QUESTION: Today there was a hearing of the Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threat Subcommittee in the House. A couple of the members and even one of the panelists were dismayed that there was not any State Department representation there to testify. Did you receive a request for someone to go to this hearing on State’s behalf? And if so, the representatives were saying the request was declined. Why was it declined? And then one representative specifically said that State seems too busy to send someone here and suggests that this might be part of the problem with the region of Chechnya, that it hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves.
MR. VENTRELL: I believe we did have a request on this subcommittee. Let me just say that, I mean, first of all, the Secretary of State of the United States of America was on Capitol Hill all morning yesterday and today, and so we’ve had close cooperation with the Congress. And I think in terms of the reason that they’re interested in Chechnya is probably because of the issue going on with Russia and the Boston bombings, and I think that’s the tie that they’re looking at it.
And so my understanding is that there were extensive hearings up on the Hill in the past couple of days, and we did have State Department representatives there to accompany Department of Justice witnesses as well, and this is at the committee level. So I’d have to check again on this particular subcommittee, but my understanding is in the past couple of days, there have been pretty extensive hearings and witnesses from the Department of Justice, and we made State Department people available as necessary. So thank you.