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tv   116th Freshmen Profile - Reps. Spano Finkenauer Roy Rose  CSPAN  March 16, 2019 10:54pm-11:30pm EDT

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safe. >> newsmakers would larry kudlow, the president's chief economic advisor, sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. its look atntinues the freshman class of the 116th congress. rossgin with republican spano. he served in the florida house of representatives from 2012-2018. was bornative spano: i in tampa. i could not have had a better childhood, i grew up in a small community and have been there my entire life. small business owner. he built homes. my mom worked with him in the business.
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fact that i'm able to come to d.c. and represent the most important constituency, which is small businesses, is a .ig deal for me >> you cite your parents conservative values. rep. spano: they taught me how to treat people. they taught me how to work hard, how to love people. if you dad had a saying, honor god, treat people right and persevere, you can accomplish anything. that is the american dream. rep. spano: it's kind of crazy. he told me that fairly regularly. >> why? rep. spano: i think he wanted me to understand and appreciate the value of what we have in this nation. most people around the world don't have it and i grew up understanding out and believing it and pursuing it. >> where do you think that came from for him? he was only two
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generations removed from sicily, so his father and grandfather talked about america and the importance of the american dream to him regularly. it is something he conveyed to me. what did you do after college and what have you been doing before the house seat? rep. spano: i have been a practicing attorney for a couple of decades. i work in a state planning so i work with families and seniors for the most part and i was honored to serve in the florida house of representatives. >> what did you focus on there that you bring to washington? rep. spano: the highlight most important to me was the efforts in the ground that we took and the fight against human trafficking. we were able to take florida .rom a c rating to an a
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i was proud to serve on the legislative working group among senators and house members. consequential legislation that has taken us strides forward in that effort. >> why was that issue important to you? rep. spano: i have always been a guy that fights for the underdog, even when i was a small kid seeing somebody bullied i would step in. sometimes it didn't work out so well for me but i have always been the guy who wanted to protect the person that is being abused. i think that fit well with the personality i have, in terms of wanting to fight for the person who has been taken advantage of. i think i was born with it. mentors in your life? day spano: my father, every told me he loved me and was proud of me. i don't think you can overestimate the value of a parent in your life that gives you the kind of affirmation. number two, i had a very
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influential college professor who, during a tough stretch in my life, believed in me and expected more from me. he knew i had more and he drew it out of me, and he was the one that really encouraged me to go to law school and pursue my dreams. >> what was the tough stretch rep. spano? was a time when i was lost. i was not a traditional student. i didn't get my bachelors degree until i was 29 and i didn't have a lot of direction and a lot of confidence. i had a couple of semesters in community college where i wasn't too successful, and he said you can pull this out, just buckle down and pursue your dream, commit yourself, and you can do this. so was just a period of time where i wandered and didn't know what i wanted. >> that you have a family at the time? rep. spano: i had two small
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children, we were married, and that was also a struggle providing for them. so i worked full-time and went to school at night and that is why it took longer to get my bachelors degree. >> and you have grandchildren as well? rep. spano: that is pretty exciting. we had to grandchildren this year. we have a grandchild that is seven and a half months and another that is three and a half months. >> what do you hope to accomplish in your first two years? i want to really develop and build very strong, strategic relationships, not only here but also back home. i'm 52, but one thing i have learned is that if you want to accomplish anything of significance, you have to have strong relationships to do that. and that means building relationships across the aisle. that is what i'm going to do. statether former representative joining the house is abby finkenauer.
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she and fellow democrat cindy axne became interested in politics at an early age. >> i remember being a 10-year-old and asking my parents for a subscription to newsweek. they kind of looked at me like i was crazy. drawn to reading about what was going on in the world. in the country. newsweek, itget would, on like a wednesday, i would devour the name it -- day it came. then i would go to church with my grandparents. my mom was one of eight. it was a big family. we would walk down from church to their house. we would have dinner together.
