tv Washington Journal CSPAN January 3, 2013 7:00am-10:00am EST
good morning and welcome to washington journal on this thursday, january 3. in the house there will be 234 republicans and 200 democrats. the 84 freshmen, 35 republicans, 49 democrats. if the 113 congress will feature the most women ever to serve in the house. the incoming senate freshman class is made up of three republicans, a democrat, and one independent. 45 republican senators overall. 53 democrats, two independents. if we are coming to you live from capitol hill in the rotunda. we'll get your thoughts of the 113 congress. we will be joined later this morning by several newly elected members of congress. first, bob kusack, managing editor of the hill magazine to join us for your thoughts and comments. you can join the conversation at --
bob, let's begin with opening day at noon. guest: there was controversy couple years ago, a couple members in the house did not realize when they would do the swearing in. they were by a television screen and thought they could get sworn in that way. that will not happen again. they will get sworn in. a first vote they will have is for the house speaker. house republicans have chosen john boehner and the the democrats have chosen nancy pelosi. that's the first order of business. >> there is some drama expected. >> yes. and there had been speculation of republicans going after john boehner. he has been weakened over the past couple months. that is not going to happen. we have been talking to members sandy will be reelected as speaker.
big difference between two years ago when it came in. he was elected unanimously by house republicans for speaker. this time there will be at least one but we are expecting a few defections. we don't know who they will vote for. they have to vote for a person. they cannot. no. -- they cannot vote no. host: who should people be watching for today? guest: in the house today the trauma will be the speaker vote. nancy pelosi, there are some democrats who did not vote for a couple years ago. they will be voting. they have to shout out who are going to vote for. that will be the drum especially when we go to a couple members. one of them i was what forced tim huelskamp, many republicans in kansas, john boehner's republican steering committee recently bounced him off to a bill committees. he's not happy about it. he has been going after john boehner on media outlets saying
john boehner is going after conservatives. john boehner says it is absurd, that tim huelskamp and others were not the players. host: in the senate, what happens at noon? guest: the senate is not as dramatic today because there's no leadership battles, but they're also sworn in. we have a new president pro tem in care of patrick leahy. and with senator daniel in your w -- a to daniel inouye passing away. host: the makeup of this 113 congress and the freshmen coming in, in both chambers, what are we looking at? guest: 90 members. looking at men, women. there's a bisexual member for the first time.
gay members. nancy pelosi has been very proud of the fact that the house democratic caucus is now a majority minority caucus. she has really emphasize that because republicans have trouble reaching out to minorities. we saw that in the 2012 election. it was hispanic votes big time. romney getting stomped by president obama. all of them will be sworn in your the 112th congress was just yesterday. usually does a couple weeks break. so you have freshmen coming into this by of the storm. it's not the kind of optimistic feeling we got maybe two or 4 years ago because the battle over the last couple years have been so bitter and they went right until the end. guest: tell us about the big battles to come. there's a lot of unfinished business. host: that's right. we thought maybe there would not be that much with the fiscal cliff, but congress kicked the can down the road. they reached a deal on the
fiscal cliff but they set up more fiscal cliffs as congressman jim moran said recently, a democrat from virginia. the sequestration battle in a few months and then there's the debt ceiling. will the president and republicans in congress agree to raise the debt ceiling and exchanged for some spending cuts. we saw that in 2011. the obama administration says the not playing that game anymore and they have a plan to raise the debt ceiling and go- around congress. sounds like they're not revealing the details, but that will be the big fight. a debt ceiling fight in a couple months. guest: we are live from the rotunda on capitol hill. opening day of the 113 congress. we want to get your questions and comments about the agenda of the new members face. let's begin with michael in new
york, an independent caller. go ahead. caller: good morning. you have a great show. i am a professor in an m.b.a. program. i have 38 students from 400 countries. i teach accounting as well. i see very few accountants in the house of representatives. an observation, you are concentrating on cutting the medical care in the united states. the united states is listed 49 th in life expectancy. so that is an area you really do not want to cut. the next biggest china is growing at 10% per year. even russia growing at 5% per year. even the 200 students in my section will agree the reason
china and russia are growing at 10% and 5% per year is their military budget is $100 billion. the united states as a military budget of $700 billion and 69 intelligence agencies. host: we will leave it there. defense spending? guest: a big issue, defense versus health care para a democrat saying we need to invest more in health care and don't cut medicare, don't cut and other health care programs. we saw that in 2009/2010. the caller brought up the infant mortality, very high in the united states for. you don't hear many members talking about that much. democrats say the defense questioning, which has been postponed a couple months, some say if you don't like the cost of -- across-the-board cuts of the sequester, just cut other parts of defense there is some republicans voted against
the sequester bill in the house because they believe the pentagon deserves to be cut. others say this would be a huge threat to national security? if we let the cuts happen. a huge debate. members will have to make choices, because the financial policy of this country, it is an unsustainable path. even senator chuck schumer says it might be 50 feet or 500 feet away, but we are walking over another cliff. the we have to have some reforms. host: the next battle, with some of col round 2, will it try raising the debt ceiling to the sequester questioned or spending cuts to medicare and social security? will they be tied together? is that what these freshmen one of their first big votes? host: absolutely. republicans are saying, if you want to raise the debt ceiling, there's a price. as ugly as the fight was in 2011 when john boehner and president obama almost got a grand bargain, they did not get it, but they still had what setup
the sequester and the budget control act. republicans say we got cuts out of that, a lot more cuts than they just got. they feel they are well- positioned. we have done the revenue side now. now we will go after spending in 2013. but republicans and democrats have a habit of saying we will get to spending, just later on. once again, they have done that. president obama still wants more revenue. wants to go after tax loopholes. he's not done going after this. host: darnell is in waldorf, maryland, democratic caller. caller: thank you. i agree with the last caller. we heard lindsey graham and john mccain talking about ground to, -- round 2, trying to stick it
to obama, because obama put this man down on him in his little speech. but they need to get out of the way. let obama lead, because he's doing a great job and he's better at it than they are. we need to look at the problem with american healthcare. we need to work on the problem, which is the stuff we eat. we don't eat right. we need to start working on the problem, fix those things. thank you. guest: fascinating about who is getting the better of home. in 2011, last congress, done better city got 98% of what he wanted in the debt deal. this time around he certainly did not. now a reporter has written for us today the john boehner is done with one-on-one talks with president obama. it's not getting in the room. they have had a strained relationship. they did go golfing a while backing. but the negotiations to try to
set up differently because clearly he lost the negotiations this time around. host: he's telling his caucus and no more one-on-one negotiations. who is going to negotiate? guest: you have to have some type of republican in the room. john boehner said the senate must act. you cannot and does democrats. republicans are controlling the house and there are no enoughter -- there are republican senators that they can filibuster. what, are you going to bring in the whole republican conference? a lot of people would like to have those negotiations broadcast on c-span. host: mcconnell and biden, are they betina going forward? guest: it could be. it changes all the time. -- are they the team now? guest: it could be.
we don't know in the new congress who the main principles will be. president obama has shown a distaste for these negotiations. that's why he got joe biden involved. host: what about these new members, how will they be the same or different than the 112th congress, the tea party freshman that this on a 112th congress? guest: i don't see a lot of similarities. are some republicans from conservative districts that are coming in. an incoming republican from texas is one of them. he likes john boehner but he's not going to vote for him and especially concerned about his conservative credentials. democrats picked up eight seats in the house. cut into the house republican majority. the tea party influence is not as big as 2010. also, john boehner has been upset at some tea party
lawmakers, some senior members who have not been with him, so he's trying to downplay their influence. he's trying to foster unity, we can take on the president -- we cannot take on the president if we are divided. and they are divided over the last couple weeks as we have seen. gueshost: tonya is on the line n west virginia. caller: i was a democrat and i am an african-american who donated to obama the first time and volunteered for the affordable health care reform. now i am an independent. i voted for jule stein president santos owen barber against joe manchin. -- for jule stein for president
and against joe manchin. you have to go to joe biden to tell the democrats what is in the bill? and things being done at 2:00 a.m. and midnight. when they say this is corporate us, n, it will night -- when they say this is going to hurt us hurtno. hos-- no. guest: they have a big energy plans and tax plans. they really go nowhere. if you are freshman member, after gains in order. if you have to get at least a subcommittee chairmanship. so they have big plans a campaign on. when they get to congress it really does not matter. in the senate is a little different because you have a lot
more power. within the house, if you walk into the leadership office and use say to john boehner i would like you to move my tax plan, you get some raised eyebrows. host: yesterday we had a freshman from south carolina, mick mulvaney, he said i ended up doing things i said i would never do when i ran for this seat and one of them is raising the debt ceiling. guest: that's right. a lot of republicans who came in to change the world, and they realized, some of them did not know how washington works, that you're never going to get a perfect bill, after a compromise to get most of what you want. republicans said, if i don't get a lot of what i want, i am a no vote. there is always tough in the bill that's not popular. you have to make the decision. host: what is it like for them coming in here on opening day and in the days and weeks ahead of the hundred 13 congress, how are they getting adjusted?
guest: leadership helped them as our staffing. most important hiring you can make as an incoming member is your chief of staff. your teeth of staff will then hired the rest of your team. the very confusing the about the capital is how to get around. we saw that with a lame-duck congress with a congressperson from michigan. he was just here and is now gone. he was here just for the lame- duck session by a bizarre way that elections work. the city got lost a lot. you have to have someone to show you where the bathrooms are, how to get to the house:. you have to make sure you get there to vote. so the leadership office, whether it's harry reid, mitch mcconnell, nancy pelosi, they say this person will guide them. >host: and that's before you get to the big votes on the debt ceiling. what else is on the table, immigration reform? guest: and gun-control. joe biden is working on
recommendations on gun control. that can be an uphill climb. you have to move very quickly. there are some democrats who do not want gun-control. the tragedy in connecticut is pushing the thing. president obama pushed for a plan on assault weapons in his first term, but he has changed his tune a little after getting an f a couple years ago from a group in support of guns. he also wants to get the energy legislation. we saw the debate poisoned by climate control because that's a nonstarter for republicans. no i think there's more ground. there are senators with good working relationships that might be able to get something done on the energy committee.
