tv Deputy AG Testifies on Violence Against Women Act CSPAN October 5, 2021 9:02pm-10:57pm EDT
>> this hearing will come to order. the senate judiciary committee is holding a hearing on the reauthorization of the violence against women act, a game changing bipartisan piece of legislation that was providing lifesaving assistance to women across america for nearly three decades. i'd like to start with a video that provides a legacy of this law. >> i was a shelter director in florida in 1993 when congress was debating the violence against women act and i remembered standing in the shelter and thinking to myself this will all change and indeed, it has.
>> first passed in 1994 intense lobbying for women that had few legal protections and few resources against domestic and sexual violence the bill is said to have decreased domestic violence by 70% and it's bipartisan. >> from abuse, violence and has resulted in the saving of millions of lives. nothing could be more related to the administration than the violence s against women act. across the country judges are enlightened and prepared to deal with domestic violence why now, is there something you sensed in this moment?
>> we've made progress in this country andnd we have seen evdecreases of about two thirdsn the last 25 to 30 years but we are starting to see an increase again. >> women murdered in 2018 were killed by men they knew. >> it's only made it worse. many have seen violence. >> the bill is passed. >> october has been recognized as domestic violence awareness month and it's a reminder all of us have an obligation to stand up and support survivors of sexual and domestic violence many of whom had to nurse their wounds with physical and emotional in silence. over the past 18 months many have been forced into the most vulnerable position of all,
isolated, at home with an abuser. during the pandemic nearly four in ten rape crisis centers and nearly half of the ymca domestic violence programs have reported an increase in demand for services. policef departments through the country have also reported a spike in arresting goals related toar domestic violence. in d illinois or domestic violee hotline experienced 16% increase in calls in 2020 sometimes fielding 150 in the same day. a friend of mine and advocate for survivors of domestic violence the late sheila wellstone use to say i find it absolutely intolerable to think a woman's home could be the most violent, dangerous and most deadly place she can be. this is unacceptable for too many in america and that's why
we must strengthen the law for nearly 30 years it's transformed the way that we address sexual and domestic violence the violence against women act. in the years since it was filed intoto law has changed and saved countless lives and open no evidence for survivors and including domestic abuse hotline's. it's helped establish protocols for doctors, police officers, judges and others to spot the signs of domestic violence and to provide help once they observed the sites. appropriations programs have continued with much-needed efforts to improve. thankfully in this congress there is a strong bipartisan
commitment to join our colleagues in the house and pass in 2021. the committee will have a chance to hear from the junior senator and has been working closely with senator feinstein to prepare the senate's own version of the reauthorization act of 2021 for introductions. we will then have a chance to hear from the deputy attorney general lisa monaco a law enforcement leader who's voiced strong support for the legislation as well she mentioned she started her career as an intern inne the committee working on the original and two and bark on a career public service which is remarkable. i'm glad you are back home
again. they couldn't join us this morning but she's here in spirit and we salute all of the leadership. a number including senator leahy expecting to be here momentarily to make a statement and senator amy klobuchar has been an invaluable contributor. i'm grateful for the shared commitment to produce a strongha bipartisan metal. the house once again passed the reauthorization with strong bipartisan support from the congress woman sheila jackson lee. house judiciary committee chair and brian fitzpatrick. like the house passed bill the legislation will modernize and improve the progress we've made. this new version the violence against women act will not only provide funding to organizations and resources, it will invest in critical education and access to
services for survivors in rural areas. it will help keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of abusers and provide survivors with the support they need by expanding access to legal services and other programs. we know we will send it to the desk of a leader that is not just sympathetic but wildly supportive of this measure, the man that originally sponsored the first violence against women act, president joe biden now i hiturn to the ranking member grassley. >> thank you mr. chairman and i welcome all the witnesses and guests to the hearing.
they voted to reauthorize the grant programs authorized multiple times. when i wasn't able to support a democratic led effort to reauthorize, i introduced my own proposal that would have protected and enhanced the program this year i led with the senate urging that congress prioritize funding of the programs and in previous years when i sent letters, senator shelby and lahey were not responsive to my requests and supportive of the programs, so i want to thank them for working with me to champion the funding.
to expand for intimate partner violence. this year for example i joined a number and cosponsoring ollegislation to ensure they receive an additional 1 billion. for violence, sexual assault and children's abuse are under the crime act that created this important fund. in 2016 and this year i worked closely within the assault survivor and the organization she founded for those on sexual violence survivors and criminal
justice system. to press the fbi for information in response to allegations of sexual abuse, i've been seeking justice and i have some timely questions for the doj about accountability for those who failed these victims i also work with senator feinstein on legislation for the mandatory reporting requirements on coaches and instructors that witness of use when working with young athletes. i also sponsor and lead this committee in approving legislation to renew the
protection act as they are also victims. by the victims of trafficking act shepherding it through the committee in the senate and led the committee in approving a major sponsor by the former senator to make more resources available the victims of child pornography. renewing and expanding is our next priority and that's why we've convened thisab hearing today. i want to take this opportunity to mention now that it's domestic violence awareness month is important that we adopt an extension and meanwhile we
could continue to engage in negotiations on important reforms and updates. i also want to recognize they would have joined us here to testify today. senator ernst, hite smith, cap ditto, thanknk you for being hee and i would like to thank ms. monaco for attending today's hearing on behalf of the department of justice. >> thank you senator grassley. after that she will have five minutes and turn to questions from senators and each will have five minutes for questioning. before we begin i want to note again senator feinstein is unable to be here we are grateful for the leadership on the bill and the hearing as the
chair of the s subcommittee on human rights and the law so we will first begin with a statement from senator ernst who i mentioned earlier worked with senator feinstein and myself to get the bill introduced and enacted into law members of the senate judiciary committee the violence against women act is now over 25-years-old as many of us are aware this provides desperately needed resources to tackle domestic and sexual abuse in our communities and as too often, authorization has lapsed but despite that reality year after year, the programs continue to be funded by congress. i am a survivor myself. i know firsthand the fear that comes when someone you trust abuse this year. but you don't have to be a survivor to understand just how
awful violence against women can be in terms of physical and mental well-being. in terms of self image and our families and the security of our society as a whole. i wasn't in the senate in 2013 the last time congress exercised this but since i've been here i've had a vested interest in being part of the process and getting this vitally important i to bill modernized and reauthorized because i believe we can improve the violence against women act for our survivors on a bipartisan bill that would not only reauthorize but truly modernize it. good things often take time.
