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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 13, 2016 8:00pm-12:01am EDT

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ethical disappearing act and most early clients. instead it becomes a three ring support. we are so fatigued by the time the med is slung, the skeletons come out of the closet and election days over that we are often exhausted by new legislators before they even had a chance to start the job. >> she recounts memorable missteps in american history. go to book to for the
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complete schedule. >> next, house hearing on efforts to protect you from sports concussions. then a house hearing on the government accessing social media is part of background checks for some employees. after that, pentagon briefing pentagon briefing on the fight against isis and a briefing on the annual report on china's military. >> now, to mother's testify before a house energy and commerce a subcommittee about concussions in youth sports. their sons died after suffering multiple concussions. the hearing also addressed current research and efforts to protect young athletes from injury. this is two and a half hours. >> we are on a tight schedule today with votes. >> the morning and welcome to the oversight and investigation hearing. we're we're here to continue the ongoing examination of concussions. the hearing follows an initial table we had in march but we had a constructive dialogue with leading experts on how to address the challenge of concussions. we'll focus on youth sports, specifically the areas of prevention and research. there is always risk of injury participate in sports, particularly at a young age it is shown to have many benefits. the benefits of youth sport participation include better health, increased activity, improved academic achievement. physical skill building and social development to midfield. the number one health risk of youth is increasing rate of epidemic portions of childhood obesity, we know that leads to
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increase adult risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other problems. we want children to pay attention to nutrition and be active. more than 30 million children five-18 participate in sports. despite despite this it is the most underserved population when it comes to head injuries. we want to examine what is being done today to reduce the incidence of head injuries to young athletes, policies and guidelines are currently in place to eliminate the risk of injury. how do they develop and do they go far enough? how does a large number of leagues, teens, and reaction while opportunity available to young athletes complicate efforts to improve injury prevention? while youth sports are not as far along as many professional leagues, progress has been made in recent years. all 50 states and the district of columbia have an active king
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question laws in sports such as pop or football, hockey and soccer. they have implement policies to reduce the amount of had contacted past this at games. others such as usa football provide education and guidance to enhance training and awareness to coaches, parents, and applets. a number of the groups are represented today and i look for to hearing from other efforts are affecting her sports. based on experience is so far, are are we doing enough and what designs tell us? last question is particularly interesting and important. there is a lot we do not know about concussions in general but pediatric populations including youth sports are severely unrepresentative in research. therein lays the challenge. the public wants answers, science is not ready to provide it. we have much to learn about how concussions and repetitive head injuries affect others immediately and later in life. therefore interested in learning how youth sport organizations develop, review, and update and update their policies and educational efforts in lou of
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rapidly evolving research. we don't how it affects our youth and make that more challenging to protect them. adding to the challenge we currently lack any form of effective injury surveillance including concussions for athletes younger than high school age. given the large number of applets, teams, leagues and other recreational opportunities this is a daunting task. if we do not understand the magnitude of the challenge, how different factors such as age, gender, sports, socioeconomic status affects outcomes how can we make sure we're making the best decision for kids. this morning we are joined by two mothers, ms. kelly jansen, ms. karen siegel both of whom tragically lost their son as a result of of injuries sustained while playing youth sports. one son was a promising athlete in colorado, mystical son patrick was a star running back of elizabeth ward high school in my district and played football
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for the moment he could pick up a ball. we greatly appreciate your willingness to share your story as it reminds us of why it is so vital we continue to examine this issue. in our second panel will have dartmouth had football coach and representatives from sports organization, usa football, usa hockey, and usa lacrosse, to oversee and provide guidance to youth sports leagues. really hear from practices like pros to find out options to keep athletes a. we are prominent researchers in the field, they'll be able to speak on how we can approve research and surveillance, better monitor injuries, and better monitor injuries, and minimize the risk of injury aced upon science. i appreciate all of our panels for joining us this morning. it is an important issue. your perspectives are perspectives are important to advance the public dialogue on these complex injuries. i want to thank ranking member for her support in this
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initiative and i look forward to continuing our efforts together in this endeavor. i now recognize the raking member for five minutes to deliver her own remark. >> thank you so much mr. german for having this follow-up hearing on our roundtable that we held on concussions and brain trauma earlier this year. i'm very please that we are discussing youth sports through official hearings because studies have shown that children and teens are more likely than adults to get a concussion and they take longer to recover. athletes at the professional college levels can make their own decisions about undertaking the risks associated with certain sports. we need to ensure that children and their parents have enough data to make informed decisions about participation in youth contact sports. part of that discussion needs to be the recognition of how valuable these sports are both for physical fitness and team building as you so well stated mr. chairman. we also need to have an open discussion about how to make them safer. i approach this issue as a policymaker and a parent.
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as i said in the roundtable, i support evidence based policy making and i am very encouraged that we're having ongoing research to better understand brain trauma. at our roundtable, the expert said they are going to have answers about what the protocol should be in seven-ten years. what i said at that hearing is, as a mom when i am deciding if my kid is going to play peewee sports, cannot afford to wait seven-ten years. by then they will be in high school, so we need to take whatever evidence we have right now and we need to figure out for now what we should tell parents and what we should tell leagues that they should be doing as the best practices, as far as we know right now. for example, at what age should children start plane tackle football? comedy times times a week should children be engaging in full context practices? when
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they do begin to play, how do we teach them to tackle safely and to protect their heads and the heads of other players? how do we ensure that coaches are educated in teaching the skills to young players? i am am sure that we can ask other questions and all youth sports not just football. i agree, that most if not all parents would agree that it is better to air on the side of caution. the risk case scenarios that we would discover later that some of these safety measures may have been unnecessary. but, as a mom i always want to have more safety rather than less safety. especially when you are talking about our children's brains. as we implement changes in sports now this is not a reason to stop researching our gaps in knowledge. we need to understand the long-term effects of concussion
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and sub concussion injuries. we need to analyze whether the rule changes are being implemented or having the desired effect. we need to do study how to prevent brain injury in the first place. i am also interested in hearing from our witnesses on the second panel about the distant differences there seen in girls and boys sports and how race of concussion different. i know there have been studies suggesting that women and girls report concussions at higher rates thing boys in similar sports. i want to know about that disparity and also if there's any disparity about the actual effects on brain. both of our panels contain excellent witnesses and it is so important to have them today. i am really proud to welcome two witnesses from colorado. kelly janz, as you heard tragically lost her son jake to a second impact syndrome in 2004. kelly, i'm i'm so proud of you because what you did was you were instrumental in ensuring that concussions are taken seriously in youth sports and that parents and coaches have the information they need. as the chairman mentioned, in
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2012 the governor signed the jake snake and bird youth concussion act. doctor don -- is our second panel, she is on this colorado school of public health and a colorado native. she is one of the leading experts in sports injury, epidemiology. her database gathers information on injury exposure and incidence among high school athletes. she looks at injury patterns like examining the correlation between you can strengthen concussion risk to inform prevention and litigation strategies. i want to thank you also for making you the sports safer. i want to thank everybody who is here today to help us figure this out. i also really want to say, we want to see sparks succeed. i
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cannot let this hearing go by without congratulating the world champion, denver broncos for example, which i have season tickets. i also want to say as i have said before one of my great sadness is is that i was unable to persuade either of my daughters to play ice hockey and they took up dance instead. but the point is, every child in this country should be safe. we love sports, we want to see sports succeed but that means we have to do our utmost to improve player safety and guarantee that participation in sports does not mean you'll have long-term health consequences. i know mr. chairman you intend to have more hearings, i think this is the perfect place to start. i want to thank you again, i yelled you again, i yelled back. >> thank you, go steelers. [laughter] >> okay because the penguins are in the playoffs and we wish everyone the best. i recognize -- i want to say
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that opening statement of mr. ottman will be included in the record. i recognize mr. hudson for opening statements. >> thank you mr. chairman, i thank you for your focus on this issue as painful as it is to hear talk about the broncos is representing charlotte north carolina home of the panthers, there's always next year. i would like to thank the panel is for your report and testimony today. your experience and expertise of the committee better understand the gravity of concussions and you sports. what we need to do to prevent concussions and the long-lasting effects in future generations. unfortunately pediatric traumatic with concussions and traumatic brain injury as part of the number one killer of kids. p*untran pediatric trauma has become a focus of mine. i partnered to examine what we can help our children. the the children's institute was started by my dear friend, richard childress his wife judy with the discovering the best way to prevent and treat injuries in children. the childress institute funds
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initiatives to prevent and treat injuries in youth sports. promising research is being done to prevent and treat trauma broadly and also specific issues like concussion it takes a particular importance to me as a father of a seven month old baby boy. i'm thankful for awareness be brought to this issue by discussions like today. as one trauma surgeon said to me, it is not a life estate, it is a lifetime say. i also i also want to know to my fellow north carolina red representative, hurt with the energy and commerce committee on tuesday, may 24i will encourage anyone who is interested to please a template i look for to today's discussion. with that i yell back. >> anyone else have anything to add at this point? then i recommend the ranking member for five minutes.
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>> thank you mr. chairman. i want to thank all of our participants for joining us today additionally i would like to think the chairman for his commitment to this committee's examination of concussions in brain trauma. earlier this year we had an initial roundtable on this issue. at this issue. at the time i requested the chairman hold a series of hearings on concussion in sports related head trauma. i proposed we look at head impacts in youth sports and i'm gratified we are here today to discuss that very topic and i look for to the additional hearings on this important issue. parents across the country are concerned with the risk of concussions and with good reason. i have my own expense is apparent in dealing with my daughter's concussion and deciphering the medical advice provided. as challenging as it is to balance the latest research against the value of our children's participation in sports, concert may relate to parents and their confusion
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about how to make the right decision for their children. there is compelling research that suggests the effects of repeated head trauma, even those received during once you can accumulate and cause serious consequences. these consequences can stem from injuries once considered minor known as sub concussive hits or repetitive hits to the head. purdue university researchers led by one of our witnesses today, doctor tom -- had significant changes to the brain of high school football players even those were not diagnosed with a single concussion. what is particularly troubling is that these changes persisted even 12 months later suggesting lasting damage. many other studies documented an association between sub concussive hits and changes in brain chemistry, decreased brain functioning and behavioral changes. a recent study by a group of researchers at boston university found exposure to hits regardless of whether concussion occurred was associated with a higher likelihood of mood disorders like depression. researchers also found evidence of the linkage between head in pit impacts in cte, a degenerative disease. cte is found in athletes as
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young as 25 and adults who never played football beyond high school level. there remain a number of on answer questions about what risk factors make individuals more susceptible to these debilitating conditions. we debilitating conditions. we also need to understand what happens with the brain when it's hit and how many hits trigger these neurological hits. while research still needs to be done that should not be an excuse for in action. what's not in dispute is the association between head trauma from contact sports such as football and lasting brain damage and degenerative diseases such as cte. even the nfl acknowledges this link. some researchers suggest that we should wait on the science before making changes to the rules in youth sports. i respectfully disagree. we cannot ask children and parents to wait 10, 15, 20 years for the signs to catch up before he take up before you take measures to make sports safer. we need to be asking questions right now. and implementing appropriate changes. they are put up red flags about
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the dangers of competitive head trauma and to take every effort to make the games as safe as possible. earlier earlier this month the subcommittee ranking member, join me in sending letters to collegiate in youth football leaders. we asked them to explain what rules are policy changes they are considering to address the risk associated with both concussive and sub concussive hits. i expect that we'll have a response by may 20 fifth. 25th. i commend pop warner for announcing yesterday that it will be in games this fall. >> last, i want to express my deep thanks to both kelly janz, i can't imagine the loss of you and your families have experienced. think of your willingness to share your experiences with this committee. we can learn from you as we pave a path forward.
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thank you again for all of our witnesses for your country fusions for helping us with our comprehensive review of concussions and head trauma. i hope you continue to work together to work together to address the situation. >> we are going to try to get through testimony before votes. the first witness on today's panel is ms. kelly janz. she is the mother of jake's and a convert. jake passed away after suffering from second impact syndrome, following her son's death. ms. janz has become a dedicated activists, committed from raising awareness for youth sports. we thank you for your testimony and we look for to your insight on this matters. i also want to welcome ms. karen's eagle, she is president of the patrick cte awareness foundation. the foundation was foundation was created in memory of her son, patrick who i enjoyed reading
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about and his football career. he passed away after suffering from cte. thank you for your testimony today, we look for to your comments. i think you're think you're where this committee is holding a hearing and in doing so has the practice of taking testimony under oath, do any of you object from testifying under a? >> see no objection we advised that under the rosa housing committee you are entitled to be advised by counsel. do either of you wish to be -- i will swear you and. >> do you swear the testimonies the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. >> thank you. both answered affirmatively and you are now under oath. your subject to the penalties set forth in title 18 of the united states code. i will ask you to give a five minute summary of your statement there'll be a light in front of you that will turn red when your time is up.
