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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 10, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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on the common good of everyone in this country today is our broken immigration system, and it needs to be fixed. jorge duany: thank you to a wonderful panel and thank you all for being here. [applause] jorge duany: and good afternoon. >> next, a discussion with mike lee of utah. then the conclusion of our interviews with new members of congress. then the legacy of laura bush. mike lee spoke with reporters today at a breakfast hosted by "the christian science monitor. go-- monitor."
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he talks about the 2016 presidential race, which began with the entry with ted cruz and rand paul. this is just under an hour.
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dave cook: i am dave cook from "the monitor." thanks for coming. our guest is senator mike lee, and it is an opportunity for what the senator's new book calls a compliant press corps that is all too willing to blame republicans for anything and everything. [laughter] i guest tells of a unique childhood where his dad served as solicitor general under president reagan. starting at age 10, he began attending supreme court arguments. fellow mormon harry reid was a friend of the lee family, and as the story goes, once locked a preteen mike lee in a garage. overcoming scars that might have caused, senator lee earned his bachelor's degree at brigham young university.
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he clerked for several judges, twice for samuel alito once when he was an appellate judge, and later on the supreme court. our guest was in private practice in 2010 when he stunned the political establishment and defeated robert bennett for the gop senate nomination from utah. the almanac of american politics says he was the youngest senator when he took office in january 2011. the senator's new book is called "our lost constitution: the willful subversion of america's founding document." it is his second book. so much for biographies. on to the mechanics. no live blogging or tweeting. no filing of any kind while the breakfast is underway. there is no embargo when the session ends.
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to help you resist the selfie urge, we will e-mail several pictures to all reporters as soon as the breakfast ends. as regular attendees know, if you would like to ask a question, do the traditional thing and send me a subtle nonthreatening signal, and i will happily call on one and all. we'll start by offering the guest an opportunity to make opening comments and then moved to questions from around the table. thank you for doing this, sir. senator lee: two are very much. -- senator lee: thank you very much. it is a pleasure to be here with all of you to talk about my book. i have enjoyed it immensely. i wrote the book for the simple reason that i think when you talk about the constitution in the abstract, it is a little easy to make it boring. i was raised in a home where we talk about the constitution routinely around the dinner table. i was about 30 when i realized that every family does that. as my wife explained to me, a
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few years ago, as i was trying to get my own children interested in the constitution she said whether you are talking to your own children or to friends or, you know, people of any age, it will make it a lot more and thing if you can tell it in the form of the story. if you can tell the story behind something. it makes it not only more palatable, but it makes it interesting. i wanted to tell a few of the stories behind the constitution, stories that inform us as to the reasons why certain provisions were put into the document in the first place, and also tell some of the stories about how some of those same provisions have fallen into disrepair, or at least fallen into obscurity and how best they can be restored. one of the stories that i really enjoy in the book is this story about how alexander hamilton actually openly advocated for a monarchy at the constitutional convention in 1787. he did so at his own political peril and detriment. a lot of people believed this
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may have been something that sunk any presidential ambitions he might have otherwise had. his idea of the monarchy was, of course, soundly rejected by the convention, and with good reason. they were very concerned, first and foremost, about the excessive accumulation of power in the hands of a few, or especially the hands of a one. that is why spoke about the fact that it is a little ironic that we have consolidated so much power in the executive branch in modern times. we have done so, moreover, in a bipartisan fashion. this has not been one party or the other that has done this. nor has it been the executive who has simply seized all of this power. congress has been all too willing, and even eager, to immigration. it is an easy way for congress to avoid accountability for making laws. it is a very easy way for congress to accept all of the glory and none of the blame when identifying certain broad policy aspirations, but not having to
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actually do the dirty work of setting the policy. these are some of the things i discuss, talking in that instance about the legislative powers clause, but in other instances i talk about the erosion of other things like the origination clause, the fourth amendment, and other aspects of the constitution that i consider important. they are far too often negelcted. with that, i look forward to your questions. mr. cook: let me do one or two below my own, and it will go to eric watson, michael, burgess, phil, francine, sue davis, and lisa to start. let me do a constitutional question or two in the thought that my colleagues might have other topics in mind. as reid wilson recently noted in "the washington post," legislators in 27 states have passed applications for a
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constitutional convention to pass a balanced budget amendment, and proponents in another state where republicans control both legislative chambers are pushing for passage. do you support the move to a convention? a lot of people think there are dangers because it is not clear how it would operate and what subjects it could deal with. senator lee: i am one of those people that think there are dangers there because all 27 times we have amended the constitution we have followed one procedure, where congress proposes, the states ratify. the alternative is where two thirds of the state call for congress to convene a convention, congress convenes such a convention, and they become ratified. i was taught growing up by my late father that there was great risk in this because we had never had a constitutional convention, at least not since 1787. the last time we started with a convention, we came out with something altogether different. my dad's view was let's leave good enough alone as far as calling for another convention.
