tv Senator Jeff Flake Answers Constituent Questions in Gilbert Arizona CSPAN August 22, 2017 10:41am-11:44am EDT
rally in phoenix. a has expressed report for republican challenging jeff flake next year. president trump's rally began in arizona at 9:00. now we will hear from senator who yesterday held a town hall meeting in gilbert, arizona answering questions about trade, tax reform, border security, and civilians in politics. [applause] >> this mic doesn't work very well. ok. alright. eventl get it before the
is over. there is a lot going on in washington. you have a new book, "conscience of a conservative: a return to principal." let's talk about the book. it echoes comments that barry goldwater made in a similar book 56 years ago with some of the same themes. maybe you could talk about the book and why it was important to do it now? flake: barry goldwater -- i think we will take questions later. we have questions prepared for the senator. [indiscernible] we will have opportunity for questions from the audience later.
>> i apologize. >> it is not the first, and it will not be the last today. barry goldwater felt the republican party was compromised by the new deal in there needed to be a blueprint put out for conservatives to follow. he wrote "the conscience of a conservative" at that time. homage to s an senator goldwater. my concern is the party is going down a populist route. populism is called populism for a reason. you might be able to win
elections that way, but it is not a governing philosophy. i'm concerned with the intense nationalism and anti-free trade. arizona benefits significantly from free trade. nafta has been good for arizona. obviously it needs to be modernized, but it needs to be continued, not abandoned. i am concerned where the party might go there. the of the book is on subtitle, a rejection of destructive politics. i am a conservative, just not in a bad mood about it. [laughter] is a positive not built on anger or hatred. i'm concerned where the party might be going there if we follow the lead of individuals who would give in to that destructive behavior. i did address that quite a bit.
i talked about growing up in snowflake. snowflake is the center of the universe. will bee the eclipse most prominent there. example, with a great my father, the mayor of snowflake, public service, the parks board, judiciary advisory council. and then my uncle, speaker of the house and senate president. govern in a way to arizona and work across the aisle. to do so in a collegial manner looking for compromise. i feel we are losing some of that in this church vs. skins, type ofand losers environment. i address that in the book. very well.ess it
there was a quote in "the atlantic" a while back that you might be too nice to be a senator. you can be nice and a conservative, too. try not to be grumpy being a conservative. you mentioned free trade. you have been a strong supporter of free trade. very important to arizona and to the southern part of the united ole country.he wh can you give insights on directions you are taking. some have broke with the administration and are different. has flake: overall, trade been extremely important for arizona. we are a border state and take advantage of it. we have $19 billion in trade with mexico last year. that is something we should be proud of and seek to expand.
theeast valley chambers, arizona chamber of commerce, all of those folks who have pushed this. people in arizona understand, better than some other states, the value and importance of trade. overall, we are 5% of the world population. less than 5%. less than 20% of the world economic output because the developing world is growing faster. we cannot grow economically, we cannot have a better standard of living and quality of life if we shun trade and build barriers to trade. i'm concerned about where we are going. the rejection of the transpacific partnership, the tpp, was a big mistake that will haunt us. tpp,ther parties to the the other 11 countries are seeking deals amongst themselves.
they will leave us behind. once the international supply chains are set, it is tough to break back in. we know how that works. i am concerned not only on the economic front, but the geopolitical front. rejecting the tpp means those countries in southeast asia -- are want them in our trade orbit, not just china's. we're giving them little choice in the pacific rim countries. they are looking elsewhere for trade partnerships. we have to get away from the idea that we are the only game in town. we are not. we could harness free trade and make it to our benefit, as it has been for the last several if we reject these trade agreements, the administration said they want to go forward with bilateral trade agreements. great. do them.
