tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 26, 2016 7:00pm-9:01pm EDT
use those people. while i'm raising a lot of money for them, they're going to use that not only for me but for other people running for office, it's been an honor because i've met some of the people in different states. i met a big group of people last night from different states that work essentially for the r.n.c. and you can't do that over a period of just a short while. you know, we have, november is it's going to be very soon. and they are set up with great infrastructure. ok. how about one or two more? >> they called your comments cruel, irresponsible or wrong. mr. trump: a question was asked about vince forrester. i haven't known anything about it. and somebody asked me the question the other day. and i said that a lot of people are skeptical as to what happened and how he died. i know nothing about it. i don't think it's something --
unless there's evidence contrary what i've seen i don't think it should be part of the campaign. if you people reveal something to me, i'll answer it the appropriate way. ok. ne more. yeah? >> here in north dakota, fracking is on the forefront -- mr. trump: right. >> how would you feel -- mr. trump: hillary is going to abolish the second amendment. he's going to abolish your right to own gunns. she's going to abolish the second amendment. i'm exactly the opposite. i got the endorsement from the n.r.a. because they're great, amazing people. i'm a member of the n.r.a. my sons are members of the n.r.a. but they want to absolutely knockout fracking. you do that, you're going to be back into the middle east and we're going to be begging for oil again.
it's not going to happen. not with me. we're going to open it up. we're going to be energy independent. we're going to have all sorts of energy including solar. and i know a lot about solar. the problem with solar, it's very expensive. when you a 30-year payback that's not the best in the world. i've gone solar but it's a very, very expensive thing. wind is very expensive. wind -- without subsidy, wind doesn't work. and there are places maybe for wind. but if you go to various places in california, wind is killing all of the eagles. if you shoot an eagle they want to put you in jail for five years. and yet the winds are killing hundreds and hundreds of eagles, one of the most beautiful, treasured birds and they're killing them by the hundreds and nothing happens. wind is a problem. it's very, very expensive and it doesn't work with our subsidy. despite that, i am into all
types of energy. while we're in north dakota, i have to say this, i love the farmers. and the farmers are incredible. we have to remember this was largely a farm state. they produce tremendous crops of tremendous different goods of which i eat a lot of them. and i just want to pay my respects to the farmers of north dakota because they have done a great job. all right. one more. go ahead. we're going to look at that and we're going to meet with the governor of iowa who's a tremendous guy and a friend of mine. and we're going to talk about it. a lot of people want that to happen. we will be making a decision fairly soon. ok? >> given the low volume of crude oil and regulations were lifted by the federal government. what would you do to increase and stimulate growth? >> i'm going to open it up so they can sell. but that won't be up to people like harold. nobody can sell like him.
now, i would open it up and keep it open. get rid of the regulations. and people like harold hamm and people that i know are superconfident, believe me, we will make so much money with energy because we're blessed with something. we will make so much money that we will start to pay down our $19 trillion in debt. and we'll start to lower taxes and we'll start to take care of our social security and medicare. go ahead, david. he wrote a couple of good stories about me. so i have to let him go. [laughter] he wrote a couple of bad ones too. >> women that taken issue with he way they were portrayed -- >> i'm so honored by that. >> do you think you're done -- >> i was so honored because the "new york times" did this massive story on the front page.
they quoted through women and another woman. many of the women have come forward who said we have great respect for donald trump. we really like donald trump. that's not what was said. this's not how it was portrayed. the "new york times" has been totally discredited and the construction person i just presented many, many e-mails and i think i sent them to you abed did send them to you, many, many e-mails where she's asking for her job back because after she was gone, i never took her back. she wanted her job back. she wrote a book in which she says the nicest thing about me. he said you're the least sexist person. i don't even know why she mentioned that. she writes me a letter. but she's been totally discredited. so the "new york times" story has been totally discredited. the "new york times" i can tell you from personal knowledge is very, very embarrassed. it was a total hit job on donald
trump. and to put a story like that above the fold with a massive picture of myself standing with miss universe contest at that particular times or maybe miss u.s.a. contestants which i sold i.m.g., good deal, by the way. but -- but for them to put a story like that above the fold, the "new york times"ings i can tell you they're very ashamed by of that story. d for the women to come out, rohan to be brave and said who would do that? i did not speak to her when she did this. i spoke to her more recently and i thanked her because it took courage to do that. and for her and others to come out and go forward and say, you really, really mistreated us by writing this story the way you wrote it. and we have great respect for
donald trump and like do thaled trump very much. the "new york times" was totally discredited and honestly, they should be ashamed of themselves. i hated reading the story even though this was not major allegations of very much stuff. one of them accused me of saying "don't eat that candy." a friend of mine said it's not too serious. they made it like it was such a big violation. don't eat that candy. i appreciated the story you wrote about it because the "new york times" has been totally discredit and i will tell you they are very embarrassed by that story. so ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. >> just a talented person. he's been there for a long time. come here. get over here. get over here. in there right from the beginning, right? [applause]
>> you've changed my life. i guess if you're one of the first seven or eight members of congress to endorse somebody, your life gets changed. mine's been changed. i'm glad you're here. i appreciate harold's invitation. i appreciate your comments on energy. i'm looking forward to hearing the rest of it. i missed vote for the energy and water appropriations that failed miserably. so i didn't miss a thing. mr. trump: thank you, everybody. >> speaker ryan suggested -- mr. trump: let's see what happens. thank you, everybody. thank you. >> republican presidential candidate donald trump holding a news conference from earlier today in bismarck, north dakota. he hand secured the necessary number of delegates to clinch the g.o.p. nomination. tomorrow more from mr. trump as he hold as campaign rally in san diego. california is set to hold its
presidential primary on tuesday, june 7th. you can see that right here on c-span. while republicans and democrats plan to hold their party conventions in july, this weekend the libertarian party is holding its national convention in orlando. we'll kick off our coverage saturday 8:00 p.m. eastern with the candidates' debate and we'll watch as the party chooses its presidential and vice presidential nominees. as of now the libertarian party is the only third party that will appear on the ballot in all 50 states this november. >> c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up friday morning, todd cox policy director for the center of american progress will join us to discuss criminal justice in efforts to reform the reform and the
sentencing act. and we'll talk to george buckley ladderrica moving up the has been hampered and how to reverse that trend. be sure to watch at 7:00 eastern on friday morning. join the discussion. >> in addition to the graduating classing all over this god's planet, i wish you would graduate into a world of peace, light and love. but that's not the case. we don't live in a fairytale. but i guess the 1% does. >> this memorial day watch commencement speeches offering advice and encouragement to the graduating class 2016. sweet nd maria contreras
at whittier college. >> you can count on yourself. special. you what distinguishes you from others? in business we call it your unique proposition. figuring out yours is key. >> politician, senator jeff sessions in huntsville. senator barbara boxer at the university of california berkley and governor mike pence at the louisiana wesleyan university. >> learn to stand in who you are and what you believe. there 's a way that you've changed here and will carry into the balance of your life. >> and white house officials, vice president joe biden at the university of notre dame. loretta lynch at spellman college and president barack obama at rutgers university. >> sit any wonder that i'm optimistic?
