tv U.S. Senate CSPAN August 7, 2015 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
terms of application proportions of the law and some of those have to do with benefits but also by category. >> you are not subject to the employer mandate for businesses of 100 or less until 2016. i'm trying to get at what made you decide to lift it to 100 from 50. >> with regard to that issue as we look at the number of employers and even the higher levels we believe employers that level should be providing that type of care and can do that and we could do that in the way that is affordable ways. ..
the small business job protection act of 2015 that would make that level of 100 visits of 100 employees and less a permanent standard under the law just essentially continuing to delay you guys move in 2016. it's not a trick question. i think the reality is is that there are lot of very small businesses that have 50 or less employees and mandates and requirements of the law are difficult to comply with. this is 100 less, while of like to see the mandate go away
entirely, there's a given kind of business than a business method in less. appreciate your testimony. >> the gentleman's time has expired. mr. polis. >> back in april at the opportune to visit a head start program at the wilderness early learning center in boulder. i have seen firsthand benefits had circuit provide. head start grants were given to nonprofit committee centers and often traditional public schools but to my knowledge no charter schools have received head start grants and very few have applied. can you talk to which agency to declare for guidance the charter schools which are public schools have the autonomy to offer unique curriculum for students know they're eligible to apply for head start grants? >> this presentation i'm not familiar with in terms of charters and applications for head start. >> we would be happy to hear from you about that they plan to make sure charter schools are under of the opportune to plot and what they need to do. earlier the fda published
recommendations pertaining to blood donations by damien. the policy change a limited lifetime ban and replaced it with a one year deferral policy which on the margins can say a few more lives. while it's a positive step i hope you can speak about your opinion whether the new policy truly reflects the most up-to-date science on the issue. the large majority of gay men don't engage in risky behavior that are not at high risk of contracting hiv than the general population. the fda's own blood drop survey found the prevalence of hiv and gay male blood donors was just .25% lower than the overall prevalence of hiv in the total u.s. population which is .38. with the fda consider a policy that screens for specific risky behavior rather than grouping all gaming into one blanket high risk category speak with with regard to the policy we have announced we tried to move the policy forward based on the scientific evidence we have. both with regard to issues of
self-reported monogamy as well as the penetration of hiv in particular populations. we are always speed i believe self-reported abstinence, not self-reported monogamy, correct speak with a have to check exactly what the self-reported -- >> would you be supportive of moving to self supported -- self-reported monogamy. >> we review evidence in terms of the decisions we're making in this space. we believe the decisions we made at this point are evidence-based a it is additional evidence we should know about we always welcome it. >> i'm looking forward to your implementation of the self-reported monogamy recommendation which i'm certainly in strong support of as an indication of risky behavior. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. ms. stefanik. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, madam secretary for your testimony. the president helped to law mandates certain employers provide health care coverage to
their employees and those in text employers to take a much is generous. section 1511 of the health care long requires imposed automatically enrolled employees and continued enrolling current employees into the health care coverage. given employers on a very small window to choose to opt out. this mandate takes away the ability for employers to choose coverage that best meets their needs and could result in the lost update company to cover possibly more expensive health insurance than they otherwise would not have chosen. i've introduced h.r. 3112, to be open to eliminate this harmful and unnecessary provision. could she discuss whether mandatory auto enrollment can took individual mandate penalty for employers receiving subsidized exchange coverage? >> with regard to the specific about application issue that isn'tthat isan issue i would defer to mcauliffe at treasury. the limitation of the tax portion that i think is within the context you are referring to
is a treasure issue. as you probably know if guidance out for comment right now and so with regard to the specifics of that that's a plus why would defer to my colleagues and we can take that question and give it to you. >> what about those employers who become enrolled in double coverage because of this mandate and they missed the 90 days windows to which to opt out? should those employees be penalized by paying multiple prints because of requirement imposed on by employers in the ac? >> with regard to the specifics of this question is how would become committed i would want to know ambition within temptation is a treasure is thinking with regard to this issue. i would want to coordinate with my colleagues at treasury. >> i look forward to getting a response but i believe this is duplicative and it is an unnecessary mandate requires imposed automatically enrolled employees into health plans where they have little choice and sometimes they don't have knowledge. i understand you want to defer to the department of treasury
under think it's an important broken aspect of the ac where i would like hhs feedback on. i yield back. >> mr. jeffries. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, madam secretary, for your testimony today as well as for your tremendous leadership. i want to begin by asking a question about sort of providing care to some of the most disenfranchised economically isolated individuals in this particular case, many of the constituents i represent over the last summer years. we've had a crisis throughout brooklyn with the closure of several safety net hospitals and in other instances significant financial distress that many of the safety net hospitals have experience. partly a result is perhaps the overutilization of certain aspects of the hospital, the emergency room for issues that can be taken care of in a
primary care context. for instance the fact that traditionally enemy soldier economically disadvantaged communities you've got a mix of individuals who are either on medicaid or totally indigent and uninsured. the access to private insurance traditionally has not been a healthy mix. it's created a situation where safety net hospital are under severe financial distress the that's beginning to change to the onset of the affordable care act which is tremendous but they're still an effort to begin to direct individuals more into the primary care context and away from the overutilization of the safety net hospitals. could you speak more about that, what the administration is doing and where you think we need to go? >> one of the things the ministry is doing is part of the overall effort. the actual employee insured base population has access to be
mischievous in terms of prevention. cms one of things we're working on is something called coverage to care. it's both for those that are newly injured but also for those of our in and ensure base market to people understand how to use that coverage to access the primary care physician to get a health homes we can start is also these issues. to do things or simply as people understand or bill. those kinds of things are often complicated and difficult to do. at cms were having program. we want you to the resources that are part of the teams that help give people george mitchell we're moving that information to it comes back to make a point i raised many people in medicare don't know that they can taxes to these services without kobe. want to focus on greater education to get people into those primary care settings. >> enhanced medicaid reimbursement also a part of what can be helpful fort? >> it is the we propose to extend that. >> thank you. i yield back. >> mr. brat.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks for being with us today to two quick question. i guess i just got dinged him five minutes down to three so i will make it real quick. on obamacare overall, part to the claims it's good for the economy. the basics in 2014 cbo report they expect obamacare will result in a 2.5 million person job reduction in full-time equivalent employment by 2024. so if you do the math 2.5 million times 40 hours a week is 100 million hours and then you do that for the year and give 100 million times 50 weeks and you are at 5 billion hours in labor part of peabody gone due to this single program. and that's the response i get when you walk door-to-door small business to small business from people on the street is we can't hire anybody this is devastating as. i will ask your remarks on that. economy is already struggling to keep up with a 2% rate, if that.
so the claim the program is good for the economy i struggle with. secondly i would just ask the clerk and and as for your response but at the micro level i have constituents to push him with concerns about fda's proposed rules to regulate premium and premium cigars. advantage of access issues sold in adult a solution. the specific goals were to limit youth access and prevent negative health effects from habitual use product. need of which apply to premium cigars. so shouldn't the fda leave this category out of regulations? by the fda's own estimation, get over half a million cigar source and manufacturing will be shut down if the fda chooses option within the proposed regulation. on this level how do you justify the regulation with it eliminates so many jobs and live such a great impact on my constituents speak with with regard to the premium cigar issue i think one of the things we asked for was the evidence.
