tv Acting DHS Secretary Wolf Testifies on Presidents 2021 Budget Request CSPAN February 28, 2020 6:25pm-8:04pm EST
welcome. i call this hearing of the subcommittee on homeland curator to order, this is the subcommittees first hearing of the budget cycle, and we are pleased to join chad wulf. mr. wolf was named after acting secretary and its thousand 19. prior to taking on the task, he developed and coordinated strategies and policies that advanced the homeland security mission and protect the american public through his later ship role in the office of shadow gee, policy and plans. he is a recipient of the homeland security distinguished service medal for his initiatives to counter domestic and international terrorism, a safeguard american interests throughout the duration of his career so, thank you for that.
i'm glad to be joined by our seven queen is ranking member, senator tester. we are continuing to the fiscal year 2021 budget request and look forward to further insight today from you, mr. secretary. very pleased to be joined by the ranking member of the full committee, senator leahy, as well. in the fiscal year 2021, i hope to build on the progress made in the fiscal year 2020 bill, which was enacted on december 20, 2019 on a broad bipartisan basis. our 2020 bill provided a total of $50.46 billion in discretionary funding and included several significant investments that will shape and protect the homeland security for years -- homeland for years to come. it provided billions of dollars
to provide support for border security including money for sensors, health, life, and safety issues. all act existing border patrol facilities. it provided more than $22 billion for fema to support disaster relief efforts and state grant programs. it provided additional funding for the office of targeted violence and terrorism prevention to combat emerging threats. it funded the deployment of aviation security equipment, which i actually saw myself, at t.s.a. headquarters designed to enhance global threat detection, capabilities, and increased efficiencies for our travelers. included billions of dollars to ensure the men and women of the u.s. coast guard have the operational capacity to carry out their domestic and overseas missions. prioritize funding for election security certainly in 2020 is critical and provided funding for greater cyber threat, analysis, capability in federal, state, tribal infrastructures. it provided millions of dollars to detect a system -- to develop a system for smuggled narcotics and explosives.
it included money for grants for missing and exploited investigations. most i am proud of in the 2020 bill, because it's so critical to me and my state, is the continuing efforts of the department to combat the opioid and methamphetamine crisis. our state of west virginia is acutely affected by this challenge. it's promising to see the investments made by the first bill in 2019, the subsequent bill in 2020 had some tangible impacts in some of these previous investments include increases to law enforcement personnel and improvements to detection equipment at ports of entry, investments to significantly enhance i.c.e.'s ability to detect information on the dark web. and staffing in appalachia, a particularly affected area and other regions affected by the drug crisis. and funding for the opioid detection research.
these are real investments that will make a significant difference and we plan to continue to work with you to make sure these investments are put to good use. when we conducted our hearing with the defensepartment of homeland security for fiscal year 2020 we spent the majority of our time discussing the security and humanitarian crisis at the southwest border. at that time, the border crisis was receiving a great deal of attention and rightly so. after billions of dollars of investments through a supplemental appropriations in our f.y. 2020 bill, i can say the intensity at the border has diminished but challenges obviously still remain with tens of thousands of apprehensions every month and tons of citizens -- excuse me -- and tons of seizures of contraband. we helped provide what was needed at the border but at the same time we did not lose sight of the critical missions. i'll name am so. counterterrorism, trade enforcement, human trafficking, maritime security, opioid and drug interdiction, presidential protection, cybersecurity, infrastructure protection,
emergency management, continuity of government, immigration services, law enforcement training, countering weapons of mass destruction, state and local information sharing, and most recently, supporting efforts to contain the coronavirus, just to name a few. i know going forward we'll remember the role that this subcommittee played in enabling and scrutinizing all of the missions of the department. as we're discussing all of the department's missions, i'd like to note the budget proposals to shift the secret service out of the department of homeland security. as you know, and as i feel, the secret service is a critical component of the department and conducts important missions across our nation, and i look forward to better understanding this proposal. given all of the department's critical needs, i am, again, disappointed that many of the budget -- many parts of this budget request are not grounded in reality. including, one, assuming that the appropriate committees of congress will authorize new revenue.
two, assuming that the appropriate committees of congress will restructure fema grants and that the appropriations committee will agree to cut these grants by 3/4 of a billion dollars. and, three, failing to annualize many of the critical bipartisan security related activity that we funded in f.y. 2020. these funding gaps allows the committee to propose spending on money we don't have, making our job harder. congress is not afforded the luxury of ignoring reality and pushing think tank concepts when it enacts appropriations bills. while the practice of digging budgetary holes and expecting congress to fill them may prevent the department from making tough choices at the time that the budget is presented, it actually reduces the department's influence over the final outcome. acting secretary wolf, thank you for appearing before us today. we will make sure you and your team keep us up to date on what resources you need to continue
the good work that you are doing. and i now turn to my ranking member, senator tester from montana. senator tester: thank you for having this hearing today. thank you, acting secretary wolf, coming here discussing the fiscal year 2021 budget request for the department of homeland security. i think it's very unfortunate acting is in front of your name. we've had plenty of time to confirm judges some that are not qualified but someone with your stature doesn't have that permanent designation. i just want to put that in for the record. i want to express my thanks not only to you but to the 240,000 employees at d.h.s. who work to keep us safe and the homeland secure. d.h.s., as the chairman point out, has a broad mission. including countering terrorism from foreign and domestic threats, securing cyberspace and critical infrastructure and threatening preparedness and resilience, supporting natural
disaster response and recovery and supporting our border. i want to hear your plans for the budget. some of it doesn't address some of the vulnerabilities our country faces. the proposed budget places an emphasis on an ineffective border wall and wants more detention beds. this seems to be cuts to vital national security programs such as cybersecurity, aviation security, chemical security, preparedness grants for local communities and innovative research. this is an alarming trend. with regard to the border wall, congress has appropriated $4.5 billion over the last four fiscal years. the president's taken another $10.1 billion from military and $601 million from treasury forfeiture fund over bipartisan objection of congress. put all those numbers together, that's almost $20 billion, and now we're being asked to fund another $2 billion in d.h.s. budget for fiscal 2021.
not one dime has been paid for by mexico, as the president promised. all these dollars have been paid for by the american taxpayer. this is a wall that will take hundreds of millions of property from ranchers and farmers. it will threaten the border's ecosystem and cost nearly $25 million per mile on average when alternate technology solutions could be deployed at a much lower cost. i would also tell you that i got -- i've had several people contact me, many people contact me on this wall, on the southern border, and how it will impact agriculture. i'm forwarding you one of those emails that was sent to me from a trump supporter on the southern border who's having their ranch literally cut in half by this wall if it goes up. we still don't have a plan that explains how this funding will be used. the last border wall plan d.h.s. submitted is out of date and the g.a.o., the government accountability office, be criticizes being incomplete and lacking in several key areas.
