tv Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley Holds Town Hall Meeting with Constituents CSPAN February 27, 2017 11:53am-1:00pm EST
live coverage of their news conference will be at 2:00 p.m. eastern. coming up live today at 3:30 a hearing on efforts to curb drug diversion by opioid addicted veterans at v.a. facilities. again that's live at 3:30 eastern today. senator chuck dwrasly held a town hall meeting in passionersburg, iowa last week and answered questions from strepts on the inmum wage, immigration, the ethical and morality standards of president trump, betsy devos, and the republican plan to repeal and replace the nation's health care law. >> 22 years i worked here, we hosted a number of elected officials and candidates from both parties. we have always had respectful meetings. that's what we're looking for today. i think maybe the senator refers to it as iowa nighce. that's what we are going to go for. citizens? butler county, again we welcome
you as guests. everybody from somewhere else here's the deal, what we expect from you today is do not interrupt, okay, use your inside voice, and i know it's going to be hard the hear but if we are all quiet we will be able to hear the questions. and be respectful of others. pretty elementary stuff. right, be respectful of others. if you have come here from somewhere, paid to be here or you are here voluntarily. >> whoa! >> democracy! >> that's insulting. >> time to start the iowa nice. >> professionals! >> that was not iowa nice. >> iowa nice, everybody is on board with that.
>> yeah. >> i apologize if i offended you. >> you did. >> kind of an iowa warm winter. so i'm proud of the big turnout that we have considering that the roads are bad. not too bad, thank god. and everybody can come here safely. what i have done in other town meetings is i have -- and so -- and it seemed to work out okay for everybody that wanted to make a point of view -- i would ask maybe for one word from various people, maybe ten different subjects that you want to bring up so we cover as much as we can cover. and then -- and then a lot of
you come because you want me to listen to you. that's perfectly okay if i just stand and listen to you. so yesterday i started out our meetings in charles city, maybe for 15 minutes, letting five or six people just tell me what they wanted me to hear one way from them. not asking any questions. and then we went to questions. so it seemed to work okay yesterday in charles city. so if that's okay with you, i'll start out by -- and i'll have my back to you, but i'll listen. but hopefully everybody doesn't talk at one time. i'd like to have some subjects that you want to bring up. >> [ inaudible ]. >> just a minute. please, i don't write that fast. did -- who asked about enemy? >> enemy of the people.
>> okay. enemy of the people. >> what was -- the lady? >> steve bannon. heard bannon. >> recall mo and ethical standards. >> what does bannon have on you? >> russia. >> voting record. >> climate change. >> sexual predators. >> i heard russia. what i did hear after russia? >> epa. >> moral and standards. >> i got that down, moral. >> voting record. >> do you have the aca down, sir. >> i just now wrote down aca. >> epa. >> voting record. >> education. i'll just write down. >> planned parenthood.
>> planned parenthood. >> maybe two more. >> planted parent hood. >> immigration. >> farm bill. >> i heard immigration and farm bill. >> and planned parenthood. >> planned parenthood. >> financial regulation. >> yeah, i got that down. >> independent investigations. >> there you go. >> farc fascism. >> let me tell you what i wrote down here. and we'll go through this hopefully pretty fast. tax returns. enemy of the people. bannon. moral ethical russia, voting record, aca. >> russia. >> russia is down here. education, immigration, farm bill, and scotus. >> planned parenthood. >> when we get through this, we can add to it because we'll cover more than this here.
