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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 25, 2014 11:00pm-1:01am EST

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discretionary. he himself has indicated that it's very important for his i.t. budget and construction budget to be received on time because of the problems associated with those two issues. so we would like to know if secretary will continue to advance or to support our advanced appropriations? anyone else? >> i certainly appreciate those comments and they will be well heeded. one of the issues that comes up in my office commander is the fully developed claims program. it's a new initiative by the va office. veterans who submit a fully developed claim are able to receive a decision under 125 days. and suring that the claims do not become backlogs. what more can congress and va did to ensure that veterans do
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get a fully develop the claim? >> i would make just a general comment before i turn this over to my staff. we believe that the reduction of the backlog is a combination of a claim process and dbqs and then also accountability that's passed onto the review officers. we think those three things are exactly the types of answers to not only reduce the claims but to a manageable level but then reduce the backlog entirely. >> let me -- if i can ask a follow-up question, i know they work hard to encourage veterans be served to file as complete a claim as possible, but i also recognize they need options to file any way they want. whether that is on that forum or perhaps on paper. is that accurate and can you
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explain why it's important that veterans still have the option to file a claim any way they want? >> i'll defer that to the staff. >> it's important that veterans still have the opportunity to file a claim, paper on the standard or regular form. currently they can take that regular piece of paper or as many people refer to as a map ka and sends it to the va regional office and they have a duty to send the claimant the correct appropriate form to be completed and then they return it. but that starts to date the day they receive the claim. and va's proposal, they are recommending that you have to file it on that 526 ez in order for them to start to date. that's what we don't agree with. it's very important that they still have the opportunity because not everyone has easy access to these forms and not
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everyone can do it electronically either. still in the early stages and filing claims electronically so we feel it's important to allow them to submit claims on paper for effective dates. >> you mentioned fully developed claims. in order to encourage people to develop their own claims, veterans, it's very important to have that process so that they can establish what's called an informal claim and as mentioned, protect the effective date. they can then go out and develop the information that's needed to be a fully developed claim. >> that claim goes through the process much quicker. without that protection, on their effective date, they will not be motivated to go out and develop that. we'll leave it to the va which causes the claim to have a lot longer development time.
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>> mr. chairman, thank you, my time has run out. it's been a pleasure to participate in operation and keep the promise. thank you. >> in your written testimony you talked about several initiatives that they find have had a positive effect on the backlog of disability claims and one of those initiatives that dav refers to is the quality control regimes or as va refers to them quality review team. i don't know if you or your team is aware that the despite the positive feedback, there was a memo that was sent out a week ago today basically saying that all staff would be working on for the quality review teams would be discontinued until further notice so that all hands
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could be on deck. to continue processing claims and what i would like to hear from you, is the effect that a temporary elimination of these review teams may have on a secretary's goal of 95% accuracy within 125 days. turning numbers out is one thing but the accuracy is critical. and so again, you may or may not be aware of it and joe may be aware of it. but i'd like to hear from you what you think the potential effects, negative or positive could be. >> i'll let the staff answer that question. >> thank you, mr. chairman. quality is our number one priority. always has been. we were very supportive with the qrt teams. we are aware of this initiative. this was to go through the end of march and it's important the
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va makes the decision right first time. that's the only way we want it. we are going to monitor closely over the next 40 days or so to see how impacts -- we don't want to see this continue to happen. that was our concern in the beginning when the qrts were created that they would use folks when initiative came up. we've been happy with the progress in the qrt teams locally there being able to do centralized training on particular issues they are seeing at the local regional va office. we feel it's important that quality is a number one priority over quantity. [ applause ] >> also in your written statement, you stated that the most important factor driving vva's productivity gained was the policy put into place of mandatory overtime for claims processing. i think that over time the
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overtime initiative has been helpful. but it is not sustainable in the long term due to employee burnout and reduced accuracy rates. indeed the benefits program portion of the independent budget recommends that we provide sufficient resources to ensure adequate staffing levels at the vva and it goes on to state that the vso's recommended increase staffing levels instead of sole reliance on mandatory overtime. what i would like to hear is a further explanation of the independent budget rationale for the positions that -- or the position that you take and the organizations took that hiring additional employees may prove more beneficial than overreliance on mandatory overtime. >> i would like to say a few general words before i defer to staff for the specifics of that.
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over the years, the independent budget has been the bellweather of the actual requirements for what was needed in the va budget each and every year. every time that budget is ignored, it always results in additional appropriations in order to meet the needs. we have confidence in our numbers and we have confidence in the quality of that product and we certainly believe that you all should pay attention and heed it. so with that, i will defer to the staff. >> mr. chairman, i'll respond to that and just say in the independent budget, what we thought about was what happened several years ago when they brought on for temporary employees and trained them and put them into the workforce and through attrition either kept them off after the temporary period or let them go. we felt that that provided va number one with the resources with sufficient trained
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employees and also gave va the opportunity to make a determination as to who was successful and who they can keep on. so we feel that overtime is nice but after a while people do get burned out and we would rather see even if it's temporary in the beginning, a core of people coming on board to take care of the needs and again, with automation and what va is doing, the needs for the numbers that we've asked may go down over the years. and that gives the va the ability to then decrease their workforce when necessary and just keep those that are productive. >> thank you, my time has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. in this year's independent budget you included a recommendation that they must develop a new metrics in assessment tool to measure the
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performance of every level of the claims processing system based upon a scientific methodology of projecting workloads and resources requirements and allocations. can you provide some examples of the performance measures that you believe that should be instituted at the vva? >> i'll defer that question to the staff. >> thank you. we firmly believe they should be progressive methods with benchmark transparent so we as vsos can establish the va are meeting their needs and making sure that it's more than just production goals but also quality goals. we will continue to watch them closely and make them accountable for those benchmarks.
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>> there's an old saying, if you can't measure it, you can't manage it. what part of the claims process in your view should be counted in order to be measured? clearly you can get a lot of claims out the door but the accuracy rate might be terrible. what part of the claims process do you think should be measured? >> there's no doubt that the va's making sure that everybody knows about their production metrics. so of course, we are very concerned about the quality of those claims being done. and for all of the claims that we represent, we take a look at the claims before they are promulgated to make sure there are no mistakes and take them back to the va before they are finalized. however there are many veterans not represented so it's very
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important to make sure that quality across the board is being done and that they do it right the first time. [ applause ] >> having that said, that would also reduce the appeals because if they get it right the first time, then you're not going to have as many appeals. >> that was my next question, as they move down the lower the backlog, the amount of appeals are actually as concerning is actually going up. what are you recommending as far as we should do as far as the appeals process? because that is a huge concern as a backlog claim comes down the appeals process, is going higher. >> there's no doubt. appeals are even a longer time frame than the regular
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adjudication of regular claims. the more we can do to fix it at the front end and i believe that about fdcs, those will help the appeals process. not only will the evidence be there at the very beginning that they need to do it right the first time but the time frame for those claims are much shorter. and i believe veterans would be much more satisfied to get a claim in a matter of weeks as opposed to months or years, knowing the evidence they submitted and all of the evidence was considered as opposed to starting a claim, getting an exam, and then not having a claim add jude indicated to months later when it can change we the time they had their exam and ajude kate
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the claim. >> i have no doubt that that bill was brought to the floor, it would pass congress overwhelmingly. what are you doing to get leadership to bring the bill to the house floor for a vote on it. >> actually yesterday our the department of ohio had a meeting to discuss that fact in bringing advance appropriations forward. today along with operation keep the promise, we had thousands of call made into the capitol hill switch board at the time we were at the rally. we hope that with those phone calls and e-mails that we'll be generating today and business that our members are making that you get the message to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. >> thank you very much and thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much.