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he has been dead 19 years, and some would argue that in those 19 years a lot has happened to suggest that congress cannot be counted on to propose amendments that we needed, and that the american people, who pretty overwhelmingly support the idea of a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. i will continue to push for a balanced budget amendment through congress, which is where i serve. that is within my ability to control. if the states want to call for a convention, i suspect they will continue to do so. mr. cook: i do read things other than "the washington post," but there was a fascinating column by robert samuelson on the idea of balancing the budget, and in essence, the argument was either party -- it would be very hard to do without either party
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having to swallow a fair amount of ideology, republicans eating to admit that without tax increases, big and probably dangerous cuts in defense are inevitable democrats needing to concede that all the spending for the elderly is not sacrosanct, although i choke when i say that as you see the color of my hair. what is your view about the level of hypocrisy that is involved in calling for a balanced budget amendment when we know that voters want more spending than they are willing to pay for? senator lee: i do not know if it is fair to call it hypocrisy. i think these are difficult questions. difficult, weighty questions. they also would involve an overarching question that looks at the amount of debt that we have accumulated, about $18 trillion. in fact, we are paying about $285 billion in interest on that debt. that is a lot of money.
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the scary part is it is roughly the same debt we had 20 years ago when the debt was a small fraction of its current size about 1/5 of its current size. eventually, the artificially historically low yield rates we are paying on treasury instruments are likely to return to the historical average, even assuming there is not a rebound above the historical average. even if they just returned to the historical average, it will not be very long after that before we are paying close to $1 trillion a year in interest on our debt, and that will threaten all kinds of things. so, in addition to the fact that it has been said that our national debt may well present one of our biggest single threats to our national security, it also presents one of our biggest single threats to everything else that we do. mr. cook: do you worry about tying the hands of the government at a time when you might need to prime the pump? senator lee: i do, and i also worry about the government not
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having its hands tied to make sure that it shores up the very programs that are important to shore up. mr. cook: eric watson from bloomberg. mr. watson: your tax plan does raise taxes on some middle earners, and as been discussion on the right about the child tax credit. can you explain a little bit why that makes sense, and do you think senator rubio, should he announced for president, can win the nomination based on this? senator lee: ok. as for the first part of the question, here is what we are trying to accomplish there. in addition to other features of the tax plan, we are trying to eliminate the marriage tax penalty and the parent tax penalty. the child tax credit is directed at the parent tax penalty,
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a little known but significant feature in our existing tax code that has the effect of -- sort of taxing american parents twice. once when they pay their taxes on the individual side, and on the payroll side, and again, as they incur the substantial costs of raising children. according to the u.s. department of agriculture, it costs on average, $300,000 to raise a child to maturity. today's children will become tomorrow's workers, taxpayers will be paying the benefits of tomorrow's retirees. relative to our entitlement programs, hard-working parents get hit twice. imagine two hypothetical couples, and imagine for tax purposes they are virtually identical sets of twins -- similar incomes, charitable conservation patterns, similar
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deductions except that couple a has four children, couple b chooses to remain childless. while raising children, couple a will incur $1.2 million on average. couple b will not have that expense. couple a has produced four different taxpayers that will sure plans for anyone that retired that shore up plans for everyone that retires. the child tax credit does not offset that disparity altogether, but it is meant to soften it. as to the question of whether senator rubio can wind on this tax plan, if you mean this tax plan in of itself is doing to win in the white house, i do not think anyone will win as a one- trick pony, but i do think it is a good plan, and he is a good candidate. should he get in, i think he will do well. mr. cook: michael?
