under hillary clinton that we are today under barack obama. in one of the democratic debates, barack obama also had support of wall street wealth and that is why we, as african-americans, have not made much progress. look at the big picture. host: we will leave it there. that concludes our chauffeur today. stay tuned tomorrow. we will be bringing you molly o'toole, talking about the plan theclose that facility -- facility at guantanamo bay. we will also be speaking with -skinner.regor we will also speak with tim
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higgins who recently wrote about donald trump and his overseas investments. that is it for today. see you tomorrow. ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> next, attorney general loretta lynch testifies before a house committee about the justice department's 2017 budget request. then, live at noon, republican presidential candidate john kasich holds a town hall meeting in nashville, tennessee. campaign 2016 is take you on the road to the white house. today is the south carolina democratic primary. our live coverage begins at 7:00
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andern with hillary clinton bernie sanders. we will also get your reactions. join us today. >> on wednesday, attorney general loretta lynch testified before a house panel about her departments 2017 budget request. she also talked about president obama's plan to close the andlity at guantanamo bay improving relations between communities and law enforcement. this is just over two hours.
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>> 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
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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 in uniform make on behalf of our great country. in fiscal year 2017, we will work to ensure that the department of justice has the resources that it needs to do its job, not only enforcing our 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
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that cooperation and ensure that money that is hard-earned that 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
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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, ensuring that 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.
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>> 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 are thankful for the thousands of hard-working men and women at the department of justice to 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
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of the law enforcement agencies and protecting the american people. especially among the most vulnerable among us. i'm pleased that the president's budget provides for a healthy increase for what has been a relatively stagnant department of justice. i think we all agreed the mission of the department is and thatto our country they have the resources it needs effectively enforce our nation's laws. with that, i've want to thank you again for joining us this morning. i look forward to hearing your testimony and response to questions from the members of our subcommittee. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. honda. madame attorney general, you are recognized for your opening
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statement. if we could, i'd encourage you to keep your statement to five minute, summarize, and that will give us additional time for questions. again welcome. , we look forward to hearing your opening statement. we will proceed. thank you. madame lynch: thank you. it is an honor to appear before you today. i'm 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 every american deserves. in the last year, thanks to the thousands of dedicated men and women who served the department of justice and thanks to the ongoing support of the distinguished committee, we have
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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 our natch really resources. we've also worked to end human trafficking, to disrupt the flow of illegal drugs and weapons, and to eradicate international corruption. we've created new opportunities for second chances in our justice 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. the president's budget would invest an additional $781 million in the national security capabilities. including critical measures to address radicalism and sophisticated encryption. that request contains funds for a new, state-of-the-art fbi headquarters which would reduce insufficiently and streamline streamlineencies and
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communication and significantly boost our ability to thwart terrorists threat. it invest for $63 million intelligence-sharing capabilities. this would allow us to more ally coordinate with the central partners and the counterparts overseas. it is a direct $38 million for the tools that we need for encrypted data and communication so we can investigate and prosecutor criminals and terrorists to attempt to hide the evidence of their crimes. as we've seen recently, this is not a theoretical issue. as we've made clear the going dark problem is a very real threat to law enforcement's mission to protect public safety and ensure that criminals are caught and held accountable. it is a long standing principle in the justice system if an 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
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search for that evidence. if the government needs the assistance of third parties to ensure that the search is actually conducted, judges all over the country and on the supreme court have said that those parties must assist if it is reasonably within their powers to do so. that's what we've been asking. we owe it to the victims and public whose safety we must protect to fully investigate terrorists attacks on american soil. as technology continues to evolve, we're also focused on 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 2017 budget would dedicate $121 million in additional resources to investigating cybercrimes and fortifying the justice department's vital information
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networks. the majority of our resources, $85 million, will be used to enhance the fbi's ability and capacity to collect and analyze digital evidence and to increase the overall number of cyber investigations. together this important funding will allow us to keep pace with the fast-changing landscape of cybercrime. now our commitment to protecting the american people is matched by our dedication to ensure that they benefit from a criminal justice system that is fair, efficient, and responsive. the fy 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 initiative, which encouraging alternatives to incarceration for the non-violent. a portion with go to the portion would go to the
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bureau of prisons the entry rehabilitation and mental health programming. which are essential components to help formerly incarcerated individuals 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. they require bonds of trust and 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 $25 million and an number of programs designed to foster collaboration between residents and law enforcement, including racial reconciliation and data collection.
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it includes additional funds for the smart policing program, which encouraging local jurisdictions to improve police-citizen interactions while developing cost-effective solutions to crime in their communities. it enlarges our investment in the community-orientated policing services hiring program which extends funding to state and local departments to hire or retain officers so that they can continue to meet the full range of their constituents' needs. those of us who work in law enforcement have a special responsibility to protect the most vulnerable among us. few crimes prey more on the vulnerable than human trafficking. which destroys families, weakens communities, and erodes the basic foundations of decency and security. the fy 2017 budget sets aside $89.3 million for the departments efforts to combat the scourge, including $45 million for efforts to help victims of trafficking rebuild their live and reclaim their futures. $89.3 million for the department's effort to combat
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this scourge, including $45 million for efforts to help victims of trafficking rebuild their lives and reclaim their futures. we are also resolved that each and every one of our young people should grow up in safety and security, which is why the budget includes a net increase over $64 million for office of justice program grants focused on juvenile justice and at-risk youth, including an increase of $25 million for the delinquency prevention program which seeks to prevent young people from entering the criminal justice system by providing assistance and guidance as early as possible. mr. chairman, ranking member, i look forward to working with this committee and with congress to secure the timely passage of the president's budget, which ises for a total of $29 billion in discretionary funding for the department including $27 billion for federal programs and $2 billion for state, local, and tribal assistance programs.
