tv 116th Freshmen Profile - Reps. Reschenthaler Kim Cox Kirkpatrick CSPAN March 23, 2019 10:36pm-11:15pm EDT
p.m. eastern. online, c-span.org, and on our free radio app. you hundred 16 congress has 116 members, with diverse backgrounds from those serving in the military to sons and daughters of immigrants. c-span continues the freshman profile series with republican guy reschenthaler the newly elected representative. before coming to washington he served in the u.s. navy where he prosecuted nearly 100 suspected terrorists in iraq. >> tell us where you were born? >> i was born outside of pittsburgh in my district in new kensington. the south hills. do?hat did your parents my parents were teachers. shoot my mom was the school librarian in the school where >>
my mom eventually became the library director of my hometown. she was the school librarian in the elementary school i attended. my dad is now a chiropractor. they are middle-of-the-road republicans. my grandmother was an elected official in a democrat stronghold. she was a republican. they are fairly conservative. >> did you get your desire to serve from your grandma? i have always been committed to service. i've always wanted to be in the military. i was attracted to politics. in high school, i couldn't drive but the republican chairman would pick me up and drop me off, i would do literature drops, put up yard signs, hold political parties and rallies. >> where did that come from? how did you decide, how old were you, i will participate in the republican party? >> i remember the news being on and i would stay up late on friday nights to listen to 20/20. my football coach would cut out wall street journal articles and quiz me on them. i remember being into it. i was always more interested in the news. >> why did your football coach quiz you? i wasn't with a bunch of the other kids and i was talking to him about what he did.
he was a lawyer. he clipped an article. i read it. >> you went on to become a lawyer. why? >> i really looked up to this coach. i thought i could make a difference. in eighth grade, i was on summer vacation in south carolina. a former jag asked me what i want to do. i didn't know. he said you can do both. he is a navy jag. that is what i want to do. >> explain to us who don't know what that is? >> judge adjutant general. every branch has a jag core. criminal defense, prosecution, environmental law, operations. it is a phenomenal practice area for anyone who wants to serve. >> you were able to fulfill that dream? what did you end up doing after law school? >> i was incredibly fortunate to get in. i got in in law school. i did a year in northern virginia. we called it legal assistance. power of attorney, consumer law, helping marines and goes guardsmen. i deployed to iraq. i was fortunate. i got selected to go to the central criminal court of iraq, the iraqi federal court system. we were prosecuting terrorists and insurgents in the iraqi system.
prosecuting terrorists in front of iraqi judges using iraqi law with an interpreter. amazing experience. >> overall, 100 different suspected terrorists you prosecuted? >> over there, you prosecuting groups. i was for example on a case with 15 defendants. roughly 100 terrorists. 92 convictions. they are called detention orders and their system. 13 of those were for the death penalty. >> how old were you? >> i was fairly young. 26 years old. >> what did that experience teach you? >> it taught me a lot. it gave me an appreciation for the united states. it gave me optimism for our role in the world. i felt like a lot of iraqis looked to us for examples of rule of law, justice, separation of church and state in government. that was really inspiring. it gave me hope for the future in general.
i felt so many people were interested in our western style of government and justice. it was a phenomenal experience. >> when you returned, what did you do next? >> in about three days upon return i got a case with a navy seal falsely accused of abuse of -- of covering up abuse of a terrorist. i was one of the attorneys. i ended up going back to iraq. this time i was a defense attorney in u.s. federal court in iraq. i cross examined the accuser. my client was fully acquitted of all charges. i was a consultant on the next two cases. one took place in iraq and they were acquainted, too. i became the officer in charge of texas and oklahoma for navy legal. i oversaw cases in the area of operation and ended up litigating cases in florida, outside of chicago, i went back
to virginia to litigate. >> then you served on the local level? >> i got out, on my drive from where i was stationed in pittsburgh i got appointed to be , on the planning commission. i got involved in politics. did that, then i ran for district judge. i did that for 1.5 years. i focused on solving the root cause of problems. substance abuse, mental health screenings, i really reformed the way we did truancy. i had a chance to run for state senate. very fortunate. i ran in a -- what was a democrat seat and won, 2015 to now. >> fast forward to now, you are how old? >> 35 years old. i got elected. i ran for district judge at 29, -- 29 years old, got put on the planning commission at 28 years old. >> why did you decide to run for the u.s. house of representatives? >> i felt like i could do more.
