tv 116th Freshmen Profile - Reps. Hern Trahan Garcia Van Drew CSPAN February 24, 2019 5:20pm-6:01pm EST
30,000 jobs in the u.s.. a japanese billionaire company, and a german state company, i don't understand why it german country and japanese billionaire's should make money off of american jobs, but that is what the merger will do. communicators," on c-span2. >> the 116th congress includes many newcomers to politics, but it also includes lawmakers with diverse backgrounds. , friend ofevin hern oklahoma senator tom coburn. in hern, youevein pervert yourself as a "fresh -- you've referred yourself as a "freshmore." what does that mean? onlyhern: i think of the
one that is served in the majority and cast and 84 votes in the majority. >> explained to viewers why you are in the majority for that? congressman had gotten his new job on april 23 of last year, so our seat was vacant, and under oklahoma law, wasn't able to finish his term for two months and then put over to the wonders 16th full term. >> what were you doing before you came a congressman? rep. hern: i got a businessman my whole life. i started my own -- first business back in 1986. jobs and businesses every president since then. donald franchisee for 22 years. 34 years in mcdonald's. also in banking and real estate development, three different developing companies, all of which have been through the ethics rulings, have been transferred over to my wife. we have about 1000 employees. >> what got you into business? undergraduate is
an engineering. i was working for walk well back in 1986. the space shuttle blew up in the industry changed forever. i had an opportunity to get into the mcdonald's franchising business in 1987. i got into that, works 10 years and saved money, and opened my first restaurant in 1997. that was the last time i received a paycheck from anyone else. >> what you think that is taught you? rep. hern: i'm a guy that is laid on the other side of regulations of the tax policies coming out of washington. there are very few people who can actually say that. i grew up in extreme poverty. i spent all of my time in school. i lived on food stamps. i made a conscious decision after i graduated high school, that it would never take another dime from the federal government. that's what i done. i have worked my entire life to put people to work. have hired from entry-level to executive level folks over the last two years.
it has been a relief to see people work. bob reagan set the best social program is a job. we need to create more jobs. when we create jobs, the market works well and our economy can do better. >> is there a moment from your childhood that stands out to you ? extreme poverty, that shaped who you are and this mentality of a job is a social program? rep. hern: we live in the greatest country in the world. the country that can allow a person like myself to achieve the united states congress. who would have thought that? talk tole that i still today are sending me emails saying, whoever thought that the guy who grew up like you can be doing what you are doing today. i want to represent those interests and points of view to those folks in our district to give hope. never give up on this country, regardless of politics. i will tell you, in my short time here, what would be a
typical business acumen doesn't necessarily apply here. you have to roll with it and learn the new process. politics is different. i'm learning as i go. >> tell people how you grew up. rep. hern: my dad was in the military for 22 years. when he went to vietnam for the third time, my mother decided she didn't want to do that anymore and she took my brother and i and moved to arkansas and remarried a person. the rest of my time, from age 7-18, living in poverty. i was the oldest of five kids. i decided, when i graduated high school, that i would never do that again. i'm a person who has lived under food stamps. --ve lived in every taxpayer [ tax bracket. i can tell you that there is nothing better than working hard and getting a paycheck. we look at people who have been successful, and you have two choices. either that -- you are into them
or you despise them. i look at them as role models. i can be that person too. >> who were some of your role models? rep. hern: people that i knew that grew up like i did, my uncle being one, he was 20 years older than me. he had grown up or -- poor. you did of being a ceo. he did my commercials for me. he could tell my story from a different point of view. i admire people who have worked tremendously hard in this country and achieved the american dream, regardless of what it is. it's not always about money. in this country, we always look at money is being the benchmark. successes range from all types of things. how you feel about each other, how you take care of one another, and i've been blessed. >> how did you end up in oklahoma? rep. hern: mcdonald's. i moved from little rock to oklahoma in 1999. my next-door neighbor and
