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tv   Washington Journal Representative Tom Suozzi  CSPAN  April 26, 2017 8:01am-8:37am EDT

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darkest space. just like it takes only one truth to crash 1000 lies, and one hero to change the course of history. end, goodat in the will triumph over evil. and that as long as we refuse to close our eyes or to silence our voices, we know that justice will ultimately prevail. today, we mourn, we remember, we pray, and we pledge never again. "washington journal" continues. host: congressman tom swazi joins us --tom suozzi joins us, a freshman democratic congressman has taken a
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leadership role of the problem solvers caucus. what is the problem solvers caucus? guest: thank you for having me on today. the problem solvers caucus is 22 democrats and 22 republicans that are trying to find common ground where we can solve problems. we sent a letter to the president and said we would like to work with the one tax reform and infrastructure. we were meeting with secretary and secretary nugent to talk about we were interested in working together with these issues and we put together a proposal that we would support a claim funding bill to keep the government opened this week. s in there, writer just a claim spending bill. we are tied -- trying to become an alternative to say, let's solve some problems and try and make things better.
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host: what are some victories you can point to? guest: there are no victories at this stage. the only victories we have are that there are people spending time with each other. one of the problems -- i have been in congress for 100 days. . am a former mayor that the institutional problem is very little time to sit down and talk to each other and find common ground. the fact that we are meeting on a regular basis -- we will be meeting today -- to try and find this common ground is a big step --ward area the fact that forward. the fact that the book on not on a benz to say democrats will work with republicans is a big step forward. to betax reform expected in vail today. what is the problem-solving solution to the tax reform debate? guest: we do not have any
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consensus yet. from my personal opinion, not from the problem solvers caucus position, but i think there is a lot of movement for corporate tax form. corporateemocrats see tax reform makes sense. even president obama thinks there should be protection form to get companies to invest more and give us a competitive for people to locate their businesses in the united states of america. when you look at the federal budget, only 300 billion dollars comes from corporate taxes. we think we could stimulate investment in the united states. one of the things i will be advocating is if we are going to , we needate tax reform to create jobs in this country. that is the big problem. people have talked about it for too long can we have not seen specific proposals as to how to address it. the president in his campaign
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talked about so much the needs to create jobs. i think everybody agrees we need to create jobs. there are 500 million full-time jobs in the united states of america. 100 5 million full-time jobs, 59 million full-time jobs pay less than $50,000 a year. thanllion make less $75,000 a year, so any tax reform proposal for corporate tax reform, anything we do regarding reform, how are we going to create $5,075,000 jobs? that would be a dramatic boost to families, the american economy, it would generate tax revenues and we would address income inequality we have been talking about. host: if you want to talk to democrats tom suozzi, (202)-748-8000 test number for democrats.
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he serves as vice chair of the congressional problem solvers caucus. to be a member, are you a centrist, moderate, what is the term? guest: i do not think there is a term. i consider myself more moderate on certain issues, more liberal on others and i do not think one-size-fits-all. to be a problem solver and to be a member of the problem solvers caucus, you have to be willing to work together with people of the other party to find common ground to solve problems. i told republican colleagues, this past election was not a big republican victory. republicans benefited because trump that everybody along, but the american people are sick of the democrats as they are republicans. congress has such a low approval rating. my campaign theme was suozzi gets it done. i want to try to solve problems. host: with the way things get
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done in congress is legislation seems to be crafted by the individual parties, behind closed doors and there's not much corporation. guest: and that is not working. host: we saw the debate over the american health care act, and that was not a piece of legislation that was done in a bipartisan way. guest: i think that was a big mistake. speaker ryan said recently, did not work with the democrats on health care reform. just do it on her own. thisemocrats are saying, is your game now. you guys have to propose something regarding health care. on day one, chuck schumer, nancy pelosi came out and said, work with us on infrastructure. that is something we think we can find common ground on. that is something we all agree should be done as a way to repair our failing roads and bridges and mass transit and tunnels and water and sewer. it also creates jobs.
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of roomthere is a lot for common ground but the republicans have not taken this up on that. the problem solvers have said to the president, tax reform and infrastructure, we want to try and work together with you. host: does that put more pressure on the 22 republican members of the problem solvers in theto make that case republican conference? guest: i do not think there is pressure to put more on the democrats or republicans. i think we are all under pressure by the american people to get something done. they want us to get something done. i do not want to go back to my district and say, we cannot get anything done. democrats have a lot of russia because a lot of our base from the left is saying, to not work with trump! resist! therepublicans are getting same thing from the right. it is not easy these days in the current environment to do something in the middle and compromise. i think that is the only help for our country. host: vivian is a democrat in
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tennessee. good morning. caller: yes, i am. i am a 66-year-old black woman. i have never been discouraged about this congress that we have and even some of my democrats. we have say -- we send you all to work for us but when you get up there, you all pass legislation for the rich. you talking about bringing back jobs, honey, if people were bringing back jobs, trump helps companies overseas. have companies overseas for cheap labor. why can't the millionaires and billionaires bring the company's back here for americans to work? growing up, we do not have any recalls on anything. cars, clothes, toys, anything. because it was made by americans. when they built it, everybody was proud. we bought the products.