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i would be sitting around the table with my grandfather who was a firefighter and a democrat. my uncle. another uncle who was a republican and a lawyer. and then there would be me, talking about what was going on in the world. those nights meet in impact on me. it taught me even though it was a young girl, i had every right to a seat at the table like the grown men. even though we would disagree, we would hug each other before we left and say cannot wait to see you next week. remember thinking that is how it should work. >> who or what sparked that interest in the beginning? >> i look back at grade school. we got weekly readers. that was one of my favorite things during grade school. when i found that there was something called newsweek, i thought, that sounds great. it is the adult version of the
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weekly reader. when i started to eat through it and reading at all, i remember >> i loved reading what was going on. getting ready for school, i know some kids watch cartoons. i had good morning america. joan london. i followed her a lot. it was great. hereu went on to be a page in the u.s. house. and in the state legislature as well. what did you do after college? >> after college, i ended up working for the community
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foundation of greater dubuque. i worked mostly in those affiliates. six rural counties around the city of dubuque. worked with folks in small towns being able to invest in their small towns, whether it is a baseball towns -- diamond or a small movie theater, making sure folks were able to get back into their communities in a way that was meaningful. >> you were also in the state legislature. rep. finkenauer: i was a legislative assistant in the iowa house for a couple of years. which is where i was when i looked around, i was 24 at the time and the statehouse seat came open. it was where my family lived. it was where i went to high school, my home. young andi knew i was
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paying off student loans, but i cared about my community. i cared about making sure that folks had somebody looking out for young people, making sure where they were raised. they could stay in the communities >> you are 24. fast-forward, you are 30, the second youngest female in congress. you and your colleague from iowa city are the first two women from iowa to be representing the state in the u.s. house. how does that help you? >> i'm really proud to be able to share the first congresswoman title with cindy. it's a huge honor. both of us looked at each other and said let's make sure we do
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this right and send a lot more women after us to the u.s. house. make sure we show young women all across the state that if they do pay attention and care about other communities, they can make a difference in a multitude of different ways. it's an honor to share that title with her and be here. >> have you heard from any other female members of congress or female leaders in this country? what advice have you been given? >> someone i look up to quite a bit, congresswoman bustos. our districts are very similar. she is somebody i've talked to who encouraged me when a lot of people were thinking it couldn't be done.
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she knew my background, where i come from, and that i was going to fight like heck for my home. she said work hard, stay focused, never forget where you come from, don't take a day for granted and make sure you continue to give back and do it authentically. >> why do you have a reputation of fighting? rep. finkenauer: i grew up the daughter of a union pipe welder. i saw workers get attacked year after year, whether it was collective bargaining in my state -- they went after people working their tails off trying to provide for their family -- my mom was a public school secretary. i remember thinking that's not how we treat people.
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i stood up and fought for them, whether it was the gutting of collective bargaining or the gutting of workmen's comp. it didn't sit right with me. i wasn't afraid to stand up and use my voice and make sure my constituents were heard. that's why i decided to take the voices of iowans to washington, d.c. to make sure working families are heard. there's a lot of firsts recently. one of the ones i'm truly proud of -- the united association, the union my dad was a part of, told me i was the first family member elected to congress. also proud of that, making sure working families are heard. >> what do your parents think of you being a u.s. house representative?
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>> it was my dad's first time ever to washington, d.c., coming in for my swearing in. they are very proud, obviously. they will keep me humble, which is important. and always grounded. when campaigns get busy and legislating gets busy, one of my favorite things is to go back out fishing with my dad in the pond where i grew up. that's the kind of stuff i'm really grateful i have them for, to make sure i keep things in perspective. >> do you remember the look of on your moms face or dads face? was there something they said?
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>> it was my dad's first time out here. we were coming over to the capital and we are running around, it's a busy day, we are walking through the hall quickly and i hear him behind me -- and hits me, he hasn't been here before. the next day, i was able to walk him around and take time and it was really special. my parents are very special people to me, good examples of what iowans are and who we are. it was pretty special. >> on the other side of the aisle is chip roy. he served as a senior advisor to rick perry. rep. roy: my family is from
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texas, came to texas in the 1850's. a few miles down the road from where my family currently lives. my great-great-grandfather was a texas ranger for a big part of the district i represent. my grandfather was the chief of police of a small town. my grandmother was raising my dad, who was stricken with polio. long time of public service in texas -- i did grow up in virginia, went to the university virginia and then came back to texas -- ended up getting the public service bug.