dearest friend became senator coburn. he taught me about politics. i never had any intention of running until the couple of years ago. >> what sparks that? rep. hern: i got tired of people coming to washington and saying we were going to do something and never doing it. life, i have been a person that has been taken advantage of this american dream. i a person at this age, i want to give back. i'm a doer, not a complainer. i want to tell my kids and grandkids that not only did you have a father, grandfather, that talked about doing things, but he wanted to try to make a difference. for former senator tom coburn -- tom coburn gave you about serving? rep. hern: you will be frustrated every day. to work hard and try to make a difference. never let this place change you. moree probably achieved
than people here have achieved in their lifetime. the beautiful thing about the house is we have 435 members that come from all walks of life. they have to represent the interests and points of view of the people who elected them. we have to find out what really matters most and that is about moving this country forward. we willep that in mind, be in a better place. it's difficult to get everybody on the same page. >> have you made a phone call to the senator yet? rep. hern: not yet. it's pending. >> some of the new members have worked in washington before running for office like lori trahan, a democrat from massachusetts who is chief of staff for former democratic harassment marty meehan. >> you have been described as the boston globe as a scrappy overachiever. rep. trahan: y? -- rep. trahan: they probably harken back to my grow up. i grew up in a working-class neighborhood. my dad was a union worker. my mom spent her childhood in
foster care and an orphanage. they had modest upbringings. i went to public schools my whole life. i got a scholarship to georgetown and played volleyball there. that put me on the path i am on today, which is why talk about education all the time. i worked hard. this was a tough primary race with 10 people on the ballot. i don't mind it scrappy. >> you worked two jobs as a teenager i understand. why? gov. newsome: we were taught -- rep. trahan: we were taught to work. i played for a volleyball team that helped me travel around the country. wanted to do that, i had to contribute to it. i started out delivering newspapers. it wasn't uncommon. everyone in my neighborhood growing up had some job that
they were doing, whether it was babysitting or helping with shoveling or whatever. i worked at a local diner while i was in high school. that was an interesting factor with the campaign. that was the first time i hadn't it had a paycheck since i was 11. i've been working for a long time. >> do remember how much you are waking at age 11? gov. newsome: it wasn't bad. -- rep. trahan: it wasn't bad. i was making like $40 a week with tips. it was a great first job. >> you went on to play volleyball at georgetown. you got a scholarship. what about sports? what about it shapes who you are today? rep. trahan: sports are great if that is what a child is interested in. it helped me manage my time, because, if you wanted to do well in school and be on 18, you
have to make all of that work. you do earn -- learn time management. to functionout how with a group of people. you learn those norms early. it helps with being competitive and understanding how to win and to get yourself into a better position to win. all great development of sorts of muscles, both psychological and physical. >> what you get your degree in? rep. trahan: by bachelors of science in regional and comparative studies from the school of foreign services at georgetown. i was in latin american studies major, that was my focus. it's a great program. it was rigorous, but it is a terrific program. >> you went on to do what? i was about to go
take the foreign officer exam and travel the world, but my dad got sick. he was diagnosed with ms when i was in college. i came home, and work on a community service project the day i came back home. i worked there for the summer. realized that service takes many forms. i was interested in becoming a force service officer, but i realized how rewarding it was to serve your community. it was through that that i met my then congressman and applied for a job in his office. withingot to washington months -- i came to washington within months of graduating. >> you're not unfamiliar with washington. you work for who and what did you do? what lessons did you learn? i worked for congressman marty meehan. he was a democrat from the same hometown that i grew up in.
