tv 116th Freshmen Profile - Reps. Reschenthaler Kim Cox Kirkpatrick CSPAN March 28, 2019 5:47am-6:23am EDT
at the schools of our studentcam winners. awarding the second prize at high school east. at richland northeast high school. >> when we saw the topic, what does it mean to be an american, we thought about the constitution. the first thing that came to mind was the bill of rights, especially freedom of speech, because that is ingrained in the american identity. it is at the forefront of this past year in terms of the press and our increasingly divided political climate. how can we not approach this what itand apply it to means to be an american? >> you can watch every winning studentcam documentary online at studentcam.org. the 116th congress has over
100 members with diverse backgrounds from those serving in the military to the sons and daughters of emigrants. -- immigrants. he served in the u.s. navy where he prosecuted nearly 100 suspected terrorists in iraq. all,ngressman residence tell us where you were born. >> fight outside of pittsburgh. >> my parents were teachers. my dad wham! back to school to be a chiropractor.
they are middle of the-road republicans. my grandmother was an elected official in a democrat stronghold. she was a republican. they are fairly conservative. >> did you get your desire to serve from your grandma? >> i have always been committed to service. i've always wanted to be in the military. i was attracted to politics. in high school, i couldn't drive but the republican chairman would pick me up and drop me off, i would do literature drops, put up yard signs, go to political parties and rallies. i have always been drawn to it. >> where did that come from? how did you decide, how old were you, i will participate in the republican party? >> i remember the news being on and i would stay up late on friday nights to listen to 20/20. my football coach would cut out wall street journal articles and quiz me on them. i remember being into it. i was always more interested in
the news rather than cartoons as a kid. >> why did your football coach quiz you? i was with a bunch of the other kids and i was talking to him about what he did. he was a lawyer. he clipped an article. i read it. it turned into a habit. >> you went on to become a lawyer yourself. why? >> i really looked up to this coach. i thought i could make a difference. i really wanted to be in the jag corp.- in eighth grade, i was on summer vacation in south carolina. a former jagged asked me, jag asked me what i want to do. i didn't know. he said you can do both. he is a navy jag. going into eighth grade, i was like that is what i want to do. >> explain to us who don't know what that is? >> judge adjutant general.
every branch has a jag core. criminal defense, prosecution, environmental law, operations. it is a phenomenal practice area for anybody who wants to serve. >> you were able to fulfill that dream? what did you end up doing after law school? >> i was incredibly fortunate to get in. i got an in law school. i did a year in northern virginia. we called it legal assistance. power of attorney, consumer law, sailors, marines, and the coast guard. i deployed to iraq. i was fortunate. i got selected to go to the central criminal court of iraq, the iraqi federal court system. we were prosecuting terrorists and insurgents in the iraqi system. prosecuting terrorists in front iraqi judges, using iraqi law
using a translator. amazing experience. >> 100 different terrorists you prosecuted? >> 100 cases. over there you prosecuting groups. 92 convictions. they are called attention orders in their system. 13 of those were for the death penalty. >> how old were you? young.s fairly 26 or 27. i think i was 26. >> what did it teach you? >> it gave me an appreciation for the u.s. it gave me optimism for our role in the world. a lot of iraqis looked to us for examples of rule of law, justice, separation of church and state in government. that was really inspiring. it gave me hope for the future in general. i felt so many people were interested in our western style of government and justice. it was a phenomenal experience.