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but now, the rich man thought he could go overseas and get cheap labor and bring it back here to us. you are talking about working together? no, you don't care about the little man. if you did, he would put that pin on trump to show those taxes. guest: thank you. your frustration is what we all here on a regular basis -- what we all hear on a regular basis, so we're trying to compete with other countries for their business. it is not just joe versus mary down the road toward this state versus that state, it is america versus the rest of the world as to her to produce. when the competes, we say in america, we like people to have good wages, insurance, worker safety, environmental protection. we competing against other countries that have low wages, no health insurance, no pensions, the worker safety, no environmental protection, so when people say we do not have a race to the bottom, we do not
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want to become more like those countries. we want those countries to be more like us. that is the importance of these trade deals. when looking at how can our businesses make money and still provide products like the things you were talking about that are affordable in the stores, we have to figure out how can we have a competitive advantage and united states of america? wages, notent low to buy mental protection, no health insurance. we want to keep those things. our lowerneed to do our corporate tax rates, and we need to have our employees to have the skill set that make them better employees then the other places in the world. those can be our competitive advantages. we have a better system of rule of law, great educated workforce, even though we need to be more skilled than areas, we have a great quality of life,
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but we need to be more competitively advantaged by having a lower corporate tax rate. not because the corporations need the money. they are doing fine, but we need them to invest in america as opposed to other countries. host: we are talking with congressman tom suozzi, he represents the third district of new york. there was a seat that opened up after congressman israel retired last year. let's head upstate to buffalo, new york, where paul is waiting on the line for independents. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. this is the cycle i go through watching the news and listening to politicians. togetherose a work solution, where both parties are working together, then they say what they are doing and it does not make sense. if you want to address the dysfunction in washington, you have to get the money out of politics. this is the first time congressman -- this is a first
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time congressman, i believe, you know what it is like to run. you know how much money you need. you also said the problem in washington is people are not sitting down and spending the time to do their work. i am a former democrat trait i'm a republican because i am tired of working with parties or money is the bottom line. if you want people to have time to sit down and do the work they're expected to do, they have to get off the phone, asking to many, going to fundraisers, having their handouts. that is the problem. that is job one you should be working on. guest: you are 100% right, paul. 1989, i was a senior in law school and i worked on the new york state commission on government integrity as an intern. i got the bar association ethics award, and the topic of that report in 1989 was about campaign finance reform. for a long around time and i do not think anybody
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paid attention to campaign-finance reform. in this last election cycle, i felt for the first time the public, the people, were actually interested in issues like dark money and campaign financial reform. they were paying attention partly because of bernie sanders and donald trump, talking about the corruptive influence of money. and the public was paying attention to this issue in ways i had never seen in my 20 some odd years i have been involved. the problem now is we have been thrown off of what we talked about during the campaign by the president's agenda, and people are not talking about campaign finance. i agree that the one of the first times in our country's modern history, people are interested in campaign-finance reform and understand the corrupt influence of money in politics.
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it is a big problem. i agree. how guest: much did it cost to in your campaign? my campaign was -- host: how much money did the cost to bring a campaign? 2.5t: my campaign past million dollars. i reported to hundred thousand dollars i raised. it is very hard to do. host: in the first three months of this year? guest: the republicans have already identified that they are coming after me in 2018. we are running someone against you in 2018 and you are one of our targeted basis, so already they are coming after me. that is an unfortunate thing and the democrats do the same to the republicans, as well. that is the world we're living in. i hear it from these callers. people are frustrated. that is what i am working so hard on this problem solvers caucus. 35,000 people a contacted my office so far.
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i have 1200 outstanding meeting requests, so there is so much stuff. you have to do your committees, in have to do things back your district. there is so much volume of work. chosen to serve as buys chairman of the problem solvers caucus because this frustration that people have is they want people to get something done and that is what i am spending so much time. host: david in senate tenure texas. he is a republican. caller: do you worry about the face of the democratic party? i commend you on your attempt to try and bring congress together. committee has no big raise because there is destruction like children. i think the republicans are guilty of trying to treat them like adults. do you have any comments? guest: it is interesting.
