tv Washington Journal Congressional Town Halls CSPAN August 21, 2019 10:29pm-12:17am EDT
announcer: another democratic presidential candidate announced the end of their run tonight. washington's governor jay inslee told msnbc rachel maddow "it is becoming clear that i'm not going to be carrying the ball. i'm not going to be the president so i'm withdrawing tonight from the race." his withdrawal, six months after announcing his candidacy, which placed an emphasis on climate issues. announcer: earlier this morning on washington journal, we took a look at the august recess and how members of congress spend time with constituents. we checked in with the number of reporters to find out with the florida and pennsylvania delegations are doing during the summer work period. congressionalthe management foundation on the track record of members of congress meeting with their constituents.
focus on that issue because our country is labeled as a country that does not keep its promises to any country's health. host: john in new york, democrats line. you're n.e.c. top issue for your member of congress. caller: hi, good morning. i've been pretty active for several years visiting veterans in the veterans house near me. and they're very frustrated with the fact seniority care and they had to speak up about it. but all i got out of it was retaliation. i've contacted my congressman and senators about it and i didn't get anywhere, you know. host: when you say you didn't get anywhere, elaborate on that, how did that conversation go? caller: like the last call i got, oh, they're going to look into it.
nd turned out that nothing happened. they passed the buck. they passed it on over. go see this other guy or that counselor or something else. nothing in the evidence about it. i said look, if you don't believe me, go send somebody down there and ee these conditions these people are living in. but still, best of luck. host: republican line from pittsburgh, pennsylvania. we'll hear from george. george in pittsburgh. hello. caller: hello. i think the top issue is not even being addressed is profit. how profits have taken life's first place and the whole constitution of the united states is suffer. we need to take responsibility for what we agreed on as a
country. host: what do you mean by that? caller: well, lincoln as a republican, you know, i'm like the party of lincoln, you know, like get everybody in there to tart voting on a sheer equal level, or republicanned have kids out of labor. this is life-changing and improving progress for what they always are talking about people or human beings, there's no progress in that. but the social contract is our process and we agree together to keep life first above any one him cause. but the face of hatred, which is white people because of outrageous fortunes, power and all types of isms that they ran
has totally destroyed america or the social contract, people's agreement to keep life first. host: how does this become an ssue of congress then? host: the issue in congress is remove anything that -- where it works against the people's self interests to keep life first. they need to do that. host: where should that start specifically? caller: profit. you can't have people work against their own self-interests. and that is a profit issue right there. host: ok. william is next in connecticut. democrats line. caller: hello. host: hi. caller: my main concern is the gerrymandering and in terms of
supreme court decision. and the current thing is residents protecting -- [inaudible] as well. but i have a part of the solution for handling the gerrymandering decision. one would be that each state would determine how many residents that they have in their states. and then after they do that, that would determine how many congressmen or centers would have. then instead of having people run in certain districts, you'd just a general state election. they can determine where the democrats going to represent and where the republicans are going to represent as congressmen and senators when they get down there in washington. so that way the bobby issueses can't rave you enough and the tech people for their special
needs because maybe the next election, a person will have a different district. host: have you had a chance to address these ideas with your congress person? caller: my congress person is mr. joe courtney. and to tell you the truth, i tried a number of times to call there and also tried to call my senator chris murphy but generally, i mean, that may not sound so good but i think i would make up better trying to hit the numbers in the lotto to get a response back because they say call me, we'll call you back but nobody has ever called me back. host: so as far as do you think that joe courtney shares your views when it comes to ideas of
gerrymandering? them is k he may use how much they have hurt the electorate and not particularly in connecticut because there's not going to be gerrymandering up here. this is lifpk aye -- this is basically -- the democrats basically run this state up here. it won't have the same effect as the democratic parties in south washe and so on and fourth like that. but i think me would agree it's been veryfulful to people, period. host: talking about issues of gerrymandering and the perspectives he brings and how you can reverse or at least affect the process or the condition of gerrymandering across the state. in ohio, republican line. rich, good morning. caller: good morning.
great discussions there. it seems like we have a lot of with the space race. the other one we forget about that is to do that. i think in the battle of the budgets and all that, how much good we can do by taking the top 20 expensive diseases and attack them. and when we solve one, we take the money to the next one or out of the 20, something will break. but take that money that you save and drive it in the next one. remembering on polio, they weren't sure they had enough steel for the iron lungs if it had went the wrong way. when they come up with things half the price and twice the quality, they should move to the head of the line when we try to decide what to do in budgets or health care or whatever it is. i'll hang up and listen to your
answers. host: how did diseases and tackling diseases rise to the top of that list of yours? caller: because when we solve polio, we're coming around to land that thing and stop the disease all around the world. . we saved a lot money not doing it that way and we'd be so far behind the eight-ball if we didn't break that one. so these top diseases really change our selector of being able to lean in the next one and the next one if we don't waste the money when we start saving. i'll hang up and listen to your answers. host: one more question, have you had a chance to address your representative on this issue of diseases and tackling diseases. caller: yep, at the right time. host: have you had a chance to talk with him already on these topics. caller: yes, uh-huh. host: how did he respond? caller: trying to get through the battle like in the space race, what do you put ahead of
what? all good things to do and then you've got to pick one and put ahead of the other. but the end result is you start saving and solving more just like when a football game, just when you get those couple scores you have to elbow them to get to the next one. part of it is we waste money when we win and find something to spend the money on and don't regenerate it into the next one. thanks. host: thank you. let's hear from don in south carolina in sumter, democrats line. hi. caller: good morning, pedro. my first concern is with impeachment, of course, impeachment. the house of representatives needs to impeach trump and send him over to the senate. i had two concerns, i know the senate will never prosecute but that doesn't matter to me, the two things that concern me are
first that i want on record every individual in congress that has voted to support trump who is a facist and is trying to destroy my republic and secondly, if everyone thinks the 2020 election is going to be an uncontested election, you know, trump is already demonstrating, look what he said in new hampshire, he's not going to accept the results of an election that does not put him in. the facts won't matter. the only way we're going to get him out is through impeachment. host: back to impeachment, how do your representatives and senators stand on this issue? caller: i talked to jim clyburn and also i contacted the judicial committee head and all that and they're all for it.
