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tv   Current Former TSA Administrators Testify on Changes Since 911 Attacks  CSPAN  October 21, 2021 3:51pm-6:34pm EDT

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public service, along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> next, the current administrator of the tsa, along with three former administrators, testify about changes at the agency since its creation after the terror a, ta on september 11th, 2001. the administrators talk about increases in security screenings and enhancements in technology for airline passengers. this is two hours and 40 minutes. >> good morning. i want to thank tsa administrator david patoskey and peter nephewinger, john pistole and james lord for being with us today and for their leadership in safeguarding our nation. and let me say that we have never had a symbol before this
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committee such a group of individuals who have done so much to quiche us as a nation safe 20 years in. so i'm looking forward to that tomorrow. twept years ago, the morning of september 11th, the world discovered the most -- attack in history. thousands of lives were lost and many more was changed forever. in the weeks, months and years that followed, the federal government engaged in a massive effort to reshape your security efforts and respond to new global threats. most importantly, for today's hearing, it was clear that federal authorities needed to be responsible for safeguarding our nation's transportation system and so the transportation safety
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administration was born. it has had seven senate conformed administrators who are with us today. they been speak to then credible changes in growth the agency has undergone in the past two decades. a rapid response required a one size fit all approach to secure the measures primarily used in simple metal detectors and x-ray machines. over the years, tsa has responded to evolving threats, evolving terrorist tactics to advance -- to screening and vetting. today tsa utilizes more than technologies such as advanced imaging technology and computer tomo goods graphy machines to detect a change of nonmetallic
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weapons. tsa has developed a stpeus fated risk-based approach, passenger vetting and trusted traveler programs to focus limited resources on the most pressing threats. tsa must continue to evolve because we continually face new kinds of threats. today threats are rising not just from violent terror groups but from lone wolf actors, cyber criminals, public health emergencies and unruly passengers. we have seen threats expand from a focus on to include other transportation modes and assets such as air cargo, mass transit, freight and passenger rail and pipelines. collectively, these threats challenge the limits of tsa's authorities and resources and congress must ensure tsa remains
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prepared to execute this critical security mission. i'm eager to hear about the changes that have been made to allow americans to travel securely throughout the ongoing global pandemic. unfortunately with all the more improvements tsa has made, some issues remained stagnant. the agency has struggled throughout its history to create a well-compensated, empowered and fulfilled workforce. i'm happy to see a biden administration taking steps to improve the situation. on monday, administrator petoskey announced a new memorandum of agreement. mspd agreed to review adverse action appeals from front line officers.
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i commend the administrator, secretary mayorkas and the biden administration for taking this important step. still a change in the law and significant funding will be needed to provide tsa workers with the workplace rights and the competitive pay they deserve. to that end, i look forward to continuing to advance my bill, the rights for tsa workforce act of 2021 with which this committee mocked up in july. before i close, i would also note only white male administrators have ever been confirmed at a senate to meet the transportation security
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administration. i hope tsa will increase the diversity of its leadership for the working force, as well as the american people. as we look ahead, the successes, as well as the miss stems of the past two decades, will help guide our mission to provide americans with a safe, efficient and secure transportation system. i look forward to reflecting on those issues today. without objection, i include in the record a subject of today's hearing. again, i thank our witnesses for joining us and for their honorable and steadfast service to our nation. with that i recognize ranking member, the gentleman from new york for an opening statement. >> good morning, mr. chairman. thank you for having us here today. i appreciate it. as you all know, i started out
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as a sub committee chair for tsa on homeland security. this is a topic that's always near and dear to my heart. flight attendants on american airlines were friends of mine. transportation security administration was created in the months after this terrorist attack and made dramatic changes to our travel landscape. gone are the days when you could arrive for a flight minutes before takeoff or meet your arriving family members at the gate. with the immense help of the private sector, tsa quickly stood up and established a robust aviation screening system and our nation is truly tkpwraeuft. tsa has continuously adapted their screening procedures based on critical intelligence and risk while also expanding focus
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on securing the surface transportation. this is exactly the type of of elasticity that homeland security committee in the wake of 9/11 envisioned. when our committee was in new york reasonable at the 9/11 museum that's an amazing feat, and i wanted to keep it that way or to the next 20 years. i know all the members of the committee feel the same way. mr. chairman, i ask unanimous concept to enter written tells from chertoff and holly into the record. we appreciate their service as well as the service of the esteemed panels here before the committee today. . >> without objection. >> thank you. it is impressive that we will
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hear from four of the seven senate confirmed tsa administrators. as we 3r0e67 the 20th anniversary november 19th, it is imperative we turn our position to how we should encounter threats, threats we couldn't conceive of in the days after 9/11. our homeland is again at risk with the rise of isis, al qaeda and that region where they found a comfortable home. tsa needs to accelerate deployment of next generation technology and biometrics to the checkpoint. we cannot delay or accept movement at a snail's pace. these needed technologies include credential
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authentication, standoff detection, and so much more. tsa must be agile and ensure that its workforce is positioned to counter the evolving threats we will see the next 20 years. as former administrator holly said in his statement for the record, quote, intelligence and technology are critical to effective security. but people were and still are tsa strongest asset. i wholeheartedly agree and i thank the employees of tsa for securing the nation's transportation systems. their dedication has shown flew as they continue their duties in a midst of a global pandemic. i have spoken to the administrator pekoskey on the front line tsa workforce is not paid enough. and i know he shares that concern. they have an important job and their pay does not reflect it. time and again the pay issues are going to be fixed but they
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never are. i look forward to hearing from the administrator today on the details of the compensation he is providing to the frontline workforce and what congress can do to support the pay initiatives. as we frequent on the past 20 years of tsa and its 20 years going forward, we must remember one thing. we must never, ever forget. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> members of the committee are reminded under committee rules, opening statements may be submitted for the record. members are also reminded that the committee will operate according to the guidelines laid out by the chairman and ranking member in our february 3rd colloquy regarding procedures. i now welcome our panel of witnesses. our first witness is honorable david pekoskey, current administrator of the transportation security administration. a position he has held since 2017. in his role, he's responsible
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for overseeing the tsa mission to secure the nation's transportation system and lead tsa's workforce of more than 60,000 employees. prior to his time as tsa administrator, he spent 33 years in u.s. coast guard where he became the service's 26th vice commandant. in addition, he was selected earlier this year by president biden to be the acting secretary of homeland security in front of secretary mayorkas' confirmation. our next witness is honorable peter nef f-inger, tsa administrator in 2015 to 2017 and is a retired vice admiral for the u.s. coast guard. under his leadership, tsa
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developed its examine public area security, and cultivated tsa's relationship to resolve long check point delays at airports across the country. vice admiral is a 34-year veteran of the u.s. coast guard where he served as before being nominated by president barack obama to be tsa administrator. and john s. pistol of the tsa administrator from 2010 to 2014. he's the president of anderson university, his alma mater in anderson, indiana. during his tenure at tsa, mr. pistol oversaw the creation of the precheck program and was the first administrator to grant tsa workforce, collected bargaining class. prior to his position as
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administrator, mr. pistol spent 26 years with the federal bureau of investigation where he led the counterterrorism division following the attacks on 9/11. and october 2004, he rose to the position of deputy director of the fbi. the fourth witness, donovan james lowe was the second administrator from 2002 to 2003. he came to tsa from his position as commandant of the coast guard, the role he was in on the day of the 9/11 attacks. as one of the earliest leaders of tsa, he oversaw the launch of many of tsa's operational activities and the hiring of tens of thousands of newly minted tsa employees. he later served as deputy secretary of homeland security under president george w. bush.
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capping off a career in public service, spanning more than four decades. without objection, the witness's full statement will be inserted in the record. i ask the administrator to summarize his statement for five minutes. >> representative thompson and distinguished members of this committee, thank you for holding this morning's hearing and for your comments and your opening statements. i appreciate the opportunity to appear with three distinguished former members of tsa. they each continue to make substantial contributions to our country and they are all friends and colleagues. it has been my honor to build on the foundation they established during their time leading tsa. we remember the people that perished. our numbers in the airports around the country our theme was, united in memory, together in mission. i, like many of you, remember that day as if it were yesterday.
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and in addition to witnessing the horror the terrorist attacks carried out on our homeland, i remember the way it felt to watch our country unite behind a shared experience. and together commit to never forget and never again. our motto in tsa is not on my watch. in living this motto, we must ensure that unity of effort and unity of purpose so evident immediately following 9/11 continue to endure. approximately two months following 9/11, established tsa. in that legislation is and in our first major reauthorization just three years ago, you have provided us with the authorities needed to protect the nation's transportation systems. the theme of this morning's hearing is the state of tsa 20 years after 9/11. i would respectfully submit it is very strong. to accomplish our mission in the threats to our transportation
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system, both aviation and surface. and we are achieving our vision to be an agile security agency embodied by a professional workforce that engages its partners to outmatch a dynamic threat. i'd like to briefly highlight three elements of the success, agility, partnerships and our people that are particularly relevant to this hearing. first agility. the intelligence community's work in assessing threats has allowed us to mitigate risks to surface transportation. we have rapidly changed our procedures in domestic airports and last part of departure international airports and share this information rapidly as appropriate with our partners. thanks to your support, we are in the midst of a major upgrade to the technology in our screening checkpoints at over 400 airports around the country. they include improved passenger identity verification and screening through the use of credential, improve carry on bag
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technology through x-ray and upgraded advanced imaging technology. the net result of all of these advancements is two-fold. significantly enhance security effectiveness and improve passenger experience. i thank you for your support of these technology improvements. they are critical to our continued success. additionally, exercising the ability you provided in law we have recently issued security directors to improve cyber securities in our gas and hazardous pipelines and plan to expand the cybersecurity to include all security infrastructure. the second key element is partnerships. we have outstanding partnerships with other federal agencies as well as our partners in state, local, tribal and territoial government. similarly, we worked very closely with our international partners toen somer global aviation security, especially at last point of departure airports. i appreciate your security of our one-stop security efforts at
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select international locations. this will improve aviation security. i am very proud of the partnerships we have if aviation owners and operators. this model of engagement. allowed us to improve security at a pace that would not otherwise be possible. with that the benefits to passengers who use these systems every day. without question, a key element of our success is our people. and i couldn't be prouder of the people who serve their country in tsa. they professionally ensure secure travel to millions of people every single day. i provide the support and guidance they need to accomplish our critical mission. i continue to strongly support adjustments to pay for all of our people, especially our frontline workers. regarding our screening workforce in particular, i would add two additional comments. we have already transitioned to adverse action appeals to the merit system protection board and very shortly i will sign new
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directive for full collective bargaining. we are united in memory, together in mission. i support your support of tsa and the opportunity to testify this morning and i look forward to your comments and questions. thank you, mr. chairman. . >> thank you very much. now i ask admiral neffinger to summarize his statement for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman and ranking member katko and the distinguished members of this committee. thank you for inviting me in recognizing the 20th anniversary of tsa. transportation underpins our economic health essential to our prosperity and resilience and a key component of national security and one of the greatest privileges was to have served with the women and men of the tsa. they are among the most dedicated professionals and
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selfless public servants i know. tsa's mission encompass the full spectrum of the national transportation system. aviation, maritime, passenger, over the road motor carriers, pipelines and more. it is a plex mission set, made even more so by a continually evolving threat environment. in transportation security today is direct outgrowth of september 11th. the 20th anniversary we sadly commemorated this month. it was the weapon of 9/11 and gave the means for terrorists to strike at america. we have recounted our nation's history and successes since that tragic event.