-- is it any wonder that i'm optimistic? throughout our history, generations have bent the system of justice and it is your turn now to shape our nation's destiny as well as your own. so get to work. >> commencement speeches, this memorial day at noon eastern on -span. >> c-span's "road to the white house" coverage continues with the bernie sanders campaign rally in california. he spoke earlier to voters and supporters in ventura for about 5 minutes. [cheers and applause] with the energy i've seen here and all over america, no question in my mind that our grassroots activism
will win the general election. cheers and applause] but let me tell you in order to defeat trump in the general election, we've got to win the democratic nomination first. [cheers and applause] and i feel increasingly confident that here in california we are going to win and win big on june 7. [cheers and applause] and the reason for that is we are doing something that to the best of my knowledge has never been done in california political history. we are holding rallies just like this up and down this state. cheers and applause]
and by the end of this campaign here in california, i am confident that we will have permly met and spoken to over 200,000 californians. [cheers and applause] this is a grassroots campaign of the people, by the people, and for the people. [cheers and applause] and the reason we are going to win here in california and the reason we're going to win a general election is the american people understand that given the crises facing our country, it is just too late for establishment politics or accomplishment economics. [cheers and applause] what the american people
got tand is that we have to bring forth a political revolution. [cheers and applause] we have got to redefine what politics means in america. we need people from coast to coast standing up, fighting back and demanding a government that represents all of us, not just he 1%. [cheers and applause] this campaign is going to win because we are doing something rather unusual in american politics, we are telling the truth. [cheers and applause] and here is the truth. that in our great nation today we have a corrupt campaign
is nce system which undermining american democracy. what democracy is supposed to be about as everyone here knows is one person, one vote. you get a vote. you get a vote. and you get a vote. cheers and applause] democracy is not supposed to be about billionaires and perpacks buying elections -- super pacs buying elections. if we get elected and i'm increasingly confident that we will -- [cheers and applause] we are going to overturn this disastrous supreme court ruling
on citizens united. cheers and applause] this campaign is going to win because we are telling the truth in the sense that today we have a rigged economy. and what a rigged economy is is that for 30 years, the middle-class of this country has been shrinking, shrinking, shrinking and almost all new income and wealth today is going to the top 1%. [jeers] what a rigged economy is about 1% owning .10 of almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%.
the rigged economy is when the 20 wealthiest people in this country own more wealth than the bottom 150 million americans, half of our people. [jeers] a rigged economy is when one family, the walton family of wal-mart ones more wealth than the bottom 42% of the american people. [jeers] anybody here work at a wal-mart? ok. we got a few. and here's what's interesting about wal-mart. wal-mart owned by the wealthiest family in america, pays wages that are so low that many of the people that work there have got to go on food stamps and medicaid. who pays for those food stamps
and medicaid? that's right. working families in this country pay higher taxes in order to subsidy the wages paid by the wealthiest family in america. hat is absurd. [applause] so i say to the walton family, get off of welfare, pay your worker as living wage. [cheers and applause] t it is not just a corrupt line of finance system. it's not just the rigged campaign system. here in california, my state of vermont, people are working two or three jobs. mom is working 40 hours. dad is working 40 hours. kids are working 40 hours. and at the end of all of that, 58% of all new income goes to he top 1%.
ou ready for a radical idea? [cheers and applause] together, we are going to create an economy that works for all of us, not just wealthy campaign ontributors. but it's not just the corrupt campaign finance system that we have to change. it's not just the rigged economy. it is also a broken criminal justice system. [cheers and applause] every american should be embarrassed by the fact that we have more people in jail than ny other country on earth. we are spending $80 billion a million ck-off 2.2
people disproportionately african-americans, latino and native americans. [jeers] our job is to understand why that is occurring and to change it. and my froms you is that at tend of my first term as president,, we will not have more people in jail than any other country. [cheers and applause] and one of the reasons that we have so many people in jail is that across this country in inner cities in african-american and latino neighborhoods, in rule areas we have unemployment rates of 30%, 40%, 50%. kids get ott of high school. there are no jobs for them.
and when kid hang out with no jobs bad things can happen. and that is why i believe that we should be investing for our . ds in jobs and education cheers and applause] not in jails or incarceration. [cheers and applause] we should not forget that it cost more money to lock somebody up than to send them to the university of california. [cheers and applause] and when we talk about reforming a broken criminal justice system, we've got to take a look at local police departments all across this country. now, i was the mayor in burlington, vermont for eight years.
and i worked closely with the police officers there. and i worked with police officers all over this country. and the overwhelming majority of police officers are honest, hard working and have a very difficult job to do. [cheers and applause] but like any other public official, when a police officer breaks the law, that officer must be held accountable. cheers and applause] we have got to demille tarize local -- demilletaryize local police departments. i do not want local police like ents looking occupying armies intimidating in their community. [cheers and applause] we have got to make local police
departments reflect the diversity of the communities hey serve. [cheers and applause] we've got to end corporate ownership of prisons and detention centers. [cheers and applause] we have got to change more enforcement culture in this country so that the use of lethal force, shooting somebody is the last response not the first response. cheers and applause] we have got to rethink the o-called war on drugs. turns out not widely known but true -- turns out over the last 30 years, millions of americans have received police records
because of possession of marijuana. [jeers] and i want you to think abe. you're a 19-year-old kid. you have a police record. your employer ask you, hey, young man, you ever have a police record? well, yes, sir, i did. i got somebody else interested in that job. a lot of lives have been ruined because of possession of marijuana. and in addition to that, it turns out that this becomes a racial issue because studies indicates that blacks and whites do marijuana at about equal rates. well, i don't know if i would cheer for that. but it's a fact. ut -- but guess what it also turns out, blacks are more likely than whites to be arrested for doing marijuana.
[jeers] so what do we do? this is what i think we do. number one, we understand that oday, the federal -- federal controlled substance act lifts marijuana as a schedule one drug. the highest level. [jeers] ight next to heroin. [jeers] now people can argue the pluses and minuses of marijuana. but no sane person believes that marijuana is equivalent to what killer drugs like heroin. and that is why if elected president, we will take marijuana out of the federal control substance act. cheers and applause] marijuana -- possession of
marijuana should not be a federal crime. but as of you know the decision to legalize marijuana is a state issue not a federal issue. four states in this country plus, washington, d.c. have voted to deal lies marijuana. [cheers and applause] some of you may know there will be an item on the ballot here in california in november calling for legalization. [cheers and applause] now, i don't live here in california, but if i did, i would vote for that pop situation. -- proposition. [cheers and applause] crowd chanting "bernie"] but while we're on the issue of drugs, let me just say this and i think all of you know this. right now in my state, in new
england and i believe all over this country, we are looking at a horrific epidemic of opiate and heroin addiction. it is terrible. >> and what we are seeing every single day is people are overdosing on opiates or heroin and they are dying. this is an issue that must be dealt with. but it must be dealt with intelligently. and in my view, the best way to address that issue is to understand that substance abuse and addiction should not be treated as a criminal issue. it should be treated as a health related issue. cheers and applause] and that means we need a revolution in this country and how we do mental health treatment. [cheers and applause]
right now, there are people who are addicted who are strung out, who would like to get help. but there is no treatment available for them that they can afford. and in addition to that what is true, although it is very scary that although walking the streets of america today, right now, you have many thousands of people who are suicidal and some are homicidal. and we all know about the terrible mass shootings that we've seen. in my view, what our approach should be is the same for anybody in america in mental health crisis. you can get the treatment you need today, not six months from now. cheers and applause]
this campaign is listening to working people. and what working people are telling me is they can't make it $11 an hour. which is in my view we're going to raise the minimum wage to a living wage $15 an hour. cheers and applause] and when we talk about those quitable wage, every man will stand with the women in opposition that today women are making .7 cents on the doll -- 79 cents on the dollar compared to men. today we will bring payer quity for women.
