tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 26, 2016 5:00pm-7:01pm EST
weathered those storms. and so when i think about continuing the significant progress that we have made since eight years ago, continuing to build upon the health care system that's now in place, many of you may not remember but a long time before access to health care was called obamacare, they used to call it hillarycare. because back in 1993, my first year in the congress she set out to establish universal access to health care. she did not succeed in getting it done. from that program came schip
the state children's health insurance program. at to me is one of the great significant developments in our country. i believe sincerely that this tion is well on the way to redeeming their great promise of building a more perfect union and i can think of no one amok the crop of people running today better equipped, better prepared, more capable of getting us there than hillary rodham clinton, the next president of the united states. [applause]
♪ ms. clinton: hello, south carolina state! i am so happy to be here and so grateful to have this chance to talk with you about what's at stake in this election, and i want to thank congressman clyburn for being here with me, for his support, his guidance, and if i am so fortunate enough to be the next president, i'm going to be counting on congressman clyburn to help me make the changes that we need in washington. [applause]
and it's always a special treat to have mrs. clyburn here as well, thank you, emily, for being with us this afternoon. you know, when i think about this election, i really do believe that it's one of the most consequential we've had because there's no doubt in my mind that there is a big divide between what i believe, what president obama believes, what congressman clyburn believes, and so many other, and what you're hearing from the republican candidates. that's why getting involved is not only a good thing to do, it's essential. and i want to make a few points to you about why i believe that it's more important for young people to be involved this time
because so many of the issues, the problems, the concerns that i hear from young people will either be addressed or they will be ignored. let me start with the economy. i happen to think that we've got to create more good-paying jobs, we've got to raise incomes, we've got to give young people chances to start small businesses, to be entrepreneurs, to chart their own future. that's why i've put forth plans about how we can create more jobs, in manufacturing, in infrastructure, in clean, renewable energy. and we can do that if we set our minds to it. it's also important that we provide more access to credit and more support for small businesses. everywhere i go, young people say they've got a good idea but they're burdened down by debt
they don't know how they could ever get the credit they need. we've got to fix that and i have a plan to do it. we also have to raise the minimum wage. people who work full-time should not be left mired in poverty at the end of the year. and it is way pastime to make sure women get equal pay for the work we do in the workplace. [applause] now, everything i just said, the republicans don't agree with. they don't believe that we should be working together to invest more in new jobs. they just say, leave it to the market. they don't believe in raising the minimum wage, they don't even believe there's a problem with equal pay. well that's going to be one of the biggest issues in this election. and they're going to try to convince people that their philosophy of trickle down economics is what folks should vote for. let me just make two historical observations.
we were on the right track in the 1990's, when my husband was president, we had 23 million new jobs and incomes went up for everybody, not just folks at the top, middle class families, working families, and more people were lifted out of poverty than at any time in recent history. what happened? well, the supreme court selected a republican president. and they went back to trickle down economics. took their eyes off the financial markets and the mortgage markets. so, income they knew -- in comes a new, die namibbling, extraordinary young president, barack obama. what does he inherit? he inherits the worst financial crisis since the great depression. president-elect obama called me shortly after the 2008 election, asked me to come see him in chicagoism didn't know why. turned out he did want me to be secretary of state but when i
got there, first thing he said to me was, the economy is so much worse than they told us. and it was. we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. nine million americans lost their jobs. five million lost their homes. $13 trillion in family wealth, wiped out. i don't think president obama gets the credit he deserves for digs us -- digging us out of the ditch the republicans put us in. [applause] and i'm going to tell that to everybody. we're going to wage a campaign on that. because you listen to the republican candidates, they just want to turn the clock back. as though none of this had happened. thanks to leaders in the congress like congressman clyburn, working with president obama, we were able to get ourselves out of that ditch, stand up again, get 14 million jobs back, save the auto
industry, put the toughest new regulations on wall street, and most of that didn't get any help from the republicans. o i am a proud defender of president obama. i was honored to serve as his secretary of state. we became not just partners, but friends. and i am not going to let the republicans rip away the progress we have made under his eadership. tell you something else he did, the affordable care act. the affordable care act which has moved us toward 90% universal coverage in our country. democrats have been trying to do that since harry truman. president obama got it done. i heard congressman clyburn say, yeah, before it was call odd ba
macare, it was called hillarycare and i worked really hard but you know what, the drug companies and insurance companies stopped us. so i tushed around and did create the children's health insurance program work democrats and republican, which insures eight million kids, but that's why i was so thrilled when the president was successful in getting the affordable care act passed. 19 million people getting health insurance. 90% of the people covered. the republicans want to repeal it. they say it in every one of their debates and their speeches. and here's what i want you to ask. what would they replace it with? you want to get rid of what we've got that is helping all these folks, what would you replace it with? they can't answer that question because basically they want to give it back to insurance companies. so you can be denied health insurance for a pre-existing condition. where women, we women, will pay more again for our health insurance than men. where young people will not be permitted to get on their parents' policies up to the age
of 26. we're not going back there, my friends. we're going to stand and defend the affordable care act. we're going to improve it. we're going to take it further. and we're going to go after prescription drug costs. which are out of sight. we're going to finally make sure medicare can negotiate for lower drug prices. because once we get medicare to do that, then prices will go down. we pay the highest prices in the advanced world for drugs we helped to create with our tax dollars. through research, through the food and drug administration. so we're going to take that on, front and center. and we're going to work hard to make sure education provides a quality opportunity to young people, no matter what zip code they live in. i was over in williamsburg county, that's one of the counties that's along i-95, you
may have seen a dock -- a documentary a few years ago titled "the corridor of shame." they went into schools in this state and filmed schools literally falling down around the teachers and the students, mold, terrible conditions. and the supreme court of the state has ordered that the legislature do something about it but so far they have been unwilling to act. see, oklahoma it should matter where you live in south carolina or america, you are entitled to a first class education. to we're going to work hard try to provide support, particularly for schools that are educating low income kids who need extra help and support. it's also important that we have more early childhood education. because that will help us get more kids ready to succeed by
the time they get to kindergarten or first fwrade. and we are going to make college affordable -- or first grade. and we are going to make college affordable. we are going to low they are cost. we're going to make it possible to go to college, debt free when it comes to your tuition. you will not have to borrow money to attend college a college like this that ha has such a storied history, deserves our help and our support. hat's why in my plan, i have a $25 billion fund for historically black colleges and universities, public and private. because i know, i know how important the hbcu's have been to educate so many leaders, so many professionals across the years that they have been operating. and we are going to do more to
make sure hbcu's keep educating young people. now and far into the future. i also want to tackle the problem of student debt. if you have student debt, we're going to refinance your debt, we're going to get the cost down, we're going to give you a chance to pay it as a percentage of your income and we are going to be sure that you get to pay it off at a time certain. so we don't have young people burdened by debt. they're going to be able to get on with their lives this eway many of us did when we had tudent debt. [applause] now there are a lot of issues that we have to worry about. i see the take a stand people and i want you to know, i have taken a stand against the privatization of social security and we're going to extend the social security trust fund. i need you to stand with me
because the republicans still d want to privatize it. they actually say that out loud and in public. so we've got to defend social security. we also have to make sure we do everything we can to protect and defend voting rights. voting rights are under attack across america. and we've got to stand against efforts at the state level to suppress the vote, restrict the vote. we also have to go after citizens united, a terrible supreme court decision, that opened the door to secret, unaccountable money and we're going to get supreme court justices appointed starting with president obama, who is following through on his constitutional responsibility to nominate someone. for the supreme court. [applause]
and now the senate needs to do its constitutional responsibility and consider that nomination. but if we can't get that decision reversed, i will lead a constitutional amendment because we've got to stop the secret, unaccountable money that so many people are watching as it corrupts our political system. it's also important that we reform our criminal justice system, we reform our incarceration system, i have laid out very specific plans to do that and this is an area that i hope is bipartisan. i was with my good friend senator cory booker yesterday in florence. he's one of the leaders in the senate, working with republicans to make the changes that we need. it's also imperative that we protect the gains that have been
made, not only for women, because believe me, they want to turn the clock back on us too, but i also want to end discrimination against the lgbt community. they deserve to have their rights and to have their lives respected as well. so we have work to do, my friends. and it's important work. and it's work that i cannot do alone. it would not be possible to do it alone. we need to do it together. that's why i'm asking for your support in the primary tomorrow. i hope you will turn out and vote. i hope you will stand with me. [applause] because at the end of the day, it's important to get the no, ma'am in addition on doing everything i can to -- i'm doing everything i can to earn that. but then we've got to tush around and win the election in november. and i know that conventional
wisdom is that south carolina is pretty much in the republican column these days, but i want you to know, working with leaders like congressman clyburn and others in your state, in the state senate, the state house and at the county and local level, i want to help support the democratic party in this state. so that we can be competitive in south carolina again in the future. there are so many issues that matter to south carolinians that are not going to be addressed by the other party. this great institution deserves a lot more help from the state egislature than it receives. what's the best way of getting that done? elect people who will fight for you, who can get the numbers up in the state legislature to make that case. i want to end by saying this.