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we design processes and procedures for people vetting access or work in critical areas and tactics and techniques for 9/11 being prevented from happening again. and such counter measures are essential. security is necessarily additive as terrorists and criminals rarely remove tools from their kit. however, today's security system, as good as they are, are not sufficient to tomorrow's threats. adversaries are agile, adoptive, and creative. we have to be even more so. there is no perfect tomorrow, no ideal technology and no we got it right moment. technologies are adaptive, innovative. and that imagination is key. terrorist and criminals are dangerous entrepreneurs are
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always seeking advantage to exploit vulnerablities. the covid-19 pandemic, inter connected industrial control systems and deployment of technologies such as unmanned systems and autonomous. moreover, barriers to entry continue to lower with respect to cyber. the colonial pipeline ransomware attack and hacking of a u.s. maritime port last week demonstrate the ease with which infrastructure can be disabled by cyber actors. a compelling strategy for investment in the tsa workforce, including increasing pay and evolving and moderniing systems and architecture. the task force and the office of requirements and capabilities analysis are working hard to imagine future threats and innovate faster than our adversaries. their work requires predictable,
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stable support to succeed and i urge the committee to ensure they will continue to evolve faster than the threats we envision. i also urge you to support efforts for research and development across dhs, for robust private sector engagement and open architecture standards. coordinated and integrated r&d is fundamental. security is a never-ending race. we need to stay in the i thank for your steadfast support over the years and support of its dedicated workforce. and i look forward to any comments and questions you may have. thank you mr. chairman, representative katko and distinguished members. >> now i ask mr. pistol to summarize his statement for five minutes. . >> thank you, mr. chairman. good to see you, sir. and ranking member katko. a personal note. i happened to be in your district on 9/11 when the fbi
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audited inspection when the planes hit there. and also thank you to the rest of the members of the committee and to the professional staff who made this hearing possible. i have three points i would like to make, mr. chairman and ranking member katko. first, i strongly urge support for the broad authorities for the tsa administrator which each of the other former administrators and current administrator pekoske exercised judiciously. in your four and a half years of administrator, we are all familiar with the october 10th plot out of yemen where toner cartridges of bombs were being sent to chicago. that plot was foiled. it wasn't by great screening. and that actually came from the white house and deputy national
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adviser security at the time before he went to cia, working with the head of the administrative of the king of saudi arabia. and chief council at both tsa and the department of homeland security, security operations and international affairs, along with the fbi, cia, and state department. and of course all those at dhs headquarters. i was able to issue emergency amendments which barred any and all cargo from yemen to the u.s. it kept future bombs from being shipped to the u.s. on the innovation aspect of the broad authorities with the terrific senior leadership team that i inherited at tsa and great support from then secretary of homeland security janet napolitano, we envisioned and launched the program, of course now a popular trusted travel program with 11 million people.
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in addition to those who do dual enrollment from the global entry program, hugely successful program for international travels. so thank you to chairman thompson and other members of the committee who had the foresight and crafted the legislation initially to stand up tsa to provide the authorities. it gave me the opportunity to take immediate action to mitigate, one, a clear and present danger and also to implement a risk-based security initiative to facilitate smooth, safe travel for millions of law abiding citizens and from a one size fits all to risk-based security approaches. secondly, i would encourage you and the entire committee to support the tsa workforce as been articulated by mr. pekoske, especially front line tsos. i'm heartened by some of the efforts to improve the pay, whether that means moving the workforce to the jail's pay
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system under title v or other initiatives. i think that's an important thing to do. let me just make a comment on the collective bargaining since i was administrator who issued that determination to allow for a modified form of collective bargaining. the acting representation of tso has done a good job. with the chief council of tsa, they are the two constants the last 10 years since i issued the determination they have provided great legal advice, context, clarity moving forward. then third is that i support and encourage what my two successors have done in terms of innovation. we know innovation doesn't happen in a vacuum. key technologies and processes and then partnerships, which the current administrator has
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mentioned. partnerships with the private sector so they are incentivized and apply next gen technology today, tomorrow and for years to come. partnerships with you, mr. chairman, ranking member katko and omb. phfrgzs, airports, a 4 a, aaa, global business travel association, air cargo, rail passengers, railway association, and 9 international partners such as i otta. they are all critical to the success. as we saw with the underwear bomber in 2009 and nonmetallic explosive and the tonal cartridge plot, they are innovative and determined and so must we be. what if i had the opportunity to testify three times for the 9/11 commission and one of the shortcomings was the u.s. government at large prior to 9
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/11 was a failure of imagination. it is on all of us to ensure that doesn't happen again. my last point, 3.5, is all cybersecurity, which has been mentioned. investment, partnership, maximize the partnerships, evaluate and repeat. so thank you, mr. chairman. i would be glad to take questions from you and the committee. >> i now ask malloy to summarize his statement for five minutes. . >> thank you, mr. chairman, mr. katko and members of the committee. i appreciate being included in your committee's lookback and ongoing oversight of tsa. as a commandant of the coast guard on 9/11 i joined millions of my fellow citizens as we watched many of the events of that day unfold. they evacuated half a million of people over the water to staten island. that day remains for me and all americans who survived pearl
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harbor. i remember well the countless meetings that followed as we came to terms with the reality that the two great oceans no longer were going to provide any guarantee that america cannot be reached by those intent on doing us harm. the result and legislation created first the tsa and then the department of homeland security. those pieces of legislation were announcements to the world that we had awakened to this new terrorism threat. the days that followed included the most significant in executive branch reorganization since 1947. coordination with the congress produced the tsa act outlining the establishment in shape of this new executive agency. faa had here to for, the new law called for the responsibility of the new tsa.
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it was probably the most gratifying yet challenging years of my 42 years of public service as we took that on. applicants were vetted, trained in nine weeks. we allowed it to shape and evolve the agency which has continued to date. we will work with all the major airlines, trade associations, appropriate government agencies, foreign advisers, commercial vendors to design and outfit the thousands of checkpoints that would provide that security -- the physical security required by the law. and i'll never forget the night of 12-31 when i was able to report to then secretary norman
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netta that the airport on guam was gone green, which is for gaining operational compliance with the law. as in any endeavor in this magnitude, it required contributions for many to be accomplished well and on time. as is also the case with any such endeavor, changes were made in policy and practice as i and my successors in the administration led and managed the agency over the years, which you have already heard. mr. chairman, several things stand out to me as being deserving of the committee's ongoing attention. first, and it's been mentioned already, the adequacy of tsa's link to the intelligence community for threat analysis and for the evolution of what that threat means to the operating days and weeks of the agency itself. secondly, adequate attention to all modes of transportation, not just aviation. it is clearly reasonable that we have focused on aviation over the years. but terrorist incidents in
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london and subway systems in spain and rail systems make those serious issues as well. and i appreciate the committee's ongoing attention to all modes not just aviation. and the constancy of focus on response and recovery as well as preparedness and prevention planning, for dealing with any scenario that would interrupt the transportation system. mr. chairman, we are enormously proud of our time leading up and planning the agency. we just met together for for the 20th ceremony commemorating the events of september 11th, 2001. they remain vigilant in their quest to keep america secure.
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this hearing is to be a formal statement about how important that relentless is to keeping us safe going into the future. thanks very much, mr. chairman. i look forward to your questions. >> i thank the witnesses for their testimony. obviously, your unique role within tsa speaks for itself. so i'm -- i remind each member that he or she will have five minutes to question the witnesses. i now recognize myself first. tsa is a unique agency within government. no other agency interacts so intermittently with such a broad swath of the public on a daily basis. all of us can remember loy when we first started. you know, you were basically
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trying to put it together because we needed to do it. so the men and women did a wonderful job. we have come a long way as an agency. we have done the threat analysis and the threats have changed from time to time. but what i would like to do is go from on our current administrator back to moy. what did you find most challenging on your tenured lead in tsa? if you could point to that issue that you felt that you just had to somehow address. and with our current administrator, i'm sure you could start us off with that.
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>> yes. mr. chairman, thank you. and i would say the thing that i found most challenging is something we already talked about this morning. and that is to ensure we adequately compensate our workforce. i found no one disagrees with that at all. everyone agrees. it is just finding the funding to be able to execute on very important priority on all of us. that is one of my top priorities as the administrator. the other thing i would mention from my four years plus now in this chair, one of the things that is very exciting about being administrator of tsa but requires an awful lot of focus, there are a lot of things that come up every single day. and or there a lot of priorities that any one of us would look at and say we've got to get that one done. we've got to get that one done. and the challenge really and the opportunity is to establish the clear priorities so we get a concrete set of actions in place. and the key here, too, and my predecessors already commented on this, not just tsa acting
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alone. we have to act with our partners. about us our partners are part and parcel of a successful security regime in this country. so it's always providing that strategic direction to keep our focus on true north and to get the most important priorities done. but i would say, i is, the most challenging, and i hope to see some positive success on this over the course of the next several months is on pay particularly for our frontline workforce. thank you. >> admiral neffenger. >> it is critical and key. it is a very challenging and demanding job out there. one of the things that really struck me when i came to tsa was how skilled the front line tsos are in that job. you know, i think the average american citizen and the average traveler has no real
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appreciation for how much work it takes to be good at what they do out there. so let me echo that. and let me add a couple of challenges i saw -- as you know, during my tenure, there was a time we saw a dramatic and significant increase in the number of people traveling on a daily basis. we climbed over 2 million passengers a day, on average, screening through tsa checkpoints. that was in the face of staff shortages and other challenges we had based on dhs ig findings that were inadvertently were leaked, classified report leaked to the public. and put tsa into a crisis situation and demoralized the frontline workforce. one of the greatest challenges i faced was rebuilding confidence in the agency and rebuilding a sense of purpose to the front line workforce that was unfortunately the brunt of most of the criticism that came up.
