tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 15, 2016 4:27am-5:50am EDT
currently we have planned blackouts. but actually, it may be not that because our kids don't pay as much time playing computer games. the energyyou think bridge will start working? theell, as for energy, energy industry as such, the of energy reported to me just some three or four days about the status of this energy bridge construction. that two circuits have been put into operation. the third must come into today, over 300 megawatts. this now approaches the amount of power we used to receive from ukraine. i think within two weeks, we able to launch the 200th circuit, another
megawatts. in general, that will be a total travelingawatts between there and crimea, along this energy bridge. and this will totally provide for the demand and match the you used to receive from ukraine. past,ust that, in the supply used to come from the places like that would receive it.to the network used to be of low quality. they are low quality. but the minister has reported to me that they have deliberated on working onhey are working supplying new infrastructure.
did becomewer units operational in 2018. that is another 400 megawatts so that is huge. beensure that crimea will supplied with energy. president, we have an urgent message here. government officials report that they'll fix 21 roads by may 1. actually, there are similar problems in other places. >> i hope that the leaders of those regions are also listening to this, and we will discuss this issue with them. we'll also be discussing that with the members of government, the minister of finance, the minister of transport, in order to address this issue of providing this additional ruble from all excise taxes that the
ministry of finance wanted to give to the federal budget. but i think it should be given two regional taxes for transport and road construction. >> we talked about traveling and -- >> is it that cold up there? >> yeah. we hear you. yeah, it's quite windy here. actually, yesterday, the weather was quite nice but it has changed. >> but you are already inviting people over for vacation. do you guarantee that you will have good weather by then? >> yes, we can guarantee we'll have nice weather for you. >> thank you. >> so let's talk about developing travel inside russia. it is also very important to remember about environment protection. we have some environment scientists here. >> yes. we have quite a few questions about environment protection and we have an activist here.
>> hello, mr. president. i'm a businessman. i am a businessman. i am in waste management business. and my question is, we still don't have waste -- an efficient waste management system. we don't classify waste, you know, like they do in other countries. and as a result, landfills are full of non-biodegradable waste. we are approaching a disaster situation in many cases. so i think we should get this fixed. >> i see that there was a colleague who was nodding,
nodding his head. he probably agrees with you. could you give him the microphone? >> hello, mr. president. i think it's a great idea. i thank you for making next year a year of environment. we actually would like to have the next year as the year of business. >> would anyone like to say anything has regards to the environment? you're welcome. >> mr. president, i am a deputy. we are really concerned about -- the lower full got volga. we are very grateful to you for making this year the year of environment. we launched a campaign to ga, because lower vol
it's important for fisheries, for drinking water, fresh water, whatever. and i think the situation really affects people living along the river. i and my colleagues, they supported me, and we are currently gathering signatures. we want to write the petition to you. people no longer care about utility bills, but all people support this initiative. so my question is, could you please look into this situation, hydromanagement systems on the volga river, things that affect fisheries? >> if you allow me, i would like to say a few words about the volga and about the other waterways in russia. this is really an important
issue and it does require attention from federal and regional authorities. of course this is a problem of vessels being able to travel across the waterways. we used to have a situation when some of the passenger boats traveling along rivers would have to disembark all their passengers, because they were unable to pass through certain spots and people would have to travel a certain stretch of bus. way by some of those problems were not addressed for decades. of course, the purity of water, where there's so much fallout, which is so extraordinary. olga is, how broad the v volga delta.
it is 290 kilometers wide, one of the widest and largest deltas in the world, comparable to the mississippi river. this is a world in itself. of course, it requires special attention. now as for waste, for household waste, that is a problem. it is an issue. we have something like 5.6 billion tons of waste produced a year. that's how much waste we produce as a society. and only half of that amount gets recycled. and the other half gets buried or thrown away or just dumped at landfills. and this is an uncontrollable process which is strongly criminalized. so we need to improve our legislation here. we need to get regional authorities and local authorities primarily to pay special attention to this issue. and of course we need public control.
