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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  December 21, 2017 6:59am-9:00am EST

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as long as you didn't talk about communism, you couldn't ask for more fundi to be with. he is very serious about that. he is also someone who did not take advice well. things things and did that hurt the cause of anti-communism. >> q&a, sunday night at eight ago eastern on c-span. 8:00 >> eastern on c-span. >> washington journal is next. the houses back at 9:00 eastern time. items on the agenda, a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown, heading into the holiday recess, and reauthorizing the foreign intelligence surveillance act. coming up this morning on washington journal, a professor and molly reynolds of the
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brookings institution on the legislative and political significance of the 115th congress so far. host: in front of the white house by the president yesterday republican lawmakers gather on the south lawn to celebrate passage of their tax reform legislation. it is the first of major changes to the u.s. tax code since ronald reagan in 1986. all but a dozen republicans in the house voted against the proposal. -- democrats in the house voted against the proposal. we will take the last part of their argument this morning. are you concerned about rising debt? over $20 trillion. if you're very concerned, (202) 748-8000.
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somewhat concerned (202) 748-8001. all (202)ned at 748-8002. join us on twitter and facebook. good morning. we will get to those phone calls in just a minute. first from the committee for responsible federal budget. this is what they say about the tax legislation. the final conference agreement will cost $1.46 trillion leading between 95% and 98% of gdp by 27 compared to 91% under current law. with other provisions in this costs could rise up to 100% by 2027. what are your thoughts on the rising debt situation? look at usa today's front page this morning. government headed for $1 trillion deficit.
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2018 could be the year the dam bursts on the federal deficit. deficit would drop to 563 billion in 22 from the 666 billion shortfall the treasury department to cleared in the 2017 fiscal year. now budget experts say that 2018 total cost exceeds $1 trillion as of a series of bills passed anduick succession decisions to scrap already weak limits on spending. congress approved emergency disaster aid bills totaling 15 billion dollars in september and 36.5 billion in october. this week lawmakers argued over adding $81 billion to address california wildfires and
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hurricanes. that spending would be added to the 2018 deficit. the budget proposal has not been passed. what are your thoughts? are you concerned about the deficits that keep adding up that add to our nation's debt? concernedersey, very about this. good morning. go ahead. caller: good morning. because whencerned the health care for the children wegetting ready to expire just gave corporations multimillion dollars. plan, theent's tax banks are going to get an average of 14% increase of windfall.
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americans andlthy because this congress and this senate and the president and the insults as the president says his friends are going to be mad at him because they are not going to benefit and he is going to take a hit. host: what does that mean for our debt? be an: it doesn't have to extra over $1 trillion added to the debt. because you are giving multimillionaires and billionaires windfalls. on the other hand the chip program is getting ready to expire. -- have we become so callous the good thing about this is this is going to go down in history and everybody is going to remember he said it was going to be health care for all. they have taken the linchpin out of this with the health care.
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what did they replace it with? referring to is the individual mandate being repealed in this tax reform legislation. in sterling virginia, very concerned about the nation's debt. caller: good morning. i'm extremely concerned. to theind of say ditto previous caller. they have now given a burden to , my children and my grandchildren that means that nothing will be done for education or infrastructure. i am just distraught over this. host: chrisgrandchildren that i. good morning. you're calling in not at all concerned. tell us why. hello? i'm right here. host: why are you not concerned about $20 trillion in debt and rising. caller: well, i'm not concerned
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i have watched this government throw away money to foreign countries all over the taxe, ms. appropriate our dollars all over the place. and it's like there's nothing we can do about it. we are stuck. i am just a normal workingman. and that's all i have to say really. have a forw if you me. i will answer it. but it's futile. it seems futile at this point. host: how did you vote in 2016 and will you be changing how you vote in 2018? caller: i voted for trump. i was hoping for a positive change. againam seeing all over
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that this whole tax -- what was supposed to be attacks for the middle class they brought down corporate taxes and i think that , all of going to end up that money that they save they are just going to read by their shares in their own stocks and they are going to keep making money. we're not going to make nothing. what does that mean in 2018? about thiseve that tax reform legislation are you going to hold republicans accountable in 2018? idled all politicians accountable. it doesn't matter. i don't care if you're a democrat. i am actually an independent.
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voted both ways throughout my life. i'm 58 years old. i keep trying to do something different to try to help. letters down to paul ryan's office. stuff like that. it's like my voice is empty. it's like a futile -- it seems futile. i don't know. it's frustrating. host: that's chris in wisconsin. jerry in virginia. you are very concerned about our debt situation. good morning. caller: hello. it seems to me like the people in washington particularly the republicans near the top of the pile -- paul ryan and that group -- are laughing at us.
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they are running the debt up like crazy. we are involved in these wars all over the world that makes us spectacularly unpopular. eventually they get the debt of high enough they are going to start attacking social programs. even though they are very small part of the total budget. it's kind of obvious what they're doing to us and that they don't care about the american people even a little bit. i don't even think they care about the nation. i think what they care about is their donors many of whom are internationalist people that don't have any loyalty to america. this place is just becoming kind of a nation where you come to when you want to grab what you can and forget about the people that live here. we are throwing away our resources. they're attacking the environment. every metric we have -- infrastructure, education, health care. every single thing is going in the wrong direction except for one thing. the rich are getting richer.
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just fornk you, c-span being on my tv every single morning. i'm glad you are here. our discussion this morning on today's washington journal, are you concerned about the rising debt. government headed for $1 trillion deficit. is when the government expenses exceed the revenue end year after year that adds to our nation's debt. look at the nation's debt clock. we are looking at more than $20 trillion right now. are you concerned about it? usa today says deficits will increase under the tax legislation as well as disaster relief funding bills that congress has had to consider because of wildfires and hurricanes. what they do next is our discussion with christina marcos joining us on the phone. congressional reporter with the hill. where do things stand right now
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with continuing resolution to keep the government-funded? our producers as the house rules committee is meeting this morning at 8:00 to consider a short-term funding to keep the government passed this friday's deadline. government shutdown. and 81 billion dollars. the house follows the senate plan to debate and vote to for a shutdown -- to avert a shutdown. where do things stand? guest: right now the biggest stick it in points -- sticking points are likely with defense hawks. they really wanted at least for the pentagon to be funded through the current fiscal year but since senate democrats are bulging at that and house republican leaders couldn't even pass that proposal out of their own chamber they're kind of left
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with no choice at this point. if congress doesn't take action the government will shut down tomorrow at midnight. they are running out of time and house republican leaders are essentially gilding their haders in to say we just this great victory on tax reform, let's not screw this up and have a shutdown two days later. lawmakers are really here to get home for the holidays. they are hoping the combination of not wanting to trample on fumesown message and jet will get this bill out of the house today. right now it looks like that is going to be close. host: why? what is in this continuing resolution? guest: defense hawks are still very angry that the full-year funding for the pentagon isn't included and some conservatives in the freedom caucus are also blocking a bit that a provision that would temporarily extend the foreign surveillance law that would otherwise expire at
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the end of this month. sectionat is called the 702 which allow surveillance. freedom caucus members are against that. else to the republicans need to vote on before they can leave? guest: lawmakers from florida totally said they will not support it if there is no disaster package. they recommend -- they represent people who are affected by recent hurricanes so the house is also set to vote on an $81 billion package to help victims of hurricanes and the wildfires in california. to do is are planning separate the stopgap spending bill that would keep the government-funded through january 19 and the disaster package because they are likely going to be democratic votes to help the disaster aid package
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move forward because a lot of conservatives are unhappy that they plan to spend $81 billion without any offset. democrats are not indicating that they will help move the spending bill on their own which is why it is so difficult for house republican leaders to move something forward just with their own votes. host: is looking close. a continuing resolution to keep the government open until january 19. how close is it? guest: that's a big question right now. what could happen is it will as theye very close inched toward the minimum number of votes to pass. number itreach that could be that suddenly more republicans who figure it's passing anyway, i might as well join in. we could also see some democrats potentially go for it.