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turn your microphone on and bring it close. >> chairman murphy, and ranking members and members of the subcommittee, good morning and thank you for this opportunity to provide testimony on the important issue regarding youth and youth related sports concussion. i commend you and your colleagues on the work of this committee to shed light on this critical issue. my name is kelly janz, i am the mom to jake's naked burg. my son was your typical all-american boy devoted to sports, his friends, and her family. jake was often referred to as her social butterfly. he had a big heart and genuinely cared for those in his life. he had a joy about him that others could not resist. his a big a big brother summed it up best when he said jake drank up life like it was pouring from a fire hose. he gave 110% and everything, especially sports. on september 18, 2004 jake got up at 6:15 a.m. in anticipation
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of his freshman football game. he loved football and all its offered, the physical challenge, this spirit of competition, and most of all the friendship that were involved. he was excited about playing this game because he had been held out of a few practices because the week prior he had suffered an injury where his arms and hands went numb and tingly. what he described to us sounded like maybe he tweaked his core strength is now. he had had not lost consciousness, he did not see stars, you would not have associated it with the major type of injury. he did not report to his dad or me any headaches during the week, though his friends had said that after that injury he had complained of some headaches. regardless of regardless of that, he was able to return to practices and meet the required number of practices to play on the game day. in warm-ups on the 18th, jake took a really hard hit that
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appeared to shake him. he noticed me looking on and waved me off to let me know that he was okay. when the game began and he lined up for a play, right before
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mac that is what our family did. we were so proud when patrick carried his team to victory. sadly, we lost an amazing young man before he ever had the chance to live his life. a gifted and promising young children like patrick all over this land are winning battles on the sports field, but sadly losing their chances for a happy, healthy, productive future. his tragic and it was not an isolated incident. parents need to know that one in three players may develop cte. so just coming home and athletes are being diagnosed with ptsd,
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adhd, anxiety, anxiety, depression, drug addiction, anger issues, et cetera. when in fact, they may have cte. when i see a guy on tv hitting his wife, shooting shooting his ring, are going on a high-speed car chase, i wonder if maybe he played one too many football games. people need to know that this invisible disease is more common than we know. that it can develop in youth, high school, and college levels of collision sports. families need to know what the cause is and what the symptoms are and how to address the disease. this has been hidden in plain sight for much too long, it was was this realization that prompted us to form the patrick cte foundation and the website stop we also created a brochure, flag until 14 to help parents understand the key
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issues of cte. heading the ball has recently been eliminated from youth soccer, checking in hockey has been eliminated in youth leagues. yet, over 2,000,000 children are still putting their precious brains at risk in tackle football. the urgency of this problem is beyond measure. i wish we would have known the truth 25 years ago. there are those out there who would prefer parents did not know about cte. they will office gave the issue for arguments. they'll say you can get a concussion writing a biker you're turning our warriors into pansies, or do you want them to sit and play video games for the rest of their lives? when you have lost your son to cte, and you understand how it is caused and how prevalent it is, these arguments are hurtful and in my opinion keep children at risk. we see cte as a human tragedy of
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immense proportion. we need to help everyone in this room and beyond. we all now have the duty to save children and families. cte is 100% preventable. we need to remove repetitive head trauma from youth sports. to do anything else is to be complicit to the problem knowing more families worse will suffer the pain that we personally endure every day. thank you very much. >> i think both of you for that moving testimony. i'm just going to ask you one question, that is you mention that patrick began playing football at age ten and continued on, do you know if coaches, anyone working with the teams had any specialized training to recognize, or be aware of concussions and
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injuries and if it was discussed with his team mates. you know there is any that training? >> at that time i knew most of the coaches personally, i would have to guess no. we are going back a ways before people started talking about it. >> was he on the collegiate level two? >> at the college level, as a parent i was never informed of anything like that. >> okay. >> that would've been nice to know them, but no. >> missed chance, can you answer that too? any training that you thought coaches had to recognize, be aware of anything with concussions or head injuries? >> not back injuries? >> not back in 2004 when jake experienced this. even jake's stepfather and myself are both medical professionals. while we understand obviously hitting your head is a bad thing, we we certainly did not have the background that we have
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now where you would have the opportunity to truly step back and look at it. perhaps he would have been pulled and not play the next week. so i think in those times we did not have that, now we have an opportunity to make sure that coaches and people involved with our kids have all of that information. >> thank you. >> thank you. just following up on the chairman's questioning, ms. janz, i've been given this pressure, i think your foundation was involved in helping put this together. it is called reap, remove/reduce, educate, adjust/accommodate, pace for the center concussion at the rocky mountain hospital for children. it really goes through a lot of information for educators and parents. it is a wonderful piece. i am wondering, is this distributed, what do folks do
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with this? >> it is distributed and available. we have made it available to school districts, to various groups. actually i'd like to say anybody i get to listen i'll be happy to give that to. it is a comprehensive way of managing concussions and it is community-based. it has a section for parents and it has a section for medical professionals and a section for students. also teachers, so everybody has a different piece in this. we are we are not with our kids 24 hours per day. >> and you also have formed of foundation, an advocacy foundation, i am assuming that you also have been working to get information like this out to parents, educators, coaches. >> right. our current goal is that we are working with medical examiners
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and corners on one end trying to get them to recognize the disease if they are. prevented with a drug overdose, suicide or something like that. on the other end we are trying to get push for parents to have informed decisions that flag football is fun and it could be a lot of very famous of football players never played until high school. >> and you have your brochure. >> yes. >> your daughter made that? that's wonderful. >> i ask unanimous consent to put both of these pressures into the record. >> without objection. >> thank you for coming. >> we want to thank our first panel, they just called votes so we are going to take a break and
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vote. we will do that as quickly as congressionally possible. we'll come back, this will give the second panel a time to sit down and be ready. i ask members to get back here immediately because our goal is to finish this hearing before the second set of votes. thank you, this is recessed for the votes. [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible]
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[inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] speemac, thank thank you we are going to move right away so we want to give everyone the opportunity to testify. i would like to introduce the witness for the second panel. we have mr. eugene buddy, we'll
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eat up the second panel he has been head football coach at dartmouth college since 2004. he has implemented non- contacted practices. i believe you are also a teammate of of the famous coach from howard university named tim murphy. he is my twin. my like to welcome doctor andrew gregory. mr. kevin -- of usa hockey, he has 20 years experience as a certified athletic trainer now serves as manager player safety at u.s. hockey. next mr. steve, he has served as executive director and no president ceo of la crosse since 1998. then mr. terry o'neill was the founder and ceo of practice like prose,'s mission is to educate high school coaches on alternative practice regimens. next, doctor dawn comstock who is asked associate professor
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colorado school of public health and a leading expert on high school surveillance. and finally doctor thomas -- >> how is the correct pronunciation. use with bioengineering at purdue university. he is the founding codirector of produced mri facility and a part of the redo trauma group. i think all witnesses for being here today and i look for to having a productive discussion. you are where the committee is holding investigative hearing and in doing so has the practice of taking testimony under oath. do you have do you have any objection to testifying under oath. see in none i advise you under the rules of the housing committee are entitled to be advised by counsel, do any of you did desire to be advised by counsel today? see no then please write and raise right hand i was aware you in. you will swear that the testimony are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth?
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thank you. all witness answered in the affirmative, so you are now all under oath subject to the penalties set forth of the united states go. i will ask you to give a five-minute summary of your written statement. please pay attention to the light of front because we are on tight time. you are now recognized for five minutes. make sure your microphone is turned on and you pull it as close to you as possible. almost touching. almost touching. >> thank you mr. chairman. i like to think kelly and care for their testimonies will. it well. it underscores the importance of the committee. closer? as i mentioned i would like to thank kelly for the story. i am buddy i've been a college football coach for 35 years. i've coach and ivy lee, d sec, the pac-10, the big tank, conference usa and the yanking conference. during summers yanking conference. during summers i work with age groups, peewee's through high school age kids.
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football is a very special game. the life lessons with all the team sports, things people people learn, the friendships they make, the experience they have, i love the game of football. but i love my players more. looking at concussive head injuries through the course of time, i was five years ago made the decision that we would eliminate tackling from our practices. in season practice, preseason practice, and the guarantee i make to parents is, their son comes to dartmouth they will never tackle or be tackled by another dartmouth ballplayer for the four years. making that decision i was not 100% sure i i was doing the right thing. i worried about my players, or as i putting them at a competitive disadvantage? was was i preparing the believer games? it was not a popular decision among my staff. it went from complete ridicule to disbelief to condemnation in
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some parties. i was convinced however, i did a lot of research on it that the weight we teach tackling was not the way we tackling gains. what i looked at at length is a defensive tape and how we tackle. we try to replicate that tackling that we saw against pads and other players, and going to the live concept, tackling sleds, we developed at dartmouth the school of engineering a mobile tackling device which is been beneficial in terms of replicating a moving target. with that, we actually tackle more than anybody else in the country. each of my players annually, 800, 500 or 800 tackles per year. but never one against another human being, the timer guys tackle or ten games the only time our guys tackle or ten games per year during the course of the season. what happened is our injury reduction has been phenomenal. miss tackles which we drop track
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dropped significantly. people asked me whine quite simply, the skill of tackling, we practice more than we did when we're tackling my. it is a shame but it is a shame but in our sport the most injurious act, tackling is the one that is practice the least because of the risk of injury. so by putting our guys in a position to tackle with regularity and it was not anticipated we become much more efficient than in the sport of tackling. you hear rug be tackling, football is a different story. shoulder tackling we do preach. we do not talk about the head other than take it out of contact points. it's like writing a book, you don't just throw someone on a bike and let them start to figure it out, there is a process, training wills and so on, support from parents. support from parents. i do the same with the ballplayers. a lot of folks ask if they can do that at different levels without question. people look at the nfl and i use them as a model, they hit less than anybody in the world. there concussive results in
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practice are probably some of the best. we have gone from a football team that struggled to championship team and at 117 games the last two years. iv championship this year, we had zero defensive concussive injuries. it is all a process of how you present to your players. the buy-in has been appreciable. it it has been wonderful, recruiting standpoint. in other people use it and i speak naturally with this, perhaps cool, youth football, they'll say will how do you teach someone who is never tackle the human being. bullets paul, walk, run. start with pads and progress four. i fully believe that at any level the approach we take and a kick on a video if i could now, think i have time. we will demonstrate more accurately than they could with words how we actually practice tackling.
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>> we tackle literally every day that we practice. we people in position to execute. they practice different, the defensive line, we have broken it down to the kinds of tackling and repetition the end result is they at a very high level. >> it thank you very much. i now recognize doctor gregory for five minutes. >> chairman murphy, members of the subcommittee, my name is doctor -- i am a pediatric specialist that -- i'm with the
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american college of sports medicine and a member of usa football medical advisory committee. i am at not a you usa football employee nor do i receive compensation for being on the committee. i'm the parents of an 18-year-old daughter who is a soccer player. thank you for the invitation to testify on the behalf of usa football. in short it is the national sick body and member of the u.s. olympic committee it is an independent, nonprofit organization. we create resource and direct program establishing standards using the best available science and educating coaches, peers, and applets. our programs are endorsed by more than 40 organizations spanning medicine and sport including the american college of sports medicine, the national athletic training association. i would like to highlight three elements of how usa football addresses player safety. the first of that is education. we train more youth in high school coaches can buy than other organization in the u.s.
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education is the core of our heads up football program. we are going to highlight that. this is is delivered through online courses and imprison clinics. there are six educational components to this program which you can see listed on the sly. concussion concussion recognition response, fairness and hydration, sudden cardiac arrest, proper equipment fitting and then tackling a blocking techniques. more than 6300 youth leagues in 1100 high school hundred high school nationwide's represented about 1 million young athletes in rolled in heads up football in 2015. the second element is research. usa football football advances player safety by commissioning independent research. according to a 2014 youth football study encompassing more than 2000 players, leaks that participated in the heads up program showed a 76% reduction
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of injuries during practice, 38% of injuries during games, ready for% fewer concussions during practice and 29% decline in concussions during games. a subset of this group showed the players in the leagues had enrolled in heads up football had fewer impact during practice which made quite to more than 100 fewer impacts in the season. on the high school level, fairfax county public schools have have reported 43% decline in football league concussions since 2013 for 3000 players since implementing heads up football. a24 football. a 24% decline in overall football injuries. finally we'll highlight innovation. usa football provides practice guidelines, practice planning tools and defined levels of contact. you can see the levels of contact listed on the side including air, bag, control, which is a noncontact or
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non-taking down rule, flood which is a control drill what you are not taken to the ground but there is contact and then finally live action where you are taking down to the ground. more young football are in the fundamentals of advancing to full contact. where usa football program is in place, today's youth football is not the same as it used to be for your children or what you may have watched. will conclude with a video showing the difference that usa football has and the difference we're making. >> the pilot program for heads up football may be the first player safety coaches it completely changed everything, were looking around going why are we not all doing this.
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there is nothing here that fundamentally changes the game of football. there's nothing here that we're not currently teaching. were just were just teaching a 25 different ways. ultimately there is a sena return that were making the game safer. >> it's the right thing and responsible thing to do as a league administrator i cannot even imagine. heads up football has change the way we play. it it is change the way we practice, we have one consistent match of what were talking about how we are teaching our applets to play the game. from ankle biters by their through 12th grade, we have one consistent curriculum. that's part of the establishment of what we do and how we coach now it helps us to be a better community. we have seen a sound decrease in concussions, inclusion injuries, we are able to show with data what the differences. several high schools played in back to back state championships
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and have fewer injuries than about 25 high schools. that's a big deal. >> were making tackles now then we went made a few years ago just because we constantly hammer in the basics. our generation is getting taught a different way to tackle like this is the right way, do this. do it yesterday, both from the youth core level and then from the high school level. this is only making this a better game. better, safer game. >> thank you. i will now hear the testimony for five minutes. >> thank you chairman murphy, ranking member and distinguish members of the subcommittee. it is a privilege to be here today on behalf of usa hockey to discuss the issue of player safety. usa hockey takes safety as a top priority, it always has and has been a leader in safety among youth sports.
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safety starts with our leadership and goes on down to the rest of our organization, from our president jim smith, our executive director, executive director, our chief medical and safety officer, who it's from the mayo clinic in rochester, minnesota. the chairman chairman from our safety and protective equipment from saint elizabeth medical center in boston, he chairs a committee that is been around for 40 years which guides our board and making safety policies for sport. the usa hockey foundation yearly awards grants in the areas of injury prevention and research with ice hockey injuries. recently i was hired as manager of player safety, full-time position that usa hockey. which further shows a commitment to safety in our sport. finally, we have had hockey equipment and certification counsel which was urged to be formed by usa hockey in 1978. this is an independent body which studies equipment that manufactures and meets the standards of protection in ice hockey.
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when we look at prevention, we start with our rules and enforcement. we have a very strict officiating education program which involves online modules for rest at every level. classroom work and on ice clinics. at every level i officials are working, they are supervised, mentored and given feedback and shown videos of proper rule enforcement to make the game safer. we have implemented stricter penalties with emphasis on boarding, charging, checking from behind and had contact. in 2009 and 2010 a rulebook focused on the standards of a rulebook focused on the standards of play and emphasis on body checking. in 2011 our executive board rolled to make a rule change which increase the legal age of body checking in our sport from 12 and under level to the 14 and under level. this decision was based on scientific research, not only on player skill development but also safety and injury risk
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between those age groups. in 2009, usa hockey created the american development model. this model is an age-appropriate skill development and training based off of research of long-term athlete development. our coaching education program has been a gold standard in youth sports for years. in 2011 in 2011 and 2012, there became online required modules for coaches which include concussion awareness and recognition for all the age-appropriate levels. within the structure we have published a check in the right way for youth hockey which is an age-appropriate for skills to properly body check in the game of hockey. it starts with skating and is always focused on attitudes, ethics, and respect for the sports and components. it goes from skating positioning angling, stick positioning in angling, stick position coming body contact and body checking. heads up don't duck was a program initiated in 1995, this
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was followed in 2010 buyer heads up hockey program. both programs emphasis both programs emphasis is playing the game with your head up, specially when coming in contact with the words, go poster opponents, keeping your heads out of taking a body body check. do not check from behind, and a library of skills and drills to teach these tour players. we educate our members constantly through information available on our website. electronic communications through newsletters for parents, players and officials. which often have concussion awareness and education materials in them. usa hockey will start publishing and electronic newsletter specific to safety in the fall of 2016. currently the mayo clinic sports medicine is doing research to
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identify objective testing to identify those athletes with the potential concussion using blood biomarkers, sideline eegs in the king david test. the studies funded by our usa hockey foundation. finally on the treatment side, we have we have a comprehensive concussion management program available to all of our associations which is a minimum standard for any usa hockey program to follow. the biggest message and this is when in doubt, sit them out. thank you for allowing me to speak here today on this important topic of player safety and concussion. >> thank you. you are not recognized for five minutes. >> morning chairman murphy, ranking members and distinguish members of the house oversight and investigations subcommittee of the energy and commerce committee. my name is steve, name is steve, i serve as ceo of u.s. lacrosse. our nonprofit organization has proactively led and funded many sports specific prevention and research initiatives that have resulted in a number of interventions in the areas of rules, equipment, and education.