further, two weeks ago, f.b.i. director christopher wray testified before congress. he said, we face a diverse and increasingly dangerous terrorism threat and that the threat is unrelenting. he mentioned the particular concern of domestic terrorism carried out by racially or ethnically motivated -- ethnically motivated violent extremists and state sponsored espionage against our economy and elections. a border wall across the southern border addresses none of the concerns that f.b.i. director wray says is serious threats to our homeland. while i am a strong supporter of border security, the actions of this administration to inflamed the partisan divide do not make us safer and make it exceptionally difficult to get things done here in congress. the recent deployment of recent special operations forces and to deny residents of new york in the trusted traveler programs come to mind as recent examples of whether resources are being used to protect the country or solely to make political points. the bottom line for me, as
ranking member of this committee, is to ensure in a we're investing hard-earned taxpayer dollars in programs that address the most serious threats to our country, not empty campaign promises. finally, i'd be remiss if i didn't mention security along our northern border. last year we received the implementation plan for d.h.s. that lays out specific requirements across various d.h.s. components to improve the department's ability to facilitate safe, secure, and efficient flows of cross-border traffic and secure the northern border against threats. i will be seeking a commitment from you today that sufficient resources are being dedicated to executive -- execute that plan in a timely manner. mr. acting secretary, i look forward to your testimony. as i said in a recent visit -- recent office visit, i'm here to work with you and hope we can find the common ground to fund national security investments that truly does make sense for the american people. thank you, madam chair. >> >> thank you. thank you very much.
i'll begin by going to cue the nation safe and to prevent the fiscal year for the department. as acting secretary, my priority is guided by determination to ensure the dhs is robust, resilient and forward leaning, but purdue address the threats of today and tomorrow. this could go 21 president budget is not only a reflection of those priorities, but a path to achieving them. as we, know the mission spans air, land, c and cyber domains and our workforce of 230 strong stands for the nation. they safeguard the united states from terrorist adversaries and others who seek to do us harm. they also facilitate our lawful trade and travel, balancing security with the freedom of movement, with care and precision every day. as they often say, economic security is homeland security
and the department plays a critical role in this mission. president budget ensures that our workforce has the resources it needs to execute these critical responsibilities. that includes 40.9 billion in net discretionary funding in an additional 5.1 billion for the disaster relief fund to support response to disasters in the homeland. we have been consistent in recent years, securing our borders, securing cyberspace, critical infrastructure, transporters and security in american preparedness. recognizing that the threats of the homeland are more dynamic than ever before, the budget also positions the department to respond to in emerging threat, including those emanating from nation states. dhs is also helping the u.s. government's response to the coronavirus. the risk from coronavirus to americans remains relatively low, and we will continue to implement measures designed to keep it that way. dhs has responded with proactive safeguards, including directing all flight from china
to preach elected airport for medical screening. the department stood up that medical screening in a very rapid fashion, using contracts and we continue to provide those contracts at those 11 airports. i will now highlight a number of specific priorities included in the fiscal 21 budget, the department must continue to grow our digital defenses, as cybersecurity threats grow in scope and severity. the department maintains inattentive posture on election security to secure our system begins interference of any kind. the president invest 1.7 billion in this cyber security agency to strengthen our cyber and infrastructure mission. this is an increase of roughly 150 million from the president a fly 20 budget request. the security of our budget remains a priority focus for the administration and the department. as mentioned, the budget includes two billion for the construction of aid to miles of new border wall system, as well as funding for additional
technology and staffing. well securing our borders is above most importance, the integrity of our system requires that we are in force law as written. it remains the priority of the department to protect our businesses by removing critical alien from the and states. the budget includes three billion to ensure that our lot fortunate officers have three sources they need to faithfully execute the law. as true today as it was in the wake of 9/11, counter-terrorism remains a top focus, importantly the president had targeted progressive over 500% in this system. it is critical to identify address individuals in preventing the radicalization to violence. they invest in modernizing the fleet for the coast guard, providing 550 million for the funding of the construction of the second that prevents our interests in the polar region, and 64 million for the offshore
control cut, another critical capital investment for the coast guard. while five physical take billets are important for the department, our greatest asset remains the men and women who execute our mission every day. as the c as our capabilities grow, new talent is needed to execute our mission. for dhs, the budget provides funding for 500 new cybersecurity employees across the department. for cbp, new border patrol agents, 126 news support staff and 300 border patrol processing coordinators. for i.c.e., to 2800 new law enforcement agencies, 400 new attorneys and new support staff, and forte say, it will sustain 47,000 over the next year. a new they increase, including a 3% increase for our uniformed
coast guard men and women. >> these are included in the budget and has the most diverse mission set that continues. their commitment to our mission is beyond approach, we should also better at night knowing they are on duty. we will keep the american people in our homeland safe and secure the president fy 21 budget request. thank you for the opportunity to appear, and i look forward to the questions. >> thank you, thank you very much out. i'll begin by going to cybersecurity, because i'm very concerned in the budget -- you mentioned in your testimony that the president's budget requests more than what the president requested last year but in effect it's about $250 million less than what this congress enacted in
cybersecurity. how do you account with that -- taking your own testimony at the urgency of cybersecurity and how it's growing, how are you justifying a $250 million cut to an area that's so critical? honorable wolf: one, the process and timeline which when the budget was created. obviously it was created well before we received our funding last year. i will say we are in an election year this year. the plus up from congress -- again, thank you for that -- provides us with enough resources as we look at 2021 which is an off election year, it funds to provide that election security resource. again, election security, while it's called out specifically in the budget as a line item, a lot what they do throughout cissa contributes to a lot of the resources to election state officials as well as political campaigns. >> is what you're saying the $250 million difference is the
election security piece, is that how i'm hearing it? honorable wolf: no. the budget request enacted in 2020, what i can tell you in f.y. 2020, that is an election year. as we look at 2021, we'll sustain that in the budget that we requested for 2021 we'll sustain those activities. >> i'll note you're canceling the cfas program at the same time which is part of that reduction as well. the other thing i'd note, just because this is an election year doesn't mean elections stop as we go past november of 2020. this will be an ongoing responsibility of you and others within the administration. let me ask about the border wall because that's obviously a source of interest. can you tell us -- you're asking enough to build another
-- well, currently, 126 miles have been built to date of the money that's been previously -- previously provided for. what are the new capabilities as a result of this and what are you seeing as the next $2 billion and how will that affect this border wall system? honorable wolf: sure, chairman. as you indicated, we have 126 completed. we have 213 miles currently under construction and another 414 under prekuks -- in the preconstruction phase. the capabilities, as i often talk about, are night and day over the existing landing map -- 1986 landing map. that includes not only the physical infrastructure but lights, cameras, radars, fiber-optics. the impede yens and denial that the new border wall system provides to border patrol agents, again, is night and day to what they previously had. as i toured the border and as i go down there and talk to our men and women in green, i ask them, what do they need to secure the border?
resources, technology, and then obviously the staffing. so it's sort of a three-legged stool. when we talk about technology, the first thing they ask for is an effective border wall system that, again, provides that impede yens denial so they can respond in a timely manner and then apprehend those that are looking to get in. >> the processing agents that we provided for -- i might have the incorrect name there -- you know what i am talking about, border patrol -- that we provided for in the last budget was kind of a new concept for the department. partly to alleviate what our border agents were doing, border patrol agents were doing in lieu of their front line job of law enforcement. maybe transportation or other, health care, something of that nature. and also to be part of a recruiting tool to maybe get folks involved in the border patrol so they may advance different areas of border patrol. how many people have you hired into that and what's been the success of that? i know it's been a short period of time. because you're asking for more in this budget. honorable wolf: thank you for that. thank you for congress for providing that.
