tv Newsmakers with Representative Ben Ray Lujan CSPAN April 2, 2017 10:00am-10:34am EDT
"newsmakers" is ahead. spring is here, baseball begins this week. which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪ >> with ben lujango , and resonating in the i-16 elections. after that, senators ben cardin and marco rubio discussed human rights abuses in russia. our guest on c-span's "newsmakers," is congressman ben lujan. he is president of the democratic campaign to elect
democrats to house of representatives. thank you for being with us. rep. lujan: thanks for having us. susan: the me introduce my reporters. -- simone pathe. and sean sullivan. sean: thanks for joining us. we are coming out of health care debate in the house that didn't end well for republicans. we heard members of your party express confidence. is the house and play early on in the trump administration? rep. lujan: the republican paull bill was pulled by ryan was a victory for the american people. it's all people that have been america were responsible for having that bill being pulled. before letting people may be thrown off of their health
insurance, according to the congressional budget office. increased premiums and deductibles, stopping people -- slapping people 50 years old or older with an age tax. there is a reason the republicans were saying they didn't know which way to flip in which way to flop. taking that argument and debate to the american people is my responsibility. it is something we have been leaning into to make sure the constituents across america know how republicans are voting, especially when they are voting on such an ugly bill. it's too early to know what's going to happen in november of 2018, but i can tell you that democrats in the house are on offense. there's no question we will pick up seats in 2018. we have to work day in and day out and not take anything for credit, and also understand there is some tough math. republicans gerrymandered all across the country going into this decade. work,e to do a lot of
earned the trust of a lot of people, and make sure we are reaching out to every part of america. howare you going -- susan: are you going to make sure that your message on health care stays from center? the national conversation can change very quickly. rep. lujan: last week, when speaker paul ryan pulls the bill from the house of representatives, in a press conference later that afternoon, speaker paul ryan said something along the lines that the affordable care act is the law of the land. everyone thought there was finally recognition that we, as a bipartisan group in the congress, can work to make improvements to fix what needs fixing in the a affordable care act. it sounded to me like repeal was off the table. and then this week, speaker ryan spoke to some of his donors and promised to them there would be a plan by the end of the week for a repeal effort to be brought back to the table by house republicans. what we've seen the last 24
hours is house republicans promising a vote this next week on a repeal bill. the problem is, no one has seen it. are they bringing the same bill back that's going to throw 24 million people off the bill, and increased premiums and deductibles and out-of-pocket costs? it paul ryan does that, it seems like you ignoring what he's heard across america. polling is showing the republican repeal bill is only polling at 17%. it's been rejected by americans across america and internal numbers show the same thing. what we saw last week was not only democrats in the house and senate that were informing the american people what we found out was in the bill, it was something the american people were also identifying was in the bill. how bad it was going to be for everyday americans, for everyone across the country, not making anything better. as a matter of fact, it would have been harmful to states as a whole as well. i'm really surprised that house
republicans are trying to revive the repeal effort. it seems that they are making a political calculation versus facing the responsibility of governing and making things better for the american people. sean: the president signaled after that health care debate ended in the house that he was willing to work with democrats, they said we want to work with democrats. is there anything you are willing to work with the president on, health care or otherwise? or are you been tons of a reading the trump administration is doing? rep. lujan: the president on friday, when the republican bill was pulled, which he doesn't want his name on it but most people seem to be referencing his name on it signal there should be a way for us to work in a bipartisan fashion. but just this last week as well, president trump, whether it is at press conferences were gatherings with u.s. senator's and even tweets late in the week suggested that he is fearful that republicans will work with democrats. i don't know what he is saying,
it seems to change every morning and every night. with that being said, a democrat, repeal needs to be off the table. there are areas we can work on to make sure that we are able to help lower-class, especially for seniors. there's no question the prescription drug prices should not be negotiated, especially with medicaid. that will have lower cost for seniors and people all across america. looking at these high risk corridor's, not to be confused with high risk pools. high risk corridor's look at parts of the country where we need to strengthen those markets and provide more insurance that enroll communities are going to have more options and coverage opportunities and keep care in the most affordable fashion for people who live where we grow our food in rural america, like the mexico. areas ofe do in reinsurance, so there's more stability in some of these high