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that's what they did two weeks ago when they expected republicans to get their own votes on this first and then about a dozen democrats joined in. what about the children's health insurance program? guest: the government funding extension includes a patch for the children's health insurance program that would keep it funded through march. sides of the aisle will still have to work on finding a long-term agreement to keep it funded. republicans have been very laser focused on tax reform for the the couple of months so children's health insurance program has been kind of delayed for a long time as a result and republicans and democrats haven't been able to agree on how to pay for the program for a five-year authorization. host: all of this debate gets
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underway at 8:00 when the house rules committee will be gaveling in. what are you watching for after that? when could these votes take place on the house floor? i would expect later this afternoon. the house rules committee is .eeting they can move as soon as they can after that. the house gavels in at 9:00. this could happen as early this afternoon. that's a signayed that they don't have the votes. host: and in the senate? guest: that's a bit unclear at this point. senate democratic leaders haven't really show their hand. they haven't had a chance to respond. democratic leaders are having a year and press conference around 11:00 this morning so we expect they will give us a little more
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insight. host: christina marcos, thank you. a lot to watch here on c-span today. go to for all of our coverage details. a lot of back-and-forth in washington today as lawmakers try to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government running for one month as a long-term deal was not in the cards right now. dorothy in arkansas. you are somewhat concerned about our nation's debt. go ahead. caller: yes. i was concerned because the children's health insurance program is going to be the poor going to suffer and the rich are going to keep getting richer if they are not very careful with priorities. because a lot of poor people don't know how to work the system and when they lose funding they lose their health
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insurance and the children's health insurance program is very very important to me. very important. pelosiisten to nancy yesterday. this is what she said about the impact of this tax cut. >> the gop said it would pay for itself. instead it will explode the national debt. on that score when speaker ryan was asked this morning while mitch was in the small hours -- this morning. he was saying the speaker was on the today show and when they asked him if the tax bill would create enough growth to not add to the deficit the speaker said nobody knows the answer to that. but we know the answer to that. it will not.
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and don't take it just from us. we have always known. every credible analysis from every expert in or out of government republican and democrat say republicans are exploding the debt with their giveaways to the wealthy. as bruce bartlett who helped create a republican tax saysle-down with jack kemp anyone who says this, it's not true. it's nonsense. it's bs. and republicans know it. republicans only care about the deficit. whatever happens, the poor extinct.awk becomes because the republicans only the deficit about when it comes time to invest in people. not when it comes time to give giveaways to corporate america and to the wealthy. that's ok. but the sad fact is investing in
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people, the education of our children, nothing brings more to the treasury than investing in and lifetime2 earnings for our workers. nothing brings more money to the treasury. it reduces the deficit. offset bys has to be permanent tax cuts for corporate america which will add to more in terms of interest on the debt. that does not have to be offset or paid for. america, you have a free ride. if it's investing in our children you have to pay for it and look at chip being one example of that. nancy pelosi on the hill yesterday right after republicans in the house had to reload on that tax reform legislation and with that vote republican celebrated their
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victory. the washington post notes the president is expected to sign that bill into law in january. this from the congressional budget office. tax cuts don't reduce the debt. our conversation with you. are you concerned about the rising debt? rose as a result of reagan tax cuts and bush cut them in 1991. .ay and clinton, pennsylvania you're not concerned. caller: i'm not concerned. about six to eight months ago there was a phd from harvard economics on your program and i asked him questions. how much money is in print presently? i will get to the point here. and he didn't know. you must have googled or somebody on your program googled the fed. the only place you are going to
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get that answer and they said there was a 1.5 trillion federal notes in print. front of an was in senate investigating committee and she testified to the fact that they have unload $4.5 trillion that they printed in excess of the obama administration. 1.5 trillion went to fannie mae freddie mac. most of the is people in your audience are not sophisticated enough to understand when a phd to not even understand how much money was in print. who is this debt owed to and how much interest is being paid on it? when janet yellen testified there was 4.5 trillion extra they printed -- why do these not coincide? it is so ambiguous. it is so big that nobody understands this thing. that's why if nancy was so concerned about the rising debt
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it exploded $12 trillion under eight years of obama and they didn't say a word. i'm not worried about another 1.5 trillion because they will just print more money. how can the fed just print money and give it to the government? is there interest owed to the fed? nobody understands this on your program. most of the people are not sophisticated enough to understand this. nancy pelosi wasn't concerned then. why should she be concerned now? host: some argue that this is self-inflicted by passing this tax reform legislation. the obamauring administration because it was one of the worst recessions this country has seen. yeah.: well -- they started putting money out over the place. they spend money like it's going out of style and you are telling me they are concerned about
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that. give 775 million to solyndra. did we get that back? no. they contributed to his campaign. these people live. all of them lie. the american people are so gullible it is sickening. i am ashamed americans can be so gullible in believing all this garbage. host: ok. here's the piece i was looking for. democrats argued for weeks that the tax bill would force cuts in out manyhat zero programs. the pay-as-you-go mandates can be waived by passing another law and that is what republican leaders in congress are talking about doing. they mocked democrats's asplaints about the deficits feigned.
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will in ohio. you are not concerned at all. good morning. caller: not one iota. i am a democrat and i'm not concerned with that debt because it seems that we are only concerned with the deficit when democrats controlled the white house or house of congress. tois really amusing to me listen to these republicans complain every time we get a democrat about the debt. as soon as they get in, they run the tab of the awful thing about everything is this year.
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memory ofns to my what they said around the depression. the real depression. when you get this much disparity between the rich and the poor, we are heading down a bad road and everyone can see it coming so everyone is going to eat the sugar right now. there's a lot of prosperity. you've got to prepare for the bad times. these guys give away the money during the good times. i don't know how to explain it. that's the point we were shown from the wall street journal. logic behind republicans based on debt. maya mcguiness who is the president of the federal committee for responsible budget says the danger is if the economy tanks again.
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a bigger national debt will leave the government with less fiscal firepower to respond the way it did in 2008. in maryville, tennessee. you are concerned. go ahead. good morning. i am concerned but i didn't just recently become concerned when donald trump was elected. i have been concerned ever since i start paying attention which is probably 20 or 30 years ago. i'm hoping that these democrats are suddenly concerned today will join the tea party and do something about it like tea party tried to do. one thing that you hear from the talking points of the day which .oday it happens to be the debt yesterday it was russian collusion which we all found out was really these democrats that were working for the fbi that
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were colluding with the russians to try to discredit donald trump. all we hear now is wah, wah, wah. was electedtrump they said the economy is going to tank. get out of the stock market. look at what happened. it's up 25% in one year. i don't know where to go with this thing. the debt is -- what is it, 20 trillion today? government keeps going on and on. somebody said something about nancy pelosi. pass it to find out what's in it. she's a great one to have on there to complain about something. susan they're talking about treasury and added to the treasury. good god, why do we stop adding to the treasury so much and start stopping spending a little bit. because that's where we all know is where the problem is. in berkeley springs,
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west virginia. somewhat concerned about the nations rising debt. good morning. good morning. it's the same thing every day. every article you read on here every morning is bashing trump or for the democrats. i would like to ask you a question. i know you know the answer. how much did obama increase the debt compared to every president preceding him? i know you know the answer to that but you probably won't tell us. host: do you know the answer? i don't off the top of my head. caller: i don't know the exact answer. it was something like -- he added more to the national debt than all the other presidents combined. if that's not true and you know the answer, telling. will have our producers
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look into it. in the meantime, the president tweeting out this morning the massive tax cuts which the fake news media is desperate to write badly about will soon be kicking in and will speak for themselves. companies are already making big payments to workers. dems want to raise taxes. the wall street journal headline this morning, tax vote steals the victory for president trump. they celebrated passage of the tax legislation. that helped clear the deck a bit for republicans as they are on their way out of washington this to head home for the holidays. before they can do that they have to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government running. the latest on that from the associated press is that the gop bill just-released moments ago paves the way for quarreling
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lawmakers to punt most of their unfinished business into the new year. gop leaders are scrambling to rally frustrated republicans behind the measure particularly defense hawks. vote is likely today and senate passage is expected to quickly follow. the house may also vote on $81 billion disaster aid package that is a priority for the texas and florida delegations. it would likely add to the measure and pass it next year. house republicans met behind closed doors to try to work this all out last night. caucusir of the freedom had this to say to reporters. >> obviously we had a long discussion about funding. i don't see a shutdown scenario. i do see there is still work to get to 218 votes with republicans only. obviously this would be a whole had democratsyou
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come across. there is not a deal yet. i can tell you they are going to be floating on the floor in just a few minutes on the latest proposal. i'm not optimistic that will reach the 218 threshold. are going to continue to work and get this done and hopefully make sure we can fund the government. i think there's a number of different factors. the coalition of supplemental versus 702 reauthorization versus just a short-term cr, making sure that our military men and women get the funding they really need. there is a coalition between defense hawks and freedom caucus people who believe we need to make sure we give our military what they need and deserve and yet at the same time we've got everything coming together, colliding together on december
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22 and another chamber that we have to work with hopefully to get all of this done. i am optimistic we can get there. we will know more tonight. mark meadows, conservative republican talking about what's next for this continuing resolution to keep the government running. the house coming in early this morning. that they can begin possibly voting on a continuing resolution as well as disaster relief. stay tuned to c-span because we will have gavel-to-gavel coverage. before that the rules committee will be meeting at 8:00 a.m. eastern time. one of the callers earlier mentioned the debt under each president. this is from the the national debt grew the most dollar wise.