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this level of funding will ensure that the outstanding men and women of the department of justice whom i am so proud to lead can continue their tireless work to protect america's citizens, to defend america's values, and strengthen america's communities in the days and months ahead. i thank you once again for the opportunity to appear before you today and i'm happy to answer any questions. thank you, mr. chairman and mr. ranking member. >> thank you very much. madam attorney general, there's been a lot of concern expressed by our constituents and citizens across the country about proposal just released yesterday that the department of defense released to close the military detention facility at guantanamo bay that holds 91 detainees and as you know in the fiscal year 2016 appropriations act for the department of justice it includes two very specific provisions that prohibit funds
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from being used to transfer, release, or assist in the transfer of detainees to the united states or its territories and that prohibits the department of justice from acquiring, or modifying any facility in its territories to house the detainees and i want to reassure the country and the congress. would you agree the federal government is prohibited from establishing such facilities and from transferring guantanamo detainees into the united states or its territories? >> thank you, mr. chairman. that is the state of the law most recently passed in the ndaa and certainly as it respects the department's appropriations. we also do not participate in any efforts to do so. i believe the president's plan reflects the administration's ongoing goal to close guantanamo bay because of the ongoing problems it causes our country particularly abroad as a terrorist recruiting center and certainly in our national
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security work we do see the effects of that. the administration is committed to closing that and, of course, we support those efforts. i would note that the administration is committed to working with congress to make that happen and certainly in light of the current statutory framework we anticipate that is what will occur. so, if there's anything we can do, we'll help in that regard. >> you won't take any action of any kind to assist in the transfer of guantanamo detainees into the united states until congress changes the law. >> certainly that we would be prohibited from doing so. i'm not aware of any efforts to do so at this time in any event. . >> thank you very much. in january the obama administration announced new executive action dealing with americans right to keep and bear arms and that's a source of great concern to americans across the country. certainly the second amendment is an absolute right guaranteed to all americans and as the subcommittee chairman it's
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highly important that i'll do everything in my power to ensure that that right to keep and bear arms is protected. i was particularly concerned about the guidance on firearms on licensing that was published as part of this executive action. and i wanted to ask in particular if the guidance -- will the guidance in any way impact or affect hobbyists who may engagejsqk in just ordinary lawful transfers. >> thank you for the question, mr. chairman, and i agree with you it's a very important issue and worthy of debate. the guidance recently published by atf which will be distributed at gun shows and individuals who have questions about whether or not they are required to obtain a license to sell 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 this issue. so, that individuals who have those questions, who routinely
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come to atf, either the atf booths at gun shows or frankly even by calling atf headquarters, will be able to have at their fingertips an outline of what the current law requires and, of course, the current law does contain the exception if one is a hobbyist or a collector, you are not engaged in the business of dealing with firearms and a license is not required for those types of transfers. similarly if one is a family member or giving a gift, again, a license is not required for those types of transfers. >> terrific. that's what i'm aiming at. i want to make sure people listening if you are a hobbyist or you are transer iffing a gun to a family member as part of an inheritance or a gift if you are a hobbyist or collector you don't need to worry about this new guidance. >> that is correct. i would encourage people to look at the guidance because what we've tried to do is have clear examples of the typical situations where activities fall within the category of being engaged in the business and also
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where they typically fall in the category of a hobbyist transfer, a collector's transfer and i think people will see in those examples the types of everyday activities that are typically not covered by the law that requires them to get a license and would distinguish them from those individuals who are engaged in the business. >> to family members or buy and sell them casually or occasionally, they're not on your radar screen. >> what i would say while that is generally the case, weapons their livelihood, they hold themselves out and have a business card, for example. they may go to not each a gun
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show, but even a flea market. the courts held that individuals can you engaged in the business. these are generally individuals who want to comply with the law. we felt it would be helpful to provide them with clear examples where the courts found that individuals are engaged in a dealing in firearms and provide the assistance to respect them. the number of guns is not the only factor. the only job is the selling of firearms. the courts found that also. as much as i enjoy that, they can seek out the cases and try to find what the courts said about the situations and we felt
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it would be useful to gather the situation in one clear easily understandable format. >> i know it went through your office as well, but they can relax unless you are doing it to make a profit. for all of us. we appreciate your answer. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. last year we dealt with sexual assault and today they estimated the rape kits are still collecting dust in the law enforcement across the country. we have the technology and the
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means to process them, but we must have adequate resources to occur to exist the rape kit backlogs. it reduces this nationwide. that is included in fy 15. the president has 17 points to request another for the program. are there best practices that have come out of this so far and would you share with us the communities that share the progress. >> you are correct in noting the current budget includes $41 million for a grant program to ensure the resolution of the sexual assault cases to get the kids tested that have never been
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committed to crime labs and the numbers across the country that are staggering. 10,000 in some cities and 11,000 in other cities. these represent victims and individual women who suffered one of the most heinous crimes that we can. with respect to this, we have funded the different laboratories who were working with a dna-related backlog. we are looking to enhance that. since 2009 we have been working with the effort and the program as a result of just this work alone. over a quarter of a million and we got almost 100,000 hits so far. 92,000. we have expected the information
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from the rape kit with someone already in the system. this allowed us to close the cases. it allowed us to close cases and investigations. i was privileged to be in new york with the vice president announcing that in conjunction with the district attorney, at the same time we received communication that money that the federal government provided and they were allowing them to close open rape cases and provide comfort to the victims who were living without knowing if they would ever find justice. >> as we proceed, it would be good to know the progress being
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made. the impact if they are tested. it is being denied the justice systems that are the process. very important that we could be kept up to date. >> we will do that. >> on parts of the victims of crimes, native americans are 2.5 times more likely to experience violent crimes and pribs have not received the funds from the crime victim's funds. only 16 states passed through totalling 25% or 1/2 of 1%. that request of $25 million to supports them from the crime
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victim's funds saw that. you can describe how that will anticipate helping with crime victims services of. >> yes, thank you for the opportunity to talk about this important work. we take obligations very seriously and we have a trust relationship with tribal nations, a special obligation and a special bond and a commitment that we look forward to enhancing. we are requesting $25 million for tribal assistance. the other that connects that works with the tribal purposes is requesting $71 million in the set aside program and the cops program and we are requesting
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three million and we have found that it's respectful if they have the same access to the system and computerized crime information as other law enforcement agencies to address environmental problems in indian country and money for the office of tribal justice. we are focused on the victim who is tend to be more often women and children, particularly sexual call the victims. that includes children as well. funding will go to counseling them to make sure the prerp traitors are caught. as i'm sure they are aware, in the violence against women act, an amendment allowed the tribal nations for the first time to
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have jurisdictions. this prevented justice for a number of victims. we are including grant money to help law enforcement agencies and courts with the court programs to focus on prosecuting as well. s it's or hope and intend to deal with crime on indian land with a view towards dealing with victim trauma and strengthening the tribal justice systems that allow for prosecution of those crimes on the reservation. >> the sexual assault issue, is there any country or are the programs and fundings, are they in indian country?
