tv U.S. House of Representatives Morning Hour CSPAN April 13, 2016 10:00am-12:01pm EDT
problems that real people and real pain that they are experiencing. host: mark warren, thank you for joining us. for this segment about pop politics. good morning to you. guest: thank you very much. good morning. host: that is all for today's "washingon journal." 7:00 a.m. back at eastern. we will see you then. in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washeds, april 13, 2016. i hereby appoint the honorable -- washington, d.c., april 13, 2016. i hereby appoint the honorable david jolly to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul d. ryan, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 5, 2016, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour ebate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one
hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip , but in o five minutes no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from maryland, mr. hoyer. mr. hoyer: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, on monday, i introduced the information technology modernization act, a bill that will make our government more transparent, more efficient, more responsive and more secure. dangerously many federal government agencies, as we've seen, rely on technology systems that are decades old and hinder digital interagency collaboration. as a result, government services are less efficient than they could be, and americans' personal data is put at higher risk every year that goes by without critical systems upgrade. this was the experience for some two million employees of
our federal government. i am partnering with the white house and u.s. chief technology officer tony scott to propose a new way to invest in upgrading the government technology infrastructure that serves the american people and this institution. my bill authorizes a one-time investment of $3 million into a revolving fund that would be overseen by an independent review board. the fund will invest in large-scale rapid systems upgrades deemed to be in the greatest need and that would provide the greatest impact on serving the american people. once an upgrade is completed, the receiving agency will then begin paying back the fund over time using the savings, the savings achieved from greater efficiency. in such a way this one-time investment of $3 billion will support at least a minimal of
$12 billion, that is 400% more, worth of upgrades in the first 10 years alone. after which it would continue to fund upgrades into the future. this is a novel approach for government that has been employed successfully in the private sector where it has a proven track record. tony scott, mr. speaker, himself implemented a similar program when he was chief information officer at microsoft which was successful and resulted in significant long-term savings. additionally, a fund will ensure that upgrades make use of the latest and best practices from silicon valley, including shared services, cloud hosting and agile development. this will enable agencies to create new user-friendly apps and services and facilitate the sharing of information between agencies to root out fraud and waste and will promote systems
that are secure and prevent cyberattacks. my bill will also ensure transparency by requiring all upgrade projects to provide regular status updates on a publically available digital dash board. i want to thank all those who signed on as original sponsors, mr. speaker, and i want to say that i had discussions last night with mr. issa, the former chairman of the government reform committee. he is, i think, going to co-sponsor this bill with me and we want to see this bill be a bipartisan bill. i've also talked to ranking members on my side of the aisle in each of the relevant committees, mr. cummings, mr. pallone, mr. serrano, mr. connolly, ms. duckworth, robin kelly, ted lieu, all of whom are excited and support this piece of legislation. again, this is a totally nonpartisan bill looking for
government efficiency and safety and transparency for the american people. i hope that my friends on both sides of the aisle who care deeply about making government as effective and transparent as possible as well as eliminating fraud and inefficiencies will partner with us by co-sponsoring this bill and helping to bring it to the floor as a bipartisan measure overwhelmingly supported by this house. i'm proud of the bipartisan work we've done together already to encourage innovation and the use of technology in congress, particularly the hack-a-thon i hosted with leader mccarthy and his predecessor, mr. cantor. let's work together. let me say that again. let's work together to expand that effort to the executive branch and make sure that the federal government can and is serving the american people effectively and transpartly. and i yield back the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentlelady from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, for five minutes. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to honor the many generations of women who have shaped our nation and thank them for their invaluable contributions. as the first hispanic woman elected to congress, i am grateful and inspired by their legacy. these women have influenced public policies, they've built institutions, they've contributed to a stronger economy. without their contributions, our society would be left lively, our culture more impoverished and peace less stable. we need to respect their great achievements by continuing their job, and i share the hopes and aspirations of all women across america who wish to make the lives of our daughters, our sisters, aunts and mothers who are equitable. i have always been committed and dedicated to advancing the role of women in our society,
and i work toward policies that would assist them and their families. that's why i've joined the bipartisan women's caucus here in congress and have supported extensive legislation and programs fighting domestic violence and women's access to a quality education. today i'd like to pay tribute to some of the more energetic champions of women's rights from my area of south florida. ocksy o'neil bolton, helen ferrea. marjorie douglas and judge soto. rocksy bolton has had -- roxy bolton has had an impressive career by advocating equal rights in the workplace and having the first rape treatment center in the country and that is located in my hometown of miami. she founded women in distress, the first women rescue center in florida.
roxy has received numerous accolades and is an iconic and loved figure in our community. congratulations, roxy. helen is another pioneer. she is an award-winning journalist and communications consultant who was recently inducted into the florida women's hall of fame. as the chair of the board of trustees of miami-dade college, my alma mater, helloen has committed to promoting -- helen has committed to promoting education and establishing policies that would help students across our community. congratulations, helen. julia tuttle, known as the mother of miami, made history as the only female founder of a major u.s. city when she helped establish the city of miami many years ago. julia's vision and perseverance have long been traits that south floridians have worked to carry on since the founding of
our great city of miami. tuttle's mantle of leadership is heavy but it has been carried on by so many others. marjorie douglas made another kind of south florida history when she worked tirelessly to save her beloved everglades. her books "the everglades: river of grass" helped preserve this one of a kind ecological wonder and led the fight to establish the everglades national park. judge soto is a modern day heroine. she's a fellow graduate of florida international university and the university of miami. she made judicial history when she was named chief judge of florida's 11th judicial circuit. she is both the first cuban american and the first woman to helm the largest judicial circuit in the state.
judge soto's energy and understanding of complex legal issues have driven her to success and every day that judge soto is hard at work, she is not only living but making south florida history. congratulations to her. i also want to honor our female pilots of world war ii, the women air service -- air force service pilots, also known as the wasp. they were responsible for removing the barriers for women in the military today, and i know because my daughter-in-law, lindsey, was afforded the opportunity to join the marine corps and fly combat missions both in iraq and afghanistan thanks to these women pioneers. south florida has been home to some of these remarkable heroine like ruth flesher, shirley cruz and bea as well as francis and helen snapp, those
who have passed away. mr. speaker, i'm so proud to recognize all of these outstanding women, past and present. may these role models continue to remind girls and young women that nothing can hold them back from realizing their dreams. thank you for the time, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from connecticut, mr. courtney, for five minutes. mr. courtney: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, the chart that's being set up next to me here depicts graphically one of the most sickening trends in terms of increasing cause of death in the united states which is heroin and opioid overdoses. the map on the top in 2004 shows data from the center of disease control when 7,000 americans lost their lives to overdose deaths. in 2014, that number has grown to 27,000. the red shaded area is where
high intensity areas of death up to 20 per 100,000 population. the blue is 10 or less. in 2014, as you can see the red is slowly but taking over the entire country. this is a crisis which again affects every part of our country, whether it's rural, suburban or urban, it affects republican districts, it affects democratic districts and it's time for our nation to treat the same we would any natural disaster or public health emergency in the country. in 2015, we know these numbers are in fact going to get worse. the office of chief medical examiner in the state of connecticut released their 2015 numbers a few weeks ago and the number grew in the state of connecticut by 20% to 723 deaths in 2015. just this morning in the local press in southeastern connecticut, a 25-year-old was found dead in a motor vehicle on route 12 outside the groton
navy base and a young man, an 18-year-old, was found a couple days ago. it is time we need to listen to the folks who are on the front lines, the police officers, the addiction counselors, the folks that are dealing with this program, bringing people back to life with nar can and understand we need -- narcan, and understand we need to solve this incredible crisis for our nation. the good news is the senate passed the community addiction act 94-1. it's a good bill. it makes smart changes in overprescribing of painkillers and deals with the proliferation of painkillers that is far too great in the nation today. it also talks about changing protocols in all the f.d.a., h.h.s., d.o.d., all of the federal government that deals with folks suffering from pain. unfortunately, though, the bill does not contain a single penny of emergency assistance which the police departments across the country, the addiction counselors across the country are begging for. in the house, there is a bill,
