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tv   Interview with Representative-elect Jamie Raskin D-MD  CSPAN  December 19, 2016 2:01am-2:13am EST

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i cannot imagine i'm leaving in the house, senate, white house. i guess that deck of cards was not don't to me. we got a lot done. you can work with people. i brother was a democratic member of congress and my brother dave who will accompany me tonight to the white house for the first time, he and his wife come he was a democratic bipartisanhave a family. some of my best friends are democrats. as i'm leaving, some of the most come up to me and have been very gracious, their words to me which means a lot. reporter: congressman john mica, thank you for your time. rep. mica: great to be with you. it has been
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jamie raskin spoke with us for an interview. he was just elected to represent the district and he has also served in the maryland senate. reporter: representative-elect jamie raskin, representing maryland's eighth district. a democrat. why did you decide to run? rep.-elect raskin: i have been a state senator in maryland for a decade. we have tried to restore voting rights to former prisoners, ban military style assault weapons, high-capacity magazines to reduce the bloodshed on our streets. but, the truth is, we cannot solve any of these problems at the state level. we need to be fighting in congress. the level of dysfunction in congress has gotten to a point where i said, i have to go and see if i can help dislodge the impasse and paralysis that has overtaken congress.
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i had some success in maryland working in a bipartisan way for real progress in our state. and the general assembly had passed more than 100 of the bills that i introduced, and more than 90% of them had republican support. it was on a bipartisan basis. we need a universal background check for gun buyers. that is something supported by the overwhelming majority of gun owners in the country. it is not a second amendment problem. as a professor of constitutional law, i am happy to talk about the second amendment with colleagues on the other side of the aisle. we can advance common sense, middle way gun safety legislation without impairing anybody's second amendment rights to possess a gun for self-defense purposes or for hunting and recreation. that is one example of an issue where i really would hope to play a role in pushing things forward and getting beyond the stalemate that has seized congress for so long. reporter: why do you think, with
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that background of the state level, state politics, how is it going to make this job easier? what experience do you think will help you with serving in the house of representatives? rep.-elect raskin: i have only been in my freshman training for a couple of weeks now, but i am starting to think that the real divide is not between democrats and republicans. it is between people who run with lots and lots of money, never having served in office before and those who have served , in state legislators or city councils. at the state and local level, we experience the real opportunities of democracy, and we learn the art of civility and treating people well and even creating friendships across the aisle in order to build the foundation for making progress on the problems that affect the -- afflict the country. we have so many. the infrastructure is a great example of something that affects everybody whether you live in the countryside and the roads are falling apart or you live in the washington metropolitan region where the metro system is a huge crisis.
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i used to rided, the metro when i was a kid to look around and it opened new worlds for me and today, it cannot get me to capitol hill on time. i was late for my first set of meetings coming down because the red line is on the safetrak program. we need to invest in american infrastructure, and we can have a real conversation about that across geographic lines, party lines. it is something that can unify the country. after a really brutal and bruising election, it is something we can make progress on. reporter: where did you grow up, and what influence did your parents have on who you are? rep.-raskin: i grew up right here. i think i will be the member of congress, certainly the freshman living closest to congress. i live 20 minutes away in takoma park, maryland. i have lived my whole life in maryland or washington, d.c. i know this area well. i have offered to give tours to my new colleagues or advise them on schools or where to go in rock creek park and so on.