we will keep working until we would come to a bill that won't be a talking point but one side or the other and a bill that can pass the senate and the house and become a law and truly deliver for my fellow survivors. a modernized violence against women act that will pass to the senate must have a renewed focus on the survivors and invest in improvingag the programs that reduce violence. when you live in an area like mine in montgomery county iowa with a population of just over 10,000 people. we must provide better resources in their own communities and also extend critical housing protections to the communities allowing survivors protection and security. it's a critical lifeline and a way out of these abusive situations. ecwe also have to focus on successful efforts to prevent violence like the rapee
prevention and education program. instead of reacting to these horrific crimes, this program works to prevent them in the first place. we must ensure not just that survivors are in powered but offenders are published. my goal has been to punish abusers and enhance the overall purpose behind this important law. to focus on the committee and stakeholders to reach a bill that will prevent what happened to me from ever happening to another woman. it'st a lofty goal, but why else are we here? thank you so much. >> i see senator highsmith has arrived. i appreciate chairman durbin and ranking member grassleyar for having the hearing today and i am proud to be here strengthening the violence
against women's act.nd i'd like to begin by thanking all the people that work in this area. this is tough work and it's so important. in want to make sure of that and thanking the survivors for ther ability to fight back on other crimes it's been a priority of mine since i became the senator but also congressman the first time i came to the senate was to join with venice senator biden to celebrate. to work to combat domestic violence but this work wouldn't be possible without the funding and support that is provided and why it's critical this bill be reauthorized. these funds are a lifeline to the work and as a member of the
committee i'm proud we've consistently championed it and increase to the amount available for survivors of domestic and sexual violence in a bipartisan fashion. now they've announced the most recent round of grant funding i am a bit concerned about how the department of justice is allocating some resources. the senator included a to this a little bit. my state of west virginia while we have great challenges, we recorded sufficient priority the only state that lost the population-based metrics are not helpful to meet those demands. one of my concerns is that it may require updating to reflect the needs of the nation's populations to the maximum extent possible as allocation
methods to better reflect the needs of rural and remote areas where many victims have unique challenges to reporting these crimes and seeking assistance. reauthorization has historically been a bipartisan effort as has been discussed today demonstrating the willingness to work together to get survivors of domestic violence and resources they need. we canco pass the bill that encompasses the provisions with widespread bipartisan consensus. doing so wouldn't end the conversation or the work on behalf of w the victims and survivors because there are things we must continually improve to o meet the needs and challenges. i'd also like w to thank senatos senatorsfeinstein and ernst forr dedicated movement to get this past. human trafficking wasn't a great concern in my state but sadly now it is. in addition to the challenges by
covid we continue to be overwhelmed by the impact of an opioid epidemic we worked with individuals and organizations that need our help. we can provide that help. i'm ready to work together to see the goal accomplished so we can continue to empower victims, support survivors, protect families in every single one of the states. he will be joined by senator highsmith. >> i had to open the senate this morning with a little bit of a delay but we are here and i want to thank you and ranking member grassley for holding this
hearing the response to domestic violence and assault in 1994. it's one of the consequential pieces of legislation but this came the need to not only reauthorize but update and strengthen it. we passed a strong bipartisan violence against women act reauthorization. as chairman of the committee is a top priority of mine. i partnered with senator and we put together a bill with 62 senators the past the senate overwhelmingly. some thought we should water it down to make it easier and i
understood with the survivors and victims professionals who called for legislation to protect all victims regardless the membership and failed to reauthorize the violence against women act since 2013. we've already passed since i joined with my friend senator feinstein introducing the last reauthorization was also passed the house with strong votes of republicans and democrats. we are set to introduce support of the bill very soon. but it's not about politics. it's listening to survivors and making sure that they are working to prevent domestic and sexual violence and have all the tools they need.