it's nancy pelosi thinks this election will get him out. and she's wrong. host: that's don in south carolina. we heard earlier in the program on stephen lynch on topics of impeachment. another town hall that took lace featured kathy rogers and serves the direct and was asked about the samueler report. >> there [video] >> there was not obstruction of justice leading to impeachment. impeachment offense is a criminal offense and would be the case for any president. that is the standard you want to apply to any president and that standard has not been reached. we spent two years and millions of dollars and was not conclusive. i have supported legislation. we passed the election security act last year that was to enhance penalties when there is
a foreign government that is involved in our elections, because we all agree our elections are foundational to our democratic republic and i have to have confidence that the elections are fair and secure. we're not going to have the peaceful transfer of power if we don't have confidence in our elections. and so the election security act was signed into law last year. and we need to look at other ways -- we're continuing to look at how do we make sure our elections are secure? host: that's representative kathy mcmorris rodgers, washington state, a republican. earlier on you heard from the department on the topic of impeachment. that could be one of the topics that comes up when it comes to your top issue for the member of congress that you have. we will devote the program for the similar topic and make your thoughts known, if you want to -83000 for -748
democrats and 202-748-8002 for independents and 202-748-8001 for republicans. amy rosenberg reports for the philadelphia "enquirer" and did a recent story looking at andy kim of new jersey and the topic of impeachment and joins us via skype. good morning to you. guest: good morning. host: can you set up the context of the town hall and how impeachment played into the discussion? guest: andy kim beat a republican in the midterms. he flipped that seat, tom mcarthur, a trump alive republican in new jersey, tom mcarthur held one town hall where he had been criticized pretty harshly over health care and never held a town hall after that. and andy kim said i'm holing a
lot of town halls and kept that promise. this was the 10th town hall. a firehouse in burlington township, new jersey, suburb of philadelphia. he held one before where he had a lot of questions about impeachment but the feeling he had going to this was that town all and after robert newlier testified and thought it would be of interest to the district. he started out talking about the economy and he's very concerned about the indicator as a possible recession. there's poverty in the district he talked about, 18,000 hungry children. he talked about guns, another issue that's of a concern to him and his two young children. but the first question and repeatedly after that came back to impeachment. there was a lot of concern in this town hall. just kind of general concern about what are we going to do about the situation and so by the end of it, i think andy kim basically said, you know, i
hear you. he's not come out formally for impeachment proceedings. host: because of the position he takes, was he asked about that by those constituents why he hasn't taken that position and if so, what was the interchange there? guest: yeah, you know, he generally supports the investigations. he basically has the same position now he had a year ago during the campaign, which is let the process play out. he saidso, i think he was frusty someoneachment because -- one of the constituent said we need a clean slate. he said do something. impeachment is the solution. slate.s no clean there is issues that he wants to focus on now, in the future, regardless of what happens with impeachment or elections.
he is trying to focus on local issues. the economy is of concern to him. military issues and issues affecting military spouses. there were other questions. there were questions about gun legislation. there were questions about climate change. a district hard hit by hurricane sandy. there were questions about affordable housing. the requested -- this one question about reparations. there were other questions. it repeatedly came back to, what are we going to do and why won't stance. a firmer host: there's a quote, i know you are angry but i want to nature we understand impeachment will not wish away a lot of the problems we face. tost: he is in congress focus on issues where as he put it the rubber meets the road.
he feels like he can make a difference. he can talk about his frustrations with this toxic climate in washington. he is one who believes in collaboration and returning across -- reaching across the aisle. he wants to have a meeting with people of all parties. started to talk about the general climate in washington. there was a lot of frustration in the audience. i did not get the sense that this that -- that these were activists. they weren't people on twitter. to get himm helped elected. one woman said she wanted a clean slate. whata general sense of, are we doing about the situation in washington? the guy wants to talk about specific issues. his feeling is, the clean slate -- even if you tried for a clean
slate, then what? the issues he has to work on after the election or after any impeachment proceedings. anything. minimize impeachment is a decision like going to war. he doesdoes not see -- not see a need to take a stance for impeachment proceedings. his district is right down the middle. democrats in burlington county, he won by a very slim margin. his district represents a lot of different viewpoints. this is who we wants in the campaign as well. he did not want to take a stand during the campaign, now he feels like investigations are proceeding. host: as far as reelection efforts, is he currently undergoing that, and how are these issues impacting that? guest: his campaign could not
have been closer. basically they played to a draw on election night and it was decided days later with mail in ballots. there was a lot of activism that helped push them over the edge just barely. campaign, he was pretrade as a policy liberal. now he has aligned in a more modeler -- moderate way. the republicans, they have a isal republican official who contemplating running against him. it is going to be another tight election. that heyou would say wants to represent everyone in the district. there are a lot of specific issues to the district. a lot of seniors, military, retired military, military spouses. he is concerned with very specific that she has worked to get money for overpass leading .o the joint base
retail issues that affect people. his bigger issues are climate change, the economy, guns. which were an issue in the town hall, but i think repeatedly the questions came back to impeachment. what are we doing about the situation in washington? it was a general kind of question. there was not a lot of specifics about impeachment. there was one question about election security. election officials literally carrying the cartridges from one place to another on election night. he wanted to know, is that at risk? is there some risk of it being hacked? it was a general what are we doing about the situation. there was a general feeling that -- is an option that people wanted him to explore. i saw last night another
freshman representative -- people came with signs and were chanting about -- urging her to support impeachment. she is also very middle-of-the-road freshman democrat. who flipped a seat. , similarly tos representative kim. host: this is amy rosenberg. she writes for the philadelphia inquirer. her story appeared on the website around august 14. you can read it and others of her writing. thank you for your time. thank you for the perspective. guest: thank you. host: again, we are going to continue taking your calls on your top issues for congress. it might be issues of impeachment, it might be other issues. you can call and let us know. maine, independent line. go ahead. george, you are on the phone, good morning.
george, good morning. from the main? .k, we will go to ralph ralph, go ahead. caller: the reason i am calling is i think they should call in the national guard in all the cities that are having gun problems and take every car and pull it over and if they have guns in the car they are not supposed to -- if they are doing everything legal like they are supposed to -- you should not have to, but we have got to do something. we can't have a guy pull up alongside of you and shoot you through the window. it is ridiculous. that is the approach you want congress to consider when it comes to the issue of guns? caller: it is something to think about. we have to do something. dealers --he wherever they buy it at, it has got to be transferred -- -- as long is
everything slagle there's nothing to worry about. if you have a permit to carry a gun, no problem. do it on the streets. host: ok. we will hear from richard in massachusetts. caller: good morning. things is -- about once a month i call him and there are two women in particular, their mailboxes are perpetually filled and they never return a call. called -- one particular time. i was at a political dinner. there were 125 of us. we were in tables of eight. the subject of drug abuse came
up. just about every person in that son, daughter, grandson, or someone they worked with die from an overdose of drugs. killing the cream of the crop. it is killing people under 30. the ones we should be protecting. i call up on different subjects, and they are usually important. .llegal aliens massachusetts has over 100 95,000 illegal aliens. over $108 billion a year. it cost the average household $880 a year per household.
lot ofs an awful important issues. and they are worried about name-calling, and they are worried about foolishness. awaynly way to square it is to bring in term limits. int: ok, that is restricted massachusetts. john is next in port orange, florida. caller: good morning. thank you for this forum. talk about the immigration issue and specifically our policy of zero tolerance. i believe that zero-tolerance is another way of saying intolerance. if you look that up in the dictionary, intolerance is a psychological disorder. our government is being t of people that they should be showing love to.
