tv 116th Freshmen Profile - Reps. Steil Stevens Cline Spanberger CSPAN March 14, 2019 12:51pm-1:31pm EDT
talking about this war in afghanistan the way it has been escalated, the way it has escalated every year. the countless lives that have been wasted and the continuing suffering. hoe time for peace in afghanistan. >> was the same i had seen in iraq as well as when i worked on raq and afghan issues at the pentagon and state department. there were no difference in administration's, the desire was to win politically or win for political reasons, domestic political reasons. everything else was secondary. eastern. m. >> c-span continues its freshman
profile ser eyes. the republican from wisconsin who succeeded paul ryan, the former speaker of the house who retired at the end of 115th congress. he represented 1st congressional district. speaker's ber of staff. >> why did you decide to run for this seat? >> the economic growth. how do we get prepared and address the high cost of health care and scale back the scope and reach of the federal government. >> what did paul ryan say to you? >> we had a bit of a conversation and what a great honor it is to serve the people of southeast wisconsin to be their voice here in washington and the important taps of working hard, doing your
homework and diving in and the people impactful correlate with the amount of time and effort they put in to public policy and trying to improve people's lives. >> what were you doing before you won this seat? >> i spent the last 10 years working in the business sector, manufacturing sector and how the federal government, how they can slow and hinder growth of businesses through bureaucracy and red tape and what an opportunity we have to make some changes in washington, to really unleach the full strength of the american economy. >> you served on the board of region events for the university of wisconsin. >> the board that oversees the entire university of wisconsin system. we have a one cohesive system. 80,000 students and $6 billion budget. you learn the importance of education at large, why we need
affordable and accessible education so people can take advantage of the jobs that are coming to southeast wisconsin. and you learn how to work with your colleagues. i was there with people that were appointed by a republican and democratic governor. how do we improve the educational opportunity for students and that's an opportunity i can apply in washington. we focus on the solutions and results. and instead of this partisan bickering. >> you touted the wisconsin style work ethic. what does that mean? >> in wisconsin in particular, and jainsville, people put down the partisan bickering and work on finding solutions. if you are trying to solve a problem, no one cares about the political party or your background is, you are trying to solve the problem. and if we bring that type of
approach to washington and focus on solving the problems that are facing our country, we will be far better off. >> you have experience on the shop floor of a manufacturing company? >> i worked on the manufacturing sector. all across the board. when you came into that company, everyone parks along side each other, how do you deliver high quality products for the consumer. and how do we deliver a high quality. >> you are 37 years old. >> yes. >> what do you think your age, your perspective, your youth brings to this job? fresh perspective. roughly 90 of us joining. republicans and democrats alike. people are without a background in politics. i think it is a breath of fresh air. when i talk to my freshman
colleagues, we need to shift some of the tone we are seeing in washington and focus on solutions and results rather than scoring political points. the younger members see that and the conversations i'm having with the other younger members. >> you are not totally. you worked as an aide to paul ryan? >> fresh out of college, i worked for my hometown congressman paul ryan when you had to explain to people who he was. no longer the case. >> what stands out to you in working for him out here in washington? >> i look at that experience and realize your work ethic and your integrity dictates how impactful you can be. if you have the core to work hard and have that integrity and couple that to deliver on some of the policy objectives you are fighting for, there is unlimited runway to be impact ifful if you
are willing to do the hard work on building consensus on ideas. i learned the importance of hard work ethic and deliver on those promises. >> where are you from? >> jainsville, wisconsin. same hometown as the speaker. spectacular place in southeast wisconsin to grow up. just south of madison, wisconsin, not too far from milwaukee and north of chicago above. spectacular spot. >> what did your parents do for a living? fatherwas a teach and my was a small town lawyer. and serving in the catholic church or civic and community organizations you learn the importance of being involved and the impact if you are willing to offer your services.