bilateral trade agreements grow up to be multilateral trade agreements in this day and age. multilateralect trade agreements. with regard to nafta, prior to nafta our total trade with and $50as between billion a year. now it is $500 billion the year. the administration seems to fixate on the trade deficit of $50 billion. take it. if you are trading $600 billion, the trade deficit, particularly having to do with the energy sector, it is not as detrimental as some people paint them as. .e have to move forward i am concerned that the early rhetoric of the campaign, the president's campaign, was to reject and rip up nafta appear that has evolved to its
negotiate. i hope that means modernized and make it stronger for all three countries involved. negotiation points moving forward look better. i am encouraged, as are my colleagues who want free trade. it is ify you phrased we create a vacuum someone will be waiting to fill it. in. flake: after the election was down in mexico city. it was a preplanned trip, but it took on more urgency after the election. the mexican senate was working on the tpp that we had just rejected. their efforts were moot in that regard. at around that same time the chinese president and russian president were in south america telling these countries that would have been part of the tpp "we are here."
that says something about where we need to go. that we are going to be left behind if we do not aggressively look for these trade arrangements. >> thank you. let's talk about something closer to home. a fifth generation arizonan. you grew up in a ranching family so you know water is important to the lifeblood of arizona. we are fortunate to have you as the subcommittee chair for water and power. a be you could talk about your efforts to reserve water in arizona. sen. flake: thank you for all you do. it has been wonderful to fly over northern arizona from back east to see all of the greenery. whenever i fly over northern arizona i can pick out snowflake. facility.the
from that over to my parent's house and our ranch. i only see myself on a horse riding mile after mile. i never remember it being this green. it is gorgeous. benefiting from a wet monsoon period. having said that, and having a wet winter last year, particularly in the sierra a lot of people think that solved the drought issue. it didn't, but we were given a little reprieve with regard to lake mead. water is the lifeblood of arizona. arizona has planned well, better than other western states, because of the foresight of those before us. those who worked on the central arizona project. stand truly worked on the ground water code. 1980's, a 100 year supply
of water for development to happen. we are in better shape in arizona. the key is to make sure that planning continues. that is why it is great to work with senator mccain and members of the delegation to sit down with the governor and his water advisories to say "what are the priorities for arizona?" we did this to make sure my efforts and senator mccain's for best spent on arizona's real priorities. we were told one thing we needed to do is to make sure voluntary arrangements to leave water behind the dam at lake mead i arizona water users would be honored by the federal government. to make sure that water did not disappear down some canal in california later on. they have a bigger delegation then we have. we are concerned about that. we got an agreement from the
department of the interior to make sure those voluntary water arrangements would be cast in stone and honor. we will have to do the same thing this year. we believe we can do it. we have got to make sure that , that we haveiver a drought contingency plan that involves a of other water users, obviously, and other states. are important things. just as important for arizona is to make sure every drop of water that falls in arizona is captured. that we make best used of it -- best use of it. until we better manage the northern forest, we will not get that. work ondone a lot of the subject. nature conservatories and other groups showing as long as we have a watershed with traditionally in the ponderosa pine forest in the north, there
were 20 to 50 trees per acre. now there are 200. that is a lot of straws in the ground. it is also fuel for fires. in the past 15 to 16 years we have lost 20% of our northern forest. that has terrible consequences thatrms of this watershed is so important to arizona for our river and reservoir systems. srp knows a lot about that. when you have fires, floods after the fires, it washes .ediment into the reservoirs that has caused two minutes about is -- that has cost to m municipalities and others. >> in terms of waters quality
and life in the northern mountains, we appreciate your efforts on that. you cannot manage a successful watershed management control without forest should process is more advanced than we have right now. sen. flake: right. we have a lot of forest or to we do not have enough money in the federal treasury to have the federal government manage the forest like they need to. they need to partner with private industry. the problem was prior to the fire that industry was gone. growing up in snowflake we had mill and a lot of activity in the forest in terms of reducing the fuel load. that went. that was part of the reason the rodeo and walla fire were so devastating.
