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tv   Rep. Cummings on House Democratic Leadership Elections  CSPAN  November 28, 2018 8:26pm-9:02pm EST

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these are not easy positions to be in but we have to have this onversation. >> [inaudible] >> we'll see. highwaymy hope is we'll continue the conversation because i think the more we talk, the more productive we can be. but i for one think we have to put a focus on listening to [indiscernible] willsaid this before and i say this again. she is a phenomenal person and leader.
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and then what is very important to me as maryland one of the things i said when i was democrats dowe as not have much time to show the nation true leadership. over the last two years, we have been blocked and every way. oversight,ommittee, the republicans have basically aided and abetted our president. the number of things he has done that have made many of our constituents feel bad. to lead. our chance
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, jimnk nancy pelosi clyburn, will put us in that position where we can not hit the ground running but hit the ground flying. >> what message will they sent to voters? [indiscernible] you nancy pelosi -- i don't have any doubt. i don't anticipate that. we have dealt with the this is not the party of president trump. is wee have to do now have to reclaim civility, number one. why do we need to reclaim civility? so we can be efficient with the
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things we do. the american people have been very clear. even people who are big-time trump supporters, what they said, we want you, democrats to hold our president accountable. we are in a position to do something else. we are not going to spend all our time issuing subpoenas. we want to spend our time addressing problems that address the american people on a day-to-day basis. that is what the american people want. they want us to deal with things like drugs. health care. making sure that we deal with issues like voting rights. the voting situation in our country has become in some instances very sad. we go around the world trying to
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democracy, but. we have people standing in lines the voting booths outside the , so people can't vote. they are trying to prevent people from voting. we have a lot of work to do. we have very little time to do it. tot's why it is so important vote. i think that is like -- that is it is annuary 3, important day. what would you say
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about the democrats not wanting to support nancy pelosi? way, we need: in a a clear picture. what i would say to them is that here we are, a woman who has given her blood, sweat, and tears. again.d over the most phenomenal of any speaker ever to serve in the house. i could go on and on. has led a time when she us to have one of the greatest women we have ever had. i would say to them, what do you want? -- itime that this woman
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is not just that she is a woman, she is a great woman and later. -- and later. -- and leader. i just cannot imagine taking her to when women are emerging their rightful places and our congress. i am the son of a female pastor, all my life. that i answered your questions. even the members that are against her, look at what she has done with regards to bringing in new people. she has done all kinds of reforms, done a lot of good things. one of the things they need to understand is that she has been through a lot. she has seen a lot.
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theink that we need to mix older with the middle and the new. as far as leadership is concerned. i think we her -- we are beginning to see that happen. again, we have to leave right now-- reporter: [indiscernible] nancy pelosi, watching her, i do not mind her being in leadership for longtime. -- for a long time. she is able to take a diverse caucus and get people to do they might maybe otherwise not want to do.
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i remember dealing with the affordable care act. [indiscernible] she knows her members, she understands them. she makes sure that she places people in positions that they can handle. i think nancy pelosi would be good for us in the caucus because it would allow us to go in there and get things done and done fast.
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i want to make sure that we have -- he said he wanted to make sure that people were protected in regard to pre-existing initiative and things of that nature. what we are saying to the president and i think nancy is a want to deliver that message, is mr. president, you want to do these things, let's do them together and let's make them happen. i think we have a golden opportunity now to get something done, hopefully. and now that we do not have republicans in the congress locking us from everything we want to do, i think we will be at the position to get things done. and hopefully the people will -- the democrats and pelosi thank you, all.
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[indistinct chatter] >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies and today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington dc and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. thursday on the c-span
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at 10 a.m.e return for speeches. at no, they take up some controversial bills. on c-span2, the senate continues work on the thomas nomination to the u.s. district court in north carolina. at 9 a.m. on c-span3, outgoing house speaker paul ryan it's down for an interview with the washington post. at 10 a.m., the house and government report committee -- reform committee evaluated disaster response and recovery efforts with fema administrator -- with a fema administrator. the subcommittee hearing on policy on syria and administration response to humanitarian needs in the refugee crisis. -- and the refugee crisis. q&a, we visit the washington library at mount vernon for the 2018 founding debates program featuring historians. they are discussing what it means to be american. >> one nation, indivisible and a
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sense was we are all together, right? that is somehow elemental to what it means to be an american. the american >> character -- the american character, it means to improvise. when you look at george washington, 1777 at valley forge, the ability to improvise -- two behemoths like a guerrilla fighter and live off the land. like a guerrilla fighter and live off the land. >> i think at the beginning that everyone was included. minority corpse -- minority groups were not and women were not considered citizens, rarely. that changes over time. over time, more and more people are bring -- brought into the american family. >> sunday night, i did eastern on c-span's q&a.
