Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Toward reform let's focus on helping.
Us alone that's -- we would ask.
-- Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter has been having.
A rough time at these town halls over the past month we're gonna talk to him about that -- minute but first.
The senators stepping in to defend the nation's veterans today in the wake of stunning revelations.
About the veterans administration to end of life counseling.
Senator Specter now calling for a hearing in the Senate veterans affairs committee.
At issue is -- 52 page VA document on end of life counseling.
One former Bush Administration official says this document quote makes the veterans feel like -- a burden and they should do the decent thing and die.
Now the senator -- -- yes senator Arlen Specter is my guess now senator good morning welcome back of the program.
Good Morning America nice to have a chance to talk to him thank you it's it was a pleasure to have you that you know this we watch this on FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace.
Unearthing both sides of this issue and the deputy secretary for the BA Tammy Duckworth came out -- said.
Look that document that so controversial is an active it hasn't been in use for a few years.
The bottom line is it's still up on the BA's website we checked -- still there it's got a disclaimer that says it's under revision but it's still there to tell the positions.
To refer veterans.
Two this pamphlet which asks veterans to decide whether.
Their life is worth living if there in a wheelchair if there in a nursing home if they feel depressed and so on.
I think that this excesses rather outrageous senator we off off base on this.
That counseling memo.
Tough on no veterans and I don't think it shows appropriate counseling I think we have to.
Protective workers and encourage them and they may have some very tough -- is resulting children in the country.
And I've called for hearings are written to the chairman of the veterans affairs committee a committee I shall wrong.
But I have a hearing and it's more thoroughly -- -- also written to the veterans administration with the suggestion that.
If he suspended taken off vote website.
Until there can be an analysis -- -- final determination and effort here and shows what.
I think you will show that it's not.
Or desirable I will introduce legislation to prohibit congress can control.
Do we have to do all that senator I think she just call somebody over the White House and say.
It's crazy document you probably didn't know about it because -- in their right mind who knew.
About this document would allow it to stay on the web -- just think it and take it down and tell the VA doctors.
Not to refer their patience -- pamphlet which should suggests that they consider whether life is worth living because they happen to be relegated to a wheelchair.
Or feel a little depressed.
That is in effect what I have done and calling into -- personal attention of the secretary of veterans affairs.
And suggested that be taken -- analysts and we have.
Separation of powers in this country I do not run the veterans administration -- as a member of congress are compressed legislation to take it down.
But I have made the suggestion that -- -- I think we need to protect our veterans and to encourage them.
And that's why when I found out about -- I was on.
-- FOX News Sunday.
You -- Chris Wallace and the shows are heard about it I immediately said.
I would call for hearing and if the VA does not take it down moved to.
Enact legislation because that's within the purview of congress through legislation to stop.
I understand it.
And now I have to ask you senator because this the first time you bet on our show you frequent guest the first this the first time since you're town halls -- first let me ask you that's when you have that town hall.
The one that every cable channel wound up taking we took it -- some others didn't.
Did you know that that that the nation was watching that town hall that every single -- -- -- -- you went through was gonna be broadcast live.
To millions across America and not a couple hundred people who -- in that room.
Well right and I didn't know what I've pulled up to the town hall meeting I I do these regularly during the August recess -- -- cover virtually every one of Pennsylvania's 67 counties virtually.
Every year and -- -- all the trucks but.
I was surprised when I covered the whole thing that apple all the full hour and a half.
-- You know and we didn't -- some full -- our time they had serious questions about the health care reform bill.
But your credit -- stood there he answered the questions a lot of your colleagues in congress unfortunately have dodged the issue by not having town halls -- by having.
Telephonic town halls which aren't quite the same the senator let me ask you had they had any impact on because -- what we've seen.
Not only your town halls but in the polls.
The people are not behind the current push on health care reform and not behind the current bills.
As they've been pushed out of the house and the and the what is being donated.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- An impact on me I think the people who were who were boisterous and wasn't.
Allow others to be heard.
That's that's an usual what town hall meetings but beneath that.
Beyond any question there's tremendous anger and it goes beyond health care.
It's a matter of the deficit from a national data -- why -- pledged not to vote for.
Health care -- insurance reform bill which.
Raises the deficit.
And I think we have to be concerned about the expansion of of government.
And and be sensitive to what people are thinking about -- There is -- him a lot of misinformation.
Out there this talk about -- panel's not so.
When we find something which is a mesh like the counseling to veterans we're gonna actually to -- -- change.
Understood -- But where you have let as the -- that's our interview I quit a bit -- will have a minute left I just want to get this this last point out because.
You you have been out there you've been talking your constituents -- we watched your whole town hall from beginning and and we saw one outburst and all of that we -- very reasonable people people -- were upset about the possible changes but who are very respectful and you are respectful to them.
And I wonder you having been out there how you feel when you hear Nancy Pelosi coming out calling these people on American.
Others coming out suggesting that they're behaving like Nazis -- dead DNC calling them angry mobs you've got Harry Reid calling them evil long -- How do you feel about those accusation where else.
I said that they were organized.
-- American you have a right to organize.
You just have to evaluate what were the feelings of the American people are.
In light of the organization they're more than the people from of that town -- that counties about are.
Certainly would not criticize them I am going to listen to him no matter how white -- -- -- our -- they are citizens and they have a right to be heard and it's.
My favorite listen.
-- -- -- Was really apoplectic.
And told me that.
God would stand before me as soon as she -- it.
You you -- to -- should wait a minute wait a minute I did not want that man to be objective.
I did not want the story to be that.
A citizen and was ousted from a town hall meeting.
-- one of the impact to be that I wish there.
And I was prepare abolition of -- prepared to keep.
Ku and you can senator and how well -- your your voters where I mean we watch them.
I was so impressed they had read the bill they were very informed.
I certainly war and I give him credit for -- That's -- even more reason why they're entitled to be listened to run after her views her.
Well I know you've been doing that and senator we're watching -- -- watching your poll numbers so far in outlook and that great in the state of Pennsylvania but.
Got around them and leave it that we thank you so much for coming.
-- combat what I've got -- I'm.
Got a tough campaign magnum and I'm on the issue that stay you stay tuned I stay tuned to your show I don't mind.
We appreciate that they'll be a quiz later senator Specter I've talked best.
Thank you after quick.
Filter by section