h.r. 4473, which does provide emergency supplemental appropriation this year to try and get resources so that folks who are dealing with this crisis and families that are dealing with this crisis are actually going to get real help. and this bill has been endorsed by 21 organizations from the fraternal order of police, the police and the cops and the firefighters that are out there saving people's lives right now with narcan and also the addiction counselors who again don't have adequate detox facilities and beds to deal with the carnage that's happening all across this country. the majority leader of the republican -- the republican majority leader announced last week that ma may the house will in may the - that house will take up the senate bill. i hope something striking parts of our country that caused deaf take much less than these maps depict but the fact there is
some movement will be some sign of hope but it's important to remember, it is not enough to just pass authorizing language that is about trying to change policy without funding because the folks who are dealing with this problem who are watching us like a hawk because they are dealing with this problem like that young man who was found dead last night understand that resources are needed just like in any other natural disaster or public health emergency facing this country. again, we need to turn this map around. we need to change this so that, again, the devastation that is being caused in families of middle-class, upper-class, lower-income families across the country is going to stop. there are real-life solutions that the folks who are at the front lines are prepared to move forward. there are on standby. what they're waiting for is this congress to move forward with the resources we would deal with as a great nation in terms of any other epidemic or any other massive public health
or health emergency in this nation. we need to include h.r. 4473. we need to listen to the 21 organizations that deal with this problem all across america so we get real help out on the streets of america and not just give lip service to solving this critical problem. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. . sip the chair now recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. curbelo, for five minutes. mr. curbelo: i rise today to honor the memory of captain james t. dean jr., an army veteran from the vietnam war. he was born in louisville, kentucky, in 1944. in 1962 he joined the army and graduated from officer candidate school at fort sill, oklahoma. he served in korea with a sergeant missile unit before being deployed to a beautiful place during an ugly time. he served in vietnam from january 1968 to september, 1969,
serving with the second battalion, 40th field artillery of the 199th light infantry brigade. a proud red leg, jim received the bronze star with the device for heroism in ground combat. the bronze star with two oak clufters. as well as the purple heart for wounds received in action. along with numerous other awards and decorations for his service. following his service, jim and his wife, carla, moved to naples, florida, where he started several businesses before returning to his true passion -- house reporty culture. jim worked for the city of naples as the assistant parks and parkway supervisor. he was proud to have played a significant role in the naples scape project to beautify the city. he was a civic leader serving object the -- on the board of the greater naples government
committee, it was the kiwanis, he was an osh daned elder in the .resbyterian church jim also battled bladder cancer and with carla and other friends formed the bladder cancer foundation of florida to raise awareness. sadly, jim succumbed to bladder cancer and passed away last month on march 23rd. his name will not appear on the vietnam veterans memorial wall, however, make no mistake about it, like too many other survivors, jim was a casualty of the war due to his exposure to agent orange. recently the national institute of medicine forwarded to the v.a. that there is limited or suggestive evidence of an association between chemicals of interest and bladder cancer. adding bladder cancer to the list of medical conditions that qualify veterans for presumption
of exposure to agent orange would allow veterans easier access to critical health care benefits. unfortunately, it's too late for jim, but many vietnam veterans continue to suffer from this disease. i call on v.a. secretary mcdonald to approve this designation so our vietnam war veterans can receive the help that they have so solemnly earned. i know i speak on behalf of the entire congress and a grateful nation to express our deepest condolences to his widow, carla, daughter, michelle, and his many friends and loved ones. i pray for god's meries upon them as they cope -- mercy's upon them as they cope with pain. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. this week contains april 15, the day that our income taxes are
due. and we have seen the day that is difficult enough under the best of circumstances be made even more difficult purposely for millions of americans. my republican friends have decided to take out their differences with the i.r.s., their opposition to taxation, by deliberately torturing the american taxpayer. ours is the largest tax system in the world that relies primarily on voluntary compliance. each 1% where people decide not to comply costs the treasury $30 billion. now, most, in fact, do comply, but in an everyly increasing complex tax system makes compliance difficult. it should be noted that it's not the i.r.s. that makes the tax code complicated, it's congress that is constantly changing that code. sometimes it's so late in
meeting its obligations with tax changes that the service doesn't even have time to print the forms on time. in order to help citizens with congress' complex tax system, the internal revenue service runs the largest consumer service operation in the world. and last year it was a disaster. well, this process has been deliberately sabotaged by the republican approach to the agency budget. it has 30,000 fewer employees than it had in 1992. down 13,000 from 2010 despite the fact that the code gets more complex and there are more people filing returns every year. congress should have been a constructive partner with streamlining, modernization, new computers. but the i.r.s. budget prevents it from modernizing information
technology. it still uses applications that were running in the early 1960's. and you cannot completely computerize the simpletask of answering phone calls and talking to taxpayers. when you visited the i.r.s. offices, as i have, you find employees who are sad and angry that they are unable to meet the needs of the taxpayers. they don't like getting somebody who has been on hold for 20 or 30 minutes and then not having the time to work with them to answer their questions. it frustrates the taxpayer and it breaks the heart of our employees. now, it's no secret that some people forget or cheat on their taxes. but congress has not equipped the i.r.s. to do the audits necessary to actually collect the money that's due.
this year when we have a big deficit there will be $300 billion to $400 billion of tax that is are due and owing but won't be paid. yet congress it is deliberately trying to make it worse. they have 12,000 fewer enforcement staff, a reduction of 23%. and i'm going back to a ways and means committee where one of the proposals would cut that budget another $500 million. it's not fair to the taxpayer. it's not fair to our employees. and it makes it hard to fund the needs of our nation. people talk around here about running government like a business. what business undercuts, underfunds, and slashes its accounts receiveable department? they may think it's good politics to make the taxpayer experience as miserable as
possible, but it's ultimately bad judgment, poor politics, and a disservice to the american people. as we undercut the ability to fund essential government services. many of my republican colleagues have been looking for scandal within the i.r.s. whatever problems they uncover or imagine, the real scandal is how they are treating the american public anti-people who work for them at the vital service of the internal revenue service. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis, for five minutes. mr. bilirakis: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to celebrate the 195th anniversary of greek independence. citizens of greece have always been a proud people in body, mind, and spirit, from greek statesmen, and general dubbed the first citizen of athens, to plato who laid the groundwork in
philosophy so vast that the entirety of european tradition is said to simply be a footnote to his work. to the first head of state of an independent greece. greeks have been exceptional. and continue to be exceptional, mr. speaker. i'm almost certain that thomas jefferson casts an eye across the atlantic towards greece when he uttered these words in 1821, the flames kindled on the fourth of july 1776 have spread over to much of the globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines of despotism. on the contrary, they will nsume those engines and all who work them. i'm blessed to be of two cultures, mr. speaker, that have been beacons of liberty for all of civilization. a place of my birth, the land of the free, and the home of the
brave, the united states of america. and the land of my ancestors, the birthplace of democracy, the hellenic republic. many greeks fought for years holding on to their heritage, their culture, their faith. the bishop raised the emblem of freedom for helenes, the flag bearing a white cross and nine blue and white stripes representing the nine letters which means freedom. eight years of bloodshed in battle led to the treaty, the formal declaration of a free and independent greece. greece was the world's first advanced civilization. one that provides a cultural heritage that has influenced the world first in if i loss firks mathematics, politics, sports, and art all stem from a free greece. liberty and justice, freedom to
determine the path of one's own life. these are human desires and were embodied by greece throughout their fight for independent pence. those unyielding helenes paid life and limb for those desires and generations of greeks for decades to come. as george washington once said, liberty when it begins to take root is a plan of rapid growth. this held true in greece in 1821 as it did in america in 1776. freedom or death, was the battle cry of the revolutionaries nearly 200 years ago. it rings true today. freedom is a powerful and beautiful notion. the greek people achieved at for themselves 195 years ago. and i am proud to celebrate the memory of those who bought