okay? now i'm going to just ask people that just want me to listen for a few minutes to your questions. maybe four or five people. be respectful of other people's time so you don't take away from others. do you want to be the first one? go ahead. >> my name is chris. i am a supervisor. on behalf of the 132,000 residents that you and i represent i would like to invite you to come and hold a public town hall meeting in blackhawk county. we'll get you the unidome if you want. >>. [ applause ] >> plenty of places for everybody to sit. this 99 county tour thing is rather miss leading because you know better than i that you don't hold public meetings in places like blackhawk county. we need you to come and speak to the residents that we both represent. also an issue that we have got in the county that we need your advocacy on. as you know, we have run one of the only two county county-run
nursing homes in the state. country view. and it is in danger right now because the medicaid reimbursements are really screwing us here in iowa. we need you to use your senior status to make sure we are getting reimbursed so we can cover expense. country view serves some of the most vulnerable people in our population. they have got complex mental health and physical disabilities. some people lived out there for 50 years and we are facing potentially closing because we are getting shafted by medicaid reimbursements rates. i want you to come out and see the folks that may be displaced if we don't get assistance from the federal government. we had the nursing home in la marrs, which closed down, thankfully, but people were living there going weeks on end with broken bones, open rashes, skin sores, and that's what happens to these vulnerable
populations when we don't have a public public entity like ours. i invite you. the board of directors will gladly organize it for you. >> standing up way in the back. if you the want to be next. >> thank you senator grassley. you are a real example to my children of always being on time. i really appreciate that. and i love the way that you never miss a vote. i tell my children, be like senator grassley. if you have a job to do, do it. and i also would like to just say that though there is a lot of disagreement in these meetings, let's remember the vast majority of iowans voted for senate grassley and support his positions and the majority of iowans voted for president trump. and we want -- we want obamacare
repealed. >> no! >> we want the wall built. >> no. >> no we don't. >> i want you to keep talking because i said i'd listen to you. but when they clap or make speak out, stop until they get done so everybody can hear you. >> and i really think what you did in letting the american people vote to decide who the next supreme court justice would be -- will go down in history as one of the greatest and most important acts of your career. so thank you, and god bless you. >> you speak. i hope i'm pointing to the right
person. you stan up. yes, you. yes, you. you're next. >> that election was not reflective of where the american people are. i wanted to point out that you lost the popular vote. this is a move in the state of iowa and nationally toward authoritarianism. a move toward fascism. we here are not professional protesters. we are the american people. [ inaudible ] i am deeply disturbed. i am frightened. >> me too! >> yeah. >> what you are doing as far as the divisiveness that you are feeding in this nation. we are reflective of the american people. i'm the american people. you should be ashamed!
>> yeah. [ applause ] >> i look straight ahead so some of you over here. let's see. let's go with you, sir. that okay? >> my concern, and we've been going through this for years. >> louder! >> as we are talking a lot less. >> if you want to come out here so people can hear you. there has been a lot of talk the last few days dert porting criminal illegal aliens. my concern is without the wall, what good will that do? many of them just come back. >> the criminals are -- >> why don't we start with the wall? >> in other words, i have called on men the whole time.
>> yes. >> yes, yes, if -- that's fair enough. if there is ten women who have their hands up. i don't know to pick between -- go ahead. go ahead. now, remember, i said if they clap or something, then you stop so -- and start again so everybody can hear you. >> are you in washington to protect our right to receive social security that we have all -- >> speak louder please. >> louder? are you in washington to protect our rights to receive social security that we have all paid into all our lives? senior citizens, and i'm one of them, depend on those monthly checks to live. or are you listening to the lobbyists you have taken money from? work for us. [ applause ] >> somebody younger.
>> gentleman with the white beard, go ahead. >> roger white from cedar falls. what steps will you take to make sure that there is an independent and thorough investigation of the trump/putin russian intelligence agencies connections? how will the results of that investigation be reported to the american people so we know what really is happening with our government and our government leaders and what used to be our number one enemy? >> okay. the lady -- please, stand. >> can we get an answer to that question? >> well, we are going to -- people that want to give me their opinions first. and then we'll go back and ask for questions. >> answer that one. >> i have a question -- >> i want to hear just statements at this point. >> if we are going to be repealing the affordable care act, what is the time line for the people in washington to put something in place so that people can stay on their
family's health insurance, that children with type one diabetes can keep their health insurance throughout their lives? we have serious issues that the affordable care act has fixed and we have to keep those things. we keep -- what i'm not hearing is the time line when we are going to be getting something new if we are going to be repealing something old. >>. [ applause ] >> let's see. now i think we will -- i should let people -- well, go ahead, sir, if you want to. i thought maybe we would go to questions, but go ahead. >> well, mine sort of is a question. so the other day you were asked to use your leadership role among republicans to make trump be more truthful and your response was trump will be trump and that you don't know him that well. well, to me, that says you know he is a liar and a con man and you are not going to hold him accountable. senator grassley, will you call
