tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN June 23, 2012 6:00am-7:00am EDT
this issue is perhaps the most frustrating challenge that i have come across since becoming secretary of defense last year. despite the increase efforts and attention, the trends continue to move in a troubling and tragic direction. all of us gathered here share a deep concern about this issue and about the trends that we are seeing. we also share a commitment to take action to do everything possible to prevent these horrible tragedies and to
support those who have served our country with honor and with distinction. the greatest frustration is that there are no easy answers. there are no quick fixes. there are no simple solutions. that does not mean that we cannot do more to prevent it from happening. we can do more. we must do more. together, we will do more to prevent suicides. it is important for all of us to recognize the nature of challenges that we face in our military and veterans'
community. for more than 10 years we have been a nation at war. repeated deployments, sustained exposure to combat, tragedies of war have brought stresses and strains on our troops and on their families back home. thanks to advances in protective technologies, and battlefield medicine, more of our men and women are surviving combat. however, once home, many grapple with the wounds of battle, both seen and unseen.
traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress, the other psychological ailments that can contribute to the risk of suicide. the end of the war in iraq, the beginning of the drawdown in afghanistan will hopefully ease some of the strain on our troops. that will not solve this problem. indeed more than half of those who have committed suicide in the military had no history of deployment. we are dealing with broader societal issues.
substance abuse. financial distress. relationship problems. risk factors for suicide that also reflect the problems in the broader society. risk factors that will endure beyond war. we have to develop an enduring suicide prevention strategy. the department of defense is committed to being a part of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention.
we are committed to doing whatever it takes to protect and support our people. building off of the recommendations contained in the 2010 dod task force report last november, we have established a dod suicide prevention office. this office will put new resources and a new focus for implementing programs and enhancing the effectiveness of our suicide prevention programs. i see our efforts having to focus on four key tracks. let me discuss each of those areas. first of all, this is always critical when it comes to an operation like the defense department and to our military forces. leadership responsibility. leadership responsibility. we are directing military leaders to take this issue head
on. like almost every issue in our military, progress on suicide prevention depends on leadership. i have made that clear. this issue is first and foremost a leadership responsibility. all those in command and leadership positions, critically and officers, nco's, who have daily responsibility for troops, need to be sensitive, need to be aware, the to the open to the signs of stress in the ranks.
they need to be aggressive. aggressive. in encouraging those who served under them to seek help if needed. they also must set an example by seeking help themselves if necessary. as part of their leadership responsibilities, a junior officers and and nco's must foster the kind of cohesion that will foster mental-health. my wife is a nurse. she worked on mental health care issues. she said to me time and time again, this is a human issue, a human problem.
we have to look in people's eyes. we have to be sensitive to their on motions. we have to be sensitive to charges that they are facing. we have to be aware. you have to have your eyes open. the more we can see those problems coming, the more we can do to try to help people in need. to that end, we have to make clear that we will not tolerate, we will not tolerate actions that be little, that haze, that ostracize any individual, parked it really those who have discovered departed early those who have decided to seek professional help. leaders throughout the department must make it understood that seeking help is
a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness. it is a sign of strength. it is a sign of courage. [applause] we have to do all we can to remove the stigma that is still surrounding mental health care issues. the outreach efforts such as the real warriors campaign, which worked to increase awareness and the use of resources such as the military and veterans crisis lines are also a very important parts of these efforts. secondly, we have to do
everything we can to improve the quality and access to health care. this is the second pillar of the suicide prevention strategy. improving the quality of behavioral healthcare, expanding access. we now have one and 9000 psychiatrists, psychologist, social workers, mental health nurses, counselors, working in military hospitals and military clinics. that number has increased more than 35% in the last three years. behavioral health experts are now being imbedded into units. the department has worked to place mental health providers in primary care clinics to facilitate action.