equal pay for equal work. [cheers and applause] this campaign is also listening to women who are hearing republicans all over this country. donald trump and the other who are time-outing family values. and you know all know what they mean by family values. what they mean is that no woman in ventura, no woman in california, no woman in america should have the right to control her own body. we disagree! cheers and applause] and by the way, when republicans talk about family values, what they are also saying to our gay brothers and sisters that they should not have the right to get married. we disagree! cheers and applause]
this campaign is not listening to wealthy campaign contributors and their needs. we are listening to young people and their needs. cheers and applause] and young people are asking me a very simple but important question, how is it that when they do exactly the right thing, when they go out and get the best education that they can, which is what we want all americans to be able to do, why is it that they're ending up 30, 50, $70,000 in debt. now, i grew up in a family that did not have a lot of money. my parents never went to college. but what i want to see in this
country is that every child who studies hard, every child who takes school seriously and does well, i want to see that child be able to go to college, regardless of the income of his or her family. [cheers and applause] bernie"] anting " now here's the truth. 40, 50 years ago, people went out. they got a high school degree. and if you had a high school degree 40 or 50 years ago, you know what, good chance you'll be able to go out and get a decent job and make it into the middle-class. but the world, the economy, technology have changed over the last 40 years. and today in many respects a college degree is equivalent to what a high school degree was 30
years ago. and that is why i believe that today when we talk about public education, it is not good enough to be talking about first grade through 12th grade. we must be talk about making public colleges and universities tuition-free. [cheers and applause] [crowd chanting "bernie"] now does anybody here honestly think that making colleges and universities tuition-free is a radical idea? it really is not. our world has changed. our educational system has got to change. it's grown by the way. in countries like germany and scandinavia, college today is free. they are smart enough to invest
and smart enough to know that investing in their young people is investing in the future of their country. it's a lesson we should learn. [cheers and applause] how many people here are dealing with student debt? raise your hand? whoa. well, welcome to the club. we're talking about millions of people. . how much? how much? 100. 120,000. how much? $220,000. bernie sanders: what i'm hearing is 120,000, 200,000. frankly think avenlt what this campaign is trying to do is to get people to think outside of the box. to think outside of the options, that corporate media often gives us. ask yourself a simple question.
we are living in a competitive global economy. we need the best educated workforce in the world. why in god's name are we punishing people for getting an education? [cheers and applause] we should be rewarding them not pun ushing them. [cheers and applause] and that is why i believe that with regard to student debt, anybody who is holding that debt should be able to refinance their loans at the lowest interest rates they can find. [cheers and applause] and that will mean a very significant reduction in student debt in this country. now, my opponents and the accomplishment they say well, bernie, he's got white hair. he's given away all of this stuff, free tuition, reducing student debt. how are you goings to pay for
it, bernie? you going to pay for it, bernie? let me tell you exactly how we're going to pay for it. after the greed, the recklessness and illegal behavior on wall street helped bring this country into the economic orse recession since the 1930's, congress bailed out wall street. well, today wall street is doing just fine. and i believe it is exactly appropriate to place a tax on wall street speculation. this country bailed out wall street. now it is wall street to help the middle-class of this country.
and they will make public universities tuition-free and substantially lower student debt. this campaign is listening to people and communities whose voices and pain are not often heard. we are listening to the latino community. [cheers and applause] there are 11 million undocumented people in this country. many of them are living in the shadows and in fear. many of them who are at work right now are being exploited because when you have no legal rights, you can't stand up to a boss who exploits you and cheats you on if job -- on the job.
and that is why in my view, the time is long overdue for this country and this congress to pass comprehensive comprehension law and pass citizenship. [cheers and applause] chause our immigration policy must be to unite families not divide them. [cheers and applause] and if elected president, i will end the current deportation policy. [cheers and applause] and if congress does not do its job, i will use all of the executive power of the white house to do everything that i can. cheers and applause] this campaign is listening to
the african-american community. [cheers and applause] and what the african-american community is asking me absolutely correctly, how does it happen that we could spend trillions of dollars on a war in iraq that we never should have gotten into and yet supposedly we don't have the money to rebuild our crumbling inner cities throughout this country. [applause] brothers and sisters, i have been all over this country in the last year. i was in flint, michigan where children were poisoned. because of led in the water in a water system which was to say the least totally inadequate. i was in detroit, michigan where the school system, the public
school system is on the verge of fiscal collapse. i was in baltimore, maryland where tens of thousands of people are addicted to heroin and can't get the treatment that they need to get off of heroin. in my view, instead of rebuilding communities in eafl. we should be rebuilding communities in the united states of america. cheers and applause] this campaign is listening to a people who are in real pain but that pain is almost never heard. and that is -- that is the native american community. [cheers and applause] all of us know that the native american people were lied to.
they were cheated. and treaties they negotiated throughout our history have been broken. the native american people have given us so much that we have a debt owed to them that we can never repay. and maybe the most important lesson that they have taught us, an incredibly profound lesson is that as human beings, we are part of nature. we must live with nature. cheers and applause] and if we continue to destroy nature, what we are doing is ultimately destroying ourselves. [cheers and applause] ut despite all that the nature
poverty and unemployment are sky high. healthcare and education is not of the quality it should be. if elected president, we will fundamentally change our trey: the native american people. the nge our way with native american people. i am member of the u.s. senate committee on the environment. and let me tell you that i have listened and talked to scientists all over our country and all over the world. and they are virtually unanimous in telling us what people like donald trump and other republicans refuse to acknowledge. and that is climate change is real. it is caused by human activity and as the people of california
already know, it is causing devastating problems in our country and around the world. [cheers and applause] and what the ionitieses also tell us, if we do not get our act together now, a bad situation will become much worse. more drought, more floods, more extreme weather disturbances. more acidfication of the ocean. more rising sea levels. we have a moral obligation as custodians of this planet. that is what we are. we are this is our planet. we are custodians of it. >> we must leave this planet in a way that is healthy and habitable to our children and future generation. cheers and applause]
what this campaign is about is getting people to think outside quo box, outside of the and to ask the questions that you don't hear them ask much in the corporate media. one mrn question is how does it happen that in our great country, the wealthiest country in the history of the world how does it happen that we are the only major country on earth not to guarantee healthcare to all people? cheers and applause] let me ask you all a question. how many people here today have no health insurance? raise your hand. wow. how many people here have high deductibles and high co-payments in their insurance policy? all right. what you're seeing is a failed
healthcare system. the affordable care act has done some good things but it has not done enough. so let me be very honest with you and tell you what i have said many times and it gets me criticized many times. but i'll say it again. and that is in my view, healthcare is a right of all people not a privilege. cheers and applause] i want every american to be able to go to the doctor when they need to go to the doctor. [cheers and applause] we are losing thousands of people every single year who by the time they get into a doctor's office, their situation has become terminal.
