tv 116th Freshmen Profile - Reps. Taylor Sherrill Case CSPAN July 29, 2019 3:31pm-4:04pm EDT
biographies. join our live conversation with your phone calls, tweets, and facebook questions. watch in-depth with lee edwards lived sunday from noon to 2:00 p.m. eastern, and watch our live coverage of the 2019 national book festival on saturday, august 31 on booktv on cspan 2. announcer: the freshman class of the 116th congress is a diverse set of lawmakers, made up of many firsts for the house and senate. c-span continues to learn more about the new
faces with our one-on-one interviews. next, lawmakers from texas, new jersey, and hawaii. van taylor who is representing the third district of texas is first. he is a former third district legislator and a marine. >> congressman, your seventh generation texan. rep. taylor: my family came to texas in 1826 and became mexican citizens. in 1835, october of 1835, a
letter was sent to my family asking them to join the revolution. a copy of the letter is in my office, here in washington, d.c.. you can see that the times were now. greta: over the generations, what has your family done for living? rep. taylor: i've been in commercial real estate, farming, i live one mile away from where my great-grandfather farmed for the great depression. our family has a great love for our state and it has been an incredible ride.
i am honored to represent the people of the third district of texas in congress. greta: what was your childhood like? who are your parents? rep. taylor: my father was an attorney and businessman. my mother is a homemaker. i grew up in midland texas and i was born in dallas. i lived 50 miles from where i -- 15 miles from where i was
born. not too far from home. i joined the marine corps after i graduated from college, served on active duty for several years, i continued to serve my country and i got my mba from the harvard business school. and then i made the move back to dallas, where i was born. i went into real estate and was in the marine reserve unit activated in 2003. greta: where does this motivation to serve come from? rep. taylor: i've been very blessed in life, given a lot of opportunities. i've made every effort to make the best of those opportunities, and i want to make sure my children have the same kind of opportunities i have and make sure every child in america has the same opportunities i had, and working toward a more perfect union and better america. i certainly know that in my eight years of texas legislature, i worked war that in i will work toward that here.
greta: what values, principles did your parents instill in you? rep. taylor: hard work, respect, respect for others, faith, patriotism. those are the things they instilled in me, and i try to live those out every day and instill those in my own children. greta: patriotism, is that something they talked about growing up? rep. taylor: it is hard not to appreciate the incredible blessings of liberty that we have. you see how hard people work to come to this country and what they are able to make of themselves once they get here. we live in the greatest nation on earth, and it is a true blessing to be an american. that is a blessing i was willing to fight for as the united states -- in the united states marine in iraq and will continue to work for as a member of congress. greta: talk about your service in iraq. you have received awards for your service there. rep. taylor: i was activated in 2003.
i lead a platoon of reconnaissance marines and we were attached to the second forces conference company. we were the very first platoon to enter iraq on d-day, march 21, 2003. we participated in the first p.o.w. rescued since the first world war. we accomplished every mission, and by god's grace, we brought everything on men home to their families. i got to marry the girl who sent me a letter every day that i was there. i like to say, i'm still walking into the sunset as the credits roll. greta: you get a little teary talking about that. rep. taylor: it was an emotional experience. combat is a deeply personal experience. your experience is different based on what you see and know at the time it is happening, but it is very emotional. this country is worth fighting for. we have a special thing in our democracy. i think i saw that in iraq as i talked to iraqis that were grateful to be free. it was a long road for freedom,
and they are not there yet. it is an amazing feeling to liberate people. greta: in your office in washington or as you are walking around the halls of congress, how do you remember your service? rep. taylor: how do i remember my service? it is certainly part of me, but at the end of the day, i remember, perhaps the greatest honor is leading men into combat. it is the greatest challenge there is, and it steadies me in my time in elected office. the trials and tribulations i go through for an amendment or a vote on the floor or a discussion with a colleague that does not go the right way, it is easy to put in place because no one is going to die. you're not worried about surviving through the night, shelling, is this next -- is the gunfire i'm hearing going to get closer or further. it certainly helps me to have a sense of calmness about what i'm doing, because it is not nearly the stakes i had in combat. greta: in your service in the
texas state house, the texas senate, what were your priorities those years? rep. taylor: in the texas legislature, i served four years in the house and senate. it was a tremendous honor to -- privilege to represent the people in the county. i passed 81 bills and everyone of them had bipartisan support. i worked on a whole variety of issues. the first bill i filed was a bill to help men and women in uniform vote from overseas. military voting increased 150% as part of that legislation. bipartisan. i worked to protect victims of domestic violence. i worked to help people reenter society who had been convicted of crimes, try to help them work on tax legislation, carried the most important ethics passage texas passed in 20 years. i worked on a wide variety of issues, but always on a bipartisan basis.
