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tv   Politics and Public Policy Today  CSPAN  December 1, 2016 9:00pm-10:39pm EST

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. they essentially wrote a letter to speaker paul ryan saying that because it was expected to pass so overwhelmingly, the vast -- it presents any new start and put some behind on the issues and other procurement priorities. >> now that this final measure is coming to the house, they had initially issued veto threats against the house and senate version. what are they saying about the final version? >> they have not spoken definitively yet. a lot of issues they're threatening to veto are no longer in there. it is unclear if they will sign it. but the white house press secretary said earlier this week
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one of the big issues is going to be the funding, the fact that there is an additional $3.2 billion for defense that is not matched. thehe days are dwindling, house will get to their final passage on friday. what about the senate, what is action?table for >> that should be sometime next week. they're considering the cr, then trying to get out of town. action? >> this is the defense reporter for the washington examiner. she is also on twitter. thank you for your update. >> thank you. >> in the on c-span, a conversation about the future of the conservative movement, then, the house passed a bill that changes the dodd-frank financial bill. also, we hear from president-elect donald trump, who traveled to cincinnati, ohio to think supporters. supporters.
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>> c-span's washington journal live every day with the news and policy issues that impact you. friday morning, congressional mental health caucus cochair representative tim murphy will discuss mental health legislation and the state of mental health care funding. and, appropriations committee member matt cartwright talks aboutabout the democrats politil agenda under president-elect trump, and efforts to increase party support among blue-collar workers. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal at 7:00 eastern friday. join the discussion. >> next, a conversation about >> next, a conversation about the future of the conservative movement. we will hear from the incoming house of the senate committee, congressman mark walker, and bill flores. the american enterprise institute hosted this event. the moderator is arthur brooks. >> is good afternoon everybody.
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good afternoon to those joining us live. i am delighted to welcome all of you to the republican committee and leadership change over of then. we have are to guess before you today. representative bill flores and mark walker. we will talk today about the republican study committee and the plan for the future. please join me in welcoming our guests. [applause] >> as things generally are these days, we have an audience here at headquarters and a larger audience watching us here, not live, but some i live over the internet. usot of people are joining by livestream today and we will be opening up for questions and answers. tiny bit ofo a housekeeping. if you're watching us on livestream and want to join in on the conversation, the way you the browserheir -- is to go to the website and
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enter the code events. also, i wanted to welcome our viewers on c-span. thank you for joining us. i have been looking for to this event because this is something that we have done a lot of times and it is a relationship we truly cherish. the republican state committee has been a force of intellectual ideas, a moral force in the u.s. house of representatives for a long time. and certainly since i have been in washington, d.c., it's done incredibly impressive work. the rnc has 170 members. it's the majority of the majority in the house, and it impacts major policy. it has in the last few congresses and it really promises to do even more in the coming years given the political , whirlwinds we have seen in washington, d.c. they have had a productive and very special relationship. this is the third time we have hosted this conversation between the outgoing and incoming chairman.
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let me introduce the outgoing and incoming chairman briefly before we turn to the meat of the event. the current rnc chairman is representative bill flores, who represents the 17th district of texas. he's on my far left here. if not idealogically, at least geographically. >> let's leave it geographically. mr. brooks: congressman flores was elected to congress in 2010 in the epic year of 2010, which is really the beginning of major changes in party politics in, around the country, and was elected as rnc chairman in 2014. before that, he spent 30 years in the oil and gas business in texas. the incoming rnc chairman for the next congress is representative mark walker from the sixth district of north carolina. mark and i have gotten to know each other from a series of communications seminars we have been doing on the hill, which is a lovely thing for me. i am enjoying it a lot.
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he was elected to congress recently, in 2014, and has had a rocket-like assent, heading up the rnc in the beginning of his second term. before he was in politics, he worked as a pastor. before ministry, he worked in business and finance. he's done a lot for the pocketbook and soul of a lot of americans and now in politics. two weeks ago, he was elected by his colleagues to chair the rnc. i want to congratulate you on that. we couldn't be happier. a few things we want to do in today's conversation. i want to start off by asking a few questions of outgoing chair flores and then a few questions for the incoming chairman, and then we'll open it up to discussion with the rest of you, and finally, we'll take some live and virtual questions and discussion and finish up by 4:00. so let's start with you. representative flores, you have been the chairman for the last two years of president
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obama's presidency. we didn't know where the country was going. we all got a little surprise in the last election, it's fair to say. one of the few elections where both people on the left and right were equally surprised by how things turned out. one of the key lessons, some of the key takeaways in politics, i'm not a washington guy. i am from the real washington, seattle, washington. but i have not lived here most of my career. the remarkable thing i find is so many politicians, they interpret victories as permanent and defeats as permanent. this election tells us that those who saw the permanent realignment of american politics in 2008 as permanently to the left are wrong. we're wrong, and those who see this as a permanent victory for the republican party are probably wrong, too. we should never treat any political victories or defeats as permanent. let's talk about what you have seen over the last few years. what's your assessment looking back over the past two years of what you have done and
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how you're thinking about it? how do you sum it up? mr. flores: let me say this. i think if you look at the macro environment we started with, we started the 114th congress with some headwinds in front of us. first of all, if you remember, the president's first state of the union after he got re-elected was he was going to bypass congress. he said the statement, i have a pen and a phone. so that set the theme for the last four years of his presidency. and he followed through with that threat. so he largely viewed the constitution as irrelevant, and congress as an inconvenience. that's the way he behaved in the last 4 years. we had to deal with that. that ultimately worked to our benefit because the american people rejected that style of leadership. with that said, that's the environment we were living with, with the rnc. we did have a majority in the house, a majority in the senate. the senate majority you couldn't tell if we were in the majority of not because it was hard to tell who was controlling the
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agenda over there. so the rnc had to maintain a clear, thoughtful, conservative course moving forward, and i think we did a pretty good job of that in the 114th congress. we set two of the most aspirational, transformational rnc budgets we ever passed and created a framework of task forces to be able to provide the conservative substance for what became the speaker's a better way agenda. when speaker ryan became speaker, and he talked about setting a new path for the country, we decided, look, we're the conservative majority in the house. let's set that. let's take ownership of that. we created six task forces and dealt with national security, fiscal responsibility, economic empowerment, particularly those who serve as the permanent underclass, folks of poverty in this country, better ways to deal with that, with tax reform,
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health care reform, with restoring our limited constitutional form of government. and we took all those on. and we created a series of white papers for the speaker to use or for the house task forces to use. and they ultimately formed 70%, 80% of what's in a better way. if you take that one step further to the presidential race, donald trump's make america great again, it really has most of this embedded in it. he articulated it in a manner that is a lot different than i would do it, definitely different than mike pence did, but he was saying essentially the same things in terms of let's get america back on the right set of rails. i feel it the rnc played a part in the transformation of government that we've had over the last few weeks.