we knew we needed private industry back into the forest. we started these stewardship contracts. that was one area where congress worked well with the administration. we were able to bring it back about $135 million to the biomass plants. the srp's were involved with the plants in sho other uses for the forest products. the difficulty has been to get the federal bureaucracy to move rep thisenough to p acreage. we have a lot of acreage ready now. the problem is getting it prepped and ready for private industry. it has been an ongoing process that senator mccain of myself -- and myself work on a lot. we tend to work together on that to have better leverage. we meet with chief tidwell of the forest service frequently in washington to make sure they
are prioritizing arizona. we've had some good results. we have about 500,000 acres ready to go. we have had some problems with the primary contractor, but we are working through that. hopefully this year we will do as much as 50,000 acres and if we can continue at that pace, we will actually make some progress. >> we appreciate your support on that very important issue. let's switch gears and talk about tax reform. that was a big agenda item for the republican party this year. it takes a lot of leadership and commitment to get a piece of legislation that big through in an environment like today. can you talk about your direction? sen. flake: we have got to lower our corporate rate if we want to be competitive globally. we talked about the importance of trade. if we want to be competitive
globally, we have got to have a lower corporate tax rate. where the highest in the world. that is priority one. every proposal we have seen has lowered the corporate rate. i am pleased that the house is abandoning its efforts on the border adjustment tax. i think anything that is maxing out a tariff is not good in this environment. we have to be competitive. we should not be putting up new barriers to trade. we are moving away from that. that is a good thing. i know that secretary mnuchin has been calling members of the senate and the house. it looks as if the administration will be pushing for traditional lower-the-rate, broaden-the-base kind of reform. that is certainly what i would like to see. it is a heavy lift, no doubt. every tax credit, every deduction, every text earmark --
that all -- there's a constituency for all of that. and believe me, they come, and they lobby hard. it is not going to be easy by any stretch but i think when you compare it to health care, it is different. health care is personal to individuals and families in a way that tax reform is not. tax reform, like i said, it will no doubt be tough but we are got to do it. -- we have got to do it. we in congress need a victory here. when you look at what it has -- the stock market and what it has done, the economy, hiring, the unemployment rate, i think it is baked in that we are going to do tax reform and if we do not come through, it is going to be a big blow to the economy. we are feeling the pressure on this.
>> you mentioned health care. let's talk about that. clearly, there has been a lot of controversy over the strategy replacing affordable care. talk about your direction and path forward. sen. flake: this morning in arizona, about 200,000 families or individuals woke up without health insurance. they will have paid the fine to the federal government. more than 183,000 people will have paid the fine but they cannot afford the insurance. so they paid the fine and still do not have any entrance. you have an even greater number that have insurance, purchased on the exchange, the obamacare exchange, but nobody can afford to use it. when i go to the gym in the morning, like i did this morning, inevitably on the treadmill next to me somebody will come up in give me their obamacare horror story about how they had insurance and lost it. [chuckling] or here is whether deductible is. i have a friend who said he is paying $1500 in premiums every
month. when you totaled the deductibles for his family, it goes to nearly -- and combined with a premium -- he pays more than $30,000 out-of-pocket before the first insurance dollar kicks in. that is just not a situation that can continue. looking out in his room, i'm sure many of you have similar issues. small business and particular is hit hard. 70% of arizona's still covered by traditional employer insurance for small businesses and contractors are really hit hard. arizona has that issue. we are kind of ground zero for the failure of the exchange.
14 of 15 counties have one insurer. the average for a family of four is more costly than their mortgage. in a couple of counties, it is double the cost for their mortgage. that is not sustainable. it is really not. and arizona is obviously an expansion states of more than 28% of the population is covered by our version of medicaid. in some counties, it is up over 60%. so, that is important to her zone as well. how we deal with that has got to be sustainable. my principal has always been let's not pull the rug out from under those people who have insurance now. that is what obamacare did in a big way. a lot of people lost their insurance when obamacare came along. we do not want to repeat that. those are picked up insurance on the exchange, you cannot pull the rug on the medicare expansion.
you can't pull the rug out from them either. you have to make that system sustainable. don't take insurance away from people 11 now and make sure the system we have is sustainable. when you look at the medicaid expansion, some of it is medical inflation plus one or two, depending on the population. we have to find way to make that sustainable for the long-term. i would've hoped we could have kept the reform effort alive. we were not able to. i hope we can. senator mccain has pushed for it over and over his entire career, get back to regular order. with his back in the health committee. have them work out a fix. that is where we are now. >> this does not seem to be an environment where compromise and regular order prevail very easily. how do we get there from here?
