tv Washington Journal 11062017 CSPAN November 7, 2017 3:15am-4:15am EST
continue marking up the bill wednesday as well. announcer: now, former pennsylvania congressman jason ohlmeyer talks about political polarization. he joined us on "washington journal." former pennsylvania democratic congressman jason altmire joins us now. he recently published his book "dead center, how political polarization divided america, and what we can do about it." congressman, in the wake of this shooting in texas yesterday, is there a centrist solution to mass shootings and gun violence in this country? guest: it is ironic. i have been doing a lot of writings about polarization and what causes it. what crystallized the fact that i wanted to put this in a book is when the pulse shooting occurred in orlando. the introduction in my book is about the political reaction.
anytime you have something like this, you see the best of america in the response. the overwhelming sense of humanity and a shared sense of grief that occurs. people giving a lot of -- blood, holding vigils. then, on the political side, you see the worst of america. forle using the tragedy political advantage, trying to figure out how they can gain in a political argument based on this horrific event we have had. now, we have had multiple mass shootings since then. that is what is most upsetting, in addition to the facts of the tragedy. that we just cannot get beyond the fact that this is not a political event. this is not something we should be striving for political advantage. together in a shared sense of grief and act upon whatever the nation determines is the best course of action. host: if you were in congress,
what would you like to see happen today? guest: there needs to be real discussion about why his is the only country where these things happen? there is a continuing sense where there is not we can do about this. every country in the world is preventing this. what are they doing that we are not? i think we are not having an honest discussion. i do not know what the answer is to that question, but clearly, other countries are doing a better job at dealing with these mass shooting incidents then we are. host: you are rated the most centrist member of the house of representatives when you were in the house. the fine -- define what "centrist" is. guest: they look at the major, most legislative issues that are covered. they ranked members of congress against each other. you have the most liberal, the most conservative, based upon
your voting record, and everybody in between. somebody has to be in the middle. i was in the dead center. that is why my book is called "dead center." 217 members to my left, 217 members to my right. i had a district that was very bipartisan. i had both republicans and district.active in my i heard both points of view. that is key. i brought that with me to washington. host: you argue the american ch moreas a whole is mu like you been on the extremes. what evidence you have that points to that? guest: there is this narrative that we are more divided than we have ever been as a nation. that is not true. our politics is more divided than ever before, if you look at the voting record him about the american people, just because someone votes republican or
democrat or are registered republican or democrat, that does not make them partisan. most people wake up everyday wondering how the sports team did over the weekend, what activities do they have tonight. they are not living and breathing politics. they want a congress that can get along, that can compromise and negotiate, make accommodations. we do not have that in washington right now. the disconnect is that people who are out in the country -- there is such a high disapproval rating of congress because they feel they are not being represented, not based upon politics but based upon the desire to compromise and negotiate. unfortunately, "compromise" is a dirty word today. you are punished at the ballot -- at the ballot box because people who show up in closed primaries represent the extremes, not the vast majority of america in the center. host: we will get to some of the solutions you propose.