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our final guess what the day democratic chair of the public -- democracy force task force. op-ed withy wrote an the majority leader, the speaker of the house nancy pelosi about the legislative effort you are planning on introducing first area what is that. -- what is that? it would be a brought democracy reform package to address a number of areas where i think the public is starved to see that their voice matters again. we want to make sure that it is easy, not hard to vote in america. it shouldn't be an obstacle course. there's a lot of things we can do to strengthen the opportunity to vote across this country. the second thing we want to look at is ethics and integrity. i think people want to know that when you go to washington as a
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lawmaker, you should behave yourself. and there's a lot of rules that we needed to put in place, guidelines to govern behavior in the executive branch and legislative branch, but that's just about basic accountability. people who are elected ought to occupy those offices as an office of public, and not be there for personal advancement or their own gain. and the third area which is really important, this is where people feel that they are really being disrespected every day, there's so much influence in washington by big money and special interests. this makes the average person feel like they are left out, but they don't really have a voice in the way policy is made. and so we got to address the influence that money has area and we can do that by putting curves on the way lobbyists operate, we can add more transparency and disclosure in terms of where that big money is coming up. that secret money come outside money. fundamentally, the power move by set up ac would be to
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new way of funding campaigns in america that is powered by small donors and matching funds. so candidates can step forward, turn to the broad public, say to them that you power our campaigns, we will work for you. instead of the candidates always having to go to the pacs and the lobbyist and the deep-pocketed donors to fund their campaigns. getting that big money pushed back so it doesn't have so much influence in washington is another key elements. those are a whole set of democracy reforms that make a powerful statement to the public that we hear them, we want to give them their voice back. we want that to be the first order of business, hr one to come out next congress. host: those are the three main topics of what is known as hr one, the first bill to come out from the democrats if they take our next year. if you want to talk to the congressman about the severance and other issues, (202) 748-8000 for democrats. (202) 748-8001 for republicans.
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(202) 748-8002 for independents. by these proposals versus anything you could come up with first? the democracy reform task force which i've been able to share the last couple of years, was given an expansive charge. they will see what wrong with a broken democracy and see if we can assemble that. we realized talking to people out there in the public that their confidence about our ability to do other things, whether it jobs or gun safety legislation or health care or immigration, whatever it is, their confidence that we can get , is reinforcedup if they feel like the whole system is functioning better. like the democratic machinery really works for them. so that's why we have to set the table first with something that says this is who we are, this is what we stand for as democrats. see that it works for
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the broad public and if we can do that, then all these other things that we want to see, they can actually happen. people are smart. they get it. you want to do jobs, you want to do these other things, you want to lower prescription drug prices but big pharma has too much influence. to them that we are going to fix that system, make democracy work better, than when we go with these other proposals, they say no you are talking, let's make it happen. that's what we want to make it first. host: a partyline vote with democrats supporting this and republicans against the? guest: coming out of the democratic quarter because a lot of the proposals have let on traditionally. i would love to get bipartisan support for this. actually, when you talk to people out in the country, they support these kinds of democracy reforms across the political spectrum. it's not just democrats, it's not just independents and
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republicans, one group of them. if everybody who sees this as powerful reforms. in fact, the polling shows that for independents, the number one issue in the last campaign was corruption. they want to see washington work better for them and i think that's how everybody out there feels. let's go do that. let's restore democracy. give it back to its rightful owners which are the people of this country. optimism of the senate and the president supporting this effort? guest: it's going to be top in the senate. unfortunately, mitch mcconnell in the senate for the republicans, he has fought against a lot of these reforms for years. i mean, he has made it easier for big money to come in and run the show in washington, so he will be pushing back. what if we come out with a strong, forceful declaration early in the next congress and we show that the people are responding to that, that they believe that where we need to take our democracy, that can put
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pressure on everybody here in washington. and mayberepublicans, we will get some of them on, and maybe we some pieces of this to the senate as well. host: democrats saying why not open with just an investigation, why not start with that? guest: oversight is going to be an important part of it. was been going on in these agencies and so forth. that's certainly one track. at the same time, even as you are calling out lack of accountability on the part of this white house and friendly, and a lot of republicans in congress, you should be putting forward an affirmative set of positive reforms. they don't have anything to do really with specific scandals, but they are about broadly fixing, systemically fixing the way washington operates. people want to see that. they are fed up with this idea that they are somehow less of how decisions are made here.