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now, history will determine whether that is the case or not. i just read a headline before i headed over today, saying the democratic party is dead. i think most of us in this room would like to say that is true. but if it is going to be dead, it is not up to us to keep it that way. direction, the wrong and we have seen that in the past -- you saw republicans stray in the you saw republicans 1970's, stray away from their core principles during the bush 43 presidency. if we stray away, then that will provide the democratic party to come back. we have to stay thoughtful to the core values we espoused in the last election that gave us a unified government. i feel confident under mark's leadership we're going to do that. we set the framework and mark is exactly the right person to lead us forward. mr. brooks: what would you say
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are the biggest headwinds you faced over the past two years? well, first of all you had a senate -- how do i say this carefully? [laughter] mr. flores: let's just put it this way. mr. brooks: we're not on tv, or anything. mr. flores: let me say this. the american people make decisions in the elections and they really do not care what the rules are a peer, they do not care about this inside washington stuff. when they say drain the swamp, they mean drain the swamp. they don't care if there's a 60-vote threshold in the senate or not. they want to get things done. the biggest impediment we had over the last couple years, we had an out of control executive branch, and when you actually dig into the constitution, we have a
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limited set of remedies to deal with that. if you don't have a senate that's willing to go ahead and use the majority in an effective manner to help you out with that. so if you want to change the behavior of the executive branch, change the way you allocate dollars. but that means you have to pass an appropriations bill, and the senate only passed one or two appropriations bills. if you want to change the direction of the executive branch, then you've got to work - you've got to find a way to pass legislation that puts the president on notice that he's going to wrong direction. we had difficulty doing that. we were frenetic in the house. you saw how productive we were in the house, but we couldn't really get that all the way through the article i branch, and that was what was frustrating to many of us as conservatives in this country. mr. brooks: i can imagine a
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situation in which that is not entirely ameliorating, the tension going forward, particularly when there's a president, and who knows what the tension is going to be between conservatives and the white house itself. it is going to be a big adventure. that leads me to my next question, is what advice have you been getting that you can tell us here in public to mark? mr. flores: first of all, i don't think i need to give very much advice to mark because mark is just wired right already. i hate to use that terminology, but i haven't told him that, but he's going to get the big head on this either. but you know, mark at his core is fundamentally conservative and he's a great leader. i think he's got all the tools in place. i guess the advice i would give to mark is the advice i would give to any conservative. that is remember, if we're , fighting each other, we're not fighting the enemies of the hard working americans in the country who are suffering.
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we always need, when you decide that my conservative bill is better than your conservative bill instead of working together to figure out how to make it a common conservative bill or a common , conservative thing, then that energy you're spending on doing that takes away from being able to achieve the objective. of getting a thoughtful, conservative solution across the finish line and on the president's desk and in the law so you can improve the lives of hard-working american families. that's the advice i give him. make sure we're very careful to not let our rnc conservatives fight among each other. make sure they have always got the north star out there to go out and try to touch all the time. mr. brooks: factionization can be a problem, usually is a problem, and what can we do about that? i'm going to turn it over to mark walker here for a second. a couple things you don't know about mark that i just learned myself. he's a trumpet player, which i respect as a french horn player.
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it is important that we all be brass players, i believe. also, is this right that you have an elvis impression that is well known on the hill? mr. walker: i cannot confirm or deny this point. mr. brooks: let's see if we'll try to do this one next time when you're the outgoing chairman, i'll get you liquored up and see what we can do with that. what do you see right now? you have been around, a member of rnc and you know your way around the hill plenty well at this point. what are your top priorities for the republican study committee as the next chairman? mr. walker: it's interesting how those have grown exponentially in the last 30 days. as a body, we have moved from trying to work hard to throw legislation against the wall and hope that it sticks as opposed to say listen, we have a chance to push forward policy and really laws that impact many
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generations. a couple of those things that come to my mind is tax reform. how many decades have we been talking about tax reform? this administration has added another 8,000 pages of tax code regulations. we're closing in on 75,000 pages now. small businesses that get into the crosshairs of the irs do not have a chance. to lay that out, we have ideas and keep higher education, charitable giving, but also something that's part of the american dream, mortgage interest rate reduction. i think that's something that's a huge win that the american people have been clamoring for some time. obviously, without getting too much into a talking the repeal of obamacare. point,and budget reconciliation. this is an opportunity to sink our teeth into it quickly and early on. the reason why i think it's so important of what we do with the repeal, i we want to make sure -- i know there are arguments -- we have a standard here. we have a chance to really go out of -- after the heart of obamacare, even under
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reconciliation, a 51-majority threshold. i think those priorities are something we need to partner. hopefully partner with the whole conference to get done early on in the spring. mr. brooks: terrific. it sounds like you're going to be pretty busy. do you think you can, in doing that, in fighting against factionalization, you can grow the size of the rsc and bring in a lot of people, factionalization ordinarily occurs when the other side is in the white house and you might be able to bring people together on more of a common theme. do you think growing rsc is the way to do it? mr. walker: i think it is a byproduct of it. it is not my first, instinctive goal. i think that if we do our job, whether it is business, politics, ministry, you do your job and it fluctuates by itself as opposed to our -- artificially trying to get people in. sorry to jump in on
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this. the rsc is not effective because of its size. it's effective because of the members that it has. and the ideas that they put forth, and how they're willing to advocate for those ideas. not only at home among their constituents but here among their colleagues. here among the outside groups on the media and so forth. so the rsc, today it's at 178 members. i am not sure if that is really the right size. maybe a smaller rsc would be possibly more effective. mr. brooks: we recommend price rationing here at aei. >> i guess what i am trying to say is that the size of rsc is not the important issue here. i think mark hit it on the head. if we develop the right policies, the right strategies, then we'll have the right people as members get the right thing done. mr. brooks: terrific.
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now, rsc has traditionally been known as the conservative thinking coalition on the republican side of the house. but not very many americans -- a lot of people in this room are pretty sophisticated in this house -- factions that exist in the house, factions not in a bad way but the fact there are different brands of the republican party on the house side. do the score card for the viewers at home at this point. they hear about the republican study committee, republicans who are in leadership, and then the freedom caucus, just sort of talk us through the different brands of republicanism these days on the house side. you want to start, mark? mr. walker: what we are focused on is effective conservativism. rsc. there's no reason we can't attract leadership, tuesday group members, as well as the house caucus. we have a bleed over from several of the groups even though we're the largest
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and historically conservative caucus. i have challenged however long we're privileged to serve here, whether it is 10 or 20 years can , you look back and say, was it simply about winning the argument or was it about making a difference? are there measured marks of success where you have moved the needle forward? i think that consists of three things. one, the right policy. two, the right approach, and three, the right voice. what i mean by the right voice. if you go back in business, in marketing some of you may have worked in that arena, a product can sometimes reach what they call a maturity stage. people are walking past it on the shelf at the grocery store. kelloggs corn flakes had that problem in the late 1980's. in 1990, they released this commercial, big new englander, eating a bowl of corn flakes. the tag line was this, taste them again for the first time. and when you talk about what you question as far as the different factions. conservatives as a whole, i think it's hearing us again for the first time.
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we have an incredible moment in history right now to allow our voices to be heard. i do not want to elaborate too long on this, but that's why i believe the approach is incredibly important. republicans and conservatives specifically many times are guilty of preaching to the choir. that's our culture, if you want to use the metaphor or continuum of analogy, that's the amen place, the easy place. but the aspect or the goal should be how do we get that conservative message into new communities? into new places? and sometimes it's not always leading with a policy but leading by the relationship, to visit, to listen, to grow this relationship. in the sense, i'll give you an example. if you look at a new car or used car and go on the lot and are looking at the bells and whistles. if i'm the salesman and i look at your used car and say that's the nastiest piece of automotive i have seen in my life, there's automatically a defensive nature that
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comes up. we have to do better across the board as conservatives and that comes down to our messaging. that's what drove me to run for congress originally. we're going to stay consistent with that, and i believe the rsc provides an incredible place to exhibit that conservatism across the board whether you're in leadership whether you're in , the freedom caucus or in tuesday's groups as well. mr. brooks: bill? mr. flores: i have to agree. mark calls it effective conservative. it's all the same thing. it's the right policy, the right approach. i like the way mark calls it the right voice, which is very similar to what you tried to train us to do because you talk about the conservative heart and how we don't do well in conservative messaging. so we have to do it we have to have the right way to message the policies that the american people essentially voted for on november 8th. so we've got to help articulate that and have the policy underpinnings behind that.
