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Holder Hearing Transcript

Holder Hearing Transcript

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Date Created:March 4, 2011

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Transcript House Appropriations Subcommittee onCommerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Hearing Proposed Fiscal 2012 Appropriations for the JusticeDepartment 
Hearing Held March 2011 
Good morning. The hearing will come --come order. want welcome you, Mr. Attorney General. And you're testifying today your fiscal year 2012 budget request, independent rescissions, and scorekeeping adjustments. You're seeking new discretionary budget authority $28.4billion, increase $336 million, 1.2 percent above F.Y. '10 and current C.R. levels. 
Your budget request for F.Y. '12 large part driven rapidly growing requirements your detention and incarceration accounts. You're requesting program increases $461 million just provide the necessary capacityfor federal prisoners and secure housing detainees the custody the U.S. Marshall Service. 
There are smaller yet important increases requested the area national security. We'll have some questions that. the case last year, was unclear what direction you're going take attempting not carry out the president's executive order related the closure Guantanamo Bay. 
Congress has not provided any the resources requested the past for these purposes, and the F.Y. '12 request does not include new requests for prosecutions for acquisition detention facility the U.S. 
We'll also have some questions about gangs and other issues like that. 
But before your testimony, want recognize the minority --ranking minority member, Mr. Fattah, forany comments might make. 
Let thank you, Chairman Wolf, for scheduling this very important hearing. And want thank the attorneygeneral for his appearance and participation this morning. 
And moreover, want thank the attorney general for the extraordinary leadership that's being provided thedepartment. And see the everyday headlines that showcase both major arrests terms Medicare fraud,organized crime, gang prevention. 
But the work the department obviously vital our country, and appreciate your appearance today. And look forward you addressing the appropriation needs the department, because, obviously, given the national security duties relative many the agencies the department, --it critically important that you have theresources you need carry out your duties. 
Thank you. 
Thank you, Mr. Fattah. 
Mr. Rogers was going here make statement, and think he's the Republican conference. when comes, may break --break for that. 
With that, Mr. Attorney General, welcome you and look forward hearing your testimony. And your fullstatement will appear the record. 
Good morning, Chairman Wolf, Ranking Member Fattah, and distinguished members the subcommittee. And thank you for the opportunity discuss the president's fiscal year 2012 budget for the Department Justice and toprovide update the department's progress well the department's priorities. 
Today, come you behalf colleagues, more than 117,000 dedicated men and women who serve ournation's Justice Department positions and offices all around the world. Above all, come you behalf fellow citizens. our nation's chief law enforcement officer, protecting the safety the American people most importantobligation. every level the department, this our primary focus. you know, recent years, our nation has confronted some the most significant terrorist threats thehomeland since the September 11th attacks. And the Justice Department has played vital role combating thesethreats. 
Since 9/11, there have been hundreds defendants convicted terrorism terrorism-related violations federalcourt. And during 2009 and 2010, the Justice Department charged more defendants federal court with the mostserious terror related offenses than any similar period since September the 11th. 
Just last week, Chairman Wolf's district, Zachary Chesser, resident Northern Virginia and United Statescitizen, was sentenced years prison for attempting provide material support the terrorist organizational-Shabaab, communicating threats against Americans, and encouraging violent jihadists impede and obstruct the work law enforcement. 
Also last week, FBI agents arrested individual Texas for attempted use weapon mass destruction.Thanks the around-the-clock work hundreds FBI agents, analysts, and federal prosecutors, this alleged plotwas thwarted. 
Now, beyond our critical national security efforts, the department has made, believe, extraordinary progress infulfilling the pledge that made before this subcommittee nearly two years ago: that would restore integrity and transparency every level our work and that under leadership every decision made and every policyimplemented would based the facts, the law, and the best interests the American people, regardless ofpolitical pressures consequences. 
I'm also proud report that the department has taken meaningful steps safeguard civil rights our work placesand housing markets and voting booths and border areas; protect our environment; and bring our nation's fight against financial and health care fraud unprecedented levels. fact, the last year, the department has announced the largest financial and health care fraud take-downs record. And fiscal year 2010, the department's Civil Division secured the highest level health care fraud recoveries history, $2.5 billion, well the second largest annual recovery civil fraud claims. 
Our Criminal Division saw similar success. fiscal year 2010, the Criminal Division participated effortsincluding joint enforcement actions with our U.S. Attorneys' Offices throughout the country that secured more than billion judgments and settlements. addition our work secure these recoveries, have made strategic investments and have taken historicactions combat gangs and both national and international organized crime networks. have harnessed the newtools and authorities that Congress made available investigate and prosecute the --prosecute hate crimes. 
And have responded and must continue respond the recent nationwide surge law enforcementshootings ensuring that law enforcement officers have the tools, the training, and the protective equipment thatthey need and deserve. This particular concern me. This very, very real concern mine. 
That why today, overall, I'm here ask for your support the president's fiscal year 2012 budget for theDepartment Justice. Among the priorities identified this budget are strengthening national security; preventing and combating crime; maintaining safe prison and detention facilities; supporting effective intervention and reentryprograms; and assisting our state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners. 
The budget proposal also places premium achieving new savings and efficiencies. And also reflects hardchoices, such program reductions that have made order focus our resources our highest priorityprograms, respond current fiscal realities, and act sound stewards taxpayer dollars. 
The fiscal year 2011 continuing resolution has presented significant budget challenges for the department. Giventhat the current cost operations and staffing considerably higher than was last year, have announcedfinancial restrictions that consider difficult but necessary, including ordering temporary hiring freeze andcurtailing non-essential spending. hope that these measures will pre-empt more severe measures the future. 
But even with these directives place, submit you that the department's fiscal year 2012 budget request, whichitself reflects many tough decisions, essential our national security and law enforcement work, among otherpriorities that matter deeply the American people. 
With these investments and with your support and steadfast partnership, I'm really confident that can continue tobuild our past successes and make good our core promises ensuring safety, opportunity, and justice for all. 
Thank you. 
Thank you very much. 
And understand from your staff that member your family could have health care problem. any time youfeel necessary leave, that would totally appropriate. What would just recess the hearing, and would reconvene month two, whatever would fit into your schedule. want you know --you know, family with five kids and grandkids and --you know, family numberone. you feel any time, just tell and will --we will recess the hearing. 
HOLDER: appreciate that, Mr. Chairman. 
The Freedom Information Act --I briefly discussed this, but want just the record. review recentresponses freedom information requests the department conducted former Civil Rights Division AttorneyGeneral --Attorney Christian Adams showed that political and ideological factors may have influenced howquickly responses were provided. provides list information from the department's Freedom Information logs, including the requester andhow long the department took comply. Fred McBride from the ACLU, redistricting coordinator, got same-day service. Kristen Clarke, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, who sought the dismissal the new Black Panther partycase, same-day service. Jerry Seper the Washington Times, six months. Jed Babbin Human Events, six months. May 2009, made Freedom Information request pertaining your efforts secretly release number ofGuantanamo Bay detainees and resettle them into Northern Virginia. The department failed provide the information requested --after many, many months, never even responded. 
The Freedom Information Act requires the department respond request within days and provide therequested documents within reasonable time frame afterward. Why did Mr. Adams find that conservative noRepublican one the other side had received reply the time period prescribed law? 
Well, I'm not sure what research Mr. Adams has done. I've looked into the issues that were raised in, guess, blogor article something that wrote. best can determine, there ideological component with regard the response times that the Justice Department makes these requests. 
More complex requests take more time. Requests that are relatively simple nature can answered faster. But Ican assure you that there ideological component with regard how respond FOIA requests. 
WOLF: have never even received answer. 
Well, I'll certainly look into anything that you have submitted that outstanding. try respond letters, toFOIA requests. have tried make part --as part this transparency effort that talk about opening statement, we've tried very responsive when comes FOIA requests, whoever submits them. have metrics that use togauge our success that effort. And think have done pretty well reducing our FOIA backlog. the extent there are still issues, I'd more than glad work with you those. But our --our hope try responsive requests that get. 
Could you get back the end the week? 
HOLDER: will endeavor work this quickly can and try delineate those things that are outstanding. 
I'd say that --you know, preparation for the hearing, one the things asked about was where stood with regard responses letters, guess, that you had sent. talked about this, guess, little before the hearing. And was told the folks the department --we onlyhave, guess, this point, two outstanding letters with regard --responses with --to letters that you have sent us. 
The last letter was months answering. And came anticipation the hearing. Eleven months not avery good time for the department. 
Well, we'll wait until the end the week. And short that, think we're going ask for I.G. look it.Because think you have obligation, certainly, treat Freedom Information requests fairly. And we'll see how the end the week. 
Last Wednesday, you announced that you and the president have concluded that Section the Defense ofMarriage Act that's applied the same-sex couples under state law unconstitutional. result, the JusticeDepartment longer intends defend the law against two ongoing challenges. 
When administration makes determination that duly enacted overwhelmingly supported statute --I think passed 360 something here the Congress --is unconstitutional, Congress has reason concerned. Afterall, the Justice Department has duty defend the constitutionality the laws the United States and has long history doing so. 
