tv 116th Freshmen Profile - Reps. Spano Finkenauer Roy Rose CSPAN March 20, 2019 1:36pm-2:12pm EDT
the vote is scheduled for tuesday, march 26 and you can see it live here on c-span. when the senate is back in session mexico, they will continue debate on judicial nominations and later in the week, senate lawmakers will take up a resolution of support for the green new deal. sessionte is back in and live coverage is on c-span2. c-span continues its look at the freshman class of the 116th congress.
>> what did your dad and mom do? >> my dad built homes on my mom worked with him in the business. to come that i'm able to d.c. now and represent one of the most complete -- important constituencies which is small business is a big deal for me. you have your mother and father's christian conservative values. what did they teach you? >> they taught me how to treat people and love people like they want to be treated. they told me how to work hard. and how to love people. saying -- ifad a you honor god, treat people right and persevere without exception, you cannot college anything, that's the american dream? >> he told me that regularly. >> why? >> i think you want me to understand the values of what we have, the lessons we have in the nation. most people around the world
don't have it and i grew up understanding it and believing it and pursuing it and now i am living it. >> where you think that came from for him? >> that's a great question. he was two generations removed from being from sicily. his father and grandfather talked about america and the importance of the american dream to him regularly so he just conveyed it to me. >> what did you do after college question mark what have you been doing before you won this house seat? >> i have been a practicing attorney for a couple of decades. i work in estate planning so i work with families, seniors which is what i've done and for the last six years, i have been honored to serve in the florida house of representatives. >> what were your a congressman's or what to do focus on there that you bring to the table in washington? is the i would highlight efforts and ground we took in the area of the fight against human trafficking. we will able to take florida from a c-rating by the polaris
project in terms of our legislative response to human trafficking to an a rating. 10-12 pieces of very consequence legislation in florida that have taken us strides forward in that effort. >> why was it important to you, that issue? >> i have always been the guy that fights for the underdog. even when i was a small kid, to see somebody bullied, i would intervene. sometimes it didn't work out so well for me but i have always been the guy that must to the person being abused. well with the personality i have in terms of wanting to fight for the person being taken advantage of. >> where did that come from? >> i think i was just born with it. any mentors in your life? what impact did they have on you? >> one which we have mentioned is my father who every day told me he loved me and was proud of me.
you cannot overestimate the value of a good parent in your life. number two, i had a very influential college professor ad advisor who during tough stretch in my life believed in me and expected more from me and knew i had more. he drew it out of me and he was the one who encouraged me to go to law school and pursue my dreams. >> what was the tough stretch? of time whereriod i was lost. my bachelors degree until i was 29 because i was working full-time and did not have any direction and not a lot of confidence. a couple of semesters and committed to college right wasn't successful. he said you can pull this out. just buckle down and pursue your dream, commit yourself and you can do this. it was just a time or i wanted and didn't know what i wanted.
>> did you have a young family at the time? >> we were married and had small children. that was also a struggle for them. i work full-time and went to school at night and i is what took me longer to get my bachelors degree. >> you have grandchildren as well? >> we just had to grandchildren this year. our children are 26 and 24 and 21 have a grandchild's 7.5 months and one that's 3.5 months. >> what do you hope to a cop us after your first two years in washington? >> i hope to find my way around, that's the first thing. secondly, i want to develop and build strong, strategic relationships, not only here and easy but also back home. is if learned in my life you want to look up as anything of significance and value, you have to have strong relationships. thate context of d.c.,
means building relationships across the aisle so that's what i will do. >> another former state represent of joining the ranks of the house is abby finkenauer the second youngest member of congress. she and fellow democrat cindyacne made history being the first woman elected to the house from iowa. . >> you became interested in politics at an early age. why's that? >> i remember being a 10 year old and asking my parents for a description to newsweek -- for prescription -- for a substitution for newsweek. they did not talk about politics that much. drawn to reading about what was going on in the world and what was going on in the country. newsweek, itget would come on a wednesday or something, i would devour it the day it came and on saturday nights, i would go to church with my grandparents, my aunts so it was a big
family. we would walk to church to their house and we sit there and have dinner together and after dinner, i would sit around the table with my grandpa who was a firefighter and a democrat, what my one uncle who is a democrat and a small business owner, and another uncle who was a republican and a lawyer and then there would be me sitting there talking about what was going on in the world. those nights just really made an impact on me and it taught me that even the i was young girl, i had every right to be at the table with grown men. even though we would disagree and we would quite a bit actually, we would still have each other before we left and say i can't wait to see you next week. i remember thinking this is how all of this is supposed to work. i've always been interested ever since then. >> who or what sparked that interest in the beginning? honestly, i think i look back at grade school i remember we got weekly readers. that was one of my favorite
things during grade school. when i found out there is something called newsweek, i thought that sounds great. it's the adult version of the weekly reader. and whenat i asked for i started digging through it and reading it all, i got into being fascinated about what was happening outside of iowa and around the world. i realize that i should be paying attention. >> did you continue that through high school and college and after? >> i did, i have always in a news junkie. i love reading what was going on and it was not just reading about what was going on. i was a kid, getting up in a morning and get ready for school and some kids watch cartoons and i had good morning america on. joan london, i liked her a lot. it was great. >> you went on to be a page here 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 foundation of greater butte -- dubuque which also had affiliates. i work mostly in the affiliates, six rural counties around the city of dubuque. smalled with folks in towns, being able to invest in their small town whether it was a baseball diamond or a small movie theater and making sure folks were able to give back to their committees in ways that were meaningful and can attract folks to stay there and bring people back home. >> and you also were in the state legislature? that, i was a legislative assistant in the iowa house for a couple of years. that was where i was when i looked around and i was 24 at the time in the statehouse he came open.
