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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business  CSPAN  November 15, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EST

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that same timidity for how you voted -- community for how you voted? guest: we are moral relatives. i believe there are clearly defined rights and wrongs in this, that some things don't fall into a gray issue. in spite of all those things, and without regard to those things, the american people have spoken, and so like many americans, it wasn't my first choice, but i am fully hoping for this country, this great country, to have donald trump be successful, because that will be good for america. -- were you surprised you surprised that your statement for donald trump? guest: only a little. there was not a lot of enthusiasm for hillary clinton. she was not the champion for the left that people were hoping for. wered trump supporters very enthusiastic. they came to the polls.
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in milwaukee alone, that 40,000 democrats chose not to go. when you have a margin under 100,000 votes, that's a big deal. people to getpire out and support her. i think that's part of it. there's a lot of dynamics of why this race went the way it did. that's just one of them. host: from amsterdam, new york, democrat line. joe, go ahead. caller: hi, congressman. --nks for c-span and takes thanks for taking my call. i would like to know how may times you were so bipartisan when president obama was elected and that we have to get him a chance to rule and gave him the benefit of the down on some of his programs, because i didn't see any of that with the democrats and i hope we will see the same type of treatment for president trump, because he deserves to be treated just like every other president, just like our last president. thank you. host: -- guest: fair enough, and you asked a specific way about
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me. president obama and i had a good working relationship, in fact, he invited me to go to his historic trip to cuba. i was one of only five republicans invited on that trip. for me, personally, i've always said that i was a republican with a small r, conservative with a large c. when president obama and i disagreed on politics, i was willing to vote my constituency and when we agreed, i would vote my conscience. host: ohio, republican line. jenny, good morning. caller: good morning. i don't know why people think -- people who protest, go ahead, but to throw things and burn things and break things, it's silly. it's not called for. i voted for trump, i voted early and i was so surprised, i went to bed early because i thought for sure he was going to win after listening to all the media.
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i was so surprised and so delighted that he won. guest: i think you are like a lot of voters that voted for donald trump. you woke up in the morning and you were thrilled with the results. really, his voters were very, very enthusiastic about the potential of a trump presidency. the interesting thing is, when you look at nationwide trends, no matter what you felt about the obama presidency, one of his legacies, unfortunately, for democrats is they decimated the democrat party. in reality, we have more public and governors and state assemblies and state legislatures, and we now have both houses of congress and the white house. in many respects, what you did when he went to the voting poll was a rebuke to those policies. if now we are going to see republicans will do what they promised the american people they would during this campaign. host: house leadership elections today. where do you stand on paul ryan?
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we have been friends in the congress, and there is no one else that is able to win 218 votes on the floor of the house, or win the republican caucus. paul ryan will be the speaker of the house and he deserves to be. host: host: what is the way that strategy? what is the strategy for congress right now? move forward in the first hundred days to authenticate this election and to move forward.with the things the amerco people --e said we want the te and move forward with the things the american people said. we want the tax code fixed and i think we will do those things quickly. host: we see donald trump talking about preserving some aspects of it. do you think a total repeal of
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obama care is necessary? guest: i do not think a total repeal is necessary. there are some elements of it that i like. i think you will have a hard sell with members of congress if you >> that conversation from this morning's "washington journal" and indeed paul ryan has been nominated, selected by the republican conference as their choice for speaker of the house. a look live here outside of the meeting room where the conference is under way. on capitol hill. they are making their way through the leadership ranks. they have also selected -- re-elected unanimously kevin mccarthy for the 115th congress. they are on the majority whip nominations. they'll go through the conference chair and the vice chair. and we hope after that to be hearing from members of the conference and perhaps leadership itself. we'll have that live here on c-span when it gets under way. writing about that win today by speaker liianer -- speaker ryan, the house republicans
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renominated speaker ryan as their leader today. quieting rumors of an initial revolt in the party in the wake of feuding between mr. ryan and president-elect donald j. trump. while democrats grapple with their potential insurrection to retain the speaker's job, mr. ryan of wisconsin will still have to clear a vote by the full house when the new congress assembles in january when he must win 218 votes. again, we're standing by for any preefings after this republican leadership election happening on capitol hill later today. the house will reassemble, gavel back in for legislative work. we'll have that live as well. any briefings that pop up, we'll have it live on c-span. in the meantime we showed you some republican vantage point, or viewpoint what's ahead in the congress. now to the democrats' side from today's "washington journal." 7 representative hakeem jeffries. he is a member of the judiciary committee and with of the congressional black caucus. good morning to you. guest: good morning, pedro.
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host: what will it mean to be a democrat next year in a donald trump administration? guest: i think the party will continue to hold firm to our values on the half of the people we represent, give the president an opportunity to demonstrate he can govern, but at the same time make sure that we hold him accountable to the extent that he engages in any overreach with respect to his duties, his policy as well as public that he may be pushing in order to make sure we can continue to try to move america forward and not undermine the positive things that have been done under the eight years of the barack obama administration. host: in your mind, what would overreach look like? guest: this whole notion of the complete repeal of the affordable care act. sounds nice from a republican standpoint in terms of redmeat rhetoric during the campaign, but when you actually look at the many positive things that the affordable care act has done for the mac and people, whether that's allowing young people to remain on their parents
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insurance instead of at 21 being ejected all the way through the age of 26, whether that's making sure that more than 300 million americans do not have to worry about losing health insurance or becauseealth coverage of a pre-existing condition, and the fact that millions of individuals who otherwise would not have had health coverage now either because of enhanced medicaid or because of the exchange have an opportunity to be insured. i think the trump administration has to carefully evaluate the reality of following up on the rhetoric that was used during the campaign with respect to repeal. host: mr. trump had spoken in the past during debates about buying insurance across state lines. our previous guest described high risk pools. what is wrong with those approaches as opposed to what is going on now with the president's health care plan? guest: we have a health care plan that is working. it certainly can be adjusted to
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make sure we can improve upon what is already in place. over the years, social security was adjusted. medicare was adjusted. perhaps there are reasonable adjustments that can be made , but simply to throw the entire thing i would be irresponsible. of repeale rhetoric and replace -- no one has put forward a specific policy proposal that would replace the affordable care act. it has just been redbrick. we -- rhetoric. we will see how things proceed, but that would be an example where i would urge the new administration to proceed with caution. host: our guest is with us until 9:15 a.m. if you want to ask him questions about the next congress, current congress, or donald trump, (202) 748-8000, (202) 748-8001, (202) 748-8002. week, could the democratic
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party have done something different and could of hillary clinton done something differently? guest: hindsight is always 2020, but clearly the fact that we lost states like pennsylvania and wisconsin and michigan, which were expected to be in the democratic column, and had voted for barack obama twice and previous democratic candidates over the years, is deeply troubling. into a have to engage significant valuation as to why that was brought about, both in terms of why in inner-city communities like detroit and milwaukee the turnout was not what it should have been and other parts of the states. we lost white working-class voters in such tremendous numbers when we are the party that actually has the platform and the policy ideas to try to build an economy for everyone . we are going to have to evaluate what happened, why it happened, and how to prevent it from happening again. host: why do you think it happened? guest: i think clearly the fact
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that hillary clinton did not spend any time at all and wisconsin suggests that that wa
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>> campaign and frankly people should look at the full resume. he's got a harvard business degree. naval officer. certainly -- brilliant
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technician. [inaudible] >> i'm personally offended you think i would manage a campaign where that would be one of the going philosophies. it was not. host: representative jefferies. guest: she's been in the position the last new months to constantly defen the indefensible and has become good at it. at thend of the day there is no reasonable explanation for the appointment of someone who is a conduit to hate groups across america. groups that peddle racism, sexism, anti-semitism, xenophobeo, there is no place for that in america. certainly no place in the house. host: hakim jefferies, democrat from new york. we have calls lined up for you. first from frank, manheim, pennsylvania, democrats line. you're on with our guest. go ahead. caller: yes. good morning. i'm wondering how in the world