>> when you returned, what did you do next? >> in three days, i got a case with a navy seal falsely accused of abuse of a terrorist. i was one of the attorneys. i ended up going back to iraq. this time i was a defense attorney in u.s. federal court in iraq. my client was fully acquitted of all charges. i was a consultant on the next two cases. i became the officer in charge of texas and oklahoma for navy legal. i litigated cases in florida, a case outside of chicago, went back to virginia. i did that for two years. >> then you served on the local level? >> i got out, from where i was stationed in texas to
pittsburgh, i got appointed to be on the planning commission. i got involved in politics. i did that. i ran for district judge. i did that for about a year and a half. i focused on solving the root cause of problems. substance abuse, mental health screenings, i really reformed the way we did truancy. i had a chance to run for state senate. again, very fortunate. i ran in a, what was a democrat .eat, and won 2015 to now. >> you are how old now? >> 35. i got elected. i ran for district judge at 29, planning commission at 28. >> why did you decide to run for the u.s. house of representative's seat? >> i felt like i could do more. when i got into government, i said i would do whatever i could to help as many people as
possible in the greatest capacity. being in congress, you get to work on issues important to me and my background, like foreign affairs. it gives you the chance to help more people have a strong voice. -- stronger voice. >> have you used your experience in iraq in these first few months of being on the job in washington? >> my background has helped on foreign affairs. i am on judiciary. my background is a perfect mix. it is not just about the experience. it is about outlook. when i was a judge, i had to listen to both sides. i had to make a fair and balanced decision either way. i always like to put myself in the opposition's shoes so i can learn both sides of an issue and have more of an equilibrium. that philosophy is carried with me. frankly, that comes a lot from iraq. there court system is different. ours is more adversarial. i started litigating in iraq. i was exposed to a foreign court system where it was not as adversarial as our court system.
that has really had a big impact on me. >> what has surprised you about washington? >> the partisanship is frustrating. i am used to working with democrats. almost all my bills in the state senate, democrats were co-prime sponsors. there was more willingness to reach across the aisle and advanced policy. -- advance policy. so much focuses on soundbites. we have to look holistically at things, have to see what the root cause of problems are, and have tough discussions and then move from there. you cannot boil down the problems we face to talking points. >> you have experience doing interesting things. has there been a learning curve? >> yes. i am fortunate that in the state senate of pennsylvania it was full-time legislature, active body. i cut my teeth there.
most of my staff was already in place. my director, chief of staff, field staff, they came with me. i wasn't starting from zero. with any new legislative body there will be a learning curve, but i am fortunate to come in with experience. >> what has been the hardest thing to learn? >> a vast amount of fellow members. i'm coming from a body of 50. that is a lot different. the pace of work is the same. it is more extended. instead of monday through wednesday, it is monday through friday. of two weeks on and two weeks off in the state it is monday through friday. >> how would you describe your work style? >> i work all the time. i have no life. i live for this. i start my day reading the newspaper, listening to different podcasts, take meetings, i am usually working late. i enjoy it. it doesn't feel like work. you can ask my staff, i am doing this all day. >> on the other side, andy kim
representing new jersey's third congressional district. he is the son of korean immigrants and previously served on the national security council during the obama administration. my father came here for an education. that is the dream he believed in. he grew up in an orphanage in south korea. he is a survivor of polio since he was a baby. no one thought he would be able to have the kind of opportunities he had. my mom grew up in a poor family to a single mom. my dad got a phd in genetics, my mom became a nurse serving in the great hospitals of new jersey. that is why they came here and that is why they stayed, to give me and my sister the same opportunities. >> what did they say about living and being a citizen of the united states when you were growing up? rep. kim: they were so appreciative of the opportunity. they never took it for granted.
they told me it was important to give back. they both chose jobs that were about helping others. my dad dedicated his life trying to cure cancer and alzheimer's. my mom is a nurse. service is not just a job. it is a way of life. it is not 9:00 to 5:00, then you punch out. it has got to be about your mindset and what drives you. they instilled that in me. >> did that service start early for you? rep. kim: absolutely. my mom made me go to the hospital with her every saturday to volunteer. my dad always told me it was important to see the human he was doing.t he was a cancer researcher and did alzheimer's, but he actually went and talked to families afflicted with cancer and alzheimer's. he wanted to remember, this is not just some type of experiment in a lab. you are trying to help people. that human side is something they taught me about. i have tried to hold that close
to my heart whenever i work on issues, even if they are counterterrorism on the other side of the world, i always try to remember the human side of this and what is impacting people's lives every day. >> where did you go to college? what did you major in and why? rep. kim: university of chicago, political science. i also worked at the chicago coalition of the homeless. it was important to me to ground myself in the community. i had the great honor to become a scholar, i became a rhodes scholar, doctorate in international relations. again, always focused on the practical aspects. u.s. national security policy to the middle east. immediately went in and became a diplomat, national security official, always trying to think how i could apply this to the betterment of the country. -- rep. kim: i am somebody that was
in college during september 11. that was such a huge impact on my generation. everyone across the country, but i have it is such a formative part of my development, especially coming from new jersey where we are intimately connected with new york city and the towers. that was a personal issue for me. watching my classmates from high school, college, serving in iraq and afghanistan, this was not some intellectual curiosity. it is about people's lives being risked. i wanted to do everything i could to try to get our country on a better path. you served in the obama administration. how did you get your position and what did you do? rep. kim: i served as a public servant. i got interested in foreign policy after september 11. i briefly served on the hill under a moderate republican.
