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tv   MA 1st U.S. House Primary Debate  CSPAN  September 1, 2018 1:51am-2:24am EDT

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doris kearns goodwin with "leadership and regular times -- in turbulent times." watch the 18th annual library of congress national book festival, live on c-span two's book tv to get -- tv. in massachusetts, democratic congressman is facing a primary challenge. the two candidates recently faced one another in a debate ahead of tuesday's primary. tvs is courtesy of wg be why in springfield. we bring it to you as your primary source for campaign 2018. welcome to a debate between
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the democratic primary candidates of the massachusetts congressional district. the incumbent richard neal and challenger tahirah amatul-wadud. the debate is brought to by the league of women voters and wgby. the rules are as follows. audience members have agreed to stay silent. candidates get up to 90 seconds to answer and 30 seconds for thoughts or rebuttal. later, one minute for a closing statement. a coin toss has determined our order. we asked the public to submit their questions, and the majority i will ask came from the public. let's dive in. influence yourty approach to policymaking, and how do you understand the
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interest and needs of constituents whose needs differ from yours? rep. neal: i had one of the great opportunities to grow up in springfield. springfield was marked by diversity, whether buckingham junior high school or grew up on the playing field of the hadngfield boys club, you the opportunity to interact with people different than you. that experience has informed the judgments along the way. particularly from my days as mayor, where i opened up city hall to all individuals of springfield. it is remarkable in springfield. we have understood from the days of the founders, whether the new settlers and the old farmer's, or the modern-day, we subscribe to the following, the notion of
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pluralism. factcribe to a basic of life, the principal of unity without uniformity, religious, racial pluralism, all ingredients have helped to make it a place to live, analogy there is -- acknowledging there during myto go, but time as mayor of springfield, you are the conductor of a big orchestra, and you want everyone to play an instrument. >> identity, how did it it informed your policymaking? tahirah: identity is an opportunity to connect with folks on a universal level. as an african american woman who grew up in springfield as a muslim, i recognize there is a universality to what people want throughout western massachusetts.
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have clientsy, i that across all spectrums of society, and it makes us better as people and as neighbors. respond, ifunity to you choose? to interact with people from different backgrounds is a great opportunity, but they all have the same aspiration. they want to do something on behalf of their families, aspire ,o great opportunities in life and having grown up in the 1960's, i was part of that national conversation, also participation over the course of my career, immersed and involved. problem with what my opponent is saying is we have a large contingent of our district that feels he has not embraced them, the rule and --
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communitiesl,ying and he refutes to engage them. beene eight months i have in this campaign without a paid staff, we have worked hard to uplift the entire community unapologetically. >> i often hear from people in district parts of this who say they feel overlooked, springfield's union station, and say an extreme amount of federal money was spent there. tahirah amatul-wadud, how do rural residents benefit? tahirah: there are 87 cities and towns. multiple counties, worcester county, franklin, and hampshire county, so a massive undertaking to be on this campaign trail and to serve a diverse geographic
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community, 3000 square miles. it is a lot of work. in the eight months on the trail, i made sure i reach people where they are. i know that folks in the rural communities and outlying suburbs and inner-city immunities, nobody wants to be left behind. how do they benefit from projects in the urban centers? we have to be intentional about including them. district one is looked at by the federal government as one community. we need moral leadership that unites the district. we have done that. community building, neighbors looking out for each other. we have given a megaphone to the needs of the folks in the rural districts. i will support and prioritize bringing internet to the rural communities and making sure they have access to health care. at then a conversation
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mohawk trail high school about the challenges of the rural school districts. these are the initiatives and the leadership these communities want. congressman, 46 $.3 million spent at union station. how does that benefit rural areas? i have done 600 events in the last five years in the first congressional district of massachusetts. of the jobton aspect requires me to be there eight months a year. union station benefits everybody in the first congressional district and everybody across central and western massachusetts. even though i don't represent northern connecticut in this congressional race, there is a truth that is compelling. 17 more trains from new haven to hartford and onto springfield. i worked with charlie baker, barack obama, stimulus money, to
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make sure enhanced real opportunities, more train transport every single day, so there is another example you have to look at. firstand access in the congressional district reaches 95% of the population. 2010, multiple individuals and myself used $45 million of stimulus money for the middle mile to make sure people had broadband access and internet. these are parts of economic development where everybody has a chance to participate, and you believe making it easier for transportation also creates additional economic activity, but i will say this with great candor, i have been around this district. people know me from worcester county to berkshire county, and we have tried hard to make sure everybody has been included. >> opportunity to respond. opponent heldw my
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his work on union station as important, and it is. anything that opens access to transportation is important, but it is not enough. he takes too much credit. that was held on the back of and the shoulders of a number of individuals like senator kennedy , who was tireless looking out for the district. just to be clear, this was a joint effort. >> time. there isn't anybody listening that would not acknowledge the role i played as the leader in the enhancement and rehabilitation of union station. upt you heard does not stand under critical analysis. think about it. in more than 40 years since i until uniony career station opened, it was led by me. i was grateful for ted kennedy's work.