the evidence with regard to child use. that's why we put up two different proposals. it is about the evidence we received. with regard to the question been cigars and child use. it into the core part of the statute but you're ticketed and will continue to work on that. with regard to the broader economic issues in that same cbo report we do know is the reflection of what happened in the out years with the affordable care act in terms of why this long-term deficit reduction and also productivity as well as cost of we see larger numbers in terms of those out years. as that works for the system, the other thing we think about these issues, jobs and job creation. we got the longest stretch of job creation as a nation in terms of the constant stretch of job creation to the other thing we see this we have not seen any rise in the number of people who are looking for the 40 hour level -- >> let me ask you on that. the generic phrase which
increase in jobs is inconsistent with the clear evidence that the workforce participation rate is at its lowest in history. so yes, we are gaining jobs. the population is bigger but the labor force participation rate is at its all time low. can those be squared speak with i'm sorry, i'm done. we're jamming up against the clock. mr. takano. >> thank you, mr. chairman. madam secretary, understand that my colleague from california ask you about graduate middle school association i want to associate myself with those remarks. riverside county which represent, this but only 34 primary care physicians for every 100,000 people. half the number of doctors needed to provide adequate access to care. i understand the gme levels have been frozen under the medicare and medicaid budgets since the 1996. i associate myself with the
exchange. i hear from my colleagues about rising health care costs and mr. courtney of connecticut commented on those low rates of growth. in that case it's a good thing. the affordable care act is bending the cost of the health has been at the lowest -- slows rate on record since 1960 and health care price inflation it at its lowest rate in your just is because you mentioned california-based its premiums for the 2016 plan year statewide average increase bring is just 4% that's even lower than last year and a far cry from the years of double-digit premium growth we had before the aca. coverage often also announced that consumers chop rent they can reduce their premiums by an average of 4.5%. can you share more about the aca is containing health care costs?
>> i think it outlined a number of the places that it is in terms of the downward pressure on premiums in terms of also what happens in competition. to point people can go on the market place and chop in the individual market. we have seen some of the downward pressure and overall price. it's in the employer-based market and the only piece i would mention is i think it's important that without a reduction of $317 billion in the medicare spending from the period of the past. >> how many years has the insolvency been extended? >> i want to say 17. 2030. when we came it was in the 2017th and 2019 range. >> we've increased by 17 years. >> i want to go back and check exactly. it is 2030 and previous number, item number three this historical number was. >> cost-containment seems to be working. i congratulate all of us for standing by the law. i know there's much more we can
do to fix it. i'm going to run out of time and pressure. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> ms. clarke. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, madam secretary for being here today. i appreciate your leadership in so many areas especially early childhood education and access to affordable high quality healthcare for all americans. that i want to focus in my brief time on a topic that is come up with my colleagues from georgia and california around the opiate crisis. i commend you for your recent announcement and hope that congress will support the $100 million that you want to invest in this crisis. as you know it doesn't matter when it comes to opioid abuse whether you are rich or poor your level of education attained. an area where we are seeing growth is in women using heroin, which has more than doubled in
the last decade. i introduced legislation called protecting our infants act which focuses on care for babies that are being born depended to opioid a but also looked at effectiveness, a program specifically aimed at women and children with substance abuse disorders. can you discuss any efforts that should me to evaluate and respond to the circumstances of unique populations, including young women and others and addressing this crisis? >> with regard to i think that it is especially important for young women especially young women pregnant -- young pregnant women to get in assisted medicaid treatment quickly. a week ago i was in colorado visiting a clinic that did this work and they do it they did medicaid assisted treatment by their antiquated facility so anyone can come work on these issues at the same time she gets her prenatal care.
in a facility that is all in one place. the emphasis and importance i think is something that we believe is a key part with this type of population especially for pregnant women so we are protecting that newborn. >> another area, shifting gears but still talking about pregnant women and new moms is the issue of postpartum depression. i just dropped a bill today open to expand grants to states to one in seven new moms are going to experience this depression. can you talk about your efforts in this era in which you think we can do to improve screening and access to prevent? >> we played this as an essential part to prenatal. we believe it's part of full integration of behavioral health. that's something that is done through the affordable care act and something that was done in terms of mental health security act to making sure we bring, it's not one or the other. this is an element of maternal
care. making sure we have the right wellness visits and the right question to ask as part of the basis and that is the integrated care we believe is part of the delivery system reform across the board. >> thank you. i yield back. >> mr. curbelo, you are wrapping up. you are recognized for three minutes. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, and thank you, madam secretary, for your time and testimony here today. the rising cost of health care coverage remains a major issue for people in my community. i'm talking employers and employees. one issue that is fun to come on people's radars is the cadillac tax, 40% tax on so-called high-cost plan as resulting in complete already making changes to the plans to avoid hitting the tax in 2010 because at the same time have to offer minimum coverage to avoid an employee
penalty. it's a careful balancing act a lot of employers are trying to make. according -- 84% of large businesses surveyed expect to make changes to the full-time employee health benefit over the next three years. we hear stories now of employers are making plan design changes such as increasing co-sharing and narrowing provider networks. miami-dade county public schools, the second largest employer in the state of florida, reported efficacy devastating effects as a result of this attacks from an estimated $500,000 in fact in 2018, up to $10 million in back in later years. madam secretary, if we are concerned about the cost of coverage, wouldn't it make sense to get rid of this excise tax because it is forcing the cost of coverage to go up for employees? shouldn't be and to be to get rid of it and a lot of employers to offer the health benefits of
their employees are requesting and willing to pay for? i see this as one of his examples where they can actually and stop hurting the people who most need help. when you're talking miami-dade county public schools, a lot of teachers, a lot of low income earners. and now they face losing their health insurance or seeing fewer health care benefits as a result of this taxpayer could you share your views? >> want other things, for those population and for those communities the types of increases we're seeing in terms of the percentage increase in premiums was already existing some of the shipyard on but in terms of how they're doing co-sharing and networks and deductibles those things were occurring already. by having downward pressure of the excise tax in terms of the question of people's interest in companies and other employers interest in trying to control their health care costs we believe it's something that does put downward pressure on overall cost. the other issue that we all had
to consider with regard to this excise tax is the federal deficit. the question of any changes in out interrelate with the federal deficit. those are the two issues i think come to the fore. question of whether or not overall it has downward pressure and in then the second is the fiscal responsibility. >> but the concern for those low-income earners had to make a lot of make a lot of money but a lease for many years, and that is because a former member or member of miami-dade public school, they knew they had a good health care plan the pain of family members could rely on. they may lose those plans. is that a concern speak with i'm sorry. the gentleman's time has expired. we are exceeding the heart stop time. i like to recognize this discover any closing remarks that he has. >> thank you, mr. chairman. asked one question. is a brief question, my testing was calling from virginia asked about people who may lose their job because of the affordable care act. can you make a quick comment about the effect of job lock and
how that creates a situation you refer to? >> just that the question of job lock and those numbers have to do as many people going to make a choice to start their own business but i think i think in terms of job creation as i said with a medicaid numbers what we seize increase in jobs because of some of the changes. >> and when you talk to people to justice because they were only worked on the job because they had a preexisting condition and put on the insurance before and count that as a bad thing. now they have a choice to do the job, knowledge of the positive effect that the affordable care act has. i want to thank you for talking about the president's minorities especially health care, early childhood education, the effect of sequester on all of your programs and to look forward to working with you as we go forward with the budget. >> thank you. >> thank the gentleman. madam secretary, i just have a
quick follow-up to clarify an earlier question you asked about planned parenthood i know that came up a couple of times. you pointed out an issue that a lot of passion to want to be clear. is it your testimony that the department of health and human services has no intention looking into this matter speak with what the department of health and human services will do and we didn't discuss the debate is with a budget issue of our grantees and the department of nih part of hhs that is a research there is funding with regard to grantees and some of those grants use fetal tissue. with regard to that what we are doing is making sure we do have in place which is clarity around the issue of the fact that for any of those grantees that are going to do that research as they come to the process and before we do the grantmaking to our terms and conditions that clearly list what the law is with regard to fetal tissue. may need to assert and certify that they understand the law and
that they will abide by that. been on an annual basis with regard to win debris of the grants would ask them to certify ibm that they will obey the law and the terms and conditions of which this is a specific pleased with regard to the peace that interacts with the department these are steps we're taking to make sure that we have appropriate procedures in place to make sure people know the law and certify that they are abiding by it. >> so the activities which have been so important to so many of us that have been revealed in these videos that are the actions of planned parenthood, deeply that it sold a matter for the department of justice correct? >> with regard to the determination if allies been broken in those cases, that is the department of justice but if you are concerned with our grantees we would want to refer that to our ig and/or the department of justice depend on the circumstances. >> thank you. i really want to thank you. you are very intelligent.
