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tv   116th Freshmen Profile - Reps. Taylor Sherrill Case  CSPAN  July 27, 2019 10:03am-10:34am EDT

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one defector of the people's temple died area i was shot five times on the right side of my body. announcer: sunday night on q&a, jackie speier talks about her experience about surviving jonestown and fighting back. >> when people say it was a mass suicide, it was not a mast suicide. they were forced to drink this jones, and he had many of his guards surrounding the pavilion i'm sure, to make sure people did as he -- as they were told. announcer: sunday night at eight a clock p.m. eastern, on c-span's q hyundai -- q and a. announcer: the freshman class of the 116th congress is a diverse set of lawmakers, made up of many firsts for the house and senate. c-span learns more about the new
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faces with our one-on-one interviews. next, lawmakers from texas, new jersey, and hawaii. taylor:, the third district of texas, is first. congressman, your seventh generation texan. rep. taylor: my family came to texas in 1826 and became mexican citizens. in 1835, october of 1835, a letter was sent to my family asking them to join the revolution. a copy of the letter is in my office here in washington dc area -- washington, d.c. the generations, what has your family done for living? olivia: i've been in commercial -- rep. taylor: i've been in commercial real estate, farming, i lived one mile away from where my great-grandfather farmed for
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the great depression. our family has a great love for the state, and it has been an incredible ride. i am honored to represent the people of the third district of textures -- texas in congress. >> who are your parents? rep. taylor: my father was an attorney and businessman. my mother is a homemaker. i grew up in midland texas and i was born in dallas. i lived 50 miles from where i was born. not too far from home. corps after marine i graduated from college, served on active duty for several years, i continued to serve my country and i got my mba from the harvard business school. and then i made the move back to dallas, where i was born. i went into real estate and was in the marine reserve unit activated in 2003. where does this motivation to
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serve come from? rep. taylor: i've been very blessed in life, given a lot of opportunities. i've made every effort to make the best of those opportunities, and i want to make sure my the same kind of opportunities i have and make sure every child in america has the same opportunities i had, and working toward a more perfect union and better america. i certainly know that in my eight years of texas legislature, i worked war that in i will work toward that here. >> what values, principles did your parents instill in you? rep. taylor: hard work, respect, respect for others, faith, patriotism. those of the things they instilled in me, and i try to live those out every day and instill those in my own children. >> patriotism, is that something you are they talked about growing up? rep. taylor: it is hard not to appreciate the incredible blessings of liberty that we have. you see how hard people work to come to this country and what they are able to make of
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themselves once they get here. we live in the greatest nation on earth, and it is a true blessing to be an american. that is a blessing i was willing to fight for as the united states -- in the united states marine in iraq and will continue to work for as a member of congress. >> talk about your service in iraq. you have received awards for your service there. rep. taylor: i was activated in 2003. platoon of reconnaissance marines and we were attached to the second forces conference company. we were the very first platoon in a rack on d-day, march 21, 2003. we participated in the first p.o.w. rescued since the first world war. we accomplished every mission, and we brought everything on men home to their families. i got to marry the girl who sent me a letter every day that i was there. i like to say, i'm still walking
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into the sunset as the credits roll. >> you get a little teary talking about that. rep. taylor: it was an emotional experience. combat is a deeply personal experience. your experience is different based on what you see and know at the time it is happening, but it is very emotional. this country is worth fighting for. we have a special thing in our democracy. i think i saw that in iraq as i talked to iraqis that were grateful to be free. it was a long road for freedom, and they are not there yet. it is an amazing feeling to liberate people. >> in your office in washington or as you are walking around the halls of congress, how do you remember your service? rep. taylor: how do i remember my service? it is certainly part of me, but at the end of the day, i remember, perhaps the greatest honor is leading men into combat. it is the greatest challenge there is, and it steadies me in my time of elected -- time in