trump out on his blatant lies or continue to let trump lie to the american people? [ applause ] >> okay, now -- now -- >> answer the question. >> yeah, that was a question. >> but he -- i said we're going to go to people that want -- heity said he wanted to make a statement when i called him. go ahead. >> it was a question, actually, senator grassley. >> are you going to ignore him. >>ist he is ignoring me. he doesn't want to answer because he doesn't want to hold him accountable. >> go ahead. >> i am an immigration attorney in waterloo. i am a naturalized u.s. citizen. i want to thank you for your many years of service. in the year 2000, you helped one
of my clients obtain permanent respects through a private bill. you produced the bill in the senate floor. and he was granted permanent residence by all, signed by president clinton. through the years, you have helped many of my clients. when i call your office in the morning, when i call your office in waterloo, jason moore, sanford, always help my clients, documented and undocumented. i need to know why now you are going to hurt iowa kids who have undocumented parents by separating them. why are you supporting the deportation policy of president trump? >> yeah, okay. my answer to your question is, i
have not read the -- i have not read the document that's been put out, but commentaries on the document and people trying to explain the document explain it this way, that the prioritization of felony criminals to be deported, and that it follows the same policies that was in the clinton administration and the george w. bush administration. so if it goes the same way that one democrat and one previous president has done it, and it follows the same thing of getting criminal aliens out of the country. and also i think added to the list are people that have been adjudicated to be deported. whatever that involves other than being a criminal alien, i'm not sure. that -- that's the priority. >> senator, i don't know if you read the memo that was issued on
the 25th and the one that the detectivor of homeland security issued recently, but the memo takes away procedural due process from people by allowing i.c.e. officers and even regular police officers to act as if they were immigration judges. they are trying to extend -- expedited removal proceedings to nationwide. it used to be that expedited removal proceedings were only allowed within 500 miles of the border. but they are trying to take that away from people. there are people -- most people who are undocumented in iowa are not criminals. most people who are undocumented in iowa, more than half of them have children who are u.s. citizens, they work, they pay taxes. and i want to address your question, about 40% of people who are undocumented came here by plane with a visa. >> you are right on that. >> so a wall is not going to do
anything to address that. >> yeah, there is part of the program that addresses that. we put a billion dollars into the biometric exit/entry system so people who come over here illegally, you know who they are and if they don't leave when they are supposed to leave we will know that they haven't left. so that is being done for those 40%. >> our immigration system is broken, outdate. it doesn't work for anyone. we all know here when we go to a restaurant, they are people who are undocumented. their employers are not paying them for taxes. it hurts everyone, hurts us as taxes, it hurts the state, it hurts the country. we need to fix that. you voted against that, you voted again and again against bills. you have been really good at helping individual cases, but you need to do what is right. st this is not who we are, this is not who you have been for the last 20 years.
you help everyone. iowa thing is to do what is right. >> first of all, if people in this room don't know, we are welcome i welcoming nation every year to about a million people that come here with papers. and you do, i think in one respect, i don't know if this is the respect that you are referring to, but in one respect our immigration system is broken from this standpoint, that we need -- we need some on skilled workers, some engineers and we need some agricultural workers, assuming that there aren't americans to fill those jobs. and people want to come here legally if they can. and the extent to which at our embassies around the world we don't have the capability to
have people come here legally -- that's where the system is really broke. >> we don't have -- we don't have the laws that allow people to do that. for many years, the u.s. and mexico had the brassero program and people from mexico used to come here, work in the fields and then they went back home n. 1987 -- 1997, i.r.a. passed and there were severe punishments for people who came here to work. if we had a system that would allow people to come and work, i am all for make sure that they are not taking jobs that u.s. citizens can do. i am all for guiding then. when we come here, we know if they are drug dealers, rapists like trump claims, they have people like us. but if people are coming and we don't know who they are, we are at risk. we need to vet those people. but most people, research shows over and over again, that the criminality of people who are native born is much higher than
people who are immigrants. >> okay. the girl in purple way in the back. >> is that microphone working? >> get these tables out of here. we actually have a lot more people outside. sorry sir. >> no. that's okay. >> i'd like to try to get everybody in here. >> give you some time to answer my question. >> does that microphone work, sir? >> are you just not going to look at me? >> i will be glad to look at you. >> you need to answer to everyone so they can hear it. he stopped talking to me.
>> everybody can hear this as far as i'm concerned but i'm just talking to the press now, and the tv. i forget what room we are going to go to. but i gave you 15 minutes afterwards for a news conference. and so i'll go to that room and you follow me so that we can have -- you can ask me any questions you want to ask me. we'll give priority to the iowa tv and press. and then later on the national press. i'm going to call on the lady, i think that's purple. is it you and i purple? >> i tell you what, move in the early '70s -- [ inaudible ] ran the first time. >> louder. >> i first met senator grassley at the student union at u of i when he ran for the first time. i have to tell you what disturbs me is your silence.