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as i said during that time, if there is criticism to be had it was not the front line workforce, it was the people that led the agency that failed the front line workforce. in my mind, that was one of the more gratifying aspects of my tenure as i watched that front line workforce regain its confidence and focus on getting good at what they did again. but that was a particularly challenging time i think for tsa. and i've been really proud of what they've accomplished since and have continued to accomplish under the current administrator. thank you, mr. chairman. . >> mr. pistole. >> thank you, chairman thompson. i think when i arrived at administrator in summer of 2010, part of it was to provide the opportunities risk-based security using common sense thing and helping professionalize the workforce in a way they had had not been
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afforded previously by creating the tsa academy and then also e workforce engagement and office of professional responsibilities. so i had come from the fbi, an agency that had been around 100 years and had time to really build some of that infrastructure to say here's how consistent, fair adjudication, how things should be and say i was given that opportunity and with great support from the department, from you and others on the hill, and obviously from the workforce to say, yes, let's take these steps to provide that exceptional service that is expected for the 2 million plus passengers a day. so those are some of the challenges. >> thanks, mr. chairman. i think my recollection in the
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stand-up process was very simple recognition from those of us who were in the middle of the crucible so to speak, recognizing we didn't have a corner on the market. we reached out, as you have defined partnerships to so many different players, trade associations of commercial aviation and the land transportation elements of our country. i remember a personal association with kelleher, the president of southwest airlines. a remarkably visionary kind of guy, now passed unfortunately. but it was his willingness as the ceo of a major airline to literally get in the work trenches with us to figure out the best ways to do what we needed to do next. so i think that notion -- to be
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tolling participate in the design of in new agency that will affect a large portion of their lives. and that included even international reach. i remember my colleagues at the israeli security agency well-known for their already 40 years of focus on aviation security around the globe. they could not have been more deliberative. they allowed me to check very deeply into the way they did business in israel. those ideas that we were able to bring back and integrate into the design, checkpoints, et cetera, were critical to our early stand-up process. and i think establishing standards lower than which we would never go with regard to
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mandating secure performance out of our new agency. so it's that partnership business and recognizing we needed to open our doors and windows to new ideas and even establish existing ideas that would help us establish this agency as well as we could possibly do it. >> thank you very much. all four of you have talked about workforce, how to pay them adequately for the job they're doing, and give them support as government employees they need. and a lot of us have perceived that for quite a while. and i look forward to working with the administrator currently to make that a reality and treat tsos like all other government employees are. if that's giving them title v
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rights, we should do that. the chair recognizes the ranking member of the full committee, the gentleman from new york for five minutes >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's good to see all the witnesses today. it's been a while since i have seen you mr. neffenger. i'm happy to have this moment to chat with you. i don't have a question on the employee issue, but i do want to make this statement and make it clear which i think i did at the last hearing. since i've been in congress we have been talking about getting better pay for front line workers. we have made minimal progress in that regard. i said i was going to support it. so let that be a warning if we don't get the issue fixed, i'm going to support it going forward. and the reason i was concerned about funding last time, i think people in headquarters get paid quite a bit of money and they're doing just fine. i'm worried about the front line
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workers and having adequate pay given the very serious job they have. i'm not backing down from making sure they get the support they need. it is well pastime for us to institutionalize that salary for them. you're in the job now, so i want to stick with you. i agree with what mr. pistole said about emerging technologies, that the bad guys seem to be quite adept at creating. and obviously we have something the size of my cell phone that can take down a good-size airplane. i think computed tomography is one of the key things to have. the computed tomography is going to take so long given the budgetary constraints we have right now it will be objects sleet by the time we get it done in 10 years. briefly, do you have a number -- can you tell us what you need to get 100% ct technology at all
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the airport checkpoints nationwide and how long it will take? >> yes, sir. thank you for your comments. and i couldn't be agree more. we have done a really good job so far. we have 300 plus units already in place thanks to your support and the support of this committee back in 2019. we also just awarded an option for 314 more of our brand-new mid-sized integrated systems. when i look at the length of time it's going to take us to get to all 2,400 plus x-ray systems currently in the country that's a very, very long time. what i asked my team to look at is given the contract vehicles we have currently in place, how much could we spend every year reasonably to be able to accelerate the implementation of this very important technology? the answer is about 350 million a year just for ct.
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>> years? >> probably five years to get it all done. this is founded a bit by practicality. we just can't buy them all and replace them all at the same time. there is a lot of airport work that needs to be done. and there's also manufacturing capability. but, you know, it's really critical for us to get this technology in place as soon as we can. it makes -- i can't even describe given this venue that we're in, the difference in detectability that that ct technology provides. it's really critical for our security. >> well, thank you, mr. chairman. i think we should try to prioritize that with other committees. this is a message that is really important for our nation's security, aviation security. now, i want to switch gears and talk about my one stop security pilot legislation which would be done by the house this week, we hope. it is important bipartisan legislation which will raise the global baseline aviation security and improve post pandemic travel. admiral -- administrator
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pekoske, can you explain how it will streamline international travel while enhancing global aviation industry standards. >> yes, sir. i will start with how it will enhance global aviation security. it will do it in a number of ways, improve globally the airports that we have one stop agreements with. we will specify what standards to screening that we require and our partners will require for the other direction coming to them. we will also promote the establishment of common standards for this technology around the globe, particularly in the nations that have the most advanced aviation systems. and we feel that will drive the technology industry to build for those standards. in total it brings the entire system up to a much higher level. additionally, part of the one stop security initiative is to do covert testing that's integrated. teams integrated with that country's experts and our experts to do covert testing to
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assess the effectiveness of the screening regimes we put in place. it increases the security of flights approaching bound for the united states. that's a very good thing. and then from a passenger perspective, what that means for a passenger, and i will use a hypothetical. let's say for argument's sake we have a one stop agreement with london heathrow in the united kingdom. what that will mean is a passenger flying from london heathrow through jfk and follow-on flight say to charlotte, north carolina does not need to be rescreened in jfk. it will be satisfactorily accomplished to our desires at london heathrow. it greatly facilitates travel. and also improves security. whenever i look at technology investments or policy adjustments, i'm looking for that two-type benefit. one, first and foremost, improve security. and secondly, improve the passenger security and facilitate travel. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman.
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before i yield back, i want to say i think history is going to smile kindly upon all of you. because you have taken an impossible situation and made it a -- very good. i'm proud of all of you for the work you have done to keep our airlines safe. and i'm proud of the culture you have created whereby you listen to oversight, welcome oversight and act upon it. please don't stop taking the input from us because we are on the same team here. we have to do more to help them. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you very much. the chair will now recognize other members or questions they may wish to ask the witnesses. i'll recognize members in order of seniority, alternating between majority and minority. members are reminded to unmute themselves when recognized for
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questioning and then mute themselves once they have finished speaking and to leave their cameras on so they are visible to the chair. the chair recognizes for five minutes the gentle woman from texas, ms. jackson lee >> thank you for yielding, thank you for your leadership. thank you to the ranking member for us having a common viewpoint of national security. let me take a moment to salute the transportation security administration. i am the tsos of which every moment i have an opportunity to fly into different airports, small, medium and large, i take a moment to talk to tsos, supervisors, managers and others about both their needs and as well our commitment to their service. let me thank you to administrator pekoskey for commit to go collective bargaining. of course we all support the chairman's legislation on that very important issue of dignity,
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professionalism and of course service. administrator pekoskey, let me go to you immediately, as minimum time wanes i will quickly try to go to others. tell us in a pictorialation of the daily protection in stopping various incidents that might -- or individuals that might get on planes, knives, guns, and otherwise that you can see over the landscape that your agency and tsos are stopping. >> yeah. thank you, congresswoman. i really appreciate that question. i will give you a sense for what we've detected this calendar year to date in our checkpoints. and if we start with wide weapons, these are weapons that either have a round chamber or a magazine inserted into the weapon. we have detected 4,300 plus live weapons in our screen checkpoints. and the rate of weapons carried to our checkpoints now is about
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two times per million passengers what it was in 2019. generally, when i reference prior activity, i go back to 2019 because that was the pre-covid year. other weapons, which would be anything from stun guns to replica weapons, almost 3,400 other weapons. and then prohibited items which are things like knives and throwing stars, things of that nature, about 3,250 prohibited items. one of the things that's really important about our system is that we validate the identity of every single passenger as they approach the screen checkpoint. and this is designed to ensure that we do provide the right level of screening based on the risk the passenger may represent. so having the right idea is critically important. we detected over 300 fraudulent ids already. with the advent of the authentication technology, those numbers will continue to go up. and i should also mention, and i
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really appreciate your support for our officers and our federal air marshals. they perform a really critical function of in-flight security and security in and around the airport. and we place our federal air marshals are flights where we deem there is more risk than others. and this is also a job that is not easy to perform. they have to be alert 100% of the time and ready to quickly jump into action should the need be. and so i join you in recognizing the terrific work of our front line workforce and really all those that support them, that enable them to do the great work they do. thank you. >> thank you so very much. admiral neffenger, pistole and loy, please try to get my questioning for all of you to get a few seconds in because ill value and appreciate your leadership. the taliban now is in control of afghanistan. we know what happened 21 years ago -- or 20 years ago. just an assessment of how
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difficult or how important tsos are, although domestically based, even though we have an instruct overseas, in what may be proposed or new volatility. admiral, can you do that real quickly. i have seconds. please. >> congresswoman jackson lee. thank you for that question. it is an important question. i go back to my opening comments. and this is where it takes great imagination to think about what the next level of threats and the next array of threats may be. and in doing so, recognizing that, one, we hope we never catch a terrorist at the checkpoint. there are a lot of failures that would lead to that event happening. but i will tell you the last line of defense, you know, in the airport is clearly the tso on the front line. and so -- >> can i jump to -- i'm so sorry, admiral.
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>> that's fine. thank you. >> thank you, congresswoman. good to see you, ma'am. i think there's still a number of gaps in the intelligence collection opportunities as it relates to the direct threat posed by the taliban at this point. and so the tsos and tsa really being the last line of defense it's more incumbent and crucial they are doing their job in the most professional way they can so nobody slips through the cracks. >> mr. loy? >> i would just endorse exactly what's already been said. the criticality of the link between the intelligence world of tsa and the rest of the intelligence community is absolutely crucial to being able to imagine in advance what the scenario could be that we can then plan to deal with if in fact, it actually happened. i would just highlight the criticality of the positive linkage between ts a's
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intelligence and the rest of the intelligence community. >> thank you so much. i'm so sorry for the cutting off of the question. thank you, mr. chairman. i salute them as i said before. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana, mr. higgins, for five minutes. >> thank you, chairman. i would like to commend the chairman and the ranking member for holding this hearing today on the state of tsa 20 years after 9/11. we certainly, as a body, salute our front line that struggles every day with millions of passengers, very professionally to keep america safe. on 9 /11, 9 of the 19 hijackers had been flagged in some manner by federal aviation as potential terror threats, and yet they were still allowed to get on a plane due to the security protocols at the time.