>> who were your meantors in life political or otherwise? >> my grandfather. came from the greatest generation. he grew up in southeast wisconsin. pretty poor through the depression. came out of world war i inch and had the opportunity for the g.i. bill. he grew up at a funeral home where the home was the funeral. he grew up in the funeral. then that jational opportunity allowed him to pursue his dreams and have an impact. if you look at someone who worked hard and put his head down and commitment to service at the same time would have been my grandpa. >> why do you think it impaths you today? how do you carry his life with you? >> i look at the commitment to service that he had day in and day out. he never ran for political office. but was involved in community activities and figured out how
to improve people's lives, work work as a community to bring people up and improve our standard of living. now that i'm a voice in washington for the people of southeast washington, how do we help everyone in the community to take advantage of the american dream. >> how are you balancing life? >> no complaints. it is nonstop work here on the policy side and back homeworking my tail off and have conversations with people in racine, kenosha, jainsville about the issues facing them so voice for better them. > also joining congress is representative stevens. she served as the chief of staff of president obama's auto
industry task force which helped in the bailouts. congresswoman stevens has been selected as the congresswoman has been selected as the copresident of the house democratic freshman class. reporter: how did you get involved in politics? rep. stevens: i always had the public service gene. i love volunteering and community service. my first job ever out of college was working for the michigan democratic party as a field organizer. i grew up in oakland county and the democratic party asked me to go to grand rapids. i organized the get out the vote effort. western coast of michigan, talking to voters and bringing people in before the iphone was created. reporter: they were reorganizing for? rep. stevens: an entire ticket, debbie stabenow was running for reelection and jennifer granholm the governor was running for reelection, and then a female candidate running for state ouse and state senate.
working within grand rapids, hich was remarkable. i was getting my sleeves rolled up. after that campaign, i worked on the hillary for president campaign. when she did not win the primary, i went to the obama campaign in the same role and hen he won, i was asked to serve in his demonstration, first time a transition team and then somebody who was thinking, what do i want to do in this dministration? looking at the economic climate and certainly the recession that was hanging over michigan before anywhere else in the country, i thought i would be one thing in this administration, put up my hand for michigan. i was asked by steve ratner to
serve as his chief of staff in the auto rescue and department of the treasury, the initiative responsible for saving general motors and chrysler and michigan jobs. eporter: what did you do after that? where were you working? rep. stevens: the auto rescue turned into the office of manufacturing a policy. we oversaw investment in chrysler and general motors, and setting up industrial policy for our country for the first time in generations, looking for orkforce opportunities and innovation opportunities, advanced manufacturing partnerships, working with members of this body to create legislation to support our manufacturing economy. i did that for a variety of years. i had a post at the economic
development administration and the u.s. department of commerce and then decided i miss the midwest and i came back to the midwest and worked on export assistance for small and midsize manufacturers in partnership with the brookings institution and bloomberg philanthropy and jp morgan chase foundation. before iran for congress, i was working in an advanced manufacturing research lab focusing on the future of work in the digital age of manufacturing. reporter: you did all of that before 35. rep. stevens: that is about right. reporter: you are a younger member of congress. what inspired you or what gave you the confidence to think i can run for a seat at this age? rep. stevens: a couple of different things, working in an dvanced manufacturing research lab and learning how quickly the technology was transforming and moving. also, opportunities for the supply chain. we did not have enough people in this body talking to those considerations about the future economic competitiveness, 21st century workforce economy. i put my hand around that and put up my hand also because i saw something missing here, people are losing faith in government. this body, the house of representatives are the peoples
house and we need to bring it back to the people. we need a champion for manufacturing economy in southeastern michigan, lavonia, canton, plymouth, all the way up to auburn hills were chrysler is headquartered. i wanted to bring a new voice nd new energy. i had the confidence because the people i reached out to and i orked with throughout my career, i had them behind me and we had a story to tell, michigan has a story to tell and i was doing that on the campaign trail and now in the halls of congress. reporter: what impact did it have on you after college to see ther female democratic leaders like debbie stabenow and
