tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 13, 2014 8:00am-10:01am EDT
neutrality. your colleague, henry waxman, recently wrote to the fcc asking it to be reclassified as title ii. what's your reaction to that? >> guest: well, i respect henry i a lot, obviously, but he's wrong. they're trying to use an old law passed back in the 1930s for an industry that is in the 21st century. it's been proven over and over again that the best solution to the allocation issues and usage issues is an open, transparent market with appropriate oversight by federal and in some cases state and local government. we have a booming internet, we have a booming telecommunications system, and by and large, it's because in the last 20 years congress and various presidents have adopted more and more open, market-based
policies towards telecommunications. so for henry or the fcc to try to use an old, old almost 100-year-old law to regulate the internet, in my opinion, is just, frankly, platte wrong. flat wrong. >> host: if the fcc does reclassify broadband as a title ii entity, would congress have a voice? could congress override that? >> guest: we certainly have the right to override it. we'd have to, we would have to pass a bill that got through the house, the the senate and the president either signed or we overrode a presidential veto. so with president obama as the president and a democrat majority in the senate, it would be difficult to do but not impossible. there are som issues that still have some bipartisanship elements to them, and i think
telecommunication policy is one of those issues. but again, title ii of the communications act, you know, this is when people would literally call an operator and, you know, from a party line and ask to make a long distance call back in the 1930s and 1940s when you did have monopolies, when you didn't have market competition, when you did have market power. that's not the case today in telecommunications. we've got absolutely robust markets. we've got fierce competition. we've got a very informed customer base. you don't need title ii regulation of the internet. >> host: congressman barton, the fcc is also looking at two major mergers, comcast/time warner cable, and at&t and directv.
at&t is a constituent of yours. does it look like those are going to go through? what's your take on those in. >> guest: i'm not as up-to-date on that as i should be. my hunch is they will go through with some qualifiers, with some strings attached. but, again, because of my previous answers on how robust the marketplace is and how transparent it is, i think they'll go through. >> host: you also serve as co-chair of the congressional privacy caucus, and recently you wrote to the ceo of home depot. what were you asking him? >> guest: well, as you know, home depot has had, i don't know how to say this, a penetration of their customer base, their cardholders. hackers have gotten into the system and stolen a lot of -- or
at least had access to a lot of private information and customer information. and, you know, what we're trying to do in the privacy caucus congresswoman anna degette of colorado and myself are, when appropriate, trying to move legislation to protect the privacy of the american citizens in the various mediums. and the ongoing, day-to-day current events encourage companies and industries to be more accountable and to be more protective of their customers' privacy. >> host: do you see any of the issues we've talked about so far coming up in the lame duck session in congress? >> guest: i do not. that doesn't -- [laughter] you know, that and a dollar gets you a dr. pepper. i think we're going to have a very short lame duck session, and i don't think telecommunication issues will be
a part of it at all. >> host: what about in the 114th congress when it sits in january? >> guest: i think part of the answer to that depends on which party controls the senate. if the republicans gain the senate so you have a republican house majority and a republican senate majority, then i think you could see very definitely some telecommunications actions. chairman upton and subcommittee chairman walden have a very aggressive agenda, and we have some bipartisanship with congresswoman anna eshoo of california and/or frank pallone of new jersey, whichever one of them gain cans the minority ranking member position. anna is the ranking minority member on the subcommittee with greg walden right now. so if you have republicans in the house and the senate that are in the majority, i'd say, yes. even if you don't, i would say
it's possible because, again, telecommunications has been traditionally a fairly bipartisan issue, and there are certainly things that could be done, fcc reform. you've already talked about net neutrality. that's a little bit tougher. i think privacy's an issue that could be handled in the next congress. so there's some opportunities there. >> host: well, speaking of anna eshoo, you and she recently sent a letter regarding spectrum auctions and low power television stations. >> guest: well, back in 2012 we passed a law that makes it possible for the major broadcasters to give back some of their spectrum that they've had and be compensated for it. it gives the fcc the authority to repackage spectrum and
reallocate it. under current law the low power television industry doesn't have automatic standing, in other words, they are granted licenses, but those licenses are subject to availability of spectrum in the particular marketplace. and if you repackage the spectrum, the low power television stations don't automatically have standing to continue to have a license, nor do they have any standing to be compensated. and so it's one of these niche issues that in the broader scheme people didn't pay much attention to. but the reality is in certain markets, low power television is major player, and in some rural areas it's the only player. and so, you know, i have been approached by a number of low
power television participants in texas, and i've also been approached at the national level. so i've sent some letters, introduced some legislation, worked with congressman greg walden on a bill that we've, you know, we passed or could pass subcommittee. but i've also worked with anna eshoo to try to come up with a bipartisan approach, and the result is this letter that you talked about. instead of trying to move a bill, we decided with chairman greg walden's support to send this letter to the gao asking them to conduct a study on what the impact of the spectrum auction would be on low power television, how it would impact the number of stations, the broadcast availability, just a number of issues and then report back to the congress and to the fcc. fcc has come around, and they've begun to pay attention to low power television as a result of some of the things that i've done the last couple of years, but this gao study will, you
know, shed quite a bit of light on how they could be impacted. as you know, the spectrum auction is an ongoing issue. i think we have about eight more years, maybe ten more years in which to conduct it, so we have some time. but we don't want, at least i don't want and greg walden doesn't want and anna eshoo doesn't want and i don't think chairman upton wants low power television to just be left out in the cold. >> host: representative joe barton, as always, we appreciate your time to talk about some telecommunications issues. >> guest: it's my pleasure. >> host: and now joining us on "the communicators" is representative gore man griffeth -- morgan griffith, currently in his second term. he's a member of the energy and commerce committee. congressman griffith, you have a bill called the cell phone freedom act. what is that? >> guest: yes, sir. a pretty simple little bill.
as you know, a lot of the companies are now.coming up with kill switches to put into the cell phones, a lot of government entities are looking at the opportunity to help people when their cell phone dwelts stolen. i'm all more that, that's fine. what i am concerned about, however, is an improper call for a kill switch on somebody's phone. i think that you ought to have some protection. so what this bill says is that you certainly can ask your carrier to cut your phone off. if you're the primary person that uses the phone even if you're not the contract other than, you can ask -- owner, you can ask that the phone be cut off, or if you're a government agency or a law enforcement officer, you have to get a warrant to do so. it's appropriate because what you don't want to have happen, 99.9% of our law enforcement folks would never think of doing something like this, but there's always that one, small element that's had a dispute with a
boyfriend or a girlfriend or a neighbor or something and they say, hey, i'm just going to -- they get a little crazy, and they say i'm going to call up verizon and say, hey, cut his cell phone off. and if they have a number, right now they have a kill switch, and verizon gets a call from somebody of authority whether law enforcement or an agency that's somehow involved in that agency, they're going to be hesitant to say, you know, what's your authority. what this bill says is that perp's going to have to go get a court order. so whether it's an individual phone or whether it's the phones of everybody in boston after the attack there at the marathon when the government told everybody to stay in place, they may have wanted to do a kill switch on all the phones in a particular neighborhood, that might be appropriate. let's make sure we have a different set of eyes looking at it, make sure the judicial process is used before we go killing somebody's cell phone that hasn't been stolen by a bad actor. >> host: do you think we're heading in the direction of all
new cell phones will have kill switches or that option in. >> guest: i do think that we are heading in that direction. >> host: what's your -- >> guest: i think it makes sense as long as there are protections on the other end that that can't be abused. so that if my cell phone is stolen, i want to be able to stop into the nearest store, call up my carrier on the phone and say, you know, on somebody else's phone, here's who i am, what do i need to identify myself? my phone has just been stolen, not only wipe it clean, but turn it off so it has no value to it. because what the thugs are doing, they can still use the base materials to use your smartphone for some other purpose, and a lot of times they're converting that not just for their own use, but for criminal purposes whether it be drugs or other criminal enterprises, and we want to put a stop to that. but like everything else, there has to be a balance, and the balance is my bill. >> host: congressman griffith,
there have been a couple of cases during the arab spring where the internet would get hut off by the government. >> guest: right. >> host: there was a case in san francisco where cell towers were shut town during a protest. where's the limit? do you see a limit on what the police can do in cases like this? is it just the cell phone, or do you see it maybe further? >> guest: well, i think it could probably go further. certainly, the intent would be the same, that you don't shut down all of industries or all -- all of san francisco or all or boston for whatever reason without having a set of judicial eyes looking at it to make sure this is an appropriate use of that government power. there's clearly a fear that the internet would be cut off not in our government, but in other governments. and so we need to make sure that we continue to protect our rights, update our rights, so to speak, you know? you would never have the ability to get a broadside, a newspaper posted on the side of a building
or a wall, the founding fathers would have said you can't say that you're not going to allow any broadsides in boston or san francisco. likewise, we should move forward -- my bill's a first step -- but we should move forward and say the government can't shut down the internet, again, without some compelling reason where there's a judicial oversight that says what are you thinking? because we can't give up our right to have the ability to freely express our opinions and to be a free society. >> host: now, the trade group for wireless cell phones has said about the california law california has mandated kill switches, given the bred areth of action, finish breadth of action the industry has taken, it's unnecessary to have these kill switches. >> guest: well, i think the industry is probably correct that you may not need legislation for the kill switch, because i think most phones as we move forward will have it. it will be an option, but i don't think -- i think that's something that industry and consumers can figure out.