it supports sexual predator, white supremacist, and frankly, fascism. i have to ask you, what makes you put party over country now? in recent weeks i have been appalled at being called a paid protester. because as far as i can see the only person in this room that is paid is you, by betsy devos and the koch brothers. [ applause ] if you know of anyone in this room who is being paid, i would imagine it's coming from your side. i'm appalled at this. i don't hear you speaking out at all. and i have had a thousand things i can say. >> thank you, sister. >> answer the question. >> i'd love a response from that, senator. >> ask me the -- repeat the
question. >> why you put party over country. because it's very obvious to see. >> she wants to know why i put party over country. i suppose there are several different instances i can give to -- to say that she's wrong. but the one that i used most often last year, and i think it will continue this year as well, is a good working relationship that i have with the democrats on the judiciary committee wherever bill that came out of committee 30 or 31 or 32 -- don't healed me to the exact number, every one of them was bipartisan bills, and 18 of them were signed by the president and do you think the president would sign a bill if i put party over country? >> we are talking about now. >> now.
>> now you wanted an answer to. >> if you like i can repeat the question. >> sure -- no. you don't have to repeat the question. you wanted to know about the president. >> when he lies. >> i think the best thing that any public official can do, because you can't control other public officials is to set a good example. and my good example is a rule that i followed my entire life. if you always tell the truth, you don't have to worry what you told somebody else. way, way, way in the back there. since you are -- can you talk real loud. >> i felt, and many other people like me are really concerned about the job that betsy devos
is going to be doing. and coming from a state that has prided itself decade after decade after decade on education is now going to be in the hands of her. and you, sir, have voted for her to help her confirmation against the will of many, many constituents of yours, both democrats and republican like myself. how can you justify your vote for her? >> yeah. okay. well, you two don't expect me to call on you before i answer his question, do you? >> no, i want to tell him what i -- >> oh. >> can i? >> okay. >> devos is -- >> but talk loud so everybody can hear you. >> when i was in gilbert -- or in greensboro, north carolina, all the poor people had to go to the public schools, and the rich ones got to go to private schools. $25,000 a year for the schools
that they had per kid. my kids couldn't -- i couldn't afford that. so my kid had to go through a metal detector to get to the auditorium or anything like that. and i had to home school her in the end because it scared me. the drug dealers were leaving there, going to new york, and then they would come back with their drugs -- >> this is iowa. >> what's your point? >> hey, hey, wait until -- >> des moines school -- >> wait until it gets quiet so everybody can hear you. >> des moines school district is a horrible -- [ inaudible ] >> what i'm saying to you is these poor children have no other -- [ overlapping speakers ]
>> i will -- i will -- now, i will answer. >> answer the question. >> okay. to answer your question back there -- thanks for being quiet. whether it's devos or anybody else you might ask about, but i'll answer your question about devos. >> the question is about devos. >> thank fs for being quiet. whether it's devos or anybody else i'm going to give a general answer but i answer about devos. there is a great deal of understanding among both republicans and democrats in the congress over a long period of time that a president who is elected should have the people in his cabinet to help him carry out his program. and so just like i didn't agree with eric holder when i voted
for eric holder to be attorney general for obama and we put in eight cabinet people the very first day that he was in office, which reciprocity we don't get this time from the opposition. but it's along the lines that a president who is elected ought to have people that can help him get the job done. and in regard to -- >> rubber stamping. >> in regard to devos, and you mention all the things that you are worried about if she is secretary of education -- she's not superintendent of schools. and i heard from other people in town meetings that public schools are in jeopardy. only the people of this school district in parkersburg applington can put this school district in jeopardy because she has nothing to do with this
school district, how it operates or anything. she's got -- >> let him talk! >> she's got four laws -- well, four programs, all set up by congress and the money appropriated by congress. special education, vocational education, reading programs, and college programs. and she -- and she has to administer those laws the way congress passed them. so if there's any fear about it, she can't do anything about the public schools. only the 50 states can do that. at one time, for ten years, and i'll bet you are one of these, and i'm one of them now, but i did vote for no child left behind. but it didn't work out the way anybody anticipated. and you probably have heard the bad experiences with it as a student at uni. we passed legislation in october that was very much bipartisan legislation to do away with no
child left behind, have a new federal law. and she will have to carry out that federal law. but basically, it gets the washington, d.c. out of being a school board for all the schools in the united states and turning it back where it should have been before, like it was before no child left behind so that the states and the local school districts can make most of these decisions in regard to education. not secretary of education devos. >> how do you protect -- [ inaudible ] >> that was bush. no child left behind was bush, not obama. >> you have got so many hands up. how but in the checkered shirt. >> in 1965, senator grassley, executived earned 20 times the amount that the average worker. by 1973, it was 22% to one. but at end of the 1970s,