bravely to shed the shackles of the ottoman empire. greece has its own unique challenges today but also a history of resilience and ability to climb its way out of turmoil. as centuries long allies, we must continue to creatively come up with solutions to help greece control the flow of refugees arriving on its shores. and i'm encouraged by the growing cooperation and collaboration that our closest allies in the eastern mediterranean are proving this year. the try lateral -- tri lateral agreements between greece, cyprus, and israel are a refreshing reminder we stand united with our allies in the fight for security, stability, and prosperity in a volatile region. we celebrate greek independence to reaffirm the common democratic heritage we share, and as americans, we must continue to pursue this spirit
of freedom and liberty which characterizes both of our great nations. god bless america. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. israel, for five minutes. mr. israel: ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. address the house for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. israel: mr. speaker, this morning i intend to comment on middle class budgets, but before that, mr. speaker, i'd like to just very briefly reflect on a trip i just took to visit with our troops in the middle east. in iraq and elsewhere. i have been to iraq about 10 times. i think one of the fundamental responsibilities we have as members of congress on both sides of the aisle is not just to talk about supporting our troops but to go into the theater and visit with them. and learn firsthand the challenges they face. every time i visit with our troops, when i come back i think the same thing, we are so blessed to live in a country that gives us the right to agree
with the decision to put people into harm's way. you have the right to disagree with that decision. you have the right to remain silent. but no american has the right to forget even for a day the sacrifices that those men and women are making for us every single day. and we owe them our support and our awareness for the work that they dofment more importantly, supporting their families who are here and supporting our troops when they return as veterans. . mr. speaker, friday, april 15, is a day of two deadlines. that's a deadline most americans know by which they must pay their federal income taxes. everybody understands that deadline, and american don't have a choice but to comply with that deadline. the other deadline is that is the day by which congress must pass a budget, and it is up to the republican majority to produce that budget and bring that budget to the floor for a vote. unfortunately, the republican majority will miss that
deadline and fail the american people in our fundamental responsibility to earn our pay by passing budgets. that's what we are put here to do is debate priorities and pass budgets, and yet this deadline will be missed. failing to pass a budget by deadline is a fundamental failure to the american people. i will say, however, that in this case a missed budget may be a little budget than the bad budget that republicans originally proposed. it is a budget that fundamentally fails the middle class. it is a budget as proposed that gets rid of the medicare guarantee. it is a budget as proposed that slashes $6.5 trillion in fundamentally important priorities to the middle class, in making sure their kids are well-educated, in making sure we rebuild america with
infrastructure and trying to reduce traffic jams and rebuilding our bridges and our unnels and modernizing our airports. it's a budget that undermines the middle class. it is a budget that fails the middle class. now, i understand the need for us to reduce spending, and i have supported significant reductions in spending in my time in congress, but what this budget does is it takes away from the middle class in order to further enrich the most powerful -- the special interests -- and that is why people are so angry out there. they understand that washington has to do more with less but not give more to people who already have the most, and that's what the republican budget does. that is the architecture of spending tax dollars that must be paid by april 15. you take away from the middle class and you give more to
people who are doing pretty well already, people who are doing so well they can hire all sorts of friends to do their work here in washington and maybe even contribute to some super p.a.c.'s. i think that's wrong. people are angry because not only our priorities are wrong but they see very little evidence of a congress under republican leadership in the senate and the house that is doing its job. they're angry because the republican senate won't even debate and vote on a supreme court nomination. you can vote for it, you can vote against it, they won't even vote on that nomination. that is a failure to do the job that they are paid to do, and they're angry because the majority here in the house of representatives won't do their job and pass a budget. as i said before, mr. speaker, maybe no budget is better than a bad budget but both represent failure for the american people. the pew corporation did a study several weeks ago that said for the first time since the
depression, to be in the middle class in america is to be in the minority. about 49% of americans are in the middle class. the rest are either richer or poorer. an economy grows best when the middle class is strongest. we need to fulfill our responsibility to that middle class by doing what they will pay us to do on april 15, just do our jobs and pass a budget that invests in their growth, in their families, in their children, and as i opened, invest in our troops, our national security and make sure that every veteran in america is taken care of. those are the priorities we have in our budget, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house nooncess until
>> this month we showcase our student cam winners. c-span's annual video documentary competition for middle and high school students. this year's theme is, road to the white house. and students were asked, what issues do you present presidential candidates to discuss? one of our second prize middle school winners are from scranton, pennsylvania. fione evans and abby o'brien, eighth graders at west scranton intermediate school, want presidential candidates to discuss immigration in their video titled, undetermined. >> this is fione, we are currently standing in time's square, also known as the crossroads of the world. many immigrants have passed through here not only to build time's square but entire nation. although we know this is a complex problem, we need to come up with a plan tree solve the current immigration issues.
the financial and possible security risks, we believe all immigrants should have the opportunity to reach for the american dream. >> what is the greatest benefit that immigrants contribute to scranton? >> well, as i said earlier, the best benefit i think we learn about their culture. their ways they live, dress, foods they eat. so it makes us better people. >> at a national level, what are your views about current immigration policies for immigrants coming to the united states of america? >> again, we should never never roll up the welcome mat here to america. this is how the country was founded. it's founded on hope that people can come here an have a better life, a better opportunity. >> as we began our research about immigration issues, it became clear to us that the problems surrounding immigration were complicated. it also became clear that most politicians in washington agree on the following points
regarding immigration matters to be addressed. >> that means we have to finally once and for all fix our immigration system. this is a family issue. it's an economic issue, too. but it is at heart a family issue. and if we claim that we are for families, we have to pull together and resolve the outstanding issues around our broken immigration system. >> my chicagoans have been waiting for the congress to act and take action for over a decade. polish, uecombrainian, irish, and mexican have been waiting. jamaicans and filipinos, they have been waiting for family members to get visas in backlogs that stretch to 20 years because congress refuses to act. >> broken immigration system, both the illegal side and legal side. >> as all of you know we have 11
million people in this country who are undocumented. 99% of whom came to this country to improve their lives, to escape oppression, to flee desperate poverty and violence. >> this project has shown us if you immigrate it's a money question. immigrant as egal children -- how can you tell someone is here legally or illegally? the emotional aspects of the world have been set. >> you may not be able to stay here because of the unserts. - uncertainties.
>> jeb bush with mexico said people come in, they come in it's an act of love, ok. it's not an act of love. we need a wall. we need a wall. you see what's happening with illegal immigration. in all fairness, if it weren't for me, they wouldn't even be talking about illegal immigration. >> it's very important that we enforce our immigration laws. that we encourage people to come here legally. to come through the vetting process, inspection process. we want immigrants to come to america for that life. that's what america is. a beacon of hope. however, when we allow people to knowingly break our laws, to evade inspection, to bypass any type of medical screening, to live here in america and depress the wages of american workers, which we know for a fact illegal immigration depresses the wages for american workers, we also
know, unfortunately, that there are people arounthe world that want to do us harm. that hate our way of life. that want to come here and feel that way of life -- steal that way of life from us through terrorism. inaudible] >> we believe as a nation we can figure out how to keep our doors opened to immigrants while at the same time keeping our country safe. they must be compassionate but fair resolution in regard to illegal immigration population already living here. we need to work together to figure it out. and we must meet them. >> the american people support comprehensive immigration reform. not just because it's the right thing to do, and it is, but because they know it strengthens
families, strengthens our economy, and strengthens our country. >> this is what makes america exceptional. that we welcome strivers. dreamers from all around the world. it keeps us young, invigorated, and striving. and pushing the boundaries of what's possible. and then we all bind ourselves together around similar ideals. a similar creed. and one generation in suddenly those kids are already americans. like everybody else. >> how is immigration important to the building of america? >> i think the best way i can answer that question is in 1954 days after ellis island, they made the announcement it was closing down, that an editorial appeared in the "new york times." i'll share part of it with you.