but once the kill switch is there, i want to make sure the government doesn't abuse it. >> host: congressman griffith, what's status of your -- what's the status of your bill, and is there a companion in the senate? >> guest: there isn't a companion that i'm aware of in the senate. the bill, of course, has been assigned to a committee. et hasn't gotten a lot of attention yet, but, you know, with people leak you and the viewers -- people like you and the viewers who are watching this, they should contact their congressman or woman and say, hey, you might want to take look at that griffith bill. >> host: you're currently in your second term, republican, virginia, rural virginia. what attracted you to the energy and commerce committee? >> guest: my district is a natural gas and coal-producing district. a lot of jobs in the coal industry. i ran on coal issues along with bringing down the debt, so it was a natural fit for my district. also the health care components and then the fact that we do have some of the hardest territory in the east to get cell coverage.
and so all those things attract me to it. this one is one of civil liberties, happens to fall into the telecommunications zone. but it's making sure that what the virginians fought for when they updated the bill of rights is not weakened. we need to continue to have those freedoms. >> host: the net neutral the city issue, how do you approach -- what's your viewpoint toward that in general? >> guest: well, i think we ought to be relatively neutral in what we're doing on the net. it's a little more in the commerce side than civil liberty might normally lead you to believe, but it also has civil libertarian overlaps, and if it's a civil liberty, i'm more likely to favor it. i'm a big believer in letting the people make decisions on their own and that the government doesn't need to regulate everything to too great
a degree. i'm more for freedom than having the government control it or having corporations in control of that entity. >> host: you've had tom wheeler in front of your committee several times -- >> guest: we have. >> host: what do you think of the chair of the fcc? >> guest: i think he's very bright. i like his ideas. he's extremely bright, i think he's a good man to have in that position. it's always good to have bright people. >> host: morgan griffith, republican from virginia, member of the energy and commerce committee. thanks for being on "the communicators." >> guest: glad to be with you. >> host: joining us this week on "the communicators" is representative leonard lance, a republican from new jersey and a member of the energy and commerce committee. congressman lance, you just had a bill that passed, the anti-spoofing bill. first of all, what is spoofing? >> guest: spoofing is very bad behavior where those who have fraudulent try to trick the
public to get information from the public. for example, a social security number or tax information, and this is a blowing problem in america -- a growing problem in america, particularly among senior citizens. and the anti-spoofing act is completely bipartisan in nature. i'm a sponsor of it, i'm a republican from new jersey. grace meng, a democratic member from queens and the city of new york and chairman emeritus of the house energy and commerce committee joe barton of texas. and this legislation has passed out of our committee. it was passed on the floor of the house of representatives, and it's now over in the united states senate, and there is a companion piece of legislation in the united states senate -- also completely bipartisan in nature -- by senator roy blunt of missouri and amy klobuchar of minnesota. and this is really a challenge
as new forms of terribly fraudulent behavior can occur not only here in america, but from outside our country as well. and i hope the senate will consider this bill at an early date. >> host: how is this fraud being conducted? is it being conducted i have. -- conducted via new technology? >> guest: yes. there was an act pass ad in 2009, also completely bipartisan in nature, that address thed this issue. but technology marches forward, and the bill in which i have been involved includes texting which was not in the original bill and also new forms of communication, for example, telephoning somebody through an ipad. and this is just a demonstration that congress has to keep up with the new technology that exists, and it's our responsibility to do so. for example, there was a person
in new jersey who was defrauded out of, i think, $5500 when he thought she was answering a telephone call, and the caller id said it was a local police department, and it was not the local police department at all, and this involved an allegation that he needed to pay more in taxes. certainly, with our caller id we expect it on to be the person or the entity that is in the caller id, and tragically, sometimes that is not the case. >> host: so how is it that a local police department number will show up on your phone even if it isn't the local police? how is that being conducted? >> guest: it's being conducted by those who are able to, who have access to that police number, and they're able to manipulate the means by which they communicate with the
public. when i was a young person, that would be exclusively the telephone, but, obviously, time marches on, and it, for example, texting now. the 2009 law does not include texting, and this is a relatively new form of communication, and that's why congress should update our law appropriately. and this occurs across the entire country. the largest district in the country, new york, i represent a suburban district and congressman barton represents a district that is in many ways rural, and we've heard horrible stories of how the public is abused. the legislation we passed in the house and that i hope will pass in the senate also includes the fact that some of these communications come from abroad. in the original legislation in 2009, it did not include that
portion of fraudulent behavior. and i want to give special credit to aarp that's been involved in this and, certainly, it's greatly interested in making sure that senior citizens in particular are not defrauded. but it goes across the board. it's not only senior citizens, but certainly that is a significant component of an overall challenge. >> host: now, there was some cases i think last year where people thought the irs was calling and saying we need more money. do you have any idea the economic damage or the monetary loss to people in the the aggregate? >> guest: i think it's in the millions of dollars. i don't know precisely how much, but, yes, there were fraudulent persons who were claiming to be from the irs. we have a voluntary tax system in this country. people comply by filling out their tax forms and rate of compliance in this country is
significantly higher than in many parts of trillionized world -- of the industrialized world. although none of us likes to pay taxes, by and large, the american people pay taxes, and when someone purports to be from the irs communicates either through a telephone or a text message, the american people's response is overwhelmingly to attempt to comply with the law. and that's why it's so incredibly important that we crack down on those who are engaged in fraudulent behavior. it's really reprehensible, and to many senior citizens a payment of $5500 really is something that is upsetting to what they're able to do over course of the year. that's a great deal of money to most americans. >> host: congressman lance, people listening to this might think, well, of course we should have that law. what's the pushback?
what's the other side of this argument? >> guest: i don't believe there is another side. it passed the house of representatives by a voice vote earlier in september, and that means that there was no opposition. i want the public to know that the committee on which i'm honored to serve -- the energy and commerce committee and among its subcommittees, the telecommunication subcommittee -- that committee is more bipartisan in its work product than any other committee in the congress. and this is an example of that. and more legislation has passed out of energy and commerce committee and has passed out of the house of representatives from the energy and commerce committee and then has passed in the united states senate and reached the president's desk than any other committee of congress. the oldest committee in the house, it was established originally in 1795. sam rayburn, the great speaker of the house of representatives,
chaired a predecessor of the committee when he was the chairman of the committee before becoming majority leader and then speaker of the house. and our most senior member, john dingell of michigan who has served in the house longer than anybody in american history, also at one point chaired the committee. the committee is currently chaired by fred upton of michigan, and mr. waxman of california is the ranking democratic member. there are many areas where we work together, and i hope that the public recognizes that that is the case. and certainly, this legislation -- bipartisan in nature here in the house but also in the senate under the leadership of amy klobuchar and roy blunt -- i think is an example of how we can and should work together. >> host: i want to pick up on something you said earlier, which is congress needs to keep up on technology. is congress keeping up on
technology and potential rules? >> guest: yes. yes, i think congress is keeping up on technology. that doesn't mean that we will not have to continue to keep up on technology because technology advances so quickly. but i think it is a responsibility of the energy and commerce committee to take the lead in this regard. and we rerye on -- rely on expert staff, also on the testimony of those who appear before us in the technology area, and we want to make sure that the united states continues to be the leader in the world in technology. and there are various centers of that. i live outside new york city, and the area that i represent is an area of expertise, certainly silicon valley in northern california, areas near boston, areas in north carolina and other places as well. and it's congress' responsibility to make sure that
the fundamental laws of the land reflect where technology is. and finally, congressman lance, net neutrality. fcc's working on it, the congress, the energy and commerce committee has worked on it. what's your general view on how that should be approached? >> guest: i really think that net neutrality is a solution looking for a problem. we have free internet, it's been exploding over the course of the last 10 or 15 years, and i personally do not think that we really need to go down that route. i think that the innovation of the american people and of the free enterprise system, they are at the heart of why we have had this explosion. and i believe that is the view of the overwhelming majority of the american people and, certainly, the view of the leadership of the energy and commerce committee. we want a free internet that is able to be accessed by all
americans and, indeed, all across the globe, and that is certainly my be point of view. i want to work with the fcc on making sure that continues to be the case. >> host: leonard lance, republican of new jersey, member of the energy and commerce committee. >> guest: thank you very much. >> host: and "the communicators," which looks at telecommunications issues facing the country, the congress and the fcc, airs every week, saturday at i 6:30 p.m. eastern time and on monday on c-span2, 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.. >> c-span, created by america's cable companies 35 years ago and brought to you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. >> next, a debate between the candidates in the kansas u.s. senate race. you'll hear from incumbent republican pat roberts who's seeking a fourth term against his independent opponent, businessman greg orman. this debate comes to you
courtesy of kansas city station knbc-tv. it's about 55 minutes. [applause] >> moderator: thank you. thank you, paul, and welcome to all of you. yes, for those of you who are here covering the race from out of state or just visiting, we're used to doing these gatherings in october. we're not used to sharing the stage with the playoffs in the postseason, so it's kind of fun. [laughter] but we are in the to be upstaged today as we welcome you to this debate. i'm going to introduce the candidates in alphabetical order, and then we will proceed with opening statements. first candidate today that i'm going to introduce is greg orman who earned a degree in economics from princeton university and shortly thereafter founded a lighting company. mr. orman remains involved in a firm he cofounded in 2004 to provide capital and management
services to small businesses. also active for many years in the american legion's boys state program. our next candidate is senator pat roberts, first elected to the u.s. senate in 1996 after serving eight terms in the u.s. house of representatives. he is a former marine, senator roberts serving as chairman of the senate intelligence committee from 2003-2006 during a pivotal time in american history. he currently serves on the senate's agricultural, finance and health education, labor and pension committees. welcome to both of our candidates today. [applause] >> thank you. >> moderator: i want to remind you to silence your cell phones. we don't mind tweeting realtime, we're all about social media, but keep your phones quiet and also yourselves. we know you'll be well behaved as we begin today's forum. our opening statements will be three minutes for each candidate. we've already predetermined our order of business today.