every day that i am out here campaigning and making the case that i think is important for our country, i really remember how blessed i am. my grandfather was a factory worker. my father was a small businessman. my mother was out on her own at the age of 14 working as a maid. every one of us has a story to tell. if we had the time we could hear it from each and every one of us. we've got to make sure this country lives up to its promise. i want to break every barrier that stands in the way of any american from getting ahead and staying ahead. because i know america can't live up to its potential unless every person in our country has a chance to live up to his or hers. so i hope that you will join me that you will be part of this effort to build on the progress
we've made under president obama, to go further. and to make it absolutely clear that we are fighting to break down barriers wherever they may be. because we know america deserves nothing less and americans deserve to have the future that we will create together. thank you all very much. [applause] ♪ [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]
host: why do you think she's the best? caller: i'm going to vote for hillary clinton and i think hillary clinton and bernie sanders, i'll vote for either one of them. but, they should talk about getting the congress and the senate back to democrats. at least one of the houses. because president obama has
gotten no fair play at all from the republicans. in fact, they've gone after him so bad, been 10 times better off now if they'd worked with him but they won't work with him. i think hillary can do the job. host: thanks for calling. joe in greensboro, north carolina. the line for others. caller: i have to say, i'm black and i will not be voting for hillary clinton. her husband occupied the white house for eight years and now she's proposing to do all these great things for black people. and i just wish black people would wake up and stop falling for the offers. every four years by the democratic party. and she has no record of doing anything. secretary of state, i mean, she didn't do anything. she reset with russia, look at that. libya. you go down the list.
she doesn't have anything for me to vote for her for. host: who are you supporting? caller: whoever the candidate on the other side is. anybody but hillary. host: ok. thanks for calling. donald trump of course on the other side, on the republican side, picking up the endorsement today of former candidate, new jersey governor chris christie, endorsing businessman donald trump for the republican nomination. rosie joining us now in houston, a supporter of hillary clinton. caller: right. hillary is the person to vote for. half publicans right now, of the older republicans are -- they're fussing with the new publicans so that they can stop doing what they've been doing. they haven't been doing nothing
for obama since he's been president. they've tried to throw everything out for him. they don't want to vote for him. now they don't want him to sign to put this other man into the -- what do you call it -- whatever you call it there, where the nine people are. they're no good. they hate obama ever since he's been here. even the republicans saying that, for eight years they haven't been wanting to sign nothing obama want to pass. they got to be cazey to vote for the republicans because they're not fair. they're not fair. you can be fair. thank you very much. i know i'm sounding silly because i want everybody to know so bad what they're doing and it was on c-span today telling about the dirt that they're doing ever since obama been in the white house.
host: thanks for the call, rosie this story from msnbc today as we're one tai ahead of the south carolina democratic primary. a look at the delegate situation. a very good super tuesday, coming up this tuesday, for bernie sanders may not be enough. the article says if everything goes according to plan for bernie sanders next week, he'll finish the first week of march with a major accomplishment, win manager states than hillary clinton in a democratic presidential primary. it won't necessarily get him any closer to the party's presidential nomination. states don't win nominations, delegates do and hillary clinton is likely to finish ahead of sanders next week even under the rosiest of scenarioers in vermont senator. time for a few more of your calls. mary jane joins us from massachusetts a supporter of hillary clinton.
i keep saying, am i sure, am i ure, well, i'm sure. and i pray and hope that she's -- when you see the two have their meetings, trump and sanders is very loud. and with hillary, people are listening and applaud quietly. i think she'll be far better than anyone else. she tells what she's going to do. host: thanks for calling. jerry in charlotte, north
carolina, on the line for others. go ahead. you with us, jerry? don't think we have jerry. we'll move on then to brenda in new london, connecticut, who supports hillary clinton. caller: yes, hi. thank you for the time. i am voting for hillary clinton, hands down. she has chutzpah, she has pizazz, she, to me, exudes presidential leadership. she's experienced, she comes forthright, the republicans are a fiasco. they take up time, they're fighting one another, a lot of them put stuff out there, they're fear mongering. hillary is presidential. she's going to -- it's going to take a woman to clean this mess up. host: sorry, lost your last word there, brenda, but thank well, got the message. appreciate all your calls.
hillary clinton and bernie sanders going up nens each other, tomorrow is the primary the democratic primary in south arolina. governor john kasich will be at a campaign rally in nashville, tennessee, tomorrow at 12:00 noon, we'll have that live for you. donald trump taking some heat this week for not releasing his incomes tax returns and our guest this week on newsmakers is i.r.s. commissioner john koskinen. he responded to donald trump's assertion that he's being audited almost every year. let's take a look. >> donald trurp is saying he has
been audited almost every year by the i.r.s. i know you can't talk about somebody's personal taxes but somebody be audited every year? he says it's going back, almost every year of the obama administration. >> we can't talk about individual cases but it would be rare for anyone to be audited every year. usually, when there's an audit and it's cleared up, if there are no other issues, it's a number of years, two or three, at least, before you hear from us again, unless something in your next return pops up. but as a matter of just formal auditing, it would be rare. >> he also said he's not going to release his tax returns while he's being audited. is there something from the i.r.s. that forebids him from releasing his tax returns? >> again with my caveat that i can't talk about individual cases, the taxpayer controls his returns. there's nothing in i.r. -- -- in i.r.s. audit process generally that would keep you from sharing
that information any way you nted to. wanted to. host: what do you make of his claim that he needs the awe tit to be cleared up? >> we stress that we're a tax administration and so we have no stake in any of the primaries going on and whatever the comments are being made are being made by candidates, as i say. from our standpoint, if you're standpoint, if you're being audited and you want to do something else, share that information with your returns, you can do that. >> one of the other thing he is said, he thinks he's being audited because he's a strong christian. is that a reason why the i.r.s. would audit someone? what are things that would pop up to trigger an audit? >> that's something that would never cause an audit. i've tried to make clear since i've been commissioner, we don't care with who you are, who you voted for, with you go to church or don't go to church if you hear from us in response to an inquiry, it is about something in your tax return.
and if somebody else has that same issue in their return they'd hear from us as well, with regard to limited resources, of course. but it would never be a case that you would be audited because of any religious persuasion you might have. host: you can watch this entire interview with. r.s. commissioner john costky then on "newsmakers" this sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. earlier today, house majority whipe steve scalise sat down to speak about the 2016 legislative agenda. we'll show you that on c-span.