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this was the fifth largest increase percentagewise. obama's budget connected to the economic stimulus package. benefits unemployment and funding public work products. -- projects. obama's budget increased defense spending to between $700 billion and $800 billion a year. he also sponsored the patient protection and affordable care act designed to reduce the debt by $143 billion over 10 years but the savings didn't show up until the later years. added 5.8 four 9 trillion. the second greatest amount. it was the fourth largest percentage increase which increase the debt on hundred 1% from where it started on september 30 2001 at $5.8 trillion.
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the war on terror including two wars. they increased military spending to record levels. president bush also responded to the 2001 recession by passing tax cuts. they further reduced revenue. he approved a $700 billion .ailout package for banks both presidents bush and obama had to contend with higher mandatory spending for social security and medicare. are you concerned about the debt as it topples $20 trillion. george in chattanooga tennessee. not at all. explain why. caller: debt as it not at all. i think ms. pelosi shouldn't be concerned. when this is over any moneys that they don't get in the paycheck, they will reimburse
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them and all the government employees will get back pay. so why should they be concerned? host: in livingston. very concerned. good morning. caller: good morning. during world war ii not because we desire to have a debt, we came up with the debt and guess what, republican and democrat alike said we have to pay it off in two they raised taxes to 90% on the rich. that's when you really care about the debt and you are concerned. when i see mr. mark meadows , befored freedom caucus tea party, when they came in 2010 they were so angry about the debt. in,ngry that when 2017 came forget about that. we don't have to worry about
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that. we've got a republican in now. hypocrisy. hypocrisy. weight misallocated $70 billion to the military but wethat. we've got a republican in now. hypocrisy. hypocrisy. can't pay chip program for children. there right now 2 million children of the 9 million who are gravely ill but we don't care about that. with got the white evangelical church saying we've got to worry about the baby that isn't born. 2 million children are going to die because of the thinking. it's very very sad. if you really care about chip pr children. it, do the right thing. thank you very much. the committee for federal responsible budget says this tax cut will add along with the add to thell nation's debt. republicans were celebrating at the white house yesterday and as many of you saw the president was joined by many republicans ,ncluding senator tim scott
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republican of north carolina. south carolina, excuse me. this was a tweet your contributor to huffington post at the sight of the center right next to the president. what a shocker. there is one black person there and sure enough they have been standing right next to the mic like a manipulative drop. prop. this is how the senator responded. helped writeuse i the bill for the past year, have multiple provisions included, got multiple senators on board over the last week and have worked on tax reform my entire time in congress. but if you would rather see my skin color please feel free. that contributor to the
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huffington post later sent out a tweet apologizing for what he had to say about senator scott's presence contributor to the huffington post later sent out a tweet apologizing for what he had to at the celebration. new york times says gop exults as congress delivers tax bill handled by the president on expansion, defies the odds. they say if they are proved correct they will be repudiating not only his historical experience but most experts. scarcely any independent analysis projects anything like the rosy forecast offered by the president's top economic advisers. the president saying this will mean corporations will pay more, and you in this country will see economic growth because of these tax cuts. are you concerned about the tax cuts and other legislation adding to the debt? howard, good morning. you are on the air. caller: you're going to get no talking points from me. i am a libertarian who voted for trump and i will tell you what.
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i'm sure you confused everybody with the way that he put the question out there. are you concerned, little concert. how about people just being american? and do that for a change? whenhould i be concerned nobody in congress is really concerned about what they do with the debt? has anybody made the debt less? has it ever gone down and not gone up? obviously no one is really that concerned. governmentlosing the is concerned, let them close the government. if the government is full of people like mohler and the rest of these people we are wasting money on the and is it any we are money on nonsense left and right? the government can close. no one's going to die. no one's going to lose anything.
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they are going to keep veterans from national monuments. remember that from a couple years ago? i do, during obama. when the park police told the vets inthey are going to keep vs from national monuments. wheelchairs, you can't come here and visit the vietnam veterans wall. because we are closed. meanwhile the guy was standing there. enough of this nonsense. be americans. stop with the debt. the debt is never going to go down. tell me how the dead is ever going to go down. we are never going to pay it off. so what we just admit it? we wheelchairs, you can't come here and print our own mone debase the currency. in a year your dollar is going to be worth a lot less. figuresknow where those came from but it seems to me that obama did more than 7 trillion. bush may have done five. i thought when he left office we around maybe six
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or 7 trillion. when trump gets in we are up to 18, 19 trillion? i don't know where the $7 trillion figure came from but it's pretty easy to figure out. what was it when obama lifts and what was it when he came in? and it was a lot more than $7 trillion. we are going to have a civil war in this country if people aren't careful. host: but here from linda in michigan. you are very concerned about the nation's debt. caller: maybe six or 7 trillion. when trump gets in we are up to. i am definitely very concerned about it. i'm even more concerned when i hear your callers who blame everything on obama. considering he walked into an economy swirling the toilet with two unfunded wars and an unfunded mandate for prescription drugs. i think that has a whole lot to do with his debt numbers. but blame the guy holding the mop because it's his fault. all i can say to this new budget in the are looking at tax cuts, it's going to do what it does every time they try this
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out. crap it's going to blow a big hole in the deficit like they did under reagan. we were throwing money to the job creators who didn't create any jobs with it. if i am an employer i'm looking at whether i need employees. you can throw money at the all day. if i don't need to hire people because i don't have enough demand for my product i am not hiring people. out creates demand, people in the economy. the regular people who actually have money to spend. host: the washington post reporting sweeping tax overhaul clears congress. most americans will reap temporary savings because the total effect on individuals and businesses, individual tax cuts expire after 2025 but corporate cuts stay in place. more of your calls coming up about your concern if you have any over this rising debt.
