tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 13, 2014 4:00pm-6:01pm EDT
monthly users. there is no government subsidy for joining faith and no training program for out to be on facebook. google was founded in number 1998 and has grown into a worldwide index of olives with well over a billion searches a day and a host of other today, 3-4 americans owns a smartphone. you can get a smartphone for free with a service contract or for as little as $50 online. many people in the developing world revealed they will invest in a smartphone the four indoor plumbing.
when i ask all of you, take out your smartphone if you have one. to get a sense of the audience. you are holding the entry point for a massive information system. i think it is important to understand that. every time you think the proposals in this speech are unrealistic, i want you to look at your own smartphone and the apps you already have installed. which is more presented of our future? the current failing bureaucracy or the smartphone in your hand? we have the opportunity to create a 21st-century veterans service system, empowering veterans to use their smartphones to re-center services on their lives, at their convenience, and with the veteran rather than bureaucrat in charge. this vision of a dramatically more effective, more modern,
more responsive veterans centered system is part of a much larger opportunity to think about the transition from late 19th century bureaucracy to 21st-century citizen centered government. the three major regions to have a national dialogue at the future of veterans health care, we owe it to our veterans to get them the best possible health outcomes with the greatest convenience at the lowest cost. it isn't enough to eliminate the worst aspects of the current
bureaucratic mass. we have to be able to answer the question, is this the best we can do for veterans? anything less should be unacceptable. a slightly improved bureaucracy fails that test. secondly, the lessons we learned in thinking through a 21st-century veterans health system will teach us a lot a bout the characteristics of our future health system for all. the same technologies that will improve veterans health will help improve everyone's health. third, replacing this obsolete bureaucracy with a new 21st-century system will teach us a lot about how to replace every other bureaucracy. the v.a. could be deferral runner to a generation of profound transformation in government. the changes we have seen in
information technology are so indoor mist that the next few decades will be the most creative in rethinking government since the founding fathers. virtually every field. pioneers of the future are developing new technologies am a new science: new solutions, new products, new ideas. these breakthroughs are current in the private sector, nonprofit sector, and in government. they are going to continue and accelerate. just as the founding fathers had to think through the relationship between organized power and free citizens, so we have to think through the relationship between organized public effort and the technologies which are revolutionizing our lives. my recent book outlines the scale of change has occurred around us and begins to imagine a new 21st-century model of government that takes advantage of this emerging world. our current federal bureaucracy is trapped in the late 19th century. bureaucracy is largely an intellectual pattern developed at the same time as the manual typewriter. they were the clerical requirements of carbon paper which led to a pentagon of enormous scale.
71 years ago. yet to fulfill clerical and administrative purposes dating back to the 1940's, 31,000 people still work at the pentagon. modern information technology should enable us to turn the pentagon into a triangle. we should be able to replace at least 40% of the clerical effort with modern information technology. this potential for rethinking exists throughout the government. every year the speed, convenience, accuracy, quality and affordability we see in most private sector roddick's and services keeps growing. as results, with each passing year the gap between the obsolete typewriter bureaucracy we have and the modern decentralized citizens
government we could have continues to grow. the smartphone and ipad are symbols of this gap between failing bureaucratic systems and the speed, accuracy, and convenience we are experiencing in our private lives. consider the atms. you can go virtually anywhere in the world, find an anonymous machine, insert a plastic card, punch in a code, and get local currency in 11 seconds. how many have have this experience outside of the u.s.? by contrast, it takes 175 days for medical records to move through the department of defense to the veterans administration. no one has a problem with the accuracy of their credit card statements or atm transactions. the irs sent out $4 billion in bad refunds last year. including 340 three checks to one house in shanghai. medicare and medicaid have $70 billion in fraud every year. almost every government redistribution program has
substantial fraud. the fact is that a manual typewriter bureaucracy that goes home at 5:00 cannot keep up with crooks using ipads. the on efficiency and honesty, there is a more powerful reason to rethink modern bureaucracy. the manual typewriter inevitably is focused on the bureaucrat. it is devoted to rules that make the citizens subservient. the 20th century will be digital, mobile, virtual, and personal. the government used digital, mobile, and virtual capability to empower citizens to leave -- leave their lives focused on their concerns and would be different from the current federal bureaucracy which increasingly uses its power as a tool for social control.
go to the governor of california and former mayor of san francisco has intriguingly outlined the potential for a citizen centered smartphone enabled 21st-century model of government in his book. he writes, technologies like smartphones in the cloud enable an enterprise to organize itself in a distributed fashion without central power to collaborate in ways you couldn't before. it gives power to the people. it is the first crucial step in moving away from top-down bureaucratic government choking our democracy. understanding this concept is central to understanding how the government must change and what it must become. this approach applies everywhere. the veterans administration is a particularly good starting point. the scandals, corruption, dishonesty, and failures and serving our veterans are so deep at the v.a. it is especially ripe for a fundamental rethinking that shifts from the
it gives power to the people. it is the first crucial step in moving away from top-down bureaucratic government choking our democracy. understanding this concept is central to understanding how the government must change and what it must become. this approach applies everywhere. the veterans administration is a particularly good starting point. the scandals, corruption, dishonesty, and failures and serving our veterans are so deep at the v.a. it is especially ripe for a fundamental rethinking that shifts from the manual typewriters of smartphones and from a system centered on bureaucrats to a system centered on veterans. this process of thinking
requires adopting the three principles. the problems are a systemic and non-episodic, and models are central to refocusing our thinking and analysis. second, modern information technology and its ability to empower the citizen and to dramatically improve how we organize public activities is at the heart of how we will rethink government. systems thinking in modern information technology can only work if the bureaucratic model of the 1870's is replaced with a new flexible adaptive agile system of continuous improvement , measurement of metrics, learning, and continuous willingness to reward achievement and take steps to eliminate failure. these three key steps require congress to shift from traditional oversight based on reviewing failure in playing got to, and to focusing on breakthroughs in the world that empower and best practices throughout the world, not merely the best bureaucracy. you can see a paper on congressional committees and the
concept at gingrich reductions. -- gingrich productions. it goes far beyond the recent reform bill. that bill represents a fascinating balance between the reformers push for new solutions and the prison guard of the past protecting their bureaucratic turf no matter how bad. the v.a. scandal has been big enough that the reformers want a
victory of allowing veterans not wait 30 days for a department have the choice of any dr. who accepts medicaid. this puts probably -- this was probably worth the entire bill. and one of the most remarkable steps to prevent the secretary to expedite firing of senior officials. the reformers had to agree to open 27 clinics and provide $5 billion to hiring more people for the be a your accuracy even though the current productivity is so low that modest improvements would have improved veterans health without a larger yurok received. the extra $5 billion was the price of having a socialist who believes in bureaucracy chair the veterans affairs committee. the bill that obama signed into law thursday is only a start. there is some bipartisan agreement that the reform effort needs to go further.
