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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 26, 2016 3:00pm-5:01pm EDT

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ee per plainment to the -- planement to the treasury rather than the t.s.a., it deprived the agency of $1.25 billion, that's billion with a b, each year, it is time for congress to dedicate the proceeds of the security fee to t.s.a. to be used for its intended purpose. introducing airline and airport employees and private contract employees into the framework of checkpoint security is at best a temporary bandage. years of on-the-job experience and commitment to the public are the services that are lost when the t.s.o. work force is replaced with airport and airline employees. airport authorities should be aware that they are not going to get more screeners under the screening partnership program and that there are long checkpoint waits at airports with private screeners.
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despite the importance of their work, t.s.o.'s receive second-class treatment from their employer, the federal government. t.s.a. is the only federal agency that is allowed to excuse itself from the fundamental workplace rights and protections found in title 5 of the u.s. code. t.s.a. does not follow the fair labor standards act and the office of personnel management guidelines. t.s.a. does not have statutory title 7 protections against discrimination and they are not paid under the general schedule like the majority of federal work force. t.s.o.'s lack the ability to appeal adverse personnel actions to a neutral third party like the merit system protection board even though t.s.a. management has that right. to paraphrase the late dr. martin luther king jr., justice delayed has been justice denied to the t.s.o. work force. it is well within the authority of both the congress and t.s.a.
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to provide t.s.o.'s the same workplace rights and protections as other federal workers. we urge administrator nevada injury to apply title 5 rights and protections to the t.s.o. work force. congress should pass h.r. 4488, the rights of transportation security officers act, introduced by representative benny thompson and nita lowey. the bill requires that t.s.a. follow the same workplace rules as most agencies in the federal government. congress should also ensure funding to t.s.a. to provide 5% retention raises to t.s.o.'s who have been on the job for two or more years. transportation security administration do all they can to screen -- employees do all they can to screen passengers. we must have solutions for the long lines and, mr. chairman, afge is asking and seeking a seat at the table to be part of the solution, not part of the
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oblem in what we are currently experiencing in t.s.a. thank you very much for allowing me to testify today. i would be glad to taking any questions. mr. cox myself five ield minutes. i now recognize myself for five minutes of questions. one of the overarching observations from speaking to you last week at the panel, two things, t.s.a., expansion of t.s.a. is critically important. cathy lanier and also field service directors, -- mr. katko: and also field service directors, they really have their hand to some extent as far as making staff decisions and oftentimes not interacting in an appropriate manner with the airports and airlines in the field.
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so our bill addresses all of those things but i do want to flush them out a little bit. i'll start with the t.s.a. precheck program. ms. callahan, you stated that 40% now of the syracuse airport is on precheck? ms. callahan: that's correct. mr. katko: what impact are you seeing? ms. callahan: we're seeing wait times between 12 and 15 minutes. when i flew out this morning, i had first experience seeing that and it really has helped to balance the distribution of precheck and nonprecheck employees during those peak periods which is for us between 4:30 and 7:30 a.m. mr. katko: any of you can answer this question. there are questions that precheck isn't always opened and i experienced that myself and it is frustrating to me being chairman of this subcommittee, but is it fair to say if precheck were expanded
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dramatically, like it's intended to be, it would allow those lanes to be open to a more regular basis because the staffing would warrant it, is that correct? nyone want to answer that? >> when customers enroll in precheck and the enrollment rates tend to be higher the more frequently the customers travel and they build that expectation of having precheck available into their schedules in terms of what flights they book and when their meetings end and the like. president obama: and -- ms. philipovitch: and it's a service that t.s.a. is selling. there are frustrated customers when they come and find their lines closed. the screening procedures in precheck are much faster so the transaction time per customer is lower and therefore we can get many more customers through the checkpoint, both safely, securely and efficiently, the more people are in precheck so we're a big fan of expanding it as well. mr. katko: i take all of you
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are. you are nodding your hand. mr. cox: i think the one thing we constantly find. precheck is helping but as we continue to have a decrease in staffing, that continues to perpetuate the problem no matter we have precheck or not. the problem is we need adequate staffing in t.s.a. mr. katko: is it fair to say, mr. cox, if you had 20 million people enrolled in precheck and 30 million people enrolled in precheck and they are double the time it is for others it would have less stress on the system. you have to acknowledge that. mr. cox: it would definitely have less stress on the system. 5,000 we keep losing every several years that will have stress on the system. mr. katko: we have to address that. with respect to the field service directors, it was striking they weren't interacting with the major airports with respect to
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staffing allocation models. mr. beerso, can you comment on that for a moment, please? ms. beairsto: yeah. we have a strong relationship with our local t.s.a. when it comes to our staffing allocation model, we ask t.s.a. to provide greater transparency so our airline partners can better plan and schedule around staffing shortages and the like. mr. katko: i refer to my field service directors -- it's federal security directors, excuse me. i -- one of the things you propose in the bill is you take the f.s.d.'s, if you will, basically mandate they meet with the airport directors and airlines on a regular basis and that they discuss and -- discuss staffing allocation models and then certify to us that they're actually doing that. we're asking that to be done on both the local level and on the national level.
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i think that -- we're hoping that's going to have a impact. ms. callahan, if i understand from speaking to you earlier last week, you do that now on a regular basis, is that right? ms. callahan: yes, sir. in fact, we had a meeting yesterday with our federal security director and his assistant from albany all the way to buffalo, a meeting held in syracuse. 40 of the airports in new york state were at that meeting where we had an in depth, detailed briefing on their plans for the summer travel season, how we can work together and collaborate to address some of the issues. and my f.s.d. oversees 14 airports, so to see him on a monthly basis is really incredible that he has the time to do that, but he's very responsive and reactive to issues. mr. katko: that's good. one of the things you want to do in this bill is untie their hands to some extent from administrative standpoint because i believe they need to have more flexibility with respect to their decisionmaking
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authority on the front lines. if you get a call from american airlines or chicago and they say, look, we're going to get crushed over the next three days, we just sold a bunch of tickets, whatever, let's work together to figure out how to do that. they have to have the flexibility to granted more overtime. they have to have the ability to bring more people in. so that's part of what we're contemplating in this bill and it's based on the discussions with all of you. i appreciate that. now, mr. cox, is it -- one of the things i've been thinking about when you were talking about some of the staffing issues and the attrition rate is -- if there's some money that's reallocated, if that's the right term, from other parts of t.s.a. to staffing, would it make sense to take a lot of these individuals that are part time now and make them full time and in so doing thereby reduce the attrition rate considerably for some of them at least? mr. cox: yes, sir. that will definitely help with that situation.