flake: we don't have a choice. that is what i was talking about in the book. the biggest by far is our looming debt and deficit. we have a debt of 20 trillion dollars. we have a deficit that is about to hundred billion dollars now. -- $600 billion now. over the next decade, we will get back over $1 trillion a year. that is not sustainable. at some point i fear the financial markets will wake up one morning and they will have already decided we're not just a good bet. when that happens, it takes decades, generations, to grow out of it. other countries -- japan, greece, others are finding that out.
i do not want to be in that situation. i want to fix this kind of thing before we get there and you can only do that if you work across the eye. [chuckling] sen. flake: it happened when republicans, democrats, sat down together and said -- let's share the political risk because one party, when that party controls both chambers in the white house whether it is republican as it is now or democrat, that party will never take the chance because midterm elections are never more than two years away and the party will never do on its own and so i think with this betrayal we have in this inability to compromise, it is in my view, as a conservative, it is preventing us from achieving conservative ends and we have got to get away from this notion that it is a bad thing to sit down and work across the aisle and it is just -- it is disheartening to be in that situation where you are attacked if you realize that we need a bipartisan solution for
something. >> it is far more the on a fiscal and economic issue, it is a world reputation and national security issue. in your work on the foreign relations committee, you are seeing that now. sen. flake: you bet. with regard to the challenges we face and our standing in the world, north korea is the most urgent, obviously. that is a big problem. i think our allies need to know we are there. that we are steady. that we are forgettable. -- predictable. that is why in my view that is what a conservative is. if nothing else, a conservative is maybe boring. but at least predictable and sober. his use of diplomacy and force, our allies need to do that.
we need to recognize our adversaries as well for who they are and what they are looking to achieve. russia did try to intervene in our elections. whether they were successful or not we will leave to others, but they certainly tried and we ought to want to know what they did. and, we want to try to make sure it does not happen again here or in other countries as well. but we have big challenges around the world on the security front, on the trade front. certainly with nuclear weapons and proliferation that we need to make sure that we lead as we have in the past. >> thank you. let's talk about infrastructure. a big priority for both parties this year. it is important to all of the chambers and all of the cities. there has been some discussion and ideas raised about repealing
tax exempt status of municipal bonds. that is clearly important to municipalities and impacts our citizens. can you talk to us about your view on infrastructure proposals? sen. flake: obviously, the country is in need of a big boost with infrastructure. move there is a lot of discussion on how we fund that. that is a big question. i have long supported a tax holiday when it comes to repatriated assets. ring them back at a lower rate and devote a portion of that to infrastructure. those discussions are continuing. others want to lay claim on that revenue to bring down the rate further. we need a boost and infrastructure. the question as far as a state like arizona, do we farewell with regard to guess tax and other moneys they go to the federal government and then come to arizona. one thing i've always try to do
is make sure every dollar we sent from arizona, that we get it back in a way that we can fully utilize in and part of the problem is that when the federal money comes back to arizona, it is tied up with regard to federal mandates and regulations that decrease the value of that money when arizona goes to build up infrastructure. that is why i have supported things like pla to make sure that like in the bush administration, labor agreements, that the government is neutral with regard to project labor agreements and davis make it requirements. we should get rid of it when it comes to federal contracts on infrastructure because that simply drives up the cost and means that arizona can build a lot less than they would have
otherwise. so there are things we can do on the regulatory front to make sure our infrastructure spending goes further. but with regard to what the infrastructure package contains in the end, that is still being discussed. there was infrastructure we, the administration had it a couple weeks ago. but i do not think anything was settled during that time. there may be a big package with regard to tax reform that includes an infrastructure element. sometimes that is a way to get more votes for the tax package to include infrastructures running. it will be a busy fall in that regard. >> thank you. we started out the morning with questions from the audience. it did not go quite as planned. [laughter] >> maybe we'll try it again. sen. flake: there was an element of that question i want to address. people were saying, no unified
your disagreements with the administration but aren't there things you agree with? yes, there are. i think the president appointed a great supreme court justice. george neil gorsuch, i was pleased to help shepherd that through the committee and now he is a sitting justice. i think that is a good. i think the national security team the president put together is a good one. i sleep that are at night knowing general mattis is in charge over at defense and that tillerson is at state. on the regulatory front, i think there has been a lot done that arizona benefits from. arizona is about 85 present publicly owned in terms of landmass between federal, state, and tribal land. it makes it difficult to provide services when the land is owned by the state or federal government, which also means
that when the federal government takes actions with regard to regulatory issues whether it is power generation issues or grazing or land use issues, it it has an outsized impact on arizona. we want to make sure federal government is right-sizing of regulations and not one-size-fits-all because that does not benefit arizona. i have sensed situation is better in that regard. we are working with epa in ways we have not before with things like ozone or things like particulates or things like, you know, dust storms that arizona has that the epa for the longest time cannot recognize that arizona has periodic dust storms that have nothing to do with development here, they have just been here for millennia. those kinds of regulations, think the administration has been more responsive to the state concerns and that is a good thing. >> thank you. let's take a couple questions from folks.
