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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 16, 2016 11:21pm-12:01am EDT

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ten cars in front of you. it seems to take forever to get that line moving. it's far more efficient and less bothersome to the public. the condition of the infrastructure will be a factor in how effective those new technologies can be. >> thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> coming up tuesday morning colorado democratic congressman joins us to discuss the latest move by the obama administration to stop bathroom laws as well as efforts to elect more lgbt people to congress. and then steven moore who reportedly was asked by donald trump to review his tax proposal
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will be on to discuss the elements of mr. trump's plan as well as plans offered by the other candidates. be sure to watch beginning live tuesday morning. join the discussion. >> here's a portion of that meeting. >> okay. just to give everybody a status report we still have 40 something amendments remaining although there is some hope that
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that number will shrink over the next few hours. but that's where we are at this moment everybody has been good at keeping their comments brief and to the point. i appreciate that. we have a number of issues remaining for the full committee portion of the mark which is where we will turn in a moment. consultation will mr. smith will postpone recorded votes on amendments until a mutually agreed tile. in the interest of time i'm not going to try to summarize many of the provisions. i just want to highlight two sections. one dealing with acquisition reform. working with the senate. we made some significant changes in acquisition reform last year. we build on those this year to
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try to make sure that we get modern technology fielded faster we also provide flexible funding for prototyping. we also approve cost schedule and technological risk. but on the other hand we give the services greater milestone decision authority for joint programs related to a discussion earlier today and we begin to clarify the issues involving intellectual property. briefly as you remember, 1986 the congress passed the act which most everybody thinks has
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been a tremendous success in encouraging jointness and defining roles and responsibilities in the department of defense. so it's time to take a look at it. the department sent over proposals. some of the things that are in the mark are to expand the advisory role of the chairman of the joint chiefs to advice on on going operations. i believe we should expand from 2 to 4 years and i also believe that the qdr outlived it's
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usefulness. >> there is a lot more detail on the almosts of that but this is a start at trying to update some of the laws and responsibilities in the department to meet the times as i mentioned in the opening stalt. i'm going to yield to mr. smith and then invite the chairman to summarize the health care part which is in the full committee because we relayed in getting some of the scoring. >> thank you for your work. there are some excellent things in the full committee mark. most notably is the acquisition reform.
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i also want to thank the chairman for taking on the health care issue. not an easy one to tackle. it's very important that we address it again as far as figuring out how to deal with the cost curve that we are facing. there's excellent things in the mark. i thank the chairman and staff for the great work and i look forward to debating the next 40 plus amendments and hoping that number shrinks. so thank you mr. chairman. with that i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. chair yields to the gentleman from nevada. >> thank you mr. foreman chairman to address the health care provisions within the german's mark the committee held multiple hearings briefings and round tables that included the former and current generals from the health agencies. the vsos and msos and military health care providers and the overarching theme is that the military health system is there with the primary mission of
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readiness and that means medical force meaning we have health care providers ready to provide combat casualty care and a force ready to go engage in combat. so we looked at the current structure and function. some in line with what we heard through our briefings, hearings and round tables. we divide them into three areas. one is to change the structure of the military health system. and that is by creating one single entity that's responsible for the management of all military treatment facilities across dod which would be the defense health agencies. right now each has responsibility so there's efficiencies to be had by having one central agency responsible for the overall management of military treatment facilities. the second area is aligning treatment facilities based on civilian capacity and capability
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within the community. the third was to ensure access and quality care. we then went on to the joint trauma system and create a joint trauma and education and training directorate. the last area was tricare as there were over 7 or 8 different tricare plans we condense them down into two. there are differ options on how west to cover guard reserve but they did not have the data to
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make a recommendation so we asked them to bring the data back so we can address that issue. in the tricare plan in going to two basic options of hmo and ppo, we maintain the current eight structure which is currently in place right now for tricare for all current active duty members and their families. we also do that for the current retirees. the goal is to see the changes in structure and function be rolled out and evolve over the next 2 to 4 years at which time potential increases in enrollment fees and deductibles will be put into place because we'll have increased access and increase the product. they'll not see any change to their premium or deductibles or their co-pays. however after 2018 and after the
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gao completes a study that does have access to care and beneficiary satisfaction we move to a co-pay system based on fixed fees as opposed to a percentage of co-pays. there's an institution of a small annual enrollment fee and they'll be indexed to them. that is a review of the health care provisions and i yield back. >> thank the gentleman. i yield to the ranking member of the personnel subcommittee for any comments she would like to make. >> thank you m. chairman. i want to echo and thank the chairman of the committee for his work on that. and gave their time and their energy. there were many, many opportunities to ask questions and i think that the committee did that.
