tv President Trump Remarks on Veterans Military Families CSPAN November 15, 2018 6:01pm-6:23pm EST
rapid fire performance. our next question, how fast could that rifle be fired? >> watch "reel america" saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span 3. >> next, president trump talks about his administration's goals to help veterans an their families. speaking before the president was veterans affairs secretary robert willkey. this is 20 minutes. >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen. i was accused by several senators of being the forrest gump of the united states senate
because there was no question that they could give me that i could not fall back on some instance if the roman empire that would support the answer to he question. well i'm going to plead guilty to that and say something. i'm a pretty good presidential historian. and i did a piece today, i think it was in u "usa today," maybe it'll be tomorrow, there's never been a presidential campaign, certainly in the post world war ii era, where one of the candidates made veterans the centerpiece of his campaign. and that was brought home to me when i was made the acting secretary. now, for those of you who have had your heads beaten in by the jesuit fathers as i have had, being the acting secretary is like being in jesuit limbo. you are, but you're not.
and i was amazed during that eight weeks that i was privileged to be the acting secretary of they have department how much time the president of the united states spent with me, talking about veterans, talking about the future of the department of veterans' affairs. i have worked in white houses before and the notion that in an eight-week time span, any president would spend more than one hour with someone who was outside of the white house complex is -- it strains credulity. but in this case it was an honor. it was an honor for me as the son of a soldier. it was an honor for me as an officer. and in my time now in that 100 days i have been privileged to serve as the head of this department, all of those things that i saw about president trump during my active time have been made manifest in the support that he has given to our
nation's warriors. he's just returning from the marine barracks. veterans have never had a better friend in the white house. so it is my high honor and distinct pleasure to introduce to you president of the united states donald j. trump. thank you. [applause] president trump: wow. that was such a nice introduction, mr. secretary. thank you. and by the way, just so you understand, he's doing a great job. please sit down. after that introduction, i would have to say that even if he wasn't doing a great job, right? but he's a fantastic person who has committed like i've never seen and you know , he came out of defense and they weren't happy about it. that's always a good sign, you the, when with they're not happy. when they're happy you know you picked the wrong person. but they're still not happy bout it.
thank you very much. thank you, everybody for being here, this is a tremendously important group of people to me. merica's veterans. these are special people. today i'm thrilled to welcome you all to the white house conference on supporting veterans' military families and we all know how important families are for us. i do want to thank -- i nderstand with us who has been f great help, shawn reyes. where's shawn? thank you. [applause] earlier this week, our nation celebrated veterans day and we also marked the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended world war i.
beautiful, beautiful and important day. on sunday, i had the immense privilege of visiting the cemetery in france to pay tribute to the brave americans who laid down their lives for our nation one century ago. 100 years. we will never forget what these heroes did to win. and win they did. the war and to secure peace. to everyone here today who has served our country in uniform and to every veteran and military family across our land, i want to express the eternal gratitude and thanks of our entire nation. delivering for our great veterans requires strong partnerships at all levels of overnment. s that why we are so grate to feel you. the state, very important, local community leaders, it all
doesn't work without you. doesn't work without you. from around the country who are participating in today's very important conference. we're also glad to be joined by secretary of labor alex acosta, wherever alex may be. hello, alex. doing a great job. thank you. thank you very much. who is leading up our efforts to ensure veterans and military families can find great jobs and rewarding careers in one of the -- and one of the best things we have going is you have maybe the greatest economy we've had in many, many years. thank you, alex. thought i saw you back there. now you're where you belong, right next to each other, right. so i want to thank all of the people that are making this conomy go. we have so many people working so hard. but it's booming. and veteran unemployment has reached its lowest level in