jennifer granholm and hillary clinton? rep. stevens: debbie stabenow says it best, she says, yes, it is women, women with experience, women with a vision, people who represent something. through their candidacy or in their service. certainly in michigan we have this rich history of women and government, women in elected office, we are now on our second female governor in michigan. it is not just that she is a woman. he is the right person for the job. that is what the leadership always showed me. reporter: you said public service is in your bones, where does that come from? rep. stevens: i think people are born that way but i had two very hard-working parents. my father, a retired public chool teacher, he taught first grade in detroit, he would wake
up well before the sun would rise, he would be the first person there. my mother is an incredible businesswoman who ran two businesses in the detroit area. they told me what hard work and grit was all about. for me, i have taken that to my career in public service, my willingness and eagerness to serve others and bring creative thinking and the human touch to everything. reporter: were they democrats? rep. stevens: my parents were sometimes democrats, we were not super political and did not have many conversations about politics. my parents were honestly really busy with their day jobs and coming home and putting food on their table and making sure the kids were going to bed at the right hour. as i got older, my mother's business, it brought her into more political roles, i went to a fundraiser or two in high school but beyond that, my mother encouraged me, because of my love of history and public service, to pursue a career along these lines. reporter: how did you know you were a democrat? rep. stevens: i think it was reading and learning and asking
questions. i like to analyze and i remember taking out two sheets of paper and writing out what it meant to be a democrat and a republican and there are some opportunities for synergy. we are in a body where republicans are on one side and democrats are on the other but we are all in the people's house, we are all serving the country and patriots now. as we all have been but truly on behalf of what we are doing today. for me, it was looking at the issues, health care was a big issue on my campaign that was another motivation for me to run. eight years of repeated attempts to repeal the aca, that does not work for people and families. we need to protect and improve the affordable care act and not take it away. reporter: how old were you with those pieces of paper? rep. stevens: 18. reporter: what motivated you? rep. stevens: the questions,
when i got to college, i became a college democrat after doing that analysis. i became vice president of the college democrats, if i wanted to be involved in volunteering and helping out the campaign, i went to american university in ashington, d.c., the perfect springboard to get involved in campaigns back home in michigan and campaigns in and around the area. before i did that, i really looked at those issues. i grew up in a republican community. it was not completely indoctrinated but i thought that i will make this leap because of the issues. i am also doing it because it is people first. the big question for the democrats, particularly in 2017,
when the campaign cycle were beginning, people asking the message, what does it mean to be democrat? what is the party saying these days? a simple message that we are the party of the people. we are the party that says, you matter, and your access to health care matters and affordable higher education or job training programs or apprenticeships matter and we we will prioritize, it is about you and the access to opportunities. there were large questions hanging before us along the future of work and the future of regional economic growth. we have a vision today with the new members in congress who have that, like myself, first-hand experience with job training or working in manufacturing. i am talking about my classes, i love our class, incredible experience with so many voices and ready to get the job done. reporter: what do your mother and father inc. about the job you are doing and the
democrats? rep. stevens: they are so happy. my mom was my best campaign volunteer, she knocked on so many doors and my father was so involved. their allegiance is with their daughter and with their country. reporter: virginia sixth district sent a new face to washington, republican ben line, a prosecutor and private practice attorney who succeeded 13 term congressman bob goodlatte who decided not to run or reelection. what were you doing before you won the seat in the u.s. house? rep. cline: an honor to be in the virginia house of representative, called the house of delegates, 399 years old, the oldest continually operating legislative body in the new world and i represented 80,000 constituents from my hometown elected, small-town lawyer from
lexington and it was an honor to epresent them. i was also running a small law practice with offices all across the district. reporter: doing both at the same time? rep. cline: part-time legislature earning $17,000 per year. t was a great honor. it was a great work-life balance. i wish we could duplicate it in washington. reporter: how long did you serve? rep. cline: 16 years. it was a great time and i made great friends and they are in session and i watch as they go through the motions, same committees i was on. addressing some of the same issues.