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can people accept donald trump wanting to let his family in on america's top secrets? and will he be prosecuted for the things he has done so far as the woman groping and the lying and the carryings on that he's done? are too many people that saying donald trump and dick cheney as some of the greatest politician that is ever set face on this earth and ronald reagan included. god bless you, sir. i'm expecting a true and honest answer from you. you're quite a gentleman. guest: thank you. this is a very divisive campaign and it was a lot of heated rhetoric. an irresponsible rhetoric. particularly directed at hillary clinton in my view. the whole notion she should be locked up based on not a scintilla of evidence given what the f.b.i. trect-l indicated was the -- director indicated was the case earlier this year where
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she should not be prosecuted. did not engage in any criminal activity. no reasonable prosecutor would proceed. by the same token, i think we have to make sure we move away from what has become an overcriminalization phenomenon in america, and that should apply to both democrats and republicans. i don't want to see any department of justice or any district attorney's office engage in what could be cast as interference with the political process based on ideology as opposed to based often facts. -- on facts. as we move forward in terms of some of the things that donald trump may have engaged in, it appears if the allegations were true, that the statute of limitations may have expired in those particular i standses, that's for law enforcement people to sort out at this particular point in time. i think as it relates to his children, which was the other part of your question, we still need to learn more as to whether, in fact, president-elect trump is seeking to provide his children with
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high-level security clearances, which could raise potential conflicts of interest given the fact that he's also made clear that he wants them to continue to run his businesses, which have a lot of entanglements with government, and that would clearly create some difficulties as relates to conflicted interest from their children. host: here's madeleine from manassas, virginia. caller: good morning. guest: good morning. glad to be on 'm here because i would like for one person that's calling in on here to tell us what they pay for obamacare. we have these people on c-span every day, but nobody ever tells you what they pay. i don't believe the congressmen know what people out here are really paying. i have a son and a grandson. my son is 50. and he got home from iraq five
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years ago. and he has not been able to find a full-time job. most his jobs have been temporary. they work the job out and and he has to find another one. he can't even keep a job long enough to buy a house. under v.a. you have to have a job for two years before you can buy a house. but the worst part about it is obamacare took $1,200 out of his i.r.s. this year and he needed that $1,200 because he can't afford obamacare. host: let our guest respond. guest: first, thank you for your son's service and for your and the family's sacrifice. and it's certainly my view and i think the view of every member of congress that i serve with that we've got to honor what our veterans have done and make sure that when they come back home they have an opportunity to continue to pursue the american dream. which means finding employment
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that can allow them a pathway into the middle class. secure retirement, as well as the ability to purchase a home. i'm sorry to hear that your son has had difficulty in that regard. we certainly have to do more to make sure that those who have been left behind by changes in the economy as a result of some of the trade deals in the past or as a result of changes in technology and auto mation that takes place in factories that has reduced the number of individuals who can get access to those types of plant and manufacturing jobs, there are a whole set of complex issues that we in the congress as policymakers are going to have to confront to make sure we can create more opportunity for people like your son. with respect to the affordable of act, the issue affordability is one we should examine. there are a whole host of individuals, younger in age, in their 20's and 30's and early 40's, who have found health care
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to be extremely affordable for them as a result of the marketplace and the introduction of the a.c.a. in terms of some americans who may be faced with a situation where they are not being provided health caring -- health care that is affordable because they don't like the options, that's something that's on the table we should take a look at. again, there are so many positive aspects of the affordable care act that we want to preserve, we can make some adjustments, but we have to do it in a reasonable and calculated and careful fashion. host: what factor do you think that the announcement from h.h.s. about the hike in premiums in obamacare, what factor do you think it might have played in the election? guest: i think that probably wasn't helpful in the closing weeks of the complain. in terms of -- campaign. in terms of distracting from the ability of secretary clinton to articulate her positive and affirmative vision for the country. the most damaging thing, obviously, was the unwarranted,
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unnecessary, unconscionable intrusion into the campaign by f.b.i. director james comey, in a fashion that altered the course of this election, both at the presidential level and in terms of the house and senate. host: you want hearings for that? guest: absolutely think it would be appropriate for the house judiciary committee and for the senate judiciary committee to summon director comey to the hill to explain how can it be that an f.b.i. director parachutes into an election with 11 days left, drops a bomb on hillary clinton without any evidence of wrongdoing, and hides behind his desk for the next several days and then decide at the 11th hour again to intervene and say, my bad, there was nothing wrong. that altered the course of this election and it should be deeply troubling not just to democrats and republicans who care about separation of powers. host: any interest from the republican committee members looking at that? guest: i think chairman
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goodlatte has indicated he does want further clarification. and to the american people deserve an opportunity to hear from the director. this is an institution that we should have confidence in. they are focused on their mission of fairly and objectively investigating wrongdoing. not engaging in political mischief that could at-ered -- aler the course of the election. host: barbara you're next. caller: good morning, representative jefferies. how are you this morning? guest: thanks for calling in. caller: i'm a true hard, die-hard democrat. how do you -- how are you adjusting? i cannot and will not accept donald trump at our next president. i just -- i can't do it. i'm having such a hard time. what is happening with us? his family's going to run his business. what is the f.b.i. and state department doing? does people understand -- i feel we're in for something really crazy next year, and donald
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trump has no, he don't know nothing. and i'm scared to death. guest: well, i certainly understand that sentiment. there are a lot of people based on the type of campaign that was run who are extremely concerned, and obviously majority of the american people who came to the polls on november 8 and voted prior to that voted for hillary clinton. she won the popular vote. so this is why i have urged many of my republican colleagues not to interpret any mandate that they believe came out of the election too broadly. that was a mistake that was made by richard nixon when he lost the popular vote in the aftermath of the 1968 election. a mistake made by george w. bush when he lost the vote in 2000 and got us into two failed wars and the worst economy since the great recession. i'm hopeful donald trump will take a more measured approach and look for opportunities to find common ground to bring the country tofplgt that is the manner in which i'm going to proceed. we're going to hope for the
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best, prepare for the woverplets hold the president-elect accountable as soon as he's sworn in. look for opportunities in areas where we can work together. perhaps beginning with a robust transportation and infrastructure program. host: from upper marlboro, maryland, independent line. terry, good morning. caller: good morning. first i want to respond to the affordable care act. virginia's one of the states that didn't participate in the exchange, that's probably why her son medical was high. i want to say to mr. jefferies, good morning tow, sir. guest: good morning. caller: i want to say that i am kind of a die-hard democrat, but lost been -- to me what hillary the election is there were a lot going green party. i heard there was 46% of the people who just didn't go vote. 46% of the population did not go to the polls.
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part of me who wants donald trump to get in there and work with both sides. this is where our country s we get to pint where we're not democrats, we're not republicans. there are parts of me that voted for republicans because i respect the second amendment and the gun law. but where are the democrats? the democrats are not ready. when you look at the election, you see 16 republicans ready to be president. where are the democrats at? where are you guys? where's the democrats going to run in 2020? where you guys senate are we going to vote for can yea? that's the only guy i know who step up and going to do something. please respond for me, sir. guest: can yea west is a great artist. i'm not sure about him as a presidential candidate. there will be a significant number of democrats that i think you will see stepping forward,
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people currently in government, people who may not be in government and the private sector, to offer a vision of a different direction to the american people. i think in the short term it's going to be important for congressional democrats to continue to fight hard for working families, middle class folks, senior citizens, some talk that the new administration and the new congress may want to privatize either social security or medicare. we have to fight that with everything that we have. everything we have. again, look for opportunities to work together but defend our values. host: metairie, louisiana, democrats line, mark, go ahead. mark from louisiana? let's try chase from liberty, texas, republican line. go ahead. caller: good morning, gentlemen. i think what needs to take place is unification in this country.