let me get back to an exact number to our hiring to date. i will say those positions are absolutely critical. it goes towards retention. it goes towards recruitment. when you have border patrol agents that are fully trained to do their mission on the border about but are instead are at hospitals or handing out food or doing things they normally -- they didn't sign up to do, they are not trained to do -- >> you don't know if you have hired any into that? honorable wolf: i don't have the exact number. >> >> presently, do you have the resources you need to >> this is a source of great concern of so many people. i'm sure you all, as you are walking around, and your respective states, people are asking all the time, what are we doing, are we on top of this?
you mention, i guess there was a briefing this morning that basically told us that it's going to come more broadly to the united states, which we all expect. can you tell us how you are working on the coronavirus and with who and about other coordinating entities? >> thank you. the task force, again, laid by hhs did brief members of congress this morning. i'll say they were working hand in hand every day about what that task force, we are taking the direction from the medical professionals, as they lay out a medical strategy to deal with the coronavirus, we are implementing measures to support that. so, particularly in the airport environment, the seaport environment, as well as land ports of entry, or making sure that the measures we put in place, the medical screening are there for the protection of the american people. that's what the president has asked us to lean into. as if to date, we have 15 cases that we have identified coming in from china, that's separate
from those on cruise ships that have been parked overseas. we feel that the threat right now remains and with the last several weeks it has not increased. it has remained between 12 and 14 cases. the department feels comfortable, but as cdc continues to adopt a medical strategy, they will adopt -- >> do you have the resources you need to move forward? honorable wolf: we do. we continue to look that on a daily basis. we go to o.m.b. right now we have them in the existing budget. we will have to move money around to adjust for that. we'll certainly be in contact with you and other members of the committee and o.m.b. if we need additional or supplemental money. >> thank you.
senator tester. senator test -- senator leahy. >> thank you. acting secretary wolf, welcome. i'll echo what senator tester said. while i appreciate your service, i regret that you are one of the very, very many positions in this administration to which we should be speaking to somebody actually confirmed by the senate. most acting position i have seen in my decades in the senate. now, president might appreciate that responsibility the acting secretary is given. i prefer the constitutional checks and balances. now, you talk a little bit about the border. the president has raided billions of congressionally appropriated dollars from defense projects to fund the border wall, including money to clean up housing for service
members from mold to lead to helping children. but we've seen -- go get a hundred-dollar cordless saw from the department store. in the el paso sector, and i've been down there and visited, border agents have found a number of $5 rebar ladders which they use more and more. how many $5 ladders or $100 cordless sauce have been used to defeat the wall? honorable wolf: senator, i don't have that. we -- the number of attempts to defeat the border wall locations across el paso and other areas. they will continue to find innovative ways to cross the
border. >> it's not innovative to get a cordless saw or to get a $5 rebar ladder. that's not very innovative, is it? honorable wolf: i would say no. that could be found at any hardware store. >> do we have numbers how many times that's been done? honorable wolf: we can get it. largely from the 1970's era map where it's about eight feet high you can get a ladder or jump over. we have seen a lot of ladders. >> let me know within the past year. honorable wolf: we will get that number for you. >> how many tunnels have been discovered? honorable wolf: that's probably on -- in the single digits, but we continue to invest in technology that will look for tunnelling as well. >> let me know the number of
devices and types that have been discovered by c.b.p. that use to defeat the wall. honorable wolf: sure. >> when can i get those numbers? honorable wolf: i'll get with c.b.p. today and we'll get you the numbers as quickly as possible. >> thank you. we're told by drug enforcement administration's counterdrug assessment and they keep telling us the most common part of getting drugs in is through ports of entry. now, they have been increasing -- i know they have been increasing use of drive-through scanners at the ports of entry. do you know the approximately percentage of passenger and commercial vehicles that are are along the southwest border? honorable wolf: 1% of passenger
vehicles and 15% of commercial vehicles. i will say congress in f.y. 2019 and f.y. 2020 did provide funding for our technology that will screen for narcotics. the goal for 2023 decrease from 1% to 40% using that funding that congress provide and commercial from 15% to 72%. >> one of the most recent statistics to the percentage of hard narcotics like methamphetamine and heroin that are apprehended between ports of entry and -- honorable wolf: we see the number of narcotics coming through ports of entry, we will interdict those about 2/3. about 1/3 is coming through ports of entry. in the last fiscal year we have seen an increase of those narcotics to include -- the wide range of narcotics between ports of entry so we are growing concerned about that as well. >> >> you will let me know how
much it will cost to detain the 8,000 who are asylum seekers? congress appropriations decisions, for example, roughly 40,000 individuals currently detained by i.c.e.. nearly 8000 of them are asylum seekers who demonstrated a 20% fear of prosecution. and torture. roughly 1%, my time is up, this is my last question. roughly what percentage of these 8000 individuals have committed serious criminal offenses, says that they would be a public safety risk, and how much does it cost to detain those 8000 individuals every day? >> senator, i don't have that exact 8000 figure.
but i can tell you that ice continues to prioritize the removal of criminals from our communities, so >> yes, senator. we will take that for the. record >> i'd like that within the week if we could, thank you. >> thank you, senator kenny? >> thank you madam chairman, thank you mister secretary for being here. how many cases of coronavirus do we have right now in the united states? >> well we have 14 cases, plus
an additional, i believe it's 20 or 30 some odd cases that we have repatriated from a number of cruise ships. >> how many are you anticipating? >> we're working with hhs to determine that -- >> how many do you anticipate? we anticipate the number will go, i don't have the exact number for you. >> do you have an estimate? is someone monitoring that, do you have any way of guessing? >> your head of homeland security, in your job is to keep us safe. do you know today how many of the experts are predicting? >> we anticipate those numbers to, grow which is why we are ensuring our operations are flexible. >> you can't tell us how many of your models are anticipating? >> no, senator. i would defer to the health and human services for that. >> i'll just give you a check
on that. >> we will. >> as the head of homeland security? >> and we have task force members that are working this. everyday >> i'm all four committees and task forces -- >> were committing with them -- >> i think you ought to know that answer, you're the secretary. >> i understand. house the coronavirus transmitted? >> through a variety of ways. obviously human to human. as they come our -- >> house a transmitted? >> a variety. >> human to human is what we have seen. >> how? >> being in the same vicinity, physical contact is what we've seen in the united states, we've seen two to three human to human cases that i showed up here in the u.s.. so it's those that are closest to those individuals that have that human contact.
