tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN November 15, 2016 9:07pm-9:52pm EST
[ applause ] >> good afternoon, everyone. it's great to have you here. we have an excellent panel to discuss one of the least prepared presidential candidates is making the rounds of town today preparing for the transition and our thoughts are obviously on how he can turn his promises into policy and so much of this campaign was about personality and character and trustworthiness. so maybe we can put some flesh on the bone with this excellent panel. joining me on my left is the vice president of social policy and the politics program. to her left barry jackson. elaine and on the end, brian wild. policy director. a few of us were talking before
there is something that donald trump called the contract with the american voter and there's interesting similarities. it's a sheet that talks about some unilateral things that a president can do and some legislative things and there's some curious parallel with the contract with america. >> right. i served as the director of the contract. it wasn't a presidential he election but the house republicans, the 20 or so of them crazy enough to think that the republicans could actually take the house decided you needed something to put forward and this was before tweeters and books and internet so it was an insert on the tv guide.
here's the things we're going to do and hold us to account and behind them was legislative language and all. well the senate guys thought we were crazy because there was no way we were ever going to win and the white house took it as a big joke and that became the agenda of washington. president clinton had to remind the country i'm still president. i'm still relevant in this whole process. at the end of the day the vast majority. more than 80% of the contract passed into law in some form or another so the most important thing to be looking at, its right there in plain sight. it's in black and white.
it's the contract of the american people. >> the point was made that you can not underestimate the power of a new president in setting the agenda. the big twist was whether the new president and we learned this a little bit, the current occupant of the white house whether he does what he wants to do or what the american people want to do and the order it comes in let's talk about that. what is your guess on what happens when donald trump comes in and what he wants to do. >> everybody is underestimating. while donald trump is new to d.c. he knows how to manage things. you have mike pence that is an incredibly qualified vice president with a deep amount of relationships and experience as
advisors you have newt gingrich that looks to be managing this in 100 day agenda layout. working hand and glove with ed fulner that gives him the entire operation of heritage. it has the network and experience and staff there and then when you go through who our leadership is you have paul ryan who may not have the most leadership experience but he is a staffer at heart and incredible staffer. he never stopped being a staffer. when you take off the mantle of leadership of the head of the republican party off of him and you let him move as a staffer, he's going to really fit that mold almost perfectly and you
have miff mcconnell that's a master of the dark arts of negotiation. he is -- he understands what motivates an individual senator to make an individual decision. you have an amazing team that accidentally and intentionally is in place to move very quickly and we're forgetting the thousands of staffers that will fill the administration and where they're going to come from. we'll see but my guess is they're going to come from d.c. and halls of senate and the halls of the house. >> you're probably right on that because there is nowhere else for them to come from for the folks that want to do most of the jobs but my question is how much overlap is there between the agenda that the
establishment republicans have and president trump has and the people that voted for him and i heard him say over and over again on the campaign trail things that are, you know, absolutely in opposition to what many of the folks that you just named think that we should do with this country so i'm not sure that the voters think that's what they were asking for and that would create it in a country clearly asking for change and not more of the same establishment folks that we have seen in the past. >> well and to follow up on that point there's a great deal of talent in the republican party and great deal of experience in the republican party. the question is what kind of relationship does president trump form with these people? he just went through a campaign where basically for almost an entire year he was at war with
much of the republican party. and the combination of the party and all the people in it and being used to doing whatever you want to do without the constraints that are imposed after all by the constitution and by the separation of powers. i think he has a lot of people wondering how will president trump react to this. every president finds himself in a weird situation where all of a sudden the world seems to revolve around them. there's the trappings of power. there's the two fighter planes that accompany your jets everywhere and all the military and et cetera and at the end of the day you have to beg, borrow and plead for your agenda even with as many presidents have discovered, even with a relatively friendly congress.
so i think this is a question not about is the talent there. this is a question about what does donald trump do in the transition from a business executive to a political executive. and they are two very different things. washington however you want to describe us that are establishment left and right and the left political infrastructure took donald trump literally but never took him seriously. and voters took him seriously and never literally. so this is just not true.
