tv Washington Journal 04132019 CSPAN April 13, 2019 7:00am-10:01am EDT
programs. we will take your calls, and you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter as well. "washington journal," live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. ♪ morning.: good it is saturday, april 13, 2019. a three-hour "washington today." had for you we begin with the controversial pentagon policy change regarding transgender troops. it is a policy which critics have derided as a ban on transgender service members, and it went into effect yesterday. this morning we want to know what you think about the change. if you support it, the phone number is (202) 748-8000. if you oppose it, the phone number is (202) 748-8001. we have also set a special line for active and retired members of the military to share your thoughts. that number is (202) 748-8002.
you can also catch up with us on social media, on twitter, on facebook. a very good saturday morning to you. you can start calling in now. as you are calling in, we will walk you through the new policy change from the pentagon. as of today, no one with gender dysphoria or who has transitioned from their birth gender will be allowed to enlist in the military. current service members who have transitioned or began transitioning as of april 12, yesterday, will be allowed to stay in the service. current servicemembers diagnosed with gender dysphoria from today forward will have to serve in their birth gender, and the new policy allows service secretaries to waive the policy on a case-by-case basis. ahead of the implementation of this new policy, the house held a vote late last month to condemn what the pentagon had put out and what the trump administration had approved. it was sponsored by congressman
joseph kennedy of massachusetts, a democrat. here is as comment from the floor of the house that morning. >> the very foundation of this policy targets discrimination against transgender americans. supporters will say otherwise. it's about unit cohesion, they say. except for the fact that the five chiefs of staff for the military branches have testified they are aware of exactly zero instances of the transgender servicemember negatively impacting discipline or morale. it will degrade our military, they say. except that 56 retired generals and flag officers told us it is the ban that would degrade readiness, "even more then don't ask, don't tell." it is science, they say. except that the department of defense relied on data nearly half a century old, and ignored
20 other studies. just ask the american medical association, the american psychology association, the american psychiatric association. it's about cost, they say. except that the military spends 10 times more annually on erectile dysfunction medication and we have on trends related care in the last three years combined. it's not a ban, they say. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> i yield the a gentleman in additional one minute. >> -- ask exactly what this man. mr. speaker, in the country that celebrates freedom, this policy tells our servicemembers they do not have the freedom to be who they are. where's the freedom and that? host: that resolution hit the floor on march 28 and passed by a vote of 238-185, on mostly party lines.
five republicans ended up joining democrats in passing that resolution. one republican who was beating the opposition to it, vicky hartzler, a member of the house armed services committee. this is a comment from that morning. standardss military state individuals must be free of medical conditions or physical defects that may require excessive time lost from duty for necessary treatment or hospitalization. military isntary the greatest military force of the world, and we must allow it, we must allow it to make the best medical and military judgment about what medical conditions should qualify or disqualify an individual from serving. we should not carve out exceptions for entire populations. military service is a privilege, not a right. that is why secretary mattis reviewed and issued a new policy
on transgender service and the medical condition of gender dysphoria. and iticy is not a ban, allows transgender service members to serve in their biological sex. takeatus policy does not anyone out of the military for being transgender, nor does it give preferential treatment to transgender persons. all persons unless grandfathered, or granted a waiver, must serve in their birth gender. it is a fair policy, allowing transgender individuals to serve openly, as long as they are willing to serve in their biological sex, and they can beat the medical behavioral standards. host: we are talking about that new transgender troop policy that went into effect yesterday. if you want to join the conversation, if you support, the number is (202) 748-8000. if you oppose it, (202) 748-8001 . we set aside a special line for current, active, and retired members of the military, (202) 748-8002.
some numbers on transgender care in the military, this from the associated press -- an estimated 14,700 troops on active duty and in the reserves identify as transgender, though not all seek treatment. $8 million was spent on transgender care in the military since 2016. the total annual health care budget for the entire military exceeds some $50 billion. more from the debate surrounding this new policy as it has gone into effect through the first hour of our program. we mostly want to hear from you, whether you support it, oppose it, if you are a member from the military we want to hear especially from you. we will start from those who oppose the policy, richard from chestnut hill, massachusetts. good morning. caller: good morning, john. before,tching the clip my congressman is patrick kennedy here in the city of
newton, massachusetts, and i am a democrat as well, and when president obama put into effect through then defense secretary ash carter to allow transgender gentleman and women to serve in the military, i was quite pleased. this was a reflection of a changing time for the better, where people can be who they are and the patriotic. americans serve and die for our country, the country they love, and for this mr. trump, after getting rid, by the way -- it was mentioned leading up to my call this morning, to now former secretary of defense mattis, believemattis, i don't he was in favor of the initial to undo the obama rule
to allow transgender's to serve, and of course he left -- the point being -- host: the final version of this proposal came out while mattis was still defense secretary, but go ahead. caller: yes. i was just going to say on that point, in my view, in my humble that -- my opinion is this speaks to social issues, cultural issues, and my own views etc. would say that this is unprecedented. however, as a liberal person myself, this is a matter of and equality. and tolerance and pluralism, of foundations in the constitution. that being said, whether or not
we had someone who tweets ridiculously and changes his i'm sorry to use that ad look atepithet, the supreme court appointments -- this is -- i believe if i am i wouldaken that strongly hope that i believe it was truman who said to desegregate the military in the late 40's. we need to follow the position of america moving forward. thank you and have a good day. host: we will walk through more of the timeline on this in just a couple minutes. we want to hear from a few more calls. raymond in memphis, tennessee for those who support this change. go ahead. are you with us? caller: yes, i am. host: go ahead, sir.
caller: i support it mainly because of the factor of the military -- people that have to deal with someone who is different. i understand the freedom that we should be having in this country, but it could mean life and death on the battlefield and i feel that we need to talk this issue out more before we continue onward. i do feel that we have a very unhinged president of this country and something has to be done about him but i don't know if i'd feel safe -- i don't understand that particular part of their decision and i am also a christian and i feel that -- i'm not sure the bible supports it. might change may happen later but i need to listen to what all you folks have to say. host: before you go, why don't
you think you would feel safe serving with the transgender member of the military? caller: it's the way they make a decision. if you have to fight on the if they don't know would fear being in battle because of their change -- i don't understand the transgender and so i justde feel -- i can't support it. i oppose it. host: that's raymond in tennessee. let's go to those members of the military, active and retired. chester in mansfield, ohio. go ahead. caller: yes. i haveer military, knowingly served with some gays and people that believe in the transgender lifestyle. for me, personally, it doesn't
as the and as far gentleman wil before me being brave, they are. they are like everybody else. they are there to serve their country, they follow orders and they make the decision they are told to make. the comments from the previous caller, the decision-making could mean life and death on the battlefield, saying he doesn't know about their decision-making -- what would you say to that? caller: basically i say to them, everybody i have been around, all soldiers, were trained to follow orders. them, of the soldiers follow orders. i have met that served under me. i had nobody tell me because of sex that irence of can't do it, because i'm afraid
of it. it doesn't work. -- in thes that were 82nd. they had no fear of jumping out of airplanes. host: thank you for the call. forill stay on that line active and retired members of the military. ted is next. caller: good morning. i just want to say that this generation, i'm a highly decorated officer of the u.s. air force, active duty in the 1980's and 1990's, and i found that as long as the person is up to standard, it makes no difference what ban they are dancing to. the people that i have listened to this morning, that never spent one day in the uniform, that have got anything to say about this issue, don't thank me
for my service, don't look at people that are up to standard but are not dancing to the band that you like, change the record. change your record, not theirs. i just find it shocking and appalling that people that have never served have got something to say, that's shocking to me. right now, i've got a nice, young friend of mine, he's 20 years old and he's down at fort leonard wood, missouri right now. and he tellsetters me about the things that he is doing. it is no different than what i went through 35 years ago, no different. so i just tell people that if you don't, if you have never served, it just shut up. thank you. host: this is catherine from ohio, on the line for those who
support this new policy change. go ahead. caller: ok. i'm not really sure i support it, but i know i don't oppose it. here's my standard. if you are going to counsel people that are transgender and homosexual, are you also going to counsel the adulterer, the rapist, the person who watches or looks at pornography? the bible says that all of this false short of the glory of god. so if we are only going to counsel transgender and homosexuals, then what about the other 99% of the people who live outside of the protection of god? perspective,ian all have sinned. things,y equate those homosexuality and rapists? caller: because sin is sin.
if the military is going to call out homosexuals as a sinner, as transgender as a sinner, you are going to counsel them, then why not also counsel the drunkard, or how about the reprobate who sits at 1600 pennsylvania avenue? he is a whoremonger. he said i don't know a port star, i didn't have sex with a poor and star, i didn't pay upon start, and you can ask my attorney. we know we knew her, he paid her, and now his attorney is going to prison. so if we are going to start holding people accountable, let's start with the big guy, let's start with the reprobate that sits at 1600 pennsylvania avenue. and i don't have a problem with calling out sinners, because all have sinned. but if you are only going to do it to one class of people, you are wrong, because even jesus didn't do that. and that is my safer today.
thank you, john, i appreciate it. host: on this issue of the transgender troop policy, the house armed services committee is back in february of this year. they held a hearing and invited active members of the military, transgender troops, to come and testify about this new policy and what it would mean for them. this is captain jennifer pierce at that hearing back in february. points in my career worth when there was no clear chief of place, the staff called me into his office and said, "because you didn't know what to do with me and he wasn't sure what the right answer was," he didn't want me in the male or female bathroom so he instructed me to walk a block or two down the road where there was construction and i was allowed to use the port of potty for a period of months while the division intelligence officer and i felt i was not taking care of. the second was all i was on
leave. i was enjoying your vacation when i woke up to tweets from the president of the united states, and i think it was at that moment that i really questioned why am i still waking up and putting on this uniform when time and time again i am told that i am not able to serve? why should i wait around and risk my life again when the people that i am serving do not even want me here? the tweets that the captain referred to came to the president in july of 2017. here's a few of them. the president announcing his change when it comes to transgender military service. "after consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the united states will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the u.s. military. our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened
with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that trans-genders in the military would entail. thank you." that was the president, july of 2017. active and retired military, huntsville, alabama. go ahead. caller: yes. hi, how's it going? i'm glad i retired. i retired about 17 years ago. sergeant, i had so much to train soldiers on, and i had to keep everybody up, and that's another thing to deal with. going through school, just like you have to know, and i wouldn't do it. i would get out if i had to deal with that. i don't know what's happening to our military, our military is going down. i say stop it, stop it. host: when you say stop it, what do you mean? stop what?
caller: stop trying to change things. we have the strongest military in the world. do we train soldiers when we need to train them on, discipline them? we get them to the standard, to be above standard, in this would be another wrinkle in the whole ordeal. host: on our facebook page, keith writes, and i want you to respond to this, that this change has nothing to do with military readiness, that these people have served honorably for years now. he says this is about eight. what do you think? dutyr: i think it's about and country is what it is all about. it's another wrinkle when people start diverging what they are, if they are that, that's fine, i have served with some great transgender people, but we didn't know and we didn't need to know, and that was fine.