always trying to find commonsense solutions that people could agree on to move my state forward. greta: what about out here in washington? what committees are you on and what are you working on? rep. taylor: i'm on the education and labor committee and homeland security committee. i'm doing the same thing i did in the texas legislature, working on a bipartisan basis to find common sense solutions to address real problems fronting my constituents. -- confronting my constituents. it is a more challenging environment, harder to get things done here. it is a bigger chamber, but i'm sitting down, building relationships, and working on a basis to get things done. greta: how would you define your philosophy and who shape to -- shaped that for you? at the end of the day, i am a conservative. i believe government is too big, tax is too much, and i believe in individual liberty and freedom. i take my mission statement from the declaration of independence. i look at the second paragraph of the declaration of independence and hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and have the rights of life, liberty, happiness.
the purpose of government is to protect liberty. that is what the declaration of independence tells us and that is my philosophy for government. greta: democrat mikey sherrill is a former navy pirate and federal prosecutor. representative sherrill is the first democrat to represent the district in over 30 years. rep. sherrill: i always remember wanting to be a pilot. my grandfather flew in world war ii, and he loved flying. i think he was really proud of his service to our country. i wanted to follow in his footsteps, and when i was in about the fifth grade, i said to my dad, i want to be a pilot like grandpa. and he said that is really expensive. you have to go into the military. i said, but i want to go to college too. he suggested the service academies and i said i would go to the naval academy. that was in fifth grade. i'm sure he thought nothing of it, and he said i don't even
know if they let women in. i said i will figure it out. that was the start of my focus on the naval academy. over the years, i went to the football games and stuff like that and applied. greta: and you got in and served. you were the first flight school -- sorry, you graduated from flight school in the first class of women eligible for combat. rep. sherrill: i graduated from the economy when they lifted the -- of the academy when they lifted the combat restrictions on aviation and our surface combatants. what is so interesting about that is you now see both myself and elaine luria in congress, and part of that is because we were able to compete in the navy, to the same standards as everyone else. greta: what did you do? you went on to fly which helicopters and where you are in -- and were you are in combat? rep. sherrill: i flew h3, and i was not in combat. i flew on and off ships throughout the arabian gulf. greta: what missions did you fly?
rep. sherrill: i flew all kinds of missions. i flew admirals and generals to the pentagon, landed on the ground at the pentagon. i flew in italy during the kosovo war. i flew throughout the arabian gulf, supporting the fifth fleet. in the arabian gulf, and then i was at the headquarters of the commander-in-chief of the u.s. navy europe. there, i was on the battle watch floor to the run-up of the iraq invasion. greta: and you are a russian policy officer. what does that entail? rep. sherrill: i handled all of the interactions between the united states navy and the russian federation navy, including some of the new euler -- our nuclear treaty obligations and exercises the navy's did together. -- whathat did he do did you do after the navy? rep. sherrill: after the navy i went back to law school in georgetown and served in the u.s. attorney's office as a federal prosecutor and an outreach and reentry coordinator.
i helped to start the district of new jersey's first federal prisoner reentry court. in other words, helping people coming out of our federal prisons successfully reenter our communities. greta: what inspired you to go to law school? rep. sherrill: i think i have long loved serving the country, and after serving the military, being concerned about some of the things going on at the time, torture, rendition, things that i had been told, as somebody who went through prison reentry training, that the united states would never do, i thought it was time to go to law school and understand the legal ways we can support the american values we have. greta: you also, along the way, learned arabic. why? rep. sherrill: i wouldn't say i learned it. it is a difficult language. i really always loved the arabic language. i thought it was so interesting to have a completely different
set of -- there is sort of classical arabic that people know, but then there is the street arabic and that can be different. i found it a really interesting language and interesting region. it is something that, when i was in school, kind of, we were taught a lot of western civilization. to kind of get past high school and start studying eastern civilization, i found interesting. greta: how are you utilizing all of these experiences you have had, everything you studied in washington now? rep. sherrill: it has kind of all come together in congress. congress handles a breadth of issues across the country, so to have a background in the middle east and now that we are still engaged in wars throughout the middle east, and we have problems with iran, to have the russian policy background, when we see the russians have attacked our democracy and attacked our election system to be able to understand the ins and outs of that is critical.
