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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  May 21, 2016 2:47am-3:28am EDT

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convention my name is geraldine ferraro. i stand before you to proclaim tonight america is the land where dreams can come true for all of us. >> the 1984 vice president of geraldineeech ferraro at the democratic national convention in san francisco. the first woman nominated for vice president by a major party. for the complete we can schedule go to c-span.org. >> a look at the elements of the national defense authorization by the house on
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wednesday. this is 40 minutes. continues. host: this week, the house passed the $610 billion defense authorization bill. covering congress for "military times" is leo shane. this is the bill that sets the pentagon's programs and policy for the coming fiscal year. what stood out in your mind in terms of items in this authorization bill? guest: every year, this has different policies and procedures of importance. this is the second year in a row where thedline -- headline is how they are funding the measure. is saying you're going against the agreement last fall. aside $18has set billion of temporary war funding and put that back into the base budget. the white house is saying that is not the deal.
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that is separate. you are not supposed to use that money that way. republicans are saying this is a readiness issue. we have to get the money in now and better fund troops and equipment. if we don't put the money in now, it will cause bigger problems down the road. post"the "washington points out the difference between the house and senate version, the critical difference in the way they choose to fund military. the senate follows a budget agreement struck last year. the house using the extra $18 billion of war funding to cover the president's request. that means the country would run out of money to pay for military campaigns necessitating an emergency spending measure. the chairmancern of the armed services committee? guest: what chairman thornburg has said there is a new administration coming in. they need new priorities. they had a temporary
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supplemental at that point. the next president should have that. this funds overseas operations through april. different versions would extend that more. there is a big concern among democrats and the pentagon saying if you are not funding is for the whole year, there is the potential for all sorts of problems. host: this is the start of the debate on funding and other issues. debate how this sets up on the actual spending measure for the pentagon. guest: in the house, we had the defense appropriations committee pass their version this week following the same sort of guidelines. the house is together on how they want to fund things. we will use the temporary money to supplement the base and make sure we have enough. the senate takes up its bill next week. one of the senate committees will take up the defense bill. they have said we will stay within the budget caps. senator mccain said he will go
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to the floor and argue that needs to be a $17 billion plus on the floor. all this goes back to the issue of the 2011 budget control act, sequestration, spending caps, and the fact congress has not been able to find a way to get around that and find a long-term fix. we have seen short-term deals. when democrats and the white house are pointing out is if they go ahead with this house spending plan, next year when the budget caps go back into effect, we will see defense spending come down and there will be a giant cliff the military falls off of. host: how does this budget compared to previous budgets for in obama administration terms of priorities? this is what we have seen. there is not a dramatic shift.
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most of the things that are unusual are coming from congress. the has been talk about reforming the military health system. the senate and house have broad ranging plans on that that would mean new hours at facilities, new structure of how that is delivered. there is a lot of acquisition reform coming from congress, not necessarily the white house. their parts the white house opposes and parts they don't. . the big bugaboo for the white house beyond funding is the issue of guantanamo. the white house continuing to try to close the facilities there, and the folks on capitol hill continuing to say we are going to keep that open. host: democrats tried again to get the policy included, but that was shot down. guest: it was. this has been a frustration. this has been one of the reasons the president has threatened a veto for eight years.
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he got a clean sweep of his presidency. every time this has come up, there is some issue with guantanamo. host: eventually, he does wind up signing a bill? guest: every year, he does sign. last year, he did veto the first version. they did come to an agreement and he signed that. host: leo shane covers congress for "military times." they finished their work on the defense authorization bill. your forging saying a bigger military pay raise -- your reporting saying ebola terry may your reporting saying a bigger military pay raise. guest: this is a frustration for the white house. the cuts proposing to army in strength and other services is too drastic and will leave the military not prepared to face the threats of the future. administration request for next year, we are
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looking at 20,000 more soldiers added to the bottom line. the republicans will say we are keeping it fairly steady. a slight increase but we are looking at maintaining the army, not cutting it down as much as obama wants to. adding more people means adding more personnel costs, health care costs, and housing costs. it is a compounding problem if they cannot figure out how to pay for it passed next year. host: the measure calls for a 2.1% military pay raise starting in january. guest: if that goes through, this would be the first time military pay keep space with private sector wages. the first time in four years this has come up. this has been a major source of contention in military addressing -- advocacy groups. they say you are creating a pay gap that is frustrating as. the pentagon and senate is saying we are talking about $12 a month for most of the junior
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enlisted guys. it is not that much and will save us $330 million. we can reinvest in better training and equipment to help the overall welfare of the force but not necessarily put money in the troops pockets. host: there was the passage this week of the defense authorization bill. leo shane our guest. we would love to hear from you. the number for republicans, democrats, independents and others. for active and retired military, that number. let's go to south bend, indiana, and james on our democrats line. caller: good morning. another $610 billion to tack on to the national debt. i was going to make a comment but i think i will defer to george washington who said stay warsf other countries'
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and squabbles. also, eisenhower, the military-industrial complex will bankrupt america. here we are $19 trillion in debt. i think the way to solve this problem is we should look to the bible on this one. we need to beat our swords into plowshares. i think that is the solution to this nightmare, is over militarization that is making america less safe every day. guantanamo, isf their policy about placement of troops overseas? guest: the temporary money is setting policy for afghanistan, for continued operations in the middle east against isis. some money dealing with the ukraine situation and russian. this is affecting all spending worldwide. the military does have a big footprint across the globe. they are there. you have to figure out a way to pay for them.