>> good morning. my name is josh east wright. i'm head of government affairs here. i welcome you to my -- this event with representative steve scalise. i'd like to thank representative scalise for ache taking time to going us -- to join us. we started this series a year go to wring together politicians and all the issue os they have day. as his party's chief vote counter, he's also got what i would argue is one of the tougher jobs in washington
today. listening and taking into account the views of all of his conference and then getting them to follow him. on a personal level, he's focused on energy and national security issues. couple of weeks ago he gave the republican radio address speaking about the energy industry. as somebody who spent my life in the tech industry and working with programmers, he's a computer scientist and a former systems engineer. now before i hand things over to billy house, bloomberg news' congressional correspondent and our moderator today, some housekeeping items. we'll have time for q&a at the end, there will be microphones so put your hand up and a -- find e will find it its way to you. our bgov clients are always
welcome to these but if you're not a bloomberg government customer and want to join us in the future, find a member of the team afterwards and we'll follow up with you. billy, all yours. > good morning, everybody. got a lot to cover today but let's start off with a couple of softballs so we don't pull a hammie. you're technically the number three ranked republican in what is the largest republican majority in the house since 1928. so what -- if it's not too personal here what does a whip do specifically? mr. scalise: before i got elected whip i had never seen house of cards. seems like half of my
constituents did and they said, is that with what you do? so i had to watch it. the job of the whip is to take the noifls membership. i'm talking to my colleagues every day, to find out, as we're trying to move our ageneral ta forward, what are things our members want to see, in the policy especially, to get them to support the legislation and get it across the finish line. so those conversations get really details in policy. a will the of it gets into some of the things they're also trying to accomplish back home, whether it's other bills trire trying to get through committees, having problems with. you find out what the members want. >> so you know what they will do and what do and whether they'll bend on certain things? mr. scalise: you know what members want to see to get them to go along with it. >> you announced you wanted to run for majority leader last
year but the spot didn't open p. r. scalise: no, when speaker boehner left, the speakership opened up, mr. mccarthy was running for that, so i was running for his spot. i'm glad that representative yan ran for speaker. he's probably one of the best ideas guys in the country, not crust in the house but in the country. >> you haven't endorsed in the presidential race. >> no, i have not. >> do you plan to do so? >> i do not plan on endorsing prior to march 5. i want the most conservative person who can win. i admire ronald reagan, came up in school when ronald reagan was president. saw what a conservative leader could inspire people who didn't consider themselves conservative
but understood because of how he explained it why that conservative policy was good for them. i want to see somebody rise to that level. >> you're ok with donald trump? >> i would be ok with anybody who was on the stage last night. i think if you look at our field, it's not completely settled, obviously, the election is tuesday night -- the elections tuesday night could have a lot of say in whether or not this is going to be competitive or be over but regardless, whoever on that stage is our nominee, i can support and i think would do an incredibly better job than hillary clinton or bernie sanders. they're arguing over who is more to the left, a socialist or somebody who won't even denounce socialism as bad policy for this country and a bad direction. >> ok. now let's get to the nuts and bolts here. the softball is over. what is going on, again, with the largest republican majority since -- in the house since
1928. what is going on with the budget. what is going on with the bills? i thought the words continuing resolution and omnibus were thrown out the door last fall with the two-year deals but they're back in the lexicon. mr. scalise: we're in the middle of the process of meeting with members, committee chairmen and rank and file member, on where to go forward on budgets. a budget is always a big, visionary document, it's a complicated document to put together. last year, we had a lot of complicated issues to work through. the big issues then were, it started off as a difference between our fiscal hawks and our defense hawks. to me, i'm in both camps. a lot of our members felt they were in both camps. but there were some real issues that had to get results -- resolved and it took weeks and weeks of meetings and intense negotiations to come to a place where we got the budget. because we lay out the vision
for how to get the budget back to balance in a 10-year window, we repeal obamacare, how do you save medicare from bankruptcy? because of that you don't get democrat support, unfortunately. it's got to be something that attracts the vast majority of our republican conference. we have people, whether you know it or not, we have people that have differences of opinion within the republican conference. that's what makes us strong and healthy as a conference, as a large majority. but it means we have to work hard to come to a true consensus where you can get more than 218 people to vote for that bill. >> you have so many members, it might -- why wouldn't it be simpler to pass a budget? mr. scalise: if only it was simple to get agreement on the most complex issues we're going to debate and discuss and get a vote on. if you look at the conversations within our conference, there are a lot of important conversations that are being had about how we actually achee a balanced budget, how do we get the
economy moving again? and those are all things that, ultimately we're going to resolve and we resolved those in the past. but it means you've got to really work together with everybody to come together and lay out policy. this isn't just platitudes. we're writing legislation, writing a true path to get the economy moving again and hopefully this is something, clearly this president doesn't believe in that approach. he's never brought forward a budget that gets to balance. he doesn't think it's porn to balance the budget he raises taxes in his. we don't raise taxes in ours. you've got a very big difference in ideology but hopefully whoever is going to be running for president on both sides can be commenting on whatever we put out and say whether they agree with it or disagree with it. what's their approach to getting the economy moving again? at least we lay one out. >> is there a chance that the house won't do a budget? >> there's always a chance the house won't do a budget but if you look at the budgets we presented over the years since we've been in the majority, every one of them gets to
balance in the 10-year window. that's been a big driving priority of ours. but then the most important discussions we have and the agreements we've got to come to is what is the underlying policy that gets you there? those are things that we actually, you know, it's not like we disagree upon them but everybody has a different idea of how to do it. you can't have five different approaches. ultimately you have to come together on one that everybody supports. >> cutting the agreed upon spending level from last fall, almost a nonstarter for the senate. is that correct? and certainly speaker ryan has said it would probably hurt the preparations pro-- appropriations process. do you think there would be 12 appropriations bills passed this year? mr. scalise: i'd like to see us move 12 appropriations bills out of the house. i'd like to see the senate take up appropriations bills, something they didn't do last year. part of the budget agreement at the end of last year is there was an agreement that they would start moving bills.
unfortunately, the senate has the 60-vote requirement. at a minimum they ought to review and consider the requirement for appropriations bills. it's constitutional responsibility. having 51 votes to move an appropriations bill to the president's desk or back to the house is something they should revisit. in the meantime it does still take 60 so if you look at reconciliation a byproduct of passing the budget if the house and senate agreement, which is something we did last year we the first time since 2002 the house an senate agreed on a budget that gets to balance. it was significant, it shouldn't take that long between times where the house and senate agree on a budget that balances, but we did that. and it allowed us to have reconciliation which gave us the ability to put a bill on president obama's desk, defunds planned parenthood and to do that with 51 votes in the senate. ening i think on the 12 appropriations bills, they should revisit having a 5 -vote requirement for those bills. in the meantime it takes 60 and
the agreement from last year was that they would not block even though -- moving those bills forward, anymore, the democrats wouldn't, like they did last year. >> if you had to guess, if you were a betting man, you don't really believe we're going to do -- this house is going to do appropriations bills this year do you? >> mr. scalise: it's unlikely you'd get all 12 signed into law. it would be likely if we got a budget and the agreement was still in place and the democrats in the senate held to their word that you'd be able to get a few of those bills, not just moved through the house, moved through the senate but about the president's desk and signed into law. maybe the d.o.d. appropriations bills, maybe a few other appropriations bills, where you're no longer looking at over $1 trillion that you come up to september 30 that's unresolved, it's a much smaller number which means you've gotten some policy riders signed into law they have biggest damage this administration is doing is
through the regulatory side. we're fighting the president a lot on his regulations. we've beaten the president on a lot of regulations. but there are many others coming out of agencies like the e.p. afert and cfpb and other agencies destroying jobs in this country. we want to push back on that and the best way is to attach limitations on the president's executive power in those appropriations bills that ultimately we get to his desk. >> back to the budget, as an aside what would you say to the conspiratorial minded that you're dragging your feet on the budget so so many members can get through the primaries without having to cast a vote? mr. scalise: we're probably at the earliest point in decades we've been starting the budget process. typically the budget moves out of the house around april, around mid april. that's when most budgets have come out of the house. so we're looking at something in march, which would be a month earlier than normal. we've actually ramped up the
process. of getting the budget discussions going and ultimately getting the committee to do their work. so we're way ahead of the average schedule of the budget. >> when would you say panic should set in that there might not be a budget? when should the alarm start sounding? mr. scalise: we are still in the middle of discussions with our members so we're not anywhere near a point where things would break down system of we are still having a lot of discussions. they're passionate discussions. because again, you're literally talking about how you get the country turned around. both getting to balance, getting the economy moving, dealing with he insolvency of medicare. those are big, big, passionate discussions. i don't see those discussions happening on the democrat side, unfortunately. they'll criticize a lot of things in our budget which is fine. i don't see them laying out alternatives. i think it's a conversation that's good for us to have with
the country. because people across the country want us to solve these big problems and the fact that we're willing to write them down on paper, put them in a legislative document, called our budget, and then debate this with the american people, they are hungry for those ideas and the fact that the other side refuses to talk about how they're going to fix these big problems is going to hurt them in the presidential election. >> the other side has helped you pass some appropriations bills and last year's omnibus bill. is it likely you'll have to rely on the other side otass -- to pass something this year? mr. scalise: ultimately that's up to our members. our members don't want to have a process -- they want to avoid a c.r. at the end of the year. this is the best way to do it, start with a budget process and then have appropriations bills move through the house and send it to the president's desk. if you do that, you don't have this looming deadline at the end of the year that results in an
omnibus or c.r. which is far less than what you want to have as an ideal. a c.r. doesn't allow you to have any policy limitations on this president's executive overreach. >> sounds like you're saying this looming sense of dread and pessimism that's already set in over the budget process and then the appropriations process is a little too early? mr. scalise: way too early. these are the conversations that we ought to be having. we really care about the policy. and the policy matters to the direction of the country, you're having these kinds of passionate conversations within the republican conference an that's what we came here to do. we came here to go and fight for our ideals and the best way is to get the country moving again but ultimately in a majority wuff you've got to come together to get an agreement with at least 218 members on the best ath forward. >> are we on ryan time yet?