that is unacceptable. further more, not only today do we have so many people uninsured, 29 million and underinsured, every one of us is getting ripped off by the unconscienable greed of the pharmaceutical companies. there are people in america dying and there are people getting much sicker than they should because they cannot afford the astronomical high prices that the drug industry is charging us today. it is crazyy that 1-5 measures cannot afford the medicines they need. and it is equally crazy that the top five drug companies last year made $50 billion in profit. if elected president the drug companies will not continue
ripping off the people of this country. [cheers and applause] brothers and sisters, everybody here knows that real change in america has never taken place from the top on down but always from the bottom on up. you know, it's never about some guy up there saying, you know, i think it will be a good idea to do this or that. it always occurs throughout our history when people by the millions stand up and fight back and demand dignity. [cheers and applause] you all know that 100-plus years ago, many workers in america were working seven days a week. 12 hours a day. kids of 12 years of age were working in factories, losing their fingers because they were
around machinery they should not have been around. and what working people say 100-plus years ago, they said we're not animals. we're not beasts or birds, we're human beings. we want dignity. we're going to form trade unions and negotiate fair contracts. [cheers and applause] 150 years ago, amidst the abomination of slavery and racism, african-americans and their allies looked at the future and they stood up and they fought back to end racism in america. and we'll never know. we will never know how many of ese heroes and heroines were killed in that struggle, how many went to jail, how many were beaten, how many lost their jobs. but they had the courage to stand up and to demand a country
which rid itself of racism and bigotry. [cheers and applause] people don't know this or have forgotten. 100 years ago, not a long time in human history, women in america did not have the right to vote or to get the job or education they wanted. what the establishment said to women, your job is to stay home and have babies. that's what you're supposed to do. but women said, you will not define us. we will define ourselves. cheers and applause] and women and their male allies stood up, fought back and said
women in america will not be second class citizens. cheers and applause] if you think -- not 100 years ago, think back 10 years ago, and if i would have told you or you would have told me 10 years ago, we were here, somebody jumps up and said you know what, bernie, i think gay marriage will be legal in every state in this country by the year 2015, the person next to her would have said you're crazy. there's too much bigotry, too much homophobia, it will not happen. but the gay community and their straight allies stood up, fought back -- [cheers and applause] and said loudly and proudly that in america people should have the right to love whoever they
wanted regardless of their gender. [cheers and applause] if we were here five years ago, no time at all. and somebody would have jumped up and said this $7.25 federal minimum wage is ridiculous. we've got to raise it to 15 bucks an hour. the person next to him would have say 15 bucks an hour? you're an extremist. you're asking for too much. but three years ago, workers in the fast food industry in mcdonald's in burger king in wendy's, they went out on strike and they stood up and they told america they cannot make it on starvation wages. they need 15 bucks an hour. [cheers and applause] and then a few years ago in santle 15 bucks an hour, in
francisco, in los angeles, 15 bucks an hour. [cheers and applause] in california, new york state, 15 bucks n an hour -- an hour. what is my point? my point is that the establishment always wants you to believe that real change is impossible, that your dreams are so radical, they cannot be achieved and you've got to accept minor, minor changes at est. and what this campaign is about is rejecting that entire approach. cheers and applause] no, my republican friends think we have to cut social security and benefits for veterans. no, we're not going to do that.
we're going to increase social ecurity and benefits for veterans. and what i am seeing all over this country, literally from coast to coast, from maine to california, is people are beginning to understand that something is fundamentally wrong . they are asking themselves why is it that i am working longer hours for lower wages and almost all new incoming wealth is going to the top 1%? why is it that we're seeing a proliferation of billionaires and yet half of the children in america in public schools are on free or reduced lunches? hy is it that kids are graduating school $90,000 or more in debt? why is it that women are making $79 on if dollar compared to
men. why is it that we are the only major country on earth that doesn't guarantee paid, family and medical leave? why are we the only country major country not to guarantee healthcare for all? why is our infrastructure -- our collapsingur bridges at the same time as millions of people needing jobs. why are we firing teachers, when we need more teachers to better educate our children? [cheers and applause] why haven't we been more aggressive and taken over the fossil fuel industry and transforming our energy system. [cheers and applause] why do we pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs? why does wall street continue to rip off the american people every single day?
those are the questions that the american people are beginning to ask. nd the answer is that when people come together by the millions, when people stand up and say that our government has got to represent all of us, not just a few -- [cheers and applause] when this country brings about a political revolution so that real power rests in the hands of working families not wealth thy campaign contributors. that's when we bring real change to this country. cheers and applause]
on june 7, there will be in california, the most important primary in the whole nominating process. there are 475 delegates at stake here in california. what i have learned throughout this campaign is when voter turnout is high, when working people and young people come out . large numbers, we win [cheers and applause] and if we can win here in california and win in other five states at our primary on june 7th, we're going to be marching into the democratic convention with enormous momentum. [cheers and applause] and i believe that will be marching out of that convention as the democratic nominee.
cheers and applause] and if i am the democratic nominee, donald trump is toast. cheers and applause] crowd chanting "bernie"] so on june 7th -- on june 7th here in california, let us see the largest voter turnout in democratic primary history. let's see a great state -- one of the most progressive states in america, go on record and say, yes to the political revolution. thank you all. cheers and applause]
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] ♪ >> this sunday night on q&a, u.s. senate historians talk about various fencing senate history and the work her office does. >> i came in june 1988 as a newly minted senate historian. my colleagues said to me, it is going to be nice and quiet, we have an election coming up. you will have lots of time to read and settle in. within a few weeks, the house decided to impeach bill clinton. we got very busy very quickly. we had to do a good deal of research on impeachment trials. we don't have an impeachment
since 1968. the senate leaders at that time, trent lott and tom daschle wanted to follow historical resident as much as they could. --historical precedent as much as they could. >> on c-span's q&a. >> coming up tonight on c-span, the house homeland security committee hearing on tsa screening delays. after that, cdc director tom friedman on the efforts to fight the zika virus. later, u.s. house debate on funding the fight against zika. next, another hearing on security screening delays at tsa airport checkpoints. and recommendations for repairing the system. a house homeland security subcommittee heard from representatives of airports most severely impacted, including tucson, arizona, syracuse, new york, and chicago. this hearing is one hour and 20
minutes. mr. katko: the committee on homeland security, subcommittee on transportation security, will come to order. i ask unanimous consent that the gentlewoman from arizona, ms. mcsally, be allowed to sit on the dais and participate in this hearing. without objection, so ordered. the subcommittee is meeting today to better understand the root causes of increased passenger wait times and gain local perspectives on this important issue. i now recognize myself for an opening statement. in the summer holiday season approaching we are in the midst , of a crisis a our airports. american families are planning to enjoy their time off traveling to points near and far. businessmen and women are doing the same, that they do all year round, the added crush of the travel season, leisure season,
is causing particular problems. they will arrive at airports around the country only to be confronted with longer and longer lines at many airports, at t.s.a. checkpoints, causing some to return home after missing their flights and stranding others to take up temporary residence at the airport on a cot. like we saw in chicago a few weeks ago. unfortunately this is not an isolated incident and this committee continues to receive reports from around the country describing delays at t.s.a. checkpoints in excess of two hours. on good friday, march 25, 600 passengers missed their flights at the charlotte douglas international airport due to an apparent lack of t.s.a. man power and checkpoint inefficiencies. in fact, that airport was nearly forced to affect a ground stoppage, a literal stand still of air traffic, due to delays at the checkpoints. this is wholly unacceptable. and i, along with the american taxpayer, expect the security of america's airports to be streamlined, effective and efficient.