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administrator nef f-inger spoke with me yesterday and -- neffinger spoke to me that it was around 7% to 8%. again, it's 20% in the part time. people want full-time employment. they will go to other federal jobs or other jobs in the airport seeking full-time employment. so moving that money to move them into full time will definitely fix a lot of the problems. mr. katko: during the added crisis we're having at airports is moving someone from full time -- from part time to full time doesn't take any additional training. mr. cox: they're ready to go. many of them in peak times are already working 40 hours a week or possibly more than 40 hours a week, so they are ready to go. there is a cap that's been put on the number of full-time employees. so if congress could fix that, that would help with a lot of the situation. mr. katko: thank you very much, mr. cox. i have so many more questions
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but i can't go over my time too much. i now recognize the ranking member, mr. payne, for five minutes of questions. pain management best practices nteragency task force -- mr. payne: thank you very much. i ask unanimous consent that two letters from a.f.g. to president obama and secretary johnson be inserted in the record. mr. katko: without objection, so ordered. r. payne: thank you. ms. beairsto, in response to the issues your airport and others around the nation, secretary johnson and administrator neffinger have plans to announce plans to deal with the lines and additional
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resources. has the administration's response to the wait times been your airports effective? has it had a positive effect to this point? i hear a lot that, you know, we have the additional resources oming in, but have not heard how it has impacted your wait times in a positive manner if it has. ms. beairsto: sure, it has. t.s.a.'s provided 58 additional officers. the shift of moving over 160 part-time officers to full time helps t.s.a. address the peak periods both in the a.m. shift and the p.m. shift. trip tripling the amount of overtime allows them to open checkpoints early so they are not behind the curve. adding morning shifts for -- a. screeners and the a
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dditional k-9 teams have allowed us to move roughly 5,000 passengers a day through precheck. mr. payne: so what would you say the wait times as opposed to what they were now are specifically? ms. beairsto: sure. at midway airport, k-9 -- the wait times with k-9 teams can be 20 to 30 minutes during peak periods. without them they can reach 60 to 90 minutes. we are seeing a great impact on the k-9's. thank you for asking. mr. payne: yeah. you know, i have newark international in my district, and so we have had the same experiences that you've been having in chicago based on the hub that we are in. and also the port authority
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having three airports under its purview has been a major, major hang-up with the wait times. and we've had the resources moved in newark as they have had in chicago and it's dramatically impacted the ability to move passengers in a timely manner. ms. allin, within your testimony you note that the b.d.o.'s could be useful in other positions within the screening model. could you expound for the committee on your thoughts on achieving efficiencies through using the behavior detection officers? ms. allin: thank you, congressman payne. the behavioral detection officers are trained in perceiving people who are going to do something that is not correct.
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maybe illegal, maybe trying to smuggling something, maybe potential ties. by having them as the ticket document checkers, they have a personal connection to every single passenger that goes through and they can screen each individual as opposed to standing to the side or the back of the line where they're observing behavior. they can better detect people who may need additional screening or discussion. mr. payne: ok. thank you. ms. allin: this is a model that's used overseas that's been quite effective there. mr. payne: ok. wanted to say to mr. cox, all throughout this discussion over the past several weeks, i've kept the t.s.o.'s in mind and made sure
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that my colleagues have some idea of what they go through and the strain that they're under based on these long wait times as well. and that we -- they are our last line of defense, and we need to make sure that they have the resources that they need in order to do the job well. we can't afford them not to. they have to be right 100% of the time. so just wanted to put that on the record, and i yield back. mr. katko: thank you, mr. payne. the chair will now recognize other members of the subcommittee and then ms. mcsally for five minutes with questions that they may wish to ask the questions. in accordance with our committee's rules and practices, i plan to recognize members who were present at the start of the hearing by seniority on the committee, as well as ms. mcsally, who is visiting the committee this morning. they may be recognized in order
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of their arrival. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. carter, for five minutes of questions. mr. carter. mr. carter: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you all for being here. this is obviously a very important subject to us. i'm glad to see y'all because i have some important questions i have to ask you. i am proud of representing the first congressional district of georgia. that includes the entire coast of georgia. georgia is unique in that we have a lot of small airports, rural areas. we also, as you know, have heartsfield-jackson airport which is the busiest airport in the country -- in the world. that presents a dilemma but i want to ask you some questions and i'm very interested to know your response to this. what we've been hearing and what i've been hearing from a lot of the -- from a lot of the airport officials is that there exists somewhat of a disconnect between the -- between the t.s.a. -- the local t.s.a. officials, the airlines, the airport officials and then
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upper management. that management in t.s.a. up here in washington, d.c., if you will. have any of you experienced that or can you comment on that? ms. allin or whoever wants to comment. just very quickly because i have a bunch here. ms. allin: yes, mr. carter. i think it's really -- each airport is different. there's a say in our industry, you've seen one airport you've seen one airport so the relationships that exist are really local and dependent on the people within the organization at those airports. i imagine in atlanta it's much more difficult than it is in syracuse, new york, where we have access to our f.s.d.'s and afsd's and the airlines on a regular day-to-day basis. that's what i can offer. mr. carter: ok. anyone else? ms. beairsto: congressman we have a on, --
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relationship with our local personnel. they now have layers to go through and models and and i ments are dictated can't personally say from where but above their airport to react quick lease to issues on the ground. ms. allin: that's what we experienced during our peak period in february and in march. they were only allowed to open the precheck lane after they had opened a second standard lane because of staffing. then they could open a precheck lane. when they opened the precheck lane the lines were cut in half and they were not the full ength of our terminal front. having the ability to do that would be grateful. mr. carter: great. have any of you had problems with private security?
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sorry, say again. >> a few of the airports have private security. mr. carter: can you give me your impression, what have been the results? ms. philipovitch: i'll just use san francisco as an example because that's probably the one i'm most familiar with. because the privatized airports, the way the privatized model is today follows the same procedures and staffing allocation models as other airports -- mr. carter: i hope that my colleagues heard that. they have to follow the same rules and regulations, the training is the same, everything is the same. and t.s.a. oversees it, correct? ms. philipovitch: that's my understanding. mr. carter: i'm sorry. continue. ms. philipovitch: so we really see as long as the operation is properly resourced, we're able to have both effective and efficient screening in either model. it's really the key is making sure that the resource allocation meets the peak needs of the operation. mr. carter: ok. the screening partnership
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program, mr. cox, i'm going to ask you directly. can you give me an idea why it appears to me and from what i have heard they do a better job and that they save money on top of that? have you had any experience with this? mr. cox: sir, we believe that the t.s.o.'s that are employed by the federal government, number one, is a professionalized work force. they do a great job. they have been trained to do that. and i think the record speaks very clearly for themselves, since 9/11, we have not had acts of terrorism in this country. we had a privatized work force on 9/11, and we saw what happened. this country was brought to its knees. the government has been taking care of that, been doing that. part of our real problem right now is a lack of staffing, not enough staff to do the work properly. mr. carter: but -- and i understand and i appreciate
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what you're saying, but at the same time i'm convinced that the private industry can do this just as well with oversight with t.s.a. and save money and improve customer service and decrease the long lines that we are experiencing at our airports. and i don't -- and they impthrough the same training. t.s.a. still has oversight, the responsibility. i think it's unfair to compare what happened on 9/11 between privatization and being run by the public. i mean, that took us all. we were all asleep at the wheel then, you have to admit that. mr. cox: i agree. i was watching fox news last sunday and one of the commentators was at the san francisco airport, was complaining about the long lines, the rudeness of the officers and the various incidents that was going on and said this is a classic example of why it needs to be privatized. and i busted out laughing because it is a privatized
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airport. and all the problems that she was referring to was at a privatized airport. she wasn't in atlanta or miami, one of those that was not privatized. she was in san francisco complaining, saying it was a classic example of why it should be privatized. mr. carter: well, you know, what i'd like to see is some comparisons. this is something that is very important, and if we can improve it -- because you mentioned the disconnect. i brought up the disconnect and you commented on the disconnect between washington and the local officials. this is something that we got to work on. this is what happens when the bureaucracy gets out of control, and that's what i think we're headed with and we're at right now with the t.s.a. is the bureaucracy is out of control. we need to get it under control. mr. chairman, i know i've gone past my time but this is just a very important subject to me, so i appreciate your input on that. mr. cox, what you're telling me i'm having different views