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the solicitation for funds overwhelmingly was driven by me. >> let's move on to the next question about farming. farming is important to the district. soul of thearm bill following problems, farmers making a living and families having access to that food? one of the problems we have for the trumped tariffs. wish, twiceto during the campaign, tahirah amatul-wadud suggested i was wrong because i voted against the bill. let me tell you what the farm bill did. it cut women's health care programs, cut back on subsidies for poor people, and the opportunity for local farmers to enhance their own economic thoseements and make sure in the pioneer valley would derive nutritional benefits from
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the farm bill. i was baffled during this campaign to hear somebody say that my vote against the farm the was inconsistent with principles of farmers of western massachusetts. when you look at the people who need food every single day -- one person, a member of the agricultural committee, he voted against the farm bill. every member of the house voted against the farm bill. it was poorly done, cut $20 billion from nutrition and supplement programs for women and children across this country. i was not going to be part of it. i understand the politics and the optics, but i don't understand the criticism not a stone fact. that is what this discussion ought to be, about fact. your thoughts on the farm bill.
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tahirah: i recognize the congressman may have had a hobson's choice, because it required to do an investigation who would benefit or slighted from his vote. my criticism is around what ever must be weighed in consideration to the entire -- i met withe farmers throughout the district this spring in worcester county, hampden county, and recognize the challenges our farmers have keeping their doors open and their animals fed and their farms taken care of. when i think about the farm bill , i think about how inner-city children are just minutes away from farms that allow them to have farm to table food, schools that could serve the best nutrition, and whatever happens 2014, 20 18, bill, we need leadership on the ground looking to fill the cap's that
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exist in any type of legislation. we are lucky. we live in a beautiful district with lots of natural resources and access to fresh food, and it, and if -- organic milk, and ,f we are not taking advantage then we are failing. >> an opportunity to respond. the farm bill did not offer nutritional supplements, and in one of the great alliances between agriculture and rural america is they produce the food and nutrients people rely upon in urban areas who don't have the chance to farm, so i'm glad i voted against the farm bill and would
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vote against it in the future. >> which you vote against the farm bill? not, that if ily decided i would not have voted against it, i would have been working to make sure that our farmers in the communities had access to the internet, which is one of the things that frustrated that farm bill am a funding for internet, because if they are able to do their business, then they can serve our entire district. >> we need to move on. infrastructure in western massachusetts. broadband, roads, bridges, choose an item that is underfunded and how would you advocate for funding if elected? tahirah: one of the primary isues from community members
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-- and my opponents to just that 95% of the district has access to high-speed internet, i would suggest even if that number is are 5% of theere people in our district without a of us can, how many go without our phones and being able to jump on a signal? what percentage? is 5% of children not able to do their homework not enough? when we look at anchor structure, i look -- infrastructure, even if for the sake of argument i accept my opponent's argument that 5% is too much, so what would i do? there are two bills tending. my opponent has failed to cosponsor them. they are bills that would help not only codify and legislate the importance of connecting the communities to broadband internet, but fund and push.