"dead center" is the book. former congressman jason altmire, the author, with us. taking your calls. democrats, (202) 748-8000. republicans can call in at (202) 748-8001. independents, (202) 748-8002. we start in logan, utah. bob is a democrat. good morning. caller: good morning. thanks for letting me -- thanks for letting me give my opinion. congress passed some simple bills? you can go out and be totally drunk, totally intoxicated, and still carry a gun. yet you cannot drive a car. but when you are full of alcohol or drugs, you are insane. so i would like to know why. and thank you for listening to my complaint. guest: i appreciate the caller's
remarks. this is the discussion, as a country, that we need to have. that is one fairly narrow view of the possibility of gun control. but the debate is larger than that. it, repeatedly, after a national tragedy like this occurs. from bothresponse sides on what their point of view is. until we come to terms with the fact that we are the only country in the world where these incidents happened with such regularity, we will not get to the root of the problem. host: talking with omar congressman chris gibson, he proposed to bring america back together to rally the country together -- one inc. he proposed was term limits for congress. you disagree with that. why? guest: we already have term limits. in the house, we have two-year terms. in the senate, we have six-year terms. -- ourselvesfer as
up for reelection. the problem is the system is designed to protect and elect partisans. when you look at gerrymandering, you look at the closed primary system, those are all designed specifically to protect the people in power. that is where reform needs to occur. it is interesting -- when you go through the process of writing a book -- and i did a lot of research into this -- it changes your opinion on this. i was not always opposed to term limits. when you look at what has happened to the states that attempted term limits, it does not work. people who go into office immediately start to position up,selves for the next step either to become a lobbyist or run for another office. the people have the most power are the career staff who have been there and the lobbyist. i do not think that is what the american people have in mind when they are thinking about term limits. they are thinking about reinvigorating congress every
few years. that is not what happens under term limits. the same people remain at the staff level. and what you also find is when you replace a member of congress, more often than not, they are replaced to the extreme. the member comes in is more extreme than the member they replaced. that happens on both sides. so term limits do not work. what i do agree that we need to make elections more competitive, make them more fair, level the playing field. do away with members of congress -- members of the state legislatures drawing their own seats for members of congress. that is where reform can happen. and reform the primary process, to bring much greater vision and a wide swath of america rather than the narrow extremes. host: sean is up early in hawaii this morning, line from independents. caller: i have two things.
our country is huge, with different needs. geographically speaking, washington is not even in the meat of the country. my second opinion is shouldn't government be based on merit and not polarization? thank you. guest: that is what i talk about in my book. the nation, as a whole, is not nearly as divided as the narrative would lead you to believe you we do have a bitterly divided group of men and women who serve in congress. they represent districts throughout the country. so you do have a geographical disparity on where they come from. one of the wonderful things about congress is everyone has a different point of view. they represent different parts of the country. they have a different employment and educational background. you all come together and make decisions based on that background.
but what we have today is a decision where their jobs depend on appealing to the extremes. their jobs do not depend on appealing to the vast majority of america that gravitates more towards the center to the people who are active on campaigns, who put up yard signs, who show up at townhall meetings, call congressional offices -- those are the people who show up in the primaries. unfortunately, that is the most extreme group of citizens our nation has to offer. until we find a way to open up those primaries, bring in more moderate voices -- if you are a candidate running for office in a closed primary, the only chance you have to win is to appeal to the extremes. but if you're running for office in an open primary, you have to appeal not just to the extremes but to the people in the center and even people in the other party. when you do that, you are bringing a freshly reinvigorated voice into washington. people who really represent the districts where they come from. and all of america then feels
like they are represented. --t: independence, maturity missouri. janice. caller: hi. i will try to make this brief and coherent. when i look at the major parties, i am this is the with -- disgusted with both of them. and i will say here i am very conservative. i am a partisan. what each look at party is trying to do, for good or ill, they are going incompletely opposite directions. i do not know how you can compromise if you think what the other party is trying to do will ruin the country. my opinion is if we all survived the last eight years, you will survive this eight years -- column down. i just think that when you look at complete opposites -- look at
california and texas. they are going incompletely opposite directions. i do not see a compromise there. guest: the caller self identified as a partisan. i think what is happening in the government today is we have people who represent that point of view on both sides. that is the discussion we have in washington he of those are the type of candidates we are electing to congress. when you have that as your dynamic, the caller is right. you will not have compromise. you will not find a way to work together. a political commentator said it best. when you illuminate the bridge builders from the process, you will not be able to build more bridges. if the only people we are sending to congress are the you aren the extremes, correct, you will not be able to work together. the solution is you have to reform the process to give moderates and centrists a