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we saw a lot of obstruction. what you would describe as childlike behavior in the previous congress with the democratic president, where they will not working together -- where they were not working together. i think democrats are willing to work across party lines. the president has not reached out to the democrats, certainly not on health care. is aber, the president republican, the senate's republican, to house of representatives is republican, and they cannot find common ground amongst themselves. what we are seeing in the problem solvers caucus is just reach out to us and let's work together to try and find some solutions. orit is going to be my way the highway, of course the democrats are not going to go along with something they do not believe in. if you reach out and try to together, we can find common
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ground. host: do you think it will take new leadership on the part of the democratic party to find a common ground? leadership challenge last year when nancy pelosi was ryan.nged by congressman to think that would help? guest: i do not think this is a problem emanating from the democrats. this is something reported regularly, where the president is not reaching up to the democrats. where paul ryan is saying, do not work with the democrats. it is not that the democrats are not willing to work with republicans, there's no effort to communicate. host: rubin is a republican in new york. guest: a lot going on in buffalo. iran for governor of new york state in a debt -- i ran for governor of new york and the question that race. it did not turn out very well for me. go ahead. ask an i want to
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important question. president trump once to require a 15% tax cut that is it going to be continued that these corporations will be spending the money that they are getting tax cuts on back into the actual system? people, as ahe republican -- i have been in the computer business 36 years, you have to put money back into the system. it is not guaranteed that corporations are not going to put that money back into the system. is there a mechanism that can guarantee something like that? host: rubin is talking about what we have heard on the tax proposal. it is not a 15% tax cut, it is lowering the tax rate from that 35% rate of 15% rate for corporate tax, but go ahead. guest: i do not think it will be
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lowered from the current rate down to 15%. there should be some lowering. not because the corporations needed but because we need to encourage investment in the united states. what rubin is saying is, can there be some kind of air and sea they will take that money and spend it in a way that will expand the u.s. economy, create new jobs? foread of it going back higher profits and stock prices. are asking, it is similar to what i said in the beginning of the show, which is for trying to make our companies more competitive in america. but the goal of tax reform has got to be how do we create more good paying jobs in the united states of america? there are 105 million full-time jobs in america.
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59 million make less than make00 a year, 86 million less than $75,000 per year. i would like to see a plan where if we are going to do corporate tax reform, regulatory reform, whatever we do, how are we going to create 5 million new $75,000 jobs? all this debate back and forth, the american dream is not complicated. the american dream is, i am willing to work hard and play by the rules, but in return, unable to make enough money to buy a house, educate my children, have health insurance and retire when i'm a senior citizen without being terrified. it is not complicated or something fancy. people in buffalo know that better than anyone. the state is doing some things to try and investor. there is so much pushing things
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down in buffalo that the cannot compete. host: in kingston, pennsylvania, dan is an independent. good morning. caller: good morning. is that representative suozzi? i have a couple questions. why are there so few representatives? 44, i guessere are the senate does not have a comparable caucus? guest: why are the only 44 people in the problem solvers caucus? it is something we are kicking off now and we're trying to say, do not join the caucus just for joining. we you are going to have to take some tough votes. it is not going to be all democratic or republican. do not come to us if you are stuck at one of these extremes. we are trying to keep it so it is allen's, democrats and republicans pretty much the same
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amount on each -- so it is balanced. i am hoping it is like everything else. it iseople see successful, everybody will want to be a part of it. right now, everybody is pulled in different directions. they have to choose where they will spend their time. right now, there are 22 democrats and republicans have chosen to spend the time with the problem solvers caucus. host: did you have another question? caller: yes, so how many members of this caucus believe, as i do, that -- i voted for the president trump, but i believe it should have started with infrastructure first and worked his way to tax reductions, and .hen maybe work on the health i am a veteran comes i get my health care taken care of, but these are all important.
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get more jobsou going, there will be more taxes from the base of america to put in the federal government and maybe we can do some with va. this sounds crazy, but maybe they could expand medicaid for some many more people. guest: you sound like a democrat. first, thank you or your service. i just got back from a trip to understand -- to afghanistan and other parts of the middle east learning about the region. i've always respected our troops, but now i'm over the top. it is what a fantastic job they do, smart, courageous and responsible. thank you are your service. you are saying about infrastructure is something the democrats have been saying since day one. chuck schumer and nancy pelosi publicly. infrastructure is the place we can find common ground.
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this president could have moved beyond this partisan divide and still could do it if we can try to work on this infrastructure issue. everybody wants to see something happen with infrastructure. there is a massive deficit in infrastructure spending in this country. they can create solid middle-class jobs, so you should be in office because everyone has been saying the same thing. if you can find that commonality on infrastructure, where it is waiting to happen, it could get something done with tax reform. regarding the affordable care act, it is not perfect. i said during my campaign, we it. to mend it,d do not end the system is working. it only had 17% approval rating for people in the country and it was defeated. the republicans cannot even agree.
