Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 9, 2014 12:00am-2:01am EDT

12:00 am
there is ample opportunity for -- without you seeing the evidence to make sure the stuff does not happen. the culture does start from the top and we need to make sure this kind of thing is deemed unacceptable and everybody knows it. we have the means at hand to make sure it does not happen. >>r about implementing a x on natural gas drilling and you have said you would overhaul the state's personal income tax. what youryou explain specific plans are for overhauling the personal income tax, who will pay less, who pay more, by how much. >> i think i have been as specific as i can be. i want to make sure we have a fair tax system. that applies to property taxes which are too high and too personal income tax which i think is unfair and it applies to corporate income tax and the
12:01 am
marsalis shale tax. i want to put a 5% tax at the well head. all those things are my attempt to make the system fairer. i want to make sure that taxpayers get the first break they have had in 20 years. athink i can make it progressive tax in terms of the income tax and we can reduce property taxes. that is what we have to do is a state and that would be and start contrast to what we have done in this administration. >> i have told people what we will you and we did it. when i was running for office i laid out what we will do in a cap those promises. mr. wolf would suspend -- wants to spend more money. the question is how much. he needs to tax more to get that money but he will not tell the people how much nor will he tell weeks fromhere a few the election how he is going to do it. whose taxes are going to go up
12:02 am
and go down question mark he has to take aonths, years look. he has been the secretary of revenue. the documents are available and we sent him documents to times to take a look at what is the plan, just to say that we will do something fair is trying to be all things to all people. dept now i see pensions and and education paid out of one alien dollars. -- $1 billion. >> we do want details and you talk about fairness in the system, i think fairness would mean what you are going to do. even if it means telling us at what level do you see middle income or upper income so we have some more meat when the voters going to the polls and have to make this decision. >> yes, i can go as far as i can go and still be honest. if you're in the $70,000 or
12:03 am
$90,000 range and you can double that if you're married, you should not pay any more in taxes and people below that will get a break. that is my goal. i cannot be any more specific because as we know in the last budget even with the information this administration came in $700 million before -- below revenue projections. i do not know what the level of the fiscal mess we have had. we have had five down greetings of bond ratings. until i get there and find out what we're facing i am not going to me more specific than i have said. 90,000 a making 70 to year you will not pay anymore. >> that is another dodge of answering the question. how much are you going to spend, what do you project as revenue and how will you get the taxes to do that, who will be taxed
12:04 am
and by what levels? progressive tax within four years. the fastest you could get is maybe four or five years so where are you going to get the money for vp and pensions without increasing taxes on pennsylvanians. downgrading, we know the reason. i warned the people of pennsylvania and the legislature about where downgrading was being cut. the $65 billion that is coming. that is why -- why downgrading is going on. dealer question. what is your position on the pending divorce between upmc and can forcehich
12:05 am
thousands of people to switch insurance companies or doctors? >> we have been working closely with the attorney general's office. my secretary of health on the insurance commissioner and we were able to get two parties to an agreement to it consent decree. one of the things we know here as we do need competition in health care. especially in light of obamacare and how difficult it is going to be to pay health care insurance in the future. we need to have a competition between all parties and we have seen more competition come forward. as you know, we continue to see the two sides fighting with each other and we are trying to bring them together and get them to a resolution that the people of pennsylvania particularly our seniors are not put into the anxiety they have been going through for the last number of years. >> this is another example of leadership. people need to have access to
12:06 am
good health care. this is what we have been looking for. there is a problem between hi upmc.- highmark and they need to recognize what they are trying to do to solve this problem affects the health and welfare of the people of this region. if they can, the governor has to step in and take action. if they cannot figure out how to serve the needs of these people adequately than the governor is going to -- that is leadership and that is what we have not gotten. >> you mentioned the word competition. characterize this as unfair competition? rex i would not characterize the existence that occurred before the divorce was unfair competition. you did not see other outside insurance companies come into pennsylvania. you do see them now. comes to mindthat
12:07 am
quickly and both parties hearing this may not be happy to hear this but there were long investigations as to whether there was an antitrust violation which the department of justice decided there was not. a pushing out of competition, and elimination of competition from outside. that is coming in now but when it comes to leadership, you have to use the tools that you have. you do not make up new tools. the legislature has not created any. the attorney with general to get these parties to come to the table and work together. not the easiest thing to do. >> this is about people's lives. not about competition. kitchen cabinets. this is about people's lives. the state has an obligation, an obligation to make sure this works. if the parties can work it out
12:08 am
themselves that is preferable but if they cannot we have to recognize this as something separate and apart from consumers. this is about people's lives and that is why the administration has to lead on this issue if the parties cannot figure this out for themselves. >> the pennsylvania general assembly is the second largest state legislature in the nation behind new hampshire. and the largest full-time legislature. and has been said that the size of legislature contributes to and efficiency when considering and passing laws. would you support an amendment to bring a reduction in the size of the state and the house and why? >> we have a democracy and i think in a democracy the last place you would want to cut is the number of people who are accountable to the public through the vote. so i am against reducing the size. if you want to make them work more efficiently there other things we can do to strengthen
12:09 am
our democracy and i would be for those things. cutting the size of the legislature, i do not see how that improves our democracy. >> i am for it. with theen dealing legislature for many years. people have been dealing with the legislature. mr. wolf has not been hearing this from the same people i have that the size and cost of our legislature is being borne by the taxpayers. many years ago we went from a part-time legislature to a full-time legislature. from a biennial budget to an annual budget. four years ago when i was toning i said let's go back a biennial budget, let's go to a part-time legislature. it is not in their interest to go there because many of the they are have that as a full-time job. i believe citizenship should the a part-time job.
12:10 am
, hardround at the states time legislatures. they represent the people. pittsburgh and other communities are struggling with how to see revenue from tax-exempt institutions are major employers and major property owners. should there be changes in state laws governing the obligations of these big entities to the communities in which they are or should the communities give up on trying to seek more money from them, are they wrong to seek more money from these tax-exempt institutions? >> i do not think they are wrong. where do they need the money? they need the money to pay for their pensions. that is their biggest cost driver. we understand that. since my parents in front of the philadelphia inquirer that when i become governor again we call a special
12:11 am
session. it is a problem across the state. you have to do with that but should we visit whether there should be a different view of some of the institutions that nonprofits -- and look at a different classification somewhere in between? i think that is worth exploring. >> this is a broader issue than just tax-exempt property. cities are struggling throughout pennsylvania. whoeed a governor understands that cities are struggling and tries to focus the appropriate attention on the root causes of those struggles. looking at the tax-exempt robberies by themselves, that is not the end of it. there are lots of other things we get back to all the problems that pennsylvania has. it is like you're running for your first term. we have cities who have been
12:12 am
struggling. we need leadership. we need to to come up with plans not to what you are going to do but we need to look at what you have done in cities are still struggling. >> question for mr. wolf. the strictest id voter law was adopted in the country which was struck down in court. if lawmakers adopted another voter id law, would you sign it? >> no. these elections are about getting things done, about making promises, about looking at preferred public policies but it is about democracy. stewards of the democratic tradition and we should be doing everything in ourpower to making democracy stronger and better. way ofd, one more limiting the franchise, one more way of keeping people from voting is wrong. it is anti-democratic.
