tv Newsmakers with Representative John Yarmuth CSPAN April 24, 2017 2:18pm-2:52pm EDT
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john yarmuth, the senior democrat on the budget committee, and he announced that he will be a candidate for reelection. it will be a seventh term. thank you for being with us. >> the current funding expires on april 28. are we a week away from the government shutdown? >> i think it is highly unlikely. i think we will see a short-term that will provide enough time for negotiations to take place. i think both sides have some things they would like to see in any funding mechanism.
so i suspect we will look for some more time to do this rather than to get that a congress in three days next week. theepublicans who control white house and congress, but i hear democrats say the democrats have the upper hand, very much like it would be under president obama. do you agree? >> we have a lot of negotiation leverage in this negotiation. every budget deal over the last ears have been done with democratic votes. i think that will be the situation again this year. they will need democratic votes in both the house and senate. things that the republicans want to put in this funding mechanism that we do not like will be -- i think we got the advantage on that, on those issues, and possibly the one thing that i think we would like authorization the
for funding for the cost-sharing reductions in health care. >> believe you will get that in the bill? wei do not know, but i think are in a good negotiating position. charge oficans are in the entire government, and nobody is going to confuse who is to blame if the government gets shutdown down and the ensuing disruptions, what that would mean. republicans want to make sure that they get something done more than we do. the elements of compromise i am hearing about is democrats may be willing to increase the defense budget somewhat using more funding as a way of making a compromise. is that something you would support? >> it depends. the administration, when they propose they are skinny budget $54 month, asked for
billion for defense and a cut in nondiscretionary spending. if an increase in defense spending comes at the cost of any reduction in nondefense discretionary, that would be a nonstarter. if we could come to an agreement on a proportionate increase in defense and nondefense, that is something i would support. one more thing. it seems like the border wall is a big issue. how do you see that getting solved? will that receive any funding? >> i doubt it. big appetite for border funny. border statet of republicans who are not enthusiastic. i am not sure that is going to be a sticking point. i know the administration would like to see that, but i am not sure congress is very hungry for
that. >> if i could go to the cost-sharing reduction, the aca payments to insurers, how long would democrats like to see those payments appropriated in the president has indicated he might withhold paying them on the administration side? is that something you would like to see permanent, or are you just talking about this full-year 2017? >> i would like to see the reauthorization permanent, but realistically that is not doable. certainly we want to make sure there is no disruption in the individual insurance market based on a potentially adverse appeal in the court system, where that case now rests, or some other move on the part of the administration. we want to make sure we have it for the rest of the fiscal year, and then we can negotiate past that.
there's a new discussion today from tom macarthur that looks like republicans are trying to revise their talks on that bill. do you see anything that you could support, and do you think republicans have any shot at getting this across the finish line? >> the answered your first question is i find it hard to believe they could pose anything that i would support. what we saw with the last episode a few weeks ago was no matter what they try to do to the affordable care act, it resulted in millions of americans losing coverage and the litigant portions of people in the individual market experiencing genetic increases in premiums. i do not see how they can avoid that, even going to the high-risk pools, which is apparently is at the core of the compromise they are trying to propose. i do not think there will be any support for a new proposal from
it highly and i find unlikely republicans will be able to muster the 216 votes they need either. >> your own party leaders have said there are problems with obamacare. president trump dropped his resistance on repeal. your party is going to work with him. what will your role be in the coming weeks to craft an alternative democratic legit? what are your thoughts on that, single-payer option? how would you propose fixing obamacare if you had your ability to do so? mr. yarmuth: first of all, i am a strong supporter of single-payer. i would love to do that, but our leadership is not prepared to focus on single-payer right now. i think most of the caucus would would say that, to make sure we don't lose ground in the health care area.