you look wistfully at how things are going now. reporter: do you think the u.s. should have the work-life balance? rep. cline: the right to many republican -- professional politicians and washington is too big and too wrapped up in itself, where the money is so big and the power, the influence over people's lives has gotten too great and we need to level it out. i was sent here to try to reduce the role of the federal government in people's lives. people say that is an effort people have tried for years but hopefully there are enough of us with this attitude and we can get good things done. reporter: before the state level, what did you do? rep. cline: i was a private attorney. i have been in the state legislature for so long that i actually went to law school after i got elected to the state house. law is in my life and i'm glad to be on the judiciary committee and here representing the entire sixth congressional district. reporter: you replace bob goodlatte who retired and you once worked for him. rep. cline: i started out of
college in the mailroom. as a legislative correspondent. got a field for how important constituent services and worked my way up the food chain to chief of staff and it was an honor to work for him. he was a great legislature and focused on constituent service, making sure if you have a problem with the federal agency nd if government was not working how it was supposed to, we know government does not ever seem to work the way it is supposed to, but he was quick to respond and his staff whom i have hired a lot of his former staff, they know who to call and how to get answers. reporter: what did you learn from him and what advice did he given you? rep. cline: he was a great mentor taught me a lot about constituent service because we are here to serve the
people. too often government thinks it is the other way around. the people are there to serve he government. that is not the way that bob goodlatte operated and not the way he taught me. e are public servants and we understand that we have a responsibility when we are here to be mindful of the taxpayers money and the taxpayers money that is being smacked here and we need to do it wisely and efficiently and keep tabs on it and transparently. reporter: any other mentors or heroes you having a life? rep. cline: morgan griffith is my official mentor, representing the ninth district, south and west of roanoke, was my seatmate in richmond.i am used to turning around and asking morgan about various issues and to have that appen again is going to be great. he is a great mentor and we see
eye to eye on a lot of issues because our constituents are similar. reporter: where did you grow up and how did you grow up? rep. cline: i grew up in lexington, a small town, rockbridge county, and my parents both worked at one of the colleges, washington lee university, one of 20 colleges in the district, more colleges than any district except for one in boston. for me to get on education and labor, to get on hire education subcommittee is important, not only making college more affordable but for those employees of colleges and universities, making sure day have good jobs and good pay and good benefits. there is competition and one of the most important things is that we find a way to bring college costs under control, a major issue for me in richmond and hopefully will be in washington. reporter: how are you personally balancing work and life? work in washington and life in the district? rep. cline: it is a big challenge. we are here for three or four days a week and we get the weekends back home and we try to maximize our time back home. my family is very important and my kids are young and they are only young once.