he spent the first four months saying he inherited what was given to him so nothing was his fault. are we on ryan time now? is this his speakership and his budget process? mr. scalise: paul made it clear this is the direction he wants taos go, to have regular order, which to people across the country doesn't mean a lot, for us what it means is having a functioning legislative process. that means we're going to meet as members and the members will be deciding these big decisions. it's not going to come from leadership. paul ryan, if you're waiting around for paul to say this is where everybody is going to go whether you like it or not, that's not why we ran for speaker. weaver having a lot of meetings with members on all the different policy areas. we set up task forces on everything from tax reform to health care policy to restoring the basic article 1 powers that have been eroded over decades. it's the members that are coming to these meetings. i was in one of the meetings
yesterday, we had dozens of member there is with really good ideas about how to restore the balance of power. in washington. so that government works for people again. which it doesn't right now. so paul has laid out a foundation for how the house can function properly, where all the members are involved, it's not top down where a few people in leadership are making the decisions, the members are empowered, which means the members have to come up with good ideas. i always use the jack kemp example. if we go back to 1980rk ronald reagan ran on tax reform. he actually had a bold ageneral ka on tax reform, but it wasn't his idea. when he was fighting through the primaries he, wanted to lower tax rates but in the meantime for about four years, jack kemp who wasn't on the ways and means committee, put together a plan to lower tax rates. they were at 70%. ultimately after a few years of working, building a coalition, he came up with the kemp plan which lowered rates from 70 down to 50. when ronald reagan got the nomination in 1980, he said i
want a low rate and i like that plan by that gi jack kemp he ebb coursed a house member's plan to become his own. literally a year later that got signed into law. if you've got a passion a way to get the country moving again, moving country -- get it now. our candidates are not talking about policy. they're talking about who built trump tower who is lying. we need detailed policy to lay out for the country to get the country moving again. if the house lays out those ideas now, and that's where speaker ryan has made it his objective, lay out a bold agenda now so when we do have a nominee, they can look at the ideas and say, that's the way, i want to save medicare, i want to get the budget balanced. >> you understand when a member congress talks about task
forces within congress, when there's a committee system, you really wonder if there's too much going on there that doesn't need to be done. if there are committee, why isn't this being handled through the committee system? i thought the ryan mantra was regular order? mr. scalise: so that's why paul, when he set up the task forces, put the committee chairman of jurisdiction in charge of the task forces. you can go back historically in congress and see where task forces were set up to go around the committee chairman. and in that -- and that is the worst way to handle it because ultimately you erote a lod of trust and undermine a lot of expertise in congress. by having the committee chairman of jurisdiction, for example, you go look at the task force we set up to put together a replacement for obamacare, i think everybody knows we're for repealing obamacare. over 60 votes to do it, i'll continue to fight to repeal obamacare but i think it's porn to show what a replacement would
look like to lower costs and put patients back in charge of their health care. fred upton of energy and commerce, kevin brady of ways and means, john kline of education and work force, those chairmen are actually heading up the tosk force because they're committees are actually going to do the work to produce the bills that come together. so that's what he's done. he's actually got then chairmen to lead these efforts. members that aren't even on the committee, if you have a great idea on tax reform, whether it's fair tax, flat tax, lower rates overall, which we want. if you're not on the ways and means committee, you can go to that task force that's chaired by the chame of ways and means and bring your ideas and ultimately that's going to result in better legislation for us. >> by the way, i had dinner at the same place you did last night, talking to a congressman, republican, moderate. fiscal conservative. and he said, i don't understand this. why don't we just pass those bills that we think we need to
pass? who cares if the senate doesn't take them up? who cares if obama vetoes them? let's let our agenda be the bills we pass and run on those. why don't we -- why doesn't the house pass a replacement bill? why doesn't the house pass a poverty bill? , y doesn't the house pass a you know, a welfare reform bill? why do it in a, quote, bold agenda manifesto like contract with america, why not do bills and let's run on those bills? mr. scalise: you will see us bring a lot of those bills to the floor. >> this year? mr. scalise: this year. can't tell you how many we're going to come up with but that's what the members are deciding right now. and look, our members represent 750,000 people each on average. they're getting a lot of good ideas and bringing those ideas together. at the end of the day the
policy does matter up. can't throw some bill on the floor and say, hey, let's put a couple of bullet points and lay it out there. we really need to work through the details of the policy to make sure we get that right. because at the emmed of the day, i want these bills to be bills that ultimately get signed into law. if barack obama won't sign our welfare reform and our tax reform bill into law, let's at least put a bill together so that it's well written enough, so that the next president can sign that into law. so that the presidential candidates can debate that bill. and it's put together in a way where it can stand on its own merits. let's have both sides debate this issue. let the country engage in this. >> you're in the second year of a republican-controlled congress. why hasn't that groundwork been one already? did the disunity over the previous speaker and his handling of matters slow the process down? is this a year that
everything's going to be punted to 2017? because details haven't been ironed out on those bills? how come none of this stuff has been -- taken flight yet? mr. scalise: we've brought some of these ideas to the floor already last year. if you look at 2015, on national security, we've had a number of pieces of legislation brought to the floor, to deal with specific problems. the visa waiver program by the way, the problems and flaws with the visa waiver program, we have people in let's say france that were traveling to syria and training with isis. they literally, without even a visa, can come into the united states. we changed that because we put a task force together to figure out the best way to solve that problem. most people recognize there was major flaws with that program. but you can't say, ok, let's fix it. you have to figure out how to fix it the right way. we put a task force together, again, led by the chairman of jurisdiction, and we came up with a bill and now it's signed
into law. so the visa waiver program, we have actually directly addressed. and we did that last year. we brought other bills to the floor to handle some of these problems. obviously in our budget last year we laid out the plan to save medicare from bankruptcy. the left might like to criticize us for it because they don't have a plan at all. we laid that plan out. we're going to do that even more this year. there's a lot of problems our country's facing. it's not like there's just one or two things. but again, the details really do matter. and we're working through the details with all of our members that have an interest in each of those issues. >> what if the product you come up with doesn't mesh with your party's presidential nominee's stance on that issue or his agenda? mr. scalise: you'll see a lot of these things come forward before we have a nominee. before we go to cleveland to ultimately bring our nominee in as the official republican candidate for president. it's a good opportunity for us to lay out really good ideas. while you're not hearing a lot of those dell tail -- those details coming out of the
presidential election, there will be solutions to a lot of the problems our country is facing that we'll have put on the table in the house, so that our nominees can either embrace them, maybe take pieces of those, and then go and run on those bold ideas in the general election in november. >> the lack of a budget or many appropriations bills being passed, you think yunled cut the speaker's positioning and trying to negotiate with the rty's nominee on a unified agenda? mr. trump obviously has, if he is the nominee, has some s with the speaker and some house conservatives. what happens if there's two different directions being put out there? mr. scalise: if you look historically, the nominee ultimately is going to be the person that shapes the agenda for the election in november. that's always been the case. there is no nominee i know of that had unanimous support within house republicans or house democrats on either side,
determining which policies they want to embrace. but at the end of the day, that's what the process is going through right now. and the primaries. we in the house at least have an obligation to go and lay out our vision and you're seeing that play out. i think it's a healthy conversation. i think the fact that we're including members from every committee, not just the members of committee of jurisdiction, clearly they have the most expertise, but we've got members. privacy policies that are being debated across the country. let every member that's got a really good idea bring that to the table and that's happening right now. >> not to be gloomy, what happens if somehow a republican isn't elected president? mr. scalise: after the passing of justice scalia, one of the great conservative thought leaders in the history of the court -- >> specifically, what do house republicans do if they find themselves having to work with another democratic president?