in that editorial it said immigrants have given to the united states artists actors, doctors, writers, farmists, philosophers, immigrants have been given this nation its teachers. elect our nation's laws. perhaps someday a monument that celebrates immigrants will rise upon an island called ellis. > we are standing in front of the statute of liberty which was and still is a symbol for hope and freedom for immigrants coming to america. >> we feel the 2016 presidential candidates should discuss immigration issues. >> so we believe whoever's elected should make immigration issues one of our top priorities. >> to watch all of the prize winning documentaries in this year's student cam competition, visit student cam.org. >> a portion ever today's "washington journal." and we're going to be talking about the prospects for passing
a republican budget, tax reform proposals and cybersecurity and taxpayer information. but first, let's start off by talking a little bit about politics and the campaign. yesterday, house speaker paul ryan took himself out of the running for the possibility of jumping into the convention. what did you think about his decision? guest: well, i wasn't surprised at all. i mean, he said repeatedly the same thing. people i guess don't want to hear it. i thought he handled it extremely appropriately. i thought it was very straightforward and honest like he is. and i thought it was a very selfless thing to do as well. i think he did the right thing. i'm proud of him. i'm proud of him as a speaker. host: ok. you are not currently endorsing any of the current candidates for president. might that change? might you make an endorsement before the convention? guest: i don't think so. i think i want people to decide
hat they want. i'd rather see the people decide. host: ok. in today's "wall street journal," there's an opinion piece that talks a little bit about house speaker paul ryan's decision to bail out and also his call to the convention delegate to impose rules that would prevent somebody else that isn't already running from jumping into the race. the paper says we disagreed that the g.o.p. convention must pick someone who has run for the office this year the nominee is likely to be one of the men now running. but in our view the delegates can and should choose the delegate most likely to win. if none of the current candidates win, a majority of the delegates after two or three ballots, anything can happen and the delegates have to nominate someone. what did you think about speaker ryan's call to limit the pool of
candidates to those two threw their hats into the ring during the campaign? guest: i agree with him. they have worked very hard and putting themself out to voters. i think for someone to come in at the very end without having been in the process, if i were people who had run and did all that, i would -- we can't win if we don't unify. that's the bottom line. the republican party has two choices. unify or lose. and i don't think that the way to unify would be to bring in a dark horse at the last minute. and again, i think what paul ryan did is a very selfless thing. and what we need is more people like him to exhibit that kind of selfless leadership and to put the needs of the country first. i think he's doing the right thing. host: ok. do you have concerns about a brokered convention, about what
that can do to the party? guest: sure. we've got to unite or we lose. if nobody comes in with a clear consensus, the chance of unifying go down. but let the process work. let's see who comes out of it. i think the chances of a brokered convention are more and more likely. i don't think trump supporters should take that as some sort of a slight or a cheat. i mean to me, that's like if he comes in with less than 1237 votes, i believe that's the number, right? if he comes in with less than that, it's like golfer missing his last putt by a half an inch and we say we should give it to him anyway. no, we shouldn't. the rules are the rules. if he doesn't come in with 1237, then the delegates need to decide. host: ok. we are talking with congressman tom rice, a republican from south carolina. for lines for this conversation,
republicans can call in, 202-748-8001. democrats, 202-748-8000. inns can call -- independence can call 202-748-8002. nd independents, 202-748-8002. i think i said that twice. i apologize for that. guest: you get flustered. host: i do too. a little bit. it's so much going on at this campaign. it's such an exciting time that's got me tongue-tied a little bit. you're speaking a little bit about donald trump in today's "new york times" editorial page. steven ratner piece says that congress essentially has created donald trump by -- through their efforts of spoiling the obama administration and some of the things that they've been doing. it starts off saying memo to republican legislatures. biting your nails over the new york primary, wondering if you can finally derail donald trump's candidacy with gulp, ted
cruz, you brought it on yourself. not just by failing for too long to take mr. trump seriously or by lacking an effective response what do you say of that? this is by steven ratner of the "new york times." guest: probably there's a grain of truth but it's primarily utter nonsense. he's right in a sense that washington created donald trump because there are problems that the president talks about every single day. and that democrats and the congress talk about every single
day and republicans in congress talk about every single day and yet nobody offers solutions to those problems. and it doesn't just come from congress. it comes from the president as well and the president is supposed to be our leader and the one thing -- you know, i certainly have admiration for the president. i think he's a smart guy. he's charismatic. one of the primary quality he lacks is leadership. i think he's failed in that miserably. so when the president gets up every other day and talks about need for tax reform, i absolutely agree with him. we need to do tax reform to make this country competitive. every day that we don't do it, we hurt our children and our grandchildren coming up through the system because more and more american companies and jobs leave our shores every other day and that's less opportunity for our kids. we need to do something like that. the president says it every other day. it.y congressmen says and yet that proposals have --
what proposals have we seen? the president has not made any proposals for comprehensive tax reform. the only person i know that has made any proposal is dave kemp and he did that over the objection of the republican leadership. why? because whatever proposal you put out there, you're going to make people mad. some people are going to win. some people are going to lose. that's just a fact. and people don't want to take arrows or make hard decisions about things like tax reform. same thing with president obama care. that would be a republican thing. but one other things i respect about paul ryan is he came in and immediately said we're going to have this agenda project and we're going to put our ideas out there for specifics of tax reform, for specifics for replacing obamacare. for specifics with doing with our debts, so on and so forth.
and, you know, social security and medicare. another thing that everybody talks about, the president, republicans, democrats, have you seen proposals to fix it? no. the only person who's put out a proposal to fix medicare was paul ryan. he put it out like five years ago. remember the commercials with the democrats put on with paul ryan? paul ryan has thrown grandmom off the cliff. the truth is if we don't fix it, we are throwing grandmom off the cliff. paul ryan has had the courage to put the proposal out there. and what did he get for it? he got arrows for it. that's why there's these basic problems and there's not that many of them. i believe that if we could solve them, our economy would accelerate. the country would be more confident and secure. and they're problems that everybody talks about, not just the congress but the president too.
if we could solve some of these problems, if we could show the leadership to solve some of these problems, we wouldn't have donald trump. so to that extent, i think he's right but to lay it on the republicans and congress is nonsense. and in fact, a lot of the things that we complain about, the republicans in the house had put up solution after solution after solution. and harry reid and 46 democrats in the senate prevent from even taken up for a vote. so best example i can think of on that is the ceiling of refugee issues when the head of the f.b.i. said that we're not properly vetting these people. we 80% of the public in a programmed delay. the house has a built in november, december and said we
will delay the program and not stop it until headed the fbi says we can properly that these people and it passed the house with strong democrat support. over 290 votes vetoed, the majority. law evenlity to appeal six democrats to get a vote in the senate and give it to the president is fascinating to me. of all the things that have overwhelming public support, so a lot of stopping up congress has come from the collusion between harry reid and the president, and that is a fact. to lay this on republicans in congress is under nonsense. host: we are talking to republican congressman tom rice about the state of politics info andfriday's tax other issues. we want to bring in a caller
from new york. caller: [indiscernible] guest: hi, mike, how are you? caller: i am fine. what i am saying to you is there is no reason why you, obama, you, obama and the democrats cannot get together and put everything on the table and type to work a compromise. -- and try to work a compromise. the risk should be taken. can spend $20p million, why didn't he take that money and buy and do it rockefeller senior did. i could take some of that money and spend it on education like [indiscernible] you, theno reason why
republicans, the democrats, the moderates, the liberals and obama can get together and get together to find a program. guest: you know what the reason is, mike? lack of leadership, my friend. there is a fear to come out with specific solutions to solve these difficult problems. that is why you have not seen the president make a proposal on tax reform. the only proposal has come out of the house committee. we are working on hearings right now in congress. there have been three or four different hearings. they call the listing sections. paul ryan has said he wants to come out with a specific tax reform proposal by june, a i am very proud of him doing that. that requires leadership. it should have been done years ago. and iran in 2012 for the -- when the first a talk for
time and people asked about tax reforms, i said that our tax code is reprehensible and it makes our country uncompetitive in the world, and it is costing us hundreds and thousands, millions of jobs every single year. we have got to do something about it. the president says it all the time. when you heard him campaign in 20 to with a new tax reform, i was sure it would happen in 2013. we have a lame duck president with nothing to lose. i was sure he would lead us to one of those campaign policies and it did not happen. no specific proposals. came from overal the objection of the republican leadership at that time. why? because they did not want to take the error for something that was not passed, but that is what leadership requires. it has got to get done. it is hurting our country, your
region, your children and your grandchildren. it has got to get done. we have got to show leadership in paul ryan with his agenda project is starting us down the path. tax reform,sue of what is it about tax reform that is so difficult? the attempt to try to pass tax reform proceeds the obama administration. it started taking place in the bush administration as well. what about tax reform is so difficult? guest: excuse me. like 60,000 is pages now. it is incredibly complex. there are people with invested interest in every single aspect. the most obvious example, let's say, you go to the home mortgage deduction, do think some people would be upset? i'm not proposing we do away with that, but what we need to do is start on page one and go to page 60000 and look at why
deductions and credits or put in the code. some people called loopholes, but the truth is, almost every single one of them are put in with legitimate purpose to try to encourage economic activity to benefit the country, so we have to look at everyone and make sure they are still relevant. if they are not, they need to come out. we need to work toward a system with a lower rate held make us competitive in the world. anything we do, we will upset somebody. you hear about it, you have to show leadership and do it is right. host: up next on the republican line, leon from georgia. you are on with congressman tom rice. caller: hello -- thank you, congressman. i went to talk about the delegate system in the united states. i think it is wrong. i think people should use their elections to pick up a candidate that we want, not the delegates. i think we need to take care of
tax on. it should have been taken care of a long time ago and it should be taken care of because and get its actions, these big companies are just cheating and lying about it terry, like your opinion on that. thank you. guest: the delegate system is really not a matter of law. it is about party rules, where the republican party has its rules and the democratic party has its rules. quite honestly, i am not horribly familiar with either one. it does seem a little askew when i hear about all these superdelegates being allocated not necessarily based on the votes of the people, but their publican party rules say that if you don't get the majority of the delegates on the first ballot of the convention, then he kind of opens it up in the delegates get freed up to do whatever they want to. had beenthe rules that in existence as far as i know for hundreds of years. broker conventions are nothing new. i think the last one was in 1964
when the democrats had a brokered convention. or excuse me, the republicans that a brokered convention then. whether or not those rules need to be changed and how they need to be changed, i'm sorry. i am not an expert. and i certainly agree with you on the tax reform. attacks code is competitive in the world and there are a lot of things to do. american competitiveness is my focus in congress. to makevery day to try this country more competitive, and there are many things that to where our companies based year can fairly compete around the world because if you have to companies, and they both make the same product, buy the both have to same materials to make their products, then they broke compete for this same customers. one of those companies is paying taxes at 39% and the other is paying in ireland at 13%.
