tv Washington Journal Rep. Tom Cole CSPAN December 13, 2018 10:02am-10:30am EST
office in january it will have the youngest, most diverse freshman class in recent history. new congress, new leaders, watch it live on c-span starting january 3. -- "washingt" continues. cole representative tom serves the fourth district of oklahoma. thank you for joining us. when the president says he's willing to shut down the government over a wall, do you believe him? caller: i do -- guest: i do believe him. i don't think it is good, productive politics. but i don't doubt his seriousness. host: where do you go from here to keep that from happening? guest: there's really not that much difference between the sides. it seems like there is, but there's seven bills in question. six of them have been
agreed to. we could pass them tomorrow. i believe we should. it is a disagreement not over physical borders on the barrier. agreed tohave $1.7 billion additional spending. the president wants $5 billion. to me you ought to be able to sit down and say we know you don't agree with the whole border wall, but given the amount of money, there's not going to be a whole border wall in this. why not decide the places along the border where physical barriers work and settle it that way? i think this is much more a matter of personalities and political posturing by the leadership on both sides and by the president then it is substantive policy differences. appropriators could think this -- could figure this out pretty quick. host: there was reporting of a
package hitting the house floor at felt billion dollars. where are we on this -- at $5 billion. where are we on this? guest: i think we could pass a package on this. i would seriously question whether he could get through the senate. it takes 60 votes there. you really can't deal either side out here. there has to be some sort of compromise. at some point people need to figure out what that is. there have been a couple of good offers out there. senator shelby talked about splitting this over two years, go $2.5 billion this year. that is a reasonable kind of approach. i support what the president is trying to do. i don't disagree with him in terms of policy. $5 billion isn't the entire cost of a border wall, so let's pick the places where both sides say that actually makes sense. listen to what the people at homeland security tell us they need and approach it that way. this has gotten into one side trying to satisfy its political
base, the other side its conference. oft: what is the possibility a $5 billion package being added to that? guest: there's a good possibility. i am never in favor of government shutdowns. i don't think they work. i've always opposed them. it never ends up where you think it is going to end up or where you hope it ends up. and it inconveniences the american people. your job is to come here to make their lives better. it does not make life better for anybody. if you want to ask questions, it is (202) 748-8001 four republicans, (202) 748-8000 four democrats, and for independents (202) 748-8002. when it comes to a presentable -- a potential resolve to this issue, you are the deputy whip. do you have the votes?
guest: you don't get your whole team with a compromise, but if you get a deal you'll get both sides. at the end of the day, when there's a compromise, all said you have 360 votes on the board. -- all funding measures require compromise. you are better in appropriations matters to sit down and work out a deal. host: when it comes to a compromise, can you bring groups along like the freedom caucus, the problem solvers? guest: the problem solvers are almost always there for a compromise. the freedom caucus is more of an ideological group. that is fair enough. they have their principles. quite often you don't get the progressives on the democratic side or something. if you have a deal, either side
can often produce triple digits andhe floor pretty easily, then you get your goal of 50 plus one and move on. host: do you see a path to a victory of sorts? guest: i do, but it is going to require people to be reasonable and climb off their high horses. both sides are on pretty high horses. i think the president's request is a reasonable one and could be met without violating democratic principles in terms of the wall because we are not talking about enough funding for an entire wall. we are talking about what it would take to really strengthen it in very vulnerable places. but i think this has turned into the ethics and political rhetoric on both sides. really at the leadership level, not the appropriations committee level. if you left the chairman of appropriations and the democratic ranking member in a room together, they would fix this in about an hour. but the higher these things
escalate, the higher the political stakes, the more it becomes a political fight rather than policy. host: we talked about this idea of compromise to keep the government from shutting down. many of the president's supporters saying they would be ok with a shutdown. guest: for a while, but not indefinitely. anytime you shut down the government, at some point you have to reopen it. it is expensive to shut down and reopen. you will spend more money than we are talking about. it is better to avoid it. particularly the president is going to get part of what he wants in the $1.7 billion. i don't blame him for wanting more. i think we need more. let's sit down and figure out a way to do that in concert, but again, both sides have worked themselves into a position where compromise looks like defeat. i don't think that is defeat. i think that is how government ought to work. host: the first call for you comes from virginia. this is david on our line for democrats. you are on with representative tom cole. good morning. caller: good morning.
