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tv   Hearing on Presidents 2021 Foreign Aid Budget Request  CSPAN  July 27, 2020 8:31am-11:22am EDT

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c-span, created by america's cable-television companies as a public service and brought to you today by your television provider. >> up next the house foreign affairs committee holds a hearing to examine president trump's 2021 foreign aid budget request. appearing before the committee is u.s. agency for international development acting administrator john barsa. he outlines agencies 19.6 elgin dollars budget proposal and lawmakers ask about usaid's humanitarian efforts, the pandemic potential effects of proposed budget cuts. >> the committee on foreign affairs will come to order. without objection pictures authorized to declare a recess
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of the committee at any point and all members left five days to submit statements, extraneous material and questions for the record subject to limitation in the rules. you enter something in the record please have your staff e-mail the previously circulated address or contact full committees. staff. as a reminder to members, staff and others, physically present in this room for guidance from the office of attendingpr physician, masks must be worn at all times during today's proceedings except when a member is speaking in a microphone. please also sanitizer seating area and these are a safety issue and, therefore, an important matter of order and decorum for this proceeding. for members participating remotely please keep your video function on at all times even when you're not recognize why the chair. muting and in muting themselves.
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please remember to mute yourself after you have finished speaking. consistent with house resolution 965 and accompanying regulations, staff will only mute members and witnesses as appropriate when they are not under recognition to eliminate background noise. i see that we have a quorum and i now recognize myself for opening remarks. somebody said it was like spotting a unicorn. pursuant to notice, the committee is convened to hear testimony on the trump
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administration's foreign assistance budget west for the 2021 fiscal year area your predecessor, administrator green and i did not agree on everything, but he did a good and serious job and i know he did value the importance of foreign assistance as a tool of american foreign policy. think he was terrific. whatever mr. green personally felt, it certainly did not align with the administration's views, which we have seen again and again in the budgets the administration has sent to congress. it budget request is a lot more than numbers on a page, it is a statement of values and priorities in the administration's values and i already stated we should cut our international affairs budget by roughly a quarter. we should cut funding for global health, food aid, cut democracy assistance. frankly, it is almost what we have come to expect and after
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3.5 exhausting years, we have all heard the administration's message loud and clear. the message seems to be we don't care, we don't care about the good our development efforts do, we don't care about the people's come of the communities to benefit from this work, we don't care about the harm done to american leadership when we pull back from the global stage, we don't care about the people who work at usaid, and we don't care about congress, which has resound late rejected the budget every time they have been sent out every week get it. this starts at the top and we all understand the president. one of the reasons foreign assistance is so important is that it is every action of our country's compaction and generosity, the character of america at the heart of our foreign policy when we are at our best every at apparently, the president doesn't think that way. he does not look back on things like the marshall plan, the berlin air laughed -- airlift as
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global leadership. he praised the chinese ,overnment tactics at tiananmen who writes off most of a continent using a term i won't , praising the chinese government's tactics at the tiananmen -- it is really off-base. unfortunately, we know what to expect, a 50% cut to family planning because the administration is crusading against women self. -- women's health. we know to expect reduced assistance to central america because the united states has an anti-immigrant agenda. what is especially galling about the budget that was sent to us is that even in the middle of a global pandemic, one that has cost nearly 150,000 american lives, the administration still
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wants to cut funding for global health effort. the slight increase requested for global health security is good, but it is overshadowed by massive cuts elsewhere. taken with the withdrawal from ,he world health organization which is the international body best equipped to coordinate international response to covid-19, it is almost as though we are waving the white flag. guy,fraid you are a nice but you will run into a little bit of skepticism today as you this budget.n i think we will also need answers about a number of chilling management decisions you apparently made when taking over for administrator. i will soon recognize you for five minutes to summarize your yieldg statement and the to the ranking member, mr. mccall for opening remarks.
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>> thank you mr. chairman for calling this important hearing. , itng administrator barsa is good to see you again. i want to thank you and your team and our partners in the field, especially amidst this global pandemic, the tireless work of the men and women of usaid to save lives around the world is critical. united dates continues to be the global leader in foreign assistance spending, supporting economic growth and providing food, shelter, and health resources for the most vulnerable populations.
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policys on key implementations including the indo pacific strategy, resources to counter malign activity and disinformation campaigns of china, russia, and iran. it is important -- support for our allies and partners in the middle east. support for democracy in venezuela, as well as countries supporting venezuelan refugees fory prioritizes funding the united states international development finance corp. ration -- corporation, which provides a critical alternative to china's predatory lending. it also advances w gdp initiative to promote women's empowerment and economic opportunity, which i strongly
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support. unfortunately, the writ must also cuts key global health and humanitarian assistance resources. globally, almost 80 million people are currently displaced around the world. that number is expected to rise because of covid. the world food program is estimating that 270 million people will need urgent food assistance due to covid-19 and 82% increase from last year. covid-19 is already erasing hard-fought game to reduce hiv-aidsoverty, combat , and other infectious diseases. authoritarian regimes and terrorist organizations are looking to ask lloyd this chaos for strategic gains, such as in areas. so the disease spreads in the middle east, latin america, existing economic hardships, political challenges, and
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humanitarian urgencies will worsen. time to cutt the this key aide. i'm deeply concerned the impacts of covid-19 will push more fragile states into conflict. our assistance must prioritize prevention in further destabilization. in addition to long-term impacts on education, food security, and vaccine distribution. this global pandemic continues to spread and the work we do overseas makes us safer here at home. successful diplomacy and development is cost effective, fully funded our or and assistance programs, ultimately saving taxpayer dollars. with today's physical challenges, we must double our efforts to ensure that is strategic in advancing u.s. interest. i look forward to hearing from how our assistance will be used
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and push back on china's malign influence and mitigate the impacts of covid-19, covid-19,e continued u.s. leadership around the world. with that i yield back. >> thank you. i thank my friend and i agree with his testimony and i think it's very important points that were made by both the chairman and the ranking member. our witness of this morning, mrg administrator of usaid, we're happy to have the here and you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman., chairman engel, ranking member mccaul and members of the committee, thank inviting me to testify today. it is an honor privilege to test line fun of the committee and don't forget to your questions. i wouldld like to thank you for your bipartisan support which has allowed usaid to mount a robust response to the
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unprecedented covid-19 pandemic that has touched new every person around the world, both at home and overseas. the united states must continue an aggressive comprehensive response that spans health, he may turn assistance and addresses the ongoing second order effects such as food security, economic growth and preventing democratic backsliding. i am committed doing so utilize all available resources whether current year or future supplemental and not let any opportunities arise for our adversaries to fill the vacuum. everyr day usaid's highly professional and dedicated staff work to develop, work to deliver development solutions and build self-reliance in partner countries,n project american values globally and advance our foreign policy and national security objectives. the president's budget request for fy 2021 for accounts at usaid fully impartially manages is approximately $19.6 $19.6 b. including $2.1 billion for usaid
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global health programs and $5.9 billion for the economic support and development or the fdf fun. we would use these resources to advance u.s. foreign policy objectives by fostering stability and partner countries and promoting free, fair and equitable societies and expanding opportunities for american businesses. our investments will also strengthen our national security by addressing the drivers of violent extremism and combating the spread of infectious diseases. each of which represents a potential threat to the alhomeland. faced with covid-19 americas demonstrate in clear and decisive leadership. the united states has mobilized to combat the virus both at home and abroad by committee more than $12 billion for the response of this pandemic. usaid has actedli decisively sie covid-19 cases first began to arise internationally. we can with your department of defense health and human services, and state as part of an all-america response.
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with $2.4 billion in emergency supplemental funding appropriated by congress, including nearly $1.6 billion foreign assistance and limited by usaid and the state department where providing health care, community and assistant security and stabilization efforts worldwide. this funding isnd saving lives y improving public health education, , training healthcare workers, strengthening laboratory systems,ra supporting surveillance and boosting rapid response capacity in more than one in 20 countries around the world. we are providing assistance and support communities and equip them with the tools needed to mitigate the impact of the virus. the u.s. response to covid-19 builds upon decades ofov americn investment in global health. the united states has contributed more than $140 billion in global healthco assistance. over the past 20 years usaid's funding has a vaccine of light faxing more than 760 million children. children which has prevented
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15 million deaths. statesnth the united committed $1.16 billion over the next four years with the gold immunized 300 million additional children by 2025. u.s. president mueller initiative emi has helped save more than 7 million lives and prevent more than 1 billion malaria cases worldwide 2000. americans have invest investme5 windows to fight hiv aids to pepfar the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history. pepfar has saved millions of lives in africa. usaid continued continues to in global health security to exist, to address existing emergency zoonotic diseases which account for more than 70% of new infectious disease outbreaks. we0% invested 1.1 billion in ths critical area since 2009. even as last month we declared and into the ebola outbreak that is affected the republic of congo, we are now scaling up a response to fight the confirm 11th outbreak in northwestern
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vrc. these investments in global health throughout the decades have enabled partner countries to strengthen health systems and democraticea institutions, enabling them to better respond to global health crises. we are in unprecedented times with the rapidly evolving situation on the ground in almost every country. we are working aggressively to obligate all of our resources for covid-19 as swiftly and as effectively as possible. we want to ensure we are accountable to the effective use of the funds for covid-19 and are good stewards of taxpayer dollars. as we consider how to prevent the next health crisis we have to address the root cause of these outbreaks. i remain focus on our efforts in helping partner countries on the journeys to silverlight and will continue to build on the vision that each one of our programs should be looked forward to the day when it can into. our investments by the decades are a cornerstone of this approach. we learned outbreaks and epidemics are often exacerbated by failure of governance and transparency. when we do not address poornc
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governance we wipe out investments in health, education and of basic social services. we recognize health emergencies have consequences can require broader development assistance whether support for orphaned children, protection against sexual exploitation and abuse them livelihoods. while hallmark is using analytics to measure progress, we must also measure regression to see how we may need to adjust our programs. looking long-term we remain committed to helping communities in our partner countries and second and third effects. this is not simply health crisis and our response cannot be just a health response. we must use the totality of development tools at our disposal as well. to focus on how to best operate in the covid altered world i established a temporary agency planning self called over the horizon to guide the effort.