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are saying is what a lot of us have been saying, infrastructure should be the first thing. host: the headline from the youy beast, here is hoping heard of the freedom caucus, you probably have not heard of a problem solvers but they are gunning to take the freedom caucus on. a column from earlier this month. you brought up the health care debate. we saw the freedom caucus flex its muscle over the american health care act. what can the problem solvers caucus learn from what the freedom caucus has done? guest: what we learned from the freedom caucus is they stick together. they stick together as a block of votes. one of the decisions that the problem solvers caucus made was that if we could get 75% of our group to agree on a particular direction, then we are asking that everybody vote together as you get going forward and there can be exceptions to that. if someone has moral issues or something that is onerous for
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them, but as a general rule, let's try to be a block of votes. 22 democrats and republicans that can do things in the middle. that is with the freedom caucus has done. we want to present ourselves as an alternative and say, we are a block of votes of people trying to meet in the middle to get things done. host: could do achieve that -- did you achieve that 75% threshold in the american health care act? thet: no, we do not take on american health care act. we decided to focus on of the structure and tax reform as a first step. we sent a letter to the president, we met with the secretary of treasury. we are trying to pursue that. we got the 75% vote on what we is we wouldich support a clean spending bill to keep the government open. no wall, the democratic or republican priorities, let's just keep the government functioning and stop this silliness.
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if the government shutdown, people are going to be so sick , soverybody more than now we went to provide a block of votes to keep things moving. host: that headline similar to several headlines we had seen. this from the new york times, threat of government shutdown stays. guest: kb the problem solvers caucus had some say it -- maybe the problem solvers caucus had some say on that. host: amelia is an california, like the democrats. good morning. caller: good morning, c-span. hope everyone is doing well. guest: hello, amelia. caller: hello representative suozzi. guest: nobody gets my name right. host: come on the show more. guest: my father ran for office, that song. ♪ i should not be sinking on c-span. caller: it is ok. you are a freshman. i just want to say that democrats are hurting and the
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republicans are hurting, and that is why trump won. i think the democrats are not together as one party. i think the progressive party is starting to take a hold. if the democrats would wake up and hear the people's cry, this into the town halls, listen to it bernie sanders has to say, because he went on a tour with tom perez and people were more excited with bernie sanders there tom perez because is a lot of democratic party out there, including myself, who do not believe anymore in the feel weic party, who were sold out. hillary clinton lost, not because of term. -- of trump. it was because she cannot put any believe in the people that
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were hurting. it was like you are talking to someone with death years -- ears, and unless you have a lot of money, then the democratic party would listen to you. you need to wake up. this into a bernie sanders has to say because he is the people's voice. host: congressman? support berniet sanders. i supported hillary clinton, but bernie sanders has a lot to offer. the democrats aren't disarray. -- our in disarray. this was not a republican victory, this was a trump victory, where he did the clintons and bushes. people are tired of all the politicians, democrats, republicans. they want us to work together and solve some problems. i think the democratic party has a lot of work to do to be more unified, get a message in touch
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with the people. the people want us to address the problems they face in their everyday lives. they want us to create jobs for people and make enough money so they can afford educate their children, have a home, have health insurance and retire one day. that is what they want the democrats to work on, not identity politics. they want to look out for everyone in this country. host: one more call from the empire state. nicholas waiting outside of syracuse. for democrats. -- mine for democrats. caller: hi representative. guest: suozzi. caller: close enough. deal is the parties are so broke up and everybody is still in the same state we were
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eight years, 12 years ago. i live in upstate new york. downstate new york is totally different from upstate. i feel give guys are not even listening to us. even the governor in upstate new york. look at syracuse. it is crime-ridden. i'm afraid to go to syracuse to see my doctor. it is crime-ridden. they went to be a sanctuary city. it is ridiculous. the biggest problem is there is too much money in politics. host: guest: punishment? guest:i know syracuse -- host: congressman? guest: i know syracuse well. people in the country do not realize how diverse new york state is. off north of rockland just north of upstate new york, it would be the poorest state/
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-- the poorest state. you have downstate suburbs that feed off of that mothership of new york city with some much money going through that region. it can survive a lot of depression that comes down from the state of new york. not because of this governor. there is so much regulation and stuff that has been passed and laws coming out of new york city. new york city can take it. but upstate new york is suffering for more than a decade because there is so much stuff that makes it an attractive to do business in upstate new york. as a result, people cannot find jobs within the american dream i had talked about throughout this segment. they don't have enough money to buy a house and retire without being scared. . hear you there is so much to do and i will keep on fighting and
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pushing. i will try to work across the aisle with democrats and republicans to find common ground to get things done. this frustration i have heard on the show is what i heard campaigning. people want us to get something done. host: tom suozzi is vice chair of the problem solvers caucus. come back again. feel free to sing next time. guest: thank you. host: coming up, we will be joined by tim murphy, republican of pennsylvania. a discussion on mental abuse policy in the united states. and later, congressional management foundation president will be here to discuss the health care options available to members of congress and their staff. we will be right back. caller
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