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>> i thank the chairman, i got the message. [ applause ] >> in the dav, hold your hands up, any of my tennessee colleagues that are here. as commander, i want to thank you for your leadership for the dav. i want to briefly tell you a very quick story about how much i appreciate why you're here and about a year and a half ago i got to back to korea where i was stationed and colonel, mine is still straight after 40 years, people as civilians might not understand that, you do. i got a chance to go back to korea. and i was there in 1973. and i saw a country that was digging its way out of a war.
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they were never recovering from one end to the other. in 1960 they the fourth poorest economy in the world. today because of what you men and women did and people like you, there are 50 million free people and the leadership of that country said every time you get in front of a group of veterans, you thank them for us and we're doing that today. you're seeing the largest christian church in the world in seoul, korea. it's a methodist church. thanks to what the american people did, saw what happened after world war 2 roemtz. i cannot thank you enough for what you've done and made us a free nation. i could never do enough for our veterans in this country. we have a va hospital a mile from my front door in johnson city tennessee and you have my commitment and i wrote down your advanced appropriations.
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i couldn't see why we wouldn't do it. i think it makes absolute sense to do it with a whole budget, get it done in one years. the va was a good start and it shows us that the veteran shows the way advanced appropriations work. i support that and the frustration i have here is the billion dollars we spent. last year about this time chairman remembers this very well, where we couldn't have an integrated electronic health record where the va and dod -- we flushed a billion dollars and still can't make it work. that's something that i think -- this is my sixth year here. i cannot understand in today's technology why a veteran service member can't lead and electronically transfer their record. it hasn't been explained to me. it is coming down. i salute the secretary on that. he has a real commitment to
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that. the two things that i really am passionate about are homeless veterans. i think it's heartbreaking when you see a veteran sleeping under a bridge that honorably served this country. we had the hud vouchers and that has come down. i salute general shinseki for that. that's one of our problems at home. we've got to work on a place to house homeless veterans and people to go ahead and get the folks integrated into society. we co-chaired the invisible wounds caucus. when you have more veterans dying of suicide than combat, something is wrong. we need programs and look into that and find out what the causes are and put resources behind preventing that. we have so many veterans in need right now. i think that's one i certainly feel passionate about. i think the other one i've seen a local level is to bring the va
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to the community outpatient clinics that we have, we just opened one up in tennessee, it's going to have to be expanded in a year and a half, it was that successful. i think i'm going to encourage john and i are having breakfast with the secretary in the morning. if you want to give us any other questions, we'll be glad to take them in the morning. we have breakfast with the secretary. i think it is a tremendous success and way to get the care instead of elderly veterans having to drive miles and miles to care have it in their own community. i'll stop there and thank you for your service. i hear all of it and i think we can support everything and thank all of you for your service. [ applause ] >> you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. well, on behalf of i think the
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five californians, three of us here, myself, congresswoman gloria mccloud and congresswoman julia brownly, paul cook, who is not here and also dr. raul ruiz, i'm sorry, there's actually six of us i guess. i'd like to acknowledge the californians in the room. if you are here from california, please stand and let us know your presence. [ applause [ applause ] >> we make that trip back and forth between washington and california and we know what a journey you made and we appreciate that you've come all that way to let us know your agenda. it's a great honor to serve on this committee and do what we
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can. i represent the eighth largest veterans population in the country. i met with my veterans advisory council last week. they are doing tremendous work in my county to reach out to homeless veterans to find out where they are living along the santa ana river and in different encampments in the valley, just to get a count. and i'm fully aligned as i think all of us carefully aligned, with ending veterans homelessness. i have one question that i want to ask you commander, it's my understanding that the va has published new regulations that establish presumptions for veterans living with severe traumatic brain injury. who also have a parkinson's disease, certain types of dementia and depression and unprovoked seizures or certain
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diseases of hype thalt mus and pit tu teary glands. is it your organization aware of any planning or analysis that va has done that relates to the possible impact on veteran administrations backlog of claims? >> i defer that to the staff, sir. >> thank you for the question. we're not aware of any planning that the va has and how they are going to implement that but we've seen an overwhelming increase in claims at this time at this point. >> so because of that rule change we're not seeing tremendous impact as of now. >> you haven't seen a spike in the backlog or any discussions about initiatives to address those particular questions added as presumptive conditions.
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>> we're not anticipating a spike in your organization you feel you're prepared as of now? >> well, i'm not sure if we anticipate a spike. va hasn't discussed it. they are going to segregate these particular claims and send them to a particular place. if that does come to fruition with veterans benefit management system they can electronically send those cases to regional offices that can handle the additional work load where it wouldn't increase the spike. >> very good. i don't have any further questions. i'll give my colleagues an opportunity to ask questions. i yield back my time, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. mr. win strom. [ applause ] >> thank you, mr. chairman. believe me, i'm so grateful to be here with you today. i know we have the opportunity to see so many delegates from ohio and i'm proud to be from ohio to see so many of you here
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today. and if anyone out there is somebody i had the opportunity to lay my hands on in iraq, i want to tell you it was my honor to take care of you. we have a wall that exists unfortunately and see is more and more now on this side of things. between the department of defense and the va and i know we're in the process of tearing that down. we're one family. when you take that oath and say i'm going to serve this country, it should go right on through. there shouldn't be this wall and this divide between the opportunities that exist to take care of our troops. electronic medical records that he spoke about, to me that is a shame and delays care, makes it more difficult to have a smooth flow of care. i do see positive things. i was at base luis mccord last
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year and seen start upprograms where they are focusing on transition at the time of ets. and it makes sense to me if you are disabled, getting a medical separation that your level of disability can be determined at that time and carry over into the va. instead of having to go through these processes and having redone the services. there's other things i see starting to take place and that's guiding as they are leaving the military into being able to use the skills they learned in the military and translate them into civilian work and helping them get there and guidance on the educational opportunities. and i do believe that you have the greatest opportunity when you have the troops still in uniform, they are a more captive audience. these are the types of things we need to do to make your job easier. tear down the wall between the two.