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here's the washington times. u.s. israel tried to block you in jerusalem quote. today a vote in the human general assembly will indicate whether prime minister benjamin netanyahu has succeeded in his efforts to drum up new pockets of support in the developing world as well is to which israel and the u.s. are or are not alone on the question of jerusalem. the palestinians have turned to the general assembly after the u.s. vetoed a resolution this week in the security council calling on mr. trump to rescind his decision. notral assembly votes are legally binding. they serve as a barometer of international sentiment on key issues. the u.s. and israel are both great weight on thursday's vote. nikki haley threatened u.n. member states with possible retaliation if they support the resolution thing mr. trump takes the vote personally and the u.s. will be taking names.
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michelle nichols tweeting out a senior diplomat from a muslim country speaking on the condition of anonymity said of nikki haley's letter, states resort to such latent bullying only when they know they do not have a more legal argument to convince others. nikki haley responded to that tweet saying actually, it is when a country is tired of being taken for granted. here's how the president yesterday at a cabinet meeting responded to a question about today's general assembly and how countries might vote. >> i like the message that nikki nations.t the united they take our money and then they vote against us at the security council or they vote against us at the assembly. they take hundreds of millions of dollars and then they vote against us. we are watching those votes. us.them vote against we will save a lot.
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we don't care. this isn't like it used to be where they could vote against you and then you pay them hundreds of million dollars and nobody knows what they're doing. that was the right message that you and i agreed to be sent and i have had a lot of good comment on it, believe me. people are tired of the united states. the people that live here are great citizens that love this country. they are tired of this country being taken advantage of and we are not going to be taken advantage of any longer. reaction president in to the un's general assembly gathering this morning. the president's decision to recognize jerusalem as the official capital of israel. go to for our coverage details. cousin that decision some middle a visitders canceled with vice president pence. new york times says the vice president planned visit the middle east the cradle of christianity ought to have had a particular poignancy in the days before christmas. didn't quite work out that way.
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he vowed to highlight the persecution of christians at the hands of islamic state extremists and he scheduled meetings with several christian leaders which was sure to play well with his conservative american base. on december 6 the president made his decision on jerusalem smashing seven decades of american policy and provoking violent protests. christian leaders publicly canceled their meetings with mr. pence. he has rescheduled the trip from mid-january. chorus ofous rejection from christian leaders bodes ominously for the visit. we're learning that defense secretary mattis also plans to travel. he was making a rare trip to the american base at guantanamo bay. first pentagon chief to visit since 2002. the kobach to calls. are you concerned about the rising debt? -- let's go back to calls.
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are you concerned about the rising debt? caller: this tax bill was bought and paid for by promising every senator that was against it especially corker who said it was against it. and then, i would like you to dig into how many of the millionaire senators in and congressman are benefiting personally from their holdings due to this tax cut. wall street was not going to finance their campaigns for career politicians when it's supposed to be civil service and not a full-time job. are going to have to get the money somewhere and i'm worried about my parents who are elderly. i am taking care of them. i am disabled. i was a first responder. social security. medicare, medicaid.
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prescription drugs. don't even get me started on that. up 600% in thet downgrams dose went from 4 to 2 milligrams. you get the same dose in one little that i would give someone on the street for anaphylactic shock. and youo a pharmacy have to pay hundreds of dollars for one dose. but they market it as two. big pharma, all of these companies that contribute to ,hese campaign contributions they got what they wanted. host: elizabeth is in michigan. good morning. caller: good morning. listen, i used to be where i cared deeply. but everything in congress as far as i'm concerned they are all in the toilet.
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they are beholden to the lobbyists which is one of the worst things we need to address and congress won't. we need to limit their influence. it's democrats and republicans. they are both responsible for the mess we are in. there is a part in the constitution where it says congress has a responsibility and what their duties are about putting in taxes. the general for welfare of the public. they are not doing that. their general welfare i guess is 1%.ted to the top if they would just do their job without these lobbyists and the difference between republicans and the democrats is that republicans actuallyif they woub admit it.ese lobbyists if we don't get this passed, the donors are not going to give us money. the democrats are a little bit sneakier about it. they won't admit they are in the pockets, too. they need to legislate to
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prevent this type of lobbying has such an influence. admitthis thing about the defif every president, honest to god it's apples and oranges. how can they compare what obama inherited than any other president. i didn't vote for clinton but he left this country and pretty darn good shape where is bush medicare d wasn't budgeted either an by the time obama came that deficit was in the billions. this crapd to stop about blaming obama for every single thing. his stimulus didn't go far enough. we would have been in such dire straits because the people would have had to go on to welfare to get their heat, electric and stuff paid for. by extending unemployment they put money back into the economy as they had to buy stuff with it. host: some other news weekly.
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senator franken, the democrat from minnesota who said a couple weeks ago that he would step down amid sexual harassment allegations, he will be leaving his senate seat on january 2 according to the hill and then there is also this from the virginia pilot. the headline from the virginia in virginiaorning politics after valid court battle, winner of tied virginia house race will be chosen at random with slips of paper in a film canister. that story out of virginia politics and then the hill newspaper reporting that senate gop decides to put off a fix to the affordable care act until january and december. gop senators susan collins says they have asked mitch mcconnell to not bring up the bill this aek rather than considering broad year in funding agreement
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as we expected. it has become clear congress will only be able to pass a short-term extension. said she gave her support to tax reform in exchange for a guarantee that congress would be voting on fixes to the affordable care act to shore it up over the next couple of weeks. it looks like that code will be pushed off until january. the president at the white house yesterday during that cabinet meeting, this is what he had to say about the tax reform bill including a repeal of the individual mandate to daca. allhen you added up together and you at the individual mandate as being , when the individual mandate is being repealed that means obamacare is being repealed because they get their money from the individual mandate.
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so the individual mandate is being repealed. do wethis bill not only have massive tax cuts and tax reform we have essentially repealed obamacare. and will come up with something that will be much better. block rants or taking what we have and doing something terrific. but obamacare has been repealed in this bill. tell people specifically, be quiet with the fake news media because i don't want them talking too much about it. now that it's approved i can say the individual mandate on health care where you had to pay not to have insurance. think of that one. you pay not to have insurance. the individual mandate has been repealed. host: the president yesterday at the white house talking about tax reform bill that is set to add to the nation's debt. government headed for $1
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trillion deficit this year which will of course mean the government's expenses exceed its revenue again and keep adding to that $20 trillion figure of our nation's debt. we have about five minutes left in our conversation. gary in michigan, you are very concerned. tell us why. caller: i'm very concerned about it. i see where trump and the republican party has promised their donors they would give them a big cash back and that's just what they have done. they are going to turn the united states into the what brownback turned kansas into. host: which was what? and on i'm 71 years old my social security this year i've got a five dollar raise. from what i got and other seniors have gotten and what the wealthiest have gotten, it is
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fair. washington times reports nfl owners tax breaks for building stadiums left in tact in this tax reform bill. of aare a number -- one number of special interest groups after the gop toyed with illuminating their tax break but ultimately lifted intact. it also led republicans to preserve deductions for student loans, medical expenses and graduate school tuition waivers. ramona in florida. you are somewhat concerned about the nation's debt. why is that? caller: you can expect any kind of cash management with the number of people involved with it. more people and less money. of course going to grow as long as we are working to reduce it. we are not working to reduce it. instead they just did a wealth transfer.
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they have hurt the people that can afford it the least. of the the repealed health care there are so proud of and maybe he needs a lesson in how insurance works. keep the costs down by spreading it among people. he has trouble understanding facts and figures. like the rest of these wealthy people. he said nobody is going to be hurt by the repeal of this. --ween the health repeal host: a little difficulty hearing you. you are breaking up. some news from capitol hill. that theosi announced democrat jerry nadler will now be serving as top democrat replacing john conyers when he amid sexual assault
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allegations as well. in texas, you are not concerned. good morning. good morning. i'm 78 years old. i will never have to pay it. life is good. the government is going to keep handing me all of these benefits. far more back than i have ever put in and they are going to keep doing it. host: what sort of benefits? security.cial i'm ahead. medicare, i'm head. they're are going to keep doing it. you've just got to love them. how could you argue with the fact that they are destroying your children's future? i don't have any kids. but i do want you to tell your kids thank you very much for spending all this money on me. host: ok. sarcasm noted. cassie in utah. good morning. very concerned. caller: good morning.