i started as a scheduler and had many jobs in that office, both here and in massachusetts. i eventually became his chief of staff. i learned a ton. i learned to never forget who you are there to serve. we spent a lot of time in the district, listening to folks, working with community leaders, trying to bring funding where he could back home that we could use to leverage private investment. attended a number of town halls, just listening tours so that we were properly representing the district here in washington. i was part of a team that got to for campaign-finance reform the campaign reform act of 2002, which was bipartisan landmark legislation. i realized how difficult it is. to get the number of cosponsors, especially going on bipartisan
legislation, how to go through that process. and how deterrence of thing into law. >> you also worked for a. what did you do? -- uber. what did you do? rep. trahan: they were interested in getting more women drivers. we were helping them in figuring out what the obstacles were for war -- more women applying, and driving over a longer. of time -- longer period of time. i'm a pragmatic person. i jumped in with two feet and became an uber driver myself just to see firsthand what some of those obstacles were. it was fun to go through that process. >> you talked about her childhood and your parents. what sort of influence today have on you? rep. trahan: my parents are incredibly loving.
their incredible he hard workers. -- they are incredibly hard workers. everything me and my sisters have is a direct result of watching our parents. my mother worked several jobs while raising us. my dad, when there was not work in massachusetts or boston, he would leave home. he would go work in long island for a year or main. m -- maine. we understood the difference between -- the distention between supporting a family and hard work. i have it better than most. my family was such a supportive unit. my mom and dad were tremendously supportive of everything my sisters and i did. >> 45 years old. when did you realize you were a democrat? rep. trahan: if you grew up in a union family, you are a democrat. [laughter]
rep. trahan: i grew up in a working-class city. i'm sure all my neighbors were democrats. helped organize his union at times with his union. i learned how to door knock and phone bank early on. my parents fostered a lot of debate at home. they make -- they used to make us read the newspaper. to debate and discuss. my parents passed on democratic ideals. where i'm from is a gritty, urban gateway city. the neighbors that i had, the community i grew up in, we will take care of each other, i've been a democrat my whole life. same withu done the your eight and four-year-olds?
-- discuss issues with them? do you discuss issues with them? rep. trahan: this campaign we just went through, it made my eight-year-old very conversant in government and politics and the process of interviewing for this job. it has been cool to see. she probably does not understand some of the democrats versus republican. we don't frame things that way. center tend to disagreements on party labels as much as this is what one side will say and this is what the other will say. but she has an opponent on that opinion almost everything. >> how are you managing your life here and your home back home -- your life back home? rep. trahan: i have a great family. my husband is fantastic. my mom is ageless and has limitless energy. so is my aunt. i have three sisters.
i'm feeling the benefits of none of my family leaving the nest. they're all very close to me. were making it work. >> what did your mom say when you decided you are running? what did you think the reaction has been or what have they told you about winning this seat and serving in the house? rep. trahan: my mom will to you that she wasn't surprised. years, i looked at a lot of companies across the world, mostly in the united states, about how more women can get into leadership roles. when i looked at the congress and saw that the demographics haven't changed that much since i left during 2005, i don't think she was surprised i wanted to be a part of a wave of women who came and changed the optics of our congress and made it more representative.
it was a big year for women. it was also a big change election. i never thought about running for office. when it was a staffer here, it was not a dream of mine. the 2016 election did change that for me. a critical mass of new people coming to washington at the same time, that is your opportunity to change business as usual and the way the place works. that's what attracted me. i know from my time in the private sector that better decisions are made when more women are at the table. i'm thrilled to see summary more women at the table right now. >> up next is jesus "chuy" garcia, the congress and represents the fourth district in illinois. he migrated from mexico as a small boy. tonict on to work as a commissioner, city councilman and served in the illinois state senate. he goes by the nickname of "chuy ". rep. garcia: it's a nickname for anyone who bears the name of the lord. i first name is jesus.