obama himself said this will not and cannot be the end of our efforts. daniel dillinger said in a statement that the v.a. reform package is an important step in the process to begin repairing systemic problems, but only one step, and only a beginning. the ranking republican on the veteran affairs committee agreed that the bill was only the beginning of what it will take to repair it or rent this -- her friend is a blemish -- horrendous blemish. it starts a conversation for the future. getting a bill signed into law was only the first step. now, the real work begins. senator john mccain said, "this bill is the beginning, not an end." house majority leader kevin mccarthy wrote, "a modern v.a. must except the modern world
and give veterans the ability to access private care, streamline its system, and remove bad employees." real reform is possible. only if we unshackle ourselves from the old idea that more bureaucracy, more government, more money will solve today's problems. it is time to try something new and build a 21st-century v.a. the skill of reforms needed is suggested by this interactive map, which you can find it in gretchen at gingrichproduction .com. people kept saying it is isolated, it is isolated. there are 62 sites up there. each of them allows you to go and look at the data on each site. we didn't make the case this can't possibly be random episodes.
this is a system in collapse. i am proud of the work they did. this is what is amazing about where we are. despite all the evidence, there are still supporters of bureaucratic big government who continue to believe in the current bureaucracy. in 2007 him as recline stated the v.a. lead in care quality isn't disputed. in 2011, paul krugman called it a model to be immolated for the rest of our health care system. even after the recent revelations, the true believers stayed firm. krugman wrote that, "it is still true it invites excellent care
at low cost." just member that one quote. everything he says is out of touch with reality. bernie sanders maintained, " i'm chairman of the veterans commit need -- committee. it provides high-quality health care." before i outline and propose a bold 21st-century veteran services bill, i want to examine these claims. if they are right, we will need bold reform. it is important to understand how badly broken and how deeply corrupt the current bureaucracy is. the current public outcry started when we learned 40 veterans died on a secret waiting list in phoenix. that was only the beginning. in february we learned employees
destroyed veterans medical records to hide their backlog. it became clear that the appointment system was pervasive. they found a systemic lack of integrity throughout the v.a.. the final audit confirmed corrupt scheduling practices across the department at 70% of the v.a. medical facilities surveyed. 57,000 veterans have been waiting three months for an appointment. with the scheduling practices are only the beginning. it takes 175 days to transfer a veterans medical records. the v.a. and defense department have spent $3 billion over four years attempting to build a joint system for electronic
health records before announcing in february they were giving up. as of february there were 400,000 disability claims considered backlog. they had been in process for a hundred 25 days -- 125 days. and electronic records system developed at the v.a. to help manage this problem had cost $500 million but was crippled by poor planning design an invitation -- poor planning, design, and implementation. there are lots of instances of narcotics that. this is the one that's most disturbing. patients were prescribed narcotics without seeing him a doctor. waiting times are twice the
national average. tom coburn's office found that the v.a. is spent $200 million may last 10 years in attempt to compensate victims for its mistakes. more than 1000 veterans needlessly died under the v.a. watch. the median payment for a victim was $150,000. most agreed it was not about the money. they wanted the v.a. to be held accountable. between 2006-2013, the number of full-time employees jumped 40%. from 220,000, 314,000. the budget is up even more. 90%. with 94,000 additional government employees, and twice as much money, the left believes the problem is the v.a. is underfunded. the v.a. workforce is larger
than the marine corps. compared to 200,000 marine corps. attention shrinking to 150,000, at which point they would be half as many a reins -- half as many marines. despite the competence and corruption, leadership has seem to reward the officials with performance bonuses. last year, 78 percent of the a senior managers receive these bonuses and got performance ratings of outstanding or exceeds successful. 470 the got successful or better. all of the top employees are performing wonderfully. in some cases, these bonuses were outrageously unwarranted. the former director of the v.a. medical center was paid bonuses even though the inspector
general blamed several preventable deaths. the report found that as of february 2017, there were more than 277 v.a. employees performing as union representatives on 100% of official time. they spent $42.6 million in cost related to maintaining official time. on average, private sector primary care physicians have an average caseload of $2300 -- 2300. unlike private sector hospitals, some v.a. facilities close eye 3:00 in the afternoon. getting the truth of the ms. behavior has been hard. bureaucrats have routinely lied to congress. the department misled congress about the number of deaths claiming findings were found on a systemwide review since 1999 when the numbers were based on a handful of cases.
the officials looked me in the eye and lied to me. he continued, at every turn the v.a. has thwarted effective oversight. it is a culture of cover-up and deceit. the v.a. director in alabama ensure that employees who falsified records were fired. "i have now learned that wasn't true," she said. the v.a. silences whistleblowers.
the new york times reports staff members at dozens of hospitals across the country have objected to years to falsified patient employee schedules another improper practices only to be rebuffed, disciplined, or fired. the times continues, the federal office of special counsel which investigates complaints is examining 37 cases of retaliation by employees in 19 states. the article tells the story of a doctor, from dallas. he began complaining about negligence by nurses who marks the wrong kidney. in another instance, he said medical personnel brought the wrong patient to an operating table. a supervisor told him to let some things slide because of
staffing problems. he continued writing complaints. officials considered him disruptive and fired him. the internal watchdog routinely minimize whistleblower allegations by claiming the behavioral had no effect on care. the point is there is a failure of the current system. this litany of deaths, mistry meant, violation, dishonesty, lying to congress, failing to treat our veterans should convince any reasonable person there is something deeply and profoundly wrong to let the systems of the v.a. nothing in the bill will get at the underlying corruption and the network of bureaucrats to protect each other and punish those who would blow the whistle on bad behavior. in the reform bill, only the top 400 of the 314,000 people who
work at the v.a. are affected by the fire and procedures. some have expressed worries about expedited procedures for 1/10 of 1% of the v.a. workforce. there are six different unions at the v.a. four masked are -- four master union contracts. this includes employees at taxpayer expense. they are an enormous barrier to reform. if we were serious about helping veterans these union contract would be suspended just as contract would be suspended in the private sector. all of the sistine reform bureaucracy with virtually nothing changing. bureaucracy has deep patterns of self-defense and self-preservation. it would adopt a new work ethic,
a new commitment to transparent accountability, and enthusiasm for whistleblowers is asking for failure. the scale of change we need to ensure the best possible care is greater than the recent reforms and be on the conference zone of the traditional political system. what we need are two missing components. imagination and a spirit of replacement rather than reform. first, imagination. imagine the 21st century veteran services. the greatest failure in washington is a lack of money. it is a lack of power. it isn't too much partisanship.
the greatest billiard washington is a lack of imagination. washington is so absorbed in its own petty gossip, daily activities, definition of practical and realistic, it is very hard for washington insiders to relax and let their imaginations develop the possibilities that are all round. there is a simple fact that can open up everything to the imagination. everything which currently exists and government was imagined by a president, congress, and decor. our generation has as much responsibility and as great a
right to develop a new generation of solutions as did any generation before. i want to focus on one technological breakthrough. to illustrate how dramatically imagination based on practical reality can open up the entire system to new thinking and possibilities. the smartphone is an empowering breakthrough that exists all around us. it has not begun to be integrated in the public policy solutions. think of smartphones as empowerment devices. the first and the important question is what and who is at the center of the activity. ?