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thank you for c-span. i have looked at this and watched it very carefully as it has progressed this tax bill. all of the people that the majority of americans that are being hurt by this is getting maybe $100, $2000 tax reward for a few years. then it stops. and it reverses and then we are taxed heavily. about 35 million people in america just got a financial windfall of millions. maybe billions. and the ringleader is donald trump, who has historically bankrupted his company. america toside of
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keep his business empire float. billst is going to sign a that is going to put gazillions in the hands of america's banks and he has just cleaned his credit report out. a year. i am very concerned about my children and my grandchildren. $1 trillion estimate we had stuffed down our throat i think is more. tax plan likely to ave trump millions and big deductions will help president and his family. know ote it is hard to exactly because he hasn't released his tax returns. walkertown, north
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carolina. somewhat concerned. explain that, robert. caller: good morning. it is hard to -- good to talk to you. concern, i'm somewhat my feeling is a lot of it is so complex that it people's heads. one thing that got me yesterday bothered me toly ear, especially the democratic leaders pelosi and schumer how and the millionaires billionaires would benefit from the tax bill. as each person was speaking i going their net worth. closestple, pelosi, the figure i could get was like $34 million. don't know what millionaires and billionaires she's talking about about. i had a suggestion and that ould be for c-span for each
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politician whenever they are giving a speech if you could have a bubble off to the side showed their net worth i uld open the eyes of a lot of people on both sides. host: robert there in north carolina. thanks for calling, robert. we will take a short break and then we will have a discussion on the legislative political the 115th e of conscious with american niversity's james thurber and brookings institutions' moly reynolds. we have this headline in the g.o.p. ton post" loathe to pass law shielding robert mueller. senators who worked swiftly to write legislation counsel g special robert mueller are showing i will urgency to get the measures past. that spark the virginia senator and ranking member mark warner
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warning on the floor last night about what could if robert mueller would be fired. warner: mr. president, i rise today concerned about the threats to the special counsel's ritical investigation of russian interference in the 2016 election. ver the last several weeks a growing chorus of irresponsible called less voices have for president trump to shut down special counsel mueller's investigation. at first, these calls came from of our political discourse. those who would refuse to put country and our discount spipolitical stings. earlier this year many of my sides of the both aisle were right to push back on urge misdirected calls and
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the special counsel be allowed to do his job without interference. owever, in recent weeks those voices seem to be growing in volume.t si and just this volume one major news organization suggested that counsel mueller could be involved in a coup against the president. one senior advisor at the white ouse has now outrageously alleged that the fix within gainst donald trump from the beginning. those statements are reckless, inappropriate and they are worrying. they are at odds with the who have's own lawyers pledged to cooperate with the special counsel. beyond being irresponsible, the of ingly coordinated nature these claims should alarm us all, particularly since in
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days these baseless accusations have been repeated members of the house of representatives. believe it is up to every member of this institution, to make n or democrat, a clear and unambiguous by ement that any attempt this president to remove special mueller from his osition or to pardon key witnesses in any effort to shield them from accountability r shut down the investigation would be a gross because of violation of rant executive branch responsibilities and authorities. these truly are red lines and cannot allow them to be crossed. "washington journal" continues. host: at our table we are joined y james thurber who is
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professor of government at american university and also ounder and former director of their center for congressional and presidential studies and from brookings institution. thank you both for being here. rate this current session of congress. we are coming to the close, the year of the irst 115th congress. how would you rate them? has it been a success? rate to the good to compared it other congresses. let's take the first year of the administration. in the first actually two years, few ills passed within a weeks a stimulus bill passed. dodd dodd-frank, the affordable care act pass the. this one will problems. a tax bill. there are a lot of things in the tax bill that are important but bill.x it failed in repealing the affordable care act. they have approved 12
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district judges. that is good. the f course that is supreme court justice but they have not done very well. oversight ad some hearings but we have not seen anything from them on russia and election. so i would say i would give them, if they were in my class, give them a d. host: a d? guest: a d. they did use whatever not accomplish? . guest: right. budget.e not passed the not appropriations bills. they have done nothing with chip. children's health insurance program. these poor kid that live below that can't get insurance. and there is bipartisan support passed ut they have not it. they have not dealt with the debt debt. i don't think they have done very well at all. host: moly reynolds? this i would say for me
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idea of what didn't they do, undone is ey leave really important. we can point to the tax bill which is a major achievement and talk about judges very important on the supremece court, a major achievement that as the potential to shape that institution for years to come. so they that in doing changed the precedent for confirming supreme court nominees, that will have major consequences going forward. ut we can celebrate those accomplishments with things they can't ignore we are looking to heading into january with this year's work unfinished chip,o permanent action on temporary reauthorization of some government surveillance. work.f unfinished host: when you both say undone business are you giving them
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-- i don't know if you agree with the d. of an i'm a little bit easier grader. guest: grid inflation. host: exactly. but are you giving them this assessment because of things supposed to do, not what they promised that they would do when they ran? guest: i like to think of the idea what are the compulsories, basic that are the functions of government that congress is supposed to do every year. is just leaving a lot of those things unfinished. they had a lot of expirations of major programs like chip, flood nsurance program, f.a.a. which has a temporary authorization until next year. keepingsic functions of the government doing what it is supposed to go doing. spent quite a lot f time in the health care unsuccessfully and tax bill successfully turning to things deadlinest have major
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that were supposed to force them to take action. guest: the most important thing passed the budget on time and appropriations on time. we are still on a continuing resolution. we are still facing the possibility of shutting down government. if you are running a will be out or a company and you have a contract with the government, disruptive. but i should say congress is not only republicans, it is and this is a highly a very d congress with narrow margin with the democrats over and g to cross vote on things with the republicans. on infrastructure, which is coming up. the president wants investment infrastructure. a lot of people do. some people thought they should had a d with that and succe success, a bipartisan success. ow i think that the water is muddied, bloodied and it will be very hard to get bipartisan infrastructure,
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even for bridges and roads in the future. so that is a problem. way, the president has had a lot of success in reregulation, not enforcing existing regulation nd the congress has successfully appointed people that have redirected e.p.a. and places. and other but there are hundreds of ppointments that haven't been reviewed on the hill and made and there are 60 ambassadorships open.are it is a serious problem. host: when it comes to spending e are learning that congress has decided to pass another continuing resolution that will this government open until january 19 if they can get the know letter we will on the house floor when they avel p. if you want to read what is part of the continuing resolution go to and it there. this is not the first congress o pass continuing resolution
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after continuing resolution. you are giving this one thus far grades will you give the previous congresses moves when it r came to keep being the government running? pass the have only budget on time four times since 1976. we could not pass it on time when we had a surplus under clinton. so, that is a problem. on appropriations usually they the armed services bills and homeland security. done that this time. this is a serious problem in my opinion. ost: let's hear what our viewers have to say. burt is up first in columbus, a republican. go ahead. caller: good morning. how are you doing? host: doing well. i think when you grade the congress you have to divide it into the democrats and republicans. give the democrats an f because of their resistance and republicans the guy
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said a d because they have not anything. what kills me is when you say hat you need to cut the entitlity, quit spending so much o when the government takes money out of your check and they are supposed to put it in a lock or whatever box and they spend it on something hey are not supposed to spend it on what are you supposed to do. they are entitled to them ecause when the government takes your money they are you thed to come back to u way the money is supposed to be used. government is very good overall. i also think that people who the government are losing out because if you don't depend on yourself to do things, the constitution doesn't tell you that you are entitled education or entitled to medicaid or medicare or
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insuran insurance. tells you stitution is that you are entitled life, pursuit of happiness. host: what about giving democrats an f? one thing that is important to think about in what happened with democrats in ongress this year is the republicans made several key choices that meant they didn't really have to work with democrats. so they decided they were going o make the two big legislative priorities health care bill and tax bill they chose to do both them through the budget reconciliation process which rotects certain bills from a filibuster in the senate which basically said to democrats, you your votes.'t need we will do it on a party line d s, which really sort of disincentivizes democrats from working across the aisle. say if you want to play that game, you can take the ball it out for yourself. that is sort of absolving them of responsibility of trying to
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with the democrats. guest: i want to say that in ryan took over as speaker, he reached across the significant bills and they all had democratic support. possible -- he reached out. e had a honeymoon from the far right to the extent after bane are left -- boehner left. they were tough like trade promotion authority. on medicare. on and on. they are there. nd the senate will similar phenomena in that alexander an education bill that only will one vote against it in committee and went through the quickly.ry so it is possible to have bipartisanship but right now in i will call it, 2018, it is going to be very ha the democrats are not going to play that game. infrastructure.