host: as the continued on capitol hill, those are the issues on the table for all of you to call in on. immigration reform, and control, the big budget battles that are to come for this new 113 congress. nearly 90 freshmen that are coming in, in the house and senate. we will have a few of them here in washington journal coming up. first, frederick in pontiac, michigan. democratic caller. go-ahead. caller: i was listening earlier when you spoke about them kicking the can down the road. that's a lot of what is happening in our politics now. we don't handle government. we kick = decisions down the road. i find frustrating is that creates a lot of animosity in the voters. it creates partisanship and we're not getting things done. we don't get things done, we just pushed it down the road. and then there's another cliff and another cliff. pretty soon we're just taking things and not getting anything done. that is what is the frustrating part about this whole fiasco.
we need to come together and work on this, our country, and get people back to work. stop trying to take money out of people's hands and put money into people's hands. host: a lot of people caught in the elections, the old 100th of congress was not very popular, maybe the most unpopular, a lot of people thought these guys will get ousted. as usual, over 90% of incumbents won. you have democrats controlling this senate and republicans in the house and president obama controlling the white house. as far as the hopes for a big deal or something that does not kick the can down the road, i've been here since 1995, only way you get big deals through other than dell terraform is it has to be bipartisan. that's what mitch mcconnell has said. if you are going to move the balanced budget act of 1997, that was divided government. obamacare was different because democrats had control of
everything. when we talk about tax reform or entitlements, things on the table, there's zero little hope. but the way negotiations went over the last month on the fiscal cliff., i am not cliff. host: dan is a republican in youngstown, ohio. caller: past generations have suffered through the bad times and so did the good times, but they did not pass massive amounts of debt down to the next generation. that is what we are doing. democrats, especially the ones in the senate that have gone even more democratic, because they are firmly entrenched with obama that they are going to increase revenue and not cut spending. they don't even recognize spending is a problem. for us to continue the path -- to pass this data on to our children or grandchildren, if there's any decent person in washington that will just look
at the spending, there's plenty of people in this country, there's a lot of fat in government. i know they keep talking about this, but there's no money, but they needenty therefat to cut. there's lazy people collecting money along with the needy people. how about all the money we spend on these foreign countries? nobody is addressing that. host: let's talk about foreign aid versus unemployment benefits. guest: foreign aid, not much of the budget. it's overstated. it's a very small percentage of the overall budget. the unemployment benefits cost tens of billions of dollars every time it's renewed. republicans say we need to stop that at some point. but they are popular and they get calls from their constituents about people looking for job, to continue benefits, so that was included in the fiscal cliff deal.
as far as the flavor of washington, is it cutting right now? the flavor was in 2011 after the tea party congress, but the flavor not so much. you of the credit ratings agency is really pushing congress. there's a threat of a downgrade of congress does not act. that pushes congress and pushes the stock market. and congress cares about the stock market very rushed. host: rick is an independent caller in texas. caller: yes, my comment is this stuff about get all the money from the rich, and i'm one of the people in the top 30% and i don't mind paying a fair share. but i think a fair share should be paid across the board. over 50% of this country does not pay a dollar. and some people getting a refund and they don't even pay anything pretend dollars from somebody would do a great amount when you look at the mathematics. go back to the reagan era when you talk about enlarging the tax
base and not shrinking it. this is a redistribution of wealth and that is socialism. host: what about spending? are you willing to put social security and medicare on the table? caller: it has to go on the table, that's the bottom line. you cannot continue to do this. guest: as far as the tax rate, one of the things that was not discussed a lot was regional differences. we spoke with steve israel, a democrat from new york who represents a district on long island, it is an affluent mr. perry asked him if he agrees with the threshold obama supports, he said no, he would like more than $400,000. he said if you make $250,000 in long island compared with the same in louisiana, it's different. there was no talk of changing it based on regional differences. maybe there will be something discussed in 2013.
host: in missouri, democratic caller, randy. caller: hi. i am looking forward to the filibuster activity that will take place under the new congress in the senate. second, you guys in the media, you report on the debt ceiling hostage-taking as if it's a political game. as will affect all of america in drastic ways. last, any member or members of congress that [indiscernible] of the public that, they should be impeached under the 14th amendment of the constitution. any media organization that promotes such reckless actions should be charged with insurrection. people reporting on this as
though it is some political game. this is devastating to the country. getst: i hope i don't charged with insurrection. we report on what is happening appear. it is a political game to a certain debate, because lawmakers have to play games with a policy. that is what campaigns are about. if you play politics well, you get to drive the machine. we have seen democrats and republicans have the upper hand. it changes so quickly. as far as a filibuster reform, that is something that was going to come up early, either today or tomorrow. then yesterday, democratic and republican leaders said we will do that later. majority leader harry reid wants to change the filibuster rule, but he said we will do with a little later in the month. that could foster some type of deal between harry reid and mitch mcconnell. it remains to be seen if harry reid has the votes to do this.
we recently saw senator carl levin and john mccain teaming up on something that was a little different, a bipartisan chance of the rules in the senate. some democrats don't like that. all republicans will vote against any filibuster rules. host: how does it works right now and what they want to change? guest: if you filibuster a bill, you have actually got to go to before and do the mr. smith goes to washington kind of thing, you have to stay there until you consider any more. democrat all like that. they don't like how republicans are blocking bills on procedural votes per democrats say we want to just get to vote on appeal. they say we're not banning the filibuster, but when we vote on something we don't want to vote on. a procedural on we want to vote on the bill. if you want to vote on the bill, that is still 60 vote threshold, but let's get to the substance. host: for those outside
washington, in order to even consider a bill and debate it, they need 60 votes to get there. guest: yes, always, unless there is unanimous consent to move right to it. we saw that with the fiscal cliff bill. that was a bill that was in the middle of the night we did not the public text on the bill, there was no score of the bill, it was not a very transparent way for the most important build a 112th congress. host: the other step that requires debate is ending votes on a bill. guest: that's right. immigrants a dismal 60 vote threshold. in the threshold but there are some democrats who say we have done the 60 vote threshold a long time. we are the world's greatest deliberative body. we need to think over these things. we are not the house. so long debate is actually a good thing and there are democrats and republicans to do think that. certainly the white house staff has been very frustrated. they say some of these nominations they of sense, they've been bottled up in
procedural motion and when they get to the final vote for the nominee gets 90 votes. so why did we waste all that time? host: you're watching us from the rotunda on capitol hill. we will have several members of congress joining us shortly to take your questions and comments about the 113 congress. first we will hear from eva in groveland, florida, republican. caller: good morning. i would like to know with all this discussion about us being so far in debt, we're not talking about cutting foreign aid and why we aren't giving $1.5 billion to the muslim brotherhood in egypt and we have been giving that amount of money more than 20 years. it does not make sense to me. that is like me going to my neighbors and borrowing money to give to another neighbor and not paying my own bills. i think we need to be conscientious with the taxpayers' money and pay our own
bills first. i do not consider medicare and social security entitlement programs. i have worked for that money more than 55 years. we need to cut the foreign aid bills band to spend the money very judiciously first. members say every little bit counts. even though foreign aid is not a huge part of the budget, we can make trims. on defense spending, some say why do we have a base in germany and another in japan? was not sure about the a rather good aid, but on pakistan, republicans and democrats a we need to payback that aid. rand paul has really been pushing that. others like senator john mccain say we cannot just cut them off. foreign aid is very important if you want to get them to do what we want them to do and foster democracy. guest: before we let you go, bob
cusack, we'll take another phone call. tell us about the freshman class and who are some names, faces people should be looking out for, people might make a name for themselves. guest: senator tim kaine is a democrat from virginia. he defeated george allen in the election. he is a former governor. this is very close to president obama. he was almost vice-president. talk about your money in the senate. elizabeth warren won a huge battle with senator scott brown. how will she going to operate? the financial industry is a little bit nervous about her. she had the idea to come up with the consumer bureau that was so controversial, the agency that is now up and running as far as wall street reform. those two have strong personalities.
they could also be dealmakers. host: on the republican side? guest: on the republican side, steve stockman, congressman, he will vote against the speaker. what kind of committee assignments will he get if he does that? that is one republican come in in not being shy. host: 1 last phone call for bob cusack. john in oregon, independent. caller: hello. all these issues mean absolutely nothing until you get down to accountability. host: what to you mean? caller: how come there's no criminal investigation of any of these bankers, of these corporate whores raking us over the coals? not one of them has gone to jail. a couple little small mutuals
-- sorry for the people that lost their people-- i lost two retirement funds. first one was with ronald reagan. there's nothing out there for us to look forward to. the criminals are running everything. somebody smoking pot and getting in trouble. this is obscene. host: who are the criminals? caller: our elected officials, number one. it is a democracy, supposedly. they're not doing anything for the people. host: let's talk about the sentiment. guest: you hear a lot of that sentiment, mostly on the left. this a big corporations are running america. the app the next up is money and politics. and who is giving the money to
members, whether that is democrats or republicans. a lot of it comes from corporations. a lot of it comes from unions, too. but industry plays a big role. president obama has tried to crack down on the lobbying industry, but lobbyists are driving up here. he vowed to change washington. in some ways he has. but he also said it was coined to be a more bipartisan town pier that really has not happened. there is influence from corporate america in washington. host: thank you very much. the will come back in our last hour of the washington journal. coming up next we will talk to a new democrat from the state of texas. , with us in justificat a minute. >> ♪
[video clip] >> you don't always find newspaper editors increasing investigative reporting. it's not test economics. it is the discomfort that investigative reporting often causes in the newsroom. because it is troublesome that. it is that more than economics. if you are going to ruffle the feathers of some one of our full combat get those people complain to the publisher and there are stories over the years about that being done, in the 1970's and almost all of our careers, to work for people who were really strong and our pride in that area. they let the chips fall where
they may. >> a pulitzer prize-winning investigative team will take your calls, e-mails, and tweets, this weekend. they began their collaborative work in the 1970's and a cooperative eight books. their latest is on "the trail of the american dream." watch that on sunday on c-span2 at noon eastern. host: we are back. the washington journal live this morning from the rotunda on capitol hill talking to some new members of congress this morning. one of the house freshmen here with us, pete gallego, talking about the 113 congress with bob cusack and all the big votes you have coming up. just wondering, what experience from your past and you bring to washington for this new position? guest: i feel phenomenally lucky and fortunate to be here. want to thank the voters of the 23rd district. my experience is i spent 22
years in the texas legislature. i was a committee chair when the democrats were in the majority and i was the committee chair when the republicans or in the majority. i was one of those who try to bridge the gaps and to forge consensus among the members. my own view has been that congress has been raging partisan fires and we as a nation have consistently and let the people who add more fuel to the fire. i hope with this round of elections to elect people will work together to put the fire out. that is my experience, working to bridge gaps and working to find solutions and really making a difference to people at home. host: what has it been so far? have you come to washington before today and found out where you will live and whether your family will come up here? guest: it's very different from the legislature provided the into it immensely. my family is here today. they will not live here. my front line is an all.