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isn't it difficult to make a d.o.d. budget with the drifting, undefined pentagon east. the isis issue has been a source all over d.c. here largely because the congress won't take up the issue of the authorization of new military force and the parameters of it. a white house has sent version of what they'd like to see, limiting the presidential operations to certain things. emocrats on capitol hill are saying it's too brad.
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republicans are saying it's too narrow. been stalled for about 18 months now. getting any t closer to a resolution on that hasas a result the congress with what they have. ost: mark is next on our military line. caller: mark, i have a question you. i would ask for you to explain listeners. platoon sergeant in union storm and i'm a democrat. i would just want to let the listeners know where i'm coming from. leo, what percentage of the goes to ion actually soldier and sailor pay? also in that budget if you
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the amount escribe of generals. heavy t be a little top in terms of brass when it comes to pay. in this budget how much really goes to the proliferation manufacturing. our number one export from this take is the selling of weapons to other countries which is really making the world a more dangerous case. i'm all ears. you. ess >> thanks for those questions. a lot to unpack there. both the senate and house versions of this bill include down ge to start cutting on as you call it the top heavy four stars there. i believe the senate version has a reduction of 25% of the general's and admirals in the the house version had a similar number. i don't think it's the exact same. at this idea ng that the military infrastructure
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top he amount of people up and the staff they carry has gotten too big and needs to be pulled back down. terms of unpacking personnel and weapons and where all that fits. little tough to define some of that because training money goes to folks. money that ipment you can argue is for the troops how that works. s have it from 30 to a half. advocates say just because some of this stuff is costly, that mean you have to immediately attack that part. of the $18 million is to fund some extra planes and pieces of equipment that were on the pentagon's unfunded m mandate
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manda mandate. what republican law makers have is we think this is important so we're going to give you that extra money. then we get into that fight ost: when the bill passed this eek the speaker talked about the bill saying it helps to readiness gap. that issue was also addressed by the armed n of committee. the things i've come to realize is we're not going to just is readiness problem for putting more money into operations and maintenance. getting to the point in terms of aircraft mechanics, we the don't have enough and ones we have were working harder
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seven days a work week and some of them are going airlines. we have to stop this. >> has it gotten to a point service member lives are at risk because of these budget cuts? maybe.n't know but really the alarm bell that went the or me was when i saw class a mishap rate, and that eans you lose the aircraft or somebody dies. o up drastically for the marines and also up for the army. as we dig deeper, and we're way into ing by the what's happening out there, it looks like the air force has navy has real problems. and so lives are exactly what is here.ke it's not just a matter of budget leverage political when they don't get the training, when the aircraft are is lives.ined, it
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strongly i feel so about it. on h that full conversation sunday. host: heard from donald trump in we covered last night n new jersey talking about pilots stripping the parts off of old jets. does this bill address that? >> the republicans say it does. say u heard the chairman there, there's only so much you parts and ddress old problems.ue this from the chairman. my colleague has been covering hese issues and tracking some of these. you know, we're hearing from
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uys that they do, they have to find old planes. find old parts. make things ys to work just to keep aging systems
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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, as a passion american, i the gentlemanly policy between the two of them that ended in mutual respect is what we want to see. i would like to see speaker ryan to weigh in. host: the video is available on our website. she is talking about the conversation between pete sessions and steny hoyer at the end of the day talking about what happened. pulling that back a bit, the headline in the washington post -- and battleground over lgbt
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rights. tell us what happened. guest: this is a fight that happened wednesday night. it spilled over into the military construction and veteran affairs appropriation debate the next day, a completely separate bill. we have an amendment that was added to the authorization bill the republican say protect religious rights. it allows them to exercise the religious liberties. what democrats and critics have said is this is condoning discrimination of lgbt workers, going against federal executive orders by obama to make sure folks are protected on their sexual orientation. ehe religious exemption roleulke got included in the defense authorization bill. the next day, representative maloney tried to bring up an amendment that would have erased