this committee has worked tirelessly with t.s.a. to ensure that the man power and technology they need to operate checkpoints at optimum levels is there. while t.s.a. realized there would be an issue and communicated to the american public that increased wait times should be expected at our nation's airports, as we enter the high travel seasons, they did not have a clear picture of the resources they would need to tackle this problem and clearly were not prepared for it. the t.s.a. fiscal year 2017 budget request did not account for any of the increases in overtime or staffing that they are now requesting to meet their basic screening functions. it wasn't until widespread media reports of passengers on cots, which is completely unacceptable, and excessive wait times that t.s.a. made the decision to request reallocate assets to combat the issue. i and my colleagues on this committee and ms. mcsally are growing increasingly frustrated that t.s.a. needs constant prodding to affect positive changes at the agency. this committee has passed several pieces of bipartisan
legislation that would go a long way of improving checkpoint optimization, but the senate refuses to expedite passage of these bills, standing on principle or some esoteric theory about how the agency should be run. in short, they're trying to polish the brass while the fire bell is ringing. for example, my t.s.a. precheck bill would require t.s.a. to expand and aggressively market the program. thereby increasing the number of trusted travelers into the system. diverting them into precheck checkpoints and alleviating the stress on the general public checkpoints. however, due to typical washington antics this bill, amongst others, remains stalled. when i came to congress, i made a commitment to my constituents to tackle problems head-on and just get things done. last week the subcommittee convened representatives from airports and airlines from across this country to discuss
this wait time crisis. it was a very productive meeting and it gave me faith that the process in congress can and does work sometimes. the message was consistent. t.s.a. needs to collaborate with individual airlines and airport authorities to coordinate sufficient staffing levels on a local basis. i have heard your message and later today i will introduce a checkpoint optimization and efficiency act of 2016 which will require t.s.a. to maximize all of their available resources and give airports and airlines a seat at the table to ensure those resources are being utilized and allocated in the most effective and efficient manner. make no mistake, security is first and foremost. those that wish to do us harm continue to plot against the aviation community and we must be ready to confront them at every turn. but t.s.a. has to find a way to maintain security while fulfilling its duties to keep passengers safely moving through the system. they have the capability to do it. t.s.a. has to be forward leaning and creative to address obstacles as they present themselves. just like all of us do in our daily jobs. i would like to thank our witnesses for taking time out of
their busy schedules and making multiple trips on short notice to washington to aid us in solving this problem. i'm lucky, honored and fortunate to have the syracuse international airport which i fly in and out of each week as a well-oiled machine that it is compared to the horror stories we heard last week. i have one of the witnesses here to thank for that. i would like to thank all of you for being here today and i look forward to hearing your perspective on the best and most effective way forward. with that, i now recognize the ranking member of the subcommittee, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. payne, for his opening statement. and i like those glasses. [laughter] mr. payne: thank you, mr. chairman. i wore them just for you. mr. katko: go orange. mr. payne: yeah right. i'd also like to thank you for holding this hearing. it is good that we're having this hearing immediately following the full committee hearing with the administrator yesterday. recently wait times have been a
major cause of concern within our nation's airports. last week, for example, due to extreme wait times, the transportation security administration re-allocated resources to chicago-mid way international airport and newark liberty airport to decrease the length of screening lines. while i'm pleased that t.s.o.'s are being given the opportunity to be converted to full time and the administration has taken steps to address the problem in the interim, we need to find a viable long-term solution to this problem. reallocating or taking one airport's resources and giving it to another will only fix the problem temporarily. for the summer travel period, t.s.a. predicted that nearly 740 million individuals will use commercial aviation to travel, which happens to be the most air travelers this country has ever seen.
in contrast, t.s.o.'s who are responsible for screening atsengers and baggage atre some of the lowest numbers we have seen in years. this is due in large part to limited resources. under the former administrator, the agency pivoted to risk-based security, a frame of mind that we focus our resources on lessiduals who we know about and rightfully so. however, this methodology also came with programs that were not sustainable due to security risks, such as manage inclusion two, which has since ceased. although they are still using a risk-based approach, it does not take away from the fact that the
amount of travelers when compared to the number of people traveling is insufficient. last week the transportation security subcommittee held a round table discussion with airports and many important , things were discussed. there were general agreements that b.d.o.'s could be used in other roles throughout the screener model. yesterday we learned t.s.a. agrees and supports the federal security directors having the flexibility to use b.d.o.'s in different ways. we also heard concern on whether or not federal security directors had enough flexibility to operate necessary checkpoints with staffing. the administrator testified yesterday that he believed that they always had such flexibility and that he worked to ensure that they knew that they had this flexibility.
now we get to hear more perspectives from stakeholders who are intimately involved with the commercial aviation and airlines and airports themselves. today i look forward to hearing what your experiences throughout this issue have been, as well as how you view the steps that are being taken. i would also like to thank president cox from afge for being here to serve as a voice of the work force. t.s.o.'s represent the front line in our efforts to secure the commercial aviation sector. they do an outstanding job screening passengers and their belongings and often unfairly receive the majority of the blame for this issue. their perspective is absolutely vital in this conversation. with that, mr. chairman, i want
to thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. katko: thank you, mr. payne. other members of the committee, are reminded that opening statements may be submitted for the record. we're pleased to have a very distinguished panel here to testify before us today on this very important topic. ms. callahan serves as executive director for syracuse hancock international airport in syracuse, new york. ms. allin is president and c.e.o. of the tucson airport in tucson, arizona. ms. beairsto serves as managing deputy commissioner for security in the department of aviation for the city of chicago. ms. philipovitch, senior vice president for customer service at american airlines, and mr. david cox, national president of the american federation of government employees. thank you all for being here today. i now recognize ms. callahan for an opening statement. ms. callahan: [inaudible] security committee. thank you.
thank you for inviting us to today's hearing on an issue that requires both immediate attention and long-term sustainable solutions. how to handle growing lines at t.s.a. checkpoints at airports across the country, while maintaining the high standards for passenger and baggage screening we need in order to keep the flying public safe. syracuse international airport is a small commercial hub serving two million passengers annually, providing cargo and general aviation services to central new york. it employs hundreds of people and is a vital component of our economy. as an origination and destination airport, we serve 17 direct markets and we are the departure point for one million outbound passengers every year. while syracuse has not experienced the recent increased long security checkpoint times, we are part of a national transportation system that links our passengers to the airports represented here today and working towards a solution as we enter one of the busiest travel
seasons in the year is as important to syracuse as it is to my fellow airports. what i hope to offer today, in addition to echoing my fellow airports' concerns, are examples of the steps we have taken to address our issues at home. ensuring the security and safety of the flying public, employees and other airport users is the top priority for airports. above all else, we are entrusted by the traveling public to provide safe and secure air transportation. checkpoint wait times that exceed an hour or longer at some of our nation's busiest airports have negative impacts on all elements of the air transportation system. passengers are frustrated, taking their frustrations out on t.s.a., airport and airline employees. the anxiety caused by concern over missing a flight or, even worse, missing that flight creates an environment that is already challenged and difficult. several factors have been identified that have contributed to the checkpoint wait time issues.