>> what is the mortality rate so far, nationwide? >> i believe it's under 2%. >> how much under 2%? >> i will give you an exact figure, i will check with them on the overall worldwide mortality rate, i can get that for you. >> you don't know the mortality rate today? >> it changes daily. >> i understand, that was the average since we understand the virus. >> under 2%. it was as high as three, numbers were recalculated based on -- >> is a 0.1 and a half and two? >> yes. >> what is the mortality rate for influenza? >> it's right around that percentage as well. i don't have that offhand but about 2% as well. >> are you sure of that? >> yes.
>> do you have enough respirars? >> to my knowledge, we do. we're focused on making sure our operators at dhs, make sure they have the protective equipment. hhs, as part of the supplemental, which is her testimony that you don't. >> testimony from? >> in a briefing. >> okay. >> your head of homeland security, do we have enough respirators or not? >> for patients, i don't understand the question. >> for everybody? every american who needs one who gets the disease. >> i would refer to hhs on that. >> you're supposed to keep -- >> my budget supports the men and women. >> you're the secretary of homeland security. >> yes sir. >> and you can tell me if we have enough respirators? >> what i will tell you is that the budget, my budget, our operations are focused not only on the men and women of dhs, making sure they are protected
to do their jobs to screen individuals, we're working with hhs -- >> you don't know the answers? >> we have enough face masks? >> for department of homeland security -- >> i'm not asking for the department of homeland security, asking for the american people. >> for the entire american public? >> no, probably not. >> how short are we? >> i don't have that number offhand, i'll get that for you. >> i want to understand, somebody is doing modeling on how many cases we are anticipating. we are just not aware of that. >> you're asking me a number of medical questions that -- >> i'm asking you questions as the secretary of homeland security, and you're supposed to keep us safe. and you need to know the answers to these questions. how far away are we from getting a vaccine? >> several months. >> that's not what we just heard testimony about. who's on first here?
>> aj says is the lead federal agency for the coronavirus response. >> you're telling me we're months away from having a vaccine, that your testimony as secretary of homeland security? >> but i have been told by hhs and cdc, yes. >> have you probed that to make sure that is accurate? >> yes. we continue every day, we have task force meetings with those individuals and elsewhere talking about a number of these -- >> -- your numbers are the same as cdc. >> i would certainly defer to cdc on our medical questions. >> well, don't you think you ought to contact them and find out whether you're right or we are right. >> we are in contact with him every day, on our task force. >> we don't know why you have the discrepancy? >> i would refer you to the cdc. >> this is secretary, i'm going to hush here. you are supposed to keep us safe, and the american people deserve some straight answers on the coronavirus. and i'm not getting them from you. >> that's all i have. >> senator shaheen?
>> thank you madam chairman, and acting secretary wolf, thank you for being here. i'd like to pick up on the coronavirus, because we did have a briefing this morning. i'd like to urge the department and the other officials within the government to have some open briefings. i did not hear anything that i have heard the newspaper, and i think would be very helpful to the american public you have a better sense of what is going on with this issue. also, to try and post some information that can answer questions for the public. i have met with some constituents after that briefing, and that is one of the things that i heard from them, is that they don't have the information that they would like to have to share with their employees and to try and do what is right in response to this medical emergency. >> i would now like to go to border security, and the
devastating opioid epidemic. new hampshire, like west virginia has been very hard hit, and we have seen some small progress, thanks to the bipartisan support for funding that has provided significant increases for technology, for supporting treatment. but, i am concerned that what we have to do to interject fentanyl and other drugs is more than just build a wall. i think there are more effective ways to address that interdiction. so i wonder if you can discuss the departments progress in deploying additional chemical screening devices to detect fentanyl, that was required under the interdict act, and also to obtain the advanced data on international mail shipments that were required by the stop act. can you tell us where we are? >> the departments efforts, to address the opioid crisis, we are multi faceted on the interdiction side, we talked a
little bit about the end i, and other technology that we have out there, we are continuing to work with the postal service to target shipments, and then look at technology that will screen the shipments as well. of course, i.c.e., homeland security investigation certainly have a role here in investigating these seizures, every time we make a seizure we turn this over to investigators to investigate, and the o.j. will help us prosecute those as well. of course, snt continue to have money, i believe we have money, about 8 million dollars and similar requests to further enhance the technology that we have out there, so that they can find smaller and smaller amounts of fentanyl and opioids, and the like across the spectrum. >> when do you expect the full implementation to address what is with those laws to be completed. >> that is a good question, let me take that one. we do have a timeline, i don't have the exact date on full implementation of all those efforts, but i'm sure cbp
certainly does, who is the lead component that is working this. >> are we doing any cost-effective analysis to see what makes more sense in terms of stopping drugs from coming into the united states, a wall, or is it these kinds of interdiction efforts that used technology. i'll just ask you to also shoot that when you respond. >> from a holistic view, it is all the above. again, as i mentioned earlier, about two thirds of the opioids that we do detect come through ports of entry, that is whether it's an airport of entry or land port. so we are focused, again, on the funding that congress provides, and thank you for that deploying small medium and large amounts of technology, that's everything from a handheld to anything that screen to vehicle, making sure we deploy that in rapid fashion. >> i'd like to switch topics now. the visa program has been critical to help small
businesses, our tourism industry, our lodging and restaurant industry landscapers making those new assumptions, talk about how that would all be, because the summer season is approaching. >> no decisions have been made about the cap increase, i would urge congress, you are in the best position to identify how many pieces that program needs for the fourth year in a row. the department has been given that duty to coordinate with the secretary of labor, we have been doing that, and i would encourage congress to pick up the overall number. >> i have been on multiple letters that i are bipartisan, saying that you need to increase that cap, and pointing out past years when the cap has
been increased, and how effectively they have been used. so i don't think the problem is that congress, i think the problem is that the administration level, and if it's not your department who needs to make that decision, then you need to tell us who is making that decision, because i have a whole bunch of small businesses in new hampshire that aren't going to be able to do their business this summer if they don't have those workers. >> the reason i say, it's better fit for congress is that it gives the industry a predictability. they will know each and every year how many pieces they have to work with, and will plan their business accordingly. every time you give it to the department, will continue to do the work, and outlined what we have done thus far. it takes time to make that decision, and we have to publish a rulemaking to do that, so it continues to increase the time before the pieces get out there. i've talked with the department of labor six times over the past three or four weeks, coming up with a solution, coming up with the proposal. we hope to announce that very shortly, and we will continue to push that decision, but i
what i will say is that is not only a number, it's also looking at the fraud and the abuse of the program, which the department of homeland security is certainly concerned about. so, if we do reach out and increase, you will also see a number of provisions that get to that waste abuse and fraud that i believe members of congress have expressed concern with as. well but i share your sense of urgency, senator, i want to make that clear. i'm pushing this as quickly as we can to make a decision, and then hopefully announced that decision before any rulemaking is finalized, so that the industry knows how many pieces to work with and can plan their businesses accordingly. >> thank you. >> senator? >> thank you, madam chair. we thank you for being here. i appreciate you and the work that you do. border security, well, let me ask you this one first. in terms of counter ufc,