the v.a. they were only an office for a brief. . the sincerity and enthusiasm of the new secretary of veterans affairs will presently run up against bureaucratic rules, hopelessly and intentionally complex policies, especially in information technology, and unwieldy union contracts. it has outlasted every president and every secretary. it isn't that secretaries were incompetent. he was immersed in the system that simply ignored management and asked for polite applause for enthusiastic speeches and then went back to bureaucracy as usual. the smartphone shatters this
bureaucratic -- it shifts the location of power to the citizen. as is the potential implied in the new book, "the responsive city." we are organizing and empowering people with smart phones. if every veteran had a smartphone, they would be empowered to gather information, to interface with health systems 24 hours a day, seven days a week. imagine further that the v.a. adopted this model for the 21st century. digital, mobile, virtual, personal. the smartphone with electronic records in the cloud and instantaneous decision-making could become the new center of gravity which would replace the bureaucratic model with the veteran centric model. consider a v.a. app for the smartphone which would enable veterans to skiable his or her appointments. you know how this works in your own life. think of your app for restaurant reservations. you tell them what food you want, what neighborhood, a list of options with reviews, you tap reserve, you get an e-mail, the
system walks off the table -- locks off the table. there is no question if you made the reservation. it has been around since 1988. zotdoc is the equivalent of opentable for doctors. you tell them what insurance you have and what type of specialist you need, it gives you 27 doctors in your area. june you choose the doctor, they get an e-mail with all your paperwork and insurance information. you show up when they are ready for you. there was no inspector general to investigate why you didn't
get an appointment. zocdoc wait time is less than 24 hours. doctors have up to 25% last minute capacity for patients who canceled and rescheduled. 15-18% of patients would otherwise be going to the emergency room. zocdoc was founded in 2007. it is now serving 5 million patients. about as many as the v.a. they have 400 employees. repeat those numbers. it serves 5 million patients a month in scheduling, about as many as the veterans administration schedules. they have 400 employees, total. the v.a. employs a thousand
programmers. zocdoc covers more than 40 specialties, 1000 types of procedures, in 48 states by the end of this year. their market cap is $400 billion. if zocdoc went to the v.a. and offer to help with their scheduling software, which they know how to integrate with lots of insurance companies, the v.a. would tell them about the 17 self-imposed requirements that prevent us from using zocdoc software. including the requirement that zocdoc has to make all of its software open source. so that i can be custom built from scratch by the v.a. they will be prepared tomorrow morning to provide the services. the bureaucracy won't let them.
one medical has app. -- an app. you can book appointments and communicate with your doctor, send pictures, send electronic prescriptions. you don't need to take an hour out of your day to go in. imagine if a 21st-century v.a. had this capability. doctors could see dramatically more patients in a day. veterans could get dramatically faster care. imagine if the veteran smartphone had a prescription app. every doctor could see every prescription. sometimes you need to go to the doctors office and they can take your vitals.
one app takes your temperature, your blood pressure, your heart rate, your ecg, in your lung function in a couple of seconds. it costs $199. imagine if instead of going to the v.a. medical center, they could send this information to their doctor right from their smartphone. scott gottlieb had a great paper, asserting that the fda will say that it subjects the smartphone as a medical device. another example, there is a company in california that is automated the 1000th most common medical lab tests, all of which can be performed using just a few drops of blood. the service was rolling out in walgreens. give a few drops of blood, have the results e-mailed to your smartphone by the time you walk out the door. they are committed to charging 50 percent of the medicare reimbursement rate or less. imagine if instead of waiting months for such tests, veterans could go to their local pharmacy and have it on their smartphone in the afternoon, all at cheaper
costs. there are enormous challenges with veterans and mental health. imagine if instead of waiting for problems to develop, support started immediately, reaching the veterans over there smartphones. apps could help walk veterans through the process of transitioning back to civilian life. imagine if online support similar to facebook could help veterans form a community to talk to each other about their shared experiences and help identify veterans who may need a higher level of support, all at very little cost. before other challenges, like homelessness, begin to compound. imagine that these systems, the scheduling applications, the doctors visits, the prescription functions, were automatically available. they inform both the veterans and the higher levels of the
v.a. of problems in a timely way. los angeles could not have deleted the names if the information was on the smartphone. that's profoundly different. all of this is very different from, "the department we will need to continue to expand the use of digital technology to free human resources that can be applied to the care of veterans." one of the key tests of rethinking the administration is whether the primary focus should be internally, on improving and strengthening the bureaucracy, or externally, on empowering and strengthening the veterans. in his keynote address, secretary mcdonnell described the traditional philosophy perfectly. "we are going to judge the success of our -- veterans outcomes." v.a. is the customer service
organization. we serve veterans. if we fail at serving veterans, we have a lot of work to do. there is a huge jump between serving veterans and empowering veterans. the bureaucracy remains the center of activity in serving veterans. in empowering veterans, the veterans become the center of activity. secretary mcdonald does not understand how big is imagination must become to be successful. he states, "we are updated the antiquated appointment scheduling system, beginning with near-term enhancements to existing systems, leading to the acquisition of the copperheads of, state-of-the-art scheduling system. i believe the department will need to continue to expand the use of digital technology to free human resources." the real challenges are much larger and more complex then he
can imagine. nothing in his business career prepared him for the regulatory, legal and bureaucratic barriers which make progress in washington so difficult and so slow. that is why i believe replacement, not reform, has to be the goal. in order to take advantage of modern information technologies and empower veterans with smart homes, we have to do more than marginally reform obsolete bureaucracy. we have to think through the principles of organizing human activity in a world of ubiquitous, real-time, mobile computing and information available 20 47. personalized to each individual connect the vast computing and data storage of a worldwide network. every process of the current bureaucracy works to prevent this from happening. for example, one of the most successful scheduling companies offer to provide its proven technology to the v.a. and was
told that federal law and self-imposed internal regulations made it impossible. what is true of v.a. information-technology acquisition is true across the entire federal government. president obama outline the information technology last year, and explaining the gap between the brilliance of his two campaigns and using information technology and the failure of the obamacare website. "what is true is that our i.t. systems, how we purchased technology and the federal government, is cumbersome, complicated, and outdated. this is in a situation where, on my campaign, i could simply say, who were the best folks out there, let's get them around a table. if you are doing it at the federal government level, you are going through 40 pages of specs in this and that, and
there are all kinds of laws involved and it makes it more difficult. it is part of the reason why federal i.t. programs are over budget." sadly, the president didn't leap from this absolutely correct analysis to propose that congress profoundly overhaul the information technology procurement laws. google founders noted the same artificial challenges and health. -- in health. "generally, health is just so heavily regulated, it is such a painful business to be in. it is not how i want to spend my time. even though we do have some health projects and will be doing that to a certain extent, but i think the regulatory burden is so high that it would dissuade a lot of entrepreneurs." secretary mcdonnell will soon learn why the defense department and administration announced in february that they were abandoning a multibillion-dollar project. entire sections of law involving