mr. scalise: i think the first -- we've got to lay out the case for just what's at stake in this election. i think it's become more clear to people what is at stake. if you want a balanced federal budget, electing a republican president is the only way to do it because on the democrat side, you know, bernie sanders are talking about everything being free for everybody. well, that was obamacare. that didn't work out real well. hillary clinton's not disagreeing with any of that, so you know what you're going to get there. we're laying out a very different approach. in the house. if you want to save medicare from bankruptcy, we've got a plan for it. and by the way, that's the only way you can get your budget balanced. they have a plan, they don't have a plan for it. if you want to know the direction of the supreme court, just go look no further than the people that are running for president to see what that direction would be. so the country's going to decide this. the people of america are going to decide this. but we're going to continue to show just what's at stake. and there's everything on the line. literally everything on the line. from the direction of the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the judicial branch.
>> you could lose the senate too by the way. mr. scalise: right. the legislative branch son the line as well. >> let's shift gears for other topics. puerto rico. why is this congress taking so long to address what puerto rico says is an urgent need to address their situation, their fiscal calamity? mr. scalise: the first thing is, you know, there are hearings going on right now in natural resources committee, which has primary jurisdiction, as well as some other committees, to see if there is an involvement, a role for congress to play. but it's going to have to start with puerto rico coming up with solutions to their problems. they have real serious financial problems. they're not alone. as a territory they've got problems but as states, there are a lot of states that have similar problems. we don't want to do something that might set a precedent where then you have others come behind and say, hey, we want that too. it's got to be very well thought through. it's got to be something that
we can get agreement on and right now there's not a unified answer to addressing this question at the federal level. they still ultimately are going to have to solve their problems and come up with the best ways to get their finances in order. again, a lot of states have similar problems. and those states are working through those problems. we don't want washington to be the place where people come for a bailout. this is not -- you know, we're not going to give somebody bailout. we have our own problems we have to address. so states and territories have to address their problems and if they want to put better solutions on the table, this is the time to do it. >> financial control board or some sort of oversight board, that would -- why would that be taking so long to asflove mr. scalise: again, the committees of jurisdiction are working on this right now. they're having hearings. they're meeting right now. not only with the members but with people from puerto rico, with people from other places that have similar interests. that puerto rico has. let's figure out if there's a
way we can do something that we can get agreement on. that solves the problem. right now we don't have a final solution. >> another topic. has leadership pulled the plug on a long-term f.a.a. bill? mr. scalise: no, the bill just came out of committee. obviously there were a lot of disagreements within committee cha chairman shuster worked through. it's a complicated bill. it's a bill that ultimately, when they passed it, there were a lot of amendments even on the last day. and i think chairman shuster continues to have conversations with people that really do understand that the f.a.a. needs reforms, the f.a.a. does have its authorization expiring, so there's a timeline. and he's working through all of those different -- >> so no decision -- no definite decision has been made? mr. scalise: no. there's still, again, chairman shuster's still meeting with a lot of people to work through all of the different issues that are involved. and there are many. >> we're going to open it up
for questions in a few minutes. really more general, you've been the number three man for mr. boehner and now you're the number three man for mr. ryan. which is the better boss? [laughter] mr. scalise: that's not a -- >> i think you probably lean one way. because the current king is the king, right? mr. scalise: look, just to put it into perspective. four years ago i wanted paul ryan to run for speaker. i've been a huge fan of paul ryan since i came to congress. i joined the republican study committee right when i came in after a special election and paul was putting together the path to prosperity. and i was really excited that there was a member that was laying those bold ideas out on the table and that became the foundation that resulted in the house budget that we passed when we got the majority. so not only do i think he's our best ideas guy, but i also think he's the closest person i've seen to ronald reagan to
articulate a conservative vision to people who don't typically vote republican. because we haven't done a good job of laying out our case about why conservative policy is better to build the middle class that's eroding, why it's better to get people out of poverty. our ideas are proven, we just don't do a good enough job of explaining them and paul is the best at it. i'd put him at the top of the field today. if he were running for president. he's not, so i've been a big fan of his. four years ago i asked him if he'd run for president. he didn't want to. he ultimately became our vice presidential nominee. and i think added a lot to the ticket. but i do think he's in a special category. somebody who's got that reagan-esque and kemp-esque quality. he worked for jack kemp, to really inspire people who don't knowsly consider themselves republican to actually see why conservative policy is the best answer to the problems our country's facing. >> so you'd like to see a brokered convention. mr. scalise: no. i just think he's really one of
the best conservative minds in the country. >> you have talked to mr. boehner since he's left office? mr. scalise: i've seen him a couple of times up in washington. and he seems to be very happy. the speaker's a tough job. you can say the whip's job is a tough job. i think it's a great job. because you keep the pulse of the membership, you really know what's happening in the house. but the speaker's job is probably the toughest job, especially when you consider that barack obama's president and he might go down as one of the most divisive presidents in our country's history. he's not worked hard to bring congress together, to solve problems. it's created a very divisive atmosphere in the country and being speaker during that time is not easy at all. >> ok. let's do some questions. we have somebody with the -- oh, beautiful. questioner: hello. i'm jay with the behindue american foundation.
several conservatives who are strong on foreign policy, chairman corker, rand paul, ed royce, ted poe, john mccain, have really disapproved of the president's notification to sell eight f-16's along with other equipment to pakistan with a subsidized sale. is this something you can rally conservatives and reach across the aisle to halt in order to save american taxpayers over $800 million? mr. scalise: the armed services committee deals with these issues. i haven't seen them come out with the best approach. to 't want the full house be trying to make the decisions that generals and the people, the experts in the field, ought to be making. but that's why you have a housed armed services committee -- a house armed services committee that has members with the best expertise on the direction of defense. my main concern is we have a strong national defense which has been depleted over the last several years and it's got to be strengthened. our military readiness has been
degraded. we've got to strengthen that. we've got major threats around the world and i want the best minds in our military to be determining what that best approach is to keep america safe. and so the house armed services committee is working through that right now. i'll be looking forward to seeing their plan that they ome out of committee with. questioner: thank you. adam with the american library association. you mentioned the p word, mr. scalise. privacy. 194 republicans, almost 80% of the caucus, 115 democrats, are the 310 co-sponsors of the most co-sponsored bill in congress, h.r. 699, the email privacy act. it shocked me, and i had to check it three times, to learn that a warrant is not needed after six months to get the actual content of people's emails, all of your drop box files, basically everything in
the cloud. no speeches. when this bill comes out of committee, as happily it finally is poised to do in judiciaryary, what is the best path to the floor as the clock ticks down on this particular congress? mr. scalise: i'd like to see us take it up. i'm a strong supporter of privacy. i'm a strong supporter of a free and open internet. i do have kenches where you see the f.c.c. trying to get more involved in writing technology policy. that should be the role of congress. i do think when you look at this debate that's going on nationally on privacy, it's an important one that congress is being drug into and i think in some ways we've got to address some of the problems where you have threats to privacy. and then the balance is always, how do you make sure to protect national security and privacy at the same time? that's probably the biggest debate we have in congress. and i do think there are always ways to strike that fair balance. there are cases that pop up from time to time like we see right now, with apple, that
challenge that and force everybody to really revisit our laws -- are laws adequate and what is the proper role of government think? sure don't want the federal government being able to tell a company how to write an operating system or how to develop hardware. so you've got to balance privacy with national security and find the proper balance. questioner: to be clear, this debate is -- [inaudible] mr. scalise: this is a much broader debate, this ladies and gentlemenslation you're talking about. really deals -- this legislation you're talking about. really deals with the privacy of individuals' email. i've raised these concerns to some of the companies who allow emails to be viewed in a broad sense, where maybe the people writing those emails don't realize that they're being viewed. i have some real problems with hat.