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the entire thing. we saw a vote where it appeared democrats had won, the language would be stripped out and the vote was held open for 10, 15 minutes as republican leaders went around. at the last second, it failed. host: our viewers are seeing a little bit of the video from yesterday as well. it makes great radio as well. shame"chants of "shame, on the floor. some cursing and heated discussion. it was quite a scene. it shows how some of these unrelated issues can become part of the larger defense budget and part of any larger debate. host: a quick question on military construction -- why is that not included on a pentagon bill? guest: they have always handle
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that separately. >> why does military construction come up in a separate bill? >> they've always handled that eparately with the veteran's affairs budget. t makes for some complicated math problems. the house e had approve their military budget.tion and va for en it comes time congressional -- minibus.ini hear next to from ashville, north carolina. morning.d republican line caller: good morning. but i'm not ican trying to push any particular party. not be in anyould
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fighting and shedding blood when they're rich to start that country.g to have to leave iraq and have do it over and over again. paid well and own place there order they should not go. speaking for a marine guest: donald trump was asking this. issue. complicated one that's not really dealt with in these annual budget bills looking at what their footprint is now and what with, y have to deal national security needs, and funding folks overseas. ertainly a lot of frustration about what it means to provide foreign assistance and just what owes and is owed to the
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rest of the world. >> and a reminder too, folks. have a line set aside for retired military. okay, jim from kentucky good morning host: hi, jim wanted to make a quick number of comments. in regards to the amount of spending, i wonder has a shortage. how we can -- our soldiers have message to a text find out if they're allowed to fire their gun or not. leave hundreds of up armored vehicles for isis to leave a country. seems to me we have plenty of for the military.
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guest: the issue of isis and the trucks, that's getting into that n military aid, who was intended for. there is a risk with any foreign military aid that when you give it to one group, it goes to group.r i do know the house armed services committee has started looking into this. does it fit in. are there different parameters? contracting is something that when these committees on at wayshill have looked to save money. efficiencies.d at there's been some fighting with investigator and inspector general for he sees as over what wasted money, how some of the and classified,
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who ends up with it. complicated issue. when they issue defense contracts, it's not something undone.n be quickly it's not like going to the store nd buying some tools or groceries
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$59 billion overseas for contingency operation. upst: they will bring it on monday, if not tuesday. it will be interesting. senator mccain said he is looking to bring up the issue of the $17 billion. readiness ofly a that needs to be addressed. the approach he has taken is not to try to skirt around the budget talks currently on congress. he will say we need to add $17 billion, let's forget about this. that approach has not been successful in the past several years. we have had this ongoing fight of republicans wanting to add more for defense and democrats saying we have to add more for domestic as well.
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host: good morning, democrats line. of all this defense department stuff that is going on, how much is this problem from us being in war for 15 years and having to go back and redo all of this, to find out where we are really standing on this situation? how trillions of dollars under george w. bush was wasted? a lot of the underlying defense issues do have to door with the wars in iraq and afghanistan. those are some issues being dealt with with a supplemental, but we are still in afghanistan which is something when i talk to veterans groups and troops they would like the american public to remember there are still troops over there. when you were looking at these problems and the equipment that is being replaced, the pressure
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being put on military families, that goes back to more than a decade of war. how does the military recapitalize, modernize, retrain folks when they still have to figure out budget shortfalls that came from the cost of conducting that war? the: robert gates reminding administration that are still troops in iraq and afghanistan. he accused the white house of avoiding troops in being engaged in a combat mission. somema spokesman said troops are sometimes in a combat situation, but not a combat mission. gates made that comment on msnbc. they promise no boots on the ground, no new comment and now we have 3000 some troops around the area.
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we have had three u.s. servicemembers killed over there. the white house is desperately trying to say this is not a slippery slope explanation into another iraq war. host: the next call is in texas. margaret on the democrats line. caller: good morning, c-span. i have a question. i'm one of the 65,000 widows whose husband died from a service-connected illness. democrats line 65,000 i'm one of the whose husband husband died. to s wondering are we able get back our svp that my husband our paid into during marriage and now i'm being denied because i'm receiving dic. that in the like budget this year? guest: there is. up for a minute.