guess what? there is no way. it is an economic fact that the company paying the higher taxes can survive. we have a team of economists, republicans and democrats, and a couple weeks ago, i asked them that hypothetical. everyone of them said, when two companies in the exact same the same buying materials, compete in the same customers, one pays 39% tax, one pays 13% tax, can you tell me how the story ends? everyone of them said, either the company paying the highest tax will go out of this is or be bought by the foreign competitor. look at what is happening. companyamerican icon after american icon company either moving offshore or being bought by foreign countries. it isnot when people say a matter of corporate greed that they moved overseas.
it is not corporate greed. it is a matter of economic fact. they cannot survive paying two times or three times as much in their rate has the competitors overseas. it cannot compete. that is a matter to her economic fact. all the issue in the world will not change that. host: up next on the independent mind, sheila from winchester, virginia. you are on the line with congressman tom rice. caller: good morning, congressman rise. i have two things for you, sir. one, what is the chance of congress getting a budget passed in the next two days, if not, what will happen? and you had made a comment about obama care. i went to say i was the proud recipient of obama care for the first time in 12 years, i did not go into medical bankruptcy. i have been paying off medical bills for good team years.
-- for 15 years. host: ok. guest: i don't know that we will get a budget passed in the next two days. i know paul ryan continues to work on that. he is desperate to get back to the regular appropriations process, so he is working desperately to try to find an agreement among republicans on how to move forward with the budget. with respect to obamacare, i don't think i did mention obamacare. i think you talked about obamacare and that is fine with me. there is a fraction of people out there that i believe has helped, and unnatural white sure why you cannot get insurance before, other than maybe fork of pre-existing condition, which is always been able to buy insurance and you may have a hasing period, insurance always been available in my experience. i think obamacare is a dismal
failure and most policies aren't with high co-pays and the premiums are higher, but it was ,ritten by insurance companies johnson and gruber, so i think it is a downward spiral right now. i think if we do not do anything, it will implode within the next few years and i think it also hurts our economy and our labor force because companies that are on the verge 50 employees and having to buy this insurance, they don't hire or they hire people part-time and it takes people's potential jobs away. i think it is hurting our economy. host: on the issue of the budget, what you are talking about a moment ago, a story in "the hill" says that republican senators say the holdup is on
the house side because house lawmakers are divided on it, house republicans, specifically, badly divided. it says that a senator who requested anonymity said the senate gop conference is waiting to see it house republicans can overcome the internal divisions to pass a budget. id. think anybody thinks that can happen, the lawmaker said, projecting the chances of senate action as low. are there internal divisions and what are the sticking points? guest: absolutely. i think most people in the house with a preferred we stayed that a powerful budget number of 1030, which was a sequestered number. $40 billion of it that. the reason was because the pentagon was saying they cannot carry out their mission of being able on two fronts without that additional $20 billion.
i was on the budget committee last year and we took care of that contingency account, and theycontingency, actually finalize the budget and we passed this in december. they took care of it through the regular budget process. the president said he would not accept that $20 billion increase did not also we increase 20 billion dollars in nondefense. i think most republicans were ok with $20 billion in defense, even over sequestered, but they were not ok with the increase in nondefense, so i think that is where the rug is. paul ryan is trying to figure out the path forward. host: speaker ryan said there would be no spending bill without a budget. do you agree with that? guest: some people take the position that the omnibus go in december set the topline number. i think he would rather do it in a straight up budget. ont: up next, we have herman
the democratic line from louisiana. caller: good morning. guest: how are you, herman? caller: i am doing fine. i retired military. guest: thank you for your service. caller: thank you. i keep hearing the republicans talk about taking our country back and make it great. i would like for you to elaborate on that, what you mean take the country back? i fought in vietnam for two tours, and who has taken our country? i would like for you to elaborate, thank you. guest: yes, sir. i think what people are frustrated about are the performances in the economy. i think that is their primary things, and a lot of the
that the carter administration has done, i feel like or a lot of people believe, and i agree, have held act the economy more than help it. the obamacare is one of those. it isk worse than that, an abysmal failure and it was passed on the premise of [indiscernible] if you look at the actual numbers, the percentage of total banking assets held in the country by the top five banks has grown by about 10% since 2010, when it came in to being, so it has failed in the primary premise. we were forming an average about 100 community banks before dodd frank passed. since. frank passed, i think we form than 20 banks in that entire period.
community banks, they are the ones who own small businesses. in the last five years, more small businesses closed and have opened. i don't think that is coincidence. small businesses employ 75% of the people in the country, and 94 million people have left our and have given up trying to find work. i don't think that is a coincidence. two thirds of the economy is based on consumer spending. are outnumber of people of the labor force and the economy is performing at 1.5% to 2%, which is historically very weak, which is why must people outside of the bubble of washington, d.c., new york and san francisco, to not think the economy is performing well. i think that is the primary problem.
i don't think it is a racial thing at all. i certainly admire some of the president's characteristics for it i think he is a smart man. i do not believe he is a leader. i think he has his heels dug in on two programs that are hurting our economy and people are tired of it. they want a different direction, so when they say to take the country back, i think that is what they mean and it has nothing to do it is race. host: we are talking to congressman tom rice, republican from south carolina. we are talking about tax policy, including cyber security when it comes to protecting tax payer information. yesterday, at a senate finance committee hearing, irs discussed the number of cyber attacks and how the threat to irs data has changed. let's take a look at that. >> we work continuously to protect our main computer
systems from cyberattacks and to safeguard taxpayer information stored in our databases. these systems withstand more than one million malicious attempts to access them each day . we are also continuing to battle the growing problem of stolen identity refund fraud. over the past few years, we have made steady progress in protecting against roger refund claims and criminally prosecuting those who engage in this crime. we have found the type of criminal we are dealing with has changed. the problem used to be random individuals filing a few hundred false tax returns at the time. now, we are doing more with organized crime syndicates in other countries and here. they are gathering unimaginable amounts of personal data from sources outside the irs to do a better job of impersonating taxpayers, invading i return processing filters, and obtaining fraudulent refunds. to improve our efforts across this evolving threat, in march
2015, we joined the leaders of the electronic tax industry, the software industry in the state to create the security summit group. an unprecedented partnership focused on making the tax filing experience safer and more secure for taxpayers in 2016 and beyond. host: that was irs commissioner saying cybern, thieves of becoming more sophisticated. are you concerned about that threat? guest: in the first place, might experience with this gentleman leads me to take whatever he ofs with a big old grain salt. with respect to the technology of the irs, there are still using mainframe computers that were manufactured in 1980, so their ability to deal with sophisticated cyber attacks is a little questionable to me.