if you look at donald trump has proposed tax reform that is just right down the line with what thinking is on the republican side. he has talked about education in the way that with the republican side and infrastructure and public-private partnerships. you go down this list of things, military, v.a., there's a style difference and especially when you're in the opposition you can think bigger thoughts about where things go but the first 100 days, the power of the president in the first 100 days is enormous. and president obama picked health care and picked a package that could have had wide bipartisan support and chose not to work with republicans on it.
donald trump will surprise people in that there will be democrats that will understand what this election meant. and i have to be a part of this a little bit because after all if you're a member of congress generally speaking and i don't say this in a disparaging way your first priority is to be reelected and it's going to be really difficult to stand up in most districts in this country and we don't care what the voters just said. we're going to keep on this path we have been on for the past ten years. >> you just listed a list of very conventional republican thieves that you get democratic support for as well. the things donald trump campaigned on had to do with a rather radical approach to immigration and a radical, radical approach to mexico and to the -- to illegal immigrants. now i would think that his
voters will be looking to see in his first 100 days what does he do about that? how many people does he deport in his first 100 days. and how much of that wall gets built in this first 100 days. come on. that's what he ran on. >> literal, seriously. >> if you saw -- i mean this morning the canadian ambassador came out and said yeah we're happy to talk about renegotiating. and immigration. i did this when i was in the white house and when i was in boehner, i'm not going to say it's not hard but the components of it are the same. you have to do something about border security and build a wall. you can take it literally or you can take it seriously just like the obama team did and just like the bush team did. how do you secure the border? if you talk about what are you going to do with whether you call them illegals or documented
the fact is wlst 13 million or whatever the number is you have to figure out a way of how to handle this. nobody believes you're going to go round up 13 million people. it's a wonderful hyperbole and gets msnbc feeling all good about themselves but it's not realistic. >> one other thing that i think many trump voters do expect him to deliver on is the supreme court and there is, you know, absolutely no question that a big portion of the evangelical community and social conservative community that was uncomfortable with him for many reasons decided to hold their nose and pull the lever because they wanted another scalia on the court. so one of the things i'm looking for right away is who is trump's nominee and if he nominates william pryor or someone else on this list that compared gay people to pedophiles and talked
about how that is just like beastiality you'll have a problem with those still on the senate and you're not going to have people say let's talk about tax reform and other things if that's how you start out your presidency. >> how much does that suck the air out of the room? that's something he can deliver and campaigned on and also if you would how much pressure does he put on leader mcconnell to perhaps change senate rules to make a nomination more accommodating. >> i think you look at the first 100 days in three different tracks and they can all have three different speeds. the first is what can president elect trump do be executive order and that can move insanely fast and that will be a very active first week. first two weeks of the administration and to the point that i wouldn't be surprised if the inauguration festivities
themselves aren't truncated or don't take a different kind of view because he is going to be that busy and he wants to make it seem that busy, i think the next fastest is the house. the house is the implementeder -- implementer of the president's agenda and there's a lot of overlap. some can be done administratively. some has to be done legislatively. i think that keeps the party united. i think education keeps the party withdrew nighted. i think that you can move a budget bill earlier than you typically move a budget bill and get reconciliation. that moves very quickly. and then you have the third and slower track which is the senate. the senate is always slower. the senate is going to be slower for a lot of reasons. it's going to be slower because it's the senate. it's going to be slower because they have to appoint all of these nominees an it's going to be slower because the supreme court is probably going to
happen in the first 100 days. it's less of what trump does -- okay, who he nominates is certainly going to change things but it's thousand democrats react to it. it will be their first test and i can't imagine that mcconnell is going to go up there and change the ruls unless he feels the democrats are forcing him to change the rules. if that happens then that changes the way we look at the second 100 days and everything forward it's going to be a calculated risk that the democrats make on how hard to push and it will be a calculated risk that trump makes on how far he wants to go because there's a real likelihood that this was the first of at least 2 and probably three justices that he's going to get a crack at. so is this where we throw down the dice or do we keep going. >> let's focus for a minute though on the aca. obviously in his first 100 days
