tv MA 1st U.S. House Primary Debate CSPAN September 4, 2018 8:09am-8:38am EDT
network is been advocate for cameras in the court -- there is a secret. how is that changing? >> they absolutely agree there should be cameras in the court. 64% 64% say they support cameran the court, or televising oral arguments. it's a very serious issue and it's not because the public has a right to know or people are feeling it's not cool, my taxes pay her sellers. it's hurting the institution because they are looking elitist essentially when they are saying what we do is too complex for you to understand and you will get mischaracterized. people don't like being told. >> adam rosenblatt as a senior strategist with psb, psp conducted the survey once again suspended we appreciate your time. also watching us to it. >> thank you. >> up next a democratic primary debate for massachusetts first congressional district between incumbent richard neal and challenger tahirah amatul-wadud. today is the primary in the district and both candidates talk about infrastructure, the
farm bill and president trump's tariffs. this is hosted by wgby and is about half an hour. >> twenty-fourth welcome to debate between democratic candidates, incumbent richard neal and challenger tahirah amatul-wadud. the debate is brought to you by the league of women voters and average eb white. either moderator carrie saldo. the debate rules are as follows. our audience members have agreed to stay silent. candidates it up to 90 seconds to answer each question and up to 30 seconds for additional thoughts or rebuttal and later each candidate will have one minute for a closing statement. a coin toss a determine our order. we asked the public to submit their questions for the candidates and the majority of the questions i will ask came directly from or are based on an idea from the public. let's dive in.
congressman, i believe you're the right to the first question. how does identity influence your approach to policymaking, and how do you understand the interests and needs of constituents whose identities differ from yours? neal: i had a great opportunity in a lifetime to a group in the city of springfield. springfield as long as i can remember was marked by diversity, whether you went to buckingham junior high school or technical high school where you grew up in the plaintiff of the springfield boys club or for spark. you had an opportunity all the time to correct with people that were different from you. i think that expands as it from the judgment i've made along the way. posted carefully, tikva my days as now i think i open up the doors of the city hall to all kinds of individuals who comprise the most -- will be called the city of springfield. it's remarkable in springfield we have understood i think from the days of the fountain whether
it was detentions an early time between the new settlers and the old farmer's, or up until the modern-day resubscribe to the following, that is the notion of pluralism. we also subscribe to another very basic fact of life and that is not the principle that a think is profound and that the principle of unity without uniformity. with its religious pluralism, racial pluralism, all of those ingredients that help to make the pioneer valley in western massachusetts a pretty good place to live. acknowledging there's always to go, technology assistant to marginalized communities, is an important part of the consideration at the same time to time as mayor, you're the conductor of an big orchestra and want to make sure everybody gets to play an instrument tahirah amatul-wadud ms. amatul-wadud, identity, how does it informed her policymaking? amatul-wadud: identity is a wonderful opportunity to connect with folks on the universal level. as an african-american woman who is going up in springfield as 90
as old as a muslim i assert our community, recognizing there's a universality to what people want to worcester, massachusetts. as an attorney i have clients across all spectrums of society and the think it makes us much better as a people and as neighbors tahirah . >> moderator: . terrific. an opportunity to respond if jesus, it's one of the most enriching parts of life to be free. interact with all kinds of people come from different backgrounds but you know what, they'll have the same aspiration. i want to do something half of the families. they want to be produced by two great opportunities in life, and i'm proud of the fact having grown up in the '60s i was part of that national conversation. also based on the participation i've made over the course of this career. totally immersed and always totally involved. >> moderator: additional thoughts drifted the problem with what my opponent is saying around embracing identity and
the welcoming is that we have a large contingent of our lovely beautiful district that feels he hasn't embraced and pick your aspects of the rural communities and the outlying communities that are crying for attention and more leadership, for policies that he just has refused to engage them on. in the eight months i've been in this campaign without a paycheck and without with that event ste worked hard to uplift the entire community unapologetically. >> moderator: you just mentioned rural communities and i often hear from people in the real part of this district who say that they feel overlooked by things that happen in the urban areas. springfield union station and say an extreme amount of federal money was spent there. what is it for me? ms. amatul-wadud, how do real residents benefit tracking when a look at the district and as we know it's large, 87 cities and towns. it's all of berkshire county, parts of worst account can parts
of franklin and parts of -- is a massive undertaking to the on this campaign trail and to serve such a diverse geographic community. 3000 square miles. it is a lot of work. in the eight months i've been on the two i put over 50,000 miles on my vehicle making sure i reach people where they are, and i know the folks in the rural communities and some of our outlying suburbs and it are inner-city communities, nobody wants to be left behind. how do they benefit from projects in the urban centers? we have to be intentional about including thin. one district, district one is looked at by the federal government as one neighborhood, one community. we need more leadership that unites the district. in the course of this campaign we've already done that. we soon came in the building, neighbors looking out for each other. we've given them microphone if not a megaphone to meet of the folks in the real district.
