tv Newsmakers Rep. Grijalva CSPAN November 22, 2017 7:28pm-8:02pm EST
ohio congressman tim ryan talked at the kennedy clinton dinner. he was one of the keynote speakers along with john delaney. watch the entire event tonight at 8:00 on c-span. newsmakers is a democratic congressman who joins us from arizona or he is home for thanksgiving. he is the senior most democrat on the natural resource committee. congressman, thank you for being our guest. >> thank you. >> let me introduce the reporters asking questions. billy, you are up first. >> a lot of news the last few
days. revelations orhe allegations against top democrat john conyers. or should heign step down from the top role on the key committee? >> it is agonizing right now. importantk a very shattering of norms nationwide. the exploitation and maltreatment of women employees by leadership in the offices like members of congress, i think it deserves the airing it is getting. more importantly, any sexual
harassment and use of power to and unseemlyds requests on women are wrong and i think on this issue, as agonizing as it may be for all of us, the ranking member needs to step down at the minimum as our leader nancy pelosi asked for at the investigation and we will move from there. at the minimum, i would agree that is a necessary step. with employee issues is difficult. settlements occur in congress all the time. but when it approaches the issue of sexual harassment and it is
used as a means to try to keep the issue from being that, then issuehat is a serious that inevitably could lead to more serious issues. it is very painful when employees and people you work with have to dispatch them or separate yourself from employees . many times it is just a question of not being able to accommodate each other. the sense we need to be going in a different direction. settlements are often times made for the benefit of both. but when the settlement is made as a way to not have to deal with an issue as deep and ugly as we have seen in the recent past, then yes that is serious. >> you have made the distinction
between settlement in work-related versus sexual harassment. at how muchrised taxpayer money was going towards settlements tied to sexual harassment claims? that is taxpayer money. issue roach ishe what we are seeing now -- if the what weaches --broaches are seeing now, the sexual harassment issue as a means to quiet that, the request by many in this process of ours, i think that kind of information needs to be public and noted. other claims that occur, other settlements to the benefit of
the employee and employer so that they can go on and continue to work in an environment that is more conducive to their capacity, that might be a different matter. but on this issue, when it is pointedly to try to keep the information from getting out, i think those settlements need to be talked about. yourwant to go back to comment about capitol hill. there have been sexual harassment issues on capitol hill from 30 years ago. are, still talking about the same culture. why do you think it will change now? >> i think we are past the tipping point. whether it is the ward room --
whether it is in a board room or a shop or a business or in the halls of congress or in any , the relationship of power and the attempt to exploit that power sexually and to demean, degrade, and demand on a sexual conversation with employees, that change is not only needed that it is happening. it is happening i think because people reached the tipping point. think the courage the women are showing the nation to be able to deal with this, i think
most times people are compelled to keep this to themselves and now this shows there is a tipping point. there should be no going back. we mentioned earlier the transparency of use of taxpayer funds. that is on the mind of members of capitol hill as we are pushing tax reform. do you think the expectation that this will be something they can leverage into politics in the midterm elections is a correct assumption or do you think this will ultimately hurt them in the midterms? >> i said the other day to a group, i said, if the senate passes the tax bill with , thever changes they make
republicans pass it on a , if it passes and goes to the president for a if it passes, they lose. if it does not pass, they lose. as more and more scrutiny happens, what happened in the house it was a rush job and really only surfaced in the ways and means hearing. the negotiations were never bilateral in terms of those involved. the fact remains that as more scrutiny goes into the bill, as people begin to see the promises of the relief for the middle see the increase
in the deficit of the debt for medicare and medicaid and other vital programs, i think we are going to see that produces more opposition. thinking you are to the point if they pass it, they lose , if they do not pass it, they lose. >> do you think this speed with which republicans have moved forward on this has bisect some of that obligation? >> absolutely. the speed and secrecy of it all and trip of information to get reactions from the public about possible content within the legislation has kept everybody off balance. which isave a template
out there. the scrutiny on that and the independent analysis and groups that are advocating with some layover -- some level of fairness, they say this is a tremendous boon for the wealthiest in america. all of the promises made as to how this will provide financial and tax relief to the middle class and working families and , that is notses the reality. this incentivize is the trickle-down theory. produce jobs and wage increases. it makes competition worse for
small businesses down the road. template is scrutinized. i think the opposition now has a focal point and the american people now have information that is reliable in the sense that now you have the piece of legislation from the house. you are involved with puerto rico negotiations. violence is asked for $94 billion. who is negotiating with the white house and congress on behalf of one of the go? do you fear -- on behalf of puerto rico? to feel there is maybe some puerto rico fatigue? passed to that was
provide the financial oversight and control in terms of restructuring the debt in puerto rico and re-stabilizing the financial situation past 14 months ago. then the hurricane hit. that devastation caused even already anions to an issue congress had attempted to deal with. i think the negotiations are two things. the immediate, humanitarian .elief that needs to occur that package should not carry was needed for puerto rico.