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michael: on the current plan to punish him for the 2013 shutdown [indiscernible] senator lee: he may have felt a difference at the time. i am not aware of a conspiracy to shut us out of anything and i'm not aware of any one person or one group of people who has the ability to do that. reporter: senator paul has this legislation that lets states implement their own medical marijuana laws and make these
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no longer breaking federal law. is that something you support on the judiciary committee? what is your stance on that? senator lee: is this the one where he's running with senator and had a long conversation with senator joe brand the other day. as i recall, it would move marijuana from a schedule one to a schedule two, is that right? reporter: right. it has some medical benefit and allows states that legalize it to regulate it. senator lee: one of the reasons for doing that, that senator gillibrand told me about is that you have some states in which there are researchers who are anxious to do research on cannabinoid oil as a treatment for epilepsy and other disorders and unable to do it and that's one of the reasons for doing it.
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i'm looking at this legislation and i haven't made a decision on it yet. it's worth considering. reporter: do you think the federal government should have overarching policies on that? senator lee: i think you can state a strong argument that a state ought to be able to allow for the the intrastate production and use of a particular medical treatment. that is of course not the system we have now, and so it's it's tough to ignore the realities of the current system. but senators paul and gillibrand jill brant have made a strong case for this modest action might be warranted. i haven't decided how i'm going to come down on it yet, and i'm looking closely at it.
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reporter: senator, couple of questions. what kind of a royalty and/or advance did you get for the book and did you have a ghost writer or did you write this yourself? and unrelated to this, your three best friends are running for president. are you trying to keep neutral that?any advice you've given them and which one will you back? senator lee: good questions. i wrote it on my own time. i don't discuss the particulars of the royalty agreement. publicly although i'll be required to disclose on an annual basis any royalties i receive from year to year on that. so you'll see that when that happens. yeah, i do have three friends in the senate, three of my very closest allies in the senate all appear to be running for president. and, you know, it's a tough thing any time you have three of your favorite co-workers who all decide to run for president at
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time., first time it's ever happened to me. i hope to be as supportive as i can of all three of them because i genuinely like all three of them. for that reason, i'm not inclined to endorse any one of them at this point because i can't endorse one of them without sort of unendorsing one of the others, and at this point i don't see any reason to do that. [indiscernible] senator lee: i'll be on the ballot in exactly one state and that's your state and my state in utah. mr. cook: can i ask you just a quick follow-up. a recent utah policy poll showed that 37% of voters wanted you as the g.o.p. nominee in 2016 while
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30% chose josh romney. do you expect a primary battle? senator lee: i don't know. i think that's an about a year away, and i'm getting ready for anything that might come my way, preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. reporter: senator, the 2016 presidential race, what are you looking for in a nominee for the party, and what kind of nominee do you think the voters in the republican party, the activists around the country, want to see? they've had john mc cain in 2008 and mitt romney in 2012. what are the qualities that are important now? senator lee: i've done several speeches on this. i'd like to see a candidate who is principaled and positive and proven. principle of meaning somebody who is not afraid to admit why he or she is a conservative, not
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afraid to demonstrate that commitment to conservative principles by embracing proactive, conservative agenda to explain how it is those conservative principles can be used to promote economic mobility in america, to help expand the middle class, to help those who are unemployed or underemployed expand their opportunities, and somebody who has got some kind of track record somewhere proving a commitment to these things. and i think we've got a pretty strong field of candidates so far, and it may well continue to grow. at this point, the more the merrier. reporter: does it give you any concerns that the money folks
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seem to be rallying so early around jeb bush? senator lee: does it concern me? no. i'm not terribly surprised by that, and again, we're still in the early stages of this, and so we're waiting to see who is going to take off and who isn't. mr. cook: we will go to other reporters. that will take us a good deal into the hour. reporter: without violating your reluctance to endorse anyone could you give us your sense of the three candidates what are your strengths and weaknesses are in the race? senator lee: you had to go with the weaknesses part. let's start with the strengths at least. so we'll go in order of when