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i believe the rsc has the ability to do that. again, the membership today has that cross section like you said, it's not a mini conference. if you look at the average conservative scores of the rsc, it's way more conservative than the conference as a whole, but we have enough diversity that we have good, thoughtful ideas coming out that drive the good, solid conservative solutions. mr. brooks: what i find really exciting from what you're telling me is there's going to continue to be a push, where know it's very important to you, bill, but the market, you're going to try to drive a conservative message outside of the traditional conservative constituency. it looks like a good year for republicans, but it was a 50/50 election. it was not the wave where you say there's things going necessarily in republicans -- it's pretty good at the state and local level, but it doesn't look like permanent victory or a huge
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wave that republicans are going to have to, if they're going to be successful, take a message into nontraditional communities for sure. you mentioned priorities, stuff the house can drive into the senate and get done on reconciliation. we are talking about tax and repeal of parts of , and dodd-frank but what are the nontraditional things you're thinking about to help represent the conservative republicans to show basically conservative heads, liberal heart, what do you do about that? mr. flores: i am happy to take this one. just yesterday, my staff and i, we brought in the top evangelicals from across the country. and not just baptists like me, but across the board, nondenominational guys, people in different parts of the country to talk about two things, immigration and race relations. because i believe the church has an opportunity, not to write the policy, but to partner on getting this
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message to fresh communities. i was privileged this past time to be able to have two major endorsements in my area, two wonderful lifelong democrats from the african-american community. one lady, mayor johnson, she's never had a republican yard sign in her yard before, but it's the intention to build that foundational relationship because if you're willing to invest in that time, it allows you to speak on the topics you would call the nontraditional topics, and i believe those two, not just the fact that it builds a republican party, but there's fertile soil right now. we have the data on our side in the last eight years have not benefits any community in north carolina, home ownership is down eight straight years in a
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row among the minority community. we have the data. but, mr. brooks, the conduit of how we share that message is crucial. if we come in with a strong armor, if we come in, attack, attack, any aspect, if you start from an adversarial position, you limit your gain immediately. i feel like if we're willing to work across the conference, across the rsc, to talk about these nontraditional items, we have an incredible opportunity to impact our culture. >> and mark is exactly right. our messaging has to go outside. we can't just be on fox news all the time. we have to go talk to msnbc and make the case about why american families that are struggling today are better off under an environment that has the most competitive tax system, how they're better off if we look a new way to approach poverty because the old way didn't work. look at a way to look at how the obamacare failed and we have new fresh ideas to deal with those issues. and talk about why constitutionally limited government is better for the american people, because that means the government is taking less of the liberties away from the american people and giving it back to them, and that the
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government works for them, not against them. those are the things that resonate across any community. you know, we've got to reach into the communities and we've got to use whatever tool set we can find to get into those communities. it may be msnbc. there may be guys there who are hostile folks to interview with. but we've got to do that. we have to get outside of our comfort zone as conservatives to carry this thoughtful message out to the american people. mr. brooks: nothing is more effective ultimately for the conservative message, for any message, than to - if politics is the business of persuasion, isn't politics locking down the base and talking to the true believers? which is a good way to win in a temporary way, a bad way to win in the coming decades. one of the great ways to do it that we have seen is talk to people who are hostile. why? because those who are watching are persuadable. they say, man, i just saw mark walker on msnbc, and no horns, man. that's
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crazy. and who knows who could persuade -- >> and the elvis impersonation. >> the elvis impersonation was unbelievable. >> i think you guys have addressed this on the first page of your website. if i can remember the way you phrased it, we encourage civil disagreement. that right there says it all because what you're doing is you're going into environments because you're not just taking your message to people who agree with you. when you can think from that perspective or that context, it gives you an opportunity to widen the base. mr. brooks: republican study committee, going where they're not invited and saying things people don't expect. i like it a lot. let's talk about another faction, at least another movement in conservatism, republicanism today. it's hard to - it's hard to miss the populism that's happened in the republican party of late. nobody knows how long that's going to persist, but certainly that's what the wave that carried president- elect trump toward the white house.
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i think we all understand what the phenomenon is, but it has some policy wrinkles to it that are interesting from an rsc standpoint. rsc has always been very stalwart about the concept of free trade. rsc has been mixed with respect to immigration, but certainly not restrictionist in the most traditional sense. how do we iron all those wrinkles and how do you see it? why don't we start with you, bill. you were running rsc as we went through this election. how did you talk about it? then mark, how are you going to take it up? mr. walker: let me say this. if you listen to what donald trump said about trade, he started out with something to sort of get everybody's attention. that is that nafta has hurt the american people, and tpp would hurt the american people. but then, as he went along, that was sort of the hook to get people in to listen. then, as he went along, he sort of took it to the next step, that is he
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said i'm going to negotiate great trade deals. essentially what he's saying, we need free trade, but fair trade deals. and so all we have to do is make sure that he's going to scrap tpp. i'm fine with that. when the next trade agreement is negotiated, it has to be a trade deal that makes sure we're taking care of america first. you can take care of america first in a way that where the other side of the bargaining table doesn't lose. you can do this where america is first but everybody else wins as part of the process. so i think the president is smart enough to do that, we as the rsc know how to do that. when it comes to immigration, i have a very conservative district in texas. but you know what they want? they say it's fine to have a path to citizenship for dreamers. 90% of my district is fine with a path to citizenship for dreamers and , that's a conservative district.
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we're home to as many hispanics in the country. the second thing they say is they're fine with a path to legal status for folks who broke the law and came here illegally. but the thing they want to start this discussion is they , want to see the border secured before you do any of that. so i think we go back to what president trump said, build a wall. you know, i look at it, whether it's a physical wall or more of a virtual systems type wall. but you make sure the american people feel comfortable that they're safe from people coming across the border. and then we can have the discussion about what do you do with the folks here, the dreamers, the folks who committed the crimes when they came across. and if we can take a conservative district like mine and find a way that sounds like a liberal policy but it's not, it's a compassionate conservative policy, i think there are ways to have a good, robust discussion about this and do the right thing. >> and the other thing, the
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outcome of this, the offshoot is we have people committed to the conservative movement of the republican party forever because you sat down with them and engaged them in a way where you didn't make them your enemy. too often, i think we as conservatives and up in populism we turn , off groups. and we don't have to do that. i have a one of the, if not the finest, legislative directors, who is here today, but there are times i disappointment him when he gets into these 30-minute policy rants, and when i have to say, i don't think the people care. what i mean by that, even though it's very valuable to have the depth and comprehensive policy, i liken this. i am married to a family nurse practitioner trauma nurse who flies on a helicopter and does real work. if i'm in that situation where i'm needing that attention, i don't really want to care or hear about the hippocratic
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oath or how many ccs i need to make my pain go away. i just feel like there's a crisis and i need help. that's where the american people are. when we get in this policy elitism talk, we just need to make sure that our message is very strong. when i first began to think about running for office as still a minister, i remember attending the republican national convention in tampa in 2012. i wasn't a delegate. i found a ticket and lodging and went down and was looking all around. and one of the things i noticed was this great lip service, and genuine intentionality about reaching all communities and different youth and generations of minorities. as a soon as we finished, no put your hands together for the oak ridge boys. what gathered in that moment was what we were doing versus what we were saying was the contrast. i , feel like, to answer the question as far as
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where we need to go at this point, we need to make sure as we talk to the american people that we're able to do it, not in these condescending terms of political greek and latin, but to be able to say listen, this is where you're hurting. we're at point a. we need to get to point b. here's the two or three steps we need to get there. if we're able to do that and communicate in a way, we'll have buy-in maybe we haven't seen in generations. >> i find it real interesting, bill, your nuanced approach to the immigration question in particular is really important. and in point of fact, the house of representatives has traditionally been the think take of the republican party, which is a great role. policy experimentation happens there, it is not our policy goes to die. i guess i just insinuated that. things can happen in that place.