i've talked about and will support and prioritize bringing internet to the rural communities making sure that access to the health care they want. i sat in on a conversation at the mohawk trail high school about the struggles and challenges of the rule school district. these are the types of initiatives and this is the type of leadership that these committees want. >> moderator: congressman, $46.3 million federal money was spent at union station. how does that benefit rural areas united states let me tell you something else. i done than six of the best and last five years in the first congressional district of massachusetts. that's what almost every three days. considering the washington aspect of the job requires me to be there almost eight months you. union station benefits everybody in the first congressional district and benefits everybody across central and western massachusetts. even though i don't represent northern connecticut in this congressional race, there's a truth that think is compelling as well. 17 more trains a day from new
haven to hartford and onto springfield. i worked with charlie baker pickup work with barack obama on stimulus money to make sure that enhanced real opportunities, more train transport every single day, north of greenfield as well. so also there's another example that you to look at. broadband access in the first congressional district reaches 95% of the population. i worked -- july 2010, gary locke, myself, we use $45 million of stimulus money for the middle mile to make sure that people have broadband access and internet. these are parts of economic development where everybody you want to have a chance to participate. you hope and you believe making it easier for transportation modes also creates additional economic activity. but i will say this with great candor, i've been around this district. people know me with it some
worchester county to berkshire county and we tried very hard to make sure everybody has been included in that undertaking. >> moderator: opportune to respond. amatul-wadud: i know my opponent hails his work in union station as important as it is there anything that opens transportation is important to a special worcester, massachusetts, but it's not enough and he takes too much credit frankly for unionization. that was built on the back of in the shoulders of a number of individuals like senator kennedy who was relentless and time is looking out for the district. so just to be clear this was a joint effort. >> moderator: time. neal: there isn't anybody listening to this debate that would not acknowledge the role that i played as the leader in the enhancement and rehabilitation of union station. what you just or does not stand under the magnifying glass of critical analysis. stop and think of it. for more than 40 years since
atomic kicked off my career at union station until union station opened, it was led by me. i was grateful for ted kennedys work. john is a friend of mine. the solicitation for funds on that basis overwhelmingly was driven by me. >> moderator: let's move on to the next question about farming. farming is important to the district. the farm bill solve the following two connection problems? farmers making a living and families have access to that food? neal: for sure. you can see one of the problems we have with farming and agriculture across the united states are the trump tariffs. they've not been helpful to the national discussion in the national debate. in addition to which twice during the campaign ms. amatul-wadud has suggested i is on because i voted against farm to pick up into with farm bill did. cut infant and women's healthcare programs. cut back on subsidies for poor people, and it cut back on the
opportunity for local farmers to enhance that own on their own economic achievements like to understand as well making sure the infants in the pioneer valley who might not live on farms would derive some of the nutritional benefits from the farm bill. i was baffled in the course of this campaign to hear somebody say that my vote against the farm bill was inconsistent with the principles of farmers in worcester, massachusetts, and when you look at them the people who need food every single day, jim mcgovern in the next congressional district, a member of the agriculture community, he voted against the farm bill. every member of the house voted against the farm bill. it was poorly done, it kept $20 billion from nutrition and supplement programs for women and children across this country. and i whistled the liquid part its understand the politics. understand the optics but what i don't understand is the criticism that was not based upon fact. that's what this discussion ought to be about, fact.