when i got into government, i said i would do whatever i could to help as many people as possible in the greatest capacity. being in congress, you get to work on issues important to me and my background, like foreign affairs. it gives me the chance to represent more people and help more people and have a strong voice. >> have you used your experience in iraq in these first few months of being on the job in washington? >> my background has helped on foreign affairs. also i am on judiciary. , my background is a perfect mix. it is not just about the experience. it is about outlook. when i was a judge, i listened to both sides. i had to make a fair and balanced decision. either way. i always like to put myself in the opposition's shoes so i can learn both sides of an issue and have more of an equilibrium. that philosophy is carried with me. frankly, that comes from iraq. their court system is different. ours is more adversarial.
i started litigating in iraq. i was exposed to a foreign court system, where it was not as adversarial as our court system. that has had a big impact on me. >> what has surprised you about washington? >> the partisanship is frustrating. i am used to working with democrats. almost all my bills in the state senate, democrats were cosponsors. there was more willingness to reach across the aisle and advance good public policy. also so much focuses on , soundbytes. so many of the issues we face, you can't describe them in a soundbite. we have to look holistically at things, have to see what the root cause of problems are, and then move from there. you cannot boil down the problems we face to talking points. >> you have experience doing interesting things. has there been a learning curve? >> there is a learning curve. i am fortunate that in the state senate of pennsylvania, it was full-time legislature, active
body. i cut my teeth. i was able to come in most of my , staff was already in place. my comms director, chief of staff, field staff, they came with me. i wasn't starting with zero. in any legislative body, there will be a learning curve, but i am fortunate to come in with experience. >> what has been the hardest thing to learn? >> a vast amount of fellow members. i'm coming from a body of 50. to a body of 435. that is a lot different. the pace of work is the same. it is just extended. instead of monday through wednesday, it is monday through friday almost every week. instead of two weeks on, two weeks off in the state. >> how would you describe your work style? >> i work all the time. i say i have no life. i live for this. i start my day reading the newspaper, listening to different podcasts, take meetings, i am usually working late. it doesn't feel like work.
i enjoy it. you can ask my staff, i am doing this all day. >> on the other side of the aisle, andy kim, representing new jersey's third congressional district. he is the son of korean immigrants and previously served on the national security council during the obama administration. >> my father came here for an education. that is the dream he believed in. he grew up in an orphanage in south korea. he is a survivor of polio since he was a baby. no one thought he would be able to have the kind of opportunities he had. my mom grew up in a poor family to a single mom. my dad got a phd in genetics, my mom became a nurse serving in the great hospitals of new jersey. that is why they came here and that is why they stayed, to give me and my sister the same opportunities. >> what did they say about living and being a citizen of the u.s.
when you were growing up? >> they were so appreciative of the opportunity. they never took it for granted. they told me it was important to give back. they both chose jobs that were about helping others. my dad dedicated his life trying to cure cancer and alzheimer's. my mother worked as a nurse in our community. they taught me that service is not just a job. it is a way of life. it is not 9:00 to 5:00, then you punch out. it has to be about your mindset and what drives you. they instilled that in me. >> did that service start early for you? >> absolutely. my mom made me go to the hospital with her every saturday to volunteer. my dad always told me it was important to see the human element. he was a cancer researcher, did alzheimer's, he actually went and talked to families afflicted with cancer and alzheimer's. he wanted to remember, this is not just some type of experiment, it is not something
you do in a lab you are trying , to help people. that human side is something they taught me about. i have tried to hold that close to my heart whenever i work on issues, even if they are counterterrorism on the other side of the world, i always try to remember the human side of this and what is impacting people's lives every day. >> where did you go to college? what did you major in and why? >> university of chicago, political science. i also worked at the chicago coalition of the homeless. it was important to me. to make sure that i am grounding myself in the values of the community. i had the great honor to become a rhodes scholar, doctorate in international relations, always focusing on the practical aspects. i focused on u.s. national security policy to the middle east, immediately went in and became a diplomat, national security official, always trying to think of how i could apply this to the betterment of the
country. >> what sparked a relations in the middle east? >> i am somebody that was in college during september 11. that was such a huge impact on my generation. everyone across the country but for me it is such a formative , part of my development, especially coming from new jersey. we are intimately connected with new york city and the towers. that was a personal issue. watching my classmates from high school, college, serving in iraq and afghanistan, this was not some intellectual curiosity. it is about people's lives being risked. i wanted to do everything i could to try to get our country on a better path. >> you in the obama administration. how did you get that position and what did you do? >> i served as a civil servant. i got interested in foreign policy after september 11.