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they announced, i suppose. ted cruz and i both come from similar professional backgrounds. we're both appellate litigators and served as law clerks at the supreme court and we tend to approach issues, particularly constitutional issues, in a similar way. ideologically, i share a lot in common with ted cruz, and i like his passion, and i like his dedication to conservative principles and his willingness to fight even when it's hard. i have an enormous amount of respect for him. some of those same characteristics have been
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characterized by some as a weakness and achilles' heel for him. we'll see how the primary election voters feel about that at the end of the day. rand paul announced next. rand and i have been friends. before i met rand paul, i read a column by george will. it said if he were elected, they would become best friends and that turn said out to be true. i have always enjoyed my association with rand from almost the very first moment we were headed to the senate floor. within our first weeks in office and rand asked me how i was going to vote on a particular bill, and i told him i thought i was going to vote for it, and he
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identified some concerns. i didn't share his concern but i was impressed that he was willing to do the work to find it. i still vividly remember the moment he went to the floor and decided to speak for 13 hours at a time in one sitting on drone strikes, and that was exciting. some would say that the achilles' heel for him would be on foreign policy. but there again, others would view that as his strength. with rubio, i also met rubio pretty early on. i think i met rubio the soonest, very early in 2010 when we were both running. i saw him speak at cpac and immediately impressed with his speaking ability. i'm not sure that i ever -- at least among the current field of presidential candidates, i don't know that we have any other candidate who is as good
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as rubio is at communicating and delivering a speech and inviting the audience into an emotional journey as he speaks. he's one of these guys who can bring grown men to tears very quickly with emotion speaking about his great love for our country. he's got great vision and he is an outstanding communicator one of the best natural athletes in political terms that we've got today. there are those who are still critical of him for his involvement in the gang of eight immigration bill a few years ago but on the other hand, that was a few years ago and it was just one issue. reporter: next week marks the first 100 days of the republican
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congress, and you're one of a group that only served as a minority. i was hoping you could reflect a little bit about what the majority has been like and how that's been different for you and maybe more broadly your take on how republicans running congress are doing so far. what have been the hits and the misses? senator lee: the biggest single difference by far since we took the majority in the senate has been that we're voting. we're voting a lot, which is what we're supposed to be doing. i always think the more votes we can be casting the better. that's what we're here to do, is to consider debate and ultimately vote on pieces of legislation. whether they pass or not, we need to be voting on them. we cast the most votes within the first -- i don't know i think it was the first 6, 7
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weeks of the republican majority than we had cast in the entire previous year. in fact, i think within the first eight weeks we may have cast more votes than we cast in the previous congress in terms of roll call amendments on the floor of the senate. and that's a good thing. there was a lot of frustration not just among republicans, but among democrats as well in the past two congresses over the fact that our previous majority leader had been fairly reluctant to call votes, to allow votes and allow amendments on legislation. when you don't have an open amendment process, the legislative process itself is thwarted and can't proceed as it should. so anyway that's been a rewarding thing. then you asked for the
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highlights. one highlight was passing out a budget just before we left for easter. that was a good thing. it's been about six years since congress has passed a budget and it's good to have gotten that one done and good to get the keystone xl pipeline legislation done and unfortunate that the president vetoed it and unfortunate we were not able to override it. reporter: can you go back one more time to your three really good friends. i was going to ask a little bit about it. i was curious when you look at their potential paths in their candidacies, what do can see for each of them, their biggest
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challenge, and moving forward and completely separately mention in the introduction that >> one of the biggest challenges that each of them is likely to face in the path to the white house with -- ted has a really strong loyal following. as i talk to people around the country i see a lot of people who are big cruise fans and a lot of them are very involved in grassroots movements. i think that is a great strength and going along with that great strength is a potential
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challenge that he has been demonstrating that he can appeal to others in the party. and also that he can have enough appeal outside of the party. to get him a shot at winning it in the election. i think the more people get to see him and interact with them they will appreciate his passion, whether they share his particular worldview or not, that is a different question. but i have talked to a lot of people who have said, i was skeptical of him until i saw him speak in person, or until i watched more of his speeches and so -- instead of just 20 seconds on tv. he is working very hard at that.