three minutes for each candidate, and by virtue of a coin flip, greg orman will lead us off with an opening statement. mr. orman? orman: thanks, john. good afternoon. i appreciate the opportunity to be here today and want to thank all of you for taking time out of your busy schedules to be here as well. i spent my summers as a teenager watching my father run his own business just 10 miles from here in what was once stanley, kansas. while i enjoyed spending time with my dad, the experience was really so much more than that. i learned the value of a dollar. i learned the value of hard work and treating your employees well. most importantly, it stirred in me a desire to run my own business someday. my father once said to me one concrete action is better than a thousand good ideas. so when i graduated from college, i started the first good business idea i had. with the benefit of great partners, hard work, a hitting luck -- a little luck, i was
fortunate to be able to grow that business to the point where kansas city power and light acquired it and asked me to run a number of their competitive businesses. i'm very proud of my private sector track record of creating jobs and opportunities for employees and value for shareholders. i'm the only candidate on this stage who's created a private sector job, who's had to deal with increasing government regulations, who knows what the burdens of runaway health care costs are doing to small businesses and who understands the challenges of running a business and solving problems day in and day out. and i think it uniquely qualifies me to seven on the united states senate -- to serve on the united states senate, a body we all know is broken. we're sending bitter partisans who care more about pleasing the special interests in their own parties than they do about solving problems. they draw childish lines in the sand and refuse to cooperate. as a result, inaction has replaced leadership in solving
our most pressing problems. and we have serious problems to solve. from health care and higher education affordability to stagnant wages to living within our means as a country. if we don't address these issues, our standard of living, our status this the world and the -- in the world and the very existence of the middle class in america is at risk. i've tried both parties, and like a lot of kansans, i've been disappointed. this afternoon pat roberts will repeatedly tell you president obama and harry reid are the reason washington is such a mess. and you know what? he's half right. but the other half of the mess, mitch mcconnell and pat roberts. both parties are interesting interestinged -- interested in playing political games. that's why i'm running for the united states senate as an independent. i'm a fiscally responsible businessman who believes we immediate to face be our difficult issues head on and not hide for them because -- hide from them because they carry
political risk. i will focus on solutions, not party politics, and i will stand up for the best ideas regardless of what party it comes from because i'm more interested in solving problems than scoring political points. >> moderator: mr. roberts? roberts: well, thank you, john. and thank you to the johnson county public policy council for sponsoring this event. i appreciate the chance to be with you today. folks, america, america's at a crossroads, and right now it is up to kansas. the choice is straightforward and clear; experience, integrity, someone who will be honest with you and tell you the good and the bad, someone guided by conservative principles, someone you know who has worked and fought with you, who has won key battles, someone who has earned your trust, someone who has been and will continue to be your champion or someone who tells you only what he thinks you want to hear, someone who won't tell you where he stands, who doesn't have a foundation or
a compass. folks, my opponent will do nothing to roll back obamacare. he will do nothing to stop barack obama or harry reid, the very people he has contributed to and voted for. in fact, a vote for greg orman is a vote to hand over the future of kansas and the country to harry reid and barack obama. i have fought reid and obama and won. we stopped their misguided attempts to level massive fees on our general aviation industry. i have fought the epa bureaucrats trying to strangle our energy and canning agriculture -- energy and agriculture industries, and my record of creating real kansas jobs was recognized this week as i earned the endorsement of the united states chamber of commerce and the national federation of independent business. do any of us really believe that my opponent would stand up to president obama? he helped elect him. i promise you this, my first vote will be for a republican majority. we will end the gridlock in the
united states senate, that is a vote for kansas. my opponent cannot and will not make that same promise. kansans believe in shooting straight and coming clean. he has done neither. he wants to run out the clock. he doesn't want to answer the tough questions. if he can't answer them here, how is he going to answer them in washington? my friends, election are a matter of -- elections are a matter of trust. who can you trust to represent the best interest of your business, your family, your state and our country? i am the only candidate who has the experience, the convictions, the ability to break harry reid's stranglehold on the u.s. senate and the courage to stop the obama agenda. i have been your champion. ladies and gentlemen, our republican -- pardon me, our republic, our way of life, our future is at a tipping point. just days ago president obama said this election is a refer dumb on his record, his policy, and i would add legacy, and he
was right. a vote for pat roberts is a vote for the republic majority. that is a vote for jobs, for growth, for freedom and for kansas. thank you. >> moderator: let's bin the questioning portion of our forum today. each candidate will have two minutes to answer the question. they'll alternate. there will be no specific rebuttal or response. the candidates have not seen the questions, they were prepared in advance by the johnson county public policy council focusing on business-related issues. our question first will again with senator pat roberts. the financial struggles, regulatory uncertainty and many other international challenges have shaken americans' confidence in the economy and their own financial futures. what do you believe is the best way to go about reassuring them and restoring their faith in the country's ability to work its way out of crisis? two minutes, mr. roberts. roberts: well, you have hit the nail right on the head going from corner to corner and border to border in kansas, that's the number one issue.
you can talk about obamacare, you can talk about all sorts of different issues, but the main issue is that people have lost faith in their government. we will restore faith in government when we restore the leadership of the united states senate. it was just -- i have a record of creating real jobs and a pro-growth economy which is why the u.s. chamber of commerce and the nfib have endorsed me. now, they endorsed me because of my record. on the very issues that each of you have come to washington and talked to me about, and i have come and talked to your chamber about in kansas. those same issues. and when the chamber looked at those issue, when the chamber looked at my record, they said we're going to endorse you. and then they went a ten farther and actually said -- a step farther and actually said that my opponent is a liberal democrat. that's what they said. not me, that's what they said after looking at our records. so, basically, i have a record of creating real kansas jobs, i
am endorsed by the chamber of commerce along with the kansas farm bureau, all of the other farm bure yores, kansas right to life, nra, about 70% of the kansas legislature on both sides, and i am very proud of those endorsements. i will be the pro-job, pro-growth not only the candidate, but i will get things done. >> moderator: mr. orrman? orman: i think that we can all agree that washington's broken, and that is definitely shaking the confidence of kansans and business people everywhere. i've traveled throughout the state, and what i've heard in places like harvey county and sedgwick county is that we need to get certainty around things like transportation funding. until we get certainty around transportation funding, they feel like they're at a standstill in terms of what they can do in those parts of the state. i've talked to folks in western kansas who say is until we get clarity around immigration policy, we're putting on hold
plans to expand our facilities because we don't want to find ourselves in an environment where an overly burdensome um gration policy ends up decimating our industries. i hear senator roberts talk very specifically about caring about the farm community, and yet a number of his policies would absolutely decimate agriculture in the state of kansas. so i do think we need to get things working again in washington. i do think we need to get to the point where businesses have confidence to take their dollars and reinvest them in the united states. one of the things that i've proposed at -- promoted as part of our campaign is what we've referred to as our small business plan. and we've talked specifically about a number of things we hi we need to do to make it easier for small business. first and foremost, we need to relax the dodd-frank legislation that relate to community banks and regional banks. these weren't the banks responsible for bringing our
financial industry to the brink of collapse, and yet those regulations are preventing them from lending to local businesses. i've also said we need to review every regulation once every ten years and submit it back to congress for an up or down vote. those are real policies that will help get our economy back on track. >> moderator: let's talk transportation with our next question, and this question we'll start with mr. orman. a safe and efficient transportation system is essential to our economy and quality of life. transportation programs for kansas rely in part on central funding. states recently told that due to the low balance in the federal highway trust fund, federal transportation fund payments could be delayed and include shortfalls leaving future of some state and local projects in doubt. what solutions would you propose to insure the viability of the highway trust fund so that federal resources are available to states to help meet transportation needs including any new revenue strategies that you might have? mr. orman? orman: that's a great question and, in fact, it's consistent
with what i've heard as i've traveled the state. the places where they're planning transportation projects are saying they're, in effect, in a standstill. they're at a stopping point because they don't have certainty that there's a long-term funding source. and as all you people in the audience who run businesses know, if you're going to invest in a long-life asset over time, you need to have certain i in the funding source -- earnty in the funding source, otherwise you shouldn't start the project in the first place if you don't know you can finish it. what we've done recently is we've taken dollars out of the general fund to try to shore up the transportation trust fund. and i think until we have a permanent solution to shoring up the transportation trust fund, we need to continue to do that. i do believe, however, that there are lots of areas in our budget that we can look at and find dollars. i've talked a lot in this campaign about how i think we have a new american paradox, how i believe it's harder for the average american to get ahead.