we have gone over by a minister i appreciate your patience. we very much appreciate your come today. there being no further business, we are adjourned. >> thank you, mr. chairman. [inaudible conversations] >> and coming up shortly take you live to the white house for today's briefing with josh earnest. last briefing before president obama place for vacation on martha's vineyard or the briefing is scheduled to start at 1:00 eastern time.
>> one of the big questions that is behind the whole panel is do these urban riots do they cause change and make a difference? i was reminded of two things. one is when michael brown was killed, it wasn't his death that was newsworthy. it wasn't his death that pushed gaza offer to four hour news cycle. it was the rebellion that took place afterwards. that what i've seen in to cover. in the case of baltimore people have been beaten by police in sicily but it wasn't until people kind of came out in the streets in ways that would be considered urban rebellion or riots that attention was paid to freddie gray and the same thing with cincinnati. you forget about cincinnati. those rights that erupted in 2001 after timothy thomas keller was let off lead to significant
16 democrats announcing support and 25 republicans saying they're against it. veterans affairs robert mcdonald talks about the challenges he's facing. [applause] >> thank you very much very coming in. we're honored to have va employees around the country. you're their boss. >> i would like to say to the employees doing a great job caring for veterans. it's veterans caring for veterans. heros caring for heros. before you came to government
you were on top of the corporate world. tell us about the conversation you had in the e -- elevator when you got the job. >> at the time i was nominated by president obama. i was going back and forth to capitol hill meeting with senators. i stepped in the elevator on the way to my office and i saw a gentleman there and i said, how is it going. he said, well, i'm breathing. i said i'm kicking ass and you better be too. i just felt the need that we weren't providing customer service to veterans and we should be kicking ass in order
to provide service. >> we appreciate marketing with us. one is being customer experience mind set to serving veterans. how does that go? >> we're in the beginning. right now as we speak our leadership team is outside working with noa. he was mentoring of ge. and so, we're working with noel to cascade strategies. it's the long-term transformation that we need at va. five simple strategies. number one veteran first. everything we have to do we have to look at the license -- lines of a veteran. people like disney, starbucks
usaa and others. there's not a good customer organization in the world that doesn't care for employees. and we haven't done a good job at that. our internal support services need a lot of work. our financial system is written in cobalt, a language i wrote. our scheduling system which is a problem in phoenix dates to 1985. we need to -- we need to put a culture improvement. number four, we are training people in the organization on new stigmas to lead the change. number five strategic partnerships.
it's a tremendous world out there to care for veterans and we are try toing to embrace that. we started with 75,000 volunteers, we had open house the june of 28th. we want to get to 100,000 volunteers. by law we're not allowed to care for 15% of veterans. they are going through discharges and see if they need to be evaluated. we want those veterans cured for. >> those of you tweet us your questions. i have the twitter machine. we'll ask your questions. what was the best tip that starbucks gave you about customer -- >> he's a dear friend.
>> he wants to run for president? >> i don't know. my political party is veteran. all i do is caring for veterans. howard -- in howard's book onward he writes about an experience when he came back to be ceo. when he walked into one of his stores the smell of the place was burnt cheese rather than coffee. the cheese would melt in the oven and it would smell the store. rather than buy febreeze, i think that what that instance
demonstrates the experience. you know, what we have to do is make sure that every veteran that we touch feels the warm embrace whether it's the music we play, greet them at the store, whether it's a starbucks that we have in facilities, would they like to meet with their buddies men or women. >> what did you learn? >> in disney the important of the cast member, disney does a great job for caring for its employees. they call them cast members. the important knowledge that is as you lee the -- leave the disney area you own stage. it's replicated in our new orlando medical center where we have all of the exam rooms and
our patient-care teams meet in the middle. we have a unique system we use to care for veterans, so it's not just the primary care doctor but the other people that work with the primary care doctor. they are all inside this area meeting before they go out on stage to be with a patient. >> reembracing the customer. there's people that don't want to be disruptive. >> the organization is in crisis. you turn inward, you get focused on internal things. you stop caring for your employees, you forget about the customer and it's the survivability. what the leader's job is to go in a position like that and be
disruptive. i have been over 190 va sites. every time i go i do a town hall meeting to know what's going on. i want to know what's going on and use in transformation plans. >> you have a plan under best case scenario president obama will be president for a year and a half straight. how does that affect the sustainable change you're able to make in the organization? >> i love that kind of challenge. i don't know when i'll be gone. when i came in and put together the road map which was our first 90-day plan we had strategy.