seeing women that have been beaten to death and then we find this has been going on for some time. we probably still remember those like it was yesterday. social distancing living with their abusers were struggling for increasing housing and economic needs. the programs make a difference and if it's a strong bipartisan bill thank you for the courtesy. >> overview of the years with
this important legislation. senator highsmith. >> thank you ranking member. i appreciate the opportunity to be here today to speak for the women experiencing the situations. my concerns are a lot like senator have a tow as we consider this reauthorization i want us to look at what i feel is an overlooked population and the survivors intimate partner violence in rural areas. it's hard to get access to things. so many victims and survivors in my state of mississippi before even making the decision to seek help, the survivors, most often women, have to overcome cultural norms that prioritize family privacy which is very important in rural areas and keeping their families together. when they decide to get help they will travel long distances
and have transportation options. more than 25% reside at least 4t service providers compared to less than 10% in urban areas. they are so concerned of what the community would think of them. we agree our goal should be to ensure the women in rural areas and victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence and stocking are protected and receive the services that they need. to this end these programs are funded by the appropriations committee which i serve on. earlier this year we came together as the chamber and adopted a measure to significantly increase deposits into the a a crime victims fundt
will go a long way to sustain the fund over time but we need to harness that spirit now. october is domestic violence awareness month, a time that we should come together to develop bipartisan relationships to address this and have meaningful chances that this will be signed into law by the president but we are not therean yet and the othr chamber passed the reauthorization bill with little chance of reaching 60 votes in the chamber. that bill is yet to overcome who fear it will limit their abilities to pursue repeat offenders of domestic w violenc. it is yet to address concerns that it could destabilize the systems and as yet to address provisions that may reduce giant grant eligibility for the providers serving victims of elder abuse or commercial sexual
exploitation. andd ironically the gender identity provisions can make it more challenging for the grant recipients to best serve for whom they provide space to heal emotionally and physically. that's why i call on the committee and the senate leadership to adopt the reauthorization bill this month including a greater emphasis on those in rural areas. in the meantime i believe we should continue to work together to resolve the remaining areas where we have yet to reach consensus. we need to do it for the sake of survivors and victims of sexual violence everywhere. thank you for allowing me to be here to speak on such an important issue providing the
services that they need to help yield. thank you for being a cosponsor. and thank you for joining us this morning. we now are going to call before us lisa monaco. as the witness table is being prepared i welcome the attorney general lisa monaco. before you sit down, let me administer the oath. do you affirm the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god? the deputy attorney general answered in the affirmative serving as the justice department's second ranking official and is responsible for the overall supervision of the
department hopefully with bipartisan support and served as a career prosecutor and positions across the department and his homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to president obama born and raised in massachusetts and graduate of harvard a ranking member grassly and members of the committee i appreciate very much this opportunity to speak to you today.e the violence against women act has had an enormous impact in combating domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking and i'm here to urge congress to reauthorize and strengthen it.
beforean we get started though with your indulgence i would like to recognize several tragedies the department has suffered in recent days. yesterday in tucson arizona and agent was shot and killed and a second agent and task force officer was shot and wounded. separately last friday the marshall's had succumbed injuries from an accident thatde occurred while he was assisting with a law enforcement operation. these remind all of us of the risks law enforcement takes every day to protect the communities that they serve.l my thoughts and prayers are with their families and the men and women of the dea and u.s. marshals service. mr. chair and ranking member grassley, the passage of the act in 1994 as you've noted, mr. chairman, had a o major impt on my own life at the time i was a staff member for then chair
man biden and one of my responsibilities included responding to letters from people that wrote to the committee. time and time again i read not only about the violence that too many people, mostly women suffered at the hands of their intimate partners but also about the lack of accountability for these crimes. statistics during that period painted a very grim picture. 98% of rape victims never solve their attacker imprisoned. my conversations with individual survivors, rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, emergency rooms and police stations put a human face on
those statistics. and that experience led me to want to go to law school and into public service and drew me to a career in law enforcement and criminal justice. with the passage i saw how the law could make a difference in people's lives and i saw what congress could accomplish and thoughtful policy driven by courageous voices, experts and bipartisan leadership. congress reauthorized in 2005, 2013, each time with bipartisan support. over the years we've made substantial progress but the need for the programs and protections is as critical as ever and i'd like to highlight a few of the items the department sees as priorities for the reauthorization bill. first reauthorizing the grant programs at the 1 billion-dollar funding level included in the president's fiscal year 2022
request this will ensure the communities provide critical services to survivors as well as the right tools and training to make sure that responses to these crimes are survivors centered and trauma informed and i'm pleased to announce today the office of violence against women issued this year more than a $476 million iny grants to hp state, local and tribal organizations support survivors as they promote and train professionals to respond to domestic violence. second we need to find new ways to reach an improved service for underserved populations including culturally specific communities. third, expanding the ability to protect the communities from sdomestic and sexual violence from expanded jurisdiction and forth, reducing homicide through federal firearms laws included by closing the so-called boyfriend loophole that leaves countless victims at risk.