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we have all supposed to dissipate actively in the efforts of numerous collaborations focused on reducing injury risk which i have referenced in my written testimony. lacrosse is the oldest sport native to the north american continent. native american players were stocking men by jesuit missionaries in the 16 hundreds. modern rules for lacrosse were first adopted in the late 19th century but to distinctly different versions of the sport evolve for men and women. lacrosse has experienced an unprecedented surge of popularity in recent years. in part due to the formation of u.s. lacrosse is a sports first national governing body in 1998. u.s. lacrosse established a sport science and safety committee when the organization was formed. that committee is comprised of prominent medical and research professionals representing a variety of specialties as well as representatives from a number of sport organizations. we have been described as one of the proactive sports organizations in the country relative to our commitment to injury prevention. we are recognized for our efforts in that regard last may
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through the introduction of kendra hr 267. our committee prioritize and recommends interventions and leaves that of element of educational initiatives intended to reduce injury risk and directed to coaches, officials, players and their parents. my written testimony includes references to the published research and safety interventions u.s. lacrosse has led. we also have invested sneakily in the development and deployment of the sports first standardized coaching officiating curriculum. unfortunately public school, public focuses too often directed at equipment interventions which are less effective in preventing injury then assuring players are properly taught and games are properly officiated. among the biggest challenges we face is convincing youth leagues of state high school associations that require our standards for lacrosse specific
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coach and education is fundamental to a safer and more enjoyable playing experience. the prevention of lacrosse related concussion is a particular area of focus her u.s. lacrosse. we are committed considerable time and resources for research and prevention. the benefits of play and sports are well documented. while it crosses considered safe compared to other sports and activities serious injury such as concussions occur. as much as we have learned about concussion in recent years, particularly the critical importance of recognizing symptoms and removing children from play until clear by medical professional trained medical professional management. we also learned learned that no piece of protective equipment on the market today can prevent a concussion. the mechanism of injury is different from sport to sport, and in the case of lacrosse it is different in boys lacrosse and girls lacrosse. we have learned that the injury and its recovery can be very different experience for girls and boys. this demands further focus and study. we have learned that increased
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sports specialization at younger ages is increasing the number of injury exposures of young athletes in contributing to increases of overuse injuries on developing bodies. perhaps most important lay we have learned that the vast majority of children who express a concurrent caution can recover fully if there injury is recognized quickly and the receive proper care. concussion remains a significant health concerning youth sports. it will remain a priority for youth lacrosse. accordingly, we will continue to invest in research that helps us learn more about the mechanism and frequency of the injury and both boys and girls lacrosse in order to advance educational, role, and equipment interventions both effective in reducing risk. thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts on this important issue as well as your efforts to increase health and well-being of our nation's young athletes. >> thank you. mr. o'neill you're reckless for. mr. o'neil you are reckless for five minutes. >> chairman, thank you.
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>> the microphone on please. >> is it on? put you as close as possible. >> thank you. okay. so mr. chairman. we like to begin if we may with a soundbite, 30 seconds from doctor n mckee which follows on many comments heard earlier this morning. doctor mckay is one of our colleagues, these were her comments two months ago. >> is not about concussion, it's about limiting head injury. head injury that occurs on every single play of the game at every single level of this game we have to eliminate somehow the cumulative head had impact. to me, what our job is as american citizens is to maintain the health of these young athletes
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for the entirety of their life. if there something we can do to limit this risk it needs to be done immediately. >> thank you. >> immediately mr. chairman. the word chairman. the word we heard this morning as well that his arm meet middle name. immediately. let me begin by saying here's where we started with our chase for immediate results. the national football league, 32 teens, 2000 players as you know, practicing for five months in regular and postseason. there were 271 total concussions in the nfl this last year, 271. the question not in games but in practice. how many concussions on practice fields last season? answer, eight because they learn how to practice. those a concussions a concussions in the universe of 271 represents 3%. now the big question, what is that number in high school football do you think? what percentage of high school football head trauma occurs on the practice field? sixty-75%. the worst, most shameful
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statistic than all of football. this is the reason we are in business. this. this is the reason why a number of hall of famer's, at no appearance fee chase around the country with us, among them warren moon, tony dorsett, mike ditka, showing high school coaches on video how to practice with less contact. these men do this generously because they believe this is the future of football. so let's quantify our recommendations. we are going to show you how they practice in the pros. this is called full speed to contact practice which means they run the playful speed to get the timing, the pacing, the choreography of the play. at the last moment, the woman of imminent contact, rather than tackle, they break away from each other. it is a football ballet as you see it here. here's dartmouth college, you
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will see a pass down the middle, a safety in practice here could light up this receiver with a perfectly legal hits. it is his teammate so at the last minute he veers away from it. he will say that tackle for saturday, okay. in the nfl, cleveland browns, watch number 22 and white here. he will track this playful speed, everybody stays on their feet because only bad things on their feet because only bad things happen when you go to the ground. he tracks the ball, but at the moment he might tackle, he stops. and lets the ball carrier continue. 48 and brown, lead black here, one of the most vicious hits in football. what hits and football. what does he do? forty-eight in brown, he identifies the player to be blocked, he comes to his, six is hit and just lisa's hands on it.
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what about this defensive back in the shadow? is he going to tackle on a wednesday or thursday? no. he did everything to put himself into position etc. make the tackle. seattle seahawks, same thing. and they going to tackle a teammate in the going to tackle a teammate in the middle of the week, or save it for sunday? they save it for sunday. contrast that now with high school football. here's a high school scrimmage, quarterback has four teammates with their hands on them. i they going to hold him up, rather than taken to the ground? this this has been a good practice exercise for everybody involved. we have learned a little something from it. let's go back to the quarterback. we take them to the ground or wrap them up and hold them? we took them to the ground and broke his wrist. totally needless. at at the same high school in connecticut, a young man named cody gifford played. son of frank and kathy lee gifford. frank was a colleague of mine and abc sports, he actually made the team as a walk on. he can't believe how proud his father was. my son liam also played on the same high school and is a backup quarterback. frank gifford and i used to talk
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about this frequently. one day we said and put together the composite injuries between her two sons. concussions, the fractures, the new ligaments. how many of those occurred in games and how many practice? two in games, eight in practice. utter madness mr. chairman. so, what what we recommend to rectify the problem question we are the only organization of the five national organizations who operate in the space that is committed to immediate abolition of contact football below the age of 14, and ninth ray. we want to convert those leaks to flight. no contact until ninth grade. once in high school, no full contact in spring, summer, off-season, three hours total in preseason, 30 minutes per week during the season. >> we have to wrap up so we can
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continue on. >> how does this compare to the other major organizations operating in the space question national federation of high school and usa football which operate in concert will allow three times as much contact is we do, pop warner is much as four times as we recommend. the ncaa, six times as much as we recommend. >> thank you. during questions if there's other comments you want to make, were way over time. >> thank you. it is an honor to be asked to testify for this committee, particularly representing colorado school of public health at the university of colorado. under congresswoman and her state. i'm here today because i run the national high school sports related injuries study. have done so for 11 years. in effect i've dedicated my entire career to trying to improve high school athlete
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safety, not because i'm a policymaker clinician, but because i collect the data that is needed to drive to informed evidence-based decisions. i want i want to share just a few examples today and describe why those are so important. this first slide shows high school data just simple concussion rates over time. you can see concussion rates were stable for a few years before dramatically increasing, in fact doubling between 2,082,012. they leveled off in recent years. understanding trends over time like this is crucially important post so we can evaluate the magnitude of the problem and also so we can determine which intervention may be effective and which may not. only long-term surveillance information can provide this data. the next slide shows some of the information i heard earlier that we do not want to wait to try to do intervention work because we
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don't want to wait for the years and years to collect the data. we don't have to wait. i intentionally put just one year worth of high school data appear to show you that even with one year of surveillance we can look at patterns and trends across sports, across genders, across types of activity. this is just the tip of the iceberg. i capture up to 300 variables on every concussion that is reported to make system. i can tell you when, why, how, and to whom the concussion occurred. this. this data can drive evidence-based intervention efforts. i, and many other researchers in the united states have the drive, desire, resources, technological and methodological, and experience to be able to do this work at the youth level just as it is currently is being done at the collegiate and high school level. what we we do not have is the funding. injury surveillance can also
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demonstrate positive outcomes as well. very important. this slide shows that we actually had a big success when it comes to managing high school athlete concussions. in 2007-2008 academic year, 30% of athletes diagnosed with a concussion return to play in less than seven days which is a violation of return to play guidelines and disturbingly 8% return to play the same day they were injured, that is unacceptable. look at how things have improved. last year in 2014-2015, less than 2% return to the same day they were injured. this is a result of prevention. not equipment prevention, but education and regulation prevention. effective prevention in public health, we talk about three legs of a stool, equipment is one piece in terms of concussion,
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but educating individuals and providing good, strong policy policy based on evidence are the other two legs. i would love to come away from the efforts of this committee, incredibly important efforts, with the ability to do this work at the youth level. currently, no one can give you this type of data for children playing sports who are younger than high school age. that is a travesty. we have got to protect our children who are sports because we want them to play sports. i'm not against sports, not even against contact sports, despite my appearance i played rugby for 13 years, yes, i am only am only 4-foot 11 inches and i played rugby. i appreciate the fact that participating in sports is a very important way that children can incorporate physical activity as part of a daily, healthy lifestyle. we need everyone sitting at the
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table and our policy representatives like the distinguished members of this panel to work together to drive evidence-based, prevention practices now. now. we do not want to wait for 30 years to learn about long-term consequences of concussion. that that is secondary prevention. we need primary prevention. i already know that concussions are bad for us. i want to keep kids from being injured in the first place. thank you. >> thank you very much. now doctor you recommend for five-minute. >> thank you. i am thomas am thomas and professor of electrical computer engineering up to university. i've been a member of recent years at the ncaa task force on concussion emma member of the scientific advisory board to the ncaa care consortium. i'm about a member of the
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concussion consortium which is a multi-institutional effort to bring together researchers who have a history of publishing and doing research in the area of concussion and traumatic brain injury together to so many problems. i served with a neurotrauma group, i'm also the lead pi for the purdue college of engineering preeminent team in engineering health your brains. as our rabid sports fan of the pittsburgh steelers and expert pirates and father of four active young children this is an issue near and dear to my heart has been for a long time. as a part of the neurotrauma group i want to summarize really quickly that our goal and our proposal to the future is to achieve saver participation in you sports. our goal is to make sure more children can participate in sports more frequently. without risking injury or reduced risk of injury to something that is acceptable to us such as riding a bicycle or playing baseball or basketball. our goal is to achieve this in the education of applets, parents, coaches, and healthcare providers regarding risks of
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concussive and sub- concussive injuries. through engineering engineering based improvements in protective equipment, through modeling and appropriate preventative methodologies that allow us to monitor exposure to head injuries and the risk of pager injuries. finally techniques that have already been described to improve training of athletes. for the past seven years are pioneering study has been engineering based following the model illustrated on the slide. were a technique from basing material and structures in our everyday world could be planes, bridges, automobiles, automobiles, where you essentially do non- instructive documentation and document a material is in good health before you continue board with its use. is that material starts to exhibit some sort of's change you either repair or in the case of some materials you allow them to rest and recover. this methodology has been applied now is a for seven years
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in the study of high school girls playing soccer and poison play football. in our study though, of applying the methodology began like many other studies in this domain were real initial effort was to understand why some kids got a concussion a concussion and some didn't. what we discovered rapidly and has driven our research is that in truth, many of the children who we think are not injured are in fact showing changes in their physiology, changes in their brain that are strongly suggestive of underlying brain injury. what is critical is that not only are athletes who are supposedly healthy who do not have signs of a concussion, who are not diagnosed or examined by their athletic trainer or physician is having a concussion , will look abnormal in this manner for up to five months after the season. this means they may be spending eight - ten months of the year in an abnormal state. what we already know ahead of time that is never a good idea idea to hit your head, the question now becomes how long is it that these athletes are injured and what can we do to prevent that entry in the first
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place. our study has been going first seven years and up were able to find funding sometime in the future will continue the study, ideally later this year. i i only wish to be working from this methodology with the goal being that if we understand how input in this case mechanical input of heads being hit, whiplash from the body being hit and the head snapping to the side, four, rotate and abruptly will allow us to understand how each of those events affect the brain. then we can go back and correctly have helmets that prevent concussion. we can do about appropriate methodologies for identify when an athlete should skip a practice because clearly we want kids to miss practice and not the games and that's with the kids want. we'll we'll also then be able to evaluate whether or not we are recovery has been truly complete. can we actually document that an athlete who has been pulled and ready to put a is healthy enough, that it makes sense for them to go back into play.
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so, with that we really feel as a pretty group and as myself as a researcher that most of these changes can be made to no cost of the enjoyment of the game. they're very likely to the freedom or comfort to engage in these activities without any substantial consequences beyond those associated with other non-collision sports such as basil, bicycling, whatever. we really feel that the science is far enough along that these changes should be made now rather than delay any more time especially since 30,000,000 kids kids every year are exposed to potential injury. there's no reason not to act. >> thank you dr.. i do want to recognize i will start up with questions and let members know that we are trying to continue this, there'll be one vote at some point. we will try to continue to hold that boat. i do want to recognize in our audience we have nick lowery, nick the kick, you played for
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the patriots, jets, and cheese, it's good to have you here today. also sean and redskins and patriots and seahawks both replay pro bowl, thank you for your interest in concussions. and former colleague phil, the dock is here as well. we appreciate you coming back. i want to say do not make the georgia tech team but i understand that you drove the mask mascot car. it's nice to know your skill sets. now recognize myself or five minutes. this goes to doctor gregory, mr, from the perspective youth sport organization, what are the greatest needs in terms of research related to concussion and player safety? any comments on this? >> for clarification, the greatest needs. >> yes. >> so my first response would be to agree with don that we have a
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databases in college and high school we don't have them in youth sports. so establishing a database for youth sports injury is imperative. >> i would act of those statements that we do need to have a database of injuries that are occurring in our youth sports that we can make these decisions. it is hard, hard, we don't want to wait for the future. we need to start gathering this information right now. >> i would agree. each of us in sports is trying to do our best to fund research to a non- profit. but we need greater resources to drive the resource into the youth play area. >> along the lines of research to encourage coaches, as their way to help coaches and teams also keep track of their own database? do coaches keep track of their data to see what happens for their own coaching style
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comparison question. >> i would say and doctor comstock will have a word here, but the challenge with that is the quality of the data that is collected. unless unless it is collected well and consistently, which coaches generally speaking do not want to do, then we are concerned about having flawed data. >> mr. comstock, do you have a comment on that. >> i agree, we are concerned about the quality of the data and that is directly correlated to was reporting the data. at the high school and collegiate level we rely upon athletic trainers to report this data to us. however, i, i and others have been investigating ways in which we could modify our surveillance system to enable a parent or a coach who is trained appropriately and appropriately motivated to be able to report, perhaps not 300 variables per injury but at least enough variables that we could drive
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forward a lot of these discussion. >> coach stevens, you did record and look for specific dated. >> in general overseas. >> and that's helpful to give the feedback along those lines. >> it is. use you or you stack up to the teams in the league. >> so let me ask, how significant is the issue of athletes not reporting concussions? they themselves have symptoms but are not giving that input information. >> i can tell you that on all levels that is an issue. the problem is knowing what the symptoms of concussion are, if if you report to someone, that person knowing what the symptoms of concussion are. i do think that what don showed with that data that concussion rates are going back down as a result of education, of coaches, athletes, players of what the signs and symptoms of concussion are. having said that, i'd don't think we can stop there. we have to to continue the efforts for everybody. >> anyone else want to?