the third which i insisted upon was to do right thing along. my va is all about that. when i bring somebody in from the outside because i rely on a lot of friendships to bring people in, i always marry them with somebody from the va if in fact, we go away there's been somebody that understands the importance of customer service. >> one of my colleagues that served this country is a veteran, i asked him what should i ask the secretary. he sent me a note. [laughs] >> i like names. i like names, which is why i give up my phone number. i like to talk to veterans. >> pulled a reverse and gave his
real phone number on c-span. >> yeah, it's right here. 513-509-5494. i look forward talking. i did that for a couple of reasons. i did that to deliberately say to the organization that i'm accessible, i want to talk to every veteran, i want to know what's going on. it's amazing the number of calls how they shifted. the customers and texts were i need help. now some are you changed my life. we stood up a team of people lead by debbie, and she has this team of people do the case manage mint for these --
management for these people. we hired a chief officer and has tom over two decades of experience in mcdonald's and has run several businesses himself and he's helping us learn what customer experience is about. people like disney is helping us. we set up an advisory board. if disney ran your hospital, and he's helping us as well. >> you talked about over the years going back to -- your soldiers before you do. what is the government analog. >> i wouldn't ask anybody at the
va to do something that i wouldn't do. i'm going to fight for them. you know, obviously if somebody does something wrong we're going to take disciplinary action. we are not going to get involved in the politics. we are going to fight for our employees. >> what about congress? >> what about congress? you know, congress as a role to play as well. i don't have much tolerance for using veterans as political ponds. >> and members try to do that? >> that's for you to judge. i'm about carrying for veterans. >> so my colleague sent me a note, he said to ask you about the amenacety of it all.
he points out the va is the closest we come to government to provide health system in a country that can't get its head around obama care insurance. >> va would be a fortune 10 company. we have $70 billion. 340,000 employees. when i was the ceo 120,000 employees and sales about $85 billion. so it is a large organization, but as i studied it this country -- first of all veterans cannot do without the va. american medicine cannot do without the va and i would argue the american public cannot do without the va. when any member of congress says to me, why don't you blow up the va and give out vouchers. it's a three-legged stool. leg one is research.
who did the first liver transplant the va. who invented the nicotine patch? va. who invented the shingles va. we provide internships. this work in training is very important for the american medical system. third leg is, of course, the critical work we do for our veterans and omar set this system up in 1946-47 with aligning the va with the best medical schools in the country. we are making it more accessible to them. >> lets talk about the
demographics. >> you raise an excellent point. in 2014, if i asked you what do you think caused the crisis that occurred in va in 2014, most americans would say that it was probably the fact that we have been fighting wars in afghanistan and iraq for more than a decade. that's not the case but it's instructive. the year i graduate from west point in 1975 we had 2 million veterans over the age of 65. 217 we're going to have 10 million veterans over the age 65. that's a five times increase from 1975. what would actually occur with the aging of veteran population, which puts stress on the system. this is happening in u.s. medicine but it's happening more slowly and not as visible.
my point -- let me finish with this part, we have to bill capability today that we are going to need 30 years from now. if we don't build the capability today, we won't have it. >> memorable figure of people you serve? >> we are serving about 100 descendants of the war. that secret obligation is for their life. the army likes to save solder years for life.
>> gave me stats about the va has improved. one of the most troubled department, we knew that there were a lot of people locations bag log of claims which beat before your time -- >> 2013. >> the day it was 269 now. dhow you get it to zero? >> we continue with the same strategy. we have gotten written about five tons of paper. we are doing great work. we get the claim it's ready to be processed. the other things that we have done is created something called the bbms, computer system that allows us to do it in an
automated way. the other thing we've done is we've asked our people to work mandatory overtime. this is the part i don't like. we have employees working mandatory overtime. the average is leses 125-day standard. mandatory overtime is prescription for disaster. the problem is we have more people in the budget. we have more people in the budget for accelerating the claims and when congress wants to pass the choice act they strip those people out. we are back to the budget asking again for more people for the claim portion because we have to get people. one of the things we do to help is having people work from home, the two hours they use to commute they can do claims
instead. >> one of the questions is is the secretary aware that 25,000 combat vets are listed as pending for health enrollment because of means tax -- >> if the individual gave me their name i would be happy to check their instance. i like to deal with specific -- customer service is about one-on one care. >> the middleman. secretary, what role can tele health can play? >> we are the leader perhaps in the world. it is huge in providing access.
it is using broadband and digital technology to get your health care as much as possible. for example, i was in one of our facilities and the nurse i was with nurse practicer had stethoscope that was connected with the lifeline, internet. she was taking my pulse listening to my heart and that was being read across the country. that kind of thing is possible, capable. something that we're doing already. another aspect is mental health. so we like to use for mental health as well. >> in just a minute we are going to bring you in the conversation, if you have questions for the secretary, a question from my colleague
secretary last week you expressed confusion about the blue button initiative to get to download medical records do you think the va needs to change the name of the program or take steps in order to improve their care? >> the point i was raising, i was talking to a group of people working with us on our electronic medical record, which is open source, open system. we think that's the way we get the fastest innovation. do blue button is a device on benefits website where you can click there and get your entire medical record. my possible -- only point was we pick names to consumer. if you say what blue button, they would have no idea.
our websites have unusual names. what's wrong with vets.gov. lets make our decisions that way. >> while we're in the e world heather has a question for you. you went on 60 minutes and they asked you is the worst behind you, i can predict your answer to that. i will ask you what is the worst problem that remains at the va. >> i think the worst problem as you approach all of these targets that we said, all of these goals whether is ending homelessness getting access to
care it's such a large system and such a large need, you always have one left. and it's this idea of how you get a single person. the old man throwing the star fish into the sea. he may not be able to clean the whole sea but matters throwing the star fish to the sea. >> when are claims log prodict today get to zero? >> the end of calendar year. >> that would be on your watch? >> yes. >> hi. >> i'm bob. [inaudible conversations]
>> thank you. >> i'm just curious to hear more about schedule. there's resources available and curious as to what the va comes to do to get people to come back -- >> scheduling is a really big issue, heather. so weave -- we've taken a two-track. as i said, my first trip to phoenix, which mike referenced, i sat down in the computer screen and worked the scheduling system myself. it's really a green screen. we have to make things simpler for veterans, we have to make things simpler for employees.
it's one of the fast e approach. we are going to an off-the-shelf system. it'll take some time to do it in all of our facilities. the third thing we have to do is make sure that people are trained. that's why i'm eagerred to have a simplified system. there have been things that have been gone in the va, for example, a person who ma nip -- man ip ulated data in georgia. yes, okay, but there are different ways to get care
outside the va system. congress has passed laws and they get layered on top of each other. it's not only complex for veterans to understand but complex for employees to understand. we need to simplified that. we have to make that scheduling system simpler. we have an app now on the smartphone. you can do scheduling on the smartphone. we need to make it easier for everybody. >> secretary -- >> i'm bob. >> when you met the press in february people have been held accountable, 9 00 have been fired. a few people lost jobs in va scandal.
has there been enough accountability? >> i think there has. the number is over 1400 people who have been terminated since i became secretary. well, i don't know. well you see part of this is a layered approach. there's well over 100 people being investigated right now for scheduling issues. as those investigations come out the fbi investigation takes priority. but you know what, for all of our critics it's much more than firing people. what we have to do is make sure there's a sustainable system in place so people are rewarded when they do well people are held accountable when they don't do well. one of the things i did was sit down with the chairman of house committee and took him through
the performance ratings over 2014 of the va top employees. there are about 4 -- 400 over 400 or so. nobody in veterans health administration is getting a performance bonus for 2014. and we have best distribution from top to bottom and i would argue the best distribution compared to private sector -- why do i know that because i ran a company in the private sector. accountability is more than just firing people. you know, accountability is when i found out that doctors salaries was less than 10%.
