tv Newsmakers CSPAN September 25, 2016 6:00pm-6:31pm EDT
c-span-2. here on c-span, newsmakers this next with republican congressman jim jordan of ohio. after that, after sally then donald trump attends a rally in roanoke, virginia. at 8:00, our conversation with robert samuels than on q&a. on q&a.robert samuelson is congressman jim jordan. -- >> our guest this week is congressman jim jordan. the ohio republican chairs the house freedom caucus. his committees include government oversight and reform and the judiciary committee. let me introduce the two reporters that will be joining us this week. rachel covers congress for politico. kelsey is a washington post congressional reporter. before we delve into questions we want to talk about charlotte. once again this week we are tuned in watching an american
city in crisis over the shooting of a black citizen by police. both the political candidates, major party candidates have made statements. is there a role for congress at this point? rep. jordan: any elected official, certainly what i believe is the vast majority of cases our law enforcement do an outstanding job of protecting and helping the community they serve in. they put their lives on the line every day. we should start with that premise. in situations like this we should get to the truth, let the system work and find out what happened and hopefully not have this kind of violence we have seen in charlotte and unfortunately in other places around our country in the last few years. i think it is best for public officials to take that posture and say those kind of words.
i think that can help. that is certainly what we have done and i think that most elected officials have done. susan: the district is working on a criminal justice reform for a while. do you see that happening? rep. jordan: probably not before the election. it is something i think is real merit. there are positives with it. there are also some concerns. if you're going to let people out of prison early, we better make sure they are not violent people. that is something i think again the american people understand. let's do it but let's do it right. it may be difficult to get that done before the election. maybe that is something brought up in the next congress. rachael: nominee donald trump said something about his own criminal justice ideas. he was asked on fox news how do you reduce violence in the african-american community?
he said there should be more stop and frisk. what are your thoughts? rep. jordan: i think some of the concerns in our culture at the unity level, the family level in the church level. i don't know that some new federal policy or something along this line is something we should do. i think a lot of times it's about the first institution ever put together with the family institution. when that is breaking down in some of our communities i think that's a problem. what we can do to help foster and promote families coming together is probably the direction that makes the most sense. i don't know the federal government has a big role in that. that is a local, community and church level. frankly schools as well. i would prefer a focus there to help strengthen and improve the situation in the type of communities mr. trump is talking
about. kelsey: you mentioned possibly doing criminal justice reform in the next congress and ruled out it happening before the election. what about lame-duck? i know speaker ryan has been doing member education since july. do you think your members are prepared to move forward in an expedient fashion? rep. jordan: on that issue? maybe. there is this fundamental -- what i would call principal concern about doing big things in a lame-duck. maybe we can do some things, but i'm also concerned about spending while opposed having the spending bill land in the lame-duck. the cr landing in the lame-duck. do you really want members who are no longer accountable to the voters, members who are leaving making decisions about how we
spend billions and billions of dollars? maybe it's appropriate but i think you have to be cautious about doing major things in a lame-duck session where members are no longer accountable. and on the spending side, we have history to show bad things happen in lame-duck sessions. bad things happen on spending record for the holidays. we had five years of experience with that. tax increases, all those things have happened in a similar context. our conservative caucus group has been very reluctant to have anything land -- any big spending bill during a lame-duck session. kelsey: speaker ryan felt everybody had accepted the idea. that the spending bill will go through through december and will have to be litigated the
holidays. do you feel it was a short-term spending bill and you think any to be some sort of policy trade-off? rep. jordan: accepting and liking are two different things. kelsey: fair enough. rep. jordan: daily except that's where it's going to go? yes. you can see what harry reid is up to, the same thing he's been up to for the last five or six years. we accept that that is probably what is going to happen. that doesn't mean it's best for the taxpayers and probably not best for the taxpayers based on the principled argument and the practical argument. the practical argument is we have history to look at. maybe we shouldn't keep doing the same thing and expecting something different. if we keep doing the same thing we are probably going to wind up , with one big on the this
spending package on december 9 that everything is thrown into. there was a level of spending that mr. weiner and mr. obama before the speaker left. most republicans disagreed with it. that number was established in their agreement. if it's a lame duck, it won't just be that level. it will be something higher. even the cr, the short-term cr next week will be slightly higher because they are putting in money for the flood and money for zika. the zika money is not completely offset. and the flood money is new money. it will go higher the level set in that agreement, which the vast majority of republicans oppose. we can talk about it. we can make the good folks of this country aware of it and we can see how this plays out in the lame-duck session. there will still be votes. there was always your ability to vote against it. most of us in the caucus will vote against it. rachael: are you frustrated at all? you have made this case for a couple of weeks now, if they are going to do a cr.