we need control from the public, because sometimes people find it impossible to live near these landfills and these dump sites, especially considering how criminalized this area is. this is important work that we need to tackle very seriously. now, as regards those lands, those facilities, we need to set up, to provide. a relevant law was passed back in 2014, i believe, but such facilities will only be profitable if we start collecting the so-called environmental tax. but we have planned to start collecting this tax in 2017, considering the current economic situation we don't want to put more pressure on manufacturers. we don't want to force them to
cut down their costs by cutting down wage and salaries. so we are looking at this issue considering, you know, how delicate this issue is in the current economic reality. but starting from 2017, this environmental tax will be levied. there are three options for addressing this issue here. option one is for those who produce this waste, for industries who produce waste. they're large enough and they have enough money to build recycling facilities of their own. option two is for companies that are not able to do that, who don't have the capacity or the money. they can pool with other industries in the region and hire some company, a contractor, to outsource recycling activities. option three is when the government can step in, when, you know, the producers, the manufacturers of waste, will
take a long time to organize, especially when we're talking about recycling batteries and so on. we have been talking for about an hour. we've had about 2.5 million phone calls. let's take in some of them. we're going back to the call center. mr. president, we know that you don't like questions about your private life. you don't comment on that. but we still have so many queries about that. we just can't avoid that matter, especially many questions from your home city. now we have a lady with a question. >> hello, mr. putin. i have this question about your personal life, about your private life. there were media reports that the former mrs. putin, has remarried. when will you introduce your new best one to us?
>> you know, ludmilla and i see each other. not often but sometimes. we have a very good relationship, maybe even better than it was when we were married. and i know she's okay. i don't care what they say in the media, but she's happy with her life. i'm also happy. i'm okay. i'm fine. i'm not sure if i should advertise my personal life that much. this may actually affect the situation with the exchange rate or oil prices. seriously, though, when people elect members of parliament or a president, they do so so we can do our job. and the things you talk about, personal life, of course, this
is interesting and i realize -- i'm aware that people want to know that. but this is not really important. maybe at some time, i will satisfy your curiosity. thank you. >> now let's talk about doping. this is a very delicate and contentious subject. we have always been proud of our athletes and the russian athletes used to be renowned and acknowledged leaders in the world sports for many years. and now there are claims that a lot of those victories were not really earned. let's give an opportunity to ask people about that. this does not only concern people who are part of the sporting community or athletes themselves but also millions and millions of spectators. you know, rooting for sports unites people of all walks of life.
here we have an entrepreneur who would like to ask you about sports and not business. >> good afternoon, mr. president. i represent the leaders club from moscow. indeed, there are things that we all share that unite us and sports is one of them. we always cheer for our athletes when they win, when they represent russia in international competitions. this scandal, i find it deeply annoying actually and irritating. this scandal, controversy, has been dragging on for months. and now some of our athletes are being threatened with an end to their careers. what would happen with the russian sporting authorities, sporting officials? i'm speaking from my heart right now.
>> you are probably learning this from -- >> thankfully, no. >> not actually taking lessons from him. okay. this substance was never listed as doping. it does not affect your performance. it just supports your cardiac muscle, in good shape, when you over- strain it. for some reason, they decided to put it on the banned substances list. meldonium was invented, as we know now -- i never knew this before -- was invented in the soviet union, in latvia. the person who invented this substance never considered it as doping. it's widely used in medicine and health care. and when they listed it, they did not know how much time it
takes to -- how long it stays in your blood. and they made some corrections just a few days ago, maybe yesterday. and the decision they made earlier, i don't think it was political, even though meldonium was only used by athletes in eastern europe, the former soviet republics and eastern europe, because that's where it was invented, where it was manufactured. and it was never considered to be a banned substance. and actually, they agreed with us by correcting their position. as far as i know, this antidoping agency is currently looking at the possibility of staging clinical trials to see how much time it takes, how long
meldonium stays in your blood. and it may be different with different people. so based on that, they will make -- draw conclusions for specific athletes. i expect that their decisions will be objective. but this does not mean that we should just rest on our laurels and make jokes about it. no. we should improve the way we work with international organizations. we should respond to their comments on a timely basis. we should do so promptly. and, of course, we should care about the health of our athletes and we have to make sure that competition in sports is fair. and we want our fans to enjoy this fair competition. and certainly our athletes -- and that's the majority of our
office -- who had nothing to do with doping, they should not suffer from this scandal. let's hear what athletes -- >> let's hear from athletes themselves what they have to say. we have invited to the studio, the head coach of russia's track and field national team. a multi-time world champion, the first russian athletes to have one b olympic gold here -- won the olympic gold here. >> mr. president, the world's anti-doping association doesn't actually have any issues with a lot of russian athletes. but all of the track and field athletes have been suspended from taking part in the olympics for some other athletes' mistakes. and my team is now questioning how and whether they should prepare for the olympics at all, whether it makes any sense.