greater voice in the electoral process. send those bridge builders to congress. when you have more centrists, more bills get past. that is not happening today. host: how do you feel about nancy's the lucy -- about nancy pelosi? she was speaker when i was in office. i think she is very committed, skilled. i do not know if the country has ever seen a harder working member of congress. i personally do not feel she is the best leader for the democratic party moving forward. i did not support her for speaker when i was in office. i admire her greatly. i just think it is time to bring a younger leader. the democrats have not done well in congressional elections in recent cycles. the tactics that have been used have not worked. i think it is time to move forward with different leadership. host: you write "during my first
campaign, as i traveled across the district, i consistently made the case of moderating and the need to add more centrist voices. but on capitol hill, nancy pelosi was strengthening her grip and working overtime to divide congress into two warring factions." i was in congress for the first time, very similar political dynamic in washington. drawing that contrast between the way then minority leader pelosi was encouraging her members not to work with the other side, not to sponsor bills. did not even allow them to participate in the congressional report on katrina, which proved to be an embarrassment for the party and for her. that was not the right way to go politically. but it turned out the wave occurred, a new group came in in 2006 and 2008, driven by an 18 point independent advantage. you had a centrist group of
members of congress come in. as a result, congress was able to get some things done. tactics think those should be used this time around. host: around 10 or 15 minutes left with former congressman jason altmire. we are talking about his book how political polarization divided america, and what we can do about it." caller: every time something happens, we get a little dose of antibiotics. this gun issue is happening every day. the president of the united states says there is a problem. this person is mentally sick. if you are mentally sick, you should not have a gun at all. at the same time, congress is the problem. if you guys cannot get along,
how can you expect us, as american citizens, to get along? we have seen the divisions between the democrats and the republicans. when the republicans who live in job, they doave a not care about the democrats or republicans. they need dignity. they need jobs. i travel around a lot of places. i have seen people, how they live. this congress, saying we will do something different -- it is not going to happen. the voters are part of the problem. because we are expecting results -- we are voting the same people. that is very sad. guest: the caller makes an excellent point on the voters are ultimately responsible for the congress in the state legislatures. the cause we get in office the people we have elected. again, part of that is a systemic problem with the way we draw districts, the impact money
has on primaries, the fact that americans have sorted themselves and the geographic enclaves where, like-minded communities -- it is hard to see another point of view. but once again, it is that primary process. to get more moderate voices heard when the voice are counted. if you do that, you will have a very different type of congress then you have today. host: florida, line for republicans. c-span andise be for allowing citizens to have a voice across the nation. i had an article in my local paper august 4. the title was "polarization can be reversed." this is something the a to my heart. i appreciate your efforts, former congressman. in that, i proposed there is the congressional bipartisan working group. are they dormant? and there is another group, the
problem solvers caucus. they seem to be bipartisan. work?n these not are they rivals? also, george mason university has a school of conflict revolution with experts on how to get people to resolve conflict. can they not be given a contract to help the bipartisan working group or the problem-solving caucus go together in a line and solve problems for our nation? can you comment on that possibility? host: thank you for the call. i will show you the letter on polarization being reversed -- we were able to pull it up for you. guest: i appreciate the caller. i make a lot of point in my book, specifically in congress, the centrist, in many cases, have been purged from both parties. coreave a remaining small,
group of people willing to work with the other side. the vast majority, and certainly the leadership in congress, is not interested in that approach at all. when i was in congress, i was a member of the two of the four centrist groups that like to work with the other side. but we have lost a lot of that. because of the issues i have brought up earlier in this conversation, we now have a congress dominated overwhelmingly by people on the extremes. yes, there are a few groups who still work together in a bipartisan way and talk solutions, but it is not possible to get article mass in these dynamics. as a political candidate, when you go back home and the only people voting in the primary are the extremes, you will be punished at the ballot box. because he will run against someone who will accuse you of working with the other side, as though that is a bad thing. but in a primary electorate, when you are expected to have 100% ideological loyalty,
unfortunately, that is viewed as negative. in 2009, there were 54 blue dogs from 29 states. in 2017, there are 18 blue dogs from 10 states. guest: what is a blue dog to do? you need to hundred 18 votes to pass something out of the house. the best you can do is try to find partners that you can do legislative work with. but when you have 18 members, it is hard to draw attention to the bringing forward. i think in tax reform, the blue dogs and people philosophically similar to the blue dogs will play a role on whether or not that passes or fails. host: in what way? guest: they will be the deciding votes. there are blue dog democrats who are fiscally conservative. when you have a group of people who negotiate or are willing to compromise and talk among
themselves, you need those votes to pass the bill. if you want to pass it, you have to compromise. that is a good ring. host: to new jersey, george, independent. caller: thank you for taking my call. appreciate this show, because the little guy gets to talk to people who have influence. on the subject of term limits, i am against it. absolute power corrupts absolutely. the real power is seniority. has anyone ever heard of anybody talk about seniority limitations? where the guys stay in office, but after how are many terms as chairman, he would then be demoted to freshman? there is a concept about that -- guest: term limits for chair. you see a lot of turnover.