before i take your questions, mr. chair man, i want to speak to two recent issues that have ereceived considerable national attention and which i think -underscore the continued importance. the tragic murder of gabby petito has been at the forefront of many minds. i'm struck by two critical lessons we should take away from the publicly reported information not just in this case but the thousands of others that don't receive public attention. first is the importance of the bystanders 911 call that prompted law enforcement to respond to calls of violence between ms. gabby petito and her boyfriend. as we watched the interviews conducted by those officers, it's the vital importance of having trained law enforcement to understand the dynamics of domestic violence when
responding to such but we shouldn't forget gabby petito is not alone. there's more in than 89,000 in this country and roughly 45% of colornvolve people of including too many missing and murdered indigenous persons. gender-based violence is a precursor to the cases and while they often don't receive public attention the department will continue to prevent these crimes and to bring perpetrators to justice. finally, i want to recognize the courageous women athletes that have spoken out and testified on behalf of the hundreds of survivors of larry nassar's sexual abuse and most recently the four brave women athletes that came before the committee last month. i want to thank them for the work and that is the inspector general bringing to light what
inexcusable he failed them as a source of other survivors. as the deputy attorney general, as a lawyer and a former fbi official and as a woman, i was outraged by the inspector general's findings and i was horrified at the experiences of simone biles, michaela maroney, maggie nichols and allie grisman encountered in their powerful testimony. i'm deeply sorry that in m this case the victims did not receive the response or the protection that they deserved. i discussed the full scope of the changes he's instituting to ensure this never happens again and i've also directed additional measures inside of the department of justice to ensure where there is an ongoing threat, violence or abuse especially when that involves vulnerable victims they have a
duty to coordinate with other partners tonv address it and i'e made clear that it's a priority of the department of justice to provide victims and witnesses of crime and support that they need. my experience working for the committee many years ago taught me a principle that guides me still today. our government has a moral obligation to protect its citizens and when it falls short we must listen to those that we have left down to better understand where we can improve. survivors that come forward must be met with competent professionals. that is the promise and one that the department of justice is committed to carrying out in our own organization and the funded programs and work throughout the
country. i appreciate the time and attention contributed to this legislation many for decades and i look forward to continuing that work with the committee and toto answer your questions toda. >> thank you. it's been my honor to serve on the committee for over 20 years. three weeks ago we heard the incrediblyis compelling testimoy from four survivors of sexual violence who were abused by disgraced usa gymnastics team doctor. the reaction across the nation to that testimony was incredible, resounding, powerful.in the american people want child predators and anyone who aids in the crimes held accountable
making no excuses when they finally summoned the courage to bring their grievances to the proper legal authorities. the fbi failed them. our governments failed them. we failed them and it was very leclear. in addition imagine millions of dollars of funds earmarked the department of justice oversees overseasindividual prosecutionsf predators and many people including myself and my colleagues and the gymnasts who testified expressed shock and dissatisfaction with the decision to decline prosecution of the fbi agents who not only mishandled the investigation that lied to the inspector general's office. people are charged with the crime of lying to the government and held accountable and some are in prison for the acts that appear to have taken place and
yet the decision not to prosecute is one which most of us don't understand what is your decision not to prosecute the agents if they are committed to bringing justice to survivors and sexual violence what is your plan to better demonstrate the commitment going forward? >> thank you mr. chair man. let me reiterate those that testified so bravely they deserved better than they got from the fbi and the justice department. they documented inexcusable failures and some of them quite fundamental. a lack of urgency and care for the victims that we have a duty to protect. a it's a core mission to protect those victims and as you know the fbi director testified about a numberro of measures he's putting in place from strength and policy, strengthen training, mandatory reporting and the
measures i've referenced in my opening statement. now with regards to the understandable interest in frustration with regardsga to te long-standing policy to protect appropriate decision-making and not commenting on the decisions i can inform the committee today the recently confirmed attorney general for the position is currently reviewing this matter including new information that has come to light. i think you will understand i am constrained on what more i can say but i do want the committee and the survivors to understand how seriously we take this issue and believe that this deserves a thorough and full review.
there's a sense of urgency and gravity and the work that needs to be done. >> i'd like to ask about one other issue and the remaining minute i mentioned while she was still here, senator o-uppercase-letter and i cosponsored legislation when you read the statistics of the number who are victims of violence or exposed to violence in their lifetime it is a showstopper. oas a parent you think back on the experiences of your own youth in the city of chicago
which i dearly love that is just incredible and you wonder who these kids that turn to violence and everything else that follows. what can you tell me about your announcement this morning and the additional resources to the dealing with trauma. >> one of the founding principles when it was first enacted in 1994 and continued for 25 years has been to ensure prosecutors, court systems, victim advocates and all who encounter sexual assault, stalking, violence, to ensure that when they encounter the system in all of its forms that
those individuals receive the service that they are due and that they've been trained to understand the experience where children were exposed to violence in the home what that trauma is like and how it should impact the movement if you will and what they get in the system. they shouldn't be traumatized by coming forward to hold their perpetrator accountable. >> i've gone over my time and i will just close by saying theim resources have to be available for the analysis and counsel and remediation and mentorship to give these kids a second chance in other words i'm sorry to say the results are going to be terrible so i'm glad to work with you and the attorney
general. senator a grassley. >> i want to emphasize what has been said. you've already responded about reconsidering prosecution of these people that were not doing their job and taking action appropriate. i sent a letter to the attorney general a long the same line and same day we had this hearing. now to my first question it out with the fact that it's passed the house of representatives on the bill. business communities have raised questions about unemployment benefits that are in the program and others could line the
system. i hope that we can reach a bipartisan agreement to move a bill forward. short of that i hope that we can continue to do what we have done to reauthorize because it is a very important program that must be continued. my question is based on the fact that 90 to 95% of what is on the table is agreed to but then there's certain outstanding things. as the department extending for example through the end of the year soup the bipartisan negotiations can continue? >> first,ti thank you for your support in the past not only for
the major funding and grant programs and important grant programs that provide services to the victims but also the rural programs and i thank you for your support in the past and we look forward to working with you and others. it's important we move to reauthorize the violence b agait women act and of course we are grateful that the congress when the violence act lapsed that they continued to be funded because as we know the providers and services but as the senator and others said, it is important that we strengthen, improve and modernize the violence against women act so we stand ready to work with you, senator and others to make sure that we can get that done.
