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tv   USA Freedom Act Markup  CSPAN  May 11, 2014 5:51pm-6:04pm EDT

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department of veterans affairs to produce emails and other written correspondent related into the investigation of the phoenix v.a. medical center. it's unfortunate that we have to come to this decision, but we did not do this without some substantial justification. the last few weeks have been a model of v.a. stonewalling which precipitated the need for this subpoena. first on april 24 our staff was briefed and informed on the existence of an alternate wait list and how that list was subsequently destroyed. we made follow-up phone calls to va-ocla beginning on the 28th asking for additional information about the list. however we didn't get a response back on the 28th so we called back on the 29th and got no response on the 29th. so we called again on april 30 and spoke directly to assistant secretary joan mooney, but still
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got no response. look, this failure to provide information led to my first letter stating that the committee would pursue a subpoena if we were not provided with the information that this committee had requested. yesterday, may 7, i received a response from v.a. that does not, does not fully answer the very simple questions that i asked. therefore the time for request for this matter is over. today we'll vote to issue a subpoena. it's a historic vote. this committee has voted once before to issue a subpoena, the first time ever in the history, and we work with v.a. and actually we did not deliver that subpoena, but we ultimately got the information that we were asking for.
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but i trust the v.a. will have the good sense to not further ignore the request that this committee has made. the subpoena will cover emails and written correspondence sent since the 9th 6 april, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. to or from secretary eric shinseki, the undersecretary for health, thomas lynch, assistant undersecretary for health. mr. wilgunn, general counsel, or any other representative of the office of general counsel, ms. joan mooney, assistant secretary for congressional and legislative affairs, dr. ron mauer, director of the congressional liaison service, and mr. cox, congressional relation officer or mr. michael hough, congressional relation officer. the scope of this subpoena will encompass all emails and written correspondence where these parties discussed the discussion of an ultimate wait list, regardless of what name it was given earnings which form in which it was kept. pursuant to rule 11, clause
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2-m-1-b of the house of representatives and rule 3, clause g of this committee, we have a motion before us that's at the desk and i will ask that the clerk will read the motion. >> ranking member michaud moved the committee authorize issuance to eric shinseki, secretary of the u.s. department of veterans affairs, for department of veterans affairs to produce all emails and written correspondence sent between april 9, 2014, 8:45, and may 8, 6:00 p.m. which addressed in whole or part the destruction or disappearance of an alternative or interim wait list with regard to the carl t. haden veterans' affairs medical center located in phoenix, arizona, in which
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secretary shinseki, dr. robert pretzel, undersecretary for health, dr. thomas lynch, assistant undersecretary for health for critical operations and management, mr. wilgunn, or any other representive office of the general counsel, ms. joan mooney, assistant secretary for congressional legislative affairs, dr. ron mauer, mr. bobbing, congressional relation officer, or michael hough, congressional relations officer, or parties to or referenced in such emails and written correspondence. >> members, you have heard the motion, do i hear a second? motion's been moved and properly seconded. i will open the floor for the ranking member to make a statement and would ask if any other members have a statement that they be very, very brief because everybody has a very, very tight schedule this morning. i understand the ranking member is recognized. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i think we all can agree that
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quality, safe, accessible health care has always been a priority of this committee. i believe that has not changed today. we have over the past years asked the v.a. for information that has not been forthcoming. frustrations remain high among committee members. the chairman sent a letter on may 1, 2014, requesting the answer to two questions. the response we received yesterday from v.a. was, in my view, was insufficient. the subpoena we will authorize today is limited in scope and it narrowly is constructed in order not to interfere or impede the ongoing i.g. investigation. at the end of the day, we all are waiting for the results of the investigation to be provided to us so that we can be in a position to take action we need to fix the problems not only in phoenix but across the v.a. system.
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i was pleased to hear that the veterans health administration will complete a nationwide access review to ensure that employees have a full understanding of v.a. policy and that they will conduct a national face-to-face audit at all the clinics in their v.a. medical center. i understand mrs. kirkpatrick, ranking member of the subcommittee on oversight and investigations, recently sent a letter calling for v.a. to undertake a similar action in light of the numerous problems throughout the system. so i want to thank you very much, mrs. kirkpatrick. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you, mr. michaud, for your cooperation. i would ask does any other member have a statement they would like to make? very well, all those in favor of the motion to issue the subpoena will say aye. all those opposed, no.
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the motion carries. i'm now going to i sign the subpoena for the production of emails and written correspondence and hereby direct its issuance forthwith. this concludes our business meeting for today. this meeting is adjourned.
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>> aeration seki will be on capitol hill on thursday. he is expected to talk about the fate of veterans health care provided by the v.a.. you can watch this live on c-span at 10:00 a.m. eastern. what's coming up next, "newsmakers." after that, marco rubio speaking at a gop dinner. in a look at the cable show in los angeles osa by the national
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cable and telecommunications association. >> we want to welcome back to "newsmakers" the chairman of the appropriations committee, hal rogers. republican ofhere with us to help us with kentucky. questions, two reports, andrew taylor with the associated press and roxana tiron with bloomberg news. >> i do not need to remind you but it may be useful to remind people viewing that last year's appropriations process was a bit of a mess. you saw it ahead of time. it ultimately got resolved with a budget deal that's given you at least some certainty that what you used for last year's major omnibus bill and for the upcoming round of appropriations bills. esterday you could already see some land mines.
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the democrats are unhappy with some of the allocations for the bills that have been traditionally difficult to move through the republican house. how are you going to avoid a situation in which you get to move the popular bills like the veterans bill or the homeland security bill but then you have these leftover bills that are going to be a real problem? what is your strategy for avoiding a mess in october? > all of this goes to show you that -- of the need for a common budget number for the house and senate. we have not had that in recent years. consequently, appropriations bills in the house would pass the house perhaps. the senate would pass theirs. but they were never to be agreed upon. so the importance of a budget resolution that's common to the house and senate is altogether vital for appropriations.
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we are showing if you give us a number that the house and senate agree on, we will pass appropriations bills within those numbers. i want to emphasize the importance of the house and senate passing budget resolutions early on. as in this year, since the ryan/murray budget deal gave us a number or 015 that's common for the house and senate, not only did we solve the fiscal 14 problem with the omnibus bill in january, but now making great progress on the we're 2015 bills. this is the earliest time, at we've ince 1974 that passed appropriations bills on the house floor. we are getting off to a really good start. senator mikulski and i are in general agreement on the
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procedure of how we're going to try to make this work. we want to pass 12 individual bills through the house and senate and congress in the old-fashioned way. that is our common goal. and we're moving more or less the same bills early on in the house and senate so that we can get into the process of doing conferences, house and senate. most members of the house have never seen such a thing. we have not done this in years. but it's the right way to do it. you know, the number we're marking to in the house and the identical to ost fiscal 2014. that will help us along trying to reach final agreement with the senate on numbers with each ill. we got an early start.

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