thank you. >> well, of course we love our athletes. we really expect them to perform well. but they're in a difficult situation today. but if you ask me, i'd say you have to be prepared for everything, especially now that they have reconsidered their position on meldonium. and they are looking, they will have some clinical trials. and, of course, we will insist that their decisions should be fair. the ministry of sports works with some international lawyers. and they're looking into all the avenues of this problem. >> let's talk something else, something that concerns everyone, and that's housing and utilities.
people complain that they have to spend a significant share of their earnings on utilities, on utility bills. we are getting a lot of inquiries about that on the social network, especially these levies on capital repairs, apartment buildings, which people see as extortion. there's also this question on social networks that used to be explained the growing utility prices, used to be explained by growing oil prices, but now oil prices are going down. how come we have to pay more and more? in the soviet union, utilities prices used to say on the same level four years. how come there's a difference? >> so you want me to cover all
this question? okay. as far as stability is concerned, utility bills and so on. the stability we had in the soviet union, conditions were very different then. yes, the situation was stable, in this particular aspect. but i can assure you, and it is actually quite obvious, that this sector was very underfinanced back in the soviet days. tariffs were low. the government did not invest enough money. and gradually, buildings degraded. and they were in poor shape. instead, the government invested money in other areas, the defense industry. we had all kinds of war planes, warships, other weapons.
today, specialists say this was unnecessary. and as a result, we ended up in a situation where we had to ration soap and sugar. and eventually we lost our country. that was a shame, of course. so today, before we make decisions in this area -- and it's a very sensitive subject, i agree with you -- we have to think well. we have to consider how much people make and how much the industry makes. see, the situation with the tariffs, last year the planned increase was 8.7%. this is the average increase. this is very important. and it grew -- actually grew by
8.5%. in july this year, tariffs will go up by 4%, on the average. and it's up to provinces to either freeze their tariffs or increase them to a greater extent, up to 10%. but the governor can only make this decision after talking to municipal councils. he has to coordinate this decision with the delegates selected by people. if there is a need to repair something, say to prepare a grade for the winter period, so on and so forth. so we have 24,000 municipalities in russia. that's the total number.
over 600 municipalities have made a decision to go beyond this 4% limit. but it's only 3% of the population of russia. of course, there are still real people living in those municipalities, but it's a decision that has to be made by local assemblymen. it is very important to make this decision making process transparent. if this tariff is regulated by the government, additional services, they're not regulated. but to make this tariff transparent, the government has to finalize its work on providing information on the structure, the formula, of this tariff.
so every person can verify it, can look and find out how much they pay for what. now, as far as additional services are concerned, the answer, these things are not regulated by the government. according to our laws. so what we should do about additional sources is, people should have a meeting and they should decide what services they're interested in and how much they're willing to pay for them. if they don't have a meeting, the municipality will do it for them. and i'll talk about major repairs later. first, i want to say one thing which needs to be reiterated. we have long adopted a law, a rule, which says that if a family has a total income and
it's so low, that they spend over 22% for utility bills, they can get compensation for it. i'd like to remind everybody, especially in a situation where real incomes drop by 4%. if we have families like that, they're entitled to compensation. and today we already have over 30 million people who get this benefit, this compensation. and we spend $300 billion rubles to pay this compensation. of course, we may have some people who haven't joined the system yet, who haven't received this entitlement yet. they can do so now. now, to major repairs. this is also very important, a very sensitive subject.