first starting at the united states agency for international development under the bush administration. i briefly served on the hill under a moderate republican. i had the honor to work at the state department. for me it was always about , serving the people. when i worked in afghanistan no , one asked me if i was a democrat or republican. just focused on the job. i worked my way up from the bottom and tried to make sure i can use my experience and expertise to help people. >> you were a civilian advisor to general petraeus in afghanistan. what did that entail? >> i was part of his personal team, alongside other advisors. being a civilian, i was focused on working with the afghan government, economic policy. i was a point person to work alongside anticorruption initiatives in the government. we recognized, there has to be a
comprehensive strategy to bring this together. there are no fully military solutions in our country. with afghanistan, there is no way we can move forward unless we are able to make sure political and economic solutions are moving alongside parallel to military efforts. >> when and how did you decide you would run for the seat? >> i will be honest i never , thought i would run for congress. i wanted to serve. as i said, i was always someone that considered myself as a national security expert, in a nonpartisan way, checking that at the door in the situation room. i decided to do this because, i asked myself one question at every moment in my life when i am thinking of a new job. where can i be of most impact, where can i be of most service to this country? when i saw my home district and the challenges people face with health care costs, soaring
prescription drug costs, concerns about jobs and the economy, i certainly felt like this was the place where i could be able to help. i had the dedication i want to be able to serve them. i will tell you, it has been a humbling experience to have this opportunity to represent my home district where i went to kindergarten. it is truly a humbling experience. >> you have two boys. what you tell people about what -- what do you tell them about what you do? >> i have a 3.5-year-old and a one-year-old. it is the perfect time to be in congress. not crazy at all. for me, this is the essence of why i ran. i'm a public servant, son of an immigrant, but first and foremost i am a father. i worry about every single moment of my life. i will be honest they have no , idea what i do. they don't. this job, the hardest part is that it takes me away from them so much.
i don't get to tuck them into bed in the way i want. i worry that maybe i'm not being the kind of father they need me to be but the way i look at it is this is my way of trying to , be a good father, look out and push for a better future for them, fight for their education, health care, for families around new jersey and across the country. while they don't know what i am doing now, i hope as they get older, they will look back on this time and be proud of their dad. >> how are you balancing this life between washington and new jersey? >> there is no way to balance it. there really isn't. it is a sacrifice, i will always be indebted to my wife and family. they are having to do so much more to help make this work. it is truly a family effort. there is zero balance when it comes to a young family, working in congress. my job is to try to do everything i can to be able to support and to do this alongside
my wife, while also making sure i am delivering for the people of this district. but i will say is, as i have gone around the district and talked to constituents, they are really proud of what my family is doing. they recognize the sacrifices. more importantly, they see it as grounding. being a parent of two baby boys, they know i doing it because of the passion for my family, my community. my head is in the right place. no one would go through this unless they really want to make a difference. >> what is your parents' reaction to them coming to the u.s. and now seeing their son serving in the u.s. house? >> some of the most powerful experiences of the last years have been watching my mother in particular, how she has gone through this process. i remember her coming out of the booth crying, having the chance to have voted for her son for
u.s. congress, after everything they went through in life. on january 3, i had her in the gallery when i had my right hand raised and swearing in, and she was crying then. what she told me was, she wasn't crying because of everything that had gotten me to that moment, she was crying because she was so excited and proud to see what i would do with this experience and what i could do going forward. she is proud about the promise of what it is like and being the only korean american member of congress, the son of korean immigrants, that is something particularly powerful for them. >> california's 21st congressional district also sent a new face to washington. tj cox, a mining engineer and businessman, his father migrated to the u.s. from china while his mother came to the u.s. from the philippines. >> how did your family end up in
california? >> it was a long route. my dad came from china. my mom from the philippines. they met at montana state university in the 1950's. when my dad finished up a phd at montana state, he took his first job in california. >> why did your parents migrate from china and the philippines? >> classic immigrant story. it is just a land of opportunity. my mom used to sneak into the american movies, tyrone powers was her big hero. my dad went from england to canada, a lot of the ex-pats were kicked out of china after the cultural revolution, he soved my family on my dad' side to canada where he did his masters at montana state, then. >> what did your parents say about the journey? >> i tell you what, it comes down to what my mom kept telling