and yet paradoxically easier to do nothing with your life. and so i think we need to look at some of the programs that we have that we're giving to people that aren't promoting pathways to work and see if we can't find dollars to make investment that is we need to make in things like transportation in this country. >> moderator: senator roberts. roberts: one thing for sure, i don't think we ought to raise taxes on the gas tax. i think that would be a very bad thing to do with regards to the economy. and a bad thing to do for people who earn their living and have to travel great distances, more especially many our rural and small town areas. and a bad thing for people who are low income folks. there is a move by the party that he would doubtlessly chose or choose with regards to his contributions and to those he voted for that would increase the gas tax. i think at the present time we have to take it out of general revenues. it's been extended about six months. we need certainty. we need certainty so we can do
this. we have done it before. there's four major transportation projects just talking to mayor mike over will that we have done this as a cooperative effort in this area. and we need to continue that because this means jobs. that's why i've worked so terribly hard for the animal health corridor and for inbev which will really create jobs. this is why i'm for the pipeline. he is not for the pipeline. the pipeline would be 60,000 jobs this terms of infrastructure. but the basic problem, yes, is we have to replenish the highway trust fund. right now it's general funding. i don't know if you could just cobble together a whole bunch of other programs and say we're going to give it to the highway trust fund. i think we have to have dedicated funds over the long term that we can really rely on. >> moderator: our next question focuses on tax policy. what are your views on our national tax policy, and specifically, what would you do to improve the current system? senator roberts, we'll start with you. roberts: well, one thing for
sure you're not going to have tax reform with harry reid leading the senate. that hasn't happened in the last three years despite numerous hearings within the finance committee. so you have to change leadership right off the bat. but the tax code, obviously, needs to be lower, flatter, fairer. we immediate to lower your taxes -- we need to lower your taxes. but that is why, again, when they took a look at tax reform and my activity with regards to tax reform, number one, i saved the aviation industry from user fees and taxes that were very ill advised, 27,000 jobs in wichita, $3.5 billion to the economy. so you can do that. there are ways that you don't want to pick and choose with regards to the obama administration on who you're going to tax. but that is why i got endorsed by the u.s. chamber of commerce and the national federation of independent business. thatas they go down your records they go down your record and say
what would you do for tax reform to make taxes lower, fairer, simpler and flatter, they endorsed me. they did not enforce my opponent. they did not endorse my opponent, and i think that he has to come clean with kansas voters. first and second amendment, keystone pipeline, amnesty, obamacare, it proves beyond any reasonable measure that he is a liberal democrat by word, by deed and by campaign donation. that's not going to help tax reform. >> moderator: mr. orman. orman: you know, i've often said that we don't live in the information age anymore so much as we live in the misinformation age. and think f i think what you just heard from senator roberts is a lot of misinformation that he'd like you to believe when making your decision. the facts are senator roberts and i actually had the same position on things like gun control and how to handle the immigration system. if you look at his record from years ago, he's just changed that record now because he
thinks it's a better way to get elected. as it relates to the tax cold, i have been pretty -- tax code, i have been pretty clear from the beginning. i believe the corporate tax code needs to be significantly streamlined, we need to reduce overall tax rates in the corporate tax code, and we need to move to a territorial system. it will prevent companies from completing inversions, it will take away the incentives to take jobs offshore and, ultimately, is the same sort of tax code that the vast majority of our trading partners have. they've modernized their tax code for an environment that includes globalization and the internet. we have not, and as a result of that, it really hampers our businesses and our competitiveness. at the personal level, i have also said that we need to do the same thing, that we should not be using the tax code to pick winners and losers, that we should streamline the tax code, lower overall rates and ultimately if someone has a project that they want to spend
money on, they should have to argue for that project in the light of the budgeting process and not the darkness of the tax code. and that's what we do today. we spend considerably more money in the tax code that really needs to have transparency brought to it. >> concern about domestic terrorism has certainly placed a spotlight on the security of the country's immigration and visa programs. hundreds of h-1b visas have been issued. be in the absence of an effective national policy on immigration, a lot of states are considering their own laws which would almost certainly lead to a patchwork of policies that are inconsistent. what are your views on the interplay between the need to insure national security and the need to import workers to fill these jobs where there is a shortage of american workers including any changes that you would propose in u.s. law and policies towards immigration? mr. orman, you'll lead us off.
orman: first, i'd like to make sure everyone's clear on what my immigration policy is. i have said from the beginning that i'm not a supporter of amnesty. i don't believe people who are here on an undocumented basis should have any preference in becoming an american citizen. with that said, what i have said about our immigration policy is that what we have today is a failure. what we have today is a demonstration of how washington doesn't work. both sides, democrats and republicans alike, have had significant periods of time when they've controlled all houses of congress and the president city, and neither -- presidency, and neither party has done anything about it. so what do i think needs to be done about immigration? i think our policy needs to be tough, practical and fair. by tough, i mean, we need to secure borders. now, we've doubled the number of border security agents that we have there in the last ten years. i think we need to keep that commitment, we need to revisit some of the technology projects
that we tried ten years ago that didn't seem to work. i think as technology has advanced, more likelihood that they'll be successful. and then we need to use that to secure the border. but it also has to be practical. we are not going to find and send home 11.5 million people. nor would it be advisable. senator, the parts of tate that you profess to -- of the state that you profess to care about would be absolutely decimated if that happened. the meat packing industry, the service industry in this state would go away. so how do we make it fair to taxpayers? i think you should have to register with i.c.e., you should have to pay a small fine or perform community service as an acknowledgment that you've broken a law, you should have to hold down a law, pay taxes and obey our laws, and then i think you should be able to stay here and work. >> moderator: mr. roberts? roberts: my opponent says he's not for amnesty. in the last debate in hutchison, kansas, he said he was for
amnesty. now, that's not shooting straight. that's not coming clean. here's the problem with immigration, the house has sent over to the senate a bill, very simple bill. it says that we should treat every country like we treat mexico and canada. if there's an illegal immigrant, sorry. humanitarian repatriation. it's illegal. you go back. the problem was when the president a couple of years ago said be you're 16 and -- if you're 16 and younger, you can stay. central american countries sent a flood of refugees. a humanitarian disaster. the first thing we have to do is secure the border. but that house bill has a boarder-secure -- border-secure part that is effective. but the senate is where good bills go to die. and harry reid will not allow a vote. he is using the immigration issue as a political tool. we're not going to get anywhere with immigration or all of the visa programs that we're talking
about until we secure the border first. and we're not going to get anywhere unless we change that law. and we're not going to get anywhere unless we have a republican majority in the senate of the united states. we keep hearing about this gridlock. we will end the gridlock with a republican majority. and this issue is pretty simple. the road to a republican majority and to get answers and to get the senate moving again and get them moving again on all the issues that we care about, all that the nfib cared about, all that the chamber cared about is a road run right through kansas. a vote for pat roberts is a vote for a republican majority to end the gridlock, to consider these very difficult questions. a vote for greg orman is a vote to continue the barack obama and harry reid agenda can. >> moderator: certainly energy affects businesses large and small. what specific views do you have on national energy policy
including authorization of the keystone pipeline, renewable energy standards, oil and gas exploration and emissions control? mr. roberts, we'll start with you. roberts: well, energy is absolutely key to us, it's the economic driver. the keystone pipeline is an excellent suggestion. my opponent says he wants to study it. it's been studied five times on environmental impact studies. what we have to have is an all of the above approach. but can we get this war against fossil fuels and our oil and gas industry? we're talking about 150,000 jobs in kansas. can we at least stop declaring war on coal when kansas depends 74% of its energy on coal? so i say all of the above, yes, to the renewables, yes, to the fossil fuels, and think what would happen if we would really open up that pipeline. we would start exporting natural gas to europe, making europe less dependent on vladimir putin. energy, a proper energy industry
can make us energy independent, also helps our national security and world stability. it is that important. and it is the driver of our whole economy. open up the pipeline. export the natural gas to europe. quit declaring war on our oil and gas are industry and our coal industries. that is that happens under the -- that is what happens under the obama administration, and that is exactly what a vote for greg orman would be, to hand the future of the energy industry back to harry reid and barack obama. you know, just days ago the president indicated that this whole election is about a referendum on his policies and his programs. and that's true. and that's what this referendum's all about. a vote for greg orman is to continue the barack obama policies. a vote for pat roberts is to stop them. win back the senate, end the gridlock and get our energy industry back on track. >> moderator: mr. orman? orman: first, i think i need to make it clear once again that,
as i've said, i believe obama and reid are part of the problem, but, senator, i think you're part of problem too. and, ultimately, i've said that if i win, i am not going to support either harry reid or mitch mcconnell for majority leader because i believe they're both been -- they've both been far too partisan for far too long. and the senate can say that over and over again, but it doesn't make it so. i am the only person on the stage who actually has real experience in the energy industry. i ran a natural gas exploration and production company that produced natural gas out of coal bed be methane. we were the first people use -- that industry was the first industry to use horizontal drilling to get at our natural gas resources which we all know is a pig part of the energy -- a big part of the energy renaissance we see in the united states today. i believe we can have a very similar energy renaissance right here in kansas if we continue to support policies that make wind
energy viable in this country. and so what i've talked about is we need to look at things like large scale utility storage for energy so that we can turn wind energy into a real resource and have an economic boom for kansas. i believe we immediate to support continued oil and gas development. i believe we immediate to continue to support a migration to some -- we need to continue to support a migration to some of these cleaner technologies as part of our portfolio. and, in fact, i think we need to look -- as someone who used to work for an electric companies -- promoting cng and lng and electric vehicles which when you look at the electric grid in kansas city, there's lots of excess energy we could use to power those vehicles at night. so i think there's a real opportunity for innovation and job creation in the energy sector, and i think we need to pursue it. >> most experts believe the federal -- >> moderator: recently the
date was moved up. how and when this shortfall is addressed which may potentially include changes in benefits, taxes or even retirement age eligibility could have a major impact on employees, employers and work force demographics. what are your views on how and when the social security program should be reformed? mr. orman, we'll start with you. orman: what identify said throughout the campaign -- what i've said consistently is for those people nearing retirement, for those people over the age of 50 who have planned their retirement around social security, i don't believe we need to make any changes. for people who are younger and particularly for people who earn more money, i believe it makes sense to say that we, ultimately, should get our social security checks a little later. and i think there's evidence to suggest that we can help create longevity in the social security trust fund by doing that. the other issue, though, that we need to address is the social security disability system. right now almost 20 cents out of every dollar that social security spends is spent on
disability payments. the number of people on social security has gone can up over -- has gone up over six million since the turn of the century. most of those people have miss crow skeletal disorders that are very hard to determine whether they're actually occurring. i think it's an important program, i think we need to protect it, but right now i think it's being abused. and i think one of the ways we can protect the long longevity f social security is to make sure those other components of the program like disability program are being used properly. >> moderator: senator roberts? roberts: social security program is financially secure til 2034. there have been, goodness knows, three or four commissions. all of those commissions pretty welcome up with the same relations. but as you know -- recommendationings. but as you know, social security is the third rail of politics. the problem is that both parties really have not touched that. there is not a social security box behind the speaker's chair
or behind the acting presiding officer where the money is, the money is taken out of general treasury. and so we have to solve that, but i think we have enough time to come up with real good tax reform first. if we get the economy going and we get the pro-job and the pro-growth policies that republicans stand for and that we will do, that we'll not be boxed up with regards to harry reid, may i just repeat that the reason the senate is in gridlock hands is in one person's hands, that's harry reid? he only allowed seven amendments this past year because he doesn't want to vote on the tough issues. social security would certainly be one of them. ..