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rand, going on with what i said a minute ago rand's biggest challenge will be to explain the foreign-policy views. his, the fact that he is his father's son is a blessing and a curse. his father has, with good reason bill up a very loyal following around the country over the course of many years. and rand has earned the trust of , and the support of, a lot of that support base and he has told upon it from there. there are some challenges that go along with that, given that rand paul had some fairly unique idiosyncratic views on certain foreign-policy issues that make people nervous. some automatically assume that
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rand paul shares those views even where he does not express them even where he has expressed sentiments that depart from that of his father. so i keep thinking that is a challenge that he will have to overcome. he is working hard to address that. and also just embracing a foreign-policy of his own. it will be interesting that he was hit with these attack ads the day of his announcement and that he was attacked. it is interesting i lost the constitution on the same day that rand announced his presidency. it into the -- it ended up being a consistent theme in the media all day long. i told rand at the end of the day, i became quite conversant
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in rand through that process. but i thought it was unfortunate and unfair that he was hit by these people who are saying that he falls to the left of barack obama on questions of foreign-policy and just, it didn't strike me as a fair argument or as an argument that is even that insightful. anyway, that is something he is wrestling with. with marco, he has not announced yet, it is a little bit harder to assess what his biggest pitfalls will be, but among conservatives and the voter base, one of the things i hear from people across the country is that concern with his support of certain legislation.
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a few years ago, i was on the opposite side of that issue from him. yet i believe he was motivated by a sincere desire to fix a difficult problem. it difficult and seemingly intractable problem. that was related to immigration and the need to update and modernize the immigration system and to figure out how to fix this big problem. and i don't think that will stop him. that is not to say that i think he will be our president or our nominee, but whether or not he wins, that will not be determined by that alone. >> and your relations with the reed family? senator lee: my dad was working
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for the justice department in the early 1980's and we were already here when harry reid got elected to the house from nevada in 1982. shortly after the november election, i don't remember whether it was december or january but the family moved to mcclain just a few blocks from where my family lived and they had a son josh who was in my class at school and in my sunday school class at church and we became fast friends. they were the first democrats i knew really well. it's not that my parents didn't allow me to interact with democrats, but we lived in utah most of my life and most of the people we knew in utah were republicans. it's not a question i typically asked of people, but most of people i knew were republicans
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but i knew harry reid was a democrat. i learned early on i would get along great with the family as long as i didn't express my profound love for ronald reagan and the great things he was doing for america. when i did do that or express any of my conservative ideas to them i had to be ready to defend myself because they spared no expense at going after -- in the reid home there was open lively discussion about political issues like my own home only they came at it from a different angle on the political spectrum than we did. but i have always really liked the reid family. spent an a lot of time at their
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home and swam in their pool and went on trips with them as a kid and josh spent a lot of time with me as well. harry and i always got along well. as long as we don't talk politics, we get along great. sometimes when we do talk about politics occasionally we agree on an issue. sometimes when we do, he'll say what's wrong here? if we're agreeing us which one of us is wrong? he's a great guy and i've always enskwroeutd being around him and -- i have always enjoyed being around him and he has a great sense of humor. and i find him to be a very likeable human being. reporter: i think it's revealed a divide within conservative circles about the cheerleaders who say tax credits is unpaid spending. and then of course folks who are in your persuasion who see tax credits as a good public policy
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goal in this particular sense. when push comes to shove on this and as republicans are debating these ideas i know sort of where you'll fall on that line. i'm wondering where you think based on your conversations with senator rubio where he falls and the party is on this question of sort of keeping tax rates low to the lowest that they can be and possibly instituting some of these pro growth family policies that might require keeping tax rates a little higher than some of those absolutists might want. senator: where rubio might fall? rubio's with me. we're both behind this plan. so, senator rubio and i both believe that we have achieved the right balance here.