This does not mean that Justice officials must believe the wisdom the law its policy implications, only thatthere are good faith and reasonable arguments made defense. is, short, very low bar. 
That the approach taken former Solicitor General Ted Olson robustly defending campaign finance reformlaw that Citizen Olson, conservative Republican, would surely have rejected. The Defense Marriage Act waspassed 1996 vote 342 the House. 
The very fact that this law passed the House and the Senate and was signed into law the president provides astrong presumption that the law constitutional. addition, believe almost states have passed similar law. 
According CRS, the Department Justice legally obligated defend all acts Congress where reasonableand good faith argument can made that the act constitutional. realize reasonable this case defined byDOJ. But the fact that DOJ has defended this act previously --Section particular --fatally undermines yourassertion that reasonable arguments can made its defense. you contend that your previous arguments defense this act were not made good faith? 
No. The situation that face different one. The previous arguments that we've made support the actoccurred jurisdictions where there was existing standard, the rational basis standard, more permissivestandard. Applying that standard, the feeling the department was that could, fact, defend the constitutionality the statute. 
Two cases issue exist the 2nd Circuit, which does not have, think, standard with regard these cases. Wethen had make the determination what standard should apply. looked the department. made recommendation the president that given the history discrimination thatgays and lesbians have endured our nation's history and for other reasons that heightened scrutiny standard was appropriate. 
Applying the heightened scrutiny standard opposed the rational basis standard, made the determination thatthe statute could not pass constitutional muster. And the president instructed not defend the --not defend thestatute that basis after made recommendation him that, fact, did not think that could pass constitutional muster under heightened scrutiny standard. 
Your decision abandon your duty defend this law arose proceedings and circuits where controlling legalprecedents exist. Considering the fact that DOJ has vigorously defending the law the past, can you see why thiswould viewed case political opportunism? 
Well, --you know, can't assess why --what other people would --how other people would view this. can tellyou that what did was apply the facts and the law neutral and detached way and made the determination thatthe announcement that made was appropriate one. was not decision that took lightly. take very seriously our responsibility defend statutes that Congresshas passed. have defended the very statute that are talking about those circuits where there was existing law and where thought the statute could pass constitutional muster that --that lower --lower standard. not --it's unusual, but occasionally happens that the department will refuse defend statute that Congresshas passed. There are number instances where that has occurred the past. 
In, guess, 1990, now Chief Justice Roberts declined defend statute that Congress had passed the case ofMetro Broadcasting the FCC. not unheard of. --it's unusual, though. 
The Washington Post editorial board pointed out editorial the Justice Department institutionally tasked withdefending duly enacted congressional legislation. This does not mean that Justice Department officials must believein the wisdom the law its policy implications, only that there are good faith and reasonable arguments bemade its defense. is, short, very low bar. That the approach, mentioned earlier. 
The Obama administration's tactic, says, "could come back haunt it. What would the president say, for example,if conservative Republican administration the future attempted sabotage the Obama health care initiative byrefusing defend against unconstitutional attacks?" 
Are there --are there other laws down there that you find difficult make reasonable defense that shouldexpect? 
HOLDER: --again, take seriously the obligation that have. have sent letters Congress the past. During this -of course, this administration, I've signed each one those. think maybe occasions, where for variety ofreasons, some technical, have declined defend statute that Congress has passed. 
We, again, will look these case-by-case basis, mindful the historical --historic obligation that have and that have followed defend statutes that Congress has passed. We've shown unwillingness that, andthis irrespective what think about the wisdom the statutes that Congress has passed. 
WOLF: the past, DOJ has encouraged Congress engage attorneys the defense acts that the Justice Departmentwould not defend. you encourage Congress that this case? 
Well, did what think was responsible thing, which was announce our position well advance thedeadlines that were --had been set the court that involved that Congress could make its own determination how wants proceed. 
Well, --I think it's highly unusual for the Justice Department pick and choose something that's passed theCongress vote over 360 votes, signed the president, Democratic president, President Clinton.There are similar laws different states. almost looks like political decision more than anything else that Ican say. But... 
Well, will say that, you know, think the world's legal landscape has changed the years since Congresspassed DOMA. The Supreme Court has ruled that laws criminalizing private homosexual conduct are, fact, unconstitutional. Congress has repealed the military's "don't ask/don't tell" act (sic). Several lower courts have ruled DOMA itself unconstitutional. think that are --the landscape has changed fairly fundamentally. And when one also looks the historic discrimination the gays and lesbians have been subjected to, think the decision that the president made --and, again, I'm not hiding --upon recommendation, think, appropriate. 
WOLF: Well, think it's inappropriate, and think it's bad decision. But we'll see how history treats it. 
Your budget request states that defending national security from both internal and external threats remains thedepartment's highest priority. Yet, the funding increases for national security programs are fairly modest, especiallywhen compared the increases for prisons, $461 million, and for cops hiring, $302 million. 
The increases national security programs are $128.6 million and are almost all the FBI's budget. This lessthan half the amount you sought for such increases the F.Y. '11 budget, none which have been funded. 
What are the biggest gaps fulfilling the department's national security mission, and how does this budget address those gaps? 
Well, think, you know, one the things that need make sure that have the intelligencecapabilities that need, that have bodies order the very important work that has been set upon us. have have very robust FBI. 
The FBI really the heart our counterterrorism efforts. And for that reason that have requestedadditional money there. looked --in formulating this budget, looked what --and given the lean budget times that have, wehave tried formulate budget that will respond the needs and responsibilities that have, while the sametime being mindful the fact that are not situation where, frankly, were just couple years ago. And Ithink the budget that have submitted will allow fulfill our national security responsibilities addition theother things that you had mentioned. 
I'm going ask couple Guantanamo. But, Mr. Fattah, I'll going you --so you can know. 
You have sought funding previous years prosecute Guantanamo detainees U.S. courts and acquire and fitout U.S. prison space for the detention and incarceration. The Congress has not provided for funding, and there request for any such activities your F.Y. '12 request. 
Can you update the committee exactly what plans are and what budget requirements are, any, for activitiesrelated the department's responsibilities under the executive orders Guantanamo? 
Well, still the intention the administration close Guantanamo. Guantanamo serves recruiting tool forAl Qaida. All the intelligence tells that. has served wedge between the United States and some itstraditional allies. 
Countless numbers people who are steeped these issues, Republicans well Democrats, have indicated thatthe closure Guantanamo will help our fight against those who have sworn harm the Americanpeople and American interests around the world. want close Guantanamo. also have indicated that will make decisions about how want this. have deal with congressional statutes, restrictions, that have been put place --unwisely so, think, Iindicated letter that sent Congress about those restrictions. The president signing statement indicatedthat thought they were unwise and that would work have them repealed. agree with the president'sstatement. have deal, however, with --with that reality making determinations structure the budget requestthat send you. 
WOLF: think you're --just for the record, want make sure it's answered. The thought that Guantanamo Bay recruitment tool --(inaudible) hear from the administration. The first bombing the World Trade Center tookplace before Guantanamo Bay was there. The bombing the Tanzania American embassy took place --the Kenya -Khobar Towers, USS Cole. 
And don't know how many Republicans Democrats, quite frankly --because even the previous Congress,there was will --which was Democratic Congress --to really close Guantanamo. And most members strongly disagree with the administration and you moving Khalid Sheikh Mohammed --to New York City. what --what are the plans? What are --you've been quoted previous occasions say --what are the plansnow? What should someone expect with regard Guantanamo and with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? 
Well, said, are going work try close Guantanamo. put together task force that included lawenforcement personnel, people from the intelligence community, lawyers, look the 242 people who were inGuantanamo when this administration took office. think, count now, about 170 so. have categorized eachof those people, put them into appropriate buckets, will call them, attempt close Guantanamo. 
Again, this --you know, start day 8:30 every morning with briefing about the threat stream for the past24 hours. It's compilation all that the intelligence community has found. 
And I'm not revealing anything say this. But you see --you know, not every day, but think fairlyconsistent basis, indications that the existence Guantanamo something that Qaida uses its recruitingefforts. simply fact. 
Now, you're right. Those incidents that you talked about occurred before --before, guess, the existence ofGuantanamo. But Guantanamo, fairly unfairly, exists --as thing that used against --by those who have sworn harm and who have the past demonstrated the capacity, capability harm us. And for thatreason that feel strongly and are determined are close that facility. 
WOLF: you think will closed the end the president's first term? 
HOLDER: don't know. will all that can. have to, obviously, work with Congress. Congress has put barriers place what think what should doing, and we'll have try work through those restrictions and work with our allies try come with way which can --which can that. 
I'm concerned about terrorist recidivism among those transferred from Guantanamo back their home countries third countries. Your head legislative affairs just recently --again, this another indication --recently repliedto letter last March --that's months --about these concerns. the intervening months, the situation has gotten worse. December, the DNI released assessment that 150former Gitmo detainees are confirmed suspected reengaging terrorist insurgent activities. 
That's percent all those released, and substantial increase over previous reports. The number confirmedrecidivists increased from 81. Presumably, these transfers were only done when adequate security measureswere pledged the receiving government. 