who will you vote for or will he vote for anybody, just had up a sign and say i'm president, i'm here. what committees will he serve on? just one independent who will go look for people who has good ideas. that's rather ridiculous. >> moderator: next question has to do with health care. do you favor repeal or repair of the aca? and if we care, how would you repair? where would you start? mr. roberts.
roberts: i think we have to repeal this. just this month people are getting more increases in premiums, more people losing their insurance to the doctor-patient relationship is threatened. we have rationing boards in waiting under obamacare. taxes with obamacare will be $1 trillion. and the people are not even aware of the taxes that are involved in obamacare. i voted against obamacare. and i think it should be repealed what i also think it should be replaced. i think we should have a health care system that moves away from the goals of this administration. barack obama, harry reid, nancy pelosi all said obama to is the first step towards national health insurance. we don't want and don't need national health insurance. we need a system that is market-driven. we have health savings accounts and a lot of things have to be restored. it's that doctor-patient relationship that really has to be restored. so i think we have to repeal it.
we have to replace it. we have a considerable number of republican ideas to do that, at first we have to win the senate. harry reid will not -- the house has passed 350 bills. as i've said, the senate is a place where good bills go to die. all of the repeal and replace legislation passed by the house of representatives and shared in many cases with many different senators has been stopped by harry reid. and unless you stop harry reid the same thing is going to go on because the president has indicated this is a referendum on his policies and his programs and his legacy. and if you consider the donations and if you consider who he votes for, this man is a liberal democrat. i don't know why you just can't come clean and be proud of it and say i'm a liberal democrat and i will vote with harry reid, or maybe chuck schumer is the next in lion.
orman: first i need to clear up one thing. the center suggested i voted for harry reid. i want to make sure everyone knows i didn't commit voter fraud. i didn't go to nevada and vote in that election. the center also talks a lot about contributions, but some the contributions he still to talk about are my contributions to republicans. i actually gave money to scott brown in massachusetts in 2010, precisely because he was the vote that was supposed to prevent the affordable care act from becoming law. that's why i made that contribution to i have said from the beginning that i think the affordable care act expanded a broken system. when asked the question, will you repeal the affordable care act, what i said is i think that's a false choice. i think any senator who stands up here and tells you he is going to repealed the affordable care act is ignoring the reality that president obama will simply veto the bill.
and so from i stand by what i say is let's start talking about the real issue in health care. let's start talking about health care affordability. we have a health care affordability crisis in this country. we had before the affordable care act. we have it today. for people like me who run businesses, and like you come you know every year you try to decide what kind of raises you can get employees. avenue the first question you have to answer is, how high have my health care premiums gone? last year in one of our businesses in lenexa we get 2.5% raises. it would have been four or 4.5% if we didn't have to do with the rising cost of health care. the reason we have a health care affordability crisis is because the incentives are all wrong. we pay for quantity and not for quality. if we realigned incentives in health care i think we can get affordable health care that's also very high quality, and that's where think we need to be
focused on. >> moderator: the market place is becoming increasingly global, challenging businesses to remain flexible and competitive to survive. what are your views on wage and benefit mandates, including potential increasing the federal minimum wage? and those are outsourcing of jobs overseas? orman: as a small business owner i have to deal with these issues every day. my father actually refers to this as the beehive of regulation. what he says is these mandates, any single one of them you can survive. they are like a bee sting, but the collective effect of all of them is like falling into a beehive. ultimately i believe we are overregulate, over mandated in this country which is one of the reasons we came out with our small business reform plan that was really intended to get out the issue of flaxen restrictions on dodd-frank, revealing all
regulations on a rolling tenure bases. when i said that someone said to me, that's going to be impossible to do. there's so many regulations. how are they going to be able to do the? i said that's precisely my point. if it's impossible for the government to be able to review it every 10 years, one-tenth of them, how difficulty think it is for industry to comply with them? i think we need to be smarter about that. the other thin things we talkedt in our small business plan is, if we're going to regulate business we need to do it much more efficiently. my father's furniture store, he will get visited by the department of transportation because he is trucks. he will get visited by osha because he is a spray booth. he will give is a by the department of labor because his employees. i think we can do a far better job of going ahead and consolidating that regulation so that it's not as intrusive. in fact, when you look at the impact of regulation on small business, the average small
business in america today now pays about $11,000 per employee complying with regulations. i think that's the problem. roberts: the key is to get the real story for an bill through the senate. i was when the first senators to introduce the comprehensive regulatory reform bill that took up residence executive order that said we will take a look at all the regulations that have been promulgated to date and all the regulation you will do down the road and we will put a cost benefit standard to that end of the cost outweighs the benefit, we shouldn't be doing it. the president said it was silly and counterproductive. i agreed. harry reid wouldn't let us consider the bill. that's the problem is the gridlock in washington. you can giv get everybody here s about the regulatory overkill. i can't go to any place in kansas or any section of our economy when we have not experienced regulatory overkill. you walk in and consummate hands of a piece of paper, senator, have you seen this regulation?
probably i have not. they didn't until tuesday and that's on wednesday. we handed to them but we take a back to the office, it used to be could go in and talk to the agencies, at least make a little sense, this isn't the case now. you have an agenda. you have a regular to agenda by this administration for the person you're talking to has an agenda. you are not going to win that. you may be buying first and asking questions later. that's why people think that many people have lost faith in their government and that's because the government doesn't have any faith with the business community. they don't trust us. that's why he have to change this. but we can't do it when we have a president that stands up and says, this is a referendum on my policies and my programs. and he says that this is what the election is all about. and again, by word, by deed, by campaign donation, scott brown is one person. he voted for obama. he ran as a democrat in 2008.
he gave do hillary clinton, harry reid. this man is a liberal democrat. he will say otherwise but that's not the case. >> moderator: higher education including universities, community colleges and technical schools are fundamental to a well-educated workforce to ensure businesses remain competitive. much of the funding comes from state, tuition and donations but what easy as role of the federal government in higher education? mr. roberts. roberts: number one i think the federal government should live up to what we promised with special education. more especially in our elementary schools and our high schools. i think that amount of money we provide now is somewhere around 12, 13%. it was promised to be 40%. that will be an awful tough job and we have a budget situation where we have a debt of $18 trillion. i actually teamed up with a democrat member of the senate,
and insisting when you put a mandate on any program by the federal government you ought to pay for. so that anyone is working the federal government can be ago. i believe in education, local control is best control. and that is because we have the knowledge and we have a hands on experience. we don't need more federal mandates telling our kids how much to eat in a school lunch. we don't need the mandates on education. no child left behind, if you want to get out of that you had to get into more regulations. not just let me say again, i have a record of creating real jobs and on the education votes that the ns nsi be scored and te chamber of commerce scored, that's who they endorsed. the same issues that you deal with, same issues that i've talked with you about in kansas and also in washington. that's why they endorsed me. they did not endorse my opponent. my opponent is very amorphous in
regards to where he stands on the issue. so that's what the chamber and nfib endorsement and also went on to say, i didn't say this, went on to say that my opponent is, in fact, by donation, by deed, by past experience he wasn't, he was an independent when he ran against me in 2008 and he isn't now. so they defined them as a liberal democrat. i know why he says he wants to be an independent. it's because if he says he's a liberal democrat, we won't vote for them than six i shall invite everybody to go to my website, or men%.com and look at our responses to all the issues and draw your own conclusions about who i am as a candidate. i've actually always been independent-minded. i've always been fiscally responsible and socially tolerant but most importantly focused on solving problems. saw it ask you do not listen to what you're hearing here today but rather to do the work
yourself a look at the website and draw your own conclusion. i want to address a couple other issues before due to higher education which i think is a very important issue, but first senator roberts talked about the senate being the problem. i agree that sin is being run poorly. harry reid is running it like a dictatorship the a house in a similar problems kamp, the chairman of the house, committee on taxation, put together a tax reform bill -- david camp. that his own chamber would take up because it was a difficult issue. the senate passed an immigration reform bill that 14 republican senators agreed with. the senders i will tell you who agree with my position on immigration including guys like john mccain, the house wouldn't take that bill. both parties are to blame. both chambers of congress are acting in an overly political weight. as it relates to higher education, i believe this is an example of a policy failure in
our government. we spend over $100 billion a year on guaranteed student loans, tax cuts, hope scholarships, pell grants, all with the goal of making higher education more affordable and yet we don't hold colleges and universities accountable for that public policy go. i think we need city colleges and universities to get taxpayer money for that specific goal that you to limit your rate increases to the rate of inflation of a general a economy. i'm a capitalist. if you don't want to do that, that's fine but don't do it with taxpayer money. >> moderator: advice and consent is a key constitutional role of the senate and its likely vacancies will occur during her six-year term in the senate on a wide variety of positions that includes business and the economy. it requires senate confirmation. what are your views on the process? do you have a particular litmus test for principles that will guide you in your confirmation vote? mr. orman. orman: i look at the confirmation votes the same i
look at hiring executives to run companies. he got to ask some very basic questions about the number one, are they qualified to do the job they're being asked to do? number two, does their history and track record suggests that they are thoughtful, reasonable, intelligent people who will continue to be thoughtful, reasonable and intelligent in the future? but as a chief executive of a company, i also understand the need of chief executives to appoint their own team. and so i would be less inclined to turn down a candidate unless i really thought that that candidate for the job had some serious red flags, some questions in judgment that were real lapses in judgment, a lack of capabilities. but otherwise i think if you approach of the we would approach hiring an executive to one of your companies, that's the right standard. and at the end of the day we sort of need to let chief executives whether they're republicans or democrats picked
the team they feel like they need to pick. >> moderator: mr. roberts. roberts: it was just this past session when harry reid and the democrats broke the rules and changed the rules. and rather than 60 votes on nominations and judges, it went down to 51. so they were able to ram through many of their nominations in judges on the 51 vote basis. the only way to stop at was a legislative maneuver, which i won't get into because it's too complex, but the first thing a republican majority will do is restore minority rights so that we get it right on nominations and judges. i would like to put, i don't have a litmus test but i want people who are nominated, even nominations were judged on want
them to be for limited government. i don't want them to be legislating from the bench or from their position within some federal agency. i would like for them to be conservative. conservative from the standpoint that their conservative in their view that they don't have any overreach with regard to their responsibilities. how does that work with regards to harry reid and barack obama? irs, the department of health and human services, the epa, i don't want to name names here but all these people have an agenda. the department of interior. this is an incredible government that has the agenda as opposed to costs and benefits. the agenda fits the obama agreed agenda and that's why this election is so important. a vote for pat roberts is a vote to achieve the senate majority and put back the rules that we had before for 225 years. a vote for gregg orman is to
continue the barack obama and harry reid agenda. it is really that simple. >> time to move now to closing statements but each candidate will have four minutes. order continue to senator roberts, you will lead us off track by the eyes of the nation on kansas. the rest of the country is counting on us to get it right this election. it will be up to us, to kansas, to determine who will be in the majority in the united states senate. it is up to kansas to help restore and long overdue check on the obama-reid agenda. a republican majority will repeal and replace obamacare, stop the president and his allies from forcing amnesty on america. a republican majority will bring common sense, conservative principles back to our country.