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we endured in our medical practice, my private medical practice where we had to change to electronic medical records. it can be done. you just do it. and then there's a seamless flow. things are getting better, the opportunities are great. i don't have any questions of you today except i want to thank you for all that you do. i know how active you are and how many people you help and i know the challenge that comes with that. and i want to thank you for keeping your promise of service to this country. thank you. [ applause ] >> he is leaving us after one term of service in the congress to go home. >> well, thank you all for being here and thank you for your service and i won't be redundant
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but i want to thank the california delegation who is here. the question i would like to say since i have to leave, i'm going to roll two questions into one. i'll add an and. what's step has dva taken to conduct outreach specifically towards women veterans and what could the vha facilities do more effectively to integrate women's health care programs into the rest of the health care centers? >> i'm proud to say madam congresswoman that we and the dav lead all of the legacy on the women's programs and we're the co-sponsors of every meeting that has occurred with the va in order to do that. the specific answer to your question i'll now defer to the staff. >> thank you. in 2008 we began stand up for
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women veterans campaign and since that time have sponsored several films highlighting the military experience of women veterans such as service when many come marching home. this summer we plan to release a special report and another event focused on women veterans transition issue. women of war come home. we plan to bring the women featured in the film to washington and invite members of congress, their staff and va and dod officials to attend a panel discussion following the film screening. the magazine was mailed to every va medical center and screening of these films on capitol hill helped to inform and educate policy makers about the special needs of women veterans resulted in legislation being passed to improve benefits and service for women. they are also engaging this year on a special research project to look into the transitioning of
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women after deployment back into the civilian world. what issues they may be dealing with different from men. so that we can be aware of it and make the va aware of it. >> of course, there's lots of women that have already returned who are out there and i know homelessness amongst women is a very large issue. and the places where they feel safe when they are homeless. thank you. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> you're recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to each and every one of you for your service. i checked the attendance list, i'm sure there's gotting to one or two but there's no new jerseyians on the list. i know everybody is coming down
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next week. but thank you all for your service. it is rare that we are a panel of expertise from the dav also sitting at one table at one time. usually we're issue specific on what we're talking about. i really know he always -- when we talk about metrics kind of sets my hair on fire. i don't know if you're the once to answer this question so i'll direct it at the commander so he can maybe take a chop at it and hand it on down. when we talk about metrics and he touched on it a little bit, it seems to me a lot of time being where i'm at and many of our constituents and veterans that it's almost that the va is running to the next major crisis. now, is it there to put out a
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fire or combination of putting out a fire and actually having lack of personnel to address the crisis. because it seems our attention that are drawn to metrics in the va change monthly. and it's came up to now. and it's fully developed and claims are great but now we've got an increase in appeals. so what is the flavor of the day? are we accomplishing anything or play ag shell game? i want to throw that out for comment on and any suggestions we can pin them down to actually get a set sheet of measurements to judge the progress you are trying to make. >> we have a report from general hickey yesterday that indeed there are reduction in the claims backlog that even goes beyond what we know but i would defer to the rest of the staff for the specifics of those
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questions. >> mr. runyan, it's one ever things that we raised in our testimony about the transparency and making sure we can see the progression and how they are proposing it. you're right, we put out one fire and that is the backlog and someone forgets about the fact that we've done all of those claims and decided them what happens to them. they get 5% of appeals from those that are filed and that's one of the things we'd like to see the va do a better job at, giving us their metrics and how they are figuring this out and what they are looking at. one of the issues that we talked about in the independent budgets again is vha is able to determine what their needs are through a metric program and vba should be able to do the same. >> i appreciate that because
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it's -- i sit up there and chairing the subcommittee on disability and memorial affairs, it's a daily occurrence. what problem are we going to tackle this week and at the same time the va sits here and says it takes us two years to get anybody trained to do any of this. >> if i might, we do believe that the transformation to paperless process is the right thing to do. it's in its fourth year, i believe. it's not an easy thing to transition a large bureaucracy into paperless process, but we believe many of their initiatives are now coming online. and we're hoping that they are showing positive results and will start to help the process be much more quality effective from this point forward. >> thank you for that. >> i'll leave with this. dealing with advance appropriations and i know i
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brought this up when secretary shinseki sat in front of us, it was literally within the first couple months of my term, first term three years ago, and i went to the district and brand-new expansion, they had the x-ray machines sitting there. they couldn't install the x-ray machine because they didn't have the i.t. budget to put the kad 5 wire to hook it to the computer that came with the x-ray machine. that's the detail we're talking about. i yield back, chairman. >> mr. waltz, you're recognized. >> thank you chairman miller and thank you, commander, for your service and for continuing your service and to your family. no warrior deploys alone and no warrior comes home a lone. there's a family and broader community, commander miller, thank you. the importance of getting this right and work you do can't be
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understated. minnesota delegation here, there's a couple of these folks hold a special place for me i think for sergeant whitehead is here. he and i served together in the same artillery unit so i'll speak up for you back there sergeant. dave went zell came to my office through wounded warriors, dave are you here somewhere? i ask that to make sure you're working. thanks. good, he's here. we're grateful to each of you. no one comes to capitol hill with more credibility than this organization. and no one understands the importance of what you're doing. this goes beyond care of our wounded warriors and cuts to the heart of our democracy, what our values and commitments and what do we do as for those who want to know a little bit about service to the nation.
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we understand now through technology and other things that less and less people serve in uniform. that's a good thing. as you know, what comes with that service, somebody still has got to do it. the rest of the folks who aren't doing it need to understand that veterans benefits aren't a charity or a lottery. that's not the way this works. they are not a secondary thing that you think about. we have to get this right. we have to get it right not only morally do the right thing, we have to get it right because it cuts to that core of the nation. what's the next generation looking at? when you bring these things and bring your credibility up here, it's broader than that. you hear that. it's healthy to have debates up here. it's not healthy when veterans as commander said are put out there and their well being at put at risk because we have political differences. i can tell you it's healthy to have differences. this thing about you people can't get along and you have
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differences why can't you agree on that? i feel have you ever been married? do you agree all the time? you love your spouse dearly but you have differences and find that commonalty. this chairman and these folks you heard speak, there's no one i would rather stand with than them. we agree for care of our veterans and the basics of the democracy that are right and when you come here and bring these things up, it's critically important. for many of you i see familiar faces here, there's folks here, you didn't only fight the nation's war but came back and fighting for these things for decades. there is a tendency why do we have to fight? you're right but democracy always has to keep going and keep coming. we have to keep at it. it's not going to run itself but we shouldn't have to put up with nonsense of not having the funding there when it's needed and fighting whether we were injured and how that injury came about. and how do we get the care
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because no one in my district or any of these folks districts tells me, you know what you guys need to do. you need to cut the budget by making sure they don't get the care they need. i've never heard anyone say that. they say lots of things good and bad. that's not one they say. so keeping the promise, nothing should be easier than keeping that promise. every person in america wants us to keep that promise. [ applause ] >> here's what you need to know and folks sitting up here, i think it's important to understand and you who come out here, there is literally millions of folks working today and have families, they couldn't come out. you sacrificed. these folks out here in capitol hill, they are the best at what they are doing. i can tell you what, many things that get done here, they don't get done because of political malice or anything like that. they get done out of ignorance because people don't know. somebody needs to explain how it
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works and get this right. what you understand is that in this country right now, president kennedy was right about this one, you can curse the darkness or light the damned candle. come here and make people light the candle. find a solution, bring it forward. your advanced appropriations, that's a kandsle. get it done, get it fixed. it's not that difficult. [ applause ] >> i'm going to ask one thing how we can together help this. senator boseman was part of a little documentary done that was on jason ear heart and his family, he was blown up in iraq. he came back home and the va as we did with the camp lejeune bill. through new technology it's not good enough just to get the guys in wheelchairs and good enough to find the newest prosthetic
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because there's folks living testimony to this, we don't know what the limits of rehabilitation are. let's get it there. then we also promised and said if your parents or your spouse are taking care of them, we're going to help do that because they may be your son but they are our warrior. you're giving the love and doing that -- >> [ applause ] >> i'm out of time. i'm out of time but what i'm telling you this, jason and his parents, it's not happening the way we intend it to happen. they are paying out-of-pocket for those type of things. we have to figure out how to do better. this kid, this 23-year-old kid summed it up best. he said, what kind of person wants to be told they plateaued? what kind of man wants to be told i'm plateaued? i'm not plateauing i want to see and do things again. that's the candle we need to light. i would home we come back to figure out how we ask for that implementation. thank you for indulging me, mr.