i worked at the state department. it was always about serving the people. no one asked me if i was a democrat or republican. i just focused on the job. i worked my way up from the bottom and tried to make sure i can use my experience and expertise to help people. >> you were a civilian advisor -- generalth petraeus in afghanistan. what did that entail? rep. kim: i was part of his personal team, alongside other advisors. being a civilian, i was focused on working with the afghan government, economic policy. i was a point person to work alongside anticorruption initiatives. there has to be a strategy to bring this together. full military
solution to the problems our country faces. and afghanistan, there is no way we can move forward unless we can make sure political and economic solutions are moving alongside parallel to military efforts. >> when and how did you decide you would run for the seat? rep. kim: to be honest i never thought i would run for congress. i wanted to serve. as i said, i was always someone before that considered myself as a national security expert in a nonpartisan way, checking that at the door in the situation room. i decided to do this because, i asked myself one question at every moment in my life when i am thinking of a new job. where can i be of most impact, most service to this country? when i saw my home district and the challenges people face with health care costs and soaring prescription drug costs, and they are concerned about jobs
and the economy, i certainly felt like this was the place where i could help. have the dedication i want to be able to serve them. i will tell you, it has been humbling to have this opportunity to represent my home district where i went to kindergarten. truly a humbling experience. you have 2 boys. what do you tell them about what you do? rep. kim: i have a 3.5-year-old and a one-year-old. it is the perfect time to be in congress. not crazy at all. for me, this is the essence of why i ran. i'm a public servant, son of an immigrant, but i am a father. whose future i worry about every moment of my life. i will be honest, they have no idea what i do. they don't. this job, the hardest part is that it takes me away from them so much. uck them intoo t
bed in the way i want. i worry that maybe i'm not being the kind of father they need me to be, but the way i look at it is this is my way of trying to be a good father, look out and push for a better future for them, fight for their education, health care, for families around new jersey and across the country. while they don't know what i am doing now, i hope as they get older they will look back on this time and be proud of their dad. >> how are you balancing this life? rep. kim: there is no way to balance it. there really isn't. it is a sacrifice, i will always be indebted to my wife and family. they are having to do so much more to help make this work. it is truly a family effort. there is zero balance when it comes to a young family working in congress. my job is to try to do everything i can to be able to support and to do this alongside my wife, while also making sure i am delivering for the people of this district.
but i will say as i have gone around the district and talked to constituents, they are really proud of what my family is doing. they recognize that sacrifice, but more importantly they see it as grounding. being a parent of two baby boys, they know i'm doing this because of the passion for my family, my community. that my head is in the right place. no one would go through this unless they really wanted to make a difference. >> do still have your parents with you? what is their reaction to them coming to the united states and now seeing their son serving in the united states house? rep. kim: some of the most powerful experiences of the last years have been watching my mother in particular, how she has gone through this process. i remember her coming out of the booth crying, having the chance to have voted for her son for u.s. congress, after everything they went through in life. on january 3, i had her in the
gallery when i had my right hand raised and swearing in, and she was crying then. about how proud she was. was she told me about that experience was she wasn't crying because of everything that had gotten me to that moment, she was crying because she was so excited and proud to see what i would do with this experience and what i could do going forward. she is proud about the promise of what it is like and being the only korean-american member of congress, the son of korean immigrants, that is something particularly powerful for them. >> california's 21'st congressional district also sent a new face to washington. tj cox, a mining engineer and businessman, his father migrated to the u.s. from china while his mother came to the u.s. from the philippines. >> how did your family and up in -- end up in california? cox: it was a long route.