12:13 am
>> i disagree. it make sure that one person has one vote. is accuracy in that boat. when the legislature passed that i signed that bill and we fought to defend it in the court. the courts overturned it based on the procedures that were put into place. if that bill were to come back before we -- before me and you see it in other states, i would say we need to sign it. i want to make sure particularly in areas where there is primaries where the winner is going to be the winner. that is what we need to make sure that one person is voting only one time. >> i have a follow-up question. there are some states that feel that we're past the point historically where certain groups are in danger of losing their voting rights. do you feel this country is in that position? >> i'm not sure which group you're talking about.
12:14 am
>> any groups that have been disenfranchised. >> we have a long way to go before -- lots of people feel that they are this and franchised. all you have to do is look at , far lower than it was in india which voted at the same time we voted. we need to work on ways of making our democracy more relative. -- relevant. disenfranchising people does not work. the reason the republican party was trying to push this is it would disenfranchised immigrant's, the mechanic -- it would disenfranchise democrats. we should not be engaging in that kind of hitter. >> you can try and determine the intention of the -- republican party. my intention is to make sure that individuals in pittsburgh or in theory, and sylvania in the suburbs are -- have one
12:15 am
vote, one person. differenthising is a question. what we did see is a lack of interest. electorate was not too interested in the four candidates. we need to educate more and do better education and participation particularly in grade school and high school and in the work lace. encouraging people to vote. whether people are discouraging them i do not think that is taking place as it did 30, 40, 50 years ago. >> there is not one person one vote, people are voting twice or three times, where's the evidence, where's the fraud that is occurring in pennsylvania? weight,recall correct you have had participation rates of over 100% in some district so obviously something happened there.
12:16 am
to that, looking and the federal government has to come in and look at that. this is like insurance. let's make sure it cannot happen. everyone carries or just about everyone carries a photo id. you carry it on your credit card. we tried to make photos available to everybody. we probably did not do it the best way. if referring one has a photo when you come in and sw that photo, this is someone who is eligible to vote. no evidence that there was voter fraud. i do not know how many cases, a handful of cases that have come up in the last 10 years in pennsylvania. this was about enfranchisement. that was made clear by some of the sponsors of the bill. it is a cynical lay and it should not be allowed to work. one of the things we need to ourre out to do is make
12:17 am
government more relevant -- relevant. >> this is from twitter. thanre gas prices higher virginia and how is it that we as pennsylvanians pay the most for roads and still have some of the worst roads in the nation? how can you fix these issues and convince people like me to stay in pennsylvania? >> that is a five-minute answer. each region of the country depending on where the refineries are my has a different price. this is $.10 a gallon more expensive because of the transmission costs. since we passed the transportation bill in november, prices are $.50 less. it moves on the oil coming in and the price of oil. we are improving the roads. our -- our roads were bad.
12:18 am
got as why we transportation bill passed but you have to go back, if you're talking about virginia. they taxed your car is personal property every year. you pay $36 a year for license plates. there you can pay a hundred -- couple hundred dollars a year. you have to compare apples to apples. >> the viewer is right. prices are higher here because our taxes are higher. i applaud the transportation bill. we can go further and have an infrastructure that would the fed for a 21st-century economy but you took a pledge not to raise taxes. in the bill you did that. reason whyof the this viewer says that our prices are higher than other states. no question to mr. wolf. of sixnnsylvania is one
12:19 am
states that elect our judges in partisan elections. millions of dollars flow into our state judicial races. replacingsupport elections for the three statewide courts with a merit selection system? >> yes, i would. move away need to from partisan politics and look at them as we do at the federal level, as positions where we try to find the best and the brightest people and appoint them. this seems to have worked well at the federal level and it would work well here. we have elected judges at the local and county levels and that is appropriate. >> politics will always still play into it and you know that because you have to have a confirmation process that would go through. who those individuals are would come from a different series of polls and maybe there would be
12:20 am
review commission such as they have for the federal government for federal judges and circuit court judges and supreme court judges emma but i do think it is good if we go to that system. you see a lot of money spent and judges traveling or candidates traveling that maybe a judge and they are telling what they might be doing. judges should be appointed. >> thank you. are in essence of he -- in favor, what quality forhe judges would you look in the merit selection system? >> i would look for people who are -- have a strong background in the law, who have thought deeply about subjects they are going to reflect upon. and have a judicial temperament.
12:21 am
right and understand wrong are important values that we want to do the right thing. that fairness actually matters. i would want to look for people who have a history of having shown that in their lives and decisions and behaviors. quick same thing. ethical, the to be vast majority are ethical. we have had some mistakes out there. i want them to be experienced. i do not think you could put a limit to say you could not be appointed if you were in the lower court. i would be up to see where they are in opinions. lawnt them to look at the and interpret the law on behalf of the people of pennsylvania as fairly as they can. pennsylvania has executed
12:22 am
three convicts who have been on death row since 1976. sometimes the victims of homicides, their families go through reliving the events as after appeal comes should pennsylvania continue to have a death penalty and wire why not? i i do continue to support -- death warrants. it is unfortunate that the process takes so long and it is difficult, on the backs of the families of the victims in that case. toecent case was continuing rip this car off the family by broadcasting a debate or a commencement speech to gothard college in vermont and there is new legislation in regard to that. from my experiences as a prosecutor, there is a deterrent
12:23 am
value. many people would disagree that i do believe in it. think of a case where we are searching for an individual. that is one of the reasons that i know i believe in that. >> i think we ought to have a war torreon on capital punishment because i am not dispensinghat we are justice fairly. there are some people who are targeted more than others when we accuse them of capital crimes and convict them and i think sometimes we send the wrong people to their deaths. we need to make sure we're doing the right thing. our governor has the ability to grant reprieves. specific times and i would use those reprieves to create, tore him to make sure that what we're are doing is working and is working fairly.
12:24 am
senate has passed a bill that would overhaul minister pahlavi's, giving them the ability to raise their local services tax. that is all with the exception of bits per. wyche and pittsburgh be given the same right to raise its $52 local services tax as other municipalities enact 47 in the state? >> it gets back to bob's question, there are things that people look at as silver bullets, ways we can save cities. in of the ways is enshrined act 47, giving more cities more power to tax their citizens more heavily. i do not think that is right. it makes cities less competitive. i think we need to get to root what actually is ailing
12:25 am
our cities and why are cities struggling. are it goes beyond nonprofit organizations, it goes beyond the powers that might be granted and put extra taxes on citizens. we need to make sure we look at why it is the cities cannot compete with the suburbs and pennsylvania. >> one of the reasons they have not been able to compete is something a mentioned before. you have to go back to the pensions. they have to pay into those pensions on a regular basis. they are in a war situation than the state is because they do not have the tax base in order to pay into that system as pennsylvania would have and we would under a governor wills continue to raise taxes to pay into the pension system. to look at the legislature made a decision i believe that the request of authorities here.
12:26 am
not know exactly for sure but i think if you do it for one city you need to do it for all cities. >> thank you, governor. we have another viewer question. this is from christa. governor? came into office one of the things i realized, that special needs funding had people on waiting lists. we had people with physical and intellectual disabilities that were on waiting lists to get care particularly after their parents, after they had a chat of the system and their parents were getting older. we have increased funding since i have been in office and that is one of the areas we have increased funding in order to get those individuals off the waiting list. it is extremely important. we do need to put more money in their.