instead of calling us jesus, they call us chuy. it's a standard nickname, -- especially among messick and americans. >> where did you grow up? rep. garcia: i came to this country at the age of nine. i'm from the state of durango in mexico. i came here with my mom and three siblings. my father had come to the states to work during a worker program here in the late 40's. he made his way from texas to california to kansas to chicago. he made a home in chicago after he got his green card. he petitioned for us and we joined him. this is known as the family system of migration. >> how was that decision for your mom, to come to the united states? what was it like for her and you as a nine euros? rep. garcia: it was a difficult decision. reuniting with our dad, who was working in chicago, who was
supporting us, sending us money, visiting us as much as he could, was still a difficult time for my mom and us, because we would not have him around, so my mom did everything to raise us well, today care of us and provide for us. it was a bittersweet moment, because on one hand, we were reuniting with our father, and on the other hand, it was tough to leave our small village where my mom was well known. the choir. sing in she helped many people learned to read and write in the towns around hours. she was a very loved person. leading was difficult. most of all, for me, leaving my dog back in my little village. it still makes me get sentimental. >> when you arrived as a nine-year-old in chicago, what do you remember that experience? rep. garcia: is very vivid. i remember getting out of the station wagon that my uncle, who picked us up at the border to
get to chicago, one i opened the door and the wind hit me, chicago is known as the "windy city," that day, i felt the cold air cut through my small jacket that was an adequate for chicago. that was my introduction to a bitter chicago cold morning in february. i remember it very vividly. on the other hand, it was a welcoming to a city that have come to love and to a city that 52 years later, would see me running for mayor of that city in 2015. i have lived in almost the same community since i arrived in chicago. it's a very vibrant, working-class family-rooteed communit. it remains my community of choice. >> why did your parents want to live in america? what did they say about being here in the u.s.? rep. garcia: my father first
came to this country because we did not have the means to live a good life back in mexico. we had a very small plot of land. it was not adequate to provide the things that my father and mother wanted us to have. he took a chance. like many immigrants with come to this country, and he found a place where he thought he could provide a better way of life for his children. provide them with more opportunity. in that regard, i'm the first in my family to go to college because of the public school system of universities and -- in illinois. we are very grateful. it was to make a better living, and being able to come to congress as illinois first mexican-american congressman is a great honor. it's a part of the american experience and american dream for this immigrant boy to come to washington. >> when and how did you become a
citizen? rep. garcia: i became a citizen -- i applied in 1989. i took the oath of citizenship in 1980. i was working at it -- as a paralegal at eight office in chicago, helping people become citizens, helping people file their applications to immigrate to this country. i asked myself, isn't it time that i too become a citizen? i did. that opened up a journey in my life that led me to public service, to being an elected official. now at the federal level. >> was that what inspired your desire to be a public servant? rep. garcia: my desire to be a public servant comes from my mother, who was very public minded. someone who sought to make a difference in the lives of other people.
even though she only had a third grade education, she taught many people around our village and the outskirts and rural areas how to read and write. she would travel to these far-flung places with no salary. the bullet give her things. they give her a chicken or a piece of cheese or a bag of beans. all in gratitude for the new world they came to experience in learning how to read and write. she sung in the choir at her church. she volunteered at the schools. she sewed costumes for me so that i could perform any local public school when i was a young child. the vocation to be a public servant comes from my mother. when i was in high school, was when i first heard that calling to make a difference, to create movement's for social justice, i was inspired by actions like dr. king and chavez, and i never
stop hearing the call for justice and the call for public service. this is where it has brought me. >> what offices have you held and what, from those experiences, what do you think -- how those experiences helped you here in washington? my first public and civic engagement activities included getting involved in my local community to fix up a rundown movie theater, to build new schools in the neighborhood, to create support systems for new immigrants who were coming to the community. pathway where i had the privilege of being a city councilman in chicago, chicago alderman, among one of the first latinos, mexican-americans, elected to the council. i was reelected three times. i also had the great fortune to be sent to the illinois state
senate and illinois first ever mexican-american state senator. i had a chance to break in and teach the ropes of the senate to a fellow you may have heard of, his name is barack obama. when he arrived at the illinois state senate. you don't know what encounters you will have with fellow citizens, neighbors, so i'm glad to say i played a small role in teaching him the ropes of the illinois senate. the cook served on county board of commissioners in the cook county area of chicago. i've beguned, serving in congress and have been here for a whole two and a half weeks as a member of congress as the number of illinois from the fourth district. >> what advice did you give obama that you still follow today? rep. garcia: i told him, make sure you don't stumble upon arriving here. i taught him some of the protocols of the senate.