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my parents have been a profound influence in my life. my dad worked for president kennedy. he is a political philosopher. he were to book called "liberalism: the genius of american ideals." he has been a great progressive thinker and influence on me. my dad always said when i was a kid, everyone has two impulses in life. one is to fly like a bird and another is to stand like a tree. i always thought of myself as a tree person, so i never really moved away from home. i have traveled abroad. i have lived in france in different parts of africa and europe, but really, this is the place that i love. i am very moved that the voters of the eighth congressional district, which is not just montgomery county but also frederick and caroll sent me , here as their representative. it is a great title to have to be able to represent people's needs, interests, and values. my mom was a great writer, a novelist, a journalist. i have a lot of respect for your profession and what the media
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people do. i guess it was jefferson that said, "if you would ask me to choose between having a government without a newspaper or a newspaper without a government, i would not hesitate to choose the latter." that is the way i feel. it is media to keep people engaged with citizens and lets people know what is going on. people have to know what is going on in government. that is an important role of a representative, to be a channel of information for people back home. reporter: what did your father do for president kennedy? rep.-elect raskin: he was on the national security council. he left in early opposition to the vietnam war. he created a think tank called the institute for policy studies. he has been a think tank person and a professor at george washington university. he is now retired. reporter: did president kennedy have an impact on you? rep.-elect raskin: i got from my dad all kinds of great jfk memorabilia. i love the kennedy family and
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the role they have played in american life. and i always thought that bobby kennedy embodied both the toughness that we need to have in order to make progress but also the gentleness that we need to have in order to understand what the real needs of society are. i have always looked up to bobby kennedy. and i know his daughter, kathleen kennedy townsend, who was in politics in maryland, and some of his other kids. reporter: any mentors in this area that you have worked with or anyone you are looking forward to working with on the capitol? rep.-elect raskin: the maryland delegation is a very strong, tightknit delegation that punches way above its weight in congress. you know we are a relatively , small state. we only have eight members in the house, but of course nancy pelosi, the democratic leader, was born in baltimore, and her father was the mayor of baltimore. the number two democrat, steny hoyer, who was born and bred and bleeds maryland, and he has been
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a terrific help to me. i love the people i am serving with. john sarbanes is one of my friends, anthony brown, who is a lieutenant governor is coming with me, a great friend of mine. john delaney has the neighboring district. i know all of these people, and we work strongly together as a cohesive team to bring back the best results for our people and the best programs and services that will uplift the people of maryland. reporter: what will be the biggest difference for you coming from the state house assembly to the house of representatives? rep.-elect raskin: the maryland senate is a small and intimate body. it is 47 members -- 33 democrats. and a lot of the action takes place on the floor of the senate. i mean, i had many amendments that were offered that were incorporated into legislation and you can see legislation
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change there. what i am learning firsthand in my tour through the house is the political science rule that the larger the body, the more hierarchical it is. by the time legislation comes to the floor, there is not that much maneuverability. congress is really in the committees. the committees are where all of the action is. you have to be a very diligent and zealous committee member. because i am a professor of constitutional law and i have a nerdy disposition about rules and parliamentary procedure, i will like that a lot. reporter: what committees would you like to serve on? rep.-elect raskin: we just got a speech from nancy pelosi about not having our heart set on a particular committee because it is a large body. having said that, i have been on maryland's legislative committee. i have been a law professor for more than a quarter of a century. i think the judiciary committee is a logical place for me to go. there are other committees appealing to me.
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one is the committee on oversight and government reform. another great maryland representative chairs. i'm hoping to get on that because an overseas the whole federal government. i have more than 85,000 constituents that work in the federal government in every place from agriculture, to the pentagon, to commerce, to the treasury department, where my wife works, actually. i want to be a zealous champion for the hard-working people who are doing the work of the public interest by going to work every day and advancing the agenda of the american people. reporter: representative elect raskin, thank you so much for talking to c-span. rep.-elect raskin: the pleasur >> monday night on the communicators. more would have a much effective agency end of opportunity for providers to serve.
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>> michael o'rielly, fcc commissioner talks about how it might change. he is interviewed by the senior director for communications daily. >> cyber security is getting a particular amount of attention right now with what happened in the last few months starring the campaign. >> i think it is a very important issue and the congressmen have been very aggressive on trying to find a solution. the fcc role is limited by the statute that governs us. while light do believe the government has a role to monitor and potentially provide additional fixes in the space, they are not authorized by the law for us to do. announcer: watch "the communicators" monday night at 8:00 p.m

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