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expressed to me by other people. so i'm going to continue to search on this and continue to try to see what we can come up with. mr. chairman, i yield back and thank you. mr. katko: thank you, mr. carter. i ask unanimous consent that the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee, be allowed to sit today on this hearing and without objection, so ordered. ms. jackson lee: let me express my appreciation for the chairman and ranking member for your courtesies. this is a committee that i have a great affection for because i indicated before that the t.s.o.'s are the first line of defense, if you will, for the neighborhood, for the nation's aviation security. let me thank all of you for your presence here. i have some direct questions and then i want to raise a
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series of questions for mr. cox. thank you very much for representing very fine professional staff which i want to be more professional. less part time, increased salaries and the numbers would you like to have. so i would ask the representative from the chicago, illinois, the admiral was here just yesterday -- excuse me -- just yesterday and i understand that the wait has gone to 15 minutes. i'd like to see what you're obviously here today, thursday, i'd like to hear your assessment. have the lines improved, the times and wait improved? ms. callahan: oh, considerably, ma'am. we've seen wait times less than -- ms. beairsto: oh, considerably, ma'am. we've seen wait times less than 15 minutes. ms. jackson lee: and we need to see a fix. ms. beairsto: a permanent fix. ms. jackson lee: i understand there's a task force and he's added more employees, is that correct? ms. beairsto: and may i
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correct, it's a temporary right now. we need permanent fix. ms. jackson lee: oh, so you were saying we need a permanent fix? ms. beairsto: yes. ms. jackson lee: the truth is you added more personnel? ms. beairsto: yeah. the extended overtime added. ms. jackson lee: 700 will be by july so you are aware you will get additional t.s.o.'s and that will help the circumstance. is there a problem with the baggage check? there is a screening and there is a baggage check. is there a problem on the baggage check as well? ms. beairsto: it's not surfaced at our level. we can certainly find out additional information. ms. jackson lee: thank you. but the problem has been at least relieved for a moment and we expect to continue to work with you for that. ms. beairsto: and midway airport is still waiting for additional resources. ms. jackson lee: additional resources. would you say your t.s.o.'s are profession at management level? ms. beairsto: yes, absolutely. ms. jackson lee: and they were
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attempting to correct the problem? ms. beairsto: yes. ms. jackson lee: thank you. the airlines -- i see other armentearptes. is there a representative from american airlines. have you been able to work by ay of getting your concerns to t.s.a.? hould we have a better different protocol? ms. philipovitch: we've been working with admiral neffinger. we're working in collaboration with the t.s.a. and also promoting many of the actions that t.s.a. is suggesting and already taking and also the actions that are contained in chairman katko's proposed legislation which we're in favor of as well. ms. jackson lee: which means you would be willing to pay for overtime for t.s.o.'s? ms. philipovitch: you know, right now we really want to get more transparency into the staffing model and understand how resources are being
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deployed. we need to make sure that we have an analytical model that puts resources where they need to be to meet the peak demands of our customers. ms. jackson lee: and i agree with you. and more flexibility with the f.s.d.'s, would that be helpful? ms. philipovitch: in cooperation with the airline partners, yes. ms. jackson lee: would you join with us? because i heard the point being made there needs to be data regarding data fees. i think there should be a study on the baggage fees as to whether or not they increase the number of bags coming through by hand carry. would you work with us on that? ms. philipovitch: may i comment on the checked baggage? general? the airlines have been charging checked baggage fees since 2008, and the line wait we're experiencing with t.s.a. this year are unprecedented. so i think it would be inaccurate to say that bag fees are leading to the current line waits that we are experiencing. you mentioned -- ms. jackson lee: can i interject for a moment? we note that we had a sizeable
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increase in passenger travel between 2008 -- already between 2011 and 2016. my only question is, we all have our different perspectives. i'm not offering any perspective. i'm offering, would you participate and collaborate on getting the data we need to understand the question better? ms. philipovitch: we're interested in collaborating to solve the problem. i do want to note that baggage screening, as you noted, is also a core function of t.s.a. and even though we had heard from my colleague from chicago that we haven't had severe issues there. some of our other airports have experienced significant backlogs. in some cases worse like miami and -- ms. jackson lee: we want to fix the problem and i know you have hubs like miami so we want to fix the problem. let me quickly move to mr. cox, if i might. mr. cox, i traveled to many of your airports. i take the opportunity to speak to t.s.o.'s everywhere i go,
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including supervisors and managers, and i will say that i ran into one individual, his name was vincent, a world war ii veteran came and was in a wheelchair -- dropped off by his family, was traveling by himself and he said, i don't want anybody else. i want a t.s.o. t.s.o. at means come out to the curb. and so a t.s.o. went out to the curb and took him with the wheelchair all the way through security, etc., etc. getting down to the gate down to the door of the plane and he noted that this proud world war ii veteran who had been dropped off by his family members -- i'm sure they meant well -- he could not walk. and your t.s.o. agent lifted him up and took him and put him on the plane. i think these are the stories that need to be told. if the chairman will yield me
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for a moment. mr. katko: we're crunched for time and ms. mcsally needs to speak. votes are coming up. ms. jackson lee: i support a professional staff, not privatization. would you respond to that quickly please? mr. cox: we clearly believe that a professional staff that our government employs that this is an inherentally governmental function to keep the american public safe. these people are well-trained. they do a great job. they love their job. they just need to have adequate staffing to be able to do their jobs and to do them properly. and i think if the committee really wants to get legislation that tries to get the input and the collaboration that it would be important that afge and the employees that it represents be included in the legislation as one of the partners trying to resolve the problem. ms. jackson lee: thank you. thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you so very much. more funding is important. i yield back to mr. chairman
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and, mr. ranking member, thank you. mr. katko: thank you, ms. jackson lee. the chair recognizes the patient ms. mcsally from arizona. ms. mcsally: in the roundtable last year and today we heard one of the main issues is flexibility with the f.s.d.'s. they can make decisions on the ground. not just the f.s.d.'s, but the supervisors in airports like tucson. admiral neffinger was asked this question yesterday and said he was giving flexibility to them. he believes they already have that flexibility. it is unbelievable to me that it would take an act of congress to actually direct them to provide flexibility. this is just leadership 101. but he sincerely believes he's given that authority. i specifically asked him yesterday about this and the spoke airports like tucson and he said they have all the authority they need. maybe they're just not getting the message. he just recently removed kelly
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hogan who potentially is the barrier to this direction being communicated down to all of you. but i want to say we need your immediate feedback. he gave his promise yesterday he was going to follow up on this and make sure they understood his guidance that they have that flexibility. ms. allin, can you share -- you've given some examples. if we had the flexibility with our senior t.s.a. rep on the ground in the last few months, at what instance -- other instances were their hands tied and what -- what have you been able to do that in order to alleviate the problems that we're having? ms. allin: thank you, representative mcsally. when we were experiencing the extreme lines and the challenge that our local representative with t.s.a. had, which is not an f.s.d., as you noted, was the fact there are specific models a certain through-put passengers per hour have to go through the lane before the second lane can be opened up. and that with one standard
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lane, then a second standard lane had to be opened before precheck. where precheck is the quick resolution because the lane was cut in half when the precheck lane was opened. ms. mcsally: and that direction came from d.c. or phoenix, do you know? ms. allin: phoenix came down when the passengers were calling the media from the lines and the media began showing up. it all exploded. s. be mcsally: is that still -- ms. mcsally: is that still the case? ms. allin: yes. they are limited on staffing and they can't open the precheck because it requires more people. i'm sorry. i can't tell you how many more than a standard lane. ms. mcsally: have you seen any other situation where you saw their hands were signed where they could move b.d.o.'s to checking i.d.'s or something else? have they given you flexibility
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locally? ms. allin: yes, ma'am. we've been asking for b.d.o.'s to be document checkers since the problems first started with the holidays prior to our eason coming and our f.s.d. in phoenix refused saying it was important for them to be observing the line, the people in line as opposed to being able to be document checkers. i think all that has changed by the admiral and we appreciate that greatly. ms. mcsally: ok, great. ms. beairsto, you say you appreciate the assistance. you know, there was a big media attention to the problems at chicago and then additional agents and k-9 teams came to the rescue. however, they were pulled from somewhere else. what we heard from the roundtable last week is the feeling is that this sort of squeaky wheel, let's move assets around whoever is on tv today allows, i think one of the airport managers said something along the lines, we all get a turn to be the worst
