tv U.S. House Meets for Legislative Business CSPAN March 1, 2017 8:00pm-8:41pm EST
home hard for many of us across the country who wonder if we too are going to be the targets of hate. and the president did say that he denounces hate. that there's no place in this nation for hate. and that in fact we need to do a lot of work to make sure that we preserve this place, this country, as a country that's safe for everybody. unfortunately, it took a while o get there and his words belie the rhetoric he has put out there in the past. and in fact, this president has not spoken out against the kind of hate and sometimes said things that encourage his followers to act in ways that simply do not meet the rhetoric that he had yesterday. the first place that was so
obvious to me was in the space of immigration. i have been an immigrant working on this and friends and colleagues in the u.s. senate and u.s. house of representatives. at that time, i was an advocate. but together, we understood the tremendous contributions of immigrants to this country and understood unless you were native americans willing or unwilling, has been a descent ant of immigrants. to come into the chamber and hear the fear mongering and the characterization of immigrants s people all they do is commit crimes is a travesty to the disservice to the millions of people who work every day who
pick our vegetables, clean our homes, serve us in so many different capacities as well as those who came through the legal . it took me 18 years to get my citizenship. i went through visa after visa after visament for president to focus on a stereotype of undocumented criminals is simply singenuous, unfair and aun-american. and those who have helped this count friday were the guests of many of us. we each brought incredible men and women to join us for the state of the union, people who we teal demonstrate the strength and courage and resilience.
i was proud to be joined by a good friend who it executive director of the american muslim empowerment network. and she is a harvard trained lawyer and incredible snowboarder and 12th command san, she loves the seahawks and a strong advocate for a community who have been has been terrorized since the president muslim ban and now the court has said it is unconstitutional. thate know he has reshaped ban to continue to -- [inaudible]
>> we wanted to send a message to this president and to our country that we are strong because of our diversity, that we are better with the perspectives and values that people brian regardless of what religion your we all we do believe the same blood and we do believe in the promise of the united states of america. and we wanted the president to understand and our colleagues in this body to understand that when we pass laws and approve of executive orders that target people that we are doing a tremendous disservice to this country and we mate be violating constitutional laws in some of these cases but america deserves better in how we position what
immigrants have done for this country. now the president last night kept talking about these heinous crimes that immigrants commit. and in fact he had some people in the chamber, his guests who were tragically affected by the murder of individuals and their families, who were killed by a single undocumented immigrant, a heinous crime committed by an undocumented immigrant is not representative of the law-abiding immigrants across our country and this is what the president did during the campaign. fear mongering. the reality is just like dylan roof's crimes in south carolina cannot be representative of
caulk cause indiana immigrants. no way that a couple can be representative of 11 million who have served this country, helped build our economy, helped drive our industry and who contribute so much to our country every single day. the president also seemed to paint this picture of immigrants of driving up crime. when you have undocumented immigrants -- in fact the statistics show that immigrants commit crimes far lower rates and our sanction tue area cities nd cities that are friendly to immigrants that those actually are safer as cities than comparable cities that are not sanctuary cities.
that was an report that came out. when you have trust and when you understand that the fix that we need is for a system that is broken, an immigration system that has been broken for a very long time, that the way to address these issues is not to criminalize and fear monger about people who are trying to help our country but get our country to help on a real fix. and i was initially pleased that the president talked about fixing an broken immigration system and said we are going to look at a merit-based system. i came here by myself when i was 16 years old. my parents sent me over here. because their $5,000
they felt this was going to be the best education. if you look at a merit-based system, you exclude the millions of people who have come to the united states seeking refuge from familiar ine, from drought, from persecution. you exclude all of those people. you exclude all of the family who are trying to re-unite with their loved ones when they come here and bring their spouse, their parents, their child, that whole family-based system that our country has built it around, that, too, would be excluded. unform this president is still not a place where he has embraced the immigration reform and has been until this point traditionally bipartisan.
68 bipartisan votes in the u.s. senate in 2013 for an immigration reform bill that would have brought us $1.5 trillion into our economy by legalizing and providing a pathway to citizenship. but more important, would have been providing the respect than what the president speak about last night. mr. raskin talked about health care and the affordable care act. and during his speech, the president unfortunately renewed the theme that the affordable care act has been a disaster. and he talked about his ideas for health care. and he said some things that all of us could agree with. he said we deserve health care that lowers cost for people. i would like that.