i know that many people are angry, and deservedly so. but the constitutional court has made a decision that the government was right in making this decision. but still, you have to consider the actual situation, the actual incomes that people have, and the actual needs of the industry. and the industry has a lot of needs. we have over two billion square meters of housing facilities, maybe 2.4 billion square meters that need repair. and one billion square meters of housing that needs urgent repair. and you know how much we repair? 50 to 70 million square meters a year. still, if we continue doing that, with the number of
buildings that need urgent repairs will grow exponentially. you can go to some countries -- i won't mention their names -- but you see buildings there falling apart, because nobody is interested in fixing those buildings. they can't afford to. for example, last year, we had 70 billion rubles that were allocated for major repairs. and only 25 billion rubles were actually used. the rest of the money was just there. it wasn't being used. of course the government has to be very careful in handling this subject. >> there is a query that provides an issue for debate. a lot of people are concerned about property tax for both individuals and companies. we have an entrepreneur from moscow who has many years of experience.
he would like to ask a question. >> good afternoon, mr. putin. this is my third crisis as an entrepreneur. i have been doing business since the 1990's. and i've been actually waiting for this opportunity to thank you for what the government undertook in the year 2008. >> since you went through all those crises, i can tell you that actually the g.d.p. dropped by 3.7% this time. but in 2008, it was 10.7%. the situation was much worse. and it's much better today. but of course we need to come back to growth. so please continue. >> yes. mr. president, and my wife also asked me to say thank you for your work. [applause] >> oh. thank you.
i'm very grateful to her. >> now my question, mr. president, in recent years, the value, the cost of -- the assessment cost for property, of real estate, has gone up. and this has made business much harder for many companies. and these days, the officially stated price is higher than the actual market price of real estate. and actually, the money companies spend on legal expenses to prove that. the figures they use to grow their business, to develop. also, for individuals, the times are becoming tough, because now property taxes will be calculated based on this "officially assessed" price. so my question is, would you be prepared to look at two possibilities? one, introduce a moratorium, a five-year-long moratorium on
raising the officially stated registered cost of equities, of private property? and also, introduce experts to do the right price. and also, introduce responsibility, legal responsibility, for experts who do this official assessment. and my second initiative is to improve -- to increase the space of property that is not taxable, from 10 to 15 square meters per person and so on. >> okay. as far as the value is concerned, this was done on the initiative of certain regions of russia. this was not even the
government's initiative. in some places, like in moscow, city authorities thought they did not get enough revenues that they would use to address different issues in the city, because they said that property items were undervalued. for example, some shopping malls paid almost zero tax to the municipal budget. and this was unfair, of course. so people in moscow, of course, were entitled to ask the municipal authorities, why? why do you allow this situation? but this process has to make the situation more fair, of course. but you shouldn't go too far.
you shouldn't go to the extreme. and you have to consider businesses and people. businesses and people. so you asked about increasing nontaxable areas. i can answer you -- can't answer you specifically, but we can consider that certainly. now, you asked about moratorium. well, we can consider that as well. but you see, this system is supposed to be produced by 2020. and all of the provinces are ready. and actually, the decision was only made in a handful of provinces, just one or two or three provinces. but all the others will only do this in 2020.
this is basically a moratorium. of course we can consider this further. so you can actually say that we already have a moratorium in place. it's up to the provinces to decide whether they're ready or not. now, you asked about using businessmen to evaluate property. see, the thing is, actually we have companies doing evaluation right now. and it would seem to me that this evaluation should be performed by government agencies, because unfortunately, those companies, sometimes they're not liable for the mistakes that they make in evaluation. and sometimes you have this kind of paradoxical situation.
and i saw this in the questions i looked through yesterday. you may have to absolutely -- two absolutely similar flats next to each other. but their value is very different. this is unfair and even stupid. so we have to fix that. and it would be right to let government agencies evaluate property. but if people think their rights are infringed upon, they should be able to not only go to court but they should use the administrative procedure as well. and one more thing i'd like to mention. all the benefits that people have, with the utility bills, they are still preserved,
whether they used actual value or market value. but i think there is something what you said we should think about, and we will do that. >> we're getting queries not only from adults but also from children. number one about drowning presidents. but i have a number of questions from this child publication. what three wishes would you make what three wishes would you make if you were to catch a wish-delivering magic goldfish? >> 11 years old, huh? well, i hope she's listening. okay. three wishes. i have to think.