more love andhad less intolerance, we would have more success in finding ways to defeat this issue. host: how would you like congress, or specifically your representative to respond to the issue? caller: with love rather than hate. with inclusion rather than division. people -- weng have divided this whole country. this is clearly a divide and conquer strategy. president, whos is intolerant of its own people. everybody. include if you can only represent a -- his job is to represent all the american people. not just 40%, or 38%. he needs to include everybody in
this discussion. host: john in port orange, florida talking about immigration. -- heard from mark to sunday the topic he brought up on his town hall. let's hear from scott perry, republican of pennsylvania. he serves the 10th district. one of the topics of a recent town hall of his was illegal immigration. >> [video clip] tax dollars6 your going to support illegal foreign nationals living in pennsylvania. 1.3 billion. you wonder why you have a property tax problem? there is part of it right there. invite and take in more immigrants in the united states than any other country in the world. over one million people a year. more than any other country in the world. all we are asking is that people respect our loss, come through the ports of entry, and i'll
bide by rule. there are a lot of people that are abiding by the rules, and they are being disrespected by letting other people just walk past them and go to the front of the line for employment. taxes going to it is appropriate, but wholesale abuse of our taxes -- i cannot support. [indiscernible] i don't support the status quo. i didn't ask you that, asked you about the children being killed at the border. >> they are being cared for as best we can under the circumstances. finish.u will let me
it was never set up for 5000 people a day to come in between the ports of entry. our system was set up for people to come through the ports of entry so that we can determine if they were coming legally or not. 30% of children that are coming over are being trafficked. host: on our republican line we will hear from michael in maryland. go ahead. caller: thanks for having me. i think one of the most important things to talk about is this woman omar. she had made statements a few months ago about the power of the israeli lobby in america. i think that should be investigated with the same scrutiny they used to investigate trump collusion. they have such a rep on our -- they have such a grip on our policy, they should investigate that. it is an important issue if a foreign country has so much say
over our congress. if we go to work, you know? i think that is one of the most important things to talk about right now. i think it is more important than immigration. getting to the root of the problem. we have got to slow down things at the border, but if they want to stop gun violence i think another good thing is that -- start listening to the will of the majority, and not the will of the minority. we should not have the minority impose their will on the .ajority thank you for having me. is in tennessee, republican line. you are on, go ahead. i was calling about all of this money they spend to try to impeach trump. all of this money they are spending over there where they
are getting -- representatives senators and congressmen are getting good medicine. good doctors. all of that stuff. but what are they doing for the old people? all of this money they are spending they could take care of the people that worked all their lives. and can't be took care of because congress and the house are blowing the money trying to find out something that is stupid instead of trying to work together to make our world better. host: when it comes to the focus on older americans, what should congress focus on? caller: they should focus on people took care of. that they can get their medicines without having to do without a meal. to get the -- to get their medicines, they have to go without a meal because when they
take the medicine they skip a meal or skip a day of medicine so they can get their food. but, who cares? ain't none of them even ever address the elderly. not a senator nor the congressmen address the elderly. host: have you had a chance to talk to your representative specifically about this issue? caller: now, i haven't. i did not figure it would do any good. with pelosi up there trying to be in charge and running her mouth. stuff. to care women's we are sitting here -- couldn't get our medicine. what good is it going to do for us to say anything? host: ok. rosemary in pennsylvania is next. i think it is scranton, pennsylvania. caller: correct. i just wanted to go back to impeachment.
nadler representative should drop it. we are having an election in 2020, whether it is senator warren or paris that is going to go up in front of trump. i do not think impeachment is the right way. it was 12 democrats on mueller steam, and they could not find russian collusion. there was no crime. september when the horowitz report is released, --gress will look into how , are all inthe dnc this to undo an election. host: that is rosemary in scranton, pennsylvania talking about impeachment. florida story in the phoenix talks about florida pot democratic -- florida's democratic issues and how the delegation is responding.
mitch berry wrote the story. he joins us via skype. good morning. guest: good morning. what arguments were presented in terms of impeachment to the delegation? what were the responses? guest: the momentum has died ine as best as i can tell terms of democratic activists who were pushing for this. when ted deutch came out a few weeks ago and said that he was for that, that was considered a major move. for a long time, we had one impeachmentpport of that was stemming from the orlando area. and then we had powell from south florida come out. in then deutsche came out the first week of august. and then we had the shootings in el paso and dayton. -- theanged in terms of
action of representatives to talk more about doing stuff. they are not talking a whole lot about impeachment in some of these town halls. they are focusing on guns and trying to push mitch mcconnell to come back to d.c. and pass expanded background checks. which of course is not going to happen. at least not until september. momentum, which has never been strong, has dissipated. side oflustrate the gun what is going on. what are you hearing? what is being said to representatives? give us specifics. guest: they are responding. a saw last week there was national event in terms of gun control events. members debbie wasserman schultz and ted deutch held rallies pushing for aggressive gun control members.
murphy from orlando also was talking like that. the republican delegation here basically -- in february when we had the background checks bill, the two of them the democrats pass, there were republicans who voted for those. two of them are from the -- delegation. support of subn -- of expanding background checks. buchanan sent a letter to mitch mcconnell immediately after the el paso and dayton shootings calling for mcconnell to bring that up in september. -- who served in afghanistan, is against assault weapons. he is a rare republican to talk like that. he is against the red flag laws, which seem to be the thing that is gaining momentum with republicans.
take -- acourse would lot of law enforcement to take away guns from people who work -- who are considered to be a danger to themselves. both of them are u.s. senators, rick scott and marco rubio have -- have of red flag come out in support of red flag legislation. happened, it was the first time in a generation some of the legislature here past gun control measures not all. -- on thatething level, red flag laws seem to be something that most republicans i have seen are in support of. democrats want much more. they have been talking a lot about that. host: from what you are hearing from representatives, how does that reflect in the districts they serve? do they go along with what the senator or representatives?
districts you are seeing in support -- there are only a few real competitive districts. the folks you are seeing their are all -- the democrats are doing that in terms of st. petersburg, he has also been very strong on talking about work gun control. that used to be a very close district. saying -- with three did -- you're not seeing too many members of congress go against the delegation. we are very divided here. we have got 14 republicans, 13 democrats. for the first time in over a century, republican senators after rick scott defeated bill nelson last fall. theirill be going out of
way in terms of where we expect the state to be on issues like guns, which are controversial in florida. we may have our -- next year on band assault weapons, that would be a battle royal if that gets on the ballot in terms of but we will see happening politically. it is pretty much divided along where -- are at. host: because you are in florida, in a general sense this immigration come up with these discussions? that ted --, ad member of the freedom caucus, he has been talking about a worker program. [indiscernible] we have been hearing about
issues at the border, and various other things going on. southas been big here in florida. homestead, where up until recently we had a couple hundred children, migrant children being held. we saw the democrats have their debate in miami. several candidates come down -- right now there is nobody down there right now. they are reports that using that again in the fall. he is talking about worker programs. i have not seen too much itcussion about this issue he is talking to producers and constituents, he wants to get a nationally verified log going. he wants to make sure that there is basically, you put something out there and try to get american workers. if they are not going to come
around, you can get migrants to get these jobs. that is a very different tone be are seeing in our state government which has been stridently anti-immigration in tallahassee. nationally, members of congress it has not been an issue. members of congress are talking about health care, maybe not as intensely as they were. republicans are threatening to dismantle the affordable care act. issues, --n veterans from st. petersburg met on el paso county met tocan -- and they talk with veterans about issues like suicide, and health care issues. is a very big military
community in the tampa bay area . thatis something congressman crist and young talked about monday. what you arely, hearing about these topics, how does it compare or contrast with the newly minted governor desanto's? he came in and essentially said -- the freedom caucus and was a strident campaign last fall against andrew gillum. he won barely by a little over half of a percent. measures, he has got surprisingly high marks because he had that she has not been as overtly conservative as rick scott was. but he has been pretty conservative. he has thatis where
federal perspective on immigration and why states here -- when we passed an anti-sanctuary state bill, it is considered harsh. here.divisive overall, i think he has got some of the strongest poll ratings in the country for a new governor. the expectations were that he would be coming again -- coming in stridently conservative. is a center-right state. certainly tallahassee is. it is following along -- pretty much has not had -- .here is a lot going on certainly in florida politics. he is a tough surrogate of president trump. that can't be dismissed in terms of trump consistently coming .own here
prognosticators were telling me that trump has to win florida to win the election. say --s is, some would [indiscernible] it is an interesting ride so far. host: tell us about the florida phoenix. guest: the organization's been around for a little over a year. we cover policy oriented stories here. we encourage people to read it. ont: mitch perry who reports matters of politics for the florida phoenix. you can find his story at floridaphoenix.com. of washingtonhour journal, we are going to talk to you about the top issues for your member of congress. you have heard a lot of topics discussed this morning. you can add yours to the mix by giving us a call.