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chairman. [ applause ] >> you know why we call him command sergeant major, the highest ranking enlisted soldier ever to serve in the united states congress. [ applause ] >> miss brownly, you're recognized. >> i too want to welcome everyone who is here from the great state of california. thank you for traveling here and thank you for what you do every single day for our veterans in california, my hat is off to you. and thank you, commander johnston for your testimony today and your very detailed written testimony that has been offered to us. i think this is an excellent document for us to hold on to
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and document that we can refer to often to make sure that we are fulfilling our responsibilities not only that we are providing the services our veterans need but our oversight responsibilities as well. thank you for that. and you describe the men and women in this room as men and women of honor. and i just want to tell you, i concur wholeheartedly that every man and woman in this room are men and women of honor. and every man and woman who have served our country are men and women of honor. and i want to express my deep gratitude to them. [ applause ] >> i wanted to follow-up on congressman mcleod's questioning with regards to our female
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disabled veterans and female veterans in general. and i'm very excited to hear about what is coming forward this year. i will look forward to the film screening and look forward to the hearing if there's anything i can do to be helpful in that process, i would be delighted to offer a helping hand. i want to know if we will get to a place where we actually have very -- one of the very specific things we need to do for our women veterans and then our ability to create the metrics that we've been talking about today and the transparency to have the metrics that we need for us to oversee and make sure that we are providing everything we need for our female veterans. >> i'll defer to the staff. >> thank you. over the last several years va
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researchers have been evaluating the current health care delivery model for women veterans. as you know the population of women using the va system has doubled over the last five years. we're pleased that one of the v a's secretary's highest goals is to ensure that all women veterans have access to high quality health care from a provider proficient in women's health and all facilities. there's still work to be done, to fully achieve this goal, we believe va is heading in the right direction. we especially want to be sure that women veterans have access to all va special programs and services. >> thank you, sir. >> i appreciate that. and last week the -- this committee, subcommittee on health, dr. ben shack and myself head a subcommittee and actually in my district in ventura county, in california, to
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discuss access to traditional and alternative mental health care. we learned a lot in that hearing because we -- my county, ventura county, up to a 44-day wait period to get any kind of mental health care services, which is way too long. intake for mental health services, our veterans in ventura have to travel into los angeles county to just do the intake for their services. we are -- we don't have enough mental health providers to meet the needs in our county. so i am looking forward to being able to resolve some of those issues. but we did spend a great deal of time also talking about alternative mental health options. and i understand that the dav hosts a miracle on the mountainside event. and it sounds like a really
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wonderful event and i'm curious to know from your perspective, are there other alternative forms of therapy that the dav has found to improve psychological well being of veterans who are suffering from post-traumatic stress. >> i serve as cheer operating officer in my full-time job at the largest mental health agency in cincinnati. yes, there are many things that are done and many things that the dav funds that are alternative therapies through our charitable service program and staff can tell you what some of those are. but it can be swimming with dolphins and it can be horse back riding or something as simple as growing a garden. all of those things are important to people that are reaching out because they have a
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mental illness, all be it depression or severe mental illness. the normalization of their lives is an important function of that. and we believe that and we do what we can do to fund those types of programs and i defer to the staff. >> and we agree that alternative therapies are very important. even meditation is becoming more and more known as a way to deal with those type of issues. we're pleased that the va is looking at alternative therapies. the -- not just stuck in the traditional therapy mode anymore. they are considering other types of theerpz. recently they just hired i believe 900 peer to peer counselors that we are very excited to see the results of that initiative. so we do believe they are starting to understand the need for alternative therapies.
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>> thank you, sir. thank you, mr. chair for your indulgen indulgence. >> thank you miss brownley. thank you members for hanging in there. commander, we appreciate your testimony, again, to each and every one of you, that have made the trip to your nation's capital, we thank you. we thank you for what you've done for this country. we thank you for what you continue to do for this country. i would ask that all members would have five legislative days with which to revise and extend their remarks or add any extraneous materials. without objection, so ordered. with that, commander, this hearing is adjourned. >> thank you, sir. [ applause ]
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eric holder spoke to the national association of attorneys general on tuesday. here is a little of what he had to say. >> in 2011, the justice department attorneys would no longer defend the constitutionality of the defense of marriage act. this decision was not taken lightly. our actions were motivated by the strong believe that all measures that distinguish among people to -- based on their sexual orientation must be subject to a heightened standard of scrutiny. the supreme court has made a historic decision. it strikes down the federal government's ban on recognizing legally married gay and lesbian couples.
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this marked a critical step forward and a resounding victory under -- for equal protection under the law. as a response of that decision, a number of attorney generals in a -- states have reached similar determinations. decisions at any level not to defend individual laws must be exceedingly rare. they must be reserved only for exceptional, truly exceptional, circumstances. they must never stem merely from policy or political disagreement. they must hinge on firm constitutional grounds. in general, i believe we must be suspicious of distinctions based solely on sexual orientation. we must endeavor to uphold and advance the values that led our forebears to declare
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unequivocally that all are created equal and entitled to me clobbered to the. opportunity. >> a discussion on defense spending. then a discussion on u.s. intelligence. we will re-air the agenda on legislative process for disabled veterans. a couple of live events to tell you about tomorrow on seized entry. -- c-span3. relationshipthe between military sexual assault, ptsd, and suicide of stop --. you can join that conversation on facebook or twitter. there's a hearing on the economic effect of alzheimer's disease and the state of alzheimer research. that is above -- he for the senate appropriations committee. >> i think there are some myths
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out there. people think that the maraschino cherry is a miraculously preserved product. it is not. it is no different from a pickle cherry. the prime process is no different from making wine. i would not call it a healthy product, but i would call it something that is a tasty treat. see here is cherries in various stages of processing. inrries that come in are put water, but they will still have fruit.- brine in the it will go through an extensive washing. it is the process of making maraschino cherries. you are taking brine and soaking it in sugar and a color solution. you will see the color and intensity picked up at the sugar
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content pickup. inis lightly colored early the process. you can see how much darker color that is. it is farther along in the process. on a normal day, you will see yellow, pink, deep red. it is that cycle of infusion and where it is that in the process. >> this weekend, book tv and american history tv look behind history and literary minds of salem, oregon. >> more on the pentagon's proposed budget. from washington journal, this is one hour. >> joining us now to walk is our the announcement guest from the washington journal. your story today has this
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headline. the defense budget targets new threats. what is the new threat and what does it mean for to changes in store for the defense department? end of the aero for the u.s. military. ground forces are coming home from afghanistan. we will have no more than a few thousand troops. this is after 13 years of war. the military has to pare back because of budget spending. now we are looking at an emerging threat in asia. people are looking at china. a friend cyberspace. eats in -- thr cyberspace. we are talking about it hidden to asia. everyone is looking toward turning our focus to china. wants to boost efforts to create more cyber warriors. they are also talking about putting more emphasis on special
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forces. the navy seals, the people who killed osama bin laden, the people who rescued aid workers. they want to boost the special workers, people who can do specialized operations. it will boost those forces. the big military is going to come down by 13%. we are talking about reducing the size of the army by 13%. that is pre-world war ii levels. it is a real shift for the pentagon. talk is through the starting numbers. what is the endpoint? wast: at its peak, the army in the thousands. is at 520,000. we are talking about going as low as 420,000. back told take us pre-world war ii levels. who areor those
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involved in the military, how have they waited? of the army said that he sings about 440 is the lowest you would like to go to be able to keep america safe and carry out a war. there are a lot of people who think that we need to be able to do more than that for a long time. the u.s. has talked about being able to fight wars on two fronts. there is a lot of discussion. we need to be will to fight on one front. hagelyesterday, secretary says that we are not preparing for a major crop or any more. -- ground war anymore. that era is over. we are fighting for and preparing for the last four. none ofmber 10, 2001, us knew what was ahead for the next 13 years. we did not know what was going to come down the road. we will not play -- fight ground
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wars. who knows what could happen today or tomorrow that could change that calculus. the obama administration and secretary hagel say that we need to focus on what we think is down the road. some of the things that we think are coming down the road. we have to focus on emerging concerns from asia and .otentially other issues we are seeing al qaeda threats. they are in north africa. there are places where they want to go in. there is an emerging effort in to build up operations there. we are seeing some more focus presence from the military. critics might discuss a " what if" strategy. what if we have to introduce trip? be a lot of will
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questions about the right strategy. congress will weigh in. people will weigh in. secretary hagel says this is a strategy that allows us to be nimble. it allows us to adapt. it allows us to deal with whatever comes down the road. host: our guest is joining us for this first hour to discuss. here are the numbers again. if you are a member of the military or retired from the military and you want to give your thoughts, there is a special number for you. social media channels are open as well. let's take our first call. caller: good morning, i have a question.