you know, basically, we shouldn't really rely on miracles. you know, even during the soviet period, we had this song, "nobody will help us, be they king, nor a hero, we have to do everything ourselves." so we shouldn't really rely on miracles. otherwise we'll end up like in the fairy tale by pushkin, with nothing. we have to work with our own hands. [applause] >> but children still believe in miracles. another question. i am eight years old and i'm already in fifth grade. i am a protege, what they call. why don't they send kids like me to summer camps? when we do reach the necessary age, it will be too late.
could you discuss that with the government? >> yes. this is definitely a mistake. people who work with this program, they were not wonder children. so we'll fix that, don't worry. [applause] >> how come adults have two days every weekend and we have none? we go to school on saturday and we have to do homework on sunday. >> well, it is fair, because you're better than we are. that's why you can bear this burden. and you'll get more knowledge. and this is actually what happens. but certainly, you know, there is a problem here, because quite often school children have to -- they have too much burden, more than specialists recommend, psychologists recommend. and we certainly have to look into the situation. >> if you were to be tested, what would you choose?
the unified state test or an oral exam? >> i prefer oral exams. [applause] >> and final question. how do you feel about having porridge for breakfast? did you like all types of porridge when you were a child and what would you do if you were forced to eat porridge you didn't like? a nine-year-old girl. >> well, nobody ever forced me to do something i didn't want to do. and i actually enjoy porridge. i eat porridge every morning, including today. >> and do you feel differently for porridges now that you are an adult? >> yeah. i like my porridge better these days. less teeth you have, the more you enjoy your porridge. >> now it's time for us to get in touch with salin, this remote region of russia. >> hello, moscow! this is sakhalin.
this is a fish preserve plant. i have to wear these rubber boots, this overcoat. this plant was built only two years ago. and it's actually 10:00 p.m. here. but the plant keeps working. this is the night shift that works until 4:00 a.m. what is this fish? how many cans do you make a day? 60,000 in one shift. where do you get your fish? china. chinese fish. frankly, we were a little surprised that here on sakhalin island, that they used chinese fish, but they explained to us
that currently they don't fish here on sakhalin island. they have their own fish later in the summer. we've been here a few days, and we talked to local residents. people complain about the utility bills, health care, and they complain that sometimes it's even hard to buy local fish on the markets here. even though the fisheries don't use all of their quotas. so these are the fish pens with chinese fish. so now i'll let people working here at this plant ask their questions. >> they used to work at a different plant, on sakhalin island and they told us about the terrible decision. they say that on that island, they lived almost as slaves, as hostages. they were promised high wages and they moved there from siberia, from central russia. so when they got there, their wages were delayed for months.
and they couldn't leave the island. they didn't have money to buy tickets. and they had to live in a dorm that belonged to the fish plant. and then they actually had to spend a large part of the money they made there to pay for the dorm, so they are now in debt to this plant. and when we invited them here, some of them received threats. so some people were too scared to come here. but we still persuaded some of them to come and tell us about the situation on the island. could you please tell us about the situation on the island? >> hello, mr. president. my name is tatiana. last fall, we worked on the island, at the fish plant. they didn't pay us a salary.
they cheated people. through recruiting agents, they bring people there. people live there in terrible conditions. could you please look into the situation and help us? >> this is elena. she's another victim. is it true that you can't actually leave? >> yes, because it's an island. it's surrounded by water and by sea and people can't leave. >> how many months did they delay? >> two or three months, sometimes six months. >> so that's the situation on the island. >> you know, i have nothing to say. was that just last year, or did that extend over a longer period of time? >> it started in august 2015. >> have you turned to any authorities regarding this matter? >> yes, we wrote a letter to the
prosecution service. >> well, we heard from other victims, they said they complained to the prosecution service, but it did not respond. and only after they wrote to the president, there was some reaction. >> unfortunately, i haven't seen that letter to the presidential administration. but i'm sure that local authorities, local officials, local police and the attorney's office, the labor relations regulator, they were to react on time, and i hope that russia's attorney general is listening to this. and i would like to urge him to revise whether the attorney in that region is occupying his
position -- is fit to occupy this position. also, the labor ministry should look at whether its office is up to standards and as for the people, the people who are there with our correspondents now, i would like to apologize. and i would like to assure you that we will do everything to improve the situation. >> let's take another question. hello, mr. president. my name is alex. my question is about government officials and businessmen. and their accountability to people, our fishing villages have been degrading for the past
year. government provides funds, but then this money disappears, probably goes into the pockets of local officials, businessmen, our former governor is currently being investigated. media report that they stole billions. so do you think he will get the punishment he deserves, that will teach everybody else a lesson? and do you think this money will come back to the budget, or maybe it will be just like with the other place? >> you know, how this situation will eventually end, we're speculating about that. it's really not the right thing to do. and it's actually wrong from the point of view of law. but i can assure you that we are working on that. we are checking those facts, this one and other facts. there are many instances, many cases, many investigations under way.