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that is bad for america in my opinion. reaction to the "washington post" piece and how differently this would have if a deal were struck in the days on the g.o.p. tax plan republican rob portman met with joe highway nd in the office of the capitol hill. he said he would consider the tax effort if only a few changes were made chief corporate cutting the rate to 20% reduce it to 25% and use the proceeds for bigger class tax cuts. other democrats he suggest the might follow. portman took it to republican leaders who rejected it. manchin may be able to get where ted in a state trump had 36%, a majority of 36%
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against clinton. he may get re-elected because of that theme. reach across. to that was only one person. dozens of people almost unanimous on some bills i would like to see that come back. but it is very hard because the highly partisan and it difficult and it is becoming more like that after the trump election. for me what is one of the most interesting things about degree to ess is the which republicans didn't do more the post said trying arly the senate it divide the democrats. there are a number of democratic for ors who are up re-election next year in states that were won by trump in some by very large margins. so the degree to which republicans decided they were
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try and do very arty line things as opposed to trying to do some of these things that would bring some is an ts on board interesting policy trait and has all kind of for policies. it is also an interesting political choice. it is part of the permanent campaign and both this s are going to use tax bill as a wedge issue and it will be hard going for the this icans when some of comes out. to the democrats are going use this for the next election. they already are. chumer has made statements about that and so has pelosi. has a ember, the house he 24 that are needed for t democrats and in 23 districts a o, some are saying that it is
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be extremely competitive. i hate to predict more after the 2016 election. host: what you are hearing from the minority leaders in the house and senate is the voters up are suburban voters guest: absolutely, the suburban are moderate republicans and they are really is coming out of the white house, what happened in alabama and even in alabama suburban voters switched and which made wrote in, a big difference or voted democratic. host: we will hear from christine in new hampshire, an independent. is funny because you hear these bad marks about poor president trump and everything. totally a supporter. he has done uch when the reality of the situation is that we have had a -- i'm sorry -- we have had a monetary problem with and overnment for years
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years especially since obama. and it seems that everything is now the new president's fault. nobody looks at what was going on. he is doing the best he can againsting how many are him. he's got a huge population. not anti-american. upset about somebody saying that, mr. thurber. we are antigovernment. sick and tired you are taking our money and your kids you are rich, he we back but i r money would love my husband to be retired and get that same paycheck. benefit. get that only you do. host: let's take that point. are and rber is found former director of the american university senator of studies. nal he is not a member of congress and never was. so just to clarify that.
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reynolds, what about her sentiment, president trump is way o washington and the washington operates this year is the way it has operated for many years. guest: i think that is a fair point. one thing he talks about on the is the idea of coming n apnd drain the swamp was the rhetoric. for me one of the most important in the o think about context of trump and congress since that is largely what we about this morning, is how has trump worked with congress. able to do been versus not do. o one of the challenges republicans face it is a pretty divided republican party particularly the house republican conference and lots of differences of opinion. expect that a president do a same party would good job or try to help the ouse and senate republican
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parties bridge those internal differences. for me that is one thing we have this year as we might have expected under a i think that there is maybe some health care debate and tax debate and we saw fewer in the tax debate where trump inserted himself into the work congress was doing a counterproductive way. he came out and called the healthcare bill mean and we saw less of that. important t will be to watch going forward how does trump learn the ways of washington. guest: presidents need to have a clear strategy and message about they want and repeat it, repeat it, repeat it. they need to define what a trying is that they are to solve on the hill. never was there a definition of passed lem before they the tax bill at all. there was with the affordable care act.
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has been somewhat random in with the listen on the hill and the tweets that quite have been disruptive. i have moles on the hill, people is going on, i have like 140 former students who are staff members and some in the listen and i won't quote them directly but he's a lot of problems with the majority leadership because thenget momentum going and he tweets on something charlottesville or something that gets in the way of what doing on the hill. finally, finally, they have a tax bill passed. finally he's on quecue from the other way the around, in my opinion. host: what do you make of him at the abinet meeting before celebration yesterday saying we essentially repealed obama care? guest: i think the question of repeal is a little overstated.
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fact that the e individual mandate now is part gone tax bill and certainly hurts it but most of it is there. remember the affordable care act deals with cost, quality, access and finance. if you limit the number of people who have insurance it will hurt significantly in terms of whether it works. but there are lots of other in the bill that helped people's althcare and lives that are not touched by that in my opinion. what we sawnk given over the summer in terms of how republicans thought repealing the affordable care and that as a rhetorical goal was a driving action over part of why they couldn't get anything done is because they could not write a that 218 house republicans nd 50 senate republicans would
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vote for that accomplished that goal, it is not surprising that they have managed to undo a small piece that they are it as an accomplishment and they are telling voters this done.ething we got host: we go to john in tampa, florida. conversation. caller: the poor grades the unis and congress is being unfetterred advocates is and spend 75% of their time drumming up large campaign contributions from donors who for the most part profit at the expense and majority of ast u.s. citizens leaving only 25% a poor job e doing at legislation. this stems from three supreme rulings that droughted a produce tock si. the graft that big money and freedom of speech and 2010
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united and then the dark money. very much. guest: you should put this guy on c-span. was perfect. he has it nailed. tuesday-thursday club. the members are here tuesday, ednesday, thursday, they go back home to campbelifornia, fla have town meetings but to bring money. the invisible primary is how much money you have to scare off may challenge you and back hustling money. donors.t always big terms is dysfunctional in of returning congress. the leadership every two years says we have to stop this and we going to have rules where you have to be here. but they don't have to be here. that.s no law for they are driven to get re-elected and they think going home is the way to do it. there are 34 members that don't even live here. and eat in n cots
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the cafeteria and it is not that great. they brag about the fact they are not in washington. why did they get elected? they were here to shrink overnment or solve problems or have oversight, not going home all the time. it is a serious problem that had for many years under democrats and republicans alike. molly in call for cleveland from ted. hello.: callers e previous that. ed to give the democrats a pass. for have long been noted tax and spend. seem.s the only way they sadly to many of the republicans have seemed to side that way and not a lot of conservative republics left. throughout the years when i started my own business and
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and struggled, well, t is a lot different than [inaudible]. s far as people continuing to see how they are going to raise money, james thurber is old know david brinkley some of the maybe washington leaders should go out so let me hear them on that. molly first. guest: i think we have seen unfold in congress over the year is some evelation of how much of what we saw under the obama administration from on ressional republicans feewas and the deficit principle stand on opposition to and how muchending was seeing those arguments as a convenient and useful way to
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particularly to oppose a democratic president in the white house. cases have seen in some some of this rhetoric on fiscal republicans y from get walked back significantly. cases like in some the disaster relief bill the congress is currently considering some republicans to push for adjust sets in spending. important that is an thing. guest: there are probably 50 of the tae tea principled.hey are they went with the tax bill even hough it is generating a trillion plus debt because of other things in the tax bill they wanted. o, when you consider things on the hill, compromise has to occur. ompromise was behind the
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constitution and it has to occur here. unfortunately there's not been a between the mise two parties. there's been compromise within party.mocratic i would say there are many hard core are conservatives and concerned bout the debt and deficit and want to deal with the social ent programs, security, medicare, medicaid and hey will probably be on the underaccording to ryan in the future. we will see what happens. according to the director of the president's economic council aying infrastructure and he referred to those as welfare programs is where they want to the priorityhat is for the president. carol it rochester, new york, independent. good morning. mr. thurber mentioned the number unfilled a.m. balances doorships -- ambassadorships.