a current chair announces retirement. you can go to another committee and become chair. that is difficult to do. people do not like you to double dip like that. it can be done. i have not heard something similar as to what the caller , but we are better off with greater turnover with the chairmanship. someone should be able to hold that the should not be able to hold that position 25 years -- should not be able to hold that position 25 years. caller: i have three questions. congressman delaney has recently submitted a bill about getting an independent organization or independent gerrymandering situation, so that republicans do not create republican districts, democrats do not create democratic districts. but everyone kind of agrees.
there is also an organization called "open primaries." have you heard about how well they are doing? and has there been any talk about a universal candidate fund , so that candidates can be tested on their fiscal responsibility? how well they can manage their finances? and would then manage our finances? guest: the first two issues regarding gerrymandering and open primaries, those are some of the solutions in my book. wholeheartedly agree. tose would go a long way helping solve the problem you see in washington. i have nott issue, heard of a similar proposal. but the role of an independent that weative journalist have today, they do a good job g candidates- vettin and uncovering those issues if they were to arrise -- arise. host: what do you say to folks
who get frustrated when they feel a number -- member of congress has to leave before they their mind or challenge the system? guest: it is unfortunate. usually when that happens, they have made a determination that, a, they do not like serving anymore. they do not like the climate. they do not fit in anymore. that is unfortunate. i had a number of colleagues who theirhat mold, threw hands in the air, and said i am out of here. or they have come to the conclusion they cannot win in the current environment. but the same reason that occurs is why we are talking about it today. i share that frustration. it seems that people who have a renewed voice and want to move forward in this direction, those are often the people who leave early, because they are unable to get it done. host: did you speak to the
changes in the primary system, other institutional changes you would like to see while still in congress? guest: those i knew about. some of my conclusions came from research i did for the book. i came to a different conclusion on term limits because of the research i did. but it is fair to say my voting record -- dead center -- i worked with both sides. i did not support speakers policy best speaker pelosi for democratic leadership.
tactic is a military term. ince when is the legislature become military? militant? is no way that we're going to get bipartisanship until learn to speak and act interact socially as human warriors. not guest: i appreciate what the said, national d-- civil or silvil discourse. there was a rally here in washington in september, called national march for civility, i gave the opening address at that.
feel strongly that we need to tone down the rhetoric to find a from the debate some more divisive terms that refers to. i am with you, i think the idea this ple discourse in country driving that debate and finding a way to improve the is very discourse important. host: i think we carried that c-span, if you want to go watch. ongressman jason altmire's comments from that are available at c-span.org. ast call for you, frank in virginia, line for republicans, frank, go ahead. caller: hello, i agree with the years, i think 12 that would be wonderful, there is a caller there a few minutes about the lled in washington, d.c. not being in the middle of the country there middle of the he country that the government ought to be, it would be good
democrats were locked up in levinworth, kansas. host: chance to respond as we talk about political polarization. always gain, it is interesting on shows like this, shows and ed on twitter lights up. sides epitomizing the problem i've been discussing. when you hear comments like aren't the types of people dominating the electoral process. veryone should have a voice, but the people who represent middle america, wake up everyday other g about something than politics, living normal lives, they are not the people who determine our representatives, it is >> washington journal continuation. >> army veteran former new york republican chris gibson is back today and on, d.c. joins us to talk about his recently published back rally uniting the country and
revitals the american dream. get to the tasks but implement your reaction -- i reaction in the wake of the shooting in texas and hat your thoughts should be on where congress can go from here and should they move forward on legislation? guest: horrific. deeply saddening. first of all, my sense is we issue.n enforcement after 29 years in the military gentleman who was discharged, bad conduct ,ischarge for domestic violence that comes with it what is lawton buburg amendment. hat disqualifies somebody from purchasing a firearm. so i don't know what happened from the conviction because he served a ted and he year in confinement and openly eceived a bad conduct discharge. so, i have found since i retired
part of the is issue enforcement of the laws on the book. of whether bad conduct verse suts dishonorable that would still apply? you are convicted of an offense that includes falls under the rubric of the lautenberg amendment which is a event.ifying host: thraeufrbgs for point that out because we had questions earlier.t guest: we are all learning and getting first reports. broader issue with regard to rally point and bringing the we are together is struggling as a people. you talk about the american american dream really has two facets to it, i believe. flourish iing life and that companies from the pursuit of happiness. in an talk more about that the seconds. our econd has to do with obligations to even other than. we want to set our children up