(202) 748-8001 four republicans. (202) 748-8000 free democrats. , (202) 748-8002 . several people posting on pace book -- facebook. done is whatyer they put on facebook this morning michael schroeder said tax the rich, term limits for congress and to end the war. throwing people in jail for victimless crimes, keeping high taxes and being the world police are top issues for him. says when it comes to a top issue that they would bring up to a member of congress, mandatory voter id laws. you can compare, contrast, give us thoughts on social media and phone lines. allentown, pennsylvania, democrats line, thanks for calling. tell us about the top issue you
have your member of congress. top issue i had, and i wrote senator pat cooney about this, is that i considered and have been large about for the trump's --ars, about what i view as trump's inability in being theency president. i am alarmed that a president can call people names, something that i did not do after the sixth grade. he is noted that taking advice from his foreign-policy advisers on many occasions. and i wrote senator pat toomey about this. cannot be somebody who has the ability to act as a president should.
what can be done? and i received the most insulting letter back. and the letter gave me a civics lesson, and eighth grade civics lesson on impeachment. he did not once address my concerns, nor my question. and i think c-span should be aware of that. kathy int is allentown, pennsylvania. we will go to west virginia next, mark from call will -- caldwell. a reallyhanks for interesting show today. i have to say i echo a lot of your colors. it goes to show how many critical issues there are facing this nation, and also the world, but if the government of we the people, by the people, and for the people is to survive, we have to have bipartisan support and allow a vote, my friend mitch, on election security. most of the other problems i
think can be taken care of if people heed the words of mahatma gandhi -- every man's need but not every man's greed. host: independent line, steve is next in burnett, texas. caller: i just wanted to mention something. i think the biggest issue is all , rushght-wing lies limbaugh and all those. it affects everything. it affects the way people think. it affects -- like let me give you an example. for example, say, immigration, they will say democrats want all borders open, but that is not true. the only problem with all of it tothat if you say we need ,hange a line, they will say "your interfering with freedom of speech."
host: why is the topic an issue for congress? caller: i don't know how anyone else could do a thing to change it except them. be they can figure it out. i don't know how to stop it. host: how would you see it changed if you were to address this with a member of congress? caller: i suppose maybe they could do something to, you know, make them tell the truth. i don't know what. i don't have any answers. sorry. host: bob in tennessee, republican line. caller: i think congress should work with the president for the better of our nation. let's open the battlefields back up. hold on. caller.u are still on, go ahead. what did you mean by that last statement, though? caller: i mean we can't settle nothing.
simple. we try to, and then nothing happens. you know, we just stay ripped apart with one another. i mean, this president is doing the best he can. there is no man can take what this guy has took. i give him all the credit in the world. for you toop issue address the congress is more cooperation with the president? that is what you would like to see? caller: right. and what is he doing so bad? trying to get jobs back to this country? i mean, what policies has he done that has really hurt? all the christians love the ideal that he opened the embassy up in jerusalem. and if you said something, i'm sorry. i did not hear what you said. your point. howard in north carolina, democrats line, salisbury. caller: top of the morning. i see congress as trying their
best to do what they can do, that you have a president in there that say one thing and do another. you had a caller that said something about omar, when she said something about all the benjamin's, and they need to do an investigation. it seems to me that sometimes people forget the one who is really causing the problems to the jewish people are the all right, the neo-nazis. the peoplethey are going into synagogues and shooting the people and killing the people, going to concerts and killing the people, going to schools and killing the people. you want to investigate a woman for saying all about the benjamin's, that i do not hear many white people saying we need to kick the neo-nazis and the clan group -- the klan group out. this would be a better place if we did investigations on these radical groups. host: massachusetts is next, jackie from weare. independent line. caller: thank you, i am a first time caller.
i am calling with my concern about gun violence. be gun there should control. i recently emailed my senator, senator markey. and one of the bills on the is gun violence prevention research. i think that is crazy. i don't think there needs to be research. i think there needs to be action. namely, some bills that will stop the violence. host: do you think congress will do anything on these issues of gun control? caller: well, i have done a little googling, and there is over 100 bills right now that sinceut out there january, and nothing is being done, as we all know.
nothing is going to the senate. alreadyapologize if you mention this, but have you heard specifically from your representative and senator on these issues? --ler: yes, he did get mac back to me in and email. i'm sure it is his staff, not him. is thisg he said research act, and i don't think we need to research what needs to be done. i think we all know what should be done. i would say background checks number one. perhaps a weight period. -- a wait period. and we definitely need a ban on assault weapons. talkingat is jackie about her experience talking to her legislators on issues of guns. -- a democrat and california serves the 24th district. a recent town hall on a variety of topics. came uphe topics that was the effort to keep guns away from certain people. >> i don't think anybody is
trying to disarm you. [applause] all the laws that are being promulgated or that i have supported, or others that are being considered by the house, and hopefully the senate takes them up, are an extra tool that helps us root out individuals that have no place owning or purchasing guns. felons. as long as you are not a felon, know this. as long as you are not displaying that you are a danger to yourself or others, you are good to go. but if you have -- if you have been a domestic abuser, if you have -- [applause] , ifou have violent felonies
you are a danger to yourself or others, you are the person that these laws will target, no other law-abiding citizen. [applause] you can take the message that those are already in effect, so why didn't it stop them before? no law is a panacea. these are all little tools that just help prevent a little bit more. it's -- it's wrong to say that any of these laws are going to absolutely prevent a shooting, but together they make things a little safer. host: this is from bismarck, north dakota, independent line. david, good morning. caller: you know what they need to do with this, with gun laws?