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>> yes, indeed. >> thank you, mr. chairman. my apologies for being delayed on the floor. i missed part of your opening statement. oi couple questions this morning. i work closely with the local law enforcement leadership in florida. as i think many members of this panel and other members heard when the memo went out in december with some of the requests, that created a lot of person and consternation among law enforcement. i'm aware of the we sigz requests that came through and my understanding that we had a constructively meeting about a month ago. it's that the department anticipates the sharing of the
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forfeiture program. can you comment on your perspective on where that is and when it might be restarted? >> thank you for the opportunity to address this issue. it has been one of great concern to our state and local colleagues and to those of us in the department of justice who rely approximate them heavily for the important work they do in the task forces. if you look at the task forces throughout the department of justice law enforcement agencies, they are 50 to sometimes 60% local law enforcement because they have the 3we69 information and we found it to be a helpful partnership and that saved lives and built cases. when the recisions were given to the department late last year, of an amount greater than anticipated, that was larger than we anticipated or received before. we were forced to suspend those payments. i have been in contact with the leaders of the law enforcement
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groups including police as well as the national sheriffs groups to discuss the situation with them and advise them as i am happy to advise you, this is a temporary deferral of payments. we an sis pate through the course of the work over the year, the fund will be able to be replenished in an amount to resume the payments. we promised an update on a monthly basis and a promise to update this body by mid-march as well. we are looking at the fund to make sure as we look at the obligation that is it sustains to victims, et cetera, that we have the title start the payments. it is our intent and we have meat the request to remain and continue submitting requests to process them as funds are
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available. we have made sure that they are aware that even though the equitable sharing is temporarily deferred from the joint payments, they have not been. so much of that money goes to support the overtime and we are prioritizing those and in the immediate term, they will be able to cover the expenses. we asked them to continue and i have received commitments that they will continue working with us. >> i appreciate that answer and i suppose for the record and i want to work constructivelily with ow this and your team. i think there is a bit of 2k3wr5e789 because it was larger than anticipated. this committee provided
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plexibility as to when you could execute the recision. while i look forward to working in a constructively manner, i want to make sure they stay on top of ensuring it is restarted. that some of the decisions were not made for political purposes and the best judgment of the department. they could have been held off for several months and perhaps prevented a delay. the end of the day, we appreciate the partnership between local law enforcement and your department. it is critical to many communities in the area of human trafficking which has been a priority of yours and i thank you for that. i'm about out of time, but i would ask one more question. if you could provide your perspecti perspective. it is a department of defense program, but it has been a program that in some ways has
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been under scrutiny from the top of the president of the us on down. could you provide the perspective in terms of the role they troid in everything is law enforcement or concerns about it. >> this has been a topic of concern over the last year since i have been here, the opportunity to talk about it again with the state and local colleagues and sheriffs about this issue and i'm sure the group is aware, they did issue on the acquisition on the equipment using federal funds. those using other funds would not have to deal with the guidelines, but the focus was on making sure that the equipment was not only appropriately sourced, but training was provided for thement in.
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we see great fen fit of having that partnership where state and local law enforcement and police officers and sheriffs can'ts can obtain equipment. there have been operations and they help the swat teams that are sourced and resourced and we want to make sure the appropriate training is set in place and the equipment is accounted for. where federal funds were involved to come up with a list that would at least in the administration's view would meet neats and deal with the issues of overuse of equipment by can'ts that were not as well trained as others and rather than being in the sense of
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protecting the community and s.w.a.t.-type situations was used in ways that inflamed tensions. i had an ongoing dialogue about this program. it's our hope that as we work through it, they will find they can still obtain the equipment they need and the grants, for example. it can be put to good effective use without the unintended consequences of having the open program that existed before. >> i appreciate that. i know the chairman came in and i would offer for consideration, i shared with the folks in the white house as well. my approach is simple. it keeps the program in place, but requires local law
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enforcement to certify they have personnel claimed. that is most appropriate for law enforcement in their hands, but it requires the training to ensure that any equipment is operated within the mission. thank you, mr. chairman. ó# over my time and i yield my time and i yield >> the former district attorney, mr. rogers. >> thanks for the recognition of a former life. joy is not the word. appreciated my time and your being totals 29.5 billion, a 3%
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increase. this committee has a support for the men and women are law enforcement. it highlights important programs, the budget doesn't reflect the real budget constraints that we are faced with. and we look forward to meeting the challenge we have together. that being said, let me mention a couple of concerns that i have especially. i am disappointed that you proposed to slash the grants. i heard from law enforcement about the flexible program to drug enforcement activities.
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that would be devastating for my state and local partners as we work collaboratively to address the olympic yoid epidemic facing the country. we are losing 100 people a day to that. and speaking of opioids, i also am concerned that you are cutting money from the drug monitoring program. it may seem insignificant, but that's nearly 8% of the funding of that program. that's why our states are able to catch people who are abusing prescriptions. i can't imagine you want to do any kind of harm to that kind of program. it has been extremely successful. every state has a program except
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one. they are coming around, but they are slow. it works. it reduced prescription abuse in 49 states. yet you are trying to shave it away. there is progress to be made. this is part of the solution to the epidemic facing our country. 100 families a day are losing a member to death. that at one time was leading the way. i rate going to the emergency rooms and seeing a dead young teenager with the family surrounding it. this program is critical to stopping just that. i appreciate you telling me what you are going to do about it.
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now in each state they're learning to link up with each other. so if a person in kentucky goes off to ken see, they pick it up and say they have a problem. we are getting operability and making it realtime. it has been days of delay, but we have a real thing going. i hope you can help us. i'm concerned with the suspension of equitable sharing payments from the for fiddure program. those funds are essential. it helps fight drug trafficking and the wen and women are your partners and working side by
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side with federal agents and must find a way to restore the payments to avoid permanent harm. that is critical. i can't believe the action of the department in regard to it. also troubled by the approval of marijuana legalization efforts around the country. a clear violation of federal law. four states and the national's capital legalized use of this drug without any federal response. state offing aside the fact that marijuana is a known gateway drug for young people and the effects on the development is unknown. congress makes the laws of the
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country. the executive branch enforces the laws. you are tasked with enforcing federal law as the national's chief law enforcement officer and i hope you will see that as an opportunity to fulfill your mandate given to you in this ward. >> we thank you for being here and i want to ask you about prison construction and ov overcrowding that pose a significant problem. in overcrowded facilities, they have the workplace training and the risk of disease increases. that poses a significant threat
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to guards who are vastly outnumbered by inmates. it is dangerous in medium and high security inmates where the majority are serving sentences for violent crimes. with this in mind, i am concerned to see your request with the funding by a whopping $117 million. nearly 80% at a time of such need of these crowded federal penitentiaries. it's a headline in tomorrow's newspaper. the overcrowding in federal prisons. and the treatment we are subjecting them to including guards and staff. that's going to be a story. i hope you will help keep it from being a story.