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the division has gotten so out of hand that clearly you have people in the streets now and it's getting a little absurd. we all used to be blue dog democrats. the democrats left us. what made the democratic party is they cared for the working man. they care for the indigent now . we should be good stewards and help those who can't help themselves, but we need to promote large-scale projects. the other way that can help fix american is the north power water alliance. this would absolutely fix the west coast drought and help spur agriculture production. we have to stop calling the industrial base of this country and boosted backup. we do that and everybody can put money back in their pockets and all boats rise. it will be ok. we have got to get this element that exists at a politics, the
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big money, the george soroses, the koch brothers. its two sides of a wooden nickel. it's a joke. we have to come together as americans, and by golly, we can turn this around. guest: thanks for your thoughts. you made a lot of reasonable -- excuse me, a lot a reasonable points there. of bringing the country together, you are exactly right that we have got to find ways to proceed as americans, not as progressives and conservatives are democrats and republicans and not people on the right and people on the left. one of the ways we can do that is getting the intensity of the unregulated money out of politics, which would give the better opportunity for the voice , thee working man hard-working american, to be heard in the political process as opposed to the special interests here in washington, d.c. in terms of things that we can do to turn the economy around,
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inin, major investment transportation and infrastructure should be a approach.n it as always been something here in the united states of america that people could agree on regardless of their ideologies. we have got crumbling roads and bridges and tunnels and sewer and water infrastructure that needs to be addressed. we've also got to proceed to make sure that as democrats and as republicans, as members of congress and the new president, we focus on the inner-city and revitalize rural america. we cannot leave anyone behind . even as that is happening, there are some democrats in congress asking for a holding off of leadership election amongst democrats in the house. is that something you support? guest: yes, i think it would be reasonable for us to hit the pause button, take a deep breath, and assess what happened in the last election and the last several election cycles.
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we have been unsuccessful in our ability to take back the house and to regroup. and then proceed with the strength and and unified team to be able to defend our values, represent the american people, work with the president when appropriate, hold him accountable unnecessary. host: is there a need for a new minority leader? guest: i do not think it would be premature for us to get into whether it should be anyone other than the current team that steps forward because we have hear from the current team for their vision of the future, what happened in the past, and how we go together. host: do you support nancy pelosi? guest: i supported nancy pelosi since i arrived in the congress. she's a tremendous speaker. host: what would you like to hear to give you some comfort? guest: an assessment of the landscape. i think nancy pelosi has indicated there will be opportunity for us to move forward to the extent that the president elect overreaches
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during his presidency. we are see the pendulum swing back and forth between the election of a presidency and then a determination by the amazing people that they want a congress all by the opposite party. we're going to have to put forth ideas that would make a change in direction possible and i'm looking forward to having that discussion. host: i want to ask you also about this news late about keith ellison, interested in being head of the dnc. what do you think of that move? guest: he's a townsend member. i'm not a number of the democratic national committee. i'm looking forward to hearing a contest of ideas about the future of the democratic party. to build an had infrastructure that appeals to all of america and doesn't simply focus on our base, but focuses on all 50 states, on rural america, suburban america, and inner-city america. host: should that next member
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come from congress itself or in outside running the dnc? guest: i think debbie wasserman schultz did a great job as the chair, so they could manage response abilities and also lead the dnc. however, it should be in evaluation as to whether at this moment in time when we have lost the presidency, lost the house, lost the senate, lost so many state legislative bodies and governorships all caps the country that we need someone to focus on being dnc chair as a full-time person. that's a reasonable question that we're going to have to explore of the next few months. host: represented of picking jeffrey's our guest.
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>> he knew he was doing crooked dealings. as far as hillary clinton she brought it on herself with the secret service stuff and all that. and then she made the democratic party may have had her over her dealings the way they have done bernie sanders. she can't bring that on nobody but her sefment guest: she made some mistakes. she acknowledged that, particularly as it relates to the use of the private email server. obviously as a result of the situation, it cost her dearly. perhaps in terms of even the presidency. but i think that instead of looking backward it's time for all of us to move forward. we have this tremendous economic anxiety in the country because of the underemployment problem that exists and the lack of wage
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growth. despite all the progress by the way that has been made under the administration, more than 15 million private sector jobs created during eight years of barack obama's presidency, 79 consecutive months of private sector job creation, unemployment rate was at 10% when he came in, now it's at 5%. there's been a tremendous amount of progress under barack obama. but to your point there is still a whole lot of things that need to be done. in terms of the aspects of impeaching this person or that person, i think that we have had a tendency to overinvestigate folks and to polarize people. impeachment is an extraordinary remedy that should only be used in the most extreme circumstances, and i have not seen any evidence that would justify the impeachment of any individual here today. host: harrisburg, pennsylvania, democrats line, this is wayne. caller: hello. if the president do said he
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wanted to do with infrastructure, i'm an ex-carpenter, that will put many people back to work. but this is my problem. they want ack man, to do a record check, they want to check so many things. how is that going to help the black man in the inner city? i'm a 60-year-old man. i'm talking about my grandsons. my nephews. they are not working. you kept saying that everything improves under obama as far as jobs. it hasn't. this is what my problem s why is the inner city always suffering? and we always vote democratic. i like donald trump some of the things he say. he talks foolish sometime. but as far as putting people to work and doing things, taxing people from overseas and china,
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doing all that stuff, i like him. give the man a-- chance. that as far i think as can i tell every democrat in the capitol, house and senate, is prepared to give president-elect trump a chance to govern in a manner that actually did not take place eight years ago when barack obama was sworn into office. and we had a situation where house leaders decided that their pathway to power on the republican side was not simply to say no to everything that barack obama was attempting to do, but to say hell no. this is a well documented situation. that was in the middle of two wars and the worst economy since the great depression. on the other side of the capitol you had the majority leader, currently, but then the minority leader, mitch mcconnell, said -- who said his only objective was to make barack obama a one-term president.
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that's the context in which we're operating. yet democrats have expressed a willingness to give donald trump an opportunity to govern for the good of the american people. and i agree, we've got to find a way to put everyone back to work. things have gotten better during the last eight years, but there is still a significant amount of progress that can be made. all across america inner city communities like i represent in brooklyn, as well as in rural parts of the country, and even in some of the suburban communities that are in decline. we have to continue to build upon the progress that has been made and keep the country moving forward. host: on our republican line, elbow make lake, minnesota. john is next. caller: yes, congressman. i have one point and one question. my point with the affordable care act is that the health facilities might not receive
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yment due to the high -- [inaudible] . withdly, more importantly, the voting situation, voting rights are questioned, why is it that we can't have an election judge says someone is not eligible that he can be issued a provisional ballot and that be counted after the election? i'll take your response off the air. guest: thank you. that is the normal course of how things should occur during a situation where someone shows up to a polling site, their name for whatever reason is not on the roll. they should always be given a provisional ballot with an opportunity to cast that ballot and if their registration is subsequently confirmed that vote should count. we do have to look at our election system. there are far too many individuals who appear to have been disenfranchised over the
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last several years as a result of imposition of harsh and unnecessary voter i.d. laws, as well as the supreme court's decision to roll back the voting rights act and take away some of the protections that were important. and that had been put in place by a bipartisan working group of democrats and republicans in 1965 with the implementation of the voting rights act. and subsequently signed into law , re-authorized by a republican president in 1970, richard nixon, 1975. gerald ford, 1982. ronald reagan, 2006. george w. bush, voting again shouldn't be a democratic issue or republican issue. it's an american issue. we have a great bipartisan history as it relates to the voting rights act. one of the things we can do to make sure as members of congress we restore the damage done to it by the supreme court. host: next from cindy in laurel, maryland. independent line, good morning. caller: yes. good morning. thank you for taking my call. thank you, congressman.