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-- remembers to when they were delivering supplies? they had 50 or 60 guys passing boxes. can you imagine if you had the supermarkets having to busload of guys unloading tracks and putting that food into the market? to much more would it cost feed the people in the united states if we had to do that technique? these roller bars. why don't the military use that technology to get supplies pretty simple. it might cut down on the cost of what it costs for rescuing. guest: there are a lot of questions about efficiencies and the pentagon. it can certainly generate some savings.
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there are a lot of ways to save money and they are trying to do that, but when you are looking at the bigger picture, the tens of billions of dollars, hundreds of billions of dollars in savings are going to come in other ways. major weapons programs. there has been a program to change pay compensation benefits. there are a lot of questions about, really, how to reduce that. if efficiency is one of those things -- efficiency is one of those things that people think you can make savings without a lot of pain, which can get you so far. host: a lot of the questions are -- if troops are not actively fighting wars, then what are they doing? guest: there is training. one of the things that secretary hagel is pointing out is that you cannot just cut people who are prepared to fight. at the end of the fight you need
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to be able to train, have the right equipment. the head of the joint chiefs of staff says that we do not want any of our guys going into this not in a fair fight. we want all of these guys and women to be able to go in and crush their opponents. that takes training. that takes equipment. of course, when they are not fighting wars, there are rescue operations, patrols. there are a lot of things the military does before -- aside from fighting on the frontlines. host: here we now hear from retired military. maine, good morning. caller: i have worked for a power and light company since my military service. all i did was run around shutting down factories. some of them have been in the united states for 150 years and one is in vietnam now. we have no industrial structure to support the military context -- complex.
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pat buchanan and vladimir putin both told us we are committing suicide. guest: there is obviously a lot of concern about the manufacturing base. we do have significant defense contractors, lockheed martin, boeing, our top defense contractors do a lot of work here. we have various companies from outside who do provide us with military hardware and technology. we do have significant military bases. that is one of the questions going forward, as we start the drawdown. what impact is this going to have on companies that do business? the top contractor is lockheed martin. in their budget they sort of won and lost. the most expensive program in pentagon history is the f 35, the new fighter jet. there will -- that is one of the
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most expensive programs to maintain. some callers may call in and wonder why we don't cut back rather than cutting benefits, but the pentagon is locked in, so lockheed martin wins on that. at the same time, the navy will have to cut its plans to build a new combat ship. they wanted to build 52, 55, and secretary hagel said that they are only building 32. they lost on that. where are those jobs going to go? it is a trade-off. there are a lot of questions about the impact that this will have on jobs in the united states. host: let's hear from secretary of defense, chuck hagel, speaking yesterday. [video clip] >> the army must increase the pace and scale of its postwar drawdown.
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today there are around five hundred 20 thousand active-duty soldiers, which the army had planned to reduce the 490,000. however the strategic choices in management review and cutie are -- qdr have brought to bear the light of no longer sustaining organizational strategies. given the reduced budgets, this is larger than we can afford to modernize and keep ready. we have decided to actively reduce active army strength to 440,000 soldiers. host: dion nissenbaum, how do we get to that number? guest: you will see troops leaving over the next five years. people retiring, being pushed out of the army.
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you are going to have bases that are going to lose brigades. it is a five year strategy. it will obviously not happen overnight. host: so, this is through attrition more than anything else? guest: it is not clear, but for sure. host: what is the timeframe that we will see these happen? guest: this is a five-year plan. we are talking about a gradual drawdown over five years. host: here is andrew. andrew is from minerva, ohio, independent line. guest: -- caller: yes, sir, i have a question for you. does our u.s. military, is it the only thing backing our dollar? the military protecting foreign trade? if it is, what kind of affect will it have on our dollar if we shrink protection for foreign trade? guest: interesting question. i am not sure exactly what he is
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getting at, but obviously the military is there to protect our interests around the world. we have other ways of doing that, politically, diplomatically, things like that. i am not sure what he is trying to get at, but the military is only one component, not the only component, of how we protect forces abroad. host: what about the argument that 400,000 troops cannot really protect an attack on u.s. soil? guest: what is inadequate size force? we will still have a healthy military. we will still have a large number of troops. this is going to be for our generals and politicians to decide. --host: if we are changing the strategy, does that mean we are changing how they are trained to fight wars? guest: most likely. right now we are seeing a shift from ground forces to a more heavy emphasis on maritime and
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naval operations. we are trying to use special operations a lot more to use conducted, targeted operations. i think that ideally the military would like to use those tines of operations as much as possible. you also see an increased use of drones, you these controversial targeting strikes around the world. drones, these controversial targeting strikes around the world. -- drones, these controversial targeting strikes around the world. host: reflective of the headline that talks about the story in "usa today," "technology trumps troop levels and the budget." guest: we would love to be able to use technology on every front. the f 35 is a very advanced jet.
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it lets you look all around, 360 degrees. these vehicles, these allow us to stay off the battlefield and target people without putting people in harms way. there is obviously a lot of debate about the strategy here around civilian casualties and what that does diplomatically, that certainly technology going forward will be an important part. host: california, retired military, henry, independent line. caller: you could reduce the military by one half of its strength and they would still be too much. i am saying that i witnessed trillions of dollars of the military waste in extending their budget. their allocations, fiscally every year -- i am talking about submarines coming in and dumping
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their allocations. the u.s. army does the same thing. if they do not expend what they have been allocated, they have to dump it in order to qualify for the next allocation or it will be reduced. the higher ranked generals i have witnessed, personally, the waste of expending government money on their personal use, even to build homes for themselves. now, the f-35 question, they have been doing that all along. we have aircraft hidden in the desert that are being literally destroyed because of the cost overrun and the public does not know. we have spent trillions in the
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korea spy outfits there, trillions in defense to support korea. guest: ok, thanks for the call. there is a lot in there --host: ok, thanks for the call. guest: there is a lot in there. host: he mentioned generals, spending, things along that line. guest: the generals are going to take a one-year pay freeze. they are setting the messes that they are willing to sacrifice as well. -- they are sending the message that they are willing to sacrifice as well. the top generals have their own gulfstream's, their own folks on their planes. a lot of people say -- what, are these rock stars? why are these generals having this kind of support? this will be part of the debate going forward. people sort of chafe at that kind of thing when they see it sometimes, generals flying
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around in their own planes with troops that might not have the training on the front end. at the end of the day, is that going to save you the big ticket that you need? no, but people do want to see that the people at the pentagon, the generals, are taking some of the brunt of this as well, along with the people who will be forced out of the army. host: has the dod try to make these types of reforms? guest: this is the issue. secretary bob gates tried to make a lot of these reforms when he was in office at the pentagon. he just came out with his memoir. when we talk about reform he was not able to refit -- to convince congress and get compensation through. it is difficult in this town, as you know better than anyone, to
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get things through congress. the pentagon has constituents in each state. each state has the national guard, programs that they want to protect. everyone has a constituency that can lock a lot of these programs from being cut going forward. they always say -- not my program. not my national guard. it makes it hard to get this stuff through. host: is there currently an appetite in congress to accept these kinds of changes that secretary hagel wants to see? guest: this is the big question. everyone in congress says that they would understand that everyone needs to tighten their belts, but what you heard from a lot of constituencies yesterday was -- not my program. not my national guard. not my bases. this is where you get to the paralysis.