guardsmen often do not have ready access to the same support network as the active duty force. we have to do what we can to increase initiatives like the yellow ribbon 3 integration program that works to what address this kind of problem. in going forward, i want to make sure all service members and their family members have the quality, mental and be able health care they need. this kind of care must be delivered by the best health care professionals in the world. thank you to the efforts so many of you in this audience. we are improving our ability to identify and treat mental health care conditions. we are working to better equip
our system to deal with the unique challenges these conditions can present. for example, i have been concerned about reports of problems that the screening process for posttraumatic stress and the military disavowed project in the military evacuations system. i have directed a review of this process across all of the uniformed services. this review will help ensure that we are delivering on our commitment to provide the best care for our service members. we have got to do everything we can to make sure that the system itself is working to
help soldiers, not to hide this issue, not to make the wrong judgments about this issue, but to face facts and deal with the problems up front and make sure we provide the right diagnosis and we follow up on that kind of diagnosis. thirdly, we have to elevate the whole issue of mental fitness. the third pillar of suicide prevention is better equipping service members with training and coping skills that they need to avoid or bounce back from stress. all of the services under the leadership of general dempsey and the senior enlisted adviser are working to elevate mental this to the same level of
importance. we have to elevate mental fitness to the same level of importance that dod has always placed on physical fitness. [applause] separately, a whole government effort that has been led by the president and mrs. obama to combat veterans and employment and boost hiring of military spouses is aimed at helping to reduce the financial stress faced by military families and veterans. finally, and fourthly, we have to increase research in suicide prevention.
in partnership across government, and with the private sector, the fourth pillar of our approach is to improve our understanding of suicide. to improve our understanding of related mental health care issues to better were improve scientific research. i would like to note the leadership of health and human services. i would like to thank her for coming to address this conference earlier. all of us recognize there is still too much we do not know about the causes of suicide. the effectiveness of suicide prevention programs and the
linkage between psychological helps and traumatic brain injuries. trying to find out more about these difficult, complex issues is not easy. we have to do everything we can to continue the research effort and learn more about this difficult issue. in many of you are working tirelessly to address the staffs. as part of this effort, the department of defense and the department of veterans affairs are working to build a analysis of suicides and suicide attempts to spot trends and get ahead of that. likewise, we are improving program in violation so we can better focus our resources on those programs that are proven
to be affected. the department is also working to fundamentally transform a nation's ability to understand and treat traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress. the signature unseen wounds of the last decade of war. earlier this month, the department and the sbred fallen heroes fund announced the plan to construct state-of-the-art treatment centers for brain injuries, psychological disorders at nine of our largest installations in the country. i am delighted that we were able to break ground on the first two of the centers fort belvoir and camp lejeune.
the centers were made possible by the generosity of private citizens. god bless them for their generosity and what they do. because of their generosity this will help complement national interest for it center in bethesda and provide cutting edge of valuations, treatment planning, research, and education for service members and for their families. my long-term goal for the
department of defense is to be a game changing innovation in this field. just as we help foster the space race in the internet, i want us to break new ground in understanding the human mind as well as human emotions. in doing so, we will be drawing on a rich history of military needs in drawing innovation in this field. during world war ii, millions of servicemen saw firsthand the need for better psychological services and psychological treatment. in its aftermath, with the g.i. bill and psychological training program, the entire field of modern psychology has transformed. it really has. for the first time, combat
psychology was a field that was richly funded in training and in practice. the results have been better treatment and better care for millions of americans. i believe we could help bring about another transformation made possible by the hard work from men and women like all of you. i know that you will not rest and will not be satisfied until we have given our service members and their family members and our veterans the support they need. there are no easy answers to the challenge of suicide.
but that is no reason for not finding the answers to the problems of suicide. [applause] we have to keep trying to do everything we can to prevent it. all of us have to always support and care for those who have stepped forward to defend our country in uniform. we are a family. we are a family. by god, we have to take care of our family members.