information-technology have to be replaced is not merely reformed. -- and not merely reformed. only one congress steps up to the plate will we be in a position to start using our imagination to develop the replacement system which is necessary if we are truly going to help our veterans. there are first steps we can take for the 21st-century veteran service system. ideally, president obama would recognize that the overwhelming bipartisan vote for the v.a. reform bill, the speed and anonymity -- indicate that there is a rare zone of bipartisan opportunity to develop a better system. if you would reach out for the congressional republicans and pursue new thinking, he could have an enormous positive response. they should launch a series of visionary hearings, bringing in new technologies and new
capabilities and exploring how to move from bureaucratic centered systems to veterans and power systems. secretary mcdonnell has an opportunity to outlined changes -- outline changes. because the a is such a patriotic and compelling cause, the secretary wolf wind pioneering leaders in every field who will work with him to develop a new 21st-century program. each of us can tweet, facebook, even talk with folks about the new potential, the new opportunity, the new obligation we have to bring the best to our veterans by empowering them with all the tools the 21st century. thank you for giving me this
opportunity. [laughter] [applause] we will take questions. if anyone has a comment, question. >> i am peter, a law student. how would you address a privacy issue concerns? veterans might be a little hesitant of putting their information on the cloud. >> i think there's going to be a permanent challenge of privacy. i think we have very draconian laws about violating privacy, particularly as it relates to medical records. on the other hand, i would suggest -- if you look at the way records have been handled the v.a. right now, you can make it optional. if you don't want to take the risk, you can continue to be in a bureaucratically centered system. my experience with most people is that people are more and more willing to have the convenience, accuracy, speed -- then we have
to have systems that are fighting against hacking. i think we should have very strong laws for people who violate privacy. it is threatening the whole society. >> mr. speaker, i was part of the united states air force. there seems to be a clear lack of bipartisanship and a clear lack of leadership from all sides of government, a government that can even reform a tax code, that was too many pages long so that the experts can't even tell you what's right. you get charged, lose your money. what makes you think that any change to the ba system is going to ever happen? >> first of all, we just had a bill passed by a very large, bipartisan majority. the bill contained a surprising amount of reform, much more than you would expect a year ago.
the secretary was just approved by 93-0, the fastest approval of any secretary in recent times. it gives us an opportunity to talk to this. it rapidly becomes hard. there's a reason these bureaucracy survive, they are very good at fighting to protect their turf. that leaves towards the partisanship. i do think strong ideas that are supported by the country have a tendency to bring people together because the country forces them together. >> on the global policy fellow. -- google policy fellow. are you proposing to give smartphones to all veterans? how would you suggest digital literacy, teaching veterans to use smartphone technology if they are not familiar? >> i am biased because, my 82-year-old mother routinely plays "words with friends" with
four different people. routinely keeps up with facebook. five years ago, she would've thought it was impossible. people learn and adapt. this is true if you are dealing with populations the size of veterans -- you recognize, the smartphone system, the sheer computing power, it would enable you to put things online that are audio and video. for somebody who literally can't read all, you can give them an audio opportunity, video opportunity to be informed you would not be able to if you were in a bureaucracy. bureaucracy will produce a brochure no one reads. people don't like to read very much. you have to know everything
about the brochure to understand the brochure, so you don't read it because you can understand it. if you go to something like dueling go -- duolingo, which teaches separate different languages for free. duolingo has more language students and all the language classes in the u.s. combined. you can imagine a circumstance where people like duolingo will have literacy for people who speak english. they will be able to go online to learn how to be literate. at the margin, if you want to say, here's a person with a severe mental problem and they have a severe set of wounds and they have a -- they are 86 years old, you can create specific people for whom none of this works.
the current v.a. doesn't work, either. i think we have a better chance of inventing someone that will work then the current bureaucracy does. >> i'm a researcher. when this crisis erupted and veterans decided to go out and see anyone that was willing to see them since the weight was so long, the government indicated that they would pick up the tab. through some means, the v.a. would pay for it. do we need to develop special rates for this kind of activity? as a way to solve the crisis? why not like something like medicare? doctors would pay for care, the same amount of money, something has been done that should be done? i don't know smartphones was assessed. >> i do know the details. i am very skeptical because the v.a. has to regulations for the implementation of all of this. i wonder how easy those would be. for example, is it actually -- does it increase the income of positions? there is a 25% cancellation rate, which means 25% are not making any money. they just increase their income by a substantial amount. how do you have an interface with the doctor is winning and the patient is winning? the best is a free society is for everybody to win. >> good afternoon. i live here in the district.
committed to assisting veterans, also believing in good government, also wanting to have conversations with people and their government, i am certain that the faces and voices that look and sound like me are heard and seen. what i would like to do in front of everyone here is to invite you to have dinner with me and my friends, veterans, from a grassroots level, ordinary american citizens, your ideas,
so that people don't always have to go outside of washington. there are people here in the district, even though the veterans in the city don't have full equal voting representation in congress as they should. they would like to invite you to have dinner in my home. we could talk and get a schedule. you could, one of your regular visits to the nation's capital. it is up the street from cnn. >> video chat with vince afterwards, we will find a time. -- if you will chat with vince afterwards, we will find the time to get together. >> i'm a policy analyst with the american heart association.
he talked about the regulatory uncertainty regarding mobile application. the report, which i am sure you are familiar with, categorized mobile applications based on wellness applications, clinical, and health care giving. they didn't really define them. i am wondering, how is this initiative going to progress with such regulatory uncertainty? >> i think there are bills in both the house and senate that are bipartisan, that pushed back pretty hard against the fda. what you had to have is some ability to measure whether or not something works. i think that is a retrospective, not a prospect of ability. if you make it a hurdle to actually launch into these things -- the fda has been in charge, steve jobs would not have been able to found apple. microsoft wouldn't exist. those guys were in the wild environments making lots of
mistakes and developing products, many of which didn't work. there are now 93,000 medical apps or health apps. the idea that the fda bureaucracy is going to slow down their admission until some bureaucrat has approved them, i think that should horrify everyone. you probably have a standard which i think exists in state law, in terms of fraud -- we bought someone with an ekg on his smartphone. we bought 12. one, too. it takes an ekg and says that your cardiologist. it's amazing. if somebody says, i am making an ekg, they are liable for fraud.
you don't need the fda to approve it. there ought to be a fraud standard applied for the stuff, but it does not require that the government bureaucracies become primary hindrances to the system. i think you are going to see an extraordinary revolution in the impact on smartphones, and i only use smartphone as a generic concept of mobile capability of communication on the 24/7 basis. i think it is going to explode in the next few years. >> thank you for offering us more of your best and brightest ideas. we are very appreciative.