executive compensation just skyrocketed in an unprecedented fashion by 2015 ceo to worker compensation was 276 to 1. you have been in congress since 1975, the same time ceo compensation stated going crazy. you have been representing iowa the whole time this has been happening. public disclosure says you have an estimated worth of 4 million. on the other side of the economy, the hin mum wage is $7.25 since 2009. if you go the work 40 hours a week and work 52 weeks a year with no vacation you have certained $15200 a year which is just enough to be a member of the working poor. if you have a family you are actually in poverty at that wage. because of the persistent inaction in congress, 29 states have establish admin mum wage higher than federal level and the rest of the states, including iowa are still at
$7.25 an hour. in iowa, four counties currently voted for higher minimum wages but your colleagues in the republican legislature are wanting to take that back so everyone can have the same crappy wage. here's my question. why aren't you supporting the, woulding people of iowa? why haven't you done so since 1975? and why aren't you pushing for a living aij wage for workers, including the 80% who are service economy workers? [ applause ] >> when did i quit beating my wi wife? >> answer the question. >> i don't know, when did you. >> poor barbara. >> she is work for herself. >> i have got to answer him. i have got do that. don't put your hand up yet. >> i question the
appropriateness of that statement, sir. women are very afraid right now and i take offense to that. >> he made reference to my net worth. wouldn't you expect money gets handled well and pay what you pay me that you save it -- i'll wait until we get done here so everybody can hear me. the other thing is, if you bought a farm 40 years ago and it appreciates ten times what you paid for it, i have got nothing to do with that. inflation took care of that. >> amen. >> so if there was any inference that maybe i did something that was unethical. then i really want to do it. >> the question was about the minimum wage, sir. >> minimum wage. >> you can answer. >> i'm a' glad to get the minimum wage question because i get it quite frequently. i don't know whether it is
three or four times since i've been 23in the congress of the united states that i have voted sometimes for increasing minimum wage and sometimes not. my rule generally for voting for it is if we have high unemployment, then i don't want to increase the cost of labor because you increase the cost of something you get less of it. and the non-partisan congressional budget office said that 750,000 mostly young people would be unemployed the last time the issue was up in the congress of the united states. the time i have voted for minimum wage increase has been when there is opportunities to help small business at the same time you are increasing minimum wage so that small businesses that don't have the opportunity to absorb the increased cost, that they get some help so that they don't have to lay people off. if they have got three employees, two of them get an
increase in wages it's good for them. but the person that's laid off doesn't even have any income at all. so that's -- that's been the rule that i have had on minimum wage. now, do you want to be next? >> but the unemployment rate is 4.6 now. it's low. >> my name is steve, i drove up from mount vernon this morning, which means i got up before the farmers did. my question is, do you agree with the president of the united states and his senior staff and some member in the legislature that the media are the enemies of the american people? and if you don't believe that, why have you not pushed back on that? if you do believe that, why are you meeting with them after this meeting? >> i think i pushed back on it -- i probably have had tv or press interviews six or seven or eight times just this week. and your question came up, so let me answer it the same way i'm going to answer it again if i'm asked in the -- when we have
the news conference. the press is not the enemy of the people. the press is the policemen for our representative system of government. it's what we count on to keep all levels of government, state, county, federal, school districts, every level of government honest, and we count on them. [ applause ] >> amen, grassley. >> if there was -- if there's anything that bothers me, it's this. and it's got nothing to do with them being an enemy or anything. it's just that you read -- like, i don't know a couple times in the last 20 years after presidential elections, and this doesn't apply to the people that are here unless they are from washington, d.c. but for people in washington, d.c. and new york, the journalists, when i read that
91, 92 or 93% of them voted for a democratic candidate for congress -- i mean for president, then you could question maybe their biased. and the opposite of that would be i won't give you the name of a des moines reporter of years ago who didn't even register to vote because he thought it would show some partisanship that a journalist shouldn't have. so i think you can question whether or not they look at things and leave their personal views out of it. >> liberal bias. >> go ahead. >> the president of the united states said in so many words, they are the enemy of the american people. did that not scare you at all? >> i would tell you -- i would tell the president he's wrong. >> have you? have you told him?
have you told him that he's wrong? >> well, i haven't seen the president for a long time. >> tell him he's wrong. >> no, no, wait. wait until they are -- until it's quiet so everybody can hear you. >> my question is about the affordable care act. >> yes. >> i know in 2009 when it was under debate you along with sarah palin said -- [ inaudible ] you cleerld didn't like it at that point. it's been seven years and i assume you have been against it or opposed it all seven years. you and other members of your party. now you have the power to repeal it. and replace it with something but there doesn't seem to be anything to replace it with. what have you been doing for seven years? is this what you call good governance? >> good question.