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his is an incredibly complicated issue. what the caller is referring to the benefits that military widows receive once a service member passes away. the way it's structured, there are certain benefits they can receive but if others, it offsets that and they end up losing dollars.s of also if a military widow or remarried he or she benefits and loses all of that. o it's a complex array for those who have lost a service member and then can't get their benefits. this bill, there's a bill.ary it's extended for another year. senate a plan on the side to extend it even further. fix. is just a temporary
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it's another supplemental to this. some of wouldn't get them the entire amount of money but they would money while congress the larger ure out issue. host: i was e-mailed a question military e, are in this budget? guest: i'm not quite sure. the military depends on them. a lot of functions that they have either become dependent on or have asked them to take over. so you are seeing more attention to g paid on capital hill not just how much we're spending treating these folks.
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to e borrowing from china support troops. just want to know how many countries does china help guest: a little outside my scope. there's quite a u.s. footprint and there are agreements with countries oversea. in some cases, it's the temporary operations like in iraq.istan or in some cases like germany where we have a permanent presence there, we have an agreement with folkslitary bases and the living
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guest: congress comes back and says that you get enough helicopters and they will say we would always like more. this is the money we were given so than congress and the white house fight over how much money to add. if they were given enough money, does that go to helicopters or
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dealing with the naval fleet or the military pay raise or health-care issues? host: let's go to our active and retired military line. georgia. caller: good morning. i live near an active duty post. i'm real concerned with everything that is going on as far as missions and deployment. i pay attention to what is going on. i go about three times a week. i have noticed i don't see many soldiers walking around with a combat patch on their right shoulder. it seems every time we have had a democrat in office that you see a big withdrawal of forces. it's like the democrats cut budgets. we lose all our experienced soldiers. those of the one we need to pay and keep.
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they are the ones that have all the experience and knowledge to pass down to the younger soldiers. as far as budgets go, they need to really think about personnel a little more. that is pretty much my comment. guest: retention has been a big issue and concern of the services even all the years of war. i cannot speak specifically to that base, but i can tell you for a lot of folks who have seen deployments to iraq and afghanistan, there was not enough money. fromal folks are exhausted deployments and make family and financial decisions to step away. what we have seen in recent years from the obama administration and congress is an effort to look at those retention issues. last year, we saw a major reform in the military retirement system. is there a way to get money to younger officers a 401(k) file
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plan that might be more appealing. they are diving into military care issues and will that make it more attractive instead of finding private health care. that is something they are always looking out for. there are a lot of midcareer folks with a lot of experience they want to keep to make sure the military has that experience and knowledge. host: also on the military line, it is don. caller: hi, how you doing? ronuestion is related tor paul's 2012, when he was running for president. he kept asking the question of why do we need so many overseas bases? let's close the bases and bring the troops home and let them walk on the border. nobody ever followed up on any of that. we need anymore overseas
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bases? nobody ever followed up on any of that. great placed like a spending -- defense spending without our security. >> does the new authorization bill address basic closing at all? doesn't. it specifically has lines in closing any u.s. bases. in the last several years the what on has looked into the overseas footprint should be. the idea of pulling everybody lots of t away has complicated dmro mat issues. of joint training , dmro mat i. we have a lot of joint traini,d. we have a lot of joint training. we have a lot of joint training.
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we have a lot of joint training agreements. the obama administration and the pentagon agrees that we need to up some of our presence in the pacific to react threats worldwide, react to potential problem spots the line. host: why do contracts and years?tions take no different than wal-mart. everybody else doing a deal different a little than wal-mart. an aircraft in and let uslease call know because the military would get a deal in bulk there. unitions are not something -- ou can't buy a javelin missile
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on the shelf now. noting in this bill there's been a priority of dealing with defense acquisition reform and does it need to be as complicated as congress has made it. host: and leo will be covering th >> on the next washington journal, tom major, montgomery county, maryland police chief discusses a recent report showing homicide rates on the rise in dozens of u.s. cities. looks of the puerto rico debt relief legislation entries in the house this week. we will take your calls and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. washington journal live at 7 a.m. eastern on c-span. teacher union leaders, school
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superintendents and scholars testified before the senate health, education and labor and pensions committee on implementing the every student succeeds act. witnesses voice concerns about high poverty schools. this is just over two hours. sen. alexander: the senate committee on health, education and labor and pensions will please come to order. senator murray and i will each have an opening statement and then introduce our witnesses and senators will have five minutes of questions each. i am delighted to have the witnesses here. this is an extraordinary group of broad -- individuals of broad perspective about children and elementary and secondary

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