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it is difficult to find the constituencies to make this stuff come together. host: tom, brooksville, florida, hi. caller: good morning. my question is the statement that was made to general mathis last year. he was commanding central command and he said that if you do not fund of the state department fully, i need to buy more ammunition ultimately. i would like to hear his comment on that. ammunition ultimately. i would like to hear his comment on that. comment would be that i don't have the knowledge on good or bad to reduce the military on retiring, but it will have two effects, globally and continental wise. globally reducing the military means you have to increase diplomacy.
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that is part of it. i do not disagree with reducing the military, but what are we going to do to increase diplomacy? with true diplomacy we have the possibility of saving lives and dollars. hear that certainly from the pentagon as well. they understand that these programs are meant to drive diplomatic solutions and that they are a tool. diplomacy is often the endgame here. in afghanistan, to get out of the country, they have tried to negotiate a deal with the taliban and to have a peace deal. diplomacy is pretty essential and i do not think anyone at the pentagon would debate that you need to have a vibrant state department and a vibrant the nomadic effort to make sure that troops are used as little as possible. host: troop use was one issue
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taken up yesterday, benefits to military was another. secretary hagel address those. we will get what he had to say and get your thoughts as well. [video clip] >> it is not fair, responding to these adjustments in the spending package. fiscal year 2013, we have recommended a one percent raise for basic pay for military personnel, with the exception of general and flag officers, the pay will be frozen for one year. basic pay raisins beyond this year will be restrained, though raises will continue. we are also recommending a number of changes. we will slow the growth of tax-free housing loans are currently cover one hundred percent of housing expenses until they cover an average number of 95% of housing expenses, with a five percent out-of-pocket contribution. why comparison, the average was late 1990's.
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we will also no longer reimburse for renters insurance. over three years we will reduce by $1 billion the annual nowidies provided, which total $1.4 billion. we are not shutting down commissary's. all commissaries will still get .ree rent and pay no taxes they will be able to continue to provide good deals to service members and retirees. enlistedi am an person, what does that mean for me? at the end of the day? nothing. this is probably the most difficult part of the program going forward. they are talking about trying to redress paying benefits, but a lot of the analysis shows that -- thatgoing to be done this will be nearly impossible.
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no one in a year like this wants to be seen cutting benefits. secretary hagel is saying that we just need to reign things in, we will not cut pay for anyone. we are just going to reduce subsidies for grocery stores on these bases, but you will still be able to go there. budgetse kinds of solutions are really anathema to people in congress. anything that says that you reduce support for veterans or our troops can be turned into a 32nd advertisement very quickly. this is where secretary gates has the biggest problem, it is very difficult to get these kinds of solutions through. i do not see this happening this year. congress will be putting together a compensation commission next year. i think we will be at least another year before we see any kind of proposals like this get
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any traction. host: this housing is a big deal? guest: it does help a lot, but they are talking about reducing support from 100% to 90%. was it it has gone up over years and they are trying to just bring it back in line a little bit. you give veterans groups saying that you cannot balance the budget on the backs of the people who are fighting. if you want to reduce the number thehe f 35's that you buy, ships that you buy, but don't do it on the backs of those on the front line. , of "then nissenbaum wall street journal," joining us to talk about the cuts that were announced yesterday by secretary hagel. we want to get your thoughts today, phone lines --
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host: for active and retired military -- is retiredon military from leesburg, virginia. good morning. caller: i wanted to talk to the adults in the room. now a gulf war veteran, government contractor who works for the government. i have to tell you i am confused as to why people are so upset that they are reducing the number of ships losing jobs when we have been totally willing to cut government jobs and hand over defense right and left, serving our country? i do agree with reducing the salaries for officers and increasing -- not reducing, but following the motion of increasing the threat list.
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the enlisted troops are underpaid. we really need to be supporting them. toould like for people ponder why we are so willing to run to the defense of military jobs when we should be thinking smarter and fighting smarter, which means less troops. we are so willing to cut other government jobs to the point that the rest of the government is going to suffer and heard the employment rate. thank you. guest: certainly that is part of the broader debate, whether it is the pentagon budget and the overall spending budget there. there will be an effort at the pentagon to reduce the civilian workforce there as well. the civilian workforce at the pentagon has grown, along with the enlisted. there is an effort to reduce that within the pentagon. host: is that contractors? guest: that is actually civilians inside the department. they are trying to cut back as
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well and i think the caller is talking about the broader picture. how do we look at the pentagon budget in the bigger picture? these are all issues that still need to be worked out in congress. host: pennsylvania, republican line. caller: i have a concern. i was reading a newspaper this morning and i noticed that the is making itnment possible for individuals to get $1000 apiece for a tax savers if they can find the form for it on the free file software available at the irs. for individuals to say, for retirement, if they earn under 29,000 for a private individual. host: caller, forgive me. [indiscernible] what i am after is how
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can they afford to give $1000 apiece to individuals for retirement savings when we are deducting from the military? how can the federal government afford to cut our military benefits when we are increasing the percentage of foodstamp increases and deducting it from our men and women who are putting their lives on the line? you hear this a lot. how are we going to support our troops elsewhere in the government? this is the constant debate. our money?e spending where are our priorities? if we spend money on military troops, does it take away from other things? these are the trade-offs that we have to decide going forward. the budget is facing a lot of constraints right now. there are a lot of cuts and reductions in the military.
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there is a broader debate going on in congress about how and where we make our priorities as a nation. host: from twitter -- no reward for savings. interesting point. in all of these programs, like it is over budget but it still continues to go forward . the airplanes are not living up to expectations, but we are continuing to back it. it is a big issue in the military in terms of how much savings. that debateok at over the $800 toilet seat, the $500 wrench or whatever. there is a lot of concern about how money has been spent. we have heard that from a lot of colors this morning. is there a way to squeeze out
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more efficiency? i do not think that anyone would argue that there are plenty of ways to find the efficiencies that get you where you need to go. , someonen nissenbaum on twitter may the comment this morning, close to 700 bases around the world right now. how does that factor in? a very difficult which moving forward, ones do we want to close and how do we do this? every time that it happens, it is a big fight. secretary hagel would like to have one of these commissions in 2017, after the next round of elections. he understands that no one wants to be the one to have a base close in their district. i think that this is something that needs to be looked at. if the army is coming down, the
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size of the personnel is coming down, there are already bases around the country where they are losing their fighting forces. they have become described as zombie towns because there are so few people working on them. but this issue comes straight up to congress, no one wants to close a base in their district. you do not want to be the congressperson who has a base closing in your district. as much as people would like to see that happen, it will be a couple of years before we see realistic ace closures. next, arlington, virginia, low. caller: my issues -- hello. of quick couple points, defense, it won't happen. was a "washington post" reporter who did a story on it last year who called it a stealth aircraft with the
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capability to avoid budget cuts. we have more aircraft carriers around the world. one example, i was looking at satellite images of google earth. all of the standard east german like they were running solar energy farms. they were able to do that after their own defense cuts. but politically it is not going to happen. it makes sense. i would ask your reporter what he thinks happens. i think it makes sense. i have been in the military, in the air force since the cold war . the cold war is over, there are
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people out there still fighting it. the defense budget is the biggest threat to national security. an interesting, interesting question. the country and the military are obviously in a transition right now. ground wars in afghanistan are obviously coming to an end. the massive operations that we had after 9/11 are now over. now we have to decide what the military is supposed to be focusing on. right now the military is saying that we need to turn our attention towards asia and china and see what happens there, watch out for potential trouble emerging in places like africa, where al qaeda militants are reestablishing themselves. again, we wind up fighting the last war. we know what happened before. we do not really know what is coming down the road. secretary hagel saying that we need to reduce.