we will get the government off your back, lower your taxes and help give you and your family freedom to pursue your dreams and those of your children and grandchildren. i am the only candidate in this race who can deliver that republican majority, who will fight for kansas values and fight for you. i am a man of my word. the same cannot be said of my opponent. we don't know who my opponent really is. he won't tell us where he stands. detaches questions, try to take both sides of every issue. trying to get greg orman's position on an issue, any issue, is like trying to nail jell-o to the wall. so we have to look at what he has done. is record is crystal clear. greg orman is no independent. he is a dyed in the wool liberal democrat by word, by deed and by campaign donations. elections determine the future of our country. kansas need someone in the
senate with conviction and a backbone. my opponent has neither. first he says he's a republican. then he says he's a democrat. then just this year he became an independent. ladies and gentlemen, who and what will greg orman be next year? do you really want to gamble our children and our grandchildren's future on a man with no conviction? mr. orman ran against me as a democrat in 2008. he voted for barack obama. he has given thousands of dollars to the kansas democratic party. harry reid, hillary clinton and barack obama. that is not an independent. a vote for greg orman is a vote to hand over the future of kansas from the country to harry reid and barack obama. mr. orman is pro-amnesty. he wants more government restrictions on the first and second amendment, if you can believe that, and he won't reveal obamacare. that's not an independent. i voted against obamacare every time, and not continue that
fight. we must not president obama from implementing amnesty by yet another executive order. he's threatened to do that right after the election. we must secure our border and we must respect all. i will continue that fight. we need to create jobs and provide certainty for businesses to lower taxes and fewer regulations. i will do that. i have a strong record of delivering these conservative results, which again is why the u.s. chamber, the same issues that we talked to meet with when you come to washington, the same issues i've talked with you when we meet with you here in kansas. and a national federation of independent business also the same issues, they have endorsed me. friends, my vision is our vision. but most of all i will fight every waking minute to restore our faith in government, a government that governance, not rules. a government that is a partner
not an adversary. and a government that respects the vision of our founding fathers. thank you. may god bless you an under great state of the united states of america. >> moderator: esther orman. orman: thank you to the johnson county public policy for the opportunity to be with you today, and for everyone who took the time to be here and listen at home. i think it to my wife, sybil, for continuing loving and supporter to all business people to use all problems every day. the way to solve problems is by looking at all the facts, considering the implications, applying logic and common sense and then making a practical decision. the decision we have in front of us today is a simple one. do we want a continuation of what we've had in the past? is the status quo acceptable? are we solving the problems? is a government that behaves like two children died in the backseat of a driverless car what we want to hand off to future generations? if it is, i'm not sure guy. if you want to try something new
come if you believe we're at a point in time in our country when we have to send a message, then i'm asking for your vote. we are the country to put a man on the move, that harvest the te power of the atom, the two computers are used to fill a room and put them on the head of a pin. i believe that country and those people can solve any problem when they put their minds together and work together. but we can't account which any of that if we continue to accept that there are only two paths forward on running as an independent to reject the false choices that the two-party system has presented us with. i believe we can have affordable and high quality health care. i believe we can have secure borders and humane immigration policy. i believe we can have a good economy and a good environment. and i believe that we can have a new american century. but we won't get there if we keep electing partisans instead of problem solvers. change can be scary, but what frightens me is more of the
same. what frightens me is the health care system that is running out of control. what frightens me is a federal budget that seems to grow regardless of what happens in washington. what frightens me is to parties who seem more interested in seeing the of the party failed been working together so that our country can succeed. i believe this election is an opportunity for kansans to send a message to politicians of both parties that you can't hide behind your party label. that if you don't set your differences aside and start solving problems, we will send new leaders there who will. this is an opportunity for kansans to say there's a new way forward, and that path travels through kansas but this election is an opportunity to show the nation what's right with kansas. i look for to the opportunities to a real conversation in washington to solve our problems. you can read more about my vision at my website.
today i'm asking for a vote on november for the public at washington back into the business of solving problems for all americans regardless of party labeling. thank you. >> moderator: on behalf of the johnson can public policy council and all russia also kmbc, a nice round of applause for candidates today. [applause] stay in touch with the coverage. follow was on twitter at c-span and lycos at facebook.com/cspan. all debates are also available in c-span video library. >> tonight live on c-span and watch the kentucky senate debate of republican incumbent senator
mitch mcconnell faces democratic secretary of state alison grimes. less than one month before the number before the election. real clear politics rates the race as a toss up. here's a preview of the debate. >> the first and so far only debate scheduled in the kentucky senate race monday night carried live on the c-span networks, and joining us on the phone is joe gerth. thanks for being with us. >> happy to. >> give us a sense of where this race is the remix out. >> i think it's safe to say the race is very close. polling in recent months has been trending a little bit towards mcconnell. last month he was up by four points in the bluegrass poll which my newspapernewspaper s along with two television stations at another newspaper in kentucky. recently we released polling that showed that grimes grabbed
a two-point lead. all of these polls are within the margin of error, and on election day it wouldn't be shocked if he the one of them comes out a couple percentage points ahead. >> alison grimes said before your editorial group, was asked whether she voted for barack obama in 2008 and 2012. first of all, why that question? that kind of news did she make? >> the question was asked because mcconnell has spent the past year trying to tie her to barack obama and barack obama's policies. his favorability ratings, somewhere around 29% are he is very much dislike. people don't like him personally. people don't like his policies. mcconnell has been trying to convince voters that grimes, issued elected, will simply do the president's bidding. will vote for the gin and the policies that he wants in place, which senator mcconnell argues are bad for kentucky.
grimes made news because this is about the third time she's been asked this question, and she was asked the question whether she would vote for mcconnell and she wouldn't -- i'm certain whether she would vote for obama, and she would not answer the question. she said i was a hillary clinton delegate in 2008. she said, i believe in the sanctity of the ballot box, but was asked for times specifically whether she voted for president obama and she wouldn't say, which gosh, she's been getting hammered ever since then from the right, from the left, from the middle. daily kos, the liberal website, has hammered her and said that her response is pathetic. was the term they use. >> no clinton has been in the state campaigning for alison grimes. hillary clinton will be there later in the month. what impact, what influence do
the clintons have among kentucky voter? >> that's an interesting question i guess we will find out. president clinton is the last democrat to carry kentucky in a statewide election and he carried kentucky both in 1992, in a statewide federal election. both in 1992 and in 1996. when hillary clinton ran for the president's nomination in 2008 she utterly destroyed barack obama in kentucky. so the clinton name is a strongman in kentucky. we did some recent polling on president clinton's favorability and it is about as high as any politician we have seen in the state, well above 50% spent mitch mcconnell first elected in 1984. is always faced tough reelection battles. why? >> kentucky, although it performs as a republican state,
it's got a strong democratic voter registration, about 56% of the voters in kentucky are democrats. he also has, being in a position that he's in, he's the guy who says no in washington and the democrats have been able to effectively use that to kind of hurt his reputation. he doesn't come across as likable, especially when he's a guy up there who blocks every piece of legislation that is pushed, or they try to push through in washington. and i think that is kind of over the years worked on his reputation and harmed him. >> senator mcconnell and alison grimes have been together on a number of occasions. but the kentucky educational tv debate is the only time that he will be in the same studio debated the issues. what are you looking for?