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elected office. whether it be a discussion with a colleague or a discussion on the floor, it is easy to put in place because no one is going to die. you're not worried about surviving through the night, shelling, is this next -- is the gunfire i'm hearing going to get closer or further. it helps me to have a sense of calmness about what i'm doing, because it is not nearly the stakes i had in combat. rep. taylor: in york -- >> in your service in the texas state out -- see house and senate, what were your priorities those years? rep. taylor: in the texas legislature, i served four years in the house and senate. honor totremendous represent the people in the county. i passed 81 bills and everyone of them had bipartisan support. i worked on a whole variety of issues. the first bill was to help men and women in uniform vote from overseas. military voting increased 150%
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as part of that legislation. i worked to protect victims of domestic violence. i worked to help people reenter society who had been convicted of crimes, try to help them work on tax legislation -- help them. i worked on tax legislation. we worked on the most important ethics package passed in 20 years. i worked on a wide variety of issues, but always on a bipartisan basis. >> what about out here in washington? what committees are you on and what are you working on? rep. taylor: i'm on the education and labor committee and homeland security committee. i'm doing the same thing i did in the texas legislature, working on a bipartisan basis to find common sense solutions to address real problems fronting my constituents. it is a more challenging environment, harder to get things done here. it is a bigger chamber, but i'm sitting down, building relationships, and working on a
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basis to get things done. >> how would you define your philosophy and who shape to that? rep. taylor: i am a conservative at the end of the day. i believe government is too big, tax is too much, and i believe in individual liberty and freedom. i take my mission statement from the declaration of independence. i look at the second paragraph of the declaration of independence and hold these truths that all men are created equal and have the rights of happiness.ty, the purpose of government is to protect liberty. that is my philosophy for government. nouncer: democrat mikey sherrill is a former navy pirate and federal prosecutor. representative cheryl is the first democrat to represent the district in over 30 years. rep. sherrill: i always remember wanting to be a pilot.
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my grandfather flew in world war ii, and he loved flying. i think he was really proud of his service to our country. i wanted to follow in his footsteps, and when i was in about the fifth grade, i said to my dad, i want to be a pilot like grandpa. and he said that is really expensive. but i want to go to college too. he suggested the service academies and i said i would go to the naval academy. that was in fifth grade. i'm sure he thought nothing of it, and he said i don't even know if they let women in. i said i will figure it out. that was the start of my focus on the naval academy. over the years, i went to the football games and stuff like that and applied. >> and you got in and served. school the first flight -- you graduated from flight school in the first class of women eligible for combat. rep. sherrill: i graduated from the economy when they lifted the combat restrictions on aviation and our surface combatants.
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what is so interesting about that is you now see both myself and elaine luria in congress, and part of that is because we were able to compete in the navy, to the same standards as everyone else. >> what did you do? you went on to fly which helicopters and where you are in combat? rep. sherrill: i flew h3, and i was in combat. i flew on and off ships throughout the arabian gulf. >> what missions did you fly? rep. sherrill: i flew all kinds of missions. i flew admirals and generals to the pentagon, landed on the ground at the pentagon. i flew in italy during the kosovo war. i flew throughout the arabian gulf, supporting the fifth fleet. in the arabian gulf, and then i was at the headquarters of the commander-in-chief of the u.s. navy europe. there, i was on the battle watch floor to the run-up of the iraq invasion. >> and you are a russian policy officer. what does that entail?