but if you start putting people in there and they start saying what they are and acting the way they are, that is going to screw up our whole military system. host: you think the don't ask, don't tell policy was the right policy? caller: yes, that's the way to go. don't ask, don't tell, don't act in that manner. that's the way it should be. host: a few more facebook comments and tweets. lauren writes in this morning, "if the operation had been done then there's no need, no reason to not allow a transgender person into service. the government should not be paying for the operation though." edwards saying, "this policy is time. the military isn't supposed to be a social experiment or a place to go to get free sex change operations." disgusting, it reminds me when blacks were first forced to serve separately. they weren't as dignified as the
whites." congress, why should we distinction between those who were killed by roadside bombs in iraq and afghanistan for freedom?" we want to hear from you on phone lines, for those who support this change, for those who oppose it, and the special line for those active and retired numbers of the military. we will put those numbers on the screen for you as we hear from fred in bakersfield, california, who supports the new policy. go ahead. caller: yes, i do. host: why is that, fred? something,you start it is going to get rougher. i heard that lady talking about christianity and about what's going on in the military but the you don't know -- antichrist is going to be homosexual also. we should get the soldiers ready for when he gets here. host: sally in edwardsville,
illinois, those whom oppose the change. go ahead. caller: i was recently reading about -- a revolutionary war hero who saved george washington's bacon. he was intersex person. host: that "wall street journal" story from last week? caller: i think i read it in "the washington post," i don't remember. host: i think i read the same story. go ahead. they studied -- they exhumed his skeleton and it was the skeleton of a woman and they did a dna test and it was confirmed that it was him. he was outwardly a man but had characteristics, female characteristics, and this just happens, you know? ok, wember of ways, so,
are going to kick him out of the military, you know? and one more thing, conservatives are generally thatand to think homosexuality is just a lifestyle choice or transgender is a lifestyle choice or intersects or whatever, it's not, its nature, ok? that's all i have to say. host: thanks for the call. hears that "washington post" story, a revolutionary war hero who served alongside washington may have been intersex. carlos is next, active and retired members of the military, in tampa, florida. go ahead. caller: yes. i have no problem at all with iansgender people, however believe the main objection is the tremendous cost of the and you continue
with the don't ask, don't tell, that is disruptive. itouldn't see a problem with but my main objection is the tremendous cost for the dod. thank you. host: before you go, you talk about the tremendous cost. $8 million is spent by the military on transgender care since 2016, so in the years since 2016. each year the military health budget exceeds some $50 billion. your thoughts on those figures? i think they will continue to go up, the cost for the operations. other than that, i have no objection. host: a couple callers have mentioned the don't ask, don't tell policy. it is mentioned in his recent piece on this change by mike
mullen, the former joint chief of staff chairman. he was joint chief of staff, the chair of the joint chief of staff, from 2007 to 2011. he writes in his piece in "the washington post" that "i advocated our armed forces through the repeal of don't ask, don't tell, a policy that similarly forbid gay and lesbian troops from serving openly. like this, the current band presents itself as a neutral policy imposing their restrictions on a segment of the lgbt population, instead of what it is, a cudgel broadly characterizing a broad sector of the population, discriminating against a group of proven patriots is no way to discriminate, and only places politics above readiness." mike mullen. clyde is in huntington, texas on the line for those who oppose this change. go ahead. caller: hi, yes, i want to make a comment about the guy that
said the antichrist is coming to be homosexual. i read the entire bible, i am a preacher, and the bible does not say the antichrist is going to be a homosexual. it says the antichrist will not have the desire for women. but it does not say it will have the desire for men. i can assure you the antichrist will hate the whole human race, and will not have a desire except to take them all to hell. host: before we get into a discussion about the antichrist, what about this policy? caller: i believe that if they serve honorably, they should be able to be allowed, but i don't think the government should be paying for their sex change operation.if they want an operation they should have to pay for it . i don't want my tax dollars being used to pay for their operations, but i think they should be able to join if they serve honorably and should not be discriminated against. host: tom on the line for active and retired members of military. go ahead. caller: yeah.
honestly, i think this is much ado about nothing, it is blown up. the military is the military. my father was in the military, he tried to rejoin on december 8 in the marine corps. he was turned down because he had a bleeding ulcer. 1941,ed to reenlist in 1942, 1943,. the answer was, if we take you live, we have to maintain your medical care forever, and we won't do that. i think this may be -- get and lesbian people i have no problem. transgender people, there is an additional expense. let them join the peace corps. i don't know how many people we are talking about, i don't even know why this is an issue, we are americans and we do what we want to do, but if the military didn't want to do it, the
military didn't want to do it, and i think that's fine. by the way, thank you very much for bringing up the subject, because my dad till the day he died couldn't join the military and it really bothered him. so thank you. host: what was his name? caller: my dad's name? host: yes, sir. caller: sidney perry bates. he had eight years in the marine corps prior to world war ii. my mother wouldn't marry him because she was a seagoing bellhop. she wanted him at home. battleship in his west virginia was sunk at the harbor. he didn't want to join the military, he had to join. he wanted to do something for his country, more than anything, because of his ulcer. he says i will do anything and they wouldn't do it. the army is the army, there's the right way, the runway, and the army way.
into me this is much do about nothing. cares for their sexual preferences? host: thanks for telling us about your dad, appreciate the call. co's in howrom act this new policy came about in this change. back in june of 2016, under barack obama's ash carter, they lifted the ban on transgender people serving openly in the thed forces, saying that pentagon will cover medical costs for uniform personnel who undergo gender affirming transition by october of that year. transgender troops were able to start formally changing their gender identification. wep ahead to july 2017, showed you the tweets earlier in which he said that transgender people will not be allowed to serve in any capacity in the
military through august of 2017. the administration formalized that band and the aclu sued the on behalf of six transgender members of the armed forces. that case and others worked their way through the courts to january of 2019. the supreme court led the military ban proceed in a five-or vote and here we are today, the final version of the transgender military ban went into effect yesterday. this is from a hearing of the armed services committee in the when membersrch, of the military and top pentagon brass were invited to talk about the pentagon budget but were also asked about this new transgender policy. this is the joint chiefs of staff joe dunford explaining how this policy was created. >> we did use the words
"physically, mentally, psychologically capable" without special accommodation. and then the secretary engaged leadership across the department , and that also included medical experts from across the department. but the secretary did was based on the definitions, and i think you are sensitive as well, that some of this is still in litigation. we are trying to be as forthright as they can be without getting into that issue. but the secretary included the leadership in medical asked words. based on the definition of "physically, mentally, psychologically capable" capable, without special accommodation, he proposed a revision to the 2017 policy. that was the process that was used to be able to do that.
>> do you have anything you want to add? >> i think the 2018 policy really just applies standards. >> i think there's a misunderstanding that the policy was changed on the whim of the tweets, and that is part of the reason i think it is helpful for members to know there was a deeper, longer process that resulted in the matter's policy. host: you saw at the end mac thornberry, the ranking republican in the armed services committee, asking about the issue. we want to hear from you this morning. it is just after 7:30 on the east coast. we want to hear your thoughts on this new transgender true policy that went into effect yesterday. those who support the change, (202) 748-8000. those who oppose the change, (202) 748-8001. setting aside a special on this morning for active and retired members of the military, (202) 748-8002.
jim is on that last line in oklahoma. go ahead, sir. caller: i'm glad that they are putting this through. for men andandards women, that is determined by birth not by surgery. mentally ill people serving in the military. you can't change your gender, there is no such thing as a that people definitely have some pulling mentally wrong with them, which is fine and i don't think they should be locked away but they don't need to be serving in the military. the military is about defending our country and we don't need to be giving free medical surgery do them because they want to their little operation and a man wants to be a woman or whatever. it is clearly something mentally
wrong. from "the los angeles times," their story talking about the medical community weighing in on this. the trump administration regulations and went into effect friday bars transgender people from the military unless they correct "deficiencies," a description of the medical association said is unfair and defies science. the ama told the associated press that the policy and its wording mischaracterize transgender people as having a deficiency, and it also objects to the defense department classifying the need to transition to another gender among "administratively disqualifying conditions," that include those that have been labeled as congenital or developmental defects. more from "the los angeles times," if you want to read that story from this week. to dave in virginia on the line for those who support the change. go ahead.
war,r: during the vietnam there was a draft, of body bags were coming back in the thousands. homosexuals were excused, stories about guys going to draft wearing dresses, but i don't remember any homosexuals complaining they didn't have to go. i think of the war would break if a volunteer army wasn't enough and we had to go back to the draft, i don't think we would be carrying anything about homosexuals and transgender's. think they people served in the military in vietnam and just didn't talk about it? caller: not actively. enlist, but the military has a problem with homosexuals causing problems, so
they are not going to effectively be able to fight the wars we need to fight. we should be allowed once vested what needs to be done to win the put everything in some sort of social experiment. we are spending a million dollars for transgender sex change operations in the military? had is anyone not think that is kind of crazy? we have $21 trillion of debt, and that is what we are spending money on? host: this is carol, from oregon, those who oppose the change. go ahead. caller: i don't see how anybody who is unfit for military service -- host: do you think only those who have served in the military should be president of the united states? should that be a requirement?
caller: well, if they are unfit for military service, how can they know what goes on in the military? host: that's carolyn oregon. for is: in minnesota, active and retired members of the military. go ahead. caller: i just wanted to say that i think the fact that the military is banning transgender troops is a sign that they are acknowledging the fact that these people do need some hormone therapy or they may need some kind of treatment they are not willing to pay for. they are acknowledging the struggles of the transgender people all across the country. i'm a prior marine corps, i served in afghanistan. with respect to some of the other guys who called in, when i was over there i didn't really gay or whowho was
was entering anything like that -- it didn't really matter. i just wanted to say that. host: thanks for the call. --will stay on that line nick is in california. that morning. are you with us? john, for active and retired winners of the military in mount vernon, new hampshire. go ahead. caller: and my on? host: yes, sir. caller: i'm a retired commander, and i was in during the vietnam fiasco. i'm here to tell you that transgender and homosexuals were considered a threat to good order and discipline and they still are.
chelsea manning, case in point. they don't belong in the military. because of those reasons. it is time for this country to recognize that you can't legalize morality. you can use the law as the law was used to try to prevent homosexuals from doing their thing, but now thanks to the all kindsurt we have of problems in our society, and the military is no place to have sexual debates and that's all i've got to say. we need to go back to the way it used to be in the 1960's and the 1970's and get rid of this nonsense. that's all i got to say. host: that's john in new hampshire. this is tony perkins, the president of family research council, a frequent guest on
this program. this is what he posted on his website yesterday as this new policy went into effect. "today is a banner day for any american who is committed to the best interest of military and rule of law. after two years of judicial obstruction, the commonsense policy on transgender service in the military has finally taken effect. the president fulfilled a campaign promise and stopped using the military for social experiments. after careful study by a panel of experts in march, 2018, the defense secretary announced the details of the policy and the substantial justification for it. in the end, the courts must uphold the commander-in-chief's power and personnel policy for the armed forces." tony perkins is the family research council. we hear from tonya in norfolk, virginia, for those who oppose this change. go ahead. i just feel like this is
completely ridiculous. reason if youy have been serving with gay members of the military, right next to you and you didn't notice it and there was no change, the only reason everyone is talking about this as far as i can tell is they are talking about the monetary aspect of sex change operations for these individuals who are opposed to the service. i don't think that should be a barrier for service. in case anybody stopped noticing, we are into very active wars, more than that. anybody that wants to serve needs to be respected and welcomed with open arms. i work at the airport. when they drop these kids off every week, they are not corralling them, they are not doing that, they are dropping off fans of your children, and
everybody looks exactly the same. they let the kids do their job as long as they are defending and i am all for it. host: the house armed services committee invited transgender members of the military to testify at a hearing on this issue late last month. this is more from captain jennifer pierce at the hearing. >> i served as a company commander for 18 months, leading soldiers across the united states to train, national guard and reserve units preparing to deploy overseas. i went to the field with my unit. i trained with my unit. we were out for extended time periods in the field, in the deserts of california in the forests of wisconsin. there were never any issues that arose for being transgender. between the time of the initial announcement of open service and the tweets by the commander in chief, the fact that i was
transgendered never came up. it wasn't something that needed to be discussed. it was only since this issue has arisen again that it has even been talked about in my unit. i can certainly understand the issues of readiness of the company commander, readiness and morale were my primary concerns, and no one cares about readiness more than a company commander. i will be the first person to kick out a transgender servicemember if they are not able to meet the standards, if they are unable to destroy the enemies of the united states. there should be absolutely no adjustment to standards, no different standards for trans people than anyone else in the military. all we are asking for is the opportunity to meet and be held to those exact same standards. host: if you want to watch that hearing in its entirety, the armed services committee hearing from earlier this year, you can find on our website, c-span.org and search jennifer peter's.