my dad came from china. my mom from the philippines. they met at montana state university in the 1950's. when my dad finished up a phd at montana state, he took his first job in california. >> why did your parents migrate from china and the philippines? rep. cox: the classic immigrant story. a land of opportunity. my mom used to sneak into the american movies, tyrone powers was her big hero. my dad went from england to canada, a lot of the ex-pats were kicked out of china after the cultural revolution. he moved my family, my dad's side, to canada where he did his masters at montana state. >> what did your parents say about the journey? rep. cox: i tell you what, it comes down to what my mom kept telling me when i was growing up. get to work.
classic immigrant story. some parents, you work hard and you take advantage of the wonderful opportunities america provides to all people and all immigrants. >> what did she do for work? rep. cox: my mom was a real pioneer. she was one of the state of nevada's first equal opportunity officers. she had a passion for social justice. she got that from my grandmother. one of our favorite family stories was right after world war ii in the philippines, my grandmother noticed there was a certain section of the u.s. troops that were being discriminated against. they had no place to go to relax. my grandmother opened the first and only social club for african-american troops in manila. >> why? rep. cox: she saw this discrimination. she wasn't going to put up with it. she was going to do something about it. it is one thing to see things. we all need to know, it is more important to take the next step.
to actually do something about it. >> what is your dad do for a living? rep. cox: my dad was one of our nation's top researchers in experts in hydrogen and hydrogen technology, clean, renewable technology. we were talking about it at the dinner table 40 years ago. 1976, 1977 we had a chevy cavalier that was retrofitted to run on liquid hydrogen some 40 years ago. in a cruel irony, my dad was killed in a car accident when i was a teenager. >> i am sorry. what lessons did you learn from your parents and -- your parents in the paths they took in life? rep. cox: the opportunities america affords each and every one of us. public education available, great institutions of higher learning, if you take advantage of those, you can be successful in anything you want to do. >> you went on to do what in
college? what did you major in? rep. cox: it is funny. my dad was still alive in high school. when i registered for college, i registered for chemistry. i came home and told my mom, i signed up to do chemistry. she said, no, your dad was a chemical engineer. that is a different path. i did that. a chemical engineering niceround provides a technology engineering background as a platform to go on to do many other things. what did you do after college? rep. cox: i worked overseas. i worked in africa. i worked in the middle east. >> what were you doing there? rep. cox: i was working for a number of consulting firms, putting in environmental equipment, metallurgical processing equipment, that type of thing. there was a fascinating place to be in west africa 30 years ago
, and it still is today. >> you made your way back to california? rep. cox: yes, to get married to my wonderful wife. we are still married today, 27 years later. >> happy valentine's day. rep. cox: thank you. >> you have 4 children. rep. cox: yes. >> your wife is a pediatric intensive care physician. sounds busy. how do you balance all this? rep. cox: a lot of hard work. love and dedication to the kids. our kids are fantastic. my wife, kathleen, she is an example for me in working in the central valley as a physician, she sees the consequences and the injustice of the health care system. how your health and your life expectancy is determined by the zip code you live in or were born in.
she has a real passion for public health, making a difference. that is an example i take to work every day. >> when you went to california, one thing you started was you saw the need for jobs. explain what you were doing? rep. cox: after traveling around the world in kathy's training, she took a job in central valley, california. she knew that was where she could make the greatest difference and have an immediate effect. when i came, i have this background in engineering, all over the world. i had just gotten an mba. i started volunteering with habitat for humanity. that led me to start the organization that i have been running for 10 years, which invests in our economically distressed neighborhoods and regions to provide the things we know people need. quality affordable health care, well-paying jobs, education opportunities, clean energy facilities and so on. we have opportunities to make a
real difference in the lives of people in the central valley. >> how did you come to own two processing businesses? rep. cox: i do these types of things. these are not things i go looking for. they find me. someone will say, i have a great idea. can you help me? before you know it, i am in it with them >> what are they? is. cox: one of them pasteurizing. every almond has to be pasteurized. but the most common way is chemical. does that sound good? no, i can see the look on your face. i developed a pasteurization system that can pasteurizing
in a fraction of the time chemical pasteurization takes. >> what do you think you bring to the table in washington given all those experiences you have had? rep. cox: you have seen the face of the new freshmanen on the democratic side. it is beautiful. it is youthful. the one thing we all know is there is no substitute for experience. and my experience in engineering, and finance, and getting things done, i can marshal those to be effective on day one. >> and your mom's motto? rep. cox: exactly. get to work. >> c-span spoke with anne fitzpatrick. she previously represented arizona's first congressional district and again from 2013 to 2017.