i don't think we will be proposing single-payer. inhink that, we would be, our budget, talking about the cost-sharing reductions making sure funding was there for that. no other provisions act of sabotage if we put the risk corridors back in, being the payments made to insurance companies to guarantee they did not suffer from adverse selection getting a disproportionate amount of sick patients versus healthy ones. so that is where i think we probably want to go in our think, but even though i a majority of the democratic caucus would get behind these single-payer proposals, we are not credit -- quite ready to go that way. any taxes in the affordable care act that you would like to see you raised or -- erased or raced
tweaked? some democrats have proposed a few of those like the medical device tax. representative yarmuth: i have never understood this controversy over the medical device tax. here you are talking about one of the most profitable industries on the face of the earth, a tax that was agreed upon in the negotiations of the affordable care act, and what would end up, if we removed that that tax, would be the only segment of the medical universe that doesn't help pay for the cost of the affordable care act, hospitals, drug companies, everybody else's pain for that helping contribute to the cost , of the program. i have no interest at all in changing the medical device tax. the cadillac tasks, that is something you get a lot of bipartisan support for repealing at this point. the one thing i have always said
and suggested to my republican colleagues that they ought to do is repeal the employer mandate because probably democrats would support repealing the lawyer becausemployer mandate, we don't need it to make the work effective. you could argue it is not good for business, but it also is not good for workers, because there would not be an incentive for employers to start playing around with workers hours and cutting back and so forth. if i was republican, i would repeal the employer mandate and call it a victory. halfway point.e >> returning to the subject of tax, as part of the alternative budget, you will have the opportunity to lay out tax. do you see the advancing corporate proposal as a part of that alternative budget? representative yarmuth: we will be proposing additional tax revenue, but we will not be specific about it.
we don't need to be specific about where we would get it in our budget. but we would be anticipating additional revenue. that is where we will be in the budget. >> your former budget committee colleague, mick mulvaney, now the white house director, recently on cnbc, said he doesn't care what tax proposal does to the deficit. he said what is more important people keep the money they earn, and mr. yarmuth: mick is a friend of mine, and i thought it would be hard to reconcile philosophy and principles with the administration. this is one of those areas where he will have a hard time doing it. so i think to enter into a
comprehensive tax reform initiative, basically saying you will add hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit and the debt is something that i think will not sit very well with a big portion of the republicans in congress. they have to consider what kind of impact of will have on their ability to get votes in the congress. ultimately the tax reform could get some democratic votes, but they will have a hard time if they blow a hole in the deficit with that attitude. kristina: right as lawmakers were leaving for a recess, president trump had just launched strikes against syria. do you think there will be a real debate about this when you return? i know lawmakers say the president needs to consult with congress, but it has not been appetite to take a tough vote on authorizing military force. do you think that will change
now? mr. yarmuth: i think congress needs to be engaged. we need to assert our prerogatives under the war powers act. when president obama had authorization in 2013, we got the most disproportionate constituent response in my 10-plus years, 200 to one against involvement. that was consistent reaction in democratic and republican offices. so i think the public opinion may have shifted slightly. i don't think there is much interest among the american people that heavy involvement in the middle east, certainly in syria, so i think we have to have the debate. i would call on speaker ryan majority leader mcconnell to demand a vote not on just going
forward but perspective of authorizing military activity and retroactively approving this event. members have to go on record approving what the president did. kristina: if you were to revive this debate about military force, would there be specific constraints they would want to put on the president, the u.s. ground troops, or the timeline that could be authorized for? would you want to set it at a certain point? mr. yarmuth: situation around the world is so volatile, it is very difficult to establish parameters of the use of force. things can change on a moments notice. the president has the ability to act in emergency fashion to defend the country and then become the congress minority. i am not worried about drawing lines. i just want the trump
administration to come to congress and say, here is -- we want the authority to commit under whatever terms they compose and let them consider them. i am not sure i am in a position personally to say what kind of conditions i would want. i want to see what they have in mind. erik: are there things you can see working with president trump to get accomplish? he has mentioned infrastructure. are there other things you see congressmen and the president getting together from a democratic point of view? mr. yarmuth: i am seeing less and less -- fewer prospects for collaboration. infrastructure is a natural. we would have a difference on the funding of it according to what we have heard out of the white house. we don't want this to be