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spirit of policy experimentation. but you are also talking about an approach that is pretty nontraditional. it does not fit on a bumper sticker about a wall, it does not treat all immigrants, even illegal immigrants, as equal to one another. i love that. i think that's really important. and in point of fact, it does represent the views, the relatively nuanced views of your constituents. that leads me to my next question. as the policy experimenting body for the republican party, what's your view on the ability to continue to do that? and why i bring that up is because there has been a real complaint about the separation of powers of late, the extent to which congress should continue to be the congress and your nuanced ideas should take precedence where the constitution designates that. how is the approach going to change? when the republicans control the house of representatives and the senate, it was kind of easy to talk about the problem of the imperial presidency when president obama
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was using the pen and phone and issuing a bunch of executive orders. what happens when it's the president in your own party? mr. flores: well, i think we all agree that some of president trump's proposed policies are not going to line up very well with conservatives our conservative policies. with respect to that, what i would like to do is i mean, if i had absolute control over the agenda in the house, and i don't, don't get me wrong, and i'm not trying to claim that, but what i would do is try to say what are those areas where we have good alignment with where trump wants to go and where we want to go and tell him we'll take the lead on this and give you the legislative, constitutional support to go for it and he's not inclined to try to use a pen, to follow the obama motto. early on, during the election process, he said i will do executive orders to
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do this, this, and this. you saw over time he began to ameliorate those views and soften them because i think his advisers are saying you have to pay attention to what article i says versus what article ii says. i think that the way to sort of re-enforce that, to make him feel comfortable with that, is let's do the things where we agree. let's do tax reform. let's repeal obamacare. let's replace obamacare. let's start dealing with border security. let's rebuild our national security. and then on those areas where his agenda is not aligned with ours, we could easily take six months to do those things where we agree. months, try tox figure out what is the commonality between what he wants to do with respect to infrastructure and what we think would be the way to go with respect to infrastructure, as one example. let's work on the things where we know we are together.
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reagan, pick the 80% solution and move forward it and it figure out how to deal with, so the american people know they're getting something with the vote they made last november, last month now. and then we'll figure out the rest in the next six months. mr. brooks: on the 80% concept of saint ronald reagan, when he talked about that, it was interesting. he was actually not talking about just the 80% that republicans agree on. he was talking about the 80% that republicans and democrats agree on. so mark, what's your view on the most likely ways where you can make some new friends on the other side of the aisle? mr. walker: i'm glad you got that question. i'm a relational person. but it has to be genuine. one of the things that we were able to do early on, and from what we understand was the first time we have done this in congress, is we launched a
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bipartisan hbcu internship program and reached out to dr. alma adams in education and big in the hbcu world, and we have a lot of their presidents coming in in february of next year. the way to do that, you have to take the lead. and not in a way where you're attacking or trying to show up the opposition, but say, hey, listen, this is an area. not just the lip service aspect of it, but literally intentional action steps you can make. that was one of them. where younvironment see outside groups or other entities, press, you name it. we are in a boxing ring and we are having to dodge, bob, and weave and move our feet at the same time. so it's very difficult. the real place where that can develop most is at the local level. as this thing grows up, it actually augments or spreads out more and makes it more challenging. it doesn't delineate our responsibility to make every effort we can, whether you grab a dinner or whether you're going out and playing sports
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together or whatever it might be, that's an opportunity. if you always use it, it does rub down the harsh rhetoric sometimes we see in washington, d.c. mr. brooks: one of the key things that has caused bitterness between republicans and democrats is obamacare. no specific piece of legislation has been more divisive than that. in 2008 when president obama won and promised to do that, and 2009, when he rammed obamacare through on a strict party line vote, i was brand-new at aei and a little naive, i have to say, about politics. i remember thinking to myself, they should probably see if they can find some not completely inplacable enemies on the republican side. and they didn't. they said this is the way it's going to be. i won, you lost. boom, strict party line vote. shoe is on the other foot now. i have heard from my friends who are responsible for the obamacare legislation, and it's very bitter.
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they can't believe that their life work is about to be repealed and replaced by something, at least in part. is there a lesson that we conservatives can learn from that? is there a way we can at least attenuate some of the hostility from the other side, and maybe not make allies in it, but make less implacable foes. learn how to not win the way democrats did? >> you want to go first? >> i'll let you go first. >> i immediately think my dad and mom were born and raised in alabama. huge crimson tide bear bryant fans. only seen my dad cry twice. one was when coach bryant passed. we grew up big crimson tide football fans, but he said this, and six national championships, he said lose with grace, win with humility. and when you ask that question, that's what i thought of. win with humility. we don't have to spike the football.
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because we have to ask ourselves, long term, what's our end goal? is it to accomplish, as you suggested, to build those bipartisanship relationships? there's a moment here, we're ahead. we're winning. we can go out and attack, attack, attack, or we can say, you know what, let's revisit some of this. is that a pollyanna viewpoint, it is, but even it moves a few percentage points within districts, that is a big win for us. >> well, the way i would look at it, let's go back to the core issue, what will the democrats try to do with obamacare? they were trying to increase access and improve affordability. it failed, absolutely failed. becausehe reasons is they ignored all the ideas are side of the aisle had. some of my colleagues in congress are very bitter about the fact that they got totally shut out of the process. when we're looking at the
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replacement for obamacare, we need to think, what are the two things we need? we need to increase access and improve affordability. and you have a couple secondary issues you have to do with like what do you do with those with pre-existing conditions? if our goal is to achieve those three objectives, then i think we ought to, it behooves us to reach across the aisle. there may be a good idea in there, there may not, but go ahead and include them in the process. and as long as they are acting in good faith, we can continue discussions. if they do not act in good faith, if everything is designed to be a poison pill amendment, if that's the case, warn them, look, are you with us in trying to increase access and improve affordability? then let's sit down and do this. if you're not, if you're just there to make political points or poison pill amendments, then we're going to slam the door on you. but i would, even though they did not treat us this way i , would extend the olive branch
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and give them a chance. i'm not very optimistic they would do that, but give them an opportunity so at least, and do it on c-span, so the american people can see at least we gave them the chance to be part of the process, and they elected to not be part of the process. to play political games. will understand that obamacare was probably the thing that cost them the majority in 2010. >> there's two possible wins here. one is most people would agree the patient should make the decision regarding health care. and two, i believe something that is very crucial is the amount of democrats that are hearing from small businesses of what the obamacare mandates are doing to those businesses. that gives us a major opportunity. i want to add a third one, and scott ferguson and i were talking about this the other day, the executive director. one of the first guests of rsc, we may be bringing in bill clinton to speak about the ills of obamacare. maybe you can share some of the things he said. mr. brooks: he was great on the
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campaign trail. >> incredible. mr. brooks: we're going to turn to the audience now. a few really good questions here coming in from my ipad. but we'll start actually here right in the back, and then we're going to go to the ipad. why don't you wait for the mike and then tell us your affiliation and your name. >> hello. excuse me. hi, i'm madeleine. from the center for american progress. my question is for representative walker. you mentioned that you met recently in response to the question about the nontraditional priorities of the republican study committee. i'm wondering what specific message should the church get out on the issue and how is that related to the priorities of the republican study committee? >> lovely question. one of the pastors were concerned they have a church of several thousand attendees on a sunday morning, and one of their church plants is in a hispanic community. he said we were talking the other day about putting people on the elder or
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deacon board. we realized we had 200 undocumented people and we were wrestling with the fact, should we allow them to serve in the deacon board? the problem with sometimes the republican talking points, every time we talk about this, secure the border, secure the border, secure the border. we can't talk about that. we have to secure the border. yes, we have to secure the border first, but we cannot ignore the situation long term. what are our solutions? as opposed to saying we'll figure that out once we secure the border, maybe it's time for republicans to be proactive instead of reactionary, and i think to your specific, the heart of your question, that's where some of the evangelicals, as we saw even in the primary, the presidential primary, 16 of the first 24 states, evangelicals drove those primary votes. these are issues that are very important to us. and that's a place where i believe we can partner with the humanitarian, the compassionate side of the church to offer long-term solutions. mr. brooks: i see my colleague
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robert in the audience here, he runs our poverty practice, which is critically important to us here at american enterprises something we , invested in tremendously, and i know the two of you care about this, too, because i talked to the two of you about this particular issue. what can we see that's new among conservative republicans in trying to ameliorate poverty? this is sadly a question that didn't come up very much during the campaign, yet american poverty has become extremely entrenched, particularly over the last eight years. if we're going to make progress on it over the next four years, the ideas are really going to have to come at least in part come from the house side. what kind of encouragement can you give us that we're going to see some big new thinking about helping our brothers and sisters who are still falling below the poverty line in this country? >> well, i think i think we're going to see some really bold transformational thinking on this. if you look at the better way
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agenda that we created in the house, that represents the thinking that we did. and a big, a big percentage of those policy solutions were developed by rsc membership. we had a few members in particular that were passionate about this issue, and we went out and we talked to the communities that are stuck in poverty. we said, what is it? you do not like being here, what is it that you need, what is it that you want? we looked at it from a totally different way, than the poverty programs today are designed. the poverty programs are measured based on the input. how many billions of dollars a year do you spend? how many people do you give food stamps to, housing assistance to? they never judges the outcomes. our welfare programs have become a work replacement instead of things to get you equipped and ready to go to work.
