tv Washington Journal Philip Wegmann CSPAN December 31, 2017 3:02am-3:31am EST
yes. we don't just need jobs. we need good jobs. jobs that are not fragmented temp jobs. we need jobs with a decent wage. i am with you and wishing we could bring some of that back. host: all right, jessica bruder, author of "nomadland." guest is north carolina attorney general josh stein. >> "washington journal" continues. host: joining us now is philip wegmann. he is the commentary rider of "the washington examiner." to discuss republican legislative priorities and the impact on this year's midterm
elections. thank you for joining us. there is a lot of weight on this with the spending bill -- is there a difference in where the house and the senate stand on that? guest: oh, absolutely. there's always differences in something to squabble over. i think we will see a lot of the started in 2017 in 2018.he forefront for republicans, the priority in 2018 will be making certain they do not do anything that is going to diminish from their legislative achievements in the previous year. they got a big win when they assigned neil gorsuch to these up in court and when they get the tax bill across the finish line. whether it is if a structure, immigration, or the spending bill, which will be the first fight they walk into when they return from the holidays, their goal will be not to screw up so
much one of their base voters will have any reason to stay home in november. as crazy as this is, we will be in an election cycle and three days. so, with the spending bill, i would think the last thing republicans would want government tohe stop being funded for any time. what are the sticking points? obviously the arithmetic favors democrats. this is must pass legislation. keep the lights on, like you said. funding will run out on january 19. democrats have made clear they see this as the opportunity to get a compromise on daca and for thosee policies immigrants in the nation brought here as children. president trump has said this is something he wants to pursue during the spending negotiation. he wants the spending for his wall. lottery reforms for the
and other immigration systems. wantthink the democrats' to try to get something because they know that republicans will need thereby end. look at what president trump had to say december 20 about the immigration system as we await this potential fight over taco. -- over daca. [video clip] fight toking the groups like ms 13. they are animals. horrible, horrible. they are gangsters. that is why we are calling on congress to fund the border wall. we are working on that. we have a great wall. we put up six different righties of wall. we want to be able to see through it. we have a lot of help from the
border patrol and the ice agents . who knows better than them? we want to be able to see through, who is on the other side of the wall, and we have some wonderful permanent sections that have been put up and may be going there very shortly to look at them and their final form. and we will build building the wall and doing lots of other things. this funding fight, on one side you have president trump amending that the wall be part of it. on the other side you have democrats demanding a fix for daca. demandingnt trump that the wall be part of it. who blinks? give. somebody has got to democrats have the upper hand that they know the republicans are in control and they will have to own whatever happens because they control both majorities. not think president trump is going to be able to blinks on this one. he has demanded funding for that
wall, and let's be honest what he is asking for. he's asking for something around 1.6 alien dollars. that is enough for, what? 60, 70 miles of wall when there -- 200rder of two mile miles. it's enough for a photo. both sides will have to come to except this is comprehensive border security and there will be a compromise. i don't see a shutdown at the stage of the game. host: ok, we are talking to philip wegmann from "the washington examiner. republicans can call -- bloomberg politics rights it is not just the funding bill -- writes it not just the funding bill where democrats and
republicans will clash. house republicans, especially conservative members, have been energized by their ability to rally around the tax overhaul and to limit demands from the democrats -- and from the senate -- on the stopgap spending measure that closed out the year and will keep the federal government running through january 19. with the tax plan no law, speaker ryan has said it's time to move on to another long-held republican goal, reforming safetynet standbys such as temporary assistance for needy families and the supplemental nutrition assistance program, known as snap, and possibly overhauling medicare, which he called "the biggest entitlement." likely is entitlement reform, especially when senate majority leader mitch mcconnell poured cold water on that idea?
guest: it depends on what president trump says. obviously ryan has his sights on welfare reform. it is second only to tax reform on his personal list of goals. this is something he is very passionate about and something conservatives in the house will rally to during this fight, i think. it depends whether or not this wes off the ground because have to see how far president trump go on this issue. willnell has said if there be reform, he would hope it would be bipartisan reform. i do not think we will see that this year. mcconnell will dig in his heels and make certain this does not get off the ground or president trump will weigh in and make certain this is a priority. all right, john is calling on our independent line from indiana. good morning. caller: hello. the question i have is this.
what compromise do you think that the democratic party will dreams -- the the dreamers? would they give up social security? i don't think democrats are willing to put social security or medicaid on the table when they are doing these negotiations. also if you look at what president trump said on the campaign trail, he was adamant he was not going to touch either of these programs. if there is one to be welfare reform, i think it will be at the margins for some of the orller programs like snap unemployment insurance, but it will not be the larger drivers like medicaid and social security. political playbook talks about the moves fordaca. "needless to say the fix for daca will be a huge priority for 2018."