all my family lived there. it's where i went to high school and it was my home and i decided that i knew i was young and paying off student loans but i cared about mike trinity and they cared about making sure again that folks had somebody looking out for young people making sure they could stay in the committees they were raised or move back home. and invest in them. >> you are 24. in six years, you are 30 and you are the second youngest female in congress. iowand your colleague from are the first two women from iowa to be representing this state in the u.s. house. how do you think that helped you? >> it's interesting. firsts. a lot of for women in the last couple of years and i am proud to be able to share the first congressman
-- congresswoman title. it's honestly a huge honor and it's something where both of us look at each other and said let's make sure we do this right and let's make sure that we send a lot more women after us to the u.s. house and make sure that we set a good example and show young women across the state that if they pay attention and they care about other communities, they can make a difference in a multitude of different ways whether his public office are giving back in different ways. it's an honor to get 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 and what advice have you been given? >> somebody that i look up to quite a bit is congresswoman busto was literally right over the river from may. -- from me.
i talked to her when i first decided do this and she encouraged me when many people thought it could not be done that a young woman from iowa who comes from a working-class family could possibly take on this seat in congress. knew and ind, she was going to fight like heck for my home. she is somebody who told me to work hard and stay focused and never forget where you come from and don't take a day for granted and make sure you continue to get back and do this right and do it authentically. >> what is your background and why do you have a reputation of fighting? >> i grew up a daughter of a union pipefitting welder. in that statehouse, i was four years there, i saw workers get attacked year after year whether it was collective-bargaining where they went after 184,000 islands who were teachers or corrections officers or bus
drivers, people working or tells off trying to provide a good life for their family like my parents did. my mom was a public school secretary. i just tremendous thinking that's not how we treat people. i stood up and i fought back for collectiver it was bargaining are getting them worker's comp. where they were making it harder for folks who got hurt on the job to get compensation. it didn't set quite right with me. i was never afraid to stand up and use my voice and make sure my constituents were heard and exactly why a decided to do this, to take the voices of iowans to washington, d.c. and make sure working families were heard. firsts thatot of have happened recently. one of the ones i am truly proud of is the day before i got sworn in, the union my dad is a part of an had been for over 45 years, told me i was the first familymember from a ua that has been elected to
congress. i am very proud of that and making sure that working families are heard. >> what do your parents think of you? when they got to come visit, it was my dad's first time ever to washington, d.c. he came for my swearing in. obviously.ry proud, but they will keep me humble. and always grounded. busy andaigns get legislating gets busy, one of my is to get back out and go fishing with my dad in the ponds where i grew up. that's type of stuff that i'm grateful i have them for, to be encouraged but also make sure i keep things in perspective. >> do you remember the look on
your dad's face or your mom's face when they were out here for your swearing in western mark maybe something they said? wast was funny because it dad's first time out here. i forgot about that. and weted in my office are coming over to the capital to get sworn in and we were running around and it's a busy day in many folks are around. we are walking through statuary and where we are now quickly because we are trying to get someplace and i hear him behind me go deb, which is my mom's name, we are in statuary hall. it hit me they have not been there before. the next day after everything settled down, i was able to walk them around and take time and it was really special. my parents are very special examples of who we are. it was pretty special. then the other side of
aisle is ship roy representing the 21st district of texas. he served as a senior advisor to former texas governor rick perry. texas, came is from 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. a big part of the district i represent. the families are longtime texans. the firstther was woman elected county clerk. lost mya single mom and grandfather to cancer and raised my dad who was stricken with polio. she worked hard and became the first woman elected county clerk. longtime public servants in up, i grew upew and went to the university of virginia and went to the university of texas law school and worked on a few campaigns like george w. bush as a
volunteer and john cornyn's campaign and ended up getting the public service experience and took the opportunity to run when congressman smith stepped down last year. >> you move to virginia so what was your childhood like? >> i grew up in a rural setting. it's very different than today. of hip and there are vineyards. when i grew up it was farm country. there was one stoplight in the district and a lot of snow days because it was 80% dirt roads. went to university of virginia and grew up. live down richmond as my first job. i grew up and soaked in our history. we would reenact john brown's
raid in harpers ferry when i was young. we went up to gettysburg and number of times. that was part of my ap history class. i grew up in a place rich in history where you truly understand our founding principles that is made this country so great. when you combine that with my texas recent history and what's so great about being a texan, it forms to i am as a public servant. >> what did your parents do for a living? >> my mom and dad met in austin texas. my dad worked for the irs. he was in auditing and data processing. he ended up retiring back to texas. >> did he influence your conservative roots question mark >> my family is all generally conservative. mostly from the standpoint of that texas can-do spirit.