i'm more worried about making a difference and home certainly as a freshman member of congress, in a minority party, there's not an opportunity to be passing major legislation or doing those kinds of things. my front line is making sure that the constituents are well presented and those kinds of things. i expect i will spend most of my time at home in the district. i was here - is interesting to me, because in 1982 when i graduated from college in december, i moved to washington to look for job and try to work here. 30 years later, in december of 2012 i came back aphere looking for a place to live one more time, but this time to be a member of congress, which is pretty interesting, over the 30 years. host: one of the first big votes that you face, of course, oil will be on whether or not to raise the debt ceiling. what are you thinking right now?
guest: i have been reading everything i can. i really am in the mode of learning and trying to gather as much information as possible. it seems to be our country faces some significant challenges. the saying that my parents -- i remember talking about how things always get worse before they get better. there are still some challenges ahead. hopefully, the congress gets to know each other better and work together. i think there's a different chemistry among the newer members of congress that just got here. whatever the solution will be, i think we will try to work at it in an amicable way. host: you have any reluctance in raising the debt ceiling? guest: there's always a reluctance about raising the debt ceiling, always reluctant when you are on the edge. clearly, every decision that has
to be made here, whether it's immigration or the debt ceiling or the budget, those kinds of things if after the carefully crafted and considered, because there are so many facets. i learned as a legislator in texas that there's this thinks called unintended consequences, that usually makes a big difference that you have to factor in. host: back in texas, while the 100th of congress is finishing up their work, you were watching these votes very late in the night, new year's eve, a senator voting on new year's day at 2:00 a.m. what were you thinking about coming here after those type of folks? guest: it was a pretty phenomenal thing to watch. i was thinking, i hope we are not that bad. i hope to do better. as i have read the press headlines this morning, the last congress did not get very good reviews. i hope the congress i'm a part of work together more closely, not necessarily that there will
be a diversity of opinion, is good for a system. it's just a question of how to work together and trying to reach common ground. it appears more effort to do that. host: the first phone call is from dallas, texas, democrat named louis. caller: hello. my name is louis collins. i want to congratulate the senator for being in congress. i'm from texas as well. i want to thank you all for letting me be on the air. what i want to talk about social security. they are saying they will not cut social security. my social security, entitlement, as congress calls it, was cut $20. they're cutting all the social security checks, $20, $15, project. add up to a lot of money. why is congress doing this to us? i live on $780 a month, me and
my wife. i don't think anybody should live on that. we live below poverty but managed to pay our bills. we have complained to senators and congressmen, we have complained to the city, we have complained to social security about this. they promised us a long time ago if you pay into social security you will get this money back. this is what our government promised us. was 13en working since i through the age of 62. now everybody's crying about entitlements, why are we giving entitlements? why should we pay to the government if we're not going to get this back? host: let's get a response. guest: i am not calling to defend the congress before me or congresses before me, because i've not been a member. but i can tell you social in thety was a big issue an campaign and clearly is a big
issue for seniors. my mother lives on social security. i know the importance of that. whatever decisions are made will be made in a very careful and deliberate way. i can only speak as one of the 435 and cannot legally do that yet box shortly. i know that from my one vote it will always be able to make sure the senior population is well represented in the country. host: does that mean social security is off the table for u.s. cars trying to find somewhere to reduce spending from the government? guest: again, for me, there are certain issues that are priority issues. i will tell you that the seniors are one of them. that's not to say the social security system as it stands today is a perfect system and that it. cannot use it whatever decisions are made have to be made in view
of how bad it's going to impact those folks living on a fixed income, depending on social security. for a lot of the elderly i've talked to, that is their independence. that really is their dignity in a very large way, in a very significant way. so i think that has to be taken into consideration as we make whatever decisions we make going forward. host: we will stay in texas, mission, texas, it is joining us, an independent. caller: yes, thanks for taking my call. i want to ask the representative on the legislation that could possibly be coming up this session. i want to hear your stance on the pipeline as well as dianne feinstein's bill that probably will be coming up this year, hopefully. host: what is the dianne feinstein bill? guest: the gun control, banning of certain --
host: assault weapons. guest: i will tell you, i am making an effort to make sure that i read --i'm a detail guy and i love details. while there may be -- i have never seen a piece of legislation that is a sentence or two that says we will do x and we can all say yes or no. the devil is always in the details. i always reserve judgment until i see the legislation and look at the provisions and those kinds of things. i can tell you that in general, the oil and gas industry is a huge industry pins the part of the world i live. we have pipelines running all ies in westunt texas and there is the eagle
ford shale where we are developing one of the largest fields in the world. the issue of pipelines is not going to be something that's we are going to be able to run from over a long period of time. at some point we are point draft a determination about how we get our natural resources from where they are to where they need to be. and so, i think that is a huge issue. so i don't necessarily have any reservations about building pipelines as long as they're done in the correct manner. i have to look at the legislation in order to determine where the details would be. host: mike is a republican in utica, new york. caller: congratulations, congressmen. goingngress that's out now is a bunch of gutless cowards. i hope you will have the wherewithal to make the right decisions. this country needs to cut
medicine and cut the reckless spending. unfortunately, the past congress, led by the cowered in chief, were not able to do the right thing. that's a problem, because this president ran on the fact cut $3 for every $1 he raised. representative joe wilson was right, he is a lighter. i hope the new congress realizes what they are dealing with and are willing to do the right thing for the country and finally, once and for all, cut reckless spending. thank you. guest: i appreciate that. i have an 8-year-old. i understand i want there to be an economy, and a system, and an opportunity for him when he turns 21 and beyond, to raise his own children, and all those kinds of things.
that's why the decisions carmaking now are so important. they are important not necessarily for us. we know what we will be when we grow up and what we are born to do when we grow. it's all part our kids and grandkids. that's how i feel about it. the one area where you and i will defer its provide challenge as a member of the legislature in texas and part of my skills that was i don't like the yelling and name-calling and the back and forth. if you can always disagree, but you can do it this agreeably. if you call me a coward, i really don't have an opportunity or desire to spend much more time in conversation with you because that's almost a declaration of war. for me, part of the challenge of this place is to turn down -- tone down the rhetoric and talk about real issues that really matter, because my frustration in running for office is that i would look up to d.c. and they would argue and college other names of along, but at the end of the day they did not fix
anything, and i want to fix things. the only way we can fix things is if we treat each other with mutual respect. if democrats and republicans come together and we understand that we all want the same thing for our kids and grandkids. there may be a little different way of getting there. when i would drive from san oftonio , hometown san , there's to garrotes i could take. we can talk to each other and the civil in a way that would help raise the public perception of congress. i understand i have all been in congress, too, i understand why our approval ratings are so low. i think part of the way to build that up is to start treating each other like adults. that is what i would like to do. host: pete gallego, the 23rd district covers the majority of
the texas-u.s. border. is 800 miles of border and probably -- well, there's not a border district. host: immigration reform, you are talking about compromise, where do you think there's compromise on immigration reform? guest: i think there's an opportunity here. as a result of the last election, i think people understand the importance of the latino community. for the latino community, that's a big issue. if you're born and raised along the border in that region, like i was, you understand that we depend on each other for commerce and trade and that a businessman, a store in del rio, texas, depends on traffic from across the way. we have done business for generations and for years. and so, you understand you have to protect the commerce, but you also understand, on the other
hand, that we all watched it towers fall and will understand the importance of national security. so we have to find a balance. the idea -- i'm not offended by the idea you would put more border patrol people on the order to make sure we are doing the right thing, but i do think that our immigration policy needs to focus on the bad guys. before i got elected to the legislature, i was a prosecutor. it seems to me that it makes sense that you witnessed the drug dealers before chasing maids and that he would chase the drug dealers before chasing the people that are doing wrong. our system is a supply and demand system. it is pretty basic to me. if there are jobs and opportunities here, there's going to be supplied coming in to meet the demand. so you have to design a system that can expand and contract, depending on the season.
there's not that many people that want to work in the field digging onions in texas, it's 120 degrees. in the agriculture community, if you need some workers. you've got to design a system that allows that. you've got to design a system that you know who's here, you know how long they are here, and you give them an opportunity over. of time to earn their citizenship, if they have come here and they've done good work and have not gotten into trouble. host: 1 last phone call. frank is in clearwater, florida. are you with us? i think we lost him. your priorities for the 113 congress? guest: threefold. the middle class is the single biggest preserving and protecting the middle class is one of the single biggest challenges we face as a country. if you look at all the data,
there is clearly not a trend where the middle class gets smaller and smaller and smaller. protecting and preserving that middle-class is a big deal. the veterans community in the 23rd district is a huge deal. we owe them an obligation. it's not just a that that financial. -- debt that is financial. we need to do better by them in general. the third thing is my mom is in her 80s, so i understand the obligations to that generation that was part of the greatest generation that lived through the depression and got us through world war ii, but i also have an 8-year-old, so i understand our focus also needs to be on the kids and our future. for me, those bookends, those are my three priorities. host: thank you for talking to us and our viewers. we hope you come back and return to washington journal during your tenure.