they're going to draw a piece of legislation that repeals the aca. the minute it lands in the congress people are going to discover there were things about that bill that people really liked. they liked the fact that the insurance company couldn't turn you down for a pre-existing condition and the minute the congress starts pulling out things that they like the next step is that the insurance companies are going to go ballistic. many of the insurance companies that supported republicans are going to go crazy because after all the deal that held that together was insurance companies will take some more sick people in return for getting a bigger market because of the subsidies and the aca. this is not a simple -- i'm going to repeal it. i think there's many complicated
steps ahead and i like to quote president bill clinton and bill clinton said of the presidency they elect you to look down the street and around the corner. and i think that's the hardest thing about the job and i think any president finds that the most difficult and the most frustrating part of the job. >> i'll quote president obama. i have a pen and a phone and you live by that you're going to die by that and the truth is, you don't have to pass a piece of legislation right away. you think about all the things -- and, you know, if we're being intellectually honest and not just mimicking talking points what we know on both the democrat side and the republican side is from the time aca was put into law there was
obvious problems with it and everybody knew you needed eck any cal fixes and whatever. there was a political decision made not to go to congress because we don't want to risk losing anything that we thought we won. the cost of that now is that, guess what, every phone call and every pen action i took is now gone. so the collapse is brought on by how the obama administration decided to implemented. once that happens, you know, i have not heard of a single republican that said we also got to repeal pre-existing conditions and none of them said that. >> but see that's the point. the minute you let that stay but repeal all the subsidies that constitute obamacare you have an insurance industry that's in real crisis. >> this is a very mature debate. this is a debate that congress and ways and means and energy
and commerce and help and finance -- they have been having this debate for years. since before it became a law and then when it became a law and certainly after it. i mean, trying to repeal it 45 times and lost track and in that process you do have paul ryan's a better way agenda that lays forward a path. you do have mike burgess and tim murphy and other house and senate that lay forward whole chunks of what it would look like or what small segments would look like and believe me i'm a lobby yis. i get paid to do this. the insurance company said they lobby for changes since it got started. it's not like that repeal bill is going to be like i can do
this. and mature thoughts out there. it isn't going to shock the stake holders. it may shock the american people but it's not going to shock washington d.c. >> the point being that there's two steps to this. you can repeal using reconciliation but there has to be something that steps in because you're going to have the political problem of potentially taking away coverage for millions of people and or you have huge sums to stabilize the market. it's something that plays out in two actsor what do you think? >> well, yeah. it's the same one. so we came up with this idea of one step close. it's not working. it's clearly not working. most insurance companies saying we're out of here. even before the election we're
out here. i think what brian was trying to get to was ludicrous. so you're going to start with some things in executive orders in day one. >> next ten days or whatever it is its going to be. without that what are the key things? again the rhetoric of oh you're going to throw 43 million people. come on. if you want to fix a problem let's set aside the nonsense. what is the real problem here. >> setting aside the nonsense because you also think an easy way to pass the budget very quickly. i'm not sure if that is true. there is a lot of people that are sitting in at the capitol that want a lot of budget writers that democrats will stand up and filibuster.
the defense bill now came out of the house. we see a rider that would overturn several things that they would discriminate against in federal contracting. that's going to continue to be a debate. donald trump said he supports that kind of thing. and i don't think 48 democrats are going to let that happen. and promise to his supporters that he'll support. that's not something that you can get with 52 folks in the senate. you need to do a lot better than 52 getting those things done. there's a lot of democrats feeling very united right now. and there's a lot of unity around standing up and donald trump's campaign rhetoric really threw under the bus.
and when the republicans have power, the republicans have been in charge for some regular you lairty since 1994 is the government any smaller than it was? no guys, it's not. the bottom line is that even the republican party when they sit down to do a budget cannot shrink the government. they haven't been able to do it. >> john boehner got a $1.2 trillion ten year -- the largest in dollar terms and percentage. >> an it has been progressively put back because every time the republicans do these across the board. >> reality sets in.