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i have several comments and possibly a question. i'm a nurse and in my career in working, there has been many swogses where i gained experience -- many positions where i gained experience where i have been maybe in the right place and the right time and had opportunity to be in high positions. report to the pentagon when champus was being converted to tricare. and i feel honored by the opportunities i have been given. along the way there's been many opportunities that i have not been able to have been -- i was highly considered for, but of course received a letter stating that i was the most qualified but unfortunately under credentialed. and with that, we have to take a test to drive a car. there's a lot of things that we have to take tests or
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examinations or get credentials or qualifications for. what i really don't understand -- maybe this is an area that i'm not as educated in and i apologize for that -- but to run for president with no prior experience, and then you sprinkle in a lot of the controversial issues that seem to attach itself to this election, specifically for donald trump, but as well as for hillary clinton, i guess i just don't understand how somebody with absolutely no experience, no credentials, no background other than the finances and the voice, and a strong voice, to be able to reach the depths of people and -- i work in psychiatry and psychology, and there are certain methods to be able to -- i'm not suggesting
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ther of the candidates had advice, professional advice on how to speak along these lines, but there are ways to be able to corral and obviously it's been discussed that mr. trump has been able to insight particular support because of the anxieties of the country. host: got your point. thanks. guest: i think if you think about the elections, donald trump was able to effectively speak in headlines where the democratic party often speaks in fine print. donald trump's campaign was based on a few very simple but understandable things to a whole host of america, make america great again, build wall, trade deals are bad. we don't win anymore. and whereas we think that we've got a whole host of policies that would make significant improvements in the lives of the
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american people, i think democrats have got to find a better way to effectively communicate that. i do agree with you that he comes to the white house with extraordinary inexperience and hopefully he's going to build out a team around him that will have some experience in government and the capacity to move our country forward. host: point verda beach, florida, republican line, harold. caller: yes. i'd like to see you specifically, representative, and the congress, work to reform the inner cities. to save them. to pump in money and resources and time to make them shine so that instead of every four years we just can't quite believe we're still in this situation, we can point with pride that people's lives and futures have been saved. i also want you to stop people from coming over the border. the incoming administration and any future administration. this is a sin that these people come over and compete for jobs
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that they are going to work a third less so the american person never gets the job. i want to see you do that. i'd like to also see term limits for congressmen. i think you look like a very qualified young man. i think you can do other things in the future. i think most congressmen can. i think we need to get the american citizen serving in congress and a real turnover. because our nation deserves it to get new faces, new blood in there. and to just get away from this stuff where we can't get rid of people. host: caller, thanks. guest: you have raised several very important issues. let me start on the border issue. we certainly have to secure our borders but do so in a reasonable fashion. it's important to operate from an evidence-based perspective and understand the current president has deported more individuals than any other president in american history. deportation alone is not going to simply solve our problem, and that's one of the things i think we'll have to work with donald
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trump to work on. he was just focused, as he's indicated, on violent undocumented individuals. i think that his numbers are way off by suggesting that there are two million to three million of those individuals. but we can try to figure out how to proceed in a reasonable way in that fashion. this whole notion of building a wall along the border between the united states and mexico is nonsensical. it's a 2,000-plus mile border. if you actually take a step back in terms of the in-flow of undocumented immigrants into this country, a significant number of them are not coming from mexico. they are actually coming from the central american, northern triangle countries of guatemala, elval have a door, and honduras, three of the five most violent countries in the world. one of the reasonable things we should do is look at increased cooperation between the united states and mexico since the
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undocumented immigrants are actually coming and crossing the border that mexico shares with guatemala. that is only 200 miles and a lot easier to secure. in terms of term limits, i understand your frustration with the fact that some individuals in the united states congress, or offices all across the contry, seem to be able to retain power without engaging in responsible service on behalf of their constituents. but i think the way to deal with that is to make sure that we can reduce the power of incumbency, level the playing field so that elections that take place every two or four years really do give the voters an opportunity to make a decision as to whose employment contract should be renewed. host: representative jefferies, before the end of congress this year, one of the things that has to be done is the passage of a spending bill. will that happen? guest: i think it will happen and hopefully proceed in a responsible fashion. the fact that we have been out
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of what has been referred to as regular order where the appropriations committee process has largely been ineffective in generating spending bills, which leads us into another situation where we've got to wait into the end of the year with a deadline pending, to create a big omnibus package that makes it difficult for individual members to fully understand where we're directing our taxpayer dollars. hopefully we'll get the spending bill done by early december. and then we'll get back to regular order in the next congress so we can give the american people the type of transparency as it relates to the spending that we're engaging in. host: representative hakim jefferies, democrat from new york joining us for our conversation this morning. thanks for your time. guest: thank you. >> we're live outside the ways and means committee conference room. committee room on capitol hill. the longworth house office building. house republican conference today has been electing their
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leaders. the leadership election under way since about 1:00 eastern this afternoon. so far no surprises, speaker paul ryan, re-elected by his conference, majority leader kevin mccarthy, steve scalise, unanimously selected for majority whip. kathy mcmorris rodgers, the conference chair. and they just approved luke messer as the g.o.p. policy chair. working on a couple of final posts including the national republican congressional committee campaign committee leadership between steve stivers, a race between steve stivers of ohio and roger williams of texas. so a few more posts to be decided. we're waiting for any news briefings or comments from members after the leadership elections today. we'll have that live here on c-span. once it gets under way. it was announced earlier today the democrats plan to postpone their leadership election until november 30. it sets the stage for a
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challenge to long-time caucus leader nancy pelosi, and potentially other members of the leadership team. it was written pelosi was forced to back ground downafter a monday night meeting of the congressional black caucus whose members' constituents are deeply alarmed by donald trump and disquieted by pelosi's decision .o strike a conciliatory pose on the senate side leadership elections expected this week as well. as the senate gavels in for their first day of the lame duck session today. burgess every yet of "politico" tweets that senate democrats, he tweets, have no clarity on their leadership team less than a day leadership elections. we'll have live coverage here on c-span of briefings that happen after the house g.o.p. meeting under way. until then a look at other activities on capitol hill this week which include the orientation of the 54 newly elected freshmen member and
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their annual class photo.
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>> familiar faces in that freshmen class might include carol shortstop -- shorpe who won back her seat from frank guinta, the one she lost in 2010. also the former florida governor now representing the 15th district, he beat republican david jolly, back live now outside the ways and means committee meeting room. the republican conference meeting this afternoon. they are voting for their leaders in the 115th congress. all of the previous leaders have been re-leekted. they are finishing up now with the house republican conference
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vice chair seat. two congressmen running for that, doug collins of georgia, and bill flores of florida. we expect after the votes are done that members will come to the microphones, perhaps leaders as well, and speak with reporters. we'll have that live when it gets under way. we did hear from republican leaders this morning speaking to reporters after their morning meeting talking about what's ahead in the lame duck and beyond. peaker ryan: good morning. all right, everybody. welcome to the dawn of a new, unified republican government.
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feels really good to say that, actually. this will be a government focused on turning president-elect trump's victory into real progress for the american people. our team is very excited and we cannot wait to get to work. at the same time, we recognize the task ahead of us is enormous. if we're going to put our country back on the right track, we have got to be bold and we have to go big. this country is expecting absolutely no less. in the days and weeks ahead we'll be working very closely with the president-elect and his transition team to lay out our ambitious path for 2017. that team, of course, is led by vice president elect mike pence and it includes several of our own members. so we're working hand in glove from the start. we want to make sure that we hit the ground running in january so that we can deliver on the new president's agenda. a better way, better days, lie ahead for our country. >> a lot of new faces here. what a difference one week
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makes. in doing so, as the speaker talked about, we are working very closely with president-elect trump and vice president-elect mike pence. mr. mccarthy: and part of that is how we move forward. how we accomplish the promises made. and the american public expects it to happen. yesterday all the committee chairs and myself sent a letter to all the government agencies. requesting that no new regulations be moved forward. this is not a new request. this request actually happened when barack obama won, rahm emanuel sent the same letter. it's now time to change the tide, to get the economy moving, to get a health care plan that actually works, and get america back on the right track. >> we got these hats at conference today. it's not just a great slogan. but inside you see, made in the u.s.a. there are going to be a lot more things made in the u.s.a. when this new administration
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comes in. you know, we've been talking to president-elect trump, to vice president-elect pence. and what an exciting opportunity that the american people have given us to work and go do the things that are necessary to get our country back on track. our members are excited about this opportunity. and we're going to continue working in the weeks ahead to lay out and plan that first 100 ays and then the months after. that are going to be so critical. rebuilding the middle class that spoke out so loudly and getting our country back on track. it's an exciting time. we know there's a lot of work ahead. that's why we ran for congress. to have a moment like this where we can go big and go bold and pass the conservative solutions that are going to get our country back on track. >> this opportunity that the people have entrusted with us to advocate and to lead on their behalf is truly humbling. mrs. mcmorris rodgers: but it isn't a time for victory laps or to pat ourselves on the back.