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in the end we're not saving the money going forward so we're certain that people are getting the best care but at the same time that we're being able to provide savings going forward so that we're not really taking so much of health care costs from the rise of about 4%. the budget was in 94 to 10% of the budget now. so, you know, we don't want to get a lot past that because once we start letting it rise too much over the personnel costs overall we're going to be in trouble. we cannot really spend that much money. what this does creates two tooers and it would be actually
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and i think by the end of next year we should be looking at some changes so that we really can make certain that we're not spending much more of the budge than we are today. thank you. >> is there other discussion of the mark? >> thank you. for the record i'd like to briefly note my concern with the provision in the mark that places restrictions on reverse auctions. and goods and services to win down a project rather than vice versa. so this drives contracting price down and opens up the procurement process to new
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entities. while i acknowledge that we have not perfected their use in federal contracting i do believe that there is a value. into the procurement process and i also note that the gao reports and testimony from other committees indicates that when there are problems with reverse auctions they tend to be with the procurement officer and how they utilized the procurement tool themselves. and instead of better utilizing auctions and improving the
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process we are legislating just for the sake of legislating so as we have in the past i hope that we will be able to work mr. chairman with the senate in conference to more appropriately address this challenge. i yield back. thank you. >> i appreciate the comments and the concerns and i think i agree with the vast majority of what she says. we need to keep working on these provisions. is there other discussion of the full committee portion of the mark? if not we will turn to amendments of the full committee portion of the mark. the gentleman from arizona. >> mr. chairman i have an amendment at the desk. >> if the staff would please distribute the amendment.
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>> the amendment is considered as read and the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> mr. chairman, immigrants have been fighting in america's armed services and the founding of the republican. many did not come here legally yet we still allow them to enlist because most of our history your patriotism and their patriotism is more important than papers. i want to tell you about a great american named joseph medena. he was born in mexico 101 years ago. they moved to work in the
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soybean fields. he learned he was undocumented. in 2016 despite the great threats our nation faces, dreamers like joseph that wanted to serve our nation in uniform are turned away from recruiting offices across the country. in contrast in 1944 all it took was for joseph to drive up to canada one afternoon and reenter the united states and return to his unit. joseph went on to fight with distinction under legendary general george mcarthur. he came to washington to plead with congress to give today's undocumented young people the same opportunity he had to fight for his country. speaking on the national mall he talked about the love for america that motivated him to enlist. the sincere patriotism he shared to the millions of undocumented youth that grew up in our communities and pledge allegiance to our flag and want to give back to our country.
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my amendment would enable just that. it would require a process to prevent the enlistment of beneficiaries for deferred action. they already have this authority pursuit to section 504 of title 10 and the department is current ri allowing a small number of undocumented young people that present special hang waj and technical skills to join our armed services. unfortunately in a few moments they'll argue this is an immigration issue and shouldn't be considered in the context of the annual defense bill. they'll even claim my amendment is back door amnesty. it's consistent with pass precedence. this change was made through the nb, a. in closing when we vote on this amendment later this evening
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please consider the long sweep of history and not just the antiimmigrant politics of the present our military will be made stronger in 2016 in this room if we vote to give another generation of immigrants the chance to serve. mr. chairman, the willingness to fight and tie in uniform is the purest expression of love for our country. please support my amendment and give dreamers that love america in america's armed forces. >> chairman yields back. and offer the substitute and staff and distribute the substitute.