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is that kind of model which means that you're going to create a crisis somewhere else. so i am concerned about that, that this is more like a back a mole scenario as opposed -- whack a mole scenario and we're not going to address the bigger airports that end up on tv. can anyone sort of provide some perspectives on this and we should be more reactive to this? > if i could give you an example? ms. beairsto: the k-9 example, those kinds of resources really need to be allocated based on airport passenger through-put and the security risk, right? so those are the kinds of things t.s.a. should consider. ms. mcsally: great. mr. cox, i asked the miller something that was troubling that i discovered this week which is we have instances of at least 250 through april that
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have been reported where t.s.a. agents have been pulled away from their primary mission which is the security of air travel and the efficiency and safety of passengers and air travel to support things like presidential campaign rallies and we've heard reports of other events, concerts and sporting events. this is nowhere in their core competency. can you comment on your perspective when someone signs up to be a t.s.a. agent and t.s.o., are they expected to be at a campaign rally or are they expected to be doing their core mission and how you all feel about that? mr. cox: we expected them to do their core mission, to do their core work. as with any situation, you do understand the workers don't get to drive the train. they just show up and do what the boss man tells them to do. i know our t.s.o.'s, they want to be at the airport doing
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their mission and taking care of it. it upsets them when those lines are long and passengers are waiting because passengers get more frustrated with them. and i would say if you really want to resolve a lot of these problems, you can talk to f.s.d.'s, you can talk to the administrator, but congress probably needs to mandate groups made up of t.s.o.'s themselves, the people who actually do the work, can tell you how to improve the processes. i know american airlines does that all the time. i know all these airports do that. we need to be talking to the front line employees, and they could give a lot of solutions. they can't necessarily give more resources or more people, but i'm sure they know how to improve the work processes. ms. mcsally: great. i agree with you. we need to make sure that large-scale events have safety and security, but there are other ways to do that than to
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be pulling agents that its core responsibility is the safety of air travel in order to do that. so i'll be following up on that and i appreciate the leverage, mr. chairman. mr. katko: thank you, ms. mcsaly. i'd like to thank the witnesses for their thoughtful testimony. members of the committee may have additional questions for all of you and we will be asking you to respond. the record will be held open for 10 days. before we close a couple observations. first of all, if we had more time -- we could go on this all day long. the beauty of this meeting is we had the input to have the stakeholders at the table and those sitting in the audience last week which let us become very prepared for this testimony. people look at congress and say congress is broken, nothing gets done. nobody is listening to us. what transpired last week, we looked at a crisis, we got the stakeholders in here, we crafted a bill in responding to what you have to say and it's going to have immediate impact if we can get it passed. and i'm excited about that. the frustration is that we're
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moving these things and we're getting this stuff done and so i ask all of you to be advocates for the senate to tell the senate to do their job as well because we don't want to hear any more of these wait time issues. when we can act like this in a collaborative manner, that's when congress can work and come to a positive conclusion. thank you all for coming here. i know it was an early flight for some of you. if there was any consolation, we were working until 12:30 last night and i was up at 5:00 this morning. we all had busy days. so thank you all, very much. mr. payne: an observation before we close. ms. mcsally, you should have not left homeland. see more now -- ms. mcsally: well -- mr. payne: well, we miss you there. mr. katko: the committee stands adjourned. thank you all very much.
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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>> our road to the white house coverage will continue this average with a bernie sanders campaign rally taking place in california. he'll be speaking to supporters in ventura, california. that state to hold its presidential primary on tuesday, june 7. you can see senator sanders live at 4:00 p.m. eastern, about 15 minutes from now, on our campaignon network c-span3. here on c-span, more from golden state as hillary clinton will be meeting with voters in san jose. her rally starts live at 4:30 eastern. earlier today, republican presidential candidate donald trump secured the necessary number of delegates to clinch the g.o.p. nomination. tomorrow mr. trump will hold a
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campaign rally in san diego. you can see that live tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. eastern right here on c-span. and while republicans and democrats are holding their party conventions in july, this coming weekend the libertarian party has its national convention, taking place in orlando. coverage starts saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern where the candidates debate. sunday we'll watch as the party chooses its presidential and vice-presidential nominee. the libertarian party is the only party that will appear in november.tes in live coverage on the c-span networks. >> madam secretary, we proudly give 72 of our delegate votes to the next president of the united states.
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>> this memorial day weekend on american history tv on c-span3, saturday evening at 6:00 eastern on the civil war. >> sherman, by the time he captured atlanta in september, 1864, his thoughts on the matter had fully matured. once again, a rebel army had been defeated and another major city had fallen and still the confederates would not give up. so rather than continue the futile war against people, you would now wage war against property. >> georgia historical society president todd gross on union general william at the cumpsy sherman, arguing his march to the sea campaign was hard war rather than total war and his
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targets were carefully selected. sunday morning at 6:00 on american artifacts. take a tour with senator mitch mcconnell, touring some of the older rooms, conference room and his private office. senator mcconnell: i had the privilege to be here in 1968 when martin luther king made the i had a dream speech. i confess i couldn't hear. he i was down here and he was at the lincoln memorial looking at thousands and thousands of people. but you knew you were in the presence of something really significant. >> then at 8:00 on the presidency, former aides to lyndon johnson and richard nixon talk about the role of the presidents during the vietnam era. >> l.b.j. anguished about that war every single day. and that is not an overstatement. the daily body counts, the calls either to or from the
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situation room often at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning to see if the carrier pilots had returned. >> historian h.w. brand is joined by former l.b.j. aide tom johnson and former nixon aide alexander butterfield to explain the president's foreign policies during the conflict. monday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. on real america, our five-part series on the 1975 church committee hearings convened to investigate the intelligence activities of the c.i.a., f.b.i., i.r.s. and the n.s.a. with testimony by c.i.a. director william colby, the f.b.i.'s james adams, general lou allen. f.b.i. informants and others. >> we are here to review the major findings of f.b.i. domestic intelligence including the cointel programs and other programs aimed at domestic targets. f.b.i. surveillance of law-abiding citizens and groups. political abuses of f.b.i.
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intelligence, and several specific cases of unjustified intelligence operations. >> for the complete american history tv weekend schedule, go to >> earlier today, u.s. forces commander lieutenant general charles brown held a briefing about the ongoing military operations against isis. he spoke with reporters from southeast asia through skype. this is about 45 minutes. >> good morning, general. just want to confirm you can hear us. general brown: got you loud and clear. >> good morning, everybody. we're pleased to be joined by lieutenant general charles q. brown jr. who is the commander of u.s. air forces central command giving us an update today on operation inherent resolve. general, we'll turn it over to you for any opening comments and then come back you for questions. general brown: good morning, everyone. it's a pleasure to talk to you
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on behalf of the men and women of the 60 nations that make up the coalition, over 60 nations that make up the coalition and also resolute force. it's my honor to serve as commander of the united states air force central command. and commander for central command. i am charged to lead and be part of our 19 nation air coalition in support of this as committed to defeating da'ish. while setting up condition to improve security and stability in the region. response for delivering airpower across afghanistan and the other regions. the coalition, whether in resolute support or inherent resolve continues to do phenomenal work making airpower look easy. as you likely heard me before, we're conducting the most precise air campaign in history. we're able to trick da'ish in its capabilities anytime anywhere while taking very deliberate steps to minimize
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the impact of the civilian population. there is no doubt that the coalition continues to dismantle da'ish, da'ish's ability to fight and conduct operations in iraq and syria. coalition air strikes are -- we continue to see positive results. when i came before this group last, i highlighted the noble success in targeting da'ish financial resources. particularly successful strikes on our facilities and our monetary centers. these strikes have definitely had the desired effect. they affect da'ish's ability to pay fighters and fund operations. in addition, the continued strikes on da'ish's financial means most recently the focus has been on logistic in both iraq and syria. the upcoming video of two recent strikes in raqqah, syria, and rupah, iraq, demonstrate the capabilities that they bring on a daily basis.