investor driven and investor manifested -- benefiting proposal. we wanted to be something where the american people through their governments at every level decide what be to be built, but we can work with the white house. i would welcome that opportunity. we can do criminal justice reform on a bipartisan basis, and they wanted to engage on immigration reform. i know that bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform can be done if the republicans have the courage to say, let's solve a very am a very serious problem in a comprehensive way. i know we can do it because it was done. we finally got our bill to the floor, even though we thought we had a majority to pass, and the senate had passed a bipartisan bill. so those are the three if the white house is interested. host: during the break there
were a number of town hall meetings around the country, and some of them quite volatile. activists on the democratic side of insist there be no compromise with democrats of the trump administration. what do you see as the power of the activists going forward, and what will be successful? mr. yarmuth: i think this is an incredible opportunity for democrats, but more importantly it is an incredible opportunity for the reassertion of the act of democracy. when a health-care proposal from the republicans was beaten back a few weeks ago, it wasn't because of us and the congress it was because people rose up and made their opinions known and their passion known. we are seeing that everywhere. the thing that is assuring to me is that while many people involved in the individual movements and others have particular issues about whether
it is gun safety or immigration reform or lgbtq rights or voting rights or can't find finance -- campaign finance or other issues, the administration understand that unless we win control of legislative countries, nobody gets what they want. so there is a much greater willingness to kind of accept will willingness to kind of accept differences on certain issues with the greater goal in mind. just the other night, bernie sanders was in louisville with tom perez. there come together to fight back tour, and the response was amazing. that was the theme of it. we need a big tent party, and if we do, allow this energy to permeate the party, we will have a good chance of taking back the
congress next year and state legislatures around the country. erik: on activism, do you see the democratic aggressive factor is helping you address the state budget cuts trump is proposing, 30% to state? do see yourself being successful? mr. yarmuth: absolutely. virtually everyone who observed that are looked at the budget said it was dead on arrival when it was issued. 30% thoughts at the state department and 20% cuts at the nih, and the community block grants that fund meals on wheels, totally defunding national endowment for the arts, humanities, and the corporation for public broadcasting.
those programs and entities have huge support in red and blue districts. that was -- i know some people called it the opening bid in the budget negotiations. to be honest, that was a mick mulvaney-inspired document and not something that reflects where the president is. kristina: do you think house republicans can craft and pass a budget of their own? last year they could not, but there is a carrot dangling wanting the reconciliation to pass the tax reform bill, but there are divisions over spending levels and what priorities they want to see. do you think they will be able to come together this time?
mr. yarmuth: i would bet against it. it is only can say, i would bet against it. kristina: why is that? mr. yarmuth: for most of the reasons you mentioned. they have total differences. they are not going to get very close, i would not think, to a budget democrats can support. if they don't insist on cuts to match increases in defense spending, if they increase in defense spending which you know the annual republican budget is going to do, and don't have significant increases on nondefense, you will get no democratic support. and the other, you will lose republicans. the dynamics are not there for reaching republican votes, and they would have to have just republican votes on the budget. erik: talking about the countdown to a government shutdown, you also have one to the kentucky derby?
mr. yarmuth: in my office we have a countdown that starts 365 days out. today is the 20th, so we are 16 days away. i look forward to the derby festival, saturday night started after the show airs. thunder over louisville, one of the largest fireworks displays in the world, it draws close to one million people. then we have about 90 different events over the next two weeks leading up to the first saturday in may and the greatest 10 minutes in sports. this community is revving up. the burden is flowing. host: that seems like a good way to end. there is no appetite for a government shutdown, despite all the differences in the republican party and the other two parties. that is the message you want to leave with viewers this week?
mr. yarmuth: absolutely. everybody learned their lesson in 2013. host: thank you for being with us on newsmakers. we appreciate your time. mr. yarmuth: thanks for having me. host: you talked to a lot of other members and their staff. is the correct there is no appetite for standing firm on this budget, even if it means a temporary shutdown? erik: there is some posturing going on with negotiations. the white house is saying, we have to have some win. the theory would be the president would veto a bill if he did not get a win. but will he redo of bill and shut down the government? it will be his 100th day in office. that would be an empty threat. but there does seem to be a compromise on the table to allow both to frame a win, which is the way things work. it depends on if things would come together in time or you need a short-term stopgap.