, and that meant bligations to family, friends, to community and this hybrid political culture has really fraying over time and we see it now. alienation vels of and isolation and unspeakable acts like there. leadership at the top can make a difference, the tone we treat ke, the way each other than and use words. change. to host: a couple of headlines from the ast two weeks this broken political system from six that explain why america's politics is so broken. you agree that our politics are broken? like, when did they become that? guest: in the back i discuss it. each clear we don't treat other right. but it is a symptom.
the problem is we don't do the way we did at the outset. a are a country we believe in nation of laws and we believe in the rule of law and that meant hat the people's representatives capabilitied ideas, amended bills and took votes. that process brought us together. that came from the constitution, law.rule of and what we have done over the 70 years and particularly the last 20 is we don't do significant political change to of law any more. we do it through executive resumes d actions and and regulations. that may seem like an academic it is not. when we go through this process to debate and take amendment votes it not only brings legislators together for is a at they vote compromise and keep in mind the onstitution itself was a compromise. we had the new jersey plan,
connecticut and compromise. but when they have to go home change in change, life, personal life, marriages, riendships and it is hard in government. but when you vote for change saying this bill is better than he status quo you have to defend it with constituents and you will find the situation where republican and democratic defending are change. we stitch together constituencies. helps us come together. when we forgo that process and do change through executive and action it makes the presidential election into all or nothing and to the victor the spoils of change and to the loser they question the legitimacy of action. what is tearing us apart. i will illustrate. as a life long republican first family i remember when i was shuttling back and forth to i q about 12 years ago remember the arguments on the left. they said george w. bush is ffecting change through executive orders and signing statements and that is contra to
constitution. i remember thinking they have a point. then years later we barack obama he urged nt and congress to change he said if you don't change, if you don't and i change i have a pen have a phone. and i'm going to change it. he same people who are supporting george w. bush by doing change through executive orders now claim the those were and criticizing bush for using that barack now supporting obama because they like the poli policy. we are in 2007 appear donald done more than any other president. he is only making my point. piece of pass one significant legislation in 10 months and yet he's claiming he's done more than anybody else. he is making the point that we are tearing the country apart by constitution, he by not bringing strength to the rule of law. work together like this we will treat each other differently, too. there are two things i mentioned so far. one is the constitution process and the second is the political
we treat each other. i argue in this book these are principles and if we restore them we will come together. is a passage from your book rally point strong words for president trump while articulated an agenda that connected with the american core he lacks the strength of deeply held views. once the skwrpbtd makes contact ith washington, d.c. and challenges present themselves he quickly lashes out and pivots supporters and weakening his efforts. or a person lauded for dominating style he lacks the mental toughness to see through he is not because fully committed in the first place there from a trump voter 2016 election. guest: yes. i thought the choices were endorse and i didn't them during the campaign and if you were to ask me if i have a unfavorable view on looks day i would say
unfavorable. choices the horrific and i truly believe we need to rain the swamp and i argue for political reform, term limits. campaign financial reform of the right kind, draining the swamp the kind of reform we need to dream, the taxan reform of the right kind and to rising, i feel -- hised in the bubble next to name but i hope we are never in this situation with two horrific choices. from new york so we have known him many years. true i was in the army but he's other side of these president for example trump was very, very pro-choice. you can watch there on video. here is a guy in the america we the ve he said he was for gun ban. he supported john kerry for video nt were he is on saying incredibly strong things
2007 and y clinton in 2008. my point is that he doesn't have views. held he is very transactional. here is the other thing. there is opportunity in this. imagine president reagan or obama waking up one morning and doing a 180? that is hard to imagine. donald trump, where he is monday he could be anywhere thursday while that has certainly called a whiplash there is possibilities for us as a people as an american i want president trump to succeed. i want our country to succeed as you mentioned in passage, there are things that he ran on incredibly popular. whether you went to a trump there r a sanders rally is a deep belief that our system is rigged and we need political and we want jobs back in america. you look at his agenda. or four things are 75% single piecehave a of significant legislation enacted.