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it's with a time to turn this victory into real progress for the american people. there are too many people across this dricri who feel like they're doing all the right things. they're trying to pay their mortgage every month and they're still falling behind. obamacare is making health care too expensive. he v.a. isn't listening. government is regulating jobs out of their lives. our unified republican government will take these frustrations we're hearing and work together with president-elect trump to change the status quo.
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we've got bold, specific agenda items that will make a difference in people's lives and it will address. so biggest challenges of our time. now i believe each plank in the better way agenda is very important, but this election reminded me that at the end of the day article 1 of our constitution is what protects the people's voice in our government, and it's our role, it's our mission, to restore that voice. ms. jenkins: the american people have sent republicans back to washington with a mandate for change. we have a government united together with a purpose of bringing commonsense principles back to our nation's capital. since the beginning of this year, we have traveled across the country getting your feedback on our better way agenda. this set of legislative priorities is tailored to the problems facing our country that focus on empowering hardworking americans to achieve success. foremost among our priorities will bring -- be bringing balance back to our broken tax code by building a simpler, fairer, flatter code, building a code that advantages all americans not just the well connected. a code that drives investment and job creation right here in america. a code that gets america growing through good
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old-fashioned private sector investment. it's clear that kansans and the american people are ready for a change. ith their voice as our guide we're ready to work as a unified government to help build an opportunity economy for all americans. speaker ryan: questions? >> you urge people to judge the president-elect on the decisions you made. hat about the ban none decision, how do you respond to the serious concerns and fears? speaker ryan: i would say the president will be judged on his results. this is a person who helped him win an incredible victory and campaign. the president will be judged on the results of this administration. that's why we're eager to get up and running to help him with his transition and to make progress on the mandate that
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has been given to us by the american people. we're confident about moving forward. we're confident about the transition. and we're very, very excited about getting to work for the american people. >> when will you move on a fiscal 2017 budget resolution? how could that affect the appropriations process? speaker ryan: those are decisions being made with the transition team. none of those decisions have been made yet. we're now sitting down with the trump administration in waiting along with our colleagues to come up with our game plan for lame duck, and also to come up with our game plan for 2017. it's very exciting. we have a lot of work to do. we're having constant conversations about how to do that. we haven't made those decisions yet. >> any timetable? speaker ryan: the -- reporter: the president-elect signaled he was going to put his children as his advisors in his administration. do you have any concerns about them potentially getting security clearances? and two, should trump take any steps to ensure no conflicts of interest between them running a business
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speaker ryan: we're focused on doing our job in congress. look at this, donald trump is a multibillionaire successfully businessman who has been so successful because he's surrounded himself with good people. he's a man who has made great successes, created tens of thousands of jobs because he gets good advice from good people around him in his life. what's wrong with that? that's a good thing. we're going to focus on doing our job here in congress. he's going to focus on populating his administration. we'll do everything we can to help him be as successful as he's going to be. we have an exciting agenda. we have a transition team we're working with. and very excited about getting to work for the american people. >> mr. speaker, steve bannon has personally come after you, his publication has tried to unseat you in your primary, written about your children and his publication has written about your children and questioned your school decision. he's mocked your catholicism. do you think at any point -- speaker ryan: i'm not looking backwards, i'm looking
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forward. i'm looking to how we make this work for the american people. how we help president-elect trump to be the most successful in our lifetimes. get this country going again. look, you have heard me say this so many times. 70% of the people in this nation think america's going down the wrong path. they now said get on a better way. hat's our job. our job is not to look backwards. our job is to look forward. make president-elect trump as successful as possible. help him with the transition so he can make good on our commitment to the american people to fix this country's big problems. >> you built your career on performing ideas, donald trump just won on a platform that in many ways is not terribly conservative. are you prepared to lead a charge on those ideas? speaker ryan: we're on same change with our president-elect. i talk with donald trump virtually every single day. i spoke with mike pence this
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morning. we're on the same page. we're going to make sure this is a successful administration. more importantly, we're going to make sure that the voices we heard from this election from the american people are acted upon. that we actually fix these country's problems. you look -- to get to your specific point, look what obamacare did to our entitlement programs, it made them worse. we're going fix that. we're going to help fix these problems plaguing this country. whether it's skyrocketing health care costs, lack of jobs, regulatory red tape that's strangling jobs and businesses, fixing our national security, securing our border, hese are all things that we're excited about, rolling up our sleeves and getting to work with our incoming president to make good on his incoming promises. >> trump ran on a platform of $1 trillion on roads and infrastructure. are house republicans ready to support $1 trillion in new spending? speaker ryan: i asked the question about budget reconciliation, processes, these are things we're working on. it's going to take time to figure out what bill comes where and how it adds up. that's what the congressional
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process is about. the point is, donald trump wants jobs. i talked to donald so many times this week which is let's make sure we get people back to work, get this economy growing. let east take all this uncertainty out of the economy that's plaguing it and get people back to work. this is something we share. this is something we're excited about working on with donald trump. that is why i'm very confident that we're going to have a unified government that works hand in glove with this administration to make good on the commitments and get people back to work and fix this country's problems. thank you very much. appreciate it. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]
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>> most of those republican leaders in the house have been re-elected by their conference. the conference is meeting now behind closed doors in the ways and means committee room on capitol hill. a meeting that should break up shortly. they've already approved paul ryan as speaker. kevin mccarthy, majority leader. steve scalise, majority whip. the conference chair, cathy mcmorris rogers, luke messer continues as policy chair. and they just passed representative steve stivers of ohio, chosen as the nrcc chair, the national republican campaign committee chair. one more, we think one more post to be elected. the g.o.p. conference vice chair, kay jenkins had that role going forward this time, doug collins of georgia. and bill floor else of florida are up for that position. the voting under way. we're keeping our eye out. hoping for comments from members. we will have those live here on c-span once it gets under way. they've been meeting.
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bill flores is of texas, by the way. in that final race for house g.o.p. conference vice chair. so a couple more minutes, we expect, inside the conference room. then members will be -- members we expect will be coming out. we'll have it live here on c-span. elsewhere, in new york, the transition team continues meeting with president-elect donald trump. kelly o'donald of nbc tweeting -- sources tell me the first presidential daily briefing for the president-elect and vice president-elect has been completed. president obama, of course, left yesterday for his final foreign trip. covering greece and germany and in peru for the asia-pacific economic meeting. landing in athens today, welcomed by the prime minister, alexander sip russ, and military officials in athens. we'll show you as much as we can while we wait to hear from republican leaders after the house elections.
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>> president obama's final foreign trip starting in greece. he'll also visit germany for a couple of dales. on that trip, meet a number of foreign leaders clrks youing for the first time, the u.k. president. the president winds up his trip this weekend in peru at the asia-pacific conference. here on c-span, we're live waiting to hear word about the election today. the republican conference meeting to elect their leaders for the 115th congress. so far electing paul ryan as speaker, kevin mccarthy, majority leader, steve scalise, majority whip, cathy mcmorris rogers the conference chair, luke messer as policy chair, and nrcc chair, steve stivers. moments ago they elected missouri representative jason smith unanimously as the conference secretary for the next congress.