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we've lowered rates and we've simply simplified the code. we have done in a way that protects the middle class and protects the poor and will promote growth. i think he'll be with me on this and i'm with him on that issue. as to where the rest of the party will be, i don't know. it's difficult to say. in part because we haven't had a lot of people who have weighed in on it yet. we had quite a few colleagues and looks like it's worth pursuing. i'm all too familiar with your -- with what you described with the split among policy and pundits who have watched this. i've had a couple of sessions
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going in the rounds and i like am mitty should lays. she does a lot of writing on tax policy. i explained to her and others this is -- you don't necessarily have to choose not to adopt a child tax credit like this if you want to be pro growth. you can lower rates and simply -- simple affiant code and do something to help hard working american parents who are punished for being married and having children. i think this accomplishes both of those things. as far as where our colleagues in the senate will go, it's too early to tell but i look forward to seeing where that goes. when we were rolling this out, rubio pulled kind of a fast one on me. we had a press conference to roll out the plan and i opened it and gave five minute spiel or
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something like that and he said, i'm going to deliver my remarks in spanish and senator lee will do the same thing. and i saw this look of sheer terror from my staff in the back of the room. they knew i hadn't separately written out my remarks in spanish so i winged it and i hope i didn't accidentally declare war on canada in spanish without realizing it. i think i did ok. rubio and i speak spanish together on the floor frequently. mostly to freak out our colleagues. reporter: you played a prominent role in impoedse the -- imposing the implementation of obamacare and taking on the establishment and ultimately blamed for the government shut down along with cruz. do you feel you were unfairly portrayed in that debate?
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do you feel that the media did a bad job of kind of explaining your position? do you feel it was unfair and more broadly, what's your take away from that episode? what lessons did you learn and how did you evolve? now you're at mitch mcconnell's leadership table so i think you're chairman of the republican steering committee. so there seems to be an evolution to a guy who is working with the leadership , sitting down with them and insider now. you can describe that episode in your life? what you learned and how you evolved. senator: as to the first question, whether or not the portrayal of my position in connection with that sequence of events was unfair, yes, i do think it was unfair. i think my position in that
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effort was a simple one. in july 2013, president obama announced that he was taking actions that were tantamount to -- that were tantamount to rewriting four provisions of obamacare explaining they were not ready to be implemented as written. and he what going to implement -- he was going to implement them in a way that was rewriting the law without going through congress. my reaction to that was a simple one. it came out fairly soon after he made that announcement which was, look, if the law is not ready to implement and if he's using that as his justification for effectively rewriting these provisions of obamacare, i won't vote for any spending bill that funds those programs that funds him in doing that. the solution there is to delay
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this if the law is not ready. the solution is not to pretend as though the president has authority unilaterally to make the law in his own image. i announced my position on that and several of my colleagues decided they would do the same. and number of our counterparts in the house ended up doing the same. and one of the things that we ended up proposing was that look, let's have -- there with -- there was a problem whenever congress starts to appropriate in one lump sum a year, in other words, with the regular order of budgeting process, you pass a budget and congress will pass a dozen or more spending bills funding different aspects of the government. one spending bill dealing with armed services with national defense generally and so on and so forth.