-- if they are going to do a short-term cr. it doesn't seem to be getting a lot of traction beyond the freedom caucus members. is this frustrating for you? why is there not a big appetite for this fight? rep. jordan: it's frustrating for the american people. we see last week an individual subpoenaed by a congressional committee not even show, and congress does nothing. throw ahe democrat temper tantrum on the house floor and we basically do nothing. without the president last week announced he will up the refugee number 25,000 with no response from congress. we know we can pass a bill that would put a hold to refugees coming from syria and these troubled areas. we passed it last year with 47 democrats supporting it. you think about this veto proof number at 47.
that is the frustrating part for the american people. yes we would like to see more , action of these issues but unfortunately that is not how it will play out next week. kelsey: you mentioned refugees and spending levels and you mentioned several other policy areas we think -- where you think there is enough support in the house to get things passed. the you blame speaker ryan for not having these policies move forward? rep. jordan: look, i have said -- when mr. john boehner was speaker. it is a tough job. you have to deal with harry reid, barack obama, nancy pelosi. it is not an easy job. i have the most respect for the individual who holds that office. i think paul is a great communicator, a conservative individual who understands policy in a deep way. i do believe we need to push a little more in certain areas.
i thought last fall was the time to set a new tone. we had just gotten a new speaker. we had the terrible attacks in san bernardino and paris. isis said they were trying to exploit our refugee law and get terrible people into the country to do terrible things to americans. that refugee bill was 40's -- with 47 democrats, it was probably a 95% issue. everyone said that is good, common sense. even 47 democrats voted for it, a republican bill. the president says he will veto. harry reid says he will filibuster it. we went to the leadership and set put that on the omnibus bill. tell the president if you think it's more important to let refugees in this country who were not properly vetted, you think that's more important than
paying our troops, i will take the argument and have that debate and i think we can win that debate. let's win that one. let's show there is a new team in town. think about how that would have changed the entire dynamic and tone of this year in congress. instead we did not put it in. they are not fighting for something so common sense even 47 democrats supported it. unless i joked and said he lived in berkeley or madison, wisconsin you were for that idea. that's the kind of thing that makes sense to do. unfortunately, we did not and now we are in a more difficult time to get those things done. rachael: let's talk about the irs hearing. what came out of that? were there any surprises they -- were there any surprises that came out of that that you know have changed somebody's mind it was opposed to impeachment? rep. jordan: i think if there was a vote in the committee it would win. i hope we can get a vote, sooner rather than later in the
judiciary committee. than a ghost of the floor, i think there is a chance on the floor of the house. i think members -- if it were a rollcall vote, we would win. he was much different demeanor than we have seen in his previous times testifying. he admitted he made mistakes. maybe he should have told us earlier. he should of told congress instead of waiting months like he did. he admitted the irs destroyed 422 backup tapes. the timeline is compelling. his chief counselor came from williams and connolly. comes to the irs to help you with the investigation. counselor to the commissioner. he is there for a year. then she goes to the state department in charge of document production for benghazi. interesting with her work history. she learns on february 2, 2014 that the hard drive had crash and there were missing e-mails.
30 days later the backup tapes are destroyed and we are supposed to believe it is coincidence. what is also compelling is the backup tapes were supposed to be destroyed two years prior but they survived. there they were. but after the primary sources gone, 30 days later the backup tapes that were supposed to be destroyed are still there and they are destroyed just 30 days after they learned the primary source is gone and he said yes, it was the midnight shift guys. the old midnight shift excuse. i think that is pretty compelling. when you add the fact that this record -- the district court in the d.c. district said that the targeting is still going on, if that doesn't warrant removal from office, i don't know what does. rachael: you want to see judiciary vote on a resolution to impeach him.
are you asking for witnesses to come forward? technically we don't have a real impeachment yet. you have to have some sort of resolution to investigate. normally there is a prosecutor and a budget delegated. are you -- rep. jordan: that is all president. all you need is a vote of the house. due process. the house votes, the trial is in the senate. he has council and is presided over by -- the senate will preside in they will be the jury and it will make the decision. precedent is you do that in the house before the full vote in the house. i'm doing whatever it takes to get to a vote in judiciary. i think we will win that vote. then get to the house floor and have a vote there. i think the voter there right now. if we can to send the chairman call it up.