host: former congressman chris with us rally point the task to unite the country and the american dream. oin by democrats 202-748-8000, republicans 202-748-8001, and independents 202-748-8002. start with ralph in kalamazoo, michigan line for democrats. first.e up go ahead. , first i want to talk about michigan's experience with term limits. it has been terrible. lansing erm limits in state capital. you get six years in the house, eight in the senate. the time the paoeeople when yo house, the to the state house, by the time they learn the ropes and procedures issues they are term limited out. is a terrible system. the voters don't even know the
turnover is so rapid that the don't even know who represents them in lansing, who thehe state senator, who is state house representative. chairs.ke musical host: let the former congress plan take that up because we are imposed a a man who three-term term limit on himself in congress. this.: i believe firmly in by the way, even though i was an infantryman, ralph, i did teach years at west point, so i taught american government so make a very you cogent argument. i have seen the architects on arguments but we were always meant to be a government of the people, by the people.nd for the if we under up with a permanent of folks there forever how is that different queen?king and a i moderated on the issue.
you may be happy to hear that. i now support 12 years as a term limit in part because of the make.nts you i do think that 12 years is suffer enough time to -- afficient enough time to make difference then it is time to bring new blood in. e are all products of our experience. in the military you command, you years and youhree move on. that puts a focus on your service. it is not about yourself but your service. takes command. host: do you regret leaving congress? no, i found it as a privilege to serve but i also think it was important to move on. so, as i said i have moderated on the issue. a good 12 years is judgment where it addresses issues that ralph makes but yet a government ain of the people. host: there was thought you would move on to run for of the state of new york. you chose not to do that.
why? guest: a couple of reasons. of which is in terms of our we were as a family, youngest, our son, needed more time with his dad. you are never going to get the years back. he is a junior in high school last year i spent more time with him and i think --all of my responsibilities nd i have had many, combat meande commander most important is husband and father. the timing was not right. e graduates in the summer of 2019 so for my wife and i we will look whether it makes sense o get back in national leadership of any kind. but i have professional obligations. i'm teaching at williams college and that is something i take simple and it is a tkpwraegreat privilege. when we were in combat the most vice ant task was leader president and i'm involved with
extraordinary students and we do leadership and political change and national security and foreign policy. make a a great way to difference in a way that brings more balance to my life. host: there is thomas a republican from texas. caller: good morning. i would like to see -- and gun clubs since i an hardly remember and i have specialized in 1,000-yard open competition at camperry, ohio. perry ohio. hat i would like to see is our congress and house and senate go head and make a national raptis. hat would be a national data base. if you have domestic violence,
if you have any kind of violence i don't care where it is from, whether military -- ilitary could contribute to that, too -- and any police department or any gun store can access to that when they sell a firearm. that way you could keep 90% of t problematic people away from firearms. host: should a check of that system apply if you buy your gun at a gun show versus a gun store or something like that? hould everybody have to go through that system? caller: down here in texas, you gun sales at these private shows and i can guarantee you -- it -- you go to get a firearm and you have to go same background checks with authorities right the there. you get your driver's license, the whole nine yards and they
immediately. right then and there -- other states i don't know what they are doing but in texas that is goes. host: thanks for talking about your experience. guest: we have a system now, you for a very thoughtful set of words. background check. the challenge we have is having he states populated with the data. earlier in the show i talked bout the lautenberg amendment and disqualifying act of this young man. and so whether or not that was entered into we will find out in the coming days. but one of the issues i heard in six years i served in the house is the states said we money to enough comply to really populate the nix background check. we came together and we made there was appropriations so we increased the funding for hat to help the states with compliance. president obama signed that bill. it was an appropriations bill.