>> you know, it's going to be interesting especially after this episode with the grimes the week before the editorial board. just to see how she handles this, whether she answers questions that are put to her. same goes for mcconnell to senator mcconnell appeared on the radio recently on, exporter to join also appeared before the inquirer editorial board last week. both cases you asked about global warming, and one that he believed that it existed and whether the man was a cause of the. his answer both times was on not a scientist, i don't know. so it would be interesting to see if he sticks with that line and if grimes at him still to see to the fire. >> joe gerth who covers politics for the louisville courier-journal joining us in kentucky. thanks for being with us. >> happy to, steve.
>> here's the debate for colorado's sixth congressional district. participants include incumbent republican representative mike coffman and democratic challenger andrew romanoff. congressman kaufman has been serving in u.s. house since 2009 cholera secretary of state before that. mr. romanoff served in the colorado house of representatives for eight years and was speaker from 2005-2008. this is about 30 minutes. >> good evening. let's get right to it. our audience has agreed to hold its applause to refrain from hooting and hollering for the entirety of our 30 minute debate except for in this one moment when we invite our entire in studio audience in joining us in welcoming mike coffman and andrew romanoff. [applause]
>> moderator: a brief note on the rules of the debate a subject of the time with the campaign. one responses to question, some of which will be directed to both candidates, some send it to one candidate, redirect and rebuttals at my discretion of the discretion of my college. will in the short answer session as well. candidates will be allowed to post one question to their opponent and we will have closing statements. we have not shared the questions or the topics with the candidates. before we get started one last note. we should disclose your mr. romanoff previously worked as a political analyst. let's get going. gentlemen, let's start with the big story today. the u.s. supreme court has greenlighted same-sex marriage and a number of states including here in colorado. congressman coffman coming on the record of opposing such marriages. mr. romanoff, you support them. let's dig deeper. is there a danger for conservative republicans like yourself who over time i found themselves squarely at odds with american public opinion and some say the course of history?
coffman: i am a legislator. i'm not a member of the judiciary and the courts have spoken that i respect the decision of the court's. >> moderator: mr. romanoff, should americans oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds before super tuesday and such ceremonies to facilitate marriages between same-sex couples? do believe any kind of freedom of conscience provision? romanoff: i support the first amendment but i think all americans ought to ask themselves including congressman coffman is this. if a friend or loved one and i'm speaking from personal expense because i that cousin who is gay. i think we all know someone who is. shouldn't they have the right to marry a partner? should we extend full equality under the law to all americans? it's not enough simply to suggest i'm part of the legislative branch when, in fact, congress has sought to outlaw marriage equality. i'm glad today the court has
allowed marriage equality to events across the nation. dr. martin luther king, jr. once said the ark of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice. i'm glad today -- >> moderator: do you believe in any type of freedom of conscience provision? romanoff: i'm not interested in telling a religious institution what it should do but i do believe in full equality under the law. >> i have a question for both of you, issue number one. what is the one biggest thing quite simply congress could do now to promote job growth and that which help get it done? romanoff: first congress ought to start providing tax breaks -- stop providing tax breaks for jobs shipped overseas. out of first debate you said you couldn't remember having cast such votes so i provided you and the rest of the audience the list of those votes in our second debate. the truth is instead of subsidizing job losses we are to use that money to rebuild our infrastructure, support more americans back to work at home.
preparing -- repairing a bridge in ogis. coffman: you are distorting my exact record. no difference. in 2010 when you distort his record in the denver post called you out for it in an editorial and said your attacks are misleading and they were below the belt. i don't think it's any different now. so let me talk about what you know that i've done. you know that i have fought to cut the red tape, that extremely small business and hurting their ability to promote jobs and grow the economy. you know i worked with senator bennet across the aisle for the aerospace industry here in colorado. to change export. so we can grow jobs at home. and you know that i have fought for pro-growth tax reforms, to end special credits in exchange for lower marginal rates, to
make american business more competitive and to grow this economy. >> what can congress do to . coffman: i fundamentally think because of the distortion in the economy, our tax code, i think it's complicated, it's a burden on business. let's take out a special interest credit deduction for them lower marginal rate it will grow the economy, have more tax revenue at the end. romanoff: he accused of distorting his record but he did not defend the vote you cast to provide tax breaks for companies to ship jobs overseas to that doesn't make you record any better. coffman: the biggest issue that is causing jobs to move overseas is the u.s. tax code in the fact that we are unique in the world in that u.s. businesses abroad
pay the taxes and the host country, and unlike in every country when they try to repatriate that revenue, back to the united states, to create jobs and economic opportunity here, they are taxed again. that is the biggest issue that's driving jobs overseas. >> moderator: move onto the next question. this is one is for you, mr. coffin to give announced her past support of personhood initiative's essay you're still a pro-life candidate. what to expect from you as a pro-life member of congress is not supported antiabortion policy? coffman: it's simply too broad. i think there ought to be exceptions. i think there's a balance and i support that. >> moderator: do still support antiabortion policy? coffman: on them pro-life and part of that. romanoff: what does that mean practically speaking? what would you do therefore as coffman: uncertainty before a bill that provides an exemption for the first 20 weeks and then provides an exception after 20
weeks. i have consistently voted against medicaid funding for abortion with the exception of rape, incest danger to the life of the mother trip to the next question is for mr. romanoff. in this race and in your last one in 2010 you've spoken about the corrupting influence of pack money pitcher refusing to accept. during the rise to power in the colorado house you accepted packman and judge on pak soldiers how it is that this pac money has corrupted your by both democrats and republicans but never corrupted you? romanoff: i suggested throughout this campaign that the influence of special interest has corrupted the system. i have not suggested that you can trace a particular vote congressman coffman or anyone else cast for particular contradiction that is excepted from a political action committee. special interest would be given so much money to both parties in congress if they didn't get anything from anyone in return. the question i think for all of us, not just candidates but for
americans is do we want to be part of the solution or do we want to continue to be part of the problem? i stepped up, draw a line to i recognize it's easier to take shots at somebody who tries to be part of the solution and offer no solutions of your own. but the truth is this system is never ever going to change unless somebody steps up and tries to change. that's when to in the course of this campaign and i should say that comes at considerable expense. since we're not taking pac money were asking people to step up instead. the good news is more than 15,000 people have. we've been able to out raised congressman coffman tried for we appreciate both of you staying on time and abiding by the rules you agreed to earlier. we appreciate the. we will not go into the short answer question. somewhere yes or no. some call for little more asked revelation. you should know when you hear it. let's get going with those. >> i've got the first one and is it is this. what single issue does congress spend too much time and energy arguing about? romanoff: congress does nothing but argue.
look, the truth is if congress would simply do its job, balance the budget, solve the problems, pass a bill or even live under the rules it imposes on the rest of the country i think we have a lot more confidence in the american people. >> is the one issue you think is overhyped? romanoff: who should get the credit. harry truman said it's amazing how much work you do that if you don't care who gets the credit. >> what's the issue, congressman coffman, that congress spend too much time in g. talking about? coffman: certainly maybe post offices. but i think i'm focused on reaching across you on finding solutions. i'm proud of my record on veterans issues, on making sure they honor the obligations to our veterans on armed services committee and on small business. i bring that back into the congress and can get things
done. >> moderator: that was a meaty short round of the answer. this is a an easy one. can you name a democrat you voted for? coffman: democrat i voted for? i think i was a lieutenant and united states marine corps overseas i voted for anderson for president. ouch, that hurts. can't remember what his first name of the are you talking at 80 and reagan? i don't think he was a democrat. coffman: independent. >> moderator: he was not -- very good. mr. romanoff, a republican you voted for? romanoff: i can't recall. >> moderator: when was the last time you fired a gun and can you tell us what kind? romanoff: i think in high school we had rifle practice. coffman: expert shooter with a
nine mm and the last time i think i fired a pistol at a practice range probably about six months ago that for anything going on in the jefferson county school to shoot these it has us thinking about civil disobedience and its role in our society. i'm curious congressman coffman had to engage in civil disobedience, knowingly broken the law to make a point? coffman: not but i respect those throughout history who have the. in the area certainly of civil rights. romanoff: no. >> moderator: what are the last two books you read, mr. romanoff? romanoff: i'm reading a book right now called the unwinding and traces the collapse of the institutions that strengthen the middle class. you don't have to read the book. you can watch congress to see what happens if you dismantle medicare or make higher education more expensive. but it's a terrific read. prior to that i read a book, ma difficult in the course of the campaign to find much time for
reading, but i read a book called a theory of justice. >> moderator: mr. coffman. coffman: the last one was a book by former secretary robert gates, and then prior to that, ouch, let me thing. i read so much every day, but in terms of books, it was a history book about western civilization. i can't recall the exact title. >> moderator: and should congress to grant states like colorado a blind exemption from federal laws against marijuana within our borders? coffman: i'm a conservative when it comes to reading the constitution but i believe it's an issue of interstate commerce. although i didn't support, did not vote for the initiative as a representative for the state of colorado, i've been advocating for the position in terms of making sure that federal law comports with a state law that
the amendment 68 -- i'm sorry. romanoff: a blanket exception, no. congress ought to allow marijuana counties in colorado, businesses that engage in marijuana sales to use the interstate banking system but i want to make sure we don't drop our guard and allow the drug trade to prey on children. >> moderator: amendment 68. would love to see no style gambling. do you support a minute 68? romanoff: no. coffman: no. >> moderator: that doesn't far short answer section that we will go back to some individual and questions for both of you. mr. romanoff, you castors of as a fiscal talk during this campaign and put up while you're in the state legislature to deny the choice but to pass a balanced budget but when have yet to prove her desire for fiscal restraint as opposed to being forced by the law?