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i took the opportunity to run last year. >> what was your childhood like? >> i grew up in a rural setting in western loudoun county. very different from today. loudoun has become hip -- when i was growing up, it was very much farm country, one stoplight. i went down to the university virginia and grew up in all things thomas jefferson. lived down in richmond. my first job was down the road from the church -- we would reenact john brown's raid in harpers ferry. we went up to gettysburg in number of times and reenacted pickett's charge. i was blessed to grow up in a place so rich in history.
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when you combine that with my texas roots in history, informs who i am as a public servant. >> what did your parents do for a living? rep. roy: my mom and dad met in austin, texas. my dad worked for the irs. he did a lot of information technology development in the 1980's and 1990's. he worked here and then ended up retiring back to texas. >> did he influence your conservative roots? rep. roy: my family is all generally conservative. mostly from the standpoint of that texas can-do spirit. my grandmother lost my grandfather and was raising my dad with polio -- he had to
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figure out how to walk and deal with all these consequences of having had polio and never ask -- asked for anything. my mom sacrifices -- that's the american way. it's the way of texas. the opportunity you have to succeed and excel by your own work, your own work ethic. our lives are a lot better if you get government out of the way. >> what were you doing in your postcollege days? rep. roy: i worked in investment banking. i was a banker for a number of years for what is now bank of america securities. i wanted to be closer to my
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family. after a brief stint of caddying for a buddy of mine -- simon cook, a great golfer. i end up going to texas for law school. after law school, working for senator cornyn, came to washington to work for the senate judiciary committee -- i said i'm not going to get stuck in d.c. i wanted to get back home. i went back to texas as a federal prosecutor. my wife and i had our children in the dallas area. i ended up working for governor perry. that's when i was diagnosed with hodgkin's lymphoma. that was a life altering change. i've been cancer free now for
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seven years. >> you also worked for senator ted cruz. >> i was his chief of staff. after i worked for governor perry for three years and went through my battle with hodgkin's lymphoma -- my chemo treatment ended seven years ago last week. i spend the next year in 2012 working for the governor, helping my friends, ted cruz and his election -- he asked me if i would be his chief of staff. i resisted because i didn't want to come back into the beltway. i felt a calling. i came up to be his chief of staff. it was all contingent on the promise he made to me that he would try to change things up here. >> what did you learn from these conservatives you worked for,
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governor perry, senator cornyn, senator ted cruz? rep. roy: i get something different from each of them. they are all great leaders of the state. i learned from governor perry a great deal about how you relate to constituents, the importance of focusing on the story, what matters to a texan, a constituent. having a personal connection to the folks you are representing and always taking the time to make sure your represent in them and getting to know them. i was delighted to have his support on the campaign trail. senator cruz, i learned about how you marry your principles with the fight, standing up for what you believe in.
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it is a bit of art, not science. one of the things you learn as you go. >> one issue that's important to you -- health care. you refer to it as health care freedom. why is that? >> having some health care issues, which all americans have had in their family -- that does make it personal. i believe in this country the federal government should not interfere with an individual's ability to get the care of their choosing without interference. that's what we've got here. this health care system was badly broken prior to obamacare. the various element of regulation have been layering on cost -- that's the problem. last night, my wife and i were
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having a conversation about the health care plan i'm having to choose from -- i have to choose between a plan that would have my -- i can't have both without going out of network. that shouldn't be. this is the environment we have where you are so reliant on insurance companies and some bureaucrat telling you where you can be. we don't have markets making it reachable and affordable. a single mom raising multiple kids can't navigate through that. it's very personal to me.