[indiscernible question] >> bob corker, who she mentioned it is chairman of the foreign relations committee, when we had a big defense sale to certain countries, the committee wants to insert its jurisdiction to make sure that we review and make sure they are not duplications we do not know about. i know that bob corker has been in favor of trading and sales and i will have to check with him and see what it is about but i am confident that we can work tested and that he has the country's best interest at heart. corker is a good chairman of the committee and a good man so i will talk to him. i'm confident that we can work
past it. corker is a good chairman of the committee and a good man so i will talk to him. >> questions from the group? >> [indiscernible question] >> well, thank you. i certainly identified a problem that i think a lot of us are learning a lot more about just in the past couple of years and if you read about it, some states are particularly
hard-hit. ohio, new hampshire, arizona is not immune at all. we have our own issues there. the governor has taken action in that regard. later iterations in the health care reform we are discussing, there was a significant bit about investment and addressing of that issue and so i think that the congress is coming to grips with what we need to do in that regard in terms of treatment so i am hopeful that we are going to get there but it is a big issue. thank you for raising up. >> i do not think there is a state in the country not impacted by right now. additional questions for the senator? there is a microphone coming. >> thank you for your leadership and your work on behalf of arizona. i know you regularly travel and recently went down to southern arizona to visit with ranchers and property owners. i was wondering if you could share what you are hearing and any future action on security and those issues. sen. flake: yes.
thank you. i was just in the dallas -- novellus the week before last. gorgeous. they really had a good year. the ranchers are happy in that regard but also happy in that border crossings are down significantly. it has been a trend over the past several years but it is at the lowest level in about 30 years right now. that is due to a number of factors. the biggest of which is the economy, particularly in mexico. doing well largely because of nafta. one of the big factors is nafta. that is one of the concerns i have about where where going on trade. the other implications that it has on border security. but, to me, in the bipartisan immigration bill passed in 2013 on the senate that did not go anywhere in the house,
significant border investments. there are areas in some of the towns where we need better walls or fences as we go out of the cities. there are some areas i can tell you along the border that do not lend themselves to a wall or a fence or just about any barrier but our best dealt with by surveillance and so when people talk about one solution on the border they have not trouble the border. -- traveled the border. when you talk to the ranchers there, you have a lot of different issues that come up all the time. if you go down in cochise county, you know, it is a watershed. the water flows north not south and so you cannot have a wall. obviously you have to have a fence with storm gates that open when floods happen. so, it is a different kind of border infrastructure then many
envisioned. but the situation is better. there is good cooperation between local law enforcement and federal government. at the time, the border sheriffs , whether it's leon wilmont or yuma or sheriff dannels in cochise county, we have good cooperation in debt has bore fruit there. so we are in a better situation on the border than we have been in a while and we have to build on those improvements and recognize that any event might change the equation significantly. r example, if mexico in their elections next year were to elect a populist or leftist government, that might change the trajectory of government
in terms of privatization trade, , and it could affect their income to me is significantly. we would face pressures again. that is one big concern i have about not just the policy we have with mexico but the rhetoric we have with mexico. if we just up anti-american sentiment in mexico it might lead to or aid the election of a leftist government there which would not be to our benefit here in arizona or in the united states but on the border there has been a cooperation. we have continuing infrastructure improvement. i traveled with dan bell, a rancher near nogales two weeks ago on his property and the new infrastructure in terms of technology has improved the situation significantly. we have had better improvement. the problem is that you still have a very few people coming to work, migrant traffic across the border, but you still have to be concerned.