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while the usaid covid-19 task force manages near-term challenges, the over verizon team will perform research, conduct outreach and prepare analyses to help usaid prepare for lasting challenges to development and unitrin landscape in the medium to long term. it will provide this information of executive steering committee composed of senior leaders from across agency who will craft recommendations. we are already planning for the medium and long-term impacts ofe covid-19 and because i'm committed to make sure usaid will remain a trusted partner theg preferred partner in countries across the world. i thank you for this opportunity to testify and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much for your testimony. let me say this. over the past several years this administration has attempted several rescissions and and ofe methods of slowing down or stopping foreign assistance spending. asas a result we've seen funding
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obligated in fits and starts with a scramble at the end of the fiscal year. we saw this again with a slow disbursement of the covid supplemental funding hampered by policy in decisions and extra layers of bureaucracy. the foreign affairs committee has strongly objected to these tactics in the past, and fully expects the resources provided by congress to be fully utilized in the manner for which they were provided. so let me ask you this. how much of usaid's expiring funds have been obligated to date? [inaudible] >> i don't have exact figure in terms of a number of funds did it but i know we're making good progress and we expect, to have all of our funds obligated by
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the fiscal year. >> let me say this then. do you commit to obligating all expiring funding as well as current supplemental covid money before the end ofnt the fiscal year? >> certainly that is the goal and direction given to by step and i lookhe for to working closely with you to keep you apprised regularly as a progress we're making towards that goal. >> thank you. if congress provides additional covid supplemental funding how would you ensure that the money will get out the door where it is urgently needed? >> certainly we have had -- this has been a learning process. this pandemic has affected the entire world, so i'm happy to say that asto a learning organization we have improved our processes for getting money out the door expeditiously. we are very grateful to
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congresses generosity with past supplementals. should there bee another supplemental i'm very confident we have systems in place to get money out expeditiously and in a responsible manner. >> thank you. as i look in my opening statement there been several recentat management decisions under your leadership at usaid, and some of those are very troublingg to myself and some of my colleagues. the recent influx of appointees serving in your agency with a record of homophobic, at the emigrant, islamophobic and other derogatory comments appears to be in direct contradiction to the agencies aims and an affront to the dedicated career staff who serve at usaid. so is this the kind of person you want representing usaid and the american people? what message are we sending to usaid employs by allowing appointees like merit corrigan
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was referred to a homo empire compote unquote, and the quote false pretense of women's equality with men, unquote? those are troubling to us. i hope it is troubling to you. and i hope that is not allowed to continue. >> what i can commit to you and yourto colleagues on the commite is that all usaid employs regardless of hiring category are held to the same high moral, legal, and ethical stance we've always had in place thank you. i now turn it over to our ranking member and my friend, mr. mccaul. >> thank you, administrator. you said the consul in houston just got closed yesterday. the chinese communist party has been doing this for decades. they've been stealing intellectual property. they are currently trying to steal the research and development forre our vaccine fr
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covid-19. the virus that they are responsible for coming out of wuhan, china, another want to steal our vaccine to save the world. the iron is just mind-boggling. they are a force to be reckoned with, and i think if anything comes out of this experience, this twilight zone experience we are goingil through, it is that people waking up to the chinese communist party are and what they have done to the world and what they they've done to us fe last two decades. your agency has role in this. i want to commend my dear friend, i wish she was staying with us, mr. yoho, for his probably one of the best bills have passed out of this committee, thebi build act. and the development finance
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corporation which is going to be our key to defeating the chinese communist party and it's built and road initiative in developing nations. my question to you is, i think that doc has a major role. i think they've done a a great job. i do think congress should fully fund the dfc. the dfc after all does return on its investment, it's one of those departments or agencies that actually doesn't spend all the money, actually money comes back to the treasury. how about that? so my question to you is, i see usaid, other entities like exim bank, but can you explain to me how you can transform your agency to work more effectively in this countering chinese communist party initiative that
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the doc is taking on right now? >> hello? thank you,, congressman. certainly all of this when the code whatever position we have we bring our previous expenses so certainly i came to usaid from the department of homeland security where i had plenty of exposure to malicious, malevolent chinese content in any number ofto spheres. coming over to usaid initially heading up the latin america and caribbean bureau i saw firsthand how the chinese were trying to exert t their influence that diplomacy, owners of deals where they're taking advantage, so their businesses -- there can'ts be a greater contrast in terms of our development roles. we have what is sincerely a construct called the journey of self reliance. we country stand up on their own to ande economy's come the systems.
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the chinese model to public couldn't be any more of an officer. we seek to set up, emphasize three open enterprise driven developer to build resilient market economies founded on democratic principles and good governance. certainly the chinese, their efforts to undermine sovereignty leading to unsustainable debt or forfeitures, resources and assets, it couldn't be further from the truth. so i agree with you, the build act has been an incredible piece of legislation to i want to thank you all for your support of that. adam boler and i who, adding is leading the dfc, he and i meet and communicate regularly. i sit on the board of dfc. one of the things we've been able to do is ensure we have communication at all levels between usaid and dfc. not only is their key medication at the leadership level in washington, d.c. and more importantly in the field if we are working closely together.
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so usaid staff in the mission, in the field are uniquely positioned to be able to find potential deals, potential private sector partners by having b that close coordination communication with the dfc. we are able to bring these potential deals and opportunities to their attention. they can come and help finance the deals. happy to say that the relationship between usaid and very strong and looking forward to continued cooperation in years to come. >> one of the best ways to counter china is to continue to do what we do. we have no better development model. our efforts to help countries stand up on their own is vastly different from the chinese model. we are very proud to provide this alternative to countries, and we're were very proud of t. >> we thank you for that and thank you for your service of the department of homeland
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security and also that's exactly what i wanted to hear. i mean, working together, coordinating together. there's a lot of overlap between these two entities, i think. more you can ordinate and work together, not just to provide for assistant and humanitarian, which is vitally important for the nation in the world, but also in this very important foreign policy that we are embarking on to counter this maligned behavior from the chinese communist party. so let me just say thank you for that and i look forward to following up with you. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. barsa, i hope you take back some of the criticisms and problems that we have with what was submitted. i hope you take it back and hope we can have productive discussions on how to improve
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it. we met with mr. greene all the time and came up with putting our heads together and coming up with good things that are needed. i hope we can establish that with you as well. i will now recognize members for questions, under the five-minutn rule. under house rules all times yielded is for the purpose of operating witness -- questioning the witness, sorry. .. i begin by recognizing myself for five minutes. okay. we'll go to mr. sherman.
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>> thank you. listening to the first three speake speakers, it's surprising to see the administration cutting our foreign assistance budget. i think the chairman and the ranking member were eloquent as to why we need to expand what we spend to develop the developing world and the acting administrator explain how the money we do spend is spent effectively. yet, the administration seems hell bent on cutting this aid in a time of pandemic which is taking lives around the world and at a time when the disruption caused by pandemic is leading to hunger, food insecurity and death and at a time when this cutback is going to increase the influence of our geopolitical rival. the particular cut that is being suggested is a 35% cut
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from what we appropriated last year, down to 627 is what the administration suggests, rather than 9.5 billion we actually appropriated. and this continues a trend. it would put our aid at less than 1/10 of 1% of our gdp at a time when there's general acceptance in the international community that nations should drive to spend 7/10 of a percent and many countries are above that. and when the average for wealthy nations is .4%. so i wonder if the acting administrator can explain what-- how would you explain to our men and women in uniform that they may be deployed, they may die in future crisis that could have been avoided with
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expenditures far lower than what we spend in defense and war? how do we explain this administration's cuts? >> as you know, the budget you have before you today was developed over a long period of time. certainly started out long before the onset of the global pandemic. so, and as you're aware-- >> if i can interrupt you. >> certainly. >> then since the pandemic has arrived and democrats have proposed substantial additional assistance in the supplemental appropriations bill, are you a strong advocate for that supplemental appropriation knowing that the initial budget you put together was before the pandemic? >> certainly, we're in such with omb and the state department on a daily basisments how much should we have in supplemental appropriations for development, aid and assistance. >> omb and the white house are
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fully apprised of the-- >> i need a number. i don't have a number. the number you seek is part of a larger deliberation with the omb and the white house. >> can i count on you and the administration to advocate for a robust number? >> you can count on me to advocate what we need. >> in may, many of us introduced and co-sponsored to participate in the coalition for epidemic prepared neness investigations and alliance of partners to finance and coordinate the development of vaccines for high priority. the administration has talked of discontinuing the predict two program and moving to something else that seems i
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ill-defined. do you support cipi and if not predict two. >> regarding cepi, we recognize the coalition for epidemic preparedness, cepi. their goals align with the global felt security program to prevent the amplification and emergence of current threats. we're looking at current partnership with cepi. i have nothing to announce today, but we're having discussions with possible partnerships with them. regarding the predict project. the predict project was-- had a normal life span to it. so, it was extended past its normal termination date so what we have is a follow-on project called stop spillover, which is a natural follow on to that. >> so you have a successor
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program. >> i do. >> i do want to ask-- your predecessor stated on the record, to the clearance of land mines and-- do you continue that dedication? >> oh, certainly, mark green ooh and predecessor's dedication was well-founded and happy to receive reports we've had returns in huge success rates in terms of the amount of work that's been cleared to date. >> we still need to finish the job. i yield back. >> thank you. mr. smith. >> mr. chairman, mr. barsa, thank you, administrator barsa, for your testimony and thank you for your work on covid-19. congress in a bipartisan way came together and provided substantial new money to combat this insidious disease and my state of new jersey has disproportionality of death and
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sickness, half of those who died in my state were in nursing homes. hopefully there are lessons learned for all of us going forward, but, again, thank you for your leadership on that. i'd like to bring up two issues, the first is the ebola issues and i hosted in see air leon and we were coming up with that disease. and we spent $240 million on the usaid for the ebola and i want to thank you for that. unlike sierra leone, congo, there are therapeutics and vaccines to help our health care workers and other people. on june 25th, the help for drc declared the end of the ebola outbreak in eastern drc. it's affected 3,470 confirmed
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cases, about 2,287 related deaths. but as you pointed out, there's a concern about a new outbreak. maybe you could speak to that because obviousvigilance needs robust. thank you for the deployment. it's a story not told by the media or anybody else, there have been vaccinations. i remember we had the doctor from samaritan's purse after he had been in texas come and testified at my hearings and he was one of the lucky ones that survived, others succumbed to death, but lessons learned have been applied and our government under both administrations, the previous and this one, continue to work hard to find therapeutics and vaccines. you might want to speak to that. secondly on the desert locust crisis. i introduced a bill joined by my colleague from california, that frankly sets up a working
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group to try to be proactive on this locust problem. obviously, it's a-- miss bass our chairwoman, i'm the member of the committee, made it clear that we want a forward-thinking, this isn't the last time the potential of a crisis here exists. we're going to see it again and again, so this working group would come up with best practices on eradication and hopefully on killing these bugs before they ravish the crops and the food insecurity issue, you know, fao and others have pointed to, you know, a looming crisis. i still don't think we've done enough. not saying you, but as a world, we put $20 million into the effort, but perhaps you could speak to that as well because you and i have talked so many times over the last five months. our ambassador to the u.n. food
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agencies, talked to him several times as well. this idea of a new bill and thankfully the chairman is putting it on the docket for next week would create a working group that would hopefully be forward thinking and doing more to mitigate that crisis. thank you for your long time support of usaid. it's the honor and privilege of a lifetime to lead the talented men and women of usaid. specifically when you see how for the ebola, for disaster assistance response teams, the way they deployed into the face of whatever crisis and as you mentioned, ebola, the herculean efforts in combatting ebola, we're so happy to see that, you know, while the outbreak in eastern drc, you know, has ended, we remain very concerned and vigilant. we're monitoring nearly 11,200 ebola survivors in the east drc. we're monitoring the new outbreak in the northwest drc ap we're always on the lockout.