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could you please start the video. the strikes are an important operation in advance or in support of ground maneuver. this first part of the video shows the strike in raqqah destroying a da'ish weapons carb with guided munitions. of many the second part of the video hows a strike by u.s. f-16's to destroy da'ish defensive planning position. they employed three precision guided munitions to successfully destroy the target. the strike was conducted to disrupt da'ish's defenses as the iraq forces moved to retake rupah. it is strikes like these that are my perspective put more on da'ish, decreases their ability to place i.e.d.'s. the air component, we're actively to keep da'ish on the defense, naval ground forces to maneuver against as little
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resistance as possible. while there is consistent progress and positive momentum, now is not the time to pat ourselves on the back. there's still work to be done. as air coalition, we will do our part to persistently strike each target in the deep fight and we'll continue to integrate coalition airpower with ground forces. regardless of the operation on the ground, we'll use the operational reach and flexibility, the precision, constant presence and responsiveness to destroy and eventually defeat da'ish. and with that, jeff, i'm ready to take questions. >> we're going to do phil donahue style today. so i'll start with lita. >> hi, general. it's lolita with the associated press. can you give us a -- sort of a more detailed sense of the fight in fallujah and what issues or problems the coalition is having in trying to do air strikes there considering the number of citizens in the city? are you seeing a lot of citizens leaving? do you have a sense of how many are still there?
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and do you have any sense of the number of enemy fighters that are still in the city? thank you. general brown: from an air perspective, i don't have a really good sense on the number of fighters that are in the air. but i will tell you how we actually do the campaign in support of the operation. and so from a broad perspective, we have increased the number of strikes in fallujah in comparison to other areas in the campaign over the course of the past week. the way we do that is through the use of our joint operations center that sits in this case probably baghdad that's working in side-by-side with the iraqis to identify the particular charge we're going to strike dynamically in coordination with the iraqi, the iraqi forces. from an operational standpoint, what i have seen is you do see positive momentum and movement
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into fallujah as they execute. as far as the civilians, i can't speak to because i am not watching it closely. i will tell you one of the things as we work with the strikes in coordination with the iraqis, it is to take care to minimize the civilian casualties. we really haven't seen -- that i've seen -- great movement of civilians out of the city at this point. >> one quick follow-up just on a separate topic. there's been a lot of talk from the russians about wanting to coordinate more with the u.s. over syria. can you say whether or not you've encountered any difficulties with russian aircraft in the airspace over syria either getting in the way or other problems that would lead to further discussions about possibly considering some type of coordination?
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general brown: really, if you look at the operation really since the russians started flying back in september and even with the m.o.u. that's been in place, we've seen very little or any issues with the russians in execution and primarily because -- our objectives and their objectives, although what they said one thing was they were going to go after da'ish which is probably not the case. it's mostly in support of the regime. we don't necessarily fly in the same locations. there's one area we've probably come closer together is in northwest syria. north of owe leapto. -- olepo. so by and large, we have not had any issues when we look at the -- we don't do any coordination with the russians. we don't have any real concerns. i will tell you we have a very professional phone calls that go back and forth between the coalition, the phone line we have here with the russians to work through the m.o.u. to
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ensure safety of flight for the coalition. all the coalition as well as our operations and we do not have a safety in flight issue with the russians. >> hi, general. this is marcus with defense one. i wanted to ask you, there have been some reports about the ov-10 making an appearance on the -- in the skies over the battlefield in iraq and syria. so basically i wanted to ask, what are you using -- can you confirm the proper that -- report that it's out there? what is the future of the ov-10 in this mission that you have? general brown: well, that was actually not done under the air component. it was done under special ops in kind of a test program. that happened earlier in the year. to be honest with you, it was a short term and we haven't -- i don't have any real details to be able to tell you what the current status is. we weren't necessarily working
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real time from our location here. >> to follow up. there was debate over -- five, eight years ago, planes like the ov-10 or the super takano or the av-6 have a place in the skies over iraq and afghanistan where there is permissive environment. is that something that's being considered any more? what are your thoughts on whether or not the planes like that to be helpful? >> the a-29's in afghanistan, they can fly supply. it's a platform like that that has -- has a pretty easy to fly, pretty easy to maintain which is really a great platform for a smaller air force that's coming up. so in an environment, that airplane works perfect. if not that's probably not a capable platform.
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>> hi, general. it's courtney with nbc news. first, just something you said towards the end of your opening statement that i found kind of curious. you said regardless of the operations on the ground, the air campaign would continue. what do you mean by that? are you anticipating some sort of slowdown on of the pace of operations on the ground? general brown: there's times where the pace of our partners, some things are going faster and some days are going slower. from my perspective is the air component, we have the flexibility and the range to continue to put pressure on a daily basis. and so my goal as the air component is to put pressure on da'ish wherever they are, whether there are ground forces there or not. if things slow down or if there is change based on weather, those kinds of things, i still believe the air component can take advantage of our capabilities to continue to put pressure on da'ish, not give them any respite or sanction
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wear in any location. i'm always pressed to use our airpower as much as possible. and personally i get frustrated sometimes we're not using our capability to our full capability. we do by and large, but i'm always looking to improve how we're doing business. >> and then if i could also ask you about an announcement that kurds made earlier this week about the very beginning of a campaign to go move south towards raqqah with tens of thousands of troops. can you give us any kind -- i understand not wanting to give isis any preview what you're planning but can you give us sort of any idea what the air campaign is going to look like? are you anticipating a dramatic increase in coalition activity north of raqqah in the coming weeks and months to help sort of pave the way for those troops moving south? general brown: well, i tell you the model we use and i think
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has been fairly effective, when you're talking raqqah or any other location throughout the combined joint operating area is we're able to -- as the air component, we're able to strike ahead of the ground. that's my goal. if i know where the next fight is going to be, what i want to be able to do is soften that up with strikes ahead of the ground and we found when we do that the resistance that the ground forces face seems to be less. for a number of reasons. . the second piece. if you are looking over your shoulder and worried about an air strike, my goal is to -- where we see the ground force is going to maneuver is strike and try to at least the logistics where the next fight might be and we have the capability to do
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some of those things to strike in those areas so that they an't get to the next fight that's my goal. striking when they are in contact. >> this is christina from the hill. i would like to ask you a general question. give us the sense of spy planes and surveillance assets over iraq and syria and how much that presence has grown over the last year? general brown: let me give you a number on a daily basis. 0 to 160 aircraft that are airborne over iraq 24/7 and strike capability, c-2 capability, star power capability and we use that all together. and tankers is another big piece which gives us the ability to
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stay airborne. a mixed of capability. >> can you talk about the i.s.r. component of that? general brown: without getting into numbers, if there is one piece that i know that the ground component is more i.s.r. and i would like to have to be able to use it -- it develops targets so we can strike at the same time as we develop those targets and minimize the risk to civilians. >> how useful have the special operation forces been on the ground for gathering intelligence? general brown: there is some of that gather some information but advise and assist piece that they do what the forces, whether
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syria or iraq and what i find is the level of confidence that the ground forces have since the time -- i have gotten here last june. i think it's based on the level of training they are getting and the training sites with our special operations forces that has gotten us to the point where we are able -- we can strike and have a ground force that can go in and do what they have to do. >> thank you, general for doing this. i wanted to talk about your comments about increasing strikes in fallujah in comparison to some of the other places last week. how has that affected your strike shaping the mobile operations because i notice in me of them you are still -- king most you will but
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general brown: it various. from my perspective wall we try to do is keep a constant bit of pressure across the entire area and we are still striking in most you will. does it drop down a percentage point or two, yeah. striking in of our a number of different locations and allows us to be able to put pressure. when del is a ground maneuver we prep a little bit more whether it is strike capability. but we don't strip everything away from one location to go to another. we have the capability. >> two unrelated questions, on the conversations with the rush
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answer -- russians, is that hourly, detail, weekly. afghanistan, can you kind of update us on the air strike campaign against the taliban when it's called for in defensive operations and the islamic state strikes that you have been striking since january? general brown: on the russians. every other day, we have a working group. i have a call in my headquarters that talks to his counterpart that sits in syria and they'll talk about safety and ensure that we are executing the m.o.u. we do phone checks every day to make sure the lines are good. both of us have the opportunity. so something happens we are able to do that.