12:27 am
we are working together at that point. at the same time, we need to be able to get some of that money from, let's say the pension system if we could reduce spending without affecting the employees across the state. we need to move some of it into their. >> we do need to support families who have members of the families -- family with autism doing a better job of diagnosing autism and there are more cases than ever before. the question is are we keeping up with the need for treatment and support for families and the answer is we are not. that is not so much a matter of raised revenues as it is shifting priorities. we need to make sure that what we are doing in our state government is addressing the issues that exist in families today and this is an example of one case where we are not and if i were governor, i would look at what we were doing and rearrange
12:28 am
priorities to make sure we are addressing the needs of children and families with members of -- who have autism. >> another question. >> mr. wolf, could you explain any gun safety measures that you might support in order to provide more awareness, education, and protection for pennsylvania's children? >> yes. backgroundsonable checks. we need to do things to make sure that we have safety training courses for people who own guns so that families do not put children in harms way. from your county where the first day of deer season is a holiday. also i have neighbors who when i asked them, the kids next door, what do you want the governor to do and she said i would like to
12:29 am
walk out on my porch and not get shot. this is an eight-year-old. we need to have a conversation between the people who understandably and legitimately want to protect their second amendment rights with people like that little girl who want to make sure they have a safe neighborhood. a fundamental civil right. someone can begin to conversation, a rational conversation. >> we need to have responsible gun owners. we do have responsible gun owners and that comes with education. there is a great deal of education that goes on out there. , ato have a ground tax stores and gun shows. i do not know whether he understands that. we do have stock purchasers and when i was attorney general i created a task force to go after straw purchasers especially in philadelphia.
12:30 am
in the first year and a half, we reduced homicides working bysely with philadelphia pd 25%, a lot of it going after the stroke purchasers create we do need to educate every gun owner on safety. >> pennsylvanians love it when they see their communities showcased. production is costing our state jobs and costing business. can the state list that cap and why would that not be a good tax policy? >> i have had a discussion with some members of the legislature who are not ready to move to that area. some states have and the question becomes where do we get the revenue, who gets the revenue? localthe state or the
12:31 am
community because you have a lot of members of the film crews here in pennsylvania who live here and we have a film producer batman" andd " everything. we will have a conversation to say that we're going to lift the cap and open it up but there are others who say you should not do that. we should be taxing everybody. that will be a debate that will to havewe will have between the legislature and house and senate. wethe question is how do consent this industry and showcase pennsylvania. the tax credit has been a good way to do that. this requires leadership. we are going to have to sit down and look at the budget and say what are we doing that we should not be doing, that does not have the highest priority and shifted it to things that could create jobs for you we look at how we have gone from ninth to 47th in
12:32 am
terms of job creation. this is part of an overall strategy to make pennsylvania, people who will create good jobs here, this is one part of that overall strategy. question ande more you have 30 seconds to answer this. start with mr. wolf. >> should the minimum wage be inty -- increased pennsylvania? >> it should. it should be increased and indexed to inflation. >> governor. >> it should stay along with the federal wage. we should not be looking at minimum wage as a lifetime family sustaining wage. most people on minimum wage are young people. 75% are between 16 and 24. we should be encouraging them to use that as a means to find a 200and by the way we have 50,000 job openings in pennsylvania. >> thank you very much and that
12:33 am
concludes the question and answer portion of tonight's debate. each candidate will have one minute to make a closing statement beginning with mr. wolf. >> thank you. i want to thank wtae and sally and the panelists and governor for sharing the podium once again. this is a great democratic exercise. i am running for governor as an unconventional candidate. i am not the kind of candidate that you have seen before. this is the first to my of done this but i am running for two reasons create pennsylvania can be better. pennsylvania should be a state with the future. to invest in education, not by this investing. we need to invest in transportation and make sure we responsibility of our natural resources. we need to do right things for anybody. we can have a great future. unlike the situation we have now straits.we are in dire
12:34 am
our education system is awful. we have followed out our schools. our economy is not functional. we have gone from top of the charts to third from the bottom in terms of job creation. the bond rating agencies have gone -- downgraded us. i want to run for governor because we can do things better and i want to run because we need a bright future in pennsylvania and we can achieve it. >> governor. >> thank you and thank you to the league of women voters and panelists for having us here. i am not finished yet. when i ran four years ago, i inherited a $4.2 billion deficit. we have seen -- unemployment was 8.1 when i entered office. today it is 5.8. we have had no increases during that time. we have eliminated taxes like the death tax and inheritance -- we are the number
12:35 am
one state in the northeast and number four in the country for new businesses coming and expanding production facilities. i am a leader and we have been people of the pennsylvania want. creating jobs in pennsylvania. the choice is clear. do you want someone who has yet to answer how much you will tax you and how much you will going -- he will spend or someone who has made the promise to what he was going to do and i have kept my promises and will move pennsylvania forward as we are moving forward today. thatank you, gentlemen, concludes our debate. thank you to the panelists from the league of women voters and news radio and thank you to the pennsylvania association of broadcasters for making a live feed available across the commonwealth. please remember to go out and vote on november 6.
12:36 am
this is the privilege of a democracy. your vote does count. >> coming up, an update on ebola. president obama speaks at the dedication ceremony for the better and possible more ale -- memorial.teran's >> here are a few of the comments we received from viewers. >> i am calling in reference to the show. the secret service hearings. a good show that see sharon -- c-span put on. that should be taken from the show is we are following short of the white
12:37 am
house. the purpose of the secret service organization was to protect the white house and president. if can we defend ourselves even the secret service cannot defend a small place like the white house and a small family like the president's? >> hearings about the secret like thei did not hearings. couldf their questions not be answered in an open forum. pierson does know what she is talking about. but she could not say it in an open forum. hearing is over, they are in a closed hearing, all the congress people. they are not going to be able to
12:38 am
tell you either or the media because they took an oath not to. i don't know if everybody out there gets it. thank you, c-span. >> c-span is probably my favorite channel to watch. i am dumbfounded at the attitude calmness that-- pervades this inquiry. this whole thing is extraordinary in its meekness. action should be taken now, to fire whatever her name is. the head of security. to revamp the whole thing. it should not take a matter of days to fire them. top should be replaced with of the line security people. this is a job that requires the
12:39 am
crème de la creme. they are not guarding a lawyer house -- warehouse. frankly, i am furious. it takes a lot to get me in this mood and get me to call c-span. i rarely do things like this. this is extraordinary. let's get it toward and cured quickly. >> continue to let us know what you think. call us. e-mail us. or you can send us a tweet. join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook. follows on twitter. -- follow us on twitter. >> disinterested -- the center for disease control director commented on the death of thomas duncan in a texas hospital. and a sheriff's deputy is being monitored after experiencing
12:40 am
possible ebola simpson's -- symptoms. this briefing from atlanta is 40 minutes. thank you and good afternoon. saddened by the death of a patient in dallas. we learned today that he passed away. our thoughts go out to his family and friends. he is a face that we associate now with ebola. since the start of the epidemic, 3742 patients have been documented to have died. we don't have their faces in front of us. we know even more people have been affected. we think about this and we remember what a deadly enemy ebola is great how important it is that we take every step possible to protect americans
12:41 am
and stop the outbreak at its source. one of the things that we do to protect americans here in the united states is to improve our preparedness and our health care system. the three key steps are first, thinking of the possibility of ebola, and identifying who may have the disease so they can be rapidly tested, and third, effectively isolated. that is crucial for a response. the identification, and diagnosis, and safe care of anyone who may have ebola needs to be top of mind right now for health care providers throughout the country. at cdc be did quite a bit to support health care workers in addressing and assessing patients. we have provided detailed information that should be
12:42 am
available to every front-line worker about how to address a patient who may have ebola. anyone with fever should be asked if they have been in west africa, specifically sierra leone and liberia in the past 21 days. and assessed, and if appropriate, tested for ebola. we provide health alert network switch reach hundreds of thousands of health care workers. we do webinars and reach out to associations, emergency departments, medical associations, and many others so that we can ensure that the available information is up to date and useful. right now the bottom line of what we are talking about today is that we are stepping up protection for people coming into this country and for americans related to travel. we will continuously look at
12:43 am
ways that we can increase the safety of americans. we do that at many different levels we do that in dallas where officials there are working intensively to monitor every person who might have had contact with the patient to ensure that if they do develop fever they are immediately isolated and the chain of transmission can be broken. we do that in our health-care system with the kind of outreach i have described. so patients will be rapidly diagnosed and if found to have ebola, rapidly isolated. we do that at the source understanding that until this outbreak is over in west africa whatever we do can't get the risk to zero here in the interconnected world that we live in today. we do that through intra-and travel programs, including the efforts that we undertake in west africa and some that will be described in more detail later in this briefing.