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we're cognizant of the constant threats of new ebola outbreaks in the drc and african countries as well. the one thing we're able to do, as the outbreak is coming to an end in the east, we're able to pivot resources and deal with staff and equipment to deal with outbreaks. watching that and the professionalism of the men and women to do that is a great source of pride for me. certainly i've learned a lot since becoming acting administrator usaid and part of what i learned was the life cycle of a locust. certainly, with the economic contract -- contraction, and food is particularly on my mind, particularly in africa. one of the things i've learned, serial while aerial spraying is a preferred method to treat infestations it has to occur in certain period of the life cycle, after the locust hatched, but before they grow
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wings. what is key then is monitoring to ensure that the available aircraft with pesticides can deploy during that window. so, it has been challenging to maintain monitoring with the pandemic and some rains that are occurring right now, but we are adding additional resources to the monitoring to ensure that our partners at u.n. food and agricultural organization, fao can deploy aircraft and pesticides to meet and get to the locusts during the period when they're most vulnerable through eradication. >> thank you so much. >> chairman. >> thank you. okay. we now are going to call on mr. meeks who is coming here-- he's not here, but he's going to come here-- i'm here though. all new yorkers are always here so-- . [laughter] >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me first echo your concern
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about the appointment of miss corgan given the record of statements and i believe comments that she made and there should not be any tolerance for that at usaid or anyone that is heading an agency such as that. so i want to, you know, first say that i strongly support your comments earlier. and it's particularly important because most of us, just about all of us in the united states congress this week are very heavy-hearted and have a very heavy heart today with the passing of a great american and a true humanitarian, congressman john robert lewis. and annually representative lewis and i, along with representatives of hastings, have proposed language to the state and operations of appropriation bill supporting diversity and inclusion, and provide protection from
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populations abroad. in my estimation there's no greater way to honor representative lewis' memory, than bolstering inclusion here in the united states and abroad. and i'll have more questions than mr. barsa you'll be able to answer. i'll try to ask them quickly and before-- maybe-- i should say afterwards you'll give me answers in writing if you can't get to all of them. let me state that i believe that the administration' budget cuts to the humanitarian account are wrong to do morally and absolutely sends the wrong message to the world. so my first question, mr. ambassador, is do you agree that upholding diversity and inclusion while allocating and
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distributing u.s. foreign assistance and is in our national interest? do you agree with that that? >> microphone. >> yes, i very much value diversity and inclusion, yes. >> so therefore, there should be accountability in that regard in the first critical step to accountability on diversion and inclusion is tracking and reporting grand lahr dialog as relates to companies, the organizations that the u.s. has contracts with. does usaid today capture self-reported data on the composition of the companies it contracts with as relates to gende gender-- sexual orientation, the board and senior management? >> we certainly have the same high standards of diversity and inclusion. you're asking about the
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mechanics and how we told them accountable i don't have that data with me, but happy to respond for the record and work with your staff with data afterwards. if you have the data i'd like to have it and see what kind of numbers of african-americans that are various boards, the diversity of companies you're working with. transparency, i would think that you have this data that it's available annually for transparency and accountability and i'd also like to work with you in regards to being committed to erasing the barriers for companies, including, working together today. small and minority high pressure owned and disadvanced businesses and non-governmental organizations and currently that many have come to me about encountering difficulties, with the assistance process at
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usaid. i'd work with you on that in the future. time is running out quickly. let me just run past you. i'm concerned, you know, we often talk about alternative developments solutions to chinese loans in africa, however, the chinese have effectively mobilized each year to strategically gain access to railways and infrastructure. we have the largest financial markets in the world. i believe we can make deep inroads and have a great impact in africa by usaid. i'd like to talk to you in regards to that and also i just want to bring to your attention and ask you about the covid pandemic has been devastating to livelihoods of hundreds of millions in africa and as well as those of african descent. likewise, in colombia. i've been a co-chair of the colombia caw cause, colombia is
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one of our strongest allies in the western hemisphere. and look at so that africans, colombians, that we're protecting africans, colombia with usaid funds and assistance to protect these individuals. i see i'm out of time and i yield back. if you could answer some of the questions in writing afterwards or let's set up a meeting so we can talk about some of these important issues. thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. meeks. i wonder if the witness would like to answer some of those questions? >> the witness would like to answer all of the questions, certainly,there were a lot of topics covered there. congressman meeks, as we've discussed before as you are aware and others are aware, as a working for a former member
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here, i appreciate the role of congress and not just operations and oversight. and i know the best government is where there's communication, if i don't get to anything during my testify i look forward to qfr's and continued conversations at any point in time. a lot of things are touched on there. certainly, i'll try to get them in order regarding infrastructure investments by the chinese and aftrica. the partnership between usaid is key in terms of identifying other investments we can make. one of the best things we can do to counter chinese influence and investments is to gather information the of onerous deals where the chinese take advantage of other countries and their vulnerabilities and share that with other host countries so they don't go down the same path and allow the chinese to take advantage of
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them. we work on information sharing and we also work on alternatives to development investment regarding afro cl colombia colombians. when i travel, it's a privilege to meet with after african colombians, and i understand there's more to be done, but i'm very proud of the steps we've made. congressman, there was another issue, i should have written it down. anything i haven't gotten to, happy respond with qfr's. >> there were other questions that mr. meeks had and we'll follow up. >> mr. chair, would they yield
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for a question. >> who is asking? >> well, i'm about to call on mr. chandler because he was here. >> so no? >> i'm willing to -- mr. chandler? >> go ahead, if it's quick. >> thank you. >> it's simply a question, mr. meeks was looking for diversity numbers and i was wondering, is there a metric that mr. meeks wanted to see met, not just these numbers out of the blue? was there an expectation, maybe mr. meeks could answer on somebody else's time, but that was the question. what number does he want to see met for all the things he was asking about. >> all right, thank you, mr. mast. >> thank you, mr. chairman for holding this hearing and mr. barsa for being here today and answering our questions. a number of us on both side of the aisle have done a lot of work on the raninga genocide,
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and i want to recognize someone who is not here, joe crawly, and i can't tell you how committed he was to this cause. a lot of people, but he's not here to pat himself on the back. i will. he was very committed and a real loss to this institution, i believe. so i was hoping that you could update us, mr. barsa, kind of on what's going on, what's the outlook on the immediate long-term, how does the budget request show support to the rahinga, as well as to hold the burmese military accountable and relieve the refugees that are in bangladesh rather than in their own country.
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>> thank you, congressman, certainly in relationship to our government to government contacts, i would have to refer you to the state department. what i'm proud to report, since august, 2017. the united states has provided more than 951 million dollars in emergency assistance to assist in the rohingya-- this is a report to the refugees, the affected host communities in bangladesh and multiple populations within burma with humanitarian assistance. we work with impacted host communities by providing support and development assistance. for example, 17% of the people live below the poverty line. and to the community and the rest of the country. and we recognize that the host communities have born the socioeconomic brunt of the influx so our efforts go in to support not just the refugees
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themselves, but the host communities who are sheltering and give them space. so, i don't have-- i wish i had an answer as to when this crisis would end, but we're doing what we can to support the rohingya. >> thank you very much, with all going on around the globe and in this country, it's easy for us not to necessarily remember those people, but there are an awful lot of people suffering. and i know the administration has committed to improving that and we want to thank you for that. >> i'll move to another line. last year congressman connolly and i in a bipartisan manner introduced the global health security act which i'm pleased to say was included in this year's ndaa, national defense authorization act which among other things affirmed a u.s. commitment to the global health security agenda. could you discuss how investments made under the global health security agenda have helped member countries cope with the latest global
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health security crisis, covid-19? >> thank you, congressman. the united states of america, the united states people by extension are the most generous people in the history of the world. so our investments over decades in global health have enabled countries not just to deal with a crisis or an outbreak in hand, but to build infrastructure and capacity. so we know, for example, clean water is an essential health services and not all the countries have-- able to provide clean water to the populations the way they should. so part of the larger health investments we make are things like access to wash. clean water and access to sanitation, so, a country's ability to respond to the pandemic isn't just, you know, access availability of ppe, it is the infrastructure that has been developed with the assistance of usaid over
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decades to help with detection, with communications, with all manner of services. health care responses are best built upon an excessing infrastructure. so we're proud to be-- i'm proud to be leading the agency. >> thank you. absolutely. and i'm trying to get one more question in. so i'll cut you off there, i apologize, but the united states can't solve every problem. we wish we could, but we can't solve every problem around the globe. could you identify some problems that you took a hard look at when crafting this budget and said, this is just a problem the taxpayers couldn't or shouldn't have to foot the bill? bill? >> i don't have a specific example, but recognize that usaid can't do it alone. i've had conversations with counterparts in the u.k., canada, and it's can go we
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should tackle together. while we're the most generous country in the history of the world. fully cognizant that not all the stress should be borne.on our shoulders and we should be working collaboratively with other countries. >> appreciate it, yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we now go to mr. deutsche of florida who is with us virtually. how is the weather down there? >> we're doing okay. thank you, mr. chairman. and thanks, acting administrator barsa for your testimony. we appreciate you joining us for this important hearing. for nearly 60 years across the democratic and republican administrations, usaid has performed invaluable life-saving work around the world from combatting hiv/aids, safe water, family planning to investing in nutrition and education. in an era offen precedented humanitarian catastrophe even before covid-19, the dollars
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invested helped make us safer. the supplemental funding through the usaid humanitarian account is a critical tool in the global pandemic response. as a chairman, i know how important the aid is in africa where 150 million to support pandemic response as well as vulnerable refugee population, but there's more work to do and more than ever, cuts to u.s. assistance only undercuts global stability. we're seeking now for global health is an issue of bipartisan agreement and all of us on this committee, cuts to budget politicize the work and
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threaten global and national security. acting administrator, the bipartisan is why i must join my colleagues in expressing deep concerns about recent appointments at the agency. for the president to knowingly appoint people with a history of derogatory comments about refugees, lbgtq people and women, which also deeply contradict's usaid's mission, that calls in question their ability to lead this agency and this dedicated work force. i am not so inclined acting administrator barsa, for confidence in these employees and i would ask you to reconsider their appointments. and now i'd like to go to what i focus my time on. in particular the west bank.
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in august 2018 the administrator announced assistance to the palestinian and west bank in gaza subject to a white house review. the end of 2019 congress passed a law that i co-authored with mr. wilson, to restore palestinian assistance. it provides to hospitals in east jerusalem. palestinian programs, stability with benefits and strengthens the security of both palestinians and israelis and furthers the prospect for peace. since the bill passed the administration has continued its effective freeze. the you usaid to the palestinians is effectively closed except for those working on regional programming. in april, 5 million in the natural disaster asans fund to help with covid-19.
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and when they proposed subject to fy20-- that the administration has not yet spent and july 9th the host precipitations committee pass add bill, 225 million for development and humanitarian assistance in the gaza. can you tell us, acting administrator barsa, what is the status of the administration's review of palestinian assistance and will it be completed in time for program the 225 million dollars that the house recently appropriated? >> congressman, thank you for your question. thank you for your longstanding support of usaid and thank you for your efforts passing. i wish i had an answer telling you that the deliberations completed, but discussions and how best to implement is are takingmation at the level and i look forward to working with you and your safe once i have
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something. it's currently under review to look at how best we can move forward. >> i appreciate that, acting administrator barsa. can you provide some light into what that interagency process looks like? who has reviewed? who hasn't reviewed? what needs to happen for that to be completed? >> unfortunately, i don't have the details. certainly, as any major policy, there are many actors that need to be consulted with, but these internal deliberations are ongoing and i share your hope that these deliberations can finish shortly so we can report back to you on how we're moving forward. >> i appreciate that. are you a part of those deliberations? >> my staff is, yes, certainly. >> okay. and so, presumably they report back to you. can you share who else is involved in that process? it's been ongoing for a long time.