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they sometimes have disincentives, so we turned this on its head and said, we're going to help you get the training that you need. we're going to make sure you're always better off to have a job and grab the rung on the economic ladder and not get -- and start climbing of the economic ladder of this country to have opportunities. and not let you get to where you are stuck in poverty. that is the thinking we got. of all the things that could , you couldcountry eliminate a big chunk of the sort of permanent underclass if we can start looking at poverty a different way and view it as it is designed to get people out of poverty, not to help them stay in poverty. that's the problem with the programs you have today. once you are in them it is hard to get out. for instance, if you're on welfare and you get married, your benefits are cut. so you destroy the family. and when you destroy the family,
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your chances of getting out of poverty are diminished even further. so we have to do things that protect the family and not destroy the family as part of the way we look at dealing with this issue. >> i jump right in a generational poverty and talk about the family. everything that we can do, reform, anything we can do to drive that family back together. you go back to the 1960's. across the board, our families were intact more than 80% of the time. now in places it is less than 20%. the statistics are easily read. if a family is productive, they are overcoming poverty. where we see that is the breakdown of the family. it is a cultural condition and a spiritual condition in my , opinion. we need to drive the fathers, the men to be able to create a pathway for the family to be intact as much as we can. not to put incentives in our laws, as bill just
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talked about, to keep people separated, to enhance people for not getting married or having that structured family. that's an area we have plenty of room. mr. brooks: i do not hear any of you from -- with a hint of hostility toward the safety net. which is remarkable from an american perspective. they think they know what conservatives are, you are pro-safety net conservatives but , you want welfare with work and welfare with dignity. >> the safety net needs to be more of a trampoline. we catch you when you fall. we bounce you on your feet and help you get a job and raise a healthy family. the best social program available to any family is a paycheck and a great job to support it. that's how you feed that family, house that family, educate the family, grow your local tax base, grow the middleclass. that is what we need, a trampoline to help them bounce back to their feet.
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>> one of the most rewarding aspects of my short tenure in congress is to go into the various communities and have an opportunity to speak and talk about the fact that god has created you with specific skills, talents, and abilities that are unique to your very person. and because of that, you have every right, every opportunity to flourish, to find a pathway. and to see that resonate for the first time is incredibly rewarding. those are the messages we need to talk about from a conservative thought process and not one of condemnation. mr. brooks: a very hopeful message, indeed. up to the periphery, not of society but of our conference room. and the mic is coming to you now. aei on the new digs. during the campaign there was little to no discussion about the countries prodigious problem, including entitlement reforms.
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what are you doing to drive solutions in that area? >> the 1967, 1968, you look at the budgetary process. you have mandatory and discretionary. the late 1960's we had about 26% or 27% mandatory and 73% or 74% discretionary spending. what is discretionary? it is what the government should be focused on. infrastructure, education arenas military defense et cetera. , and what is mandatory? it is is two things, entitles and interest is on the national debt. since that time it is inverted. by 2023-24 it will have grown to 80% mandatory and 20% discretionary. why is that a problem? it is not only a fiscal one but a national security issue at some point. we have seen the cutbacks trying to take from the military defense and trying to put in other places. we will have to do hard decision making when it comes to the entitlement side.
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i have seen a few bills that are passing around right now. we couldn't get it down in the past eight years. you are correct, it was not talked about much in the campaign. members of congress on the legislative fight, we heard the cliche, we hold the purse strings. we are doing a disservice to the generations behind us. >> i would like to chat on this. if you really want to the see how we how we look at this from a rsc perspective, look at the budgets we have proposed in the last six years that i have been in congress. since we have had a republican majority. if you look at the rsc budgets they have been much, much more conservative than the house budgets as a whole. and we haven't been timid about touching the so-called third rails. we have touched medicaid, medicare, social security. not with the view toward cutting them but
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with a view of making them sustainable. and stopping the generational theft.rgenerational our millennial generation is being robbed of their future by older generations. and we have to stop that. our budgets, particularly the last two, which made social security solvent, medicare solvent, and medicaid solvent are the ways that we should do the that. we as conservatives in the house have not forgotten about that. we have actually put it in writing and we withstood the political fallout that comes from putting these aggressive decisions on -- agendas on the table. some of these things, ideas have worked their way into the house budget. i remember my first year on the budget committee, we touched medicaid and medicare. our first budget balance in 30 years. so the second budget balanced in 10.
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the house budgets -- we have continued to push the conference to the right. but we did it in a way that does not blow up those programs. that is the first thing the other side says you're taking , food from babies, throwing granny over the cliff. and we are proving what is happening today is we are taking the food away from babies from future generations and granny will be thrown over the cliff when these programs fail anyway. we say no, we have made them sustainable for current and future generations. go to our website, we very aggressive in touching that program. mr. brooks: it is an interesting point. it did not come up as a matter of republican politics during this presidential campaign. is it fair to say to say this is an area where rsc will show resolute independence notwithstanding any other part of where the republican party goes? mr. flores: yes.
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mark will definitely have is to answer on this as well. we're going to show independence, particularly i think from the president. this is where there is daylight between the president- elect and us. because he wants to spend trillions on infrastructure. he has not talked about -- he says we're not going to touch entitlements. and not touching entitlements damages his ability ultimately to be a successful president. because we're not going to be able to afford national defense, building the virtual wall, the physical wall, whatever it is he wants to do. so we're going to have to have a heart-to-heart with him. i am not being critical, i am just saying we have to sit down and have a rational conversation about this. and the thing about the president- elect, if you look at his behavior in the last three weeks i think he has shown he is , willing to sit down and talk to people with diverse viewpoints on this. it'll be -- we will be very challenging to him.