unmanned air vehicles. the budget requests includes 35 million for dhs science and technology. that's up from 30 million in fy 20. tell me how that money is going to be spent on this. >> that's on research development and technology on our capabilities. the department has limited jurisdiction and capabilities, continuing to explore that, that's mainly for dhs facilities, we are working with the department of defense, faa, department of transportation and others, as well as secret service been using counter technology for some time, so we are trying to capitalize on their experience of what they have seen, and then snt is building on that with additional research development and testing to hopefully have capabilities out there in the short term. >> i know you're busy on the southern border, and obviously coronavirus and all these important issues, but i'd like to come to the northern border,
for 900 miles of border, that station all the way from the great lakes to montana, we also have a very large uas operation. we have the northern plains test site there, -- >> i've been there. we'd love you to come back now that you are secretary. >> you can come to montana as well. >> he has a beautiful state, he loved to have you check it out as well. we'd like you to come back. >> happy to do that. we think we can help you with all of your border security operations. >> i believe it was a test site and conduction with the north dakota state, university of north dakota. >> we've a very large school there -- >> we were there in late 2018, i believe. >> did you come with mcaleenan? >> with secretary nielsen. >> okay, well i'm sorry i forget you are with us, but i'm
glad you saw it, it will continue to make progress and want you to come back. i want you to tell me about the surveillance towers. >> that's a piece of border patrol technology that is absolutely critical. we talk about securing the border, we do it through technology, through the physical infrastructure and people. so the autonomous surveillance towers are that other piece of critical technology, so we have up to 200 towers that we're looking to deploy. these are relocated will, so you can position. then they run off of sunlight, so they provided capabilities, a domain awareness capability for the border patrol that improves upon some of the towers that they previously have out there. we look forward, and excited about the capabilities they provide. >> you can't make it a program, or are you still going through that process to make that determination? >> that's a continuing discussion that we have, but, again we like the capabilities that those towers provide, and
we will continue to deploy them. >> real id, i just went through that process and got my real id. it's quite a bit, fortunately in our state there on top of it and if you get the four different types of required documentation, you can get it. tell me, by october, law folks are going to have to do that. what's going to happen when somebody should stop and their ideas and real id? >> thank you for the question. this is continuing to be an issuing program because, in our mind, the states have had over 14 years to phase this in. the law passed in 2006, and then we encourage states to invest, and the majority have. we have all states compliant, all but two are issuing real ideas at the moment, we would like them to go faster, they would like to go faster, so we continue to have that dialog with them. what we have, is 35% of ideas
and circulation, are real id complied. >> around 35%, that's a low number. >> it's 35% plus one. >> that's a lot number, as you look at october 2020. that's a number of things we are doing to engage the industry, we just issued a policy adjustment that allows individuals seeking to come in for a real idea, they can submit their documents electronically through the dmv, and that makes it easier as they go. and i will say that the original law that reality past is very restrictive for the department. passed in a time in there was no smartphones, it was so phones. the idea of transmitting information security is a real challenge. that's where you see the bottlenecks and a capacity issue. the thing that i am suggesting to you is that, come october 1st, still have a lot of people show up and want to get on an aircraft. there want to show their drivers license and they won't have their passport, they won't
have something else and now they'll say, i have to get on my flight. so you know that's going to happen. so that's incumbent on the states to get out, i'm just saying, for tsa as an organization -- >> we are planning. >> we are trying to educate the public, so you can have a real id compliant, there's other alternative forms of id that you can have as, well military 80, a passport, as well as a number of others. we continue to try to educate the american people and the traveling public on what type of identification they need come october. our partners in the airline industry, airline associates, travel associates are also pushing out a lot of information as well. >> one final question. do you have adequate screening in place now for people coming into the country? >> we do. 11 airports that we are pre-screening at, dhs, cbp and
that's just at airports were. also screening atlanta ports of entries and maritime ports of entry. >> is it fair to say that your message to the public is that you feel you have access to screening -- >> i have all the information i need on a daily basis to make operational decisions to determine whether we are keeping the american public safe and absolutely threat remains low, we will adjust those measures as we are directed to, but as of today, i am very satisfied of the measures we have. taken >> thank you. >> senator tester? >> thank you chairwoman. i want to first talk about the budget for a second. 2 million dollars in additional money for construction. quite frankly, the last border security improvement plan we had was two years ago. that was criticized by some of
us and by gao. we keep hearing that another plan is coming. >> it is. >> i would say in the next couple of months, it's in a review and has been finalized. >> can you -- can you give us the 1st of june? she would be calling you and breaking over the coals on the 1st of may? >> i think that's fair. a june deadline, i would push personally to get it before that, but it has been finalized. >> if you get a quicker than that, we're talking, i misspoke it's only, 15.1 for the job. that's a huge amount of money. and the planning to be a big one. you announced a plan to expedite the border wall construction by waving ten federal procurement laws for several sectors where the board a lot has been planned. this will eliminate the
competition process, the requirement for a contractors to make data, provide a bond, guarantee wage payments, eliminate the bid protest process. we are talking about 17 billion dollars that this budget goes through, as advertised. how can we protect the american taxpayer if these procurement laws are waived? >> so, the design, the concept behind waving that specific waiver was to reduce the length of time between -- >> i got it. i understand. they are there for a reason, and by the, way this argument can be made for building the polar cutter, the c-130, whatever it could be. >> the funding that the army will get will continue to go to vetted and qualified applicants that are on contract with the army corps of those on a larger
task order. doesn't >> your procurement law eliminate any billing of any protest? so how do we hold these folks accountable if they get a sweetheart deal? >> they already have that pre-qualified, and most of them are already building the border law system today, so the idea is to add on to those contracts as that additional property comes available, these contractors have been vetted, have gone through that process, -- you have a list of contractors? are they classified a small businesses? >> i believe there is one. >> give me that last. because the procurement weighs opportunities for small businesses. >> i would love to have that because the procurement, is it a pain in the neck, yes.
but they are there for a reason, and there to make sure that we hold our contractors accountable. i get it, you want to get it, filled quickly. but we have to do something and after it's built, the dollars have been spent, and if it wasn't, the question is it too late then? >> yes. i don't believe it is. so we continue to work with the army corps of engineers, making sure that they're vetted contractors who are going to get the best value for the american. >> for my math, and private holdings. has land owners been contacted? >> how many have given you permission to access property?