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certainly, it feels hike it's being dragged along. >> who else is participating in this? >> i'm afraid i can't comment on internal deliberations, tooshgs, but i wear the desire that the ent nal deliberations conclude rapidly so we can move forward. >> which is the intent of congress and i appreciate that. >> i appreciate that. again, the goal is to strengthen stability for peace. that's what the funding can do if we can get through the process. i appreciate your help to see it through quickly. thank you, mr. chair, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. deutsche. we now go over to mr. perry. >> well, thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, mr. barsa, appreciate you being here. administrator, you said earlier this year that the usaid should
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not be doing ap does not do works untethered from national security. i think, is that right? >> yes. >> sound about familiar. is it your assessment that the state and foreign appropriations bill under consideration pursues agenda items untethered from policy? >> i haven't seen it, but certainly high belief with oerts were in agreement that usaid is the method of smart power or soft power. since our inception in 1961, usaid played a role in the national security apparatus and we're proud to do so. >> anything in particular that you would like to elaborate on based on your experience that you've seen in the past that you would prefer not to-- for us not to continue to engage on or expectations that you have in the conversations that you've had about what we
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will be forced to engage in based on the agenda and the appropriations bill as you understand it? >> i'm afraid i'm not quite sure i understand the your question, sir. >> so there anything you're going to fund or force usaid to do in the past or that you think we're going to be. >> i'm not cognizant of anything. >> how do you think the usaid could help counter the malign actors russia and china in the arctic? >> in the arctic, that's a little outside of my zone. i certainly do not have a mission in the arctic and perhaps --. >> should we? i'm serious. i mean, they're there and you're an instrument of national diplomacy and national security, and you're not present, right? that's-- but they are. >> in terms of economic development programs, soft power projection, no, i'm not
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currently in the arctic. >> and we shouldn't be, as far as you're concerned? . well, we're certainly looking at all opportunities. for example, in greenland we're proud to be part of the stand-up of emission there. we have no commitment yet on programming in greenland, but looking for ways to build our expertise to help out there if need be. >> and if china and russia also pursui pursuing opportunities in that location? >> in terms of their activities to the arctic, i'd have to refer you to state or dod. >> okay, what do you think are some of the more successful tactics in pushing back against the belten road initiativinitia. >> i think to communicate, one of the best things we have to counter china is to let people know and build awareness about
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our true and honest pathway to self-reliance. our development models could not be more diverse. certainly when i was leading the latin american bureau one of the things i was emphasizing with as information sharing within the westerns hemisphere. so if there was an attempt by the chinese to engage in a country, you know, whispering sweet nothings in their ear, trying to lead them down the path to debt diplomacy or onerous deals favoring chinese companies. one of the things i was trying to emphasize then and i'm emphasizing now, communications, have my missions in the field share information of the chinese past practices. because once other countries realize the pattern of behavior by the chinese, the information becomes more clear. then when the united states through our programming, our work with the dfc and we can provide alternatives.
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it's much easier. the best thing we have is to be honest and open and what they are. during the pandemic, deals with chinese company. there's a slew of evidence to show that our model is the preferred model. >> do you think you've been successful? because obviously the communication, i agree, is important, but money talks and most of these places they're very aggressively seeking financial assistance in that regard. while the rhetoric and the track record is certainly viab viable, but money talks, so how successful have you been? >> we've been pretty successful. money does talk, but short-term money, you can get a whole bunch of money from the chinese right now, but long-term to show that you're going to be strangled by debt for decades and lose sovereignty and autonomy, that's part of the thing. part of what we try to do by
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communicating, hey, this short-term check you're going to get from the chinese, you're going to be paying that back for decades. you're going to lose autonomy and sovereignty. money does talk. part of what we try to do the lockout long-term financial implications and dtsdz. >> time now, we go to mr. keating virtually. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, administrator. you say you coordinate with the department of defense and health and human services. [inaudible] first time in our history a pandemic put us on the level of -- indicate to you-- >> certainly, i had in february i was still leading the latin american caribbean of usaid.
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i'm afraid i don't have any answers as to what may have been communicated to the dodd for that time. happy to provide an answer through the record. >> i co-chair the subcommittee with hearings on europe our allies have come together in unprecedented ways in europe, surrounding the covid-19 pandemic. don't we have a force multiplier in general and specifically working with our closest allies? >> well, we do, absolutely, sir. >> all right. do you think it undercuts everything you've said this morning. in that case when the global response pledge by these allies and looking at north america alone, the co-chair, than mexico, mexico participated in this and--
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undercuts our efforts sending a mixed message, can you explain why that's in our best interest why we don't work with our allies on the global pledge? >> regarding the pledge, i can't comment on that, but what i can tell you-- >> for 18 billion dollars together on this, but the u.s. is-- >> in terms of the actual interaction, i would have to get back to you. what i can tell you, i'm in regular contact with my counterparts, the u.k., canada and other contact group countries. >> contact is one thing, we just said-- i'm sorry my time is limited, but just said that money matters and in fact with-- mexico, many many countries
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involved and we're past this. it strikes me, we're making a statement and a contradictory one. there-- >> look, congressman, i believe we had some connectivity issues nterms of the larger principle of coordinating with other donor countries, that is very important and we certainly do do that. i can't really comment, happy to get back to you in terms of that specific argument, but just because we coordinate internationally doesn't mean that every venue-- coordination happens in a variety of different ways. >> this is such a pronounced one, a global pledge. and this is a no-brainer for the u.s. and we're not there. so i really think it's sending some kind of message to our close allies, it undercuts
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everything working for if usaid-- and i find it just not only contradictory, but mind-boggling that you're not tired of this. and i just question, too, when we're pulling ott of the who. does not it work along the lines you're saying? and you're probably with usaid more than i am, and on the committee, but when you see these other major at the present time actions being taken, you can't see how that undercuts your motion? >> congressman, again, thank you for your long-term support for usaid. we're grateful of that. and world health organization, last year received 4% of overall.
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90% went to activity outside of the world health organization. we've been actively looking for partners. our commitment to global celt health remains strong. we will not be retreating from any corner of the stage-- >> thank you, going to have to leave it at that. >> i've got 10 seconds left. if you're looking for things, how about the global pledge, it's there. right in our face, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. keating. mr. wilson. >> thank you very much, chairman elliotiot engel. >> and you're here and you were a congressional staffer and you worked with a superstar, lincoln beloit and indeed with our congressmen keating, what
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usaid around the world. and greatest in the history of the world. and with the wuhan virus global pandemic, it's exacerbating the crisis around the world, including, asked world food program has estimated, that there will be an 82% increase of people needing food assistance as a result of the pandemic. how is usaid prioritizing? >> and to have lincoln in my life-- my first full day as acting administrator april 13th. on that day i sent out a video to the entire work force laying out my priernts. priorities one, physical and
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well-being of staff. two, was continuing around the world and part of number three was thinking through during the pandemic. it was clear to me as i aassumed the rein, it's on the fragile economies and things were going to be with us for a while. understanding this, seeing this coming down, i set up a planning cell within usaid. we're calling it the over the horizon task force. part of the goal of this task force was to break outside of silos and think collectively about the channels that usaid is going to be faced with, the challenges. not just the three months, six months. the next three, six, 10 years down the road. food insecurity is certainly one of those challenges. as we've seen, we have economic contraction throughout the
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world which has led to disruptions in supply chains, abilities for people to harvest food, get food to market. we're concerned about that so our usaid partner, they forecast globally that 25% increase in the number of food insecurity people in 46 vulnerable countries. so we're very much looking at, again, secondary and third order effects of the pandemic. this over the horizon task force, their work should be completed by the end of the fiscal year and the data they provide from this comprehensive view is going to inform not-- it's going to inform not just our decision making at usaid, but conversations with omb and the products of na analysis will be shared with you and your colleagues here for your decision making as well. >> additionally, i'm encouraged to see our relationship with india developing.
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i was honored to be with trump, president trump and to see what prime minister modi achieved. america the oldest democracy, what's our relationship now with india? >> i think it's a wonderful success story. it's evolved from traditional donor-recipient relationship, to peer-to-peer relationship. we're right now proposing a u.s.-india development foundation where we would help india mobilize their own resources for the developmental challenges, looking to use innovative finance tools. so that peer-to-peer relationship that we have, we look forward to watching with with them. >> one other making a dress, what are you doing to address
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this. >> i'm food insecurity and-- during this covid world we're seeing malign actors, criminal as well trying to take advantage of the situation. all of our programming has had an aspect of countering human trafficking, trying to give life to it and capacity building and what not. just like food insecurity, i'm afraid on the human trafficking front, i don't have see the data in front of me, but my gut is telling me we have more to look it. >> we're grateful for your service. thank you. mr. chairman. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you, mr. wilson. we'll go to mr. barra. >> thank you, mr. chairman. when i think about one of the best investments made post world war ii. it's the aid and development,
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when you think of the history, the marshall plan the best in the history of the world. it rebuilt chaip. taking korea from one of the poorest nation to this remarkable developed economy and acting administrator, you talked about pepfar, the millions of lives that investment has saved. that's a testimony to the real impact to development around the world and also to the men and women that serve as our partner and implementing agencies and ngo's and i thank them for the work every day. we face this unprecedented challenge. possibly the liggest since world war ii and the pandemic covered 19. and mr. keating alluded to this a little bit and mr. sherman also talked about the legislation to authorize what we've introduced the safe act,
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securing america from epidemics. and we think that finding cepi would be incredibly helpful. we know the global alliance that's coming together ap i appreciate you mentioning gabby in your opening remarks. part of this is the-- there's roughly 200 covid-19 vaccines under development around the world and that's why we need this co-vax killer. we may need more than one vaccine to kill this virus. we know if we work together at a global level. if, for instance, the united kingdom comes up with the successful vaccine for seniors. the uts may come up with
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someone. dr. fauci said it, and until we find an executive vaccine, 6 to 7 billion for the world and distribute and vaccine the world, we won't defeat this virus so i think that's why it's incredibly important for us to be a part of this global alliance with gabby, with cepi and et cetera. it's kind of the principle of safety in numbers. we don't know which vaccine is going to work and this doesn't preclude what the administration is doing in terms of bilateral agreements. i think it's complement tri to some of the agreements. acting administrator barsa that it's important to be a part of
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the global vaccine and how much do you engage in this. >> in gaza and cepi, it's important. vaccines is one portion of the response. the holistic response not just to this pandemic, but other health care emergencies, as i mentioned before, b my belief to have access to a wash, a sanitation service. and so in response to the pandemic. while vaccines are important, the holistic at usaid, get to the-- often times you'll see a health crisis and follows a political order because sometimes there are challenges in terms of government's providing clean water-- we feel it's the best way to build capacity for government is to strengthen their health
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systems, but certainly agree with the critical role vaccines should have. that's important, anything else is critical. proud to have that integrated in usaid. >> in my remaining time, a few members brought up the chinese approach, you brought it up, coercion, et cetera. we'll never have the resources of a single nation to necessarily combat the millions that china has. you touched on multilateral coalitions of like-minded nations and certainly when i talk to the eu and authority in-- efforts. can you give us an example of the multilateral conversations. >> as soon as i mentioned the communicati communication. the staff level were coordinated with the eu and others and i've participated
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virtually see a zoom with counterparts in the u.s., canada and the rest of the developed world. so we are discussing at different levels. >> great. >> okay, we're going to have to go to mr. yoho. >> thank you, mr. chairman and i appreciate it. mr. barsa, thank you for being here. i appreciate the accolades that mr. mccauliffe said. that's congress working on a bilateral, bipartisan manner and we need to continue that. we're focusing on what's best for everybody. and what they need, it's critical it has equity authority. >> we put in $150 billion, you know the numbers, you've talked with adam bowler and it's imperative when you're talking
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to the members or members of the appropriations committee, your ex-boss, recognize to him how important it is to have that. i want to move on and i want to go into some things, and you know, i accepted to be real blunt on things and i know i offend some people sometimes. i know that's hard for people to understand, and i don't mean to. it's to call things out and i heard gregory talking about-- i've got the utmost respect for mr. meeks. we have an array of all people involved. i agree with that 100%. are you mandated by congress that's the role of you as the administrator for usaid or should there be a separate gao person to do that or a special university inspector --
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special inspector general? >> every organization has office of civil rights or diversity. certainly, i believe the need for having a diverse and inclusive work force and to make sure that everyone has opportunities not just in hiring, but enable to advance overall responsibilities. >> and the his question was he wanted the numbers on that. we've had that mandate for a long period of time. do you have any feeling that it's not being sul filled? >> i'm certainly cognizant that we can do better. recently red a report that they could be doing better. i'm looking forward to usaid, certainly under my span of control at usaid. >> that's all i can do. >> yes, sir. >> you have people that monitor that and make sure it's done. your job is to make a mission and get responses from the mission. as i look at what you do, i've
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got this pie chart and i'm sure you've seen it from crs july, 2020 and it talks about where the money goes in usaid. 26% humanitarian, 32% health and population. 12%, but when it comes down to the things that really make a difference in a country, which is infrastructure development and i know at that kind of flows into dfc. there's only 3% that cost in that. we're talking about bowl. want pant to put you on the spot. was in 1976. >> the since the discovery of the virus there's been a total. 12,950 people die from ebola, total. all right. so we knew about it, we could have done something and this is
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why it's important that the bill we have co-sponsored for the response-- what cepi does, coordinates between other nations to bring this together so that we're ahead of the next zoonautic. and you said look at any you go into. and i hear this body wanting to ding the president because he's cutting budgets. and there's myopia. >> one is nearsighted, one is farsighted. we as a body and don't focus 15, 20 years from now where the country is going to go, you think the budget is bad today?