What the department doing make sure that these governments can now live the supervision, particularly inlight what's taking place some those governments around the country --around the world? 
Well, with regard that recidivism, mean, that's obviously something that take very seriously. And those people who back the fight --I guess that's the expression that's used --are people who will, you know, hunt down and bring justice. 
Have any Americans been killed anyone who's gone back the fight, you say? 
I'm not aware that. don't know. 
Wouldn't that something find out, though, had somebody and released somebody, and then killedsomebody? The administration released several back Afghanistan. have somebody from Guantanamo Bay who's been down there serving with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed bereleased back Afghanistan, and the administration was --were --you were releasing people back Yemen -only after number people raised the issue, but people were saying they're concerned. 
And guess --could you check for the record see any who have been released, have been captured havebeen picked have been involved with regard the death any Americans? 
Well, mean, one looks the --the rate recidivism, think --there's interesting statistic, least me. With regard those that have been released during the time the Obama administration --we have recidivismrate about percent. That compares rate about percent under the previous administration. think that's function the fact that we've been very careful how made determinations how people Guantanamo should treated. 
And the numbers with regard those who have been released during this administration --we're talking about thepossibility --and guess the people who have been transferred, there are two that have been confirmed --two -and then three who are suspected reengaging. That's three possibles, two confirmed out the 67. said, that comes about --about --about percent. 
Again, any kind recidivism serious and something that --that take seriously. 
I'd also note that since 2009, there has been congressional restriction --or obligation that have had run Congress the people who, fact, were going released from Guantanamo. That has been done every case inwhich this administration has released anybody from Guantanamo. And we've never heard objection from anybody the Congress about that. 
Mr. Attorney General, have objected, number one. And, number two, offered amendment which was rejected -we hope offer again --to make those releases public the public knows. They're all top secret, secure. take look every one that's done. But most members Congress don't know who's being released, when they're being released. you haven't heard anything because there's been disclosure and dialogue. The amendment that had would have made public release. guess I'm going Mr. Fattah. The last question is, can expect any additional transfers the near future? 
There are, you know, congressional restrictions that have place. still are endeavoring close Guantanamo, and will try continue those efforts. But will also mindful the obligations that haveunder existing congressional restrictions and communicate whatever have Congress. 
Mr. Fattah? 
FATTAH: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And, obviously, wide area issues have been covered, but why don't start where you left off Guantanamo. 
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich appeared before panel discussion here the Congress almost decade ago, after9/11. And were having this discussion about the United States and our --our ideals nation, country thatoperates under the rule law. 
And the chairman would recall that under President Bush, the first President Bush --I think the chairman even joined --there were complaints lodged against the --against China for arresting people with charges being made public and trial. And there were charges, there was trial. And said that China was operating ina way which was violation international law and under the guise country operating under the rule oflaw. 
The biggest concern about Guantanamo that our own country --and back Speaker Gingrich; asked himthis question. said, "Given post 9/11, given Guantanamo, you know, how talk about the rule law ininternational company?" You know, how say it's now arrest someone without charges, with secret evidence, hold them indefinitely, and say that that's permissible act given our criticisms China and criticism other countries acting this way? I'm less concerned about Qaida using recruitment tool. I'm more concerned about our own justification for how take someone, arrest them, and don't make the --the basis the arrest known, don't allow them have attorney, don't try them any point, and hold them indefinitely Guantanamo, and how then say nation that we're operating under the law. --my concern little bit different from the chairman, and think that --it takes away our ability. Whenyou saw President Bush, Sr., you know, aggressively attack China for doing this --I wonder what would today, given our own actions. 
But think it's note that the chairman makes important point that people have been released who havereturned activities that are concern us. They've been released under the previous administration with complete silence those the other side the aisle the House who now selectively want attack thisadministration, even though the rate recidivism, you point out, drastically different, and Congress hasapproved these releases. think that there are politics this, and think that should try get politics, you know, away from thisquestion national security. Let's actually focus what's important our country. 
And that regard, want the chairman's original point, where you --in your budget request, the FBI --a significant part their responsibilities the area national security. And want know, given the short-termC.R., given the budget request for next year, where you see the --the --the level --you know, agents termsof --particularly given the fact that over percent their responsibilities are the area national security, and itwas desire the Congress not --not have cuts the area national security where any these would beimpacted. 
I'm very concerned about the ability run the department way that's consistent with the obligations that wehave this C.R. were continue. have responsibilities the national security front that have addressed inthe 2012 budget. 
Even though there are increases that are, frankly, not large I'd like them be, there are, nevertheless,increases. have tried, said, come with budget that deals with the fiscal reality that confront. 
I'm particularly worried about the bureau prisons and the responsibilities that have there with regard the intakethat comes our way because prosecutors are doing what expect them do, agents are doing what expectthem do. And the current levels that have the continuing resolution, we're going run into wall some point. 
But get more particularly the question that you have asked, I'm also worried that with regard the hiring that Ithink need stay front this national --these national security issues that are the responsibility thedepartment, have get beyond this continuing resolution. 
You know, have tried make --I tried take into account the resolution, the reality it, the continuingresolution, and put place hiring freeze and done other things. But that can only tide over for --for long. would hope that through testimony, through the interaction that, hopefully, the administration will behaving with members this committee and Congress whole that will have resolution the budget issuesthat --that now divide that will have the monies that need protect the American people. 
The Defense Marriage Act --any time that the --in court law that are arguing that someone's rights should restricted our country, you know, the basis the scrutiny the court important one. the --the point that this should handled under heightened scrutiny, think, least for myself --and believe for --a majority the American people --they would agree that any time we're going trample someone's rights restrict them, should take the --a very high level scrutiny the court. 
And think that the --the --when have colleagues quoting The Washington Post editorial, which not anormal thing for members who sometimes are the opposite side the administration, you can obviously see thatthere great deal interest this matter. 
But apparently the case that there have been times the past where the department --the past meaning outsideof this administration --where the department has not went into court with arguments that they cannot believe asa --as constitutionally legitimate previous administrations. --and want make sure that enter those for the record, and will, Mr. Chairman. 
But the --the point the administration's decision, would understand --the administration has issued that they will still require upholding the letter the law, but you will not allow your attorneys into court andargue something that, its face, doesn't meet the scrutiny that would required. that where the administration this? 
Yeah, and think that's actually very important distinction. will not defend the constitutionality the statute,but until the statute has either been changed Congress there definitive judicial interpretation ruling with regard it, will continue enforce the law, because law that does exist the books. will enforce the statute, but will not defend its constitutionality. 
Thank you. 
Could you talk little bit about the work the department the area combating human trafficking? 
This something that great interest, not only the department, but this administration whole. havemade this priority. have administration-wide effort deal with the problem human --human trafficking. have put that -we have made budget requests that regard. 
When one looks the problems that exist, not only this nation, but around the world, seems that this something that have make priority. You have those people who are greatest risk being taken advantageof --unfortunately, young people especially. 
And something that have really tried focus the department, but also conjunction with colleaguesin other executive branch agencies. The secretary state leads our efforts the international --on the internationalside. 
FATTAH: referenced opening statement your recent activities regarding Medicare fraud and organized crime. youcould, comment the department's recent efforts and successes that regard and what appropriations requests your F.Y. '12 relative would important continuing those efforts. 
Well, we've been, think, particularly successful when comes the efforts that the fraud --our fight against fraud efforts, I've indicated opening statement, when comes health care fraud and other fraud relatedrecoveries that we've made under the False Claims Act. have recovered billions dollars for the American people. 
This something that think problem that --frankly, with additional resources, think can increase the amount money that get back for the American people, and we've made budget requests that regard. When itcomes organized crime, this something that continues issue that has focused the Department Justice. was New York, think about four five weeks ago, announce major take-down that did oforganized crime figures, the largest single take-down organized crime figures the history this nation. 
And shows the breadth organized crime activity from those things that seem relatively small scale thingsthat are more --that are larger and are more traditionally seen control --you know, the attempts control, the docks and union activity, things that nature. organized crime continues something that have --that have focus on. There's wide range ofthings that the Department Justice has its plate --on its plate beyond that which relatively new, which thenational security side. And these --what I've come call these traditional functions are things that I've tried focus on, give attention to, and make sure that have adequate resources --to try combat those things. 
Thank you. And will catch the next round. 
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Culberson? 