as i describe my family and my grandmother and her influence on my life being a single mom in figuring out how to make it work and how she lost my grandfather and was raising my dad with polio -- despiteorked hard having the ravages of polio. he had to figure out how to walk and deal with the consequences. he never asked for anything, never looked for anybody to help them. sacrifices and that's why i think it's the american way. you have the opportunity to succeed and excel by her own work in your own work ethic and that's what i want to accomplish, especially if you get government out of the way. were you doing in your postcollege days? >> after college, i worked in investment banker for a number
of years for what is now bank of america securities. my dad had recurring polio issue i want to be close to my family so after a brief stint caddying wasa golf mate of mine, i living in hilton head and caddying for my buddy for a year , a guy named simon crook. he ended up on the pga tour. the many tours trying to grunt it out. i ended up going to texas and after law school, i worked for senator cornyn and came to washington and worked on the senate judiciary committee. i was really committed to not being trapped in the beltway. i said i will not get stuck in d.c. with all those who did and i went back home and went back to texas and became a federal prosecutor in my wife and i had our children in texas in dallas where i was a prosecutor and i ended up working for governor perry and doing some other things. diagnosed withas
hodgkin's lymphoma which was life altering. i was blessed to get through that and have been cancer free for seven years and i'm happy to be back in public service. >> you also worked for senator ted cruz. >> i was his chief of staff effort worked for governor perry for three years. i went through my battle with hodgkin's lymphoma. mikey mo treatment ended seven years ago last week. then i spent the next year of 2012 working for the governor. i was helping my friends on the side and ted cruz was elected i was helping him step up his office and we had a dick cheney moment where i was helping with the staffing and he asked be to be the stephen -- to be the chief of staff and i resisted. i did not want to come to the beltway. i felt a calling to get back in and save the republicans. staff and itef of was contingent on the promise he
made to me that he would try to change things up here. i think he made good on that promise. from theid you learn conservatives you have worked for, governor perry, senator cornyn, senator ted cruz? ofi have worked for a number offices in texas and i get something different from each of them. they are all great leaders of the state. i have learned from governor perry in particular about how you relate to constituents and on importance of focusing the story, what matters to texans and a constituent come a person you are representing. and having a personal connection to the folks you represent. i always take the time to make sure you focus on getting to know them and what's important to them. i was delighted to have a support during the campaign and he joined me on the campaign trail as well as senator cruz.
learned from senator cruz how you marry your principles with getting in the fight and learning how to navigate standing up for what you believe them. art, notttle bit of science and it's a thing you learn as you go. >> health care is personal to you and you believe in health care freedom. why is that and is it related to your struggle and your father's struggle? >> having health care issues with all americans have had in their family, we've all had loved ones who have dealt with a setback, that makes it personal. i talk about health care freedom. , believe any government particular the federal government, should not interfere with and individuals to get their individual care and get the insurance of his or her choosing without interference from the government. everyone gets wrapped around the axle. the health care system was badly
broken before obamacare. it makes health care so unaffordable and reachable. that's the problem. last night, my wife and i had a conversation about the health care plan i have to choose from from the obamacare plans i have is a member of congress. i have to choose between a plan that i have -- that would have my doctor or a doctor i had in texas. 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 go. we don't have markets making it reachable and affordable. a single mom raising multiple kids can't navigate through that. we have to create a system with health freedom to get care of your choice.
it's very personal to me. >> finally, republican john rose. he's a lifelong farmer and served as the tennessee agriculture commissioner from 2002-2003. 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 stayed in the family. it did change names. there were times when daughters took possession of the property and their husband's name attached to it. an uninterrupted stream for that time. much of the land that is not in my branch of the family is still in the family in other branches of the family. >> what kind of farming? >> today, we are a beef, cow, calf operation. we produce commercial cattle. we raise calves until they are weaning age and sell them. we also produce the primary forage grass and turf grass and produce seed, and hay for our livestock. it about the lifestyle that has appealed to you and kept you in the business of farming? you have gone on to serve in
public roles as well related to farming. >> sure. agriculture is something -- anyone who has been involved directly knows that it is a way of life, not just a profession or occupation. growing up, my dad had another occupation but farmed throughout my childhood, and instilled still me the desire to be that desire in me to be involved. it is a great learning laboratory for young people, children in particular. you learn how life works coming , you learn about loss, and the harvest. those are all important lessons. the values that my parents instilled in me partly through that involvement in agriculture are very special to me, and something that i hope to instill in my young son, who is 15 months old, and will hopefully be the ninth generation to carry on that family legacy. >> tell us memories of growing up on the farm, good or bad.