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when congress spends that way it does run up against these routine cliffs where it has to make all or nothing decisions. fund everything in government or nothing. it's unfortunate. what we said in that circumstance we shouldn't be appropriating this way, but since we are, since we are now here, since we are just a few weeks away from another one of those cliffs our approach was , to say, look, let's have at least two votes. let's have one vote on funding everything else in government and we'll vote in this circumstance to keep everything in government funded and open, even programs that we don't like and programs that we think are not being managed propler and i -- properly and programs we would have never have wanted. and then we will have a different vote on undefunding on
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obamacare given that the fact that the president said it's not ready to be implemented as written. the house of representatives passed a measure that would have kept everything else in government funded except obamacare which would have allowed us to have a separate debate about it. the president was unwilling to accept that and unwilling to allow to us fund anything in government unless we found everything in government -- unless we funded everything in government , including obamacare. i don't think that it's fair to put on one senator or one group of senators blame for shutting down the government simply because they said i'm not going to vote for a bill that includes obamacare funding. i will vote for everything else but not that. i do think it is at least equally fair and probably much more fair to say that when a president promises to veto anything that includes less than 100% of what he wants, that that president is at fault for
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shutting down the government. reporter: seems like you got blamed for the shutdown. now you are sitting at the table with mcconnell at the leadership meetings. explain the process. senator: the lesson is not everyone's going to agree with me all the time. and when they don't, it sometimes hurts, but that's life. we move on and we work with colleagues and even when they don't agree with us all the time. and it is important, i think, to do everything you can to persuade your colleagues to agree with you and if you're asking whether there's more i
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could have done to persuade more of my colleagues of my position at the time? sure, yeah, i wondered that all the time. but that's -- we learn through experience in this job and i'm still trying to learn every day. >> we've got about three minutes left. michael from the daily caller. reporter: in your book, you -- you have a whole chapter on it and a lot of other members of congress talk about defunding certain agencies that are doing things you don't believe they have the power to do. now that there are majorities in both houses of congress, do you think that republicans will take seriously withholding funding from agencies and which agencies would you withhold funding from? senator: okay, the short answer is probably not. probably not. because we haven't. so we had -- my concern with what i perceive to be president obama's rewrite of revisions of the affordable care act in july
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of 2013 my prediction there if we fund this anyway, this will not be the end of his rewriting provisions of this law or others. that turned out to be correct. he's now made modifications that some have characterized as tantamount to rewriting the law. then in november of 2014, just last year, he undertook executive actions that many have characterized as tantamount to rewriting substantial portions of our immigration code. i proposed at that time that we withhold funding from the implementation of that particular program of that particular executive action. we did succeed in separating homeland security spending from
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other spending last fall. we did not succeed in keeping the rest of homeland security funding, but withholding from that particular program. that has set in motion something of a pattern that suggests it's unlikely we'll be able to withhold funding from other programs. i'll continue to push for it because i believe it's what we need to do. this is not a problem that will confine itself to one administration. it's not a problem that confines itself to democratic administrations unless congress in pursuit in defending its own institutional prerogatives in the interest of defending the constitution itself, unless congress defends its own territory, this territory will continue to be lost. and we're going to continue to march in a direction that gives the president more and more power. now maybe some people are comfortable with that.