i am trying to spend as much time with them as i can. it is hard to say no to them as it is but when you are home on the weekends, especially hard when they want to go to a park and play or ride bikes, that is something i will set aside time to do no matter what the schedule. reporter: joining congress from virginia is democrat abigail spanberger, a former postal inspector and cia officer. rep. spanberger: before i ran for congress, i was working for a company in richmond, virginia, directly with universities and colleges on the recruitment strategies. before i moved back to central virginia, my hometown, i was with the cia, a case officer, and lived overseas and abroad. i have lived domestically and overseas as a cia officer. reporter: what were you doing? rep. spanberger: i was a case officer and in that role i was collecting vital intelligence hat allowed us to inform policymakers about issues of national security, what was
happening in other countries that may be relevant to our own oreign policy objectives and inform the decisions we were making at the negotiation table and meeting rooms around the world. reporter: what was the work like and how do you think that will help you in washington? rep. spanberger: the work as a case officer is changing, one
ay on nuclear policy and the next day our leadership and the next day counterterrorism. jumping back and forth and talking about a variety of issues truly understanding the issues, because i was out recruiting people to provide vital intelligence on these topics and looking to be brief the individuals and make sure i was pushing all the valuable information to our analysts in the d.c. area. it was very, go, go, go. that is relevant to the experience in washington, been assigned to the agricultural and foreign affairs commission, you have a gamut of issues i will be working on on a daily basis in addition to the other priorities congress works on and experience of diving deep on a wide spectrum of topics will be valuable and now i am on the other side where i used to be informing decisions and now will
be working to make informed decisions. reporter: what sparked your interest in national security or the central intelligence agency? what was it do you think? ep. spanberger: i have always, as i kid, i knew i wanted to work for the cia, i love foreign languages and understanding new hings. i love the value of finding answers to hard questions and making sure people know a broad spectrum of information that can help make the decisions or guide discussions that are so vital to keeping the country safe. on the counterterrorism front, the work i did working to support terrorist threats here and overseas is some of the most valuable work i could do and am proud of it. from my parent's perspective, it was aggravating because i used to write my diary in code and set myself on secret missions which meant snooping in my parents things. had such a fascination with
the idea of finding the answers to questions nobody else could find. that is probably the best way to xplain it. at some point, i found out what he cia was and what they could do and it seemed like the best place for me to go on fact-finding missions. fact-finding missions. >> when i was a kid, i had a neighbor who was from ecuador she used to speak in spanish to her grandkid. i thought it was the coolest thing that they had their secret language. i tried to teach myself spanish. i would get books out of the library.
later i went to an immergs high school, full spanish i mergs. i added french in there, german and italian and today i reliably can speak french and spanish and enough german to get by in a conversationally appropriate way. >> what did your parents do for a living? >> my father was a career federal agent. he worked fraud cases the entirety of his career and my mother was a nurse. reporter: what did they teach you? what sort of values did they instill in you? ms. spanberger: my patients were very clear. they said there was no higher calling, no greater vocation than service to country.
they were very clear about their drive to serve the country and then my mother as a nurse always instilled in us this idea that there are other people in this world who need us, who need our help. and my mother's way of helping, engaging in the community, was always of a nurse. i remember there would be holidays when she would call home and say, i'm going to be late, there's a patient who needs me. i'll be home when i get home. i think always watching my parents live their values of recognizing the needs of other people, my mother was a nurse, she worked in hospitals, she did home health care, she worked as a volunteer in a network of free clinics in the richmond area. and so it was always very clear to me that the biggest values they were demonstrating, they were modeling for us, was service to country and service to our larger community. reporter: how would you describe your work style? ms. spanberger: intense. i suppose.
but i like to find the excitement in everything. so wherever i can bring excitement to what i'm doing and real commitment to what i'm doing, intensity that i think doesn't stress other people out, is hopefully -- you can ask my team leader, but hopefully that's what i convey in the work force. reporter: any political mentors or other mentors in your life and why? ms. spanberger: i've had a variety of people whom i've met, who i haven't meant, mentor me personally or led is a good example. madeline albright is a phenomenal example, growing up in college watching her, watching what she was doing, she's just a tremendous example i think for so maybe people and i had the opportunity to meet her within the past year which was very exciting for me. other people in my life, both my parents, my grandfather, who was an eternal optimist, a hardworking man, he worked in a paint factory, he was widowed at
a young age but always kept this level of optimism, this belief that kind of everything is possible, anything is possible if you work hard. and in my community i had many teachers who impacted me in really important ways. who modeled a commitment to other kids, to people in our community. i like to pick up lessons from everyone. in c.i.a. i worked with incredible people. many of them impacted and influenced my life in many ways. >> new congress. follow on c-span. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] >> joe biden will deliver remarks at a delaware democratic party fund raiser in domb. that will begin at 6:5 eastern with a form vice president speaking at 7:00 eastern here on c-span on saturday. >> c-span's cities tour is on the road exploring the american
story. this weekend, with the help of our cable partners at media com, we visit cree car rapids in east -- cedar rapids at east central iowa. >> this is the piece that everybody knows. and a lot of times people won't know the artists and they won't know the title, but it is an iconic piece. it's probably the most iconic piece of american art to date. >> the iowa caucuses haven't been great at selecting the next president. it seems that the caucus is really perhaps their best or highest function is widdling the field. we talk about three tickets out of iowa. the top three finishers in the caucuses can move on. >> join us on book tv this saturday at noon eastern as we speak with local cedar rapids authors. and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on c-span3 is american history tv. working with our cable partners as we explore the american story.