to have a background in the military when i sit on the arms -- armed services committee and we work on the national defense authorization act to make sure we have a strong military, while at the same time, we are spending taxpayers dollars wisely. all of that has helped me as a congress member. greta: tell us about your family. along the way in your journey, you met your husband. rep. sherrill: i did. we both served in naples, italy at the same time. i was supporting the sixth fleet and he was supporting nato. we met, ended up getting married, have four kids, so that has been part of the reason, a big part of the reason, i ran for congress because not only was i concerned about the future of the country and where i wanted to see it go today, but i am concerned about it over the next several decades because of my kids in the future i want -- and the future i want them to have. greta: how old are they?
rep. sherrill: 13, 12, 9, and seven. greta: you are busy. rep. sherrill: i am busy. [laughter] greta: did you always want to be running for office? was that part of serving in your mind? rep. sherrill: no. i always wanted to serve, and i did that. that is why i entered into the navy. then, i went back to work for the department of justice. yet, i have to say, serving in congress did not enter my mind. with four school-aged children, it did not seem like a natural progression. however, when i thought about the values i grew up with and the values my grandfather taught me from world war ii and working with our nato allies and promoting our democratic values and human rights values, when i saw that i didn't think this country was promoting those values in the way it had when i grew up, i decided to run for congress. greta: what were the value your -- the values your parents instilled in you? rep. sherrill: a deep love of this country and admiration for
promoting democracy and human rights, and civil rights. i think it is this expectation that, as a country, we have never been perfect but always striving to be better. i want people today to strive to be better than we are now. greta: what about your political philosophy? who shaped it? who are your political mentors? rep. sherrill: interestingly, as i grew up, my mother was a democrat and father was a republican. i think that's probably -- the conversations we had around the kitchen table probably shaped a lot of my understanding and, seeing both sides of different issues and working to come to some agreement, which i think my parents rarely did when it came to politics, but still, understanding there are different sides to every issue and there are good points often on both sides that you have to find a good path forward. greta: and your political mentors? rep. sherrill: i have had many over the years. other than my parents, i worked for many people throughout the navy, different admirals, the
u.s. attorney when i was at the u.s. attorney's office, and then really a lot of the women in my district have been so thoughtful and have come forward in this last election cycle with ideas and information. i will never forget, i was running for office and a friend of mine came up to me and said "did you see how they just voted?" she has this tracker on her phone and she was so engaged. i love that as a citizen of our democracy. of course, i said you know i haven't seen it because i have been at parades all day. to see people get that involved in our country and take responsibilities as citizens so seriously, i have really admired. announcer: finally, c-span spoke with a democrat ed case who is representing hawaii's first congressional district. he was born and raised in the state and previously represented its second congressional district from 2002 to 2007.