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how do you intend to deal with the short-term problem of prisoner and guard safety in necessary resources to build new equalities and renovate old? can you help me? >> thank you for the student to speak on what you described on one of the challenges on the bouro of prisons that is not immune from that. i thank you for your support over the years. this committee was instrumental up to and including 2016 for providing the department with funds. and those funds are going to build a new prison and i believe it's going to be in the county.
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that is certainly an important part of reducing the issues as you note the officer and inmate safety. they are certainly implicated by that. the reason is we did receive that money and we guilt the prison and do the studies and we didn't need that to recur. they are being put to good use as we speak. the fact that you do not see that same number repeated is not a cessation of commitment. simply that having been given the funds, we are now working towards utilizing them and would not ask for the same funds
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again. that's going to help us tremendously with that. the other initiatives we have in dealing with the bureau of prisons as you mentioned, the overcrowding issues result not only in harm, but exacerbation of health issues for the inmates. you mentioned mental health and you will see that to deal with the issues also. where we can deal with the issues, we will have safer institutions for the inmates and the correctional officers who work there. >> thank you and thanks for being with us. i share the chairman's concerns about olympic yoid abuse and hit a number of communities in my neck of the woods. i have a lot of rural communities and small towns.
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i understand the need to balance prevention and treatment and enforcement to stop the spread here. i know the office of justice programs provides grant funding for state and local law enforcement assistance, i am hoping you can speak to how the funds are distribute and whether communities like the ones i'm talking about, rural and small towns, whether they are able to benefit from this and what this committee can do to improve the ability of rural communities that are struggling with the olympic yoid epidemic and what they can do to realize the support. >> congress mung, i for for raising that issue. it is becoming the issue of our time. the olympic yoid issue is a precursor because we find as we
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look at the heroin epidemic, so many of those began with prescription drug abuse and move on to heroin and unfortunately the we have a request in the budget for the funding which is an increase of 2016. they didn't address the olympic yoids in rural nairs. they are particularly for the purchase. over the last year, we have spent a great deal of time and discussion with our local partners and this particular tool is helpful. the rapid response overdose treatment. using grant money to make sure that while we may not be able to
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fund a clinic, we will make sure they have access and can go a long way towards saving a life and getting someone to the hospital on time. that is something we hope will be helpful with regard to that. when it comes to this administration, a number of agencies are looking at this issue and veterans affairs, for example. all of us focus on finding the best way to deal with this and certainly i think what emerged from the discussion is that we have to deal this as well as a public issue and not just focus on enforcement and improve treatment and resources as well for the families and those people who fall victim to this. >> thank you. i appreciate the focus on that. i want to switch gears.
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we hear stories around distrust and the police who protect them. there good stories around there with tacoma and foster a good relationship between law enforce and the populations that they serve. we saw a great effort with project peace and they are trying to see how they can improve ties. i would point out those sorts of efforts are costly. they can be limited in their success due to the resources being spread thin in a large city. i know that the department's budget proposed doubling the community policing development program and i'm grateful for that, but i am concerned as to whether that is enough to meet the demand in our nation.
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iment to get a sense how confident they are requested in the budget will meet the needs of our communities. >> that's an excellent dwoe think the needs are deep. i spent a great deal of time to work on the issue in 2015. i was engaged in a policing tour and did travel to the pacific northwest also and this year i will travel to six more cities focusing on cities that had a challenged relationship with the police. a shooting pattern and even a lawsuit. they found a way to collect a dialogue and restore the bridges again. i am focusing on cities that are exemplifying the six pillars and the task force that was the product of last year's work.
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they had to pull more in. we do have as you know, billing community trust and community policing for providing on cameras for smart policing and reform and also our community relations service will be important in this. we are asking for $3.5 million for law enforcement reconciliation work and community relations service and they go into the community and work to build the bridges and they work with community leaders in particular and law enforcement and the local officials to foster dialogue around these penitentiary problems they are not gathering at all. we have funding for them and i think that will be helpful. i think the most promising efforts i have seen are those that come from the community
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such as project peace. we were looking for ways to support that. it is a deep and ongoing need and i am impressed with the work i have seen going on across the country. we are hopeful that the funds for a host of issues will help in that regard. as i talked to police departments, we are supporting them and this is an area that people have different opinions on, but people on both sides are seeing the utility and providing for accountability and a level of trust in the types of interactions that law enforcement has with civilians. we see complaints go down in departments and reports of a use of force that go down. that's part of the web that you have to build to rebuild the
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trust that are going to have been created in areas. . >> i would like to recognize the former district judge, the gentlemen from texas. that's an opportunity to speak to you. he said i came from the back and the highest in the great state of texas and have familiarity. this last minute i have a town hall. we have 35 to 50,000 and let
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people get up on the line on the phone. the same people ask the question and this question came up. this is a tough one. i said i would ask you. the e-mail received on the personal server are classified. they refuse to have top secret information. you should have known better. that makes the case and this had classified information to put them at risk and we prosecute the case. you undermine the investigation
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and you are the chief prosecutor. >> with respect to the information to how they handled classified information as i'm sure you know, that is being handled by career agents and the departments in the department of justice. they look at the law and make a recommendation to me. beyond that this time, i will say again that this will be conducted as every other case and we will review the facts and the evidence that come to an independent conclusion as to how to best handle it. i am aware of no efforts in this
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matter at all. >> they are a bit concerned and maybe the justice department will do this for political reasons and i am not expecting you to comment on the information. no one is above the law in the united states and if it should be brought before the grand jury, the right thing to do would be bringing somebody. that's where you are and i hope you remain there. this has been difficult to be a police officer and you have belligereb belligerence every time they
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want to make an arrest. police who don't feel that the differently justice supports them. more importantly i am concerned of the exception that the boj is focusing the investigations and they have a tactic for the state and local police and pushed the administration many of the law enforcement agencies in the boj is looking over there to sue the sue the department. i heard stories of u.s. attorneys refusing to prosecute drugs and smuggling cases along the border. you get caught with 200 pounds of marijuana in bell county you are going to prison. i can't say that.