just use some common sense. years, all the shells i could have in my gun is five. that guy who had killed all the kids in sandy pope would only ,ave been allowed five bullets he would not have killed probably any of those kids, as he had to use a magazine or two to go through the bulletproof glass. its use some common sense. i don't know how long it is going to take, at this country is not going to put up with this slaughter of people for no reason whatsoever. assault weapons should be banned. i remember back 25 years ago they were banned, and folks brought them back. there is absolutely no excuse for anybody to carry an assault weapon. host: have you had a chance to
talk with your representative or senator about these issues? caller: i will whenever i see them. i certainly will. , if it is ok to carry an assault weapon, it is ok to carry a nuclear bomb or a hand grenade. what is the difference? that thes the thing second amendment is to protect yourself, i am sure there are people, if it was allowed, they would carry hand grenades on their belt. host: david in north dakota. again, for the program this morning, we are talking about top issues you have for your member of congress. you can continue to call us in this hour. four republicans. r democrats.01 fo you can post on twitter and facebook. we will post these at the top -- we will take these calls until
the top of the hour. we have been talking about town halls and interactions between members of congress and their constituents. running us to cover the pennsylvania delegation is the washington bureau chief for "the pittsburgh post-gazette," daniel noir, joining us by a skype. guest: thank you for having me on. host: your recent story has the headline "washington clears out in august, but lawmaker work continues." give us a sense of what is going on in pennsylvania districts. what interactions and topics are coming up? what members of congress do back home is a few categories. you brought up the town hall. that is a big part of the august recess. schedule aome and big room in a local community people with
microphones ask members of whatever is on their mind. i was at one last night for congressman conor lamb. people were asking him from abortion to gun control. host: let me do this for you. we are going to try to get you on a better connection, or get you on the phone. get to you in just a couple -- we will get back to daniel moore either by skype or by phone, whatever makes best sense. until then, we will hear from john in new hampshire, republican line, in berlin. go ahead. your top issue for congress. toler: thank you for getting my call. my first issue about gun control somebodyofficer and who knows something about the constitution -- i studied it in school -- this issue really aboutto educate people the fact that the second amendment is to protect your
family, the right of self-defense, the right of self-defense, and the right of a person to protect himself and his family from two radical government. and this government is in trouble. that is what it is all about. there is too much ignorance out there in the general public about what our god-given rights are. i am saying that a nut that is a danger to himself or to others is not a responsible citizen that should have access to a gun. also, a felon is not a productive citizen, a law-abiding citizen, and should not have access to a gun, simply put. now, when it comes to social security, i am tired of hearing about how they are going to .educe it in 2021 to 70% and they want to do away with it.
we hear all this baloney about how congress and the government is running out of money, yet they never run out of money for welfare, for weapons, for bombs, for what they want to get done. it, and neither should the american public. i think we need to let these people know. come, folks, to march on washington if need be, and protest and let them know what we think. is john in berlin, new hampshire, joining us on the line. joining us also, daniel moore of the "pittsburgh post-gazette." we'll start with the start -- what have congressional meetings been like back in pennsylvania? guest: like i was saying, there are a wide range of issues people in pennsylvania care about. certainly, speaking to the topic
some of your colors have been calling in about -- the gun legislation has been one of the biggest issues here. people on both sides of the issue -- people who are afraid that there is going to be gun legislation that affects their ownership of firearms, and there and want who show up representatives to pursue assault weapons bans and background checks and other policies. ad of course there is potential that house democrats come back from recess early to push through some more legislation. that is a direct response to interacting with constituents, i think. i think that is part of the point of the august recess, is for members of congress to come back and meet with constituents and hear from them directly. when baked things happen during the august recess, and members are in town hall meetings, that can actually have an influence
on their viewpoint and can shift views on big issues. host: you mentioned guns. what about the topic of impeachment? has that been a team from things you have heard or at least covered when it comes to these temples? guest: -- host: when it comes to these town halls? guest: yes, i was at a town hall for cumbersome conor lamb, representing the pittsburgh suburbs, less night. there were people wearing andeach trump" shirts pressuring the congressman to support impeachment proceedings. it is something he has not been willing to do yet, and he has not joined the hundred or so democrats that signed onto that. i imagined the house democrats that have not signed onto that are probably hearing a lot from their constituents on that topic. far as mr. lamb's experience, representative lamb, when he said he was not on board, what was the reaction from those in attendance?
guest: there were some people pressuring him on impeachment more than others. town halls that everyone comes with their issue. people who wanted him to support impeachment were pretty angry. they sat down and shook their heads and could not see any compromise on that issue. there are people who wanted to talk about medicare for all, which is something else mr. lamb has been hesitant to support. other moderate democrats have been hesitant to sign on to that. people were very angry and could not see any middle ground there. like i said, these things, these meetings and town halls, can actually influence a congressperson's stance on an issue. it will be interesting to see what happens when congress comes back to washington in september. host: one of the town halls you profiled was mike doyle, democrat of pennsylvania.
he looked at the topic of climate change. guest: he did, and that is dother thing lawmakers during the recess. the kind of pull out issues they really care about. 's perspective, it was framed as more of an expert panel on climate change. he brought in some local professors and people who know a lot about the science. they come in and they give their testimony. and mike doyle shared some of his things that had been going on in washington, and the things he cares about. and then there are questions from the audience. kind of pet issues, things that members of congress care about, they can talk about those specifically. what about the senators from pennsylvania? what have they been like? a much interaction are they having back home with the constituents? definitely, senator bob casey of pennsylvania keeps a very busy schedule.
be in moreseems to than a dozen counties of the state, in all corners of the state. senator pat toomey, republican of pennsylvania, has been very outspoken on the issue of background checks, to your point about gun control being a big during the recess. he came out the first week after the shootings in el paso and dayton and push his background check legislation with joe democrat of west virginia. he has been very vocal and outspoken on that topic. moore covers the delegations of pennsylvania for "the pittsburgh post-gazette." talking about members of congress on the august recess. post-n find his work at gazette.com. guest: thanks for having me on. host: we will go back to calls. republican line in beachwood,
ohio. thanks for calling. talkr: i would like to about the russian collusion for a second. whether you like donald trump or you think he is the devil, what fox news has been reporting for a number of years about the dossier, about this being a set up, and about the new inspector general's report coming out -- my problem is the media. have "the new york times," "the washington post," and mass media that did not want to cover these facts. "the new york times" as an example, with the best reporters out there, the best facilities, that do not want to follow facts, we are all in trouble. host: let me ask you how that translates for a top issue of congress, which we are talking to our folks about. what is the top issue the congress should address?
caller: what congress should address? most of these people in congress basically knew what the facts toe years ago, and just want continue pushing their narrative. that is my problem with congress. and i am sorry if i have nothing else for you. have a nice day. host: sean in lakeland, florida, independent line. good morning. sean in lakeland, hello? caller: yes, sir? host: you are on. go ahead. caller: i wanted to talk about facts, you know, and history. we got this thing where america has always had violence. americans are violent people. i honestly believe if it was any other demographic doing these mass killings, something would have been done. but since the 1940's -- i looked
this up. killings aress done by white males. this kind of ties into this immigration thing, because america,th history, besides being violent -- that labels.ays had somebody has to be capitalized on. if you are going to capitalize on someone, it is the low man. host: what should congress do? caller: they could start by enforcing the law on the books. it is specifically said if you hire someone that is illegal, you lose your business license. i called in and spoke with a congressman a couple of months ago and i asked him that question, right?