questioner: good morning. you talked about the task forces already a little bit. can you elaborate on the logistics of, you know, will the recommendations or will there be a publication of recommendations, will take holders at all be able to -- stake hode -- stakeholders at all be able to post ideas or is this a round table talking? mr. scalise: the task forces are very real detailed policy conversations amongst members of congress to figure out which bills we want to bring to the floor, if we want to have a better tax plan, which we all agree we need to have, our country is not competitive right now. you see major companies leaving the united states of america to invert and go to other countries. it's not because they want to. they don't want to leave. the tax code is forcing them to leave. how do we best do is it ? the details really do matter. we have members right now
meeting to work through and see if we can come to an agreement on legislation. ideally i'd like to see be able to bring actual bills to committee. we didn't start this to say we want this bill and that bill and that bill to be on the house floor. we want the committees to then go to work. on these ideas. and they're really good ideas that are being discussed in these task forces. like i said yesterday, i sad s&t in on the task force -- i sat in on the task force on restoring our article one powers, to re-establish the balance of power. there are people across the country that think we have zero-based budgeting where if you had a government shutdown, everything literally shuts down. that's not the way the law works. you go back to the budget act, which literally congress decades ago gave most of that power of the purse to the president. it's bad policy. i want us to change that policy. our members are now meeting to come up with the best way to re-establish that balance of power. and if that's going to result in specific bills, might be one bill, might be four bills, but ultimately those conversations
are going on right now amongst our members, that's going to go to the committees and then the committees hopefully produce final pieces of legislation that we can vote on on the house floor. >> kind of to that point, though. can you tell us the agenda -- put eing crafted for together in sort of a contract with america booklet form, how will it be dispensed to the public? ou joe voter know what exactly the conservative agenda that you guys have? mr. scalise: there's no misconceptions that the house is going to drive the agenda for the presidential election. the house can help lay out some of these issues so our presidential candidates can comment on them and they should be asked to comment. if we come up with an alternative to obamacare in the form of an actual piece of legislation. when i was chairman, i led a task force to write an alternative. we came up with a bill called the american health care reform act. less than 200 pages. actual legislative text. and half of our conversation
signed on as co-sponsors to that bill. you can look at a piece of legislation and if you like it, endorse it. if you have maybe a change this part, i'd change tax deductions to tax credits. let's have our candidates for president be commenting on and taking positions on those pieces of legislation. so that in an off year, congress can have a contract with america type document where we lay out the vision, but let's make no mistake. our presidential nominee is going to be laying out that vision. that's going to be the job of our presidential nominee. we just want to put a lot of those good ideas on the table now so they're not fighting amongst themselves over who may be the better person or who has the worst idea on this or that. let's lay out good ideas that we can coalesce around and hopefully our nominee will be able to turn and say, ok, i want toa really good idea about how to get the economy back on track and how to stop all these radical federal agencies from being able to write rules and in essence laws without any public input. we're going to have really good
ideas that we've already brought to the house floor, to address those real problems and hopefully our presidential nominee then says, i'm going to embrace that idea or tweak it a little bit and this is what i will do as president of the united states. andrea and then let hillary clinton have -- and then let hillary clinton have her own approach. at least we can have a debate about good ideas between our presidential nominee and theirs over how to get the country oving again. questioner: long time civil servant with both legislative and executive branch. today i'm jane voter in terms of this question. it seems that since 1977, congress has only passed appropriations four times. without continuing resolutions. so the situation seems neither new nor unexpected, just sort of increasingly more worse, increasingly more severe. i wonder, in terms of if really there's an interest in saving money or sort of how government functions, has there been any thinking or studies on the impact of what running on
continual continuing resolutions, omnibuses, no budgets, threat of shutdown does? i'm thinking planning, wasting. if you tried to tell a company that they were not guaranteed with their budget, that they had no idea how much money they were going to get and you a all of a sudden they had to spend it, not to mention all the time that's wasted in government and employee time, you'd probably come up with some pretty significant figures. so it seems that it can't be laid at this president or this party. i think since 1990 there's been really no party that's put forward a budget that's balanced. so a lot of that -- mr. scalise: the republicans have. the last time a republican house has balanced a federal budget was in 2002. the last time a democrat house passed a balanced budget was in 1969. when man walked on the moon. so -- but to get to your question. it really is an important point. because these showdowns and these crises, it hurts our country. it hurts our economy. it's not just making washington look dysfunctional. and actual -- it actually hurts
the ability for the federal government to be more effective and efficient with tax dollars. look at the department of defense. if you have a continuing resolution instead of an actual d.o.d. appropriations bill signed into law, then they can actually do planning. companies plan years in advance. government agencies should actually be laying out plans as well. about how to best use taxpayer dollars. but if they don't know what their budget's going to look like until literally the day before it's about to take affect, it's real hard for them to do planning and a lot of times what they do is suspend contracts and then they have to start that contract back up again, even though they know that ultimately something's going to get worked out. they can't do long-term planning. and it costs even more money. to do the same thing, so it does lead to a less efficient government, to not have a functioning appropriations process. it's why we want passionately for this to move forward. again, i'd like to see the president leading this charge. he should be the one leading this charge to say, let's come together and move appropriations bills. last year when we were passing
bills out of the house, to do this, months in advance of the deadline, president president was sitting on the sideline, he never once said, harry reid, who was his senate leader, on the democratic side when harry's blocking every bill, he never once said, harry reid, take the bill up and y'all debate your differences. that's what congress is supposed to do. he sat on the sidelines and almost encouraged it. so you had this dysfunction get even worse. so i agree. it hasn't happened in a long time. it should happen every year. when we passed a balanced budget last year that we got an agreement with the senate on, it was the first time since 2002 that congress had come to that kind of agreement. it shouldn't take 13 years for congress to agree on how to balance a federal budget. questioner: maybe there's a time of interspex for congress to kind of look at what their role is. mr. scalise: right. our role should be to do that job and ultimately it takes two sides to do it. when the senate refuses to take up even one bill, when we pass six bills over to them and they made it very clear, we're not taking up any of them, that's irresponsible.