>> moderator: your thoughts on the farm bill try to talk about the 2014 farm bill and i recognize the congressman may have had since choice because it required he doing investigation as to who would benefit and he would be possibly slighted from his boat. my criticism is around whatever vote is taken must be weighed in consideration to the entire district. so we have farmers, i've done a farm tour this spring, met with farmers that the district in worchester county in hamdan county and recognize the challenges that all from seven keeping their doors open and keeping animals that and the fonts taken care of. when i think about the formula think about the food bill. think about how inner-city children are just minutes away from farms that will allow them to farm to table food schools that could serve the freshest and best nutrition and whatever happens with the farm bill in
2014 and sort of windows with what happened with the farm bill in 2018 under republican government. we need leadership here on the ground looking to fill the gaps that exist in every type of legislation. we are lucky. we live in a beautiful district, lots of wonderful natural resources. lots of access to fresh food, organic milk. if were not taking advantage of our own resources and making sure people throughout the district are not only prospering but living contriving , tried c, then we're failing and this has been a fail expense trip the opportunity to respond. neal: she never such a vote against the farm bill. i'm glad i voted against the farm bill. it did not offer nutritional supplements for people in the first congressional district pick a did not come to the aid of people who live in springfield and one of the great alliances between agriculture and robin burk has always been that the farmers in rural areas
produce the goods, the food, the nutrients that people rely upon in urban and incident of chanco farm everyday. i believe strongly i'm glad he voted against the farm bill and i will vote against it in the future. >> moderator: and you vote against the farm bill? amatul-wadud: the 2014 farm bill? probably not but if i decided that it would not vote against it i would've been hands on working to make sure again that i farmers in the road team and have access to the internet which was one of the things that frustrated that farm bill was funny for the internet because it are farmers are strong and able to do the business then they are able to survive entire district. >> moderator: we need above on to infrastructure in worcester, massachusetts. whether broadband which is come up, roads, bridges. choose an item that is underfunded now and how would you advocate for funding, if elected? amatul-wadud: one of the primary issues that i've heard from
community members on this campaign trail knocking on doors, speaking to folks in meeting in the living rooms and my opponent suggests 95% of the district has access to high-speed internet. suggest that even if that number is correct and even if they are 5% of people in our district who are without a vital tool, how many of us can go with that having our phones and being able to jump on a signal and hit google? what percentage of us, upper chill is 5% of our children unable to do the homework not enough? how is it acceptable? when we look at infrastructure i look at one of the greatest crisis in the district is the lack of broadband infrastructure, even for the sake of argument i except my opponent right with the 5% are without it is too much, so what would i do? i would sponsor, there are two bills pending. phone has got to go sponsor them. they are h.r. 800, and h are
1814. they are bills that would help not only codify legislate the importance of connecting the committee's to broadband internet but they would also help fund and push picked up on is my poem as taken so much of special interest money from various industries that he is beholden to them and this is why he will not challenge them by holding their feet to the fire with legislation like about one. i would make it happen. >> moderator: congressman, what would you . you united states highways, airports, bridges and redwoods are begging for investment. i was want reasonably convinced governor baker to do an east-west rail study that would take us from boston to springfield and onto pittsfield. to the point she just made about contributions let me be specific about it. the afl-cio, tradesmen, unions, carpenters, those individuals who do a lot of work on infrastructure are supporting me. i'm delighted to have their contributions.
firefighters, seiu, i'm happy to have their support. but this is the point we should take consideration of. union station represented a huge investment of the federal government in infrastructure, all based upon using stimulus money that i worked with barack obama on to make sure was included for the purpose of improving the rail from new haven to hartford to springfield, that's able to work with patrick to convince him to use additional stimulus money for the following purpose. to improve rail all the way north of greenfield. the governor has agreed next year in the spring to begin experimental efforts to extend rail transportation to the north. that's infrastructure but anytime we can approve and it has productivity, it's important. i worked with governor baker to make sure that was done. that was $291 million investment in route 91.
>> moderator: opportunity to respond. trachea infrastructure is critical to keeping our committee vibrant. between transportation particularly and inner cities making sure it's affordable, that roots are not being cut and truncated. i think the folks they are the concern that union station is a reason that they are receiving an increase in transportation costs and for disabled and for people and people in inner-city, these are quality of life issues that have been answered properly. >> moderator: opportunity to respond. neal: she is is the first one e heard that the size union station. i think people in western and central massachusetts are overjoyed at the prospect of having an enhanced real system that includes connecticut rail come that includes and took him includes bus transportation, include the opportunity for lift come opportunity for i think have transportation to when you drive by the today that economic activity there. it is sunny 1% when you these
starry investments we make that long-term consequences. >> moderator: our next question, fema has not responded to the massachusetts delegation request to open up the disaster housing assistance program. what should be next for hurricane maria evacuees connect my visit to puerto rico i came to the conclusion quickly one of the biggest problems that was confronting puerto rico's what happened to the grid? even in the best days before the storm the grid was offered at 10% capacity so with senator warren and senator markey, we visited. i met repeatedly with the governor of puerto rico. met with congressman gutierrez. congresswoman velasquez. we talk about what needs to happen on the island of puerto rico. the governor was in to see me not three months ago the we had a productive meeting. i'm on their schedule talk about these issues. i'm glad you mentioned fema. when fema was necessary here
after awful storm we had, tornado, i helped to rebuild eight of the community that were impacted by that storm. $118 million came back to make sure that when you look today at parts of springfield that were devastated by that storm, they have had been brought back to life. you talked about faith and hope in people who believe. faced with that of all the secret some of them lived in trailers adjacent to their homes that were destroyed. we have a chance to apply the same principles that we did and used in america to puerto rico. i was in dudley massachusetts because they been hit by storm. why that wouldn't qualify for fema because of of the catastrc result it would qualify for what is known as massachusetts assistant. >> moderator: what's next for evacuees? amatul-wadud: first, puerto rico is america. puerto rico is america i'm deeply concerned about the state of the island and my concern can
such as some communicating perspective but as as a lawyer, some distance up against injustice and who looks to uplift marginalized voices. i have friends, community members, neighbors who have family members on the island who have lost everything. family member and friends who recognize that the death toll has not been properly calculated. what a tragedy that is. that compounds the damage that's already been done is to recognize your family members have been lost in the lives have not been counted properly. there have been many efforts including under the leadership of senator warren to call fema into account. there are at least two letters that it gone to that fema which my opponent has not signed off on. he has not properly used his capital as a member of his committee to call for the accountability for restructuring puerto rico.