>> the committee approved the survivors bill of rights for sexual assault. this year i'm working on related legislation that would provide states with digital funding under the stop formula grant program. if they adopt legislation for the same rights at the state level i.e. remain concerned. other than adopting the survivors bill of rights what additional steps might federal, state, local authority states -- >> thank you for your . whether they receive the services and the rights that they deserve. i think the simple answer to the question is reauthorize asian
and it is at the level the president has sought for the urgently needed services. i spent some time with a number of advocates last week and i heard from them. we have places like rape crisis centers. the simple answer is reauthorize asian and increased funding that the president is seeking. >> the federal courts having authority to reward restitution for certain losses in victims of crime and federal cases and the governmental accountability office recommended several years ago that the department of
justice implement performance measures and goals for the collection of restitution. to what extent has the doj implemented of those and what can you tell us about the subject? >> i will have to go back and look u at that report i know we take very seriously whether it's the gao or when it comes to the storage of federal dollars. >> can you respond in writing? >> i would be happy to. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's great to see you here. i've had the pleasure of working with you over the years and you talked about being a junior
staff. i appreciate being here on this and i can't think of anyone else. it's one of the most consequential pieces of legislation within the committee's jurisdiction. last time successfully reauthorized in 2013 when the senator and i it fell through with students, immigrants and individuals on tribal land that passed overwhelmingly. but those of us that saw what happened, not a statistic that actually solve the victims, those that are still alive and could talk. i'm glad that you are here and i think that you would agree it's
important to not only reauthorize but strengthen the law. mpwould you agree with that? >> i think back when we had experiences prosecutors and domestic and sexual violence on individuals and the communities. relatively one size doesn't fit all in the criminal justice system. i'm looking at things like restorative justice principles and practices that may be could help so they have a voice. it gives them an opportunity to make sure that those that caused the harm are held accountable for their actions.
would you support exploring the justice as another approach. >> i start from the premise that the original act at its core was about improving responses as we talked about, improving responses to domestic violence, sexual assault and improving the response of law enforcement and the courts. it had been treated as a private matter e and we had to change or thinking as has been noted before earlier this morning the hallmark of the reauthorize asians have been filling gaps and innovating and improving and modernizingas the services from advocates and experts, some survivors seek help from the criminal justice system and so they need other options.
i think those options need to be evidence-based and voluntary in the past into the future to study and innovate and be responsive to what we are seeing on the ground. so i'm very pleased they've been able to fund as you mentioned in vermont. >> i have a feeling that at least the senate appropriations committee will make sure. you alluded to this and i will close with this. i think back and a number of cases where i was prosecutor when a victim of violence against women so long delayed, sometimes no longer live.
profoundly sorry for the victims of t these repeated sexual assaults one of the world big athletes. let me just respond to a statement that was reported in the hill by one of the witnesses there, former us olympic gymnast, allie attended a news conference that senator blumenthal and senator grassley held and as you know senator blumenthal and senator feinstein with a letter to the attorney general asking serious questions for you to appear at the hearing we held three weeks ago. but she wanted victims of repeated sexual assault by the olympic team doctor said the message by them not showing up says that child abuse does not matter talking about the
department of justice. you. i think it is completely shocking and disturbing that they did not think it was important what is your response? >> senator, i think the women who came and testified here last month are exceptionally brave. their voices were powerful. >> we are talking about you not showing up. essentially that was a disrespectful act which did not view the allegation that is made for the department of justice to actually show up for the hearing. >> itu am deeply and profoundly sorry for the fact that the victims and courageous survivors with the women who testified last month and the scores of other survivors. >> why did you show up at the
hearing? >> and the committee was able to hear from director ray and the inspector general. >> you demonstrated profoundest respect to these victims of sexual assault by your refusal to respond to their letter or even show and express your personal apology as the public official responsible for supervising the fbi at the department of justice, don't you thank you show them disrespect by refusal to show? >> i am here to answer whatever questions the committee has to ensure that the failures the inexcusable fundamental failures do not happen again i welcome the committee's questions here today on the subject. >> you or three weeks too late by my count. a lot of the initial figures occurred in 2015.
but then to act on the criminal referral by the inspector general, now you tell us six years later the department of justice is reviewing new information? and has a sense of urgency and gravity over the potential criminal prosecution? in washington long enough to know there's a difference between what they say and what they do with the six year delay between the time of the outcry from his sexual assault is made but then between then and now it is pretty hard to understand or believe there is any sense ofbe urgency or gravity on the part of the department of justice. what is the statue of limitations for lying to the
fbi are f other potential criminal activities in this case? >> i believe the statute of limitations it is five years. >> so we are six years later isn't it likely that any criminal charges for lying to the fbi would be barbara statue of limitations quick. >> senator i don't want to get into the specifics of what legal theories could be pursued. >> i am asking you said it's five years to lie to the fbi and now six years later and the department of justice has done nothing you have the audacity to tell us you are experiencing a sense of urgency and gravity? that is simply not credible.
>> it's good to have you back to the committee again we have another exceptionally brave and powerful witness with allegations of sexual assaultss before the olympic athletes and that was doctor ford in response to that testimony they hired prosecutor to punch holes in the testimony when that ails the fbi tainted the background investigation so is there any reason sexual assault allegations should be taken less seriously inn the context of a background investigation then in the context of a criminal investigation? >> sexual assault allegations should always be taken seriously, senator. > inc. you for that trickle of information and has begun
to flow of conduct in that manner and director ray maintained a complete stonewall of information about that investigation while at the same time maintaining a fast lane for fbi information with the crossfire hurricane why should there be two different gates at the fbi for information related to the two investigations? and then to continue to extract for what took place. >> iam please the fbi has responded to the most recent letter on this matter has offered a briefing. you have my commitment we will make sure we do our very best to answer your questions.