guest: thank you so much. host: next, we will talk to a republican, tom cotton, of arkansas. first a break and then we will be right back. >> caller: calle♪ [video clip] >> roger williams, while he was a member of the clergy, was also incredibly trained and learned in civil law and worked for cook in the british parliament and in the chamber. we see a lot of his ideas of civil law and federation of
turkish critics separation of tristan's state that he articulated in texts like this. this is where we see roger williams talking about the idea of liberty of conscience and the freedom of religion. he is very much showing at this point why he is different and why his thinking is different and why rhode island will be different from massachusetts and the other colonies. he was creating a land where people could come, could worship as they chose. this did not sit well with england or massachusetts. by an actor british parliament, all of copies of his book were ordered to be burned. luckily, some were not and we have this one. >> more from road island state capital as "book tv, american history tv, and c-span local
content vehicles look behind the scenes of history and literary life of providence. saturday at noon eastern on c- span and sunday at 5:00 on c- span3. host: we are live from the rotunda on capitol hill talking to new members of congress. there are many firsts for the house of representatives. the first hindu in the house, the first female combat veteran, etc.. the first buddhist in the senate. and the house freshmen coming in, 12 of them with military service. one of them is tom cotton, republican of arkansas. thanks for being here. guest: thanks for having me. host: you do have military service.
talk about that a little more and why you chose to run for this seat. guest: i was in law school when the 9/11 attacks happened and that changed my direction in life. from that point i wanted to serve an army. i finish school and paid off my loans in a couple years. and i went to the recruiting station and listed. i was a jack attorney and infantry officer, served in baghdad as a platoon leader. i served in afghanistan " with reconstruction team. if i serve at arlington national cemetery in the old guard, over funerals and so forth. i joined the army eight years ago because i wanted to serve our country, to preserve what makes us great. that's a lot of the same reason i decided to run for congress. we are at a moment of peril now just like we were then. i came to congress to do my part for the people of arkansas and for our country. host: how did? you win? guest: i put a lot of miles on my car. my district is very large and
roll, about the size of west virginia. the campaigns around 33 different counties in arkansas and made the taste for conservative reforms. the seat was held by democrat the last 12 years. i've never run for office before and never been in politics. it took some effort to introduce myself to the voters, tell them about myself and my plans for the future. it has paid off, it seems. host: your district includes hope, arkansas. guest: the home of bill clinton and mike huckabee. host: any inspiration from them? guest: certainly they are skilled vote getters. my views are more in line with mike huckabee than president clinton, but you have to admire their skills in being vote getters. host: what are your first priority is coming year, given your military service? guest: the first priority for me and i hope for most of my colleagues will be addressing
our debt crisis. it's one of the reasons i ran. the debt now is over $16 trillion. the bill passed a few days ago does not address the long-term drivers of debt. with several critical moments coming up in the first 90 days, like the debt ceiling increase and the sequestration, spending cuts we will face in 60 days as well as the continuing resolution to fund the government and in march we will have to make immediate choices to address the crisis. host: are you a yes on raising the debt ceiling? guest: not an unqualified yes. president has said he will not negotiate about it this time. i find that ironic. he voted against raising the debt ceiling in the past and not even bother to show twice. we need to look at retirement programs before i would increase the debt ceiling. host: does that include spending for the pentagon? guest: i would like to see the sequestration cuts reconfigured
away from the pentagon and towards domestic programs. the budget control act in 2011 fell roughly 50-50 on defense. there's already been 500 million cut from the department of host: defense sounds like you are up to speed. guest: yes. host: did you get some alpa? -- soem help? guest: they always could connect us to the right kind of expert we needed. host: have you hired your staff and founder office? guest: not quite. i do have all my staff in my district. very happy to have that ready to serve our constituents and home. we are about halfway hired here in washington.
host: we have viewers lining up to talk to you. james in pennsylvania, democratic caller. caller: i am curious why all the republicans call social security and entitlement program. guest: thank you for your call. everybody calls them entitlement programs. the facts are the same. americans for generations have paid into those programs. they need to have those promises honored. we need to make them sustainable in the long term. host: edwin in chicago. caller: how are you this
morning? i am a military veteran. i hope that you will look at the point of the v.a. and how it deals with vietnam veterans. it takes a long time before they can receive any assistance. social security does not add anything to the budget but i agree there is a fraud and i hope you'll look at that and alleviate the fraud that is involved in this. i hope that you'll have an opportunity to come together with the president and received results that will help all americans. guest: thank you for your call and for your service. father was with the fourth infantry division.
i am aware and i want to work with them. they have some of the most motivated employees. on social security, it has operated at a deficit because the baby boom generation is retiring. host: what kind of reform? guest: we will look at increasing the retirement age gradually. we need to look at the way we calculate the cost of living adjustments. take it to purchasing power so people can still buy the same basket of goods. host: and medicare?
guest: i think we to increase more choice. i do not think we will see that with the president reelected. increasing the eligibility age over the long run. host: we are talking with tom cotton from the state of arkansas here up in the rotunda. we are talking with new members of congress. mike is next. caller: good morning. congratulations on your win. guest: thank you, mike. caller: i've been with the department of the interior for many years. i have seen in a lot of waste in government spending, especially
the stimulus program. there has never been any hand- slapping when congress goes back in and breaks their diet. nobody is watching me. it seems to be the same thing in congress. what do you bring to the table? these are the same guys that were in congress before. what is to stop them just because we are out of money? guest: thank you for the call. if we want to address our long- term deficit problems, we have to stop discretionary spending. we had the stimulus.
working with bureaucratic agencies toward their ends, you are going to have that corruption. the solution is not to try to eliminate corruption in high places. maybe we would be more effective if we eliminated the high places. send more power back to the states. host: one of your first votes will be today when you vote for speaker. what name will we hear? boehner.hn i think he has been a good and effective leader. there is not serious commitment from barack obama to address business.
i think he has been an effective leader. host: what are your expectations for him? guest: we have a congress with two chambers. we have a conference committee and work out our differences between the senate and house. the president is welcome to provide his input. we have to stop when two or three people can create legislature that we have to except. host: we will have coverage of that vote for the speaker at noon eastern today. keep your channel here on c-span to watch that vote. paul is next from connecticut. caller: good morning. my question for mr. cotton --
you guys like handing out these big subsidies to big oil and business. help the people from world war ii who fought for the people and the people that tried to carry on their footsteps. the people walk around in those white buildings in d.c. you did not build them. you are just visitors. stock been republicans and democrats and start being americans. how about that? spread the news to your friends. you are americans. guest: thank you for the call. i agree with you.
that is one reason why i ran for congress. the tax bill had over 75 tax subsidies for things like wind energy or tuner producers in america samoa. tax code should be neutral for individuals. we should let people decide how to spend their own money. anytime you have spending programs like that, people stop focusing on underlying reality and people come to washington. host: tom cotton has a degree from harvard and served in the military. heading into the 113th congress congress. are you bringing your family out
here? guest: my parents are here. they will be with me during the swearing-in ceremony. i think they are a little tired but otherwise excited and happy to be here. host: have to figure out where you're going to live? guest: just a small apartment. caller: i would like to ask mr. on his stance on the failed war on drugs. guest: thank you for the call. i think we need to continue to prosecute the war. we do focus on demand here as in supply in mexico.
we have to take it seriously and treated as a national security matter. oftentimes drug abuse becomes the source of much crime. three of the largest psychiatric hospitals are in prisons. host: tom cotton, thank you for talking with our viewers. we will take a short break and will continue our live "washington journal" from here on capitol hill. our next number is new to the senate chamber, jeff flake of arizona.
[video clip] >> roger williams, while he was a member of the clergy, was also incredibly trained and learned in civil law and worked for cook -- sir cook in the british parliament and in the chamber. we see a lot of his ideas of civil law and federation of turkish critics separation of tristan's state that he articulated in texts like this. is the famous bloody tenet of persecution. this is where we see roger williams talking about the idea of liberty of conscience and the freedom of religion. he is very much showing at this point why he is different and why his thinking is different and why rhode island will be different from massachusetts and the other colonies. he was creating a land where people could come, could worship as they schose. -- choose.
this did not sit well with england or massachusetts. by an actor british parliament, all of copies of his book were ordered to be burned. luckily, some were not and we have this one. >> more from road island state capital as "book tv," "american history tv," and c-span's local content vehicles look behind the scenes of history and literary life of providence. saturday at noon eastern on c- span and sunday at 5:00 on c- span3. host: we are going across the capitol to the russell rotunda where we're joined by jeff flake, crossing over to the senate. to it.ust get right you voted no on this fiscal
cliff agreement. will be your vote in a month or so -- what will be your vote? guest: we are overspending. there is no bigger issue than the overspending and the effect of our debt and deficit on our economy. i think we should use it to the full extent to make sure we cut spending somewhere. host: does that mean that medicare and cutting spending for medicare is on the table? you accuse your opponent of supporting medicare cuts. is medicare on the table for you? guest: you bet. i have said at every campaign
event that we have to change the structure to make it sustainable in the long term. i support the ryan plan. we have to raise the retirement age. with social security, we have to do the chain cpi. there are a lot of things we have to do. host: for you, who should be doing the negotiating? saw it was vice president joe biden and mitch mcconnell. guest: i hope it is -- we have moved away from regular order. with the senate, not one appropriations bill went through. my preference is to go through
regular order. at is the best route. host: what about filibuster reform? that could be a vote that happens maybe in february. you wouldn't need 60 votes to just consider a vote. allow the legislation to come to the floor. how would you vote on that? guest: i hope we do not change rules that have served well over 200 years. the majority doesn't have its will. if you have a one person majority in the house, you can pretty much control will goes on. that is not the case in the senate. we need a change in behavior.
we cannot take away the opportunity for the minority party to have amendments but the minority apartments has to realize you can be dilatory. not changes to the rule. that was considered a few years ago by republicans. as a heads appealed -- wiser heads appealed. host: what do you see as compromise? guest: i introduced legislation with senator kennedy. we have got to have a bipartisan package that moves through, as long as it includes meaningful
security. that is what we need in arizona. it will be a compromise bill. host: thomas in south carolina is the first phone call. caller: good morning, greta. i thank c-span. i am an avid c-span watcher. i wanted to take up for you just a little bit. there was it right wing when not yesterday -- wing nut. get a close to being straight down the middle. host: well, thank you. caller: it is and honored to speak with senator-elect flake.
i iam disturbed about some of the things i see. it's not a to under-year-old thing -- it is not a 200-year- old thing, as the senator said. filibuster reform is needed in the senate. their own party -- i'm not saying we do not have plenty of room on both sides. there is plenty of blame to go around. republicans will have to get their head out of the sand.