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>> that same graph that showed the doubling of concussion rates between 2008 - 2012, high school athletes do not high school athletes did not suddenly become twice as fast, strong, vicious. the years preceding that, there concussions occurring that just went undiagnosed and unrecognized. the increase the increase in the concussion rates truly reflect the great deal of education that has been done by individuals on this panel as well as group as cdc and national association -- to make sure that when -- so it may not of been prior to that increase it means when they were reported. >> yes or. and the parents and families. the parents of these young athletes it's important to educate them as well. >> do you see this as an ongoing problem in regard to injuries,
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that this is working are we still have ways to go? >> i think the fact that that curve has seem to have peaked and leveled off i think it is an indication coupled with the less light i showed that showed how much better we are doing at managing concussions. i think both of those speak highly to the success that we have had today to in educating parents, coaches, athletes, policymakers about concussion. we still have further to go particularly in the younger groups. >> thank you. i will yield now to for five minutes. >> thank you so much mr. chairman. i want to take a look at some of the sciences out there. by the way, it was really an excellent panel with everyone giving a great perspective. your work examines high school football players as well as high school soccer players, can you tell us from your research about the head impact from head impact sports and how it impacts head injuries? >> so what we have observed is that when the athletes take large amounts of blows per week whether it be a ten gr above,
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10g is a reference, if, if you just stand up and drop down to your chair you'll generate ten times the force of gravity on your head. when players are taking numbers of 60 --70 blows per week in football for example, those male athletes tend to show alterations in the brain physiology that are suggestive of either damage to neurons or at least some sort of impairment in the way information passes from your brain and ultimately result in you being able to respond to a question or answer a task or achieve a target on a game or particular activity. >> ..
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>> we are in fact benefiting our athletes. >> we had a forum committee in march and at that forum there were researches that suggested we don't have enough science to act on issues and they said we should wait until there is more research. what is your response to this? >> i don't believe that. >> and that is because you actually have scientific research? >> we are working with several other institutions ohio state university, michigan state, university of the nebraska shows published work there are changes in the brain. >> if you would not mind getting that to this committee that would be helpful in our investigation. thank you.
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i want to ask you a couple questions, dr. comstock, about gender differences in cushion and head trauma. girl's soccer has the highest rate of reported concussion. are girls more likely than boys to get concussion? >> that is a million dollar question if you will. we reported in 2007 in gender compareable sports, so both sports play and same equipment and sports, girls have higher concussion rates than boys. what we don't know at this point, people are working on the question, is it a bio problem?
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or is a social-cultural issue because we don't have a test for concussion and we rely on reports and young female athletes may be likely to report it more. >> do we need more data? >> we have the data showing the consistent change. >> what to we need to prove it? >> we need more detailed research to determine if there are differences or social and culture. >> this is the intent of our study. they can understand the brains changing and we can understand if it takes less. >> you are girls and boys? >> yes, girls and boys. >> dr. comstock, i want to ask one more question. you say there is no surveillance for under high school ages. do you think this is something that should be instituted so that people like you can get that data to see exactly what is going on?
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>> yes, i would love to give it to you and can give you the name of ten other researchers. >> who should set it up? >> my work hasn't been federal funded. the ncaa funds their own system. i think it should be a federal effort but i don't care if it is joint but somehow someone has to do it. >> thank you very much. thank you for coming. >> just to remind member, votes are called and we will continue to roll through. dr. burgess you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, chairman. i thank the panel for being here. coach stevens, your testimony was revelation and it seemed so obvious when i read through it and once you understand this is a repeatative injury. that must have been a hard decision to make --
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repetitive -- when i was growing up it was practice, practice, practice. >> when i announced this to my coach staff they thought i was kidding. but i took enough time to make sure we got the appropriate response. >> and five years into this you feel you have made a -- >> it made a difference in the way we practice safety. the front line guys practice through the course of the season, defensively i had two players miss and one had a high ankle sprain and the other had a lacerated kidney and he missed five games. that was it. so the regularity and the players. i tell them the rules of the guy are get the guy on the ground, not injure. you can teach that skill set. there is a risk playing the game
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but we can minimize the risk. >> let me ask you this but when you go back and look at your record prior to instituting this program and in the year since is there a marked difference? >> we were 0-10, 2-8 and 8-2 and 9-1 the last season. >> so you became a remarkable coach in that time. >> appreciate that. >> repetative injury so we will reduce the risk by stopping that practice. i don't know i was aware of that. i don't know how i would have been aware of it. mr. o'neill, i wanted to ask you because when i started reading your testimony and practice like the pros i thought that would be dangerous because those are the
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guys that really -- the dreadful stories of people trying to hurt each other in a game. but you had the observation of watching the practice and it was almost like a ballet. >> yes, sir, it is. as we pointed out with the video, the players execute every aspect of the play in rehearsal for sunday until the moment of imminent contact and then they break away and pat each other on the back. in the high school level, the proof of the efficacy of this is in the state of wisconsin, they put the standards in two years ago for the 2014 system and the university of wisconsin medical school did a study and showed they count the concussion by half by adhering to our
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standards. that is a breath-taking reduction. the quality of wisconsin football has never been better. the players are fresh and ready to play. it is the high school model of. >> has there been widespread acceptance of that in the high school level? >> coach teevans and i went to the university of wisconsin clinic in madison and because of the revictions and the coaches need to know how to practice with less contact we had enormous attendance, more than 125 coaches and the greatest follow-up we have had in 30 clinics around the country. more than half of the coaches asked for our videos so they could show them to the staff and players and teach their players in the 30 minutes, just 30 minute of contact per week in practice, how to practice like pros or the dartmouth victory.
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>> i cannot help but observe emmitt smith won dancing with the stars a few years ago and based on that concept. were there pro-players using dance and ballet moves to improve their performance? >> they were. this approach dates back to bill walsh with the 49ers in the 1980s and been refined by his disciples along the way to a point where so many college players look forward to entering the pros in order to avoid the carnage of 90 minutes full on contact during the week and practice the way the dallas cowboys have for years. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thong -- thank you. ms. schakowsky.
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>> i want to thank the moms here. mr. o'neil, you showed the video of dr. ann mckey answering my questions at that round table. i want to focus on cte because i think little focus has been on the subconcussion brain injur s injuries. it is about limiting every head injury that occurs on every level. i followed up with that question to jeff miller of the nfl, the chief person for health and safety, and said what do you think? is tte linked to football and he said yes, certainly. little did i know this was an explosion that happened outside that room and even has started
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some conversation about what is the future of football. is there a future for the kind of football that we play? there has been a lot of talk about concussion but i wanted to ask more about cte. so what does the research indicate about the effect that routine hits sustained by high school football players and younger have on brain function even though they don't rise to the level of concussion? what about cte? >> so at this point the linkage is not sure coming from our end. on ann's end, you can see individuals who have larger number of hits over their career have more deficits. there is good evidence there is a link between the total
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exposure and brain stress that is accumulated from getting hit day after day, year after year. within our own athletes, what we can at least identify is athletes spend 5-8 months a year in the state of chronic infl inflamma inflammattion and cells can't renew and you cannot get nutrients. if this is true, we are putting our athletes at risk for the types of biochemical processes that will lead to cte. >> is there any test for cte before an autopsy? >> there are several imaging methodologies that identify markers within the body but nothing has been confirmed.
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>> my understanding is the kind of sub-concussion events have to do with the brain inside the skull and virtually nothing to do with helmets. >> a helmet can absorb energy and it would be easy to improve designs but the companies are not interested. their goal is to meet the standards and the standards set forth are to prevent skull fracture and death on the field and they are very effective but do nothing to prevent concussion. energy absorbtion would reduce the amount of energy that reaches the brain and that reduces the pull, stretch and compression on the cell tissue and you will see a reduction in the consequences of the sub-concussion hits and the reduction in the observation of concussion and see a reduction in long-term situations like cte >> dr. comstock, you don't think
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kids under what age should be playing tackle football? >> i never made any recommendation. >> oh, i thought you said something. >> i am aware of other researches who have given exact cut points. >> did someone say that on the panel? >> our organization is the 1-5 operating in the space that believe grade school boys and girls should play flag football exclusi exclusively and contact football should start in ninth grade with a transitional phase in 7th and 8th boys in shorts and t-sures who intend to play learn how to tackle and block using the state-of-the-art tackling called seahawks tackling pioneered by the coaches of the seattle seahawks. mr. soto is a leading tour and made a number of videos for us.
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>> there has been a good deal of pushback after jeff miller made his comment jerry jones, the owner of the dallas cowboys, you know he absolutely disregarded that. there has been mocking of that and this idea of the connection between manliness and football i think is really concerning. i want to just ask, let's see, i had a couple other questions. dr. gregory, i am -- you know, if once all of the -- let me ask you before my time runs out, the usa football guidelines limit full contact practice to four times a week. i know this represents more contact practices than occur at
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higher levels such as the college level and even in the nfl. so, you know, given all of this evidence about repeated hits to the head, why haven't usa football taken steps to further limit full-contact practice for young children? >> the question is a good one in that we recognize that tackling causes injuries. if you look at data that we do have in youth football -- >> my time is up. so why haven't you? >> what we have instituted is ways of trying to decrease the number of hits there are. the concern is -- >> what about four times a week? >> if you take it away completely you have to learn the skill. at the youth level we don't have the resources the high school and college levels have to teach the skill. that is what we trying to do; learn how to tackle appropriately over time. that is the goal; to do it well and protect your head. >> at this time, i will recognize myself for five
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minutes to ask questions. mr. o'neil, thank you for the work you do and appreciate the information you do today. you advocate children under 14 shouldn't be tackled and it should be limited to high school athletes. how do we make sure young athletes learn proper tackling techniques so they don't resort to the dangerous head down or whatever the case may be? if they don't get the practice when the contact is not as hard as it will be later is there a concern of them internalizing the techniques? >> if staff could allow me to cure up a 17 second video click. rocky soto, which is number 24. coach soto knows -- he is the
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guru of tackling. him and pete carol devised this system in seattle that has become the standard in two years. introduced two years ago in the spring, they put out three videos and coach tours with us. it is not that. it is -- as i say, number 23? tackling in shorts. just to answer your question, mr. hudson, is what we recommend in 7th and 8th grade is rather than hitting each other these boys need to learn in shorts and t-shirts an introduction to weight training, they need strengthening of their necks which i think all of the scientist here agree that is important, they need to wear the pads, and be ready with this gradual run-up to ninth grade to be prepared without the many co
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collisions in involved. it is the cumulative injuries that cause problems. boys at five years old playing contact football in our minds is quite surprising. any luck? >> we will look at the video after. >> i will be happy to show it to you, mr. hudson. >> thank you. are there examples where young kids have not had young contact until they reach high school age and have been successful? >> thank you for asking. tom brady, eli manning, payton manning. >> i have heard of those folks. >> archie manning has waxed eloquently in the "washington post" just a few years ago, i
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think his phrase was, god, what a grade game flag football is. my son, a quarterback at tufts universities, wouldn't be playing college football if he had not played flag instead of contact. it cod him about reading defenses, making decision and good throws, all of the teamwork and character buildings. those who suggest those qualities can only be developed in contact football haven't heard my younger son and his teammates recounting their victories in flag football four and five years ago, the highlight of their athletic careers, they are football-fans for a lifetime, they wore the nfl jersey in playing flag, came out of it healthy with the experience that made them the way they are. >> coach teevans, do you have
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any opinions on this? >> if you decry people of the opportunity they will catch up. one of nine kids and we all played in high school and that was it and had successful careers. there is a litany of people who have gone on. if they are going to play at a young age, educate them proper lay, start slowly and deprive them as much contact as possible. >> dr. gregory, do you have anything you want to share? >> i think if you take the contact away the education piece on how to tackle is imperative and that is the challenge in youth sports without the resources. and the football administers the largest flag football league in the country. we are proponents of flag football. i think it is important we promote flag football as well. >> thank you. mr. o'neil, your organization is
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trying to change the culture of high school football by advocating limited contact akin to the professional level. only one state has adopted your standards and in light of the successful outcomes in that states have others expressed interest? >> that is a good question. we need more participation from the state governing bodies around the country. the word is traveling. when a state governing body gets behind it, the contact -- the support grows. the coach of the seahawks, coach stevens, and others hit four cities in two days and we had enormous participation because the cif, which governs athletics in california, made it
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mandatory. we saw 1200 coaches in two days. we are going to alabama in july and same thing is occurring there. our clinic, has been made mandat mandatory for every coach in the state. so we will greet a ballroom of coaches in alabama. >> any opposition you received? >> absolutely. i grabbed coach stevens to places where there were 450 coaches at a convention and at your session 20 showed up and the other 430 were standing out in the hallway saying they didn't want to hear it. it is not like we are having raging success. it is mixed around the country and will be until the state governings bodies give us a hearing and mandate all of the stakeholders and coaches come in and see what we have on video.
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when they do, we never fail to convert. >> thank you. at this time, i recognize mr. pallone. >> thank you. earlier this year the ivy league received attention for removing contact practices during the regular season and strict rules about the spring and pre-season. mr. teeven, you put these in place at dartmouth many years ago. what your the initial response and why did you do this? >> we had too many guys going down. the mike webster story and concussion was surfacing and it instruct me we can do this in a better way. watching research on tackling, we started to do it, it wasn't well received.
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it is still not well received by an awful lot of people. i made a recommendation at the ivy level and all of the coaches that played against dartmouth know how we played and how effectively we tackle and the vote was unanimous and it was progressive in mindset to say this is the direction we should travel. >> how have the rate of head injuries changed since you implemented the no-contact policy? >> five years ago it was 15-20 during the course of the year. this past season we had two. two pre-existing situations. both young men that can no longer participate. our defense was nationally ranked and had zero concussions. spring practice, we have had zero and that is somewhat concussion season in college football. >> in your opinion of full contact practice necessary to
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insure success on game day? >> no, i don't know so. you can replicate tackling on bags. you can do it at any level. i have a three year old grandson and he gets it. again, crawl, walk, run mindset introduces skill sets that are helpful down the road not but don't need to be practice. >> do you think engaging in full contact four to six times a week increases the risk? >> without question. the more you hit the more likely injury occurs. >> mr. o'neill, we see many different rule changes being
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implemented across the state and league and there has been some criticism these rule changes upset the integrity of the game. what do you think about pop warner eliminating kick offs and returns? will that prevent brain injuries? >> good question, mr. pel pallo. this is my reaction to them saying grade school boys are not capable of playing the game the way it is designed. they are making our argument and that is these boys should be converted to flag football until 14-15. we advocate no basic changes in the game. we say there will not be further rule changes that will make the game less dangerous. the game is the game. we don't advocate major changes but we say strongly boys in
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grade school are not nearly prepared to play it the way adults play it and therefore boys and girls ought to be playing flag football until boys make a transition, if they chose, to play contact in ninth grade. >> just so i understand, you don't think any other changes would better protect the kids other than if they continue with the present -- >> it will not be football if we strip away the kick return, the purnt return, the three point stance. we are opposed to all of those proposal. likewise, heads up tackling, which is an attempt to somehow sanitize the very difficult, it can't be done. tackling is tackling. it should be done at the three levels of football where the
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game should be played. if boys can't tackle the way the technique was designed, they shouldn't be playing contact football. they should be playing flag until they are ready to play. >> thank you, gentlemen. this time i will recognize my colleague from virginia. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i apologize i took my jacket off, ran over to vote, and got wet so i took off my jacket. mr. o'neil, my boys are eight and ten. my ten year old tried tackle football. when my eight year old was seven he played flag. it is not available to him. have you done studies on how many kids because they are not ready to do tackle drop out of the support? >> we haven't but it is a very
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good point. football loses candidates for the fact we throw them in unprepared at any age. there is a sound byte of john madden, former colleague and coach and broadcaster, he tells a story where his son coached ninth grade football at a school in california for 15 years and john said if you took a boy who didn't play contact youth football and match him up against a boy who did play contact football how long would it take the boy who didn't play to catch up with the skills of the boy who did and joe madden, his son, said to him one week. one week it would take him to catch up to what supposedly had been learned by a youth contact player those eight years he took all of the hit trauma from age 5-13. >> i appreciate that. i will have to move on.