you will be able to find hearing. robert his next in pennsylvania, the line for active and retired members of the military. go ahead. caller: i believe the only people that should have a vote on this should be the active military force. those are the people that served , i have served with gay personnel during my time and i have no problems with it. if they are willing to put their life on the line is in beside me in the fight for me in this country, they should be allowed to. there is one other thing that i think should have been changed years ago that has never been changed, and actually has nothing to do with the subject, but when you turn 18 years of age like i did you are supposed to sign up for selective service and i opted to go straight into
the military. i served in the united states you have the right to vote at 18, you are supposed to be able to fight and defend your country, but these young people that go out and put their lives on the line for this country are not even allowed to have a drink at 18 years old. because ift's wrong, they are willing to die for me and you, they should be allowed to do whatever they need to do. thank you, that's my comment. host: a few more comments from "ifter, junior writing in, a person is able and willing to serve, why is this a discussion? if a person is willing to sacrifice their life for their country i have no issue." jodey saying, "99% of americans
don't even serve in the military but they have an opinion on who can die for them." kelly is in tampa, florida for those who oppose the change. go ahead. caller: hi, how are you? i'm 30 years old, i worked very hard, i'm an entrepreneur, we are called the lazy generalization, but as much as people have an opinion on us, whether they have a clear opinion or clear notion -- we as a generation of millennials, no matter what this vote is, we are not going to tolerate this to continue. our country is apparently trying to make us turn against each other, trying to create havoc by back and forth with trump and his horrible things that he is saying about women and -- we are not going to tolerate this.
even if this is something we are going through now, once the election comes around it is not going to be the case, and it is not going to hold. host: what do you think your generation thinks about this issue of transgender troops in the military? caller: that it's disgusting. not ok to haves someone who has passion for our country to serve, that wants to make my life better as a person who was blessed to be born and immigrant that came to this country from italy, if they want to protect me, i don't care what you have between your legs or what you think your gender is, i just care that you love my country, and because of that i love you. florida.t's kelly in 10 minutes left in the segment of "washington journal," having a discussion about the new transgender policy that went into effect yesterday. a reminder about what it does. as of today no one with gender
dysphoria or who has transitioned from their birth gender will be allowed to enlist in the military. current servicemembers who have transitioned or began transitioning by april 12, yesterday, will be allowed to stay in the service. current servicemembers diagnosed with transgender dysphoria will have to serve in their birth gender, and this new policy around service secretaries to waive this policy on a case-by-case basis. kent,s wrong from washington, on the line for those active and retired members of the military. go ahead. caller: good morning. i served over 22 years of active to haved my son decided a sex transformation on active duty. the problem with it is that he focused more on the surgeries and the expenses that the government was going to pay for it and so his focus was on his
sexual behavior and choices are not the mission that was before him. he decided to do that because he went through voice changes, the changes between your legs and the behavior and activities, and it was taking away from his mission and omission that he was supposed to be on. the cost goes on from his active duty to when he gets out of the military, and the government will continue to pay for it, and that is an expense that americans do not need. we are mission orientated in the army and armed forces and that is what we should be focused on, not our sexual orientation. host: what was the timeframe for this? son, he didas my this during the iraq war and it continues to this day. you just got out recently and he
continues to get his transformation to the v.a.. and if thispense continues on, it is taking away and i don'tsion believe it is right. i support this policy. host: did you ever have that conversation with your son? caller: yes, i did. host: how did it go? caller: we totally disagree. entirely. my father-in-law disagreed, i disagreed. troops whoved with are homosexuals, but the focus was not on the sexual orientation or the habits are behaviors, it was on the mission. on themore focused sexual orientation and his he was takingn --
advantage of the military. host: do you think the militaries view on gay servicemembers at the end of the don't ask, don't tell policy encouraged him to have more of a focus on that issue rather than a mission? -- ir: to ask, don't tell was recruiting when i first came out. it was difficult for active duty troops to implement that. it, buto problem with when you started to express it to a point that it was the main focus, it became a problem with the realm of the unit. host: thanks for sharing your family story. mariann from massachusetts, the line for those who oppose the change. caller: good morning. problem with this policy is i
look at the so-called policymakers -- they have never been in the military. women, they disrespect they are sounds as if upset because if they wanted to disrespect for someone in your not what i thought you were, and i know that sounds a little harsh but i'm going to try to keep it real. point, notur first coming from people who served, the pentagon developed this new transgender policy, something that was put out under the former secretary of defense who obviously had a very long career in the military. caller: i'm talking about -- let's be blunt, trump and all the texts and that flavor -- there's always somebody he has to go against. there are too many people that i know who are gay, who are in the
service, there are a future gender friends that i have, i and i myself am not gay, but some of these people, trump will jump in a lion cage to protect somebody. you can't say it's a question of their dedication to serving their country. but if it wasn't about the trans-genders it would be about gays. there was always a fight about something. the poor gentleman who said he wanted things to go back to the 1960's in the whole nine yards, people in the 60's were day. they were hidden and afraid to come out. and that's the saddest thing. we are not going to allow people to sit and say what religion, what color, what race, what gender can live and can serve. if you love your country, you have every right to get out there and defend it. donald trump does not have that
right to pass judgment the way he does. not the way he disrespects women. but familyserved members have. uncle -- many my of my family have served, some have given their life so i feel i can talk about this. host: mariann from massachusetts. one more headline on this, from "the hill," 20 democratic candidates condemn the trump administration's transgender military policy. here's a few tweets from recent days from a few of those candidates. used in gillibrand from new york, "our troops deserve a commander-in-chief who fights for them as fiercely as they fight for this country. president trump's transgender military ban, taking effect today, proves he fails at standard. as president, i will end this." cory booker, "the trans-military withust be defeated
thousands of transgender patriots serving in our country we are so grateful for your service and will fight it with you. make no mistake, an attack on the transgender community is an attack on all of us." one more from senator, let "the trump administration's ban on transgender people serving in the military takes effect today. this is discrimination and an affront to our values. anyone willing to risk their life for this country should be welcome and allowed to serve." we showed you cory booker's tweet, the senator from new jersey officially kicking off his presidential campaign with a rally in his hometown of newark today. you can watch it live at 1:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. you can watch online at c-span.org. you can listen to the announcement live on the free c-span radio app. back to your phone calls, a few more minutes in the segment. active and retired members of the military, ted from texas, go ahead. caller: good morning. i was just calling about the transgender issue.
is we should that not be paying the bill for the transgender, i served in desert storm and i remember don't ask, don't tell. i served with quite a few people that were probably gay, but there is no issue with it. but now when we are going to foot the bill for all these medical changes and everything like that, that will be a continuing problem, another gentleman said something about it. is if you want to join the military, if you are a male, you are a male, you stay in mail, whatever your personal life is, keep it personal. if you are female, you are a female. host: one question on that statement -- what if that person had transitioned before they
decided they wanted to join the military? should they be allowed to serve? under this new policy, they would have to serve in their birth gender. if they had already gone through the expense of having the surgery in the transition done prior to joining the military, then whatever they are joining the military as, that is what they need to be. during desert storm and after we had a lot of people that went awol, mail, female. we had a lot of people that went awol, because they had just joined the military for the benefits. this is going to be the same issue. i just joined the military for my transgender surgeries and everything, i didn't join to go into combat, i didn't join for anything else, i just joined the military to have a sex change.
that is what we are going to be faced with. the medical ongoing costs of something like that. host: to be clear on this scenario, if somebody had gone through the surgery and done the full transition, they would not be allowed to serve under this new policy, if a current servicemember is diagnosed with gender dysphoria from today forward they would have to serve in their birth gender, just to get that distinction clear. we are talking about this new policy in effect today. greensboro, north carolina, for those who oppose the policy. go ahead. caller: yes, i don't oppose what is being done, i don't have a problem with transgender in the military. it makes no sense when we have a problem with transgender in the military. i like to ask reviewers, how many of you can i come into your house, how many would let the government come into your house
and tell you who you could be, who you can be with, what you can do with your life? that doesn't make any sense. i understand the argument is the i understand the argument, it is the cost. , and a lot ofgh it should be put on those people that want to be transgender. if they want to change their gender, they should foot part of the bill for it. part of it, yes, should be in their military package, but for the most part, they should take themselves, part but banning transgender in the military, that is retarded. make any sense. if we are at war, if someone is coming over to invade, if someone is holding you at gunpoint, are you going to stop and say, "hold on a second, are you transgender? are you a man or a woman/" ?" does it really matter if the person is male or female or chooses to be male or female,
for them to hold that god? -- the gun? we have people with mental disorders shooting of schools, shooting up playgrounds, and movie theaters, and we are crying about whether a transgender should be allowed to serve their country. that does not make any sense. what was the excuse that people used back when they did not want blacks in the service? what was the excuse that they used? what was the excuse that they used when they did not want women and the military, when they did not want gays in the military? when do we stop? inputo we stop trying to tray somebody else's life and say i want you to be this service, to do this job? and maryland glenn on the line for people who support this change. [no audio]
caller: hi. how are you this morning? host: doing well. caller: i support the transgender. i just do not think we should pay for it. i support them for being transgender, but i do not support paying for them. host: one more call in this segment, wendell in jeffersonville, on the line for retired military. hello. caller: yes. i support the president 100%. inmon sense is what we need our country today, and i would like to ask the question, then saying that anybody who wants to serve in the military should be able to support, i would ask this question -- if i was blind and wanted to serve in the military and go into combat,
should i be able to go in there? lovedid not have any legs, my country, and wanted to go in the military, would you all want me in the military, and i could not walk? there are a hold of issues you can have an want to serve in the military. a person can have very serious mental issues, and they could want to serve in the military. should we let them serve in the military? common sense is what president trump have, and i thank god that he is our president. i support him 100%, and i thank pavementhe stopped the -- payment of money to foreign countries to abort babies. i will be glad when we stop killing our unborn babies. this 1976, no,
1973, that over 18 million -- and i am not prejudiced, i am --ck, i am a black preacher just in the black community, there have been 18 million little black babies have been slaughtered in the mother's littlend we have 14-year-old, 15 year old, and 16-year-old girls who do not have a mind to even know what are is all about, and they killing each other. and i would like to ask this question -- if the black community is completely wiped off the map because of abortion, would be white people be ok with that? more black babies are aborted than any other race, and more black mothers at the age of 15 to 16. host: got your point, wendell. wendell our last caller in this first segment of the "washington journal." stick around this morning. plenty more to talk about it we
will be joined by national farmers union president roger , of the out trade disputes are impacting american farmers. later, aaron mehta of defense news will be here to talk about the u.s. space for's following a key armed services committee hearing earlier this week. we will be right back. ♪ >> i think it is important on this day that we continue to offer the people of colorado, the people of littleton, the families involved, to share knowledge that all of america cares for them and is praying for the. columbines ago, the high school shooting was one of the deadliest high school shootings in american history. on thursday at 8:00 p.m. he's in, we will talk shooting and provide some reflection on the tragedy. that time, columbine had
never happened, and neither the parents nor the school counselor looked at the issue of a violent paper as something that was indicative of the possibility of some real deterioration in thinking. special thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. barbara bush had finally had enough. they were out of the white house. she did not need to bite her tongue anymore. offense that she took at a third there were reporters at her door asking questions about it. that was not true. that was designed to give nancy reagan a little heartburn. and she said to nancy reagan " and don't you ever call me again," and she hung up. "usais week on "q&a,"
today washington bureau chief "san page on her biography, barbara bush: the matriarch." said you will never see my diaries. they are at the public library, to be seene unable until 35 years after her death or it i understand that. at the and of his interview, she said "and you can see my diaries ," and that was an incredible gift. sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." >> "washington journal" continues. with secretary of agriculture sonny perdue on capitol hill this past week, it is a good time to hear from presidentarmers union
roger johnson during the fiscal 2020 budget plan, a budget plan that your group disagreed with. why? guest: because it is major cuts, and this comes at a time when agriculture is really and a lot .f financial stress the income today is about 50% of what it was five years ago. down priceseting all of that exacerbated by a lot of the trade disruptions that have been happening around the world. host: this is sonny perdue's statement on the trump administration's usda budgetary "president trump's budget is fiscally conservative, lays out the path for an accountable government with spending, with a national debt of $22 trillion, we can no down theck the can road, and the usda will actively do its part to reduce federal spending.