>> and the question is if you come. >> those are fighting words. >> we survey and, have allowed us to survey, some have not, we continue to work with them. the army corps are doing that, that is the sector. >> if you exercise any eminent domain as of yet,? >> the army corps has, and a small handful of cases. i'd love to know where they are at, and what transpired. and i'll tell you, i'm on the northern border, about 80 miles south, but the truth is, i have a short amount of empathy for those folks that may have had their farm or ranch split in half. or even a quarter section peeled off due to this wall. and the wall may take, i don't know how many fee it takes,
half a mile? >> a little less. there is an exclusion zone, the physical building of the wall. >> it could have impacts for a much greater area than that. as my understanding, there's a ton of lawsuits, and maybe you know this from the last time it was done. how many are still outstanding? >> i don't how many are still outstanding. >> this is really an important point. you're going to get a letter from a lady and just send it to the chairman from a lady by the name of kelly campbell whose ranch is going to be split by a wall, it was very concerned. by the way, she's a rock red republican. she supported trump and they're very worried about the impacts this will have on their farm. i will yield for now. >> senator lankford? >> thank you. chad, thank you for being here and for the work you're doing. here we are covering a lot of
issues here as you do on a normal day, from coronavirus, to all sorts of election security issues, to security and infrastructure facilities, you have a lot of work everywhere you do and you have thousands of folks on the team, so tell them thank you from all of us and for what they do. i want to run through multiple different issues here but i'll start with matt amphetamines and their fentanyl and other opioids that are coming through our southern border into the united states. we talked a lot about the technology. i met with some companies that are doing a significant amount of research on handheld devices to be able to detect fentanyl and all other illegal substances coming across our border. there's a lot of dialog about what you have already put into place in technology, but it's also interesting to me. everyone i say says we're trying to get as good as a dog snows, so let me ask you the odd question about this of what's happening in our ports of entry. how are we doing getting more
dogs noses there as were trying to get more technology. that's almost as good as a dog snows in this process. are we increasing our dog sniffing president and all of these locations, our doing adding technology to be able to add up to that as well? >> it's all of the above. we're looking at the technology, the people, the canine assets as well, as you mentioned earlier in the hearing about two thirds of the illicit drugs that we see, but also marijuana, all of the narcotics or coming through our ports of entry, about one third is between our ports of entry and that number is rising, so we are concerned about that as. well so we have a number of investments made by congress for that technology, we will continue to invest in our canine workforce. >> will that be able to be implemented by the end of the year? >> the funding for the technology will be over multiple years. some of the money will be implemented this year, some of
the 20 money will continue to be rolled out. that is when your money, it's a large technology contract -- >> it's a significant task and extremely important to every one of our states, and your hometown as well has all been affected by fentanyl coming. in the faster we can rule that out, the better. to be able to help cut off the flow of some of the truck coming into the u.s.. i appreciate all your. doing there's been a lot of tension about ice as well. i've been on the southern border, the soft sided facilities that we have put into place, because there weren't enough icy beds costing a tremendous amount of money,, balancing out better quality ice beds and a lower price than cbp having to do more expensive facilities. i >> think our idea is to get out of the facility business, so we did that because of the surge last year, thank you for
providing those resources to do that. what we've seen as the numbers have decreased over the next couple of months, we were able to take a number of those facilities off line and continued to save money. we've taken one facility off line, another three off line in the coming months, assuming our numbers continue to hold. they'll be about a 20 million dollar savings for a month as we continue to take those off line. >> if there's a surge, again? >> what we're trying to do is to move them into hard sided facilities, that is the camp acidly on the southwest border, we would like that to be in a heart sided facility versus a soft sided, those are more cost-effective. so we will continue. as far as i spends, we do a number of modeling, most of which we share with the committee, almost all we share with the committee and we continue to see an increase in the beds that ice continues to need overtime. so, as the search occurred last year and releasing over 100,000
and some months of individuals into the interior, there's a detail to that, and that comes to ice doing their law enforcement during the exterior of the country. as they focus their attention and resources on criminals and picking up those individuals and have a final order of removal in the like, we have over 3 million aliens, 1 million have final orders of removal. that's what isis. as they pick those up, they need to detain that individuals for a short period of time, before we deport them or repatriate them. >> let me make a couple of quick comments. i know congress had given authority to be able to double the number, and that was congress a statement to say you can go up to 12 as much but you have to be able to look at the department of labor, they mentioned that congress was the best to understand that number. they have to see what they will need at this point, and you
have the opportunity to go up to two as many as you had. there is the wall street journal story out last thursday saying that there is a conversation of up to 45,000 additional faces that may come online soon. that has not been released by your team yet. i would just say if you're choosing to do that, congress has already spoken into that you say you have permission to be able to do that, a number even higher than that. but if you choose to do that, do that as quickly as possible. if that started out into june and july, before those actual releases come, that is too late for the season. so being able to do it faster is better than slowly being able to piece that out. if i can mention one thing, if i can beg the insistence of the chairwoman here, and the situation about the religious freedom act, and the waiver that has been put in place by construction of the wall. i've been confused about this because we're waving and we have the authority to that when they say, you can't wave, this unless congress specifically
states. why is there a need to wait to be able to, wait that so why say we are going to win, there's not really a statement to say we need to wave religious freedom to be able to build the wall. >> the last 12 or 13 waivers that we have signed have not waived refund, so you have my commitment, if that's put before me, you all ask a series of questions on does this inhibit building the border wall system at any point. i think we often air on the side of caution on what we wave, and i think it's a comment on part of the department to ensure what we are waving has a specific impact. the waivers are specific to
specific sectors, so it's incumbent upon us. but the department does not weigh that in the next 12 years. >> the religious freedom act has never been waved, so i'd like to not have a first in that. thank you. >> senator baldwin? >> thank you. so, i think secretary wolf, executive order 75 requires the u.s. coast guard to meet the reasonable demands of commerce. however, the coast guard icebreaking fleet in the great lakes has declined from 14 to nine vessels over the last 40 years. and, the region's economy has consequently lost billions of dollars in economic activity, particularly over the last
seven years due to inadequate coast guard icebreaking resources. i've asked the president to include funding to build a new great lakes icebreaker. but all i've heard is that other needs are more important, i will know that in your opening statement you equated economic security and national security. the fiscal year request includes no funding for this new icebreaker,. so i'm wondering how you can ignore the economic injury that is occurring in the upper midwest and in particular, obviously, the great lakes region, in this budget? >> i've talked about our icebreaker capability, not only in the polar region but also in the great lakes. so i certainly understand the concern that you had, i will say that for the coast guard,
they have had a number of priorities, and polar security cutter, that would be the second one, as well as the offshore patrol cutter, that would really become the backbone of what the coast guard does, again, offshore. they continue to be the priority for the coast guard, but they are high capital investments, i will also say the readiness of the coast guard continues to be an issue as it does with all of our service agencies. you have to focus resources, as i mentioned, i talked about the ace breaking capabilities in the great lakes. he fell accountable where they said today, obviously, they have a number of smaller vessels that provide some capability as well. we'll continue to have that dialog. limited resources we have to improvise. >> i'm fully supportive of the polar ice cutter, i'd say that
the mackinnon is well over -- it's a very old and cost of repair and time out is very significant, but what i am telling you is that the great lakes region and indirectly, the entire upper midwest is suffering because of the lack of icebreaking capacity, economically. this should be a priority, especially given your comments of equating economic security and national security. i want to switch topics. it has been more than one year since the ages began implementation of the migrant protection protocols, also known as remain in mexico policies, which keeps migrants in mexico as they await their immigration hearings. the present advocacy groups have documented widespread abuse of migrants return to mexico under mpp, including things like kidnapping, extortion, and other violence. in december, i had an
opportunity to travel to tucson to visit dhs, and hhs facilities, as well as a private organization supporting migrants. service providers there told me that the migrants returned under mpp are easy targets for criminal organizations in mexico and in the u.s.. in part because they are identifiable, because cbp mandates that they remove their shoelaces. when they are in custody, and releases them without returning them. i found that odd and surprising, but i heard it over and over, that if you see a family, none of whom have shoelaces on their shoes, you know that they are probably folks that have been released from custody, and probably very vulnerable.