they include no increase in the number of transportation security officers between fiscal years 2015 and 2016, the high rate of t.s.o. attrition, followed by the lengthy process to hire new t.s.o.'s. record growth in passenger traffic, and lagging numbers in precheck enrollment. combined, they have created a perfect storm that have led to recent events. working together the airports, t.s.a., airlines and industry advocates have identified short and long-term recommendations that focus on key areas, including the need for sufficient t.s.a. staffing, increased precheck enrollment and participation, and the continued need to modernize airport infrastructure. we do not, however, support the imposition of any new passenger fees, rather we believe that the portion of the 9/11 passenger security fees that are currently being used to pay for other government programs should be used to fund t.s.a. let me talk about precheck for just a moment. chairman katko was at the airport last november when we unveiled the t.s.a. enrollment
center in syracuse. precheck has proven to be very sioux successful at our airports. -- very successful at our airports. currently almost 40% of the flying public is enrolled in precheck. while we believe that this is the result of having an enrollment center in the terminal, our efforts to educate the public on the benefits of precheck have been very important. and while seemingly insignificant, the airport's role in incentivizing people to enroll in precheck by giving them free parking has resulted in the increased numbers of people enrolling. and while not all airports are in a position to offer incentives, we've found that it has encouraged enough people to come out and spend an hour and enroll in precheck. i would be remiss if i did not bring up the need to modernize airport infrastructure. we have spent time and money improving our airport, consolidating our checkpoint
into one central checkpoint, to introduce efficiencies at every level. a central checkpoint was designed to bring the physical screening of passengers and baggage in alignment, it improved passenger and baggage screening at several levels, it allowed for the introduction of new screening equipment, consolidated t.s.a. resources into one, and it has allowed us to implement new security requirements such as the screening of all concession employees. we've also been on the cutting edge of security by installing automated exit portals. these automated exit portals allow passengers and employees to exit the concourses safely and securely without preventing re-entry. it also eliminates the need to staff the exit lanes, thus saving the airport money and reducing the human error element. let me stress that this project would not have been possible without the use of the airport's passenger facility charges.
to place the blame solely on t.s.a. is unfair. and not a solution to the problem. rather, we must work together to address the major underlying issues before you today. in closing, i would like to offer my gratitude to chairman katko and to the other members of the subcommittee for taking the time to listen to our concerns. thank you for inviting us and for your continued commitment to the safety and security of airports and the people who use them every day. mr. katko: thank you. syracuse is indeed very fortunate to have you at the helm at the airport. and i can tell from you personal experience that it's a generally very pleasurable experience. the only thing that's difficult is when you're trying to get a flight to kennedy and it always seems to be delayed. other than that, i really appreciate your efforts and your forward thinking on getting a kiosk at the airport, you're forward thinking by giving free parking to t.s.a. is like a marketing thing, thinking outside the box, that's all good stuff. thank you very much.
i'd like to have ms. mcsally introduce her friend from the tucson airport. ms. mcsally: thank you. i want to say i really appreciate you being my wingman on this issue and many issues. i'm also grateful for you inviting ms. allin to testify this morning. bonnie is the president and c.e.o. of the tucson airport authority, responsible for promoting aviation services and related economic development for southern arizona. including operations and maintenance of the tucson international airport and ryan air field, where she has firsthand experience on the challenges related to t.s.a. staffing. bonnie began her career in aviation in 1976 with the tucson airport authority, then moved to texas where she worked for corpus christi international, ending her tenure as director of aviation. she holds the designation of accredited airport executive and is the past chairman of the international association of airport executives. glad to have her with us today and yield back. ms. allin: thank you, representative mcsally, for the introduction. good morning, chairman katko, ranking member payne, honorable members of the committee.
representative mcsally. it is a privilege to appear before you this morning to discuss tucson's challenges with passenger screening wait times. mr. chairman and members, thank you for your leadership on airport security and the protection of our passengers. representative mcsally, thank you for your leadership and protecting tucson international airport in southern arizona. i was fortunate to participate in last week's round table, which you mentioned, mr. chairman, and the discussion, and truly appreciative of the time and attention you're devoting to understanding the causes of checkpoint processing delays and your efforts to seek both short and long-term solutions. safety and security of our people, property and aircraft are the highest priority. for those of you unfamiliar with tucson international airport, we are an origination and destination airport. therefore less than 5% of our passengers connect through, instead all are screened by local t.s.a.
historical wait times average 10 to 15 minutes with our peak times rarely exceeding 20, 25 minutes maximum, even when we had passenger levels 25% higher than we do today. tucson's high season, as opposed to many other airports, is november through march, with a very strong peak season mid january through march. mr. katko: i have to interject. i can assure you, that's not the high season in syracuse. [laughter] that's the high season for snow. sorry to interrupt you. i couldn't resist. ms. allin: we'd love to have you visit tucson in february, sir. [laughter] this year, our visitors, many visitors from the northern part of the country, and our tucson customers, experienced wait times 45 and sometimes in excess of 60 minutes. there's an exhibit to my written testimony with a photo of the passengers lined up all across
the front of our terminal. we have a very dedicated and loyal t.s.a. staff who are committed to the safety, along with the efficient screening of our passengers. unfortunately they lack the planning, coordination and staffing resources needed to be able to efficiently process the passengers in our peak times. in may of 2015, tucson t.s.a. lost between 10% and 13% of the work force. it was a full year before replacements were trained and released to fully screen and have their duties. combined with increased passenger levels, adding a.i.t. equipment and having limited authority due to inflexible staffing and processing models prescribed to them, they did not allow them to respond to the changing conditions and as a result we experienced very long lines. i respectfully offer some recommended solutions for your consideration. it's recommended that the local
t.s.a. have the ability to openly communicate with their airport and airline partners in order to better plan and allocate their resources. that flexibility, autonomy and authority be delegated to local t.s.a. within parameters to adjust for changing conditions, especially spoke airports such as tucson. that regular and consistent staffing at precheck lines be allocated so that they can be opened. tucson's two checkpoints combined are precheck lanes are open less than five hours a day. usually between 3:00 and 4:00. the staffing allocation model be updated, it is inflexible and doesn't allow for changing conditions. that better utilization of existing resources and personnel be made, especially behavioral detection officers. that effective outreach and marketing of precheck and global entry, as we are close to the border, and it's a very high use there, be done to increase enrollment.