it is extra start if you start -- smart of you to start with the v.a., because veterans are crossing all boundaries. almost all american support veterans will stop thank you for starting with them, to help improve the bureaucracy. what do we do, which suggestion do you have, for the people who will lose their jobs because of this long needed rollback in cleaning up of this bureaucracy at the ba and other departments in washington? >> i think it depends on which people you're talking about. if your member that long section on what's wrong, those people should lose their jobs. i have no problem saying that -- a nurse who substituted water for morphine should be fired this afternoon. second, as you shrink, -- you put in a hiring freeze. they discovered that with a hiring freeze, a west virginia state employment dropped 10%
year. that number of people retired or left or moved on. i would suggest that they ought to have a retraining program. they will give you the right to bid on another job. that doesn't mean you have to make people unemployed, that is the same challenge every business in america faces. we have been through a tough economy. bureaucrats don't have an automatic right to say you owe me a lifetime job. there is a political reality, which is how hard they will fight. you want to make it as unthreatening as possible but you do want to manage a dramatic transition. i am a strong national security person, i am a hawk, but i tell people i am a cheap hawk.
i think we ought to shrink the pentagon to a triangle, because there is no reason to have 31,000 people pushing paper at the center of the defenses to many more. that was the tip of the iceberg. when you look at the distributed people who work at the pentagon. let me just say, as always, i'm delighted to be back, we appreciate the audience -- i was grateful that you introduced me. i hope you found this a useful starting point. the actual texts available are available at gingrichproductions.com, and aei. tank you all very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014]
>> part of this years aspen ideas festival in colorado. he can to be discussions and i starting at 8:00 eastern on c-span. discussionsee these here starting at 8:00 eastern on c-span. >> here are some of the highlights for this weekend. they visit the technology fair on capitol hill. sunday on q&a political buchanan onpat friday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern. look for hillary clinton, barack obama, and edward snowden. standard's dano halper. saturday at 6:00 a.m. eastern on
the civil war. 4:00 p.m.real america let us know what you inc. about the programs you are watching. or e-mail this number us at email@example.com. like on a and follow us on twitter. facebook and follow us on twitter. >> a recommendation to rescue a group of iraqis trapped on a mountain. this is about 40 minutes. let the deputyo national security advisor lead us off. the nitty-gritty on foreign policy and i will flesh everything else out.
>> let me begin with an overview of the residence morning. he did a phone call with netanyahu. they were focused on ongoing efforts to get a sustainable cease-fire in place with wrist to to gaza. -- with respect gaza. >> can you let us know the -- event thinking though that wouldn't be combat on the ground, wouldn't that put ?mericans at risk >> we have a specific objective with respect to the humanitarian situation. that is to get food, water, and emergency supplies and to take thetrike as they threaten
people on the mountain. they have taken seven airstrikes. at the same time there needs to be a lasting solution that get them to a safe space. 130president has authorized military personnel who will assess the situation. make recommendations inut how to follow through an effort to get people off that mountain to a safe place. they are cooperating with us as well. the are not going to be and combat role. they are there to make assess and about how to get the population off that mountain. there are a range of ways to do that.
decisions made because we want to get a readout first. i think relatively quickly. we don't believe it sustainable airdrops.rmanent some of them have been able to us gave. we are going to be cooperating with kurdish forces also in the region. work withs to to gettional parties them to a safe place. we don't believe that involve a combat role in iraq. we believe that involve logistical strategy. >> it would be some danger to
u.s. personnel involved in a >> even now that. we have highlighted flying over -- pilot flying over iraq. there are always dangers involved. notrole of u.s. forces is one of entering combat on the ground. it is how to provide assistance to the affect did population. kinetic action those are in the forms of airstrike. fire -- y come under >> the bottom line, force protection is always a position for u.s. personnel and anyone in we already have
military personnel therefore the purpose of detecting those facilities. and the u.s. military personnel has the ability to protect themselves. the purpose and the mission is not to engage in combat. >> what do you make that isis does pose a national security threat to the united states? >> the president has ordered this to iraq. we absolutely believe it poses a threat. we are focusing on dealing with threat in iraq.
the airstrikes have given space for kurdish forces to engage. we are always monitoring not just the security of our people but also monitoring the potential plot against the united dates, and we will ontinue to do that. >> is one creating a safe corridor or for getting off the mountain? >> there are a range of options. what theing to rely on back. yout -- give look at ways to move people to a safer position. that is what our team is doing are you willing to consider the option of sending a
certain amount of troops with the purpose of establishing a safe corridor? >> we haven't made that decision. we want to see what options are .vailable we have u.s. hersen now who could potentially be involved. -- u.s. personnel who could be involved. we have kurdish forces. we have we willional forces look at what is the safest way to get those people off that mountain. the president will be making decisions about what they found on the ground there in iraq. >> the president said again and again no ground troops in iraq. does that extend to the idea of
a safe corridor? are you saying the president hasn't ruled out sending additional troops to establish a thoseorridor or for refugees to get off the mountain . >> he hasn't received a recommendation. there are a variety of ways in which we can support the safe removal of those people from the mountain. we have people on the ground .orking with those forces seeking to combat the threat and bring people to a safe space. as we make decisions about the best course of action to bring those people to safety we will be transparent about that. i think the principle holds.
we are using military personnel to assess what is the best way to provide humanitarian and. -- human italian assistance. of the reinforcements intecting our facilities baghdad. >> what information does the u.s. have about how many people are stranded? >> there have been estimates that go into the tens of thousands. we believe some number of thousands of evil have been able to escape from the mountain but not in a safe enough way we are confident the remaining people trapped can get off. dot of what these teams can is try to get an understanding
of the scope of the challenge on the mountain. we have also provided over 100,000 meals. 27,000 gallons of water. we will continue those airdrops. the british have done airdrops. we have had offers of assistance from france, canada, australia. people onting aid to the mountain while trying to determine the best means to get them to a safe lays. -- safe place. >> maliki is showing resistance to stepping down as their. down.pping >> i think the messages there is a peaceful process in place to get a new government for iraq. there is a new president. there is a news eager. -- new speaker.
as she alliances put forward. now the president has asked to form a government. the prime minister does meet in iraq. that is the process and all iraqis have to respect. any efforts to derail that process or use violence in that of working peacefully will be rejected not just why the united i the community. we want to see a peaceful context for this to conclude. to date the process is moved or were. -- forward. he is still there.
ebay -- a 30 day period for him to form his government. that is an ongoing process. is this is message the process consistent with the iraq he comes into sin that is going to lead to a new government. consistent with the iraqi constitution that is going to lead to a new government. this is what the iraqis themselves have decided to do. it is important for the different factions that have put forward. the white house will be very glad to see a new government in place. necessary to is
bring the country together. have people working together. you had a sunni population that he came this affect did. that led to a loss of confidence in certain parts of iraq. a are often asked what is long-term strategy. i think it is clear. you get a new government in place. that gives what is necessary to turn the focus on combating. we will be involved with equal thing and advice. then we can begin to squeeze the place and start to push them that is the opportunity we ave with this new government.