what are you going to do? he punted that all the way down the field. they do not want to do anything. the way the capitalist system is set up, they can do anything. if they get rid of all the cheap labor and actually had to pay everybody $15 plus an hour, the economy would crash and the system won't work. the only way we got to where we are now is because of slave labor. the slave made america what it is. host: we will leave it there. charli in indiana, democrats line. caller: hello. my biggest concern about my congressman is that he is just so unavailable. a recess, ihere is call his office to find out if there will be a townhall meeting. -- always
host: who is your congressman? caller: trey hollingsworth, and he is not even from indiana. he is from tennessee. he and his wealthy father looked around and tried to find a house he could possibly win, and the found this in indiana. bit,led the office quite a and i tell them my concerns, and they say that is fine, and i say , do you not want my contact information or my name? i feel like they are not even writing it down. i am a visually impaired individual, so i am unable to email him, because on his website there is one of those funny little picture things you are supposed to solve. well, i can't do that. i have asked him about this five or six times, to please change that so their website would be accessible to everyone, and that has not happened either. it is very frustrating. call the've said you office frequently.
aside from accessibility, what is the top issue you call about? caller: gun control is a big one. .lso, impeachment stand up to this president. we just don't hear anything from him, and it is just quite frustrating. int: that is charli bloomington, indiana, talking about issues of access. dallas, texas, republican line, we will hear from pat. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i guess i am irritated about impeachment. first of all, the mueller report did not find that trump or his campaign was in a conspiracy with russia. as far as obstruction, mueller said he did not find any crime. if it was too close to the
election, they would not take it up, and the senate would not convict him. ,s far as that being an issue as far as i am concerned, it is a nonissue. i thank you for taking my call. your did you call representatives are senators about the impeachment question and the mueller report? caller: sure i have. host: what was the response? caller: well, they are in agreement with me, because my senators are ted cruz and senator cornyn. my representative in congress is also a republican. he is new and i am not exactly sure of his name. i have not contacted him. thatt get real irritated it keeps coming up, as it is not going to happen, and he has not -- if theing to be
general public, the public that vote in 2020, if they think it is a big issue, he won't get real life. that is my comment. pat from dallas, texas. this is maxwell from powhatan, virginia. caller: good morning, pedro. the thing i would like to see done is the constitution updated , that qualifications be filed for the president of the united states. they should have an fbi background check and a cia check for top-secret clearance. not to give them the clearance, but to be able to say there is would notthis person be able to pass that clearance. it really worries me that you could have a leader from the
united states that i guarantee you would not pass the cia clearance test. host: that is maxwell, last call for the segment, but we will continue with the topic of how congress does when it comes to engagement with constituents, with brett finch, the president and ceo of the congressional management foundation. topicl talk about that when "washington journal" continues after this. ♪ ♪ >> saturday on booktv at 7:00 p.m. eastern, in "our women on the ground," a look at the challenges female arab and middle eastern announcer: saturday, authare looks at the challenges female reportings face while in the middle east. >> all of the reporters were write honestly about
their deepest struggles. one essay that comes to mind, a raw and honest account of grief and of loss and it also reflects the state of arab world today. this isn't an uplifting book. at 7:45r: then sunday p.m. eastern, princeton race,sity professor on gender, and class in america. is most recent book "breathe, a letter to my sons." >> the reality is that i have to arm them not simply with kind of of skills and intellectual tools that allow them to school and ethics and values, but also a way to sense of the hostility that they encounter every day from at times whose responsibility is to treat them as community members. p.m.ish onat 9:00 researchds," media
center founder on his book media's warig against trump." >> all modicum of decency has cast aside, not from donald but fromhis opponents, his opponents to him. they call him far worse things. do fare attempting to worse to him then what they them. him of doing to it's telling. they have no right, none. announcer: watch book tv every weekend on c-span2. "washington journal" continues. , president and ceo of the congressional management foundation, here to talk about engagement. how does congress do it, these august periods engaging with constituents? guest: a lot of people are of the impression that when congress goes to recess they are
out playing kickball. the congress has to response abilities, legislative and representational. during the august or made recess, they are fulfilling that .art of that job they are engaging with citizens and their constituents in a variety of ways. they could be town hall meetings, one on one meetings, sessions on a particular topic. you heard the one member of congress who was focused on climate change. it is a great opportunity and this is where members of congress recharge. this is what they like doing. they would rather be in their districts talking with constituents than talking to their colleagues in washington. only time theyhe get prime time with their constituency? guest: the house schedule changed dramatically in 2011 one took over. cantor they took a poll of the members of the house of representatives and asked, what do you like and not like about how the operations ran crist and mark the greatest complaint with the uncertainty in the schedule. you might have a vote on a
friday, you might not. is recess going to start next week? they instituted a calendar which the democrats have now adopted since their takeover. they have more recesses and there is more certainty in the schedule. they not only have more recesses during may, march, easter -- you also have occasional fridays and mondays when they will have three day week in washington and four days back home. that gives members of congress and their staffs the opportunity to schedule advance on those fridays and mondays. we have seen reporting from congressional offices, an increase in the amount and quality of interactions they are having since 2011. that what are other ways members of congress could improve interaction with the constituency? like to see them leverage technology more. a town hall great, but largely symbolic. you can get 20 or 30 people at the average townhall meeting. one person doing this well is a congressman of california, one
of the winners of our democracy award for transparency and accountability, in part because he live streams his term for meetings and events and interacts on social media as well. you could be at a town hall meeting with cumbersome and disarming -- with the congressman and ask questions by facebook and he will take it. that allows him to be more transparent to tens of thousands of his constituents as opposed to 10 or 20. host: direct interaction -- is that an issue? guest: ideally you would want a member of congress to have a one-on-one meeting with all some hundred thousand constituents they have in the house of representatives, but that is not physically possible. the technology makes it easier for constituents. our research shows the public likes it. frankly, they like the anonymity sometimes. i don't have to be seen at a townhall meeting. in social media or a live streaming environment -- the citizens like the convenience
and the little bit of the anonymity. that the wrote in part basic principle is that members are using technology wisely to reach tens of thousands of constituents. legislator can only meet a fraction of their district, but through technology, they can reach large numbers. is this by facebook, by other means? guest: in the last 10 years, technology has changed significantly. first, telephone council meetings are terrific. telephoneeople knock town halls. we did significant research in 2017, and they are just like regular town hall meetings. hoc series ofd questions. the only difference is you cannot yell at a lawmaker, which i know some people want to do, but not usually a good part of the democratic dialogue. they started using telephone town halls area house members can on average get 6000 people into a telephone town hall.