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it needs to change. >> thank you for the opportunity to talk about the important relationship that the department has with our colleagues and state and local law enforcement and they are our colleagues with respect to the work we all do for the protection of the american people. the issue of trust between communities and law enforcement, particularly the communities that we all serve is an important one. the message that i heard is i traveled the country speaking to law enforcement officers and i speak to the rank and file officers when i visit. i speak to community members. how ded waited they are to their jobs how focused they are and why they became police officers and what they feel and the pressures they feel. what i hear is the commitment to
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continuing their work and protecting the american people. we have solutions where law enforcement feels under siege as well. we try to engage them about discussions on why that is and what might be the causes of it. one of the things i will say is the benefit of having been a prosecutor for over 20 years. i have noted with a positive view with the police departments in the current administration. i was involved in reviewing police issues in the 90s when i was a u.s. attorney and i have been involved from 2010 and now as an tearnt general. one of the benefits is the we
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fund police officers and have that information for to you review to improve that and increase ourability to provide additional local law enforcement support. we also provide what's called and we are having a problem or an issue. it may be keeping up with the latest data or finding the resources to support them in buying vests or the cameras as i mentioned. i have seen a positive relationship between law enforcement at the local level and the department of justice through this. where we have to look at issues of accountability, we want to engage them to be the first person to hold an office accountable. there will be issues and the important thing is to make sure
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that as they have those issues, the american people see are dealing with them in a transparent and a fairway and 7 treated equally before the law. and we provide support. we will see in the budget a number of other areas where we are seeking to provide support for the state and local colleagues and spent time trying to get their input. the policies that the department is putting forth, we promulgated assault and domestic violence victims. as we support the grants for training, we rely on them for the on the ground experience to
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talk about the best practices and policies. congressman, i would say this department of justice is focused and is in fact working well with state and local law enforcement. we have a very positive bond with them. we do the same work and have the same mission. we want to improve as we carry out the highest duty. >> a quick follow-up yesterday. i found a bill in the department that worked with me on it to include the active shooter program and the cops's criteria and the departments around the country want to train their people up on the active shooter issue. they don't have the funds and i know your office helped us. the cops's grants. finally the reason i mentioned them is we were told that the chairman has been told it has to
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be over 200 pounds of marijuana in the rio grand valley and along the border or the justice department will not prosecute. we think 200 pounds is a lot. >> in response to your question, how important it is that every law enforcement officer out there know that the department of justice has their back. that is a message i hope you will continue to speak out loudly and clearly and repeatedly to make sure all the local officers know how dedicated you are and your department is to supporting them and helping them. our deputy was murdered in my neighborhood and all of us are concerned. we want every law enforcement officer in the country to know that the members of congress and
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particularly the department of justice, we have their back and we support them. i appreciate you saying that. we recognize as a part of that, you have with local law enforcement and one of the more critical parts that local and state and officers have an open relationship where they share about the criminal defendants. i know from our conversations a concern that you have as well. i am delighted we are heading in the same direction. the sanctuaries where the state or local jurisdictions share information with the federal
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ho homeland security or the department of justice. the policies in a lot of these cities and counties and states have where they will refuse to honnar them to federal to them. if individuals in the jail are in the county jail and they have before they are released, it's long standing common sense. the county sheriff will check with the state and federal authorities. is there an out standing warrant and that individual will not be released on to the streets of the county. if there is a warrant in michigan, they will call and say do you want this guy? that has been the standard policy in the history of this country. until you get to the cities
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where they will not release them, they will not release them for deportation. this is just absolutely unacceptable. it is outrageous and resulted in the murder of thousands of individuals. she was shot and murdered by a seven-time convicted felon and a deportee released on to the streets of san francisco due to the utterly unacceptable and illegal sanctuary policy and that refusal to share information, to cooperate with federal law enforcement
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authorities is the new chairman and the rules will be. if you expect to receive federal money, comply with federal law. i want to thank you, attorney general, for your timely response to a letter i sent you earlier this year. the concern i just laid out here. you said in part we are the department of justice receiveses credible allegation that anentity is receiving funds under apartment grant or reimbursement program has after they assures the department they are in compliance with federal laws where you have credibility evidence they violated a specific federal law the department can seek criminal or civil enforcement options against that. as we discussed, the title
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eight, from the u.s. code prohibits localities that have policies that prohibit the sharing of information about the immigration status that their prisoners said clearly that local jurisdictions cannott and turning an individual over to them that instead customs
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enforcement or ice will have the ability to step in and realize their detainer first. we have deferred because again we work with the state and local colleagues and want to make sure that they can adjudicate their cases as well. where we are dealing with the jurisdiction that essentially is not prone to honoring the ice detainers and those vary. they vary overtime and place. our policy is going to be that ice will instead have the first detainer and deportation. this may have the effect that there may be local cases that may not be prosecuted. the person will be taken into custody and deported. if a jurisdiction has a concern over that, we will talk to them, but have to have assurances that ice would be able it get the individual back at the end of
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the adjudication so that the process could go under way. we are trying to be helpful of state and local colleagues desires and goals, but deal with this issue as well. >> i appreciate that and as an example of the cooperative relationship this committee had with the department of justice and with you as the new attorney general, i want to express gratitude to you. >> i'm not clear. will the department seek to cease any grants going to a so-called sanctuary city if they violate your terms? will you seek to stop the grant program? >> if the grant is tied to the law, again it has to be an issue
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between the grant. it would be different from a grant for community policing. but certainly it is part of the audit process and the inspector general review and part of the overall grant management review and the department's criminal and civil division can take. if we receive a credibility allegation that a grantee violated a federal law, we will make that referral. again, there is an audit process in general, but we have the office of inspector ynl who can do a specific investigation of a specific jurisdiction or municipality. depending on how the allegation arises. >> this is in response to the concerns that have been expressed and the discussions we have had with the chairman as well as other members. as i indicated, a way to deal with the issue immediately is to make sure that individuals were
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being released from the bureau of prisons rather than be released into state custody and will go into immigration custody and be dealt with for deportation there. part of the problem has been collaborative working relationship with the state and local partners as mr. chairman indicated, if there is a detain er and they will have to go into custody to be prosecuted. at the end of the state, where they are not inclined to work with homeland security and as a general matter, we will instead use the immigration detainer first. where they indicated it will be
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a problem, but it is an area of great concern. it's an area of concern for us because there is case law that exists that only in one circuit and case law with a particular holding that in certain s, cities compliance with the provided information may be voluntary. so this matter may be unsettled for sometime in the courts. we feel a way to deal with this immediately and directly is to have the policy change as to have the review of what we have been discussing. >> this committee had with the department of justice and i am grateful and they announced a new policy that the bureau of prisons will first check to see if there is an alien in the
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custody of the federal prisons has a deportation order and where that is in the case of this guy that murdered kate steinly and in response to the concerns that this committee addressed with the department of justice. they changed the bureau of prisons which we appreciate. you will not release that and hand them over to be deported. we thank you for the change in policy. that is important. we appreciate that and this will be litigated forever. we can't wait on that. the lives of countless americans depend on quick action and in response to the concerns i expressed earlier, you responded immediately in a favorable way which i appreciate. they are moving right away to look carefully and we will
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provide you with the list that have policies where they will not share information with federal authorities. we will not share information and hand over to ice for deportation. you indicated that you will begin an audit process to ensure and encourage them. we are not looking to cut them off. we want to give them a chance to change the policy. change the policy so you hand these over for deportation. >> if i could suggest something, this is encouraging to hear this. i believe the trusting and verifying. if you could give us a report for the period of time, four months. give us a report on how many of
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these you have actually had success with so we have a way to gauge how things are going. maybe make the course corrections as we go. this is significant. very important matter for a lot of us. i would like to know that it's working. is that agreement? >> i think that we are all moving to an evidence-based mottle and we are happy to work with the information both with regard to the new policy which i think would be instructive also and instands where that occurs. when they go into the investigation if we refer to the inspector general and we wouldn't have that available. with the situations that come up, we can work with the
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committee to find a way to keep you informed. >> let's do a quarterly report to see how it's going. we would expect that you would give us a report on how things are going as much detail as you can give us at the end of the first quarter. >> i think that's a good idea. is that agreement. >> this is a significant change and they are grateful and it's a good time for it. they are just now coming in. the state jurisdictions are just now beginning to send in the applications for the various law enforcement grands. it's a good time for the change to kick in. we will provide you with a list and refuse to honor detainers
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and i deeply appreciate this to ensure they are in compliance with title eight, 1373 and they have a chance to change the policy and try to avoid losing their federal grant moan. if they insist and we will work with you, if they insist on hanging on to the policy and they won't share information, don't ask for federal money. they are delighted to hear you work with the direction. we will work with you in a supportive way to ensure that happens and to make sure that the communityinies across the country have what is so successful in the past. we appreciate very much your help this this matter and look forward to working with you.