somebody should have called out the people that were voting not evenly to take -- even to take up a bill. the senate's supposed to be the most deliberative body in the history of the world. they turned the 60-vote requirement into a way to be the least deliberative body in the world. that's an abuse of their responsibilities. be nice to see the president chime in on this. but hopefully both of our presidential candidates, republican and democrat, will have an opinion on this. i'd like to see both our republican nominee and the democrat nominee have a plan on how to actually get this process working again. what is their approach? i'd lock to hear it. -- love to hear it. questioner: [inaudible] mr. scalise: sure. my approach would be, look what we've done. we passed a budget. we passed appropriation bills. we need to keep doing. that we need to keep moving the process forward properly. it does take both the house and enate to make that function. questioner: hi. the american college of
cardiology. thank you very much for taking care of s.g.r. we are now in the midst of a major health care transformation for physicians and hospitals and patients. and interoperability of electronic health records is key. it's currently a mess. we have many different systems out there. we have data blocking. we have all kinds of things going on. what can you do and what can congress do to basically enable us to get to a system where our records can be effectively shared? i know everybody in this room has had a problem with getting their records from one place to another. mr. scalise: this is something that's still evolving. it's been -- you know, you talk to private hospitals. they spend millions and millions of dollars to develop systems so that medical records can be shared with the doctor, from the doctor's office to the hospital, and ideally between hospitals. truly interoperable. one of the things that we've been pushing is to get -- let's start with these federal
agencies. the v.a.. there's so many problems within the v.a. but shouldn't they have a functioning interoperable system? so that they can share their medical records of veterans with maybe the hospital at that the veteran goes to in normal times, maybe sometimes the veteran goes to the v.a. to get treatment, and then he goes to his local hospital. shouldn't that information be interoperable? the v.a. has not done an adequate job of making their records interoperable. i think it starts with the government agencies being the leaders in at least doing what a lot of people in the private sector are already doing. and at the end of the day, you know, you're going to have to see a better ability for hospitals that have their own systems of medical records to be able to share them electronically with other ospitals and physicians. questioner: thank you for being with us this morning. and on a friday. too. mr. scalise: great to be here. questioner: i'm mark peril with
the homeland security and defense business council. there are contentious political conservative progressive issues that differentiate but in the issues of homeland security, homeland defense, it should rise above politics. it should. so the broader question is, not going to either what mr. mccaul is doing or mr. goodlatte or certain of these issues, but to ur role, are you under the mandate that the hastert rule still exists, that on every issue you need a majority of republicans or how often are you discussing, as i saw when i was on the hill many years ago, too many years ago, discussing with mr. hoyer the whipping of the united states congress to get a majority on certain issues that may not be bright line conservative-progressive, particularly in the area of homeland security, that we see it being pushed to the extremes
of politics? how often do you in general talk to your counterpart on the democratic side in order to get 218, 219, regardless of where those numbers come from? mr. scalise: steny and i talk on occasion because, you know, normally i'm meeting with house republicans so that we can coalesce around the things that we're moving forward. clearly we do talk on those issues where it takes bipartisan votes to get things passed on the trade promotion authority, for example, probably the most complicated bill that i worked on as the majority bhip -- whip. free trade's always been a conservative ideal. it's always taken coalition of republicans and democrats, mostly republicans, but also democrats, to put that together. and that case, the majority whip was -- the minority whip was against the bill, so we were working with other democrats. but ultimately built a coalition. on national security, i think frankly you've seen strong bipartisan majorities to address the problems that we've
been facing. if you look at isis alone, we've been calling on the president to come up with a plan. in fact, the president signed into law a requirement that he lay out a detailed plan to combat terrorism around the world. he's failed to meet that deadline. he puts out this plan this week on closing guantanamo bay and sending those terrorists into the united states, which by the way people of both parties do not want adamantly. strong, strong bipartisan opposition to bringing gitmo detainees into the united states, so the president, instead of meeting the deadline to lay out a plan to combat isis, has been spending his time trying to figure out how to bring terrorists into the united states against the will of people in both parties. so i'd like to see the president work with us on those areas of strong bipartisan support. again, look, the iran deal. there was strong bipartisan support against the iran deal. you want to talk about a national security issue? that's going to be a threat to the united states for generations to come. and republicans and democrats came together to oppose that
plan. unfortunately the president went a very different direction. when we have come together on a lot of national security issues, unfortunately on many of those we found the president on the wrong side. but there is strong, strong republican and democrat support in congress to do what it takes to keep our country safe. and that's been very bipartisan for a long time, including in this congress. >> is there still a hastert rule in the house? the most recent speaker ignored it a couple of times and maybe that was to his detriment. has speaker ryan said anything about his view of the hastert rule? mr. scalise: our objective is to always have bills that 218 republicans would support at a minimum. currently we have 246 republicans. there's a special election that's coming up shortly. to fill the visa can -- vacant seat in ohio. if you look at where we've been as a conference on most of the complicated issues that we've
worked through, we've been able to get not just a majority of house republicans but in fact over 218 house republicans to come to an agreement. but clearly not on every issue. and so -- >> that can be -- mr. scalise: ideally you'd like that to happen on every issue. we don't live in a perfect world but we strive to get to that point. >> there was never really an actual rule. mr. scalise: not a formal hastert rule. you'd like to be able to have 21 or more republicans come together on every complicated issue. clearly that's not been the case. i'm sure it won't be the case all the time. ut most of the time it will. questioner: good morning and thanks for your remarks. peter with the four-a's. you mentioned -- mentioned briefly tax aversions earlier. where do you see corporate tax reform falling? is that going to be tackled this year or next year? do you see it being a
comprehensive approach or do you peel off a specific challenge like inveveringses? mr. scalise: i know chairman kevin brady just came in as chairman of the ways and means committee when paul ryan became speaker and he had a lot on his plate from day one. but he's had a passion to bring tax reform out of the ways and means committee, to actually pass a bill that not just addresses the serious problem of our uncompetitive corporate tax rate, but also the personal rate. cause if you're at 35% and you want to bring the overall rates down to at least 25%, 20%, somewhere in there, you don't want to have a case where the corporate rate is lower than the personal rate, because there are a lot of people that have companies that are pass-throughs that they're filing on their personal returns, so you want to make sure that both the corporate and personal rates are much lower than they are today. so that our country can be competitive again, so we stop forcing companies to move out of the united states just to be able to stay in business. so that if a company is making
$100 billion in foreign countries and they want to bring that money back into the united states to create more jobs here, they're not punished by the united states and the i.r.s. if they want to do that. which they are right now. it's psychotic policy. it needs to be reversed. kevin brady wants to bring a bill out of the ways and means committee that finally tackles this in a comprehensive way. >> this year? r. scalise: this year. questioner: good morning. thank you for your remarks. i am melanie from the blinded veterans association. and there is a wide variety of legislation in the house right now on a number of issues related to interests of veterans and their families. i would like to know if you have any thoughts about what the priorities might be for the
congress to actually pass -- i know there were some bills just passed recently and there's talk of an omnibus bill later before the end of the session. do you have any thoughts about what might be the priority issues for the congress to act on before the end of the session? mr. scalise: if you look, we've identified very serious problems within the v.a. where the v.a. is not meeting their mission to take care of our veterans who went and fought in other countries, got injured and came back home and a promise was made to them that they would be taking care -- caken care of by the v.a. and the v.a. has failed in that mission. i've been very angry about what's happened. you've seen us pass legislation last year, for example. where you had these secret waiting lists. the v.a. denied they existed. we actually exposed that through our house oversight functions. we passed legislation to allow the president to hold people accountable and fire people responsible for it. the president hasn't done that
at an adequate level. i'd first call on the president to exercise his abilities under the law to go and fire the people who did such a disservice to our veterans by not providing the proper care. we also passed legislation to open up the v.a. system so that if a veteran is being denied care, is waiting too long to get the care that they deserve, that they be able to go to a private hospital in their community. that law's on the books right now and from everything we've been hearing by veterans back home, the v.a. is not doing an adequate job of letting veterans know about that. it's almost like they don't want veterans to know that there's real competition, if they're doing a horrible job. and the v.a.'s been failing in their mission at number of facilities across the country. it's not isolated, it's been widespread. we've identified problems, we've passed some specific legislation to allow our veterans to have more opportunities and i'm still really frustrated that it seems like the v.a. is trying to hide those facts from our veterans because they still want to keep
them forced into a v.a. system that currently is not working as best as it should be. by the way, we've increased funding to the v.a. over the last few years. so they've had more money and they've failed to meet their mission. and it's a serious problem that congress is going to continue to stay on until they get this right. >> we only have -- we have to do a little rapid fire here now. do these two right there. quick question before that. are we going to see a benghazi committee report any time soon? or closer to the election? mr. scalise: i'm not sure what the end result of the committee is. i think one of the things that's been so good about what chairman gowdy has done is that he's made it clear that they're just going to go and continue to get the facts. unfortunately they've had a hard time getting all the facts. all the parties involved at department of state should work harder to get all the information that's been requested. but they continue to uncover more things and they're going to keep doing their work until they get all of the facts out
there for the public to see. about what happened in that tragic incident in benghazi where we lost four americans. questioner: good morning. amy with the american chemistry council. the toxic substances control act hasn't been reformed since it was first passed in 1976. and the senate passed a bill unanimously in december and the house passed a bill last june, 398-1, so it's hopefully going to be a success story. but i'm wondering if you can comment on any timing or efforts of house leadership right now to try to resolve those two bills and get something to the president's desk? scholscalscal it's really important we get -- mr. scalise: i it's really important we get that bill done. we've been working very hard on the bill that we passed out of the house and we've been in negotiations with the senate for some time to ultimately see if they can resolve the differences. it's a big priority. we want to see it get done. and i think chairman shimkus on the house side has been doing a
very able job at leading that effort, working with his senate counterparts, to ultimately get an agreement that we can get signed into law. questioner: great, thank you. questioner: hi. darin, national industries for the blind. i have to ask an election question. this batch of presidential hopefuls in my lifetime is definitely the worst and that's 30 years. my dad said -- he's 63, he said in his lifetime it's the worst he's ever seen. so you have bernie sanders who -- i think he means well, but the handshaking across lines from democrat to republican, it wouldn't happen, the relationship building wouldn't happen. just in terms of his policies. hillary clinton, a lot of people don't really trust her. ted cruz in my opinion is just way too creepy. and marco rubio is cookie
cutter and it appears that he just got his backbone 12 hours ago. donald trump, who is going to be the republican nominee, he's going to do that, he has come up with two policy ideas in the nine months that he's been around. he's going to build a big beautiful wall with a door in the middle. and he's going to bomb isis oil fields and then have his buddies from exxon come over and build them back up as soon as possible. that's what he's going to do. so as a conservative, and this is coming from a guy that still doesn't know who he's going to vote for, and it's kind of frightening at this point, as a conservative, how can you possibly defend trump? when you introduce him at your events? when he is going to be the republican nominee? this is a guy that is a fire-branding fear mongerer. and he's frightening. and the fact that the united states of america is at the point where he's literally
going to be the republican nominee is, at least for my generation, so scary. so i'm just wondering. mr. scalise: i wouldn't agree with all the assessments you made. obviously it's a lot more complicated than what was laid out. but if you look at the race, any race for president, after months of a grueling primary process on either side, whoever's in there and on the democrat side, it's just two people right now and on the republican side it keeps going down, but it's still nasm people, whether it's three or seven that are viable. but they spend all their time beating up on each other. all you sigh are the worst part eaches -- see are the worst parts of each person because that's the job of the other candidates is to identify, unfortunately, why they wouldn't be so good. eventually in these debates especially it's more focused on boating up each other -- beating up each other. so you see the flaws more than you see the positive traits.