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and that process has worked out very well and i'm pleased with our ability to at least be able to talk about areas -- but we have a concern that the russians that is not in the spirit of m.o.u. and they have been responsive to go look at and investigate and we do the same. the question on afghanistan, what i have seen as i look at the increasing authorities that have been provided to the general and his staff, there has been a number of upticks in the number of strikes. and some of the aircraft, but we continue to watch that and i'm more in a support role to the general and he is better to answer that question. we do provide air power to support the operation and tankers from the gulf to support
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operations in afghanistan. >> if i could just clarify, the uptick in strikes, are you able to differentiate from where you sit between isis targets versus other targets or what were you referring to there? general brown: the number of strikes and commanders that are there in afghanistan that do the -- execute the strikes. we provide the air power to do that. they run the command and control. we just provide the air power and support. >> air force magazine. i want to follow up on the numbers question. you talked about e.k.g. and how you track your peaks and valleys. do you have a.m. will aircraft and are you looking at any valleys coming soon? and on the b-52's when they
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replaced the b-1's and going winchester all the time, are b-52's flying at the same pace? general brown: and i didn't initially -- i know the staff has looked at where we are going to have air power. and it's not a long time concern and we do an analysis to make sure we cover. i'm not overly concerned with the capacity that we have whether it's a strike. give me your second question again. >> the b-52 pace. general brown: they are doing well and i will tell you one of
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going he b-1's weren't winchester and winchester with the b-1's. but the b-52s are doing well and able to pick up and the other strike platforms are able to pick up. the b-52's haven't been out here for a number of years. there are some things they are going through from a logistics standpoint to make sure they got everything they need and that piece is going well. what i'm seeing is they are actually picking up the pace after they got here and they have been here for six weeks now. and what i'm seeing is their tempo continues to increase. and the b-1 doesn't necessarily have. it's not apples to apples
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comparison. it's another strike platform and i like having them here. >> u.s. news and world report. can you talk about the kind of momentum that you referenced going into fallujah. are forces preparing to go into the city right now or still shaping operations? what kinds of air strikes are you conducting? general brown: little bit of both. and doing some more dynamic strikes and we have done a number of strikes in fallujah over the course of the past year, 38 or so and what we see is the ground force goes in and our strike tempo becomes more dynamic. what i do see the iraqi forces
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are moving into the the city and as you look at it as they go into the city. depending on what sector of the city you are looking at. atching air power to strike. >> going back to the question of most you will, i understand you have not changed generally in the number of strikes you are doing, but are the kinds of strikes you are doing changed. has the momentum slowed at all as the iraqis are moving forces more towards fallujah? general brown: not necessarily. we are getting hit with centers there. it's the type of strikes i would say and some of these are
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logistics in the command and control centers and some mobile refinery oil type facilities. so it's really a mix of different types of targets but keeping the same level of pressure is really the goal. >> first a followup. in response to courtney's question earlier you said you get frustrated when you are not able to use air power to the full capability. what are some of the factors for it not to be used to the full capability? general brown: we do global watch and what i don't want to do and one of the things -- we have targets on call and we are going to strike eventually but based on the missions, we don't have them on the watch for that particular day. what we'll try to do is if that
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particular strike asset is finishing up and hasn't over expended its weapons, then on the way home, we'll have them strike those targets. it allows us to increase air power. the other is how we use some of the i.s.r. as much as folks like -- it's an opportunity to look at things and watch things, but i joke with our staff, when i came into the air force, we didn't have the video and we were able to execute and strike campaigns and look at those things. we are able to do some things either with the i.s.r. or air strike platforms but using and sometimes it's the mindset and looking for opportunities and one of the areas i have done is o a little bit of i.s.r. and
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going out and searching areas to find arguments that we can strike and where the component is looking at and we are looking to strike some targets and take some things off the battlefield. so it's opportunities like that that i'm trying to take advantage of. me working with my staff looking for opportunities like that. >> secretary carter said we are running low on some of the precision munitions we use against isil the most, where is that now? is that a concern for you? general brown: it's a concern and we have to balance that. we do a lot of precision guided munitions. and we are down in afghanistan and the weapons buy was not
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forecast for this particular operation and by the way, many of our partners are employing order nants whether it is in iraq and syria or pakistan. so there are a lot of people that want the forecast. i know the air force has taken some steps to increase in the next -- to buy more weapons and do that and those weapons are two years or so away. the other piece we have to look at, we have spots in the world to support central command and we have to do some analysis of where we take risk and what i mean by that where do which pull some weapons from and do we use them now or save them for later. so the cost analysis that we do is working with centsome how we balance the weapons we
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general brown: the strikes there in northern syria, the shaping of prapingses are not much different and aren't much different than the strikes we have done in fallujah. it's really, we are taking out the locations where they have weapons caches, logistics and can't get to the command and control and same type of targets generally. >> following on, less dynamic strikes up there. general brown: the dynamic strikes depend on what they are
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doing. and if there are fewer add various out there and don't present themselves, nothing is happening. but we are watching in case we do. what we do see typically, when we have -- what we have seen over the course of the past year, gives us opportunities to strike and see a little bit of an upswing in areas where we have movement and we put air power overhead and they have the opportunity and in those locations. times." orce we need the weapons of tomorrow today to be successful especially in air campaigns and i was wondering you said earlier you would like to see a little more i.s.r. capabilities but do the capabilities you have now,
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are they flexible enough that they need to progress in this air campaign against isis? general brown: the weapons we have today are flexible enough and we work with the squadron and wings and coalition partners so when they load their aircraft, we work with them to say these are the type of weapons. they don't go out the door with just one type of weapon, they carry a mix of weapons on their aircraft. they use two super fighters. and that gives us mass flexibility because when we get airborne. we don't know what the target is going to be, much different than a delivery target. they have a pretty good idea what targets they are going against and able to do more analysis and may change the load
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because it's tied to a specific mission and so we do have quite a bit of flexibility and i'm not overly concerned in that regard. we always have enough to be able to execute is one of the things -- nothing to worry about but i articulate so the supporters know. >> i know the focus has been to find an alternative to g.p.s. have you seen taliban using g.p.s. jammers against our capabilities? general brown: i have not seen that and i don't worry about it. so i think we have done a pretty good job. the jamming doesn't really impact it. >> this is jamie crawford from cnn. following on your comments as to
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the number of attacks in afghanistan. i'm curious in the strike borders has octors it reduced the tempo or changed the rules of engagement of how you operate in afghanistan in the air? general brown: i have to defer you to the general on that. i was talking in a general sense. it applies to us here. the operation here in iraq and syria to make sure we are going with the rules of engagement and the communication and formation between all the elements is very heated to ensure we minimize the civilian casualties. process to great do that and i will tell you that what i find is that more times
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than not and really the goals of definitely don't drop. and i can't talk to you about the specifics but we spent a lot of time talking about and make sure the crews understand the intent my level. >> in iraq and syria realizing that the united states carries out the numbers of air strikes. talk about the contributions from the other coalition countries being enough support from the countries when it comes to air support and the campaign against isis in iraq and syria? general brown: i do. and this is the coalition partners. and each nation brings us a unique set of capabilities and some cases we may fly f-16's,
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but they are different than ours and the french may carry a ifferent weapon or an i.s.r. capability or a drone that can support refueling a navy aircraft. each one comes in with a capability and what i told my staff and my goal is to make sure everything we do to incorporate the capability that is offered by our coalition partners and take advantage of the opportunities they provide us and i'll give you a quick example. he air force does not do tactical recon aceance. and they have the capability and it's been a real plus and real way we can get intelligence to take some pictures and video and
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then get back that to us fairly quickly. i have been very pleased with he coalition and the representatives we have, the prospect us they provide and tough questions and just because we have a larger percentage -- doesn't mean that we have the answer on the answers. and helpful to get their perspectives because of their different backgrounds and makes us sharper as a coalition. >> what's the current level of u.s. support to the saudi-led campaign in yemen? general brown: our support to the operation is very small. small amount and small tanker
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support, 10-15 tankers. and we do have a small ontingent of airmen to support and provide some advice but by and large, the bulk of the operations really done by the saudi-led coalition and the coalition is part of it. very small percentage of the operation. >> contribution winding down over the summer. you envision that contribution winding down over the course of the summer? general brown: tough to tell. right now there are a cessation of hostilities as i talked to some of the partners that are engaged and may not be employed as much. our tempo hasn't decreased in support of the operations there.