as we do have to be concerned about the prospect of terrorism. it used to become i talked about in the book, and in an op-ed i wrote recently about a situation on the border back in the 70's when i was back on the ranch and we employed labor that came across the border. there was really no border patrol on the border at that time. sometimes they would come up to northern arizona but it was a different time into age. we did not have the terrorism or drug worries we have today. thank you for the country. it is a better situation but we have to remain vigilant and make sure we have border security. host: we will go back to more questions but let me just ask you one i wanted to, but got off track. cuba. you spent a lot of time trying
to improve our relations with cuba and have been successful. we have seen some threats that could go backwards. sen. flake: i have always thought if we want to punish the castro brothers, make them deal with spring break once or twice. that would serve them right. i have often been asked way congressman from errors on a was involved with foreign policy and i took a poll of people in my district and they said, moving ahead we like you are doing. unless there is a compelling national security reason not to, i think we should move ahead. there was not for a long, long time a compelling national security reason. in fact, all indications pointed that the cuban people would be in a much better situation if we were allowed to travel. i did not often agree with the obama administration on foreign policy, but i think president
obama did the right thing in 2010 when he allowed cuban-americans to travel as much as they wanted. no more restrictions. before that, if you were a cuban-american in miami, and your mother and father were in havana and your father died, you would have to decide -- do i go to his funeral or will my mother die within three years because i can only travel once every three years. what an awful, awful thing we did to cuban-american families. and that was lifted. they started traveling. that happened to coincide with a time when the castro's realized they could not employee every cuban. even at $20 a month. they were allowing cubans to work in the growing private sector in cuba. the travel of cuban americans increased remittances that president obama also allowed for seed capital for cuban entrepreneurs. over five years, you went from almost zero private sector employment and cuba to today,
25% of the workforce and cuba is employed in a private sector. running a bed and breakfast, private restaurant, taxicab services, beauty salons. they are making good money by the standards of what people working for the government in cuba are. an average waiter in a cuban restaurant that is private earns $50 a day. in a government restaurant next door, $20 a month. that is changing the dynamic politically. it is giving them more economic freedom certainly. it gives them more political independence from the government as well. that is a good thing. the cuban people are better off and i am proud of the role, the small role i have been able to play in forwarding that. one of the best experiences i had was i was asked to go down
to cuba in december of 2014 two participate in a cold war era spy swap. you have seen "bridge of spies," this is similar. when we decided to change the dynamic in cuba, there were some issues with detainees and spies we had to solve. i was asked if i would travel to cuba on a sensitive mission and not even tell my wife or staff where i was going and that is why i joined. go to an island somewhere? that is the kind of thing i like. host: did they give you dark glasses? sen. flake: none of that but we went to andrews air force base at 5:00 in the morning, myself and senator leahy. we flew down to cuba to pick up allen gross, an american who had been held for five years. i visited him before in havana,
he was about to take his own life, he said, unless he was released. there were three cuban spies in our jail who got on a plane. we all landed in cuba at the same time and were on the ground for exactly 31 minutes. we picked up allen gross and headed back to the united states. i will never forget we had been in the air about 25 minutes and the pilot came on and he said, we have now entered u.s. airspace. allen gross stood up and just cheered and breathe deeply in and out several times and said, now i know i am free. it was just a wonderful reminder of what it means to be an american. just 90 miles from our sure, you -- shore, you can have a communist socialist government that imprisons people who protest and want freedom. just a reminder of what this country means.