12:44 am
i think before turning it over to the deputy secretary i would like to emphasize the basic principles we use when looking at interventions. we continuously evaluate ways to better protect americans. protecting americans is our number one priority. we make sure that whenever we do is something that works, that we evaluate, that we can think of ways to continuously improve. third, we recognize that whatever we do until the outbreak is over cannot get the risk to zero in this country. that is why we continue to surge the cdc response in west africa and the u.s. response in west africa, and the international response, where we seen hundreds of health care workers, hundreds of millions of dollars, and affecting those countries paid
12:45 am
as we say in health care, above all, do no harm. we have to ensure that whatever we do doesn't unintentionally increase the risk that we will be at risk. just mind is of what happened a decade ago in the sars outbreak, sars cost of the world more than $40 billion. it wasn't to control the outbreak. those were costs from unnecessary and ineffective travel restrictions and trade changes that could have been avoided. what we want to do is ensure that we don't undermine our ability to stop the outbreak at its source and unintentionally increase our risks here. to outline the new measures being taken and reviewed, i will turn it over now to deputy secretary. >> thank you very much dr. freeman.
12:46 am
the department of homeland security is focused on protecting the air travel and is taking steps to ensure that passengers with communicable diseases like ebola are screened, isolated, and safely referred to medical s&l. we have implemented a range of measures to ensure a layered approach. today the existing measures include issuing do not board orders to airlines if the cdc and the department of state determines a passenger is a risk to the traveling public. providing information and guidance about ebola to the airlines. posting notices at airports to raise awareness about ebola, and providing a health notice
12:47 am
commonly referred to as a care sheet to travelers entering in the united states that have traveled from or transited through the affected countries. with information and instruction should be concerns of possible infection. we are announcing, enhanced measures, specifically the enhanced screenings that will consist of targeted questions, temperature checks, and collection of contact information of travelers from the affected countries entering the united states at five airports. jfk, newark, douglas, chicago o'hare, and atlanta. customs and border control officers by way of background, they will observe all passengers for overt signs of illnesses,
12:48 am
through visual observation and questioning as appropriate. for those entering the united states at all with the entry. in addition, moving forward all travelers arriving to the airports identified in the united states from liberia, sierra leone, will undergo the increase to measures. they will answer targeted questions about whether they have had contact with ebola patients. we will collect additional us-based contact information should cdc need to contact them. finally, we will take their temperature with a noncontact barometer which can be a key indicator of potential infection. we are taking these additional measures in a dynamic environment to ensure a layered approach and that we take the
12:49 am
security measures that we assess to be needed right now. with that, i will turn it back. >> before opening for questions i would recap that starting a jfk on saturday and at the other airports that were mentioned in the following week, these airports represent 94 percent of the travelers who arrive from these three countries. the department of homeland security will be implementing a new detailed questionnaire as well as a temperature taking and providing information to each traveler. if any travelers are found to either have a fever or have a history of contact with ebola in
12:50 am
the on-site centers for disease control and prevention public health officer will take additional action as needed. i want to emphasize this is stepping up protection. it is going to find people with fever or contacts who don't have ebola. we know that over the past couple of months one out of every 500 travelers boarding a plane has had a fever. most of those had malaria. none of those as far as we know have been diagnosed with ebola. we expect to see some patients with fever. that will cause some obvious and understandable concern. i would like to spend a minute talking about malaria.
12:51 am
it is important to understand how it is relevant here. malaria is spread by mosquitoes. it cannot get it from someone else. malaria is a disease which in west africa is extremely common. it is also a disease which traditionally has been known in health care as a fever that comes and goes. it may come for 48 hours and then go away for three days. it comes back every two or three days. it would not be surprising if we sell individuals with malaria have a fever after coming back here. that might be common presentation among those who have fever, if any such people are identified. this is why incidentally we strongly encourage americans traveling to areas of the world that had malaria to take preventive medications which are highly effective at preventing malaria. what we would do in this
12:52 am
situation is a clinical assessment and exposure assessment. we would then hand the individual off to either the local health care system that might need to assess and isolate individual and test them, or to the local public-health system which would, if the person is actually a contact, take appropriate action and ensure their temperature is taken every day for 21 days after the last exposure. before taking questions i would reiterate what we're doing is stepping up protection. we will evaluate the new measures and start them on saturday at jfk and over the coming weeks at the other airports i mentioned read we will if i wake this experience. we are always looking at ways to better prepare americans. we will start with questions. wait for the microphone. >> there are some critics who
12:53 am
say that even with these efforts that people will fall through the seams, that it will not be enough to read will these efforts be enough to protect the country? >> what we are doing is putting in additional protections. we have been very clear that as long as ebola continues to spread in africa we cannot make the risk zero here. we wish that we could. i understand there have been calls to ban all travel to west africa. the problem with that approach is that it makes it extremely difficult to respond to the outbreak. it makes it hard to get health workers in because they cannot get out. it would make it harder to respond to the outbreak in west africa it will spread not only in those three countries but to other parts of africa and we will ultimately increase the risk here. that is why the concept of above all doing no harm is so important. next question?
12:54 am
>> i am wondering about some screening at airports. how effective is this a finding sick people? >> we have looked at different screening methods at different times. the thermometers that are used are highly effective. they are fda up and for use in u.s. hospitals. they do not require touching the patient and they get a reliable result. is there anything more you would like to say about prior offense? >> i do not believe so. >> what is the legal authority the federal government has to hold american citizens if they need to be quarantines? there are some experts that say it is like looking for a needle in a haystack and the effect of what is happening today is to calm the public panic about ebola, that the risk and the usefulness of catching people
12:55 am
with it is low but the effect is to calm people down. >> a couple of points. the first point is that the number of travelers is relatively small. we're talking about 150 print day. it is not an effort that would be particularly disruptive to large numbers of people. we think it is manageable. in terms of the legal authorities both within the public health and within the border efforts there are legal authorities and public health. there is a right to protect the public. we can do that by isolating individuals who may be infectious or a risk to the public. >> thank you. i would just amplify that response. in our screening we have the authority to take measures with respect to u.s. citizens as well
12:56 am
as non-citizens to ensure that the public safety or security is not threatened. in the public health arena just as it is in the national security arena. >> we will go to the phone for the next question. >> today, from cbs news. >> the cdc has said that all we need are face masks, gowns, and gloves. then you see these hazmat suits. i'm wondering if ironically any consideration is being given to the possibility that this suit is increasing the risk of contamination because in taking them off someone can be contaminated. >> thank you. there is definitely a balance here.