nearly 21 years. and it's going to be better. [applause] and that number will be better because if you look at the various statistics, african-american employment is the lowest level in history. hispanic employment is the lowest level in history. asian employment is the lowest level in history. women 65 years. so we have to do better for the veterans. i think 21 years isn't the same. i have a feeling that the next chart that comes out they'll be right up there too. but this is the lowest in 21 years. since day one, my administration has also taken bold action to reform the department of veterans' affairs. and deliver our veterans the care they so richly deserve. working very hard on it. last year, i signed the landmark v.a. accountability act which as you know by accountability that
ensures us the right to get rid of in a very nice way or very rough way, any way we want the secretary probably a rough way, and that's ok, that's ok too, secretary, those who mistreat our veterans and they are going to be held fully accountable. this was something that for, i would say four decades, they've been trying to get it approved. sounds easy, it's not. i love the unions, we love civil service but they didn't make this one easy for many, many decades. we got it done. we're good at getting things done. since my inauguration, we have removed more than 3,600 government employees who were not giving our vets the care or respect that they deserve. in june, i proudly signed into law the most significant
v.a. reform in half a century. called veterans' choice. everyone knows what that means. now if a veteran cannot get the treatment they need from the v.a. in a timely manner, they can see a private doctor. they don't have to wait 12 days or 20 day, i heard horror stories like you wouldn't believe in the campaign when i was campaigning and i appreciate the secretary saying that it was a very major part, the veterans, of all my speeches. i don't think i left them out of one speech and i made plenty of them. and they were at the top. and now we're really producing. i think far greater than anyone would have thought possible. since i took office, 2.2 million veterans have been able to receive the care they need outside of the v.a. system. so there's no more waiting on lines, literal people were wait, they'd be waiting three, four, five six weeks in system cases to see a doctor. now they go and they see a private doctor right outside,
hopefully right next to their house or where they live. and we pay for it. and they're very thankful. it's been incredible. and we're actually upping that program quite a bit as time goes by. we're going to be doing certain steps that we have always had planned. but we're doing it step by step. and we've had great support in congress. i have to say that. in september, i signed into law the largest funding bill for the v.a. in history. we secured $8.6 billion for veterans' mental health ervices. $400 million for opioid abuse prevention. and $270 million for rural vet veterans health initiatives. the rural veterans have had it pretty tough over the years. because they're pretty far away from a lot of potentially good treatment. working with the v.a. and the department of housing and urban
development, we've helped nearly 54,000 veterans in need. we've helped them find permanent housing. and great services last year. to improve the efficiency of the v.a., i signed the veterans appeals improvement and modernization act. every the last two years we have taken dramatic action to streamline the bureaucracy and made tremendous progress. in the last year we processed more than one million total claims processed. total claims at the v.a. along with 85,000 appeals decisions. the most in history and 62% more than the previous year which is a record. which is a record. nobody's ever seen that kind of an improvement. since i took office we have reduced the average claim wait time, such a big factor in what we're doing, wait time, by nearly 25% and that number is
going to go substantially better with a little more time. we opened the promised white house v.a. hotline which has already fielded more than 150,000 calls and emails from our veterans when they have a complaint, a problem, o or in many cases we receive compliments. for what's happened in the last less than two year period. almost two year can you believe it? i signed an executive order to direct the department of defense homeland security, and veterans affairs to ensure seamless access to mental health care and suicide prevention resources for veterans. tremendous, hard to believe problem. hard to believe. with a focus on the first year after separation from military service. a lot of bad things can happen.