>> we're happy to announce the winners of this year's c-span student cam video documentary competition. answering the question, what does it mean to be american? we received almost 3,000 entries from 48 states, with more than 6,000 students. congratulations to all our winners. our first prize middle school winners are eda and hanna from eastern middle school in silver spring, maryland, for america runs on fast food. >> the fast food industry started with mcdonald's and then spread to companies like burger king, wendy's and k.f.c. to the economy, our health, fast food has and will impact and effect our society in so many more ways than we can realize. it is something that fits with our nation's values, the landscape, and it's part of what makes up america. >> our first prize high school east goes to ella grace rodriguez, justin whittingham
and luke sand from winter park high school in winter park, florida. for comfortably numb. honoring america's right to a free press. they're also our fan favorite winners and won an extra $500. >> then we realized that being an american is about so much more than national pride. it's about the freedoms that allow our country to function in a fair and just manner. >> amidst of flurry where of fake news and other media controversy we often forget the important role journalism plays in our country's survival. >> jacob salmon, matthew moran and riley vander hart from urbandale high school in urbandale, iowa, for fighting for a better tomorrow. >> did you guys know that it's almost a 50th anniversary of the tinker v. des moines supreme court case. it was a landmark case in 1969 that helped affirm first amendment rights to students in protest to american involvement in the vietnam war. they wore arm bands to show discontent, leading to their school suspension. >> the first prize high school west goes to christian and
gabriel from william j. palmer high school in colorado springs, colorado. for what it means to be american voting. >> in this age we often lose sight what have america was founded upon. one of the most important ideals implemented in america's government is that every man is represented. this is what makes us american. voting. the concept that everyone who is affected by government gets a say in their government. >> and the grand prize winners of $5,000 are mason dorky and eli scott from imagine international academy of north texas in mckinney, texas. for their video, what it means to be american. >> our american institution is one of the most unique in the world where citizens have the powers vested in them to hold the government accountable rather than just sit around and complain. the greatest thing about the issue of corruption in the united states is that the citizens are vocal in sub duing it. in most cases, the people are willing to recognize the nation's flaws even when the politicians don't. >> over the past 15 years, c-span has given away $1 million
in total prizes to the winners of our student cam video documentary competition. the top 21 winning entries will air on c-span in april. and you can watch every winning student cam documentary online at studentcam.org. >> today the u.s. house passed a nonbinding resolution stating the report from special counsel robert mueller should be made public. the vote was 420-0. with four republicans voting present. it's unclear whether the senate will take up the measure. and on the other side of the capitol, the senate is voting today at about 2:15 eastern time on a resolution that was passed by the house to block president trump's national emergency declaration and prevent unappropriated funds from being used to construct a border wall. it's expected to pass and the president has said he will veto the measure. you can watch the senate live on
c-span2. now here's more of the house debate on ensuring the mueller report is made public from earlier. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. nadler: thank you, mr. speaker. h.con.res 24 expresses the sense of congress that any report special counsel robert mueller delivers to the attorney general should be released to the public and to congress. this concurrent resolution is important for several reasons. first, transparency is fundamental to the special counsel process. especially when dealing with matters of national security involving the president. in january, 2017, the u.s. intelligence community unanimously reported that, quote, russian president vladimir putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the u.s. presidential election, closed quote, and that, quote, putin and the russian government developed a clear preference for president-elect trump, closed quote. as a result of the important of th