representative case is the cousin of aol cofounder, steve case. greta: congressman, you are a freshman of the 116th congress, but have served before in the house. tell our viewers when and for how long. rep. case: first, aloha. i'm representing hawaii's first congressional district. which is the city of honolulu. i served in the house from 2002 to 2007, so i took session when my great predecessor passed away unexpectedly. then i went on to two full turns on the house. i have had that experience and took a 12 year hiatus. then, somehow got lured back to running for congress again. here i am again. this is my third tour of duty in congress because i started, like many members of congress, as a summer intern for the then member from the first congressional district, i worked steps away from where we are
shooting this. this is like coming home again. i spent three years with him. then, later on, came back to congress. greta: when you left after serving for the first time in washington, why did you decide to leave? rep. case: i ran for the u.s. senate. like many good u.s. house members, you aspire to the u.s. senate. i ran and was unsuccessful. i was involuntary retired from the u.s. house. i went back to hawaii and went back to my job as a lawyer and hotel executive. i had a productive 12 years. again, politics and government were out there for me. when the opportunity came up to run again, it lured me back. greta: how did this come about? rep. case: i did not like the direction of this country. i had a great life, great job, i felt i had left government and politics behind. i had a number of very full
years in the state legislature and u.s. congress. i was satisfied with my service. i felt things were deteriorating so fast. i got involved with the group called issue one, which is former members of caucus and -- of congress and governors and cabinet members and ambassadors who had all gotten together to say enough is enough. we have to fix washington. once i got involved with them, iwho had all gotten together to say enough is enough. what has e differences that you have seen since the first time you were here and now, here in 2018 in guess it was a slippery slope. greta:2019? rep. case: a lot of it is familiar. as my third tour in washington, the rhythms are the same, procedures are the same, how you get things done is the same. you still have to develop relationships and look for opportunities. rep. case: a lot of it is you still have to know how to navigate the system. i feel fortunate to have had that prior experience. that is quite familiar. what is different is the partisanship, the divide.
that was bad when i was here previously, 2002-2007, butprevit has gotten worse. it's much harder today to find common ground, at least on the big issues. on issues that are fairly nonpartisan and partisan to start with, we can still find that common ground. we are still passing legislation to support veterans. we are still behind our military. those areas, for the most part, are not affected. on the large-scale tough issues, things like how to spend the money in the big picture and how to tax, how to pay for health care, the division is so intense it is hard to find the middle ground. my belief is that that middle ground is where the solutions are forged. greta: you have one of the toughest commutes for a member of congress. tell our viewers what it's like to try to get back, how long it takes, and how often you make a
trip. rep. case: i make the trip just about the same as everybody else, so i do in fact commute back to hawaii. i go back for the weekends where i can, and sure, it is tough, but when i start feeling sorry for myself, i can think about the delicates of guam or american samoa, and there are other members inside of congress who have preferable commutes to -- have tougher commutes to get home. even within the main lands of the united states. sometimes, it takes them a long time to get to a particular airport and they have to drive quite a ways. when i arrive in honolulu, i'm pretty much home. it is about a 12 hour commute, and one thing that is good for me is that i can sleep fairly well on the plane. at the end of the week, when i'm going home, it doesn't matter what time i'm getting on that plane. i can still pass out, and i do. coming back is a red eye, otherwise you lose an entire day.
i get what i can out of the red eye sleep, and i get through my afternoon, and then i tried to -- try to punch myself into the next week. but, you know, no complaints. greta: you grew up in hawaii. what was life like? rep. case: i had a wonderful childhood. i grew up in a small town in hawaii. it was not honolulu, it was a town of about 25,000. i often describe it as picturesque and quintessential small-town america, but it was hawaii. it was an incredibly diverse community that i grew up in. i was routinely the only caucasian in my class and in public school. it was quite an outdoor upbringing. the ocean was there, the mountains were there, the trails were there, it had small town values. you knew your neighbors, so i grew up in a small town. i just happened to grow up in hawaii.
i feel like i have the best of all worlds in my upbringing. it was a fantastic upbringing. greta: how did your family and -- end up there? what did your parents do for a living? rep. case: my family has been there since 1896. my story is unusual. my great grandparents immigrated to hawaii from kansas. this is on my father's side. at the time, hawaii was an independent country. i think they were looking for opportunity. they were looking for a new life, and hawaii was an up-and-coming country that has become part of the united states. i think they were attracted to the promise and opportunity of hawaii. that was a long, long time ago, and of course now, i'm the fourth generation, and we are working on about the seventh generation, so that is a long group that has lived throughout all of the ages of hawaii.