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look at the pandemic, the decrease in revenues and this body wants to ding a president. by god it's time to look up and look down the road where china is killing us-- i shouldn't say killing, they're beating us around the world and we can do better and need to do better and it's people in your organization, if you focus on a mission, you're going to make a significant impact for generations to come. if we don't we'll be, but a footnote in history. i yield back, sorry i didn't ask you a question. ... titus --we have missed ms. titus, virtually. >> thank you, mr. chairman and the administrator for being here. iso admired the t work of usaid. i'veai encountered hearts or members of your team all around
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the country in places and our partnerships and always thank you so much with so little. the soft power that you exhibit and you provide is such a big part of our diplomacy and that keeps us from having to use military means. but i'm a little concerned with -- or not a little, not concerned with some of the people you have on your team and you defended them recently and i know merit cardon was mentioned but she's not alone as somebody who has made statements that are contrary to i think what should be the goal or the mission of usaid. indeed, what has been stated as the mission, you have merrick garland who called the american home empire and said women biological imperative is to be
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mothers. you have mark lloyd and he is the new religious freedom advisor who has shared numerous obama phonebook posters twitter and facebook pages, even called islam a barbaric cold and there's katrina mostly who is advisor to you on the center of excellence on democracy human rights and governance. she comes from the family research council that has been designated a hate group that spews at the lgbtq views and opposes sexual and reproductive rights. usaid's role is to champion the values of respect, empowerment and diversity around the globe. you want inclusion, you want equality, you have a zero-tolerance policy against discrimination and harassment. i wonder how you reconcile these peoples backgrounds and agendas with the agenda of the agency. how you are keeping track of
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what going on in these various minority groups with these people in charge of it, and how we're going to do with that during this covid pandemic, which often exacerbates the discrimination and harassment of these very same groups? ma'am and thank you for your long-term support for usaid. eluded andman yoho everyone else has alluded, the missionce of the usaid is critical. we are mission focused and i can assure you and your colleagues employee, usaid regardless of hiring category, is held to the highest legal moral and ethical standards that usaid has always had. rep. titus: it just seems a little contrary to what you are
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supposed to be doing to have people in these leadership positions who take contrary positions -- or have a contrary agenda. how are you checking on some of this policy? maybe, you monitoring, the impact of covid on the global lgbt community or on women's rights in some of these places where the virus has led to more violence perhaps or more harassment, or discrimination? if you've got people in charge of these divisions who don't really have that mission in their heart, even if that is what it says on their application form? mr. barsa: certainly as i mentioned before, early on, it this pandemice was more than just a health care crisis. effect on fragile societies, democracies, and economies are going to be long-term and haveus, so when you economic contraction in any country of the world, you often see things that flow from that.
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some of that is increased levels of violence, as we spoke before and possibilities of human trafficking, and particularly for women or other minorities, more vulnerable. have throughout the world a greater percentage of involvement in informal economies, for example. when you have economic contractions, those informal economies are the ones that are most often affected first. in terms of the onset of the thatmic, our concern is because of the secondary tertiary effects of the pandemic, a lot of our work womening inclusion for into the workplace, into the economies and societies, our protection and lgbti, these things are at risk so we are increasing surveillance on these efforts and doing our best to rise to the challenges as they
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present themselves. rep. engel: thank you -- rep. titus: i know people don't work for usaid because of the money. it is not a job they are going to get rich on. they do it because they care in their heart to go and pursue these kinds of programs abroad that help people there and it helps us. it just seems to me it would be extremely difficult to pursue that equality and empowerment if you don't have it in your heart and apparently in the hearts of many of the people you have at the top levels is a different kind of feeling that is not about those things usaid has long pursued. i yield back, mr. chairman. rep. engel: thank you. -- >> thank you, mr. chairman. g, anin this hearin argument i've heard bipartisan
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way is one of the most frustrating arguments that i hear coming off of capitol hill, it is bullshit. the argument is people that come into this room and stand on this hill and continually say well what do i say to the servicemember going overseas that we could have prevented it i spending some u.s. taxpayer dollars somewhere else. that is a false narrative. it is a false argument that it is either one or the other. send something over in terms of u.s. aid or the u.s. service member go somewhere else and fight. that is not the truth, and it should not be put forward on this commitee. i don't want to diminish the work that usaid does. work insome humans ns work, but mr.
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sherman said what do we say to the servicemember who comes home injured, saying we could have prevented this by sending that food over or this over. we cannot allow that argument to continue. it is a false argument. you say to that servicemember, thank you for your service. thank you for knowing full well the hazards of your chosen profession. army, navy, marines, air force, womenguard, our men and who put on a uniform in defense of this country, they know what they are signing up for. they know the hazards and the risks that are posed to them by the jobs that they choose to go out there and do, and they are proud of the work that they asked to go out and do on behalf of every citizen of the united states of america, and that is my biggest ask out of this hearing, for anybody still watching online, still in their offices are back home that didn't come to the floor of this hearing room, pay attention to that. stop making that argument.
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stop using our service members as an excuse to send the taxpayer of some u.s. working citizen over to some other country. it is not to say there aren't good uses over there, but that can't be the excuse, because it is a false narrative. narrative.ue every time we send a dollar overseas somewhere else, we are taking a dollar that could have otherwise been spent here in the united states of america, so let's ask this question. it are we are in an outbreak and a pandemic or we are not. either we are or we aren't, but if we are, is there a better dollars thatthose would have gone somewhere else, not on u.s. soil, and keep them here on u.s. soil, helping american citizens? helping people in our cities? helping people in our towns? our areas that are affected? if not now, then when do we say keep those dollars here in the united states of america? we don't need to look at this as
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fromh if we cut 35% foreign funding this year, that goes on in perpetuity forever or 20% or 10% or whatever that cut maybe. now is an important time to keep dollars on u.s. soil. a moreably hasn't been important time in my generation to keep those dollars here to help americans and people in our communities and the argument is we have to send it to someone else and we are using our service members as this false narrative to say that is why it has to be done. i'll repeat my statement in the beginning, that is bull shit and i yield back. rep. engel: mr. connolly. >> thank you. i respect my friend from florida's service. he talks about false narratives. he just presented one, that dollars going overseas are an opportunity cost because they are not being invested in america. that has been proved false for decades.
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dollars going overseas through effective programs are investments for america. they are investments in laying the groundwork for trade and investment, they are great -- laying the groundwork for the creation of many kinds of new jobs for americans. they are investments for expanding our economy, and as we are learning in covid-19, we do not live on an island all alone. we are part of humanity. when something happens over there, it can affect us over here. investing in health infrastructure globally protects americans. so i reject the narrative we've just been given, and i hope most americans watching will as well. assistance can be, when it is effective, a very inexpensive investment in our own american future and it
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protects the world from all kinds of harm. economic.sical, , i didn't hear your answer other than to reaffirm aid is committed to equity and titus giveut miss you a catalog of individuals in your agency who have spewed lgbtul statements about members, about those who adhere to the islamic faith. you have one member on your staff from the family research council which has been dubbed a hate group. those people's views representative of yours or the
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current philosophy governing usaid? congressman, i have to reiterate what i said before. while someone is working for me at usaid, regardless of hiring servant,-- civil service officer, or appointee, everyone is held to the high legal, ethical standards that have always existed. rep. connolly: that doesn't answer the question, that begs the question. these people have a history. are you comfortable with having them on your payroll, representing the united states of america? mr. barsa: i have systems in place to ensure that people who are representing the united states as usaid employees do live up to the high standards. rep. connolly: so if someone came to you with an explicitly hate-filled, racist rant and a history of it, posting it, it,king it -- tweeting
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spreading it, if they said that --then, this is now, i will it is not a disqualified potential employee? throughout the appointment of political appointees occurs as a conversation between the white house and whatever agency in place, so regarding the vetting and placement of appointees, i would have to agree you to the white house. what i can assure you, once they are an employee of mine had usaid, we have standards we uphold people to. rep. connolly: well, i've been working with aid for over 40 years, and i have never seen it peopled with individuals who have those kinds of records, and i think it is a shameful moment that thosed shameful
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come from the white house. it is another blot on this white house. quickly, theal proposal is you take a 50% hit. given the pandemic we are involved in and its ramifications in refugee camps, its ramifications in aggravating the hiv-aids crisis, which is expected to grow 10% the next five years, how can you absorb a 50% cut and do your job in meeting those many crises around the world? mr. barsa: thank you congressman. the budget you see before you was developed -- started longopment the process before the outbreak of the pandemic so extremely grateful for the generosity of the united states congress with supplemental bills. i understand there is one being negotiated now but the budget developed was before the pandemic.
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rep. connolly: will there be a revised budget presented to congress in light of the pandemic and the analysis of the impact of the pandemic on your applications and opportunities to respond? mr. barsa: my understanding is negotiations on a potential supplemental are taking place right now between the white house and appropriators, so we are in contact with omb in the challenges we are seeing here and now and one of the things i mentioned in the testimony, on out ant day, i put announcement to staff that one of my concerns was a secondary and tertiary effects of the andemic, so i have stood up analytical cell come over the horizon task force to look outside of silos at things like insecurity. holistically, what the challenges are going to be before us, not just in six months, but six years and out. the product of this analytical horizon tasker the
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force will go to inform conversations we have with omb and part of that -- the product will be given to you to inform your decisions so we can make data driven decisions when it comes to allocation. rep. connolly: when can we expect to see that? mr. barsa: the planning cell is due by the end of the fiscal year, so september. rep. connolly: a revised budget by -- mr. barsa: i'm not saying revised budget. looking at challenges, we should have that information to inform conversations about budget. that information should be available by the end of the year. rep. connolly: i would just say as the committee of jurisdiction, the originator of aid, ithorization for would hope we could get a revised budget that is more realistic in light of the pandemic. my time is up and the chairman has been gracious, thank you. rep. engel: thank you, mr.