are you saying there is no belt-tightening that can happen at usda? guest: i am not saying there is no belt tightening that can happen, i am saying these are really messed up priorities. after this administration and the previous congress just did a it isllion plus tax cut, what really added to the deficit in a major way. of there both sides ledger that we need to be paying attention to, and what we are saying is the usda buys enormous services both to agriculture and to low income communities, and we need to make sure that those services are provided, and we need to recognize that rural america is important. host: agriculture usda saw a 15% reduction in but trump budget plan that was put out. talk about where those cuts came and what the priorities are. guest: they came in a lot of
places, but if you want to talk a sort of long view here, the plays with probably the most damaging is in the research area. this administration is looking to take major premier research institutions in the usda and, frankly, move them out of town and make major cuts at the same time. impacts oures is it efficiency, profitability, likelihood of staying ahead of the rest of the world and being in a position where we can feed not just in this country but around the world as well. cutting research, that is the long term that we are talking about, and that is a real problem. it is very shortsighted. host: special phone lines in this segment with roger johnson of the national farmers union, farmers can call in on a special line, (202) 748-8000. if you work in the agriculture
sector writ large, (202) 748-8001. all others can call in at (202) 748-8002. in, even as calling this budget has proposed billions of dollars in cuts, aren't farmers in this country receiving billions of dollars in assistance, when it comes to offsetting some of the impacts of the trade dispute? does that balance out at all? guest: yeah, so there was a one-time payment made last your copy market facilitation program payment -- last year, called the market facilitation program payment. farm is in north dakota, and i can tell you that the soybean crop in north dakota probably dropped in practical value three dollars as a result of what happened. you saw an immediate to dollar per bushel decrease
tariffssult of the 25% that were proposed. if you think about soybeans ,eing nine dollars a bushel what happened particularly in the western part of the soybean market outa is the to the pacific northwest, which is where most of the western soybeans went, because they went to china, and china dominates our export market first toy beads. over half of all of our exports used to go to china. that disappeared overnight. you saw the two dollar decrease in the marketplace, plus you saw a huge basis drop in a lot of places in north dakota, you know, they stopped buying soybeans at any price. there was no longer
transportation, there was no market for it, so the indians now had to come east and south over the top of all the other beans. you just had a major sort of disruption, and that $1.65 was intended to compensate for some of that, but you saw across the penny though, corn got a a bushel. it was an insult to the corn producers. trade issues with the chinese are ongoing. do the farmers not receive assistance right now? guest: that is right. they cannot. i mean, it was a one-time deal from the usda through what is called the ctc. congress does not act on it. frankly, we think congress ought n on this question
and put some longer-term policies in place to help. what i will say about the trade dispute, first of all, is that we do not disagree with the administration's focus on trying to hold china to account. that is absolutely appropriate that that happened. where we disagree is the methodology in which it is happening. so we first were offending all of our trading problems around the world. there will be significant reputational damage that will outlast, even if we get an agreement with china and whatever other countries we are negotiating with, our reputation is to the point where we will be the residual supplier of last result to a lot of countries. host: meanwhile back here at home, congress left town before approving a new disaster aid bill, with all of that flooding in the midwest. how would that bill in fact farmers? helpere money there to
farmers who have been impacted by the floods? guest: so the bill that was left a bill thatually principally looks at image from a hurricanes and the wildfires from a year and two years ago. the flooding damage happened much more recently, and there was some discussion about should there be some additional assistance put on top of this bill. i do not know that that is going to happen. i mean, nobody knows. it seems like that is probably unlikely. the dispute over which congress passing a billut was really over assistance to puerto rico. theyhe president saying did not need any more assistance, and the democrats thebasically treating them way you do the rest of the
country. we are not in the middle of that dispute. i am just saying that is what it is, not over the midwestern flooding. host: how many farmers do you represent? guest: about 200,000 farm families. host: what is your job on capitol hill? is it lobbying, is it working with members of states with a lot of farms? guest: it is both. is everything, really. i am president and ceo. our office is here in washington, d.c. we have some companies that we operate, some investments that we oversee, put it is mostly to represent our membership, and that representation happens up here on capitol hill, but it happens in a lot of other venues as well. host: roger johnson here to take your call for the next 25 minutes or so. sarah is a farmer in wisconsin. good morning. caller: good morning. hello. host: go ahead. guest: good morning. have a my husband and i
dairy farm with his family, we know a lot of calais, and we have extended low prices. for some federal dairy price policy reform, but i experience armer, lot of consolidation in the market. we have prices going up, fewer choices, and i'm wondering if roger can address the consolidation in the ag market. host: i am sure he can. guest: thanks for the call, sarah. and i can tell you, i know as a dairy farmer, this is a sector of agriculture that is struggling probably as much as any, if not more. price is very low. gary farmers are going out of business, frankly, in a lot of
places in sort of record numbers right now a lot of distress, particularly with family-size dairies. but this is the really big issue, particularly for family farmers. in onhe is talking about the input side, the stuff that farmers have to buy, the fertilizer, the seed, the fuel, all of those kinds of things, the feed in particular, the ies thatf compan provide those services have been reduced to a small handful, so as a result, there is far less competition in that marketplace than what ought to be there. a generation ago, farmers got about $.35 of the food dollar. today, it is $.14. so where is the rest of that $.86 of the consumer food dollar going? well, it is going to these companies that are selling at higherfarmers
prices, making it even more difficult for farmers to make money. and the other sheriff of that is going to the marketing side, so itn sarah produces the milk, goes through a small handful of companies. on my farm, we selfie wh -- sell wheat or the soybean or what have you, it goes to a very small handful of companies, and of companiesndful is in a position that the marketplace is less and less competitive. as a consequence, they have more market power, they can pay us less than what otherwise those products would be worth, and we end up with the short end of the stick. host: for dairy farmer specifically, this is an associated press story, dairy safety net program expected in june. this is an insurance program from the u.s. farm insurance is
agency. can you talk about it. ? in the 2014 farm bill, there with a new dairy program put in place called the margin protection program, and the design was so essentially the price of milk is here, and the that farmers have to buy in order to feed their dairy , so that program tried to cover the cost of that difference, that margin between the cost and the revenue, if you will. and as it turned out, it into roundlyg, i think, despised, disgusted. it was not effective. and that ledttle, a lot to these dairy farmers going out of business. in the last farm bill that was just signed into law before the end of the year congress made
changes to that program. they made a number of adjustments. hopefully it is going to be a lot more beneficial, particularly to farmers that may be of sarah's size and smaller, 200, 300 cows. it is designed to provide more assistance to them, but it is not going to be in effect until june or july. and that is one of the challenges. i think the other challenge is dairy farmers are so disgusted with the current policies, i think they are just having a hard time getting their arms around it. the final point i say about this is we are producing too much. we are just producing way too lot of otherd a commodities, and a lot of the dairy industry right now, at least in our membership is ought to havee some sort of supply management provisions coming into the dairy program. host: let's head up into
chicago. andrew works in the acag sector. andrew, what kind of work do you do in chicago? andrew, are you with us? caller: i am with you. host: go ahead. what kind of ag work do you do in chicago? caller: just basically ,roundwork around the company just basically taking care of the grounds around the company that i work with, and it is saturated. it is saturated with chemicals, chemicals surrounding this company. a manufacturing district, and it is actually -- what do you call it? spilling -- this is the stockyards area of chicago, so it has been going on.
i would not grow a garden in this community in about six or seven blocks or radius of this community. ag spillingcause of , years and years, what do you call that? host: are you talking about a toxic waste dump here, or is this something less than that? ,aller: just through the years getting into the soil'ss here. host: mr. johnson. guest: that is one of the effects of some of the different processing companies. i do not know the particular situation that is being discussed here, but certainly, i mean, we want to do the best job possible to keep the soil clean,
and we have a lot of members in urban areas now that are trying to do urban farming, so this soil remediation issue is a really big issue. in some cases, you can come in treatments to make the soil better. in other cases, you simply have to come in and remove it and replace it with fresh soil so that you can grow in these areas. letter elton john -- let's go to john. my father lives on a family farm. they are actually vegetable farmers. my first question was about allow farmers not to their program that should still the budget, i think that should be eliminated. i was wondering about corn subsidies.