Mr. Bonner? 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 
General, it's good have you back here. send greetings your wife, who citizen hometown. We're 

proud her. 

HOLDER: that right? From Mobile? 

Yes, sir. 

All right. 

BONNER: minute, want some questions specific the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, the process set theadministration. But I'd like pick the line questioning that the chairman and the ranking member had, first about DOMA. 
Since appears that the department not planning defend DOMA, and since, you know, we're operating acontinuing resolution, trying finish the budgeting process for this fiscal year, could you give any idea howmuch money would saved the department not defending this, even though there's strong disagreement from many Congress this position? And would any those monies available terms returning the --to theprocess? 
Since you won't defending it, those are monies that will not spent the department. Would you have any ideahow much money that would be? 
I'm not sure save any money, frankly. The people who would defending the statute, were that, are career employees the Department Justice who will --will not spending their time doing that. They will bespending their time doing other things. I'm not sure that see any savings result the decision that --that announced with the president. 
And then follow-up Guantanamo --again, that was original line questioning --a few days ago, the CIAdirector said that were capture Osama bin Laden that would very likely --he would very likely end Guantanamo. there conflict within the administration that the CIA director would make that statement, and yet you, inanswering Chairman Wolf, continue advocate position that it's the administration's view that the --that Guantanamo should closed? 
Well, think the administration speaks with one voice. It's true that Director Panetta did indicate that his testimony. issued statement later that evening that was consistent with what the director national intelligencesaid the hearing with --with Director Panetta. 
And think the administration's position this something that have thought about, that have tried work on, prepare for. And were bin Laden come into our possession, the national security team would consider itsobligations and make decision how would treated. 
BONNER: said earlier, want switch gears something that's parochial for but really important for the wholecountry. Because you know --I think you were certainly involved it; that was the impression --back when thepresident announced last year response the worst environmental oil spill American history: the creation ofthe Gulf Coast Claims Facility and his naming through agreement worked with and the administration --and,again, was our understanding that the Justice Department was heavily involved this --the appointment Mr.Ken Feinberg the administrator this. the opinion this member, who represents Mobile, Alabama, and the coastal counties state, the GCCF hasbeen dismal failure. Despite continued and direct engagement with Mr. Feinberg address the systematicshortcomings his organization, there appears improvement the horizon. And consistency and transparency remain problematic. 
Let give you quick example. Based the GCCF's own web page, last week, --there are two coastal counties,as you know, home state, Mobile and Baldwin Counties. Last week, based their own numbers, theyprocessed four claims. 
Unfortunately, based their own numbers, there are 93,000 claims that remain unprocessed. this rate, willtake 450 years --I don't think any will here --to process all these claims. And that's assuming there are nonew claims that are filed. 
Now, the president said creating this --again, with the support the administration --that this administration wasgoing stand the people the Gulf Coast. 
Can you --first all, want give shout-out Tom Perrelli. the only person this administration that Ihave confidence that's going put pressure Mr. Feinberg and fulfill the promise that both thecompany and the administrator that this administration helped create made, and that was make the Gulf Coastwhole. want give shout-out Mr. Perrelli. And please let him know how much appreciate his work. 
But can you give any insight terms what the Justice Department's role making sure that this --that thiscreation going fulfill the promise that the president the United States made the American people? 
Well, share the concerns that you have about the impact that the oil spill had the Gulf Coast. went down there shortly after --in fact, went Mobile and looked some the reconstruction efforts that were that point underway, the rehabilitation efforts that were under way. 
The Justice Department does not operate have any statutory responsibility for the GCCF, although will say forthe record --and thank you for the kind words you said about Tom Perrelli. the associate attorney general atthe Department Justice and has spent great deal time pushing have claims paid more quickly. have tried monitor the activity the GCCF, its performance. January 27th --I'm looking thenumbers have here --there were about 480,000 claims filed with the GCCF. About 170,000 those have been paid, totaling, guess, little over billion. have expressed our concerns about the pace which --Tom has --again, you've indicated, has taken lead for the department. We've expressed the concerns that not think these are being processed quickly they can. And have tried apply --I'm not sure I'd call pressure, but expressed the concerns that have waythat consistent with the responsibilities that have. don't have any formal relationship with GCCF. But Tom has used his time, his skills, try speed the paceat which people who are very deserving, whose lives have been very negatively impacted --you have go. 
You have there see --I was --it's one thing read about this. It's whole different deal down thereand actually see people who run, you know, hotels, restaurants. was really struck the fact that when was there, was warm --it was apparently the height tourist season,and went into restaurant --and wife will kill for this, but don't remember; was outside Mobile, beach there. And were the only ones the restaurant. 
And talked the owner the restaurant, and said, you know --and said this was, you know, totally atypical;that day like this that time year they would have had full restaurant. And the only people that restaurant that time were the people traveling with me. made pledge the people there that was going come back year from visit and see where stoodwith regard what the --how the claims process was going and what --how had --to show them that, youknow, that cared, and, that wanted make sure that did much could make sure that thisprocess worked for them. And will back that one year... 
Well, please let know when that is. I'd love lunch with you. 
Sure, sure. 
BONNER: believe, ultimately, that the department will have issue ruling that defines exactly what OPA requires BP. You may not have direct oversight the GCCF --although begs the question, you don't, who does. Because, clearly, it's monster that's been created this administration with the promise making the people whole. 
And, again, the thought that might have 450 years before the last claim determined, whether it's legitimate not --because our people will not able wait that, obviously. 
What you think will trigger requirement for DOJ issue ruling OPA, and are you preparing make sucha ruling that time? 
I'm not sure understand the question the OPA, the... 
The Oil Pollution Act 1990 that passed that --that holds the company responsible, and there will substantial fines. 
HOLDER: Yeah. Well, the --we have under way --we have filed civil lawsuit, think, least couple months ago.We are actively pursuing that matter attempt get --gain money from the people and the companies who wethink were responsible for the spill. 
There is, indicated --I guess when was New Orleans --an ongoing criminal investigation well. thedepartment operating both --on both levels, both with regard the civil enforcement powers that have and also with regard the criminal investigative powers that have hold responsible those companies, those people, who were responsible for the worst natural disaster this nation's history. are being aggressive that regard. are pushing make sure that resolve this quickly can. Ithink under, again, Mr. Perrelli's direction the --on the civil side, you know, we've put together this fund that has contributed and from which claims can processed. 
But beyond that, are using our civil enforcement powers sue gain additional monies from the responsibleparties. What have made clear, and what will pledge again today, that the American taxpayers are not goingto have pay dime for the cleanup dime for making whole the people who have suffered the region that you represent. 
Just one final question, Mr. Chairman. And have some others that will submit for the record. 
Not blindside you this, because you've had lot issues touch base on. But you have response the federal judge New Orleans' ruling that Mr. Feinberg not independent administrator was originally presented the American people; that would be, and, fact, that executing his responsibilities behalf ofhis employer, British Petroleum, rather than manner that's the best interest the victims? 
Well, there --I mean, the way this has been set up, --you know, he's paid by, guess, works for BP.But the emphasis that have placed --Tom Perrelli has placed trying make this claims process work. 
Our hope that however the GCCF constructed that think that potentially can work, should work better,should --you know, the 450-year time period that you have indicated obviously unacceptable. Something substantially --substantially shorter than that --I mean, way, way shorter than that something that have tobe looking at. 
And will try to, you know, assist the extent that can helping there applying pressure where can,by using our lawsuits --in the other way --but try get money people quickly --as quickly can. 
And the extent find issues with regard how the GCCF working, will what can. willcertainly identify them and try work rectify them. 
Thank you. 
Mr. Chairman, the reason asked that --and, again, acknowledged front that this parochial because I'm the Gulf Coast. But why it's important our friends Pennsylvania California Georgia wherever, Kansas, you from Key West Florida all the way Brownsville, Texas, and you look the economies ofthe five Gulf Coast states, you're looking over $2.8 trillion GDP impact this country. 
You know, last year were all worried about what was happening Greece, which was about $350 billion impact the global economy. The five Gulf Coast states, rough estimate, $2.8 trillion, and weredevastated this oil spill last year. 
And continue devastated, and that's why raised the questioning today, asking for the department everything can. It's very unusual for conservative Republican member asking any Justice Department, thisJustice Department any other, intervene here. 
But we've got hold the people who did this accountable. And we've got make sure that the --the claims facilitythat was set the Justice Department and the administration make those people whole --we've got make sure they're doing better job. 
And with that, thank you. 
The only thing would disagree with you, Mr. Bonner --the questions that you've asked are not parochial ones. AndI think that the statistics you just used about the trillions dollars impact --it's national issue. 
This not something that --it affects maybe most directly the people the Gulf Coast. But the reality this anational issue, and that's why requires national response. And can assure you that the Justice Department, TomPerrelli and others, will stay focused this issue. 
Mr. Honda? 
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 
And welcome, Mr. Holder. want thank you for your testimony here today, and really appreciate yourattention and dedication the many important civil rights and justice issues that face today. wanted ask you something about the budget dance that seem through every year, and it's the properfunding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, more commonly known SCAAP. you know, borderstates like California are disproportionately affected this. 
And notice for the 2012 request, the funding for SCAAP has been reduced greatly, and now understand some ofthis programmatic shifting going on. But some point, we, country, need come solution this issuethat goes beyond just partial reimbursement. 
And this ask you have any suggestions ideas what Congress could permanently address this issue? 
HOLDER: Well, have requested --I think it's $136 million for SCAAP. all know, that goes for the incarceration costsfor inmates who not have legal immigration status. 
And think one the things that could --the Congress could do, working, think, with the administrationas well, look the whole question illegal immigration and try address that --in comprehensive -in comprehensive way. think that would have impact the monies that spend with regard --with regard SCAAP. mean, have tried make sure that this money spent wisely. I've seen the inspector general report thatindicates that, you know, some high percentage people --I think was percent people were notnecessarily --were not identified --as people who were illegal immigrants, and their status was some --it was not totally --totally known. And that's something think that has --has worked on. 
The money that are asking for this year less than sought last year. Again, that's just tough decision, tough budgetary decision, that --that we've had make. are the view that this is, fact, national obligation, and the states need reimbursed for the monies theyexpend this regard. And the only reason that are seeking less money than did last year strictly thebasis the budgetary constraints that have. 
HONDA: don't disagree with you about the efficacy having comprehensive immigration reform package that wouldinclude law enforcement and border protection and things like that. And seems that over the past few years,we have been approaching this whole issue (inaudible) and spending lot money that doesn't seem have return the kind investment that we're seeking. 
And you know that California has large needs for Indian country justice programs, and consider refundingcomponents Public Law 106559 vital importance. And know that this 2012 request, the DOJ has created new discretionary set-aside fund all tribal assistance programs rather than separate appropriations. 
How --how will this change affect the civil and criminal legal assistance programs, and particularly ensuring thatcurrent funding levels remain? 
Well, what have tried actually prioritize the work that have done with regard tribal lands. issomething that hope will legacy this administration, that have taken seriously the responsibilities thatwe have tribal lands; that have recognized the unique needs the unique problems that are faced there. think have our budget funds that will toward supporting what certainly desire part and knowon the part the president well have legacy the fact that are taking very seriously our responsibilities that regard. have over $420 million the budget. We're going work with you make sure that that money spent appropriate way. 
But really want emphasize that this something that high priority for this administration. met theRoosevelt Room with the president and with number tribal leaders. I'm going listening conference inMinnesota. Tom Perrelli has taken this particular --a particular priority his. 
When one looks the problems that women face tribal lands with regard violence that they are subjected to,when one looks the rates substance abuse --there are whole host issues that have dealt with. There not sufficient law enforcement resources there. 
And the monies that are asking for for tribal issues, think, goes long way backing the promises that we've made and the obligations that think that have. 
HONDA: appreciate the attention the sense --the sense that you have regarding the Indian country, because think thatthat's area where times turn blind eye to. And think that it's --as terms --in terms our relationship tosovereign nations, it's obligation that need fulfill. 
Another issue I'd like bring your attention, Mr. Holder, gun rights and gun control. And avid outdoorsperson myself, support the Second Amendment, but also support reasonable changes existing law that makes iteasier track criminals purchasing weapons. 