tryingve that they are to take steps. one thing that is a great concern to me, with respect to .yber security is technology i cannot guarantee much. i do not know what will happen tomorrow, except for this -- technology will continue to improve. if the folks at apple, who are pretty good at technology, had built a security system that was able to be broken in a fairly short period of time, i don't know the dire rest will be able to build something that is anymore impenetrable than apple. is everyal government department, from the irs, the department of the interior, homeland security and our military, they need to take every reasonable step to protect that they do, but the sit here and say that we can build an
impenetrable wall i think is not true. i think there is always going to thieves that are looking for ways to attack and i think we should do everything to prevent it, but i don't think we can tell people that they will not be improving technology and with that improving techniques for hacks. i think the things we have doubled for the last 10 years with people hacking into businesses and it's a government entities, i don't see that stopping tomorrow or anytime soon. are talking to congressman tom rice, the republican from south carolina, about tax policy ahead of friday's tax day. member ofn rice is a the committee and was elected in 2012. up next, on the republican mind, cottage, newlley york. you are on with congressman rice.
caller: you got it right. congressman, nice to talk to. guest: thank you. how are you? caller: good, thank you. we have not been tax reforms since 1986. one of the main problems i see with doing tax reform, it is never indexed to inflation. one thing that people don't really understand is that the federal reserve creates inflation. , 2% try to shoot for it inflation rate every a, but since 1973 to 1990, inflation averaged about 4.5%. the american people do not understand that that is a tax on them. every year, because the tax code is not indexed to inflation, every year, more and more people get sucked into the alternate minimum tax and higher tax rates. people do not understand that they are being taxed.
they think it is greedy businessmen but it is not true. host: do you have a specific question? caller: i want him to address the fact that the congress, whenever they do tax reform, they never indexed it to inflation and it is a hidden tax that people don't understand they pay. host: let's let the congressman address that. guest: peter, for 25 years, i a tax man. -- what you said is true in some parts. are are in that right, and i'm almost positive the brackets were absolutely indexed to inflation. i agree with you that in general, every specific number
in the tax code should be indexed unless there is a specific reason not to be. host: on the independent nine, rachel from texas. yes, hello. a while back,me they asked me the difference between democrats and republicans and i cannot give them an answer because i have not seen any. you both point your fingers at each other and blame each other for what is going on today. let me also finish. paul ryan's way of fixing medicare was to put them on a bouncer program and once they went through that amount of money, you are on your own. is insurance companies overcharging what they do, and going up to companies that hire and historyu know,
is your worst enemy. do nothing but point fingers at each other and do nothing. host: ok, let's get the congressman a chance. guest: a lot of questions there. i want to come back to paul fixingprogram of medicare. the truth of it is is that what his plan is, the average person gets out of medicare three to four times what they put in over the lifetime. we have a search of people retiring, so we are on an unsustainable path. medicare, the trust fund in medicare will expire in about the year 2030. we do nothing. will do nothing, it expire. we have to do something. health care costs continue to rise, so we have to find a way to make this promise that we cold,ade to our seniors
solid, good and golden. was was toan's plan allow private insurance companies to bid to allow medical care coverage. the government would also continue to provide medicare coverage. the government would reimburse cheapest thathe everybody would bid, including the government, and the government would not reimburse you for the cheapest plan before the second cheapest plan. if you wanted to buy one that cost more than the second cheapest plan, you could do that and pay out of pocket. if you wanted the second cheapest plan, it would cost you nothing and if you wanted the cheapest, he would get cash back and it would create competition that theoretically would hold down health cost and make medicare sustainable.
this is a great model, in my opinion. i am sure there are other models out there and everybody is open up to additional ideas. he is the only one who has put one out there and he has taken for it. that is called leadership. i am proud that he has done that. i am welcomed to listen to any other plants, but we cannot sit here and rant and not deal with the problem. we have got to deal with the problem and make this problem solid for our seniors. with respect to the difference between democrats and republicans come i think there is one fundamental thing i would bring it down to. as entitlement versus opportunity. the republicans believe that this is a land of opportunity and that they should work hard and have a limited government that will serve limited functions, outline the constitution, and that creates freedom and opportunity for people to pursue their dreams.
the democrats believe that the government can provide to people. ultimately. even with the best intentions, i think the government is holy unable to provide. they have to provide a sick corp. functions, but in the end, -- they have to provide basic core functions, but in the end, competition creates the best outcome. that is why we have the number one performing economy in the world for 100 years. here,s why we are seeing we are moving more and more away from that. we have more government programs, more restrictions on freedom. host: we have a lot of calls for congressman rice. next, don, democrat from florida. caller: good morning. guest: how are you doing? caller: great, thank you. i wanted to make one thing,
actually, three real quick. the leadership that the president has not shown leadership, seven years ago, are we better off now than we were then? deals.n, trade we need to stop making bad trade deals. i think trade deals destroy unions and send jobs for americans to compete against workers that are making one dollar an hour, two dollars an hour and we will never have equal playing fields. and one more question the donald trump and winning the states that he has won. i am not the donald trump supported at all, but i feel that if you win a state, should when the delegates. host: let's get the congressman have a chance to respond. guest: don, i will go back to the earlier answer i gave about the delegates.
that is not a federal law. that is party rules. the democrats have their roles, where bernie sanders has won states and god bless delegates than hillary clinton because of the superdelegate. i don't understand how it works. the republican party has their roles, which are generally winner takes and others are winner takes all and some are proportionate, and they all have different ways of allocating them. pretty much, all of them say that after some period of time, if nobody comes into the convention with the majority of the delegates, based upon the states way of allocating, that after a few goats, and -- q fouts, it is freed up to who they want. that is not a new -- votes, it is freed up to who they want. that is not new. 100as been like that for years. there were contested conventions
not that long ago. i think to say that the donald trump comes to the convention with 1000 delegates and the 1237 to get needs an acclamation in the first irstet, he did not -- f ballot, he did not get there and they have to follow the rules. i have not endorsed anybody and i am not going to endorse anybody, but to say that he is being cheated if he comes in with less than the required number of delegates, actually, the other people would be cheated if they gave him the nomination back acclamation if he came in with less than what is required. with respect to your question , i am alle deals about the american competition and making our country competitive in the world. i think that we have failed in that regard. i think that is one of the primary reasons for the economic release that week suffered.
economics that week suffered. people go to work and their job is to figure out how to beat other states economically and there is nothing wrong with that. that is what they should do. the problem is that we don't have that same problem in america. that should be a uniting in. republicans and democrats should be on the same team and understand that we are in a global economic competition, and that we need to act that way. , ih respect to trade deals work a lot with an economics professor from harvard and an expert at the theory that has consulted with a lot of countries. he has written things that we should do and i am in congress every day preaching that. one is trade deals. we have 5% of the world consumers here and 95% live outside this country.
in order for our companies to be competitive, they need to have access. we are very liberal about granting access to our consumers . other countries are not nearly as liberal. we need to have [indiscernible] put those trade deals cannot be one-sided against the united states. they have to be fair and competitive, and we have in the that wererade deals not competitive. 34 years ago, we could do that because we were so far ahead of the rest of the world. guess what? the rest of the world has caught up and we cannot afford to enter anymore trade deals that are not there and competitive for the united states. host: our next caller is from your home state, steve on the independent mind from south carolina. -- from the independent line, from south carolina. guest: so good to hear from someone from the district. how are you doing? caller: i'm doing good.