these were originally designed so that farmers could actually eat their own corn and produce their own oil, and i think corn subsidies should be better used to do biodiesel and alcohol, and we could use sugar to produce if alcohol much cheaper we use it as a biofuel. the next thing i would like you to address is the new financial services tax that democrats are pushing and how that would affect agriculture didn' derivatives. there are farmers here that i went broke milking -- all went broke milking cows, like that lady was talking about. or soybeans,milk and they came together and they floated a derivative, and derivative has helped cover the cost of the grain, helped cover the cost to, you know, run the
tractors. one guy came in with a combine to harvest all the rallies. that are000 laborers unproductive, and how the taxonomy derivatives, if the democrats did it. host: you gave us a lot to talk about. we are taking notes. mr. johnson? [laughter] thet: let me start with fact about biodiesel and about ethanol, because these are programs that we have strong waste it for many years. -- that we have supported for many years. we produce biofuels in this country, in fact, our production is so large that it has driven prices well below the cost of production, and that is a real problem, because this idea that some have espoused that, when prices just get too low, farmers producing quit stuff, because they are not making any money at it, it does
not work that way and agriculture. when prices get low, farmers' only recourse is to try to produce more so that they can get more income to cover that low-priced or so that is historically why there have been incentives in government programs to reduce production or to take some of that excess production and turn it into something else. that leads me to the ethanol biodiesel fuel question here and we have a surplus in this country, and we were lot ofental in helping a other folks in agriculture to organize some of these ethanol plants, to produce ethanol, which can be added to gasoline. it makes your gasoline cleaner, safer, better debris -- not that gas is something good to is not, but the ethanol a problem, and it makes it more affordable for the consuming
public, so we strongly support those programs. unfortunately, the subsidy disappeared some years ago, so there really is no subsidy for that anymore. the biodiesel question that the caller alluded to, it is more related to oil feed crops like soybeans and crops of that nature. you can get a tiny amount out of corn, but most of that little bit of corn oil is not turned into biodiesel. i amhe derivative fact, not sure that i want to go there, because most of our members just do not deal with that, with that sort of an issue. they are producers. host: bob is aurora, indiana, works in the ag sector . good morning. caller: good morning. yes, i used to work for a company that made livestock feed, and from, i would say, the
late 1980's and early 1990's, soybean mill went just out of feed, and our prices for had doubled from one year to the next, and a lot of the farmers, in the areas i cover here in kentucky, ohio, and indiana, all of us are not farmers anymore. so what they are doing, i think, and there is so much to talk about on farmers, because i think in years to come, and not too far off, they are going to have a problem on this earth, because they have taken a lot of the -- actually, the racetrack in kentucky, there used to be two brothers in that area, and they sold it out to a racetrack, and they do not form there anymore. that i the farms
delivered to our out of business now because of higher prices, and people do not care anymore. about livingnow within their means, you know. that you, these farms are talking about, are these smaller family farms, or are they larger -- caller: most of them are smaller family, and some of them are bigger, like the clan brothers or those that sold out to the racetrack in kentucky. all of the areas now, all we have here, this little town used to have all kinds of manufacturers. we had a foundry, and it has all disappeared now because prices being so high, and people demanding the best of everything, you know. host: bob, thanks for bringing it up. mr. johnson. guest: the one comment that i really want to address is this
concern that we are going to have a famine because we do not have enough food produced. that may happen. it is happening in some parts of the world, but it is not going are takingecause we too much land out of production in this country. yes, some land is coming out of production. it is relatively small amounts. we still produce very close to the same amount of land that we have, for many, many years. the issue that we have is we have become very, very keep going so yields up faster than demand, and that is what drives the prices up very low. host: our young people going into farming the same numbers that they used to? guest: that is a good question. does five years, the usda where widespread census
they send these fairly extensive questionnaires out to farmers all over the country. farmers fill them out, and it gives them a whole bunch of data. they made some changes in how they measure some of that data and how they capture some of the data, but to the question about john farmers, it shows an increase in the number of young farmers, but they have changed their methodology. so if you bring it back to the same methodology, the increase is very small, like 1% or 2%. the more troubling statistic, though, is the number of farmers that our retirement age or beyond, it is like six or seven times the number of young farmers coming in. so you have got this disconnect, and there are a lot of folks that are worried about -- are there going to be enough farmers entering the business to replace those farmers that are exiting the business? and to the degree that you have
got a shortfall, what you end up with increasing consolidation, meaning larger and larger and larger farmers. some of that is natural. it is expensive to get into the business and agriculture. land cost is very high, machinery costs are high, and so that is a challenge. more of the young farmers today are starting on a relatively small-scale. that makes it more difficult to sort of replace these retiring farmers that are operating larger operations. host: any other major demographic changes, as you saw from this study? a significanto, number of women operators, which we take oas a good sign. is the changetoo, in methodology your use or ask for the principal operators developed the survey, and now they are allowing further operators on the same farm to be counted in the
statistics you're so you have a new methodology compared to the old, so they have the date of both ways so you can compare. there is still an increase in the number of women farmers, and that is a good thing. host: an interesting chart from the usda, if you want to check it out, it shows the number of farms in 2017. every blue dot on that map, and there are many, equals 200 farms. over 2 million farms in the united states in 2017, according to that map. we will focus in on a few of the areas that you see on your screen. peter inrom sarasota, florida, a farmer. go ahead. caller: yes. i am a small, organic farmer here in sarasota. i put in 40 years of the same farmers market. i just retired last year. we have come to learn that there is a lot of -- donald trump has
little or no knowledge of farming. but i wanted to comment on the gentleman's assertion, the importance of cultural research. is justto cut that insane, especially at a time when we are having climate change. let me give you one specific example. plantsa crop -- i sold as well as produce at the market, and my number one selling plant crop was sweet basil. disease known as downy mildew hit the basil industry and pretty much wiped it out for five years or so until researchers developed resistance varieties that were resistant to that mildew
disease, so i had to stop selling my number one selling plants at the market until my final year, at which time i could grow it again. i could not grow it because of the disease for about five years. so that is just one example. soease resistance is important, not just to organic farmers, but to all farmers. it means you have to spray less or not at all, so it is good for the environment. and to cut agricultural research is just pure insanity. host: peter, thank you for the call. guest: i could not agree more. i could give you another example that is on a larger scale. most of my life i spent in north dakota, and i can tell you that 1990 -- i have got to think about -- 1993, i am going to get , i dates wrong, but anyway remember the year when scab, blight,s a head
not all that different to the gentleman's discussion of downy mildew, but it impacted spring which was the number one crop in north dakota, 7 million or 8 million. of thousands of acres were simply lit on fire instead of being harvested, and i think it was in 1993. is the reason for that weather patterns had changed pretty markedly in the preceding years, and the rainfall got later and later in the growing season, and that led to a buildup of the inoculum, and we weetnot have suite require varieties that were resistant to
it, so you had a bloom in the fall, and there was no wheat that was produced, and for many -- thewe have reached reach has hit that part of the state overnight, and dated did research to try to bring more resistant varieties into the marketplace. so research is really important. host: last call for you we will head south of chattanooga, tennessee to georgia. brenda, good morning. caller: good morning. host: i know my history. i know the name. [laughter] caller: ok. now one concern is there is a voters -- bloc of voters, and there is no reason that he should put up with
donald trump that hurts the farmers. speak up to your representative, and speak up for all of these things. all, get that idiot out of office before he kills everybody. my next concern is i love oatmeal, but i am afraid to eat oatmeal because of the round oak anymore. don't mind having a few weeds. i would rather have weeds than the chemicals. but these dairy farmers, i feel the don'tor them, they switch to somethin soybean? we have so many people starving, and soybeans are so versatile. guest: let me deal with the last part first, about folks that are starting all over the world. that is very true. there are lots of folks starting
all over the world. the problem is not that there is enough food, the problem is that those folks are broke, they do not have any income. they do not have any economic facility to buy food. the problemd of that farmers faced with such low prices, because we are producing more than the market can absorbed, we are not producing more than the folks can need, we are producing more than the folks can afford to buy in some of these very poor countries. i also want to reference the caller's reference to being afraid of eating oatmeal. my gosh, don't be afraid to eat oatmeal. ability oft -- the science to detect infinitesimally small amounts of anything just continues to grow, and so there are not anywhere as close to dangerous levels of
pesticides or herbicides in oatmeal. darnood supply is pretty safe in this country, among the safest and most affordable in the world, and folks should not be afraid to eat. host: roger johnson is the president of the national u.org if youn, nf want to check them out online. thank you for your time. guest: it is good to be with you, john. host: up next, we will be discussing the u.s. space for with aaron mehta of "defense news." stick around. we will be right back. facebook.com/cspan ♪ ♪ the complete guide to congress is now available. it has lots of details about the ande and senate, contacts bio information about every senator and representative, plus information about the congressional committee, state governors, and the cabinet.
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the space force, two days after a hearing on capitol hill about that subject or it will look like? guest: when we have learned from a hearing is there is still a skepticism about history the pentagon put forth its legislative proposal about what the space forth will look like. they said it will be over a five-year period, about 16,000 people, $2 billion in costs. the pentagon said after that five-year period, it will be $1.50 per american per year, and they say hey, this is what we are thinking about doing for the sixth branch of the military. in the short version, it will look like the marine corps, looking much like the air force. ownwill stand up as its service, what the president has push forward with. hesitantdent has been
on that. congress seems skeptical and a lo in the long term. top: it drew some of the brass and the defense secretary of 12, patrick shanahan. here is some of his testimony. [video clip] military isn: our sea, airand, air force inavy in force in the air. we now need a military service dedicated to space. instead of coordinating across one of 10 organizations, we will consolidate and concentrate into the space force so that we have clear lines of accountability and responsibility. host: aaron mehta, as we listen to patrick shanahan there, why is it a space forts and not a space command? what are the other organizational options that were at play here? guest: the history of this isguest: interesting.
there was a space command in the back in the day that had been gotten rid of. a couple of years ago, members of congress started to say hey, we're kind of not dealing with space the way we need to be dealing with it. we are letting things go, we need to be focused on this. when he to push forward a legislative proposal to create what they call a socially the space corps, a marine corps idea. it was bipartisan, supported by both sides, and that proposal got shut down a couple of times. they said ok, we want a space command, a combatant command, and we want somebody who will be focused on space. congress pushed that forward. that is being stood up. they nominated general john raymond, currently the command , and then things got a little strange. rumors have gone,
essentially, president trump found out about the idea, started using it during rallies, picking up steam, and it kind of culminating last june with the president saying at a rally, not a political rally, but a big meeting, saying to general dunford, the general joint chief, saying you will go and make a space force, right? and it wass, sir," off to the races. you have the space of element agency, which is kind of the up,isition unit being stood and that is where you then create this kind of network of over thousands of satellites and in lower earth orbit , and that is supposed to be the architecture for how it goes forward. it is three moving parts. the space command, everybody seems to be on board with it in the hill. the secretary of the air force will be leaving in a few
months and has been a pretty vocal critic of that idea. the space forces the one that people are a little skeptical of. host: space force is our topic for the next 20 minutes. republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. you mentioned skepticism on capitol hill. this is senator joe manchin on the hill this week. [video clip] sen. manchin: i think secretary shanahan has talked about, i am having a really hard time understanding why we need this other agency. you have everything at your disposal right now. i mean, i am just having a hard time with it. i am trying to understand it, and his secretary has been very patient with me, trying to explain it, but if i had everything you all have a your disposal right now, and the air force has the expertise, and
there are some flaws in it, and you want more attention to it, we will give you what you need. aaron mehta, how did pentagon leaders answer that question? guest: well, they answer the same way they have been answering skepticism for a while. look, we understand there are some questions about how this is going to go. in particularn was concerned about the national regard and reserve component, which they even said we will figure it out in the next year or the year after. dunford, the chairman of joint chiefs, responded directly to manchin on this, look, we get it, there are a lot of questions and concerns, but we need to go fast and start working on this, because if we wait, we will keep getting behind on the space race. host: the reserve component is added to that. are their projections down the road for helpingforces going to be? guest: there are no projections for the reserve, although there
15,000 people over a five-year period will be shifted pentagony from the into these space force, people who do navy air force space, some other contractors into that. there will be more beyond that five-year period. the big worry from the hill over and over again is the bureaucracy. you're saying to this group, are they going to keep growing, not just in terms of staff numbers, that is one thing, but we will add two or three four- star general spots,. some civilian spots. host: does space force get its own chief of staff? guest: they do. joint she is, the there will be a deputy chief of staff as well. there will not be a secretary of the phase force. that will still follow under the
air force, at least for now, but there will be another secretary who will report up, and there are a couple of other general spots they are talking about doing. congress has been pushing for years to cut down the top bureaucracy. and all of a sudden, they are talking about standing up this whole new group. so the word skeptical has been coming up a lot in these hearings. host: we are talking space forth with aaron mehta, deputy editor at "defense news," also a senior pentagon correspondent. we're taking your calls and questions. we start with john in clifford, indiana, a democrat. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. needve a huge debt and the to serve our domestic issues, but i think these space force needs a huge amount of money that we are going to have to pay to compensate for the failure of the iron dome and patriot withles, in comparison
russia, it is 400, but we have spent all of this money to stop the rich jews -- host: all right, got your point, john. on the idea of ballistic missiles and where those defense systems fit in with the air force and the space force, can you talk about that? guest: that is where the space intelligence agency comes in play with the many satellites up there. nuclearl feed into the defense agency and the missile-defense systems. hypersonic is a new threat. russia is expected to fuel one of these things next year. is on its way. this is where the areas we are falling behind on, which can go mach five or higher.