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>> finally, republican rep. rose. rep. rose: i am blessed to be the eighth generation of my family to farm the same land in the sixth district of tennessee. my forbearers arrived in 1790 from north carolina. today, we have a 2000 acre farm, much of which is part of that original land-grant. >> how has your family continued to farm over these decades? rep. rose: i only get to take credit for 19 years of that 208 years. it is remarkable that generation after generation the family was able to pass the land down. it did change names. there were times when daughters took possession of the property
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and their husband's name attached to it. an on therein did -- uninterrupted string. >> what kind of farming? >> we are a eve callow calf operation. we produce cattle. and then we sell them. we produce kentucky fescue seed. we sell it commercially. we also produce the hay for our livestock. what is it about the lifestyle that has kept you in business of farming? you have gone on to serve in public roles. ,> agriculture is something
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people know it is a way of life, not just a profession or occupation. had another occupation as well but he farmed throughout my childhood. instilled in me that desire to it is a great -- learning laboratory for young people and children in particular. you learn about the way life lived -- life works. those are important lessons. me areues instilled in very special. something i hope to instill in my young son who was about 15 months old. the ninth generation to carry on the family legacy. >> tell us some memories about growing up on the farm. >> at a young age, i was the august of four children. mom would let him take me to get a break from the youngest child.
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two or three years old, my dad was dragging me around with him. sometimes on the farm. i remember lots of frightening moments when you found yourself all alone and you did not know if dad was coming back. moments when i saw my first baby calf being born. memories. my oldest sister used to say, my dad taught us work was play. 13 whengenerally 12 or he figured out he had us working. he made it into oil. it was a great family affair. my sister used to say, we were making memories. work asibe your commissioner. >> i got the opportunity to commissioner in
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tennessee. it is an appointed position. i was in a position where i could take that appointment on a short-term basis. it was a great learning opportunity. see what the limitations of government are. drew washe lesson i government is not good at doing anything. there are some things government has to do and we want government to do. we should not confuse the doing anything officially. that is not to say we don't have great public service, but government is inherently inefficient. i was raised in kind of a split home. my dad was a conservative southern democrat.
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my grandmother and i argued politics. combination ofe those influences. one of my first college professors said to me, instilled in me, when you are young, if you are not a liberal, you do not have a heart. when you are old, if you are not conservative, you do not have a brain. there is some truth to that. what i have come to understand is conservative principles are the bedrock of what makes america work. our attachment to capitalism and free enterprise are the pillars of our democracy. institutions we need to work to protect. >> what a you run for the seat? 2015, as my wife and i were watching the elections, we came
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to the conclusion our generation is at risk of leaving the country worse off to the next generation than our parents left it to us. if that happens, we will be the first generation in the history of the country to do that. i don't that is acceptable. both my wife and i were raised with the view you take god's blessings and you use them to make things better. time toed now was the enter the fray and make america better for the next generation, including my young son. hopefully for everyone else's children and grandchildren. it her what was it about the election that had you concerned about the future? in the political discourse. it was concerning to us. the drift of the country left word.
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its attachment we seem to be developing in some regard to age old timeless american principles. things like the assimilation of immigrants. threat the history, people come here and they assimilate into our society. they embrace the american dream and they pursue it. is kind of a process we need to control age -- encourage to continue. we want people to contribute, but we want them to be part of our nation. have forriority do you agriculture, farming out here? myself, there is kind of a balance in agriculture between the government involvement and the desire i think most farmers have to be free and independent operators.
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there are decisions made to abundantsafe and supply of food. government got involved and that interferes with the free market forces that are ideal. what i would seek to do is get government out of agriculture, daily lives of farmers while being mindful of the fact government is anerfering to pursue abundant and save supply of food always available. because of that involvement, there is going to be a role as long as we are pursuing that kind of policy. >> new congress, new leaders.
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follow it all on c-span. >> sunday on q&a. >> i had no expectation would be here in 2019 talking about this war. escalated,has been every year. the continual suffering. >> an iraq war veteran on this article time for peace in afghanistan and in and to the life. >> it was the same i had seen in iraq. i worked on war issues. there was no difference in the administrations. winr desire was to politically.
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everything else was secondary. >> former vice president was the keynote speaker at a democratic fund-raising dinner. he talked about the state of politics in america and of hised the possibility own bid for the white house. [applause] >> run, joe, run. jru


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