i think that has to be priority number one. the long-term recovery issue also affords us an opportunity. think that giving more legislative power to the oversight board to effectively have a parallel government in puerto rico is the way to go. no doubt the government of puerto rico needs to have transparency. the whitefish potential scandal did not do anything to reassure people. this point, to vote
to create a parallel government in puerto rico is not the solution. there are immediate things congress can do to relieve things. debt forgiveness, looking at the $90 billion as an important initial assessment by puerto rico in terms of what their needs will be long-term. right now, it is humanitarian, sois medicaid and medicare puerto rico has parity with the rest of the united states. an the response has to be on equal level as we did with texas and florida. these are united states citizens. 3.4 million.
hundreds of thousands of already left the devastation in puerto rico and moved to florida. departure complicates the issue. the oversight board has a butonsibility in rebuilding creating a parallel government puertokes away from rico's ability to govern itself. >> do you think the whitefish contract and lack of transparency hurt the cause on capitol hill? for the parallel government
scenario i just played out, the inference is, how can we trust you? the fact remains is you have a civil society in puerto rico that we need to connect with. they are stakeholders. the $94 billion requested for puerto rico is a realistic figure. the application of that, how we prepare for the future in terms of sustainability, had we lower energy costs, had we make the governors there more transparent and accountable, these are issues that still have to be dealt with. but to hold relief and recovery support hostage because of an inference that you cannot trust the government, or that somehow there is a different criteria for order rico then there is for rico thana for puerto
anywhere else in the u.s. is a huge mistake. .ongress has the power we should utilize that. we should not open this up as a , somehere privatization of the instances we saw in louisiana that became a experiment's in terms of providing relief in the long run, we need to do that. we have lessons to learn from other recoveries and we have an opportunity here to do something right that will require resources. , iyour question, right now wish i could be more optimistic
about where my colleagues in the majority are going in the house in terms of puerto rico. i do not see the white house at that figure. i really thought what the government there provided us was a blueprint for what was needed. following up on your remark about congress addressing the debt through legislation, do you think that is a direct route congress should go? your colleagues have called for the board to request that the judge oversee and basically wipe out puerto rico's debt. it you think that is a viable solution or do you think congress needs to relieve these issues through legislation? >> debt relief and forgiveness
has to be part of that recovery. to say we are going to structure everything we do from now on in help hedge funds and risk the lives in puerto rico i think the judge is already struck out a request to put all of the recovery in backo rico, they struck down and said that power lays with the government of puerto rico. legislatively, debt relief and forgiveness with medicaid and medicare, and additional appropriations around grants and housing, making those kinds of
initiatives is a function of congress. you are co-the progressive caucus. do you think bernie sanders should consider running for president again? would you want him to? >> i love bernie. if he decided to run for president i think it would be wonderful. i am trying to dodge your question. hashe man decides that, he my support in the past and at this point in time i see no reason to change that. how is the new interior secretary treating you? investigations into harassment allegations.
asked interior to look into white fish and we have for information that have not been responded to. requests were responded to during the obama administration. about they concerned cavalier attitude. it is eight multi use concept that we of always applied to our public lens. it has always been part of that. now we seem to be going to a one-dimensional use, which is, how much can we get out of it in terms of extraction?
