tv 116th Freshmen Profile - Reps. Reschenthaler Kim Cox Kirkpatrick CSPAN March 28, 2019 1:07pm-1:45pm EDT
pennsylvania's 14th congressional district. before coming to congress he served in the u.s. navy. >> congressman, tell us where you were born? >> i was born right outside pittsburgh in my district in new kensington. i was raised right outside of pittsburgh in the south hills. >> how did you grow up? what did your parents do for a living? >> my parents were teachers. before i was born my dad went back to school to be a chiropractor. my mom became the library director in hi hometown. she was school librarian in the school i attended. >> what were their politics? democrats? republicans? >> pretty middle of the road republicans. my grandmother was an elected official in a democrat stonghold and she was a republican. but they -- they're fairly conservative. >> did you get you deserve to serb from your grandma? >> i've always just been committed to service. i wanted to be in the military. i was always attracted to politics. when i was in, when i was in high school i was -- i would
get picked up, i couldn't drive, i was too young but the republican chairman would pick me up, drop me in neighborhoods, i'd do literature drops, put up yard signs i've always been drawn to it. >> where did that come from? how did you decide -- and how old were you -- i'm going tore participate in the republican party? >> i remember being a kid, the news would be on. i'd stay up late to listen to 2020. i played football in -- third or fourth grader my football coach would cut out articles and quiz me on it the next day. i always remember being into it. i was always more interested in news rather than cartoons as a kid. >> why did your football coach quiz you on he "wall street journal"? >> i rode to a game with him, something happened, i wasn't with the other kids. i talked to him about what he did, he was a lawyer. he just clipped an article and gave it to me, i read it, just turned into a habit.
>> you went on to become a lawyer yourself. why? >> being young, i looked up to this football coach. i thought i could make a difference being a lawyer. i wanted to be in jag court. when i was in eighth grade i was on psalm ervay case and a former jag asked me what i want to do i said i don't know, i want to be a lawyer, i also want to military office. he said you can do both. i said how? he told me about being a navy jag. i was like, that's what i want to do. >> explain for those who don't know, what that is. >> jag, judge advocate general. all branches of military have jag courts. you do everything from wills and powers of attorney general to sailors and marines to criminal defense, prosecution. environmental law.
we did wills, power attorney, consumer issues, helping sailors, marines, coast guardsmen. i went to the iraqi federal court system. we were prosecuting insurgents in the iraqi court system. >> you prosecute in groups there. i had a death penalty case with 15 defendants, but i prosecuted roughly 100 terrorists. had 92 convictions, they're called detention orders in their system.
14 of those were the death penalty. >> how old were you? >> i think tiffs 26, 27. i think 26. >> what did that experience teach you? they gave me a lot of hope for the future in general because i felt like so many people were interested in western style of overnment and justice. >> what did you do next? >> i was assigned to the first seal charged and tried. i ended up going back to iraq.
i was defense attorney in u.s. federal court in iraq. i cross examined the accuser, my client was fully acquited of all charges and then i was a consultant on the next two cases. one of them took place in iraq as well. those seals were fully acquitted too. after that i became the officer in charge of texas and oklahoma for navy legal. so i oversaw cases in that area of operation and ended up litigating cases in florida, had a case outside of chicago. went back to virginia to litigate a case. so i did that for two years. >> then you served on the local level. >> i got out, on my drive from where i was stationed in texas back to pittsburgh, i got a call, i got appointed in my hometown to be on the planning commission so before i even came i got involved in politics, did that, ran for district judge, did that for about a year and a half, focused on solving the root cause of problems. a lot of substance abuse, >> you health screenings,
are how old now? rep. reschenthaler: 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 epresentatives seat? rep. reschenthaler: 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 apacity. 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 stronger voice. >> have you used your experience in iraq in these first few months of being on the job in washington? rep. reschenthaler: 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? rep. reschenthaler: 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 advance policy. so much focuses on oundbites. so many issues we face you can't describe in soundbaits.
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 nteresting things. has there been a learning curve? rep. reschenthaler: 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? rep. reschenthaler: a vast amount of fellow members. i'm coming from a body of 0. 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. instead of two weeks on and two weeks off in the state it is monday through friday.