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we can bring them back in, but we got to do these reforms to achieve that. call comes from california, san bernardino of the democrats line. walter, you are on. go ahead. caller: yes, i would like to talk about the citizens united. country,e, as a finished out of politics and keep it within the state. the public we it local televisions to give some of these ads for free? without all this money involved. so people don't have to vote with them. years agoion that coming down the tram one morning, you that were the only one talking about
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change and i just wanted to say that. i know you are, and i respect you and what you do. guest: thanks very much for the question. obviously the citizens united case, coming up on the ninth anniversary of that case in the supreme court. it was really a tragedy in terms of unleashing big money coming into our democracy, kind of flooding the zone and having way too much influence. as you probably know, there's an effort underway for a constitutional amendment that would allow congress to regulate big money in our politics and try to diminish that influence. that's a tough process to get a constitutional amendment, but i think it's a very powerful effort. we need to push forward with that because it's crazy to have in,uch money flowing flowing into our politics. it's bound to have a negative influence. in the meantime, what we can do is insist on more transparency and disclosure.
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where's that money coming from, who is standing behind it? so wee the major donors know who those millionaires and billionaires are? one of the proposal that we put into this package, this reform on moreis to insist disclosure. and transparency, so we know where that money is coming from. i appreciate the question about citizens and there are ways to push back on that decision. it doesn't make sense to suggest the corporations are the same as people, or the money is speech when it comes to politics. that's where the court is right now, but there are things we can do to respond to that. host: washington, d.c. this is alan, hello. you're taking my call, i for ship to work that the congressman has been doing over the years. used to beocrats really good on the student loan issue. like 20 years ago, it seems like they are just not now.
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and they are looking at things that have nothing to do with the real-life american people, particularly the 44 million people who are being absolutely wrecked by the student loan problem. now, you know, every loan in this country has bankruptcy rates. but for student loans. this is in the constitution. the founders called for bankruptcy rights i had of the cold war and in the constitution. and we're seeing that it was a uniquely away from student loans. and conservative people are calling for the return of bankruptcy, some democrats are. know, i'm looking over the next two years, and i'm not seeing any reason to believe that the democrats are going to do anything. this is gross neglect. host: we will leave it there, thanks. this: i care deeply about issue, i authored the public service loan forgiveness act a little more than 10 years ago. from would provide relief student loans, for people that wanted to go in the public
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service, it would reduce their monthly bills on student loans and would also give them a forgiveness opportunity. unfortunately, this administration is doing everything it can along with allies and republican congress to try to undermine that student loan forgiveness program. is that nowell you that the democrats have a gavel in the house of representatives, and we are going to be in to control the docket in terms of the oversight committees, oversight in the oversight and government reform committee, oversight in education and labor, there will be hearings on this issue of student loans and student debt. we are going to get to the bottom of whether some of these private lenders who are in this space are making out like bandits at the expense of the borrowers out there. we should have a federal government whose agencies are protecting the borrowers, not industry, the lending
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which is what has been happening over the last couple of years. tuned, because that, i know is a priority item among many that democrats want to look at now that we have the ability to decide what hearing should take place, call witnesses, and insistingthat we are on the accountability and transparency that should apply across the board including with respect to student loans. host: another democrat from chicago, this is mary. caller: thanks for taking my call. john, i would like to have you answer one question for me. and then go to washington and put it on the floor. would you not say that all in all, history books are going to obamatten wrong because was not the first black president of the united states. he is the first mixed president of the united states. what happened about his white
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mother? ok? did they forget about that? host: thanks. guest: i'm not going to jump into this debate which i think you are trying to start there, president obama was very transparent about his lineage on both sides of the family. i think the legacy of president obama is that he was able to this out to people across country, of all backgrounds, of all ethnicities and races, and political persuasions. and put together a very strong support within the electorate. and i think that was a hallmark of his presidency. his insistence on reaching out to everybody, to every citizen in this country, trying to bring us together, wherever possible, rather than trying to divide us. and i think that's something that most americans appreciate from his time as president. host: a recent editorial from
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investor's business talks of a hr one, specifically what you are hoping to do with citizens united. saying democrats have attacked it, they want a constitutional amendment that would overturn the ruling and other related rulings. so congress can regular the risen and spending a blow to money, adding that senator ted cruz had it right when he called this idea and assault on free speech and said "we give congress the power to regulate and ban speech by everybody. guest: you can have reasonable limitations on the way money is spent in our politics during i mean, the court has made this decision that they want to equate money and politics with free speech. i think most citizens out here to see a distinction. the fact of the matter is that we shouldn't have a system where the superpacs are allowed to come in and put millions of dollars, often hidden millions of dollars into our politics at the last minute to try to sway the electorate. americans, while