the pentagon cannot track the systems. they go too fast. they want to get the layer, they are lower, kind of into orbit. that is kind of a priority. you have seen the fda get pushed by mike griffin, and by shanahan, who has been a big supporter of it, the acting secretary of defense, specifically to say we cannot deal with hypersonic rights right now, and they are coming. we need to get this thing up and running. host: morgan is in nashville, tennessee, independent. good morning. caller: hi. carious, the pentagon and the department of defense has 25% of every tax dollar already. to five cents of that goes the actual military. $.12 of that $.25 goes to contractors. an we are going to have outer space military, which will , andntractors, i am sure
the cost is going to be mention, we not to are going to be able to shoot people from outer space -- i believe, with what we are doing there -- and then we have a wall, i mean, we should not be worried about people getting in, we should be worried about if we are going to be able to get out and how much we are going to pay to put ourselves into this position. we have got to be paying serious attention to what we are proposing here, because it has got dire consequences in every way possible. host: aaron mehta. guest: so cost wise, again, there is a lot of money that goes into the defense department here is budget request was $750 billion. the democrats want to get that down to a make or $733 billion. the pentagon's messaging will be theill be $2 billion over next five years, and after that, it will cost the average year tos $1.50 every
keep the thing going. use of that is a good taxpayer money or not it's a question above my head. it is fair for the pentagon to space,made to focus on and we have fallen behind technology that is out there. whether that funding should be coming from new money or whether it should be coming from current programs that are reallocated or reorganize is a separate question. host: the caller mentioned weapons that can shoot people from space. is that what we are talking about, weapons that will be able to be directed down to earth, or is this space to space engagement here, between knocking out satellites and defending those systems? guest: inside the pentagon, when people talk about weaponizing space or having some sort of kinetic ability, it is entirely about missile-defense. eventually, the pentagon would capabilitye the that if a missile comes to
space, they can disable it. again, that can be connecticut, an electron or had to scramble it. there is not a lot of talk about targeting people, we've all seen sci-fi movemen movies, "star wae death star, but that is not really the plan right now. host: our next call, a democrat, good morning. caller: hi. thanks for taking my call feared i have a suggestion for the "washington journal," for a topic, we would like to designate irdc as a terrorist organization. it would be good to clarify the consequences and the implications on the u.s.. i hope you can schedule this topic. i look forward to the response. host: we have had them on the program before, and i am sure we will have them on down the road. go ahead. caller: i am sure. i think it is totally
unnecessary what exactly is this space force supposed to do, and how is it supposed to do anything in space? i mean, the u.s. has had a national defense and military program in space since we got off the ground. it will turn into a competitive arena. if the country wants to control the turf, we need a permanent base on the moon before the chinese. i am all for the space force, but only if the first mission is to send trump to the newfound black hole to prove its effectiveness. we got your point. guest: in the public comments, the doctrine comments, they say specifically we look at space as the controlling regime for everything. you cannot have guys running around on the ground with other provision, -- use
precision-guided weapons without gps. you cannot have gps without space. the: specifically about threat from china and russia, i want to show viewers what he had to say. [video clip] china and russia has taken the steps to challenge traditional dominance in space. they have reorganized their own forces and developer robust capabilities to include space-based intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. these steps provide the ability to more effectively target u.s. and allied forces. china and russia i are also capable of searching, tracking, and characterizing satellites and all orbits in support of space and counterspace operations. counterspace capabilities include jamming, cyber operations, directed energy weapons, on orbit quick organies -- an capabilities, and china and clearly recognize the
economic and war fighting perspective, and as a result, they are adapting. host: look, back in 2007, china lost a satellite that created all sorts of deverbris. the pentagon spends time tracking that to make sure it collide with anything up there. india get a test recently. created said that debris that could damage the international space station if they are not careful. the question of how to defend assets in space is a big one. the question that we know the answer to is -- what is going to be the first move is a great war breaks out? it is going to be to go after the other countries' assets in space. russia, u.s., china all agree on that. host: harry is next in massachusetts, a republican, good morning. caller: good morning, sir. i am a vietnam vet from the air force, 20 years, retired, and i realize it is
controversial, but it sure would this dangerous time and space, with the russians and thewould help to have a space force. donald trump is spot on and i agree 100%. host: why do you think it is controversial? caller: there is a lot of press and controversy about it. even the secretary of the air force is against this. it is the thing to do. if it is looked at the way it has been looked at, it is nothing to do. host: the secretary of the air force is heather wilson, as of right now. can you talk about her support and what happens in a couple months? guest: heather wilson was pretty vocally against it. she raised a lot of concern about price. the air force had a memo that went out that was quickly added that put the price at $13 billion which is more than what the pentagon said.
some of it looked at it as an attempt to scuttle it early. a couple things have changed. the biggest one that instead of the space force being an independent service, it falls under the air force. force a sudden the air may be less against it than she has been. classed --nahan clashed over a couple of issues. wilson has said that she does not think it is a good idea. wilson is also leaving and will go back to academia in may, and we do not know who her replacement will be. it seems like one of the bigger opponents inside of the building is going to be heading out. host: there is always speculation about who is going to be next. who is next in line? guest: that is a good question. matt donovan is the undersecretary and will likely become the acting secretary. have a seen the pentagon
lot of vacancies left acting. we have an acting secretary to the -- of defense, and acting chief management officer. we are going to have an acting air force secretary. lower-level spots have been left vacant for a while. across the administration, there seems to be a comfort level with people acting in these roles. giving that we are 18 months out from the election, it is going to be a challenge to bring people into fill the spots. print secretary positions things that need to be confirmed by the senate? democratsd, -- senate are not looking to hand president trump theories. the armed noted that services committees tend to be bipartisan. required aattis waiver and a vote. up aesident trump puts
nominee considered qualified do not think you will see a big fight for the air force. one to watch is the acting secretary of defense to see if that nomination does go through and if democrats scuttle that for political points. services armed committee chairman is a republican from oklahoma. what are his feelings about space force? guest: he is skeptical to an extent. there is widespread support for the idea that we need to be doing more in space. everyone seems to be behind the space command idea. they are a group of people that are focused on doing operations -- in space. some people look at space force as a bureaucratic issue. notalf is not -- in hofe is looking to make waves with trump or the pentagon, he says that as opposed to mccain that he seems
part of his role to get part -- to get the pentagon what it needs. during this hearing, he expressed some pushback on the bureaucracy issue. host: about 15 minutes left in this segment. if you have questions about space force, now is the time to call in. republicans 202-748-8001. democrats, 202-748-8000. independents, 202-748-8002. massachusetts, jake is an independent. caller: good morning. my question is, as it stands right now, we do not have a craft to in space. how will nasa be float -- folded into a space force? tost: that is a good point contemplate. nasa will not be rolled into the space force. space horses entirely the pentagon's there was some
discussion early on if there would be some space branch that would include nasa and the national reconnaissance office. that is an intelligence based group. the decision was to be made separate. nasa is not a military organization and they do not want to loop them in. with the nro, and we heard this during the hearing, it was essentially that that is a whole massive thing with their own people and budget, and trying to roll that into space force would slow it down. we want to get going and make this thing happen. we can pick -- figure out the details later. drew,new jersey, democrat. good morning. caller: thank you. a two part question. about four to six times more in military than any country in the world, so when they say that the russians and
chinese are doing something, aren't we already passed what they are doing? -- past what they are doing? and, who then appropriates the money? is it congress that has to approve it? we could be solving for cancer with all of the money we are spending, right? guest: congress does have to approve this money. that is a consistent sendoff. in terms of why the u.s. is saying that they are behind in space, if you look to iraq and afghanistan, since 2001 that is the type of fighting that the u.s. is focused on. pentagon investments went to things like developing ied resistance to getting war fighters onto the ground. things like space were kind of left to fall by the wayside. you can look at the r&d investments and they are not
that vague compared to what the budget should -- they are not that big compared to what the budget should be. from the obama administration, the specific theater is what we need to be focused on. we need to move way from -- away from afghanistan and iraq. and this administration came in and jim mattis put out this document. he says we are back in great composition. afghanistan and syria are issues we will deal with, we need to focus our money on making sure that we can match up with china and russia. onlypace force, conception -- conception only, comes out of that idea. that is why you are seeing investments in artificial technology, hypersonic weapons, and things like that. host: what is the biggest ticket item as it applies to potential use for space force? big one. is a
it brought in a couple of experts and created a subgroup to deal with that. it is hard to say dollar specifically because the dollars are spread throughout the building. if you talk to anybody about any program they start mentioning ai quickly. if you want to track things quickly you need algorithms. if you want to process data quickly, you need ai. if you want to be able to react to rehab in smock five or higher, you need ai. that is what the pentagon is looking at. host: let us look at comments on folks of twitter. devices of capable taking down troop operations on earth. john saying how can democrats complain about the space force protecting earth. military defense is the most important issue. saying that it will require massive spending, and the bloated dod toy spending is for my -- is good for my
pension. kenneth, an independent, go ahead. caller: good morning, how are you? host: doing well. caller: this has got to be the craziest thing i have ever heard. when the military starts doing training, i read all of the mission statements for each service. this is the mission statement for the air force, i will read the first sentence. "the mission of the united states air force is to fly, fight, and win in air, space, and cyberspace." so what is the difference space that the space force that is going to be fighting in than the air force? host: thank you. guest: that is a great question. this is where you have a little bit of the back and forth between the air force and space force. space has been the air force's
mission and has been for quite some time. in the last couple of years, and i covered the air force closely, that was something that they started to stress more. it has always been a secondary or tertiary focus. the joke is the air force is the fighter mafia. at everybody who has been chiefs, they tend to end up being fighter jocks. heaven forbid that these guys stay in their lane and they are shunted off a little bit. part of the reason why you will not -- you see support of the space command from congress is an acknowledgment that the air force has a lot on its plate and space has not been its priority. again, the tension is that nobody disagrees that the pentagon needs to be doing more in space and needs to be smarter about it. the space command was something congress backed and congress has
supported. there is a question on space force on top of space command. host: have there been any other branches where that has been happened in or has it been proposed that this part of your theater is not getting enough attention, so let us create a new branch? guest: you go back to the 40's and the creation of the air force. the army air corps got pulled out and you saw situations where the big army was saying, well those guys fly planes are weird. it is a fad. as soon as somebody said we can take them out, the army said that is our staff. you see these kind of small fights in between certain missions. the air force has the close air support mission, you might see the a-10. it flies very low. that is a mission that the army takes part of and the air force sometime says we do not need
that plane in the army flips out and says if you do not do it and says give it to us. this happens. this is the biggest case that we have seen in decades. michael, in california. good morning. caller: my question to the guest force neededce interest ine is new what reagan had discussed when he was president and the star wars style defense system. is that the need for this? or is there in any way the need for a space force because there is life on other planets, and there is a fear of being attacked? guest: i am glad you asked that. thisve asked the pentagon
more out of curiosity, is there any plan for space marines, for guys in space fighting in space. this isagon says that not driven by extraterrestrial life. it is primarily driven by the question of how do we defend our services and keep technology up and running. how do we potentially deal with enemy satellites and deny them their access. this outnted to expand and get a little into the sci-fi realm, presumably some of these satellites will let us see if something is heading towards earth, which would be a good first warning system. that is not with the pentagon is think -- his thinking. host: remind viewers what reagan's star wars initiative was. ofst: it was the idea missions in space and being able to use the technology in that way. it never really panned out. a number of the advocates for
that service are people who were involved in the project the 80's and are now people in the building again. mike griffin who was going to be the r&d had. of similaroponent technologies in the past and he says i want space based systems. said i want to be able to zap them from space. it is something that they are starting to lay the groundwork for. host: time for a few more calls. if you want to see his work online it is defensenews.com. marvin is in colonial beach, virginia. a republican. good morning. caller: i would just like to know, what is the role of the skipper jet in relation to the space force proposal, and also i know that there are many other technologies that cannot really discuss, but i knew there are new technologies that are held
by the united states that no one else in the world has. how will all of that work into this new system? host: what is a skipper jet? guest: if i will be honest, i am not sure. second -- thex-30 x 30. the question of technology and how that together is an important one. it comes out of the tripartite space force, space command, space development agency question, and how that fits together. part of the concern is from congress is the bureaucracy creation that you will end having somebody who is the skipper jet guy on the space force and space command and also the air force holds onto a part of it and it is a mess. that is something is -- that
needs to be worked out. host: cleveland, ohio, independent. last collar in the segment. caller: hello. i believe you already had a caller talking about star wars, and it kind of answered my question in that it does tall -- sound like a sideways reincarnation of star wars. my -- what i am in concerned about is a lot of information is classified. howoncern is how far afield this will go until the public gets to weigh in. guest: that is a challenge any time we are dealing with the pentagon. there is a lot of stuff that they do not want getting out there. i will say i think they have done a decent job with trying to make the case public for why the service needs to exist. they understand that the public is skeptical and congress is skeptical.