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he replaces virginia foxx of north carolina who last week said she'd officially run to be the chairwoman of the house education committee, when the new session of congress begins. one final election under way and that is for republican conference vice chair and we expect to hear from leaders after that. we'll have it live here on c-span once it gets under way.
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>> looks like the last race is other in the house g.o.p. election. scott wong of the hill d tweeting, doug collins beats bill flores of texas for vice chair of the g.o.p. conference. with that wrapped up, we should be hearing from leaders shortly. live coverage here on c-span.
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>> report indicate the house republican leadership elections are over. we should be hearing from leaders and others shortly. we'll have it live here oweon c-span. earlier today democrats announced that they would postpone their leadership elections in the house until wednesday, november 30. write being that, matthew iglesias writes that the party's insurgent left wing, which this had been on the march since election day, is a pro ponalt of a new leadership team as part of a general drive to increase its weight in
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democratic party institutions that have heavily aligned behind hillary clinton during the 2016 primary. but the initial impetus for delayed leadership election came from a clutch of mostly younger members led by seth moulton, a democrat of massachusetts, kathleen rice of new york, and ruben gallego of ase, who all entered the house during the republican wave year of 2014. again, those house democratic elections postponed until wednesday, november 30. we'll have live coverage here on c-span when we hear from members after this republican leadership election. also on capitol hill today, the unveiling by the house architect of the completed job, the finished capitol dome and other repairs done on the capitol over the last year and a half. this he had held a short briefing -- they held a short briefing with reporters. >> thank you, christine. good morning, everyone. thank you for coming out today. it is my pleasure to announce that with the talent and
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leadership of the dedicated team of people that have joined me here today, and many more consult abilities and contractors from across the country, the capitol dome restoration project is complete. [applause] this project was the first complete restoration of the dome in more than half a century. the dome was in dire need of repair and with the help and leadership of the congress, we repaired more than 1,300 cracks and deficiencies in the cast-iron. we repaired and recast intricate ornaments, gutters and balance straights. the team used both innovative technology and historic trade craft to repair the dome. our work revealed and preserved
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the exquisite craftsmanship that went into the construction of this great dome. we removed hazardous materials, upgraded electrical and mechanical and fire protection systems, and finally, repainted the rotunda and the dome itself. the a.o.c.'s model is to serve, preserve and inspire. and we do so every day across this capitol campus. but this one project was the most visible of all. the symbol of america's democracy and the beacon of hope for millions around the world. and we delivered. our work to serve the people of the united states and the congress will preserve this monument of american ideas -- ideals for generations to come. and i'm so proud of the team that worked through the night
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and all kinds of -- in all kinds of weather, a blizzard, snow storms and scorching summer days. we successfully met our deadlines and did so under budget. and i'd like to recognize two important individuals in particular. first is joe. joe is a certified construction manager for the dome restoration project. and secondly, shane, also a certified construction manager working on the rotunda restoration. and these two gentlemen did a fabulous job for the last 2 1/2 years. they lived and breathed every single detail of this project. they did a fantastic job in managing a very complex and risky project. and for that, we are all incredibly appreciative.
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so let's give them a round of applause, please. [applause] now, it's so important for us to just take a moment to celebrate and share the fine work that this team has done here. and so thank you for joining us today, thank you for your support, thank you for your patience, as we restored this beautiful building for all to appreciate and enjoy. i'm happy to answer any questions anyone may have about the project. >> how big is this dome in terms of around or is this the biggest cast-iron dome in the world? >> we do believe it is the biggest cast-iron dome in the world. from the east front plaza to the top, it's 288 feet tall.
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>> -- any historical graffiti or remnants of the original builders or workers? >> the question was, did we find any historical graffiti or remnants of the original workers. we did indeed. first, of course, montgomery miggs, as you may know, liked to stamp his name on everything did he. he did here on the dome stamp his name on many of the pieces of cast-iron and many of you will see that today as you tour the dome. we also found some tools, in particular a crowbar, that we'll share with you today, that was left behind some 150 years ago on the project. and an employee of the architect of the capitol, al port ports, carved his name in e last -- al ports, carved
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his name in the laughter nearly 150 years ago wind we uncovered that. -- ago, and we uncovered that. al ports. >> you menged some innovative new tools. could you give an example of what type of new work you had to do on the dome? >> well, we employed technology in a couple of ways. first using a computer program called bim-360 that enabled to us track these 1,300 deficiencies and the repair and the inspection process along the way much that was incredibly beneficial for us. our cast-iron manufacturer also used 3-d modeling to model many of the pieces of orn mentation that had to be recast and used that model to construct the molds to recast the new pieces of cast-iron ornamentation that we put on the dome. >> can you talk a little bit about why the project needed to
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happen now? >> the question was, why did this project need to happen now. we've been monitoring the condition of the dome for nearly 15 years now. really started in the early 1990's, when we had a very significant water leak in the dome. as we investigated that water leak, we found that many of the rain gutters on the dome were completely clogged with rust that was falling off the dome, clogging the rain gutters and causing overflow of the water that came then into the rotunda itself. and so we monitored the cracks and deficiencies. during those years we had 200 or 300 of them. when we tipped 1,000, we determined that it was time to intervene. we were losing too much historic and original material of the dome. and went before the congress, requesting money to refurbish
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the dome and they were incredibly generous and supportive of that initiative. >> did you have to repaint any of the paintings in the rotunda? >> the question was, did we have to repaint any of the paintings in the rotunda. of course there's three, the apotheosis of washington at the top, which is a fresco. that was not touched during the restoration project. it was refurbished perhaps 0 years ago and is in -- 20 years ago and is in great shape today. secondly, the freeze of american history that's in the center of the dome, that was cleaned and touched up during this process. and then down below, the beautiful oil paintings, they were not touched during this process. hey're in great shape as well. >> can you speak a little bit more about what it means to have this done by inauguration
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in january? >> the so important for us to have this project -- it's so important for us to have this project done by the presidential inauguration. we call this capitol and the west front our nation's stage. and as our nation's stage, it needs to be beautiful. that's the time that everyone across this great country and across the world will be watching. and it's so important for us to have this grand capitol building to look magnificent and to truly be our nation's stage during that time. thank you, everybody. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] >> we had the opportunity to do a longer tour of the completed work on the capitol dome and rotunda. and you'll be able to see that in our program schedule later today. also online at we're live now outside the ways
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and means committee meeting room on capitol hill. house republicans have been gathering, have gathered here today, to hold their leadership elections for the 115th congress. including electing -- re-electing paul ryan as speaker. the entire 115th will vote on that in early january. when the 115th congress gavels in. the u.s. house itself has worked -- work to do this afternoon. a couple of bills still on the agenda, including re-authorizing the iranian sanctions bill, a bill dealing with protecting syrian citizens. earlier today they passed a bill that calls for increasing -- the increasing role of women in peace processes around the world. so we'll have live coverage here of the briefings that are expected shortly on capitol hill. the leadership elections under way. democrats postponing their leadership elections until, at least on the house side, until november 30. the senate gavels in today for the -- their first session in the lame duck. and you can follow that