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the nation responded with the creation of the department of homeland security and tsa. and over the last 20 years, we have adjusted as american citizens to this we have evolved. tsa has changed, and american citizens have adapted to its changes. we expect that the intelligence failures prior to 9/11 will not be repeated. the pentagon is actively warning congress of the increased attacks on u.s. soil. it's citeical in this time of heightened threat levels all gaps in our national security are reviewed and sufficiently addressed. it's with that spirit that i point out that the tsa website currently has 16 forms of identification that are accepted
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to get on an airplane. the documents are not codified in law and are subject to change based on bureaucratic orders and rules. the tsa website states that in coordination tsa has identified acceptable alternative identification for using special circumstances at the checkpoint. now, many would consider this as a loophole that has allowed undocumented human beings to access our airplanes across the country through tsa. so administrator, would you address that, sir, in a brief response as secretary mayorkas instructed tsa to allow undocumented migrants on a plane without one of the 16 acceptable
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identification documents? >> yes, sir. we work very hard with undocumented new arrivals into the country that we follow on-air travel to ensure that we're sure who they are. >> excuse me. you're saying that you're sure an undocumented immigrant that's getting on an airplane although department of homeland security itself and customs and border patrol readily admit we're not positive who they are. in most cases we're accepting who they tell us they are. but you're telling me you know who they are? that's what the you're saying right now? >> i'm saying we use the very same data as customs and border protection. >> exactly. i'm just asking. i get it. you're accepting what customs and border protection is sending you, but america needs to know
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are undocumented illegal immigrants that are being transported to a another part of our country, are they getting on airplanes without a picture i.d. and without the american government, customs and border protection, tsa, tsa security, are they getting on airplanes to travel when we're not sure who they are and they do not have photo i.d., they do not have one of tsa's own 16 forms of acceptable identification that americans themselves are subject to? yes or no, are these people getting on a plane with us? >> people are getting on planes after they are thoroughly screened before -- >> thoroughly screened by who? >> by the tsa, sir. >> screened by tsa you mean going through the checkpoints like -- just clarify please, good, sir, in the interest of
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time. like i have to have my photo i.d. to go through tsa checkpoints. does an illegal immigrant being transported somewhere else in the country on an airplane, are they required to have a photo i.d., yes or no? >> we have processes for people who do not have a photo i.d.? >> are they required to get a photo i.d.? my god, it's hard to get a straight answer. >> gentleman's time has expired. >> can the gentleman answer my question? >> gentleman's time has expired. >> mr. chairman. i object that my colleagues across the aisle being granted and yet republicans are not. >> no. >> can he answer my questions? it's a yes or no answer. >> your time has expired. either you recognize it or i'm going to cut your mic off. >> well, please do, but the man
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should answer the question yes or no. you have allowed my colleagues to answer the question. >> look, you can be civil. >> i'm trying to be civil, mr. chairman. it's a yes or no question. will he answer it or not? >> i'm not going to put the administrator in this position. your time has expired. >> wow. thank you, mr. chairman. >> recognizing the gentleman from new jersey, mr. paine. >> thank you, mr. chairman. can you hear me, sir? >> yes, we hear you. go ahead. >> thank you.
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over the years tsa has rolled out very sophisticated technology and policies to provide -- as many long time employees remain near the bottom. unlike the general scheduler, salary increases are not built into tsa's baseline budget and identify funding for fixing the problem of low pay has proven to be difficult for congress and
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multiple administrations across party lines. do you believe tsa employees should receive regular salary increases at the same level as most other federal employees? and that's a yes or no for everyone. >> yes, sir. >> yes, i do. >> yes, i do. >> absolutely. >> great. we're all on the same page. it just seems like it's been a 20-year effort to get this enacted. the creases under law makes such increases under the general budget and appropriations process easier? >> yes, sir. >> yes, sir, it would.
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>> i thank you all for the concise answers. i just don't understand why with the legislation that the chairman has put forth we cannot get to -- the men and the women in the field that have kept us safe for 20 years cannot be compensated in the manner in which they should be. it really pains me to see this
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constant, i don't know, situation where the people working the hardest, the people on the front lines, the people that are are doing the grunt work at times are not compensated as well as the people sitting in the offices. and it's just not right. it harkens back, you know, to a history in the country where the people working the hardest are treated the worst. and we just have to stop it. and with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. chair recognizes gentleman from mississippi for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. murkowski, i want to thank
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you for being here and thank you for the hard work your men and women do every day in keeping the traveling public safe. we know tsa officers are dedicated and they are hardworking public servants that do a difficult job, and we know the importance of that job in protecting our homeland. i want to follow up very briefly on congressman higgins questioning as it relates to the importance of our photo i.d. in the screening process. and we know that that is something that has been required now since 9/11 for members of the traveling public to show some sort of photo i.d. we know that is something your men and women use during that screening process. i know first-hand when i was on the board, immigrants who were in the airport waiting to board flights that did not have that photo i.d. and so my question to you is how can we adequately screen
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migrants without a photo identification? if we are going to require that of every american who is getting on a plane, how can we adequately screen those who do not have that photo i.d. available to them? >> yes, sir. with migrants that may not have a photo i.d. in their possession, we rely on the biographic and biometric information the cbp has collected when they cross the border. and we have the technology to have that information right in front of us as the person is presenting themselves forvening. additionally, our protocols always require different levels of screening based on the level of identity verification that we have. and so if you show up to a security checkpoint and you do not have a photo i.d., we have processes in place where we do whatever we can to see if we can establish your identity. in this case the same process happens with migrants with our cbp colleagues, and then we
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provide enhanced screening to make sure a person doesn't have anything that would concern us in their carry on bags, on their person or in their check baggage. migrants typically do not have any check baggage, though. >> has tsa ever prohibited any migrants from boarding flights and flying to the interior? has there been incidents where tsa has told customs and border patrol you will not allow those migrants to travel? >> i don't have the exact number, sir, but i'm sure there have been instances we've not been satisfied in the department and we've gone back and done additional work so the person didn't travel at the time they wanted to or they might not have traveled at, but i don't have the specific numbers in front of me. >> let me ask you about a particular program, the cbp one app that is used. i know that is something that tsa is working with cbp on.
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and at this time i would ask the clerk if she would please put up a photo to accompany my question. and mr. chairman, i would like this photograph to be entered into the record as well. as that is being put up i will let you know this was the photograph that was taken at dca, and it says the particular section of the document i want a question to, that the photo capture is optional. and as it relates to migrates, that migrants may decline to have their photograph taken as part of this screening process. and so it would seem to me we have a two tiered system. so we have a system by united states citizens where we're required by law tsa requires us to show feteo i.d. before traveling and then we have a
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second system for noncitizens in which not only are they required to show a photo i.d., but they can even decline to have their photograph taken if they decide to do so. and so i would ask if you could if at all possible please talk about the disparity in when u.s. citizens travel versus when migrants travel and why migrants have the ability to decline to have their photograph taken but yet as a citizen i don't have the ability to decline to present a photo i.d. >> yes, sir, i'm unaware of any circumstance where an undocumented individual has declined to have their photo taken. >> but they do have that option do they not from the document -- clearly the document states not once or twice they have the option -- but you would agree with me that that document says on two different occasions that they have the option to decline to have their photograph taken? >> again, i'm not aware of any
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circumstance where that has occurred. >> gentleman's time has expired. chair recognizes gentleman from california. >> thank you, mr. chairman. can you hear me okay? >> yes, we can. i want to thank you for holding this hearing. i was also in new york to commemorate solemn remembrance of the 20th anniversary of 9/11. and you're absolutely right, united in memory, together in mission. i remember 20 years ago watching civilians run for the burning buildings while the first responders were essentially running in knowing we're probably facing certain death. we talk about today about our tsa front line workers. i also chaired the subcommittee
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on transportation and maritime, so this issue is very near and dear to my heart. but, you know, i look at the issue of equity and pay not as an issue of pay but rather professionalism. no one would question what we pay our police officers or fbi agents because they do the job and they put their lives out there. and one of you witnesses mentioned that the last line of defense for airlines is essentially those tsa officers. those people who are looking to the screens, who are looking at us or making those passengers open their luggage, make sure there's nothing there that shouldn't be going onto a flight. we have to make sure the professionals that these folks
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are there for 30 years. we need their professional expertise to protect us in the air. so i would ask you to continue to think about it. it's professionalizing the work force and make sure that americans have the best line of defense. the last line of defense is their best. i have a question for you similar to mr. higgins when it comes to i.d.s. remembering # 11 those folks that got on those airlines had valid i.d.s. we knew those folks maybe should have been questioned twice before they got on a flight but they weren't. and number two, the issue of i.d.s i think is secondary to
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making sure those people don't have an explosive on them. we can have an i.d. anywhere in the world, valid visa, valid passport and get on a flight. we just have to make sure we coordinate intel with the rest of our friends and so my question the last few moments we have, sir, how are we working to make sure number one tsa is no longer in silos but sharing that information. and number two, the folks across the pound to make sure we have best utilities. thank you. >> thank you very much for your comments. i couldn't agree more. what i would say in addition to the comments you made tsa officers, transport security officers they have an enormous responsibility on their
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shoulders. it's our job to give them the discretion and procedures so they're successful. the other thing i would emphasize is our system is built on levels of security. we don't rely on any single layer. we have multiple layers. in many ways if a terrorist presents themselves for screening, you've already had some issues in the other layers and they should have picked that up before that person even arrived. and going back to the migrants for a second, the nondocumented individuals would follow on travel in this country. we have captured their biometrics when they cross the border. the one app does that. those biometrics are compared to our screening databases in our secure flight system. so there is -- given the biometric there is some surety that that person is not listed on any of our watch lists and as
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you mentioned we do do the right screening. one of those layers now is a very robust federal air martial service that are assigned to flights based on the risk of the flight, and they are incredibly professional group of individuals, and their mission is to prevent a terrorist attack in flight. >> thank you very much. mr. chairman, how much time do i have or is my time up? >> gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman, i yield. >> chairman recognizes gentleman from south carolina. >> thank you, mr. chairman. did you say that when the congressman put up on the tsa website that a photo capture is voluntary, are you denying that? are you saying that doesn't
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exist? >> no, sir, i'm not denying. i'm saying i'm not aware of any situation that has occurred and additionally their biometric has already been checked with the checks we'd make in our secure flight system as they cross the border. >> how do you check biometrics when they cross illegally? >> right, well, we have somebody present at the screen checkpoint that does not have -- >> no, i'm saying if they cross illegally where they don't go through the screening process, walk me through what you do to get the biometrics when there's no screening to them. they're illegal. >> correct. and so those individuals would generally not be allowed access to the screen checkpoint. the folks that are undocumented -- >> you're not answering my question. it's a simple question. if you come across, you don't have the biometrics, if they go to the airport, you have no
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documentation, what do you do? do you turn them away? or they've got the right not to have their picture. these are people you have no information on. walk me through the screening process. americans need to know this. >> yes, sir. >> and walk me through what you do. >> and i'll walk you through quickly. whenever somebody presents themselves at a screening checkpoint without identification, we have a process we go through to try to identify that verification. depending on what that process shows us demands on the level of screening we provide that person. or if we're not satisfied if the person should continue into the stairwell of the airport, they're not allowed in. >> out of 120 seats, 100 of them were by those who had cardboard things across their necks say we don't -- we don't speak english,
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show me which airplane to get on. they were allowed to get on. how do you explain that? >> we coordinate all those very closely, sir, with customs and border protection. and so my assumption based on the information you provided is that all of those individuals did cross the border, were registered, their biometrics recorded by cdp. >> i don't know that. you assume that. the terrorists in 9/11 that killed 3,000 people, they were just terrorists. we've got suicide bombers who got things they can put on their bodies to blow an airport up including themselves. how do you screen against that? >> we screen anything individuals are carrying and their on person including a pat
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down. >> i bet if they swallow it up or put up one of their cavities, how is that screened? >> we have a very thorough screening process for both on-person detection and for carry on bags that we are very certain that an individual that comes into the stairwell of an airport are not carrying anything that could harm anyone on a flight. >> not be carrying it but could put it into one of their buddy cavities. >> we have not seen that occur, sir. >> i guess what i'm saying is we've got an open border with terrorists getting across and here we are, i haven't heard a peep out of tsa objecting to this because we're going to have 1.5 to 2 million illegals coming into the country. some go through the screening, those that get away the terrorists are smart enough not
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to do it and you're saying you'll have 100% proof to either deny access on the airplanes or you've got some magic way of finding out who they are when you have no record, you have no knowledge of -- you don't have biometrics but you're telling me now you've got a bulletproof way to mick sure that doesn't happen, that they don't get on the airplane and all of a sudden you're finding out a history they haven't given before because they're coming through a screening process. >> if you don't have any information on them, how does that not present a concern? >> we have layers of security and identity verification is one layer of security.