12:57 am
the more cumbersome and equipment it is, the greater possibility of a problem. in west africa we have seen needle sticks with clean needles but through infected by contaminated gloves. it is difficult to work in more cumbersome equipment. that is why we're looking at as many practical approaches that will still being safe. we recognize there is concern with the infection in spain, with the infections in west africa to make sure that our health care workers or say. that is why the cdc has infection control experts who worked intensively with any facility concerned about or has a patient with ebola. next question? >> thank you for taking my call and you may have explained this
12:58 am
and the previous conference call. explain to us whether, stunk and was eligible to receive blood plasma from the hospital? what specific questions about the care of the patient who died would have been referred to the hospital there. i would remind us that ebola, even with the best of treatment is a terrible disease. it is fatal in a high proportion of cases. we encourage rapid and early diagnosis because the earlier someone is diagnosed the more likely they will be to survive. >> what information can you tell us about a possible second patient in texas? do you know whether this person was in contact with mr. duncan? was he recently west africa? >> my understanding, this is
12:59 am
recent information, we will get definitive information the next few hours, there is someone who does not have either definite contact with ebola or definite symptoms even ebola who was being assessed. what we expect is that as people are more concerned, as there is a higher index of suspicion, people will be upset. that is is how it should be buried we should keep in perspective. right now there is only one patient ever in the u.s.. the individual tragically died today i read we are tracing the other 48 people with contact and of them as of today have had theodore symptoms, suggestive of ebola. we recognize we are not out of that waiting period.
1:00 am
it is a time when we are anxious and assessing. >> was he one of the people monitoring? >> and to get back to you on that. my understanding is that he had neither a definite contact nor definite symptoms. >> the los angeles times. given the demand for manpower and supplies in west africa, are the critical resources that are being diverted for screening processes that could be better utilized on the ground in west africa or elsewhere? >> to screening program here is not diverting from or undermining our efforts in west africa. the temperatures will be taken under the supervision of customs and border protection. the cdc already does a staff patients. we wanted to add a small number of additional staff to provide 24/7 coverage at these airports.
1:01 am
it is in no way going to make it more difficult for us to stop the outbreak in africa. >> earlier you talked about the added level of screening includes checking temperatures. if the symptoms don't show up for anyone days how does that help? >> we are looking at every layer that can be put in. the assessing and the possibilities of what can be done. one of the issues is the information provided to travelers who arrive in this country. that is provided in west africa and here through the cbp entry station through information. that is one of the areas we will be looking at closely. >> could you describe where the decision to do this additional screening at her words came from? did it originate in homeland security or in the white house?
1:02 am
i ask because i know you were critical of taking this step a week ago. can you tell us more about the quarantine facility is? will they be at each of these airports? will be staffers be wearing protective gear? >> i will ask the deputy secretary to continue. have said consistently we will do whatever is effective to protect americans. this is a whole of government response. we look carefully to seeing what we can do and do most effectively to protect americans. >> i would echo the remark. this has been a collective effort across the administration to respond to this outbreak of
1:03 am
ebola in west africa. the individual customs and border protection officers will not be wearing masks. it has been a medical assessment of the need now. thank you. >> are there quarantine stations? >> yes. >> you said that we can't eliminate the threat to the united states until we take care of the outbreak overseas. can you see to the state of the international response? what is the situation there? >> we are seeing surging enough resources to the country and to each of the three countries. we're surging out to each of the counties and districts within the countries. these are three countries that have different epidemics.
1:04 am
liberia has had the most extensive so far. there have been in some areas some decreases in recent weeks. we do not know if those will hold. in sierra leone we see increases of cases that are concerning. there are increases and decreases, and we are monitoring that closely. we have seen a strengthened response from the world health organization and the united nations. we have seen many countries stepping up, including the united kingdom. if you look at sierra leone at our efforts as an example to do laboratory work, the cdc operates several of the essential laboratories in these countries. in addition, the united kingdom, south africa, russia, china, canada, the european union, and i'm leaving out a few, they do laboratory works. there has been a strong international response to challenge.
1:05 am
we are seeing in west africa some signs of progress. we are seeing more safe burials in liberia. we have contacted organization that is expanding from the country to provide safe burial service. we are working with communities to do that an increase isolation and treatment capacity. i think we are beginning to see that search response have an impact on the front lines. it is going to be a long fight. we are far from being out of the woods. >> there has been a major effort from the u.s. and other partners. we hope and expect to see more resources coming in from countries around the world matching the leadership the u.s. is showing. right now the biggest challenge is getting resources needed to the front lines where they are most needed.
1:06 am
we will go to the phones. >> my next question is from maryland. >> i wanted to ask about a situation in suburban dallas. he said the person does not have definite contact with ebola or definite symptoms. do they have possible context? >> since it is a merging situation i would have to refer you to dallas. often in situations like this information may change from minute to minute. i would reiterate what i said earlier we do not have a concern for symptoms consistent with ebola or for definite contact as far as everything that i have learned up to a few minutes ago. >> my question is regarding air travel. the new procedures for the
1:07 am
different airports. is there a special procedure or guidance given to the airlines when thinking about cleaning an aircraft that has just arrived from west africa? is that a precaution to take? can you explain what the airline should be doing in that regard? >> we have detailed the guidelines and work closely with the airline industry. there are guidelines if the have a patient potentially with ebola for enhanced cleaning of the airplane. is anything more you would like to add? >> i do not. >> let's go to people who haven't asked questions. >> you noted earlier diagnoses increased the chance of survival. given the delay amid i know that diagnoses, did that contribute to his death? it is ambiguous with the communication failure was at that hospital.
1:08 am
how can americans be confident that other hospitals are not going to make the same mistake? >> i can't comment on what might have happened with an individual patient. one of the things we're working hard to promote is ensuring that doctors and nurses, pharmacists, health care workers throughout the system think ebola. anyone who has fever and asks whether they have been in africa in the past 21 days. that is important. that will help us ensure that if there is another patient who arrives they are rapidly identified for their own sake and their care to isolate them promptly. >> following up on the question, we have heard about who this person is in frisco, texas. the 48 people, all all 48, are they being monitored with a personal temperature check?
1:09 am
if this person was not one of them they would not be getting those checks? >> in texas, intensive work is gone on to identify everyone who had appeared definite contact with the index patient and everyone who might have had contact with the index patient. that identify 10 people with definite contact and 38 whom content could not be ruled out. everyone of them has been identified, monitored every day when someone from the public health system measuring the temperature with an accurate device. none of them have had symptoms. none of them have had fever. there have been rumors and concerns other contact or cases. none of them have panned out. i understand there is a situation being assessed. the latest information we have is no definite contact him and no definite symptoms.
1:10 am
>> one is that duncan didn't have a fever when he was question, and he lied about his contact. what our screening process be effective in catching him today? can you talk more about what cost the $40 billion in the sars epidemic? >> it is true that the index patient when he left africa did not have a fever and we think he did have a fever when he arrived here. he became sick 40's after arrival. these questions may have identified him as a contact interviewed by customs and border protection. we are looking at every step that can be taken to increase the likelihood that if somebody arrives and developed ebola they will be rapidly diagnose an isolated.