that development of technology to help provide solutions be given a priority. and that optimization of checkpoints be customized to best fit each airport and the information shared. airports are willing to invest in effective solutions. tucson will begin a $10 million-plus project in june to relocate and expand our checkpoints to improve through put. if they're not properly equipped and staffed, all of that resources will be lost. mr. chairman and members, while none of these recommends alone are a perfect fix, by stakeholders working together, we have the opportunity to enhance the safety of our aviation system. we commend you on the proposed legislation, checkpoint optimization and efficiency act of 2016. if enacted it will go a very long way towards providing solutions to the checkpoint wait
issues. thank you for this opportunity to share my views. mr. katko: thank you for your testimony. we appreciate you being here today. it's interesting to juxtapose your experience at your airport with what we experience in syracuse. it seems like the larger the airport, the more acute the problems. now we're going to talk to ms. beairsto about that. i appreciate your testimony today. you have five minutes. thank you. ms. beairsto: thank you, chairman katko, ranking member payne, and members of the subcommittee, for inviting me to testify today on this important issue, providing efficient and safe passenger screening at our airports. my name is lydia beairsto. i serve as deputy commissioner for public safety and security for chicago department of aviation, overseeing the o'hare and midway international airports. chicago manages two of the nation's busiest airports, o'hare and midway, and is the only single city system that serves as a hub for three major
airlines, united, american and southwest airlines. in 2015, 98 million passengers passed through our airports combined. in 2016 and beyond, those numbers are projected to grow. our airports serve as an economic engine contributing $45 , billion in annual economic activity, creating 540,000 jobs. we are a major part of the air ecosystem. when o'hare sneezes, the rest of the country catches a cold. passenger safety and security is our top priority and certainly mine. in march, suicide bombings at brussels airport killed 16 people in the airport check-in areas and 16 others in the city metro station. long security lines, large crowds of passengers in queues are not just an inconvenience, they themselves expose vulnerability and security risk. by more efficiently moving passengers into the screened and secure areas, we are increasing safety and security.
this year there has been a 7% growth in passenger activity while t.s.a. staffing levels declined nearly 17%. airports and airlines began raising concerns about security staffing for the summer travel season as early as last summer. by early may of this year, as our peak travel season started, we started experiencing a total breakdown. passenger wait times were consistently 60 minutes or more. airline passengers have reported wait times as high as 120 minutes. with thousands of passengers missing their flights. the delays we experienced were knowable and preventable. staff resources went down as security operating procedures changed. moving forward to address these issues, t.s.a. resources are needed to increase and meet passengers demand. t.s.a. needs to manage existing resources better, they need flexibility, t.s.a. needs flexibility and local authority to respond to situations on the ground.
may 13, a traveler at midway airport posted a youtube video documenting significant checkpoint lines. six out of 17 lanes were staffed by t.s.a. at o'hare the situation reached crisis point on sunday, may 15, where without adequate staffing american airlines reported 543 , passengers were impacted by long lines. united airlines experienced 37 flight delays and rebooked over 4,300 passengers, many of which, as you noted, stayed overnight at the airport sleeping on cots. mayor rahm emanuel worked with key officials from d.h.s., t.s.a. and members of chicago's congressional delegation to secure immediate resources for the city. t.s.a. sent in optimization teams, they committed to add 58 officers to o'hare. converted over 160 part timers to a full-time duty, increased overtime, and provided eight
additional k-9 teams to o'hare from around the country. we greatly appreciate the administrator's responsiveness and that resources arrived so quickly for o'hare. we are working to ensure similar prompt responses to the needs and concerns at midway airport. this response was possible because congress approved t.s.a.'s reprogramming request and we are grateful to you for taking that quick action. to ensure transparency, we will be releasing a biweekly scorecard showing average and maximum wait times, staffing and resource levels provided by t.s.a. in the short term, in order to manage the spring and summer travel season ahead, there are a few critical resources and management steps that we need to ensure are happening. reallocate passenger screening k-9 teams based on the aviation system priorities.
ensure t.s.a. is transparent about its staffing allocation models and levels. information transparency helps us better predict potential staffing strategies. provide federal security directors the ability to make local decisions about man power, allocation and overtime. ensure checkpoints are open on time or risk playing catch-up all day. streamline t.s.a. precheck enrollment process. and in the long term, we need to be looking at ramping up resources, including passenger screening k-9's, to prepare for future growth, we need to start now as training k-9's can take approximately up to eight months. we need to invest in our security infrastructure and checkpoint expansion projects, and invest in technology solutions that enhance security and achieve operational efficiencies. thank you for the opportunity to discuss these important and timely issues with you today. we are eager to work with you and secure needed resources to address short-term and long-term airport security challenges.
mr. katko: thank you. much of what you described toward the end of your testimony is embodied in the bill we're going to be presenting today to congress. it is borne out of our discussions with some of the folks in the audience today, last week, and some of you, and i appreciate that. it's important. one side thing you said that caught me was the opening -- the gates on time. i understand, perhaps you can all comment on this later, sometimes they open the gate about 5:30 in the morning but they don't start screening passengers for a while because they have to calibrate the machines and stuff. once the backup starts, it can't catch up. that's just poor planning. there's much more to talk about with all of you. thank you very much. i now recognize the gentlewoman for her testimony. mr. philipovitch: good morning.
i the senior vice president of am customer experience at american airlines, testifying on behalf of airlines for america. thank you for inviting me here today to discuss the impact t.s.a. security lines is having on our customers. there's nothing more important to the airline industry than the safety and security of our passengers and employees and cargo. we have never seen t.s.a. wait times that affect airlines and passengers throughout the united states like we've seen in recent months. without immediate leadership and innovation, the 231 million americans that will board a plane this summer will be frustrated and angry. we are working collaboratively with the t.s.a. to develop and implement solutions to the pressing problem of excessive wait times. last year programs that had been in place to drive efficiency and increase security were eliminated without adding resources required to support longer passenger processing times. the result is screening processes that's causing unacceptably long security lines and a frustrated flying public.
our discussions with t.s.a. revealed three other contributing factors. first, it appears t.s.a. did not adjust its staffing model after screening protocols were changed. second, t.s.a. is experiencing abnormally high attrition and is unable to retain transportation security officers or t.s.o.'s. third, the t.s.a. precheck program, which allows low-risk passengers to go through expedited screening has not met enrollment goals. all of these factors combined cause a systemic slowdown in passenger procession at security checkpoints resulting in delays and missed flights. year to date, more than 70,000 american airlines customers have missed flights due to excessive wait times. the same challenges that the passenger checkpoints bog down screening of checked baggage, which is also a core t.s.a. function. this year alone over 40,000 checked bags were delayed in t.s.a. screening and did not travel on their scheduled flights. to say customers are agitated is putting it mildly. and the public outcry has resonated.
congress recently reallocated $34 million in funding to the t.s.a. to hire more t.s.o.'s by june 15. we are also glad to see that t.s.a.'s working to shift k-9 teams to airports experiencing the worst delays, rebalancing staffing and hiring more t.s.o.'s. however, t.s.a. needs to do more and more collaboration is needed to minimize the impact on summer travelers, airports, airline employees, and the overall economy. airlines are pitching in to do our part. we are committing millions of dollars to fund nonsecurity functions like bin running and queue management so t.s.a.'s can focus solely on screening customers. at american this summer, we are adding an additional $4 million on top of the $17 million already planned to spend this year to facilitate passengers through t.s.a. checkpoints at our largest airports. airlines have advised customers to arrive at the airport two hours in advance of a domestic flight and three hours prior to an international departure to ensure sufficient time to clear security.