i worry about what the president is going to say and the recommendation from the secretary and other potential changes. him taking it from p/e -- $75o a $75 fee. these things concern me. there is almost eight military stick look at how we run our lens. -- there is almost a militaristic look at how we run our lens. i worry that we are looking at of ourisdiction
protections we have as a nation. i am worried they have become a commodity to see how much we can make off of them instead of what we can make of them. >> you are also engaged on immigration. that a passage of the dream act should be a condition for democrats and government funding appropriation? >> i think that will be an important crucible. i think if it was put on the floor as is it would pass. understand but do not whereiate the situation
speaker ryan is in terms of his own caucus, the fact is it would pass. given that and the fact it is probably the most divisive and critical domestic issue we're facing on many levels, being part of what we do in terms of continuing, i think it needs to be part and parcel. i am one of the democrats that feels that without it i cannot support the rest of it. >> even if it means a government shutdown? >> bennett becomes, whose fault is it -- then it becomes, whose fault is it? cry drive the budget and the . they know the way to get a full bipartisan passage is to include the dream act as part of that.
it is their call. i think if any fingers are going to be pointed, they should be pointed at the people in charge. when we get to the next congressional session do have any information about whether nancy pelosi will still be elected as the top democrat in the house? -- prediction? if there is an opportunity for her to return as speaker i think she will have significant support among democrats in the caucus. the autopsy we have been doing , 218 --s as democrats 2018 is coming around the corner. on the issuesus
americans care about. if we are fortunate enough to get a majority in 2018, the decision will come. i think that if she decided she wanted to return to her speakership she would have significant support. >> thank you for joining us on this holiday weekend. >> happy thanksgiving to you all. >> gentlemen, congress comes back on tuesday. how much are the sexual harassment allegations getting in the way of senators and congressmen getting in the way of a cop lashing their agenda? -- get in the way of accomplishing their agendas? >> by then we might know a little bit more.
there is a prevailing sense that this is far more widespread than we know. at least two other current sitting members who have engaged in this activity. in the roy moore alabama race as a backdrop, they will put their noses to the grind on tax reform. but this will be hanging over everyone's head. >> how transparent our members going to push for this process going forward? maybe you can explain how it works versus an ethics investigation? allegedes not put the
victim him or her out there. this is for them. it also protects the lawmaker from being targeted by disgruntled employees. in reality it involves this process of signing takers saying, i will not press this further. i will accept a settlement. dollars.es taxpayer that is the upshot. it is not only through the system you mentioned. we have learned that congressman conyers looked -- use some of his office fund. so they cannot get around that. there is a big push now to change the system. said thecy pelosi has charges should be investigated, she is also going to look at the system. so is paul ryan. >> this is cyclical.
the current system was in response to complaints about the ethics process in the past. >> the u.s. house and senate do not have pages anymore. there is a reason for that. there are big ramifications. >> let's move onto the budget deadline in early december. what do you see happening especially in terms of immigration and the dreamers and the line in the sand? >> it is hard to say. the president made some remarks the potential deal he had earlier this year with erik kratz. democrats.r with
they want to focus on tax reform. , justpreference would be get the government funded for a few months and then down the road they can address tax reform. >> how important is the alabama outcome going to be to both parties going forward? democrats would hang around every republican's neck if he wins. there is obviously some doubt he as hee around very long is being pushed through ethics investigations. fear that this
guy will be attached to them when they run. the congressman said the time for autopsies for the democrats should be behind them. serious criticism about the party's structure during -- by the interim chair. how is the party responding to this? >> i am not sure about systemic changes. i think they are still grappling with the message for themselves. they realized it can't just be against president trump. we have seen some attempts for them to try to do that, that may or may not have stuck.
there is the fact that they would be able to run against tax reform. are going to hand them a fair amount of ammunition regardless of what they do on this subject. >> thank you very much for being our guest reporter this week. please come back. >> thanks for having us. it is the start of the thanksgiving weekend. tonight on c-span, speeches from the new hampshire democrats kennedy-clinton dinner. then the washington post examines american food culture. the debatetoronto, on the trump presidency with former speaker newt gingrich and washington post columnist. the second annual new hampshire democratic party kennedy-clinton dinner in hollis, new hampshire. the event featured remarks by
2020 presidential candidate congressman john delaney of maryland, congressman tim ryan of ohio, and dnc vice chair and congresswoman grace meng of new york. in 2017, new hampshire democrats won eight out of 10 special elections, including the mayors seat in manchester. this event is two hours and 15 minutes. quarks new hampshire -- >> new hampshire democrats, please welcome to the stage chairman ray buckley. ["game of thrones" theme] [laughter] ♪