we secured $206 million for v.a. suicide prevention programming. and every v.a. medical center now offers same day emergency ental health care. but we have to do more and are working to do more. we will be working with every state and local leader, many of you are here and around the nation to improve vital mental health services for americans -- or america's great veterans. this is a top priority for my administration, has been as i said from the beginning, always will be. until we get it right, and we're getting close, and once we get it right we're going to keep it right. because it can go bad just as fast as we fixed it. so we're going to keep it right. pretty soon that's what we're going to be working on, mr. secretary, keeping it right. we're getting to a point. another crucial element of our
veterans agenda is improved access to education. last year i signed legislation to allow every veteran to use their g.i. bill education benefits at any point in their lives. and earlier this year i signed an executive order to promote military spouse hiring across the federal government. military families are the backbone of our nation. so in addition to everything else as you see, i did the promotion of military spouse hiring across the federal government. the fact is, i've done a lot. i could -- [cheers and applause] good-bye, everybody. good-bye, everybody. hat's a lot. that is a lot. more than anybody has ever even thought about and i'm proud of it. and we're not finished yet. that's why i figured i did so
much i could leave now. but we're not finish. we never will be finished. to support our heroes in uniform we secured a record $716 billion in military funding. last year we increased it by hundreds of bombs of dollars to $700 billion. america's military might is the best way to prevent war. the stronger we are, the less chance we have of having to go to war. it's now a new force a great force, we have the finest equipment, the finest planes, the finest missiles and rockets, ships, some are being built. just gave out a tremendous order for brand new f-35's. ighter jets. they're stealth, you can't see them. other than that they're easy to beat. i said to one of the pilots, he said, the problem is you can't see them when you fight them. i said that sounds like a big advantage. he said that's an awfully big advantage. incredible equipment. everything we make. we make the best equipment in
the world. you should know that. i mean, we make equipment like nobody else even comes close. our technology is far superior to anybody else. our jet fighters, even our tankers. but our planes, our ships, there's nobody that makes equipment like we make it. the beautiful thing when you hear $716 billion, it's all made in the u.s.a. every ounce of it. [applause] and we will soon have the greatest and most prepared force, military force anywhere in the history of our country, by far. and that's what we need. it was becoming very depleted, very tire you people know probably better than anybody in this country what was happening. it was not good. and now it's really good. it's our sacred duty to support america's service members every single day they wear the uniform. and every day after when they return home as veterans and
heros we take care of them. that's very important. and they really appreciate it. i think nothing i've done is more appreciated, i think we've done a lot for a lot of different groups, but nobody has appreciated it more than the vet. i see that when i go out, i make speeches, meet people back stage,en stage, i think the vets maybe more than anybody else appreciated what we're doing for them. so together we will honor those who defend us, we will cherish those who protect us. and we will celebrate the amazing heroes who keep america safe and strong and proud and ree. i want to thank you all. you're very incredible people. i know the job you do, i know how hard it is. i know what you've gone through, especially before we came into office, what you went through was incredible. horrible in certain ways. but i know what you went through.
and it's my honor to be with you an god bless america. keep up the great work. thank you very much. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> c-span's road to the white house coverage continues today with john kasich who will speak at an annual absolute to the first amendment in manchester. see that at 7:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> join us this weekend for live coverage of the miami book fair. starting saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern with journalist michael
sikoff and david occur ant discussing their book. justice me court sotomayor talks about her new book. and then geena loudoun discusses her book "mad politics" and at 3:45 p.m., jonah goldberg with his book "suicide of the west." "guardian" 11:15, columnist alyssa court on her book "the squeeze." and then fox news editor discusses his book "every man a king." at 6:00 p.m. former secretary of state john kerry with his memoir, "every day is extra." watch the miami book fair live this weekend on c-span2's book tv. >> sunday on "q&a," california
democratic congresswoman jackie speier talks about her memoir "undaunted." >> i was on an airstrip in the remote jungles of guyana having just concluded a congressional dell geags tour with then-congressman leo ryan. we were ambushed on that airstrip and shot. congressman ryan was shot 45 times and died on that airstrip. there were members of the press that died. one defector of the people's temple who died. i was shot five times on the right side of my body. a bone jutting out of my right arm. wound in my leg the size of a football. and it was oh my god, i'm 28 years old, this is it. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." >> earlier today house minority leader nancy pe he see held her
weekly briefing with reporters a at the capitol. she talked about the upcoming democratic agenda when they control the majority next year and her intention to become speaker of the house again. his is 25 minutes. ms. pelosi: good morning. we have great sadness in my state of california, unprecedented number of people dead, in the high 50's, and many missing. it's just -- we've had these fires again and again but these seem to be particularly deadly. prayers and the forces need to be with california at this very sad me