those resposible will not escape punishment or get a lighter sentence. we see property confiscated, and that money could be returned and used for the government. >> what about mr. geiser, another former governor? pres. putin: yes, sir. in writing, i know they are moving on, but this investigation must be professional, and after that, the findings will be submitted to court. host: thank you. we will go back to the call center now.
we have 2.5 million calls. pres. putin: right now, there is a draft law being in process that was regulated. i hope our callers can hear us. they were saying chinese fish were coming to be processed in russian plants, the fish that is delivered on short of these days, and the fish that should be processed in russian industries, it is being delivered there frozen. it comes to russia from china and usually gets reimported. we are drafting a law that says fish should be delivered to russia fresh, not frozen. it would not be possible any
longer to freeze fish and deliver frozen fish. we hope this will benefit the russian industries. we also hope to provide penalties to companies who engage in this kind of activity. 70% will be provided specifically to industries that will use their own ships and boats for fishing, and those who meet those conditions will receive an additional 20% quarter on top of what they already have, and violations of these arrangements will be stripped of these quarters entirely. you said that ships are decrepit, they are deteriorating. we intend to invest 5% in
upgrading and replacing the existing fleet with new ships. i believe that this draft law should become adopted and ready during the parliament's spring session this year. >> we have 2.5 million calls. a lot of questions about utility bills, social issues. issues many people are interested in. domestic policies and our foreign policy. we actually have calls from the united states. >> hello, mr. putin.
why is it that you don't respond to western countries? maybe you should hire lawyers and media to dispel lies about offshore companies. pres. putin: i thought we had moved on and somehow turned the page on this, but if you are interested, as surprising as it seems, the information reported about offshore accounts is not also find. it actually is correct. it seems that this publication -- it is very in line with law. they are not accusing anyone directly. it is all about speculation about friends of mine. the question is, could some of that offshore money wind up in the hands of some officials, or maybe even the president's? it occurred to me that one person could invest all their money into musical instruments.
we do not think of investing or money in buying musical instruments in bulk. at the same time, the authors of these publications hit outside the target. this is really beside the point. all of those musical instruments, expensive ones, they are well known. the violin and the cello that were bought, they are well known.
the latest of those purchases were $12 million. i don't know if we have those kinds of instruments in russia. there was one owned by the musician that was later bought by a japanese buyer. they all have their own names. they are very exclusive. one of them bears the name "stewart." recently, he performed with the instruments. this is a used instrument, used since 1732. it was created by the legendary, and the owner was frederick the
great, king of prussia. of course, there is nothing you could do with such an instrument except play and give joy to music lovers, but the person who invested this was the only person who thought to give it to the government. he does not have money any longer. he owes money to some of those institutions. who is interested in those publications? we know there are american officials behind some of those publications.
my spokesperson is aware of when this publication first appeared, a german newspaper owned by goldman sachs, un-american company, an american company, an american bank. the closer we get to elections, the more publications like that we will see. but really, it is not about the specific officials, it is about our country in general. a country that will not tow their line for the west. but if our counterparts see compromise, we are always willing to meet them halfway and find a solution that will benefit and satisfy both parties. that is the only way to deal
with this, as an equal partner. >> here is a question about the u.s. who is worse, clinton or trump? for russia. pres. putin: you know, we need to look for the best options. i can only respond in the same way that i answered the previous question. in the history of our parliamentary relations with the u.s., there were moments where we worked closely side-by-side and we had very good results, both bilaterally and internationally. and today we also have
successful corporation -- collaboration, ranging from the iranian nuclear issue, combating terrorism in general, and many other examples. but our counterparts -- like i said, it's not about any specific leaders in the united states, but about the exclusivity of the special status that they presume, and special rights that they think they have. this is a basic mistake. we should look at the bottom line, and they should not proceed from the premise of the position of power. they must show respect in treating all their intellectual partners, including russia. without that, a relationship would not be possible.