guest: we have had changes to the rules in the senate but they have been done by a supermajority margin. , prettylking just 51 severely changing the rules. that should not be taken lightly. i think it will backfire. i have been in the house for 12 years. the rules in the senate are prepared for the senate and they should not be changed willy- nilly. host: senator john mccain is proposing some kind of filibuster reform. has he reached out to you? guest: we have not fully studied that proposal.
republicans were considering this so-called nuclear option. a group came together with a package. that was basically an agreement. i hope we reach a similar agreement that does not require changing the rules. i am glad that there is a bipartisan group of people working on this. i hope to look at the package now. host: keith from indiana. caller: good morning. how many wars have we won? we can win a war to protect our borders. we cannot reform anything that
is sensible. sometimes you have to go backwards to go forward to. they are stuck in reverse. they cannot understand to go forward, sometimes you have to back up in order to go forward. you have to reform things that have gone out of hand over a generation after generation. ok? sometimes there's people that have their hands extended out generation after generation. so far they do not know when to pull them back again. that free handout has gone stockout so far. generation after generation only knows to have their hand stockout. -- stuck out. guest: that is a pretty broad
topic. if people expect too much of government, i think that is true. i think it is true with the companies and with individuals and with just about everyone. i am a believer in limited government. i think that was envisioned by the founding fathers. the government is now $16 trillion in debt. that says enough on its own. host: craggy in tucson, arizona -- craig. caller: congratulations. i voted for you. i know you have your hands full. guest: i do. thank you. caller: how do things like these pork barrel things get added to
these bills? for instance the san the hurricane relief. i got no problem spending money to help those people. i do not want it doubled for other people. does this happen? i was told the senate added this. it blows me away that good legislation and starred and all of a sudden it turns to crap. guest: that happens all too frequently. we have done something that is positive in that regard -- earmarks, or the biggest bill with the marx had six to 300 earmarks. we do not do that anymore. we have declared a moratorium
for now. there are some legitimate needs and legitimate responsibilities. there was insurance that was purchased. that fund is running low. money is owed and congress should appropriate it. but some have little to do with the disaster. and republicans tried to pare .hat back i will keep your thoughts in mind. host: are you able to try to amend it ? guest: we do not know how the house will consider it. if the change it -- i believe
you should pay for the disaster. we cannot get into the habit of trying to solve everything for the future when one disaster happens. of these mitigation funds have little to do with the disaster but are costly. we to make sure this goes to the regular appropriations process. there are legitimate needs that have to happen immediately. we put in items that should be considered under regular order. we would have better legislation when the committees here these bills and then we commend them if we do through regular order. that is what we need to get back to. host: you fought against
earmarks and the house. while we do in the senate -- what will you do in the senate? guest: i did offer hundreds of amendments in the house. earmarks are now gone and i hope they stay where they are. i will work with senator coburn and senator mccaskill and others who have worked to ensure this ban is in place. host: may is next from new york. caller: the christian conservative narrative is that president obama is a separate muslim and that he will try to chip away at the constitutional right. we do to solve the real problems that people have such as gun
control and creating jobs? guest: i have never been a birther or gone down that road. i respect the office of the president and the respected president. i hope we address the issues rather than personalities. i think this affects the republicans and democrats. i take your point and agree with it. host: tom is a republican in virginia beach. caller: good morning. guest: great to talk with you. caller: i joined the navy in 1992 and i just retired yesterday from the military after several deployments.
i have no disability benefits given to me through the military or the v.a. i make combat veteran and i am concerned. something was put in place for individuals with medical conditions to apply for compensation and it was supposed to be taken care of. a retired as of yesterday -- i retired as of yesterday. nothing states i am a disabled veteran. i cannot get the hiring benefits through the government. i am concerned because i should have been compensated.
guest: thank you. thank you for your service. i do not know your individual circumstance. i would encourage you to talk to your own member of the house and senators. i think we owe a debt of gratitude and we owe those who have been wounded and need to ensure we carry out whatever was promised and that is my commitment. host: have to figure out where the bathrooms are in the senate? guest: i thought what it is a six-year term. you can figure out how to assign and office for a couple of months or maybe a year.
i am finding my way around. it helps to have been in the house. the senate moves more slowly. i think that is by design. i will be in the basement for a while. host: where would you like to sit/ guest: i think that will be announced today. host: you can make some news. guest: i have an interest in foreign policy. there are a lot of arizona issues that have to do with public plans, resource, power generation that we to make sure we can continue. has worked hard on those issues.
host: thank you. guest: thank you for having me on. host: look for our coverage starting at noon eastern time. we'll take a short break and speak with mike pocan from wisconsin. [video clip] >> i like to watch c-span. >> i like c-span programming. it is clear and direct. >> i can get good, clean information about the nation and i turned into c-span. >> david maxwell watches c-span
on comcast. >> roger williams, while he was a member of the clergy, was also incredibly trained and learned in civil law and worked for cook -- sir cook in the british parliament and in the chamber. we see a lot of his ideas of civil law and federation of -- and separation of turkish critics separation of tristan's state that he articulated in texts like this. this is where we see roger williams talking about the idea of liberty of conscience and the freedom of religion. he is very much showing at this point why he is different and why his thinking is different
and why rhode island will be different from massachusetts and the other colonies. he was creating a land where people could come, could worship as they schose. -- chose. this did not sit well with england or massachusetts. by an actor british parliament, all of copies of his book were ordered to be burned. luckily, some were not and we have this one. >> more from road island state capital as "book tv," "american history tv," and c-span's local content vehicles look behind the scenes of history and literary life of providence. saturday at noon eastern on c- span and sunday at 5:00 on c- span3. host: you are watching teh "washington journal," opening day of the 113th congress.
we are live on capitol this morning. we're joined by mike pocan, democrat from wisconsin. guest: i had a small business for over half my life. i have a lot of small business experience. a little bit of labor and management background. i spent 14 years in the wisconsin legislature. a good background in government and in the private sector and looking forward to making both of those halves help. host: how did you win this seat ? guest: i had enough context with people that helped out. the district is about six counties in south-central
wisconsin. madison is probably the biggest city. host: your priorities for the 113th congress? guest: getting something done would be a good start. i'm amazed how tough it is for people to get things done. i and a progressive democrat. i have a reputation for working across the aisle. i will try to join a caucus to make democrats and republicans get together to talk with each other. there's a real difficulty around here. i am looking forward to bridge that gap. host: who are you replacing? guest: tammy baldwin.
she is an amazing person. she will be an amazing senator. host: you have a similar record. guest: she is an amazing person. host: your priorities beyond -- guest: one thing i've stood for is fighting for the middle class. special interest have plenty of people to represent them. i want to be here to represent the average person to make sure we are getting a fair shake in things like tax revision. we have to figure out the code. host: president obama said one of the big votes he does not want to negotiate on the debt.
medicare and social security need to be on the table. what is your take? guest: i am hoping that people start to hear from their constituents. social security and medicare are things that people need versus trying to talk about some of the other issues around the debt ceiling. we need to have a longer-term view. will rise that people up a little and start calling their representatives and maybe we can get somewhere. we cannot be worse than the last congress. host: committees/ guest: oversight and reform. my background in budgeting would
be something that could be helpful on the budget committee. i have a lot of interest in foreign affairs. host: first phone call on one of your constituents. hi, alex. are you there? you are on the air. caller: great to see you in washington. you said you're known for your district as someone who reaches across the aisle. all we saw in the 112th congress was an inability to do that. congress has one of the lowest ratings. as ahing you'll be doing freshman representative, what
are you going to do to enhance the perception of congress and what do you think the congress needs to do to enhance their place in american democracy to get things done? guest: that is a great question. one of my priorities is working together. i think we have some real opportunities. democrats have been helpful to me but so have republicans. i have been reaching out. is a caucus called problem solvers. it is to get democrats and republicans to get to know which other socially. impossible to do less than
the last congress. i'll stand by my values. it is important we work together. host: jim from texas. caller: as you go in, i'm wondering what your position will be regarding certain groups of people. we have a certain percentage of the population that might be gay or lesbian and we feel maybe it is 10%. it they have the same rights -- and they have the same rights?
individuals that may be one to use marijuana, if they were 10% of the population. would you support their rights to do what they do with their body in the same way we allow others to make personal choices? guest: we have to take into consideration any law that we pass, especially when it comes to equality. we have to make sure we make sure everybody has opportunities. four other issues like marijuana reform, one thing that has been disheartening is to see a large number of people incarcerated simply for marijuana possession. it doesn't make a lot of sense
to spend $30,000 a year to put someone in prison for marijuana .ossession when it comes to equality, there aren't any exceptions. host: is this a party for you? your marriage is not recognized in the state of wisconsin. indecision possibly in june -- a decision possibly in june by the supreme court. guest: is been overwhelming to see some money people see that we're moving in the right direction. my partner and i had to go to canada. we have to allow people to be able to have access to that and
have real opportunities. i will not have benefits for my 10-year partner because that is the law of the land. things have to change. justice and liberty for all means all and we of to make sure that includes everyone. host: what did you think when you heard the supreme court was taking up this case? guest: we are watching all these states move towards marriage equality. i think we're seeing a shift in this. you're under 30, 80% support marriage equality. we're moving in that direction. the president's statement was important. we are moving in that direction.
caller: i did ask my question. think the focus was on gay and lesbian marriage. there is a larger the like to see the right extended for choices that they would make in their life. guest: i think he is talking from may libertarian perspective. often we are best when we allow people personal liberties. that is an area that i will support. i'll do my best to try to fight for equal access for everyone. host: david in vancouver, washington. caller: my question goes to military expenditures.
congress is spending half of its discretionary budget on military. a lot of that money is to maintain and keep open oil corridors and natural gas corridors and pipelines all over the plan that. we have 11 aircraft carriers and over 1000 u.s. military bases all over the plan that. no other empire comes even close. we're loading our atmosphere and oceans with carbon, past the probable tipping point. will you work to put tens of millions of people potentially to work in america building new energy-efficient alternative
energy projects -- wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, etc./ guest: that is a great point. we did a bunch of green jobs initiatives to make it easier to put up windmills. i am a strong supporter of that. i think we need to move beyond the fixation on fossil fuels and help incentivize people that are coming up with new technologies. 90% of our energy dollars leave wisconsin -- 98%. i'll do what i can to advance the that. host: marie from minnesota. caller: i am interested in the
entitlement program. i feel the republicans are directing a lot of the things -- i call them programs for the poor. president bush raised the ceiling nine times. the republicans did not teach about debt ratio. with that president obama directly attacked our president because he wants to help the poor people. i cannot understand that. those are programs directly to the poor. what is your opinion on that? guest: we need to preserve medicare and social security.