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and i think based on the negotiations ongoing in kuwait, time will tell whether or not .hings will slow down >> how aggressive is your pursuit of the isis leader baghdadi? general brown: i can't speak to that. that is part of the other area. i know provide air power and support but i can't provide specifics. >> if given the order to take him out, would you do that? >> if given an order unless it is immoral or illegal, i will do it as part of the air force. >> have budget cuts impacted the
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air war at all and cannibal ization in the middle east and look that half the b-1s can fly. general brown: as the operational execution -- i got here as a deputy during sequestration and the way the services do, they front load and support the operations that are put forward and they take an impact readiness back. and what i have seen with the air force and others, the other services, readiness is one they are being focused on. and you don't get impacted by it. i understand it because it does have an imact on it which is why i want to be sure what i'm asking for and impact in order
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to have the next rotation to be ready. on the b-1, i know they are going through a major upgrade which will increase their capabilities. so i don't know the specifics, but that is why the b-1's are here. >> i wanted to go back to when you were talking about going up to full capability and having a level of overwatch. i don't want to oversimplify, are you saying you are doing too much overwatch and not enough striking and are there targets, high value tarts that you are watching that you feel you have the ability to strike that you are not striking? general brown: no. the overwatch, there is ground maneuver and going to have airplanes there. no different than what we have
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done in afghanistan. and you don't know we can't -- i can't have an aircraft sitting down because it's a three-hour drive to get up into iraq and syria. on the alert piece, what i'm trying to do -- we had overwatch and nothing happened during that time frame, they still had weapons but a target we go trike, i want to maximize.
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general brown: whether or not the capacity to support. they e us air craft, have had any run-ins with iranian aircraft since you have been there? general brown: not since i have been here. we didn't have any that i'm aware of. >> thank you very much. with that, we appreciate your time and thank you for coming out to see us. any final words for us before we sign off? general brown: thanks for the opportunity to talk with you today. it's a real pleasure to share with you what we are doing, how we are doing and extremely proud to have the opportunity to be part of this coalition. we have a lot of great folks
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making things happen all across the area and complete joint coalition team and it's impressive the work we are doing and like i said, we have momentum and keep the foot on the pedal and i want to take full advantage of our capabilities and i want to be able to do it and appreciate it. thanks a lot. >> thank you, sir. thank you, everybody. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by tional captioning institute] >> we are live now with road to the white house coverage, it's hillary clinton. she is meeting with voters in san jose california, a rally set
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to begin. this appearance for potential voters ahead of the presidential primary coming up on june 7. while we wait for this rally to get under way, show you a discussion from this morning's washington journal on race and poverty in america's school systems.
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a lot of reports were coming out and researchers that the level of segregation was high and growing. and that's what the g.a.o. found. significant number of jurisdictions have excessive racial isolation and overlaps with class not only racial but low income. and when you combine the two having to educate people in racially isolated situations, the studies show the results aren't as good. and isolated schools, the services aren't as good and less access to more rigorous academic courses. the libraries and facilities not as good. problems we had in 1954 are
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coming back and the disturbing thing that the resegregation was much higher and growing. it has grown significantly. and that's one of the disturbing things and we have asked the department of education to be more rigorous and we have introduced legislation to give a private right of action when schools are segregated. host: we are talking about this report from the g.a.o., top line report from the government accountability office. the percentage of public schools
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in the united states with students who are poor and mostly black. from school years --
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people get behind in school, start dropping out and dropping out as a pathway to other problems. host: you have to find out the cause of this. so what has been the main cause? has it been a failure on the local level and the school boards or something that the federal government has taken their eye off the ball on? guest: we have a problem. let's solve it. the courts have made it a little more difficult. some school systems have programs that help promote racial integration that have been found unconstitutional. some of the positive efforts along these lines have been stopped by the courts. that's in stark contrast to the
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earlier litigation where you are trying to innovate the schools when some have tried to integrate the schools. that's been one of the problems. but we have asked the department of education to be more vigilant and a lot of cases pending. some for decades and we need to make sure there is more vigorous oversight. re-establishing a private right of action. if you see segregation, unless you can show intent, which is a problem, you could have a racially neutral program that has racially polarizing effect, you want to be able to bring these cases on a local level and not wait for the department of education. 15,000 school systems around the country and the department of education can't be in each and every one all the time. if the parents have a private
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right of action and civil rights groups can file a lawsuit, that ought to be allowed. host: that's not allowed right now? guest: you have to show intentional discrimation. disparity impact, you don't have that. host: as we go through the g.a.o. report talking about segregation in schools in k-12 and hear your stories and hear what is happening. we have lines for parents, educators and students. mary is a parent. caller: good morning. i'm from the detroit area and the detroit schools, millions and millions and millions of dollars worth of books and computers never reach the children because of corruption, mostly the computers for
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technology. it's so corrupt and so heavy in the administration that nothing trickles down to the kids. it is important because it is going to continue if it's not fixed and also the teachers' union where they can't fire anyone. i don't know, it's such a corrupt system from top to bottom that you have to look at the cause. guest: as you suggested, money is not the only problem. the elementary and secondary education act and no child left behind, the every student succeeds act makes sure we focus money into the low-income areas. the money will not solve all the problems. we need to make sure that the money gets there and if you have problems like that and have specific cases of identifiable
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corruption, the department of education needs to be informed with whatever evidence you have. host: show our viewers the g.a.o. report. this dark blue line here at the bottom is the number of high poverty and 75% to 100% -- that's the line at the bottom. this bar right here and the line and dot bar is low poverty, black and hispanic schools, that number dropping to 16% to show what is happening in those schools, the difference between schools of those two types, here's a chart that talks about school programs that they offer specifically on math. the number of schools in those two categories and the type of
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programs they offer. you can see that seventh or eighth grade algebra and that compares with the black and hispanic schools. and 49%, it goes through algebra y and we are going over it this morning.