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that we are trying to create a force that can adapt and attract . it is going to be an ongoing debate. we do not know what happens tomorrow. it could fundamentally change the discussion entirely if we had another major terrorist event in this country. an emerging threat from north iran. we do not know what is down the pike. we can only prepare for what we think is going to happen, which is what we are trying to do. as far as congress, will you see republicans and democrats fighting against the changes that the secretary of defense wants to make? sides you often see both working together. one of the things the pentagon wants to do is eliminate the a-10 warthog, this one to knows -- blunt nosed plane it is used
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with troops on the ground. even the air force tells you that they think is the best plane for protecting troops on the ground. secretary hagel says they have got to eliminate them entirely. you find republicans and democrats in congress joining forces saying -- you cannot eliminate that plane, that one is used most and best to protect forces on the ground. you often see democrats and republicans working together on these. no one wants a base -- echo base closure, no one wanted in their district. base closure, no one wants it in their district. secretary hagel, talking about military cuts overall, here is what he had to say. [video clip] [video clip] are trying to solve our military problems on the backs
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of our military. if it could be done, it should be done, but it can't be done. if we cut the entire military budget, everything that we vote on annually as a congress, eliminate all of that, we would still be running a deficit of half of one dollar trillion each year. room,e elephant in the the big animal in the room, the gorilla in the room that everyone is avoiding is a mandatory spending. , we will address that keep digging ourselves further and further in the hole. that is the real problem and we are trying to, like i say, solve it. on the backs of the military. that can't be done. guest: you are going to hear that a lot. we are solving our problems on
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the back of the military. he is right, discretionary spending is a small piece of this at the end of the day, but in the broader picture there has across themade federal budget. this is a big piece of discretionary spending. i think it is about half of what we spend on discretionary spending. it is a big piece of the pie to look at. we are in a time of change for the military. this is a time when we can reevaluate put the military should be doing and how much should be spending in this nation's history. active military outside of los angeles, california, good morning. caller: thank you for having me on. i will try to make this fast, i have a lot of ground to cover and i have only one question. across all the military spectrum, there is basically
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those who are at the lowest pay of the military structure. the generals make 1000% more than what the lowest do. cutting up the middle, because in the marine corps they are already doing that. middle.out the this program is already going on. , giving themg out the incentives to get out. we areans, again, that starting to flood the economy with newly unemployed people from close bases. communities are going to take the brunt of not having that support, holding out when you have those capabilities. and about operational maintenance? we will continue spending on operations and maintenance, but
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let me ask you, operations -- do we need to be in every conflict? this way we continue being a strong military presence. there may be no way of working in these wars. guest: that is for secretary hagel said yesterday. we are not going to be preparing to fight every war. in libya we had a much more limited air operation. country is much more reluctant to fight every war and get local police officers who were sometimes referred to. we are seeing a shift in that. in the marines, people are
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being given incentives to leave. the front page of "the usa today to go with this, -- today," with -- , certainly, what happens to troops when they leave the service is an important thing. veterans companies are starting up. there are efforts around the veterans buying jobs and it will certainly be a challenge as the reductions go forward. i think we need to focus more on that. it is certainly a big issue for the first lady, she has made it an issue going forward. does the military help
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them going forward? guest: they try to help them, but it is the private sector does the significant amount. retired military, prince edward, maryland, hi. is -- i amquestion retired army, i served three tours in iraq and i have been there since the beginning through to the end. the problem i have had is that they career military has cut back on jobs.sly they have contracted them out to civilian contractors. i have spoken several contractors i have worked closely with. anytime you have a guy who goes
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around in your work area inerminating, he has been that country for five years and i have a problem with that. then i think contractors will bring those jobs back home. i understand and i get that. but i kind of had inkling in my head that when these conferences -- iraqis already over, in a sense. but then afghanistan. when these 100,000 contractors come back to the united dates, are they going to have jobs for them? as you are saying, i have seen citizens over in iraq, grandfathers and grandmothers, working in jobs because there are no jobs to benefit their homes. they have got to subsequent their income by putting
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themselves in harms's way and a country like iraq. contracting out is a big piece of the military as well. what they also call life support services. providing food at these bases, this is done by contractors now, as opposed to being done by the military. there is good reason for that. it can provide cost savings to do that. based in afghanistan for couple of years. i know the kinds of people he is talking about. you see people coming over because they can make good these basesking on doing contracts, getting the food from point a to point b, serving it, helping to build these bases, providing security. a lot of people over there make good money on defense contractors and then go overseas because that is where the money
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is. can make a lot more working in afghanistan, where the risks are a lot higher than here. we did not hear any -- anything from anything yesterday secretary hagel about how he plans to deal with contractors. this is another area where you will be hearing a lot about how the money is spent and how they have taken away money from the soldiers. host: brian this imam --dion nissenbaum, joining us to talk about the cuts to the pentagon and the military. daniel, florida, hello. caller: good morning, gentlemen. complement the journalists there on his objective reporting for what is going on. first of all, when eisenhower handed the keys over to john fitzgerald kennedy, prior to the
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inauguration, when eisenhower warned-- what eisenhower kennedy about was not the industrial military complex but rather the industrial military congressional complex. but regarding the f-35 it,roversy, shall we call for the kind of work that -- for the kind of warfare that must be engaged in currently, the a-10 is clearly a superior air vehicle. the f-35 is the ultimate boondoggle. that is my only comment, personnel. the host has been engaging america in this conversation. what is the
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decision-making process behind eliminating these programs as opposed to others? guest: he strikes at the heart of the issue about air superiority. , even the air-10 force will tell you it is the best at protecting troops on the ground. we are trying to move forward and develop the next generation china,ter jets, like in to use for future conflicts. the radically the f 35 will be able to do the same kind of support for troops on the ground as the a-10. this has to be proven out. what happens down the road still has to be determined. yet. we not out there are not sure that they will be able to do what they say they can do. the f-35 has these amazing technical advances, but they
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still need to be worked out. there are a lot of glitches and what is happening. how much influence will military industry have in congress over the decision the pentagon is going to make? guest: they have a significant say in what is going to happen. i think the clearest example of that in this budget is the decision that was made about surveillance plants. -- planes. in the past they talked about eliminating the u2, the famous plane used during the cold war. another plane that is made by arthur drummond is the global hawk. the pentagon has been trying to eliminate this for years in favor of other surveillance programs. northrop grumman had a years long campaign to protect their plane. they argued. they brought down the cost. in this budget secretary hagel
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essentially reversed course and said that we will eliminate the u2 and keep the global hawk, they have proven that it is more cost efficient. that is an example of a company that was able to launch a campaign and be successful with secretary hagel, at least. it will have to be approved by congress. that was kind of a win for the industry. i guess that would go to the districts where these companies are located? guest: exactly. host: martin, good morning. caller: first of all, on if we guess wrong on our commitments in the future, fromkes about 12 months
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the decision on troop level to a true pitting the ground, joining the fight. second, the f-35, between that and the raptor, it is pretty much unproven in combat. aircraft need another that is the next step ahead of that that is unproven in combat. tank killer? that is what it was designed for . i could see getting rid of that. we need the think f-35, it is not worth it. his first point, what does history tell us about the ability to replenish troops? it takes significant time to rebuild. there is no guessing about it.