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it won't be me. it will be mark. [laughter] mr. walker: where i am thinking we have to push back, not just the president ministration, but leadership, is the excessive spending. that's where it sometimes gets a little sticky. goodness gracious, china owes a trillion dollars of national debt. at some point we have to pay attention to this and now is the opportunity to do so. mr. brooks: that's a good place to leave it. on a mark of independence, principle. we have talked a lot about where the conservative part is for these gentlemen. what we can expect to see from rsc. i speak on behalf of my colleagues we are honored to work with you. great to share resources on ideas. ideas that go beyond partisanship and the principle of who we are and how we are trying to grade a better country and world. please join me in thanking our two guests mark and bill from the rsc. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the
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national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> former white house staffers will discuss how the incoming teenager bearing to move into the white house and how incoming president govern their first 100 days. tomorrow onoverage c-span3. in the evening, the israeli defense minister and egyptian foreign minister will be part of bringing together government and business leaders to talk about policy in the middle east. posted by the brookings institution, live coverage at 6:30 eastern. sunday, we are hosting a discussion on the december 1941
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attack on pearl harbor. toomey.rogram, steve "japan: 1941." followed by an interview with a pearl harbor survivor and the author of in a count -- account of pearl harbor. we will have your questions from 12:00-3:00. >> the house debated changes two. frank financial regulations, removing some oversight by the federal government. the white house has threatened to veto the bill. i rise in support of h.r. 6392, the systemic risk designation improvement act, which is a
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very important bill co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of members of the house. the text of which was approved by our committee with a strong bipartisan support of 39-16. i want to thank chairman luke myer, chairman of our housing and insurance subcommittee, one of the key leaders on our financial services committee, for his leadership and for introducing this legislation. he has led these efforts valiantly to reform a flawed and arbitrary framework used by regulators to deg -- designate so-called system pli foreign financial institutions, also known as sifis, designation, mr. speaker, anoints these institutions as too big to fail. meaning that today's sifi designations are tomorrow's tax funded bailouts. it is clear that this issue has found, again, a fair amount of consensus on both sides of the aisle. and this legislation represents a very good-faith effort by the
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gentleman from missouri to forge a bipartisan piece of legislation that at the very least, at the minimum, would get rid of a totally arbitrary and static threshold currently used to designate institutions as systemically important. mr. speaker, i and i speak for many on this floor, i, for one, do not believe in the sifi architecture at all. i think it is harmful. i think it is dangerous. clearly it should be replaced by high levels of loss absorbing private capital. but that is not what we're debating today. today in the 114th congress we continue to try to find a bipartisan consensus to support needed reforms, again, that's what this bill is. bipartisan. it recognizes that regulations should consider different components of risk and not simply a washington one-size-fits-all definition. the current approach, this is
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very important, mr. speaker, the current approach as the co-author of the dodd-frank act himself admits is a mistake. it is a mistake because it fails to take into differences in the various business models or systemic risk institutions pose to our financial system. in fact, it is indisputable that the asset threshold used in dodd-frank is not based on logical formula on research or any evidence at all. instead, it is simply a random number picked out of thin air. concerns with this arbitrary number have been recognized as i just mentioned by none other than former financial services committee chairman barney frank himself. as i recall, he's the frank of dodd-frank. and in testimony before our committee, mr. speaker, former chairman frank agreed that the threshold he wrote into law was, quote, arbitrary. and he expressed support for adjusting it. then just last week he stated
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the asset throshe hold was quote, a mistake. i hope all members on the other side of the aisle take careful note. federal reserve board member, dan, has also expressed skepticism as has the comptroller of the curn. even the ranking member -- currency. even the ranking member of the senate banking committee, senator brown, stated, quote i do not agree -- rather i do agree that some banks above $50 billion should not, not be regulated like wall street megabanks, unquote. so what we're trying to do here today with this bipartisan bill is trying to profile a solution to try to fix a generally recognized mistake in dodd-frank. those oppose the bill are trying to do is to preserve that mistake in law. perhaps again, mr. speaker, my colleagues, some of my colleagues, need to be reminded that small banks on main street, even our regional
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banks, did not cause the financial crisis. arbitrarily painting big banks and small and mid-sized banks with exactly the same broad brush is wrong, it's bad polcy, and it is bad for our economy. so the discussion today, mr. speaker, should instead focus on the appropriate measure of systemic importance and the regulatory burden imposed by the so-called enhanced prudential standards once an institution has been designated. by focusing exclusively on asset size, you ignore other factors that may be morel vant in determining whether financial institutions -- more relevant in determining whether finance institutions should be subject to the standards. an asset-based approach does not capture this. the types of risk that enhance prudential standards are designed to mitigate in the first place. by determining risk under an activity-based standards, no matter how flawed these standards may be, our
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regulators would be better equipped to differentiate between stable activities and those that may pose a threat to financial stability. it would allow more precision in identifying systemic importance while also providing flexibility for institutions in gauging in more prudent lending activities. so, mr. speaker, it's just so important that we know that the effect of these regulations today on the u.s. economy, it is harming our economy. instead of helping to capitalize small businesses leading to more jobs and opportunity for people who still lack both, financial institutions are having to expend capital on compliance, compliance that even the co-author of dodd-frank admits is a mistake. mr. speaker, i regrettably need not remind us that we remain stuck in the slowest and weakest economic recovery since the end of world war ii.
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the economy simply is not working for working americans. they can't get ahead. and they fear for the future of their families. their paychecks have remained stagnant. their savings have declined. the american people deserve better. so i urge the adoption of this measure. thank chairman luke myer -- luket myer for forging this bipartisan solution. and i urge us to correct this dodd-frank mistake and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. waters: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. waters: mr. chairman, i rise today in strong opposition to h.r. 6392. this is the first step in the trump agenda to deregulate wall street despite candidate trump's pledges to hold elite bankers accountable. in fact, as we debate this bill today, trump towers' revolving
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door is spinning with wall street insiders. yes, in a skyscraper in midtown manhattan, trump and his transition team are plotting their agenda to weaken financial reform and bring us back to the precrisis while -- wild west days when bank could gamble with taxpayer money. bank stocks are up on news of gifts to come, and newspaper headlines are already documenting republicans' aggressive plans. in fact, president-elect trump just announced that he will ominate steven new shin -- nmuchin, a former goldman sachs executive who now sits on the board of the megabank, c.i.t., to be his treasury secretary. his bank is just one of 27 banks that stands to benefit directly from this legislation.
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though c.i.t. crashed, that's the bank, and went bankrupt during the crisis because of high risk commercial lending nd subprime loans, somehow mr. mnuchin still managed to sign an employment deal handing him $4 million a year in 2016. i suppose passing this legislation is just the republican congress' way of giving him a signing bonus for coming into government. we enacted wall street reform in response to the stunning greed and regulatory failures of our financial system. and yet with this bill the republicans are displaying a staggering degree of historical amnesia. this bill is the epitome of the
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dangerous agenda with h.r. 6392 gutting our banking regulations ' oversight of $4.5 trillion in banking assets, or approximately 30% of the industry currently subject to enhanced rules. make no mistake, this bill is not about helping the community banks, because 99% of our country's community banks and credit unions are already exempt from most rules in dodd-frank. i don't want anybody to come out here saying oh, we're helping the community banks. this has nothing to do with the community banks. . this is about deregulating the big banks. it is also not about tailoring regulations for regional banks. wall street reform already required that and the federal reserve is already taking steps
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to do so. no. this bill is about a wholesale regulatory exemption for just 27, 27 of the biggest banks in america. banks with $100 billion, $200 billion and even $400 billion in as the -- assets. many of the types of banks that would benefit from this bill failed spectacularly during the financial crisis. in fact, large bank holding companies with more than $50 billion in assets received twice as much bailout money per dollar than banks with less than $50 billion in assets. contrary to the talking points from the other side of the aisle , these megaregional banks are not just big community banks. no. these regional banks are some of the worst players in predatory, subprime lending, leading up to