rachael: do you know if the chairman is moving to give you what you want? rep. jordan: i have not had a specific discussion with the chairman about having a vote. but i will. as soon as possible. rachael: on the floor when you vote on this a lot of republicans start looking at democrats when you threaten to put it on the floor last week. they thought they had the votes to table it. do you think it will actually pass? rep. jordan: i think we have a much better chance, guess. you never know and that's why they play the game on friday night. we may have been tabled last week, but in light of the hearing yesterday which i thought went pretty well with him admitting to the false statements. statements he made were in fact inaccurate. he admitted to that. i think it was good yesterday. if we can get a vote in the committee i think we have a better chance on the floor.
what i remind my colleagues and people -- americans are so tired of the double standard. any american audited by the irs, they had missing documents, the backup tape is destroyed, they wait months to tell the irs, they are in big trouble. somehow it is ok for the irs. any ceo -- we had the hearing with wells fargo and the demands for this guy to be gone. any ceo with the same pattern mr. costigan had at the irs would be fired. all we're saying is you should not hold public office when you breached every duty you had. you had a duty to produce documents, under subpoena and preservation order, you did not. you had a duty to disclose in a timely fashion if you cannot fulfill your duty. you admitted you did not disclose it until months later. you had a duty to testify accurately.
and you had a duty to correct the record if he testified in an inaccurate fashion, which he never did until yesterday when he was called in front of congress during an impeachment hearing. when you have five basic duties and you have breached and failed every one, i think you have got to go and the american people say yes, we would be in big trouble. why is it a different standard if you are lois lerner, john costigan or hillary clinton? i hear that more than anything else. people are so frosted with the idea that -- if you're politically connected you have a different standard than we do people get. kelsey: i want to ask about their freedom caucus in general. it started out as a small group of people. you guys have a mission of replacing the speaker you have grown significantly. you stand to take over a larger share of house republicans after the election. the number of republicans in the house falling and never shipped numbers increasing. how does your strategy change in
-- and what goals do you have for next year? rep. jordan: one of our main goals is, and this is always a focus of our group, and some ways the primary focus, making sure the process works in a way where people's ideas can be heard. changing the rules. it is not the most exciting thing to talk about, but if the process and rules are structured and followed we think you get better policy outcomes. one of the things we are focusing on is making sure that the rules change. we think that it is way too often a top-down control model. we had the rules committee tell us we can't make your amendments in order because your minutes -- because your amendments might pass. wow. i thought that was the deal. if the majority of the house
representatives thinks it makes sense, why shouldn't it be made? but that is the kind of thing that has to change and we're working on that. you're right. we started with nine folks. we are up to 40. i think we will have a number of people retiring and leaving. new folks will come in. i think we will stay around that number. we think there are countless numbers of people who feel like this town has forgotten them. our job is to recover them. i think we may congress waited obligated. having the right process in place, gives us a better chance to do what we told the voters we were going to do when they give us the privilege to serve. kelsey: how does the focus on rules changes reflect you have put forward policies you have yet to rack up a lot of wins. rep. jordan: it is tough to win the debate when you are a 40 member body.
you can have an impact on blocking bad things and we feel we have been fairly successful in doing that. to pass good policy rules need to be followed and you need to take the argument out there and bring people in. we are working on that. we put together some policy initiatives. we announced that before we left in july for the recess. but we will continue to do that but we think there has to be a focus on a rules process that makes sense. kelsey: real quick to follow up. do you consider your greatest wins to be the blocking and set -- to be the blocking instead of making affirmative policy? rep. jordan: stopping bad policy is good for taxpayers. stopping the right kind of policies is good for taxpayers. whether you were the freedom caucus a republican congress he -- republican congress because you still have harry reid with the filibuster and barack obama
who is the veto pen. that is tough and in of itself. there is a lot of things we like to do a tax policy. a lot of things we like to do and getting rid of obamacare and putting in a family centered model of health care. a host of things we would like to do on border security and everything else. but when you have harry reid and barack obama, it is difficult. i think it's a concern we have as republicans, not freedom caucus or whatever group that happens to exist. kelsey: should clinton when the -- should house republicans if clinton wins the white house can , you guys work with her on something like immigration reform, justice reform? rep. jordan: right now -- look, i'm willing to work with good policy for america. i work with dennis kucinich when he was here and we are friends. they were certain civil related policies when they were going up against the big banks and they
were getting the big bailouts. i can't think of one policy secretary clinton is for that i support. i just don't know i have anything in common with where she is at. frankly, and you know this because you cover this issue closely, benghazi alone should disqualify this individual from being commander-in-chief what happened there in the false narrative they put out and stuck with, and they did it for political reasons. and even had -- even told tyrone woods's father and mother that thatd shawn smith's mother false narrative. something that will tell something false to parents of children who get her life for this country should not be president. i will continue to say it. we know it was a false narrative. they put it out even before the attack was over and he did it for political reasons because it was 56 days before the election.