>> how would you describe your work style? rep. reschenthaler: 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. rep. kim: 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 element of what he was doing.
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 eople'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. >> what sparked your interest in international relations and specifically the middle east? 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 e. 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 president kim: i served as a civil 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 emocrat 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 to general -- general petraeus in afghanistan. what did that entail? ep. kim: i was part of his
personal team, alongside other advisors. eing 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. there is no 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? hen 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 xperience. >> you have two 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. '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. i don't get to tuck them into 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 ife? between washington and new jersey? 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 nd 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 longside 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 s 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 ast 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? rep. cox: it was a long route. y dad came from china. my mom from the philippines. hey met at montana state university in the 1950's. hen 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. go back an rgster for chemical engineering. that is a different path. i did that. a chemical engineering background provides a nice 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 alifornia? 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. ur 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? rep. cox: one of them is asteurizing.
an organic past rising line for almonds and cashews an other nuts. 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 ace. i developed a pasteurization -- a totally organic steam pastryization system that can past rise a load of nuts in a fraction of the time chemical pastryization 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's diverse. 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 kirkpatrick, representing arizona's second congressional district she previously represented arizona's first congressional district from 2009 to 2011 and again from 013 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 women than i have ever felt before. a lot of them are younger and do not come with the history of ontention and maybe they are open to working together and getting things done.
>> explain where you grew up. rep. fitzpatrick: i was born and raised on fort apache indian reservation. my family came to grow food for the cafflery and they opened a general storing, my dad worked in the general storing, my mother was a schoolteacher. >> 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 eservation a cultureating to
accuturating to what i call the anglo 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 hroughout my lifetime. it seemed like law would be 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. i talked 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 yself. and i won. >> you did serve previously for a couple of terms, lost, and you ran again. you decided to run for senate against the former senator john ccain. you lost that senate bid, what did you learn from that? 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 -- saved my grandchildren 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. i'm going to run against her. 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? rep. fitzpatrick: health care is 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 rug costs. keeping health care, reducing prescription health care costs are the two biggest issues i ear about. >> new congress, new leaders, follow it all on c-span. >> get to know the freshmen members on the 116th congress. monday on "washington journal." lev about the most diverse
group of congresspeople in history. >> i'm raw, i'm real, i'm not going to be a polished politician. >> captain of the national guard. served in afghanistan. >> mcdonald's franchisee for 22 years. >> i had such a fascination with this idea of finding the answers to questions that nobody else could find. >> it's new for me. i've been a physician. >> my dad is a lifelong republican who never voted for a democrat until he voted for me. >> watch "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on monday morning, join the iscussion. >> the senate budget committee this afternoon all day as a matter of fact they have been debating and voting on the 2020 budget resolution. they're in a recess now. we'll join the markup when they return from a break at the -- at 2:00 eastern. president trump holding a re-election campaign rally in grand rapids, michigan this evening. we'll have live coverage of that, 7:00 eastern here on c-span. and our road to the white house
coverage continue this is weekend. former texas congressman beto o'rourke kicks off his presidential campaign in el paso, texas, live at 12:30 p.m. eastern on saturday. follow our coverage online at c-span.org and with the free c-span radio app. >> once tv was simply three giant networks and a government-supported service called pbs. then in 1979, a small network with an unusual name rolled out a big idea. let viewers decide all on their wn what was important to them. c-span opened the doors to washington policymaking for all to see. blinging you unfiltered content from congress and beyond. in the age of power to the people, this was true people power. in in the 40 years since, the landscape has changed. broadcasting has given toy to narrowcast, youtube stars are a thing. c span's big idea is more relevant today than ever no
government money supports c-span. its nonpartisan coverage of washington is funded by your cable or satellite providers, by television and online, c-span is your unfiltered view of government so you can make up your own mind. >> house speaker nancy pelosi today talked to reporters about the release of the mueller report. she also reacted to calls for house intelligence committee chair adam schiff to resign over his actions concerning the russia investigation. ms. pelosi: good morning, everyone. we had votes until now. are you gathered here for ed o'keefe's birthday is that what this is about? let's dwell on that for a while. happy birthday. happy birthday.