>> reality is fewer tsa agents. causing kay wros and guess what they put back the money. and the reality was guess what they put back the money and the republicans have failed time and time again for 30 years now and their own goal of cutting the federal government. >> take stuff back here. arguing about appropriations and appropriations are not going to happen. in fact they're probably not going to have a lame duck either. when i'm saying budget it's a partisan document that does not need the support of a single democrat. 200 different votes that are probably all horrible but in the end if the republican party says we want a budget, the republican party will get a budget and in
that budget and that is the real reason that that budget document moves. it won't have a say on it and tell us what they're going to be. that's a debate that's going to happen several wars later. the war first is to get reconciliation and the reason they want reconciliation is to go after aca. to maybe do taxes if they can. this mythical infrastructure bill that everybody seems to talk about is also dependent on this budget so i they the budget itself, it can move very fast. and i actually think the democrats will participate in that debate actively. >> we saw the difficulty this
year. is it a total reset button this year? what role do you expect? >> so again washington is having a hard time wrapping their head around is president trump and the freedom caucus all of a sudden their ability to be some kind of voice is just greatly dimini diminished even two weeks ago speaker ryan is going to lose 20 seats. only six. and there's a very powerful message to the house republicans we have a chance here and it doesn't mean that the freedom caucus goes away or they walk away from the principles but
these first things are unifying issue and everybody will want to be a part of the winning team. >> there's a misunderstanding in d.c. on how republicans are split i think there's a split on immigration and freedom caucus members for immigration and against it. most of the split in the republican party if you go from leadership and then you move down the line to the right and you go main street partnership folks and tuesday group and then you get into the rsc and freedom caucus and then the nine people that voted against ryan for speaker as being the far right most of that is on strategy and it says the further right you go, you don't want to cut a deal period. that no deal is better than any
deal that gives the democrats anything. the closer you get to leadership the closer you are to i'm willing to deal. i'm willing to let democrats get a little win so i can get a little win and it's a strategic divide. now that you have trump that is saying this is our strategy which is what i think he will say that goes away and it will be republicans that will lose on certain things. he's going to disagree with ted cruz. i was going to try to -- on a whole traunch but strategically republicans are going to be united and that takes away a lot of what has been misinterpreted as a divide. >> that's only true if you're talking about maybe taxes. but when you go to other issues like trade there's a huge split around trade and whether we
participate in a global world and you know try to move into the new economy or whether we try to say let's put the tooth paste back in the stub and go backwards and that's a real divide that i don't think you can explain away. there's also a lot of things that trump said on the campaign trail that most republicans would stand up against. >> he wants to give more generous loan fixes to students than obama did. he wants to spend more money on allowing students to do income based repayment and loan forgiveness than obama ever did and that flies in the face of
what some of the republicans would want to see on the hill. he has also taken institutions on and said we had to do something about endowments and we need to make it more worth students money and that is something that lamar alex alexander is not interested in. >> what they wanted was economic growth. get us out of the war and economic growth. they got neither. >> that surprises me because that's not what donald trump was saying versus his opponents in
knowing that donald trump is at the helm having that conversation are going to be perfectly fine with whatever he comes out with and that's where the political class and the media have to understand he is smarter than you think he is. he know what is the voters were looking for when they said change we have two micks set up. this election showed there was no real political penalty for abinstructioni
abinstructionism. >> that is an interesting question. i am 99% sure that the democrats will be obstructionists on all the things that matter to them. all the rights issue. the issue of freedom of choice for women. the democrats are going to fight pretty hard. they will filabuster, et cetera. there's probably things the democrats will agree on with the infrastructure spending because the unions democrats and their friends in the unions will benefit greatly from that so -- but i think everything they have on a lot of these issues and they're going to look forward to 2018 and see what kind of president donald trump is going to be. i have to disagree with this notion that a presidential candidate goes out there for 11 months and says a very explicit things and the voters don't really believe him.