in terms of the technology and things that will be developed, part of the nature of the pentagon is that there are always things that they try to keep quiet and you find out about very late in the game or we never find out about. that is part of the battlefield advantage. where you look is the budget and see if there is a massive voting -- bloating and what is going on there. at some point they need to justify to congress about why they need this money. frankly, the pentagon has retrenched in terms of talking to the media and its public about its plans. there is a lot a push from the pentagon reporters to get more access. patrick sent -- shanahan says that he wants to start doing briefings and get in front of the camera to make this case. there is an understanding that if they do not explain that congress might not let the space force happen. this is something that the pentagon leadership wants to say happen. host: how do you do your job in
an age where there is a lot less pentagon briefings. how does that change how you do your reporting? it has not affected us directly in terms of getting important information. we have sources and we tend to go around people if they are blocking us. i think it has hurt the pentagon in making its case because the building needs to have a face and accountable to the people, especially at a time where there are americans being killed in combat. having somebody say this is what happened and this is what went wrong, we apologize for the families and we care about our troops, even having some the on camera doing that is important to be able to continue to represent the american people. host: what is the explanation that they have given for these fewer or nonexistent briefings? guest: we are about 300 days from an on camera briefing. things,een a couple of some of it has been the turmoil
from mattis leaving. it is simply a sense that with this administration, talking to the press is not a priority, or for people working in the ministration is not the best move for people. we know president trump is an avid news watcher and sometimes he sees things and he can react to it. it largely seems to be concerns about that, and this administration has had an antagonistic relationship with the press. the pentagon has not traditionally had that and i think it is one of the better working relationships for this administration. problem, and the argument that we have made is that the pentagon wants to make its case on issues like space force and the budget. and they need to talk to the american people. hiding from the cameras is not going to help us. host: aaron covers it all for
the defense news. thank you so much for your time. next on the washington journal and for our last 40 minutes, we are just over 18 months until 2020 election, so questions for you, what is your top 2020 campaign issue. the phone line for republicans, democrats, and independents on your screen. as you are calling in we will show you a clip from newsmakers interview. we interviewed senator joe mansion. in that interview, he talked about some of his potential campaign support in the cycles for one of his colleagues from the other side of the aisle. [video clip] >> you are friends with senator susan collins. she has been with you on the leaders with no labels group. she is up for reelection in 2020. >> i would campaign for her. >> if she wanted me to, i would campaign for susan collins. -- in americalose
to lose susan collins was be a shame. >> she may take you up on that. >> i will be there. >> do you think the party would be happy? >> no. >> chuck knows me well enough. i think the world of chuck schumer. we understand each other. we are able to get into it sometimes, but we will always walk away as friends. he knows how i feel about people. i vote how i want to vote. said that i will be going there and you find people pressuring me. i will say i thought it was the right thing to do. susan collins is a great people to be in the senate. >> have you had republicans try to convert you? >> every time they beat me. >> have you had a discussion with mitch mcconnell? >> many times. >> is a serious about it? >> completely serious. mitchell, there is no
way. i said health care, taxes, we are so far apart on these things. those are basic blocks of human life, we are just different on that, different approach. proud him that i am a conservative, but i compassionate -- but a compassionate political person. i look at the compassion in every decision. and then capitalism. i am a compassionate capitalist. [end video clip] >> washington journal continues. host: we are asking you what your top campaign issue is in election 2020. we are just over 18 months away from election day. it is never too early to hear from you about campaign issues. republicans can call in at 202-748-8001.
democrats at 202-748-8000. independents at 202-748-8002. as you are calling and i want to show you a clip from bernie sanders yesterday at the democratic -- at a rally in madison, wisconsin. he talked about his medicare for all plan. [video clip] >> this is not going to be an easy fight and i want you to know that this is just not another piece of legislation that will get past inside the beltway. that is not the way it happens. i look at health care and medicare for all in the same way. the labor unions when workers said that they were sick and tired of being exploited. i look at medicare for all in the same way as i look at the civil rights movement, where african-americans and their white allies said together, we will end racism and segregation,
and jim crow in america. care as a at health human right in the same way as i look at the women's movement when women stood up and fought back and said we will not be second class citizens. look at medicare for all in the same way as i look at the struggles of the gay movement, where the gay community said that we are sick and tired of being discriminated against and we will love whoever we choose, regardless of their gender. that the fight for medicare for all, the fight for health care is a human right, is a struggle that has got to take place at the grassroots level. when millions of people stand up to health am entitled
care, my kids are entitled to health care, my disabled friends are dissent -- are entitled to health care, and every american is entitled to health care. when millions of people stand up, the united states congress will hear them. [end video clip] host: that was senator bernie sanders yesterday, one of nearly 20 democrats running for the presidency in 2020. the field officially grows today. senator cory booker has been running for a wild but his official campaign kickoff is taking place -- for a while but his official campaign kickoff is taking place today. you can watch that live at 1:00 p.m. eastern and you can watch at [no audio] -- www.c-span.org and listen to it on the free radio app. more official announcements coming. south bend indiana mayor, pete geig will makeutti
his announcement. that starts at 2:00 p.m. on c-span, and you can listen of and onat www.c-span.org the free radio app. asking you this morning what your top campaign issue is in campaign 2020. nikki is up first from bennett, missouri. good morning. my number one issue is truth in media. i know at least one presidential candidate speaks about fake news, and i think there is a lot of that. they use nuances to shape the rhetoric, and you can tell that they are not trying to present the truth because they have an agenda. truth does not have an agenda, it defends itself. i think mark twain said that someone who does not read the newspaper is uninformed.
and someone who reads the newspaper is misinformed. i will leave you with that. host: speaking of reading the newspapers, " the washington post" with a wrapup of the 2020 democratic candidates and how much money they raised in the first quarter of the fundraising year. raised 64they have point $5 million in the first three months of the year. bernie sanders reporting the biggest hall at 18.2 million at 18.2 billion -- million dollars. the washington post" notes a big haul. three senators raised less then him. elizabeth warren, and corey booker at $5 million. it notes that by the end of last year, president trump's reelection campaign has raised
more than 120 $9 million for his reelection bid. jersey,m new republican. caller: good morning. integration is the top priority for me. and thet a hospital emergency room is always crowded with many immigrants seeking health care. quite frankly, they are here illegally in many cases, and i think the american people should realize that this is a tax, because somebody is paying for these services. for theis paying services that low into medicare which exar seniors and has many repercussions for -- which affects our seniors and many repercussions. i think they are displacing workers from the inner city driving salaries down.
be, they -- that has to addressed. i mean illegal immigration. right.sident is 110% host: what are your thoughts on president trump with this surge of illegal immigrants coming to the u.s.-mexico border. the president threatening to release some of those migrants to sanctuary cities in the united states. is probablyink it not legally possible, but i think it points out the hypocrisy of the democrats. people, theythese encourage them to come. they appealed to the american city emotionally by citing issues with children. and then it comes to their own backyard, and they do not want them. hypocrisy,eight of they should be ashamed of themselves, and address the issue and work with the
republicans to come up with a comprehensive legal immigration reform. host: here's the president from yesterday talking about that idea. [video clip] >> these people who are putting sanctuary cities where they are not wanted because in california and other places, a lot of communities want to get out of sanctuary cities. they always seem to have open arms. we thought rather than moving the illegal immigrants to other parts of the country, first of and weare getting them, are doing the best we can. we have very bad laws and we have to change them. we are apprehending thousands and thousands of people a day, and the law only allows them -- only allows us to hold them for 20 days. it is because of the most ridiculous laws we have in this country. that ford laws like 5g, you would have never had the first cell put up.
we have old-fashioned laws that were put in by the democrats and we are willing to change them. i used to say we could do it in 45 minutes, and we can do it in 15 minutes whether it is catch and release or chain migration. the asylum laws are absolutely insane. leah, up, in many cases they are gang members, and many cases they are people with tremendous crime records, and they are given a statement to read by lawyers. it says i have great fear for my life and i have great fear for being in my country, even in some cases some of these people are holding their country's flags and then they talk about the fear that they have of being in the country when they had the flag they were waving freely. they are looking at the strong possibility that california, the governor wants to have a lot of people coming in, refugees coming in. a lot of sanctuary cities.
we will give them to the sanctuary cities ab to take care of it if that's the way they wanted -- the sanctuary cities to take care of them because that is the way they wanted. [end video clip] host: the comments on that front receiving reaction from nancy pelosi. speaker pelosi spent the end of the week at that house democratic policy planning retreat. here is her comments. [video clip] >> again, it is just another notion that is unworthy of the presidency of the united states and disrespectful of the challenges we face as a country and a people to address who we are, a nation of immigrants. [end video clip] host: the mayor of seattle and along with other mailers -- mayors with sanctuary city in place this bonding. the mayor of seattle with a comment in "washington post". the headline, we are not afraid
of immigrants. you can see her thoughts. we have someone from san jose, california, a democrat. what is your top issue? caller: i think my top issue is the fact that we currently have breakident that wants to down established institutions of this nation. he is trying to break our country, he is trying to divide our country. he is trying to make our national debt so high that we cannot recover. he is in collusion with the russians and chinese. isadmires dictators which something that our country has always fought against. personally, i read some of his background, and he is doing nothing for the infrastructure, nothing for education, nothing to help these people regarding climate change and the disasters that are happening. he also has ties with the
russian mafia. he has investments in russia. when he went bankrupt, he borrowed money from russian bankers, and it comes to dictators, he will not deal with our democratic partners in europe. he prefers to deal with taters. host: we are waiting for the release of the full mueller report. your concerns about ties to russia and the russian mafia, do you think that is in the mueller report? you think there is something in there that will show evidence? caller: i think that there is evidence, and again my main concern is the fact that we focus on the things that he wants us to focus, which is disarray. what we need to focus on is how he is destroying our institutions, and lying. and why he feels like he can
bypass all of the laws that this country established and has established. is in high falls, new york. independent. good morning. are you with us? caller: can you hear me? ok. , withng both lines democrats and republicans, my issue is health care. especially a one, two punch. i would like to see the requirement for employers that have 50 in moy -- 50 or more employees to be repealed. it takes the burden off of business, and i would like to see the public off jen, the ability for individuals to buy into medicare to be available. government is a more effective provider of health care, and the numbers will prove themselves in the premiums and ease of use. i come from an insurance
background, and with this combination punch i think we will get more people walking in the same direction to make more affordable and efficient health care in the system. thank you. host: thank you for the call. keep calling us in this last segment. we want to hear your thoughts, priorities, and top issues for 2020. for republicans, 202-748-8001. democrats, 202-748-8000. independents, 202-748-8002. we mentioned that cory booker kicks off his campaign today. for more on that return to jonathan of nj advanced media. he is joining us by phone -- phone this morning. cory booker has been in the u.s. senate for more than 60 years, was mayor of newark, and how does he plan to reintroduce himself to america today in this kickoff? kickoff rally and then a two week tour where he is
going around the country and going to nevada, georgia, and speak about voting rights. we had a contested gubernatorial election last fall. he will focus on that issue. he will go to the -- he is going to go to iowa. he has not released the rest of his schedule. he has a kickoff to get attention focused on his campaign. how does he intend to break out from the pack when it comes to a democratic field that is nearly 20 candidates large? guest: right now he is not worried about. this rally may give him a chance to have attention. we talked to the top campaign people on thursday, and they talked about that there was no going below the radar and spending their time building infrastructure. one consultant says that everything he has heard, cory booker is doing everything right. they have big names in local politics, they are building a big infrastructure of people to
knock on doors and make phone calls. that will not show up in the polls they are hoping that shows up next february. host: you've covered a lot of campaigns and have known his work for a long time. what is your sense of that infrastructure and how it compares to other candidates? i do not really know what other candidates are doing. i do know what he is doing. i know he has nicknames in the iowa democratic party, and the new hampshire democratic party. -- every year there is a great competition to get this handful of people. host: who are some of those folks out iowa and new hampshire? general folks who worked on various campaigns. ean, who worked for obama in 2008. he is one of those guys.