thank you for taking my call. i think there wouldn't be any deal with trump. this time democrats would stop trump. trump's rhetoric claims the only way is the wall, which is not supported by any fact-based information. i think it is just another show .or donald, the reality tv star www.c-span.org -- [indiscernible] -- unfortunately trump does not want to accept it. he just heard about money. why did he not do anything against brutal saudis? host: we will leave it there. thanks. guest: i believe most americans. do believe border security is a good thing i think the president -- most americans do believe border security is a good thing. i think the president is right
to want to increase border security. there are serious problems. putting additional resources there makes a lot of sense. i just don't think a take it or leave it kind of rhetoric really helps us here. issuek this has become an of symbolism a lot more than an issue of what would really work best to give us a secure border, which we both want. as the president envisioned it, the wall would be a $25 billion item. we are talking about $5 billion, so this clearly isn't a complete wall. let's talk about where physical barriers make sense. i think both sides could do that, keep their positions intact. neither side wants to yield. i think leader pelosi is playing to her caucus. i've got to stand up to trump and i've got a lot of people here that think any talk of border security is racist or somehow inappropriate. at the same time, we've got people on trump's side that say
don't give an inch. i'm sorry, appropriations requires everybody's participation. we've gotten a lot done. this has actually been the best year for appropriations in 22 years. most of the government is already funded. it got passed on time. defense is ok. but we got to finish the job here in a way that is not inconvenient to the american people, but that moves us in the right direction. i think we can do that if tempers will cool and people will lower the rhetoric and talk. after that scene we saw in the oval office, there was some additional discussion. leader pelosi said she had a call with the president that was productive. hopefully behind the scenes, things are working. again, you stick out take it or leave it positions, people don't like that on either side and you can stumble into a shutdown without having meant to go there at all. host: one of the things senator schumer said after that meeting was that the president was already granted 1.6 billion for
the border that wasn't spent yet. does he make a point there? guest: he does make a good point. i think that is a fair point to make. they need to have a secure frame of funding to go on, but it should be on agreed-upon things. i am not trying to jam anybody here, but most people think where we have physical barriers in cities and places like that, they work. so let's figure out the places that whatever your point of view is on the overall issue, let's pick places where we agree and where homeland security says this would make a difference. they usually can tell you what they need in a given physical setting to be effective. host: from florida, independent line, rich is next. caller: my question with the like the issue to me seems
we have a lot of it illegal immigrants that are in this country that are working for companies like reported the other day in "the new york times" for the trump organization. they are employed here. these people are even being withd by these employers documentation and stuff like that so that they are here illegally. that reason for these people to be here illegally -- let's cut off the addictions so that people aren't bringing drugs and there's no pity -- there's nobody addicted. guest: you certainly make a good point. about 40% of the people here illegally actually didn't come illegally. they came legally and then overstayed visas. in many cases, as you pointed out, they are employed. we have a system, e-verify, which would identify people here illegally.
once you figure that out, you come to a rational system where people can come and work, go home. but there's got to be some way to know who's coming to my who's going, who's here on a work permit, who's here on a green card, or who wants to come become a citizen. , having a defined, defensible border i think is part of the answer as well. i think that is what the president is trying to achieve. host: what is the resistance to e-verify, do you think? guest: i think people think it is going to expose a lot of people that are here illegally. the old estimate used to be about 11 million. this yeara new one out of yale university depth of the number more like 16 to 20, so we've got a lot of folks in the country that theoretically should not be here. the vast majority of them are working, obeying the law. in many cases they are contributing. so you need to have a larger discussion. the united states is a very desirable location.