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shortly, coming up over on c-span2. john mccain today talked about any revamp or reset in policy with russia, saying that it was, quote, unacceptable by any attempt on the incoming administration to reset relations with russia. a statement from john mccain of arizona. looks like leaders are coming out. live coverage on c-span. mrs. mcmorris rodgers: as the newly elected chairman of the house republican conference, i am proud to introduce to you the leadership team for the house republicans. the majority for the 115th congress. clearly this was an election where the people had their voices heard. and it gives me such confidence knowing that at the end of the day, the people are the ones that are the final decision makers in this country. and all across this country, we
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hear from people who feel like they're working harder, doing all the right things, but yet it's just harder to do those things. they're paying their bills, they're making the mortgage payments, but it just gets harder and harder. our mission as we start this new congress is to restore the people's voice in their government. we are ready to go to work, there's a lot of excitement in our conference, and i'm proud o be a part of it. ryan -- mr. mccarthy: first off, i want to congratulate the entire team. this team, as our conference chair said in this election, one thing that president-elect donald trump did, he heard the voice of those that were not being heard. and he became their voils. this leadership team has had the wisdom to listen, now we have the courage to lead. a new congress with a new approach, and one that
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will get the -- start getting the work done on the very first day. mr. scalise: our conference is really excited about the opportunity that the american people gave us. to work with president trump to turn our country around. and at our convention in cleveland, when donald trump said, i will be your voice, to all the people across this great nation, that feel like government's not working for them, we now have that opportunity to work together, to turn it around, to create jobs, to rebuild the middle class. and there are a lot of excited members in our conference and i'm sure one of them, i can't wait to get to work, to implement those kind of reforms that are going to be necessary to get our economy moving again, to make america great again, and to get this country back on track. mr. ryan: first i want to congratulate our newest members of our leadership team. i want to congratulate jason smith, i want to congratulate steve stivingers, i want to congratulate doug collins, for being a new part of our great unified leadership team. i just want to say a couple of things. number one, to all americans, to every citizen in this country who's worried about the future of this country and their future, who's worried about the direction we've been
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going, we hear you and we are here to fix problems. we're very excited to get to work. this leadership team is unified, this entire house republican conference is unified. and we are so eager to get to work with our new president-elect to fix america's pressing problems. this is something we're ready to go and this is something we're going to look back upon as a moment where we met the moment the way it needed to be met, by confronting america's problems and fixing them so so that all of our citizens are better off. thank you very much, everybody. appreciate it. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] >> a very short briefing an republican leaders finished up the elections, the conference finishing up the election. pretty much re-electing the slate from the 114th congress. again, house speaker ryan will go up for re-election by the entire house, the 115th
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congress will do that when they gavel back in in january. meanwhile, the lake duck session in the house still has work to do. some bills coming up this afternoon in the house, including the extension, the re-authorizing of sanctions against iran, despite the recent iran nuclear agreement. we will have live coverage of the house when they gavel back in. and it should be shortly. live coverage here on see spaniel. the senate today over on c-span2. yesterday in the house, members honored steve latourette. looks like the house may be coming in now. we're going to take threw, take you there live. h.r. 5732. s the caesar syria civilian rotection act. the speaker pro tempore: will the gentleman -- >> as amended, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 5732, a bill to halt the wholesale slauth over the syrian people, encourage a negotiated political settlement
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and hold syrian civil rights abusers accountable for their crime. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the swrelt from california. mr. royce: i'm going to ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to enter any extraneous material into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: i'm also going to ask unanimous consent to put into the record letters regarding this bill. the speaker pro tempore: so ordered. mr. royce: i yield myself such time as i i might consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: i want to thank first of all the gentleman from new york, mr. i want to thank mr. eliot engel. he's the ranking member of this committee but he is also tissue he has also been the leader in authorizing this critical legislation but also has been such a prophetic voice on this
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subject of syria policy from the beginning from that first day when we saw people out on cnn, out on the streets in damascus, saying, peaceful, peaceful. only to see the automatic weapons of the regime open up on those citizens. from that day forward he's tried to focus us on this issue and i wish this body and i wish the white house had done more to heed his calls. for what we have now is a grim lesson, a grim lesson in human suffering. the syrian regime has launched wave after wave after wave of unrelenting destruction. i'm talking about the air strikes the chemical weapon the starvation, the industrial scale torture. and the deliberate targeting as we've seen time and time again of hospitals and of schools and
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of marketplaces with precision bombs and then with crude barrel bombs and then with chemical weapons. these are the hallmarks of life for millions of people in syria. and the number of dead from this 450,000.eeds and another 14 million souls have been driven from their homes. you know, isis plays a role also for the people of syria in the role of violence that they face there. so it is that they face this twin challenge, but it's al-assad an his backers that have this instrument of death rom the air. this capacity.
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it is russia, it is hezbollah, movers of primary death and destruction. it is the bombers that drop bombs on fighters and schools. it is his billion la and the irtc fighters from iran and the commanders who beseech cities, who burn the crops and prevent food and water and medical supplies from reaching cities. it is assad's secret police and intelligent group, intelligence apparatus of maybe 14 different agencies who kidnap and then torture and then get new names from those they've killed and then go out to repeat that process and murder civilians from every ethnic group and every political party, whether sunni or shia or christian. none are safe. we've gone through in the
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committee some of the -- well, there was tens of thousands of photographs but i think we've identified 11,000 souls, people, these photographs that were individually killed, tortured and killed, in the prisons. assad's prisons. and there is this bizarre, i've never understood it this bizarre focus on recording every death. that's why we know the numbers. recording the deaths and putting a number on that body and cataloging this. for some reason, to tail tear -- otalitarian regime have done this, from the soviet era, to the nazis to pol pot. and for whatever reason, this
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practice continues. the foreign affairs exe heard agonizing testimony to syrians caught in this horror, including the brave syrian defector known o the world now as caesar, who testified to us the shocking scale of torture being carried out within the prisons of syria. it was his job for the regime to document this with his camera. throughout all of the suffering, the administration has failed to use the tools at its disposal. time after time when given the opportunity to take steps to stop this suffering, the administration has decided not to decide. and that itself, unfortunately, has set a course where, here we sit. and we watch, and the violence only worsens. mr. speaker, america has been sitting back and watching these atrocities for far too long.