the most important thing that people tell me when we talk about this issue is that we cannot just restore puerto rico. we have to improve it and that is with and under the permission of, through and by the residents who live there. this is not just an opportunity for a photo op for talking point. this is an opportunity to change lives. >> moderator: opportunity to respond. neal: key phrase come opportunity. i work with substantive gonzález to stay in contact with many of the families on the island of puerto rico. i've also helped and worked hard to predict many of the tax incentives that companies had to work on the island of puerto rico. that's real economic development both. the most important thing we can do is make sure that the grid comes back to life. it has to be rebuilt. that could be the most important thing we could do for puerto rico. >> moderator: opportunity to respond. amatul-wadud: i had the honorf joining -- as she welcomed the
mayor of san juan. i heard the mayor discussed a couple of times how the establishment, how the government in this country, the establishment failed the people, and that they are indifferent and is what compounded the trauma to that community after the hurricane. the establishment has failed. >> moderator: we're short on typing with time for one final question. 30 seconds each to respond. campaign finance. you differ on this issue. ms. amatul-wadud you do not take money from political action committees. why not? amatul-wadud: the number one reason i do not take any money from political action committee as reason i i chose my opponeno suspend accepting money from the pharmaceutical industry is because you cannot legislate properly putting the needs of the people first when you're beholden to special interest. this is what i've seen consistently is looking at his voting record and what it heard from the people why do we have
old leadership? wide-awake whiteware fresh lead? he is beholden to special interests, employed to maintain the status quo. it is unacceptable. neal: let me thank the firefighters, let me thank the teachers. let me thank those in the trade unions who have contributed to my campaign and also thank one of most important growth industries in massachusetts today, life sciences. so life sciences whether it's at the manufacture and we massachusetts which would move from boston to lee, umass medical, baystate medical, today those industries employ 70,000 people in massachusetts. that's how important it is. >> moderator: and now time for closing statements. ms. amatul-wadud, you go first try to think either i just want to thank you, kerry, thank the league of women voters can thank debbie tdy. i'd like to thank the community which has insisted that we, the two candidates, who are vying to represent you over the next two
years meet to discuss the issues just this way because think there's no other more important spirit of democracy initiative in this debate. it has been my honor and my pleasure to meet as many of you as i have. it will be my honor and my absolute pleasure to serve you in washington, d.c. i promise you that i will have no divided loyalties between your interest and any funders. i have put out an aggressive and achieve a platform focuses on uplifting the community,, supporting medicare for all, of lowering pharmaceutical costs and of bringing us into 2018 and forward. i am the face of the future and i look for your vote september 4, thank you and thank ms. amatul-wadud as well for participation there is a higher calling aftermarket and his cult showing up to vote on election day which i'd done 99.9% of the time .9% of the time since i
began voting 46 46 ago and thaa consideration. this career has been marked by about of achievement big and small. in worcester, massachusetts, whether it it was station or a new courthouse in springfield, whether or not it was by agreeance across the district, high-tech green computing center and the new library in the city of holyoke or the recent achievement of the culinary arts institute of whether or not its support for west over, support for 50% commercial terms of activity, that's an important consideration. i have brought back hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars to this district that has created more economic opportunity, that is given people a chance to aspire as a note in my opening comments. that's what this is all about. the ability to aspire to do something with ourselves. thanks to the league of women voters. >> moderator: thank you very much and thank you for joining us this evening. we are out of topic thank you to the candidates. thank you for you for watching and we might devote primary day tuesday september 4.
good night. [applause] >> today at 9:30 a.m. eastern watch c-span's live coverage of the senate judiciary committee hearing on the nomination of brett kavanaugh to the supreme court. opening statements by the committee chairman, senator chuck grassley and all the committee members. the introduction of judge kavanaugh's from former secretary of state condoleezza rice, ohio senator rob portman and attorney lisa blatt. following the introduction judge katzmann makes his opening statement. watch the senate confirmation hearing for brett kavanaugh live today at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span, c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio app.
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