risk areas, the corridor's i am referencing. republicans want to bring in high risk pools. for the most part across the country, they failed. high risk pools brought back the notion that people can be capped , or their annual lifetime caps when they have cancer at a cost of care gets more expensive year after year. the health insurance company can say you have gotten too expensive and flew off the rolls. the affordable care act government of that. high-risk pools could potentially bring them back. it's an area where republicans may not be completely honest with the american people that they are keeping one of those parts of the affordable care act that we know works best. there are a few other areas that we can work together. but in the end, it's what can we do to make sure that we identify what's working well in the affordable care act, always working to improve a piece of legislation that is important to the american people. the a affordable care act is by no means a perfect piece of legislation, and you see a
willingness with democrats to work with republican colleagues. when paul ryan suggests repeal is back on the table and they are going to force a vote on his republican colleagues that is rejected by the, it does not seem they are serious about working in a bipartisan fashion. simone: you said repeal is a nonstarter for democrats, but how would you feel with more moderate members of your caucus did reach out to the administration and republicans to significant change parts of the affordable care act? rep. lujan: if we are talking about the a affordable care act and it's not repealing the affordable care act, even sicker boehner said not too long ago that he had regrets, talking about review and replace. earlier this year, speaker boehner said house republicans will not be able to repeal the of affordable care act. it was a political slogan that turned into an initiative by house republicans leaving blindly towards repeal as
opposed to looking at the affordable care act and seeing how we can always improve or fix what needs fixing. those are areas we can concentrate on. i named if you earlier. if there's a real effort and sincere effort to work in a bipartisan fashion to be able to improve your affordable care act , i think there is broad support and an openness for us to be able to do so. it does not appear the president trump nor speaker ryan, or any of the public and -- the republican leadership are serious about this. if they were, they wouldn't be forcing a repeal bill next week. let's see if republicans are willing to try to work together, take repeal off the table, and let's listen to the american people. the repeal vote on trumpcare, 17% popularity, the country is rejecting it not just in blue states, it's red states.
constituents are the people we need to be listening to, and those of the people that are rejecting the republican repeal effort. i want to switch gears and ask about your party after the election, there's a lot of anxiety and uncertainty about the future of the democratic party. who do you view as the leader of the democratic party right now, or is there one? you are seeing a lot of leaders stepped forward and speak with a strong voice and reaching out to the american people are in we still see elizabeth warren reaching out to the country. cory booker has been traveling the country extensively as well. senator schumer, leader pelosi are still reaching out to the american people. we have leaders in the house. friends like that molten who has been seeing to the country. adam schiff, who has come forward with the responsibility to hold the trump administration and now the republican leadership accountable when we should be working together to get to the bottom of how involved the russians were in
trying to influence elections in america. in stepping into our democracy, something that should be rejected. many leaders anger coming forward. cheri bustos, who comes from a rural part of america and speaks with a commanding voice. havejefferies, all response abilities in our caucus to help craft messaging. jim himes has stepped forward in a profound way. tom perez, one of our newly elected leaders, keith ellison, grace meng. see oneknow that you person coming forward. i think you see a lot of people listening to the american electorate and seeing how we can work together. write more people in, but do this together. i think that's what you are seeing with the democratic party going forward. it's not the focal point of one person, it's how we can collectively make sure we are listening to the country and reestablishing trust with everyone that we lost trust with
and make sure once we reestablish trust, we are able to maintain trust and make things better for everyone. simone: the parties leadership in the house, including your own campaign committee faced a lot of criticism from its own members after last year's disappointing election results. what mistakes were made in 2016, and what will the party be doing differently in 2018? rep. lujan: we were all disappointed with the results of the election last cycle. but the election of president trump was something that no one saw coming. bad -- we are not even the first 100 days of his administration and all the concerns and criticism, finger-pointing, and the finger-pointing is not just coming from democrats, looking at the concerns with what's happening with this new president, it's coming from house republicans looking at their concerns with this of administration as well. being said, we have the democratic congressional campaign committee to the deep dive. we do one every year, but this your we partnered with some of our colleagues so we had a