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rep. sherrill: i handled all of the interactions between the united states navy and the russian federation navy, including some of the new euler treaty obligations and the exercises -- nuclear treaty obligations and exercises the militaries did together. >> what about after the navy? rep. sherrill: after the navy i went back to law school in georgetown and served in the u.s. attorney's office as a federal prosecutor and an outreach and reentry coordinator. i was helping people coming out of our federal prisons successfully reenter our communities. >> what inspired you to go to law school? i haveerrill: i think long loved serving the country, and after serving the military, being concerned about some of the things going on at the time, torture, rendition, things that i had been told, as somebody who went through prison reentry
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training, that the united states would never do, i thought it was time to go to law school and understand the legal ways we can support the american values we have. >> you also, along the way, learn arabic. why? rep. sherrill: i wouldn't say learned it. it is a difficult language. loved the arabic language. i thought it was so interesting to have a completely different is sort ofhere classical arabic, but then there is the street arabic and that can be different. i founded a really interesting leg which, and interesting region. it is something that, when i was in school, kind of, we were taught a lot of western civilization. to kind of get past high school and start studying eastern civilization, i found interesting. >> how are you utilizing all of these experiences you have had, everything you studied in washington now?
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rep. sherrill: it is kind of -- it has kind of all come together in congress. congress would've handles a breath of issues across the country, so to have a background in the middle east and now that we are still engaged in wars throughout the middle east, and we have problems with iran, to have the russian policy background, when we see the russians have attacked our democracy and attacked our election system to be able to understand the ins and outs of that is critical. to have a background in the military when i sit on the arms services committee -- armed services committee and we work on the national defense authorization act to make sure we have a strong military, while at the same time, we are spending taxpayers dollars lively, all of that has helped me as a congress member. >> tell us about your family. along the way in your journey, you met your husband. rep. sherrill: i did. we both served in italy at the same time. fleetsupporting the sixth
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and he was supporting nato. we met, ended up getting married, have four kids, so that has been part of the reason, a big part of the reason, i ran for congress because not only was i concerned about the future of the country and where i wanted to see it go today, but i am concerned about it over the next several decades because of my kids in the future i want them to have. >> how old are they? rep. sherrill: 13, 12, 9, and seven. >> you are busy. rep. sherrill: i am busy. [laughter] >> did you always want to be running for office? was that part of serving in your mind? rep. sherrill: no. i always wanted to serve, and i did that. that is why i entered into the navy. then, i went back to work for the department of justice. yet, i have to say, serving in congress did not enter my mind. with four school-aged children, it did not seem like a natural progression. however, when i thought about
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the values i grew up with and the values my grandfather taught me from world war ii and working with our nato allies and promoting our democratic values and human rights values, when i saw that i didn't think this country was promoting those values in the way it had when i grew up, i decided to run for congress. rep. sherrill: what were the values -- >> what were the value your parents instilled in you? rep. sherrill: a deep love of this country and admiration for promoting democracy and human rights, and civil rights. i think it is this expectation that, as a country, we have never been perfect but always striving to be better. i want people today to strive to be better than we are now. >> what about your political philosophy? who shaped it? who are your political mentors? rep. sherrill: as i grew up, my mother was a democrat and father was a republican. i think that's probably -- the conversations we had around the kitchen table probably shaped a
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lot of my understanding and, seeing both sides of different issues and working to come to some agreement, which i think my parents rarely did when it came to politics, but still, understanding there are different sides to every issue and are good points often on both sides that you have to find a good path forward. >> in your political mentors? rep. sherrill: i have had many over the years. other than my parents, i worked for many people throughout the navy, different admirals, the u.s. attorney when i was at the u.s. attorney's office, and then really a lot of the women in my district have been so thoughtful and have come forward in this last election cycle with ideas and information. i will never forget, i was running for office and a friend of mine came up to me and said "did you see how they just voted?" she has this tracker on her phone and she was so engaged. i love that as a citizen of our