that is not just italian, that is american. [applause] we owe it to those who protect us to do all we can to protect them. may god bless you and all of those who protect this great nation. thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> how do you approach book interviews differently than news reporting interviews? >> i think of the book interviews as gathering history. i think of interviewing when i'm working for the news side as gathering contemporary
information. >> how difficult is it to remain impartial in your reporting and not get caught up in the hype of one campaign or another? >> i'm going to try to as best as i can give people as full an understanding of what is happening in this campaign. it's not that difficult to put your biases to the side. >> how has social media changed your line in work in terms of reporting and gathering snfings -- gathering information? >> twitter is a primary news source for anybody who covers politics and anybody who pays attention to politics. twitter didn't exist four years ago for all practical purposes. >> sunday night, purdue university students interview "the washington post's" dan balz on the newspaper business, covering presidential elections, what's news worthy, and the rise of social media, sunday at 8:00 on c-span. >> president obama said he will not give up the fight for immigration reform. speaking at the annual conference for the national association of latino elected
and disappointed officials, the president spoke about the news for comprehensive immigration reform and criticized republican presidential candidate mitt romney for opposing the dream act. this is about 35 minutes. >> thank you. thank you. gracias. thank you so much. thank you. thank you. thank you, everybody. please have a seat. it is good to be back at naleo. [speaking spanish] >> it is wonderful to see good friends from across the
country. it is nice to be at disney world. this is the second time i've come to disney world without my daughters. they are not happy with me. i want to thank secretary hilda solis for the introduction and for her hard work. she is one of the best labor secretaries we have ever had and she is thinking about you each and every day. >> i want to say thank you to sylvia and arturo. happy early birthday, arturo. i will not sing. do not worry. >> welcome to the other side of the hill. it is especially good to have
the ambassador here with us. we are very proud of her. >> when the senate refused to confirm her, i sent her to he will sal var to anyway. the senate confirmed her last week. she is now official. >> last but not least, i want to thank all of you. it is nice to get out of washington, get some of florida sunshine, but see folks and devoted themselves to serving their communities, countries, and dedicated themselves to making people's lives a little bit better each and every day, at every level, school board, state legislatures, county boards, and you guys are where the rubber hits the road. i had a chance to see many of you in your local communities and hear the stories of your
efforts, hopes, dreams, and also some of your frustrations and the hardships that are taking place. in all, yesterday, your featured speaker came here and said the election in november is not about to people, or about being a republican, democrat or independent. it is about the future of america. while we have a lot of differences, he and i, on this point i could not agree more. this is about america's future. it is the defining issue of our time -- whether we carry forward the promise fed has drawn generations of immigrants to our shores from every corner of the globe, sometimes at great risk.
men and women drawn by the promise that no matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from, no matter your last name, this is a place where you can make it if you try. it is a place where you can make it if you try. whether our ancestors arrived on the mayflower or were brought here on slave ships. whether they signed in on ellis island or crossed the rio grande, their diversity has not only in with the country, it helped to build the greatest economic engine the world has ever known. hungry people. striding people. dreamers. risk takers. people cannot come here and looking for handouts.
we are a nation which a nation of strivers, climbers -- we are a nation of strivers, climbers, the hardest working people on earth, and nobody personifies these american values, these american traits, more than the latino community. >> that is the essence of who you are. all we ask for is that hard work pays off. that responsibility is reported -- rewarded. so, if these men and women put in enough effort, they can find a good job. they can own their own home, send their kids to college, let their kids dream bigger, put away a little bit for retirement, not go bankrupt when you get sick.
i ran for this office because for more than a decade that dream had been slipping away from too many americans. before i even took office, the world -- the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes push it further from reach, the ticket early for watching the communities that -- particularly for latino communities that had already face higher unemployment and poverty rates. the question is not whether we need to do better. of course there -- the economy is not where it needs to be. of course, there are too many that struggle. we have so much more work to do. the question is, how do we make the economy grow faster? how do we create more jobs? how do we create more opportunities? the question is what vision are we going to stand up for. are we going to fight for? -- who are we going to fight for? that is what we have to decide right now. that is what this election is
about. who are we fighting for? what division of american do we believe in? -- what vision of america do we believe in? if america is about anything, it is about passing on even greater opportunity to our children. it is about education. that is why i extended pell grants that will give an additional 150,000 students in the latino community a chance to go to college. [applause] >> that is why i have invested in our community colleges, which are a gateway to a good job for so many hispanic-americans, americans of every stripe. that is why in almost every state, some of the calmest -- toughest neighborhoods around, have met our standard by teaching it to a test, expanding creativity, improving curriculum, focusing more on the kids that are hardest to
reach, so we give every child a fighting chance. that is part of the vision of america that we believe in. in this country, we believe that if you want to take a risk and a new idea, you should have the chance to succeed and you should not have to have wealthy parents to be successful. latino-owned businesses have been the fastest-growing small businesses, and we have cut their taxes 18 times. we have expanded new loans and credits so they can grow and they can hire. >> that is the vision we believe in. in america we believe you should not go broke because you get sick. hard-working people out there, sometimes two jobs, three jobs, sometimes do not have health
insurance. if you did, insurance companies were able to discriminate against certain patients. that was wrong. it was wrong to let insurance companies jack up premiums for no reason and have millions of working americans uninsured with the latino community having the highest rate of uninsured of any community in the country. after a sense the the -- century of trying, we passed reform that will make health care affordable and available for every american. that was the right thing to do. that was the right thing to do. do. that was the right thing to do. >> now, we are not done yet. we have more to do.