can we strengthen them? we did that back in wisconsin with a program called senior care. the debt ceiling -- it is so dysfunctional would do things for two or three months at a time. we need to get out of that mind- set. instead of having that fight every two or three months, let's do things that help to reduce the debt. i will try to bring that perspective as a talk about issues. host: weekly unemployment rose by about 10,000. guest: we saw the recovery dollars.
we have the vertical construction industry. 54,000 jobs were saved or created in wisconsin because of the stimulus. we need to do we can to boost the economy. that is the single best thing we can do. also to help people in their lives. i think we do have a much bigger focus on jobs and less of a focus on fighting over things every two or three months. host: we are talking with mike pocan. there is a bipartisan prayer service that just ended in washington if you blocks from where we are at st. peter's church. father patrick conroy participated in that service. you can see members of congress
coming out of the church this morning. a typical thing that happens in washington on opening day of the new congress. michael in paterson, new jersey. caller: i hear everybody talking about cutting this and cutting that. i think it is hypocritical for the congress or the representatives to say we will cut this and cut that when they are taking pay raises and growing the government bigger and bigger and not doing anything -- they are our enemies. some of them will kill us economically or they hate us will put a bomb near us. i did not get it. host: you have experience in the
state legislature. how often do you hear about foreign aid? guest: it is less than 1% of the overall budget. helping out is one of the best ways to do foreign policy. if we can be smart about how we do those dollars, keeping that investment is important to keep what we do across the world. i would rather see us do it through smart investment rather than coming in later. host: chris is watching us in new jersey. caller: yes, good morning. host: good morning. caller: you said you might be
interested in being on the budget committee and you are trying to reach across the aisle. i'm hoping you will do all you can to protect social security, medicare, and unemployment insurance. they're the only entitlements that i'm aware of. you pay into the system. youn it's time to collect, are entitled to do so. the of the stuff is social welfare programs -- the other stuff is social welfare programs. i hope you can stick your thumb and paul ryan's eyes.
guest: we share a county in our district. i want to work with people. the talk about the balanced approach. we had a deficit in wisconsin. 49 states all high deficits. we have about $2 billion in recovery dollars. there were devastating cuts. i think we to continue that balanced approach. you cannot simply make cuts. it has to be a little of everything. i hope that is something we can talk about and i will advocate for. host: who are some other republican names you would like to reach out to and ask some
questions? guest: a member from wisconsin. i had a brief meeting with him. he was extremely gracious. how we can figure out what is best. another person has been going out of his way to get together. they gave me an extra tickets so in.family can see me sworn an those are a few folks. i will continue to reach out with other folks. i have a lot to learn. we have met some of the freshman. host: has anything surprised you so far? guest: the first trainings we
had. they kept separating democrats and republicans. that is a continuation of the problem. if we keep doing those things, we will not work together. host: why was that done? guest: they kept separating us at different events. nylon is conversation was one we took care photo. that was a problem -- my longest conversation was when we took their photos. caller: good morning. i'm glad you are there. host: thank you.
-- guest: thank you. caller: 220 bills passed. i hope you can do better. guest: i'm with you. it is a tighter margin in the house. we will try to work together and solve some problems. i would help those things are looked at down the road. last week was probably not the best example. there are over 80 freshmen coming in. i think that it's a positive thing. host: where were you on new year's eve? what was going through your
head? guest: i realize why the last congress was so dysfunctional and why they wait for the and it to get something done. i would hope we could have that conversation with our leadership on how you deliver on something. if we can get there, the people would look at congress as a body that can function. the way people look at us hurts us overall with the business community and it hurts us internationally. we need an image that our government works. on how welot riding work together. host: richard from new york. caller: did anybody discuss the
budget deficit for fiscal year 2017 with you? guest: it was more about putting our offices together and hiring staff. then we went over policy. there is one that starts this weekend. i hope we will be working together more closely. the first couple were more about the basics of putting an office together. host: where will that trading be over the weekend? guest: williamsburg. i'm looking forward to that. host: mike pocan, thank you for talking to our viewers. we will take a short break. we'll come back and talk with bob cusack and the agenda at the
new freshmen face. we'll be right back. >> more americans sought unemployment benefits last week. weekly applications rose by 10,000 to 372,000. many state unemployment offices were closed last week for the holidays. many states used estimates. president obama has signed the bill that averts the so-called fiscal the president, who is vacationing in hawaii, the bill using an auto-pin. also receiving the presidential signature, the $633 billion defense bill for next year. it tightens penalties on iran,
increase the security at diplomatic missions worldwide. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> you do not always find a newspaper editors in any area that embrace investigative reporting. it is the discomfort that investigative reporting often causes in the newsroom. it is troublesome. that gets those people to run in to complain to the publisher. just let the chips fall where they made. >> the team of donald barlett and james steele will take your
calls, e-mails, and tweets on "in depth." watch live sunday at noon c-stern on "booktv" on cal span2. host: up here on capitol hill, the opening day of the 113th congress. there will be 234 republicans and 200 republicandemocrats. to republicans, eight democrats, one independent. joining us is bob cusack, managing editor of "the hill." when we started the show this morning, opening day, house comes in at noon -- what really see? guest: a lot of pop and
circumstance. their families are here. some families have gatherings around town to celebrate. they are sworn into the house and senate, and then after that, they vote for speaker. that is how many defections does nancy pelosi get, and how many defections as john boehner get. he will be elected as speaker. -- re-elected as speaker. no one has the votes to take him down. host: there were rumblings from folks in new york and new jersey, upset with the votespea. how was it resolved? guest: political science professors could take a look at what happened. it really showed how washington
works. after the fiscal cliff bill was passed in the house over the objections of many conservatives, there is supposed to take up the sandy bill. but had passed the senate. the majority leader had given the go-ahead for that vote. it was expected to pass. all of a sudden, john boehner called it. -- pulled it. it set off a fury from new york and new jersey. yesterday we saw a lot of those media interviews. the top or timid to o'clock p.m. new jersey governor chris christie, who i am told was extremely furious about this -- he had been promised a vote. he tried to call john boehner that night. john boehner was not returning phone calls.
pressure moves the house to change. about $9 billion of the bill will be voted on tomorrow. that needs two-thirds of the house. they think they will get it. then they will be a bigger package later. john boehner had to back down amid the pressure. host: for a total price tag of $60 billion ta? guest: yes. down the road, tax reform, immigration, gun control. i am not sure what the gun- control be in the house. john boehner has told his troops that if we did have a conversation about this out to the connecticut shootings. these are difficult votes. -- after the connecticut
shootings. these are difficult votes. to have ad dto have conversation about this after the connecticut shootings. these are difficult votes. we have a new president pro tem in the wake of senator inouye's death. one of the things i was expected to come up was filibuster reform. harry reid very frustrated with what he calls republican obstructionism. the decision was postponed until later this month. there's probably going to be some kind of deal struck where they do not do the so-called nuclear option.
host: they do these mock swearing ins, where vice president joe biden will be in one of the ornate and rooms of the senate, and he will be swearing in each member of the senate that would like to have their picture taken with the vice president and shut them up. -- chat them up. [laughter] guest: 0 that's right. that is a picture that goes back to their local newspaper. that is a big deal for them. joe biden added some extreme levity to the day. host: we will have our cameras there. you can watch it as it is happening on c-span.org. go to our web site for all of the events we're covering on capitol hill. the opening day of the 113th congress could speaker boehner will be doing a mach's warrants as well. -- congress.
speaker boehner will be doing mock swear-ins for a while. guest: he saw three angels at the foot of his bed on his recovery. that has made him a more religious man. that is going to be very emotional. a lot of prayers have gone to him. host: we're hearing his way to make his way up the senate steps on the east side of the capital and will be met there by vice president joe biden. we will have a camera there. c-span.org for more of the details of.
guest: that will be very emotional. host: first phone call for bob cusack, ron in pennsylvania, independent. caller: i am not a republican, democrat, or liberal, but i am just wondering, what is going on with this government? the treatise like we are babies. when they do not want to hear us, they go to another room and shut the door. the thing that really bothers me is hurricane sandy. i have friends and family in long island. when i saw president obama on tv and he went out there and waved a body like a big celebrity -- to everybody like a big
celebrity -- what happens? guest: with a disaster, there is always a controversy. some watchdogs on capitol have gone after under minded members, let's have some assurances that this relief is going to go to the people who are going to need it. there is a lot of fraud in medicare, a lot of fraud in disaster relief. member say that is no reason to block it. say, there is no reason to block it. host: comic in sacramento, california. democratic caller. inic cole in sacramento, california. democratic caller. caller: the fiscal cliff, is anything you guys would consider
going back in and revising? guest: will members of congress have another shot at that the execute host? guestpresident obama has said he wants more revenue. he is not done asking for more tax revenue. he has told liberal democrats, remember, our deficit is quite high. president obama did promise in 2009 to cut the deficit in half by 2013. that did not happen. social security, medicare is on the table.
he has never said absolutely nothing is off the table. he is going to be forced by credit rating agencies, possibly the stock market -- he wants to cut the deficit, but we have not seen a lot of specifics the absolute will say, this must be in the deal. a lot of republicans say, he is asking us to put something on the table so we can attack it. host: steve in new orleans, republican caller. caller: i am calling because i would like to know -- my party went down. it has been shooting itself in the foot. i find that the cleaner and the president and all of this going on between the two of them -- boehner has brought this country to a low when it came to the sandy finances. to bring my republican party
back to the forefront, a like to know what all these people who call themselves republicans are going to do for the black guy we have received. we have wars with bush were they did not say a word when we were in deficit. they did not open their mouth. now that we have a president that is trying to help build little man, as the rich is controlling this country. it is not the united states. it is divided states. the sooner we can get ourselves together and be united again -- but it is a rich and poor right now. the republican party is
at a low point. politics changes all the time. president obama called themselves the underdog in his race for reelection. a lot of people said, democrats will control this town forever. 2010, republicans picked up seats in the house. now has swung the other way. -- it has swung the other way. they have had some stumbles in recent weeks. they cannot wait for the new year. and did poorly for them. it ended poorly on the payroll tax extension. that did not play well for republicans. and now the fiscal cliff and sandy has been a bit of a debacle for the gop. host: mark in tennessee. caller: i am a conservative
democrat. i voted for obama. do you think immigration reform could actually help the republican party in the future back because latinos will not be as motivated to go out and vote democrat because of that issue, and people like me would be voting republican if it were not for that issue. do you think it could help the republican party of 2013? guest: that is what some republicans think. they do not have an immigration policy as we speak. i have really stretched border security. -- they have really stretched border security. republicans think, we've got to get immigration reform off the table. we had a very low percentage of
hispanics in 2012. we need to work with the president on that. that is going to cause a rift in the republican party. is a risk that some say they have to do. -- it is a rift that some say they have to do. well the past? i am not sure. democrats are talking about a big bill. right off the bat, we have differences. host: arkansas, republican caller. caller: what is the reason that republicans, especially conservative republicans, had for voting for the fiscal cliff deal without any spending cuts in it? guest: there were definitely minimal spending cuts. i was surprised to many conservatives voted for it.