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muchponent has taken so special interest money from industries that he is beholden to them, and this is why he will not challenge them with legislation. i would cosponsor it and i would make it happen. >> congressman, what would you point to? >> highways, bridges, roads are begging for investment. i convince governor baker to do an east-west study. to the point just made about contributions, let me be specific. carpenters, unions, those individuals who do a lot of work on infrastructure are supporting me. i am delighted to have their contributions. firefighters, i am happy to have their support. this is the point we should take consideration of. union station represented a
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of thenvestment federal government in infrastructure based on using stimulus money that i worked with barack obama on to make sure was included for improving the rail from new haven to hartford to springfield, and i was able to work with a person to use additional stimulus money for the following purpose, improve rail north of greenfield. the governor has agreed next year to begin experimental efforts to extend rail transportation to the north. that is infrastructure. anytime we can improve and enhance productivity, it is important. i worked with governor baker to make sure to 91 was done, a $291 million investment. >> opportunity to respond? infrastructure is critical to keeping our community vibrant. it is between transportation and
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the inner cities, making sure it is affordable and that routes are not ring cut and truncated. folks are concerned that union station is the reason they are receiving an increase in transportation costs, and for people in the inner-city, these are quality of life issues not answered properly. the first one is i heard criticize union station. i think the people are overjoyed at the prospect of having an enhanced rail system that includes connecticut rail, amtrak, bus transportation, the opportunity for cap transportation. you drive by there today, and there is more economic activity there. it is 71% rented. these are the investments that have long-term consequences. >> fema has not responded to the request to open up the disaster
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housing assistance program. what should the next for hurricane maria evacuees? rep. neal: i came to the conclusion quickly that one of the biggest problems confronting puerto rico is what had happened to the grid. before the storm, it was only operating at 10% capacity. with members of the delegation, we visited and met with the governor of puerto rico, congressman gutierrez. we talked about what needs to happen on the island of puerto rico. the governor of puerto rico was in to see me. we had a productive meeting. i am on their schedule to talk about these issues. i am glad you mentioned fema. when fema was necessary here with the tornado here, i helped to rebuild eight of the communities impacted by that storm.
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$118 million came back to make sure that when you look today at parts of springfield that were devastated by that storm, they have then brought back to life. you talk about faith, hope, people who believe, they stayed with that. some of them lived in trailers adjacent to the homes destroyed. we have the chance to apply the same principles to puerto rico. i was recently in deadly, massachusetts because they were hit by a storm, that would not qualify for fema, but would qualify for massachusetts assistance. >> what is next for evacuees? tahirah: congressman, puerto rico is america. imd clique concerned about the state of the island. my concern comes not just from a humanitarian perspective, but as a lawyer who stands up against injustice. i have friends, community
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members, neighbors who have family members on the island who have lost everything. family members and friends who recognized the death toll has calculated.perly that compounds the damage already to be done, to recognize family members have been lost and their lives have not been counted properly. ,here have been efforts including under the leadership of senator warren, to call fema to account. there are two letters that have gone to the head of fema, which my opponent has not properly used his capital as a member of his committee to call for the accountability for restructuring the rico. the most important thing people tell me is we have to improve puerto rico. that is with the permission of
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the residents who live there. ors is not just a photo op talking point. this is the opportunity to change lives. rep. neal: opportunity. i worked with representative gonzalez and another representative to stay in theact with the families on island of puerto rico. i have worked hard to protect the tax incentives many companies have to work on the island of puerto rico. that is economic development and growth. the most important thing we do is make sure the grid comes back to life, rebuild. that could be the most important thing we could do for puerto rico. >> opportunity to respond. tahirah: i had the opportunity to join another person as she welcomed the mayor of san juan. i heard the mayor discuss how the establishment, the government in this country, the
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establishment failed the people, and that there in difference and apathy is what compounded the trauma to that community after the hurricanes and cents. the establishment has failed. >> we have time for one final questions. 30 seconds each. campaign-finance. you differ on this issue. tahirah amatul-wadud, you do not take money from pacs. tahirah: the number one reason i do not take money from them and challenge my opponent to suspend accepting money from the pharmaceutical industry is you cannot legislate properly people's needs first when you are beholden to special interests. this is what i have seen looking at his voting record. why don't we have bold, fresh leadership? he is beholden to special interest. rep. neal: let me thank the
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firefighters, the teachers, those in the trade unions who have contributed to my campaign, and let me thank one of the most important growth industries in massachusetts today, life sciences. massachusetts,n medical,ical, a state those industries employ 70,000 people in massachusetts. that is how important it is. >> that his time. now time for closing statements. tahirah amatul-wadud, you go first. tahirah: i want to thank you, the league of women voters, wgby , the community that has insisted these two candidates who are vying to represent you meet to discuss the issues just this way. i think there is no other more important spirit of democracy initiative than this debate.