my great-grandparents were prominent in their community in maui. my parents were prominent in their community. my dad contributed to his community in hilo and honolulu. i have a family around me that is also accomplishing things in hawaii. i feel -- i have that feeling of obligation to my state and country that many of us in congress have. greta: were your parents political? what did they do for a living? rep. case: my father was a lawyer. by trade. he practiced law for 63 years and retired when he was 92 years old. my mother had seven children and found the time in the middle of that to get a masters in library science. she was a schools -- a school librarian by profession. that is what they did. they weren't especially political. like many of my colleagues, i didn't grow up in a political household. in fact, i didn't have a clue
about politics. i was too busy enjoying growing up in hawaii and also going to school -- college in the mainland in massachusetts. a great college and a great college experience, but none of it had anything to do with politics. for me, this politics stuff was an accident if you want to be honest about it. i came down here as a summer intern, and the only reason i came here as a summer intern was i was looking for a way to kill the summer right after i graduated from college, while i figured out what to do with the rest of my life. that turned into 44 years and counting. the opportunity that i saw and really the meaning that i saw, the passion i felt when i came in to congress as a summer intern, it stuck with me ever since, but it wasn't there before 22. that was an accident. but i'm happy for the accident.
greta: what impact did your parents have on you? what values did they instill in you? that you carry with you today in this work? rep. case: the one thing my parents gave all of us children, and we all had contributory careers, and i'm proud of my family. my extended family too. because the life i have lived is reflected in my cousins. in my second cousins. our second cousins once removed and twice removed. i think we have all -- we were all raised to feel a sense of obligation back to our community. and, my parents modeled them because, as they grew up and raised seven kids and tried to make a living for everybody, they were giving back to their community, so they were active in their local organizations. one of my siblings was very sick early in life, and my parents,
to support his particular illness and children like him, had nowhere to go in terms of health, they set up a community organization and by changing state laws to recognize children like my brother needed help. although i didn't grow up in an atmosphere of you must do this and that, i grew up in an atmosphere of it is all around you that life is not just about getting out of college and getting a job and making as much money as you can and being in the nice house you can, and having the best life. that is not the end of life. life is about finding something you're passionate about, something you consider meaningful, and that will give back. i've seen that, for me, the pathless was politics and -- that path was politics and government. for my sister, she is the head of the hawai state parchment of resources responsible for all of the public lands of hawaii.
she has been passionate about the environment and natural resources all of my life. i have other relatives, my cousin, he is passionate about entrepreneurship. we have all taken that from our parents, their parents, and their parents. i feel fortunate that the path is not always an easy one, but i feel fortunate that was ingrained into me, because frankly, it has made for much better life and i have been able to help a lot of people. announcer: new congress, new leaders. follow it all on c-span. announcer: if you want more information on members of, order c-span's congressional deduct -- directory available online on c-spanstore.org.
announcer: tonight, american history tv focuses on the vietnam war, starting with a look at u.s. soldier morale from 1971-1973. then, a discussion on building an all volunteer force after vietnam, and u.s. policy changes after the war. watch american history tv at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span three. c-span,r: tonight on vaping and the youth nicotine epidemic. congress is investigating the issue. we start at 8 p.m. with opponents of vaping. >> it's like kleenex or band-aids. there have been articles written about this and studies. my son has commented on the stories. kids don't think they are vaping or using e-cigarettes.
truth.the >> at 9 p.m., the ceo of a manufacturer of e-cigarettes. >> we need to work together to make sure that no underage consumer uses this product. it is terrible for our business. it is terrible on -- for our public health. tonight onwatch c-span.org or listen wherever you are with the free c-span radio app. announcer: tonight on "the ohionicators," representative bob latta, the member on the house energy subcommittee. >> when you think of the over 50 billion robo calls made every year in this country, this is going to hopefully provide relief to the american citizens out there. it's important because it's one
of the top issues people contact me about. it's also the top issue that the the sec received calls about, robo calls. >> reagan is an intellectual. he is an intellectual. he understands ideas. he understands the power of ideas. with that kind of intellectual foundation, a political leader can do all kinds of marvelous things. >> author and historian lee edwards will be our guest on "in depth," sunday from noon-2:00 p.m. eastern. of "just author right," as well as niagara fees of william f buckley, barry goldwater -- biographies of
william f buckley, barry goldwater, and ronald reagan. be sure to watch our live coverage of the 2019 national book festival on book tv on .-span two >> secretary of state mike pompeo talks about u.s. foreign policy challenges with iran, china, russia, and north korea. he is also asked about a possible run for the u.s. senate. this is hosted by the economic club of washington, d.c. [applause] moderator: secretary, thank you very much for coming. i know you have nothing else to do today. [laughter] sec. pompeo: thank you for having me. i appreciate it. moderator: did something