he said we deserve health care that increases quality of care. absolutely. but, unfortunately, neither the president nor republicans in this chamber have offered us a replacement plan. to repeal the affordable care act, which has provided so much benefit to people, more than 20 million americans gained health care through the affordable care act, but if republicans succeed in repealing it, 30 million people will lose it. 150 million will see their protections stripped away leaving them vulnerable. you cannot preekt the most expensive and the most valuable provisions of the affordable care act if you do not continue to keep the pool large enough full of healthy people so those provisions are affordable.
and you need to make sure it is large enough. we have not seen a plan that improves health care and it's important we recognize we have improvements to make. there are too many americans that still today don't have access to health care. but the solution for that is the medicare for all plan, a public plan that allows to take process out of the business of health care. it should not be a business. it should be about making people better and making people well and not making corporations rich. and that is a very important piece. the president said he would support a plan that would actually provide us with the ability to negotiate for prescription drugs for medicare that would bring down the costs of prescription drugs. i'm all in for that plan and i
hope the president supports the bill that was introduced. it would he allow the united states to import drugs from canada and allow to negotiate drug prices and lower the costs for seniors and others who rely on those lifelong medication. i'm proud to have co-sponsored that bill in the house. and that is the solution we need to move to is lowering the cost of prescription drugs, lowering the costs of health care, increasing the quality of the care that we provide. let's talk about the environment for a moment, because thement says he cares about clean water and clean air. but at the same time, the president has proposed, in reports that have been published in the news, that he intends to cut the environmental protection
agency by 25%, the budget of the environmental agency. scott pruitt, our new secretary of the e.p.a., has talked about putting in place plans to repeal plans on climate change. the president signed a rule to essentially roll back progress on the clean water act and talking about cutting agencies and staff of the e.p.a. across the country. the reality is we need to be thinking about how we preserve our planet for the next generation. afe 20-year-old son and he says to me, mom, this is one of the most important things you can do is preserve the planet for me and my kids. and that is what we need to do. look at the science of climate change and look at the ways we can strengthen our ability to protect the environment. instead of what this president has said what he will do, which
is to repeal so many of the rules that the obama administration put in place, to make sure that we check the notion that cooperations should be able to mine our land for profit while destroying it for the future. budget and taxes. now this was a really interesting one, one of the most common refrains, is that he was going to drain the swamp. he promised he would do it and now draining the swamp and put a ban on lobbyivities. but what he didn't falk about, lobbyists and now pumping it in to his cabinet, who are filled with
people who represent goldman sachs, the c.e.o. of exxonmobil, lenty of other elites and we don't begrudge people to make money but these are people who made profits from americans who are losing their income and these are people who lobbied the united states government so those corporations could do better while caring not at all for the broad interests of people across this country. and based on these picks, it's clear that the president's proirt is for the wealthiest in our country and now as he promised over and over again for the working people in our count friday. would love i would love to be proven wrong but all the tax plans we've seen so far, all the proposals we
have seen so far, would not do as he said last night. last night he said he wants to provide a huge tax cut or tax relief for middle class families. we would love to see that. unfortunately, the plan looks, in fact, like it is going to provide relief to the top tier of income earners in this country, not to the middle class. he's talked about a $54 billion cut in domestic spending. and i wanted to have people understand exactly what $54 billion amounts to. most of us don't really know. we can't really imagine that. because we don't have $54 billion lying around. so if we added up the entire budget for the environmental protection agency, the entire budget of the national oceanic and atmospheric administration, the entire budget for the national park service, and i should give you these thumb
numbers because they're interesting. $8 billion for the e.p.a. $5.85 for the noaa. $3.1 billion for the national parks service. $2.9 billion for the department of energy efficiency and renewable energy program. $1.6 billion for the fish and wildlife service. and $1.2 billion for the u.s. geological service, you still don't get to that $54 billion. and there's a whole bunch of others that are in that list. but you still don't get to $54 billion even if you remove all those agencies. so the work that we have to do is really to have people understand that if we are going to cut nondefense discretionary spending by the amount that he is talking about increasing our defense budget by, our military spending by, then you are going to have to cut into the very programs that help middle class
families to continue their lives and have dignity and respect and pull themselves up and know that they are going to have food on the table and a roof over their head and be able to send their kids to college and be able to retire in security. all of the programs that help people to do that. to have opportunity in this country. which is why america is such a great country, because we provide that kind of opportunity. if we decimate our nondefense discretionary spending by cutting it by $54 billion, then we are taking away that opportunity from millions and millions of families. this is not how we build up our communities. our budget is a demonstration of our values as a country and we have to understand that this is a time of tremendous insecurity for americans across our country. wealth inequality is at the highest level it's been in a very long time.