rep. fitzpatrick: it is nice being back in this term feels different. i am fortunate my staff came back so their experience, they worked in a congressional office. we hit the ground running. i feel more collegiality with this group of congressmen and than i have ever felt before. a lot of them are younger and do not come with the history of contention and maybe they are open to working together and getting things done. >> explain where you grew up. i was born andk: raised on an indian reservation. my family came to grow food for the apache. they opened a general store. my dad worked in the general store. my mother was a teacher.
>> you lived and worked on the reservation. rep. fitzpatrick: yes. apache was my first language. >> what was that life like? rep. fitzpatrick: it was great. lots of freedom. we spent a lot of time riding horseback, swimming in the river. we had a rural upbringing and i thought that is the way life was. i had no idea about washington, d.c. >> what did you learn from those years on the reservation? rep. fitzpatrick: i learned respect for different cultures. i internalized the apache culture. when we moved off the a culturen ating to what i called the indo-european western culture. eventually i did. i fought it for a while. just realizing there are different cultures and you have to be able to work in multiple cultures, i treasure that now.
>> did that inspire your motivation to learn chinese? why? rep. fitzpatrick: i remember missionaries coming to the reservation when i was a child from china. they said they bought apache sounded like chinese. when i had to take a language, i thought i will sign up. i signed up for a mandarin immersion course and i loved it. it was natural. apache is four toned and so is mandarin, so it was natural for me. the sentence structures are similar. it came easily. >> what did you do with that skill? rep. fitzpatrick: at the time in the early 1970's, i thought i was going to go to china and actually work there. we did not have diplomatic relations with china at the time , so i became a teacher. i taught elementary school, junior high school for a couple years and ended up going to law school. >> what triggered you to go to
law school later in life? rep. fitzpatrick: i was the first member of my family to go to law school. i love learning and i knew i would need a career in which i would continue to learn throughout my lifetime. law would bee that. i really enjoyed my time. >> how did you get involved in politics? rep. fitzpatrick: very randomly. i was practicing law, very happy. some of the native americans and a legislative director came to me and said we wish you would run for the legislature, because you grew up on tribal land and you have been successful in business, and we think you could successfully bridge both cultures. to my law partners and they said it is a good idea. you are probably going to lose
, but it will be good for our practice because we will get our name out there. i have nothing to lose. i started going around knocking on every door, introducing myself. previously fore a couple of terms, lost, and you ran again. you decided to run for senate against the former senator john mccain. rep. fitzpatrick: that was a good campaign. it was the kind of campaign i wish we could be in every race because it was civil. we never stooped to personal attacks. it was all about the issues. i highly respect the former senator john mccain and his family. >> what did you learn from him? rep. fitzpatrick: i learned you can be civil and be of an opposite party and talk and debate about the issues and work together. >> what does your future here look like? rep. fitzpatrick: that is a good question. after the senate race, my three
grandchildren were born. two of them were premature so i was happy i had the time to spend with my children and grandchildren and really did not think i was going to run for congress again. i had voted for the affordable care act. it saved my children and my children from bankruptcy. when the incumbent voted for the republican health care bill i said i cannot stand on the sidelines. i have fought too hard to this. she dropped out of the race. she is now a senator. that is how it all happened. >> what would you be doing? your priorities for the 116th congress? is. fitzpatrick: health care my priority. in the bill we are going to vote on hopefully tonight to not shut down the government increases funding for indian health services.
but also reducing prescription drug costs. reducingealth care, prescription health care costs are the two biggest issues i hear about. >> new congress, new leaders, follow it all on c-span. get to know the freshmen members of the 116th congress monday on washington journal. learn about the most diverse group of lawmakers in history. >> i'm real. i am authentic. i am not going to be a politician. >> captain of the national guard. served in afghanistan. a fascination with the idea of finding answers to questions no one else could find. >> i have been a physician for my professional life. >> my dad is a lifelong