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dr. comstock, i was intrigued about your testimony of young women having more concussion than young men. do you have enough data to say that is true through all age groups? middle school, high school and college? >> it has been consistent with my data. across slightly different populations and the high school and college age group, in the middle school and younger age group, we only have very small studies of one league or school district, based on those it appears it is also so in younger age groups but no national surveillance data to answer that. >> appreciate that. sorry we have some limited time. mr. stenenson, u.s. lacrosse invested in the deployment of the coach standards in
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officiating education. is the conclusion based on the changes in the injury rates since deploying the curriculum? >> in part. but it is more based on the fundamental belief that if you cannot teach a support correctly, the outcomes will not be what you want. and part of the challenge like youth sports, lacrosse and ice hockeyy we are seeing privitization of the sport. >> i appreciate that. you mentioned one of the biggest challenges is getting youth leagues and state high school associations to buy into your standards. why do you think this is a challenge? if you could be quick, i would appreciate it.
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>> culture and tradition. >> i have to tell you the good news is my 16-year-old daughter had a concussion this year and they pulled her out for about two weeks and, you know, she got it playing lacrosse. i only have a minute left. is there something you haven't had an opportunity to touch on? >> no >> would you agree the more week train folk to do the checks and hits right. >> we have a lot of that built into the program. >> do you have the same buy in difficults that were indicated earlier? >> to a degree. not all hockey leagues are governed by usa hockey and we
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don't have influence there. so there is no uniformity among the leads. >> and there is a lot of pri privitization. my child is playing lacrosse at a private institution. i came back because this is an important hearing and appreciate your testimony and we will continue to work on this. >> this time i recognize mr. tonko for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chair. i appreciate all of your witnesses being here and having this panel of expert witnesses is a good opportunity to have dialogue on how we can further enhance the safety of youth sports. i would like to ask rules about changes for contacts especially kids. dr. gregory, you are here as a member of the medical advisory
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committee, what schakowsky tell us about the guideline changes usa sports has made for young athletes? >> there are practice guidelines in place to limit contact which happens as part of the heads up program showing decrease of injury and that is limiting contact to 30 minutes per practice, no more than four practices a week, and no more than two hours of total length of practice. decreasing the number of potential hits which has been shown to occur by limiting the amount of time. >> thank you. it is my understanding that usa football doesn't operate its own teams? >> that is correct. we can only make suggestions to the leagues underneath us. the same problem that all youth sports have. we want these leagues to follow a recommendation but we cannot enforce them. >> in other words, it is just a recommendation there is no way to implement the guidelines.
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>> there is no way to enforce it. we have to get buy in by showing them it works and get buy in from the youth coaches. >> and have you been monitoring the rate of injuries? particularly head injuries since implementing these changes? >> so in the three areas we showed with the dataless youth football study, the fairfax county here and in south bend, indiana, the educational component and the practice limitations, all injuries went down in practice and games. >> do you know anything more than other than dropping -- >> i gave the numbers but i can give them again. >> just as long as the committee has them. and we heard from coach teevens with his success at dartmouth
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and mr. o'neill with the practice like pros with addition changes to reduce contact particularly for young players. the whole ivy league eliminated contact practices and the nfl only allows 14 practices over the season. what do reducing the number of hits and longer reps between the do for these people? >> the more time you can give them off the less time they have to get impaired and hurt in the future. >> and given what the size has said, why hasn't usa football considered stricter rules to
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reduce or eliminate contact for young players? >> i will tell you what has been demonstrated by the dartmouth and then high school level is it is fairly knew and i would say it is very compelling and the challenge is can we replicate this at the youth level without the resources they have at the college and youth level. we can make recommendations but we cannot enforce it. we have to have the resource do is back it up. >> pop quarter announced it will eliminate kick offs and kick returns and reduce practice time. do you think these measures will be effective at reducing head injuries for kids? >> they are a good start. we will say that. >> the main issue, to tie back
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to one comment, eliminating a few hits a game isn't going have a huge affect. i would be more excited about the reduction in contact practice time. >> those wouldn't be the first additional changes you would encourage. dr. gregory, is usa football considering similar measures as those introduced by pop warner? >> so one of the thing that is clear is this is an evolving game and this is up for consideration. rule implementations will be looked at and studied to see if it has the same impact. committee democrats sent a letter to the executive director of usa football about how the organization is insuring the safety of the young football players in addressing the risks
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posed by concussion and sub-concussion hits. we have asked for a response by may 25th. dr. gregory, can you confirm a response will be provided by that date? >> i can confirm. >> i yield back. >> at this point, we will recognize ms. clarke. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think the witnesses for appearing before us. i would like to talk about the change in culture. we have to address sports culture and the attitude of toughness. kids have watched idols deliver the hardest hits on the field and get the most fights on the ice. as we make changes to play and practice, we need to ensure that permiates the culture of sports. my first question is do you believe players are convinced of the importance of reporting concussions?
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>> i think they are getting there and it is important for the coaching staff to make it aware it is okay for players and get rid of the old tough guy mindset. >> and do you believe that the coaches and the medical staff at the high levels of play take concussions seriously? >> i think they do. i think the coaching profession is conservative and a lot of guys that played less than five years ago started coaching five years ago or greater, they grew up in a time where you didn't self report and a lot of people teach what they were taught as players. that is part of the culture that needs to change. >> do you think we have been successful in spreading that message? >> not as successful as we need to be and the broader the better and limiting injury is what we are all about. >> mr. o'neill, same question.
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how can we won vince players and coaches to report concussions and treat them seriously? >> ms. clarke, it is great question. when we do clinics around the country we hoe showeded 19 cases of suspected second impact syndrome and we tell the stories in detail with video of the players involved and tell the stories of catastrophic injuries in an effort to scare straight through the coaches these young boys who need this information. i show my son's concussion as an example. i show how he lied about his symptoms, did everything to stay on the field, and only when confronted with an impact test that showed he had failed the cognitive test only did he then admit he was suffering from a concussion.
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it is a huge problem in high school football. we think it is a subject which we need to be direct with players. we tell the stories to the coaches, give them the video, and encourage the coaches to tell the players the story of what catastrophic injury can be in their lives if they don't self-report and self diagnose. >> many kids try to model behavior after the athletes they revere. we need to make sure the athletes at the highest level of play, college and pro, are sending the right message of taking brain injury seriously. what can the college and professional athletes and league do in carrying that message forward? >> i think it is t coaches that drive that message. unless we change the way we coach the game we will not have a game to coach. we have a virtural player tackleal device now.
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tep stez -- steps like that. coaching the coaches is critical to getting the message across. >> ms. clarke, what is effective for us is when we take the hall of fameers around the country and warren moon says he had the first concussion at seven on a practice field and tells his personal story about hiding symptoms and coming to a recognition later in his career how foolish that was. we take anthony munez around who tell the story of playing for a coach in cincinnati who wanted to hit and hit and hit every day including the day before games on a surveillance transparency act -- saturday. then we had a new coach and that coach took our approach which is virtually no contact during the week and he said we won both
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ways but i sure felt a lot better, and my teammates did too, in the second approach. >> any of you have comments on what you think the fans should be requiring of this sport? >> i think fans should be aware of it. we have someone's child playing the game and understanding the rules of the game don't dictate taking people out of the game but it is just get them on the ground. it is understanding long-term people can be in jeopardy if we don't change the way we approach the game. >> the other thing is the the espn hits of the week segment doesn't have good hits. that is what is being shown as a highlight. that is not the goal. we have to change that. >> we have the change the culture and that requires everyone that is participating and revers this game.
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>> i ask consent the report called concussion and youth and improving the science and changing the culture be introduced to the record. without objection, entered in the record. and i want to do another promotion of the briefing congressman butterfield and i are hosting on may 24th. you have ten business days to submit questions to the record and ask the witnesses to respond promptly to those questions. with that, the subcommittee is adjourned.
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[n ainaudible conversations]
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>> c-span's washington journal is live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up saturday morning, amy goodwin, will discuss
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independent media and its role in campaign 2016. then tom fit, president of judicial watch, the group filled multiple lutes in the clinton e-mail case and he will talk about the latest developments in the investigation. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal beginning live at 7 a.m. eastern on saturday morning. join the discussion. >> the government will soon start checking social media as part of the background check for employees seeking a security clearance. tony scott testified before the house subcommittee on government operations and security. the new policy allows the government to seek out public posts on facebook and other social media but not ask individuals for their private passwords. this is an hour and 15 minutes. >> the subcommittee on government operations and the
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subcommittee on national security will come to order and without objection the chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time. we are here today to discuss incorporating social media into the federal security clearance and background investigations. having a security clearance means by definiteion you have access to information that would hurt our nagszal security if it got out and that is why we perform background investigations on individual whose want a security clearance. the goal of the background investigation must be to find out if an individual is trustworthy. back in the 1950s that meant talking to neighbors and family. today with more than a billion individuals on facebook what a person says and does on social media can often give a better insight on who they really are. since 2008, various federal agencies have conducted studies on using social media data in
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investigation and all find there is a wealth of important information on social media. this issue facing the federal government now is how to use social media information while respecting the legit privacy concerns that are often brought forth. the good news is that using social media checks in security clearance investigations don't have to be a binary decision between big brother and an in effective system. there is several reasonable options available to us to use social media data in a responsible way. it is encouraging to see that odni announced this morning in advance of today's hearing a new policy that will allow federal agencies to review publically available social media information as part of the clearance investigation process.
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we will continue to work with the agencies to ensure the social media data of people with security clearances is used in a safe and responsible way. i would like to thank the witnesses for coming today and i look forward to their testimony. with that, i would recognize the ranking member of the subcommitt subcommittee of government operations, my good friend, mr. connel connelly. >> i thank you for holding this hearing. on january 22nd, the administration announced the federal investigative services would transfer function do is a new national background bureau. the department of defense assumed responsibility for designing and operating all information technology for the new nbid. i think it makes abundant sense to task our national security experts with censoring millions
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of clearance holders. we are discussing another enhancement; the inclusion of social media in the background process. the army has a pilot program that used publically available data from social media sites to enhance information available during a background check. the department of defense conducting a program looking at all public information online. i am interested in learning the major findings and lessons learned from the pilot programs. while social media is a promising and valuable source, i remain concerned that the government shouldn't retain social media data of third parties that engage with the applicant. we must not forget other ways to enhance security clearance processes.
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the performance availability council is establishing a connection to increase the finding of information. we must remember, aaron alexis, who had a secret level of clearance, entered a national yard and tragically killed 12 people. the background check failed to identify his history of gun violence. the police records of this 2004 arrest had not been provided to federal investigators. improvement between localal law enforcement and federal background investigators could prevent and perhaps have prevented a tragedy like that that occurred at the washington navy yard. i welcome each of the witnesses back from the full committee february hearing and look
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forward to hearing about the progress on the administration's plan to reform the background process while preserving privacy rights. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i thank the gentlemen. the chair now recognizes the chairman of the subcommittee on national security were his opening statement. -- for. >> thank you, chairman meadows. i want to say this is an important issue. looks like we got a directive late last night where this is going to be an implemented policy so i am interested in hearing how that will be implemented but i am sure that is a result of your oversight so thank you for doing that and i look forward to hearing the witness testimony. >> thank you for your leadership on so many of these issues and i look forward to working with you. i recognize the ranking member on the subcommittee of national security the gentlemen from massachusetts, mr. lynch. >> thank you.
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i would like to thank my friends on the panel for holding this hearing. it is important for a number of reasons which you both touched on. when an individual applies to receive an initial or reviewed federal security clearance, a background investigation is conducted. every security clearance candidate is required to complete a standard form 86. it is lengthy and goes into a number of very personal aspects of each person's life. this 127-page form already requests a variety of personal applicant information such as criminal history, use of alcohol or drug use, any mental health counseling. it doesn't currently request social media information. but as chairman sanders noted
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last night at 11 o'clock we got copies of the policy and i want to say thank you. we have not always had information forthcoming in a timely manner. even 11 o'clock at night is timely around here; a few hours before the hearing. i appreciate you descenting -- descent. i had a couple chances to read it last night and it raises questions but i think it is good first effort. we appreciate it. in december of '15, congress passed and president obama signed a bipartisan funding legislation that included a robust directive to enhance the security clearance process. the omni bus act directs social media to be used when conducting periodically reviews of security clearance holders.
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the law provides a guidance on the types of information that could be obtained from social media and may prove relevant on whether an individual should be granted clearance as all. this includes information suggesting a change in ideology, ill-intent, vulnerability to blackmail in allegiance to another country. as mr. connelly noted, the main instance is the tishl situation at the washington navvy yard and there has been exploitation of twitter, whats app and instagram by the islamic state. at one point, we had everyone standing out a standard form 86 was hacked by the chinese. they have a list of everybody that filled out an 86 requesting security clearance which is very
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troubling. there is a lot that needs to be talked about here. we will gather the information about individuals in one place. in in light of what happened with the chinese attack i am concerned putting all of this information in one place where it might be accessed by hostile or nefarious actors. we will talk a little bit about that this morning. as i said, i appreciate the security executive agent directive number five and, i think, it is a very good first effort and appreciate your transparency with us. thank you. i yield back >> i thank the gentlemen. i will hold the record open for five lenl slate -- legislative days. i am pleased to welcome mr. william, the director of the national counter intelligence and security center and the
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office of the director of national intelligence. ms. beth cobert, acting director of the u.s. office of personal management and i might add in her new role working in a bipartisan and transparent way that is recognized by this committee so thank you so much. and mr. tony scott, the u.s. chief information officer at the u.s. office of management and budget. welcome to you all. all witnesses will be sworn in so if you would please rise and raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? thank you. please be seated. let the record reflect all witnesses answered in the affirmative.
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please limit your oral testimony to five minutes and your entire written statement will be made part of the record. we will begin now and you are recognized for five minutes. >> good morning. thank you for having me here as part of the team participating in today's hearing. as the national director security center i am responsible for leading the activities of the united states government which includes the entire u.s. government and the private sector. ...