>> yeah. >> to follow-up on that, there has been commercials on tv from the republicans saying they do have something in place. and then donald trump said on a newscast the other day that we are going to have a really good plan. >> it's going to be huge. >> it's -- >> it's part of a. it will have taxes in it. under the constitution it has to start in the house of representatives. it's my understanding that it will be next week or the following week, to answer your question. >> so there is not one in place. >> what is the plan? >> i said it's going to be made public next week or the following week. go ahead. >> thank you senator for coming up here today. my question is about financial regulation. in the recent weeks president trump signed executive orders aimed at attacking dodd/frank act it's hard to believe he is looking out for the little guy when key members of his
executive team grew up in goldman sachs. similarly, you voted to repeal the rule requiring energy companies to disclose their foreign investments. this does not seem to be looking up to the little guy. it seems to be looking up for wall street. also upcoming, president trump attacked the obama era fiduciary rule that says basically that companies have to look out for their investors and not themselves. repealing that rule they can say let's make sure our board members stay wealthy and our business plan is protected second. can you tell me whether you plan to protect the little guy. >> let me tell you what i will do. and then you react to that and you tell me what you think after i get done talking to you. first of all, i don't think
dodd/frank as a massive 350-page bill, will be repealed. i think these things will be done in -- done sometime in the future. some of them have already been dealt with with a district court in d.c. saying that part of it was unconstitutional. but what congress will have to do will be number one, it sucked in all of the community bankers like here in parkersburg w the wall street bankers, with the same regulations. so there will be some accommodation for community bankers to not have as rigid regulation as what wall street has because these community bankers were part of the problem. and then on the part of it that deals with the consumer finance protection board, it has no oversight by congress because it gets its money from the federal reserve without appropriation through congress.
so we're going to set it up so that they get their money through congress so they have to come before the appropriations committee and have oversight like every other federal agency. there is some of their action that can't be appealed to the courts. and i think we would allow whatever action that is to be appealed to the courts. and right now, maybe i shouldn't speak so all encompassing. i'm not on the banking committee but what i've read about what that committee might do, that's what i think we are limited to doing about dodd/frank. >> the second part, you said about the fiduciary -- >> oh, no, i didn't answer that. so let me answer that. there's two aspect of the fiduciary rule that i think has to be corrected. one is there's a rule with a security and exchange commission. and then there's a rule in the
department of labor. maybe i better start over again. there's a requirement under sec regulations, and another requirement in the labor department that if you follow what the labor department says, you are violating the security and exchange commission, and vice versa. and nobody should be put in that position. and then the second one is that the supreme court has ruled in a couple cases that you can't have lawsuits called private right of action lawsuits that are done by regulation. and this provides for private right of action lawsuits through regulation and not through enactment by congress. and i think at least those two things have to be taken care of. now, there might be an attempt to do away with the whole thing. but i don't know where that is
at this point. let's see. you probably have been waving your hand all day. >> okay. so you wrote me a letter a couple of weeks ago. i had written you about immigration. and you said, and i quote, that you need -- that we need to make sure that the bad guys are having much more thorough screening process. i'm going to read you what i understand to be the screening process for immigration and i'd like to know what needs to be more thorough. first of you unhcr does in-depth refugee interviews, home country reference checks, being screening with iris scans. and after that a small percentage are received for resettlement. this group includes survivors of torture, victims of sexual violence, targets of political persecution, the medically needy, families with multiple children, and a female head of household. it takes 18 to 24 months already. the person who is make it
through, 50% are children. 25% are over 60. only 2% are young men. and then when they finally get here in the u.s., there are nine non-profit six bank based organizations that help them settle. and we know about that because we have wonderful experience here in this area. i teach a lot of children of bosnian immigrants here. they passed through this kind of rigor that the syrians are trying to get through now. we want to take people out of these horrible areas. and this is really, really thorough. and once they get here, they are taken care of by our community groups who make sure that they are able to make a new life for themselves and leave all that violence and that their kids end up being young people i teach. i don't know what you want that's more thorough. this is really, really, really thorough. and we need to be welcoming to these persons who have done through horrendous experiences.