no question a lot of people would come here if they could, probably more than we can easily handle. compromise,dea of if the democrats said give us a change of status for some daca recipients in exchange for border funding, is that something you would support? guest: absolutely. we put that on the table twice in the last session. unfortunately not a simple democrat supported it. strangely enough, i think senator schumer offered something like that a couple of years ago when it looked like daca status was going to run out. the courts have delayed that now. president trump wanted more. we should have taken the deal then, in retrospect. i think that is a fair deal. daca for border security. you have a daca problem because you had insecure borders. why not help kids that are here that are working hard? if you are a daca recipients, you haven't committed a crime, ,ou are in school or working maybe in the service -- i have
met with a lot of folks in my district. these are splendid people. they don't have anywhere to go back here. in some cases they don't even know the language where they came. let's help those kids. the president actually offered that he would sign a bill that would give not only the daca recipients, but daca people eligible -- a lot of people don't sign up because they are afraid it will make them eligible for deportation -- it is about 1.8 million people he was lit willing -- he was willing to legalize and support for border security and wall funding. host: republican line from maryland, rick. go ahead. caller: yes. tom, i assume you are concerned about the security of the united states. guest: very much so. caller: more than any other country. president bush -- or president trump here is concerned about that very much, and he wants this wall.
well, $5talking about, billion, maybe we will compromise on like $1.6 billion or $1.3 billion. answer me this question. we give israel $4 billion or $5 billion for their security. $38 billion,y got and the only congressman that opposed it that i know of is rand paul. so tell me how you justify giving israel $38 billion, and tell me what they do for the security of the united states. guest: i will. first of all, they didn't get $38 billion. they got a guarantee over 10 years that we would spend that much money. it is about $3 billion to $4 billion a year. we get quite a bit. first of all, we had pieced in
the middle east -- we had peace in the middle east. we helped the egyptians as well. war in the middle east is expensive for the united states because of the risk to our of lives and security because it helps breed terrorism and pushes up the price of oil. in addition to that, israel has been a remarkable -- has a remarkable record of intelligence cooperation with the united states. it helps us in terms of identifying terrorism. we work with them on developing anti-ballistic missile and anti-rocket systems in tandem. they've been an important strategic ally of the united states for a long time. that,s an investment interestingly enough, presidents of both parties, including president trump, have supported. it doesn't matter who is in control of congress. i think because the facts are pretty overwhelming when you sit down and look at them, this has been in the long-term interest of the united states.
host: from california, ray is next. democrats line. caller: good morning. guest: good morning. caller: i have a couple of questions for you. , the united states has a law that says asylum-seekers can present themselves at any place along the border and turn themselves over to border patrol at the request for asylum. is that true? if so, is not our president sort of misrepresenting the caravan? also, i don't mind spending money for border protection, but my issue is that most of the illegal drugs come in a shipping truunks ofand in
cars and through airports, so i don't understand why those issues aren't in the forefront. and then the last question is how much does it actually cost for the government to be shut down? host: ok. we will leave it there. guest: it is expensive to shut down the government. that is why i've always opposed government shutdowns. and they never achieve their objective. republicans tried to do this in 2013. i was against it then. it did not achieve the objective of trying to shut down obamacare. i saw the democrats do it to try to achieve a daca settlement. it did not work then. the preparation for shutting it down, the actual time -- we never, by the way, when we lay people off, we come back and
compensate them for their salaries. they might miss car payments or house payments along the way. so again, your point about that as well taken. i don't favor a government shutdown. both sides have tried it. both sides have failed. i don't think it would be any different this time. in terms of drugs, a lot of them do come directly across the border. obviously if you are in a car, you go through a border stop. a lot of shipping containers. we are 4% of the world's population. we use something like 50% of the world's illegal drugs. we got a problem on our side of the border in terms of consumption. you have cartels and all the violence associated with this. it is something we need to work on in multiple ways, but a more secure border i think is one of them. i am trying to remove your third question now. host: i didn't jot it down. apologies for that. guest: my fault. sorry about that. host: what is going through your