One the biggest gun issues facing California is, course, the sales the so-called "long guns" and drug andcriminal violence the border. And know that there's public comment period through the ATF new reportingstandards long guns. 
But would like know what steps the department taking improve the situation. And what more can doneto put reasonable safeguards place? 
Well, ATF currently has proposal that has been made with regard the purchase long guns. is, think, areasonable --a reasonable proposal that would require firearms dealers report any instance where person buystwo long guns within five-day period that above .22 caliber, that semi-automatic, and has detachable magazine. 
The concern obviously with the possibility that people are buying these straw purchasers and that lot theseweapons has --a lot these weapons end Mexico. The proposal that ATF has made only applies four states that border Mexico, but think we'll really have --could have substantial impact the flow guns that into Mexico. greatly concerned that some these weapons that find their way into Mexico might used against the agentsfrom this nation who are down there fighting with their Mexican counterparts against the cartels. That gives verygreat concern. think responsible thing do. think respectful the Second Amendment. something that werequire gun --gun dealers with regard the sale pistols. 
And seems that asking dealers along the border with regard long guns, and given the limitedcircumstances under which said we'd this, think that that appropriate. think would long way helping deal with this --with this issue. 
HONDA: understand there's quite few statistics that have hand relative the number firearms that are confiscatedacross the border that can traced the United States and several different kinds activities that have here that are not unlawful but should have greater oversight and scrutiny. And those statistics are available, I'd very interested receiving them. few weeks ago, Congress passed extension few provisions, key provisions, the Patriot Act. And I've opposed (inaudible) since the inception, strongly believe they cross the line terms civil and privacy acts ofour citizens. understand the need keep our country safe from harm. But country, need --better than pass lawsthat give broad powers (inaudible). need better than that. 
Many have called for hearings this issues and pragmatic approach this issue. And I'd like very much hearfrom --your thoughts how can bridge gap between protecting the rights Americans while giving the toolsneeded protect us. 
And think that that's probably area that's come fore because the change technology and the kinds ofthings that understand technically what's going important and how about doing that. 
Well, support the renewal those three authorities, the business records provision, the lone wolf provision,and the roving wiretap provision. But the administration also supports increased civil liberties protections. think, particular, that good balance struck the bill that Senator Leahy introduced that supports theextension those authorities but also dials civil liberties protections. These, think, are necessary tools for tohave order fight the threat that confronts our nation. think that can this such way that with appropriate supervision within the executive branch. Andworking with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, can make sure that these tools are used way that iseffective but also consistent with the values that have made this nation great. 
The concerns you express, think, are legitimate ones. may end different place, but the concerns youhave, think, are legitimate. And said, think Senator Leahy's bill really strikes good balance. 
Mr. Holder, what would the critical steps that need pronounced and clear order for able toexecute some the provisions that law enforcement may have that may question some other members ofCongress that --the concerns that have terms privacy? What --what are some clear steps that need inplace? 
Well, mean, think that use, you know, these provisions and other provisions the Patriot Act, have mindful the privacy interests that American citizens have. have make sure that act way that's consistent. have make sure that don't overreach. can't let the threat that face make turn our backs that which has defined this country and made the great nation that is. 
And that sometimes --that's balance that, you know, you have strike, but it's something that should alwaysbe mindful of. And think that keep that our minds, those who have enforce these laws and takeadvantage these tools --if keep those kinds thoughts our minds, will --we will act appropriate way. 
The --we want work with Congress, think, well, though, make sure that --and oversight, for instance, issomething that, you know, makes great deal sense when comes the use the Patriot Act. 
Generally, these three provisions, particular --interaction with Congress about how these tools are being used, anairing concerns that people have, responses from those government who are using --using these statutes.I mean, that kind interaction, think, makes great deal sense and will make sure that there is, said, overreaching those the executive branch. 
One last question, Mr. Chairman. 
One the things that seem concern --well, concerns --is the decision that person would make, whetherit's executive otherwise, move forward without going through the legal process securing permission towiretap tap into the Internet the name national security. 
Is, fact --does that case --does that condition exist the current law? And, so, are there requirements that person report timely manner that action somebody like the judiciary arm? 
Well, all the surveillance activities that the Department Justice and other intelligence agencies are involved are done pursuant statute and with the approval the FISA court or, guess, Article court we're talking about just regular wiretapping that there's statutory basis for those surveillance activities that engage in. And thenthere judicial approval the requests that --that make that there supervision these activities. 
There can things done emergency basis the direction the attorney general, but even those have toultimately submitted the --to the FISA (inaudible) have submitted the FISA court for --for approval.So there's always judicial supervision the things that do. 
But the term "ultimately reporting back" --is there time definite that needs observed? 
Yeah. think it's --I think it's hours. mean, we're not talking about some extended period time. I'd have tolook. But those things that have done emergency basis, try report within the time frame. But I'd have check and get back you that, but think we're talking about two three days within which have reportback the FISA court. 
HONDA: Thank you very much. 
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 
Mr. Rogers? 
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for yielding. apologize for being late. 
General Holder, welcome the committee. 
Good morning. 
ROGERS: want focus your mind with problem epidemic that sweeping this country, and that's prescriptiondrug abuse and methamphetamine abuse. Today, two people least will die Kentucky from overdoses, amonth. state perhaps ground zero for prescription drug abuse, but it's everywhere. It's not just there. sinister. Nationwide, the last decade, we've seen 400 percent increase those reporting abuse prescription painrelievers with about 7,000 new abusers every day --7,000 new abusers every day. 
There mechanism that we're fighting Kentucky and other states, and that's, you well know, theprescription drug monitor programs Kentucky. It's called KASPER, where doctors and pharmacists can check the central computer the state see person applying --presenting prescription has been doctor shopping orhas filled another location. 
Thirty-eight states now have --have responded Department Justice grant program that helps them set asystem their state. Thirty-eight states now have that system; more have applied for those grants, including Florida --which I'll come minute. 
And KASPER works. We've seen dramatic decline and dramatic increase prosecutions fake doctors andpharmacists and --pharmacists and the like. Other states have reported the same. 
And yet your budget request, zero. This program that's been place for --in fact, was started this subcommittee, Mr. Chairman, under your leadership. It's been place for maybe, what, years so? 
We've seen the number states with authorized operational programs triple from 45, increase almost--2,600 percent increase the number prescription reports. And yet, for whatever reason, you did not requestany funds continue that program which has proven itself countrywide. Why? 
Well, the president's fiscal year budget, the budget we've submitted, does propose use million OJP's proposed research, evaluation, and statistics set aside fund for limited number prescription drug monitoring pilots conjunction with evaluation. the information have that nearly every state has decided implement prescription drug monitoringprogram, and had opportunity apply for those funds. 
This --the problem that you talk about is, indeed, serious one. one that nationwide scope, though Ithink you're right --there are particular areas the country that have had --have had deal with this issue amore concentrated way. 
The fact that have moved the way that have with regard our budget indication that are notmindful the problem less serious... 
Zeroing out the program that the only thing going that's getting prescription drug abuse --zeroing that out tells you're not serious about solving this problem. Now, million and ill-defined request that you've made for apilot and evaluation --these aren't pilots. These are operational. 
Ask your state police. Ask your U.S. Attorneys. They will all tell you this the only weapon have (inaudible)prescription drug abuse. 
HOLDER: would respectfully disagree that regard. have our enforcement efforts that take with regard theprosecution people who engage the sale misuse these products. Those kinds efforts will --will --willcontinue. it's not --this not the only tool that have. And, again, said, this problem that take very seriously. 
Well, the head ONDCP the White House, Gil Kerlikowske --I spent last week with him Kentucky; wasthere three four days talking about this problem. And says that this valuable weapon fighting this cause. didn't discuss with him the fact that you had not requested any funds for it. didn't want embarrass him public. But the ONDCP director --is seriously --problems --has serious problems with your budget request. 
Now, that gets Florida. There's thing called Flamingo Express, the Flamingo Road. Broward County,Florida, where practically all the prescription medicines that are illegally obtained come from. 
Ninety-eight the top 100 prescribers oxycodone --98 out 100 top ones come from Broward County, Florida.They dispense over million dosages this drug, which about percent the total dispensed the entirecountry. 
These are pill mills. These are drive-throughs. You drive through like Burger King with truck load, van load ofpeople from Kentucky Tennessee Ohio any other state, particularly the eastern seaboard. You load yourvan up. You take them Broward County. You drive them through the drive-through, and you come back with aton prescription medicines that you then foist off innocent children and other people. And two them inKentucky die every day. 
Now, don't tell that you're enforcing the law. 
What you say about that? 
Well, the budget request that have made includes $322 million funding for, guess, 1,497 positions the DEA's diversion control program. That increase of, guess, $2.2 million base adjustments. There are 124 positions,including special agents, diversion investigators, nine intelligence analysts, and $30.8 million support regulatory and enforcement activities the diversion control program. think that's indication that take this issue seriously. It's one that are trying address, which not saythat not --we have not been --state --our state and local partners have not been successful might havewanted be. 
Our efforts need continuing ones. The toll that these medicines take the lives people and the impact theyhave certain areas substantial. And are using the tools that have. have sought additional tools thebudget try deal with --with the issue that you've raised. 
Well, it's not working far. And these are interstate. This interstate problem. This your ball park. 
Individual states are doing what they can. But how can Kentucky, for example, prosecute somebody BrowardCounty, Florida? They don't --they can't that. That's only your bailiwick. That's why have national government. absolute disgrace that's killing people every day. Not only dealers and addicts region make thosefrequent bus and van trips down there, but several budget airlines have recently instituted direct flights fromCharleston Huntington, West Virginia, south Florida. airline has seen profitable ship these peopledown there, buy their drugs, and ship them back. 
I'm ashamed. You know what they call that? They call the OxyContin Express. And you're seriously not dealing with the problem. 
And then Florida, there's extra special problem. Florida, under previous administration, applied for grant, aPDMP grant, like other states have done, and was granted. And DOJ and this grant program that you didn't fund has given them $800,000 start KASPER-like program Florida, where it's most desperately needed;which would help prosecute those crook doctors that are running these pill mills with drive-through service. 
And the state legislature authorized the program. But for some problem, didn't get done until now. 
Then new governor takes over, and not only announces he's not going fund the program, he's going try repeal the law Florida that authorized the program. 
What you think about that? The attorney general Florida says it's crazy. What you think, General? 
Well, mean, have certainly work with our state and local partners. This something that primaryresponsibility, because the Internet --interstate component this --that the federal government clearly has roleto play. also have work with our state and local partners, because there's local component this well, state component this well. It's only when work together that will effective trying deal with the transportation these drugs. 
And, also, have come with ways which deal with, you know, prevention aspects that people don't start use these drugs. And also have have treatment money well deal with people who, unfortunately,use these drugs and become addicted them and, result, continue use and fund the activities that you'retalking about. 
Well, there's certain things the state Florida can do. There's certain things they can't do. And what they can't the interstate prosecutions. know just last week, part --a thing called Operation Pill Nation --DEA arrested people, seized over $2.5million assets during take-down rogue pain clinics Florida. They --those arrests had resulted after 340 undercover buys prescription drugs from over doctors and more than pill mills. And congratulate DEA forthat. 
But it's drop the bucket, General. Why can't build the forces, the DOJ forces Florida, get this problem that's poisoning the rest the country, particularly the eastern seaboard and the Appalachian states where hail from? 
I'd like see you beef the forces there, not headquarters, but the field. Make those buys. Get rid thesedoctors who are poisoning the country and killing people every day. 
What you think? 
Well, think that, you know, --the additional resources that we're talking about are not all going headquarters. mean, think the fact that you talk about successful DEA operation indication how seriously this taken this Justice Department, the DEA, which part this Justice Department. recognize the seriousness the problem. And think that --you know, the operation that you talk about anindication, said before, that not only have the program that (inaudible) but also --we also have our enforcement arm that is, think, some ways, you know, important, not more important, than anything else that are going hold accountable those people who would deal these drugs, put them jail, and use that deterrent for others who might... 
ROGERS: Let ask you specific... 
... have inclination so. 