>> what do people still decide for america -- [laughs] >> what facility are you still most concerned about? >> i think you have to understand the political nature and the concerned veterans of america. i know the people that fund organization, you know, we are not in favor of privatizing the va. in fact, one of the my biggest concerns and i met can sylvia, sectary and human services, how do we inform that we are sending doctors to always ask the question to serve in the military. ..
i'm the leader. i take responsibility and i'm accountable and the criticism is i'm not moving fast enough. if there's one veteran without a roof over their head tonight, it is my fault. if there's one veteran without their disability claim handle today, it is my fault you're the first day at west point europe for answers to any situation. yes, sir no sir. sir i do not understand. i tried that answer a lot. they thought i was hard of hearing. but i was a slow learner. the fourth answer is the most powerful. no excuse, sir. i tend to get the care they need theirs no excuse. call excuse. call me on my supplemental work on it. >> my colleague has a question. [inaudible]
[inaudible] >> that's a great point. one of the things i noticed when i did not think we were embracing including contractors. one of my first trip was to boston. i went to harvard medical school. while there i made sure which is funded by the boston red sox foundation. homebase is a wonderful organization. i was told by those who run home base and a dear friend who is the new york mets that we receive major league is false
contribution to veterans as competition rather than complementary. i wanted to make sure we saw it as complementary. what we've done is establish a strategy all about strategic partnerships and we hired a guy from the private sector. he was the mayor of flint, michigan at the age of 28. please run several companies but his is coming to help us set up strategic partnerships. his name is matt collier. anybody who wants to do business, wants to be a partner, and we can speed up the process if we use the process everyone can give. also there is an ethical issue i mentioned before.
we really believe in strategic partnerships. come join us. >> i think when the question right here. thank you. >> thank you. >> and michael levin. much of the conversation has focused on health care which is understandable given the immediate crisis to solve. i do know homelessness as well when you were in los angeles. peer but other steps are you taking to alleviate that concern the crisis. >> thank you michael. we've been working hard on eliminating veteran homelessness. we have a deadline at the end of the year. the president is behind us and
lots of funding. we've been going out and meeting with mayors. there are lots of unfinished business. one was michael mentioned we have a lawsuit going on in los angeles over four years that paralyzed us i eliminated veteran homelessness in the city of with the highest degree of homeless veterans for the highest number. i have to solve the lawsuit. working with partners in l.a. people i got to know better, we created agreement. we are all working together as a community. when the federal government we can provide the vouchers of the funding. though we need the local mayors. i meet with mayors come and meet with governors and we make sure
we have the plan. one of the biggest issues we face is in high-cost cities around the country can make it in the landlord to rant for the hud voucher. you are shaking your head so i know you know this. what we do mayor and i we have a mayors challenge. we can all the landlords and around the top of them about how this is good business to land to veterans. it is not just getting the bedridden roof but we surround it with care whether it's mental health care, medical care addiction, whatever, we surround caseworkers said the veteran becomes a good reintegration into the community. hi leo. how are you? how was your daughter? >> she's doing well. question for you.
you mention your outreach efforts to congress when he came in. do you feel you underestimated the political aspects of the job. we still see plenty of anger and conflict between the va and congress in recent months. do you feel you need to recalibrate the relationship? do you feel there's more room to grow? >> overall, the unanimity around veterans issues between va and congress has been fantastic. arguably the work congress had recently taken a financial flexibility to use money that was set aside for community care to pay for the community with the good thing. as you know i've said many times the way government runs is not like the us. i have seven new-line items of a job where i can't move money from one pocket to the other pocket so in this case we knew
roughly $3 billion to pay for the community that within a budget of $10 million we couldn't take money out of pocket without going to congress. the question in a situation like this is we've given the veteran's choice. the veterans i'll have choice did they can go in va or in the community. i don't have choice moving the money so i have to go to congress every time asking permission which is another opportunity for them to talk about mismanagement and whatever else. last to mismanagement is not getting better and syndicated. this mismanagement is too many veterans in the care. >> that aspect come in the $3 billion transfer with a four-month fight with some pretty nasty accusations against you from folks on the hill. >> update the accusations.
i'm not a politician. i'm not ready for anything. i one purpose here. i don't need this job. the purpose is to care for veterans. i'll do the best i can. over time congress will work with me to run this more like a business. in essence coming and when i was confirmed this is what they asked for. run it like a business. i'm trying to to do that then to do that but i need laws passed to do that. >> so the resistance is in the building. the resistance to the business oriented approach has also come from the hill. >> put it this way. i get on average five letters a day for members of congress about you should do this you should do that. they are all about giving additional benefits. no member of congress has me about taking away benefit. on one hand congress passes the laws and appropriate the money to pay for those. when you have a mismatch, guess who gets caught in the middle and guess who gets blamed.
but i've got to do his work with members of congress. there's tremendous unanimity and we are seeing that against the common object is. >> when you try to explain that they say what? >> most of them agree. if you watch my hearing their sometimes pretty good business explanations of what is going on. the financial flexibility thing about what leo brought up members have agreed. so we'll see. >> we're about to get the ultimate question for me when you are procter & gamble you emphasize values-based leadership and you have a distillation of the leadership lessons you've learned over the years. my favorite is calm in the must do well to do good and must do good to do well. explain.
>> the private sector in particular the purpose of the procter & gamble company is to improve lives and employees in the company are inspired by the purpose. so you can't create products that improve lives and trash the environment at the same time. you have to create sustainable products. one of the things i was most proud of is the clinton global initiative a few years ago. i made the commitment for the procter & gamble company that by 2020 we would save one life an hour by providing clean drinking water. we invented the chemistry that allowed us to claim 10 liters of water in developing countries in about 20 minutes. water is a huge issue. the average woman in a developing country walks 14 kilometers a day to get water and firewood for her family. water and firewood to boil the water. it's a huge issue.