kristina: my consensus is there is not a lot of appetite for a shutdown on capitol hill. maybe a strong phrase, since we have seen house republicans fight the same fights over again, but this particular fight is not one they want to pick. it is a new president, new administration, not clear that they have quite the same desire to avoid a shutdown or near shutdown in the dramatic headlines that would generate. host: people needed a timeout. two weeks ago, things were pretty acrimonious in this town particularly on the senate side of the senate confirmation process for neil gorsuch. what is your thoughts when they return? will the temperature be as high? is there an appetite for
compromise? kristina: it could be a messy compromise? week, and the reason is that the 100 day mark puts pressure on the white house to get a win on the board. sounds like they want that to be on the health care bill, and is not clear if they can get that. if you tie up a big part of the week fighting over the health care bill when you have a government shutdown looming, you risk running out of time. erik: i would also say one comedy is the appropriations committee. they do their work behind the scenes, and there is a lot of agreement they know how to compromise, and they have to produce these bills or some version of that every year. sometimes they, sure to do a stopgap, but they are working along. they say, leave us alone, we will have a deal can coalesce around. but aides on the committee say trump is a wildcard, and if he reads the deal, he could put a stop to it. kristina: i agree, and if the appropriations members are the
only ones who voted to never have a government shutdown or anything close to it, the trick is they need to pass the whole house and the whole senate. that is where we can run into problems. host: what are they saying at this point? have they been active during the break? are they prepared to compromise or hold their ground? erik: they will vote against the bill. they don't have much of a seat at the table because leadership goes to democrats immediately to craft a bill. the freedom caucus has been involved in trying to revive the obamacare bill from our reporting. so their efforts in the most recent days have been trying to bring that back next week. host: what do they want to look like? erik: they want the bill essentially to weaken insurance company regulations.
cheaper health plans. they are concerned with the high cost of premiums and believe that basically weakening regulations that have governed everything from pre-existing conditions to community health ratings would do that. democrats are coming back and saying, people will buy the plans thinking they are covered, but it is wrong. so within the republican party's, there is a compromise on the table a couple days that would allow states to opt out of the regulations. that could theoretically work because members from northeast states who are moderate republicans say my states still have coverage. the plan did not have the votes to pass. host: tax reform and health care were supposed to be of a piece per republicans and the trump administration. i am wondering what the concern in the town is about the debt,
because we heard from mr. yarmuth that their grounds for compromise would be no cuts in discretionary or few cuts in discretionary, so that sounds like more spending overall. where is the concern for members of congress? kristina: i think it is really low on their list of priorities these days. that is because it is not a priority of president trump, not something he talks about on the campaign trail, does not want to touch social security spending or titlements at all. you have not seen it be a driving factor in these talks. that could change, but unless the president were to engage on
it, when you make cuts that hard and painful, and you avoid that, it is easier for everybody. erik: there will be more clarity in late may with the budget release for 2018. many republicans have tried to have a balance in 10 years. the budget will not balance in 10 years. it will be a signal that deficit is no longer the top priority. host: what will that faye to the market? erik: generally they consider arrival advisory at best. there were some reporting i have done that show the budget will not have a complete tax reform plan in it, and that is something the markets are very sensitive to. they want a tax cut to the extent that the budget just show some numbers but no details, that could promote market reaction. host: thank you for being with
us. it will be a very busy week for capitol hill. erik: thank you so much. kristina: thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] >> attorney general jeff sessions speaks today about ethicale integrity and standards at the annual ethics and compliance initiative conference here in washington. includes former justice department officials from the clinton, george w. bush, and obama administrations. 3:15 here onat c-span. join us tonight for remarks from former president barack obama. he was in chicago for his first public appearance since leaving office. talked about civic engagement and community organizing with young adults at the university of chicago. tonightsee the event starting at 8:00 eastern right here on c-span.
>> tonight on "the communicators" we attended the state of the net conference and with a professor about issues with internet use today. >> i am concerned when countries try to start us try to shut off internet access or monitor the internet in a major way. that is not my concept of internet freedom. >> there's a lot of pressure on inner mediators to put pressure to suppress communication of these people who are pro-isis and that is one of these fine lines that you have to draw in internet governance. watch "the communicators" tonight on c-span2. >> in case you missed it, on
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