people do not see the opportunity for themselves and they elected this president in part because of the promises that he made. and so if he is going to follow through that would mean protecting those social safety net programs. it would mean investing in the environment for the future. it would mean expanding social security and medicare. it would mean saying that the answer to health care is actually a medicare for all program. a way to make sure that every american does not have to be one health care crisis away from bankruptcy. the president also talked about education last night and he said it's the civil rights issue of our time. i couldn't agree with him more. but i do not understand how you go from that -- from that place to then saying that the answer to that is school choice. 90% of the kids in this country go to the public education
system. that's what my son went through. we need to make sure we preserve the ability for people in this country to send their kids to good public schools. we should be investing in public schools. investing in our teachers. making sure we provide the tools and resources to teachers so that in our public schools, the place where our kids are going to spend the most amount of their days, that they are getting the kind of education that allows them to earn a future, contribute back to the country, be trained for all the jobs that we need to fill right here in the united states of america. we should be investing in pre-apprenticeship programs. we should be investing in debt prix college for all our young people. because it's ridiculous that a young person has to choose between being $45,000 in debt or not going to college. not seeking a higher education. higher education is what gave me
everything that i have today. it was my parents' belief in me and my future and the $5,000 that they had in the bank that they used to send me here so i could get a college degree. i was 16 years old and now i have the tremendous honor of standing in this chamber, the u.s. house of representatives, in the greatest country in the world, going from being an immigrant to being a united states representative. and i want every american, no matter what color you are, no matter whether you're rural or urban, no matter whether you have money or don't have money, i want you to have a great public education that you can go to. that is choice. that is real choice. choice is not privatizing our public education system and then saying, hey, 10% of the people get to go to that and then everybody else is going to go to schools that don't give them
that opportunity. real choice is about having an investment in our public education system as the doorway, the gateway to a future of opportunity. mr. speaker, the most important thing, i think, is that last night's address was a softer tone. it was a disciplined speech. and there was some good statements. but unfortunately, the rhetoric f last night doesn't match the actions. it doesn't match the executive actions of the last seven weeks that have thrown this country into chaos on immigration. it doesn't match the fact that we still don't have a replacement plan that will make things better for health care. not increase payments. not give giveaways to insurance
companies. not decrease subsidies so health care can be affordable. his speech last night did not reflect specifics around how he's going to accomplish some of the good things he said he was going to do. and it continued to put fear into people's heverts and minds about who our -- people's hearts and minds about who our neighbors are, about immigrants across this country who have done so much to build and contribute. he is the president of the united states, he has a remarkable microphone. he talked about unity last night. but unity means being a president for everybody. and it means not creating stories that somehow draw pictures of an immigrant community that is full of crime.
inner cities that are full of crime. that's not -- that's not the inner cities that i know. if he's talking about inner cities in chicago and other places, we should be talking about how to fix crime but not calling everybody who lives there criminals. we have got to understand that body in y deserves a this chamber, in this united states congress, that really preserves the opportunity and the dreams and the ability for everybody in our country to know that they've got a fair shot. that's what america has been for so long. for so many people across the world. and when he talks about improving the vetting of refugees in this country, let me tell you, i know a lot about this issue. there are 20 steps you have to go through if you want to be
vetted into this country as a refugee. all of our intelligence agency, multiple intelligence agency, multiple agencies in other country the united nations, others, are involved in that vetting process. our own intelligence agencies vet people. and out of the seven countries that he put on the list the muslim ban, the 9/11 hijackers didn't come from any of those countries. they came from another country that's not on that list. saudi arabia. so if we're really going to think about how we improve our security in this country, we should be thinking about economic security that gives people the opportunity that they need. in this country. the ability to fill our jobs with well-trainedols om th cnt. an tn ctue talw miras me in w nd emutot aoth t minecsee'ot
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ig, walstet urlnvtiti rorr odulnsal autis onagto, outh caerndowalofva rr, orr bbstor e thearst pharceic cpaesn e rl >> hrdums outh and fty, i wa a s ianhiece bl authigu andbo a arat, taedoong toisifancaai dotis dispeinan wh me m e othop bbst &uny ghn sp' a. sophia neon on h lates book, "re claiming the founders vision for america." >> windows unity come into play
-- when does unity come into play and how does this book provide prescriptions for turning that important corner to recognize how important unity is? >> this book is a refresher of civics, but i wrote it in a way of, you know, we need a little help. america is a great country, but we are a little bit confused about who we are and what we want and i think that is what we are wrestling with. this unity peace, we need to break it down, because the problem you saw in the last election is half the country feelone waand anothehalf feelanotheway. >> suny nighonftwos. tayatrns d ga anysisss t sre cotomeeei gsu a thcoirti pce. thseteonrmio hris e heletoeg on mah . is0inute scsi