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have been w many unfilled because of no nominees sitting on the nominees especially south korea. guest: i don't have those off the top of my head but i think that my sense of the a lot of it is that the administration isn't putting nominees. i don't know specifically about ust ambassadors but if we look at the government more broadly that is concern is they are not fill g forward names to positions. in some cases it is because they re having trouble finding people who are interested in filling them in this particular administration and in some cases because including at the state department more broadly ecause they have a vision of what they want the department to a k like which involves smaller department and fewer people working there. we talk this morning about the rating this session of as thes, we are learning
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morning goes on what the plan is or the lawmakers to get out of town. one thing they have on their agenda is avoiding a government with a deadline of midnight friday they have to resolution.inuing it looks like that will go until january 19 for all government other s but they have things that they have to deal with. reauthorization of a as well nce provision s chip, the children's health insurance program. not sure if it will be in this disaster relief to $81 billion. swinging out meadows the chairman of the freedom caucus a commitment from leadership there will be a stand lone vote on a long-term 702 reauthorization and they would be allowed to offer requested colleagues er her reporting on that so a lot unfolding as we talk on this james thurber.g,
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guest: i would add daca or the act and there is some t.partisan concern about tha flake, for example, got as part of the deal for voting for the he would be part of the negotiations on daca. so that is there. there is reauthorization of the igher education act and the senate has some serious that ents to dodd-frank will help community banks and other banks. hat is going to be a hot issue this next year. i don't see bipartisanship coming on that but we will see. >> and so-called dreamers "washington times" dreamers feel betrayed by democrats. of dreamers some risking arrest took to the march s in congress to and conduct lie downs to complain they have been government these spending negotiations. dan in chicago, democrat.
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caller: good morning. i have some quick questions. i'm focused exclusively on the tax bill that passed both houses. -- is the skepbls consensus on debt to g.d.b. the experts and relationship of the potential hutdown if that is not address addressed? there was a close vote in both in relationship to passing this bill so there were plenty of democrats and that were divided. what would be the long-term based on he economy debt, based on an empirical of developed economies? can we service the interest and on this debt? and my final address is does create systemic risk? host: we have government
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economists but molly go ahead. consensus ink the from most economists on the debt how -- is s of this that it will increase the debt significantly. the republicans in setting out the plan for passing there bill embrace that goal and set themselves up a box that increase the d debt by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. they are kind of motivating the by that they think that lowering corporate taxes and doing other things it will grow the economy and address that. haven't seen a credible estimate that sucks it will do that. one thing that we will have to sort of deal with down the line is what are the of structuring a tax bill particularly one that the debt but also has expiring provisions. we talked about this.
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the individual tax cuts are set to entire. relief is te tax permanent. we are set up for a giant cliff years. that sort of thing. g.d.p., you had a chart up and i teach a class where we get into the budget and didn't memorize it but i do know this. to the united states debt g. g.d.p. is so large we would not e.u. owed to join the because they have certain tandards, which is of course another problem but we would not be allowed to join the e.u. that is what you should measure and i'm sorry, sir, i don't have is exact percentage but it going up as a result of that. host: the committee for a responsible federal bucket said when they looked at this, would nference agreement cost 1.46 trillion leading debt between 98% and 95%
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compared to 91%. but they said it could go as high as 100% with some of the rovisions in the tax credit bill. tom in alabama, independent. welcome it the conversation. to the conversation. caller: i'm a simple man and i -- i'm a understand trump voter. worked hard 28 years out of my the man got and elected. but before he got elected, not democrats wanted this man in office. he's a billionaire and didn't need the job. but he's looking out for the are workingple that their ass off every day. i see congress people there 30 years and 40 years. and come ur years home. host: what are your thoughts on that? or not, ll, believe it
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the tenure of members on the shorter period than you think. yearssomething like 6 1/2 in the house, were longer in the senate. have ople you hear about been here a long time. i'm not for term limits personally. i think that we need to improve the way we elect people and have ore competition in the general election. that means dealing with redistricting for the house. we have term limits. they are called popular elections. they are somewhat fixed because of redistricting. here are only 30 to 40 seats that are usually competitive. i would like to see more seats competitive and dealing with the people come upng herein and -- up here and have life on the heir mill. we have term limits on chairs which is very good. because they are young people sometimes on the committee that
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about the issues. they are not the most senior and hey get elected in secret ballots to be chairs. i think that is good. host: we are talking about this congress. it?would you rate our guests james thurber professor of government at founder university and of american university center for congressional and presidential studies. right-hand side with us fellow of government studies with brook, institution. your questions, comments, about this congress. continue to dial in this morning. it to the top of the hour when the house gavels in for the morning legislative session. let's hear from todd in michigan, a democrat. caller: hi. we are next it flint, michigan and i'm a democrat and i voted for president trump. americans are getting a little when red of washington everybody in washington seems to a millionaire and how they
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got to be a millionaire i have idea. i would only assume it lobbyists. but the regular american people in ot have lobbyist washington. our lobbyist is president trump. it is nonstop negative about pru president trump and makes everybody in america that voted for president trump. media looks stream at always as we are scum bags. host: how has president trump changed washington, molly? uest: i think that if we are talking about congress, he's actually changed washington were think he certainly promised to during the presidential contain. -- campaign. were less than some folks were expecting. we were talking before about the infrastructure bill. there was about this time last a lot of talk about trump would get inaugurated and the
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do is make he would this big bipartisan infrastructure proposal that party lines on the hill and we didn't see that happen. biggest legislative for plishment of the year republicans is the tax bill that as passed yesterday and that overwhelmingly is focused on benefiting very wealthy corporations. it didn't embrace any real lymulispopulism. so i don't see him as changed much.gton that guest: president trump said he would change the way washington the swamp.ould drain a lot of people felt that was lobbyists e swamp of that had very narrow specialized interests. to that in a k second. obama said he would change the too.ashington works, his concept is i want to bring people together and work
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together in the middle. he didn't change washington. trump has not changed washington that way. changed washington in -- in terms of having this gentleman's representation et's say on the tax bill, you really have to look at organized interests. you might have been part of the eligible it he is join the largest interest group in the history of the united represent him and that is the way washington works. easily change very because we are representative groups are very important. in this tax became the corporations were there, the there and the farmers were there in large rganizations and people like this gentleman were not there represented
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themselves through the united uto works or other tkpwraouplgs. guest: one thing of the tax bill moving as questioningly as it did there was less opportunity group based engagement than we have traditionally ssociated certainly with tax policy where say the 1986 tax eform which was a long time coming and out there in development a long period of time. bill republicans made a conscious choice to try to move less of uickly to have an opportunity for various nterests groups to have organize around particular person's and say one special interest loophole is anoth break.'s valuable tax guest: it was close. it was not very open. interests were there. billions of dollars are spent groups ar by interest
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and lobbyists and hundreds of millions were spent during the to get f trying provisions in this act and there re lots of examples of how industry was there, banks were here, but the aarp was not there which is more of a mass organization and that is a and em with our democracy could be a problem in 2018. host: one constituency is those from carried interest and gary cohen we organization with the co-found are talked about it wanted to sident ncrease their tax rate and he got push back from both parties, from both sides of aisle and cohen saying we tried at least 25 times to get that they have a strong lobby on capitol hill. let's go to montgomery, alabama. independent. caller: good morning.