me when i was growing up. get to work. classic immigrant story. you come here you work hard and , you take advantage of the wonderful opportunities america provides to all people and all immigrants. >> what does she do for work? >> she was a pioneer, one of the state of nevada's first equal opportunity officers. she had a passion for social justice. she got that from my grandmother. one of our favorite family stories is how back in the philippines, right after world war ii my grandmother noticed , there was a certain section of the u.s. troops that were being discriminated against. they had no place to go to relax when i got off duty. my grandmother opened the first and only social club for african-american troops in manila. >> why? >> she saw this discrimination. she wasn't going to put up with it. she was going to do something
about it. it is one thing to see things. we all need to know, it is more important to take the next step. actually do something about it. >> what does your dad do? >> my dad was one of our nation's top researchers, experts in hydrogen and hydrogen technology, clean, renewable technology. we were talking about it at the dinner table 40 years ago. in fact, 1976, we had a chevy cavalier that was retrofitted to run on liquid hydrogen, 40 years ago. in a cruel irony, my dad was killed in a car accident when i was a teenager. >> i am sorry to hear that. >> what lessons did you learn from your parents in the paths they took in life? >> once again the opportunities , america affords each and every one of us. there is public education available, great institutions of
higher learning, if you take advantage of those, you can be successful in anything you want to do. >> you went on to do what in college? >what did you major in? >> it is funny. my dad was killed when i was in high school. when i registered for college, i registered for chemistry. i came home and told my mom, i signed up to do chemistry. she said, no, your dad was a chemical engineer. go back and register for chemical engineering. that is a different path. i did that. engineering provides a nice background as a platform to go on to do many other things. >> what did you go on to do? >> i went on and i worked overseas. i worked in africa. i worked in the middle east. >> what were you doing? >> i was working for a number of engineering consulting firms, putting in environmental
equipment, metallurgical processing equipment, that type of thing. it was a fascinating place to be in west africa 30 years ago and it still is today. >> you made your way back to california. >> yes, to get married to my wonderful wife. we are still married today, 27 years. >> happy valentine's day. >> thank you. >> you have four children. >> yes. >> your wife is a pediatric intensive care physician. sounds busy. how do you balance all this? >> a lot of hard work. love and dedication to the kids. our kids are fantastic. my wife, kathleen, she is an example for me. working in the central valley as a physician, she sees the consequences and the injustice of the health care system.
about how your health, your life expectancy is determined by the zip code you live in or were born in. she has a real passion for public health, making a difference. that is an example i take to work every day. >> when you made your way back to california, one thing you started was you saw the need for jobs. explain what you were doing? >> after traveling around the world during kathy's training, she took a job in central valley, california. she knew that was where she could make the greatest difference and have an immediate effect. when i came, i have this background in engineering, all over the world, i got an mba. what was i going to do? i started volunteering with habitat for humanity. that led me to start the organization that has been running for 10 years, which invests in our economically distressed neighborhoods and regions to provide the things we
know people need. quality affordable health care, well-paying jobs, education opportunities, clean energy facilities and so on. we have opportunities to make a real difference in the lives of people in the central valley. >> have did you come -- how did two nut to own processing businesses? >> i do these types of things. these are things i come looking for. people come and find me. someone will say, i have a great idea. can you help me? before you know it, i am and. -- i am in it with them. >> what are they? one of them is an organic pastuerizing line for almonds and other nuts. every almond has to be pasteurized. but the most common way is chemical. does that sound good?
i see the look on your face. we developed a fully organic steam pasteurization system that load of knots a in a faster time. -- nuts in a faster time. >> what do you think you bring to the table in washington given all those experiences you have had? >> you have seen the face of new freshman class on the democratic side. it is beautiful. it is youthful. the one thing we all know is there is no substitute for experience and my experience in engineering and construction and finance, and getting things done, i can marshal those to be effective on day one. >> and your mom's motto? >> exactly. get to work. >> finally, c-span spoke with anne fitzpatrick. arizona'sresenting
second congressional district. she previously represented arizona's first congressional district from 2013 to 2017. >> it is nice being back. this term feels different. i am fortunate my staff came back so their experience, they worked in a congressional office, they know what they are doing. we hit the ground running. i feel more collegiality with this group of congressman and women than i have ever felt before. >> why do you think that is? >> i don't know. a lot of them are younger and do not come with the history of contention and maybe they are open to working together and getting things done. >> explain where you grew up. >> i was born and raised on the fort apache indian reservation. my family came around the beginning of the century to grow food for the cavalry. they opened a general store.