>> on book tv, with a learn about the history of the university of alabama. alabama in theof 1960's. >> i think what he was trying to do above all is to get the university of alabama from this party school, football school focus and head into a new direction. it took a while to do that. the first thing you had to do was higher faculty. today, we have our share of some of the finest faculty in the country. we are tracking students today yell,ould go to harvard,
places like that. we lead the country and the national -- amount of merit scholars. clerks welcome to moundsville archaeological. we are standing at mound be and this is the largest in alabama. this would have been worthy structure for the highest ranking plan would have been. >> originally, scientists it was built by one basket at a time. research shows that they
were initially built by the block, that would fill in with the clay. periodically, after it was built, it would resemble a layer cake. >> watch the c-span cities tour sunday on american history tv on c-span3. >> c-span's road to the white house coverage continues tonight where donald trump will address supporters at a campaign rally. connecticut cast their votes on monday.
>> we will come to order. veteran suicides continue to be a national epidemic. veterans have a suicide rate that is 50% higher than those who did not serve in the military. the major drive is ptsd. 11% to 20% who served in iraq suffer from it. they my -- they might find that they feel life is long later -- no longer living.
the inadequate treatments by the ba have been reported. identifying and utilizing the full range of treatment of those suffering from ptsd is something the da must do. the these are not home for dogs -- therapydogs or their peacoc dogs. currently, the v.a. only provides service stocks to people with physical impairments. however, reports stated that the v.a. faces challenges with the guide and service dog program. the personnel told us that actual demand for service dogs
is unknown and with thousands of veterans returning with impairments to hearing and sight delayars, the six-year represents a stunning bureaucratic failure. scientific finding and suggests that butice dogs don't cure pts, provide tools for veterans to live normal, functioning lights, ves.i the urgency of the suicide rate demands that we explore this option. congress authorized the v.a. study the efficacy between
veterans and service dogs. the study is not expected to be completed until 2019. of the study,e referred to as phase one, began in 2011, and had to be restarted twice. to v.a. attributed problems vendors that provided through service dogs. of the 27 veterans enrolled in only 12 completed the study. the convocations could have been prevented had the v.a. properly screened. organizations like one in my
florida to three sites. yet, the v.a. is only meeting coalf its recruiting al of having -- go 12 seconds per study. with the v.a. struggling to pair service stocks, other organizations are attempting to fill the void. organizations committed to the claim to have hundreds of dogs prepared to be paired. there's not enough research to , but there iselp that theyevidence help. we will hear from one veteran service. toes his
lowering the effects of ptsd. suicidency of veteran is too urgent, for this, i have introduced a bill for 2017. this legislation would create a program for veterans with the most severe levels of pts to be referred to an accredited service dog organization. the v.a. would reimburse the organization to find the service dog, and all expenses would be .ffset those who risk their lives for this country deserve the best care upon their return, and time is up the essence. i would like to think the
witnesses today. we have veterans testifying, and many joining us in the audience. i want to thank them for their service. with that, i will recognize mr. lynch for his opening statements. lynch: thank you. thank today'so panel of witnesses for helping the committee with its work, and again, think all the veterans and active military. it is the mission of the department of v.a. to serve in honor more than 21 million men and women who are america's to care for those who have formed the battle -- born the battle. with the formal and of the combat mission in iraq in 2010
and in afghanistan in 2014, the ,eturn of veterans from service the fundamental to the of the v.a. to provide care to veterans and their families remains as critical as effort. oversight of the v.a. is essential to make sure the agency carries out its mission. as recently evidence imposed 9/11 veterans returning, effective treatment of posttraumatic stress is one urgent area that the v.a. and congress must continue to strengthen. according to the national center for post-traumatic stress, 27 of -- veterans who served in 2700 veterans who served have
stress everyc year. it is normally the result of towards the duty and recent combat exposure. veterans with ptsd are particularly foldable to the risk of suicide, which continues to affect veterans other devastating rate. last month, it was estimated that every day, approximately 22 veterans take their lives. that is tragic. similarly, the department of defense reported that suicide rates for active duty service members remain high for the seven. the seventh year in a row. we are clearly failing to meet our obligations racked up and returning servicemembers. the impact of post-traumatic stress in our community is a