>> the humanitarian effort, does that extend to getting refugees off the mountain? personnel to help distribute the aid being dropped? >> they have a presence on the mountain and will certainly be cooperating. you heard prime minister cameron indicate today they are cooperating with us in those efforts as well. the united kingdom has been fully in coordination with us in humanitarian assistance. again, we have offers of support from a number of allies like france, australia, canada. we will be in discussions with them about what they can do,
both as it relates to helping the yazidi population has been trapped on the mountain but also more broadly helping bring relief to the displaced persons in northern iraq, which includes not just yazidis but an enormous number of iraqi christians and others who have been driven from their homes by isil. >> are you concerned about the chaos that would be cause by just dropping supplies in there and letting the people sorted out? >> again, we have done several airdrops. i think every night. we have good fidelity on where the food and water is dropping, and we are watching how that reaches the population, and we are able to make sure we are trying to drop food and water in places where we believe people are concentrated. we have done these types of humanitarian airdrops in other instances, so again, we have an ability to focus on where we
believe people are most impacted, but part of what these assessment teams will do, who are going to northern iraq, is get a better understanding of the situation on the mountain, where folks are, so that can help inform, again, but how we move them off the mountain but also how we are providing that humanitarian assistance. >> if it is not being equitably distributed, does that suggest an american presence on the mountain? >> when you talk about 100 thousand meals, 27,000 gallons of water, that is not including the british support -- there's clearly a lot of food and water and other support that is reaching the mountain and the people on the mountain, but he would be the first to acknowledge that is not a permanent solution. just dropping food and water in perpetuity from the air. that is what we are turning our focus to right now. >> i think you can appreciate the specificity of this question -- when the president asks military advisers for recommendations, he spells out his own limits.
has the president told his military advisers, "don't bring the recommendation including u.s. military personnel on the ground as part of a corridor to remove the yazidis or anyone else?" is that off the table as far as what the president is asking for as far as actionable decisions, or has he said that if there's a way that u.s. troops can expedite that, he's open to that? >> i say two things -- first is we have a range of ways that we can support this type of effort. the president's one limiting factor he has communicated repeatedly in public and to the military is we do not want to be reintroducing u.s. forces into a combat role on the ground. what i'm saying is he is open to recommendations in which the united states is helping to facilitate the removal of these people from the mountain, which
we believe is separate from saying u.s. forces will be redeployed in iraq in a combat role but take the fight to isil. the people on the ground fighting isil are the kurdish forces in iraq and security forces. we are taking action from the air on the objective of protecting our people and providing humanitarian space for the yazidis, in particular on the mountain. if there are additional things we can do, he will certainly review those options. >> defining it as a humanitarian mission does not mean it is not dangerous and does not mean it could not turn into a combat situation. >> absolutely, there are dangers
involved with any military situation. we would absolutely acknowledge that. there's dangers when pilots are flying. there's dangers when you are in a difficult situation as we are in iraq, but he is confident that we can have a limited military objective. when people talk about whether or not the united states is going to be drawn more into another war in iraq on the ground, i think what they need to know is we have laid out with the objectives are for our military, which are protecting our people and carry out the humanitarian mission. the broader effort to take the fight to isil on the ground is being carried out by iraqi and kurdish forces with our training, arming, advice, but again, they are the ones engaged in combat, not just around the perimeter, but around other parts of iraq. >> thank you. >> thanks. >> i have one quick announcement, and then we can
get to your questions. president obama set a goal early in his first term to lay the foundation for the united states to lead the world with the highest proportion of college graduates by 2020. last january, the president asked college presidents to increase college opportunity for all americans because a college degree remains one of the surest ways to get into the middle class and is an especially powerful engine of social and economic nobility. today, we are pleased to announce two things -- first, 14 additional community colleges as well as new private sector partnerships are joining this effort. they will join more than 100 colleges and 40 nonprofits across the country who have been working to advance college opportunity earlier this year. second, the president and first lady will host the white house's second college opportunity summit on december 4 of this
year. this year's summit will focus on building strong k-12 and higher education partnerships to encourage more students to go to college and to finish their degree, especially for first generation, low income, and underrepresented students. these efforts have inspired engagement in support of the progress of educational leaders, who have taken collective action in their schools and communities to do all they can to help more low-income students prepare and succeed in college. with that, i will take your questions. >> can you give us the president's reaction to secretary clinton's interview in "the atlantic" this week? >> i think we addressed this yesterday. the president indeed appreciated secretary clinton's call, as he does every opportunity to chat with the former secretary of state. they have a close and resilient relationship. i think you will remember that in 2007, as some of you covered, in about the presidential debates and even after a hard-fought nomination contest, the president felt strongly he wanted her to be a key member of his team. that is why secretary clinton was the president's partner for
four years and managing a wide array of complicated foreign policy situations. they continue to agree on a broad majority of issues confronting our country if they -- even if they have the occasional foreign-policy difference. the president appreciates her counsel and advice but more importantly her friendship, and that's why he looks forward to seeing her this evening. >> was he upset [inaudible] >> i'm not going to get into a behind the scenes here. i will say the president appreciated her call yesterday, as he does every opportunity to chat with secretary clinton. i know secretary clinton's folks put out a short read out of that call, but we are looking onwards and upwards. >> can you talk about what is going to happen tonight [inaudible] >> sure.
