This is a rush transcript from "Your World," July 30, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, we're getting there, but just because D.C. is closing in does not mean that Montel is giving in, because when it comes to protecting our vets, Montel vows he is not letting up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MONTEL WILLIAMS, FOUNDER, MONTEL MEDIA GROUP: This is business as usual in this town.
How ignorant can we be to put together a bill and come up with an amount of money to pay for it, and we don't even know what we're paying for?
Specifically in the bill, we just happen to notice that they specifically wrote in the bill that they're going to let them keep the bonuses.
If there are VA people sitting in this room, I don't give a damn what you think about what I'm saying. If you participating in signing a paper that allowed you to get a bonus based on fraudulent lie material, you should go to jail, period.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAVUTO: And now he's here.
Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto.
And with $17 billion about to be committed to supposedly helping our vets, why is Montel Williams still not convinced it will do anything close? The retired Navy lieutenant commander, talk show host, bestselling author, you name it, back with us.
Montel, one would think you would be happy that at least we're very, very close to a yea vote in the House, then in the Senate, then a signature by the president and this thing is done.
You're not. Why?
WILLIAMS: You know, Neil, if this is how it's going to be, I would be over-the-top happy.
But you know as well as I do that it's going to -- whether they -- if they pass the bill tomorrow, the president gets it next week, it will be 60 days before we start anything reasonable, including the rules that have to be put in place, and then about another 120 days before they implement any of this.
Everybody is -- I have been watching this debate on the floor, the discussion on the floor. These guys are already patting themselves on the back and getting ready to go home to the district and say, we have won. But they haven't.
Let's talk about this bill. I have been saying this for seven weeks, Neil. Until we know what the baseline is, how can you come up with a number to pay for what's going on? That's number one. Number two, this bill only hits the VA for 10 percent of the bonuses that they're getting. They're going to continue to get about $350 million in bonuses for some system that no one knows why they're getting bonuses.
And, yes, this bill does allow for the new VA secretary to fire and terminate people in the upper management ranks. But let's see how quickly this gets out of the rules committee in the next 60 days, when labor is asked to respond to the way they're going to administer this.
So, there's a lot of flash. And I'm going to tell you, yes, we should say, you know, since we have a Congress and a Senate and a president that's done nothing for the last two years, year, maybe they have done something in the last four months as the story broke. Now they're coming to the table and saying we're going to put veterans first.
But now really put us first. And, if you did so, there's a lot of things we can do.
CAVUTO: All right, I'm going to give you the pat response. A flawed bill is better than no bill. A flawed initiative to try to get this nuttery contained is better than no measure.
What do you say?
WILLIAMS: Well, I say 22 soldiers a day take their lives, 22 a day. I spell it out for you; 60 plus 120, that's 180 days. Let's do the math. That's well over 400 soldiers that are going to take their lives between now and the time that any part of this is implemented. That's why I say a flawed bill is not good enough.
CAVUTO: Understood. So, but now let -- get -- any delay in even implementing this, with all the delays you speak of, is better than not doing it, right, or no?
WILLIAMS: No, it's not, because, Neil, there are mothers, there are brothers, there are fathers, sisters, there are people who are crying every day because another soldier took their life or another one wasn't treated.
There are families that are being disrupted according this country. So, we can't keep putting this off. What I have been calling for -- and you know -- when I ask people to follow me at Montel_Williams, is click on #VAsurge. The president can still do this even with the bill in place.
We could find out in the next 90 days what the true baseline is. Let's understand what it is I'm talking about. I was at an event today that was sponsored by IAVA and also Defense One. They were talking about the fact our soldiers and sailors and airmen, Coast Guard are going to be need.
They were talking about the fact that right now, though we may say to our constituents when we do speech -- and do these speeches that our veterans are going to be able to run out and run to a local hospital? That's not going to be implemented for another 180 days.
And so we have got to right now give the president an opportunity to just bring on this staff. Do you know that we have 20,000 -- I'm sorry -- 200,000 veterans every six months -- I think it's 20,000 veterans a month are coming off active duty?
And when those -- no, it's 200,000 coming off active duty right now. When they come off active duty, if we just took the Corpsmen, the medical personnel, those people that are doctors and gave them an additional 90 days to 110 days, opened up the DOD hospitals today to our veterans and say, go right over there, let's find out what the baseline is, because you remember this, Neil.
Right now, there are busses running from Texas and all along the border taking children who came into this country illegally -- and I'm as compassionate as the next person -- to DOD facilities to get them treated. And this was with a stroke of the pen from the president. The president could do the same thing right now and put some veterans on that same bus. Let them be seen at a DOD facility, an HHS facility.
Let them be seen so that at least we can find out what the baseline is. And once we know what that is, then I will buy this $17 billion, but it's not enough.
CAVUTO: Have you heard back from anyone at the White House?
WILLIAMS: Oh, are you kidding me?
Look, I -- if they never call me, it doesn't matter. The messenger is the problem. I want the message heard. There's a lot of people in this town who would rather have this messenger shut up, but guess what? It's not going to happen, because, over the next 120 days, I'm going to keep explaining to the American people how they're being hoodwinked right now by this group of people standing down there patting themselves on the back, saying we have won.
You have won nothing. You have won nothing.
CAVUTO: Let's look at what the new VA secretary can do when he comes in, because, presumably, they're dotting the I's and crossing the T's, as you know, Montel. He will be able to fire people on the spot.
There is a proviso in there that, by federal union rules, they have 21 days to appeal, what have you, and make their case.