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democracy. i said you know i haven't seen it because i have been at parades all day. to see people get that involved in our country and take responsibilities as citizens so seriously, i have really admired. announcer: finally, c-span spoke with the representative representing hawaii's -- district. he previously represented its second congressional district from 2002 to 2007. representative case is the cousin of aol cofounder, steve case. >> congressman, you are a freshman of the 116th congress, but have served before in the house. tell our viewers when and for how long. rep. case: first, aloha. representing hawaii's first congressional district. i served in the house from 2002 took session when
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my great predecessor passed away unexpectedly. i have had that experience and took a 12 year hiatus. then, somehow got lured back to running for congress again. this is my third tour of duty in congress because i started, like many members of congress, as a summer intern for the then session line i worked steps away from where we are shooting this. this is like coming home again. i spent three years with him. then, later on, came back to congress. >> when you left after serving for the first time in washington, why did you decide to leave? rep. case: i ran for the u.s. senate. like many u.s. good -- good u.s. house members, you aspire to the u.s. senate. i ran and was unsuccessful. i was involuntary retired from the u.s. house. i went back to hog why -- two
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hawaii as a to lawyer and hotel executive. politics and government will still -- were still out there for me. about?did this come rep. case: i did not like the direction of this country. i had a great life, great job, i felt i had left government and politics behind. i had very full years in the u.s. legislature and the senate was satisfied with my service. i got involved with the group called issue one, which is former members of caucus and governors and cabinet members, and a messengers, who at all -- and ambassadors, who had all gotten together to say enough is enough. once i got involved with them, it was a slippery slope. >> what is the differences that you have seen since the first
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time you were here and now, here in 2018 in 2019? rep. case: a lot of it is familiar. ,s my third tour in washington the rhythms are the same, procedures are the same, how you get things done is the same. you still have to develop relationships and look for opportunities. you still have to know how to navigate the system. i feel fortunate to have had that prior experience. that is quite familiar. what is different is the partisanship, the divide. that was bad when i was here previously, thousand two to 2007, but it has gotten much worse -- 2002 to 2007, but it has gotten worse. it's much harder today to find common ground, at least on the big issues. on issues that are fairly nonpartisan and partisan to start with, we can still find that common ground. we are still passing legislation to support veterans. we are still behind our military. those areas, for the most part,
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are not affected. on a large scale -- the large-scale tough issues, things like how to spend the money in the big picture and how to tax, how to pay for health care, the division is so intense it is hard to find the middle ground. my belief is that that middle ground is where the solutions are forged. >> you have one of the toughest commutes for a member of congress. tell our viewers what it's like to try to get back, how long it takes, and how often you make a trip. rep. case: i make the trip just about the same as everybody else , so i do in fact commute back to hawaii. i go back for the weekends where i can, and sure, it is tough, but when i start feeling sorry for myself, i can think about the delicates of guam or there areamoa, and other members inside of congress to have preferable commutes get home.
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sometimes, it takes them a long time to get to a particular airport and they have to drive quite a ways. when i arrive in honolulu, i'm pretty much home. it is about a 12 hour commute, and one thing that is good for me is that i can sleep fairly well on the plane. at the end of the week, when i'm going home, it doesn't matter what time i'm getting on that plane. i can still pass out, and i do. coming back is a red eye, otherwise you lose an entire day. i get what i can out of the red eye sleep, and i get through my afternoon, and then i tried to punch myself into the next week. no complaints. >> you grew up in hawaii. what was life like? rep. case: i had a wonderful childhood. inrew up in a small town hawaii. it was not honolulu, it was a town about 25 -- of about 25,000. i often describe it as picturesque and quintessential
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small town america, but it what's hawaii. it was an incredibly diverse community that i grew up in. i was routinely the only caucasian in my class and in public school. quite an outdoor upbringing. the mountains were there, the trails were there, it had small town values. you knew your neighbors, so i grew up in a small town. i just happened to grow up in hawaii. i feel like i have the best of all worlds in my up bringing -- upbringing. >> how did your family and up there? what did your parents do for a living? rep. case: my family has been there since 1896. my story is unusual. my great grandparents immigrated to hawaii from kansas. this is on my father's side. at the time, hawaii was an independent country. i think they were looking for opportunity. they were looking for a new life