as i'm sure most americans watching who have a birthday party, they would all love you to join them. i do not expect access for this private social gathering of someone's birthday. i understand the press interest, so we will try to get you a sense of some sort of readout of what happens after the fact. >> [inaudible] >> that's correct. that's it? jim. >> to try -- cute try. [inaudible] secretary clinton said she wanted to hug it out. >> i believe the president and secretary clinton have had many hugs over the past few years. i suspect many of them have been
caught on camera. again, i appreciate the request, but i do think this is a private social gathering for someone's birthday, so it will be hard to bring all of you lovely people in. >> [inaudible] >> sure. i'm not sure anyone in this room would contest that doing stupid stuff is a good idea, but i also don't think anyone at the white house would assert that that is the -- how we would describe our approach to foreign-policy. if you are looking for a description of how the president views the role of the united states in the world, i would urge you to look at the speech at west point a few months ago, which i think many of you were
at. we do have sound fundamental organizing principles that dictate how the president views the role of the united states in the world. number one, that is confronting any threat to the national security interests of the united states. the president has said he will not hesitate on that front, and i would also urge you to read a little bit further in which he talks about how military action cannot be the only an primary component of our leadership in every instance. just because we have a hammer does not mean we have to hit every nail. i think the president has taken a thoughtful approach to these issues and laid out his guidelines for you, but our bottom line is the united states will use military force unilaterally if necessary when our core interest demand it. most recently, you heard the president talk about our willingness to act on behalf of human dignity, and america's support for human rights goes beyond idealism. as the president said, it is
part of our charge. >> did the failure of the support of moderate rebels fuel the rise of isis? >> we have heard this critique. secretary clinton wrote about it in her book. we know that was an honest policy difference that the president -- >> [inaudible] what is new here if she is saying that this failure -- that's her word -- of the president has fueled the rise of this terrorist group that we are now bombing in northern iraq. >> the president has been clear in a number of press conferences and interviews why he did not want to rush to provide military assistance to the syrian opposition. as you may recall, he talked about how it could have fallen into the hands of isis. instead, we waited until we got to know the operation that the opposition better and work to provide them nonlethal assistance. >> just because this has been a sore point in the past, if we are not going to be there, can
you assure us there will be no other coverage -- meaning white house -- coverage of this event this evening? meaning twitter or flickr. >> you are asking me to resend my invite? your point is well taken. >> how comfortable is the president with the idea that republicans now running in midterm elections can quote hillary clinton in criticizing obama foreign-policy, but a sizing -- criticizing obama foreign-policy? >> i'm not going to do diagnostics of the midterms from here. i will say the president has been very clear. the guiding principles that guide each of his foreign-policy decisions -- secretary clinton and the president have brought agreements on a wide range of issues. that's why they worked so effectively for four years, even when there are small policy differences. >> the president had a fundraiser a couple of days ago. republicans do not even have to say don't listen to them but
listen to the former secretary of state. >> i will not handicap potential republican campaign ads from the podium today. keeping the senate majority is a priority for the president. that's why he did attend the fundraiser. he looks forward to doing what he can to maintain the majority. >> [inaudible] any second thoughts about whether this was a good idea? >> as you know, the president is the president wherever he goes. he travels with a wide array of communications equipment and a staff that allows us to have robust operational capabilities. in the strip, that includes national security adviser stephen rice, deputy national security adviser ben rhodes,
deputy chief of staff, anita breckenridge, and very capable communications professionals. there are, of course, ongoing complicated situations in the world, and that is why you have seen the president stay engaged. saturday, he spoke with prime minister cameron, prime minister hollande, give an update from the south lawn and took questions. while here, he spoke with prime minister erdogan and prime minister renzi. he also had multiple national security briefings. there's never a perfect time for the president to take some time away with his family, but i think we can also all agree that it is valuable to recharge your batteries. i do not think the american people begrudge their president were taking some down time with his family. >> josh said last week we might learn more about emergency
meetings. care to shed some light on that? >> the president is still planning on returning to washington sunday for meetings at the white house. i don't have too much more detail about that. we'll have more as the time comes. the president will be meeting with vice president biden while he's back in washington. >> [inaudible] return with him to washington for that brief session with advisers. >> some of us will be returning. some of us will be staying at lovely martha's vineyard. >> who will be returning? >> i'll give you the manifest as soon as i can. >> the reason i ask is that would indicate the level of seriousness of what is going on back in washington.
>> could you talk little bit about what the first family has been doing for the last couple of days? have they been reading? has the first lady been exercising, working out? talk a little bit about what their day is like? >> i do think it is fair to call this a working vacation. i think probably an apt label for any presidential vacation. the president remains engaged, getting briefed with foreign leaders, updating you all on ongoing situations, but i can also say the president is enjoying downtime with his family. they have dined out at some of martha's vineyard's wonderful establishments and had a few meals in. the president attended a fundraiser to help keep the democratic majority in the united dates senate, and as you know, he will be attending a social gathering this evening. you may notice the president has already enjoyed a few rounds of golf, and i suspect you could see more of that to come. >> what kind of activities are the president and first lady involved in?
>> i don't have private moments on the family's vacation to read out to you right now from the podium. i can tell you that sasha arrives next week and malia will be traveling back with the president on sunday. >> [inaudible] immigration in addition to working on foreign-policy issues this week. can you give us an update? >> the update on that timing is that it remains the end of summer. as you know, the president has
been looking at what he can do given that house republicans failed to bring up the comprehensive immigration bill -- the bipartisan immigration bill that passed the senate, and he asked his team to take a look. we put that timeline at the end of summer. i think that still holds. >> [inaudible] >> they are very close friends. they came through a very heated primary contest in 2007. after that contest, the president asked i guess then
senator clinton to be part of his administration. the president spoke about having a team of rivals be a member of his cabinet because he wanted strong, powerful voices who would offer candid advice. that is why i think they were such a strong partnership for the past four years in confronting challenges across the world and advancing america's interests in each of those instances. since leaving the white house, i know they have been in touch regularly, both in person and over the phone, and again, they look forward to chatting tonight. kathleen. >> [inaudible] has the president ever sought out secretary clinton's advice on foreign-policy? >> he definitely values her opinion, and they definitely both talk -- when they see each other, they talk socially and catch up on each other's
personal lives, but i'm sure they talk about the pressing issues of the day as well. >> [inaudible] is the president going to be asking democrats to return money contributed? >> no. >> why not? [inaudible] >> as you know, we are not privy to the details and have no role in any individual companies' plans, but the president is focused on stopping the problem, and stopping companies from announcing their citizenship
test it get out of paying their fair share of taxes is something that cannot wait. that's why the president called on them to do this. we are going to continue to explore whether there are steps we can take with or without congress to further encourage companies to build businesses and create jobs here at home. >> [inaudible] >> i would understand skepticism or if we would not -- if we were not doing something to tackle the problem, but instead, we are going after any company that renounces its u.s. citizenship in order to pay less in taxes. >> [inaudible] >> we are announcing the practice of using shifty accounting -- we are renouncing the practice of using shifty
accounting in order to avoid paying their fair share, which subsequently passes onto middle-class families. >> [inaudible] >> john, i had a lot of thoughts and suggestions for the president could designate to take this challenge, some of whom sit in this room. however, we think that the president is going to make a financial contribution instead. as i said, the president has actually already made a financial contribution on this. >> [inaudible] >> i don't know if he does. i'll have to check. i don't have the amount for you. quit the president put out a statement yesterday on the death of michael brown. just wondering if the president has a response to these latest developments and what his personal thoughts are. >> i don't have a response to
any latebreaking developments overnight. i will say that yesterday, the president and first lady sent their condolences to the family of michael brown. officials at the department of justice have begun monitoring the situation and working with local investigators on a whole and the road investigation. the president said yesterday he believes the best way to honor the memory of michael is through home -- calm and reflection throughout the country as details emerge on what happened. the president and first family send their condolences to the family on this difficult time. i would add that the department of justice has been dedicating resources to this, and we have been in touch with civil rights
leaders, both in the area and nationally. peter. >> [inaudible] >> i can assure you we are not anticipating a major announcement on immigration when the president is in washington this weekend. >> [inaudible] >> can you ask that again? >> [inaudible] >> i don't know. i don't have those meetings set up for you. as soon as i have those details, i will make sure we get them to you. >> [inaudible] >> as has been expressed, we are supportive of the steps iraqi government has been taking. we have seen real concrete progress over the last weeks and
months on this front, and we have contact at all levels of the government both at the principal level -- the vice president read out a call yesterday. the president has made a few calls and also members of the national security team as well as over at the state department. again, our belief is the people of iraq need to select their government, and you've seen quite a bit of progress on that front over the last few weeks. >> will briefings potentially occur here or in washington? >> i do not anticipate briefings
at the white house. >> [inaudible] >> i think the president was speaking generally about the opportunity to fill vacancies if they were to arise. he was not picking about any specific vacancy. >> [inaudible] >> again, i'm going to let you all decide your movements. we do not anticipate any major movements out of washington
those next few days. as far as what is going on here, you just have to be in touch. we still have a few days before sunday. thanks, guys. >> live now to the center for strategic and international studies for discussion on the trade relationship between south korea, japan, and the united states. from >> tonight we hear government executives about tracking an outbreak of talks into americans -- pox into americans trace to prairie dogs. they doeason
investigate animals is emerging animals and people are off and traced by two animals. -- often traced back to animals. the first hint we had some a had gone terribly wrong, you can see this is a three-year-old girl who lived in the and. -- wisconsin. skineveloped very odd lesions. i was the first generation of kids that did not get a smallpox back the and. there were many leaders who dedicated their careers to eradicating this disease. they took one look and said, that is smallpox. anotherworried when case was reported from wisconsin. these cases did not know each other. he had one piece of history in common. they had both in bitten by six sick petie dogs. --
we will have >> more from both tv with a focus on iran and the united states. that is on the c-span networks. tomorrow a look at foreign policy in the so-called obama. -- doctrine. also the investigative reporter for the washington examiner top onut his recent. of articles congressional incumbency. see washington journal every morning at the vanadium east are in. >> this month sees them --
c-span presents what makes america great. issues bob light with in-depth turin -- issues spotlight with in-depth looks. new perspectives on issues like mobile warming, fighting infectious diseases, and art history tour. find our tv schedule one week in at an, and let us know what you think about the programs you are watching. call us or e-mail us. join the conversation. facebook. >> the chair of the senate committee on intelligence talks about the threat to national security and ways to address it.