we need to put more good teachers in our classrooms. >> we need to get colleges and universities to bring down the cost of tuition, to make it more affordable for young people. >> we need to invest in new research and innovation, especially new sources of energy and high-tech manufacturing. we need to put people back to work, rebuilding our roads, highways, runways, construction jobs -- they can have a huge ripple effect in communities across the country and nobody knows it better than state and local officials. you know the difference it makes. with the housing bubble, you have tens of thousands of construction workers ready and eager to get to work. we need to give families in the hard-hat housing markets like
florida and nevada chance to refinance and save $3,000 a year on their mortgage. that is good for those families, the housing market, the surrounding communities. there is no reason why congress has not already done it. >> instead of just talking a big gain of about job creators we should give small business owners a tax break for hiring more workers or pay in higher wages instead of rewarding companies that ship jobs overseas. we should use the money and cover moving expenses for
countries -- companies that are bringing jobs back to america. >> on almost every issue of concern to your community, to every community, what is holding us back is not a lack of big ideas, not a lack of technical solutions. by now, just about every policy and proposal has been laid out on the table. what is holding us back is a stalemate. a stalemate in washington between two fundamentally different views of which direction we should go.
the republicans who run congress, the man at the top of their ticket, they do not agree with any of the proposals i just talked about. they believe the best way to grow the economy is from the top down, so they want to roll back regulations and give an insurance companies, credit card companies, mortgage lenders even more power, when they tell you they can do better, that is their idea of doing better. when they tell you they know how to fix the economy, that is exactly how they plan to do it, and i think they are wrong. i think they are wrong. >> you know, in this country, prosperity has never come from the top down. it comes from a strong and growing middle class. and creating ladders of opportunity for those struggling to get into the middle class. it comes from a thriving small businesses that over time grow into medium-sized and large businesses. we need a better plan for education and training, and energy independence, innovation and infrastructure that could rebuild america. what we need is a tax code
encourages companies to create jobs and manufacturing here in the united states, and, yes, ask the wealthiest americans to help pay down the deficit. >> that is what is needed. what is also needed is immigration reform that finally lives up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants, and continues the american story of renewal, energy and dynamism that has made us who we are. >> think about it -- you and i both know one of america's greatest strengths has been our ability to attract talent and hard working people. people who believe in this country, who want to help make it stronger. that is what keeps us
young. that is what keeps us dynamic and energized. that is what makes us who we are. our current immigration system does not reflect those values. it allows the best and the brightest to study here, but then it tells them to leave, start companies somewhere else. it punishes immigrants and businesses that play by the rules and fails to address the fact there are too many that do not. it separates families. it denies innocent young people to earn -- a chance to earn an education or served in a military of the country that they love. now, once again, the problem is not a lack of technical solutions. we know what the solutions are to this challenge. just six years ago, an unlikely trio, john mccain, ted kennedy, president bush came together to champion comprehensive immigration reform.
>> i, along with a lot of democrats were proud to join 23 senate republicans in voting for it. today, those same republicans have been driven away from the table by a small pad -- faction of their own party. it has created the same stalemate on immigration reform that we see on a range of economic issues, and it has given rise to a state law -- to state laws that caused more problems than they solve, and are often doing more harm than good. >> now, this makes no sense. it is not good for america. as long as i am president of the united states, i will not
give up the fight to change it. in the face of a congress that refuses to do anything on immigration, i have said that i will take action wherever i can. my administration has been doing what we can without the help in congress for more than three years now. last week, we took another step. on friday, we announced we are listing the shadow of deportation from deserving young people who were brought to this country as children. we should have passed the dream at a long time ago. it was written by members of both parties. when it came up for a vote one year and a half ago, republicans in congress blocked it. >> the bill had not changed. the need had not changed. the only thing that changed was politics.