... make specific request. Would you consider sending extra investigators, either through DEA the U.S. Attorney's Office both any other the federal law enforcement agencies --would you consider shipping extramanpower Florida help shut down these drive-through pain clinics that are poisoning the country? 
Well, will identify the places where can best deploy our resources most effective dealing with theissue that you have raised and the other issues, narcotic-related issues, that have around the country. have work with our state and local partners. DEA can't alone. But try deploy our resources way that are most effective. 
And realize that what you're talking about is, fact, beyond regional problem; national one. And that iswhy has gotten the attention the DEA the way that you have previously described. 
Well, there's high intensity drug trafficking area there. It's HIDA --you know, HIDA operation, which thesupposed best way marry federal, state, and local law enforcement one operation. Can beef and putmore assets into the HIDA that covers that region order after these people? 
Well, think we're always looking the existence these HIDAs and see which ones are effective, which onesneed more resources, which ones are not being particularly effective. And that kind review something thatwe ongoing basis. 
You didn't answer question. 

Well, I'm answering best can. 


Would you look beefing that HIDA? 

HOLDER: that with regard all them and try make the determination where can use our resources the

Question: Will you look that one? 

HOLDER: will look that one, --we look all them, but will look that one. But I'm --you know, I'm not --I 
don't want to... 

ROGERS: you not recognize that the problem Broward County, Florida? It's not Denver. It's not Miami. It's not
New York. It's Broward County, Florida. you want spell that for you? 

Well, you know, the problem that you've described not one that only Broward County. There are parts
West Virginia that have been decimated the use... 

Ninety-eight the 100 prescribers... 

... these drugs. And have deal with this a... 

... oxycodone are from Florida. 

... national basis. 

Ninety-eight out 100. Eighty-nine percent all oxycodone dispensed those Broward County, Florida.If ever saw target, this one has got all over it. Why can't you see that? 
HOLDER: think what I've indicated that, part what do, will look that HIDA and see it's effective, see there are additional resources that are needed, with regard all them. 
The responsibility that have national scope, and try make sure that deploy our resources way that deals with these issues... 
All right. I'm asking you... 

... the most effective way. 

... will you look that and get back this committee two weeks? 

HOLDER: will the best that can. will look this and try get back you with response quickly can. 


And would you tell what you can and can't Broward County, Florida, this problem and tell this committee, with the chairman, two weeks? 
We'll the best that can the review that we'll --we will conduct, and try responsive can be.You know, the --when you say things --what can and what can't --these are issues that --you know, ifI had the ability come with solution within two weeks, course, would share and implement it. 
But the issues that we're dealing with are ones that are, you know, long-standing and difficult. They're difficult. And we'll the best that can. We'll responsive can. 
But are serious about this issue. We're dead serious about this issue. understand the consequences what isthat you are talking about. This national problem. 
Well, time up. 

Mr. Chairman, would the... 