what i would go back to is 1980. i do think the similarities between 1980 and today are the closest you can find in generations between two presidential races. you had a lot of malaise in the country, you had an economy that was sluggish, you had major foreign policy challenges around the world. and you had an incumbent democrat president and you had a very contested republican primary. just look at some of the things that george h.w. bush said about ronald reagan. they weren't calling each other good guys. but at the end of the day, you ended up with a nominee in ronald reagan who picked george h.w. bush to be his runningmate. and when reagan ran, he ran on a very positive and an -- and inspiring vision and brought large numbers of people out and one with an overwhelm magazine jort and did really great things to get the economy moving again, get the country back on track. i think the same thing can happen again. i can't tell who you the nomly n.i.h. will be. we might know a -- who the nominee will be. we might know more after tuesday night but we can't
assume that one person runs the table tuesday night. i think you'll continue to see a competitive race. don't expect each of them to point out how nice the other guy. is they're going to -- however much long tier goes, weeks or months, they're going to continue to say how bad the over guy is but -- the other guy is but at the end of the day, they'll come together. at that point, who's going to do the best job of going to the american people and laying out their bold vision for how to inspire people and get the country moving again? people are hungry for those ideas. the candidate that can do that is going to be the one who can win. both of them need to do. it i would encourage our republican nominee, whoever that's going to be, to be a reagan-esque inspiring figure. go and excite people again about what's great about this country. the american dream's real. people still want it but they don't think it exists anymore. how are you going to best rebuild that american dream so that people can actually just work hard, play by the rules, you can actually be part of the middle class and even more if you want in your life. that still exists but it's fading away and we can get it
back. i want to see the candidate who can best inspire people to then be our next president. i still think that's achieveableable. questioner: i somehow let us go over time. i enjoyed it. and very much appreciate talking to you. i enjoyed all the questions. there were some great questions out there. let's call it closed hoor. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]
>> spee span's "washington journal" live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. tomorrow morning, green president presidential candidate will join us live in the studio. also conservative radio host will be on to talk about his ew book. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" beginning live at 7:00 a.m. eastern tomorrow morning.
join the discussion. >> tomorrow, c-span's road to the white house coverage continues with a john kasich campaign rally in tennessee. the ohio governor and republican presidential candidate will speak with voters and supporters in nashville. you can see those remarks live saturday at noon eastern here on c-span. >> c-span's campaign 2016 is taking you on the road to the white house. south carolina democratic primary. our live coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. eastern with election results and speeches from the democratic candidates. hillary clinton and bernie sanders. we'll also get your reaction through your phone calls and tweets. join us saturday for live coverage on c-span, c-span radio and c-span.org. >> earlier this week, members of the european parliament debated the final agreement reached between the u.k. and the european union on britain's
status in the 28-member unite -- union. concerns were raised with the agreement, including changes in welfare for my grants and the potential economic impact of british exit could have on the e.u. the united kingdom will decide on june 23 on whether to stay in or leave the european union. this is a little more than an hour. >> we now move to the debate on the conclusions of the european council meeting of the 18th and 19th of february, 2016, and i the floor the gentleman. >> thank you. presidents of the european parliament, the last european council was difficult at the end of my term. even though we found a common
solution, the real test of time is ahead of us. mr. tusk: because of the referendum in the united kingdom, over whether to remain a member of the european union. only the british people can and will decide that. what we could do on our side was to agree on a new settlement for britain within the e.u. and with it. the 2 heads of state or government unanimously agreed and adopted a legally binding and irreversible settlement for the united kingdom in the e.u. the decision concerning the new settlement in is -- is in conformity with the treaties and cannot be annuled by the european code of justice. but it will only enter into false if the british people vote to stay. if they vote to leave, the
settlement will cease to exist. we have agreed to do all this in the way that does not come from the european union's fundamental values. such as the freedom of movement and the principle of nondiscriminate. and without -- nondiscrimination and without compromising the future development of the economic and monetary union. if i had had any doubt about this, i would never have proposed such a settlement. despite many difficulties, the leaders do not walk away from the negotiating table because we are fully aware of the stakes involved, namely keeping the u.k. in the e.u. and the future geopolitics of europe. here i would like to express sincere thanks to the president and his whole team with whom we worked side by side during the
process. let me also thank the parliament negotiators who were engaged in the negotiations and who were highly effective in obtaining their goals. it is my firm belief that we need this to involve the european parliament fully in this process. i will always remember the crucial talks with president schultz, who is a distinguished colleague. it is thanks to you that this agreement allowed us to take into consideration the interests of the union as a whole. without your help, this agreement would not have been possible. thank you very much again. the european union -- the european union will respect the decision of the british people. if the majority votes to leave,
that is what will happen. it will change europe forever. and it will be a change for the worse. of course this is my personal opinion. prime minister cameron said in the house of commons on monday that now is not the time to split the west. i couldn't agree more. [applause] and this is why i did my best to prevent it. on the other hand, if britain decides to stay, i hope this parliament will also ensure hat the agreed settlement is transformed into the legislation and will enter into force. dear members, let me now turn to the migration crisis. leaders agreed that our joint
action plan with turkey remains a priority and we must do our utmost for it to succeed. this ultimately means that the high numbers we are still witnessing have to go down and quickly so. this is also why we decided to organize a special meeting with turkey on the 7th of march. the discussion among leaders focused on building consensus in the crisis. to do that we must first avoid having a battle among plans a, b and c. it does not make any sense, it only creates divisions within europe, without bringing us any closer to a solution. nstead, we must look for a center of different approaches. there's no good alternative to a comprehensive european plan. secondly, the european response is not only about the decisions
taken in brussels. it is also and even more so about the decisions taken in the capitals. we must accept that. but at the same time we should seek to improve the coordination of those decisions. the european union is here for all of us to cooperate. and lastly, we must respect the rules and laws that we have all adopted together. this concerns both the decisions on the relocation as well as the need to gradually go back to a situation where ll members of the area fully a ply the border code. there's no doubt we need to restore it. it will cost money, take time and require huge political efforts. there will be countries that may not be able to cope with this challenge.