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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 dc. i promise i will have no divided loyalties between your interests and others. achievableout an platform that focuses on uplifting the community, supporting medicare for all, lowering pharmaceutical costs, and bringing us forward. i am the face of the future and i look for your vote. rep. neal: thank you. there is a higher calling in democracy, showing up to vote on election day. i have done 99.9% of the time since i began voting 46 years ago. this career has been marked by a lot of achievements big and small. in western massachusetts, union station am a a new courthouse in
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springfield, fire grants, the high-tech green computing center and the new library, the recent achievement of the culinary arts institute, support for organizations. that is important. i write back hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars for this district that has graded more economic opportunity and given people a chance to aspire. that is what this is about, the ability to do something with ourselves. thank you to the league of women voters. >> it is time. thank you for joining us this evening. thank you to the candidates. thank you for watching. her reminder to vote on tuesday, primary day, september 4. good night. [applause]
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>> supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh has his confirmation hearing next week. we will have live coverage starting tuesday on c-span. a look at a news survey by c-span on american attitudes about the supreme court. >> c-span is out with a new survey looking at americans attitudes when it comes to the supreme court. it is available on our website. joining us to walk through the findings of that survey, the senior strategist with the firm psp who conducted the survey.
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39% of american voters say they support judge kavanaugh's nomination. 35% oppose. undecided or have no opinion. >> to people have a sense who brett kavanaugh is? are they engaged on this right now? >> they are following the news on it. this is fairly comparable to what we have seen in the past. these nomination fights can follow along party lines. is the american public view the supreme court as partisan? >> they do. they are viewing this fight for the nomination in a very partisan context. they are viewing the court itself as a partisan animal.
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all they know about the court is that it is based out of washington, d.c. the assume they behave like democrats and republicans. congress has provided no evidence to the contrary. >> that conducted the service in the past. how does this compare to previous times you have pulled the american public? >> it is very similar. it's a worrisome trend. we have been asking this question since 2011, first about health care reform hearings and later about same-sex marriage. peoplewhether or not view the court decisions as demonstrating that they are acting in a constitutionally sound better. decisions showt splits and parties. it's a 2-1 margarine. -- margin. with that, a week out from the beginning of those confirmation hearings. when did you do this pull?
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>> it wrapped up last week. august 13-15. >>? do people feel connected to the supreme court in their daily lives? >> they do. they say the court has a major impact on their life. there's a lot of concern now when we ask them, what comes to mind when it comes to cases? their thinking about roe v. wade. there's a lot of things that the court does. throughr about it filters since the court doesn't allow us to actually see how they operate directly. >> on what the public feels engaged on, you think that is what the public will be looking for from these confirmation hearings? what do you think will be what americans will be watching for when the senators look to question brett kavanaugh? on all sidesll see
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is sharp polarization from the voters and how they actually respond and how the senators actually vote for or against the nomination. it among the republicans for kavanaugh and strong opposition among the democrats. to be breaking out on partisan lines. there's not a lot of moderate or independent senators. even with the rules with simple majority for confirming a nominee, it seems likely that he thoughet to confirm even this cap is tighter compared to what we saw with gorsuch. >> you mentioned how people get their news from the supreme court. there's no secret that this network heads -- has been an advocate for cameras in the court. how does the american public think about that? >> they agree that there should be cameras in the court. 64%.
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it's a very serious issue. it's not because of public having to have a right to know. it's actually hurting the institution because they are .ooking elitist look back at some of the major events this past month from the australia parliament, including the removal of the prime minister. this is 30 minutes. ♪ hello. a look with the latest edition of the australia

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