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>> chair recognizes the gentleman from rhode island for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you for convening this hearing. and administrator, i wanted to thank you for your service to our nation. and i want to begin also by thanking you on your work on cyber security at tsa specifically through the release of two pipeline security directives in the wake of the colonial pipeline incident. i am concerned the second of these directives was not made in public. i understand of course the reluctance. the public security directors may be rarooted in existing tsa practices. you and i had that conversation on the phone yesterday. i certainly understand that part of it. but knowing the specifics of screening protocols would be highly useful to terrorist groups who otherwise would need
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to physically surveil the airports that could inage terrorist attacks. however in the cyber realm bad actors don't need physical access to conduct terrorism against our great infrastructure. what's more other agencies also published security directives including cisa tsa is required to follow. in my view all tsa is doing by clouding cyber security directives in secrecy so my question, administrator, would you consider changing your policy and publishing any cyber
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security directives and any future cyber directives from tsa? >> thank you for your time yesterday. i learned very much in talking with you as always. our goal here is to provide as much information on what the right preventive measures are and to get more and more organizations in my position, owners and poperators of transportation systems in the country to have stronger cyber security measures in place. i take your suggestion seriously. thank you. >> very good. administrator, i want to ask you about ensuring compliance with tsa security directives. i understand that pipeline owners and operator maintain documentation with tsa
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regulations. i also understand they have self-reported security controls through inspections. during these inspections are tsa inspectors conducting on network testing on systems? >> sir, right now they're not doing on network testing of systems, penetrating testing. that's something cyber security agency and tsa are working on. and we do think that's important as well. >> so you're having inspections in order to conduct on network testing i believe it's crucial for evaluating a cyber security posture. evaluating the architecture of a network is not enough. just because a covered epty designs its human resource network to be example segmented does not automatically make that
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true. in my view the solution is the tsa's implement third party -- such as a certified company or cisa would have impartiality and on network testing necessary to ensure covered entities actually adhere to tsa's regulations. so administrator, tsa has the authority over pipeline security for nearly 20 years yet the first directive was issued in may. will you commit to working with me and the rest of this committee by implementing third party auditing to verify compliance of tsa security directives? >> yes, sir, i commit to working with you and i appreciate your expertise. >> thank you, administrator. and should we require additional
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statutory budget or budgetary support to implement third party auditing, we welcome this committee to obtain that support. >> yes, sir. >> very good. thank you very much, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> chair recognizes gentle lady from iowa for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chair, ranking member as well and all those providing testimony to us today. screening has become very popular among members of the traveling public, myself included. and administrator, as travel continues to recover what more can tsa do to significantly increase check in moving forward? >> precheck enrollment now is almost 11 million passengers, and our enrollment rates are now back at 2019 rates. and so there are now more people basically resuming the practice
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of enrolling in pre-check as pre-pandemic. additionally we are increasing our enrollment services operation by adding two additional vendors to precheck enrollment i appreciate your interest in it. >> and also one of the things i've noticed when i'm flying in and out of various airports, sometimes it's smaller airports but sometimes it's the very large ones early in the morning or late in the evening that the precheck lanes aren't operation. so what specifically is tsa doing to, you know, you're promoting enrollment and precheck but you also don't have the lanes open even though oftentimes it seems like there's adequate personnel to have the tsa pre-check lane open. how is that determined and why can't i always count an a pre-check lane being open?
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>>. >> what we look at it in terms of processing is how long the wait is for passengersch we measure that at every single lane in the country every hour. my understanding pre-check processing limits is five minutes or les. our protocol would be to opendential lanes if we couldn't achieve that five minute wait time standard. a process called blanket screening which means the passenger in front of you might be a non-pre-check passenger. that means they'd get a level of screening that requires. the next person for example would then get pre-check screening. we're using that to provide passengers with the convenience of pre-check. >> i think the challenges that
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those individuals who have precheck clearance or have clear typically are very efficient in how they package their materials. and people that aren't takes a lot of time because the person in front of you, they have to take their belt, their keys, their coins, et cetera. it's good to know it's a five minute waiting period so i'll keep track of that in the future and then let you know. and lastly, you know, apple recently announced it is partnering with tsa to have its customers use mobile driver's licenses on their phones or watches as proof of identification at certain airport checkpoints. to me this collaboration seems very exciting. i always worry about losing my driver's license when i put it away to quickly go through the screening process. so when should we expect to see
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this technology at airport checkpoints, and in which state? and please explain the tsa's approach to incorporating this security and efficiency benefit that digital identity provides at the checkpoint? >> it's a very exciting initiative, and we work with a cooperative research agreement with apple and has the same opportunity available to non-apple manufacturers as well. we expect to roll this out at certain airports, and of course it requires the states to also agree that their driver's license can be uploaded in a digital format. there are several states that have already agreed to that, and we anticipate that we'll rollout the mobile driver's license capability in select airports beginning at the very end of this calender year or into early calender year 2022. so it's right around the corner. >> thank you so much for that. and as we said it is really exciting it'll be coming in the forefront, so i hope it gets moo my airport, but i'll check with
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my state. so thank you for that. chair thompson, i yield back my time. >> chair recognizes gentle lady from new york for five minutes my first question is to the entire panel. in the first 20 years of the foundation tsa has confronted a wide range of threats. in your view what has emerged as the most prevalent challenge to tsa's mission to its workforce and to its resources? administrator, why don't we start with you? >> thank you, ma'am. appreciate that. and with respect to the threat picture, the thing that's emerged over the past several years is the prevalence of a
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domestic terror threat, which is very different from a foreign based or foreign inspired terrorism and it's required us to refocus our effort. we have a very mature management process in tsa in both the aviation sector and the surface modes of transportation. so there's a change in the threat and additionally the threat is not just physical any longer. there's a physical threat and a cyber threat that just developed and we saw that with our directives for the pipeline industry following the colonial pipeline ransomware attack. so we adjust based on the threat and the linkages we have to make sure we're staying ahead of where the threat is going on our procedure and technology in that regard. >> and what would you say that threat has presented to the work force? is there a need for additional training and resources specific
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to that training? >> well, the threat has present itself to the work force in a number of ways. the key remedy we have for that is to ensure the work force has the right tools to do the important work they have. so some of the technologies we talked about this morning, the credential technology, the on person detection systems are very important to putting the right tools in the hands of our work force. additionally what's important as well is to have a significant and visible presence to deter any potential threat actors from acting out, and this is particular relevant in the case of domestic terrorists. >> would either of the other panelists care to respond? >> in addition to the death of tso's from covid the murder and
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execution of -- that's always an issue and concern what happens and someone with that mind-set and with a weapon can simply walk and open fire. so that's something i think is a challenge because in working closely with the airport police law enforcement in addition to some other resources it's something that continues to be additionally. >> i was in the airport march 22, 2016, when the brussels airport attack, two suicide
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bombers detonated their bombs in the public area. i think it's far more challenging now than they used to be and are clear a potential target area, so we've done a great job of preventing people but those public areas are a great concern. and as people have rapidly rat radical lies because of the ability to find like minded ideological individuals on the internet and through social media, it becomes much challenging to stay ahead of that. >> and in keeping that i guess, administrator, tsa has had to work closely with other agencies across federal government throughout the covid-19 pandemic. has tsa's collaboration with other federal agencies matured since its founding and are there areas which tsa still needs to improve its interagency coordination effort? >> i think our interagency
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coordination efforts are quite outstanding. we have close relationships across the board with our partners. i think a focus for us and it's not the relationships need improvement, it's just the focus is going to be even more so on the surface transportation system and the modes of service transportation safety that exists in the department of transportation. but the relationships i think are very, very strong and very important to us. >> thank you. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan for five minutes, mr. meyer. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you to our witnesses for joining us here today. i appreciate this timely and important look back on the 20th anniversary thereabouts of the founding of the transportation security administration and a differing approach to travel security and airport security but not limited to that. and that touches on my first question for the administrator,
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most tsa resources have been focused on commercial aviation, your agency also has responsibility for security at mass transit, for freight rail, elements of highway infrastructure and other critical transportation sectors. the ransomware has happened in the orneal pipeline this year and was the first opportunity for many of us to learn tsa also had responsibility for pipeline security. so i guess my question for you, administrator, is how is tsa making sure are there any components of the broad mission apart from airport security which has been historically underfunded or connected either by congress or dhs leadership? >> the way we assess allocation within the agency and this affects our allocation within the budget year is looking at the risks and how the risk is