claims to have similar values to me, i told him who to look out for in the illinois senate. i suggested that he reach across the aisle, which he did very successfully by working with republican leaders and other members of the house, who were in the majority of the time. clue that he would have the type of rise that he did to become a state senator, and the president of the u.s. 422 -- two terms. you never know what kind of encounters being an elected official will get you and that is one of the most positive ones. >> new jersey has sent jeff van drew to congress, a dentist who worked his way up from the general assembly to the state senate and now the u.s. congress. >> you spent decades as a practicing dentist. how do you go from dentistry to congress?
iran and unusual dental practice in that it was part-time. i was also doing politics in my free time. i was a councilman, and mayor, a county commissioner, the state assemblyman, a state senator. all doing that through the time i was doing dentistry. it was wonderful, because you gain people's votes. when you're doing dentistry, you're doing a technical medical kind of thing, that in politics, nothing is technical. it's wild. it was always fun. >> which job is tougher? rep. van drew: their tough in different ways. dentistry is technically very tough. you're doing technical stuff to get a sense of it. when people see the trails we they run about 5000 rotations per minute. you have to be focused. you have to have good hands and
eyes. it's kind of like being a surgeon. you have to make sure you know how to apply anesthesia. everything is technical. the part that is good in dentistry is when you do it right, as a rule, not always, but as a rule, everything works out. it is a science. in politics, i've been seeing that almost nothing is a science. you never know how things will work out, even if you have done the right thing all the way down the line, it may turn out that it doesn't work out the way you wanted it to. >> what did you first decide to run for office? my toan drew: i was in the practice, and my kids were younger, and i was the president of the dental society, i was the expert for the state board of dentistry, and involved in a lot of dental things. i was felt comfortable in leadership positions. iran for counsel, in my helpdesk
my-- i ran for council in hometown. it wasn't routine. it say they knock on doors. i knocked on every door in the municipality in 65 square miles. i don't mean 90% or 80%. i knocked on every single door at least once. some twice. sometimes even more. the area i come from is a very republican area. yet, people are good. when you look at them eyeball to eyeball and you talk and listen to them, i talk about the issues. they don't care about party any, they care about the issues. >> what should folks know about the second district of new jersey the? rep. van drew: how diverse it is. i don't even mean ethically and diversity -- ethnically and culturally, i mean in many ways.
it is about 30% of the state of new jersey. there are eight counties in my district. 92 towns. it's a huge area that can take hours to traverse. it's different. of cumberlandrt county's rural with a lot of farming and agriculture. a lot of open spaces. it's much different than atlantic city. that is much different than cape may and other parts of atlantic county, where it is really tours and driven -- tourism driven. cape may is very victorian and beautiful. with all of those differences, what do you have to do as a member of congress to represent all of those interests? rep. van drew: you have to be able to synthesize all of it.
you need to put your feet in their shoes. you need to understand what it is they are going through. when those problems at the salem which is on the border of delaware, that is one of the major income drivers for that area, that matters and you have to understand that. you have to realize that offshore drilling can mean a great deal and be real problematic for people that live in cape may county or atlantic county. they are so concerned about their pores of areas and keeping the water -- tourism areas and keeping the water clean and pristine. cumberland county is a little more urban and has a large hispanic community. in atlantic city, there are large communities of everybody, whether it is vietnamese or bangladesh or south asian or
pakistanis. they all have their own set of issues. they have a lot of small businesses. they want the american dream. part of your job is to help them achieve that. is ast you have to do different as all of the areas are, it is a microcosm of the state itself. you have to make sure that you are working to try as much as you can to make everybody's dream come true in different ways. there are different issues and different problems and 11 different and tyrants. -- environment -- they live in different environments. >> what your political style? rep. van drew: informal. be a little bit of a rebel. i don't always love when people say, you must go exactly a long with your political party every single time.