>> at a very young age, i was the youngest of four children. mom would let him take me to get a break from the youngest child. really, from two to three years old on, my dad was dragging me around with him, literally sometimes, along the farm. i remember those frightening moments when you found yourself all alone and you did not know if dad was coming back, but also great moments when i saw my first baby calf being born. it stands out in your mind. you know, very deep memories. my oldest sister used to say when we were at the farm doing things together, my dad taught us to work with clay. so we were 12 or 13 when we figured out he had us working and not playing. returned the work into games and made it enjoyable. it was a great family affair. my sister used to say we were making memories. indeed, we were. >> describe your work as the commissioner of agriculture for tennessee.
2002, i got the opportunity to serve for about. six months as commissioner in -- about six months as commissioner in tennessee. it is an appointed position. i was in a position to take that on a short-term basis. it was a great learning opportunity. enough time to see how government operated. see what the limitations of government are. the lesson that i drew from that is the government is not good at doing everything. there are some things the government has to do because we can't trust it to the private sector, but we should not confuse that the government will do anything very efficiently. that is not to say we don't have great public servants in government, because we do, but government is inherently inefficient. >> who instilled in you conservative principles? >> it's interesting, i was
raised in a kind of split home. my dad was a conservative southern democrat and my mom was a republican. i got both sides. at the farm, my grandmother and i argued politics as a youngster. so, it came from the combination of those influences. then later, as i got older, one of my first college professors said to me, instilled in me the view that if you are young and you are not a liberal you don't have a heart. and not a old conservative, you don't have a brain. there is some truth to that. there is a balance to life. what i've come to understand is that conservative principles are the bedrock of what makes america work. our attachment to capitalism and free enterprise are the pillars of our democracy and important institutions we need to work hard to protect. >> why did you decide to run for this seat?
>> it's a simple thing. in 2016, as my wife and i were watching the elections of that year, we came to a harsh conclusion. we believe 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 think that is acceptable. both my wife and i were raised with the view that you take god's blessings and use it to make things better. after some discussion, we decided it was time to enter the fray and hopefully make america better for the next generation, including my young son, guy. and hopefully for everyone else's children and grandchildren. >> what was it about the 2016 election that had you concerned about the future? >> the rancor and political discourse in 2016 was concerning to us.
the drift of the country leftwa rd, and the detachment we seem to be developing in some regard to age old, timeless american principles. like the assimilation of immigrants. this is the country of immigrants, but throughout the history of the country people come here and assimilate into the society and embrace the american dream and pursue it. that is a process that we need to encourage to continue. we want people to come here and contribute to our country, but we want them to become a part of our nation. >> what priorities do you have for agriculture, for farming, out here as a congressman? >> sure. as a farmer, myself, there is a balance in agriculture between the government's involvement and the desire that i think most farmers have to be free and independent operators.
agriculture, going back to the new deal era, has a lot of government embedded in it because of decisions made to pursue a safe and abundant supply of food for the populace of our country. the government got involved. that interferes with the free market forces that are ideal, i believe. what i would seek to do is get government out of agriculture and out of the daily lives of farmers to the greatest degree possible, while being mindful of the fact that government is interfering in order to pursue an abundant and safe supply of food is always available to the people of our country. because of that involvement of government, there will always be a role for government as long as we are pursuing that policy. there will be a place for
government, and a need for agriculturalists to interact with government in pursuit of those policy objectives. >> new congress, new leaders. follow it all on c-span. >> congress is in recess this week. nancy pelosi has announced that next week, congress will try to override president trump's veto. that vote is scheduled for tuesday, march 26. when the senate is back in session next week, they will continue debate on judicial nominations and then take up a resolution of support for the green new deal. live coverage on c-span2. simply threeas giant networks and a government supported service called pbs. in 1979, a small network rolled out a big idea.
c-span opened the door to washington policy, bringing you unfiltered content from congress and beyond. this was true people power. in the 40 years since, the landscape has clearly changed. given way tohas live casting, but c-span's role is more important than ever today. online, c-spannd is your unfiltered view of government so you can make up your own mind. >> coming up, and news conference with federal reserve chairman jerome powell. th