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connolly. andhank you, mr. chairman i've made a list, i am saddened you will not be back with us. of course, i don't know if i'll be back either, but regardless, you've been nothing but classy to me and i appreciate it. i still want to take you up on that offer of hanging out with you in new york city one day. somebody said that would be like an episode of seinfeld, so i look forward to that. thank you, sir for being here. china andned about the felton road initiative. i guess i come from it from a different angle. my father fought in the pacific, fought the japanese across the pacific and went to china after the war and thought the comment -- fought the communists and i ned some of their goals
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that were different than some of my buddies growing up did. i looked at them, i always looked at china through rose -- not rose-colored glasses. i'm always very skeptical of anything they do, any initiatives, and i wonder if you can explain to me a little more how we are responding to their belt and wrote initiatives? ad initiatives? want thisett: i don't technical garbage. just from the heart, what you are doing. mr. barsa: from the heart, i didn't have any family that fought in the pacific, but i had a mother who fled communism as a iung girl, a young lady so have a visceral mistrust for communist systems and i know what they do and how they abuse their people, but coming income you go with the data so it is not a visceral mistrust of the chinese, when you look at the data of what they are doing with
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debt diplomacy and one-sided deals where money talks, but they give the promise of money in the short term, but with these long ended conditions which basically tie up countries so they lose their autonomy, lose their sovereignty. one of the best things we can do is provide alternatives to the chinese development model. we truly have a model premised on what is called the journey to self-reliance, where we help countries stand up on the rhone, to stand up and get up on the own, to get- their up on their own feet. deals chinarica, did in jamaica, letting other people know so our missions in the field have a role in sharing information with countries who might be tempted to fall for chinese lies. we also help with infrastructure development. you mentioned the dfc. we find ways to invest in deep
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water ports and other infrastructure in ways that benefit countries. again, the best thing we can do to counter china is to be more open and talk about what we do. rep. burchett: what is working specifically when you mention deepwater ports? for the record, china is building the deepwater port in israel, which to me is alarming but that is on another subject. i would like to know what is working and what can we do more of that is working? mr. barsa: i can give you more followingd anecdotes up, but what we have done in the solomon islands, we supported and infrastructure assessment by solomon islands engineers, the harbor in malaysia province is one of the last underdeveloped in the south pacific. staff led the infrastructure scoping mission together with several agencies to assess the port and
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complement your infrastructure and because of our efforts and our openness, ultimately the government turned away from chinese support. i'd be happy to follow up with more examples. rep. burchett: i appreciate thatrep. burchett:. mr. chairman, i believe i'm about to run out of time so i will yield back, maybe to mr. castro. you said some nice things about me, you can how all of time you want -- have all the time you want. rep. burchett: bring me one of your new york pizzas. i drove through your area. i've never been to new york and it is not nashville, tennessee. i'll tell you that. rep. engel: we want you to come back. please do. mr. castro? mr. chairman and thank you administrator for being here to testify and some of these questions were part of the question may have been asked. i was on the house floor. as we speak about the influence
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of usaid during one of the most greatest health crisis the world has known, it is critical representatives carry out the mission of usaid in a way that reflects u.s. values. a series of political appointees contradicts these values. at least three recent positions have been filled by personnel who have histories of homophobic, islamophobic. -- statements. some comments include america is ruled by the tyrannical lgbt agenda and islam, a barbaric cult, and ld officeuld not ho because they will always hold office the benefit of themselves. you did not make these comments but you are the administrator.
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can you explain why these people remain in their leadership positions and will you take action to replace them, and if not, please explain how usaid will mitigate the damaging messages there membership to personnel who remain under the leadership of these people? mr. barsa: as the acting , it is mytor of usaid responsibility to ensure each employee, regardless of hiring category, lives up to the highest legal moral and ethical standards usaid has always held in place. i'm proud to say the work of usaid overseas and at headquarters remains unimpeded by this. we are very proud of the way we are executing our work and i can assure your colleagues that every employees held accountable. rep. castro: and i appreciate and i don't doubt your sincerity in wanting it to be a
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place that respects all people, but you have some folks in key positions who have made very bigoted comments. have you had a conversation with them? have you admonished them at a minimum? what action has been taken? mr. barsa: i'm not going to comment on personnel decisions, but i can assure your colleagues that we have the mechanisms in place for oversight and ensuring every employee, regardless of hiring category, lives up to the standards we have and has always had. rep. castro: i just want to convey to you what a damaging message it sends around the a developmentd, organization and is supposed to help people in need, people of color, lgbtq people, vulnerable people all around the world to have folks like that in the employ of any federal or government agency, but in the gem ofof what is our
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reaching out to the world, usaid . can you tell me what role the ppo have in pushing these nominees? did you or someone at usaid recommend them or were their names pushed forward by ppo? mr. barsa: in my previous administrator -- service, the placement of political employees, as with all administrations, a conversation between the white house and the host executive branch agency. back.astro: ok, i yield rep. engel: thank you very much. chairman.ou, mr. thank you, administrator for being before our committee. again, i also want to stress my to thesure, my objection
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-- presence of folks who have made anti-immigrant, islamophobic statements in an agency that is there to help other countries develop and that should be an agency that recognizes diversity and allows for those diverse groups within the agency and in our country and abroad to develop, so i am concerned these hamper if notl break the development of good programs in countries that need to help, particularly during this pandemic across the world, and i would like to see the administrator perhaps put out a statement that names these
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individuals and actually moves away from their statements in an unequivocal way, to send a clear and histhat the agency leadership does not stand for what the folks have to say. at the very least, look into their past and present practices to see that those would impair the agency's ability to do the great work they should be doing across the world. my question -- i know, mr. you have past experience in latin america and the caribbean and we see how the pandemic is now spreading throughout latin america and the caribbean, brazil, mexico. we know it hit early on ecuador the dominican
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republic, caribbean, and other island nations and i want to know what is our plan with regards to the distribution of and otherlators, equipment, life-saving equipment? we could whine and complain about china, but the fact of the ander is they go in there, they take ownership of major projects. i know we have attempted to do that, but we have not done it in a significant way in the region. writing our own backyard. in our own backyard. we are being outflanked by waya, which, in a predatory which i disagree with, they are taking on major infrastructure projects that are critical to the development of those countries so i want to know, particularly now during this pandemic in the caribbean and in latin america, what is the plan ppe,said to distribute
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ventilators, or other important equipment to help those nations? mr. barsa? my experiencee of dealing with natural disasters at the department of homeland security, one of the lessons ingrained in me how disasters befall the overtime, so a lot of the assumptions based in one period of time may be revisited as information changes. we are seeing that with this pandemic. part of the benefit of us having our presence in this country's missions, we are able to work with host countries in seeing what the needs are as it develops. regarding ppe, we have a policy in place where implementing partners are able to purchase ppe locally, but we are constantly assessing what the needs are in a particularly country. the pandemic is hitting different countries friendly so it wouldn't be prudent to come
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up with a cookie-cutter response to the pandemic. rep. espaillat: let me say, for example -- example, rapid test kits, which are needed everywhere because this is ppe, rapideatment, tests are badly needed in many places across latin america and the caribbean. what are we doing to provide that to those countries? there is a comprehensive view we have the -- for the pandemic. test kits are part of the response. they may not always be available in the amounts we would like. the response of the pandemic in haiti is different from the response in the dominican republic and in columbia, so we
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look to see what assets are available and what is needed. we try to tailor a response in the best way possible to the country's specific needs. rep. espaillat: let me just say, this has been difficult for the latin american and caribbean and they are in bad need of test kits, ventilators now. and we areof ppe, coming right into hurricane season. i want to know, what preparations has usaid done to help caribbean countries that are on the pathways of hurricanes and will be hit hard right in the middle of this pandemic during this hurricane season. is there any preparation for usaid to assist these countries? mr. barsa: this is a great point of pride coming into usaid, especially from the department of homeland security who responded with fema, finding a professional team at usaid so
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adept at disaster response. responsesto fema, our based on are modified the challenges of the pandemic so we are closely coordinating up witha and coming best practices for hurricane response, particularly when it comes to putting people in shelters. how do you do that with distancing, with ppe for displaced personnel? we are in constant communication with fema and sharing best practices and how to respond during the pandemic. we are ready and braced for any hurricanes. don't have to but we hear reports this may be a more active hurricane season than most, but we are prepared to the best way possible to respond. rep. espaillat: i'm deeply concerned. i'm deeply concerned about the hurricane season in the middle of the pandemic in that region. mr. barsa: we all are.
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thank you. yes, sir? will you put out a statement on the appointees and their anti-lgbtq, anti-immigrant, islamophobic statements. mr. barsa: to ensure there is no confusion on june 24, i put out a statement, publicly available, i can give it to your staff, reiterating our values. excellence, integrity, respect, empowerment, inclusion, and commitment to learning. rep. espaillat: will you name the names? you that: i commit to without naming names, because all employees, regardless of hiring category, are held to the same high standards. rep. engel: we are going to have to go on -- rep. espaillat: thank you, mr.
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chairman. i yield back. rep. engel: thank you, mr. chairman. director, i want to thank you for taking time out of your schedule to be with us today. facing challenging times as a country and challenging times across the globe. i also want to thank you, you and i had the opportunity to visit two and half, three weeks ago to talk about some of our shared interests and talk about .ome of the goals of usaid i wanted to highlight a program usaid has and i am proud to see is housed in the third congressional district at the city state university, the innovative lab for fish and is part of your agency's feed future program. 2018, and iner of partnership with other research
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universities, mississippi state had the opportunity to manage 'sat program and support usaid aquaculture research and capacity building and it has been implemented in five developing countries. bangladesh,hat in cambodia, kenya, nigeria. this is a very important project, a very important program where your agency is able to partner with research universities so that we can continue to export across the globe the opportunities for countries to better themselves, to be able to feed their populations, so first of all, i want to thank you for your support in that program and i want to thank mississippi state university and my good friend for partnering with usaid and i want to thank him for being an advocate for global food security.
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this program will feed more than 800 million people across the globe who suffer from hunger. question to ask you a as it relates to a topic you and i had the opportunity to visit on a couple of weeks ago, and that being the nation of venezuela. you've written in the report on on pageen, you address seven at page eight, you talk about the administration's stand, you talk about how the administration is working with the people of venezuela to recover their country, and actually to change the future as they seek to throw off the under of a dictatorship which they are currently suffering. i want to ask you for a couple of minutes if you could expand before this committee about things usaid is doing specifically in venezuela as we seek to help the venezuelan people retake their country and
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retake their future. mr. barsa: thank you, congressman. as i stated before on the personal level, my mother fleeing communist cuba at a young age and growing up with for the a special place suffering of the venezuelan people inside and outside of venezuela's i'm proud to lead an organization that is doing so much to alleviate human suffering within the borders of venezuela and helping with those displaced venezuelans and host communities and countries that are hosting them. host communities and countries are hosting them. today the united states has provided more than $856 million tohumanitarian assistance support programs in venezuela and 17 neighboring countries. our programs expand the democratic spaces are supporting independent media, human rights organizations and a
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democratically-elected national assembly leader guaidó. the regime led by maduro, even before the pandemic, we were seeing and hearing reports of collapsing medical systems, of malnutrition and other suffering inside venezuela. unfortunately, with the pandemic, the situation got worse. part of the tragedy before us -- maduro's regime has knowing that we could help alleviate human suffering and the regime will not let us get into management assistance in the scale necessary. >> thank you and a lot of time so mr. chairman, at this point i will yield back.