-- how many conservatives voted for it. i thought the vote would be 70 to 30. and senator marco rubio voted no. he was one of the few. how was surprised. we get a little math. we saw the 89% of the senate republicans supported that bill. third 6% of house republicans supported that bill. -- 36% of house republicans supported that bill. just a month ago, john boehner was proposing $2.20 trillion in spending cuts. i have no significant spending cuts in this is. john boehner moved to plan b. he did not get the votes. host: moving forward, your
reporting on thehill.com but john boehner told the conference, i am done negotiating one-on-one with the president. what does that mean? guest: he's trying to change the dynamic. the dynamic is one on one meetings. at some point, boehner said, the senate has to do it, after he did not pass plan be. in 2011 he had major talks with the president. he said he got what he wanted. this time, he did not. he says, one-on-one talks, they're over. host: maryland, independent caller. caller: i am curious in all of these discussions about the economy, why has there been no
reference to the impact of the illegal alien on the american taxpayer? it is the illegal alien that has driven up the cost of medicaid. it is the illegal alien that has run the job market and cut salaries. what we see is a president here was given amnesty to 1.8 million illegals the going to take jobs away from american citizens, and nobody will discuss the impact of the illegal alien on this society. if republicans think that they can do massive immigration reforms -- that includes anything other than enforcement of immigration laws on the books -- they will only have maybe a handful of those from illegal aliens supporters could they will lose every one like myself who is paying taxes and who wants law and order and who once our immigration laws enforced. we're sick and tired of paying the bills for citizens of other countries to come in here.
they are destroying our country. guest: one of the big issues is jobs. one of the things as far as -- what has got to be in the bill is employer sanctions. if the hire an illegal, they're going to be hit. there's going to be enforcement. a lot of people in the 1986 reform gave so-called amnesty but it did not enforce sanctions. host: on our line for democrats, john, new york. caller: i am not trying to
change the barack obama health care reform package. he failed to put the grandfather clause with that. i have a copyright here. limits applicants to people who are new to the system. people between the ages of 18 to 21 or allowed to retain the right to drink alcohol -- host: john, we will leverage there. there.e ir right right guest: that is a question and of, are house republicans going to bring a full repeal?
obviously, it is going nowhere. a year from now, the bulk of the provisions are going to go into effect. that is going to play a huge role in the 2014 elections. host: elaine, republican caller, arkansas. caller: i do not know too much about the laws and everything going on. but i was wondering why when the family makes a budget of their house, they start with cutting spending. so why can they do that up there? i know people myself who draw food stamps, guys who can work and cannot work and have been dry food stamps and welfare all their lives. -- drawing food stamps and welfare all their lives. then they go after the men who love worked so hard all their lives to make money.
my son has worked since he was 11 years old. he is getting ready to retire. and what he is retiring on, if they go up 55%, he is going to movto lose half his savings. guest: it is a program that in -- a tough choice for democrats. that is something that held up the farm bill. president obama and other democrats and a couple of republicans have vowed to and a childhood hunger. there saying that food stamps are key to that program. host: that is part of sequestration, that is on the table? guest: absolutely.
harry reid said, whether it is the steps are payments to hospitals, they're all getting cut. when you're dealing with record deficit, everyone is going to feel a little pain. there's going to be cuts in programs and popular. $110 we're talking about billion this year in sequestration. what happened? guest: the office of management and budget, the white house has to decide where the cuts will be. on two months, will decide on the defense side, what happens, we extended, all that stuff. there will be drummer early in the year. host: the fiscal cliff deal did include provisions that we're going to postpone it for two months? guest: right. it could go into effect, march
1, but there'll be a lot of discussions this month and next month on what to do on that. host: independent, north carolina. caller: this coming 2014 term, they're fighting within the republican party. might start turning towards independent as starting a third party and siding with the tea party when their thoughts are really moderate. guest: it is hard to launch an independent party. as far as republicans back in congress, you saw a fair amount of moderates lose.
that does not mean there are no moderates left in congress. is there is not a huge center here. senator olympia snowe also gone. she said, i am going to hit out of there. -- head out of here. host: we are a block away from the capital. the house will be gavelling in at noon today. the senate, also at noon. you'll be able to see the new members of congress. will be covering the mock swearing-in with vice president joe biden. go to our web site c-span.org for details. bob cusack here with us today.
let's go to ron in texas, republican caller. caller: i have got a couple questions here. do you believe that you can borrow yourself out of debt? why do you back a party that believes by their actions that they can borrow themselves out of that? guest: members of the most part do not believe they can continue to borrow and borrow. president george w. bush had a lot of spending on the block.
there is a lot of consensus that entitlement reform has to happen. when you get into details whether it should be revenue neutral, how do you do it, it's a lot more complicated. that is why it is going to be very difficult for this congress to do tax reform. there are two members of have a very good working relationship, and that is going to be key. maybe they can get something done. there is a consensus that the borrowing is not going to stop, but we have to make some major .tructural changes grea host: richmond, virginia, independent caller. caller: i want to talk about the gerrymandering of these districts and how the have been .ble to seize power and
the republican point of view is really in the minority. my congressman cantor, he is is able to obstruct the country. they create the illusion of a closely divided country. obama won 65 of the most largesly populated countries. then let them give their speeches. -- they let them give their speeches -- guest: the gerrymandering is definitely ongoing.
gore is a lot of criticism of california. they changed the system -- there was a lot criticism of california. they change the system. and other states, the gerrymandering continues. mitch mcconnell has reelection rates in 2014. we did not know who will run against him. he has $7 million in the bank. host: what does that mean for him as a negotiator to be out front, negotiating with joe biden? guest: he is one of the more fascinating members. mitch mcconnell is a tactician.
he thinks many moves ahead. a lot of people thought the mitch mcconnell would vote against a fiscal cliff bill. when the dinner obama talks collapsed, he stepped up, tried to get a do with harry reid, then called joe biden. he got a deal with joe biden. host: bob cusack, managing editor of "the hill." thanks for your time this morning. we're going to take a short break. another new member of congress, house democrats from california, gloria negrete mcleod. we'll be right back.
>> you cannot always find many newspaper editors of any era increasing investigative reporting. is not just economics. it is the discomfort that investigative reporting often causes in the newsroom. it is troublesome. theou're going to ruffle feathers of somebody powerful but it's those people running in to complain to the publisher, and their stories are over the years -- to work for people who were strong and upright in that area, and let the chips fall where they may. >> the team of donald barlett and james steele, this weekend
on "in depth." the pair began the collaborative work in the 1970's. much live, sunday at noon eastern on "booktv" on c-span2. host: "washington journal" continues for the next 30 minutes. we're live and capitol hill. and about two hours, the 113th congress will be doubleandgaveln gavelled in. we want to democrat of california, gloria negrete mcleod. let's begin with your experience. host: and have been a state
legislator for the last 12 years in california. first as an assembly member, and as a state senator. i resigned last night. here i am today. host: how were you able to win your seats? guest: for the very first time, it was what they called an open primary, which meant that any voter could vote for anyone they wished. i ran a very small, and very limited money, a grass-roots campaign. that is the what. host: who did you beat? guest: the incumbent. i represent 86% of the district. and i lived in the other 14. the first as a school board member, college board member,
and i have lived in the district for 43 years. host: michael bloomberg, you got a little help from him. guest: unintended help. i do not know mr. bloomberg. he came in six days before the election. the trajectory was going up. he gave me a larger margin. host: $3 million dumped into that race because of the issue of gun control. what is your record on gun- control? host: i believe in the second amendment. my husband is a former police officer, served for 25 1/2 years in the los angeles police department. we have guns in the house. i do not believe in assault weapons. i often ask my husband, what do you think is the issue here?
sometimes i listen to his advice. california had an open to carry legislation last year or the year before. i felt concerned about the safety of the citizen that was carrying a concealed weapon on their person. we certainly did not want the police officer to should a citizen who thought they were doing what they could, that they could do that, and so i did not think it was wise. host: what about your thinking on having a security officer at every school? guest: i do not think we could afford it. i do not think there is enough police personnel out there. if you have them at all the schools just in my district alone, there are 84 grammar schools. that would take police officers
off of their own regular duty. host: your priority for the 113th congress? guest: this is a new experience for me. i will see as the issues come what we do and how we vote. host: one of the first big ones will be whether to raise the debt ceiling. are you a yes vote on that? guest: i suppose i am. host: immigration reforms? guest: that is very important in my district. i would like to see is a comprehensive immigration reform, something that we do comprehensively that we keep our borders safe. i sincerely believe that those children that were brought here not of their own accord, that
they can with parents who brought him here, they did not say that they volunteered. they know no other country. the only know america. everyday they pledge allegiance at their school. this is their country. they should be afforded the opportunity is to give back to the country where they were raised. host: our guest gloria negrete mcleod, representative elect democrat from california. you along with other women in the house are setting a record, the most women serving in the house in history. and the most for one party. what do you make of that? guest: when i first got elected in the assembly in california in 2000, we had the largest women's class there too. as the years progressed, the woman started to peter out. in california do have a term limit. they were turned out.