1:11 am
in terms of the costs of sars, many of those were related to people canceling travel, to trade restrictions, or tray that did not occur. i have spoken with business leaders who emphasize that there are so many misconceptions about ebola that they are already seeing things like a reduction in investment in parts of africa that are not in any way involved in the ebola outbreak. we are concerned if we don't ensure that we focus on what works and do that well we may have that same kind of unnecessary and counterproductive costs year. >> i wanted to ask a question about the difference in care between, stared duncan and kent bradley. you are referring those questions to the hospitals. >> i would, that each patient
1:12 am
situation is different. unfortunately z-mapp, a promising treatment for ebola is not available. there is no more of it in the world. it takes a long time to develop. other medications, it is up to the treating physicians and the family of whether or not to use it. that is all i would have to say at this point. next question? >> are these announced measures the extent of the new protocols or is there more to come? >> first off screening of outbound travelers is already underway. it has been for some time. every person leaving has their temperature taken with an fda
1:13 am
approved devices. every person leaving is monitored for fever. over the last two months we have identified 74 with fever and three others with symptoms that resulted in the not working the plane. outbound travel is being monitored now. we are always looking at all the programs to see how they can be better or more effective. one of the things that we will be looking at is how this program goes starting at jfk and rolling up to the other airports in england what can be done as we continuously work to increase safety. >> you had mentioned strengthening those outbound screenings. one of the quick follow-ups, how will people be identified a flight out of west africa is a
1:14 am
separate booking? >> would you like to respond? >> if i can just add something in response to the immediately preceding question, we are working very closely together across the administration and we will continue to assess the risk of the spread of ebola into the united states and take additional measures as necessary to protect the american people. it is very important to emphasize the point that dr. friedman made which is we are continuously assessing the situation and taking the measures we deem necessary. we have in our screening capabilities the ability to identify individuals traveling
1:15 am
not only with respect to the last point of departure but the point of origin. we can embed it in a fine the full journey of the individual arriving in the united states. thank you. >> my question to you is the goal has always been to stop the outbreak at the source. we're seeing that is not the case anymore. ebola is identified decades ago. what can you tell us? is ebola here? that we need to keep an eye on? >> we have stopped every ebola outbreak until this one. this is an unprecedented outbreak in west africa. we are surging the response with a whole of government response
1:16 am
point it is going to be a long fight. we remain convinced we can contain the outbreak in west africa. if we fail to do that then it would be a very different situation because it could spread to other parts of africa and could be a longer-term risk to us here. as of today the only patients with ebola in the u.s. are in hospitals. the only risk is among people who returned the last 21 days. it is important to put into perspective what the risks are. ebola is scary it is a deadly disease. we know how to stop it and we are stopping it in west africa community by community prayed dallas is doing an excellent job of tracing contact to stop it there. health-care workers throughout the u.s. need to think ebola in people who have fever and have returned from each or any of these countries in the past 21 days. two more questions and then we're going to stop.
1:17 am
>> earlier the cdc sent out guidelines for handling human remains. can you expand on those guidelines? if the cdc will be playing a role with the dallas victim. >> as in africa, we are concerned that handling individuals who have passed away from ebola is a very high risk procedure. the way ebola works is if you are exposed but not sick you have no ability to pass it on to others. as you begin to get sick you may be able to pass it on. the sicker you get the higher amount of virus in your body. when somebody dies from it there are large quantities of virus in their body. we have worked to ensure that respectfully and the ability of the family to view the body, the patient who died earlier today, his human remains will be safely removed and safely handled so
1:18 am
that they won't present a risk to anyone in the family or the health care system, and anyone who is participating in the process of burial. we have one last question. that will be back to the beginning. >> we already know about the others, but there were others out here. what happened to that patient? >> we don't reveal individual patients. we certainly revive detailed consultation from cd seeing on every single patient who we find. every single patient who might have ebola. so we can provide the expert consultation and ensure they get the care available here. and wrapping up, i would like to thank all of you for your interest. i would like to remind us of the
1:19 am
tragedy of ebola for the patient's family in dallas and for the thousands of families throughout west africa who have been dealing with this terrible disease. i would like to thank the department of homeland security for their partnership in this and for customs and border protection. the commissioner there, whom we have a productive relationship with. we will always look at what works. we will continuously evaluate it and consider what more we can do to keep americans safe. understanding that as long as ebola is spreading in africa it will remain a risk here. we will do everything we can to stop it at the source and to protect americans. thank you.
1:20 am
>> on the next washington journal, military strikes against isis forces in iraq and syria. the author of all the truth is out on how gary hart and his alleged extramarital affair changed political reporting. also your calls and comments on national security issues in campaign 2014. washington journal is live beginning at 7 a.m. eastern on c-span. this weekend on the c-span networks, friday night at 9 p.m. eastern on c-span, a memorial service for president reagan's press secretary james brady. on saturday night at 9 p.m. eastern am a former secretary of state colin powell talks about world affairs. sunday evening and 8:00 on q&a, arthur robert tim berg talks about how as a marine in vietnam, a landmine explosion
1:21 am
nearly killed him and changed his life here at friday night at 8:00 on c-span, author and activist ralph nader also or an -- surgeon andn gawande on doing more for the aged and dying. free-market capitalism and its impact on climate change. friday at 8:00 on american history tv on c-span3, curator and director of the cia museum in virginia explains the museum's mission of preserving and presenting the agency's history. saturday at 8 p.m. eastern, the king george's war of the 1740's, how would help the american colonies establish regional identities and gain valuable fighting experience for their own revolution. sunday night on the presidency at 8 p.m., president ports congressional testimony on the nixon pardon. under television schedule at
1:22 am, and let us know what you think about the programs you are watching. e-mail us, or send us a tweet. join the c-span conversation, like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. ask president obama participated and a dedication ceremony sunday for the american veterans disabled for life memorial in washington dc. we will hear from veterans affairs secretary robert mcdonald and actor gary sinise. this is an hour and a half. >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the dedication of the american veterans disabled for life memorial. it is with great leisure that we ceremony,our master
1:23 am
current senior policy advisor in washington dc, the honorable ray lahood. >> good morning. day? this a glorious made even more glorious by all of you being here. we are making history today. ladies and gentlemen, honor dignitaries, longtime friends and family members, and of course our very special guests, the men and women who sacrificed on the battlefield as an eternal reminder of their service to our you with thelcome deepest of gratitude and thank you for joining us for this momentous occasion, the
1:24 am
dedication of the american veterans disabled for life the morrill. at long last, we have arrived. [applause] 16 years of hard work and now inion, some dug just our five minute film, vision to reality. settingis a magnificent ? thank you to all those that made it happen. great care and thought has gone into the design of the sacred lace. i hope you all will spend some time after the ceremony exploring the memorial's beautiful grounds. i am personally, particularly inspired by these stunning glass walls, and i want you to know that several of the courageous
1:25 am
men and women whose words and images are just laid in the walls are here with us today. thank you for being here, and let's not forget why we are here . at present, there are 4 million living disabled veterans, some with physical disabilities and others with invisible ptsd,lities, such as those disabilities, lifelong disabilities, are a part of the buting cost of war, unfortunately, often forgotten. that's why it is imperative that this memorial be built. and here we are with a permanent reminder and tribute to the service and sacrifice of america's disabled veterans. they have honored us with their service and selfless duty. now it is our turn to honor them
1:26 am
with this memorial, the first of to honor disabled veterans across all branches of the military and through all historic and current conflicts. before we begin today's dedication, i like to introduce our guest on the dais that are with us. the honorable robert mcdonald, secretary of heirs. of veterans affairs. the honorable sally jewell, secretary of the department of interior. a great american, gary sinise, national spokesman of the disabled veterans life memorial foundation. [applause] robert vogel, superintendent of the national mall and memorial park.