over 2000 children die a day from thinking unclean water. if you have a purpose for improving lives, you have to make the purpose pervasive in the company. it has to be part of your philanthropy as well as commercially. >> reading your leadership manifesto or christian faith is to you. >> it is. i am a devout christian. spirituality has been part of my life. obviously in my beliefs i wrote this in a secular way because i was leading a large global company. i think spirituality is important and what we do in the va. we have chaplains. you choose if they do want to follow but we have chaplains in the spiritual nurturing of those import as physical nurturing. they both go hand in hand. i don't think it's a surprise when he served in the military
you have a chaplain that goes into battle with you. in my case the chaplains we had were dear friends and ones who helped care for me spiritually and helped me carry spiritually for the men who served with me. >> as we say goodbye here you are from cincinnati. which i last meal be ice cream for the rows of pizza. >> and i applaud the above? >> was your favorite cincinnati team? >> i love them all. ice cream is incredibly delicious. i would probably start with dessert. it is chocolate raspberry or raspberry chocolate chips. >> it is a great country. i love it. >> one of the things i like is
the philanthropy of the family. if you go to cincinnati red game which is my favorite team and bob castellini is a great dear, dear friend. there's 11 strikeouts in the game by the reds pitcher everybody gets repeat that. you can imagine what happens to the stadium as they get to nine strikeouts, 10 strikeouts. at worst and the poetic grace about and the opposing player because when you could repeat that it is great. >> he went to a real deal fantasy camp. >> i did. i turn 60 years old 23rd team and for my birthday dinner that evening my family played a joke on me and gave me a letter for the cincinnati reds fan attracted me for fantasy camp. you have to be at least 30 or so to go to fantasy camp. i was always his coach or manager in baseball. never got to play with them. he and i went together we played
two games a day with professional uniforms, professional umpires on professional fields and my coaches were ron poster two great guys. the only problem and i've said this before, my son is very active on social media and while i love playing within coming is a great player, i didn't appreciate him putting on his facebook page that he hated our hotel room smelled like a day every night. [laughter] >> i thank you all watching on the va employees, thank you for serving america and in many cases your fellow veterans. we thank john collinwood from the bank of america for making this conversation possible. we thank you over coming out early. mr. secretary, thank you for a fantastic conversation. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> inside the white house
briefing room the briefing expected to start shortly. this would be the last briefing before president obama goes on vacation heading to martha's vineyard this afternoon. the briefing scheduled to start 20 minute ago 1:00 eastern time. expecting it to start any moment. we are hearing from josh earnest, the spokesman. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
questions. today actually marks the one-year anniversary of the commencement of airstrikes in iraq against targets. you will recall one year ago today that isil had advanced unimpeded across iraq falluja and other parts of and bar saturday fallen earlier in the year. most lights on, to kirkuk. isil with advancing rapidly on erbil and baghdad and isil forces were threatening genocide the people. isil had committed in this document atrocities against all of iraq's diverse communities, sunni, shia kurd christians, turkmen, shabbat and others. in the last year, we have made considerable progress in our effort to grade and ultimately
destroy isil. the u.s.-led coalition has now hit isil with more than 6000 airstrikes. the coalition has taken out thousands of fighting positions, tanks, vehicles and training camps. and iraq isil has lost the freedom to operate in 30% of the territory it held last summer. overall isil has lost more than 17,000 square kilometers of territory in northern area over the course of the last year and they are now cut off from august 68 miles of the more than 500 dialogue order between syria and turkey. coalition forces have repeatedly struck targets to an extent the leadership targets no longer have a safe haven in the united states and our coalition partners are taking steps to interrupt isil's finances and make it more difficult to attract foreign fighters. this campaign will take time and
will be setbacks along the way to win our coalition are have made progress and ultimately prevail. while our commanders continue the mission, one thing congress can do to support their efforts. they can operate against isil six months ago. simply no ax is to dodge this debate while her man in women put themselves in harm way to support our effort to defeat and ultimately destroy isil. with that, let's go to questions. >> straight to iran and to the very large scale chuck schumer and eliot engel. how well is the administration suffer to avoid the otherwise loyal democrat who joined a group are pursuing a fantasy of the better deal for choosing a form of war over diplomacy were some cases making a common cause
to americans. >> mark, the president stands by the arguments he made a speech on american university wednesday. he cited the two members of congress come out in opposition to the deal since a president delivered his speech. but we are now up to 12 members of congress that is the fourth of the deal. seven in the house and five in the united states senate. the two members you mentioned are influential members of congress, but they have one vote and since this base was gotten more votes in support of the deal and that is an indication of how persuasive the president's speech was how persuasive a case it is he's making to members of congress and the american public. [inaudible] and again eliot engel now are
classified for their reason the president has questioned. >> what the president took on directly in his speech is that the individuals who are advocating for the defeat of this agreement are the same people who made the same arguments in 2003 in the march to war against iraq. this includes people like mitch mcconnell, john boehner and john mccain and more recent newcomers like john cotton and donald trump. that is why on the other side the group of people supporting the agreement are those individuals who like the state opposed the iraq war from the beginning or have since acknowledged the congressional vote was a mistake. i mentioned some of their names, senator sheila brand and senator
baldwin are newcomers but also nancy pelosi and german and not in shift have strong record on maize. and you'd be in this category. anyone covering american politics the last 12 or 13 years would recognize that the fault lines of the political argument. it is not new and this is a difference of opinion president obama and senator schumer have had getting all the way back to 2003. that all said, that is why i would describe this as an amount in that was not particularly surprising here at the white house. even if it was disappointing. but it doesn't change that we will be able to mobilize a substantial majority of democrats in the house and senate in support of the deal and if necessary to sustain the
president's veto. >> since you mentioned -- [inaudible] [laughter] can you tell us what was his reaction? >> i did have an opportunity to speak this morning and he indicated he did not watch the debate last night. i did have the opportunity to watch the debate. i was disappointed that started so late. so there was a point where i did doze off for a little bit during the debate. but i woke up and thought i'd been transported back to 2012 where we saw a variety of republican making outlandish certainly outside the mainstream claims about the country and their priorities. i don't than republicans found not to be a particularly useful line of attack last time.
it appears the basic thing to do it again. [inaudible] >> not particularly. you indicated yesterday you might catch clips or some thing. >> i think he has seen some of the coverage of the debate. he did not watch it last night. >> josh an iranian official has confirmed the head of the military quds forest comment by said that correctly, traveled to russia in violation of international television. now that is confirmed, what is the u.s. reaction to that and what is raised about both russia and iran's perspective? >> jeff, singapore said slow. i'm not able to independently confirm them however. i think what i would remind you
love and disagreements were then i run from a nuclear weapon would not address the lengthy list of concerns that the behavior. imagine mr. soul money. in particular someone who has been sub jack to u.s. sanctions for quite some time. because of the effort he's taken to support terrorist organizations around the world. again, i can't confirm the specific reports. it is an indication of our ongoing concerns with iran and their behavior and makes about that more important that we pursue the best available strategy to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and that is exactly what the president believes the
diplomatic agreement is. [inaudible] -- russia? >> again, we have found over the course of this diplomatic engagement in the context of the p5+1 negotiations that russia has been an effective partner in the international community and citizens of russia have benefited from their willingness to cooperate the broader international community in reaching an agreement that would prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. we hope russia will continue to act cooperatively with the international community moving forward. >> is herein operate they would be willing -- [inaudible] >> i'm not in a position to come from individual reports. >> going back briefly to iran is this development is characterized not surprising or disappointing change calculations --
[inaudible] >> no i do not anticipate the president can spend a lot of time taking calls on vacation. it is possible they could make some calls, but most of the president's time will be spent with a family around the the golf course or both. >> are you still confident [inaudible] >> still a number of people who have not announced a position on this issue. there'll be continued discussions between officials and members of congress over the next several weeks that congress is out of town. we do continue to be confident
in our ability to build strong majorities in both the house and senate among the democratic caucus. one of the reasons that is the case is that there continues to be ample public data to indicate that this is in agreement democrats across the country support and there is even some who indicate that there are majorities of american jews who support the agreement ]-right-bracket this confident that as people consider the terms of this agreement and as they consider the strategy to prevent iran from a nuclear weapon, with a strong case to make in terms of persuading members of congress and the american public this is in fact the best approach.