mind these days as you are going to become a member of the minority party next year? guest: how painful that is going to be. i've been here long enough to serve in minorities and majorities. it is thought more fun to be in the majority. fortunately in this case, we still have the administration and a much more secure majority in the united states senate. we are not going to be dealt out , but it does mean going forward, anything big that is going to get done is by definition going to have to be a copper mise -- to be a compromise. and there are areas we can cover mise. infrastructure -- we can compromise. infrastructure is an area, bringing down the price of prescription drugs. but again, if you don't know how to work together to get things done, you'll just have two years of bitter stalemate, and that is not productive for the country. i will work really hard to try and get productive things done where we can agree, and make
sure the government functions well and on time. it is a normal midterm. no one has had a good one since 2002. people say it is all trump. if that is true, it was all obama in 2010. we had some things that hurt us in suburban areas. part of that is presidential style. style helps us in certain parts of the country, and hurts us in others. that is true of any president. i think there needs to be some serious thinking because we did produce a good economy. we've not been involved in major wars in the way we have in previous administrations. there is a lot good to run on. the closest to peace and prosperity we've had since 9/11, quite frankly, and we still lost ground in the house. i think it is time for republicans to do some
introspection and course correction. host: representative least a phonic -- representative lias to was asked about this. minimizing the damage -- minimizing the root causes behind these losses will lead to repeating them. you better not look in the mirror and say everything we are doing is great. clearly there are things they need to change. but both sides seem to be under a lot of pressure. the democrats are coming off a great victory and leader pelosi has had to struggle to put together the vote. she appears to have done that yesterday to make sure she's the next speaker. there's a lot of dissatisfaction in democratic ranks even after a big victory.
host: what do you think about a move like that? guest: that is up to democrats, not us. i wish them well as they work through their problems. -- wet think generally have term limits on our side. this is a new step for them. but at the speaker level, you have term limits. every two years you have to get the votes. i don't think it will change things materially very much. she's a very capable and tough opponent, and she will remain that. why for years, when you are 79 years old -- four years, when you are 79 years old, that's a pretty good deal to make. host: go ahead. caller: good morning. it is a pleasure to talk to you. i do remember with the violence against women act, the democrats helping you out because the republicans did not want the reservations and all of that.
the problem i'm having right now is in 2013, the senate, which president trump keeps on saying the democrats in the senate, there was a bipartisan immigration reform passed by the senate. bipartisan. they would not bring it up in the house. why is that? is that because the republicans always like to this, and now we have a president who just yells they are bringing disease, they are bringing this? this is what the problem is. billingn terms of the 2013, only 14 republicans in the united states senate voted for it. that was an overwhelming democratic deal. you are not going to get a bill that gets all the democrats and 14 republicans through a republican house. speakers don't bring up things -- i always tell people, give me the one-time nancy pelosi ever brought a bill to the floor the majority of her caucus opposed. she never did.
a majority of republicans opposed that particular immigration bill. it's pretty easy and divided government to play that game. pass something you can only get through your house, and then blame the other party when you cannot pass it. 14 republicans and 40 odd democrats are going to decide what happens in the republican house? it doesn't work that way. you have to sit down with the other side and work out something that is agreeable to both. it was a political stunt from beginning to end. host: republican line from maryland, ruby. caller: thank you for allowing me to ask a question. wall is part of national security. my question is why there is a party dispute.
democrats and republicans all for american. they all protect americans. border wall is a part of national security to protect america. into thisut politics discussion? , itthe government shutdown has to. the president protect american, and he has no other choice. host: thank you, color. i had -- thank you, caller. guest: i agree on your basic point about or security being part of national security. i think what the president has asked for is reasonable and we ought to do it. butwe've done parts of it, we need to do more and do it at a quicker pace. i think that is what he's insisting upon. and democrats in the past have
supported this. if you look at what the president is talking about, pretty much it is what passed congress in 2006 on a bipartisan basis. the obama administration just quit and you had many democrats back then that were very much in favor of it. now i think it has gotten personalized. if this happens, it is somehow a victory for the president -- and and we areess -- going to deny him that victory whether it makes sense or not. honestly, people have made it a political issue when it actually shouldn't. i agree we should all agree on protecting the country. we can debate on what method works, but we don't disagree fundamentally. your point about shutting down the government, with all due respect, and i quite >> you can watch the last few moments of this "washington journal" discussion on our website c-span.org. we'll leave it he