romanoff: in the state as when a lot of folks who argued in favor of automatic spending increases as required by the constitution. what i suggested was the constitution is not the best place to put our budget on automatic increases on autopilot. that was a mistake i think some folks on the left made and we relaxed it. on my watch. we brought democrats and republicans together. as you said, balance the budget and color is not just a good idea, it's the law but it does require us to make tough decisions. we were willing unlike those in cost to make those decisions without balancing the budget on the backs of the middle class. the budget plan congressman coffman supported would allow millionaires lavish tax breaks while forcing middle-class families to pay more. hard to understand if you meet with folks as i've done throughout the sixth district who are struggling why he believes those democratic families -- middle-class families are not paying enough. coffman: you running the same
campaign he ran against senator bennet. same candidate. it takes courage to balance the budget in washington, d.c. so i cast some tough votes to do so. this is a nation of $17 trillion of debt and its unsustainable and it takes courage to make cuts in the budget. i think it's a gutless for you to say you're for a balanced budget and then not show what path you going to do together, not sure what got you going to do to get there. the best answer you have is i'm going to strengthen the irs. that's the best answer? you don't show your mouth, you don't show your homework. the fact is i voted for a balanced budget over a period of 10 years that does cut the budget you have screamed about every single one. it's just a gutless and you need the courage to step forward and talk about what programs are going to cut. >> moderatorspent i would like
to answer the question. this is a real difference in this race. in my view the best way to balance the budget is to grow the economy, to put more americans back to work. every $100 billion increase we see in gdp generates another 12 points $6 billion in federal revenue. you are right i do think we have to crack down on tax evasion. i don't know why you want to let corporations of the wealthiest in america off the hook. i don't know why you would want to let drug copies although it instead negotiating deeper discounts -- >> moderator: i think with us on the personal attacks that is the base question, how to get the rest of the way? romanoff: eliminating duplicate programs would take $45 billion over the next five years. that's the gao's estimates. collecting unpaid taxes, not increasing taxes but collecting the obligation american corporations and individuals oh would generate by some estimates $450 billion per year. allowing medicare to negotiate deeper discounts would generate
155 billion to a savings over 10 years. growing the economy i suggested would generate about 12 points $6 billion for every $100 billion increase your. coffman: spending increased in every solution you involved more spending, more regulation and more taxes. for you to claim now that you're a fiscal conservative as an out and out fraud. transit using these words over and over again doesn't make your accusations true. it discourages people from voting. maybe that's your goal. the truth is the math works. what doesn't work is a plan like than once the focus is middle-class families to pay more, forces seniors to pay more in out of pocket costs. privatizes social security, increases the cost of fire education but that's exactly the wrong way to balance balanced tt on the wrong way to grow the economy and the wrong way to strengthen -- >> moderator: i think we saved one of the nation. congressman coffman, lashes, shut down, you broke what you believe in calling for a vote on
a clean resolution of another, to reopen but you had an opportunity to join with democrats to force such a vote and you chose not to. isn't there a difference between saying you're for bipartisanship and actually doing the hard work of bipartisanship? coffman: bypass the last build it for the partial shutdown that essentially protected all military personnel and families from impact of the shut down. both parties were at fault to it was about a spending bill to washington has a spending problem. third when i saw there were negotiations i stepped forward publicly and said that this has to end and let's move forward. >> moderator: question for both of you. do you support the states new law allowing immigrants without legal status in the country to receive a driver's license in colorado? what you think of the state's rollout of the program? coffman: let me take him a problem with washington, d.c. is it tried to do too much and as a result doesn't do very many things very well. so i'm going to lived up to the
state of color to make the decision on that. romanoff: i think the rollout was badly managed, that's obvious by support the proposal for the same reason that the law enforcement committee of colorado does because they believed it will improve public safety. if we know who's driving and make sure we can identify them. >> moderator: we just have a brief amount of time before we get to the portion we you were able to ask one another a question i think you are both eager to do the. just a brief answer, one sentence. by giving some a people hate congress come out what's the number one thing you can do about it? romanoff: the main reason i think so many americans are disenchanted with congress is because they see politicians in washington who aren't fighting for them. they are trying to concentrate all the benefits of the very top and allows for middle-class to suffer. when i get it is house of representatives in genuine will do everything in my power to grow the economy by strengthening the middle class,
by ensuring equal pay for equal work, advancing our transition to clean energy economy. and by making higher education more affordable which is the real ticket to the middle class. not by cutting pell grants, not violate interest rates on student loans to double as congressman coffman has done and not by opposing commonsense measures like the lilly ledbetter fair pay act. >> moderator: why do so may people hate congress at which the number one thing you can do about it? coffman: i'm in a group that is members of congress have come together, republicans and democrats who want to bridge the partisan divide in washington, d.c. i hope that group grows but i'm proud to be a part of that and i've been able to demonstrate to be able to reach across the aisle and find solutions to some of the important challenges that again before congress. i was a part of the reform for the veterans administration that the president signed into law on august 8. i in fact just passed a reform
measure from the house unanimous vote in the house, senate affairs committee, and by unanimous consent on the house floor to reform the construction practices for the veterans administration so we can get our hospital built in agoura colorado and the other hospitals across the country. that's the kind of a person should we need in washington, d.c. >> moderator: i think that's roughly equal time. we will ask you to limit your questions about 20 seconds or so to allow for time for response. mr. romanoff, your question. romanoff: why did you vote for a budget that allows millionaires lavish tax breaks while forcing for middle-class and to me more? coffman: it does away with special interest reduction. in order to have a lower marginal rate, to benefit essentially all businesses and help grow this economy. and benefit the middle class to increase in jobs and economic opportunities. >> moderator: congressman coffman, your question and i'm sure. i think three weeks ago you were for a public option. you are for government run
health care system and understand three weeks ago you changed and now you just are for obamacare. subbing for obama to i want to ask you a question. would you repeal the vote to repeal the individual mandate in washington, d.c. if you are elected? romanoff: this is what he'll labels look like. i wonder what the label will be. look, the truth is we are to be fixing the horrible canada, not super appealing it and allow insurance, students can against them on the basis of pre-existing additions are charging women more than men are throwing people off the rolls when they get sick. that doesn't make health care more affordable. it doesn't make it more secure. what we need instead is for democrats and republicans to take on the insurance industry, hold them accountable, lower rates and more families get access for the care they need to so the answer is no? romanoff: i just gave you the answer. coffman: know you didn't didn't. so the answer is no. you will not reveal the individual mandate. >> moderator: time for one more question and we haven't hit this topic it.
do either of you think your opponent has it wrong when it comes to isis? can we put that to bed as a campaign issue that differentiates the two of you? coffman: you know, i tell you what, i'm proud of my military service. my first overseas assignment in 1972 and deny states army and i came home from my last assignment in 2006 with united states marine corps where work in iraq, where i volunteered to work in the western euphrates river valley in an area that is now fallen to isis. and so i think at the end of the day that there is no solution absent a political solution whereby we've got to pressure the shia dominated government in iraq, out of baghdad, to reach out to the sunnis. if they tell us they have a path into the government, i believe that we can prevail ultimately and defeat isis try public to give you equal time.
congressman coffman didn't answer the question was not there's a difference between where you stand on isis. is there any daylight? romanoff: this may be the one area tonight where we actually agree. we recognize, all americans should, that isis represents a greater threat not just to the security of the middle east but to u.s. security interests as well. here's the difference. the difference -- the tone in washington you get interrupted again for trying to agree with your opponent but the truth is what we need is a coalition that includes not only our nato allies, but arab nations as well. we got to recognize that isis is a terrorist organization, is not into you can negotiate with, not a threat you can contain. but it's a threat that has to be eliminated. i'm glad that the administration is building a coalition around the world but i recognize the u.s. remains the indispensable nation. >> moderator: it appears you agree if not completely
agreeably. we will now go to the closing statement. each candidate will have 90 seconds. in turn would flip the coin earlier. mr. romanoff, correctly selected heads and deferred. coffman: i want to thank you, channel nine, for sponsoring this opportunity to present our views to the vote of the sixth congressional district the i'm very proud of my record. i'm proud of my record. being the only member of congress to serve in both iraq wars, being the only member of the colorado delegation who has served in the military, to bring that experience to the congress of the united states, to the armed services committee where i've been able to shape policy, to make sure that we maintain a military that is second to none of the same time going toe to toe with the pentagon brass to make sure we cut waste out of that budget. to serve as a leader, a national leader on veterans issues, to make sure that this nation
honors its obligations to the men and women that have sacrificed so much to this nation, and to put forward reforms that are not passed into law. and lastly, as a former small business owner, i learned how to balance the budget of you need a payroll and run an organization efficient enough to make a profit. quality is not widely found in washington, d.c. that i'm able to bring that experience into the congress of the united states to fight, to cut red tape that is strangling our small businesses and hurting their ability to create jobs and grow this economy. i'm very proud of my work in the congress, as well as being a member of no labels. republicans and democrats have come together to bridge the partisan divide. and i am asking for your vote on november 4. >> moderator: thank you, congressman. mr. romanoff. romanoff: i respect your service. i've conveyed throughout this campaign but it's going to be very difficult in washington,
however, to forge common ground from the kind of scorched earth campaigns we've seen, even just tonight. what we need in washington right now more than anything our men and women of goodwill in both parties who are more interested in solving problems than just pointing fingers or picking fights. the biggest problem we've got right now is the struggle, so many families in our district are facing to stay or join the middle class. unfortunately, they have a congressman, we have a congressman in this district who was making the problem worse. what we need instead is an effort to make higher education more affordable, not more expensive. we need an effort to ensure equal pay for equal work instead of subjecting women in this country to 78 cents on the dollar for that earned by a man. ..