thorough assessment of what can be improved and how we could make sure we were being present all across america. be able to reach out to people and talk to them right at their doorsteps. if they invite you to their kitchen table to be able to be there as well. some things we identify the need to get better, the polling especially as it pertains to rural voters was completely off. we saw some of the modeling and rural voters retreated monolithically. i represent 47,000 square miles of new mexico. if i told you that just because i was able to get some voters on the phone for some polling in one part of my district, i would tell you now i know how rural voters are going to vote across new mexico, it would be misleading. we can't fall into those traps again. there have to be better ways to reach out to rural voters, we need them to understand how we can work together to improve their communities and improve their lives as well. nimble when it comes
to how we are going to be able to reach out to the american people with communication, whether it's advertising on television, cable, digital, online, in recent, on the phones, or through the mailboxes well. that has to improve dramatically. and then making sure we are getting more of our colleagues involved in every step of the way. i'm proud of the fact that members of our democratic caucus from every state delegation are at the table now, helping us with improvements. helping us understand the communities they grew up in that they represent. those are all areas of have to dramatically improve. betweenask coordination all the campaign committee, anyway that the house races can work with our senate leadership, to work with their governors, can work with the dnc, keeping an eye on what's happening with reapportionment and redistricting across the country. those rural initiatives that
i would sayove, and we have taken steps to implement those best practices that should have always been there. are coming from colleagues and supporters and organizers and volunteers. what we've seen is through the efforts of mobilization across america, how can we were to give that energy going? we are learning as our constituents that are keeping the energy going for us. left, we have 10 minutes you referenced, should adam schiff, who is leaving for the democrats the investigation into russian hacking and influence in the election. your office was one of those it was targeted with release of the emails in the last campaign cycle. what specifically have you done to shore up your own technology infrastructure? rep. lujan: you always look to make improvements with the suggestions that come from experts that you hire. we are very fortunate that we had a great team that we quickly
called upon to the democratic congressional campaign committee to provide assessments to let his know what could be approved and what could help guide us through those operationalizing of their ideas. we have been doing that every step of the way. when you have a foreign actor like the russians, they not only are going to attack the democrats, they are not only going to attack our democracy, but clearly, they are trying to influence efforts in different parts of the world. the intel reports are showing they were active, especially in some of the european elections as well. if that's not enough, they will continue to target consumers, going after retailers and some of those big targets as well. america has to take this seriously. not only those of us that have responsibilities at the democratic congressional campaign committee and various campaign committees as democrats, but all across the country. we have to make sure we are stepping up with united states
can do to identify everything that russia touched, figure out how to stop them, and it has to be done in a bipartisan fashion. i appreciate what the u.s. senators are doing. u.s. senators on the intel committee recognized that there is a threat when any foreign actor tries to enter our elections in america. and that's why they are getting to the bottom of this. it shouldn't be a partisan issue. we need to get to the bottom of this to ensure it doesn't happen again. susan: are there any leverages the united states can have against russia, if they are intending to influence the elections? what can we do? is. lujan: the first step understand the sections that were put in place by president barack obama. what worries me is there has been conversations that the new at administration president trump and some of his appointees are talking about lifting those very sanctions. i don't know why we would be in that area of conversation,
understanding that all of the intel community signed letters, with the exception of mr. comey, saying there was no question that the russians were involved in meddling in the u.s. election after the elections in november of 2016. i would hope that we can come together as a congress and as a country and make it abundantly clear to the russians and any other foreign actor is looking to get involved in the united states that we were not put up with it, and we will push against them with everything we have. sanctions are a tool that we have to continue to employ. why the trumpson administration should lift any of the sanctions. sean: one of the criticisms we heard on the campaign trail of hillary clinton's democratic campaign last year was that too much of it focused on the negative aspects of donald trump. it was not enough about what hillary clinton wanted to bring to the table. it was more what was bad about trump. as you look ahead to midterms, is the thrust of the democratic campaign when once again be here's why donald trump is bad