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i want to say that i think both republicans and democrats are liars, thaoefrieves and cowards. about tax nt talked reform but he doesn't show his taxes so that shows what a man else. you are trump haters. he is a liar, too. e is a coward and he is a politician now and as far as congress, i -- they are all phony. i think that what michelle obama said was not necessarily racism. it was pretty much correct. you need to remove all the old this of and replace them with women. something better because men are all hraoeurls. get them out of there. let's go to this sentiment of not trusting washington and the president as art of what has become a politici politician. you look at the approval ratings for it congress, 2007 job
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is low, 19%. eight yes, that is consecutive years the average is 20%. i think that congress's approval is like the president's pproval rating now, very partis partisan. so over the course of the year republicans ments were feeling better about ongress right after trump was inaugurated 50% of republicans were feeling good about 30% at the beginning of december when they were tax bill. the lower ook ahead to 2018, poll ratings of congress and president trump's lower ratings likely to have consequences for what happens in the midterm. guest: 19% seems very high. as john mccain said they must
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a lot of people on the hill to be part of the sample. been as low as on women this could be the year of women. women in the senate. i wouldn't express my preference like he did but i think women up here, the women's caucus, they in a ow to work together bipartisan way and they know how to multitask. not going to bly have any sexual harassment issues with women. the women inear of terms of recruitment and all kinds of data on that and i hope we go that direction. host: from florida. an independent. good morning and merry christmas. s. reynolds you said republicans used the nuclear option to get the supreme court judge. harry reid to did it in 2013.
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allow our federal congress people to live in districts where they represent live in? in florida you have to live in the district that you representative. just run for office else in the here state. he wuone i'm thinking about is maxine waters. and why do you always talk about, everybody talks about the caucus or spending caucus but when you mention the freedom like you are ds using disparaging words about them. the nk the black caucus, hispanic caucus and freedom equallyhould be treated but don't take this wrong but the e of your ilk think average american is kind of dumb and we are not. we figured this out with donald trump. so you better wake up a. dummies any more and you have a great day.
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on the nuclear option specifically the call are is the senate n 2013 was in control by deposition and how to change the nomination and reduced the votes needed to end the e on nominations to executive branch and to federal court judges below the supreme court. this year in the spring republicans extended that in the supreme court judges. there is consistent with the way rules and n senate precedents change over time. a little bit of tit for tat. is frustrated enough with the other side to make a dramatic change and the next switch in party control and the other side has a reason to do the same. in kind.hem respond that wasn't terribly surprising to me in terms of what happened the spring. guest: i would add to that that filibuster.
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that is an ancient concept because we are using now where you only need 50 srots to get -- votes to get something done. democrats did it with the affordable care act and that of but now it done seems the normal approach to omnibus bills, continuing resolutions, there's chief in there ike authorizations in an appropriations bill which are against the rules of the house and senate unless they go back committee of jurisdiction. so that seems to be fairly normal. the nature changing of the senate as a result of not having the votes to get things you have a super majority. that is a problem in my opinion. ost: let's go to peter calling from canada, independent. good morning. remember on september 10,
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001, donald rumsfeld will a press conference where he said hat there are 2.1 million dollars missing from the pentagon budget. recently come into the news that the actual number department of defense h.u.d., housing and urban development. we are up to about $21 trillion taxpayer money. ould either of you comment on that? you just have to google it and that even forbes magazine mentioned it. lot of ms like an awful money. to t: i can't speak of icular dollar figures what we often refer to as waste, fraud and abuse in the federal
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government. i think say one of congress's fundamental responsibilities is to oversee the conduct of the branch.e and one thing we see over time oversight is that responsibility atrophy. not across the board. good e examples of congressional oversight but it s definitely the case congress does less oversight. is the appropriations process. that is historically a place for oversight can happen at the appropriations committees as that proposals and rocess has gotten less robust and relies more on continuing esolutions and omnibus bills that is where we have seen congress fall down on the job. phame-and-saphaome add we have rigorous overseating with divided. between them we
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are having oversight hearings on oversight the other hearings are oversight like and divided they go after there. >> they are there to pursue proud, waste and abuse but they the g.a.o. that about equirement and law are to have oversight of these programs and they report to the committees of jurisdiction and those have hearings related to those reports. that is very important. outside groups in the united states -- because we have first amendment rights, they organize and to petition government -- they do oversight also which is helpful the media does also. so we have all of these institutions. it. we still need more of the joke, of course, in washington is why don't you go budget the line in the that says fraud, waste and abuse and zero it out then you would in terms of balancing the budget. you can't do that. ost: let's talk about 2018,
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specificallily on investigations. what do you think the impact ?ould be if the president were to fire robert mueller? guest: well, i don't think he will. with you if he does there would firestorm of push back on democrats and republicans alike. i don't think he will go that far. what is 's talk about next on the legislative agenda. cohen talked yesterday and here is what he had to say is on list.resident's to-do >> the infrastructure is a phenomenally interesting topic. it is. i could talk about to the next day. of ave been spending a lot time on infrastructure and we will start spending more. of the you think infrastructure world it is a federal government level and the regulates ernment basically all of the infrastructure in the united states.
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own basically none of it. those are oversimplifications it shows you. thing we can ngle do for infrastructure in this en the is we can short en approval process. the resident talked about nine or 10-year approval process for a highway. by the way, the approval process anything in the infrastructure world is enormously long. i was literally landed a list of everything that is sitting in the army corps of engineers for approval and there are things been there longer than your and my age combined. is a long time. there are things in there from are waiting for approval. so, the number one thing we can we can do -- and there is to ngressional group going australia. australia has figured this out. approval eamline the
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process from years to weeks and months. years treamline it from to weeks and months, there is mon a lot of states and cities and a lot of counties budget e money in their and have passed taxes to spend monday on infrastructure. just need to get them approved. we could be their partners. available in g pockets sitting there to help phaoupbmunicipalities and governments to build infrastructure. they are tied up in approval processes. host: molly reynolds, infrastructure. i think that would be a fascinating thing to watch in 2018. has the earlier, it potential to scramble some partz alliances on capitol hill. at the same time we spent were 2017 hearing the white house ay the infrastructure plan is
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coming and nothing has materialized. until we know what they mean by nfrastructure it is hard to judge what its prospects might be on capitol hill. articularly in an election year. guest: infrastructure is complex ecause it means fixed rails, highways, maintaining and building bridges. t means the airports that have different jurisdictions control them they want to raise taxes on they can improve that. that is not taking from our budget here. tell you, one reason we can not get infrastructure hrough quickly once the money has been allocated is private property rights. a situation like in beijing there last week where thread bulldozeers that came and wiped out people's houses? migrants t they were there illegally. no. t takes a long time to get eminent domain through to get a highway through.
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city in america knows that. that slows it down. it is not the actual construction. is private property rights. majority is sitting down and apparently said i would on the ct to see that agenda on entitlements saying support they won't be able to do the. thing that is important is as we listen to peak are ryan talk about entitlement and welfare reform in 2018 is that is likely to using the budget second significance process from the the year of republicans will be down one more vote in the senate, down to seats and the approximate of getting a party line bill on of of those issues through 51 seat senate in an election year seems like an awfully big me. to guest: i agree. when you start doing entitlement
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mean entitlement because people have given money certain nd they meet a standard and they are older you have to hit social security and is where you here have older voters that voted ery high rates and very strong interest groups like aarp and others that will push back. don't see major entitlement reform coming through. host: james thurber distinguished proffer of at american used and former director and founder of he american university senator for congressional presidential studies, thank you very much. fellow with s brookings institution. we thank you for the conversation. the house is gavelling in for their morning legislative any second. gavel-to-gavelyou service on c-span. this is where it will play out on the house floor. how will they vote to keep the government running and tune in to


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