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>> without objection the substitute is considered read and i recognize myself for five minutes. up to five minutes. as we know there's a number of controversial aspects and generally to the subject of immigration. my goal is to keep our focus on the national security of the united states. and so this substitute affirms
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the authority that the secretary of defense has to bring anybody into the military and they have authority to fill critical needs. whatever they may be. with individuals however they may have gotten here. and that is the way we make sure that the national security of the country is protected and, in fact. that authority is used currently. to go beyond that gets us into the executive orders and other issues which i say and i always know are very controversial.
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so i want to keep the focus on the national security. i want to affirm the ability to the of the department to fill whatever needs it believes it has to ensure we have the best people possible to defend the country and that's what the substitute will do and i yield back the balance of my time on the substitute. is there other discussion? >> mr. brooks. >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to emphasize something. the issue is not the dreamers or folks that are often called illegal aliens. the issue is national secure and whether americans and lawful immigrants are meeting america's national security needs. right now everybody on this committee understands that there's reductions enforced to the tunes of tens of thousands depending on the time frame talked about and american and lawful immigrants in uniform are
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getting pink slips as american military is being cut by the thousands and tens of thousands of positions. right now all recruitment and reenlistment needs of all branches of the united states military are being met by american and lawful immigrants that seek to serve america in the armed forces. if the day should come when national security notes and given that american and lawful immigrants that we not deny them the positions that are available. i support the chairmans substitute amendment.
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>> when we need a skill set that we don't have we are able to get that not necessarily from united states citizen. you restate that and there are skill sets that would make them really great members of the military. and so i personally will be voting for your substitute amendment because i believe that the skill set is great among our young people and are here in part of our fabric and community
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and they want to be serving our country. so personally i will be voting for your amendment. thank you mr. chairman. >> i thank this young lady. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> a young woman joined the army and served in south korea. served honorably. ended up marrying a young soldier. moved back to ft. hood texas. both of them serving and had a child and then got a call late one night saying they wanted to deport her. she was willing to give her life for her country but the country wasn't willing to give her a life in the united states. what better way to say you love this country than to say you would give up your life? that woman happens to be my daughter-in-law. the mother of my grandchild.
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and i very much appreciate the fact that we're moving this along mr. chairman with your amendment because there needs to be that legal pathway for those that want to serve our country. i thank you and yield back. >> the gentleman from arizona is recognized on the substitute. >> i recognize that you can't get 100% of what you want, 90% of the time. mathematic joke but i want to recognize and support an amendment. this is a very significant step forward when it comes to the equitable treatment of other immigrants that served their country and i encourage members to really support this substitute amendment and will in-turn with draw my amendment. i'm going to have to either way. >> you can't with draw it and now that i've offered a substitute but we're on the same
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page. >> still learning the ropes mr. chair. and now the question is on the amendment that the gentleman has substituted. substitute it's done. and now we'll move on to other amounts. >> thank you mr. chairman. i have an amendment. >> clerk will distribute the
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amendment. >> he is recognized on his amendment. >> it directs them to evaluate the effects of allowing them to apply to the u.s. military service academies so they can be a part of the diversity that makes up the u.s. military officers core. according to a report they found that while the pentagon has
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created a force whose lower ranks mirror that racial and ethnic diversity of america the same cannot be said for the office officers. they rely as an avenue for fresh talent and despite the need for diverse officer class a particular young group of men and women are barred from even applying to institutions like westpoint or the u.s. naval academy. regardless of your thoughts on immigration or the president's executive actions on immigration they present a pool of diverse men and women and have a great deal of talent that will serve america well and while i support president obama's actions on immigration this does not make any judgments or assert any opinions but only requires our defense department to objectively evaluate how current policies could impact the future of diversity of high ranking officials in the armed services
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and i'd like to remind members of certain things. in higher income suburban areas and rural areas the participation pool and interest in the academies is much higher than in certain urban areas in dallas and ft. worth in the cities and the older suburbs the interest level is just not there and some of these kids may be willing to fill that void and some people may think these kids don't have much to offer i'll remind you that going back to the days of the american revolutionary war we had foreigners that fought as