i think it will be difficult to work with her and i hope mr. trump is our president and not secretary clinton. rachael: speaking of oversight, what are the futures of the clinton investigations? do you think you will probe the clinton foundation? you just approved something to hold brian pagliaro in contempt of congress. also related to that, the you think you will run for oversight chairman? rep. jordan: the big issue is reddit on this past week. interesting the timing because it was in july when he was asking for advice on this. this forum. not the most high tech wizard here, but this forum in july and december. july 2014, what happened right before that would prompt them to ask how to get rid of super vip information?
the fact that sheryl mills was notified by the state department they wanted hillary clinton's e-mail. she called the network and said that is what prompted him. then what happened in december? preservation order from the benghazi committee. that gets communicated and he goes on reddit to ask how to get information. that is the latest big news in this unfolding saga we will have to look at. susan: final question from either of you? kelsey: what about the clinton foundation? what about expanding the investigation? rep. jordan: i don't know if there are specific plans but i think we need to get to the bottom of what we have discovered in the past few weeks
with him taking the fifth, mr. pagliano not showing. it was her only e-mail account. and the preservation order, the subpoena happening on the second, third, fourth, ninth. flat river networks is put on notice. they should preserve everything. she does her press conference. the 25th of that month. the clinton lawyers -- sometimes after the 25th it is used to destroy e-mails. how did that happen? i don't know of any more compelling timeline than that. the guys that did it will not testify. he will get an immunity deal with the fbi and the justice department.
susan: that is it for our time is something a busy week. they will probably see you again in december. thank you for your time. kelsey with the washington post, and -- after our conversation with representative jim jordan, let's talk about the federation -- federal regulation on spending. what did you hear about what's going to happen based on his 40 member caucus that has been a challenge for the speakers? rachael: he said accepting something is different than liking it. as we would expect. he thinks all the members will vote against the cr. i think it is telling he realizes it will probably not stop this from passing. i think it telegraphs that we will have a difficult fight in december over the way the longer-term spending bill passes. rachael: you can sense the frustration when he ate
-- when he ate knowledged -- acknowledged that he thinks it will go through but he's not happy about it. he talked a lot about how their freedom caucus has been effective in terms of making little changes and shutting things down in terms of blocking. when it comes to policy, to getting you ready's -- priorities attached to the cr, they have not been able to do that yet. susan: you talked about the numbers growing in the next congress after the election. what does the future look like? they had never targeted by mainstream republicans over policy position. what is ahead for the freedom caucus? kelsey: i think they have a tough road if their goal is to change the rules, if that is the key they see the having greater input. changing roles in the house is difficult. and influencing the senate to change their rules.
if they rely heavily on that strategy it may put them in , another situation but they are racking up -- reconsider as a move forward and formalize more. susan: let's talk about specific policy things. what is the judiciary committee's consideration of impeachment against the irs commissioner. he seems to think there is a possibility for a vote out of the committee on this. kelsey: he has been able to get small wins over a period of time by threatening to force this issue on the floor. he talked about the merits of impeachment. the reality is a lot of house republicans don't like this and they don't want to vote for it. they feel they will have to vote for impeachment because it's a red meat issue for their base. if they vote against it, it's like protecting the irs commissioner. he got his first hearing on this
matter, two hearings under oath and a promise if he does not show they will haul him in and subpoena him. the next step is to do a whole judiciary vote. he thinks they can actually pass this show the committee itself approve it. the chairman doesn't like this. that's very obvious. they had to twist his arm begin to go this far. if he can elicit the next move by threatening to force a vote on the floor,, if history is any indication they will probably get a vote. susan: criminal justice reform. what did you are about the possibilities of that? rachael: i thought it was interesting he mentioned doing it in the next congress. i would agree it would be difficult to move something of that magnitude in the lame-duck. i think it is something we need to keep watching. i would lead to see more over the freedom caucus falls on
this. they have been tightlipped about what they would like to see. in an actual bill. susan: if there is a clinton administration after the election, what can they expect out of the house oversight committee or the special committee on benghazi? -- kelsey: they will definitely keep investigating her. can he work with clinton? his answer was no. with the percentage of house republicans that are the freedom caucus growing next year, i think what will be important and interesting is what is best for paul ryan. this will be a very hard next congress for him because the freedom caucus is rolling in influence. they are making these demands. it's hard to extract policy changes and make rules changes, but they can shut down pretty much a lot of things these days. and should paul ryan want to work with hillary clinton on something, if they don't like it, it is not going to go through. it could be problematic. keey