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the financial crisis. they have preyed on minority communities and rural communities and they have passed the buck on to taxpayers when their bets failed. remember countrywide? remember countrywide? a $200 billion 2015, they were the number three subprime mortgage originator and number one issuer of subprime mortgages bonds in 2006. they are a poster child of the crisis. remember washington mutual? with $300 billion in assets, whose hometown paper, the seattle times d, -- the "seattle times" described as predatory. remember wachovia with their exotic pick a payment mortgage loans, remember in october of 2008 when they posted a $24 billion quarterly loss and the fdic had to facilitate a midnight acquisition by wells
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fargo. remember new century? or aameriquest or option one? this bill would enable more employeeups like these. h.r. -- blow justice-ups like these. h.r. -- blowups like thiels. h.r. 6392 would make sure banks are subblet to closer regulatory scrutiny and prevent the federal reserve board from regulating these banks. instead, it would hand over that responsibility to what is known as fsoc, the financial stability yore sight council, in order -- stability oversight council, in order to -- they say, regulate the banks. the fsoc would have to go through a process of designation which takes two to four years to complete, this would give them plenty of time to go back to their old ways that dodd-frank is trying to prevent. even if a potential treasury secretary, mnuchin, decided to regulate his former employer by the time he got around to it,
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the damage would likely already be done. it's also significant to note that republicans have repeatedly tried to dismantle the fsoc. and its existing designation authority for large nonbanks. they have called the council unconstitutional, introduced bills to make it harder for the fsoc to do its job. and help companies like met life fight its designation in court. what's more, chairman hensarling 's sweeping wall street de-regulation bill, the wrong choice act, would repeal this exact same designation authority altogether. why is the majority even considering this bill today? when the chairman's wall street reform repeal package would render this bill moot. it is clear that this is just the first act in a long, dangerous play that will continue well into next year. i therefore urge my colleagues
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to join me in opposing this harmful bill. members of congress, as i said when i took the floor to debate this bill, this is the first act in trump's promise that he's going to de-regulate, his promise that he's going to get rid of dodd-frank, his promise that he's going to get rid of the consumer financial protection bureau, his promise that he's going to in essence turn all of this back over to wall street. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. hensarling: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself five seconds just to say, if the ranking member believes this is the first act in getting rid of dodd-frank, she ain't seen nothing yet. now, mr. speaker, i am very pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished chairman of the house rules committee and thank him for his leadership in
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helping bring this bill to the floor, the gentleman from dallas, texas, mr. sessions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas, mr. sessions, is recognized for two minutes. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much. i thank my dear colleague from dallas also, for not only yielding but i want to commend him and working with his committee, including mr. luetkemeyer, from missouri, for this awesome legislation. mr. speaker, the point is simple. washington has once again gotten in the way of legitimate business and is harming the american people, the american economy and job growth in this country. by imposing unnecessary and burdensome compliance costs on medium-sized banks all across america. asset threshold, regardsless of how high or low, are disincentives to growth. they will always be an institutionalized somewhere that's slightly above or below some threshold, but the bottom line is that arbitrary numbers
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tell us very little about risk that is actually involved. and it is the risk to institutions in america that we should be talking about. so, simply put, the designation is arbitrary. it simply suggests smaller banks to the same standards as trillion-dollar globally systemic organizations, which is something that would only make sense here in washington. the bottom line is, it is an impediment to free economic growth and it is an impediment that is burdening not only our banks, but consumers also. i commend congressman luetkemeyer for advancing this important, commonsense regulation. oh, by the way, it's taken several years to get here. we now understand that the
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american economy can move in the right direction. the american economy, with good and proper leadership, not only in washington, but by the rules and regulations that are balanced, will help united states families, small businesses and, specifically, smaller banks to be more competitive, to aufert services that are necessary -- offer the services that are necessary. i commend the young chairman of the financial services committee, mr. hensarling, for allowing this bill to come here today. i yield back the balance of my time to the gentleman from texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. waters: thank you very much. democrats, smalltown, america, rustbelt, america, you just heard what he said. mr. hensarling just said, you ain't seen nothing yet. you heard it coming out of his mouth. as they stand here and defend de-regulation of these big banks. i yield to the gentleman, my friend from texas, mr. green, a
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member of the financial services committee, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. mr. green: thank you, mr. speaker. and thank you to the ranking member, the honorable maxine waters. mr. speaker, i think it appropriate to reflect for just a moment on what the crisis was like in 2008. because in 2008, when this crisis hit, and it started to blossom, started to blow up, banks would not lend to each other. the crisis was so serious that banks would not bail each other out. we had a circumstance such that people were losing their homes and they were losing their homes because of the so-called exotic products that allowed them to buy homes that they could not afford, homes that would allow them to have a teaser rate, that would coincide with a prepaid
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penalty such as that they couldn't get out of the rate that was to follow, which was going to be higher than they can afford. mr. speaker, this bill, h.r. 6392, should be appropriately creation systemic risk act. because that's what it does. it creates the opportunity for systemic risk to exist. and it puts us back where we were before dodd-frank, such that these various banks and lending institutions and other institutions of great. a finance would be in a position to -- great amount of finance would be in the position to fail without having the opportunity to immediately act upon them, as was the case with a.i.g. there was no system in place to deal with the a.i.g.'s of the world. dodd-frank allows us to do this in a systemic way, a systemic way, an orderly way.
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it allows us to, if we need to, wind down these huge institutions, wind them down such that they don't create harm to the broader economy. i want you to know, mr. speaker, for those who think that these are all small banks, let me just give you some indication as to how small they are. i'm looking now at the top five of the 27 in question. the top five, number five is $217 billion. number four, $255 billion. number three, $278 billion. number two, $350 billion. number one, $433 billion. only in the congress of the united states of america would this be considered small change. we must not allow this de-regulation to take place such that we put the economic order at risk again.
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this bill, dodd-frank, of what i speak now, this bill, dodd-frank, when it passed, allowed us to look at the entire economic order and to determine whether or not there were institutions that were a systemic risk to the economic order. prior to dodd-frank they were all siloed. prior to dodd-frank we had long-term capital, long-term capital was the first canary in the coal mine and long-term apital had its demise in 1998. ms. waters: i yield 30 additional seconds to the gentleman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. green: long-term capital had its demise in 1998. it was a canary in the nth coal mine. bear stearns followed as well as indy mack, countrywide and wami. they followed in 2008. we didn't have a system that allowed us to recognize these canaries in the coal mine and take affirmative action.
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this is what dodd-frank does. this is what fsoc does. tanned would be a severe mis-- and it would be a severe mistake for to us vote for legislation to repeal these bills. we're going to live to regret this vote. those who vote to repeal will live to regret. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. hensarling: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself 10 seconds just to say i appreciate the passion of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. and their concern for taxpayers and systemic risk. so i certainly look forward to their co-sponsorship of our legislation to get rid of dodd-frank's taxpayer-funded bailout fund. at this time, mr. speaker, i am very, very pleased to yield 3 1/2 minutes to a real leader on our committee and the author of h.r. 6392, the systemic risk designation improvement act, mr. luetkemeyer, again, i yield 3 1/2 minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from missouri is recognized for 3 1/2 minutes. mr. luetkemeyer: thank you, mr.
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speaker. and thank you, mr. chairman. today the house will consider h.r. 6392, the systemic risk designation improvement act of 2016. legislation to address an inefficient regulatory structure by accounting for actual risk rather than asset size alone in designation of systemically important financial institutions or sifis. under the current regulatory framework, any bank holding company with more than 50 $50 billion assets is subject to enhanced regulatory and special assessments. this approach fails to take into account differences in business models or risk imposed to the financial system. it has real world implications too. stunting economic growth and limiting access to credit. the risk of a traditional bank is not the same as an internationally active complex irm.