>> moree generally i have a letter to put in the record when it is appropriate for domestic violence related to her experience of sojourner house among the other services provides transitional housing so they can find a place to live while she are he works in their changes in their lives and what that requires. i would like to put that in the record. and years ago we got the smart prevention act which provides funding as the woman is the direct victim of domestic violence but and i can affect them for a long time. can you speak to the role of
housing and then the support that very young children that they may not be the subject of the violence themselves but to be witness to it by that experience and that family. >> i'm glad you highlighted this issue because too often it is overlooked the ripple effect from domestic violence and as you point out the woman is the victim and it does ripple out and the children are often in the wake and feeling those ast acutely as the primary victim. to that end the violence against women act funds much needed frankly refuge for people fleeing domestic violence the latest figure i
saw was 2 million housing nights per year that it funds to the grant recipients it seeks additional funding and it is much needed hearing directly from advocates in the last week just how much demand is outpacing supplies you have hit on a very critical issue and i look forward to working with members of the committee to make sure we address transitional housing to have a refuge for women and children that are in the line of fire coming to domestic violence. >> i hope the administration will support the proposed increase in the smart prevention funding relating to children of domestic violence
this is hard talking about $2 trillion to imagine that the population were 15 million but i administration will support increasing that. >> . >> last week the national school board association rocha president biden asking the l administration to have the full force and of the weight of the fed for those that were protesting policies at school board meetings including thesc indoctrination of children with anti- american documents critical race theory or the requirement children agendas to be required to wear masks. we can agree violence is not an acceptable form of political protesting cannot be used to achieve goals. that is with the school board association letter focuses on example what warrants
federal criminal charges that this is a direct quote an individual prompted the school board to call her recess because of opposition to critical race theory. a recess. the association asking the administration to use the patriot act the law that we passed a repeatedly reauthorized to stop the threat to bring criminal charges to oppose critical race theory or mask mandates resulting in a recess being called. is it domestic extremism for a parent to advocate for their child's best interest? >> violence iso not the answer with a very spirited public debate on a whole host of issues but when that tips over into violence or threats for law enforcement. >> i'm sorry. my time is limited and ask a
simple yes or no question and i have several. yes or noas answer. is it domestic extremism for a parent to advocate for their child's best interest? >> what you have described i would not say that is domestic extremism. >> for a parent to want to have a say for what their child is taught at school quick.s >> it is not me to opine on education policy but i want to talk about with the attorney general did doo in response to that. >> i grant you know one to achieve political or policy goals. and to follow democratic senators into the bathroom violating statego laws. no one should ever use threats of violence to achieve political goals.
trying to find out what was on the department's mind was it extremism to opposee children mebeing taught quick. >> thehe job is to apply facts to law, not to opine on those that are put forward it's very important for the justice department. >> the school board association just sent this letter to president biden and the attorney general release the letter yesterday describing a series of measures to confront the great and growing threat of parents protesting the kids being indoctrinated into color recess. >> and want to be very clear the memorandum the attorney general issue talks about the importance of bringing federal, state local law enforcement together to make sure there is awareness to
report the threats that may occur and to ensure there is an open line of communication to address threats and violence and law enforcement issues in that context which is the job of the justice department. nothing more. >> united states are the single largest increase l inr murders. on record as the attorney general with a special series of measures to address the record increase? >> i issued a directive to the field. >> half - of the attorney general and the leadership of the justice department to address violent crime and to lay out a strategy for violent crime reduction which includes going after in using federal resources to target the most violent offenders including those operating with guns and
responsible for murders and violence in the communities so absolutely we take the alarming rise of violent crime seriously. we have heard from the many hours we have heard how urgently they feel it is to address the rise of violent crime and we are working every day. >> i want to finish with one final question did anyone at the fb express disagreements or any reticence at all over the curriculum and school policy? >> i don't understand that that was not the subject of the memorandum but the answer to your question is no. and in response i have heard no reticence or concern on the job of us attorneys special agents in charge to address
violent issues in their community is the core job of the justicece department. >> okay then. >> thank you senator cotton and senator klobuchar saying things before your arrival. [laughter] >> a i apologize for a late hearing we are having an incredible hearing in the commerce committee of the whistleblower allegation and statements of facebook. i was thinking with all the hearings we have had in this committee may be that one person will be the catalyst to finally passing bills not just in the privacy area but for transparency of algorithms and consolidation which is specifically mentioned that the dominant platforms. i know we will have a wen confirmation hearing on the new nominee for antitrust but
it only lead with that because that is part of the story as well. i would start with the fact this is always then a bipartisan reauthorization. so many times in the past this bill is so important. and in your view has the pandemic rose for more than 40 percent in 2020, has the pandemic increase the urgency to reauthorized? >> absolutely. and on my discussions with advocates of those on the ground doing the work with the violence against women act they told me that the demand for services is outpacing the ability to provide those services and hasic only become more so as a result of the
covid-19 pandemic which stands to reason why people are at home with their abuser in many respects and that's a situation. >> for many years what senator franken was originally involved in introducing and this would have trauma informed techniques with the sexual assault crimes to retraumatized the victim and then to use these techniques it was in the house reauthorization. >> thank you senator and your leadership on that issue it is such an important part of the violence against women act and our approach to these issues to understanding from the survivors perspective when they are interviewed by law
enforcement and when they go to get the medical exam into make sure every step along thet way and then to understand the trauma the survivor has encountered and to recognize and have their services be involved at the center. and the center of the training that service providers provide. >> thank you want to movevi on to something really important to me. so the fact that every more than 600 american women are killed by again with intimate partners and half of the women are killed by dating partners when senator leahy was cheering the committee we and then for what it means and all
of the republican witnesses senator grassley to be at this hearing as well to change the situation dangerous boyfriends can be just as scary as dangerous husbands. and with the same doubly force but it only prohibits domestic abusers if they are currently or formerly married if theyiv have ever lived together for have a child of the victim do believe we should update the law? and i you address this earlier to protect dating partners in the same way we protect married partners? >> absolutely. the violence to the women that are suffering. we know women are more likely to be killed.