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changing, so this is informed by intelligence information. it's informed by information we receive from our government partners and our private sector partners across the board. we assess risks as the risk changes, then we put in risk mitigation measures that might require a redirection of funds. we also organizationally to make sure to your point the transportation security is achieving the right priority. thanks to this committee in our 2018 reauthorization we established a separate instant and staff for transportation security and have a similar staff in our policy operations. so transportation policy has its own organization. surface operations is also a clearly identified organization. finally, we've established regional networks where we have a leader member of the senior executive service in five regions around the country all aligned with the fema regions
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that oversees surface security transportation and has available for them literally hundreds of inspectors to be able to do the important work we do. >> i appreciate that answer, mr. administrator. and i just wanted to quickly follow-up. you know, it's been two decades since the emissions report under tsa during the course of that reorganization during early 2000s. looking back at this point of 15 to 20 years of operation do you think any readmissions should be reassigned? >> no, sir, i do not. i think the missions assigned to tsa are exactly the right missions and i think we've demonstrated that over the course of 20 years. and i'd like to highlight with respect to the colonial pipeline, because the authorities congress has provided to us in law and the reorganization, we were able to move very, very quickly to
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putting in place to mitigate any future attacks. so i think the missions that we have is exactly right for tsa. and it's incumbent upon us, ofb, to make sure we coordinate robustly. >> and on that interagency partner point, can you give a better or little bit additional description on tsa, how would they collaborate with particularly the intelligence community but also with the private sector on security, vetting procedures, intelligence sharing. you know, what type of coordination problems persist and what is tsa doing to address those challenges? >> yes, sir. it's probably best i briefly describe when we see a threat screen developing how we change our procedures, how we might change some of the requirements we place on private sector or other public owners and operators of systems. and the way we do that is to
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bring the chief security of those operators in and provide them intelligence briefs so they're looking at the intelligence we see and collaborate closely with them to achieve the security outcome we know we have to akeeve. this can happen fast. we've been very successful at doing this. and what it net results in is a private sector or a local government partner who understands the threat and understands the rationale for the measures we put in place. and then for it private sector operators, they can also offer different ways of accomplishing the security outcome we want to accomplish. sometimes their measures are actually more effective because they know their systems better than we do at times. and oftentimes they require less cost. and from my perspective as long as we achieve the desired security outcome, we'll generally approve what we call affirmative measures. >> thank you and thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> chair recognizes the gentle
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lady from nevada for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> i'd like to ask the administrator about the new opening up of the international travel markets. i represent las vegas mckaren airport and we welcome a lot of international travelers, and we expect that number to increase especially the administration had restrictions on the number of places around the world. at the same time these new travelers are coming american travelers are going out again. they have this need to go out and travel after a year and a half of being locked down, so we're going to see a lot more people in the air. now, we've seen that the aviation infrastructure really wasn't prepared to deal with so many at one time. it was kind of like the problem after 9/11. i wonder how tsa is preparing to
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welcome all these new travelers especially the international ones and what resources you might need, something we might be able to do to help us accommodate them. we know that travel begins the minute you leave the house. and so your airport experience on the part of how you remember the trip of going and coming. so could you address that for us? >> happy to address that. and one thing very important for us is that we in working with the carriers project what we think air travel will be for the coming year. and i know that's hard to do sometimes the further out you go, but we've been very successful in identifying a window of, you know, the minimum and maximum number of passengers except for the covid years. but certainly we were, in fact, very, very close to our estimates for this past summer. and so what that does is it drives the requirement for the staffing levels of airports around the country.
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and what's important here is because of the training that is necessary to certify one of our officers and the important jobs they have at the checkpoints, we really need to hire people, a group four to five months ahead of when the passenger need will be. and so we're in the process now of really looking at next summer's travel projections, ensuring that we bring on an adequate number of transportation security officers to handle that demand. finally, we work very closely with the airports like your airport in las vegas to do whatever we can to make sure that we have the right number of lanes. and whenever an airport wants to an add an additional lane to their screen checkpoint, we welcome that every single time. and we will staff those lanes so that we can manage the flows during the peak periods. because as you know there are certain times of the day when a lot of flights depart, and so those tend to be very challenging for everybody to get through not just screening but to get through ticketing and to get out to the gate.
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>> you've got a lot of people going through that airport. thank you. i'm glad to hear that. and another question related to our international travelers is their ability to read the signs. i know if i'm in china in an airport and i can't read the signs i'm going to be lost. so we have a lot of those international travelers and as well as las vegas is an international city in terms of its residents. our committee, thank you, mr. chairman, for helping with us passed the translate app. but that was to be sure all the signage is in several different languages as well as is accessible for people who are visually or hearing-impaired. is tsa making any progress along those lines even though the bill didn't pass? >> yes, ma'am. in fact, at las vegas airport the las vegas airport authority has been kind enough to provide an tire checkpoint to tsa to test out our newest
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technologies. and the benefit of this arrangement at las vegas is we can actually divert passengers through this checkpoint and have them go through our processes and technologies to see how it works in a real life situation. one of it things we look at in terms of signage is codems that can be changed to provide information in different languages. and oftentimes we can make a pretty good guess at what languages would need to be accommodated in a given airport. so a lot of work is being done on that and to provide as much easy information as we can to provide to passengers. >> you've been using some uv screening as well to clean the luggage places, and is that working out?
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have you been able to translate some of the things you discovered there to other airports? >> yes, we're still testing the uv but these are 70, 80 foot long lanes that allow multiple people to divest, you put their stuff in the been at the same time and that improves flow and also want to make sure when you search a bag it's not accessible for that passenger. so a passenger can't reach and pull a bag we know we need to search and there's plenty of room for the passenger to recompose after that processing is done. a uv scan that would reduce the virus load in those bins. and so far our testing shows that works pretty well. we're just testing different times to dwell and also the brightness of the light. if this continues to push i
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expect we would have that as an option in our systems across the nation. >> well, thank you, mr. chairman. good news. i yield back. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from georgia for five minutes. >> thank you, chairman thompson. i appreciate this opportunity in this hearing. this question would be for administrator pucoughsky. earlier this year i joined some to witness the crisis we're experiencing on our southernbirder. on our way back there were multiple illegal migrants who had been apprehended 40 to 72 hours prior to our flight. we were told there were several individuals on the known terrorist base that had been apprehended at the border. with such a quick turn around time in processing migrants who
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had illegally crossed, how is tsa ensuring that the safety and security of domestic transportation systems are not compromised. many have not received a thorough medical assessment, and what concerns me greatly is we -- how do we know whether these people have a criminal record in their home country? what information are you relying onto properly vet migrant passengers? you're doing it within 24 to 72 hours so how are you doing that? >> yes, sir, the vetting we provided is done electronically so the time is not the critical factor here. and essentially what we do is we take the biographic and biometric information and compare that to watch lists we hold in the u.s. government to ensure no one who is a known or suspected terrorist is admitted
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into the airport without either very thorough screening or they might be in a category they're not ready so it's based on biometric biographical information. we may not have information from their home country but we do have that biometric information to compare to our watch list. >> okay. so i heard you in previous testimony talk about enhanced screening and multiple layers. and i think you said you do whatever we can. but if a person doesn't actually have i.d., all right, and their name is joe and they tell you that their name is sam, all right, now am i correct that prior to getting on these flights that if they don't have i.d., you actually create a government i.d. for them? is that right? >> no, sir, that's not right. we make an assessment passenger to passenger as to whether we think a passenger should be
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permitted into the sterile of an airport or onto an aircraft. so it's an individual look and i'm confident we do that carefully and successfully for every passenger that boards an aircraft. >> so every american that flies has to have photo i.d. that actually verifies who they are. what you're telling me then is an illegal migrant doesn't have to have a photo i.d. and we don't necessarily know who they are. you might have to screen them to make sure they don't have, you know, knives or whatever, something illegal on the airplane. but we don't know if they're a criminal coming into this country that has ill intent, something beyond the airport itself or not. is that what you're telling me, that you don't know that. >> so this goes back to our multiple layers of security. i'll tell you what we do know.
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we do know any person permitted into a stairwell of an airport or aircraft they are screened so they do not pose risk. >> it's okay for tsa to allow people on an aircraft without an actual government issued i.d. on what authority do you know that? >> yes, sir, and i have the authority of the administrator to allow that, and there are passengers that are american citizens that occasionally show up in screening checkpoints that do not have their i.d. with them. and again, we have a verification process that we use to see if we can verify the identity. we make a judgment at the time based on criteria we have in the agency and ensure that all passengers are thoroughly screened before they bord an aircraft. >> okay, all right.
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let me follow up with you on this. tsa requires anyone traveling from other countries to provide a confirmed negative covid-19 test within 72 hours prior to their entering the united states. is this same standard being applied to illegal migrants as well? >> to the best of my knowledge it's not being applied to illegal migrants. that's a centers for disease control decision. >> okay, but yet you enforce it, right? >> customs and border protection and tsa enforce it, yes, sir. >> okay. >> chair recognizes gentle lady from -- >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you to each of the witnesses for this very informative discussion we're having.