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vital u.s. national security interests are at stake and from ncreased humanitarian aid to syria's increased assistance to modern opposition to safe zones to the application of u.s. economic power, there are options available. these options are available to us. this particular legislation is designed to increase the cost to assad and to his outside backers. by targeting the sectors of the economy that allow assad to murder with impunity. and under the bill, foreign companies and banks will have to choose between doing business with that regime that is carrying out these kinds of practices or with the united states. for there to be peace in syria, the parties must come together. and as long as assad and his backers can slaughter the people of syria with no consequence, there's no hope for peace this
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bill is long overdue, i urge all member to support the legislation as we seek to ease the suffering of the syrian people and i reserve the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the chair likewises the gentleman from new york, mr. engel. mr. engel: mr. speaker, thank you. i rise in support of my measure and i yield as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: thank you. first of all, as usual, i want to thank our chairman, ed roadways, for his leadership on -- ed roadways, for his leadership on the foreign -- royce, for his leadership on the foreign affairs committee and for bringing this bill forward. i'm proud to have him as my partner and as a lead republican co-sponsor of the bill and more than 80 of our colleagues on both sides of the aisle have joined as co-sponsors, putting their support behind this legislation. this is what i said before, this is what we do best on the foreign affairs committee, mr. speaker. we advance meaningful legislation with broad-based support. mr. speaker, two years ago, as mr. royce just said, a man known as cesar sat before the foreign affairs committee and
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told his story through words and horrificically through pictures. he was a photographer who worked for the assad government in syria. the image he captured of the assad regime's brutality pushed him to defect to the opposition. his real name wasn't cesar. he was in hiding. he wore a max. we couldn't see his face -- mask. we couldn't see his face. these are the images he shared with members of our committee. images of death, torture, unthinkable, inhuman cruelty. i'll never forget what he showed us. we know that when we saw was the smallest fraction of what the assad regime was inflicting ons i own citizens -- on its own citizens. and we no that violence has gone on unabated for at least two years since. those bodies, though dead -- those dead bodies lined up, unbelievable. never get it out of my mind. more is needed to jolt this crisis out of its bloody status quo. i welcome the recent decision
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by the european union to sanction members of the regime responsible for the brutal air campaign against civilians in aleppo. we need to look for more ways to work with partners, to dial up pressure on assad, and his enablers. this bill would give the administration more tools to do so. it would impose new sanctions on any parties that continue to do business with the assad regime. three, 3 n royce said 1/2 a, four years ago, i thought that we should have aided the free syria army. they came to us in washington and begged us for help. they weren't looking for american troops. they were simply looking for weaponry. i really believe if we had given it to them, the situation in syria would have been different today. you can't prove it, because it didn't happen. but all i know is, we never would have imagined that now as we're going into the new year of 2017, assad still clings to power, at the expense of
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killing millions of his citizens. so we need to look for more ways to work with partners, to dial up pressure on assad, and his enablers. this bill would give the administration, as i mentioned, more tools. it would impose new sanctions on any parties that continue to do business with the assad regime. we want to go after the things driving the war machine, money, air planes -- airplanes, spare parts, oil, the military supply chain. and, yes, we want to go after assad's partners in violence, russia's air campaign has enabled the syrian regime, along with iranian and hezbollah forces, russian planes have targeted schools, helicopters and public spaces. when syrian helicopters would attack, at least the civilians would hear them coming and have a few minutes to run for cover. president putin's planes don't even give them that chance. under this legislation, if you're acting as a life line to the assad regime, you risk
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getting caught up in the net of our sanctions. mr. speaker, we mark this bill up in -- marked this bill up in committee several months ago. it was ready to come to the floor before we left for the election. but at the time, a ceasefire showed a glimmer of hope and we thought maybe we could wait because maybe the ceasefire would come. but it didn't. the glimmer has gone out. it's time now, finally, to take a different approach and try to move towards a resolution. when we are on that path, the bill will also help lay the groundwork for addressing the war crimes and the crimes against humanity that have marked this conflict. this bill would will guide efforts to put together efforts for an event prosecution and would enable report -- a report so the world knolls the names of those responsible for -- knows the names of those responsible for these brutal human rights violations. once again, i'm grateful to chairman royce for his leadership, he's been a strong and consistent voice on syria and i know he wants to see an
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end to the bloodshed as well. so i ask all members to support my bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. royce. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm going to yield four minutes to the gentlelady from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, who chairs the foreign affairs subcommittee, on middle east and north africa. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for four minutes. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you very much. i thank the chairman and my good friend, the ranking member, for bringing forth this important bill to the floor before us today. and i rise in strong support of this bill, h.r. 5732. the cesar syrian civilian protection act. a bill of which i'm proud to be an original co-sponsor and i want to thank, again, our wonderful chairman and the esteemed ranking member for always working together in a strong, bipartisan manner to bring important issues to the house floor. and this bill is no exception. often lost in the debate on the
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fight against isis or the future of syria is the humanitarian crisis that has resulted from this conflict that is now in its sixth year with no end in sight. these numbers are horrific, you heard chairman royce and ranking member engel speak of them. hundreds of thousands dead. millions that have fled their homes, millions more who are in desperate need of assistance. yet the assad regime and its pate rons in iran and russia continue to bring pain and suffering to the people of syria and, what's worse, they continue to deny humanitarian assistance to parts of the country. actions need to be taken, mr. speaker, against assad, against his regime, and they need to be taken against those who are providing material support to assad that allows this horrific conflict to continue. accountability is imperative.
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and that's what this bill aims to do. mr. speaker, this bill builds upon a bill that i authored in 2012, which became law. the iran threat reduction and the syria human rights act. it expands the sanctions currently on the books and it gives the administration the tools to go after those who are responsible for this humanitarian crisis and the ongoing suffering of the people of syria. i was so pleased to work with chairman royce and ranking member engel, to include a -- amendments that i authored into this bill that would determine that denying or hindering access to humanitarian aid is indeed a serious human rights violation and as such would allow the administration to sanction any individual responsible for doing so. the united nations security council has already passed several resolutions to allow
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for direct and free access to humanitarian aid. but, mr. speaker, it was reported in a recent g.a.o. review that i commissioned alongside our esteemed foreign affairs colleagues, congressman ted deutch, ron desantis and jerry connolly, the assad regime between the years 2015 and early of this year has requests of the 113 from the united nations to deliver humanitarian aid. this is unconscionable. this must be put to an end immediately. and this step, therefore, mr. speaker, is a step in that correct direction. to bring accountability to assad and the supporters of this evil regime, for the atrocities they have committed or are complicit in. and i would urge my colleagues to support this important measure before us. i would urge the administration to lend its strong support for
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this bill and use this legislation as an opportunity to fully and vigorously enforce these sanctions in an attempt to put an end to one of the greatest humanitarian tragedies in a generation. thank you, mr. speaker, thank you, mr. royce, thank you, mr. engel, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: mr. speaker, i now yield four minutes to the gentleman from michigan, mr. kildee, who is an original sponsor -- co-sponsor of the bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for four minutes. mr. kildee: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my friend, the ranking member, and chairman royce, for your work on this really important piece of legislation. for five years, for five long years, the world has witnessed this terrible tragedy unfold before our eyes. nearly half a million syrians
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killed. not soldiers, men, women, children killed. five million syrian citizens driven from their own country. 10 million displaced from their homes, often leaving homes that have generation ar generation of history -- after generation of history. leaving behind their legacy. atrocities, as we've recounted. the targetsing of children, the targeting of -- targeting of children, the targeting of hospitals, the targeting of schools. clearly this congress can and should act and that's why i'm so pleased to be a co-sponsor of this and to join my colleagues in supporting this important legislation. this legislation would bring much-needed and long overdue accountability to the assad regime. after all, they're responsible for these horrific crimes. it would do so by imposing sanctions on those responsible and for those who are abetting
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these cold-hearted and merciless acts. it would authorize the department of state to do what they need to do to assist those entities, investigating these terrible war crimes, and to hold this regime, the assad regime, accountable. and it would mandate that the u.s. government explore every option available to it to address this horrific conflict. and to do whatever we can in order to bring it to an end. to use every tool we have available to us to stand with the syrian people. assad must be held accountable. for this massacre. the massacre of his own people. it's also important that, as we move forward with this legislation, that we pause for a moment to thank those many people who have worked for so long to get this legislation to the floor. and i'm talking about citizens,
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particularly a lot of young people who have made it their cause, facing incredible pain, have made it their cause to ensure that this day comes. let's not just stand with the syrian people against assad, but also stand with those who have brought this question to s and validate and support their exercise of their civic responsibility, of their democratic efforts, to get this congress to do the work of the american people. our principles demand that we support this legislation. this is the american thing to do. we have to act and i'm proud to stand with my colleagues and encourage all my colleagues, democrats and republicans, to speak with one voice on this matter and pass this really critical and important humanitarian legislation. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back and i thank the ranking member for his time and i thank the chairman for his efforts on
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this matter. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the .alance of his time the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. royce. mr. royce: mr. speaker, i'm going to yield two minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. curbelo. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for 2001 -- is recognized for two muns -- minutes. curb curb i thank the ch -- mr. curbelo: i thank the chairman for yielding. i rise in strong support of h.r. 573 2, the cesar syria civilian protection act of 2016. this legislation would impose sanctions on those who are responsible for the syrian humanitarian crisis and on those who hinder or deny humanitarian assistance in syria by declaring that to be a serious abuse of human rights. i have consistently said that the conflict in syria is one of the greatest blemishes on human history. and it's imperative that we do more to put an end to it. bashar al-assad's regime has committed horrific abuses against civilians in his country by employing widespread
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torture and other tactics that have shocked the international community. the regime also continues to blockade from reaching parts of syria, in spite of u.n. security council resolutions calling for access to humanitarian assistance. this legislation holds not only regime officials accountable, but also those who are providing the regime the support it needs to carry out its appalling crimes. . millions have been forced to escape their homes and unbliveable conditions. half a mill people have died. i believe strong action is long overdue. h.r. 5732 is a step forward and i encourage all my colleagues to vote in favor of it. i want to thank representative engel for introducing this important legislation and chairman royce for all of his work. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore:


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