and here's why you shouldn't vote for his party? where are you prepared to come forward with democratic ideas and our candidates going to be running on their own platform? rep. lujan: it seems like when you come to president trump and his favorability is, which is fallen into the 30's and speaker ryan's credibility -- favorability, which is fallen. republicans are bring attention to some of the concerns that we have with the in administration. i would agree that there is more that has to begun to make sure that when we are reaching out to the american people, we are able we have the backs of the american folks. my dad was an ironworker, my mom worked in the local school district for over 33 years. a working family that i grew up in. when we were having conversations about how families are impacted around the dinner table, what it takes to keep a roof over your head and save a little bit, so at the end of the month you were able to save for your kids to go to school or be
able to buy a boat so you can go fishing with the kids in the family, those are issues that are important. having a strong economic and job package, the importance of whatever structure will mean to putting people to work all across america and leading with that. what i will say as well is during the election cycle, unlike what we are seeing after november of 2016, the seriousness of the russian hack into our democracy and stealing these documents and releasing them did not get that kind of coverage. of thosent of some emails, accurate or not, would be front and center to be the headline running across the bottom of the television set. now we are seeing the seriousness of making sure we are able to call out the threat of a russian hack, and that we should not embrace any content that is stolen by the russians
to try to influence elections at any point. but also clouded the ability to reach out to the american people. that's not an excuse. we have to do better. we have to listen to the country and reach out to them and make sure we show them in president trump's words, what do you have to lose? we've already seen is what the american evil have to lose is higher premiums and higher deductibles. 4 million people being thrown off the rolls. beingmillion people thrown off the rolls. that's what the american people have to lose. we need to make sure that the american people, especially the older folks were represent, are not going to be slapped with that age tax. simone: your party needs 24 seats to pick up the majority in the house. you have the possibility to make adent in that in the spring, race in georgia is the most competitive. the leading democrat in the race has told the associated press that the goal is to win outright
in the 18 canada primary on april 18. how do you think he is underperforming that election? rep. lujan: overall, with the battlefield across the country, we know the history is not on the side of the party that holds the white house in the first midterm. cincinnati 1982, the party that holds the white house, in this ,ase, public is -- republicans lost on average 28 seats. the party that holds the party in the white house is only picked up seats three times in our nations history in 2002, 1934, and 1902. history is not on the side of republicans. with that being said, remember the gerrymandering was all republicans conduct all across america. it's a tough map. what i can tell you now without making productions about the outcomes in 2018 with the elections in the united states for the house of representatives, i can tell you
the democrats are on offense that will pick up seats. as it pertains to the special election in georgia, this is a tough district. it's newt gingrich is old district. this is a district that still by thetrump one -- won, secretary clinton almost 22 points better than barack obama did in 2012 in this election. that shows you that people are willing to move when there's an alternative that make the difference to represent their interests, values, and principles. that's what john is doing. race becauseo this he was recruited by local people in the district he is going to represent. he worked for congressman john lewis, interned for him and then worked for hank johnson. i think that speaks incredibly to two leaders who are respected in georgia. the polling has john holding in the first slot.
of thelling ahead secretary of state, the leading republican candidate in this race, and two other republicans that are pulling narrowly behind her. candidates,ere 18 everyone else's polling at 1% to 2%. john has the support of so may people across america. volunteers inside the district. he is doing everything he can to reach out to the people in the sixth district of georgia. i think that's the effort we're seeing here. georgiad the people in for getting to know john and working with him. let's see what happens. there's a special election april 18. if there's a runoff, a comes up june 20. just know that we are on the ground working day in and day out. thanks to the thousands of volunteers who are helping bring attention to some of the ugly policies that we are seeing come out of house republicans and making sure the voters in georgia know about them. susan: 30 seconds, a quick question. sean: you sound confident about
picking up seats. how many seats as reasonable in your view in 2018? rep. lujan: i don't have a crystal ball, i will leave that up to you guys. i think it's too early to figure out what's going to happen in november of 2018, but i really believe there is no doubt that we will be able to pick up seats in this environment. numbers are at's a historical low, paul ryan's numbers are dropping your republicans are going to double down and force republicans to walk the plank again. the american people are rejecting those efforts early and we are not even out of the first 100 days of this new at administration. lujan,congressman ben thank you for being our guest. rep. lujan: thank you for having the. susan: "newsmakers," is back after our congressman -- archive -- our conversation with congressman ben lujan. and sean sullivan.