i appreciate that. ost: a democrat from connecticut. caller: good morning. and good morning former congressman. a coupleng because for of reasons. retired e, i am a reference librarian who taught to college students on oing research and on the importance of dealing with both sides of an issue. really upsets me with this rb, election is that, yes president trump did win the , and hillary ege million more ree votes than donald trump. ever a situation to any at says we don't need it.eme measures, this is
and both parties should be together and not pushing just extreme things and raising up so much controversy. that this is the biggest cannot time and i just conceive of really i cannot in the hat is going on country as if these points on points from the right have any true value. need to know is what you on your side are willing to side andfrom the other what they are willing to from you. i just -- when i listen to what on i have actually almost come to tears. america that e most people in the united states
care about or love. the : i appreciate sentiment very much, betty. thank you for investing in the being of america and involved in teaching. part of what i write about in idea, a lot s this of the ideas come from the enlightenment which is that we things, we ottom of seek truth wherever we finds it, robust debate and ultimately take a vote and we live by the results of that vote. i just want to say with regard to exposing students to both that is the essence of my class. you can go online to williams syllabus and e my you will see for i have example i give for something from the left i give an example from the right. ultimately i want the students to be the deciders. their beliefs going to be? i urge them to really know what researchtalking about, it. so, toward that end i appreciate
that. thing, what you were alluding to in your comments is electoral e and college. that is another issue that you can angst over. an offense analytical guy but coming from a rural area in new york if we do we with the electoral college it will change both the politics our policies. because what will lap is your your ives are -- happen incentives are set up and if we do away with the electoral won't see candidates going to rural areas. cities where o most of the votes are. if that ends up being the prize, that the policies will follow soon thereafter. and you will have policies that toward the city and not balanced. so it is a dilemma. i acknowledge that hillary got 2.1 million more votes than donald trump, but yet this electoral college and all candidates deal
with that framework. thank you. very thoughtful comments. ost: baltimore, maryland, joanne independent. good morning -- joe, an independent. good morning. thank you for taking my call. he only purpose is to talk bout the fact that [inaudible] overnight very brief change of heart before the election. he was in favor of defense of marriage act. "evolution" and became in favor of homosexual marriage. just to correct the record. host: do you have a question on that? guest: the point is that i mentioned three presidents in my remarks, george w. bush, barack obama and donald trump. on the issue of evolution you can see a video of president
bama saying he is being pressured from his left to take action on immigration and he king.look, i'm not a i can't do there. i'm the people's representative. ongress needs to effect this containing and he was very -- change and he was frustrated and a lot of americans were he evolves on that issue and even though he tated i can't issue an executive order on the issue, did so ion, he ultimately. so, i think to your point what i to as a s that we need people to stick to the process, the rule of law. hard as that is. i think part of what i would argue here in rally point a lot up to us as citizens. we need to engage. it is not just voting. out of congress i'm heavily involved in this space doing y publishing but op-eds and talking to legislators. opinions.o express our we need to make congress work. we can't throw our hands up.