increasingly, there are technologies available for online town halls, where the experience can be more robust. the member of congress can percent video, powerpoint slides. there are citizens participating in an online environment. another cool thing about it is it is very quick. when you are logging into an online townhall meeting, you can do it like that. if you are trying to call out to 20,000 constituents, that might take the phone company 20 minutes to get through. there is gratification for the constituent that they are right in an environment with a member of congress. people stay longer. they are voting with their feet. it will stay longer on the call. that is a much more robust interaction between citizen and congress. host: we are talking about engagement between constituents and congress with bradford fitch. if you want to ask him questions, it is (202) 748-2002 for republicans, (202) 748-2001
for democrats, and for -- pendents guest: we try to improve the operations of the individual office by giving them best practices on how to interact with citizens, and we also train citizens through associations and nonprofits to have better understanding, relationships, and and considerations with congress. hopefully as a result, congress works a little better. host: what is the most common complaint a congressperson hears about this type of interaction? guest: it was very much along the lines of what we heard in the last half hour. they do not feel that congress is listening to them. sometimes that is a valid point in the congress does not do a very good job of communicating that they are listening. here is the irony. they really are listening. when we ask what are the most important factors in making a
decision, listening to constituents is usually listed as the number one answer. the problem is there are a lot of lawyers, and they like to fill up a lot of their responses legalese andnd legislative research. that is not what the constituent really wants. they want to understand and hear that they had been hurt. we did one survey and asks the public, if your member of congress did not vote your way, but communicated to you that they were listening to you, something like 80% of the american public would be ok with that. i think that is a really important message for congress to hear. they do not have to say yes to everybody, but they do have to say i am listening to everybody. constituent engagement -- guest: you are looking at their entire district operations, about 45% of a congressional staff.
there is an office full time interacting with constituents, or someone in the legislative operation that is helping manage all the constituent communications that are coming in. the average number of communications have continued to go up. the average house office will get 50,000 to 60,000 emails from their constituents in a given year. an office can get 150,000 in a year. that is extraordinary. that is the challenge congress is facing. they have seen no increase in personnel to answer the mail since 1978. host: is there a sense that a person would probably feel like if i really wanted to get my my congressperson, i have to call the washington, d.c. office rather than the district office? offices arehe usually set up to collect constituent communications, whether it is district, d.c., and the same with email. if you want to make sure your voice is heard, speak with your own voice. if you get a message from an
association or nonprofit or a cause you believe in and they're asking you to contact congress, personalize it. tell your story. talk about the impact on your community. this shows significantly more impact on lawmakers, and they generally want to hear from their constituents. gauge ofthat as a public opinion. members of congress are the best pollsters in the world. if they get the answer wrong, they lose their job. that is a real incentive for them to stay in touch with their constituents. host: our first call comes from don and huxley, iowa, republican line. good morning. go ahead. caller: hello. guest: good morning. caller: yes, this is don from iowa. host: what is your question? caller: first of all, talk about the gun situation. democrats have put forth the wrong deal. they want to get rid of guns
altogether. just before heat started war. he went and confiscated all the guns. the guns are there to protect us, our family, period. i want to talk about something else, the conscious -- conscience. the rhetoric that is going back and forth is because of something that is called a conscience. conscience what that said. the meaning of the conscience is the ability to know right from wrong, period. host: ok, thanks. a commentctually had on the gun issue, because one of the frustrations that the gun control community has is that you often see this public polls showing that there is public support for certain measures , and forward in congress
members of congress have not followed those polls. research centers did a survey looking at both people in the gun control community and the second amendment rights community, and they ask the question -- have you done the following in the last few years, contributed to a nonprofit organization related to your cause, contacted your member of congress -- a series of civic engagement. i a three to one margin, second amendment supporters are more likely to have engaged in that activity. lamentable as it sounds, the reality is members of congress are being responsive to those constituents who are actively engaging them. not set up bywas the gallup organization. they are not simply supposed to put their finger to the wind and decide if a paul says this i am going to do that. if we had that, we would not need a congress. we would just need really good pollsters. they are supposed to interpret. i interviewed a member of congress specifically about the nra for a book about citizen engagement. his reply was it has nothing to
do with political contributions. it is whether i think they can mobilize people. in the gun control debate, there is still a significant differential on the citizen engagement side. i have actually seen -- i was sitting in a senate office when there was a boat coming up on the gun debate after sandy hook, and i coincidentally happened to be there. the phones were ringing off the hook and there was nobody calling in favor of a ban on assault weapons or on background checks. it was all from people who are in favor of second amendment rights. i think that is a very important lesson to people who want to engage their lawmakers. if they do contact their lawmakers, by and large, they are going to listen and pay attention. california, independent line. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. for mr.ome questions fitch. first, you are a very fast talker. second, i want to know who supports you, how you are paid,
who your supporters are. with regards to my representative, he was elected , and his only platform was based on sanctuary cities, amnesty for all, pathway to citizenship for all illegal immigrants, and i am very opposed to that. i think california has become a total mess. watch recently- got a big election fraud case against teleport you. and i am very concerned about this. i listened to a snippet of his he reallyence and the talking other than speak of both parties, "illegal immigrants contribute to the
society and we need them." guest: first, i will slow down, so thank you for that advice. secondly, i applaud you for participating in a telephone town hall meeting and being engaged. i think that is the first step citizens need to do. stay engaged and keep your member of congress accountable. frankly, that is your job in our democracy. to answer your question about the funding of the congressional management foundation, we are a 501(c)(3) charity. we get our funding from a variety of sources. we do not have an earmark. we are not chartered out of congress. we work on a fee for service basis. individual offices or the institution will hire us occasionally to do work. are funded by foundations, associations, and nonprofits who want to access our research. they range from the garden variety, from environmentalists
to companies to trade associations. florida, democrats line. caller: my question is can anyone contact mitch mcconnell who want present the gun-control bills? guest: i will try to tackle that, mary. the people of kentucky -- i often get questions, frustrated constituents. you asked me what are some of the frustrations people have. they are frustrated they can't contact members of congress who cannot represent them, from another state, or a committee chairman, or in this case the leadership. unfortunately, your complaint is with mr. madison, mr. hamilton, and mr. washington. we are in a representative democracy, a republic, not a parliament. members represent their constituents. kentucky, youm can contact your representatives and your senators, and senator
mcconnell is certainly, from all i have heard, responsive to his constituents of kentucky. he would not have been in if you wasis long not. i do run into people who are frustrated. but that is, good or bad, the way our democracy is set up. filtering out non-constituents -- people will complain that they have to enter a zip code and address to get on him l through, and they have filters filtering out non-constituents. we have always had these filters on capitol hill. i just used to call them interns. when i interned on capitol hill in the summer of 1983, that is what i did. i looked at the address. i looked it up. we put it in a pile for the letter to be answered. our constituent, we stamped it "referred" and
went down the hall to the member of congress. a contact about military benefits. i received a form letter letting me know how much he appreciated veterans. guest: the form letter. they do not get a direct personal response to the issue they are engaging in. that surprises me a little bit because usually members are a little attentive to those types of medications that come in. people are specifically looking for benefits, or they feel there has been a miss justice, injustices happen. we are looking now in the house of representatives, incoming email ranging around 23 -- 23 million to 25 million communications. each office in the house has two or three people trying to manage that. that is part of the problem. they feel they are forced to reply with a form email. we are now examining better ways, 20 -- 21st century ways