your budget requests 126 million dollars from him pea and claims that the program offers protections for vulnerable populations. in light of the many reports of abuse that these individuals, what steps is cbp taking to ensure that they are safe as they await their day in court? >> we're taking a number of steps regarding the mpp program, we had independent team the department do a review of the mpp program, individuals that have little to do with immigration, so we're covering to that system lined, so they represented a number of steps to take, implementing some of those. and some of those highway already considered, i will say we continue to work with the governor, who is a partner in this program through the apartment of state, we have offered and provided up to 202 million dollars in funding to help them build out their
shelter capability, that includes security for those shelters, also, transportation funding, so we do a number of things with our department of state colleagues to make sure that the government is fulfilling their requirements under this program to ensure that individuals, as they await their immigration court proceedings in mexico are in safe and secure shelters every day. >> are you aware of the shoelace policy? >> i'm aware as it pertains to being in cbp custody. i've made a note of that to take a look as -- >> it seems like they'll be a simple thing to correct. >> senator hyde-smith. >> thank you. i just want to tell you how much we appreciate everything you do, and congratulate you on your new position. my home state of mississippi is certainly grateful to the department for the responsiveness following emergencies in natural disasters, such as hurricane katrina when that occurred,
mississippi is also proud of its long and storied shipbuilding traditions. we are proud of our support at the u.s. coast guard in gratified of the recognition that you've given us of the strong work ethic and well established excellence in shipbuilding on the mississippi gulf coast. mississippi is take great pride in their contributions to the department of homeland security's mission, and also our national security interests, and we are proud that one of our shipyards is constructing a new polar security cutter, to aid in the security of our arctic theater. i certainly look forward to ensuring we provide the ships and other equipments our men and women in uniform desperately need that we do quite well. mister secretary, i feel highlighted in your testimony, the coast guard is a unique component with advanced operational capabilities and multiple jurisdiction authorities to carry out both law enforcement and national
defense missions. the coast guard seizes more drugs than all other federal agencies combined. for example, the coast guard recently returned from a two month deployment where it seized over 13,000 pounds of narcotics. in the past four years, the men and women of the coast guard have interdicted 2 million pounds of pure cocaine, worth an estimated value of 26 billion dollars. please describe the unique capabilities and authorities the coast guard provides for homeland and border security. >> sure. i would say to expand on your points about the interdiction of drugs, if you have the ability to visit key west, that is a facility that, throughout, a variety of different agencies are focused on that illicit drug trafficker coming from
south america, central america into the u.s., i am proud to say that it's coast guard cutters that are providing that capability and that introduction both in the caribbean and eastern pacific, so it's using intelligence that we gather from a number of different agencies, but it's coast guard men and women on ships, in the air, that are providing. the illicit drugs coming on a daily basis. they have a law enforcement mission and they are a natural and they only do that at home, away from the homeland in the eastern pacific, in the caribbean as well as overseas, providing that law enforcement capability that d.o.d. needs. >> switching to the national
security arena, they were deployed in the commander. and in support it's becoming a very common occurrence. how is the department prioritized the counter drug versus the demand signal in support of the combatant commanders? >> it's a delicate balance that they have to do every week and every month, so the coast guard is happy to provide support to d.o.d. and serve along them. we have about 2000 coast guard men and women that are deployed overseas in support of the various commanders. you mentioned the pacific, bahrain and other where we have issues flare up in iraq and
iran, at the beginning of the year, we have coast guard men and women deployed there in support of d.o.t. as well. so, it's a balance. you have to do your maritime mission here in the homeland, the drug interdiction capabilities, they have many missions but we're happy to support and serve alongside d.o.d. professionals overseas as well. >> thank you, it's clear that it's a huge balance, but thank you for what you do in addressing that. thank you. >> we have completed the senators that are here, apparently senator murkowski is on her way and senator tester and i have some additional questions. i'd like to make a comment on the opioid detection and how important that is. i was just down in southern west virginia and went to a job court graduation, he announced that what we are seeing is a
drug problem morphing to synthetic meth amphetamine but he announced that at the border, you had interdicted 432 packages with 18 million dollars worth of math and that means, 875 pounds. as i was reading the story, apparently one of the agents detected something, and it was picked up on the non intrusive inspection, hidden in a bunch of broccoli. so, congratulations to you and the interdiction you are doing there. you're saving lives by doing that. crystal meth is pretty nasty stuff. we >> work with them late last year, we were part of a technology challenge to have a number of companies invest to have smaller and smaller amounts of opioids. so we worked very closely. >> that's good.
i'm not going to ask about soft sided facilities because senator lankford mentioned, it but you know that's an area of where i'm had waist, but we will want to be smart and in visiting these facilities as i've shared with you privately. they have been underpopulated so i've had great concerns about that. so i would encourage you i appreciate this in terms of their resources and using the resources in the best way. so -- >> we just need to balance as we bring those facilities off, line bringing that we are prepared for another surge very similar and we have to make sure that we have them and
bringing border patrol facilities, those are the right location so we just need to balance that concern. >> lastly, to senator baldwin's concern, i think that it has been a great deterrent to having people fled across our borders in the numbers, and in the past month it was 29, 000, some things work there and i think there are one of those protocols. >> mpp is designed to make sure that those claims can have their claims heard and educated in a timely manner. we're able to do that and months talented of years. it's also deterring fraudulent claims, what we are seeing is about half of these individuals that are put in a program never showing up for their court hearings. that's a similar percentage to what we see in the interior as
well. so individuals that are put in this program know they do not have a meritorious claim simply choosing to walk away. so it's a little bit of deterring that fraudulent behavior as well, rooting out restoring that integrity to the immigration system. >> last question is on fema. and i want to thank the department here and thank fema for helping us in west virginia recover from the 2016 floods, where you just recently helped us rebuild four of our schools that, and four years later. so there was some frustrations there but fema really work to help us make sure that we were asking for the right things in making sure. so i appreciate that and you just helped us with the match issue as well. but also in your budget request it seems that the fy 2020 grants on the national security and resilience grants program, you are revamping and cutting grants by an estimated 623
million. as someone who is prone -- fema has a healthy life. we have more than our share of natural occurrences where we need help. is this going to cut back on less funding overall. would that be granted and when the demand is still up. >> i'd say it is a balancing act, as all of our resources are on what is the appropriate grant funding. i think that continues to be a dialog between the administration and congress. so overtime, the grants are designed to build capabilities that are not there for grantees. but overtime, we want to make sure that we don't become relied as part of their base budget. we want to make sure they find new applicants, continue to build the resilience and capabilities of our partners, so that is a reflection of what you see in the 21 report.