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let me associate yourself with your comments and the ranking member and every member who has spoken out on behalf of the compensation and the recognition of the significance of our front line workers here, our tsos and they should have a pathway for a career, and this would help us with the morale issues. i have -- i think about a unique question. in the 21st century you may not need a terrorist to hijack a plane as plane, train, buses become increasingly automated. we need to be careful when hijackers inevitably put lives at riflk by launching a cyber attack against the operational or navigation systems of the transportation target. our adversaries consider no targets off-limits. so administrator, i'd like to speak to you about this. how does tsa work with its
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interagency partners to prevent malware from effecting its operational systems? are you in conversations with ce faa and other regulators to ensure the threat is addressed and it plays a significant role in mitigating it. >> yes, ma'am. thank you, congresswoman, for your question and yes, we are in very close coordination and then with all of the modes in the department of transportation whether it's faa, fimsa, federal railroads, so that coordination is very good. additionally, it's important that we coordinate closely with the owners and operators of those systems and also to bring on cybersecurity expertise within tsa and to ensure we have quick, strong connections to be able to benefit from their
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expertise overall. so i think we've made a lot of progress on cybersecurity already, but i recognize and i think you would agree that a lot more needs to be done and another key element, just to quickly mention is we are offering very specific briefings of the organizations so that they understand that the threat that they see and the urgency of getting at it. >> thank you, mr. pitovsky. i know they were issued by you all after the malware attack at the pipeline, and i'm wondering if you are considering the oversight and accountability of the transportation systems and the airplanes and the busses and the subways on the trains. i think that these are reasonable targets, and i don't know if you are engaged in those discussions and i don't know if
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you have enough resources to be able to address this area. i'd like to have your response to that so that we can be as helpful as possible. >> yes, ma'am, we are in private sector companies and there's been a good dialogue to date. we will, of course, base our actions based on the risks that we see, and one element of surface may not be the same as another or the pipeline sector ask there were certain owners and operators that we felt were at greater risk than others and the dialogue has been very robust and it will continue. it supports the 60-day cybersecurity stint that the secretary has put in place for the transportation sector which begins the first of september and runs through the end of october. there's been a lot of effort on that and i think we've made very good progress. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> thank you very much. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. jimenez for five minutes.
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>> thank you very much, mr. chairman, and i was listening to the testimony. administrator -- in order to get from europe to the united states what do they need to show? >> what do they need to show? >> new procedures are that they'll need to show that they're vaccinated and have had a test within a certain number of hours. >> somebody coming from dan da, what do they need to show? >> same thing. somebody crossing the border from the south. what do they need to show? >> they don't need to show the same things coming from the southwest border and this is
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also based on the center for disease control. >> the centers of disease control seems to think that somehow the virus is somehow more contagious coming from europe and from canada than it is coming from the southern border which blows up the whole argument of following the science, doesn't it? >> so i'm not a medical expert. >> no, sir. that's not for you. that's my comment. this whole thing about following the science is a bunch of hooey. if we tell canadians that they need to be vaccinated and show proof of a negative test and we do the same thing for europeans and we do nothing for people crossing the southern border. so the whole thing about the cdc following the science, and it followses political science. it's been very, very illuminating, today's testimony. one thing that i would like to ask, one thing that i do support
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is the follow-up that our tsa agents are doing with all these different types of guidances that they're getting from the cdc and everybody else, the fine work that they do on the ground and i would hope, sir that you find a way to increase the pay for those that do the great work that the tsa does, and i know i proposed that during our mark-up to actually increase the pay and unfortunately the majority voted it down. what steps are you taking to increase the pay and the benefits of those people that are on the ground doing this same work? >> yes, sir. i couldn't agree more and it's absolutely imperative that we increase the pay for anyone in tsa especially the frontloin workforce with what the counter parts would be getting paid. they have significant responsibility on our shoulders and arduous work hours, as well and they're showing up at 3:00
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in the morning to begin the process. my top priority to to continue to improve pay, but i want to improve it. i know the chairman agrees 100% to get the equity in the system and i would note that bee have made attempt and increasing pay. we spent a lot of money with people that come into tsa and identify for us the number one reason they leave is because of the pay and it's very expensive to recruit and retain people without adequate pay structure. so i'm 100% in support of that and we'll work very, very hard to make sure we get across the finish line. >> thank you very much, administrator, and i yield my time. >> the chair recognizes the gentle lady from florida for five minutes. >> thank you so much, mr.
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chairman, and thank you to our witnesses for being with us today to discuss this extremely important issue. i want to first of all, associate myself with the remarks of my colleagues who called for just a moment to take the time to thank our tsos for the extraordinary job that they do every day. we all travel a lot, and i think it's important that we let them know that we see them, that we hear them, and that we do appreciate them. since 9/11 we all than we have come a long way in terms of, i believe, preparation. interagency cooperation, we've heard about that and information sharing, but admiral, you said something to the effect that you find little comfort in the fact that we have not been attacked
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in 20 years meaning that we must remain ever vigilant in our efforts to make sure that we are not attacked and admiral, you mentioned that you felt there was more work to do in terms of establishing a better link between the tsa and the ic community. could you just talk a little bit more about that? >> yes, ma'am. thanks for the question. >> my reference was to where we were on 9/11/01 and where we found ourselves 20 years later for the purpose of the committee and i was only endorsing as a constant responsibility with the committee itself as well as the administrator and the executive branch government to be conscious and of focused on continuing that linkage between the intelligence community at large and that information from
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within the intelligence community that it could be actionable for tsa. to the degree that we continue to focus that and we don't assume that we're there. we don't assume that we're going to be there in the future, but rather, it's one of those elements of constant focus that we have in the administrator's chair and the committee discussions with regard to the responsibility, and that we just don't begin to take for granted that once we're there, it will stay there. this is an evolutionary challenge just as we heard about the comments about afghanistan and the resurgence of the taliban. if that is an opportunity for us to be concerned, we should focus that in the continuing manner going into the future. thank you for your thought on that. >> thank you very much for your response on that. administrator crystals, since
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9/11 what have they traun on to the work of the intelligence community? ooh, thank you, congressman,i'm televising from bethesda. there is inherent on what she does, and i would have been impressed in between between how well informed she was and the intelligence briefings as it related to tsa issues and there was an independence on risk-based security and one of the keys is risk based. you can't just do things and the changes due for the vacuum and
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is there a chasm out there? is there a suicide threat, hijacker or whatever will be. that's how it starts off every day in terms of having that intelligence informed to say here's where we need to go based on the intelligence. >> that's it. mr. chairman, i can't see the clock. do i have time for one more question? administrator murkowski, i know that the bill and more functional and effective relationship did you just talk a little bit about the information sharing and working relationship with local law enforcement. >> yes, ma'am. local law enforcement is absolutely critical to the safety and security of everybody in the airport. they've been wonderful partners
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with us at airports around the country. orlando is absolutely included in that from your time. local law enforcement is very important now, even more so because we are seeing more disturbances both in flight and in checkpoints and local law enforcement is right there to make sure that our officers are fully protected and the situation is de-escalated as quickly as we can be. public area security is very, very important. local law enforcement presence and sometimes augmented from your veeber team from tsa, it's important to know that law enforcement is there, roming roaming around and they're readily nearby to be able to address it. >> i am very, very proud of the local law enforcement and i salute the officers this week for their service to our country and to our officers. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, i yield back.
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the lady yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. >> thank you, chairman and thank you to all the witnesses and both of my question is first. one thing, by security oor the colonial attack, that while pipeline ind tre is a hole with the colonial near the bottom of the list before the beach infed fod you could work through it and yoi can get me answers to the question. >> without object. >> i would be happy to look at it and provide some reaction to it. thank you. >> thank you. but -- so my other questions are, as you know, the bulk of
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it, tsa's funding and employers are focussed on the commercial aviation, but tsa has the responsibility and security of cargo. air cargo, and mass transit, freight rail, highway infrastructure and pipeline and ferry. does tsa have the funding to work on pipeline security and if not, what additional resource dose you need to fulfill this responsibility? >> yes, sir. we have increased the pipeline security stats significantly over the last couple of years and the staff of all of our surface transportation is in security mode. so we're making progress in that regard. additionally, we've added about 54 cyber professionals both on the policy side and on the operations side with that critical cybersecurity expertise across the entire system to include aviation and surface, but these are dedicated
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primarily with troegz. rest assured we will include in the budget request any resources that we need. we recognize, of course, that the risk is changing with domestic terrorists now becoming more dominant in our risk profile, and we want to make sure we do everything we can with is as robust as possible. you mentioned -- most of it is coming from overseas. that's something you're seeing internationally. >> yes, sir. mostly overseas based. >> okay. i want to go to security directives following the ransomware attack. can you provide the committee with an update to where things stand and is the pipeline industry better prepared to prevents future attacks. >> it is unquestionably better
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prepared to respond to future attacks. there's been 100% compliance with the security director. the second security director still has deadlines that have not yet been achieved and we got some deadlines later into 2022, but so far, the dialogue we've had with the owners and operators that are subject to those directives has been very, very good, and i think we're on a very good path with the security directive. as i mentioned, we intend to take what we've learned from both security directives in the pipeline and abroad it more broadly across the sector. >> you work with the ceos of those companies making thur they better prefaired for that. -- has that been re -- very receptive and verying well, as
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well. we make sure to engage to make sure we are all on track and look at other ways that we might provide cybersecurity, and any ceo knows that if they want to call and talk it me about anything they're privileged to do and i would be happy to have those conversations. >> one final question, just switching and it's not about cyber, but tsa pre-check. i understand that the tsa has entered into three more contracts with services and what step has tsa taken to ensure that the companies left of for, vendors for pre-check enrollment that there is no brand confusion there, and we will work with both those vendors as we get
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through the i.t. certification process so we're well prepared when the rollout comes. >> ifio you can give me more details later on. i know i'm out of time. thank you very much, and i yield back. ? thank you very much, the chair recognizes the gentle lady from california for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. admin straert, if i showed up at the airport today and i didn't have a photo i.d., it's true that i might still be able to fly, is that correct? >> yes, ma'am, that is correct. >> isn't it true on that there's an entire deand it talks the procedures if they don't have an a bay. >> thank you. i wanted to claire it's not like. you're in the united states and you show up at the airport you
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will be denied a flight, but if you're a migrant and you have other paperwork that you are allowed to board. as a matter of fact, i was at an airport i assisted a migrant and saw first hand where you had migrants with paperwork from cbp showing that they were registered at the border and were proceeding on, and i have to tell you it was a very low process and same to you for the work that the men and women are doing to ensure that our flights are safe. my two sisters are flight attendants and there is no one more important to me that we make sure we thank those in the sky and i want to talk to you about it. i wanted to last week, they were
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ensuring the passengers stand by one airline for hazardous can be treated by other larry. ma with are when the institutional role -- prernen stern discernible. >> these thank your sisters for the work they did as flight attendants and the work and what the flight deck crew do to keep everything secure. with respect to the carrier no-fly list and many of them have that when passengers wear a
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mask or create an in-flight disturbance that they deny them future flight on their carrier. the challenge here is that the standard carrier may be somewhat different, and so in terms across the system i personally do not see a role for tsa there. i think that's private sector carrier in terms of how they want to coordinate and share information, but i would be concerned about the standards that they apply and the better terminology of these lists means no fly means something different. to tsa that means there is a connection with terrorism when you say no fly in tsa. they're deny, and it is across the carriers. >> thank you for that. i'm not sure i completely agree,
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but i remember it's's safety issue. in just to go around the panel, does anyone have a reaction on to this propost. >> okay. hearing none, i will move on to the next question. between march 2020 and 2021 there were over 85 physical assaults on tsos and 3600 in-flight disturbances and, if stormed it from china to taiwan. in contracts there were only 1,230 in-flight disturbances in 2019. what other actions can the tsa take to deter these incidents and fight back against the surge in unruly passengers?