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>> as the ranking member, i will ask a congressional for five minutes if i may. >> while you respond to the questions and because i understand it's very complicated and there is a lot of different things that need to be considered as you move forward. the criminal justice and civil rights and things like that that we have to face. i too would look forward to seeing the report. i am confident that will be based on good judgment and laws that we expect to be able to follow. they had touched upon the issues
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of the policies and the guide lines of the sales and handling firearms elective to those folks. i won't take any time to do that, but i do notice that a lot of concerns we do have has been based upon lack of resources and things like that. i. ed to say that we as congress have been part and parcel of the providing of the appropriate resources in the past. i am very glad that this past year that we had an increase kpi think that bodes well for all members of the subcommittee have an expectation on increasing the staffing and the training and i think that was a lot of concerns around that. a lot of this is because we are able to hire more folks to do the things that is expected of
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the department. we are making progress and sexual assaults on college campuses and with the atf, there is a lot of clarification on the kinds of priorities and policies that are by the atf. also in terms of law enforcement, this is going to be an increase in that sort of thing. it should be an expectation of this and i am gratified to see cops coming back. cops have a basis for improved community and police force relationships. but they understand working in conjunction. we will learn a lot from that. >> one of the questions i wanted to formulate is around human trafficking and cyber systems and stalking.
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we just finished the super bowl in santa clara county. the super bowl was the culmination of a lot of work that has been done by different agencies. i have noticed that each department that is involved to make sure we have a safe environment and successful out come of activity like the super bowl which the next one will be in houston, i believe. over the last couple of years from this year, we have been looking at the services that is expected in terms of providing a safe environment. i wanted to have a comment about budget, personnel, assignments in such a way to provide the services without having to juggle your different
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departments so the next super bowl in houston will be running smooth and seamlessly at the agency. so that the congressman can expect the houston super bowl to come out well as it did this past year. i don't care who is the team, but i hope it's the 49ers. the basic question is can you give us feedback on the budgetary approach to providing the necessary resources and personnel to address the kinds of expectations that one will have with a safe environment at the next super bowl. we have's template and folk who is have been involved that we can touch bases with. i have been asking that question of every department. federal, local, and state. so that houston will have a good
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solid preparation in the event that whatever team goes to the super bowl will have a good out come and the two things that are very prominent in the planning will be human trafficking and cyber security and cyber stalk. do you have comments relative to that? >> the two important issues collide at an event like the super bowl or the olympics if we were to host it here. again, it would be a similar situation. certainly i think that not just you, but your committee for the efforts on human trafficking. your efforts have made a difference in the lives of people. i for if you your support over the years and in this most recent budget as well. with respect to human trafficking, we are looking for
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the request that is $89.3 mail yen with $45 million going for the trafficking program and we are asking for a total of $121 million which would increase positions, the fbi would receive funds to enhance their investigative personnel and the number of cyber investigations and money to increase that and grants as well. with respect to an event like the super bowl, they come back to you with the more specific information on that. in other large events, what happens at the planning stage is a great deal of coordination between the department of justice and homeland security. as well as the intelligence community to see if there was any national threats.
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for how many an trafficking in particular, every u.s. attorney's office is required to have a trafficking coordinator and be part of a task force. this pulls in the state and local partners and helps get information on the current state of affairs involving cases and investigations, but also things that are about to occur as large events like the super bowl are put together. prior to an event, the super bowl was in new jersey and my office when i was in the u.s. attorney's office was involved with the preparations for those events. months before the actual game is played, the planning for having law enforcement presence and any victims we may be able to rescue begins to occur. looking at the resources they
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need. this is the local if we feel the narcotics will be involved. where we have had the situations where we increased that, i would appreciate the opportunity to give you more about a specific event as that comes to fruition. we have as you mentioned, templates for how they are put together. also that it is not used as they often are to cover for the human trafficking. again, to note that the human
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trafficking task forces begin to focus on the effects months before they come into fruition and plans are set in place and specific plans are set in place. the establishment of human trafficking advisers which is going to be helpful and also look forward to hanging out with the chairman and that comes around. it should be a lot of fun. i didn't watch super bowl. i was at the command center and i figured the next super bowl i will come over. >> i will get you out to the johnson space center. >> thank you very much. >> mr. chairman, we had questions and any of them need
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to be taken by the record. the plans to hire the positions over fy 17. we have been concerned by the prison locals about the use of augmentation and what that means for their own security. can you provide about the decrease and what it means is the process of using augmentation. i think mr. rogers and the budget numbers are certainly lower than the request for last year. we did receive and we did not need to ask for it. that would not be an appropriate request. those funds are being used to alleviate the new position.