1:27 am
michael mccoy, acting director of the national be a chaplain center. disableding the veterans life memorial it's passionate, hard-working board of directors who have been charged with erecting this memorial, and they have spent the last 16 years working on this, and have given countless hours of time to ensure a successful completion. pope, cofounder and chairperson of the disabled veterans life memorial. thank you, lois. cofounder and president, arthur wilson. [applause] secretary dennis joyner. [applause] treasurer, jean murphy. [applause] mrs. diane musselman.
1:28 am
[applause] rewrote -- roberto bobby barrera. we owe all of them at the debt of gratitude. another round of applause for all of their hard work [applause] thank you for your work. sadly, there are three men who made enormous contributions to the memorial who did not live to celebrate this special day. the honorable jesse brown, former secretary of veterans affairs and cofounder of the memorial. and board members, the honorable gordon mansfield, former acting , andtary of the v.a.
1:29 am
kenneth musselman, a distinguished disabled vietnam in aan, please join me moment of silence to honor these three great man. i know they are here with us in spirit today. thank you for remembering them. we are also indebted today too many individuals, foundations, organizations, and corporations whose donations made this historic day possible. many of them are listed in your program. there are more than one million individual donors whose
1:30 am
memorialions made this a reality. again, we thank everyone for their generous contributions, one and all. many of you are gathered here today. thank you all for your contributions. [applause] welcome thelike to reverend michael mccoy, acting director of the national v.a. chaplain center, for the invocation. >> let us pray. oh my god, we invoke your presence as we come today on this ground in our national our nation'sdicate first memorial to living and
1:31 am
deceased disabled veterans. you for the american veterans disabled for life memorial and for those whom you used to bring it into being. as aise this memorial reminder of disabled veterans sacrifice, made stand as a lasting symbol of their love for us and for their country. may it stand for the world to see the commitment beyond the call of duty that they may have given. if this memorial stand as a monument that generations now remember,r may always our military men and women, patriotism, sacrifice, and suffering. we asked this day that you make
1:32 am
this monument a blessing to all who pass by and whose eyes glance upon it. thatt call us to remember which it commemorates and also to find in it your love forever. fill us with your peace and strength as we bless this memorial in your name. of thestand as a symbol love that we have for each other and as a reminder to us and to our nation of the cost of freedom, inspire the president and others who shall speak on this occasion, and may we all carry to our homes and increased love for our country and for veterans.sabled in your name, o god, we bless and dedicate this monument.
1:33 am
amen. pleasees and gentlemen, rise if you are able for the presentation of colors by the armed forces color guard military district of washington, and remain standing for the pledge of allegiance and our national anthem.
1:34 am
[playing national anthem]
1:35 am
>> to lead us in today's pledge of allegiance, the director of the disabled americans for life
1:36 am
leader. >> ladies and gentlemen, please join in the pledge. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. >> guard, right shoulder arms.
1:37 am
>> thank you, you may be seated. it is now my pleasure to introduce our first speaker, mrs. lois pope, whose commitment to disabled veterans knows no bounds. she was instrumental in the creation of this memorial. with thenrces in 1998 av national adjunct arthur wilson and the late secretary of veterans affairs, jesse brown. please welcome lois pope. [applause] but thank you, ray. thank you for that very gracious introduction, and thank you for
1:38 am
for the memorial for so many years. good morning, everybody, and welcome to the dedication of this magnificent american veterans disabled for life memorial. [applause] history is being made here today . at long last, we have a memorial to inform, educate, and remind our public of the kurdish, sacrifices, and the continuing struggles of the more than 4 million living disabled veterans and the hundreds of thousands who have died before them.
1:39 am
they serve as reminders that the cost of war does not end when the guns are silent. for every day, disabled veterans continue to battle with their physical and mental disabilities , to reintegrate into society, to adjust to new family lives, and professional realities. and recognition of their struggles and sacrifices are long overdue. [applause] you thatcould tell i've always had the plight of disabled veterans close to my heart, but that simply was not the case. i started out as a young broadway actress in musical theater. clueless about the horrors that war can inflict on the bodies and minds of human
1:40 am
beings. disabled veterans first entered my consciousness in the 1960's in a dramatic way when i was asked to enter name -- entertain vietnam vets at the rehabilitation center in new york city. roomwalked into that jammed with men lying on ,urneys, hobbling on crutches and multiple amputees in wheelchairs, i was shocked. play, ando started to i began to saying the song somewhere, from west side story. as i sang the lines, hold my hand and i'll take you there, i reached out to hold the young soldiers hand, but he had no hand for me to hold. impression ofrst
1:41 am
the sacrifices that our nations disabled veterans have suffered and sacrificed. by placeer, i stopped my hand on my cousin's name inscribed in the wall of the vietnam memorial. , multiple amputees, struggled in a wheelchair to lay a bouquet of flowers on his buddy's name. as i turned to leave the park, i where is park ranger the memorial for disabled veterans? and he said there wasn't one. well that did it. that was the spark peer that was the catalyst that sent me on this 16 year quest to build this memorial so that our nations disabled veterans could earn the
1:42 am
respect and recognition that they so deserve. [applause] the memorial, though, that we dedicate this morning is the rightful achievement of the many. devoted countless hours, energy, and talent to the project. chief among these were the late jesse brown, who is standing beside me here today in spirit. he was a former secretary of veterans affairs, and arthur wilson, past national adjutant of the dav, and he is sitting right here. [applause] he is also the cofounder and president of our memorial foundation. to the many donors of the
1:43 am
memorial, both large and small, to the dedicated board of its superb staff, to the able and cooperative members of the united states park service, you have my profound gratitude. this magnificent edifice was built with private donations, and largely from the disabled veterans themselves. this is their gift to a grateful nation. [applause] but this is a day of firsts. the memorial is the nation's first permanent public tribute in our history to the 4 million living disabled veterans and those who have died before them. it is also the first in our history to honor the men and women of all five branches of
1:44 am
the military services, army -- where are you guys? marines, air force, and coast guard. yay, coast guard. it's the first in our history to honor all disabled american veterans and over all of our nations conflicts and wars. of the 12 memorials along the mall, the american veterans disabled for life memorial sits closest to the united states capitol, a mere 1000 feet away. this is significant, because -- with itsl was
1:45 am
ceremonial flames, bears witness one and all to our elected representatives in the nearby capital of the continuing human cost of war. today, our journey that began so many years ago in new york city has ended, but our fight for disabled veterans continues, and our commitment to their cause in jurors. , they have been unsung heroes. today, we say unsung no more. [applause] thank you.