we hear some republicans want the gop congress to take up the issue in the first few weeks of january. why? republicans say doing earlier allows them to handle the issue on their terms. if the gop let the close to jerry 19th, republicans their democrats could use the government funding deadline to .xtract more they have a few months. but there is the spending bill. .uest: absolutely democrats have leverage. republicans will need 60 votes. they will have to get by and from democrats no matter what on the spending bill and this is an opportunity for democrats to force republican hands and get a compromise on this issue. so, the longer democrats wait -- if they wait to fix daca in march, they lose the leverage. they are fighting just to get by in. if they make it a debate now, they are able to use the
spending bill as leverage. i think that they can have a seat at the table and really craft whatever compromise they end up with. going back a moment to entitlement reform and speaker paul ryan's desire to take that on. let's take a look at an 6terview he did on december about the future of entitlement programs. [video clip] so when you talk about entitlement reform, one of the things you are talking about is obamacare, right? have a welfaree system that is effectively paying people not to work and we have to work on that. >> are you thinking of doing reforms to social security or medicare at this point? president trump has not seemed interested in those things. he has notn: yes, shown interest. we're working with the president on the entitlement reforms that
he is interested in it you cannot use the budget reform process for social security. that's one of the rules. frankly medicare is the driver of our debt. that is where the problem lies. time, wethe same mentioned, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell has a different view. told mike alan nunnelee would not expect welfare reform to be that he would-- not expect will for reprint to be on the agenda in 2018. if mcconnell doesn't want to do welfare reform in the upper chamber -- a politically risky endeavor to say the least -- it is not happening, no matter how badly speaker paul ryan, who has said he'd like to use reconciliation to take these on in 2018, wants it. ryan wants much more. mcconnell is risk-averse. if trump is in favor of the
house, i think we could see limited welfare reform. mcconnell has shown something of an appetite for this -- trump has shown something of an appetite for this in the last couple of weeks. we will see in here more when he does the state of the union address. host: and as the article pointed out, welfare reform is being looked at, for among other reasons, to address the big debt the tax bill is going to leave us with. if there is not welfare or entitlement reform, what happens to the deficit? guest: i think we will see deficits grow if we do not have welfare reform. democrats have said this tax bill was necessarily going to require welfare reform to pay for moving forward, but deficits have grown. and democrats have talked about cutting the deficit.
i think this is posturing at this point. host: virginia is coming in from pennsylvania on a republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. i just have a statement. i want to say these children that came near with their -- that camets here with their illegal parents that we paid to bring into the world, that they educated, i feel they should go back home and try to improve things in their own countries. and i think the american people deserve a break, and the democrats do not seem to care about the middle class american people in this country. that is my statement. host: philip?
guest: even president trump has evolved in his opinion on daca. during the campaign he was very harsh. he said this was a program he wanted to end. he took a very strong line. now he is in washington, d.c., in the white house, he seems to be much more compassionate on the issue and some of these kids were brought here and that was not something they -- this is something that happened outside of them. and i think president trump, he has eased up on that and republicans will follow his line. something has to be done and i do not think there is an appetite to send back some of these dreamers, who are already here. there is a fox news report about the effort of republicans to plot a roadmap for legislative victories. it is expected health care reform will dominate talks in january as the tax cut bill
repeals only the requirement part of obamacare that all americans buy health insurance or pay a fine, while leaving other features of the health-care law still in place. republicans tried to repeal obamacare twice this year, both times coming up short with the votes in congress to pass the legislation. how do you think the health care debate will change in 2018 after three failed efforts to repeal or dramatically cut back that law last year? guest: the obamacare issue is not going away, as much as republicans would like it to. house conservatives, specifically the freedom caucus, chairman mark meadows, says they are not ready to move on from obamacare. they would like to see the law chipped away. every chance the republicans get to weaken the infrastructure of that bill, too slowly deconstruct, i think they are going to take that. from ok, we have our call tacoma park, maryland on our independent line. for taking myyou
call. i was wondering whether or not the gop legislative priorities for helping to ensure funding for social security would consider perhaps lifting the cap's they have on income contribution so that people $130,000 or,han maybe, $150,000 could contribute to contribute to social security and help secure the funding? is definitely an appetite for innovation when it comes to social security. this is a program that goes back to the 1930's. there has not been a lot of reforms to the institution. it is desperately needed. something needs to be done. reforms are being talked about. but until there is serious political will to change the program as it is, i think it's
mostly talk in the different camps. talkednew york magazine" about the legislative priorities. one of them include section 702 of fisa. focusr debate put off to on tax cuts. it allows the federal government to intercept and collect foreigners' communications overseas, even if americans' communications are swept up to you well. top more about that debate over the fisa program. the things is one of republicans definitely need to be on guard about. they want to look at the big picture issues like infrastructure, immigration, it will be the smaller things, like fisa, the visa for levels, where they are coming you know, separated within their own camps between conservatives and