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officers and trained along side with us for every battle and i don't see any difference in these kids and the benefit they can bring to help making the united states a great place. >> will the gentleman yield? >> i do yield to the gentle lady from california. >> thank you to the gentleman from the dallas area. i just wanted to say that i actually sit on the board of visitors for westpoint and i want to remind you all that we have those in foreign militaries attend our academies also so i was just up for our meeting about ten days ago up in the hudson river valley and sat down with some troops and cadets to have lunch and several of them were from other countries. so we do have foreigners currently attending our academies and i would like to
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echo comments on the fact that in particular in some of the urban areas we never have enough supply. we don't have enough people actually asking us for those admission slots and many of the slots go empty and it would be nice to increase the diversity. because i also at sat on the board of visitors for the air force academy for about 8 years we worked very hard on increasing that diversity at our academies but it's very difficult that for many of you probably have a lot of people trying to fill those slots and in many of especially some of our colleagues from the black and hispanic caucus it's a little bit more difficult to fill shoez slots so this is a great amendment and i yield back
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to you. >> thank you and mr. chairman i yield back the balance. >> i yield myself in opposition to the amendment. i think we were all pretty much on the same page a few memos ago and that is focus on national security. bring in the key skills however you need to bring them in. once we start defining particular populations to have an evaluation or consideration and so forth we're looking at other criteria and to the gentle lady from california talking about westpoint there's another underrepresenned group of folks and that's in rural areas. i had a challenge in getting enough people to apply for some of the academy positions and there's a variety of populations that one could look to to
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increase knowledge and awareness and applications but when we start into these sorts of situations i think we're getting away from whatever skills we need to defend the country we ought to get them and we get off into other areas and that gets more controversial so that's the reason i would oppose the amendment of the gentleman from texas. other come mens on this amendment? >> i serve as well on the board of visitors and i'd like to remind my colleagues that westpoint has a fully funded completely staffed recruitment team charged with nothing but finding qualified hispanics and blacks and other qualified minorities to diverse identify the officer core. they're keenly aware of the need and value for this and it's fully funded so to ask us to
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vote for this would ask us to in effect affirm that the president's overreach which many of us disagree with but rest assured that as far as westpoint is concerned they have very aggressive in trying to recruit all minorities to better reflect in the officer core america. so the team is doing a great job. i yield back. >> mr. brooks. >> i want to emphasize something. every member of congress regularly meets with applicants that want to enter one of our military academies and there is an abundance of people here lawfully. in particular american citizens that want those positions and want to be able to serve our country and be able to go into the military academies and are denied that tun because the competition is so stiff and if
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you look at the contents of his amendment i want to emphasize that this amendment is talking about opening up the door for illegal aliens to be able to compete against americans that want to serve our country. i have compassion and kind hearted thoughts for the people that come into america illegally just trying to better themselves but at the same time we need to focus on americans that juan to serve their country and give them top priority or at least that's the way i look at it and it's nothing against the people that are from other countries and have come into america illegally so much as my focus is on the desire to turn away as few americans as possible that want to serve in the united
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states military and who want to go through our military academies and this kind of amendment is a step in the direction on a one for one basis. every time an illegal alien is admitted it means an american citizen and perhaps a lawful immigrant has been denied that opportunity and as for me i want to give priority to americans and lawful immigrants as long as we have those people that juan to serve our country in the armed services and want to enter our military academies. so with that i would oppose his well intentioned amendment because it would cost positions that americans should have the first crack at. >> thank you. i'd like to talk in favor of the
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amendme amendment. one the amendment is asking for a study. we don't know what's going to happen to this population in the future. as things go we may have immigration funds in a couple of years and this body of men and women could potentially be a good group of people for us to be able to recruit into our armed services and into our academies. now whether it's replacing one american or whatever we juan to title it, they're not a jobs program. we want the best and the brightest to go there and if they happen to be an immigrant, and they give, score the highest on the test we would think we would want the person that's going to provide the best
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service to our country. not to use the military as an employment service. i strongly support this amendment. it doesn't create anything new within the conversation or immigration. it does allow proper planning for a population that is pretty sizable and could be a very attractive for us to try to recruit into military academies in the future. >> thank the gentleman. >> there you go. >> let me add this. in the urban areas the interest level is not as high as it should be among latino americans
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and black americans. we have done outreach and everything that we can to get the level up. they are not taking the place of u.s. citizens again. also this is just a study.


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