and it was just a great experience, one of the best i've had in congress. host: thank you. wonderful story. we have another question. sen. flake: put him to sleep on that story, sorry. host: great story. >> can you comment on the policy of energy independence and what it means to country going forward? sen. flake: great. i think we are in a position right now but 10 years ago, certainly 15 years ago, we never thought we would be in. the abundance and the technology that has allowed us to extract natural gas and to have secure sources for the foreseeable future and allowed us to not only have a more secure energy future and be more independent of countries that we would like to be independent from, but a
cleaner energy future as well. we have been able to, you know, do significantly more than we thought we would have with regard to moving away from dirty fossil fuels into a cleaner environment. it is a good sign. i am in favor of certainly keystone and what we can do to become energy-independent. at least north america. we are closer to that goal than we thought we would be, you know, just a few years ago. and it also makes a difference if we can export natural gas as well to europe. two central european countries, eastern european countries to change the geopolitical inquiries there as well with russia. we are in a better situation, i think, and this new administration has been helpful
in terms of being able to access natural gas deposits on federal land and also call deposit and make sure we have an energy policy that makes sense going word and that increases our independence. host: any questions from the crowd? >> great. as you know, senator mccain was chairman of the armed services committee from the states, and that is an area he is focused on. obviously, we are concerned about our budgets with regard to the defense department. making sure that we have the right balance and you know, a long-term plan to make sure that
we are defended. and that really is going to and that really is going to depend on making better use of resources that we have already and that can only be done if we have reform in acquisition and we have got to ensure that individuals and small businesses in particular have access to these contracts. i know senator mccain is working on that and i will continue to work with him. .ou're right here it' it's a big emerging point here in arizona. we have a lot of emerging companies in aerospace and defense-related industries that could benefit from acquisition reform. host: let's take one more question. i don't want to keep anyone from watching the eclipse today. don't want to be accused of that. >> thank you. i represent a small university here in town and i work with a lot of young people.
the issue of civility is a topic that comes up at times. we encourage our students to build community and to be part of the community. you have to be able to interact with people in a civil way. i think that is what you are promoting. i have not read your book yet , but i think that is what you are promoting. i wonder if you can speak to the cause of the seeming incivility we experience in public service right now and what some good solutions might be to move things forward. sen. flake: thank you. you are right. it is a big part of the book. when i was just finishing the book, i was -- i happen to be at the baseball practice for the republicans for the congressional baseball game when the shooter was there. i included at least a paragraph about that there, but that is only one side. i remember thinking when that shooter opened fire on the field
and seeing bullets bounce off the gravel around the infield, i just -- a thought came to me and stayed with me for a while. us? why? who could look out at a field of middle-aged members of congress playing baseball and see the enemy? it is just something we have got to work on in a big way. i mentioned in the book the experience of when gabby giffords was shot in tucson. i mentioned you know, a year , after she was shot she had come to return to the house and it was the state of the union right at that time. we left an empty seat for her. it was just a few days after she was shot so she returned and it was a big deal. so, i sat next to her and she was not able to stand when she wanted to when president obama
would have an applause line, all of the democrats would stand, and so i mentioned in the book i would help her up. that left me standing, a republican amid the democrats. i started to get texts and emails from irate republicans, saying why are you standing? why are you standing? that is when i really thought this has gone far too far. we have got to come to a place where we do not look at other americans as our enemies. you know, no matter how, you know, fierce the debate can be -- and i am a fierce partisan on some issues. you can have a partisan debate and it cannot get ugly. we have got to get away from calling our opponents losers or clowns, things that make it difficult to sit down and work with them on the big issues with
them on and so i am very concerned about it and that is very much what the book is about. thank you. host: thank you for the question. that is a good one to wrap up on. clearly if we're going to in this country returned to principle as the senator talks about in his book, that starts with an informed discourse and that is what these meetings and are about and that is what these sessions are about, to have good conversation, good questions and responses. senator, we thank you for being here today. i want to give you an opportunity if there's something to mention that we did not include. sen. flake: i just want to thank these chambers. particularly just on the trade issue, sometimes trade never fares well ins a political campaign. it is easy to point to a shuttered factory and say, that is because of a bad trade agreement or the mexicans on chinese took your job. in arizona, we have groups that
have talked about the value of trade and so the population here understands it and i applaud you for that. it makes it easier to do the right thing for politicians when you have so many groups and individuals who are doing the right things and making it is in easier for us. i want to thank you for that. i appreciate it. host: thank you. i want to thank you for your staff as well. they are always responsible, available, and informed. on behalf of srp, the other sponsors in the chambers, i want to thank everybody for participating today and please join me in thanking senator flake for being here. [applause] ♪