if your party tells you to do something, you do it. i don't believe that is true. i think you can have a political on the founding fathers, they walked these halls, where men and women ,alked so long ago before us and they work so much worried about republicans and democrats. they weren't worried about being good republicans are good democrats. they were worried about being good americans. that's what i'm worried about. my political style is, i want to be a good american. >> where did you learn that? rep. van drew: i learned from a lot of different people. my dad, who is not a politician at all. around the kitchen table, we would talk. he would have different views on different points. sometimes he sounded like a republican. other times he sounded like an independent or a democrat. i think that's a good thing. it shows you are thinking.
you are doing something different. as humannow that, beings with intellects, we should go automatically and do everything automatically exactly the way we are told. i know that's not what we should do. >> within the next two years, what you want to get done? rep. van drew: i want to get the government open first of all. andeed to be more flexible work in a possible way. whether we get the government open before we deal with border security or, quite likely, i'm willing to deal with border security at the same time our party and the president. you know it's important to meet? might not come up men and american women don't have money in our pockets, that can't pay for their food, that can't buy their baby diapers, that's what's important. not that we disagree with each other in these walls.
you have to compromise and work together. to me, what's important is bipartisanship. working with both parties. we need for stability. we need to work for the american people, regardless of what parties thi ty -- nk. we need to protect offshore water. all of those types of things are important to me. >> what committees are you working on? rep. van drew: got my first committee. it's agriculture. that will that a lot, because there is nobody from new jersey on the agriculture committee. that amazes me. i hope to be able to do a lot. people don't realize how much agriculture is in new jersey. we grow so many cranberries, blueberries, peaches, tomatoes.
we are so high in agriculture. varies, but it is probably our top five industries. people always think it is big pharma and high-tech and financial industries. fishing is another huge issue. tourism is a central piece of new jersey. south jersey issues are very important. i will give it everything i have an on election night, i say i was going to work and i'm going to work very hard.
i am. >> you congress, new leaders, follow it all on c-span. here's is a look at the c-span program schedule. next is "newsmakers," with air force secretary heather wilson talking about the new 's, initiated by the president and his summit this week with the north korea president. at 630, presidential candidate senator amy klobuchar campaigns in new hampshire. a," elizabeth and samet talks about her memoirs of ulysses s. grant. this weekend on "book tv," tonight at nine eastern on and editor of the washington post recalls the 500 days he was held in an iranian prison in his book "prisoner." he is interviewed by democratic congressman jared huffner.
>> you recall that day in detail. you had masked men take you and your wife up to your apartment, they ransacked the place, you were driven to one of the most notorious prisons in the world, separated from your wife and told you might die. that's a bad day. >> that's about as bad as it is gotten for me. day, itell you, on that still assumed that this would get worked out quickly. thatoal of these people had taken us, and at that point, we were unclear about which faction of the security apparatus had come and rated -- raided our home. at some point, their goal was to scare us and it would end. >> watch >> the house and senate return
for legislative work on monday. the house will take up joint resolution to terminate the presidents national emergency declaration that allows him to build a southern border wall with money congress intended for other purposes. also, measures including universal background checks for gun buyers and closing certain loopholes. in the senate, the annual rating of george washington's farewell address. then they continue work on an abortion bill. later in the week, the nomination of andrew wheeler to head the epa could the house is live on c-span and the senate is live on c-span two. susan: joining us on "newsmakers" is the secretary of the air force, heather wilson. dr. wilson was sworn in in may of 2017. she oversees air force active duty