this added time in the travel process is inconvenient and will likely affect less frequent travelers who are not familiar with in the screening process. we are launching aggressive campaigns to promote t.s.a. precheck to our customers and employees. as precheck enrollment increases, however, t.s.a. must commit to keep precheck lanes open and sufficiently staffed throughout the day, especially during peak travel times. the industry is also exploring ways to facilitate support for additional k-9 teams, including whether t.s.a. can use certified k-9's from other governmental agencies to conduct passenger screening. when k-9 teams are deployed, t.s.a. can increase passengers going through t.s.a. precheck. we as an industry are doing our part to help t.s.a. manage through this challenge. airline actions alone cannot solve the problem. we need partner in t.s.a. that will consider innovative ideas to mitigate wait times immediately and in the long run. in the short term, to augment resources, t.s.a. could declare an all hands on deck for the summer, much like we do at our
airports during peak and irregular operations. all available staff should be assigned to help at passenger screening checkpoints. t.s.a. resources should be prioritized based on airports with the most need and projected traffic volumes. t.s.a. could look at ways to spur enrollment in t.s.a. precheck by streamlining the enrollment process. to ensure that enrollment resources don't become a new bottle neck, t.s.a. should expedite its selection of third party enrollment providers. we also support the idea to give federal security directors the ability to cooperate with their airline partners to make local decisions about man power resource allocation, without having to consult t.s.a. headquarters. all parties need to work collaboratively to manage through the summer. full transparency to staffing models and performance data is required to engage all stakeholders in trouble shooting issues. we can't be a part of the solution if we don't have all the facts. to that point, we applaud t.s.a. for its decision this week to stand up a national command center and institute daily
stakeholder calls to better prepare for each day's challenges. in the long run, t.s.a. could review current security protocols to ensure there are no unnecessary procedures. as part of this review, t.s.a. should consider additional methods for increasing risk-based screening, some of which were discontinued this year. airlines and airports are eager to work with t.s.a. to expedite next generation screening technology, including innovation lanes. finally, t.s.a. must create a position that reports to the administrator to advocate for customers within the t.s.a., much as airlines and many airports have executives dedicated to improving customer experience. these are just a few ideas that american airlines believe can help reduce the congestion in security screening. of course, congress can help by ensuring administrator and his team have the tools and resources needed to improve screening, including ensuring that the passengers' security fee collected for t.s.a. goes to t.s.a.
ultimately, the t.s.a. screening issue was not created overnight and will not be solved overnight. however, we must work together to offer ideas and resources to t.s.a., while the administrator reviews screening priorities and management practices. thank you for the opportunity to testify today and i would be happy to answer any questions you might have. mr. katko: thank you. i appreciate your testimony. we'll have several follow-up questions for all of you, of course. i now recognize david cox, national president of american federation of government employees for his testimony. mr. cox: thank you, mr. chairman. representative payne. members of the committee. i am proud to testify today on behalf of the 42,000 transportation security officers, t.s.o.'s, that afge represents, that stand on the side of the safety of the flying american public. t.s.o.'s point to four issues that have conspired to produce the acute situation at airports we see today. one, the size of the t.s.o. work
force did not keep pace with passenger volume. two, t.s.a.'s budget was deprived of much-needed funding by the decision of congress to divert a portion of the security fee to deficit reduction. three, the focus on the patchwork of airline, airport and contract employees shifted focus away from the t.s.o. work force that is present and future of aviation security, and, four, t.s.o.'s are subject to second class treatment that hurts the morale of t.s.o.'s who stay on the job and causes too many experienced screeners to leave t.s.a. as passenger volume has increased 15% between 2013 and 2016, t.s.a. lost almost 5,000 screeners and failed to replace them. t.s.a.'s hiring was focused on part-time workers who have a much higher attrition rate than full-time t.s.o.'s.
the staffing model depended on precheck enrollments that never happened. congress cut the budget for t.s.a. personnel and imposed arbitrary caps on the number of full-time screeners. staffing shortages are obvious to the public because they experience long lines. least obvious are the affect of shortages on the t.s.o. work force. missed trainings, meals and rest breaks, missed position rotations that are necessary to keep your focus, canceled days off and months of mandatory overtime resulting in very tired and erratic scheduling. this is no way to run airport security. afge advocates an increase of 6,000 additional full-time t.s.o.'s to the work force. the figure represents the decrease in the size of t.s.a. work force since 2011 as
passenger volume has grown 15%. afge also calls on congress to end the arbitrary and severe cap on full-time t.s.o.'s. when congress voted to divert 60 cents of the $5.60 security fee per 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. 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. to provide t.s.o.'s the same workplace rights and protections as other federal workers. we urge the administrator 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 passengers. that is why we pledge to work with t.s.a. and the public for solutions for long lines. 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 problem 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. katko: before i yield myself five minutes -- i want to note that it's interesting that part-time employee attrition rate is triple than that of the full-time employee rate. that is something i want to talk about. 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. 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. 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 on the import with passengers? 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 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? anyone want to answer that? ms. philipovitch: when customers enroll in precheck and the enrollment rates tend to be higher the more frequently the customers travel. 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. and it's a service that t.s.a. is selling. people 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 are. you are all nodding your head. 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 whether we have precheck or not. the real issue is that we have to have 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 and thek nationwide throughput are doubled compared to others, it would have less stress on the system, you would have to acknowledge that. mr. cox: it would definitely
have less stress on the system. but if we keep losing 5,000 every several years that will have stress on the system. mr. katko: we have to address that for sure. with respect to the field service directors, it was shocking to me that they weren't interacting with the major airports with respect to staffing allocation models. mr. beairsto, can you comment on that for a moment, please? ms. beairsto: sure. we have a strong relationship with our local t.s.a. however when it comes to our staffing allocation model, we encourage 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. 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. 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 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. administrator neffenger spoke to meet yesterday and said his attrition rate with full-time t.s.o's 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 but i can't go over my time too much. i now recognize the ranking member, mr. payne, for five minutes of questions. mr. payne: thank you mr. chair. 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. mr. payne: thank you.
ms. beairsto, in response to the issues your airport and others around the nation, secretary johnson and administrator neffenger have plans to announce plans to deal with the lines and additional resources. has the administration's response to the wait times within your airports been effective? has it had a positive effect to this point? i hear a lot that, you know, we have the additional resources coming 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 t.s.a. screeners and the additional canine team is from o'hare and around the country have proved incredibly helpful. the canine teams alone 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 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, representative payne. the behavioral detection officers are trained in perceiving people who are going to do something that is not correct. maybe illegal, maybe trying to smuggling something, maybe potential terrorist 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. my time is winding down, but i 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 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. 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. those coming in a later will be recognized in order of their arrival. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. carter, for five minutes of questions. 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 have the honor and privilege 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 hartsfield-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 local t.s.a., officials the airline and airport officials, and then 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 is a saying in our industry, you've seen one therefore, 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 carter, tucson, -- we have a excellent relationship with our local screening managers and local personnel. they now have layers to go through and models and requirements are dictated and i can't personally say from where . certainly their ability to react quickly to issues on the ground. that is what we experienced during our peak period in february and march. openening 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
length of our terminal front. having the ability to do that would be mr. carter: great. have any of you had problems with private security? 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.