>> that even in arizona and president trump will be traveling to that state today, to phoenix for a rally this evening. the president has presently called him a week or nonfactor, senator flake and the senate. she said he is glad that ward is challenging flake in the primary this year. that is scheduled to start tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern. you will be a vote to watch that life on c-span and c-span.org and listen on the free c-span radio app. from members of congress on this august recess. we mcgovern tweeting today are heading to central massachusetts for our seventh annual farm tour. proud to support all of our local farmers. republican senator joni ernst discuss protecting crop
insurance and other important issues in the upcoming farm bill with the worth county farm bureau. #99 county tour. >> book to be recently visited capitol hill to ask members of congress what they are reading this summer. >> i love reading history about presidents. the library of congress has a series where every so often they will bring in the author of a book on one of the presidents. last week it just happened to be on andrew jackson. they give you books. there is a book signed by the author and i love reading those books. we had once from lbj to just recently andrew jackson. one of the books i want to read now is one called "the geography of genius" by eric weiner. why is that important? why is it that you have ancient
athens and the 21st century silkeicon valley separated by bentley thousands of miles but thousands of years apart? what is it that you have this innovation and creativity in athens many years ago and i you look at silicon valley also and you have this innovation and creativity? it looks into what happens. what is the catalyst in a certain area? it's not only athens or silicon valley. you have different places across time and different cities and continents. that is what is interesting to me. >> do you focus on reading history books argue have other interests when you read? >> i love history. i love also self-improvement. i'm aalso have to say sci-fi fan. from reading "the princess of
mars" to not only reading the books but also, i think they turned it into the movie "john carter." there's also "star trek" and other science fiction. that's my other readings, but i always love history. schoolthat back in high and back even in college, several my classmates didn't like history. when you look at it, the wheel has been reinvented. it's all a matter of rearranging things. you look at discoveries and all these things and it's all a matter of rearranging things. you look at history and there's a lot of ideas that you can look andand create a new niche come up with a new idea and therefore you spark a new innovation or creativity and whatever the area might be . , congressman, what
are tools that you are using to add reading into your schedule? what innovations are you using? >> i love the ipad. in the ipad, there are different apps. i look at what is out there and one of them is an app that will give you some recent books and you can either take the option of reading or do it by audio. if you are interested and look at the whole book, you can buy the whole book itself. it will give you a snapshot. at the very end, it will give you the key message and what the take away from this book. the other one is called curious, where you get and email every day with humanities to music to science, whatever the area might be in. every day it will give you something in one of those areas. those are the ways that you have got to keep your mind active, especially somebody like myself, where i have to go from foreign
affairs to appropriations to name the issues. when you get on the airplane come you fly from laredo to houston, from houston to washington. you spend a lot of time on a plane. this is where you use some of those apps and make sure you keep your mind active and at the same time constantly learning. >> book tv wants to know what you're reading. send us your summer reading list via twitter at book tv or instagram at book_tv. or posted to our facebook page tv.acebook.com/book -- tv forok tv readers. c-span's voices from the roads asking attendees what is the most important issue to your state? >> what is really important to our state is that washington makes sure we maintain health
care for the poor, elderly, and and the and farmed. infirmed. we have to make sure if we replace obamacare, we replace it with something smart and reasonable. >> an issue we are struggling with is property tax. because of the vast increase in real estate properties in our rural areas, farmers are struggling to pay a very high property tax. how do we balance that with the needs for our schools? i am on the appropriations committee. that is one of the issues we are really dealing with right now. how do we balance out and make equitable the property tax across our state? >> the most important issue facing our constituents today is unfortunately the opiate crisis. i would like to talk about children and how they are the collateral damage.
one day they will need therapy to explain how they lost their education, how they lost their family members come and how they lost other loved ones. we are talking about a neglect issue. we need more money and a declaration of an emergency. thank you. >> it seems to me the most important issue facing our state is the partisanship that keeps us from making any progress. i do not believe in putting allegiance to a party over my oath of office to the people. an r can leave thaed d outside of the building and if we all show up as louisianaians, there is no reason we cannot tackle peace. at least that's my take on it. thank you. >> one of our issues is to make sure the medical cannabis bill adheres to the policy of having representation of minorities and women. this is an issue that we have and we will
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