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national background investigations for security clearance or forms. today i'm asked to discuss the demonstrations pose anisa social media as part of the personal security investigation and adjudication process. mr. chairman, we are steadfastly at worst on the work that information during the conduct of personal security background investigations and adjudications. i want to ballot the important
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contributions to this effort made by our entire bright executive branch that was particularly the office of management budget and opm. and i'm pleased as you reference to announce the director of national intelligence has recently approved this directive which is being publicly released. the data gathered via social media will enhance your ability to determine initial and continued eligibility for access to classified national security information and eligibility for such positions. i realize the federal government's authority to collect and review publicly available social media information in the course of a personnel security background investigation adjudication raises some important legitimate civil liberty privacy concerns. nevertheless, let me be clear being able to collect publicly available social media and other information available to the public is an important valuable capability when sure those
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individuals with access to her secrets continue to protect them. and that the capability can be aligned for civil liberties and privacy protections. i would know to the committee that by the term publicly available social media information we mean social media information it has been published or broadcast for public consumption and is available by request of the public, is accessible on line to the public come is available to the public by subscription or purchase our lawfully accessible i believe the new director of social media strikes this balance but under this new director publicly available social information pertaining to the individual under investigation will be intentionally collected. absent a national security concern for criminal reporting requirement information pertaining to the individuals other than individuals being investigated will not be investigated or pursued. the u.s. government may not request or require individuals
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subject to the background investigation to buy a password for login to private accounts or to take any action that would disclose nonpublic way available social media information. the complexity of these issues has led to a lengthy and thorough review by the departments and agencies that would be affected by this policy is well scored coordinating the different members of the civil liberties offices privacy act offices and office of general counsel. mr. chairman the new guidelines approved by the director of national intelligence for the collection and use a of publicly available social media information and security clearance investigations and share the investigation can be pursued consistent with substance civil liberties and private rights by the use of social media is become an integral and public part of the fabric of most americans daily lives. it's critical that these this important source of information to protect our nations security. mr. chairman i welcome any questions that you and your
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colleagues have at this time. >> thank you for your testimony. ms. cobert you are recognized for five minutes. >> chairman meadows chairman desantis ranking members, leanne lynch and members of the subcommittee thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today on the use of social media in the federal bat around investigational process. opm plays important role in conducting background investigations for the vast majority of the federal government. currently opm's federal investigation of services annually conducts approximately 1 million investigations for 1 million federal agencies, approximately 95% of the total background investigations governmentwide. these background investigations include more than 600,000 national security investigations and 400,000 investigations related to suitability, fitness or ridden shilling each year. as we discussed in february we are in the process of transitioning to the new national background
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investigations for a witch ... or of its mission to become the governmentwide service provider for background investigations. the department of defense with his unique national security perspective will design, build, secure and operate the nba be investigated by t. systems in court nation with the nbi d. to provide some context for discussion today i would like to take a few minutes to review how the current security clearance process operates in most cases. first an executive branch agency will make a requirement determination after the sensitivity and risk level. if an agency determines a position requires a clearance the employee completes in sf-86 and submit fingerprints with those which are sent to opm along with an investigation request. opm through nbi be in the future conduct the investigation by doing all of the checks required by the federal investigative standards.
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the results of the investigation are then sent to the requesting agency for adjudication. the clearance decision is made from the information and investigative report in the purview of the office of the director of national intelligence odni. the requesting agency sends their decision back to a p. -- odni. individual will be reinvestigated on a periodic basis. as the committee is aware agencies make security clearance decisions using a whole person approach meaning that available reliable information about the person past and present favorable and unfavorable should be considered by adjudicators in reaching a determination. one component of that approach in the 21st century is the topic of today's hearing, social media. odni in his role of the security executive agent have developed a social media policy that has undergone extensive court nation with relevant department and agency officials.
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opm looks forward to implementing the policy as part of its ongoing efforts to strengthen its investigative processes. in april pm issued a request for information seeking to better understand the market and the types of products vendors can provide to meet social media requirements. the rfi is in preparation for a pilot that opm is trying to conduct this year it will incorporate automated searches of publicly available social media into the background investigation process. this plan pilot will be conducted by opm and court nation with the odni. the pilot will obtain the results of searches publicly available including public posts on social media from a commercial vendor for a population of security clearance investigations using pertinent investigative and adjudicative criteria. this pilot is to sting from other pilots in that it will assess the practical assets incorporating social media into the operational end-to-end
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process. the mechanics of adding this type of report to background investigation and the effects on quality, cost and timeliness. in addition the pilot will assess the assist the uniqueness of the difference provided through social media checks as compared to information provided through investable -- investigative sources precip 40 and implementation of the ipab and aiding its success in all areas will continue to be a core focus for opm as well as the performance of accountability. our goal is to have the initial operating capability officially established the new organizational design in place by october 2016 so implementation will remain to be done after that date on behalf of opm i'm proud to be part of this most recent effort i the administration and i look forward to working with my colleagues on this panel and with this committee in a bipartisan manner on this important issue. i'm happy to answer any
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questions you may have. >> thank you for your testimony. mr. scott you are recognized for five minutes. >> thank you chairman meadows chairman desantis ranking member connelly connelly and frankie member lynch and members of the subcommittee i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today. the administration recognizes the importance of gathering accurate up-to-date and relevant information and its background investigations to determine federal employment and security clearance eligibility. as a government we must continue to improve and modernize the method by which we obtain relevant information for these background investigations. since 2009 various government agencies have conducted pilots and studies of the feasibility, effectiveness and efficiency of collecting publicly available electronic information as a part of the background investigation process.
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those pilots have informed the development of the new social media policy that has been issued by the director of national intelligence in his role as the security executive agent. i will for to odni in the further details of this policy. but as you know a limb be chairs the interagency security and suitability performance accountability counsel or pack to ensure interagency coordination. the new policy will reflect that belief an appropriate balance of a number of considerations such as protecting national security, ensuring the privacy of, fairness to individuals seeking security clearances and associates of that individual, the voracity of the information collected from social media and the resources required to protect the process of the collection of adjudication and retention of the relevant data collected.
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as the policy is implemented the administration will continue to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of the policy. to do so the government must keep pace with advancements in technology to anticipate, detect and counter external and internal threats of the federal government personnel property information. this need must also be considered with a full legal and national security implications and mine. i am confident the new policy will strike the correct balance between all of these considerations. i think the committee for holding this hearing and for your commitment to improving this process. we look forward to working with congress and i'm pleased to answer any questions you may have. >> thank the gentleman. the chair recognizes himself for five minutes. this is for each of you. are your agencies utilizing commercially available software to that applicant monitor
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security holders and detect cybertheft of the individual's personal information? >> congressmen, in the process of the investigations we do work with commercial vendors of publicly available that information. that is what our core element, we use that and other methods to gather the information and investigative process that i'm not sure if i had completely answered your question. stanek there are certain off-the-shelf technologies that the federal government will use that other agencies and i just wanted to ask if there was any type of prohibition on doing that or if you guys are just trying to use all the tools that are potentially at your disposal? >> we use a variety of tools to gather information from public sources both governmental and nongovernmental suthers a righty of tools we used to do that.
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those are used to gather some of the information whether there is national law enforcement database from which we get information. we do for example use electronic methods to gather appropriate information about financial so we do use some of those tools. i would happy to get back to you with some of the specifics that would be helpful. >> i concur with my colleague. we encourage the most and effective and efficient tools in the process for ensuring and effective background information. this process will be different pending and the tools and the volume of people applying for clearance. obviously we would encourage odni the most effective capabilities as long as it's within the rules and regulations policy type work. >> in the years leading up to
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edward snowden's -- he made several posts to on line forms using consistent usernames complaining about government surveillance and these posts may have alerted authorities that there could be an insider threat. have any of the pilot programs evaluated incapable of detecting that sort of post where the subject is posting under an on line identity that is not explicitly the individuals named? >> sir i'm not specific to the exact nature of the death and granularity of this but i can tell you those particular pose for mr. snowden would not be public facing and they were private chats with individuals beyond the password. >> so in using semi-anonymous names to the extent that there are public forums, would requiring the disclosure of any alternative on line identity from from the fs 86 form be
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something that would be helpful? >> sir we are currently not planning on asking anyone to provide passwords or e-mail accounts or individual reference to their on line persona. >> so basically we will look at social media if there is a posting of john smith at a place for security clearance and he will look for john smith that if he goes by you know, jack scott then you are not going to require that. that is not something that would be considered? >> not currently in less they are willing to consent to that information. >> what reason could allow extensive questioning? the fs 86 is a very intensive investigation. you will call a people's college roommates and you'll call a people's neighbors even if they have lived in a place for sure period of time so there is a lot of expensive -- extensive
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investigation so why would you want to do that and i'm not saying you shouldn't do that but why would you do that and not want to get the whole i guess picture of their on line identities? >> well i think if digital information is obtained individual has a pseudonym or someone that is different than this name it can be pursued investigative way but that's not something we are going to ask and there's not a way for us to identify bob smith who is really dave jones on line without somebody telling us. >> what would be the reason since there's so much required will would be the negative of just asking hey do you post on line under any type of pseudonym? >> i think when you get to pass the public interface of social media you get to the border of privacy and civil liberties in
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terms of what are your practices beyond what you would do in the course but the analogy is we don't look at their e-mails and we don't look at their telephone and conversations. >> my time is up are they now recognize the gentleman from virginia for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman and welcome. help me understand how this works. because it's one thing for a private individual to be trolling on facebook and it's another for the government to be doing it. so how does this work? somebody in government the internet and looks up your facebook history? you are harry houdini and you have applied for security clearance. now we are looking at through social media anything that you used, twitter, facebook, youtube hulu whatever it might be.
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so we just go on line and look at whatever we can find under harry houdini or surely jones name, that right? if you could pull the mic closer. >> congressman i think we looked at it and try to provide the most flexibility for investigative agencies and service providers to do what they feel is most practicable and the most reasonable for their individual agencies so for instance on to bigger agencies may provide data service provided aggregate data from multiple people to go out and do the search. we are clearly acknowledging the effort will be exhausted as -- exhausted to identify people social media foot rents. >> okay what are the red lights that say got to follow up on this? my facebook posting we are talking about a block party in july in michael the sack.
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talking about may be a family reunion and interspersed with all of that may be, the president needs to die. how do we make sure if it's all trivial that's the end of it, it's debated in this opportunity and because there may be other names in the facebook. there may be pictures of other people or not the subject of an investigation was that association is suspect great how do we make sure that we don't just have some enormous government depository of personal information of american citizens that is not at all relevant or parts of it may be? how do we do that? >> it's a great question. to put it in context of social media is one tool that many we currently use in background investigations and the retention of that data will be parallel to
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any other data reflected in the individual. to your example of facebook the only relevant information for the adjudicative process would be the issue of the president had all the other stuff would not be retained although we would obtain the presidents of of. >> let me interrupt though. god forbid should there be such a reference the other stuff not being retained actually i might not want to take a fresh look at your associations because maybe they are involved. would we want to check that out? if for no other reason than to talk to the neighbors to say this harry houdini talk this way often? >> social media application like many other tools they are at the disposal of investigators that provide investigative leads of that particular post would lead to an investigative lead to be followed up with colleagues family friends and neighbors as just another lead no different
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than an financial disclosure. >> ms. cobert and mr. scott in the time i have i would be derelict among my constituents of that in return for obium security breach and if he can take some time to bring us up today to date. weaknesses identified have been addressed so they can't -- so there can't be a recurrence and how are we coming in trying to make people whole again in terms of the compromise of their personal information? >> let me respond to that. in terms of improving the security of our systems we have made significant strides in our ongoing effort and we will continue to do so working closely with dhs, with dod as part of the nbi bestand that. we have staff from the land be working with us as well as ongoing working sessions. we have installed the latest versions of einstein. we have got a whole series of improvements we have made to our firewalls. we now have the ability.
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>> einsein iii. not in place now. >> we were one of the first agencies to put in place. >> it was in place at the time. >> no. we continue to put in place a whole series of tools and we have seen improvements it that. we have a new chief information security officer. i could go on on that we will continue to work on that issue. in terms of the individuals whose information was taken we have the identity monitoring contracts in place. we continue to monitor those in terms of the quality of their customer service. we are also actively working to put in place the provisions to extend the identity theft insurance to $5 million as well as being in the process of figuring out how to extend those to the 10 years that was also approved by congress so we continue to work closely including with tony and the team from omb. >> i would just add i am seeing
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almost as much of that is i did when she was at a one b. when we worked on this project. beth and i and the dod cio made regularly to review the process in the transition but also ensuring that security and integrity of existing system so i'm pleased with the process. see act a few mr. chairman. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from georgia mr. hice for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. evanina let me begin with you. as we all know in 2008 there was a commissioned study in regard to showing the benefits of examining certain aspects of social media. why has it taken eight years to implement this thing, to get it started?
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>> congressman i can't really answer your issue but i can't tell you that to get to where we are took a lot of extensive effort and interagency coordination to be able to strike the right balance between what we need to obtain or should obtain reasonably through social media never going -- ever-growing internet age and balance that with the civil liberties and privacy of not only our clearance holders but u.s. citizens. that process not only was exhausted but it was the right thing to do. also i think we haven't really identified the collective value or weighed in measures for the efforts of social media collection will be or has been so we are still using the pilot process to identify as the effort resource allocation worthy of collecting other social media use as part of the process number one and number two if it is where do we allocate that within the
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investigative process? it will be resource intensive. >> it seems like eight years is an awfully long time to try to find a balance between privacy and that which is public information. this is not highly private information when people are publicizing our own social media like this and i understand we want to be very careful with that. we all do. let me ask you this. it seems that the new policy but we saw this morning, and correct me if i'm wrong but it seems like finding information on an individual's background appears to be largely at the discretion of individual agencies. can you tell me why odni decided to leave that decision to individual agencies rather than
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opening this up for all departments of our federal government? >> i will say there's only 22 agencies who have the authority to conduct background investigations and they do that on behalf of the federal agencies to require that. those individuals are the ones that are covered a policy. the policy was purposefully made available. from 2008 until two years ago social media definition is changed and will continue to change so in order to provide the agencies to conduct the information a maximal flexibility to go about utilizing social media as part of this process was paramount in this effort. i'm pretty sure year from now that definition may change and we want to make sure each agency of the flexibility from the resource perspective to identify the most efficient way to implement this policy.