1:46 am
>> thank you, mrs. pope, for your vision, dedication, and generosity. noticed sitting in the front row here and outstanding member of congress, and outstanding chairman of the veterans affairs committee, congressman jeff miller. jeff, thank you for all of your leadership. stand up and be recognized, jeff. you have been a great leader for veterans. thank you for being here. now i'd like to welcome the outstanding secretary of , the honorable sally jewell, has shown rate leadership since arriving at the department of the interior. the department of the interior has nearly 20% of america's public lands, national wildlife refuge, national park, including
1:47 am
the very spot on which we stand today. please give a warm welcome to the secretary of interior, secretary sally jewell. [applause] >> thank you so much, ray, and thank all of you for coming out on this spectacular day. i can't think of a better day to honor a better cause than what we are here for today. thank you, lois, art, volunteers, and over a million donors and the board members for what you have done for all american people through this spec tackler memorial and everything that it stands for. privileges ofat being secretary of the interior is the honor of overseeing the national parks is the. 401 bestial places that tell the story of america. among those are more than 50 national parks, which include
1:48 am
monuments and battlefields that serve as memorials to the men and women who fought for our freedom across the country and around the world. sitestively, these underscore the cost of war, the burdens and the sacrifices that you make the behalf of the many. harbor, oil still leaks to the surface from the uss arizona, after more than 70 years. intoinder of over 900 and in the sunken battleship below. i have been there. and it is a powerful place. here, theks from vietnam veterans memorial is a living memorial, where visitors have left more than 400,000 pollens, flowers, photographs, and other items in remembrance of the 58,300 men and women
1:49 am
whose names are inscribed on the wall. i invite you to go there to see this memorial and a number of people that come everyday to patriotic. so today, it is a great pleasure to add a new moral to the national parks is to, to honor those who carry within the visible and the invisible scars of war, a memorial dedicated to disabled veterans, our friends, our neighbors, our coworkers and family members, who bear the physical and emotional cost of defending our country. like so many of our national parks, the american veterans disabled for life memorial is the result of a partnership between the american people and their government. with the inspiration and funding coming from private citizens and organizations, and i applaud all who contributed their time, their talents, and their treasure to making this day possible. thank you, all of you, who contributed.
1:50 am
[applause] the national mall is one of the most visited places in the national park system, with 24 million visitors a year. will nowhose visitors cross independence avenue just over there to visit this memorial. and when they arrive, a volunteer coordinator with the national park service named james pierce might just be the one who greets them, like he greeted me when i came, shovel in hand, to do work on the martin luther king jr. memorial on a day of service there. i enjoyed running into games multiple times on the mall. he walks with a brace on his leg of a bombing in afghanistan. he now has the solemn honor to be one of the caretakers at this powerful memorial. would please stand
1:51 am
as just an example of the men and women of the department of interior and national park service. right over there. thank you, james. [applause] james's story is one that has echoed throughout the walls of this beautiful space. stories of bravery, stories of injuries sustained, stories of hope and healing. stories about the rediscovery of purpose. the national park service is america's storyteller. on behalf of the men and women at the department of the interior, we are proud to welcome this memorial and this story in the many other stories that will be told on this national park service. thank you all so much. [applause] my pleasure to introduce someone who has been
1:52 am
an incredible champion, not only for this memorial, but for veterans and active-duty u.s. military personnel and families. ago as an decades personal commitment to our hison's heroes back home in native chicago quickly evolved into a handshake tour with the uso in iraq, afghanistan, and around the world. he also formed the lieutenant dan and, performing for hundreds of thousands of troops at home and abroad. 2011, he established a foundation to honor our troops, our veterans, our first responders and their families. for his tireless work and dedication, he has been honored with the presidential citizens medal, the second highest civilian honor awarded by the president of the united states. so please join me in a rousing welcome to this page, this actor, humanitarian, and national spokesperson for that national americans disabled for
1:53 am
life memorial, gary sinise. [applause] >> thank you, secretary jewell, for that wonderful introduction. thank you so much, everyone. welcome, everyone. a special thank you to all our past and present military here today. it's an honor to be in your presence. there is my ride. first i would like to congratulate art and lois, the foundation board of directors thomas who after a 16 year effort, brought this memorial to reality. a magnificent tribute to the most honored guest of all here today, are injured veterans. [applause] , a special
1:54 am
acknowledgment to the late jesse brown. i know that he is smiling today. his farewell address to the nation in 1988, ronald reagan said that all great change in america begins at the dinner table. it is clear what president reagan meant. oftenat these gatherings with family member someone respects and admires who have experienced and sacrificed much in life that one can have a meaningful conversations that stir our convictions, inspire us to action, and bring us to an understanding of what life is really all about. in the late 1970's and early 80's, a young man, i said at that dinner table with the on the side of my wife's family and i begin to receive an education on what they experienced during the war, how bravely they fought, and how
1:55 am
they felt at the shameful way they were treated when they returned home. imagine it being a risk to wear the uniform in public, as was the case for many returning from vietnam, and i'm sure some here today remember that all too well. brother-in-law, a combat medic, passed away this past wednesday of cancer at age 68. and today, october 5, he would have been 69 years old. it was like a brother to me, and told me once how after his tour in vietnam, upon arrival back in the states, he win a stall in the airport bathroom to remove his uniform, to change into his civilian close, to keep from being stared at or shouted at, or possibly spit at. i will miss jack dearly, and learned much from him. listening to his stories and the
1:56 am
stories of the vietnam veterans in my family was an ep of honey for me. it made me think hard about the precious gift of my own freedom and the price paid to secure it, and i felt a strong sense of for being so oblivious as a young teenager to what our vietnam veterans, many just slightly older than i, were going through. but it was out of that guilt and shame that a new mission began, a need to take action to do something to try to make a difference in the lives of those who served. in 1993, as i continue my journey in television and theater and film acting, good things came my way, and i was fortunate to have the opportunity to play wounded via non-veteran double-amputee the tenant dan taylor in for scott. [applause] t gump.orres
1:57 am
that led me to a 20-year-old in the disabled american veterans organization, and for the past eight years, the great privilege of asking us national spokesperson for the american veterans disabled for life and this extraordinary memorial that we dedicate today. it was president abraham lincoln that doesany nation not honor its heroes will not long into her -- will not long endure. today, and from this day forward, with the opening of this national monument, we honor millions of our heroes, living with the ones of four, with a place of healing, remembrance, and gratitude for all they have given, and by so doing, we help to ensure that our nation will endure for generations to come. for if we do not remember our , how can, our heroes
1:58 am
we expect future generations to step up to serve? [applause] certainly what happened post-vietnam when we forgot our returning veterans weakened our nation. period in ourful history, and we must never, ever let that happen again. remembering and honoring our veterans is paramount to our national security. places a critical importance on always taking care of our military service members and their families before, during, and after the battle. the dangers of the 21st century are clear. with no doubt that this century will be equally, if not more dangerous than the previous one. the united states must maintain a strong defense, impossible to
1:59 am
do without strong defenders. and for all they have done, for all they have sacked, they ask so little in return. knowing they are honored, that they will get the care they need when they need it, that they are not forgotten, and that their sacrifice is appreciated, can make a world of difference. 13 years ago on that terrible september morning, little did we know that the coming years would bring us thousands of gold star families and an entire new generation of real-life lieutenant vance. have 4 million living with wounded, supported and looked after by our unsung heroes, america's caregivers. we cannot give those wounded veterans back their arms. we cannot give those wounded
2:00 am
veterans back their arms and legs. we cannot give them back their eyes, their heirs, the pieces of themselves that have been lost, or the minds that have been altered, but we can give them, and we must give and our support. ouriate military leaders admiral william h. mccraveen gave the commencement speech of a the university of texas. the motto at u.t. is what starts changes the world. and he gave lessons from what he learned in his seal training that the students could implement to change and as theye the world graduated and went forth into society. lessons was about having to swim u a