it's a wink wink. >> that was a failure. he admits it. >> one of his strengths in this election was that he was very clear and explicit. there was no -- there was no sublty and no nuisance to any of his statements. why will the voters decide he didn't mean that? i don't buy it. i think he could have in a year a very disenchanted voters. >> you read stories during this campaign. donald trump is inconsistent. last week he said this and this week he said that. it gets back to this literal
versus serious and when he was trying to speak to the economic anxieties and security anxieties of the public. there wasn't any change in that and this is why to get back to the topic here of the -- what is the new president's agenda, we can all come up with 100 different things that we have a personal interest in or we think is important. >> the challenge for an incoming administration you basically have a two year period to get the most important things in place so prioritizing them is critical. bill clinton made a mistake in his first two years. barrack obama made a mistake in his first two years and they were both punished for it by losing the congress.
>> if he does it correctly there would be democrats supporting this. not just to protect themselves but because of economic growth and security anxiety is something that cuts across all demographics. >> sometimes things in a campaign are harder to do than they sound. that's what i hear from a lot of what donald trump's agenda is. folks had had deep economic anxiety about what their life was going to be and what their place was in this system of the future but i don't know that any of the things on the congressional republicans list of priorities for the first 100 days or even two years is going to make those people feel any better and that's the question. is do they feel it at home?
that he has done what they said and not forgive gotten him. i'm not sure that delivers that. >> we have some questions during our remaining time. >> it had momentum and looks like it's not going to happen. in the meantime the current administration is focused a lot before ferguson about repairing the trust between police and the communities that they serve.
how do you think that will play out in terms of what he does in the first prart of his administration. >> it's actually part of his contract and i think that the chances of getting a criminal justice reform bill closer to what has been discussed on the hill is pretty good actually. this is a guy in new york. >> the folks that have been negotiating this on the hill couldn't have been more clear elsewhere that he is running on that version of what we need to do to fix our criminal justice system and that is not where mike lee and others are that have been negotiating this on the hill.
>> ronald reagan faced this at the beginning of his administration. horrible economic situation but his regulatory and tax agenda in and then he had to go out and convince the country you have to give this time. >> if donald trump does what he says he's going to do, most analysts will tell you that the regulatory burden of the past 8 years has probably decreased gdp by a full point so if you just
start that process where ceos around the country can start doing the math and say i don't have to put up with this nonsense anymore and worker quality and the stability of the u.s. economy gives me incentive to be here rather than some place else, you'll start to see -- are you going to see return to the days of detroit and the auto capitol of the world? no that's also this since that manufacturing has changed. and it's needed in manufacturing today. i think you'll see that. >> i would take a completely opposite view of that. i mean, look, you are not going to have detroit circa 1950 in 2018 or 2020.
and that's why it's profitable. this was a giant lot that's been sold to people and i think it's going to come back and i think it's going to bite them. >> can i just ask. >> it's true. it's true. >> yeah. >> -- but -- >> the tablets. >> those are advanced that you need -- that you need higher education for and the people that trump gave everything to is r the noncollege educated voters so i don't understand. >> you're not talking about hundreds of thousands of jobs involved in advanced manufacturing.
the sad fact is that advanced manufacturing simply does employ -- even if you have an educated work force it employees many fewer people than old fashioned manufacturing so there's been a there. and i think it's going to come back and people are going to be really unhappy in two years. >> we can argue over the economic theory and we'll see the numbers when the numbers are there. we go through this cyclically, we believe supply side bring growth, keynesian bring growth. numbers will be what they are. whether it happens or not, bring capital to the united states. repatriation bill. will be back and spent somewhere. i think the university systems are sitting on a whole bunch of
patents, trademarks and copywrites they want to bring to fruition, the economy is ready to go, whether trump gets credit for it because it's something he did or because something obama did, i don't know but i think we're going to move a bunch of legislation that's going to be helpful, not harmful. and jobs may not be manufacturing jobs but i think will be more jobs. hard to have fewer than we have now. he's going to get an opportunity to use bringing jobs to america as an excuse to pass a whole bunch of bills and we'll just have to see if they work. >> on that note, i regretfully have to bring the spirited conversation to an end. thank our panelists so much.