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even after september 11. we do have the ability to move quickly when we feel the urgency. it takes time. hopefully we are not headed for an era where we need to fight , but ground wars again this is the calculated risk that secretary hagel and general dempsey are saying we have to take. yesterday general dempsey said that we are taking more risk, no question about it. what we have not actually talked about this morning is what happens if sequestration goes forward. this is all based on some the budget for the pentagon, putting more money back in. in 2016 the cuts are supposed to get even deeper. yesterday general dempsey said that they are at the point where they are willing to take the risk, but if they go much further and have deeper cuts, it
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will get much worse. and then it is a gamble that we can afford. this is also sort of the elephant or the gorilla in the room, to steal a line from the congressman. that is an unresolved issue, sequestration going forward. there will be more cuts down the road. michigan, ken, independent line. good morning, u.s. of a. i am worried to much about relying on technology. i feel like russia and china could jam anything that we have got. drone that wehat had was jammed in iran. that is all i have to say, goodbye. guest: certainly a fair point. we are trying to invest more in technology. had surveillance planes that have apparently been commandeered and gone down in iran. cyber terrorism is a big issue.
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the pentagon does repeat that as a concern. --guest: certainly, computer systems have been hacked via ron. it is a big issue. the f-35 plane like that is heavily based on technology and the country that is able to jam it, you could defeat the plane before it gets off the ground, essentially. i am not a technological expert, myself, but this is something the pentagon is certainly thinking about and learning about. it is a big concern. florida,ksonville, line four retired military. hello. caller: good morning, how are you. thank you. host: you are on, sir. -- how do question is you perceive this defense budget going after 2015 as far as
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regarding the reserve component? another big area, the guard in reserve is going to be reduced by about five percent. they are trying to reduce the number of helicopters in the gulf by eight percent. you have already have a lot of governors coming forward saying , they cannot cut this respond in emergencies. they have received awards in afghanistan and iraq. attacking the guard in reserve is also going to be a difficult issue for congress. you have already got governors and lawmakers coming out saying that you cannot cut these forces. from mclean, virginia, joseph, good morning. caller: hi. i personally feel that a lot of the internal problems being had by this country are held by
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congress. we all have budgets. we all have debts. we come up with a plan to pay for these debts. they do not involve heating our home indefinitely. it does not involve starving the military. they have families. it does not involve kicking out the homeless. that is just the blunt statement because they are already homeless. it involves china and its income , it's extra income to pay off your debts. it is about being responsible for the autonomy that you have and not to spend recklessly. i feel like congress is not looking at better ways of bringing jobs back to america. we have yet to really see a huge improvement. spend a lot of time just the bottlenecking america and not really trying to make things improve as far as passing bills that would bring better jobs for
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this country. any improvement. whether i am democrat, republican, or independent, this country is stagnant. in congressnction is what a lot of people feel the root of the problem is. it is certainly a part of the problem and that is where a lot of the issues will be decided. that is where a lot of things do get bottlenecked, it can strain the ability of the pentagon to make strategic decisions. jerrold, springfield, massachusetts, democratic line. caller: thank you for taking my call. my question was in reference to the cyber attacks that we hear about on the television. jet almost a identical -- i don't know if it was a 35 for what, that china
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happen to have. ares very troubling that we spending all of this money and all of this technology to just turn around and have some other country step in and produce what it is that we are doing. i was wondering if there was any specific emphasis that was going to be taken on the cyber aspect of it. i see that that is where the military is probably going to have to concentrate in the future. thank you. secretary panetta, the last defense secretary before he left, gave a major speech saying that he thought the cyber attack could be the next pearl harbor. a dramatic way of saying that we have to focus on cyber warriors, cyber attacks. a lot is going on. certainly not at the level of the f-35, but secretary hagel
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did say that this was one area where they wanted to put more money, attempting to prevent cyber attacks. he referenced the f-35, the plans for it were hacked and to help jumpstart their efforts to build a similar plane. you have got to protect your intellectual property and these programs. there are a lot of ways we need to defend this country from cyber attacks, things like that. it is definitely an emerging threat. host: now that some of the details of this plan have been revealed, what are the next steps? president will reveal his broader budget next week. and then we start the debate. there will be hearings on what the priorities are in congress. congress will change up
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significantly, put in alternatives, take things out, trying to sell a plan to the president for approval. host: dion nissenbaum, >> on the next washington journal, we will look at the democrat agenda. a senator takes your programs -- questions about the keystone program. and we will be discussed by -- joined by an author to talk about the affordable care act. washington journal of live on c-span everyday at 7:00 a.m. -- is live on c-span everyday at 7:00 a.m..
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>> this week, congress is considering several proposals to reform the irs. dave camp is set to unveil his for proposal for tax reform. what are some of the things that we know already about the proposal that chairman camp will announce? >> he has been able to reduce income tax for individuals to 25%. we are hearing about a big tax on financial institutions and banks that could raise $60 billion. we are also hearing -- it is a rumor mill up here. you are hearing capital gains tax. there will be a surtax. there are a lot of different
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proposals coming out of ways and means today and coming out of k street. we have seen analysis from the joint committee on taxation. >> what are you hearing from rank-and-file members in terms of this being an election year. how are they greeting the news of a tax reform package? >> we reported this morning and last night that republicans are supported in general and in theory as a republican idea. when it comes to being a few months out of the midterm election, they are not pleased that they have to take a stance on a bill that has a lot of democratic ideals in it. they may take a whack at things that are popular with taxpayers and are bipartisanly popular.
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eric cantor in john boehner, the leaders of the republican caucus -- that has been lifted and has allowed him to go forward with a draft. there is still not support, from what we understand. democrats say that this will give them an amazing opportunity -- what they think is an amazing opportunity -- to whack republicans for being anti-middle-class or being in the pocket of big business. it will be harder to make that argument when there is the big levy on banks and the wealthy. those are democratic ideals. they will begin the opportunity in future negotiations of the budget to point to any one of
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the inclusions in dave camp's proposal and say, "hey, we can raise money by taxing financial institutions because that is a bipartisan proposal and was in dave camp's plan." >> it starts with ways and means on the house side. we are hearing mitch mcconnell saying that this package has no chance in the senate. >> that is exactly what mitch mcconnell and senators are saying. it is much more rocky. max baucus was dave camp's partner. they want to get ron wyden on board. there is much more disagreement about how much revenue should be raised. to patty murray and harry reid who say that $1 trillion should be raised and that is doa with republicans.
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there is not going to be tax reform in the house of the senate because there would be an immediate roadblock when it got to the upper chamber. like i said, they put the brakes on it last december and they seemed to alleviate that hard line a little bit to allow them to put out a draft. this is a draft and this is not a real bill. it will be written in legislative language and they have to introduce it as legislation to go forward for markup or a vote on the house floor. what we're hearing from both conservatives, members of the republican caucus, and moderates, is that it is not going to go past the debate and the discussion. he may be able to have hearings on it. it will not happen until after the midterm elections on the house floor.
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>> on house floor, you tweeted about some of this this morning. you said that in the morning lastly, what are these bills in the house that the house is considering? >> they will have more success with this bill. it will more than likely pass with a republican majority. it is a bill that would change the way 501(c)4's would how much politics they can engage in and keep tax exemptions. he says that regulation should not be allowed to go forward
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until congress completes the probes into the irs controversy. that is backed by almost every republican on board. that bill will come this week. the house is expected to vote on two pieces of legislation that would ban the irs from asking about religious, social, or political beliefs. the other would be that if the irs shared your taxpayer information with another government agency, they would have to tell you in writing about it. >> lauren french is a tax reporter for politico. thank you for the update. >> the white house issued a statement opposing the >> in a few moments discussion in connecticut about u.s. intelligence. the agenda of
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