[ applause ] >> just in case you don't know, we have witness a welcoming nation for refugees since world war ii at least, and we're going to continue to be a welcoming nation for refugees as well. and i think your question was very specific. but if you want me to say one, two, three, four in addition to what you already said that needs to be done, i can't give you that. but i would expect the state department to take care of this problem that wouldn't be an issue. >> what problem. >> in other words, until two or three years ago -- i am a yelling at you, but everybody else wants to see me. two or three -- until two or three years ago, you wouldn't have been asking me this question and you wouldn't have written me the letter and i wouldn't have given you the answer i gave you because maybe a couple years ago that's when the people in that part of the world said that they were going to send terrorists in under the
refugee umbrella that we have in this country to get terrorists in here to kill americans. so the number one responsibility of the federal government is to protect the american people. so we don't want terrorists coming in here if we can keep them out. so to get this thing tightened up just from that part of the world -- not from the rest of the world. in other words, three 40s of our refugees coming from southeast asia or after chasm they don't come from the middle east. so we are going to continue to take from southeast and from africa. but from this part of the world where they arin threatening that's what we've got to be careful about. >> but this is so thorough already. >> well -- >> i think you are going with the politics of fear and not the welcoming beliefs that -- [ applause ] >> but then if there's a -- i feel guilty every time we have 90 people killed in orlando, two in chattanooga, two in boston --
>> none of those were refugees. >> refugees reason is done that. >> no, you are right on that. you are very right on that. yeah, but i'm just telling you, that's what you think about when you think about terrorists could come into the country. >> i think leadership -- fear leadership needs to go above. >> wait a minute, so everybody can hear you. >> your leadership needs to go above the political of fear. you need to share the message from iowa that you started your letter with, which, we have been a welcoming nation, a welcoming state, and we have nothing to fear because our community groups put their arms around immigrants and make sure they are safe and welcomed. and there's nothing to fear. >> okay. well, people are afraid. >> you are trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist.
>> go ahead, yeah. >> sorry. senator grassley, let me first thank you for the courage to meet with us, during this time of opposition. i encourage you for that. i hope that the meetings you have had this week give you further courage to stand up and fight for the issues which constituents have spoken so passionately about. being informed by seemingly endless number of outrages but none of them keep me up at night. not russia, not immigration, not health care, not the economy, not campaign finance, not inf infrastructu infrastructure, not trade, clean water, free speech or free press. i have a 2-year-old son at home. because of that fact no other issue concerns me like climate change.
[ applause ] >> thank you. >> habitable planet to live on. all these other issues that we mentioned here and will be mentioned here are moot. senator, we need a manhattan project type evident with an unlimited budget the thwart this crisis. yes, i said unlimited. for what it's worth, you have my blessing to add trillions of dollars to the national debt to combat climate change. senator i'm here to ask for you to commit to do everything in your power to support climate change research and to stop the goest scourge caused by man. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> senator, could i ask you a question about moral and ethics standards. >> yeah, where are you? >> answer the question first. >> he made a statement and he
asked me to do that. >> and i heard what he said. >> i would assume you consider yourself with high moral and ethical standards, correct? you have high moral and ethical standards, correct? would that be a fair statement? >> i think. >> that's a compliment. but you do, don't you, senator? >> i'd rather have you tell tell me whether i do than -- >> i think you do. >> okay. >> and i think you surround yourself with people who have high moral and ethical standards, correct? >> i try to. >> okay. and you -- you have been a senator from this state for how many years? >> 36. >> okay. now you've got really nothing to prove. you are not beholden to really anybody but the constituents who re -- who elect you to serve again. so i think the thing you need to do is speak out, okay? now, we have the minority of
people in this country have elected a president that constant leap lies and uses misinformation. constantly. he belittles people with physical handicaps. if those two things don't bother from you a moral and ethical standard, tell me what line in the sand you are going to draw that they will. he degrades vietnam p.o.w.s and one of them being a senator from your party. he belittles families of afghan and iraqi veterans who have been killed. he says the press is the enemy of the american people. now, obviously, that has not bothered you enough. so at someplace in the moral standards it's not there yet. he refuses to release his taxes. he refuses to diverse himself from his financial contracts.
he compares russia's involvement in our elections with our involvement in the italian elections in 1948 in which we were trying to keep a fascist country from going communist. what higher level would you want our involvement would be in the international realm? and we also have a guy who admitted lly gropes women. tell me where your standards are at, senator? how low are they that these things don't bother you enough that you will speak out and say enough is enough? [ applause ] tell me where they are. [ inaudible ] [ applause ] >> tell me, that's all we want to know. that's all we want to know. >> mentally ill.