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the operations are not being cut. our overall numbers are going to be requesting not only initial positions, but funding to support the positions. a lot of them will be in the directional area and will be in the mental health area. this is cutting through all of the prisons. it's a problem that i hear from the state and local colleagues. this raises safety concerns for the inmates and the officers. as well as operational concerns. >> it relies on augmentations. to what extend are you relying on that with the positions that may be hired? with the duties that support those of full time security officers at the facilities. we hear from they are not as
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trained or well trained in specific tasks within the prison system and they are being asked to fill in. they are raised for security for some of the locals. >> with respect to that, i don't have information for you at this time. we can have the staffs talk and you can get perspective to provide you with information for it. i had the opportunity to meet with the heads of the unions. i am happy to work with them on a number of recommendations. their concerns are important to me because they impact safety. that allows inmates to work in the production of supply goods for other agencies and return for a stipend.
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is there additional savings that could be relying on this? what is this state of play? >> thank you for the chance to talk about federal prison industries. it's one of i think one of the ways in which we can back out into the community. we had situations where they expected and found that they received well trained individuals and loyal people who appreciate being given a chance to use their skills and become productive numbers of society. we are supportive of that and they have a wide array of services.
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they use them and we are encouraging the agencies to consider them and looking to partner with other agencies to help in the effort. with respect to the current state of the see we recently brought a new ceo on board with 20 years of experience. he is very excited about the prospects of rebuilding this great program. in enhancing the great program. they are looking forward to working with him as well. >> i want to get one more question. we want to get the secure content management and there have been if you can provide
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perspective with management and plans going forward. >> respect to the issue, it's important because you mentioned the release or the citizens or someone who is a law enforcement officer. with the law enforcement officers, the risks are enhance and we are involved in prosecuting individuals who released information at the behest of designated terrorist organizations. with respect to the cyber budget, i have a larger number in there of $21 million, within that, we are requesting for 26.4 million, to bolster the physical security of our systems.
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i refer to a number of other agencies and we are dealing with the greatest of last century's technology in many ways. well put and maintained by dedicated staff. system are approaching end of life. systems are changing and the cost is growing. i will tell you that the justice is committed to this and looking for ways that we have the systems possible including in this budget request. >> do you have that moving quickly on the outside vendors? i serve there and that can be incorporated in an environment that continues so rapidly and it creates new vulnerabilities every day. is there a balance between in house and relying on solutions
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and technology out there right now today? >> we have to go through the process, but we are allowed to use a variety of vendors and the process can be lengthy, but it is there for a reason. the va is an excellent example of all the issues we are discussing here. i look forward to working with you to ensure the department can be in that stream of improving our capacity. i will say that. when it comes to case management and managing data for the lawyers who are litigating our cases, there several excellent programs that we are able to incorporate the national security data, they are not.
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not to say that there none, but a lot of that will depend on the type of system we are talking about with the ability to use outside vendors. >> our ranking member from new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to join my colleagues in welcoming our attorney general here with us today. the secretary of state was next door. we are moving efficiently and i hope effectively. thank you so much. i have a question regarding the atf funding proposed in the president's budget. the budget request includes agencies to have gun crimes and strengthen the check system to ensure that firearms are not sold to persons who are legally prohibited from obtaining one.
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the request has funding to improve the ballistics network to help law enforcements solve firearm crimes. many members of congress are saying that we need to do a better job enforcing the gun laws. >> isn't it fair to say that the budget initiatives you are doing are designed to do what so many in congress say they want to do. that is to enforce the gun laws on the books by helping state, local, and federal law enforcement to prevent gun crime and those who violate the laws.
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as they were looking at that most recently, it was exactly that. to view existing firearms laws and determine how to best leverage department resources to better protect the american people within that framework of laws. we have taken steps and that would increase funding. that would allow us to bring on personnel 80 of whom would be agents and 120 industry investigators or investigators to support our new business of dealing with firearms. the special agents would be working on violent crime issues, trafficking case, and the like. they would enhance the efforts across the country.
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using the existing laws. certainly it has been a great use and the sharing of information at the federal, state, and local level. it has been extremely successful. the others we proposed enhance when guns are lost or stolen. we have seen that in terms of firearms recoveries from crime scenes. it is designed to tackle the difficult issues of both violent crime and keeping them out. at the same time strengthening the background check system so that the licensed dealers have the best and most efficient
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system that they need. they are relying on the system as they go through a routine transaction will have the best and most efficient system as well to rely upon their business. >> i appreciate that and i want to follow-up on that issue. they prohibit them from buying a gun and they are either a danger to themselves or others who are unable to manage their own affairs. the social security administration indicated it will begin the rule making process to ensures that the national institute of criminal background system receives all appropriate information. it had tens of thousands of systems that have a documented mental health issue. receive disability benefits and
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unable to manage them because of mental impairment. if you can give us an update including the justice department efforts to assist the social security administration in helping to ensure that persons with serious mental impairments do not have access to firearms. certainly the law prohibits those with certain mental illnesses from having firearms and they meet that. also they are required to provide information that would assist them in being as complete as possible. they are engaging so they can in fact produce a clear legally consistent definition of what
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which types of adjustications and mental health would be required to be turned over to them. the department's role as with all rule making is to provide them as they go through the process. they will craft a rule and go out for public comment. they are received back and the agency this this case would provide a response. it is designed to make sure that the individuals who are clearly connected to the legal prohibition against being able to buy or maintain a firearm. >> thank you, judge carter. >> mr. chairman. >> i think you can figure out i'm the chairman of homeland
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security by the chairman. they have been working to do all we can to investigate criminals and illegal aliens and smuggling across the southern border. there is a zeef officer from the land you must do your part and fall through with the consequences. the past two years you have requested and received increased funding for judges. mind you, these are courts used 99% of the time even though we are increasing the number of courts. they wanted to see case after
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case administrativally closed allow them to circomvent. would you like to answer those questions? >> as you note, managing the immigration caseload has been challenging for all of us. those of us who were involved in prosecuting the cases and the department of homeland security as well. they deal with deportation and managing the issues that flow from that. i thank you again for your commitment to that as well. with respect to our immigration judges, we received the tiring and the immigration judges. let me thank you for recognizing the need for hiring more immigration judges and expressed the department's appreciation for your support for that. with respect to the total