beautiful place. guest: i miss it and i have only been gone since yesterday. caller: i recommend you getting back. i am an independent. i about fair attacks. that is one of my main things. you have a flat tax and a fair tax. as an independent contractor, when a person pays me with a check and i don't have the receipt and nobody knows anything about it, that is happening from one end of the country to the other. crook,riminal, prostitute, whatever they are, when they get paid cash, you are not paying tax on it. host: you only have a few seconds left. caller: if you buy a pack of cigarettes, god, you don't pay -- toothpick, you don't pay tax. host: let's let the harassment respond. guest: --
host: let's let the congressman respond. guest: consumption tax is what you are talking about. my issue with that has always been, as tax lawyer for 25 years, i have seen how tax law affects the a beer and people go to great lengths not to pay tax. two thirds of our economy is based on consumer spending. if you start taxing on spending, i am afraid it would slow down spending in the short run and further damage are already weak economy. honestly, i do not care if we do a fair tax or flat tax. what i want is for our taxes to be competitive. we have got to make our taxes competitive so our companies can compete around the world with greater american jobs. if we don't do that, we're hurting our children and grandchildren. we have four economists that were on the committee it couple weeks ago and i asked, in your opinion, is a consumption tax
more or less competitive than an now?e tax likely have everyone of them said the consumption tax is more competitive. from congressman tom rice >> and congressman rice and his colleagues grin legislative work in the house at noon eastern today. just under half an hour from now, members will initial -- consideration of two bills dealing with the financial services industry and another prohibiting the federal communications commission from regulating internet rates. the internet bill is on the bill for friday. live coverage of the house when members return here on c-span. and some campaign news from "the hill." democratic hopeful bernie sanders has picked up the endorsement of the new york transit workers union during a visit to a brooklyn union hall
center, sanders thaad the union members for his endorsement and he would keep up his winning streak with a victory in new york. you don't have a great middle class unless you have a great trade, sanders said. dising missing those who offered -- by the way, we have recorded the union town hall with senator sanders today and show it later on the c-span networks and he picked up his first endorsement from a senate colleague, oregon senator jeff merkley has thrown his support to sanders announced earlier today. by the way, you can read more on that on thehill.com. we have more today from "washington journal" with a conversation with democratic congressman brendan boyle. he talks about his work on the oversight and foreign affairs committee. the democratic convention being held in his philadelphia district and we'll show you as much as we can until the house convenes at noon eastern. discuf
the top issues before the house foreign affairs and oversight and government reform committee, which he is a member, as well as part of the upcoming democratic convention in philadelphia. guest: good morning. you just changed my party for a moment. host: we work in a bipartisan way on "the washington journal." have you endorsed someone? guest: i have not made an official endorsement, but i will be soon with the presidential primary in my state in pennsylvania, just two weeks when you mistakenly said i was a republican, i think it would be more fun to be a super delegate at the republican
convention this summer than the democratic convention. it is pretty clear at this point that hillary clinton is the favored, whereas, the republican side has been the more entertaining phrase. not just ase that someone in politics but a political junkie, i hope there would be a real live convection -- convention like the old days for the first time in my lifetime, and it does seem as if the republicans of 2016 have managed to get themselves into that situation. host: speaking of the republicans in your state on your side, donald trump is the primary. you compared him to a third world demagogue. what do you think the appeal is in your state of the people who happen in the lead? an op-ed fore publication called "the silly
boys," and i years strong language to describe donald trump and i do not do that lightly. i started off by saying that i think superlatives tend to be overused, but my point with donald trump is that he represents something different in our politics. i happen to be a democrat, but at no point with i ever say that any republican president has been dangerous to our .onstitution john kasich, marco rubio, even ted cruz, pokes i may disagree with and strongly on a number of things, it would be outlandish to say they were outside our democratic reform. donald trump really is different, and what he represents really is quite concerning. just for my own private life, i know a lot of friends who are republicans, conservatives, more intellectual conservatives and they are very troubled by what is going on in the republican party and the sort of anger that
donald trump has tapped into. wasle forget that he challenging that the president erica was even eligible. these are only two of about 20 different things that he has done that really make him not capable to be commander in chief. host: are you concerned about his popularity? guest: it is a double-edged sword. on one hand, he is clearly popular with a good one third of the primary republican electorate. his numbers never drop the load they30% to 40% range but also have never risen above that. he has yet to get the majority. it looks like new york may be the first. the recent he goes into the convention without having clinched the majority of delegates is his government to win the support of the majority.
you see him at his rallies, and himke on sometimes bleed tinge, he has tapped into a real anger and frustration out there. he is channeling that in a negative way. host: we are talking to congressman brendan boyle, democrat from pennsylvania, about the presidential race and other policy issues. our minds are open. republicans can call in at (202)-748-8001. democrats, (202)-748-8000. .ndependents, (202)-748-8002 let's turn to the democratic side of the race. you mentioned that you are a superdelegate, but you have not yet endorsed secretary clinton or sanders, why is that? guest: i think they are both fine candidates. willhave a lean and i announce something soon, but unlike the republican side, the
democratic race and has been very healthy for our party. it has mostly been on issues and substantive debate. i think bernie sanders' voice in the race has brought something positive. i believe that the issues of income and equality, and linked to that, the shrinking ability to have social mobility in our country, i think these are the core issues that president obama calls the income and equality issues. the defining issues of our time. bernie sanders speaks to them realreal passion and elegance that i think has been positive. at the same time, when you're looking to vote for president, to me, that may be the most important domestic issue but so are other issues. i serve on the foreign affairs committee and we speak about that a little bit they do, but clearly, bernie sanders is much more comfortable speaking about domestic issues than foreign policy.
i'm considering who you will vote for for president, they are all the issues you have to take into account. host: you should you don't want to announce the endorsement right now? guest: not on c-span. host: all right, there is a piece talking about the process according to superdelegates and how it has gotten more intense. the article states -- longtime democratic national committee member and superdelegate bobble holland wrote a letter to holland wroteb mul a letter to sanders last week's scoresheet in the candidate for not calling out his supporters for their "bullying" of superdelegates. host: have you been feeling pressure from sanders' campaign?
guest: both campaigns have breached out and attempted to win my support. nothing that crossed the lines. i would say that i had a number of people on twitter who are passionately pro-bernie sanders asking me to support senator sanders, but none of them did anything that would cost the line. -- that would cross the line. i think they were coming from a positive place. i cannot help but contrast the sort of optimism and positivity of his message, and you see that at his rallies versus what you see a donald trump's rallies. they are both in some ways of talking about the same issues with the middle class stuck in neutral that is not moving forward, yet one is attempting to address it positively while and attemptkes it to channel that anger and frustration in a negative way. host: we are talking to congressman brendan boyle, democrat from pennsylvania.
on the democratic line, eric from north myrtle beach, south carolina. good morning. caller: good morning. i love "washington journal." i watch you guys every morning. thank you for being here, congressman boyle. i have a think about donald trump, ok? i believe one of the reasons why he is getting so much notoriety, ,long with a few other things to me, he is acting like another 100on in our history did years ago. barnell.was p.t. people are getting really excited and i am just ready for donald trump to bring out the
fiji mermaid. host: do you have a question for the congressman? caller: yes, i do. i needed to find something out right now. the superdelegates and -- i don't know. the superdelegates, in your doing?, what are they they will be picking out hillary or they will be picking to was alli thought it supposed -- both on the republican and democratic side -- i thought it was supposed to be the majority of the people? host: let's let the congressman respond. there has been a big debate of the role of superdelegates. guest: i think the discussion over superdelegates has been the
most overhyped and overrated part in the primary process. to take a step that, on the democratic side, about 80% of the delegates of the convention come from being elected through the primary. the other 20% are the longtime democratic officeholders, members of congress, governors, party activists, etc., who are not there just that election time that year in and year out doing the low turnout off the races. for as long as superdelegates have existed, they have never voted in a way different than the pledged delegates. the one race where they could have made the difference was eight years ago. hillary clinton started off with a strong lead in superdelegates. once barack obama started eating her narrowly in the primary vote -- beating her narrowly in the primary vote, the superdelegates switched.