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h.r. 6392 would remove the completely arbitrary approach and replace it with analysis of actual risk imposed to the financial system. more specifically, my legislation would require regulators to examine not just size, but also interconnectedness, the extent to readily available substitutes, global cross-jurisdictional activity and complexity of each bank holding company. these are metrics that are presently being used by the financial stability board and the office of financial research to determine when a global sifi, is. this bill number may be new. but the concept is not. with the exception of the offset language contained in section 6 of this bill, h.r. 6392 is identical to h.r. 1309, which was legislationed -- legislation introduced last year that garnered 135 co-sponsors and bipartisan support. even dodd-frank's author, the former chairman of the financial services committee, barney frank, said this issue need to be addressed. during a november 20 radio interview, chairman frank said, and i quote, we put in there that banks got the extra supervision if they were 50ds billion assets -- $50 billion
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assets, that was a mistake. chairman frankfurt went on to say, and i quote, when it comes to lending and job creation, the regional banks are obviously very, very important. i hope that if we get regulatory changes we give some regulatory relaxation to those banks. . chairman frank testified to that effect and this is a picture of him in front of our committee and expressed support for our bill back in 2014. this week we have the opportunity to remedy this oversight. this legislation will not impact the authority of the regulatory to oversee institutions. it will however encourage enhanced and more appropriate oversight of institutions that could actually have a greater impact on the overall economy, financial system, and most importantly consumers. mr. speaker, to take a more pragmatic approach to financial -- this is a bill to take more pragmatic approach to financial regular ligse. mr. speaker, it's time to actually manage risk and limit threats to our financial system. i want to thank my colleagues for their work on this
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legislation, namely mr. murphy, mr. stivers, mr. scott, mr. williams, ms. sewell, ms. sinema, and ask my colleagues for their support today and special thanks to chairman hensarling for tireless support for this bill. just one moment if i could to address a couple of comments made earlier. we're talking about system pli important finance institutionest, the definition of a sifi is it will cause the economy to go down. a $50 billion bank will be important to the local economy but not something important to the entire economy. this is what we're talking about. big banks have big problems. medium sized banks do not affect the systemic concern we should have about the economy. this is where this bill is directed. someone who doesn't understand we're missing the point. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. luetkemeyer: even the ranking member made my point a while ago when they said 27 banks, a total $4.6 trillion. we have half a dozen banks over $1 trillion. we're talking about small banks that will have a small impact with regard if they went down
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or not. that's what this purpose of dodd-frank was about to stop the big guys from bringing the economy down. the ranking member with all due respect misses the entire point what dodd-frank is supposed to be. with that i yield back the balance of my time. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. waters: thank you very much, mr. chairman. while the other side fights for the big banks and we over here fighting for the consumers, let me say mr. frank has not supported 6392, and you need to stop saying that. i will now yield three minutes to the gentleman from washington, a member of the financial services committee, mr. heck. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized for three minutes. mr. heck: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the ranking member. i have a little different take on this. i oppose this bill. in fact strongly oppose it, but i don't exactly oppose the idea at all. let me explain that. the dodd-frank legislation was written as we all know during a
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period of financial crisis. legislators and regulators had to act quickly. sometimes when you have to act quickly you take short cuts to get the financial system stabilized. but today the difference we have the luxury of time to go back and replace those short cuts with some more deliberative decisionmaking. dodd-frank said that every bank holding company over $50 billion gets heightened supervision. well, frankly, back then for stabilizing a financial crisis, that was a great way to move quickly. and to get it done. and bring about the intended result. but again for making policy over the long term, that don't make sense because it is arbitrary size threshold. it was a short cut that made sense at the time and i joined with you in supporting a re-evaluation of that particular threshold level. that's the idea of this bill. i support the bill. and again urge -- support the
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idea. again, i don't support this bill. at all. because instead of taking the luxury of time to make good policy, frankly it acts like we're still back in that crisis and taking another short cut. the bill says fsoc should determine which banks need heightened supervision, and that's a great idea. that's what they are there for. and then it says, fsoc has to complete all of its work on all of the banks within 12 months. that's a terrible idea. that's a terrible idea. the last determination that fsoc took lasted 16 months. and they were working on one company at the time. and it took 16 months. even then the judge said you took 16 months and you acted too rashly and should have deliberated more. but this bill says only 12 months are allowed. and it's not just one company they would be looking at, it could be up to 40 companies.
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with over $50 billion in assets. so i would say to my friend from missouri, i think you have a good idea. wish you would have brought a bill reflecting that idea out here. let's remember that bear stearns was $400 billion it contributed. washington mutual, $300 billion it contributed. all of those banks are going to be in one pot that have 12 months to be looked at. we're, in fact, gutting dodd-frank and no, i do not agree with my friend, the chair of texas, that that is a gad idea at all. the authors kind of recognized this, which is why they said banks get heightened supervision if fsoc says so or the financial stability board in switzerland says so. i don't know why we would cede sovereignty. i have been working with the gentleman from missouri on that issue as it relates to insurance companies. were are we ceding our sovereignty to a regulatory entity in another country? i do take a different view of this bill. i actually urge --
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miss water: yield 30 additional seconds. mr. heck: i urge my colleagues to support this idea but rejecting this bill which will not achieve the intended result, because it can't work. but the idea can. go back. put in a reasonable time frame. drop that crazy f.s.b. provision. let the regulators get to work looking for risk that devastated the economy a decade ago so we don't have to relive that. if we pass this bill, we very well may. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california reserves. without objection, the gentleman from missouri will control the remainder of the time of the gentleman from texas. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. luetkemeyer: thank you, mr. speaker. with that we recognize the gentleman -- i know the gentleman from texas, mr. neugebauer, who is set to retire shortly whose expertise and hard work we're going to miss.
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but his guidance all these years has given us a lesson on how to get things done. we welcome him and hope he will ten to have a great retirement. at this moment recognize him for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman virginia tech for two minutes. mr. neugebauer: i thank the gentleman for those kind words. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 6392, offered by my good friend from missouri, mr. luetkemeyer. 6392, known as the systemic risk designation improvement act is a bipartisan legislation that ensures that the federal government takes a thoughtful and comprehensive approach when evaluating the financial stability concerns posed by u.s. bank holding companies. under 6392, the bank holding companies will no longer be measured by their size alone when evaluated for the application for heightened prudential standards. instead the financial stability oversight council will use metrics based approach that takes into consideration the totality of the bank holing company's operations. using the framework, bank
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holing companies will be measured on size, complexity, their interconnectedness, cross jurisdictional activity, and available substitutes. this is similar to the framework used by the international body known as the financial stability board which designates globally systemic important banks. further, it is the framework already being used by the federal reserve when it evaluates the financial stability concerns stemming from bank mergers. mounting evidence coming from regulators and academics have highlighted the flaws in using a size only approach to measuring systemic risk. further, several democratically regulators have noted without the flaws of franc's presh hreshold of $50 billion. it results in restricted lending, decreased services to customers, and inefficiencies in the marketplace. we must strive to ensure the government policy is thoughtful
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and properly calibrated. h.r. 6392 is absolutely necessary to assure we meet those principles. i urge my colleagues to vote yes for h.r. of 3 -- 6392. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. waters: thank you very much. i now yield three minutes to the gentleman from illinois, a member of the financial ervices committee, mr. foster. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. foster: i rise in opposition to h.r. 6392, the systemic risk designation improvement act of 2016. although many aspects of this bill have sound arguments behind them, it contains fatal flaws which should preclude our support. the financial crisis taught us many things about our markets and overturned some fairly fundamental assumptions that were widely held prior to it. one of the things we learned was the extent to which systemic risk could be -- could build up in a regulatory paradigm that was focused
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entirely on entity risk. it was quickly evident that the failure of a large institution posed a greater threat than previously believed. at the same time, the phrase, too big to fail, became public short-handed for some of these firms. economists and other experts talked about another important aspect, too interconnected to fail. asset size is a quick and useful metric for determining whether a firm is potentially so large that that a failure to have a massive impact on system wide stability. and evaluating the risks of that single institutions can pose to the system, often requires a more nuanced approach. the exposure of counter parties to a failing firm or exposures of other institutions to the same risks are systemic risk factors that would -- should rightly be considered. also, as the economy grows, many fixed thresholds such as $50 will shrink in importance, at the very least the
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importance given to any asset size threshold needs to be periodically reconsidered in the scope of an economic indicator like g.d.p. wherever the line is drawn, it should reflect the ma crow economic factors of that -- macroeconomic factors that the bank is nes t'd in. firms will avoid growth, meaning cutting back lending as they approach any fixed threshold. i see this as a market distortion that reflects risks of increasing concentration rather than freudent risk management. i see this concern with any fixed threshold for being deemed acy ofy. however i think a nuanced way to process that gives difference to the expertise of regulatory agencies is appropriate. drawing lines to determine which firms warrant additional scrutiny will always be a difficult process. to the extent that we consider that the bill we consider today looks to


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