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, and hawaii was an up-and-coming country that has become part of the united states. i think they were attracted to the promise and opportunity of hawaii. that was a long, long time ago, and of course now, i'm the fourth generation, and we are working on about the seventh generation, so that is a long group that has lived throughout all of the ages of hawaii. my great grandparents prominent in their community on maui -- in maui. my parents were prominent in their community. my dad contributed to his community. i have a family around me that is also accomplishing things in hawaii. -- i have that feeling of obligation to my state and country that many of us in congress avenue. >> were your parents political -- congress have. >> were your parents political? rep. case: my father was a
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lawyer. he practiced law for 63 years and retired when he was 92 years old. my mother had seven children and found the time in the middle of that to get a masters in library science. she was a tilled runs library and -- she was a children's librarian. they weren't especially political. like many of my colleagues, i didn't grow up in a political household. in fact, i didn't have a clue about politics. i was too busy enjoying growing up in hawaii and also going to school -- college in the mainland in massachusetts. a great college and a great college experience, but none of it had anything to do with politics. for me, this politics stuff was an accident if you want to be honest about it. i came down here as a summer intern, and the only reason i did was that i was looking for a way to kill the summer right
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after i graduated from college, while i figured out what to do with the rest of my life. that turned into 44 years and counting. saw andrtunity that i really the meaning that i saw, the passion i felt when i came in to congress as a summer intern, it stuck with me ever since, but it wasn't there before 2002, but i'm happy for the accident. >> what impact did your parents avenue? what values -- parents have on you? what values did they instill in you? rep. case: the one thing my parents gave all of us children, and we all had contributory careers, and i'm proud of my family. my extended family too. the life i have lived is reflected in my cousins. -- we werehave all
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all raised to feel a sense of obligation back to our community. and, my parents modeled them because, as they grew up and raised seven kids and try to make a living for everybody, they were giving back to their community, so they were active in their local organizations. one of our -- one of my siblings was very sick early in life, and my parents, to support his particular illness and children like him, in terms of health, they set up a community organization and by changing state laws to recognize children like my brother needed help. although i didn't grow up in an atmosphere of you must do this and that, i grew up in an atmosphere of it is all around aboutat life is not just getting out of college and
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getting a job and making as much money as you can and being in the nice house you can, and having the best life. that is not the end of life. life is about finding something you're passionate about, something you consider meaningful, and that will give back. i've seen that, for me, the pathless was politics and government. or my sister, she is the head of the hawai state parchment of resources responsible for all of the public lands of hawaii. she has been passionate about natural resources all of my life. other relatives, my cousin, he is passionate about entrepreneurship. we have all taken that from our parents, their parents, and their parents. that the pathte is not always an easy one, but i feel fortunate that was ingrained into me, because
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frankly, it has made for much better life and i have been able to help a lot of people. announcer: new congress, new leaders. follow it all on c-span. announcer: monday on c-span, vaping and the youth nicotine academic. congress investigators -- epidemic. congress investigated the issues. we start with opponents of vaping. >> kids do not associate vaping and juuling. there have been articles and studies written about this, and i know because my son and i have commented on these stories. kids think they are juuling. they don't think they are vaping or using e-cigarettes. that is the truth. announcer: at 9:50 eastern, the ceo of juul labs, a manufacturer of e-cigarettes. >> we don't want underage consumers using these products. we need to work together to make sure that no underaged consumers use this product.
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it is terrible for business, public health, terrible for our reputation. none of this is good stuff. announcer: watch, monday, on c-span, online at, or listen wherever you are with the free c-span radio app. announcer: in 1979, a small met anh -- small nets with with unusual name rolled out a big idea, lets viewers make up their own mind. c-span opened up policymaking for all to see, bringing unfiltered covers of congress -- coverage of congress and beyond. on television and online, c-span is your unfiltered view of government so you can make up your own mind. but to you by your cable or said light provider announcer: on wednesday, robert mueller was on capitol hill testifying before the house judiciary and health


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