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maybe some at this table are. maybe some of my colleagues in congress are. apparently some of them seem to be. but there are going to be those who are not terribly disturbed by it right now who i think will one day look back and wonder why they weren't concerned at all at the time. there are a lot of opportunities for abuse if you allow a president -- not just any one president but presidents generally to -- by the stroke of the executive pen, make pretty significant changes to our legal system without going through congress. and if you don't then have some reaction by congress -- and i don't mean impeachment and removal. that is not going to happen, that is an extraordinary remedy and it's
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meant to be such. but the day-to-day remedy that congress is supposed to be utilized. the remedy described by james madison and i discuss at some length in my book is one that involves the power of the purse. if there is no consequence to this sort of thing it it will continue to happen. over time this will end up upsetting a lot of people and harming the constitutional system which has worked well for a couple of centuries, but not unbreakable. >> thank you for coming, sir. i hope you'll come back. appreciate it. senator: thank you very much. [indiscernible]
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>> congress returns from a two week break on monday. the house is expected to work on tax code policy and irs oversight. and the senate will can consider -- consider district court judicial nominations. and in anti-trafficking bill. we talked to a capitol hill reporter. >> with congress set to return after a recess, huffington post congressional reporter laura barron-lopez joining us now to give us an overview of what to expect in the house and senate over the next few weeks. this coming week, the relations committee wants to markup a bill on the iran nuclear framework
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agreement and laura barron-lopez , you write about it in your article, gop steadfast on passing the bill despite president obama's wish to stand down. laura barron-lopez: thank you for having me. what the bill does is it essentially gives congress a chance to weigh in on the iran nuclear deal, the framework that the administration gets -- decided on last week. it either would let them vote on it, vote for the framework or against it, or do nothing on it. it puts a hold on whatever final deal they have for 60 days. there is a good amount of support within the republican congress for it. but republicans need democrats to come over and gave a veto proof majority. >> the budget resolution that
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passed the house and senate before the break heads to the committee, and he tweeted yesterday to that the senate budget chair and -- met to get ready for the conference week. what are some of the main differences they need to work out? laura barron-lopez: a difference in defense spending, just the gop and --, but they have different amounts in their budgets, they need to reconcile that. and how far they will go into appealing obamacare and a separate budget plan. >> turning to the senate, the anti-human trafficking bill was at an impasse due to abortion language. it was the status of that and how will that impact in moving ahead with the loretta lynch nomination for attorney general? laura barron-lopez: it impacts
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loretta lynch a lot, because mitch mcconnell says and will move forward on nominations unless the human trafficking bill is pushed forward. unless -- in order to have the vote on that, they need to figure out the abortion language on a bill. >> you wrote regarding the house , that the first 100 days has been a learning process for the republicans, tell us why that is and what we can expect bill wise over the next few weeks and into may. laura barron-lopez: so, as you know the senate is now controlled by a republican majority and it has been a rocky start for republicans in both the house and senate, in the senate they spent a month and a half on keystone knowing it would be vetoed.
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speaking to a senator, it was said that they made a commitment that they would vote on and that is why it was a matter of honor. and in the house, the rocky dhs battle and it was followed closely by a budget debate where the gop leadership had to put it to two different budget plans on the floor in order to make your that one past. they really had to work with deficit and budgeting ahead of time to make sure that one of the budgets passed. i talked to congressman albini who was upset with leadership come he is from south carolina and he was saying that he wants more conservative amendments to be heard, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out in the coming months ahead. and when they get back some of this next week how majority leader kevin mccarthy will be
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focusing on tax bills and also the possibility that they may vote on reauthorization of the patriot act. that is not for certain though. >> laura barron-lopez of the huffington post, you can catch her on twitter and her website the website for the paper. thank you very much for being with us. >> here are some featured programs for the weekend. on the c-span networks -- c-span2, grover norquist says that americans are tired of the irs and our tax system. sunday night, susan butler on president franklin roosevelt's ally, joseph stalin, the unexpected partnership beyond the war. and saturday night on american
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history tv, c-span3, lectures in history, the civil war reunions. how they have changed from reconstruction to the present time. and from appomattox courthouse on sunday, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the confederate surrender and the end of the civil war. >> each night, c-span has shown profiles of new members of congress. we conclude with representative ryan thinking. -- representative ryan zinke. he was a former navy seal. from his capitol hill office he talked about being raised by his grandmother and what he learned from playing football and serving in iraq.

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