>> when the congress first took action on a bipartisan basis and that already had convictions on the book. do you believe with prior domestic convictions should be prohibited from buying a gun? and with dozens of republican vote. >> it is important that we address this loophole. those who would be affected by this and those who have been convicted and found guilty by a court that is the issue we have to address and the failure to close this loophole is in too many women dying. >> i appreciate your leadership and your testimony. thank you very much. >> thankmo you senator klobucha.
want to come back to this extraordinary letter that the attorney general of the united states issued yesterday. practically every day bringing new reports of the administration weaponize is to go after political opponents. and for those of us who miss the mccarthy area one —- error i guess the president is
intent on bringing it to us with new force in power and urgency unlikely of anything we have ever seen. and when the attorney general has directed the fbi to intervene in school board meetings? >> ihe am not aware. >> thisis is an about local schools being the subject of the memorandum? >> it is quite clear it is one page and with that community and the special agency in
charge and then to ensure there is an open line to address violence and that is the appropriate role at the department of justice that we are dressing criminal conduct and violent. >> sometimes parents are waiting for hours to speak at a local school board meeting to express concern about critical race theory particularly young children. is that in and of itself harassment and intimidation waiting to express once you add a school board meeting harassment and intimidation. >> there memoranda makes clear spirited debate is welcome and a hallmark of the country. >> with all due respect it doesn't make it quite clear does not define those terms or defined harassment or
intimidation think we agree violence should not be condoned in any way are swept under the rug at all but what does intimidation mean in the term of the local school board meeting? in the first in amendment contacts if this is not a deliberate attempt for parents to show up at school board meetings i don't know what it is. i am not aware of anything like this in american history we are talking about the fbi to intervene in a school board meetings this is extraordinary. >> i respectfully disagree the attorney general memorandum made quite clear that violence is not appropriate spirited public debate. >> that any situation turns to
violence that is the appropriate a role of law enforcement to address it. >> talks about harassment so i'm asking you to draw some lines. it is the sum and substance of the first amendment law and to be willing to do it now. tell me where. and to t express their concerns waiting for hours this happened in my state. parents waited for hours sometime school board meetings have ended before they can speak because they don't want to hearti it. and now they are told if they wait and share their view they could be investigated for intimidation? >> i don't know who is telling them that. is to investigate crime when it turns to violence when and
if the a job of the justice department local law enforcement the attorney general memorandum as the us attorney community and fbi and the counterparts to ensure that state law enforcement has an open line of communication to report threats when they happen in the context of election officials and in them members of congress with the fbi response on a regular basis as is appropriate it is to address criminal conduct. >> this is truly extraordinary. you know it is unprecedented exyou cannot say were anything like this is happened before and then what they have been stunned to learn. to show up at a local school boardnn meeting have the right to appear and be heard a have the right to vote and you are
attempting to intimidate them and silence them you are attempting to interfere withem their rights and yes this is wrong. it is dangerous and i cannot believe the attorney general of the united states is engaging in this type of conduct and frankly i cannot believe you are sitting here today defending it. i intend to get answers to these questions you answer my question i will get answers we need too have a hearing on the subject and he needs to come here and answer questions. we have nevernd seen anything like this before in our countries history and frankly it is a dangerous precedent. >> . >> it's great to be with you deputy general i appreciate you with the strengthening of the violence against women act a tremendously positive and
important lot to shape to being brought forward by senator biden in this committee one of the most important pieces of legislation congress has passed in recent memory to improve and protect theeg lives of millions of americans of the country and law enforcement advocates think about and respond to domestic aviolence is also my view and testament to the vision and character to someone who has intense opposition those who abuse their power over others but it has been worsened by the covid-19 pandemic with the delaware nonprofit organizations and service providers and it is more critical than ever so we have a few questions on that topic. gun violence is tragic and brutal part it is five times
more likely to be deadly if an abuser has access to a firearm i was glad to see the bipartisan house past so they could tell authorities of the domestic abuse conviction has failed the background check senator cornyn and i that would require federal state local law enforcement when a person tries to purchase a firearm and fails a background check. would you agree giving timely information who lied and tried and then denied a firearm to make communities safer? >> to make sure we have the requisite information to ensure those that pose a lethal risk cannot possess a firearm into deadly damage in our communities.
and anyone in particular the subcommittee to have funding for federal lawmm enforcement so ongoing up as rapidly as the need and i heard from providers from those in my home state that the resources they receive. and how doo we support nonprofit organizations all over the country with the established network and advocates to for the extra need of the covid-19 pandemic? >> you have hit the heart of the matter it is a dangerousea increase have dating violence stocking is and it has increased during the pandemic as we observe those stuck at home and are suffering sometimes i silence.