let's start with the congressional elections. his either party calling these bellwethers and wanted to say this indicates where the american electorate is going? think republicans have been more willing to make that argument, particularly when they are trying to find fault with the candidate the democrats are recruiting in both the montana and georgia special elections. they are arguing they are being pulled way to the left eye some of the grassroots energy we've seen across the country and unnecessarily nominating the best candidates for the district. that is made democrats more cautious, as you are the chairman earlier say, this was newt gingrich's district in georgia, he still republican district. the fact that hillary clinton came so close to winning has given the more optimism. susan: he referenced gerrymandering by republicans. once the state of the competitiveness in most of the elections coming up? sean: republicans did a great
job leading up to the last round redistricting in 2010, getting a map that was favorable to them. you're starting to see democrats catch up to us now. there's a group headed by our president obama's former attorney general is trying to even the playing field going to 2020. it's challenging, they are not a lot of competitive district anymore. you're seeing a lot of very republican districts and very democratic districts. it's a tough time and with the chairman is trying to do is make up so many seats on a map where you have a lot of space. that's a challenge for them. going to take a really big wave to put the majority in play for democrats when you look at the 2018 map. susan: discrete voter data seems to be the prize for both parties and micro-targeting voters and elections. i'm wondering in a larger question, we just had a debate on the floor about internet privacy.
i'm wondering how those objectives come together for the parties. that on thebs like chairman has really want to know who those voters are and whether inclination are, by the same time, democrats are generally supporters of internet privacy rules. how does this come together for the parties when they are thinking about policy and elections? simone: i think if we have seen over the past year and two years, data is key. the chairman admitted that there were major failings when it came to the party polling of rural voters in particular. from a campaign perspective, you see both parties continue to go after that target data to try to learn as much about his voters and potential voters as they can from a policy and messaging standpoint, they are going to hear democrats as we have over the past couple of days really hammer in on the privacy issue. i seen emails from a bunch of xndidates saying congressman wants to steal your information or violate your privacy. expect that to be a message
going forward into 2018. sean: i agree. especially now when you look at the way the potential russian involvement in the election has now risen to the forefront of the american public's consciousness, this is something that people are aware of and you are right. for democrats, you are calling for privacy on one hand and on the other hand, you want to get to know who these voters are. you have the tools now you didn't have 10 or 15 years ago you can micro-target voters and figure out what their habits are and how they behave in these elections. ande is certainly a dilemma i am pretty confident that democratss will call out and saying you are calling for privacy but on the other hand, look at the massive data you are collecting on the electorate. susan: one area we didn't talk is money. how are both parties doing at this stage in the cycle in replenishing their coffers after the elections? sean: democrats are confident consternation the
of the public hasn't the new administration is holding a fund-raising, helping the recruitment of candidates. but what really matters at hand here, and we look at how super pac's may come into play, how these candidates -- campaign committees will be raising money. it's too early to figure out how much enthusiasm democrats are going to have six months, eight months, 12 months from now. right now, democrats are happy with the enthusiasm and the money they are raising. it's a long road to 2018. it's far from clear if we sit down and talk a year from now that people are still going to volunteering and showing of the rallies. it's a long way to go to 2018. hope foru asked about the democrats and -- seats for democrats, and the list was long. simone: they would argue it's a
plus and it showcases the diversity of the party. we've seen one central message coming from the top doesn't necessarily play will across the country. it might be helpful to have andone like cheri bustos, been released be to the midwestern parts of america. at the same time, the country will be looking for a leader, someone they can look to in the not justc party who is messaging against donald trump, but is articulating its own message. susan: some of the names he suggested our people who are being considered as possible president of candidates in the future. are we beginning to see activity in that area this early in the cycle? sean: absolutely. with such a wide-open field that not a lot of democrats expected to see at this point, a lot of them exciting hillary clinton would win. i think we already seeing that play out in some of the votes that some of these senators are playing.
unquestioningly, i think the david -- the day that hillary clinton lost, the race for the presidency was in race -- was in play. susan: thank you for being with us on "newsmakers." [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] eastern,oday at noon investigator journalist and best-selling author any jacobson is our guest on book tv's in depth. >> from these documents, what is it's moving the military environments to being comfortable with this idea of merging nanomachine. >> she is known for writing's on war, weapons, security, and government secrets, and will 51,uss recent looks, area operation paperclip, the pentagon's brain, and her most recent, phenomena. three-hourve conversation with anna jacobson with your calls, tweets, and
facebook questions live today at noon eastern on book tv's in-depth on c-span 2. >> the senate judiciary committee needs monday to vote on the supreme court nomination of neil gorsuch. hec-span two on senokot said. after the vote, the full senate takes up the nomination, majority leader mitch mcconnell has announced he plans to hold the final confirmation vote on friday, april 7. watch the senate live on c-span two. >> now have a senate intelligence hearing on russian influence in 2016 u.s. elections. this portion is 2.5 hours.