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>> thank you very much. ms. wild. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. barsa, i don't anticipate will agree on everything but i think there are a few things we can probably agree on. i like to move through them quickly. can we agree responding to covid-19 required congress to pass emergency stimulus packages in both houses to address the viruses spread in the united states? >> i'm grateful for the generosity of the united states congress and we done her best to put the money to get just. >> and weekly dinner sufficiently appropriate in 2020 to do with this pandemic without the stimulus package? >> certainly thought the budget process we couldn't is that something that had not occurred yet. probably be future pandemics? admin. barsa: i guess it is a mathematical probabilities. >> can we agree that future pandemics will require future
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cooperation? admin. barsa: yes. >> because eradicating a pandemic requires cooperation. admit to investments in foreign aid? i can admit to that because that is what we decades. doing for >> you would object to the president church fiscal year 21 budget which cuts foreign aid by 21 percent especially since you know that international health organizations make up a large percentage of that foreign aid? admin. barsa: this is where we part ways. certainly the world health organization, the president's decision to withdraw from the w.h.o. was based on a number of factors. we certainly do not disagree with that decision. healthestment in global last year, only 4% of the money
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the united states spent on global health, only 4% went to the w.h.o. we have been looking to find partners to continue the work we have been doing throughout the world. find we should alternative partners because we w.h.o.out of the there is a 20% increase in modernizing our nuclear arsenal. imbalance in priorities reflect our desire for global corporation to give a future pandemics? admin. barsa: in my decades of service in or out of government, i have never met a government chair who said they had enough money. decisions on budgets are difficult. resources.ant in terms of allocations betray different agencies, i would have omb.irect you to all an
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agree that the desire for cooperation to deal with future pandemics is at odds with increasing the budget for foreign aid? admin. barsa: i am cognizant that the decisions on the overall budget are difficult es with scant resources and nobody has everything they want to have. this budget before you is the end product of a process that started before the onset of the pandemic. >> but have to adjust to changing circumstances. do you have any idea what the covid-19 pandemic has cost the american taxpayer? anyn. barsa: no, i have not of those figures. >> i would ask that you feed the advice of president bush's a pretty assistant administrator of usaid come that lester munson, who said prevention is much cheaper than a cure.
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with that area back, mr. chairman. >> i recognize ms. wagner for five minutes. and i think that chairman, wherever he may be, for organizing this hearing, and thank you, administrator barsa for your time and your service to this country. i look forward to strengthening international programming, promoting support for humanitarian aid in maintaining robust u.s. leadership abroad. today we are seeing rivals like exploitd russia instability and crisis to undermine democratic values and respect for human rights. she united states' insistence on collaboration and
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self-sufficiency mix as the partner of choice for countries -- makes us the partner of choice for countries seeking a helping hand to grow their economies, improve health fight corruption, and so on. we must continue to play a leading role in helping marginalized, poor and vulnerable people around the world build a better future. the, spidey continues to disseminate the communist partys wrongsseminate information about covid-19 and its source. how are we using programs to correct ccp falsehoods and be sure that our partners are basing pandemic response efforts on accurate information?
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admin. barsa: as part of your question, these falsehoods are being propagated by the chinese communist party. one of the best tools we have is in this information is to counter without a information lies. as expose the highlight false information. communication is one of our best tools. what we have going for us is the honest assessment of what we do. our developmental model. the options that we have in terms of helping companies on their journey to self-reliance. so we are doubling down on communications in the indo ,acific, latin america caribbean, and anywhere we see the chinese trying to exert influence. >> when this global health request was developed, we were not in the middle of a global pandemic.
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working tod wer prevent backsliding in our health programs, such as hiv-aids, tuberculosis, malaria, and maternal and child health the chinese communist atty's lack of transparency the onset of the pandemic set as act and made things more difficult for usaid. thanks again to you and your colleagues for the generosity in supplementals so far. when we distributed our funding to respond to the pandemic, we targeted efforts to the indo africa, europe, and this is with high transit routes to africa. because of the lack of transparency, we got there too late, so we had to expand our work. so now we are globally.
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has been for decades, investing in global health infrastructure. access to clean water, strength and epidemiological systems, a whole suite of activities. we are proud of the fact that these investments have paid off , andrms of better response it is lamentable that, because of the chinese, all these systems are being challenged. >> usaid is doing great work to advance of the indo pacific strategy, reassuring our partners and allies in the region. however, southeast asian countries on the front lines of escalating competition between the united states and china i think worry that a strategy focused on the indo pacific will somehow diminish their role in regional affairs. promote southeast asian countries'centrality in
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achieving a free and open indo pacific? >> mr. barsa, could you give a rapid response? i am told we are expecting a vote on the floor? admin. barsa: we have the development of mission in south asia, but competition with china is not limited to southeast asia, unfortunately, it is competition worldwide. i am happy to respond further to your questions. >> i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you. mr. phillips. rep. phillips: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. barsa, i appreciate your time today. i started by recounting our phone call on june 12 which i enjoyed. i shared some of the concerns shared by many of my colleagues about the number of the hires made. rather than go rather than go over that again i would be remiss if i didn't bring it up. i want to focus on the local works program first. it looks to advance locally led
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development countries all around the world which means local people becoming empowered to take thehe lead in the developmt process, including priority setting and decision-making, management and whole lot more. i love that program. i believe it holds up the administrations priority of achieving self-reliance. ace quick synopsis of your thoughts. >> its diplomatic of exactly what we're trying to achieve. self-reliance come to help private sector's in each country grow on their own. to set the environment for growth. i firmly believe jobs are not created by government but by the private sector. having these programs in placete to help private sector and economies grow exactly what's needed for long-term sustainable economic development. >> i couldn't agreeec more. as you know the program gets its funding from the developer
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assistance fund and economic support fund. you are probably aware the president's budget request ask those accounts be combined into one account. developomic support andst an fund, is that correct? >> yes. >> so i need to know how can we assure such a valuable program on which we both agree is still fully funded and an important part of our development assistance when the core accounts that funds are being classed into one and, unfortunately, significantly reduced? how can we reconcile that? >> as i mentioned in my time, decades of service inside and outside of government i have never been any government agency or known of a government agency that had enough money as they would like. these are challenging times, scarce resources so stand by the budget before you but you have my commitment i and the rest of the 202-737-0002 will be doing our best with these precious taxpayer dollars to further these programs.
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>> thank you. thank you very much. mr. levin. period okay. moved to ms. spanberger. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you for holding this hearing. than ythank you very much to the witness for being here. it's good to see you virtually like this. thank you for testifying. usaid level health program have been monitoring zoonotic diseases, diseases the spillover from animals to people for more than a decade and his programs have collectively been known as the predictor programs. they leverage the expertise of health officials to respond quickly to these outbreaks and prevent futuree outbreaks. this life-saving work has helped identify hundreds of viruses and enhanced enhance the results of healthcare systems around the world. this administration decided to
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shutter predict. personally this does not that e sense to me given the proven effectiveness of t this program especially as experts have been warning for years about the very real threat of a pandemic. i understand there is been short-term extension of the predict programs and a call for proposals for follow one programs. that is, the basis of my question today. what is the status of extending predict and/or setting up a successful program? >> thank you for your question. predict was always planned on having a full life cycle an end date. it is not set the predict program is being shut prematurely. this is a natural evolution of the program. our follow-on program stop spillover which was always planned -- >> mr. barsa, how can you say it's a full lifecycle when we always have known that the future threat of pandemics existed? why would the administration
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choose to end the program that so far had proven successful without a replacement ready? so what is that successor? >> the successor is called stop spillover. is it -- it is building upon all the lessons learned from the predict program and improving it, proving our ability to monitor zoonotic diseases. instead of continuing something which may be outdated, again and learning from the predict program, and our follow-on program which are hope to an award t by september, just a few months from now, is building upon all the successes of the predict program to havell a more robust analytical -- >> what are the successes upon which stop spillover will be building upon? >> i don't have the exact data before me. happy to get back to you and your staff, questions for the record for or in a separate briefing. >> thank you. what are the weaknesses of the verdict program that would require a new generation program
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and request for proposals? >> happy to provide a briefing more information to you but it's their weaknesses in the program.qu this is a natural evolution you will have a follow-up program. happy to get back to you with more details. >> mr. barsa, typically within an evolution, and evolution is continuous. here we had a stoppage of the program that has been known to help ourvo country and the world ase it relates to the threat of zoonotic diseases and pandemics, and now we are in a process where we are receiving proposals for the next step in the middle of a pandemic? do you understand the concern that many of us have, that the time is just inappropriate and hurting our ability toin respon? >> i don't know if it's hurting our ability to respond. a response, we can back and have more detailed discussion afterin the hearing but again this is always planned. we are no longer receiving
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proposals, that window close june 1 and we're on the cusp of making an award and moving forward with a follow one program. >> but when a global pandemic struckal was ever discussions tt you are a part of or lead or were aware of saying perhaps during a global pandemic where we are having massive closures, the u.s. economy is coming to a crushing end, and we frankly need our public of expertise, was there ever discussion of maybe this is not the right time to pursue this shift? >> but again certainly on looking at how zoonotic diseases spill over and get into the human population, that's on the front end. with the response to the pandemic, response comes from ppe, ventilators, access to clean water. so again the predict program was extended and this is a natural, the natural follow-on come stop spillover. interim of the response to the
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pandemic we have been focused on that. >> okay. certainly given thehe death rate across the united states, i hope that when we're in a position we should focus on what has been working. we should focus on saving lives and i continue to think that repeated attempts to cut public health programs including those that catch diseases before they become the outbreaks in a pandemic such as covid-19 that has now killed thousands upon thousands of americans, i really cannot help but wonder about the role that predict could have played in the lead up to covid-19 has it been able to halt the viruses ability to come to our country. we are currently experiencing the cost of under investing in public health domestically and incarnation with our international partners. mr. chairman, i yield back. thank you for being here, mr. barsa. >> thank you.
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that gentlewoman yields back. let's go back to mr. phelps to cut i cut them off prematurely. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. barsa, we have been speaking about the local works program. i appreciate your support on it. i encourage incremental investment because it is one of the most compelling programs that we offer. i also want to talk about kids and youth. house appropriations committee included my r recent report that would quote encourage inclusive and meaningful participation of youth, in management and resolution as well as post-conflict relief and recovery efforts. we can all celebrate the fact that kids, youth of the majority population in many conflict affected countries. my question is, how will the administration, how would you prioritize the role of youth in conflict prevention, resolution,
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and recovery? i believe they have unique role to play. i would love your comments on that. >> thank you, congressman. the old saying holds true, an ounce of prevention is worth a a pound of cure. so investing, investment in education, making sure youth have access to education, not just helps with economicss integration and a country's economic development but also in the societal and political integration as well. this is especially true with women by the way. we are always for that. as partal of our reorganizatione stood up the girl for stabilization to do just that,, to put the focus to our efforts on investments to prevent conflict on thehe front end. just like all the other things you mentioned that are affected pandemic, i'm also concerned about challenges in education systems around the world,nd people not having acces to education. so we are very attuned to the
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challenges. we are looking at our program to see what we can do in any number of countries to ensure that used to have access to education, because the consequences of youth not getting the full education are certainly negative and would like to avoid that. ..