But I'm going to... 

... gentleman yield? 


I'm going stay with you. I'm going keep after you this, because people are dying, and can't sit here and let that happen. 
Will the gentleman yield? 


Well, one thing I'd say, you know, they're not your people. They're people. These are American citizens. And weare doing the best that can many places can deal with the drug issues whatever form they exist. have seen lives ruined. I've sent people jail, judge, who have dealt these substances. I've tried deal withthis the treatment side, the prevention side. 
This something that has decimated, you know, parts --of our country. And are trying deal with this asserious and productive way --as can. they are your people, but they are also people. 
Will the gentleman yield? 

Yeah, yield. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 
You know, share your concern, and share your passion for the needs (ph) that our local folks face, because they

are, fact, lives that feel responsible for. 

And California, have variety counties that are methamphetamine farms where these drugs are being
manufactured. understand the need for interdisciplinary/interagency cooperation. That's why brought the issue SCAAP and

the border issues and things that plague locally, but it's national issue too. 

And yet have this great demand that expect from our agencies. today's testimony, heard the gentleman
talk about the cuts they had make and then shifting priorities around within that constraint. this committee subcommittee willing put forward any kind resources that would enhance build upon

whatever resources --additional resources the department needs, I'd willing stand shoulder-to-shoulder and 
request this, because it's really... 


Well, reclaiming time --reclaiming time. I'm afraid I've imposed too much time from the chairman already, yield back. 
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 