at the end, the superdelegates supporting obama was similar to what the elected delegates or pledged delegates were doing, so i tend to think that it would eat a very unusual circumstance we see that superdelegates the will oft was the democratic primary electorate. that has never happened. it is hard to for see a scenario in which that would happen. i think they are there more as a a just innd kind of case, especially since we do have lag time between the last primaries and when the nominees are chosen. it will be late summer. host: despite who you are endorsing, if at the convention if your state does to the other candidate, would you change your vote in favor? guest: that is something i have been wrestling with. time asmy first superdelegates and there are all
sorts of questions. you go with your conscience? --ou vote for the folks do you vote for your folks in your state voted for? what do i represent my district ?because i got necessarily represent the state these are important questions. i don't know at this point what i would do. host: up next, june calling from georgia. caller: hello? host: you are on. caller: good morning and thank you some much for c-span. myis where i get a lot of information. i like to listen to my information straight from the horse's mouth. my question is about superdelegates and it is about the gop. i am an independent, neither when it or republican, see happening in our country is where the people do not have a
.oice in the end we vote, we do our duty as a citizen by voting, and then when it gets to the convention, it is all thrown out. i do not like it and i think you misinterpret a lot of the anger of the people. that is a big part of the anger. we do not have a voice. out,ve regulations coming or states no longer have power. if a social issue is passed and i have not had a chance to vote on it, then i feel like i don't have a voice. host: ok, let's let the congressman respond. guest: thank you. first, you made a point that i managed to make earlier witches thank you for c-span. i am part of what some called the mtv generation but it could be called the c-span generation because i grew up in the 1980's, actually learning about
government and politics through c-span. this has been one of the great public treasures that has been created and it provides a real service that no one knows is providing. in terms of june's point about people not having a voice, it is distressing how many people feel that. that is a real problem that we have in our society. i do think as far as the delicate process and the conventions go, in my lifetime, from the mid-1970's, whoever has won the party primaries has been the nominee. it has not been decided by the suppose it our brokers, and i think -- the suppose it powerbrokers, and i think you will see that this time. there is a 95% less chance that the republican nominee will be donald trump or ted cruz as they receive the most votes. it does show you that if the republican party were to try to
parachute someone in, at this point, that person would like legitimacy and i think they would face a popular uprising. host: what do you think about paul ryan's announcement yesterday that he would not be that parachuter? to know paul.n i like him and he has an important and difficult job. when the my challenges for my time serving, while the republicans have a majority, there is a group of about 40 to 50 actually conservative members who tend to look at compromise as something that is evil, even though our whole constitution is itself the product of compromise. you see on every difficult piece of legislation that has been passed, republicans have not had to 18, the magic number. magice had 218, the number. when speaker boehner was willing to engage our side of the aisle, we were able to get the transportation bill done, export
and import reauthorization, those were just a couple of important things. the fact that we raised the debt ceiling, which he became dangerously close to not doing, that all happened with democratic votes with a certain number of republicans. and the speaker will have a difficult job at this republican caucus because in the end, they do not have the majority to what they say they are for. host: we are talking to congressman brendan boyle from pennsylvania. first-term congressman, representing part of philadelphia and north philadelphia and some of the regions. up next, we have mark calling in on the republican line from henderson, north carolina. good morning, mark. caller: good morning. how are you today? guest: good morning, thank you. caller: i cannot let you get away with two lies in told in the beginning statement. first off, donald trump did not
start [indiscernible] a gentlemanton and who worked on hillary clinton from your state or the ones who actually started those and put forth the lawsuit against barack obama's birth certificate. you need to go back a little bit. i forgot myrap, point. host: do you want to respond? guest: i would be happy. it is a fact that donald trump was the person who is pushing the birth initiative and he had an investigation going on and he could not believe that they were finding one of the outlandish statements we have gone used to, and he even pursued in hawaii. guess what? the president of united states, who happened to be the son of an immigrant, as in my, my father is from ireland, and no one has
asked to see my birth certificate, but president barack obama's father happened to be from kenya and he may have a different name as opposed to mine, and all of a sudden, the birth issue arises when he enters the white house. it was donald trump of fish that, pursued that, and it was an incredibly cynical thing to do and am deeply patriotic. democrat, when george w. bush was president, who i think what a little too far in their attacks on president bush, even though it i disagree with a lot of policies, if we have to show respect for the office of the presidency, donald trump has not done that at all. he is outside the mainstream of our normal democratic politics. host: let's move toward other topics. you are a member of the foreign
affairs committee. let's talk about the fight against isis. you said in a piece last month that we are at war. do we know enough about the enemy to win? in thei had a notepad philadelphia inquirer a few weeks ago in which i laid out a number of my views in the war that we are in. i can now it just it to the cold war. i think this is a long twilight struggle, the same with the cold war was for a previous generation. i think this is much more complex and i talked about the three different battlefields, if you will. the first is traditional. tosee it in syria, iraq and a certain extent in libya and afghanistan. are inond battlefield these communities like in brussels, paris, britain, where , smalle a radicalized toup of extremists, who wish
do ask harm, and by us, i mean any of us in the west. the third battlefield is online and through social media. the ability of isis and other similar ideological groups to reach and target the very disturbed, disaffected people, inther it was a teenager columbus, ohio, who wanted to come to the capital to blow it up, or for teenaged girls in colorado who wanted to go join isis because they were reached online. those are the three battlefields we have to wage the war on. we cannot just concentrate on one of those. i happen to believe that we are not being as effective as we should, especially in the social media realm. we are the country of hollywood, and other groups to qaeda
beat us like when it comes to social media and online presence. that has to change. the final point, because i know we want to take more calls, but this is important to make, we can focus on isis, we can focus haram, but there will be groups we have not heard of that will come about. it is the ideology that we have to combat. host: the headline in this morning's "new york times." although airstrikes have killed , it is stillhters expanding. the battlefield successes enjoyed by western backed forces in isis's heartland have done little to stop the expansion of militants to europe, north
africa and afghanistan. the attacks this year in brussels and other cities reinforce this myth of a --rorist group on the march the sense of a terrorist group on the march. a fight that is likely to go on for years. how do you get ahead of this expansion? guest: clearly, no one has a silver bullet or an easy answer to it. it is a military component, yes. a law enforcement component, as we have seen in brussels and paris. it is also combating the ideology. testifying in the foreign affairs committee and visiting us was the king of jordan. he said to us, in the end, this is our war. speaking from his perspective, meaning the majority -- the vast
majority of muslims who do not at all support isis, but nonetheless, need to combat this growing cancer within their community. thisackdrop of that is sunni versus shia conflict. part of the reason we saw isis's initial popularity in northern iraq, people who were not all ready to join isis, but they were so strongly against the shiite dominated iraqi government, which is affiliated with iran, that they as the plot, your enemy of your enemy is your friend. we have to recognize that the backdrop of this is that shia versus sunni conflict. host: mary from franklin,
tennessee. congressmanith brendan boyle. caller: i have a lot to say about the superdelegate business. it is just not democratic. far asner take all as republicans go, that is terrible, ridiculous. and that really put everything he speaks of them except abortion. i don't like abortion. host: do you have a question for the congressman? caller: yes. where could you stand on medicaid for all? couldn't we take that from paychecks to pay and increase the cap for social security? where do you stand on that? there asere is a lot
part superdelegates. obviously, we discussed previously. just to point out, by the way, you are right when you talk -- somenner take all states choose that winner take all. democrats are not allowed. you havemocratic side, a uniform standard that use .roportional representation the issues of medicare and social security, it is important to take a step back because we hear so much hysteria about medicare and social security that it is about to collapse and all this. let's take a look at the facts. social security has existed for 81 years. there have been people ever since this existed who have fought it. every single year, social security has run a surplus, not
a deficit. it has been the single best way of lifting seniors out of poverty. lived in poverty before social security. today, that figure is in the high single digits. seniors arbetter off than children in our society. social security does a wonderful job. those who want to change it i think tend to be coming from a place where they are ideologically don't agree with a social safety net. admittedly, when it cos to social security and medicare, we are going to have a problem in the out years 20 years down the line because of the trust fund and the changing demographics, age demographics in our society. small changes we can make today this segment and the daily "washington journal" program is on our website. we'll leave the last few minutes of the program here
because the u.s. house is about to gavel in to begin their legislative day. initial work will get under way on two bills dealing with the financial services industry. another bill that would prohibit the federal communications commission from regulating internet rates. house about to gavel in live here on c-span. the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, the reverend steve tomlinson, st. stevens catholic church, exeter, nebraska. the chaplain: would you bow your heads in prayer. good and gracious god, we come before you filled with gratitude of the many blessings you have bestowed upon us humbly. we ask your forgiveness for when we have chosen the wrong path. we beseech your mercy, o lord, upon our n