issue. i was proud to join the chairman on the bipartisan on the -- omnibus bill that specifically targets health care and suicide prevention. we must develop commonsense alternative solutions that could ptsher assist veterans with rehabilitation. as noted in the american medical association journal of ethics, initial academic studies have revealed that veterans paired with service dogs reveal less symptoms, stronger social
relationships, and other increased health benefits. congress mandated a three-year study as noted by the chairman. that study was to examine the benefits of using service dogs pts.e rehabilitation of the v.a. encountered numerous challenges getting this study off the ground. as a result, as the chairman has noted, the agency now expects to complete the study in november in18 or into morning 19 -- 2019. i just evidently is taking steps problem, but a
delay of this amount of time is simply unacceptable. i look forward to examining the progress of this further study with the witnesses. i think the idea of going forward with a part of the program, which can be based on the evidence in hand today, is a .reat way to go at this problem i'm proud to cosponsor two pieces of bipartisan legislation to facilitate the use of service dogs to assist our veterans. a colleague on this committee has introduced a bill to commence the pilot program right away. ofo, jim mcgovern massachusetts has introduced legislation to assist nonprofit organizations in developing and establishing service dog programs for veterans. mr. chairman, i would ask unanimous consent if i could
please send that his legislation for the record. statement asg well. densantis: without objection. for lynch: thank you again holding this imptant hearing. yourdsantis: thank you for effort. i will hold the record open for five legislative days for any a statement. we will now recognize the witnesses. i'm pleased to welcome michael fallon. rory diamond. cole lyle, and stephen
feldman. if you would please rise in raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that the testimony you give will be the truth. thank you, please be seated. please limit your statement to five minutes. mr. fallon, you are recognized for five minutes. dr. fallon: thank you for the opportunity to update congress doghe ptsd service. study. i've accompanied by dr. patricia crowe.ann dr. chrisplease limit
the 2010 defense act directed the v.a. to examine the use of .ervice dogs with veterans the v.a. to sign the study to focus on veterans with psh ptsd priorityt is a high theit is not established in literature. for the study, the v.a. hired , reducingg trainers experiment of bias. the v.a. also developed its own training standards for dogs. three study site.
s are operating and enrolling veterans from different parts of the country. foroximately once a quarter measures are taken. the studyd moment in began in 2014. as of this week, 109 of 220 veterans have been enrolled, and all 30 teams are fully staffed to receive 12-15 veterans per month. latecollection will end in 2018, and will then be analyzed. results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.
currently, pa does not provide benefits for ptsd or mental health jobs because research is not proven them to be effective. the carefully designed study is incredibly important in addressing shortcomings. ca continues to monitor other scientific literature for quality of evidence and remains strongly committed to completing the current study at an estimated cost of $12 million. the v.a. is committed to the best care for veterans with ptsd . d.o.t. v.a. evidence recommends the following as treatments. therapyocused cognitive and cognitive processing therapy
. stress and occupation. research demonstrating the strong.eness is the next require that all cpt.ities provide pe or uptake of evidence-based therapy across the health care system is rapid. for veterans who choose other treatment approaches have a range of options. thev.a. is the leader in global standard for ptsd
treatment. i appreciate the opportunity to be here before you today. i am my colleagues are prepared to answer any questions that you may have. rep. desantis: thank you. mr. dimon, you are now recognized. mr. diamond: thank you. i'm executive director of -- anites for warriors, >> canines for warriors. we have the founder and also to graduates. i also have with me at tenure veterane -- air force dog, molly.vice statistically speaking, 22
veterans will commit suicide today. hat is why canines for warriors exists. it has grown to an organization campus inaff and the florida. most important, we have a track record of helping hundreds of veterans with the symptoms of pts. we are very successful in preventing veteran suicide. every veteran who comes through our door gets the family treatment. a service canine, equipment, training, instruction, housing, home-cooked meals. if house moms who listen, how sad to provide advice -- how stands provide if ice. we say we always