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>> do you believe is 22 agencies will begin utilizing this? >> i do. >> okay. ms. cobert can you explain how opm plans to implement this policy? >> thank you congressman. as i mentioned in my testimony we are working through this pilot process to figure out the best way to utilize social media as a standard consistent part of the process. as mr. evanina described we are committed to evaluate the question of how. we need a way to make sure when we gather information on social media it's accurate. it's not always accurate. what you find is not always a reality. we need to find a way to make sure as we do this we have the resources to follow up on whatever information is revealed. how do we get those resources to follow up and that is the goal of the pilot is too embedded into the operational process. are there places whereby using social media or their tools we can replace some steps and take
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those resources and apply them to something else? are there other cases where the value of the information will merit adding additional resources so that the issue we are working through in the pilot process we are starting will be starting before the end of this fiscal year. we also will continue through the pack and other forms working with dod and other agencies as they start to implement this so we all can learn from each other. we have got to figure out how to do this right in how to do it at scale and we want to move expeditiously but cautiously as we do that raise tonight thank you. can you provide the committee with the timeframe for implementation besides by the end of the year, and more specific timeframe? >> the first piece is the pilot and then we will take that but we are happy to provide more information. >> thank you very much. >> the gentleman from is expired and now recognized mr. lynch for five minutes. >> i want to thank everybody
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probing this hearing and thank the witnesses for their help. every once in a while i have to talk alarm goes off and sometimes i think i'm hearing happy talk and i think i just heard some. look, i appreciate the idea that we have this eight-year continuum of improvement trying to improve our systems and you know there is this cautious progress of protecting and balancing private information versus doing these background checks but the reality on this committee is 10 months ago ms. colbert your predecessor sat there and told me that 10 months ago we were not even encrypt in the social security numbers of the 4 million people who are had to add opm. that is the reality 10 months ago. we weren't even encrypt things
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social security numbers and she painfully had to admit that in her legal counsel was with her and they confirmed that pat -- facts. i'm very concerned about what is happening. i'm very encouraged that dod is going to take over cybersecurity in your shop and you are going to help them with that. how is that knowing and what steps have you taken? >> specific, that should give me some level of reassurance that we don't have another problem like that? >> thank you congressman. let me start with how we are working with dod in the standup of the nbib and i can come back to things we have underway and that we will be doing in that context. we are working very closely with dod as mr. scott described. >> let me cut you off because i don't want to go on this long diatribe but have you encrypted the social security numbers for
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all of the employees right now add opm? >> there are still elements of the opm systems that are difficult to encrypt. we have a multilayered defense. >> you have all these different systems. i've been out this a while and we have tried to get ahold of this and i have been here four years working on this problem. there's no shame in admitting how difficult that is. what i don't want is his happy talk that it's all going well. we will have another hearing and there'll be a lot of gnashing of teeth and criticisms and there will be somebody else in your spot. what i'm trying to get out is what are we actually getting done and where of the obstacles? at their obstacles in terms of what you're trying to do and i believe you are all trying to do the right thing and mr. scott as well. you can get in on this because you are part of this. what are we doing to protect the
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information that we do gather? >> i would say there have been all kinds of work done in this area, penetration testing, new tools deployed, multiple examinations and ongoing health from dod and dhs and so on so i think opm is leading federal agencies right now in terms of their efforts and the amount of progress that they have made. they have applied tools to the limits they can within the limits of current technology but as beth said there are some things that can't be encrypted because the technology doesn't. >> dod in this area is much better than opm and some of the other departments. are we using their personnel and if they come over? >> they have been in. they are side-by-side with the
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team at opm helping not only preview but to look at architecture and also build out the plans for the future nbib technology so i'm pleased with the way it's going. i don't think there's anybody who would say our job is done and we are not interested in pursuing what else we can do. >> the cost estimate. we have had some pilot programs that tell us it's somewhere between $105 per person to do screenings, this gathering of social media information. is that pretty close in practice what we would find? >> i would say some of the pilots that are from the estimates have been in that range. clearly one of the things that will have to happen and i think the pilots will inform those is some greater level of automation. as you can probably appreciate when you do a search you get a
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ton of data that has to be sifted through and adjudicated. i happen to be a person who has a name that is shared with a professional baseball player, a professional musician, and movie director and a bunch of other things and just a simple search would turn up a bunch of crazy stuff that wouldn't be relevant. so some degree of automation ultimately is going to have to help bring the cost down to that. >> icy my time has expired. mr. chairman thank you for indulgence ngaio back. >> the chair recognizes the john from kentucky mr. massie for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairing the -- chairman. this is a great hearing and i thank you for conducting it. i've a friend that says the government should do opposition research on the politicians. they seem to find anything all the way back to junior high.
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on a serious note though i see edward snowden as an example in our notes as somebody who may be would have known something about it than done social media research. that may or not be true but one thing that does stand out as the political contributions are available on line and i suppose even before social media and the on line availability of this they were available so you have an analog or a way of considering whether you should consider are not consider political contributions and doing background research. now that you have social media available to you there is another layer of transparency or a layer of opec does that has been removed. you can see where somebody supports a political candidate or not. by the way edward snowden and i have similar conjugation histories.
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my colleague here suggest that you should be suspect of anybody that contributes to me as well. my question is this and mr. evanina do you take into account political support when doing background research and social media? >> we do not. it's important for the committee to understand that. investigators to conduct back round investigations are well-trained and they follow investigative standards. there are plenty of policies that they put forth in their rigorous background investigation they conduct investigations on information obtained is relevant to whether or not you are capable of obtaining and holding security clearance so a political contribution would not be one of those. >> if they encountered somebody who in their social media supported a candidate who is strong on fourth amendment and believes very strongly in the right to privacy and there are different interpretations.
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i'm not saying everybody does that would be a consideration. >> absolutely not. i will yield back my time. >> i thank the gentleman. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from l. and i misskelley for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chair. many of us have been accustomed to using technology in our day-to-day lives and it seems that can make sure the social media counts of individuals applying for security clearance however some to know when incorporating social media and to the federal background check process a number of steps must be taken that go far beyond those review as a friend profile. doctors cobert opium conducts 95% of background checks government wide. the initial data collection is completed by federal contractors in part because it must comply
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with the various laws governing when information can be collected used and stored by the federal government. is that accurate? >> congresswoman we work with federal contractors in the investigative process to enhance our capacity to conduct background investigations. they have to follow the same federal investigative standards that mr. evanina reference. the individuals from those contractors who work on investigations also have to go, undergo thorough training against the standards and we work to ensure that's a perfect training. >> the incorporation of social media data is not as simple as it may sound to many people so i'd like to delve deeper and how we get a query for publicly available information to the point in which we have jayapal and verified information for use in the adjudication process. again to begin with contractors must contact social media checks on clearance applicants based on
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guidance from you about the information relevant to clearance of investigations, correct? >> we are going to start with the social media efforts with the pilot i mentioned. that will help us understand what kind of guidance we should be putting in place when individuals are conducting social media searches to verify that information to ensure we are focused on the pieces that are relevant to a security clearance not the other issues that are not part of the process. that's why we are going to work this through enduring the pilots we can create standards and processes that will give us reliable information and protect privacy. >> and your current contractors will need robert training in proper guidance to do all of that. >> they will need training, yes they will. >> once the data is collected the human being is necessary to make a judgment and verified that it -- the individual question. >> we are working to find a
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processes that will enable us to match individuals as mr. scott described. there are multiple tony scott's so we are working through the pilot and i think this will be an ongoing process and where the places we need human intervention where the places that technology can help with that resolution. >> mr. evanina can you speak to some of the challenges associated with verifying social media data? >> i think challenges cannot be understated in terms of number one identity resolution as my colleagues mentioned the ability to identify mr. scott and all that goes with it and the resources it would take to make sure we are firmly in agreement and mr. scott. is it investigated lee and adjudicated fully relevant? is a make sense to put forward and if it is a gets put in the same box to make sure it follows
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the policy procedures and investigative standards and guidelines. i want to reiterate social media the application of information is in the same box as all other tools and take makes. >> even after we have verified individuals account additional manual processing is needed in order to analyze and interpret and contextualize information particularly photographs. is there any way to fully automate the analysis of photographs? >> i want to refer back to my colleague in terms of the ability to maximize any type of automation to facilitate not only at the effectiveness that i want to inform the committee that at the end of the day no matter what we identify the adjudicator is a fundamental government world so they just adjudicator will make the decision. >> thank you.
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i yield back the balance of my time. spent the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina mr. mulvaney for five minutes. >> thank you all for coming. i just have a couple of random questions. mr. evanina you said something in your opening statement. use the same terminology and maybe i don't understand the issue and full disclosure. we are in the libertarian inning wing of the party so we take civil liberties very seriously and you mentioned there were civil liberties concerns i thank been doing this research in the first place. i don't get that. what is the sole -- what civil liberty of mine could be a risk by you doing research on me? >> i don't think of it in terms of the previous pilots in this particular policy. we had to negotiate strongly to ensure that each individual who applies for security clearance we are going to protect their
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privacy and civil liberties and at the same time collect information that. >> i'm not trying to split hairs with you but if we had a similar discussion when it comes to folks who want to the come to the country on various deals but the lady who shot the people in san bernardino came on a fiancée visa and we didn't do any social media and heard why gary kaminsky got from customs enforcement was it would violate her civil liberties to go and do that. if i come to you and i'm asking for job or in my current job to get his security clearance that you just get my permission to look at everything? >> as a matter of fact when he applied for asked -- fs 86 the first thing you have to do is transit to the government searching you. all your financial medical records to consent to do that. >> i have the right to waive that so they're essentially no
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privacy issue on the front end when you are doing a background research on me, correct? >> as long as you consent to it or it's. >> we are all the same page because the real privacy concern comes with what mr. lynch mentioned which is what you do with the information and you have to have it as well i consent to let you go and get it i certainly don't consent with you giving it to other people. that's the focus for many of us who are inches in our civil liberties. i want to go deeper and i think mr. lynch properly pointed out what are you doing with mr. massie's medical records when you do research on him especially on massie, right? and get his mental health records. actually i've got it right here. page 17 is kind of interesting. tell me about that because again we all know about the risks. everyone in the country is hardwired to think my social security thing is important and
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i hope they are protecting that but what about the stuff that doesn't on its face look at like it could be damaging to us? maybe mr. scott went to a marriage counseling. not illegal and i don't need to know that's true i'm not suggesting it is. it is certainly not the type of thing you want to have public. what you doing to protect that information, not just the social security numbers but the detail the meat of the stuff you might find on anybody you are looking at? >> i will start and i want to ensure the only collection and retention of data will be what is investigative way relevant to completing and operating a background investigation. if it's not relevant to you obtain a clearance or won't be retained. >> puts focus on that one word. it's an open-ended question. nothing is not retained any
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more. but once you have that is someplace even if you get an eraser hard drive is someplace so what are you doing tonight sure the stuff that you don't retain really is retained? >> congressman when we get the records of your back round investigation we have a set of rules and guidelines that govern those in that govern the sharing of those so it is used for the investigative decision but there are specific guidelines about how that information is used. we have specific guidelines about her true tension, consistent with there at and their policies and a core element in the cybersecurity design of our system particularly as we are thinking about is to go forward is how we make sure we have the appropriate protection and for all of that information not just social security numbers. there are explicit policies around records retention around rep sharing. both externally within the government. this information was gathered for specific purpose and that is
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one of these for and there are guidelines in place. >> just a quick question and i'd honestly don't know the inter. when the data was hacked was it just social security's that were lost or other information as well? >> information that was lost is data so it included a range of information not exclusively social security numbers. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from california mr. lieu for five minutes. >> my questions are for mr. evanina. first of all thank you for your service. i have a broader concern which is whether race or ethnicity play a role in security clearance denial or granting let me give you some context for this. recently for american citizens were arrested and indicted for espionage and then all charges
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were dropped. these were different cases and it turned out the government just got it wrong. one fact was the same in all these cases was the defendant looked like a pretty happen to be asian-americans. the case of -- their lives were turned upside down because of what our government did. "the new york times" has asked the government to apologize but i wrote a letter to members of congress asking for the justice to investigate. since i wrote that letter our office has been contacted by federal employees who happen to be asian-american alleging that their security clearance was denied because of their race or ethnicity so my question to you is this race or ethnicity play a role in a row background investigations? >> absolutely not and it's a critically not. i don't think there has been a him situation where -- and
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number two the situation you reference i can say 19 years in the fbi can assure you that the app the eye does not conduct investigations relative to whether your race or -- race or ethnicity comes into play. >> thank you. let me ask you about how they -- let's say a japanese-american federal employee has a facebook page and friends of this federal employee living in japan or relatives post on their face but page. is this federal employee become more suspicious because of that? >> absolutely not and the only issue would need on a public face with page there are derogatory art information relevant to the investigation will result in a follow-up leave but otherwise it would not. >> u.s. government under the up
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on the destruction ran something called the insider threat program where federal employees are asked to report another federal employees who may be suspicious. his race or ethnicity allowed to be taken into account under that program. >> sir first of all the task force's house in my shop and again unequivocally race or ethnicity has no part in the entire thread process or the criticality we have across the government. >> are federal employees when they are given training on the threat or-gram and how to report are they given training about race and ethnicity play no part? >> any fundamental training over a santa ethnicity crosses all boundaries. in terms of the past for his race and ethnicity or any type of genre are covered. it's never a part of the insider
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task force. our number one mission is to identify potential insiders, spies. those who seek to do harm to others. >> could you provide my office with guidance on how you train federal employees? >> absolutely sir create. >> i have gone to a number of national security events and briefings and i think it's not a secret that our national security establishment looks very non-diverse and there are been added -- articles about them having to work routing people who are minorities and if i'm wondering if that has anything to do with security clearances and the inability of some folks are minorities who might not be able to get them. did you give me data or statistics on to get security clearances based on race and ethnicity lacks. >> i'm sure we can sir. >> great, thank you that i yield back. areas that the chair recognizes himself for a series of questions and i will be very brief.
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let me follow up on a couple of clarifying things 3-d of obviously put out this new policy and we applaud then we thank you for that. is there any particular legal reason or practical reason why we would not be asking them for their on line identities? >> well sir as part of the sf-86 application when you run your name it asked do i have any other names are aliases that i go by? >> i'm talking about on line identity, twitterer facebook. i'm not going to give it in a public forum but i have twitter accounts that don't actually have my name associated with them and yet i would tweet out things based on that so is there any reason why we would nass for those types of things? >> i don't believe it's a legal issue. the policy should we have to have cleared differentiation between what is investigative
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irrelevant and we can get to those areas. >> havlir talking about social media that would be relevant. there is no expectation of privacy other than well you could perhaps make a case if i'm wanting to be private about it i'm not putting in my name but a few just asked for those on line identities would on line identities be synonymous with an alias? >> it could he sir. snacks i guess that there's no legal or practical reason why we wouldn't do that why would it not be part of a new policy? >> again i would say the policy is a start. >> so are you willing to look at that particular component about asking for other on line identities and maybe report back on your philosophy here within the next 60 days to this committee? >> sir we are looking -- willing to look at all areas. cms specifically a are you willing to look at them report
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back? i'm not asking that you give me a definitive answer, but you get back to the committee on what your opinion as for why he should or should not do that. >> yes sir prius hymn ms. cobert i'm going to start with units something in the past i'd like to ask you with regards the cio and ig relationship how would you characterize that from where it has been and where it is today and if he could speak to that. >> thank you congressman. we have been working across the agency to strengthen our effectiveness of our dialogue with the cio and i believe we have made real progress in a number of different areas. we have set up the cadence of regular communication at my level but the inspector general and currently acting inspector general on a biweekly races. the meeting get an overview of the issues. we have specific teams that were
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were -- made on a periodic basis as well around the ca ca1 procurement and we set up the same mechanism around the standup of the nbib even the oversight issues and making sure we get those rights i think we have made considerable progress in terms of the dialogue, the clarity of the communications. we welcome their input on what we could be doing better as we welcome input from our colleagues. >> you would characterize it as much improved and your leadership. >> i would characterize it as much improved. cf. the chair recognizes mr. mr. lynch ford closing question or statement. >> thank you mr. chairman and again i want to thank you for being here. i'm going to ask a question sort of off the grid here. i appreciate that your may can progress and that's a good thing and we will work together with dod to secure our systems. there's another issue. you know these hackers have become so proficient.