just. >> a number of former senior frustration officials -- [inaudible] with senator schumer said about obama carried the past that they may not support them as democratic leader in the senate. i'm wondering if senator schumer's position on this issue has brought by questions of any doubt at the white house. >> ultimately, this is a question for democratic senators and this is a vote they will cast in early 2017. i believe that's where the system works. this is a line of questioning in the context when senator reid announced his retirement and i said at the time the white house did not anticipate -- would not take a position on those future
leadership election in the caucus. and i wouldn't be surprised if there's individual members of the caucus to consider the voting record of those who would like to be the caucus. >> earlier this week a draft memo would require federal contractors and as the labor department has said no final decisions have been made. i am wondering to the point where it's kind of getting into the regulatory language or is there any reason the white house doesn't plan to implement -- [inaudible] >> justin, i don't have any comment on consideration of possible action the president administration might take in pursuit of priorities laid out.
the president has certainly made clear police middle-class families and broader economy would benefit if more families have access to paid leave. those kinds of policies help middle-class workers better balance the obligations that they have at home. when those policies are effectively implemented, they have a way of improving product candidate in bolstering loyalty to the employer. that is why we seems so many private sector come the names take action on their own temperament and i know it was netflix earlier this week at a lot of attention for a patent policy they are implementing at that company. they are not doing it out of charity. i'm confident they can is good for their business and the
president has made his great but the fact he believes this to be good business for companies across the country. but i don't have any announcements at this point that may be under consideration in pursuit of the goal. >> last month's area reported the president had a glimmer of the opportunity for political transition that hadn't existed previously because the government of iran and russia worries about the stability there. i am wondering what the president has based his assessment compositions to russia and iran on and was this an issue of the nuclear talks and has the president or administration officials had conversations with the iranian government about the area and secondly what the u.s. is doing to manage the window you
perceive and will take advantage of the moment. >> it sounds to me like an accurate characterization of what the president said in the interview. the view that he was expressing was based on its own analysis of what is occurring on the ground. many analysts with some expertise in this area have concluded that president assad's grip on power is not as strong as it once was. i don't have anything to tell you about. but there is reason to believe that it's not just analysts and united state that has made this observation, but other interested parties in the region have reached the conclusion as well.
it is unclear exactly how that will change anybody's strategy or anybody's action in the region that is the president pointed out, it does offer a little more hope that our long-sought political reconciliation in the area might be slightly more attainable. >> abc a window -- [inaudible] the rebels are backing them financially and sinuous intervention of the assad regime or military effort against them. >> i don't think that any of the steps you just named would logically make some of the countries you named your original question were likely to be constructive.
but i think it is safe for you to send the president of the national security team have been and continue to watch the situation in the area quite close late and to consider her brain of policy options that could improve what is just an awful situation. i had an opportunity to refer to it earlier this week. the terrible humanitarian toll it has taken on this country. the united states has committed to give resources to relieve the human suffering and ease the burden on other countries in the region have taken on so much response ability for syrian refugees. there's a variety of reasons to be concerned and we continue to watch closely. >> did senator schumer called the president to inform him of the decision? >> the president was when i had to advance the senator schumer has announced them.
[inaudible] >> i don't have any specifics. >> you said you'd be surprised if democratic caucus members and senate were to take this into consideration deciding who the next leadership needs. how provocative would it be if senator schumer were to start whipping against the deal. >> well again, ultimately i would be a decision individual members of the senate have to make and i'm not sure my opinion on that matters too much. >> i recognize that doesn't stop you from weighing in on other things. >> in this case i will defer. >> case by case. >> exactly. >> a new measure the level of frustration in response to another schumer's decision. >> i would stick with my description before is
disappointing but not surprising. the fall and that the argument go back more than a decade and this is a difference of opinion president of another schumer had for quite a time. senator schumer and his announced that made a strong case for the president of the united states seeking to impose the will of the united states on a sovereign country in the middle east in previous efforts to do that. like those that occurred in 2003 have not served the interest of the united states very well. that is the essence of the disagreement that was brought to light last night. >> getting back to the debate last night, was there one comment made that you would take most exception to? what struck you as they been something of a problem with last night the way these candidates were talking about the presidential record. >> i think i will resist the
urge to choose just one there were so many. thank you for the opportunity. >> i'll try another one. >> maybe the third try is the charm. >> if i'm not mistaken secretary clinton will likely be in martha's vineyard roughly the same time and the vacations may overlap. that didn't happen last year. there were some days when that occurred. do you think it's possible that two will meet -- it's a small island. >> i don't know precisely what secretary clinton's vacation itinerary will be but i wouldn't let that may cross paths. if they do we will be in a position to let you know. april. >> josh, i want to go back to a couple of subjects.
first i want to ask you about the iran deal. did you get a glimmer of more insight -- [inaudible] what is the overall number you have so far. >> i don't have an overall number of meet and if i did i'm not sure that i would share it. to illustrate the persuasive power of the speeches the president delivered on went day. again the tally i gave you or individuals who publicly announced their support. merely as a service to you i collated the public initiative and tally them up for you. just the raw numbers here talking about one vote per member of congress. the 12 members of congress is an indication of the momentum we hope to build on for the strong
majority in the democratic caucus in the house and senate we expect in support of the deal. >> they say -- when you say to something in georgia with democrat -- [inaudible] >> well, i haven't seen mr. scott statement. it's hard for me to evaluate without having seen the statement. >> on another subject, the debate last night. [inaudible] between the fog of chris christie and president obama. >> i would expect that to be part of it. >> in your opinion what was the essence of the hug? republicans are really upset. at the time --
[inaudible] was the president surprised it was a hug? >> with an opportunity to talk about this in 2012 after that public does live affection occurred. i think what it symbolized to a lot of people is the willingness of leaders in the country to set aside their own partisan identity and political ambition in a time of crisis to ensure the interest of the people they were elect to serve are protected and here you had an instance of shortly before an election if democratic president and republican governor working effectively to meet the needs of the people of new jersey that were significantly affected by the storm. that is the expectations people have for their government as we expect to have robust debate in a democracy and we're going to
have differences of opinion. even occasionally within our political parties. but when the chips are down in are down and when we are in the midst of a crisis in american lives are at stake, the american people have an expectation that the durso put aside political differences and focus on the best interest of their goods issuance. this particular situation that outsiders attention because it occurred days before a significant national election. but this is the kind of governing style of the american people rightly expect and certainly is the approach president obama has prioritized even in less high profile further scrutinize situations. it not uncommon for the president to travel to other areas that sustained a natural disaster and even when it is clear the vast majority of global population didn't support his election the american
people appreciate the president of the 90s dates as they are and haven't had the opportunity to travel with the president to visit communities in both oklahoma and saw that have been affected by tornadoes even i was struck by it. it's clear to me there weren't a lot of obama voters in the crowd as the motorcade was passing by and not a lot of obama voters necessarily digging through the rubble of the neighborhood destroyed by a tornado. we've seen the president very warmly received and i think that the expectation the american people have with clinical leaders and is certainly one of the reasons the president is so privately this country. [inaudible] >> because this is such a hot topic, do you think this is one of the reasons why the president
could reach across the aisle. and you think the president have more of an effort to reach across the aisle before he leaves office? >> i think of some of these other presidents and a piece of legislation into law creating a wilderness area in the state of idaho and standing over his shoulder was one of the republican members of congress from idaho. that is at least one example of the president trying to find common ground with republicans in this case some common ground with president obama despite the significant political differences they have. that is another illustration of not just the president's effort to reach out and find common ground when it's most important, but also a manifestation of the expectation of the american
people that even in some of the darkest red congressional districts in the country that there is the expectation of those people at the member of congress to work effectively with a democratic president to advance the interest of their community and that's what happens at least in this case. i wasn't in there, so maybe you should tell me. >> i want to go back. you call this disappointing but not surprising. as recently as tuesday in close contact with them have you been under the expectation that we would have waited until you've had a chance to build up the campaign approach. >> it is not clear but expectations anybody had about the timing of senator schumer's decision. what the administration sought to do was to work closely with
him to help them understand the facts of the agreement and understand the details of what had been agreed to. that gives the president the much confidence as the best way to prevent a nuclear weapon. i mentioned on tuesday that the efforts by the administration to engage senator schumer predated the completion of the agreement that senator schumer had indicated interest and willingness to interact with the president's national security team to understand the details here. it would have been foolish for the administration to rebut his interest merely because the has widely known for years i've related to the iraq war in 2003 that we are going to engage and in pursuit of an opportunity that we might be able to
succeeded in persuading him to support the deal. ultimately it didn't turn out that way. i think that would account for the disappointment you've heard me express. [inaudible] [inaudible] >> well, i was little slip into and answering jeff's question earlier. that was my indication -- it was my intent to convey to you there would not be much time spent making phone calls but i wouldn't rule out that he might make some calls. that would have been true regardless of the timing of ultimate conclusion reached by senator schumer. >> there's no wrapping up what he meant. >> note. >> obviously president obama's not on the ballot but his policy is certainly under attack.