and they continue to build those capabilities but we don't continue to just fund and build out individuals and recipients based budgets. it's a balancing act and a shared responsibility, not only for the fema grants and there are certain grounds that we have two or three fold grants. domestic terrorism prevention, we've increased number of grants in that area. so we look at each grant program differently to determine what is needed. >> in terms of an alternative and preparedness and emergency response i think this country, all of us have collectively responded to each individual areas of our country that have had need, if we have had to have supplemental punting or expedite the response quicker. i think we are all pulling for each other here, but i think
the best thing for the department and four states to plan is to make sure we have enough there to have that baseline response capability so that we don't have to go through the up and downs. so thank you. >> i also want to be here, are you familiar with the term consultation as it applies to having meaningful conversations? the question, is there is a wall being built and the tribe says it is going across travel land. but the tribe says there has been no consultation. >> we've had those cop were
stations with both senator mcsally on this issue, we have been in constant communication with the tribe and the nation and differences of location, but it's not for a lack of communication, we will continue to communicate and i plan to visit them, one of our next visits there. but the whole idea behind consultation is that it's actually listening. i'm not saying that you are not but when you get pictures that it appears to have gone through a barrios site, there has been more than people just being come -- >> we have addressed that concern, we're no longer using it within a certain mile itch. >> it's critically important, and the more i get to on this, is not only with tribes, i brought up eminent domain in the last round, these all set up grounds where people come to hate the government. and there is nobody that i served with in the united states senate, certainly nobody
on this committee that does not want to empower you to do the job you need to do to keep this country safe. you brought up the stuff on the wall that's going to keep this country safe, it's not a steel wall. it's the lights, it's the cameras, it is the radar, it is the heat seeking information and the technology, it's the artificial intelligence, it's all of that. i just wish, and i know you can't tell the president that this is a bad idea because if he did he would not be secretary anymore. he tends to put people in positions like yours that absolutely agree with him 100 percent. >> we need the entire border wall systems, so we talk about the border wall system, physical infrastructure, and it's all the other technology -- >> if you use technology, you get away from the problems. >> you get away from the problems that the folks at eminent domain have. you have the folks that are going to be separated and becoming a no man's land, the united states soil will be south of that wall. you get rid of all of those
things, and i maintain that it's going to be more effective than a wall, and you know why? ten or 20 years from now there will be different challenges and you'll be able to change that technology to meet the 21st century challenges that a wall is not going to be able to meet. and i put that out there, we can disagree, but mark my word, if i live long enough there will be somebody standing in front of that wall, some president that will say tear down the wall. because it is much more effective utilizing technology, and that is a fact. >> border patrol needs technology, we continue to request additional technologies but an effective border wall. >> if i utilize man power you can be more efficient than a wall, why because you can see further out. that's a question on the northern border. and the question that these
cost pennies on the dollar. we are talking about the potential pandemic, and the 2% mortality rate, they have been very forthright with the information that they want us. you know we are spending two and a half billion dollars on a potential pandemic and we are starting on a wall. election security, some -- we have interference in the run up, a potential foreign interference with the 2020 election, a serious concern and their goal is to undermine the confidence of our democracy. our electoral system and spread this information by social media and other platforms that we are seeing. based on the intelligence supports that you are privy to, do you agree that russia is
trying to influence this upcoming election? >> we believe as they did that they will try to influence the election in 2020. >> do you feel that in your department? >> we don't have any intelligence of, that we know that they've tried and they did, and we assume they will do again in. 20 >> you want to get in trouble, but you are a member of the intelligence community, i'm not saying in favor of anybody, they are trying to -- >> they're trying to sow discord in our elections. >> do you think this properly resources dhs to be able to attack this problem? >> and you feel good about the potential and you are there to give him the backstop. >> we are there with a number of states, only providing the number of services at no cost to the states that were working with the election officials, but also with political parties
and individual campaigns to offer those same services to their platforms in what they have out. there were also trying to educate voters to determine what kind of foreign interference looks like. and adjust from their. they have a role to play in this as well. >> i think it is foundational to the future of this country and this democracy. russia is screwing around and they are doing this for less than it costs for a fighter jet. and that is crazy, i just have one other question for you if i might, and that is that there is a pro secret service move, i was from your department to treasury, i don't necessarily think that's a good idea, but that is whether you think it's good or. not has there been an independent analysis to determine the pros and cons of such a move? >> there has been a study that has been provided to congress on the move from dhs to treasury, and the pros and the
cons of that i'm happy to provide that to. you >> who did that? >> i believe it was it, was a number of folks to include a secret service but, also other elements of the department. >> was it an independent group that had no dog in the fight? >> no, i believe there are folks from the u.s. government that would be involved in that move. >> i think they need to be involved before may question answering side, not a question asking side. >> i think it's important. i honestly think secret service should remain where it's at. why? because i think you do a good job. and i think there are more benefits and cost-effective benefits if we keep it where it. is i don't understand send it to treasury, there may be another reason or two, but it does not have a reason to keep it right. sat justin, closing thank you for what you're doing, there are tough questions that were asked, i appreciate your frankness, and i also appreciate getting the information back that you said he would give us. >> thank you and good luck. >> i'd like to thank you as well for your testimony, we
have just gotten a call for a vote. i'd like to tell my friends that i agree with him on the secret service, i don't agree that they should be leaving and moving over there, part of the fabric of the department of homeland security so i found upon that as well, and i think that, if the illusion that possibly, may be more resources or attention would be paid to the secret service at the department of the treasury, i think you do a great job at the department of homeland security, recognizing that, i've toured a lot of what they do in and around the white house and executive protection, and there is such a quality group of individuals that i think homeland -- that are well-placed and homeland security. one last question, on the coronavirus when you mention your resources that are screening people and this is probably small because it's only 15 cases, but i think this
is something that we forget about sometimes, when people are in the workforce and are placed in situations where they could put themselves at risk that we not really -- that we may overlook that on personal risk that they are taking, in betterment for the good of the country, something like this i think is pretty careful and sensitive of a topic. i think you are keeping your eye on those frontline workers, but i do believe that is something that i am concerned about. >> that was part of my response to senator kennedy. i have a responsibility to make sure the american people are safe but also the men and women of the department in doing their job, so we provide a number of resources to the officers, as well as tsa officers to make sure they are aware of the risk, they understand the medical science behind it, we provide a number of protective equipment that they are able to use and are using but we will continue to lean forward on that. in a briefing and discussion
about coronavirus, how the department responds, my first or second question is also about the men and women of the department, how they are protected in doing their job every. day as you shop to work every day, you expect to be protected, and we need to make sure we do that. >> i will say to senator shaheen's point, if you leave a gap of transparency of what is going on and how it is transmitted, how many people it's getting filled on twitter and all these other things, and you get the sensationalism. i read something that said someone was infected after 24 days of incubation, period i had no idea that's true or not so if you are keeping people for 14 days, it doesn't matter if the 24 days, so i really think when you get back to your task force in the morning, that but this is something people are stern this is something -- people are starting to get really, really concerned about this. as you know. >> thank you for representing
yourself so. well the hearing record will remain open for two weeks from today, senators can submit questions, and we ask that they respond within a reasonable amount of time. if you need some help with clarifications on the questions, i'm sure are relative help will be provided at the chairman's office. so, with that, we stand in recess.