as i left, i was the only bettina legislature in the senate. i was the only female latino senator. as i left, there is nobody there right now. the women started to lessen. we will see where that goes. host: let's get to phone calls. our first one comes from robert illinois, republican. -- in illinois, republican garret. caller: i have comments about the way that the congress has abused the so security and medicare funds. -- social security and medicare funds. i would like to see congress to vote to separate those funds and pay back the funds that have been used, so they do not abuse the system we have all paid into for years.
guest: i would agree with you as a public citizen. though having served in the legislature for some time, money has to be used for other funds. as a private citizen, and would agree money should be kept separate. host: pennsylvania, democratic caller. caller: my question is in relation to these political parties. i believe they service no useful purpose anymore. they are out of control. guest: very interesting. in california, i was considered a moderate democrat, which meant i was willing to work across both sides. i did not always vote with my party. what people do not understand is when you get a voted, you get voted by your district.
your district tempers how you vote, what your ideals are, and how you think. in my district, i am elected by membership of my constituency, which are kind of moderate, tend to be socially liberal, but fiscally moderate. just directly north of me or just directly south of me, there are people who are much more conservative. there member has to serve their constituency because we all represent a single little world. every district is its own little world. every district is very different. what my district allows me to do, it allows me to vote in a certain fashion. but just across another line in another district, that particular constituency may say no, you cannot do that.
or you will not get reelected. therein lies the problem. if we could make everybody homogenous and if a body felt exactly the same way, we would not have party spiriies. host: nathaniel, independent. caller: being that the churches are the most lucrative business in the whole world, it is not the government's position to take care of poor and homeless people. it is the church's position. there are the most lucrative, tax-free business. times have changed to a point where we let them get away scot- free. they get bigger and bigger. why can we get the money -- can't we get the money from them? hostthe churches need to be ford to do this.
guest: i have a lot of little churches, a lot of little congregations in my district that i know are struggling. i do not know where they would find the money to be that generous. i know each church in my district tries to do the best job they can of feeding the hungry, feeding the homeless. perhaps where you live, there are churches that are lucrative, but i do not know in my district of their relative churches' g. host: republican in cleveland. caller: talking about the food stamp program, the government is feeding these people thousands and thousands of dollars of food stamp funds. i know these people that are selling their food stamps to support their drug habit, then going to the food banks for food.
the government should cut back -- the neighbor lady down the road gets $12 a month. she has to save her food stamps for months. young people are selling it for drugs. guest: i think when you act like god and say this person is were the and this person is not you start to play a large role. we heard these anecdotal stories about people spending money for drugs, but by and large, the people in my district are using the food stamps to release subside. they're using them to exist -- really subside. they're using them to exist. food stamps were the last thread
that helps them on. host: kansas city, in the senate. are you there? caller: in light of that last conversation, i do outreach work. i believe every congressional member should have to disclose their total net value. if you have a net value of more than $1 million, not just income -- it is easy to have money that is not tied to an actual income -- you should have to give your salary back. we know that everybody in congress, most of you are extremely well off. i make $20,000 a year and drive a car with over 250,000 miles. and i also do outreach. i am watching to basically starved to death. i think the congress is way too
wealthy and should have to buy a lot disclose their income and all of their assets -- to disclose their income and all of their assets. guest: i am not one of the wealthy ones. when husband has a pension. i have a $200 pension, plus what i make in my salary. we owned three houses. i do not think i fall in the million-dollar category. if you make money, you're not qualified to run for office, is what i guess you are thinking. at what point do we say that rich people cannot run, but poor people can? i am not understanding that. i agree that if you have that kind of income, you should disclose it.
i am sure that we have to do it. in california we have to do it every year to say what our income was, what property we own. any money that we got from anybody, any kind of gifts. host: do you consider minority leader nancy pelosi your leader of the democratic party in the house? guest: she is the one that the members have elected, just like in california you elected leader and that is to your leader is. host: what do you like about this policy? -- ms. pelosi? guest: your leader is your leader. it does not mean that you always agree with the leader. when you select a leader, that is the person you follow. host: texas, republican caller.
caller: a wanted to say one real quick thing about the congresswoman alike. first of all, congratulations. you are really already getting into the washington doublespeak. you describe your constituents and socially liberal and fiscally conservative. you are ready for washington. you are clearly talking about doublespeak. you cannot be either. you can be one or the other. guest: i disagree with you 100%. on social issues, you can vote a certain way. fiscally conservative, you have to watch your money. i think you do that in your
private life. you have your own ways that you live your life, but you say, i've got to watch my money, i cannot live beyond this means, this is all i can do. you absolutely can be what i said you can be. caller: your policies are affecting everyone else's money. that is the problem. host: the house gavels in at noon eastern. we have a few minutes left here. kentucky, democratic caller. caller: i was wondering if we can send overseas and feed the people overseas, and a barrel of money that goes overseas as was brought back to the money, we could straighten up american one year. these people who live in eastern
kentucky without jobs in the coal fields, the have cut so many people off, why do you people not understand the people that need help are the people who get food stamps and stuff? we need to quit sending money overseas to help the poor over there. we have got people on the streets right here. people that do not understand it has never been down on the bottom. this is one of the poor classes of places in the united states. everybody is against call any more. -- coal anymore. guest: he said we should not give money to do overseas, but give money here. i believe we should serve our citizens, the people of united states, and make sure everybody can live and live that they can live, they can actually live.
i suppose we have to understand, at what point do we start cutting money off to people because there are people in other countries who are suffering just like our people are. that is a good samaritan question. host: jim in oregon, independent caller. caller: my question is about the debt, $16 million or so. -- $16 trillion or so. if it is possible to magically pay it off, where does that money go? to the central bank or federal reserve? and if it goes to the federal reserve, isn't it true that they charge the united states government 50¢ on every dollar that the print?
guest: i have not studied that, so i am not going to like you and say that i know all about that. -- lie to you and say that i know all about that. i am on the agriculture committee. i suppose i will get another committee. host: what would you like to sit on? guest: i wanted to sit on transportation, but there is no vacancies there. i will see what else i get. i have served in the california state legislature, and i was always in the majority party. here i am in the minority party. host: ohio, republican. caller: hello. i have got two things that i want questions answered about. why isn't anybody talking about
obama's executive order to raise the pay for congress and federal workers in this time? and if obama wants to hire more federal workers, why don't we hire those workers to find the waste that is spent by the congress, including the footsteps and everything that has been talked about during your segment of the show -- food stamps and everything that has been talked about during your segment of the show? host: when it comes to congressional salary, the senate bill, presumably house bill as well, included a provision to not let that go into effect this spring. what about the federal workforce? guest: everything right now have to relate to california. we have such a budget crisis. a whole bunch of government workers got laid off.
what happens then, the people complained there are not enough services provided to those people. you cannot let of government workers and then expect services to be there. -- lay off government workers and then expect services to be there. i know from sitting in the california legislature which i am no longer a part of, but the fraud, waste, and abuse is really overblown. if you really search, there is a minute fraud, waste, and abuse. schwarzenegger came in and said he was going to peter out everything of fraud, waste, abuse. he found that there was very, very little. if we do that here, if there is fraud, waste, and abuse, let's
find it. but when you cut government workers, and the services to the people of united states suffer. host: democratic caller. caller: think most of the problems we're having is that as americans, we have turned our backs on each other. we have no conscience when it comes to the hardship of other people and people not having jobs. for this fiscal cliff think, what we need to do is cut 1% from foreign aid. we need to stop paying insurance for members of congress and the senate. let them pay their own insurance. when they get kicked out of office, let them go on [inaudible] like we do. they have all these benefits and they do not care about what is gone with us. we have to stand up as a people
and say, enough is enough. we send you to vote for us, look out for the country, and your looking out for your next election. we need to get you out of their next election time. we need to be strong about it. the people have the power to do what needs to be done. go to your capitals, and let people know that we are in charge, not a do-nothing congress. guest: the people have always been in charge. they vote to end, they vote you out. when the people vote, they speak for themselves. we either fill you are a good representative, or not. when we get our paperwork, i am going to pay for my own insurance. i have done that since i have been working. i do not see anything there. host: having a seat in congress,
there is a story in one of the papers today that new members are already having to start to fund raise, some of them to pay off debts to the last campaign, but others to get ready for two years from now when you run again. have you experienced that? guest: not yet. unfortunately, i think people do not understand, the only way you'll get your message out is to have money. in this election, i had mr. bloomberg that jumped in on my account. people do not even realize -- how else can you get your message across without money? that is the unfortunate thing about politics. you cannot get your message out unless you have money. people do not pay attention. you call some people and they say, are you going to got to vote, and they say, are you in
the election? who are you? they do not even know who their congress people are, their state senators. i put it back on the voter. they should be more aware of what is going on. the only time they get focused -- i understand, everybody has a busy life. some people in my district are working two or three jobs. they get home, they have to feed the kids and get ready for bed. they did not really care about politics until it is there. and then they say, you are running again. so what you do? -- do you do? how do we get people to understand there is an election, it is their civic duty to vote? host: how much money did you raise for this campaign? guest: very little. less than $300,000.
able to win. we ran a grass-roots campaign. people knew me. people knew my opponent. they made a choice. host: 1 last fall called. john, -- phone call. john, independent. caller: congratulations. to follow up on your point about the voter's duty, i would like to hear your views on a southern border security. it is a very hot topic. what are your informed views on the dhs's budget? guest: it depends what they're going to do with it. i believe the border should be secure. i do not know where you live, but in california, in the
southern part of california at the tijuana border, the logjam there is horrendous. i believe the border should be secure. we should support the people that are serving the border patrol. we should support the men everywhere we can, make their job easier, to do their job. we should do it in a way that does not cause these log jams. i do not know how is in new mexico, in arizona. to make those border secure causes a complete logjam. i suppose that is part of keeping the border secure. host: to you plan to move out here permanently? guest: no, i have a residence here. i rented an apartment. i rented an apartment.