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immigration reform, we are in fact requesting funding and no new judges this year. we are using the funds and the additional funding is to make sure they are up and running. as you indicated, they are off on long waits and off in crowded courtrooms and using the funding request where it would be used to support for the judges. we want to full low integrate them. with respect to those on the border, and i'm sure you will recall from dealing with the homeland security issues, we have waves of individuals coming across the border at different times. the composition of the groups will change. for example, when we had large
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numbers of unaccompanied children and young people, what they did was attempt rarely reassigned to the border areas to handle the influx of cases there. where the colleagues would be overwhelmed and we hope the judges hired last year would go a long way towards that. we have additional plan with the money appropriated. we can be flexible and if there were to be a crisis again with another portion of the country, not the border, but the northwest border or the northern border. we would make sure that could staff up the offices and their colleagues would not be
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overwhelmed. that is how we would intend to deal with that. we can bring on board the judges and we do appreciate this committee's support of the efforts of the office of immigration reform. >> within the last four months, we had a sudden drop off this month over the last four months, our numbers on the uac are going right back up to 25 or 30,000. it's unusual at this time of the year, those of us who lived in texas and know what goes on at the border because we lived with it all of our lives. if it gets cold, people don't come across the river. it's cold, people get wet. the situation is this is contrary to what we would expect. this means there is something driving people up here. if we can't get them before a
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judge, give them a notice to appear and they are then picked up by got knows what. we know where they're going. most of the children are 14 to 1235e7b years old. we have to fix that. i know you are trying and you asked for more money. i will give it to you. i truly believe this is bringing them and that's an agency and a bureaucrat. thank you for what you are doing
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and i will be on your side. >> thank you, judge. i recognize the gentlemen from new york. >> thank you for being here with us. when i first came from puerto rico as a young boy, i started paying attention to what was being discussed at my house, it was the beginning of the civil rights movement and where they could vote in new york or not. that's in english and spanish and settled by the courts. lately many of us have felt that we are making it harter for people to vote, not easier. they said you can ask for
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citizenship. that's struggled me because so many other people and we are citizens. that's the way it is. this voting card is probably my congressional voting card. we would assume that. that's it. what role are they playing do you feel he had a right and that's what the case would be and lastly, what are they doing to protect the right to voet. that's a sad state of affairs.
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>> that's currently in litigation. typically the department's responsibility to represent federal agencies. we advise all of our agencies on the issues raised by the actions and with respect to this case, it's in litigations. i am not able to give you specifics on that. i think that there is a judge who will review whether or not there is a legal basis for certain actions. i will leave that here. it is one of the priorities to enforce all of the laws that protect the rights of everyone to vote. preclearance is no longer an
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option. that's irregularity or issues with starting investigations and working there. this is also an important issue in the field with respect to the u.s. attorney committee also. they are very concerned at the local level as to whether or not there would be any irregularities with voting and are focused on that. that's for all americans and making sure they are free and open away. that's to answer the questions and we still do that and we will consult with them and had positive dialogue on specific issues about the best way to
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ensure the right to vote and we will litigate and let a court decide. we feel that the right to vote has been in a way that is inconsistent with the values that this country wishes and every american gets to participate. we will bring those as well. >> in the time i have left, we will comment on that whether it's true or not that they will be there with the justice department and they asked for a stay on this issue of the commission. >> the pleadings are filed and they did ask for an injunction. >> thank you so much. >> i appreciate you focusing on making sure the american has the
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right to vote and that means eligible. i appreciate that and you will defend as the department has, federal agencies and you will be defending the commission. that provides a road map on how to feel trust and reduce crime and make sure everyone is safe. i know that the task force made several recommendations specific to the lgbt community and making sure everyone is safe. i was hoping you can give an update on how that is coming and getting them adopted nationwide.
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>> this is an important area. it is essentially an area in which our most vulnerable citizens felt that protection did not extend to them and they were reluctant to seek protection because of a view they wouldn't receive it. when i talked to law enforcement, they don't want anyone feeling you can't call in an officer for help. we have tried to provide guidance and we tried to provide training on how to deal with those and tried to provide individuals who present issues and they need to recognize the issues that come from that and one of the things we have done
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is in an earlier response, that's guidance on sexual assault and domestic violence. this focused on identifying and preventing gender bias and law enforcement's response. we consulted closely with state and local law enforcement and both of the experiences and the questions they had. that came out in december and it does recommend practices that will help the agencies develop best practices to respond and the people view of this violence against women or sometimes men, but also the lgbt community and to recognize those symptoms and to be able to respond to those individuals. the guidance also seeks to make sure we have ways to connect law enforcement with a very, very important part of the community when it comes to all types of
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domestic violence. the nongovernmental department for victims of sexual violence. >> with the time i have left, i represent a large navy base and more military veterans from almost everyone in the place and feel luck be that. a surprising number of instances where service members and around housing or employment discrimination. i know it dealing with those issues. i want to get with the proper v in this report. what sort of demand you are seeing for those services and the ability of that division to
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meet that demand. well, i will say that i certainly agree with you in the fact that i think we owe our veterans the greatest support. when they return home. be it an issue of health or services or the all important right to vote when they are also stationed overseas is one of the things that we do in the civil rights division is have a very active practice in making sure that service members who are stationed overseas have the information they need to know how to vote and that they -- that particular right is not infringed through a logistical problem or some other issue. we enforce the federal laws that help them also return to their work force. when they come home from military duty. we have seen a number of disturbing cases that involve financial exploitation of our service members. both when they are coming back and trying to seek housing and also while they are on active duty of service members and of their families. we have seen some unfortunate instances where that type of
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fraud is growing. that's a matter of grave concern to me as well. also, we also have issues, of course, with many of our service members returning injured. some of the injuries are visible. some of them are not visible. but it presents them with a business ability that gives them needs in terms of housing and employment and so we take very seriously our responsibility to defend their right to those reasonable accommodations as well. currently, the 2017 budget includes $4.1 million in resources which is going to plus up the service members' civil rights cases work by a little over $580,000. we also have a service members initiative at the department of justice that's led by my outstanding associate attorney general. and it really has been instrumental in making sure that we at the department look at all of the issues that our service members present and make sure that whether it's not just civil rights but other areas also. i mention the fraud cases
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growing. criminal division is cognizant of the issues as well. so we're trying to look at all the issues presented by our service members and be responsive. >> thanks. we would love to follow up with you on that. thank you, chairman. >> mr. kilmer. thank you, attorney general lynch, i want to thank you for your service to the country and keeping us all safe and for your cooperative relationship with this committee, it's deeply appreciated in ensuring that americans can sleep soundly at night knowing that the department of justice and their local and state law enforcement officers are working together to protect themselves and their families. thank you very much and the hearing is adjourned. >> thank you, sir. thank you.


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