hat worries me about the current situation people talking about this all my life you congress can't handle it now. so we havefix things to give it to a strong man or woman. holds dear y who iberty and the thought of prosperity should be concerned about the drift toward authoritarianism. any time you think one person can solve it you are on the road to tyranny. don't support that. we need to work through the ssues and not work political change through executive orders and action. it needs to come from right over at the m looking capitol. in that way it is our change. it is a government of the people, by the people for the people. hy not write there book while still a member of congress. guest: working seven days a week. a lot of these things i mentioned in rally point the eople that know me feel like they have heard me so this is nothing new, just an opportunity
to put it together in a book and have it published. it is a fair point you are who followed body me won't be surprised by what is in the book because i have held convictions and they tem from an appreciation for the founding era. we are not trying to bring it back to the 18th century. i'm trying to inform us with genius design of the constitution and founding era so the 21st era is our best. host: you wish more members of up while ould speak members and not after they are retired or have announced they are not going to run? not just speak up but be heavily involved. my record is clear on this. you will see that former senator lugar has an for statesmanship for working with people on both sides and i was either first, third in the country in my terms in congress. a i live by example which is function of leadership. i mentioned leadership.
part of what i did in rally have three ders basic functions. one is to explain what is going may be chaos.re econds is -- second is provide a vision to overcome the challenges. third is to get out front and to example. when i served in the congress knowingly needing to get back to a balanced budget my wife and i voluntarily gave our pension we to the taxpayer because didn't think i should double dip. leading by t of example knowing i would have to make hard calls. host: we will try to get couple more. raymond from silver spring, maryland. democrat. go ahead. aller: thank you for taking my call. i like your book and i want to what is e swamp and wrong with washington. hat is that we remember gingrich and clinton and they worked together to balance the a surplus.created and obama tried to do that with
boehn boehner. by the tea party when they came in to shut ey came down the government and prevent anything from happening or done.ing from getting balancedmagine today a budget with gingrich and clinton wouldn't be possible because of republican party. bannon trying to make in works by taking the right.even farther to the guest: thank you, raymond. very important point. if you believe as i important p. if you believe, as i do, that the american dream is not only about the pursuit of happiness for every single person of every background, and that is a natural right that government secure,obligation to but also the obligations the family, community. the obligation, setting up the next generation for success.
if you believe that obligation is part of the american dream, this national debt is generational theft. sevoted for the simpson-vo variant. there were only 38 of us in the whole congress that voted for 8:00 p.m. at reenacted that in 2012 -- that was a compromise law like the constitution. program but responsible decisions on spending and revenue -- had we enacted that, we will be back to a balanced budget now, instead of possibility -- possibly going debt to thelion in blue dogs are talking about potentially offering an amendment to the tax bill that would be revenue neutral. ronald reagan, who was a hero of mine, his ill, that he worked democrats on, was revenue neutral, so it is progrowth and gets us back a balanced budget.
raymond points out, we just cannot consume. we have to invest and prepare for future generations. if we end up robbing them, we have denied future americans the american dream. host: last call, line for republicans. caller: as far as term limits go, i thought it sounded like a good idea, but i do not now. here is the real thing. if you want these people to get out of congress, you have to stop the insider trading in congress. these people cut laws and then buy stock in these companies that they know are going to produce these products. up --ave mandatory back backup machines on these have the equipment -- heavy equipment. they are forced to buy these things, and the stocks go up.
congresspeople are not allowed to personal stocks. guest: good point. my wife and i had no stocks and bonds to make sure we did not have any conflict of interest. we did enact the stock act, which actually was meant to address this. i think it has made a difference, although it there -- although there appears to be some loopholes. in a perfectat world, we would, in fact, have term limits through the ballot bought -- box. the problem is this system is rigged. it is rate for incumbents. .- rigged for incumbents a lot of the stories miss the bipartisan collusion that goes behind closed doors every years. when you see the drawing of the district lines, it ends up making the system for incumbents. need to do is, as citizens, reclaim our republic.
i respect all points of view on this. that kennyiate agrees with others on some respects. i want to tell you i am assuming today. rally " announcer:.net c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. , laws up tomorrow preventing sexual harassment on -- in discussing president trump's trip to asia. we're live in baton rouge for the next stop. will talk about security of
the voting systems and public follows issues. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. this morning. join the discussion. >> the house ways and means commission continues work on the house reform bill. themendment was offered to legislation that makes significant changes to the bill carriedg to the interest deduction. watch live coverage starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3 and c-span.org. you can listen with the free c-span radio app. republicans brought their legislation to the ways and means committee to debate. the committee heard from the head of the committee on taxation