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caller: american community part of the problem, but as america as a whole, i say that because i grew up going to d.c. public schools, the schools were
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atrocious but i had my mom to make sure i did learn even when she had to do some of the schooling herself. i was told by an african-american counselor that wasn't going to be any more than a wait tress, a graduate degree with honors. if we don't invest in our children, black, white, hispanic, the american culture will decline and other countries will come over here and take advantage of things that they don't take in their country. i'm hoping the american people will listen to that and that all children have to be educated properly. guest: the racial seeing re an on is denying are people opportunity under brown versus board of education decision in
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195 , 62 years ago. host: the report is available from the g.a.o. and published last month. the title of the report if you ant to look at it. mike is up next, richmond, virginia, mike, good morning. caller: i got mixed feelings about this. seems to me there are a number tie all into at sect with the results that we get here for kids that are going to school in high poverty areas, predominantly black, puerto rican or latino areas. but the thing that concerns me here is that in the day, we had
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laws mandating segregation in many parts of the country. that's been done away with thankfully. it seems to me what we have is people are going to school, where they go to school is because that's where they live and they live in large measure because of economic circumstances and this to me ties into the breakup of the black family where a dad has decided that it doesn't matter whether he stays around and doesn't matter if he has five children by half a dozen women. please understand. i'm not talking about preconceived notions or stereotypes. guest: i'll point out he is
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absolutely right on ress detention segregation, when you have segregated neighborhoods, you would have problems integrating the schools if and we had laws requiring segregation in the past but even when you had those laws and the term was jury and defacto. in the north they had see degree debated schools. boston, for example, had schools that were essentially segregated. black schools and white schools. that wasn't the law, that was a fact. he's right. you still have work to do and residential segregation is a problem in trying to deal with that has always been a challenge. you can't tell people where to live, but we found and you look at housing and urban
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development, real estate agents, what's called steering, black family, they will be shown houses in the black area and white families shown houses in the white area. they would show people based on the kind of house they want. but he is right, it deals with a lot of different aspects when you have education. going to have problems in employment and in the criminal justice system and if we don't get education straight. host: allowing families more choice in schools, school choice vouchers be away to fix? guest: some work, some don't. when the schools were first legally integrated, there was a thing called freedom of choice, but what happened was that whites would tend to choose the white schools because of the culture and blacks would choose
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the black schools and you would have segregation and wouldn't have real integration. to the extent that a freedom of choice scheme wol work, would work. wouldn't n't work, it work. host: an educator, donald, what do you teach? caller: i'm on the board and things of that nature. thank the gentleman from was right from the educational system has always been caught in the cross current of economics, whether it's agricultural versus industrial or inner city versus suburban. it always happens for the past 2,500 years in history that a
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fallen people will move when they're not comfortable in certain situations. other people who don't have the after lieuens to move then are left with what's left. so china and india, quite a few of the foreign countries have addressed education quite differently than the way we approach it in america. there'sive people funt, always who take advantage and some who let it slide. if we go back to the era that we mandatory draft where everyone has to serve in the military, there was a certain discipline and a certain educational process and a certain uniformity that was created that prepared more people than what it seemed what
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people are prepared today and the attitude, crime, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera was completely different. now today, when we look at the number of hours that our students actually spend in study and in the application and with the courses being offered, one suit does not fit everybody. if i have a group of men that i work with that are ninth grade educated, 10th grade educated at best, they are more interested in working with their hands doing certain things that others aren't. there are kids that like to figure out crossword puzzles or have memory contests and spelling bees. we have to learn to take and have applications where each of those children and families, many familiar licks like the
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fellow from richmond said, who is your daddy? when men grow up without a father in the home, it makes it more difficult because a woman working two jobs a day cannot supervise for discipline or manage a home. host: congressman scott. guest: you mentioned a lot of things. we have to deal what shows up in the school system. some are poor, some are better off and we have found out that integrated educational setting helps everybody low-income student do better. and so we found an integrated school system, everybody does better. he mentioned some people work better with their hands and crossword puzzles. one of the things we are working on the committee is career and technical education.
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when i was in the state senate many years ago, we had a work force committee that i served on and one of the things that we have insisted and clear consensus that we need to do is votional education needs to nclude a full component of the academics. you are in shop or home economics and you spend time over there, you get your diploma. if you don't have the basics, you won't get a job. and you have to get a new job, you don't have the academic ability to learn a new job. whatever you do in career or chnical vocation, reading, writing, comprehension, you have to have the basics of a 12th grade education. if you learn auto mechanics and
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get halfway through and switch, i'm going to go to college, the structure of the vocational education shouldn't be such a rut that you can't change your mind. get back into an academic track and go on to a liberal arts college. he is right. we need to make the opportunities available and there are exciting things going on in high school and some are taking courses in community college. many vocational-oriented courses, many of the high schools, newport news, we have an aviation school that have been learning aviation and these are very exciting opportunities. but all of those include the basics, math and communication skills so if you change your mind, you can go forward or if you lose one job you can learn
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ow to do the next one. most host congressman bobby scott and state senate from 1983-1993 and with us for about the next 10 minutes or so to talk about education in this country. new report from the g.a.o. alking about seeing cregation. >> and i dirty jobs understand but on the job . aining because not everybody is there
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for the books. and eventually, desee degree debate themselves. host: what point do you think that should start the trade path versus the other path? aller: around high school. i was required as a girl to take home ec. that wasn't me. f they put me on a horti culture, what a gardner i would have been. finding something that might grow -- it shows you dirty jobs. there's dirty jobs that people don't need to go to college for when they just love doing it.
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guest: there are some jobs where you are using your hands, a trade that pays extremely well. you can make a nice living. the important thing is the way jobs work today, you need the basics, in terms of math and communication skills. you need to work with your co-workers and when you work in a factory, you need to know how to use a computer. the assembly line is much more automated now than it was in the past. so you are doing people a great disservice if you give them the hands-on learning where they can learn a trade. that job may be -- you may lose your job. if you don't have the academic ability to learn another job, you will be stuck at the a minimum wage job for the rest of your life. they need to have the basics and
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there is a consensus in the educational vocational community that that has to be part of the process. and without the education, can't find a job, that's part of the school to prison pipeline. if you invest in young people and keep them on the right track, very few of them will get in trouble. if you let them drop out of school, they don't graduate from high school, you have problems down the line. host: brian is in louisiana. brian, good morning. caller: good morning. louisiana. fayette, segregation in schools is a very real thing for me and this area. i'm 40 years old and there have been desegregation orders that have come down from the federal
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government within my lifetime and still something that we have worked with in this area. what we have seen is that in the modern era, in the past couple of administrations, there have been programs that have been set up that have increased segregation. a school voucher program was instituted by the former governor jindal, which allowed public school dollars to be used to send their children to parochial schools and basically what you got out of this was a furthering of the segregation of the schools because of this. mainly, number one, i think using public school dollars for parochial or religious education flies in the face of what it
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means to be an educator in america. i think we should be protected from that kind of activity. along social and economic lines, we see that segregation. donenk giving what we have in our local area -- we have a schools by choice program which offer different language immersion and specific tracks of study and are put in failing schools and what would happen is, it takes a feelings, integrates it, and then you also other lines of study being seen by children who might not have seen that and show interest in it as well. as a


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