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>> yes, i are for find how more physical assaults cross the different threshold and we have seen an increase in physical assaults in our check points and certainly in physical assaults and verbal assaults in in-flight instances. our posture is for every des turnance in a checkpoint we proceed with the penalty action and that may not result on the civil penalty and it depends on what it shows and we always of always proceed way pen alsoey action. foreign minister, and the faas is earther, and this is an area
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of significant concern and to build on what congresswoman demings had raised and in a checkpoint whenever there is a disturbance, a local law enforcement will often proceed with a state or local charge against those individuals, as well. so you know, it's basically us doing everything we can with authorities that hold folks that create their disturbances accountable for their actions and to absolutely include the state and local partners in that operation. >> thank you, sir. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> the chair ridiculouses ones the gentleman from kansas. >> thank you, i a proosh yats. fefr, i understand the tsa mrons, the expression te exive systems with the same standards. we know that international
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airports are already using better systems. can you talk to me about this and why we are upgrading the standards? >> yes, sir. i wouldn't agree that international airports are using better systems across the board our goal is to make sure that we are the gold standard for systems that detect threats both in checked baggage and inec which points. part of the upgrade, if you will, is not necessarily a hard wear upgrade in these systems and there are upgrades we have made that detect our capability where we call explosives and checked systems in bags across country. >> but are there systems out there that are better? you said that you would agree that generally they are better and are there systems that are better than ours. i know we want to be the gold standard, but once you're through the process, we will be? >> yes, sir.
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>> and question will continue to upgrade and we do that on a regular basis and we've made very, very good progress there and we share this process also with our international partner because it's in our interest as well as theirs that we have as close a standard as as we can and obviously those tested for the united states. >> i appreciate that. as you know, the lynchpin in the security system is to make sure that people are who they say they are. how can we better incorporate biometrics into the process such as the cat machines where you put your driver's license and give it to a tsa officer in review. how can we make that better and include bion metrics in that? >> we are working on just that, sir, to have what we call a one to one bio metric match. what that technology will do in
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the future is it will pull your image on your credential and digitize that image and then a camera system will catch an image of you as you're standing in front of the officer and technology compares those two digital images together. the mass capability is much better than if you were doing it visually and the important thing is that is a one to one match and that's not a gallery of images and once the pass employer removes their credential and all of that image is erased and we don't retain any of that information at all because we have no further use for it. >> what's the rollout of that going to look like? will that be available to tsa pre-check people first or the cbp's global entry or the known crew member program. if you're, working on it what is the time rhame? >> we have it in several
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airports across the country and whenever we put aside, our process is to opt in so passengers say i want out and i want to use that technology and our goal overall is as we introduce -- >> excuse me, but with pre-check folks, those folks have opted in. >> right. >> so that would be the plates you're going to start. is that what you're saying? >> and with pre-check now we are having people provide the facial images upon registration so that opt-in has already been done and as we reported technology we'd like to put it first in pre-check. >> all right. is the pace of hiring police officers keeping up with attrition? >> it's keeping up with attrition, but i'm concerned about hiring overall, and i think everybody in the aviation industry is one of the reason yes the pay initiatives are so
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important because without a predictable level of pay that will increase over time it's harder and harder to recruit people into the federal government. it is also harder and harder to retain people in service. to me, it's, and it improves our ability to recruit, improves our ability to maintain. >> i appreciate your time today. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. the gentleman yields back. we've had members ask questions and what i'd like to do to wrap things up is give our witnesses an opportunity to look for the next 20 years at the tsa and
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what that 20 years on the tsa might look like. admiral, i'll start out with you and kind of bring it forward. >> thanks, mr. chairman. i think my thinking with regard to the adequacy of the committees, the inventory of concerns and of course, the administrator's invents or of concerns and making certain that there is a matching effort and hearings do that. conversations among members and tsa employees do that, as well, but my concerns for the future are just to be consistent with regard to what has been our concerns and i hate to say it,
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but with a pretty successful window over these 20 years, and i take no great comfort in the fact that we've been as successful as we've been over 20 years. i just want to make sure that we have focus and oversight and adequate attention that continues to be vigilant and take stock of what happened now in afghanistan and see what that evolutionary change to the threat index is and how we need to be compensating for it going forward. my notion, sir, is that the committee and the administrator looking into the next 20 years adds the same vigilance that has proven success for us as a country in traveling safely and securely for the past 20 years and making sure that the constancy of focus has never let down.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman, and i would summarize for the next 20 years and we've had some great testimony throughout the day in terms of supporting the workforce so people aren't looking at other agencies and private sector to get better pay and better benefits. the investment is, the second is in policies and that relates to making sure that the administrator and future administrators have the authority that enable him or her to make sure they can take decisive action and they can do that in the inner agency arena, domestically and internationally and the importance of doing that and to be recognized for that ability and as i mentioned, it's
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the technology to make sure that we are not nickel and diming investments in technology that hamper our efforts to provide world-class security in the way that most americans who travel expect and frankly, who the world looks to for leadership through an international association and others to say what is the u.s. doing to make sure that they are providing the world's best security in the most efficient way. those things are what i would be doing as the tsa continues over the next 20 years. >> thank you very much. admiral? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i will, of course, echo exactly what my colleagues have said, and let me say with respect to workforce, as i said in my opening statement, it's one of
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the best workforces i've ever had to place and i say that after the workforce with the coast guard and we need to support them and we need to pay them adequately and we need to assure that retain them after we do so and there have been a number of things said to that effect already, but with respect to technology, you never have a perfect system that you can have a better system every day, and it's critical that we invest in the technology refresh and improvement, and it's critical that we engage the private sector when it comes to that. and that involves getting requirements out and allowing the private sector to help us get the technology we leave, and the way we look at software and the service so that the private sector can refresh faster than the government will ever be able to given the challenges with respect to the budgets and so
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forth. there's opportunity for the way we bring technology to operations on a daily basis and then finally with respect to intelligence, the intelligence agency and you're a challenging front line operational mission and so i would echo that need to maintain that connection to the intelligence that helps us rapidly what we need to foresee for the future, and i want to thank you for the support that this committee has had, and i think it's critical that the, tsa and congress are closely together and i certainly appreciate the oversight when i was there and you appreciate congressional oversight, but when i put aside the personal side of it and this is making sure that the agency does the right thing and you collectively ask the right question and you dig into the right kinds of issues and in my experience you
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were always very supportive of the work of the agency. thank you, sir. >> mr. administrator? >> yes, sir. i agree with what all of my predecessors have said. i would add a couple of things and one is intel based and risk-based operations going forward is the core of tsa as peter just mentioned and i think we need to continue to ensure that we best leverage the resources of the u.s. government overall and the resources of our intelligence community and that's contribute to the development of intelligence of the united states and that's key going forward. the second thing i would emphasize is there will be increased investment and transportation security and it's imperative that the threat is changing and we need to get about the business of doing this and we're already on a path and that would continue the of lugsz over the next several years and next, i think rather than
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replace all of the technology at once, we need to have a continuing refresh process for our technology so that we are always at the leading edge and don't make it easy for someone to look at our system and try to assess what we can detect and not because they just won't know what technology they might encounter when they go through the screening processes or their baggage and cargo and the next is very, very strong partnerships. we from them already and they've been in my time as the administrator and they're key to the country's success in providing transportation security. we will remain a global leader in having the private sector and that is critically important for us. >> finally, we predict that we will have a more and more specialized workforce as technology continues to improve. we continue to hone our procedures. with that will come a more
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career path for our employees and a greater overall, professional opportunity for them and greater diversity in our workforce. we have one of the most diverse workforces in the federal government at the entry level and at the front lines of our organization and our screening checkpoints. as you mentioned, at the very beginning of the hearing that is not the case, and that is in the upper levels of the agency and we need to fix that and we need to fix it properly and we have stood up an inclusion position that reports directly for me to make sure that we have a constant effort in this regard going forward and sir, i would conclude by thanking you as the chairman have and ranking member have known each other for a good number of years have been very, very supportive of tsa and you
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hold us accountable and you are always there with the solution to help us along, and i greatly appreciate that oversight and your leadership in this regard, sir. >> well, thank you very much. one of the questions -- all of us -- we have all of the authority and all of the budgets that you need to do your job and somehow all the administrators have come back with congress providing the resources to the best of our ability and you have never said yes or no, and somewhere there is a training camp for future tsa administrators that you never acknowledged whether you have all of the authority and the money that you need and you'll be able to do it, and i think the ranking member is cognizant
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of that, too, but let me assure you that we are committed to the mission of the agency. we've had excellent administrators. technology is the way forward and a multiplier and we absolutely have to get it right. one thing we did not talk about is how can we expedite procurement so that by the time the ranking member will tell you, we've got a technology, but by the time we buy it, and it's already obsolete. >> and we passed the legislation and we need to ramp it up. >> so let me again thank the crept administrator and past administrator for that testimony and our members for that
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question. the members of the committee, they have additional questions for the witnesses and we ask that you respond expeditiously in writing to those questions. our ranking member, would you want to have a closing comment? >> i appreciate the opportunity and i just want to thanks, observing the back and forth today makes me proud to be a part of this committee because it was productive and there were no gotcha questions and i think we're trying to make sure we do the proper oversight and you get the tools to do your job and absent of the efforts we did a good job and all of the witnesses. so i commend everybody on both sides and keep up the good work and tell everybody at tsa how proud we are of the front line workers. i yield back. thank you. >> thank you very much, i'm glad the ranking member mentioned that, but in response to the
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screening and non-resident aliens of the policies now, and it's a policy that's been in place since we got it. it's not the policy of the last six months. it's the policy. so i want this hearing to reflect that there's no special policy right now. it's the policy, and i want the administrator to reflect that going forward, that his explanation for the policy is the way it always has been. so the chair reminds members that the record will remain open for ten business days. without objection the committee stands adjourned. >> attorney general merrick garland testified on the justice department's mission and
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policies before the house judiciary committee. watch this hearing at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. online at or on our new video app, c-span now. ♪♪ ♪ >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government, funded by these television companies and more. >> the greatest town on earth is the place you call home. at spark light it's our home, too and right now we're all facing our greatest challenge. that's why spark light is working around the clock to keep you connected. we're doing our part so it's easier to do yours. >> spark light supports c-span as public service along with these television providers, giving you a front-row seat to democrat see. >> next, experts testify on the threat of natural disasters and the country's preparedness for such threats and they


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