south carolina he has gotten two or three big names of people who say these are really good guests for you. host: we talked about fundraising on the democratic side. amy, ander is behind elizabeth warren. is he concerned about where he stands in terms of getting the money to run a campaign? guest: they say they have all the money they need to do their strategy. sayingt going on air they need a lot of money. booker should have no problem raising money. he has strong ties to silicon valley and he has strong ties to the community, which in 2008 a bus as much money as the airline industry. theas people out there, and question is that he did not run for office in 2014 and in those intervening years, the
democratic party shifted to a lot of small donations, when i first started covering campaign finance, that was used to make up for the fact that you could not attract large donors. hillary clinton relied on large donors. two of the scientists i talked are nothat they caucusing for cory booker because he has 20 thousand dollars contributions. host: you covered cory booker for a long time. your thoughts that there is a front-page story on the " washington post." could electer they a rare bachelor in chief. guest: it is historical. the last president was a bachelor was another new jersey native -- native, over -- grover cleveland.
besides that, the fact that there is a lot of interest and rumors that he was gay, he said no i am not. he has a girlfriend, a boo. and there is attention on his personal life. our people are going to go to the iowa caucus and say i'm not going to stand with cory booker because he has a girlfriend and is not married yet? it is fascinating, but that is not with the election will be decided on. host: what would people be most surprised to learn about -- about cory booker. something that you know for -- from covering him? guest: he is a product of the black church, and he uses the cadence of the black church. andreaches, he is not shy hesitant to talk about his upbringing and how it influenced
his beliefs. is theonathan salant correspondent for nj a man's -- advanced media. phone calls, asking you what your top issue is for campaign 2020. we are over 18 months away from election day. henry -- henry in new york city, a democrat. caller: thank you very much. -- i am tryinge to understand what is happening. i try to understand what was happening in 2016 and i began by listening to the speeches of trump. thatkeyed me into the idea he is a deconstructionist. listen carefully to the rhetoric and the speech. one thought came to my mind, deconstruction. that lady from california nailed it.
anything i say would just attract what she had to say. it was straight to the point. anyone who thinks otherwise should listen again. this climate situation. it is subtle. that is not good. when i say that, we are being divided. not a good idea. host: is there a candidate in the field right now that you like? caller: yes. totially i made a donation senator harris for those reasons. i have been listening to people, and i listen to senator sanders. i am glad that you played what you played, because you awaken something in me. city, and i'myork not rich or poor. i am ok.
meaning that there is opportunity to make a living. if i lived in place next, y and z and i'm having constraints with haircare -- health care, and i would listen to him. he addresses the issues. what does he get in return, vilified. people who call him this and that, they do not know what those words mean. host: arnold, west virginia, republican. go ahead. i would like to make a point about the drug abuse and education in the campaign. i think i have a good idea. on drug abuse, if they would make a law that a young person had to take a drug test before they got their driver's license or before they got it renewed, i think a lot of people would think about using drugs and it
might carry a little bit. i would also like to see on the education part, what they do like they did when i was young where you had -- you could get a grant if you signed an agreement that for every year you went to college you had to work two or three years in that field. i think that would work out good. host: from arkansas, a democrat. that morning. caller: i am a fifth-generation democrat and a woman's army corps that -- vet, and senior citizen on a fixed income. i am disgusted with pelosi and schumer. they do not want to work with trump and they get mad when he does not come back. we put these people up there to do a job for the working class, and they are not doing nothing. all they are doing is going around and acting like they are in charge and we do not count
for crab. i am fed up. this year i am not going to vote democrat unless joe biden is the bronner. if he is not the runner, i will put trump in there one more time. host: why is joe biden any different? guest: i trust him, i do not trust anyone who is running. nancy pelosi needs to be kicked out of office. she does not want the illegals coming to our country, fine, then put her on her front line. evidently, that is where she wants them. host: why do you not trust cory booker? guest: there is just something about that man. i am 64 years old and i've seen a lot of people. i watch them closely, and there is something about that man that i just cannot trust. host: ashburn, virginia, and independent. caller: good morning. what i would like to see is a turnover in the congress.
it is about time that congress does its job, particularly in the past four years in which the senate has been sitting on their hands doing nothing. useless. and also seeing our democracy being destroyed by a dictator. it is ridiculous. it is ridiculous that they are letting him get away with dictatorships. it is about time that we get some people who care about our government and our democracy. some of those republican leaders in the senate are disgusting, absolutely disgusting. host: what about nancy pelosi's leadership in the house. caller: it doesn't really matter what she does and does not do. the senate is not doing anything. they are sitting on their hands and they do not let anything go back. if they would start looking at things that maybe they could sit together and come up with a common solution to problems. host: about 10 minutes left, and
we are asking you what your top campaign issues are for 2020. republicans 202-748-8001. democrats, 202-748-8000. independent, 202-748-8002. california, dave, a democrat. go ahead. guest: i would like to talk -- caller: i would like to talk about the republicans. into the war with the iraq, there was no reason to go in there. ,e were attacked by the saudis not the iraqis. we are still in iraq and afghanistan. all the money we spent on those wars under the bush administration, no one is accountable. we could've given everybody in america, in the united states, $1 million each. that is how much money.
are just forcans war, taking health care away from the american people and tax breaks for the rich. if you want to have wars you've got to pay for them. they did not pay for it. is attorney general -- barr the attorney general now. i do not understand. host: are you hearing enough from democratic candidates for what they will do when it comes to u.s. involvement in afghanistan? caller: no. i have not heard anything. i have heard a little bit, but they need to get out of all of those countries. they should not be in any of them. we are wasting billions of dollars. they always say we have to have a strong military. who are we going to fight? we have nuclear missiles and they have nuclear missiles. if we fight them the whole world is going to be destroyed. next,massachusetts is robert is a republican.
good morning. caller: i am actually a democrat, and i did call the democrat line. i am concerned about attorney general barr and his motivations. i know he sent that memo supporting trump, and that he because hee indicted was president. spyingo his recent remarks that he made the congress this week. i think that is what -- that what happened is that by our -- up to beetting himself a future supreme court justice who would be elected by trump. the reason why he would be doing think he came there just to be attorney general, i think he is looking at the supreme court. three older people in the
theire court could lose seat by illness or death, and he is thinking that if this happened in the next year and a half, if he has trump's support he would become a supreme court judge, i think that is what he want. barr is nearly 70 years old. do you think donald trump would nominate someone to the bench that is 70 years old? caller: yes, because trump wants to have a second term. where once barr became a supreme court judge, he would be a supreme court judge for who knows how many years, or it could be 10 years. the point is that it works well for attorney general barr to have done what he has done in order to get trump's sympathy,
and at the same time, i have not seen anyone mention the fact that he might really be looking at the supreme court. montana, andman -- independent. conservativea male enjoying -- my privileges, but i have been hurt defending folks. i want to solve that issue. i say we go for cory booker's reparations. it is just $1 trillion over every ash over 20 years. that is one quarter of the tax revenue. i want that money to be injected or other locales institutions, not id federal -- not by the federal government.
needs some morality to solve this racism issue and to quit supporting wars. god bless america. chicago, a, democrat. good morning. julie, are you with us? caller: julie? are you calling me? chicago, that is what through me. i am in central illinois. host: go ahead, you are on the air. caller: i was calling about the campaign, and i am having a, a problem with our president raising all of the campaign funds he has raised while he is on presidential duties, so to speak. he barely puts in a four-day workweek at all. his rallies and fly off on air force one that
way. about $120,000 one are funding his campaign no matter what. someaid he was up to 140 million now, and the highest was eight or 10, maybe. reelectionr in his effort is 160 million as of the end -- $129 million is the number. caller: see? he can just go and buy a presidency, it looks like. he promised everybody everything on the last one and he cannot get the wall up. he gave the tax break, and the rich folks got it. yesterday that people were filing on the new tax codes.
people who were supposed to be getting ones now find out that i have got to play -- got to pay. host: you mentioned the president, the wall, and immigration issue. this is the front page of the " new york times" that president trump urged the border official that he is about to name as acting secretary of homeland security to close the southwestern border to migrants despite having said publicly that he was delaying a decision on that step for a year. according to three people briefed on a conversation, they say it is unclear was meant or if there was an additional comment that he would pardon him if he encountered any legal problems as a result of taking the action. federal judges have blocked the administration's attempts to limit asylum-seekers. one of the people briefed says that it was possible that mr. trump had intended the comments to -- as a joke. president trump taking up this
issue on his twitter feed as several news outlets reported this interaction and president comments saying "it is another fake story that i offered pardons to homeland security personnel in case they broke the law regarding illegal immigration. of course this is not true, mainstream media is corrupt and getting worse, if possible, every day." we are asking you what issues are -- you are most concerned about as we head into the final 18 months of campaign 20. linda, in tennessee, republican. go ahead. caller: hello. concern is that all of the politicians now are the same. i have been republican all of my life. i am 67 years old, and they are all controlled by greed and money. and, their futures are taken
care of. about me, whore is on social security. caller: would you apply that to president trump as well? host: yes. i voted for trump. i thought that he might be able to clean up washington, he has not been able to do that. as a matter of fact, i think now he has just part of it. underountry will stall the weight of its greed. i do not know what the answer is. i am a protestant, but not a bible thumper. i have great friends were atheist and agnostic. fiberave a high moral that we do not see in washington now.
bought. all be host: the last call is from carol from missouri. independent. caller: good morning. i wanted to call and say that i have to agree with all of your callers this morning. we need reconstruction ndc. we need moral reconstruction, we need reconstruction of taxes. payshould the middle class for everything when the upper classes have tax attorneys? i do not see the point in saying that we are the united states of america. it is serious. i hear all of your callers. maybe it is because i am older, and i know what the constitution says and what the declaration of independence says. i taught school. i am concerned about the future generations. host: that is carol in missouri.
the last caller in "washington journal" but we will be back here at 7:00 eastern. in the meantime, have a great saturday. ♪ ♪ >> up next on c-span, president trump and crosby, texas to sign an executive order on oil and gas development. treasury secretary steven mnuchin talks about the state of the international financial system. after that, top bank executives talk about their lending practices and regulations. later, live coverage of cory booker's presidential campaign
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