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this morning we got news that the swift commercial bank system , think its 11,000 banks and companies that handle international banking transactions, they were had again. they were just had through bangladesh and the new york fed which is troubling to the tune of $81 million. now we find out there's another hack going on similar to that one so they are being breached. the fdic, chinese hackers news again this morning that the fdic has been hacked and these are entities that have fairly robust protections. and we are about to enter into this, well we are about to debate the transpacific harder ship and one of the provisions in that transpacific partnership
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requires u.s. companies to establish databases in foreign countries, about 12 countries. one of them is vietnam so we would have to, the u.s. companies would have to establish physically databases and most companies come in those countries malaysia vietnam and a lot of the banks and companies involved here are very concerned about the security aspect of this overseas. i just wonder especially mr. evanina i know you worry about this stuff all the time and is well ms. cobert you are dealing with mr. scott as well. what about that dimension of this? i know you were prepared this morning to address this question and i appreciate it if you want to take a pass but i'm just worried about that, about stuff enough to protect the data when it's in the united states and now we are being asked to force power companies dealing with
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international trade to deposit their data into these foreign countries that don't have the security potentially that we have. mr. evanina to. >> sir i concur with your concern for cybersecurity and the need for us to prepare to at least meet where we are in the whole economy. i'm not particularly familiar with requirements within the policies i can't speak to that but in the purview of national security a cyber threat is real and i think we have to take that into consideration for the thing we do moving forward whether domestically in the united states or any of our business is in government operations overseas. >> ms. cobert or mr. scott you want to take a bite of that? >> i would say one of the lessons learned i think worldwide has been cybersecurity knows no national boundaries and concerns about cybersecurity our
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global. physical location is one element that probably in the case of cybersecurity not the most dispositive in terms of concerns i would have. it's more about this secure by design sort of notion, would it be put in place and how well is it implemented and so one? so those would be more my primary concerns. >> my concern is obviously the communist government of vietnam is going to require access. i have -- i will yield back. ..
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[inaudible] on. [inaudible] >> this sunday night on q and a, historian adam and his books and spain in our hearts, on the american involvement on the spanish civil war in the late 19 thirties. >> of this attempt hapten in spain when all over the country, right winged army officers tried to seize power and imparts of parts of the country succeeded in seizing power in 1936. it sent a shockwave of alarm throughout the world. here was a major country in europe, the right-wing military quickly backed by hitler and mussolini who sent arms,
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airplanes, pilots, tanks and tank drivers and was leaning and mussolini eventually sent 80000 ground troops. here was the spanish right making a grab for power. people all over the world thought it ought to be resisted, if not here, where, otherwise we are next. >> sunday night on eight eastern on c-span's q&a. >> now, army colonel for inherent result brief reporter on the pentagon on the fight against isis. he confirms that the u.s. did not carry out the strike that killed the top has blood commander in damascus. this is about 40 minutes. >> good morning everybody. happy friday the 13th. steve, you're looking great and were pleased to have you over
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you to use your. >> thank you pentagon press corps, it's always good to be with you on friday. tonight i'm going to provide you with a short operational update across the battlefield we welcome the belgium announcement today that they will extend straight into syria and additional combat power to more rapidly defeat our enemy i sold the so-called caliphate relies on their ability to act like estates. the fact of the matter is, they can't do it. one of the reasons they can't do it is we have put a dent in their pocketbook. we have two operations targeting their finances. one is called operation pointblank, which aims to destroy the cash files that we find. the other is to focus on their
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oil revenue. these operational have had an impact. we know their total income has been reduced substantially and we know their income for oil specifically is been reduced by about 50 percent. their primary source of income is what they refer to know as taxation. in reality, we note that it is extortion. even their ability to extort money for their own people continues to be reduced with our partner forces liberate more territory. the in addition to choking off funding where scene reduction in foreign fighters on the battlefield. over the last year we assess the number of foreign fighters entering the combat zone each month has decreased possibly by as much as 75%. isil has been unable to deliver on its promise to create a
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functioning state that is it diminish the appeal of the so-called caliphate as a destination spot for foreign fighters. as a result, we assess assess that isil is no longer able to replenish its rank at the rate it's a fighters are dying on the ground. we attribute the reduction in foreign fighter to arrange a fight factors including our military gains on the ground as well as active steps by governments to strengthen and enforce border security and counter recruitment efforts. let's talk about what our partners are doing on the ground. and bar as part of operation desert. iraq he forces have amassed to the outskirts of the town of juba which is a town 25 miles of along the euphrates river. that is is the seventh division along with sunni tribal fighters from the beatty, mahal, and jude deity tribes.
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the tigris river valley, operation valley wolf starts this week as well. the 72nd brigade sees the village of kabuki, coalition trained fighters from other tribes establish a blocking in the south. the 72nd brigade attack from the north. they conducted multiple strike and killed 52 enemy fighters during that operation. since then operations there have focused on secondary clearance in and around peru and continue to improve their positions. in syria, operations around l should dottie are static and the line remains contested and with opposition forces succeeding two villages this week. in the tribe area in the south were syria, iraq and jordan come
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together, opposition forces continue to improve their defenses and are prepared for future operations there. we have conducted this week 40 strikes in that area against isil headquarters. their facilities and facilities and fighting positions. will continue to apply pressures against their capabilities and function by keeping the pressure on in the southern region. it causes a isil to have another problem. this concludes my prepared comments. without further do i will take your questions. >> barbara starr. >> colonel a couple of things. in baghdad, given that you have had several days of attacks in baghdad and around baghdad, what is your assessment there of what isis is trying to accomplish and the destabilization that it poses to the iraqi government? >> certainly our hearts are
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broken for the almost 100 directly citizens were killed or wounded severely wounded in these recent attacks. these are attacks that isil has claimed responsibility for. we know that baghdad is a huge city, city of over 60 people. it is not a city that can simply be zipped up in completely sealed off. so tragically, the enemy is going to be able to get some truck bombs into the city from time to time. these are probably opportunity targets i think. certainly there had been some unrest, some political churn i think here in baghdad over the past several weeks.
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we believe they are on the defensive .. on their heels. they still remain a legitimate threat. they are are a dangerous enemy. they are also smart. they have seen an opportunity to create discord to create eight this harmony. the streets on can strikes went into heavily populated areas and really focused on women, children, complete, complete civilians. not in any way, shape, or form someone who could be considered a combatant or threat to iselin anyway. it was obviously the purpose was to create discord. it it was also an opportunity for the enemy to gain international attention. they have lost ground almost continuously for half a year.
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they've been taking a beating particularly in iraq. where we seen to see city after city and region after region, we see them lose their money and leaders we've seen them lose their towns and villages in territory. so i think they want to try to make a statement and they know these very high visibility attacks get attention. so i think that is also what they're trying to do. >> two things. can you praise praise up-to-date on the status of additional u.s. forces have been announced for deployment for authorization to go into iraq in the status of the apaches and the additional -- going inches your map talks about isolating rocca. what you see going on there. there's talk that there's talk that isis has declared an emergency there. they're moving people, what you see happening there and bring us
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up today on the status. >> so the secretary did announce an additional 217 personnel to come to iraq and serve in various parts. those personal are still flowing. i don't have exact number of how many have come in yet. none of them, none of those have begun to take place yet though. so were still conducting advice and assist at the division level. we have not yet employed the apaches in office so that is still working. it does does take time to get personnel trained and equipped, packed and move so that is ongoing.
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in rocca we had seen this declaration of emergency in rocca, whatever that means. we know this enemy feels threatened. as they should. i've detailed all the straits and we've done that over time, they see the syrian democratic forces in all the syrian air coalition maneuver both to their east and west. to the west and to the east that should dottie. although these areas are becoming increasingly secure. the syrian democratic forces are generating their own combat power in those areas. so certainly we are seeing some reactions to this. we have had reports of isil reese positioning both of their combat capabilities against what they think may be coming next and we've seen reports of them
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repositioning personnel either in the city or even out of the city. so rightfully isil understands that their days are increasingly numbered. we we are going to continue to keep pressure on them and we expect to see them collapse eventually. >> do you need a quick follow-up? >> to follow-ups, is this a case where you been so focused on the north and the offenses to come that you keep trying the back door of this massive impacts of baghdad, because they declared that these were told to area and access for what they're feeling, and what are you going to do about baghdad, you describe a problem but what's next, the american people us-led forces patrolling a receipt lead time. and i can zip it up but surely there's more that can be done.
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>> our focus right now is training and equipping the iraqi security forces in providing airpower in the field. the iraqi security forces have a plan to continue to secure baghdad. they they are going to execute that plan. there is a good efforts around the area last week when there's an increase in protests. those efforts, what cause the demonstrations not happen? i don't know. they certainly snapped into action and created a good security here. i think they will continue to do that. the iraqi security forces understand they have to protect the people and that is what they're trying to do. specifically what the u.s. -- is not involved in baghdad.
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>> political instability and the increasing violence in baghdad has it impacted u.s. plans to send in these additional operators in the apaches? other concerns that by increasing the u.s. footprint and might actually insert or incite further instability due to a long-standing unwillingness to some parties interact not having a u.s. presence there? >> no. not at all. our plan to flow additional accelerants remain on track. we do not believe that any of this recent, whether it be isil initiated bombings or the political churn of same place or the demonstration that were seen are going to impact our ability to flow these additional forces in and get them into position to assist the iraqi security forces and their efforts to prepare for and eventually liberate mosul.
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>> while it may not impact u.s. ability to flow in forces, have you seen any impact from the political to have u.s. boots on the ground there? >> say that again,. >> on iraq's political will to have additional u.s. forces there? >> no. we have not seen the current impact this government desire to have u.s. and coalition support in the fight against isil. we have not seen that at all. the prime minister welcome the announcement the secretary of defense made a week ago. and that remains. >> next to jim. >> i want to follow up on that, what, are there any indications or concerns on the part of the u.s. military in baghdad that
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the iraqi government hits these kind of attacks, the suicide bombing attacks if they continue in baghdad that the iraqi government, the military may lose its result and with draw many of their troops from the fight against isis and bring them back into baghdad for protection? >> right now more than 50% of the iraqi security forces are committed to the defense of baghdad. we have advised the iraqis that that's enough. so certainly is something we have to watch out for but right now we have continue to advise them that their focus needs to remain on defeating this enemy once and for all thereby eliminating it. >> and you said seed jt have is not in the production of baghdad, but when these kind of
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suicide attacks occurred, when the u.s. military was present, general betray us lined many of the streets in neighborhood with those giants texas tea walls and pretty much isolated the threat and reduce the threat significantly, is the u.s. at least working with the iraqi government and military in an effort to provide or at least give them guidance on the kind of defenses that may need be needed in baghdad? >> we have advisors in the baghdad operations center. so these are the type of things that get discussed. the iraqi's really do have their plan for how to secure their capital city. we are available to provide them advice, we're interact with them every day. i'm not going to share with you what their plan is obviously. but they do have a plan to
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continue the security of baghdad and will continue to work with them and provide whatever assistance we can provide. it's notable that even when there were 150,000 american 50000 american forces here that lined every street, we're never able to completely drive the threat. and like i said said this is a big city, over 6 million population, it's not even feasible to think that you could completely stop individuals who are determined to cause harm. >> any any indication of any growing pressure from the shia elements, even i ran perhaps that there has to be more focused now on protecting baghdad against these attacks, primarily against she neighborhoods? neighborhoods? >> i see no indication of that gym. i was lead the iraqi government
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has its own discussions. we have not seen any indication of that. >> next phil stewart. >> a quick follow-up on that i have a question about the packet from the north. >> first on the defense of baghdad, if the iraqis keep about half their forces in baghdad because of this threat, because to defend against the threat, will that slow your plan to go after mosul? secondly on the pocket can you give us an update on where that stand and if isil made some gains with a series of towns, think it was last week or the week before where does that stand now? >> the plan to move towards muzzle takes into account the fact that 50% of the iraqi security forces are in baghdad.
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so assuming that situation remains the same there would be no impact. the iraqi government can move units in forces around the battlefield as it sees fit. should they decide to reposition forces into baghdad that is something we will would cause a change. as it now they it accounts for the security of her. like i said in my opening remarks, opposition forces did lose two small villages this week. to an isolate attack. so that remains as i have described it, what you see is a number of small villages along that line that begins in moves up to the turkish border. and the villages are changing
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hands almost daily in some cases. some of of these villages have changed hands half-dozen times in the last few months. so it's a shoving match where one force will occupy it down, sometimes on a post and sometimes with some opposition. sometime in the larger fight. it has become a continuous back and forth of the small villages. that aside they are to gain the upper hand to or lose upper hand, so we'll have to see how it develops. >> next to andrew. >> i would like to ask about the troop levels. you talk about troops flowing in , a few weeks ago the secretary raise the cap from 3800's more than more than 4000. it's my understanding the actual official number troops on the ground has been about 3500 for most of that time.
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can you help us understand why it's continuing to come in so much under that cat. does that reflect the fact that the iraqis don't really need those forces right now? >> the cap is the maximum that the commander will ensure that he gets the forces he needs on the ground at the time. that's what we have right now. so as re- require additional forces, additional forces will flow in. if we don't require capability the way to require the capability. there is no real trick to it. there is, you're talking about frankly minuscule numbers, plus a minus minus a hundred or two. very small numbers. but this is why we hesitate to get into these number games with you guys because the numbers change daily. they change every single day. somebody leaves, someone comes. someone else comes in the two people he. it's a daily thing.
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the commander has the forces that he requires for the operation that he's conducting. as he needs more forces more will come in. the force management level is simply the upper end. it is not a requirement. we are not required to keep 4082, that's her upper limit of how many were authorized to have. it's our management level. so we don't need that many we don't have that. but if people are rotating out, things things are gonna move a little bit. there is no trick to it. other than having what you need when you need it. and and right now, that is the case. >> next to. >> i want to go back to a question. what's the problem in terms of the airstrikes, even though, why
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was the position on the ground? >> it's a tough fight there. i think you broke up a little bit on the, i think you're asking what the problem in moss which markets a tough fight there. you have an an enemy that wants to continue to gain ground. it does not want to give up any ground. you have opposition forces around a fairly large front that also want to gain some ground. so that's what you're seeing. you're seeing ground game one day and in some cases lost the next day. it's a continuing process. it's a little bit of a change from where it was six months ago. six months ago we had a static line with almost no movement at all. what you see now probably in
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january february time frame is opposition forces me to push and gained quite a bit aground along the line. were talking about that a lot when it was happening. >> really it was the forces, they have struggled to a full the territory that they were able to take back in january february time frame. now you see that it's not static to world war i line of the marra line kinda became became much more fluid after that initial push i can january february time frame, what you're seeing now is that line continuing to fluctuate as the various forces jockeying for position. >> i have a more specific question, do do you have any difficulty to find the groups that you can cooperate with on the ground. there are two separate groups as for as we know, one the group that are working and the other
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group working with dod. are you able to contact with the troops were working with -- >> it is difficult to find groups on the marais because we don't have any there. this is something were continuing to work. we will continue to work it. >> i want to ask you about falluja, we seen reports recently of starvation of civilians there and now with these attacks on baghdad sent a perception among them that the attackers are coming from falluja. are there any increase talk among the iraqi government and their communication with u.s. military about going into falluja before moles old? is that a realistic prospect? can you give give us a sense as to where operations with falluja
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fit into the picture? >> we have seen a lot of these reports to. i think some of the pressure point may be indicate a situation that is worse than it is. the un reporting that i have looked at certainly indicates there are growing problems that food is becoming scarce and people who want to leave cannot. but you also seem some reporting in areas that indicate that it's a legitimate humanitarian crisis with starvation. it's difficult to know exactly where on that spectrum falluja falls. regardless, certainly there is suffering there. and the suffering is there because of isil. let's not ever forget that po


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