what the republicans seem to say is what you're saying is the reason the middle east is such a mess now is because we bid going into word 2003. they are saying because we gave up the lawyer and president obama or troops out. that is why. can you please comment on that? >> it does serve to us or the approaches pursued by some republicans in the approach pursued by president obama. president obama has made clear he does not envision a scenario in which u.s. military personnel will be engaged in a sustained offensive ground combat operation in iraq was area. many republicans on the stage last night i've articulated their support for a strategy
that would include significant commitment of u.s. goods on the ground in iraq and area. the president does not believe that would be the best way to advance the national security interest in the united states. the starting undergrad were in the middle east. that's a well-known difference. >> when president obama ordered the troops to start going down in iraq. >> i think what we've been clear about his tracing the genesys of the situation back to 2003. there's been extensive discussion about the fact al qaeda and iraq -- al qaeda was not in iraq until the invasion occurred and since then we've been dealing with consequences that the invasion and the infiltration and propagation of those extremist forces in iraq
and we are doing with those consequences today. >> on the iran deal, the criticism over and over was the united dates got nothing. what did the united states get? >> what the united states got out of the deal is something republicans and prime minister benjamin netanyahu have long said is the top priority, which is verifiably preventing iran from the scene in a nuclear weapon. that is the benefit of this agreement. that is a goal that democrats and republicans and prime minister benjamin yahoo! all agree they had sat in the system the president find the best way to accomplish that goal. >> another subject on immigration if they could. dhs has spun the cord on the
border. is this a change in policy? it does when you read it they downsized though dhs is changing its policy of calling this even a detention center but more of a processing center. >> jim as you and i discussed yesterday, this is something the administration of president have wanted knowledge is a difficult policy challenge and one that has been difficult to confront. for the details of the policy in the ways described to the judge could do for you to the department of homeland security. i would want to inadvertently describe it in a different way and cause confusion in the ongoing court case. this is a challenging issue and one the administration take serious way. >> in the response to my dh says that the two-week period from june 20th through july 11th 60% of those that the pension centers release.
is this because the white house is again changing the policy on how these detention centers are being used? for those decisions i refer you to dhs. >> margaret. >> yesterday we saw the amount meant the u.s. has transferred the wife of a senior isis later to iraqi kurdish custody and in the statement, the white house said they were in the detention of american, caleb mueller. i want to know because doj is saying she will not face charges and why there was direct there was a policy decision not to more aggressively pursue that. >> well, there's a couple things that factoring here. the decision to transfer to the
iraqi government is based on a unanimous interagency consensus that the detainees transfer would be appropriate with respect to the equal diplomatic intelligence security among first to the duration. the large number of ajit case should give you an indication of how many agent is working voltage about this particular decision. as a determination is a determination has been conducted in full coordination in iraq and the united states and iraqi government are supportive of the transfer. one thing i will add to is the u.s. personnel did have an opportunity to interrogate for an end that appeared of time to maximize the collection of available and useful intelligence. she was married to a senior isil leader abu old societies who
was killed in a raid in syria earlier this year. we do suspect he was a member of isil and played an important role in isil's terroristic dvds and we do believe she and her husband are complicit in the captivity of u.s. citizens and caleb mueller. we believe they were also complicit in the captivity of the doubt and cd women who who was rescued at the time of the capture. we have a firm belief that in the context of the iraqi criminal justice system that she will be held to account for her crimes. >> given everything you just laid out, is there frustration disappointment and now someone so complicit and engaged in a fairly senior level of isis is now outside the reach?
>> again, the decision to press charges in the u.s. court is made by prosecutors at the department of justice and that is a decision they would make an day may be able to give you more of an explanation for the decision is made. at the same time the reason you have brought interagency is that this was the right approach is that the united states has confidence he will face justice in the iraqi criminal justice system. >> you talked a fair amount about a review of hostage policy of the united states has undertaken. how is this communicated to the family? was their communication in regard to it? >> yes, it was communicated to the family prior to this public announcement. >> at the newly created? >> good question.
i don't know how the communication occurred but it was communicated to ms. mueller's family here in the united states before any public announced that the decision was made. >> another question. she was captured in syria. her alleged crime she was living in syria. >> she is an iraqi citizen. >> is a crime in iraq? >> well, i refer you to the iraqi criminal justice officials about that. obviously there's a reason to be skeptical of the effectiveness. but for the charges she will face and where they took place i would refer you to iraqi criminal justice. the reason for her transfer is because she is a citizen of iraq. >> also an area it would useful to rethink given the cohorts of
either being captured killed or refusing -- [inaudible] >> in trying to implement this train and equip strategy when it comes to recruiting training and supporting moderate syrian opposition siders to take the fight to isil on the ground inside of syria. one of the most significant challenges we face is connecting background checks that there is a priority placed on making sure the individuals who go through the training program and receive military equipment during the coalition partners are not individuals compared to turn right around and use the coalition forces. a rather moderate syrian
opposition elements operating in syria. this has been a difficult challenge and as i mentioned yesterday the president has been briefed on the current state of this mission and i've often said that the president and his team is interested in working closely with our coalition to make sure we are constantly reviewing the policies we have in place and updating and improving and refining them when necessary to better accomplish our goal. ..