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usaid,not just of the but other elements of interagency. we are currently in discussions of the technical details of implementation of the gfa. once those discussions are done, i look forward to following up with you on the details. basically, we are focusing many long-standing usaid activities to rise to the
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challenges of fragility. on.iman engel: we move rep. phillips: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. ms.riman engel: missil houlihan. ms. haaland: -- houlian: my questions will surround the same questions you had on the phone. i will take you up on your words that an ounce of prevention is cure.upon the talking specifically about the united u.n. population fund, there was $32.5 million appropriated for the agency that i understand will not be transferred to the international organizations bureau to usaid. while i think it is clear that nobody can replace the work of uns
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fiscal year 2020 monies appropriated for you and sba will be reprogrammed . so where has the funding been relocated and specifically what programming is being supported sir >> the sensitive details about how every dollar went to, i don't have that information before me but i'd be happy to get back to you and the questions in a separate briefing. >> i appreciate that and i'd like to know as the full scope and scale of the previous activities continued with anynew partners that you're aware of . this typically through the beneficiaries support the us sba mission and what was originally intended the essence of the intent of that money. >> to get to that level of granularity afraid i'd have to give you a separate briefing but i'm happy to do so. >> i would appreciate that too and about what i'd like to know in this audience is
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can you ensure us that any transferred funds hthat would be going to our existing family-planning would be going to international family-planning and evidence-based reproductive health programs that support access to contraceptives, ending child marriage, gender-basedviolence and genitalia mutilation . so you can guarantee us that will be the case that those monies will go for? excellent thank you for that assurance because i would like to emphasize there are many organizations out there of course you as ba is an replaceable partner but we need to make sure we are clearly directing those resources towards their original intent and thanks for that and i'd love to follow up with you on a subsequent conversation about that and my next question have to do with access to comprehensive services and i think we can both agree gender-based violence is a critical impediment to personal safety to the economic empowerment and long-term well-being ofwomen globally .
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is that something we can agree on? in 2016 the cost of violence against women was estimated to be 1.5 trillion are basically two percent of the global gdp. or roughly the size of the canadian economy. it is sometimes referred to as the shadow pandemic so clearly congress is made addressing gdp globally a priority by providing $150 million annually. the administration did not request any specific funding for this issue . and youexplain why not ? >> certainly our efforts suggest that generates violence, us 80 efforts have reached 8 million people in fy 2019, 62 usaid operating s units providing care to prevent and respond to gender-based violence from child early in forced marriages. we know in conflict settings and right now where concerned in this covid affected world
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there's a rise in gender-based violence so as part of all of our missions, looking for ways to prevent gender-based violence, it's part of our programming. >> why hasn't the administration carved out that in their resources and what asked for?>> again the budget you see before you is a product t of trade-offs and difficult decisions in terms of resource allocations. >> i understand that budgets are a process of trade-offs but there a reflection of our values and it seems to me not only should our values in combating gender-based violence but the economics of it would compel us to be putting resources towards that prevention is worth a pound of cure and i appreciate your timeand i look forward to follow-up conversations with you . >> we will now go to miss
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malinowski . >> thank you so much mister chairman . thank you mister barsa. would you agree that when an effective vaccine or vaccines for covid-19 are developed that it would be in the us national interest for everybody in the world to have access to that vaccine or at least in every affected country .ea >> pandemics know no borders so certainly it would be beneficial to have wide distribution of the vaccine of course. >> beneficial for us not just from a humanitarian point of view. >> pandemics respect no borders. >> so should the united states do our share with our allies and partners to ensure that everybody who need the vaccine gets one given that many of the affected countries or developing countries that may not be
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able to do it on their own. >> we are proud of the work we've done with vaccines. >> on not asking what we've done. should the united states play its role with our partner and ourallies . our fair share in entering a vaccine is distributed to everybody needs one. >> i believe we should, yes. >> what have we pledged buspar to that global effort? as you know a number of our partners made specific pledges to aid in the distribution and development of a vaccine. >> i don't have any fixed pledges to report to you today but we are concerned we are waiting certainly the production of a vaccine. >> so the answer is nothing. >> i have nothing to report. >> you would know if we had pledged something so the answer is nothing. i think canada is blessed about $100million .
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norway has pledged 1 billion. you were asked about us attendance at conferences and you said we have other ways of coordinating with our allies and but at the end of the day as we were discussing money talks and so far we have not made such a pledge. this is something i think we are committed to on a bipartisan basis here as you know. the senate is now working there answer to our opening bid on the next coronavirus relief package. i've been, i've spoken to a number of republican senators about this in my understanding from press reporting is the republican proposal in the senate put forward a very generous number. for us contributions to eventual division of a global vaccine but that the white house is pushing back on this so again i want to impress you, what is the administration policy. does the administration believe we should do our share as a large and wealthy
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country bond the distribution of a global vaccine. >> afraid i can't align on communications between the appropriators. >> but you know what the policy is. >> i know the united states government has been, we are the most generous people in the history of the world and our investments in global health infrastructure are unprecedented. >> but that talking points. >> it's the reality. >> i understand. but i sat where is it and i've been through the boards and read the briefing books and i know there's all kind of ways they teach you not to answer the question. but what we need here is a clear commitment from the administration. you have from democrats and republicans putting the wrong supporters of president trump
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on capitol hill. we want to do our share and right now my sense is getting resistance, not from usaid but from the white house to ensuring we do that share with vaccine is the is a critical moment and there will be a tendency by some to say let's keep it . let's not get anybody else. we developed it, we invented it. you know that sentiment is out there i want to hear if i can hear it from you i hope you go back and urge the secretary and others to be very clear about this. the united states will do its share. >> it's not a talking point but this is a sincere statement of fact that i am proud and the men and women and investments usaid has made in globalhealth infrastructure , >> has made, past tense. >> our generosity is ongoing and continuing. >> and we pledge nothing. thank you, ideal back. >> mister truly. >> outhank you mister chairman.
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thank you for this hearing today. mister dawson, we've all seen reports of authoritarian leaders taking advantage of the pandemic to increase their crackdowns on free-speech and independent press. outlets like radio free europe are so critical. but the trump administration as/the funding to the agency for global media and as hampered our efforts to help our allies in short interest and slow the spread of these far right anti-democratic ideologies to curtail our basic freedoms. t are you going to continue to support independent media in turkey if your d prioritizing tools that would prove effectivefor decades ? >> certainly one of the
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things ini'm very proud of at usaid is our efforts on countering malign influence. for example which basically rests on four pillars to focus on democracy and rule of law, independent media , energy independence and economic diversification through our efforts we have been able to turn the tide on russian disinformation for example. in georgia in april they spoke credited usaid's local implementing partner for the removal of 500 pages, 100 facebook accounts and 120 groups which were created maliciously by the kremlin to sew false narratives. in serbia we built skills in fact checking and debunking false narratives to expose this information and i can keep going on with other examples so we're proud of our efforts to bring light to an effort not just by the kremlin but by the chinese
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communist party as well. >> the true facts and we don't have to spend all of our time debunking those facts. highlighting the importance of countering malign kremlin influence in europe and eurasia. it was a request, seriously reduces the capacity and anticorruption programs so how is usaid going to challenge these malign influences and how would programming be nfimpacted if these reductions are all connected? >> the congressman stated before the budget you see before you is the product of a longprocess of difficult decisions . about how to allocate cares resources. so certainly our work in fighting corruption not just in europe but throughout the
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world remains a critical part ofall our programming . >> .,iraq, infrastructure and population displacement. the trump administration is trying to encourage increase foreign governments to put investments in these areas to help them recover. but the question is will the us continue to invest more and what foreign dollars actually step up and then forthcoming g? >> in terms of dollar figures , i have to get back to you the questions for the record but review into his contributed acwhat but certainly has most recently as june 30 ambassador jeffrey the special representative for syria announced several million dollars in us government humanitarian funding . certainly this tincludes the hundred $68 million in usaid
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funding for nonfood aid inside. to meet the needs of the regions. in terms of dollar amounts contributed by partners have to get back with you and your staff with that information. >> you broke up, could you repeat the question. >> named one of the funders that have contributed and the dollar amounts. >> i have to get back with you. i think i know the answer but i don't have this in front of me and i don't want to give you incorrect information that i like tofollow up . >> that would be great and what risks you see under investing, what's going to happen ifyou don't get this right ? >> the short answer is human suffering will continue that's why we are so desirous in syria and inside venezuela. when we see human suffering we hope for our ability to get humanitarian assistance
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population and a freeequitable manner . so that's why we value every taxpayer dollars appropriated to us and want to ensure that it spends wisely getting to the people in the and we have these structuresin place to do just that . >> ideal back. >> the gentleman yieldsback and as you can see there's a boat going on inthe floor . we want to thank all the members for their questions . after barsa thank you for being here today and the committeeon foreign affairs dance adjourned .
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>>. [inaudible]
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>> the senate need that for eastern to consider williams.hardy for district court judge for western pennsylvania . they will vote on confirmation at 5:30 eastern and off the floor and republicans are working on a new trend for relief package. details are being negotiated and we will be looking for reaction today on the floor. in the meantime the senate will consider nominations including the new federal housing administration commissioner . watch live set coverage on c-span2. more memorial services for john lewis continue as his casket is moved to washington dc. there will be a memorial service at the capital attended by house peter pelosi, mitch mcconnell and members of the lewis family. at live starting at 1 pm eastern on c-span and the
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civil rights leader will lie in state outside the capital of the front due to social distancing guidelines . that starts at 6 pm eastern and we will watch periodically on c-span for the evening. a lot of continuous stream willalso be available on our website . tonight on the communicators, or non-republican congressman greg walden. >> there's great admiration for the innovation and brilliance that just pulses in silicon valley. i've been out there and toward a lot of the companies, met with leaders and it's so exciting to see what's being developed and what the future holds. i'll be careful how i say this and i'll probably offend somebody but there's also an arrogance that comes with that incredible productivity and innovation tends to downplay the effect that they have on public policy and
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people engaged in public policy. i'll just say when you'rethat good, you're that big , you're that strong, you're that innovative sometimes you think you can discard public reaction or political reaction. >> tonight at the easternon the indicators . >> what our like daily unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house. >> our countries are linked by trade and travel. >> on issues that matter to you. >> our ongoing efforts focus on the mission. save lives, meet the needs of our states, our healthcare workers. >> along with briefings on the coronavirus pandemic. and the latest from campaign 2020 . >> the part of the conversation every day with our live call-in program. and if you miss any of our
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live coverage watch anytime on demand at c-span.org or listen on the go with the free c-span radio app. president trumps reelection campaign posted an evangelical porch on event over the weekend featuring remarks from athnumber of evangelical pastors and televangelists . >> god bless you and i wantto introduce our first speaker tonight . you know him as jensen franklin, senior hpastor of free chapel. also the online or, the pastor for kingdom connection . you'd buy millions, new york times bestseller area i can go on and on. but i'll tell you what he is. he's a trusted voice for our president. and i believe

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