this is just over an hour. [applause] >> thank you very much. thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts. i usually find i learn as much from you as you learn from me about what is owing on in california and what is going on in the rest of the world. the privilege of working with a number of my including the vice chair for the last four years. i was on the committee for eight years prior to that.
diane was a good friend and a great leader and someone i enjoyed working with. chairmanshipd my on homeland security committee. jane harmand friend was the ranking member on that sub committee. dodgedeled the world and some bullet on very unusual places. i always enjoy working with californians. i am pleased to be here today. i thought i would guard by taking a moment to tell you what is going on in the senate. that, wei have done will move on to other issues. there is not a lot going on in the senate these days.
we had a number of crises we should be addressing. occasionally we do have a problem like the veterans which hastion bill already been signed into law. of how the senate took placething californiae we left. is right in the middle along with our southern orders date of having to deal with the crisis of taking these young children. it is mostly adult. children being driven to the border by what used to be
and we arertels trying to deal with the problem of what to do with them and how we are going to ultimately deal with these young people. they bring all sorts of issues. by theve been so abused time they get there. we need to talk about these issues. congress has a responsibility to deal with that. to pass lot of activity a bill that deals with this issue. moneyuse authorized some to provide for these young folks and to provide not just food and housing but try to figure out a
them andther integrate reunite them with their families. we had a senate bill that came up before us. votee called back into before a judge. we did that and then voted for cloture, to go to the order security bill. there were a lot of republicans like me who joined with democrats to vote to proceed with the bill because it is an issue we need to address head-on.
i wanted the opportunity to debate a bill. then if they don't pass, you vote them up or down at the end of the day. with the leadership has done is we will have this vote to go to and instead of giving amendment, the leader has his own amendment. he allows no debate on amendments republicans or democrats want to offer. will have ay we vote to get off the bill. up, and we will repeat the cycle.
this issue is something i do hope we will have the opportunity to address. have been in congress 20 in the armed been service committee. have done inars i the senate. i have been in the senate intelligence committee. when you're vice chairman or chairman, it puts you in a different addition from an in thation standpoint whatever the intelligence agency , they share information that
doesn't go to other members of committee. diane and i knew about the plan seven orown bin laden eight months before it happened. i became vice-chairman in january. informationkind of when i think of the way the world was. i think of the difference in the way the world is today, is it ever different. today we have ongoing conflicts in afghanistan and iraq. we have a situation in libya.
and any number of countries in north africa and the middle east. is the everituation continuing conflict between and israel -- between palestinians and israelis. let's face it. whether it is a military conflict, economic disaster. look to us isy they know we are going to a know we are going to respond in a positive way. we are now in the middle of each s in ase conflict different way. continuesion in iraq
to deteriorate. i was in a meeting with the onte house before we left friday. there were about 10 of us from the house and the senate call down there. we had a sitdown with the president to review all of these issues before we got to our -- rate.te. -- august break. i said, mr. president, here are the issues that in my mind are the most serious ones facing you. we're still trying to feel our way through syria. we do know there have been 170,000 people in theory --
last killed over the months and years. bashar al-assad is a man we ought not to leave in power. that is an issue the president continues to wrestle with every day. the other issue is what is going on in iraq today. there is no need to rehash why we went into iraq. the situation is the way it is. there is no reason to rehash whether we should have let troops are not. we did not, and we have to deal with the situation on the ground today. toughesident has decisions to make. i want him to know because of the information i get, i get information relative to how bad it is on the ground. you don't have to be in those closed session to go to u2 and
see where a christian man -- youtube and see where a christian men were taken to a bus and beheaded because they would not read out their loyalty to christianity. these are not good people. these are the kind of people when they have the opportunity they will come to american soil. we do have a vested interest in iraq because we have a number of different nurse in albert. we are -- we have a number of
different issues. john and i were talking earlier. there has been criticism of the intelligence committee for not giving us a warning they were going to move the way they did. we knew where it was going. we were having briefings. iraq.is a guy inside of he is a guy we have known for many years to be involved in the .ffshoot we know he was organizing a group of fault. what we did not know was that the organized group of militants attacked inside iraq. we did not know that the iraqi
military were going to lay down their arms and run. and that is basically what they did. the other thing that we as americans have a hard time understanding about that part of the world is the relationship -- i don't know whether hatred is the right word. i hate to use that word, but the dislike between sects, particularly the sunnis and shiites. and it was sunni against sony unni when it was isil going against the city of mosul. it was sunni against shiite going after tikrit. but then it was sunni against shia going after baghdad. and suddenly we saw the iraqi military stiffened somewhat and do a better job defending themselves. but i told the president that day he has got to do something.
we cannot sit idly by and just watch that country disintegrate knowing that theory is leaning now toward a breeding ground for terrorists. -- syria is leaning now toward a breeding ground for terrorists. there is no border between syria and iraq. which means iraq would become a breeding ground for terrorists. those terrorists would make land again to harm americans. i said, mr. president, you have told us you've got potential airstrikes on the table for discussion. as long as you've got a goal set and you do it right, this is one member of the senate that is going to support you. i have been supportive of the president's action to try to attack these individuals, to slow them down, hopefully take away some of their weaponry and give the iraqi forces the