>> say something or do something, and you said enough is enough and i can't take this anymore. >> answer this guy. >> answer him. >> answer the question. >> answer the question, please. >> answer him. >> he's our president. >> answer his question. >> please answer his question. >> i think i -- i think i spoke -- i think i have spoke very strongly. >> answer the question. >> answer the question. >> let him speak. >> okay. >> hang in there. >> i think i spoke very strongly on the one example that he gave that came out from the president in october, i spoke very strongly against it. it was printed in the paper so everybody could read it. >> he's president now.
>> senator grassley, thank you, thank you, thank you for coming here. >> amen. >> and being willing to speak to all of us. thank you for representing iowans and agriculture all these and i thank you for representing us in washington. you've done it well. >> and for helping -- >> amen. amen. >> the lady in the back there, stand up please, thank you. >> -- admitting that the goal of this government is to destroy it. and that was at the cpac. where he and reince priebus were being interviewed. now, he also said that the cabinet members that were being nominated were being nominated so they could go into the departments and destroy them.
that's his words. now, tell me why we need to have people in there that want to destroy our country. >> remember -- remember the checks and balances of government and -- and a president -- [ inaudible ] what she said you are, that's exactly what i'm going to say to you. >> do your job. >> whether it's somebody that the president has in the white house or whether it's some place in the cabinet, everything in the executive branch, they have to enforce the laws, they have to -- if they want to propose something, but, remember, they
proposed, congress disposes. and congress can check some of the regulations. but we don't have to -- we appropriate the money and all that. >> jeff sessions and president trump leaned on the boss to make her ask for the transgender law that protected children and congress had nothing to say about that. those children lost their protection. >> okay. go ahead. >> you can be the last question. >> for almost an hour, this is a little old black lady, from waterloo, iowa, happens to be an immigrant from the country of jamaica. and i understand that the united states and iowa is a welcoming country and state. i'm telling you, you know who i am. if you don't let , let me tell
again. i am a fan and a visitor of this beautiful city in parkersburg. now, i have a question or a request and a comment. my request is this. i have a foster mother that lives in waterloo, and her children live out of state, and they got ill. and my husband and i was in charge, we're taking care of her. we found out that there was somebody from minnesota who took more than $6,000 out of her bank account. she has a bank account, regions bank in waterloo. we filed charges.
we got the person, he went to court, and he was convicted. regions bank still has not returned more than $6,000 out of her account. he wrote checks on her account. i'm wondering, what's a signature supposed to mean on a check when they won't return her money, just because it was past 30 days of her statement when we found out. this lady is 90 years old. 90 years old. and i want all of you to know that. we have to protect our senior citizen citizens. i'm asking you to investigate this. >> okay. >> my comment is this, i have been in waterloo for more than
40 years. i am an active democrat. but i tell you what, we all, and i know especially in the black community, have always been accustomed to your service to iowa. it has been impeccable. and i think that's why a lot of us are here, because you really do your job. but ever since you got in the leadership position, under judiciary committee, i feel that you've disappointed us. i have always observed that you are a man of integrity and for
one year president obama gave you a name, but because of politics, i believe, and i've not seen you do that before, you have not brought his nominee forward. it has not been like five months, it was a whole year. i was so -- i'm a huge fan of yours, and i'm so disappointed. as you go forward, because i can't tell you to do anything -- because i sincerely believe he has a personality disorder. i think the man is sick. i'm asking you to be that role model that we look up to, to our legislator that we have
>> watch c-span as president donald trump delivers his first address to a joint session of congress. >> this congress is going to be the busiest congress we have had in decades. >> and following the speech, democratic response given by former kentucky governor steve bashir, and your reaction to the president's speech, along with comments from members of congress, live tuesday, at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span and c-span.org. and listen live on the free c-span radio app. also tomorrow, democratic congressional lead senator charles schumer and nancy pelosi will offer remarks prior to the president's address. live coverage of their news conference will happen at 2:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow afternoon here on c-span3. and live at 3:30 eastern, today, we'll bring you a hearing on efforts to curb drug diverse by opioid addicted veterans of va facilities. phil rowe is expected to talk
about work to improve controls to keep drugs from disappearing from va facilities. live coverage here on c-span3. and now a forum on how gender and race affected the presidential election. the trump cabinet choices and the 115th congress, authors in academics from case western reserve university and university of minnesota take part. >> as all of us know, who are here in the united states, or even abroad, during the fall of 2016 we had a campaign that was permeated by issues of gender and race and class. we had a woman at the top of the democratic ticket for the first time. we had a billionaire at the top of the republican ticket who had a discourse of strong populism and class-based discourse. also in this campaign we saw