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they want to certainly protect the first amendment, and i'm among those who want to do that and keep it strong, understand that we can put some reasonable regulation and limitations on how money operates in the political environment. and that is what the response to the citizens united case needs to be. that we are arguing for when people talk about a constitutional amendment. or when they talk about the idea of more transparency and disclosure. at least we know where that money is coming from. people have a right to know these things. host: let's hear from a republican in michigan. mark. caller: i would just like to comment on money in politics. and politics was the most important thing, hillary and beto the white house. and i don't see federalization of the voting. anytime there is better to anything it gets screwed up. thank you. guest: in terms of the
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federalization of voting, we can set some standards that states can aspire to some particularly if they want to give some of this federal funding, they can help support their election systems in their states and that's important just to help america vote act in 2002 which resources. but if you're going to access those resources, you should meet certain standards about how voting operates in your state. there should be a certain number of early voting days, registration should be easier, not hard for people to be able to access. again, it's just removing this obstacle worse that in a lot of places exist when people just want to get to the ballot box. we are 240 years into this experiment of our democracy. and we still can't seem to get the voting peas worked out. so we can do it without a lot of drama every two years. those are the kinds of standards we want to put in place. on your other point, this idea that if money mattered, but certain people would be in office because they can raise a lot of money, yes, money matters
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in the elections, and it has an impact. we also got to look at how money influences things after the election is over. and i have been focused a lot on that, because what happens is when people are elected and get to washington, they often turn around and start doing the bidding of the people that have contributed to their campaigns, the big money crowd. instead of doing the bidding of the voters that elected them. if we could create a new way of funding campaigns are everyday citizens are the ones that are powering those campaigns, then when people got to washington to represent everyday americans out there, they wouldn't get swayed by the big money, because they know that they are accountable to and are being powered by the broad public. this is about, where's the money coming from? where does the power reside? we think it ought to reside with the people, that everyday citizens with small donors using matching funds to help
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candidates so that it's not the lobbyists and the big-money crowd and the insiders that call the shots here in washington. it's the broad public, if the american people, that's the idea. host: from maryland, independent line. caller: high, how are you? i'm glad that you are my representative. a couple of things. one, why don't the democrats use the word tension for social security? that basically is what it is. also, why hasn't anyone talked about the $3 trillion that has been taken from our security accounts by various administrations? and the last thing i'm going to say is, i have been working with the constitutional professors at university of maryland and we are going to file a suit against , unfortunately, you will be named. saying that if the corporation is a senator and they have
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access because of the money that they are given, that is fine. but they are knowledge voiding my vote, i am one citizen, they are one citizen. to pullre going to try citizens united into this by saying they are knowledge voiding millions of votes. i would like to know what about the social security trust fund that has been mentioned to try to overturn citizens united. guest: well, thanks for those questions and i'm glad you appreciate the representation i'm trying to offer to laurel. when it comes to those addressing this decision, the citizens united decision, the prudence from this court is equating money and speech when you get into the political space. i think all the different ways that we can kind of attack that and expose that and try to push
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back on that decision makes sense to pursue. i would be interested in the actions, the initiative that you just referred to. thatrms of the circuit social security trust fund, it has happened over the last few years is the kind of accounting gimmicks. sometimes, the trust fund is used to hide the deficit. actual moneyot being taken out of this trust fund, but it's used to camouflage the deficit, and that's not right, we shouldn't be playing around with the way the accounting works in terms of social security. we got to keep it strong, we got to keep that transparent, we've got to make sure that we are very accountable in terms of how the trust fund operates and certainly i advocate strongly for that. on your first point, i agree with you that a lot of times, social security is referred to and medicare as entitlement programs area i think it's better, it's fairer to agree to
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them as earned benefit programs because this is a bargain that if made by our seniors that you pay into the system over time, if you work and pay into the system, then you are entitled to those benefits and you get to your retirement years. and that's why we've got to keep them strong, because that's the fundamental bargain that the government makes with the people in this country that we are going to make sure you have something when you are in your later years. we do need to strengthen the overall pension system in addition to social security. we don't really have a very good private pension system in america when you compare it to what other countries around the world have done. we can do much better with that. i think that's something democrats are interested in pursuing as we move forward with our legislative agenda. host: maryland, democrats line, brian. caller: this is brian. i was wondering, why hasn't any
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the conflictof before afghanistan -- there are people that have ptsd due to those conflicts. i was wondering why they don't do anything, that this is put on them? your: i a first get question about our veterans and making sure that they are accessing the benefits and the support services that they are entitled to. focus ofvery important certain committees in the congress. that's an issue i have given a lot of attention to and there's a lot of veterans that live in the third district of maryland, as there are across many districts in this country. the v.a. as we know has had some issues over the last few years. when it comes to providing health care as well, sometimes those services and benefits are not delivered as rapidly as they should be. and can be difficult for our veterans to navigate some of the


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