mainline republicans and these are the smaller things that i could over the long-term, get republicans off-track as they try to focus on maintaining the majority for 2018. these smaller fights create the divisions that could really harm them. host: what about the chip program, the health care program for children that expired last year? it got temporary funding in the stopgap spending measure, but lawmakers still have to do something to address that. what do you expect? guest: the debate will be on the offsets. were for a bill that would have paid for just. there was large republican by n, but democrats -- there was large but democrats-in, oppose that. this is something the republicans and democrats should be able to agree on. if both mcconnell and ryan are looking for some sort of
legislation to move across the finish line, it's going to be one of those things that can be added to one of the spending bills. is calling from napa, california on our democratic line. good morning. caller: good morning. think you for taking my call. i have a comment about mitch mcconnell and what he stated that he was "going to focus on social security and medicare." about a year, year and a half ago he was on charlie rose's talkshow and when asked what his goals were, he specifically want to get rid of medicare and social security." i feel like hearing he is not that concerned about it the moment does not make it true, and that is something he is going to put forward, especially since the tax reform and everything went through. i wanted to make a comment about that. guest: there is definitely a withrence in tone
republicans when they were not in control of the government and now that they are running the show here. there have been several things they have had to change, and i think one of them is, while it has been a priority to reform these welfare programs, it just isn't possible with the margins they have in the senate currently. mcconnell does not want to get bogged down in a fight over welfare reforms when their other legislative priorities. host: there is this nbc news report that talked about the midterms. in every midterm election since the world war, the president's party has lost on average 32 seats in the house. .emocrats only need 23 seats history says we are going to lose the majority, says corey bliss.
how much is the midterm election hanging over congress between now and november? guest: oh, wow. as soon as 2018 starts, the new election cycle begins and it will dominate every consideration on capitol hill. so, 24 is the magic number for democrats to retake control in the house, but that will require a landslide for them to work. something to keep in mind that republicans are banking on is that during these midterms, this is their voters that traditionally turn out more often than the democrats' base. still, in order to motivate their base to the polls, they need to make certain they do not do anything that gives them second thoughts. a call from have new york city on our democratic line. hi there. caller: think you for taking my call. a question for mr. wegman. how with specificity would you define "welfare reform"?
absolutely. that is a question i think a majority of lawmakers will struggle with. it depends how you define welfare reform. republicans -- is not the republican -- the political will to go after social security and medicaid, but they will go over things like snap benefits and call that welfare reform, even though it is at the margins. and politically they will sell that as a manger overhaul. -- major overhaul. host: philip is calling. caller: good morning, c-span. how are you? i was. as. -- i wasfurious. what is they always dig into the people's budget? why isn't anyone holding them to account on the budget that they set for themselves with the automatic pay raises and all of
that and it's all funded by the taxpayer? aren't they on social security, the same system americans are on? why is it separate for them? and a small comment with the house speaker -- one of his andes was iran -- ayn rand, at the end of her life she was on medicare and damn glad to ha ve it. i don't think he finished her book. he just adopted it as a philosophy. why are they not also on the social security and medicare program like the rest of america? host: i want to give him a chance to address that. guest: that is one of the here.ons our lawmakers going to live under the same laws that they asked. i don't think even the most hard-core republicans are looking forward to getting rid of these programs completely.
they want to reform them so they are targeted to helping the people who need help the most. lee is calling from grand gorge, new york on a republican line. good morning. my comment is about the daca children. no one ever mentions anchor babies. the heritage foundation put a report that said 91% of anchor babies were free hospital births in approximately half will be on some form of welfare. if you sneak into this country to have an anchor baby that is an automatic u.s. citizen, and they also said approximately 144,000 anchor babies were born each year, and that's literally babies we areca talking in total, as compared to i and two years these -- in
teedo beers the same amount will be. the democrats say if you are here for five years you will only have benefits, but if you are a u.s., american citizen, you will get them right away. please comment on that. number thingsre a in the immigration status quo republicans will take a closer look at. daca as well as these anchor babies is a contentious issue. i not familiar with the statistics. host: how important is it to look at things like birthright citizenship, particularly in election year? guest: i don't think republicans would risk their majorities on this. they have to make certain they have to get some of these noncontroversial things to the finish line in order to keep the majority. that would be too much of a lift for them this year. all right, we have a call from oakland, california on our democratic line. caller: good morning.
why do they look at social security when all jobs do not keep paying into that? they have their own retirement. why do you keep saying that? why do you make that an issue? that is an issue on the republican agenda, right? absolutely. republicans have been looking at reforming social security for decades now. this is one of the big divers of spending in the u.s. and it has not been addressed. it is not completely funded and republicans know eventually they will have to pay for this. at we cannot continue to kick this off for future generations. i think their priority is to come up with a systemic solution so this will not be unfunded. host: ok, philip wegmann, commentary rider for "the washington examiner." you can find him on twitter
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