for congress and citizens to a more robust -- this is a system that was invented in the 1970's and 1980's, and clearly it is not working. host: in kansas, republican line. you are on with our guest, bradford fitch. caller: i want to know are you paid with basically tax-free money? it is a tax-exempt foundation? guest: we are a 501(c)(3), so we don't pay taxes. we are a nonpartisan organization, so we do not take a public stance on issues. to be fair, we have taken only a few positions on public policy issues. one of them, we took out a position last year in favor of paying interns. he also took out a very controversial position this year in saying that members of congress should be paid more. they had a pay freeze since 2011, i believe. byy have lost buying power
16%. we did take a policy position we think we should pay our public anvants and ongoing -- ongoing decent wage. caller: my question is on the call in town halls. i quit listening to them because i felt that the questions were -- they were asking him were scripted, meaning he was only answering questions he wanted to answer. anything controversial never seemed to come up, and i was getting disgusted with it, so i quit listening to them, because i figured they were just scripted. mike kelly, republican, pennsylvania. host: hold on, our guest has a question. hast: i was led to ask who never of congress is. i know congressman kelly tried to have a robust telephone townhall meeting schedule, and
it -- we researched and found by and large they are like regular townhall meetings. i know it may sound scripted, but that is because the constituent has written down the question and want to frankly not sound stupid in front of thousands of people. but by and large members of congress are simply taking the questions as they come. they might batch them in categories to make them a little more interesting. about the complaint telephone townhall's, i think members of congress frankly need to improve a little bit in the communications skills, pedro. they seem to be very sort of oriented toward the policy angle too much. they are policy wonks. i get it. that is why they went to congress. that is their job. but they should be more free to discuss the humanity and the value systems than the motivations -- and the motivations that drive them as public service. host: part-time halls usually free-for-all or confined to
certain things? guest: they are both. the ones confined to particular topics are usually better, and may provide information in advance. there have been town halls on have been crisis that very successful in the sense that they have been able to discuss very difficult issues in their communities, and that has been successful. the ones that do happen that are -- it is because the member of congress likes that interaction. unfortunately, in the last two to three years, the number of in person town halls have gone down because many groups have turned them into protest opportunities and have interfered with their neighbor's ability to talk to members of congress. that they are still there and people would be shocked at how toile -- how few people go town hall meetings. a senator last year or so had a townhall meeting, one guy came, and they talked about net neutrality for 45 minutes.
if you do take the time to go to a townhall meeting with a member of congress, you might have a robust conversation with your elected official. host: joseph, hello. caller: good morning. my question is i tried calling some of the congressman, and mr. fitch, ims. mr. appreciate your explaining that covers people are interested in constituents more. i tried to email people in l.a. because we were traveling to visito visit their -- there. i was ignored. you explain that carter thicke people are interested in their constituents, but i am interested in seeing what the congressperson or staff has to say about their district, which i know countries people are very proud of their district. going to hollywood and everything like that. what i want to know where to go eat. what art objects
they have in their district to visit. it is out of the ordinary to be able to use a congressperson in that factor from another state. could you explain to me why -- what better way to communicate to get this kind of information that most people won't ever get to see things that they are very proud of? for, iswhat my call is to get some answers about that. what am i doing wrong? guest: that is great, joseph. you brought me back to my days .orking on capitol hill what most americans don't realize is that people do view their congressperson as a full-service provider, everything from tour guide to restaurant critic. and we got them all. i tell you, if you contact the district office, not the washington office, the district office of a member of congress and say you are going to be visiting that district, it is tough because you are not a constituent and they are both legally and morally obliged to
focus on their constituents. the district call offices and just say i am going to be in the district and need some advice -- the respondent may not be able to help you, because it is usually a young intern or a staff assistant, so it is a bit of a challenge. it does demonstrate the full-service perspective that most americans do not realize congress does try to provide. most of them are complicated problems -- immigration issues. i am being deported. i am losing my house. it is heart wrenching. you would be amazed at the herculean things that congressional offices can do to help people in those situations. host: from falls church, virginia, randy, republican line. ready from falls church, go ahead. caller: yes, sir. i worked on the hill a couple times. the first member i worked for, a onublican -- he allowed us
constituent inquiries -- back then, it was snail mail, and it evolved into emails. we could call the constituent and have a conversation with them. i lived on the hill, so i would go in on saturday and just call constituents. they talked about if they were concerned about, say, oil prices. the next thing you know, you are talking about the weather or traffic. and they would just be ecstatic to just get a phone call rather than a letter. guest: randy, you are preaching to the choir, and i am so glad to hear that. the member of congress was ahead of his time and that is a best practice we advocate for and encourage congressional offices to pick up the phone and call. it is more human. it is even more efficient. if you look at the mail processing in congressional offices, i think that is terrific. i also commend you for going in on saturdays. you are bringing me back here.
i spent a lot of weekends on capitol hill working the office, the holidays as well. you would find yourself in the office. randy raises another interesting point of a constituent engagement. most americans think we are going to be interacting not with a member of congress but with the staff of congress, and they sometimes feel that that is being pushed off. as you heard in randy's case, sometimes they feel they are getting that extra special treatment. i talked to one of his aides, and he listens to me. most of those interactions that constituents or staff have with constituents are going to be reported back to the member of congress. host: from new jersey, port monmouth, independent line. caller: good morning, pedro. thank you for taking my call. mr. fitch, i have attended many townhall meetings by my members of congress. i have found that the longer they are serving in congress, they take time in coming back to
the district. they would rather stay in washington. i will give you an example. i am a member of the disabled american veterans. every february, we would go to washington to contact our members of congress. .ne was senator bill bradley i have setup up a meeting with his scheduler a month before. on thedown to the office appointed day at the appointed time, only to be told that senator bradley is back in new jersey and will not be back until a tuesday or wednesday. only to find out that senator bradley was in his office with lobbyists from the airline industry. i have also attended townhall socials regarding security and how to save it. i asked a direct question. seniors sitting behind me more interested in coffee and doughnuts, not even answering questions.
wet: apologies for this, but have to leave it there. we will let our guest respond. guest: i think that andrew you kind of got the experience of what the united states senate is like. unlike the house, they do not have a senate schedule and you can literally find things changing on a moments notice, and that is a challenge for constituents, and a frustration. it is not but it is not, frankly, a show of disrespect. it is unfortunately the way the united states senate works. you can have a quorum call and a member of the senate has to be responsive and do that part of their legislative duties. but i assure you, andrew, they fulfillingrather be their constituent duties.
>> thursday morning, moody's chief political analyst joins us to discuss the u.s. economic outlook and concerns of a recession. also, senior vice president of the national federation for independent business will be on to talk with the state of small businesses. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal live. join the discussion. , presidente today trump spoke at the american veteran national convention in louisville, kentucky. he discussed the investments his administration has made into modernizing the military and changes made regarding medical care. the president also signed an executive memorandum forgiving student loan debt of approximately 25,000 disabled veterans. >> ladies and gentlemen, please