so to re- authorize the act and to do so at the one million-dollar level that was requested in the budget request and with the training of law enforcement and when they do so they have the tools and the training not to retraumatized the survivors they are encountering and then to do the same with regard to the court system. and then we need to make sure and then the violence against women program does do that so those landmark programs to be enacted is what we need to be doing. >> beginning with a panel of three. with the significance in
particular with senator ernst talk about her experiences when engaged and advocacy. many survivors of domestic violence struggle to find rental housing. how can congress ensure survivors don't face need this barriers? because they don't see a path forward to house their family and to be free from abuse. as a safe haven and with that transitionalf housing program and has funded historically to provide 1 million housing ionights per year to give that
safe haven and then to reauthorize and increase funding. >> can i ask for one minute of forbearance. >> i guess state the senator who preceded me accuse the attorney general and the administration of an unprecedented level of fbi harassment and intimidation of the school board meeting. any foundation? >> no sir. >> thank you for holding this hearing also to ranking member grassley alec forward to us moving ahead to provide more resources, more support to victims of domestic violence over the last 18 or 20 months this is not only taken life as a result of this disease that we have an increase so it's
very timely we have this hearing. but looking back in 1984 and then to talk about the doj with the extent and with 2018 we have another inspector general report that 42 percent of our grandson not been closed on a timely basis so well-intentioned programs maybe they need to be repurposed and modernize do you have anyt thoughts about what we should focus on to get maximum resources to those that needed and other concerns expressed in the hearing today? >> thank you senator. it's quite right to focus on
the specifics of how we are getting the funding out to the people that needed and that we are using those dollars to their best effect. and then the recipients of those grants have to file a regular financial report and the services they are providing the fact of senator white house there are 2 million transitional housing per year with a grant recipient funding is because of the report have to be exceptionally diligent and how we monitor the use of those funds. i am confident we have the capability to do that and i'm also pleased we have been able to get out the funds against the women against on —- the violence against women.
it expires september 30th if we had not goneon at all of the door to the people who needed it and the people to do that in nearly half a billion dollars as of september 30th. >> as we go through this process it would be important to see how the administration and the future oversight can be improved and modernize. >> happy to work with you senator. this is an areaa particular focus for you. >> just curious about the doj audits can you give me an update on the audit process and generally speaking how the outcomes generally speak to the outcome? >> with the office of the violence against women does require regular reporting on the use of the funds how the
funds are distributed and what services are happening as a result in that is a very important success to see where dollars are affected and where they are not to expand and provide services. >> what about look at help us to move forward without authorization and modernization i went to a facility that just opened which is extraordinary and with a safe transition so how can we better understand programs that seem to be working s and tried to set the bar high? everybody is trying to do good but some are clearly producing better results than others.
so what information can we get from the doj from the kinds of things that we believe are leading edge to make sure our resources produce the best results? >> i would be happy to give you a more in-depth discussion how we identify best programs and practices. and then to be a force multiplier and identifier of those practices to lift that up with the great innovative work to be done in the state and local communities. absolutely do not have the best information to identify the work that is going on locally to find it and expand it to give it a broader audience. >> thank youve mr. chair. >> this has been a recurring theme for some members of the
memorandum issued yesterday by the attorney general have a copy of it in hand as well as a press release with the department of justice. without objection will enter into the record the actual words that are printed and it noting the opening of the memo recent months there has been disturbing spike in harassment and intimidation and threats of violence and those who participate for the nation's public schools and more specifics how the attorney general is seeking to coordinate with local and w state law enforcement for the protection of all i school personnel.l. it's clearly the intent so the violence or close to it is a valid of thenc constitutional right.
so those who described january h incurrence for those of us who live through it. anyone who wants to characterize that as a institutional process whether they said that publicly. i want to make a record of that. and then the department of justice goes into more detail. thank you so much for your patience. >> thank you mr. chairman and o clarifying that letter or them or memorandum issued by the attorney general yesterday. it is surprising to me that the lawyers on this committee don't seem to understand with the first amendment rights and people who are threatening violence and to get —- engage in assaults.
thank you miss monaco for your testimony and your responses and add an increased level one group i want to call your to there is unfortunately high instance of partner violence and theig native hawaiian community which it parallels a high instance of domestic violence experienced by exhibit of alaska native communities and as we move forward with combating domestic violence, i would like to get your commitment to work with my office to address the disparity and to serve the native community because we can do a far better job. >> i absolutely agree and the priorities that are laid out in the testimony to make sure
we are addressing the underserved including haindigenous communities. >> we need to fix to make sure the native hawaiian organizations are available for funding against the tribal coalitions program i hope you will give your support. >> there is some discussion already about how women in these situations often do not have options and often they will leave their job not because they are fired but because of domestic violence. we want to make sure with the unemployment insurance benefits that is an important aspect of what we need to do with the authorization. >> thank you senator i know
they are exploring how to ensure individuals have the assistance they need for the services they need to get to. >> they need to view those nbenefits and just in the circumstances if somebody loses a job or is fired. we know that protecting immigrant survivors of domestic violence sexual assault and stocking is particularly a concern for the immigrant community. can you talk about how important it is to be there for all survivors in the immigrant victims of violence quick. >> it'sis really important an individual should not be held hostage by their abuser and to
seek immigration relief on their own and sound will see what that yields but something we very much want to be supportive of and the individual who does not have to rely on their abuser but file a petition. >> immigrant women that are particularly vulnerable to those that are undocumented it is a divisive issue and it is important we continue to provide these protections and services from immigrant women and undocumented women and we ask for your continued support on that those are the questions i have for the moment. >> thank you for your patience for waiting during the hearing.
thank you to the deputy attorney general thank you for joining us today statistics suggest an average of nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the united states. twenty per minute that means over the course of this hearing hundreds of americans experienced a mystic violence that we reduced incidence of domestic violence and significantly improve support services but there is so much more to do. i could not start to list on number or names of organizations to provide services those of sexual assault many submitted testimony for the record and without objection the statements will not only f be entered into the record but for the content and look edforward to the reauthorization of violence against women act quickly. we want to move on this we
that is all about protecting and women and young girls to show respect for what they have s endured. >> so if you are second-guessing every parent that is asking the question about what is being taught. >> i assumed. >> but the memo is i understand that that the fbi knows they are doing this anyway. because then they will question howy the children are being taught.
[applause] thank you. we are pleased to join all of you here today with the launch of arkansas governor initiative as the national governors association k-12 science education each year the nga chair can make a difference of all states and territories showing the power of nga to identify best practices to make