my dad worked in the general store. my mother was a schoolteacher. >> you lived and worked on the reservation. >> yes. apache was my first language. --what was that lifelike? life like? >> it was great. lots of freedom. we spent a lot of time riding horseback, swimming in the river. it was a rural upbringing and i thought that is the way life was. i had no idea about washington, d.c. >> what did you learn from those years? >> i learned respect for a different culture. i internalized the apache culture. when we moved off the reservation, i had a hard time culturatingating -- to what i called the anglo european western culture. eventually i did. just realizing there are
different cultures and you have to be able to work in multiple cultures, i treasure that now. >> did that inspire your motivation to learn chinese? >> it did. >> why? >> i remember missionaries coming to the reservation when i was a child from china. they had said that they thought apache sounded like chinese. when i had to take a language, i thought i will sign up. i signed up for a mandarin immersion course and i loved it. it was natural for me. apache is four-toned and so is mandarin so it was natural for me. the sentence structures are also very similar. >> did it come easily? >> it came easily. >> what did you do with that skill? >> at the time in the early 1970's, i thought i was going to go to china and actually work there. we did not have diplomatic relations with china at the time so i became a teacher.
i taught elementary school, junior high school for a couple years and ended up going to law school. >> what triggered you to go to law school later in life? >> i was the first member of my family to go to law school. i love learning and i knew i would need a career in which i would continue to learn to my -- throughout my lifetime. it seems like law was that. i really enjoyed my time. >> how did you get involved in politics? >> very randomly. i was practicing law in my law firm that i established. very happy. some of the native americans and a legislative director came to me and said we wish you would run for the legislature because you grew up on tribal land and you have been successful in business and we think you could very successfully bridge both cultures. i talked to my law partner and
he said it is a good idea. you are probably going to lose but it will be great for our practice because we will get our name out there. i have nothing to lose. i started going around knocking on every door, introducing myself. and i won. >> you did serve previously for a couple of terms and lost. you ran again. won andand -- you decided to run for senate against the former senator john mccain. what did you learn from that? >> it was a really good campaign. it was the kind of campaign i wish we could be in every race because it was civil. we never stooped to personal attacks. it was all about the issues. i highly respect the former senator john mccain and his family. >> what did you learn from him? >> i learned you can be civil and be of an opposite party and talk and debate about the issues and work together.
ultimately, work together again. >> what does your future here look like? >> that is a good question. honestly after the senate race, , my three grandchildren were born. two of them were premature so i was happy i have the time to spend with my children and grandchildren and really did not think i was going to run for congress again. i had voted for the affordable care act. the affordable care act saved my grandchildren and children from bankruptcy. this votedbent in for the republican health care bill, i just said, i can't stand on the sidelines. i have thought too hard for this. she dropped out of the race. she is now a senator. that is how it happened. >> what will you be doing out here? your priorities? >> still, health care is my priority. in the bill we are going to vote
on hopefully tonight to not shut down the government increases funding for indian health services. that is a high priority. reducing prescription drug costs. keeping health care, reducing prescription costs are the biggest issues i care about. congress, newew leaders, follow it all on c-span. congress is in recess this week. nancy pelosi has announced that next week, the house will vote on an override of president trump's veto of the resolution to terminate the national emergency declaration of order security. a vote is scheduled for tuesday. thursday, the house will vote on a measure rejecting president trump's ban on transgender people serving openly in the military. you can watch live coverage on c-span. when the senate returns to session, lawmakers will continue
to debate and they will take up a resolution of support for the green new deal. when the senate is back in session, watch the chamber live on the c-span2. here's a look at the schedule ahead on c-span. next, a debate on the israeli-palestinian conflict and palestinian side of a right to exist. hosted annia trump event to discuss how their respective departments were progressing with youth programs. then, a recent washington journal segment with anita mcbride, former chief of staff to laura bush. following that, american enterprise president arthur book, talks about his new love your enemies. how decent people can save america from the culture of contempt. was three2: once, tv
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the israeli-palestinian conflict and whether the palestinian movement has a right to exist. 's researchhor director of the eye and ran institute. he debated u.s. army strategist party subculture theater in new york city, hosted by the soho for him. >> now for the main event, to resolve the palestinian defeatts, israel must the palestinian conflict. i hope you have all voted and ask your neighbor for help if you had trouble accessing the act. please do vote for or against or undecided on the resolution. arguing for the affirmative. please come to the stage.