Before recognize Mr. Schiff, let just say agree with Mr. Rogers. had hearing here about seven eightyears ago, and there was young --young man --I can still remember was with his father. His father was minister. And had --he had blue suit coat on. can still see it. 
WOLF: Yes, (inaudible). was sitting the back. And his dad had said his son was --he had been addicted OxyContin. And remember seeing Mr. Rogers the floor couple months later, and said, "How the youngman doing?" And said died; overdosed. 
And there's New York Times piece here --I think Mr. Rogers makes very good point. You know where this is. Imean, --you know, say you could've said "Sure, Mr. Rogers. I'm going to" --I mean, were your job ought say, "Boy, I'm going have team down there tomorrow. can deal and save one person, I'm going it, because that's why I'm the attorney general," or, "That's why I'm here. And Mr. Rogers, they're your people, they're --they're our people." 
But you could have just said, "Yes, I'm going have team down there." Maybe you can't it; maybe you can. 
But you can look --let read (inaudible) what the New York Times said: "More than 20,000 people die prescription drug overdoses," including estimated seven day Florida." mean, you're father. Can't you feel the pain and the suffering and the agony? 
And can still see that young boy that's --you know, we'll try put the money back and --but you could have said, "Yeah, we're going look this thing." Maybe you can; maybe you can't. 
But he's laying out. And you read this --and we'll share this with you. several locations. says here,"Addicts driving cars with out-of-state plates camp out most nights and wait for clinics open am. When theygo these clinics, there gun there." said, "How many times have you gone into your doctor's office and there's armed guard outside?" mean, any member here had problem district and came and said, "Hey, Wolf, can you help us?" (inaudible) say yes, anything can try help." 
And you can save young person for not being --but they know where is. It's Broward County. They're flying down there. There have been articles the paper. 
And the West Virginia thing, you're accurate. The senator from West Virginia concerned because they're going from West Virginia down --down there. just --you know, just send somebody down there and look and take look. And you can beef the thing up.And it's happening Mr. Honda's district, the same thing. And (inaudible) Mr. Fattah's district, the same thing. Anytime can sort deal with --help, people, think ought it. 
And with that, just hope you can tell Mr. Rogers --because still remember that young man --he's gone now -and the pain and the suffering and the agony his dad must feel. 
And there're 20,000 --according the New York Times 20,000 die year prescription drug overdoses. Andthis kind the center, kind the summum bonum all that's going on, let's get down there and see what can do. And don't wait two weeks come back. Tell tomorrow. Tell the end the week. 
With that... 
Let --let just say... 
HOLDER: mean, the --this something that have had personal experience with. sat judge the D.C. Superior Court, and saw the impact drugs. And I've seen lives ruined. have seen futures destroyed. I've seen what should the future this city, Washington, D.C., sent away, incarcerated for selling drugs, ruined because the use them. attorney general, would hope that the limited time that have, will use all the tools that can fight drugabuse whatever form. the extent that exists --there particular problem Florida supplier prescription drugs, course I'm going focus that. course, we'll send resources down there. And that one the reasons why I'm here, ask for the resources the kinds things that know DEA agents are capable of. It's one the reasons have our budget the request for --for those funds. 
This something --you're not talking bureaucrat here. You're talking father three kids. You're talkingabout former judge. You're talking about person who has been law enforcement all life, and have seen the impact not only prescription drugs, but crack, powder cocaine, heroin. have deal with this problem all its forms that can make this nation productive can give futures the children thisnation, all the children this nation. don't mean imply that, you know, this not something that --you know, because Mr. Rogers has raised it, I'm not taking seriously. course, I'm going take seriously. course, we're going try review what's going with that HIDA down there. feel this pain. I've seen this. 
Let just interject before Congressman Schiff, because there's probably not another member who's been more passionate and focused this than Chairman Rogers. And live different culture here, Mr. AttorneyGeneral, when the chairman the appropriations committee asks the question that obviously the answer yes toany us. 
You have different responsibility. You're the attorney general the United States America. don't want anyone misconstrue here, you know, you have exercise the --the authority your office fairly across the country whole range priorities. 
And so, you know, understand the chairman's passion. also know with certainty that not only can you spell it, you know, you know how find map. 
But there's also reality, when put burden the department, when cut funds, when require reductionin funds, that there are going limitations. And had get out some the redundancy. 
Now, Health and Human Services has similar program the one that the chairman has referred to, which thepresident's budget from multi-million-dollar appropriation similar work. But think the one Justice mightbe better way go, and maybe can find some way look eliminating the redundancy and funding this oneversus the other one. 
But think it's improper ask the attorney general somehow skewer the operations his office. terms focus, he's focusing the entire country. That's his job. members Congress have parochial responsibilities. know for fact that when Philadelphia had problem,I went the chairman, Chairman Wolf, and arranged for considerable amount resources focused theproblem there. live this type environment which respond members' concerns and on. But the --a member the president's Cabinet has different responsibility, and just want make sure that we're clear about and that understand that there are differing roles here. 
And thank the chairman for giving moment. 
Well, you can --but, you know, were the attorney general and somebody asked into their district look and see --and thought could save one person, would it, spite the fact that you can look this ananalytical, global way: "And you're good person. understand. We'll help you prison." We'll all that. 
Frankly, haven't been happy with how --how lack action you've taken prison rape. mean, Bobby Scott and Ihave the bill and we're pushing and pushing. And you're sort taking this global, analytical --but were the attorney general --or could down and help one region, whether north Philadelphia, north --in Northern Virginia that area, would it. Maybe you don't see that role there, but would --I would it. And think --and would hope you can. 
And any member along here what other side the aisle has something like this that you could just kind ofhelp their district --forget Republican and Democrat, but just help people. Because that's what government's all about, helping people individually make difference. 
With that, Mr. Schiff. 
Thanks, Mr. Chairman. 
And welcome, Mr. Attorney General. just want say the outset, someone who worked the department for six years, how much appreciate thejob you're doing. And how think we've really turned the department around from some difficult days that the department went through. 
And appreciate the thoughtfulness you bring the job and your sincerity and your commitment fulfilling yourresponsibilities. think you're doing magnificent job. 
Thank you. 
SCHIFF: also want compliment one the task forces that was established --I think was multi-agency task force between the Justice Department and the Defense Department and other agencies --with respect the Gitmosituation; that did painstaking work looking each the detainees, gathering much information, seekingfurther information where was needed try make intelligent decisions about how each detainee ought behandled --whether detainee could repatriated, whether the detainee should tried Article court, whether adetainee should brought before military commission what not. was painstaking work and involved lot difficult decision making, but think they did remarkable job. 
And their work will probably never known, least unless there's problem. And --but want express appreciation for the hard work they've put into it. 
And hope that can support the work the administration doing try resolve each and every case thedetainees Guantanamo sensible way without imposing funding restrictions here that will impede their abilityto that. don't envy the difficulty the job you have the best circumstances, but even more under the rather difficult financial situation we're right now. think the conversation we've been having over the last half-an-hourwith respect prescription medication will, unfortunately, played out across many departments because wesimply don't have the resources we'd like give every problem the attention deserves. 
And think we're seeing already the budget fights effort rob Peter pay Paul. 
And much there problem that has addressed with respect prescription drugs, you point out,there's problems that have addressed with respect crack cocaine, powder cocaine, heroin, whole panoply ofdrug abuse problems throughout the country. colleague, Mr. Honda, pointed out, it's methamphetamines --we're the world producer methamphetamine California. And don't --I don't envy the task trying address all those problems and prioritize and --in year declining budgets. want raise one these subsets potentially declining budget and ask you what the impact will be, and that's the area DNA. 
Let say, first, congratulations for eliminating the offender backlog, which had been subject discussion and -and concern for years and years, and it's finally done. don't have offender backlog, and that's --at the federal level. That's phenomenal. lot states and municipalities are still struggling with that, but I'm glad the federal government has led the way terms its own backlog. 
There remains, though, casework backlog, and the OAG report indicates some the periods the case logbacklog. 
What wanted ask you about was, think the budget request $110 million, thereabouts, for DNA.Traditionally, this committee has plussed what the administration has asked for $150 million $160 million. Idon't know whether that's going possible given the budget situation. can't --if the most we're able meet what you've asked for, will that enough, number one, avoid afuture backlog the offenders samples? And will enough continue make progress reducing thecasework backlog? 
HOLDER: You know, those are all --those are all good questions. 
The FBI's DNA database program cleared its backlog, guess, over 312,000 samples September 2010. We've had make hard choices about our budget request fiscal year 2012. We're actually asking for, according tomy numbers, $137 million for DNA programs fiscal year 2012, which percent decrease from what -from the fiscal year 2011 C.R. level. 
And that represents, you know, very difficult choice --a very difficult choice given the usefulness DNA notonly closing cases and finding the guilty, but also absolving people, clearing people who might otherwise becharged with --with crimes. will the best can with the limited resources --more limited resources that wehave. 
But understand that DNA vital tool. And, you know, want have 21st century criminal justice system,and think many ways DNA the foundation for effective 21st century criminal justice system. And we'll the best that can with the --with the resources that have, understanding that these tough budgetary times don't have all the money here that, frankly, would like have. 
Well, you could keep our committee informed along through the year whether you start developanother backlog defender area and also what progress you're making terms the casework backlog. That'll help understand whether we're devoting the right amount resources the problem. 
And realize that the DNA may the showcase for broader problem forensics generally the state labs thatdo ballistics and fingerprint analysis are aging along with the people who the work. And the DNA problemsmay the sort canary the coal mine the need make new investment the infrastructure forensics inthe country. 
One thing think would useful for the department --and this was also highlighted the OAG report, andthat trying evaluate how the states and municipalities are doing with their backlogs. There's common definition what backlog is. And own experience, Los Angeles, with the L.A. County and L.A. City backlogs, you can easily play with the numbers defining away your backlog. 
And think would helpful the federal government can develop sort best practices definition that wecan compare state-to-state, municipality-to-municipality and make sure that we're all talking about the same thing. Ithink that will help keep our local (ph) jurisdictions honest terms where they really are with their backlogproblems. me, it's just devastating when see situation like we've seen Los Angeles, where you have multi multi-year backlog, when you finally take the kits off the shelf and analyze them --rape kits, for example --you find thepeople that you take off the street who've committed subsequent rapes the --in the interim while that kit has saton the shelf. And those are all victims that were --didn't have victims. 
The other --the other DNA point wanted raise with you familial DNA. California recently solved the GrimSleeper case. had run the sample, the offender's sample, got hits. Tried --law enforcement tried everythingelse and finally resorted familial DNA. And the state California one only two states that has protocol fordoing familial DNA search. 
The familial DNA search turned the son the suspect, and that led the suspect. Without the use thatfamilial DNA search, that serial murderer would still the street. 
The federal government doesn't have policy that permits familial DNA searches the national database. And were lucky the Grim Sleeper case that the son, who came --who was hit the system, lived the samestate, California. Had lived somewhere else, would not have had match and the Grim Sleeper would stillbe large. would love see the federal government have legislation this (inaudible) will pursue your office. But I'dlove see the federal government adopt appropriate policy, where, last case resort, the federal government can national database familial search and also establish requirements for states that want make --take advantage that capability have protocols place make sure that's not abused and privacy rights are respected. But I'd love hear your thoughts that subject. 
Well, think would very interesting see exactly what California has put place. you indicate, that veryserious case was, fact, solved because the use familial DNA. And something that think certainlyshould --want examine the federal level, being mindful of, you know, the privacy concerns that have apart that. 
And would very interested see how California balanced --balanced that and see whether not that's something that could use the federal level. 
But would interested working with, you know, this committee and other members Congress examiningthat and potentially working legislation that would allow (inaudible) legislation needed; there may someadministrative thing, don't know. But there are ways which can increase our use familial DNA. 
Let turn one last topic, could. This was raised colleague, Mr. Honda, and that the problem withthe extensive numbers American weapons going into Mexico and being used drug crimes. have been, rightfully, frustrated our neighbors the south with all the drugs that are exported from thosecountries and imported the United States. They have justifiable frustration with the flow weapons nowleaving our country and going into theirs that are being used kill their law enforcement, they're being used kill innocent people the street, and are creating environment just --almost complete lawlessness south ourborder. was pleased hear your support for what ATF has proposed. think the adding the requirement reportablemultiple long gun sales makes sense and will helpful. 
But even that will limited value, and wonder you could share some your thoughts the difficulty ofinvestigating and prosecuting these cases gun sales south the border --which are against the law. It's not -we're not talking about criminalizing something here that's not already crime. 
Why are these cases tough? And there anything that can done very substantially change the dynamics, tomake very substantial dent this problem? 
Well, one the problems that have that people have, you know, their Second Amendment rights here the United States and can legitimately, lawfully buy weapons. And that's fine. The concern have are for those people who act straw purchasers and who buy weapons their own names but then transfer them --sell them peopleillegally for use Mexico. 
And that's one the reasons why this ATF proposal, think, --is good one. These are cases that are difficult investigate because the sale its face can appear legitimate one. don't know what the ultimate destination that weapon might be. 
And the extent that can look for multiple sales within relatively short period time and along the border,those border states, think are focusing our attention appropriate way, respectful the constitutional rightsthat American citizens have purchase and hold weapons while the same time trying meet the obligationsthat have our --I think, our very valiant Mexican neighbors who have lost substantial numbers people inthis fight against the cartels. 
You know, have tell you, the concern that have that with the increased number DEA agents that havein Mexico, ATF agents, FBI agents, concerned that the weapons that are illegally brought into Mexico andpurchased the United States will ultimately trained them. And that tragedy that hope that can -that can avoid. 
(UNKNOWN) the gentleman would yield for second. 
The department earlier today, just few hours, has made some arrests the death U.S. agent, ICE agent whowas killed. The gun was purchased the United States, Texas, and apparently, least the arrest, allegedly byan American citizen who was working conjunction with Mexican cartels that make these purchases. the wisdom what the ATF trying do, think, borne out this instance. And your fear about Americanlaw enforcement being the victims these guns also bit borne out, unfortunately. 
SCHIFF (?): 
Mr. Attorney General, you have any sense for what proportion the weapons that are being used --the weaponsof American origin that are being used Mexico the cartels are the results straw purchasers opposed either theft acquisition --in other words, the vast majority these weapons lawfully acquired Americancitizens, then unlawfully sold smuggled out the country? 
HOLDER: don't know what the percentage is. I've seen variety numbers used that regard. I'm not really comfortablewith quoting those numbers because I'm not sure what the methodology was used. But think can safely say that substantial number the weapons that find Mexico were lawfully purchased the United States throughthe use straw purchasers. And that one the reasons why said before, this ATF proposal makes great deal sense. 
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 
And thank you, Attorney General, for your service our country and for being here today. know it's been long morning, will try keep comments relatively short. But let --I want thankChairman Rogers for bringing very important issue. Because can tell you, you know, when talk mysheriffs and county prosecutors, one the biggest drains their budget the prescription drugs and the methlabs. And think need hear more about the department's efforts far enforcement and also meth lab cleanup. know there's considerable amount time that's already been spent that today, and appreciate that. But Ialso want let you know, Ohio we're hearing the exact same thing from our --from our locals. 
But Mr. Attorney General, I'd like ask you about the Office Justice Programs, OJP. The president's budgetrequest for OJP 22.1 percent below the F.Y. 2011 amount. And appears that most the savings comes from theelimination different programs, different projects; and understand that some these may congressionalprojects. 
But with that, would think would lower the burden OJP administer and provide oversight these grants.But there's percent increase for salaries and expenses OJP. 
And question is, why there substantial increase OJP's salaries and expenses when the administrative and oversight burdens for OJP will reduced? 
Well, think that what have proposed budget that, unfortunately, reduces monies some areas, increases itin others. have, for instance, increased the amount money that seek for COPS grants, think, from about $298 million $600 million. there are different places where there going increase funds sought,decreases other areas. want make sure that administer these funds efficient way, appropriate way, and the numbersthat have sent with regard the administrative costs, think, consistent with that desire. 
But --but seems me, you have less administrative and oversight --less projects out there and those type ofburdens OJP that the administrative causes would --would move parallel that. 
HOLDER: Well, think it's question not only the amount money that involved, but the number projects that wemight --we might trying administer, even the number, the amount money goes down, the number ofprojects that might ultimately supervising could the sam