>> the need had not changed. the bill had not changed. it was written with republicans. the only things that changed where politics, and i refuse to keep looking young people in the eye and tell them tough luck, the politics is too hard. i have met these young people all across the country. they are studying in our schools. they are playing with our children. pledging allegiance to our flag, hoping to serve our country -- they are americans. in their hearts, in their minds, they are americans through and through, in every
single white but on paper, and all they want is to -- every single way but on paper, and all they want to do is go to college and give back to the country that they love. let's get rid of the shadow of deportation and give them some hope. that was the right thing to do. it was the right thing to do. >> it is not amnesty. it falls short of where we need to become a path to citizenship. it is not a permanent fix. it is a temporary measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while offering justice to young people, and it is precisely because it is temporary that congress still needs to come up with a long-term immigration solution rather than argue that we did this the wrong way and for the wrong reasons. so, to those who are saying
congress should be the one to fix this, absolutely. for those who say we should do this in a bipartisan fashion, absolutely. my door has been open for three and a half years. they know where to find me. >> i have said time and again, send me the dream act. i will sign it right away. i am still waiting to work with anyone from either party that is committed to real reform. >> in the meantime, the question we should consider is this -- was providing these young people a measure of temporary relief the right thing to do? i think it was. it is long past time that we gave them a sense of hope. you're speaker from yesterday
has a different view. in the speech he said that when he makes a promise to you he will keep it. he has promised to veto the dream act, and we should take him at his word. >> i am just saying. [applause] >> i believe that would be a tragic mistake. you do, too. on all of these issues, the investments we need to grow the middle class, leave a better future for our kids, and deficit reduction that is fair
and balanced, and immigration reform, on consumer financial protection so that people are not exploited, whether it is a paid a long shot or their senator and inspected their family, and all of these issues washington has a long way to go to catch up with the rest of the country. the whole idea behind the dream act was inspired by a music teacher in illinois who decided to call dick durbin, for senator, when she found out that one for students was forced to live in the shadows. even as bad idea fell prey to gridlock in the -- in washington, it gained momentum
in the rest of the country. forever it is an -- for every student that marched, for every parent that chose to stand up for them, because these are all of our kids, for every american who stood up, spoke out across the country because they saw a wrong and wanted it to be righted, putting their shoulder to the oil and moving us closer towards justice -- to the wheel and moving us closer towards justice. it starts with 1 million quiet heroes who love their country and believe they can change it. we all have different backgrounds. we all have different political beliefs. the latino community is not monolithic. the african-american community is not all of one mind. this is a big country. sometimes in tough times in the country this big and busy, especially in a political year, news -- those differences are casting a bright spot. when i ran -- i ran for this office because i am convinced that what binds us together has always proven stronger than what drives us apart.
we are one people. we need one another. >> our patriotism is rooted not in race, ethnicity, creed -- it is based on a shared belief of an enduring and permanent promise of america. that is the promise that draws so many talented, driven people to these shores. that is the promise that drew my own father here. if that is the promise that drew your parents, or grandparents, or great-grandparents', generations of people that dreamed of a place where
knowledge and opportunity was available to anyone that was willing to work for it, anyone willing to seize it. a place where there was no limit to how far you could go, how high you could climb. they took a chance. america embraced their drive, embraced their courage. said come, you are welcome. this is who we are. every single day i walked into the oval office, every day that i have this extraordinary privilege to be your president, i will always remember that in no other nation on earth could my story even be possible. >> that is something i celebrate. [applause] >> that is what drives me in every decision i make. to try and widen the circle of opportunity, to fight for the big, generous and optimistic
country we inherited, to carry that dream for four generations to come -- when i meet these young people throughout communities, i see myself. who knows what they might achieve? i see my daughters and my niece and my nephews. who knows what they might achieve if we just give them a chance? that is what i am fighting for. that is what i stand for. this fight will not always be easy. it has not always been easy. it will not happen overnight. our history has been one where the march towards justice, freedom, equality, it has taken time. there will always be plenty of
stubborn opposition that says no, you can not. no, you should not. try. america was built by someone -- by people that's -- that said something different. that said yes we can. as long as i have the privilege of being your president, i will be alongside you fighting for the country that we, together, dream of. if god bless you. thank you, naleo. god bless the united states of america. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
>> coming up on c-span -- your calls, tweets, and emails live on "washington journal." then colorado governor john hickenlooper talks about energy policy and hydraulic fracturing. later, a panel on the wind energy industry. >> this weekend on "afterwards" -- katie pavlich details fast and furious. >> this was something swept under the rug and kept not only from the american people, but the mexican people as well. there are hundreds of faceless, innocent mexican citizens who have been murdered as a result
of this, but the only thing that we knew outside of the government program was that guns from american gun dealers were going into mexico and causing all these problems with the cartel, when really, the government was sanctioning these sales and sending them into mexico. >> she's interviewed by national journal white house correspondent major garrett, sunday night at 9:00, part of book tv, this weekend on c-span2. >> today on "washington journal" -- a discussion about the farm bill that the senate recently passed. bloomberg news reporter alan bjergs will discuss it. then a look at the supreme court decision last week that threw out existing s.e.c. penalties on networks for nudity and profanity. our guest is dan isett from the parents television council. in the final hour, we'll look al the 40th anniversary of title ix. our guests is