tv Washington Journal Rep. Andy Harris CSPAN January 18, 2019 11:07am-11:31am EST
scheduled to begin at noon eastern. we will get you there early to see the sights and sounds of the event. and also they will hold a dinner this evening and the vice president will speak at that. eastern, live coverage of the vice president's comments as well on c-span. host: republican congressman andy harris is back at our desk, a member of the appropriations committee, member of the conservative house freedom caucus. the congressman now four weeks into the longest government shut down, i wonder how it is impacting your district, which is not far from the city, just across the chesapeake bay in eastern maryland. guest: on the government employee and contractors aside, there are issues. but we need to resolve the border. this is a growing humanitarian crisis. the people who say it is not do not understand the changing demographics of who is crossing our border.
mexican drug cartels, drugs, human trafficking, is all increasing. it is all solvable. we have put our heads together and do it. host: solvable, but this week, not much happened on solving this issue. we are not much further than we were at the beginning of the week. how does this end? guest: when you have one side that refuses to negotiate, you will not solve it. the american people expect compromise, negotiation, two sides to get together and each to give a little bit. when one side says we will not give anything, they say we will give $1, that does not solve problems. host: what is the president giving? guest: the president offered to come down from the $5.7 billion. he did that before christmas. that was rejected. he said if you will not accept my lower offer, i will go back to my original offer. the negotiation has to start. the president has not said we will build a continuous wall. we will do the bar fencing. the president has already said he is changing in order to make this work. the other side basically says no negotiation at all. host: should he just declare a national emergency and find the
money to other funding from the military or some other funding program that is already there? guest: he is doing it the right way, which is expected congress to do its job. if congress does not do its job, i will support him doing that. host: you would be ok with a national emergency? how long should he give congress? guest: we may have to give it a little bit longer. the bottom line is i do not think they are serious. when one of the major negotiators is going to fly across the world for seven days, which is what speaker pelosi was going to do, that sends a signal they are not serious in negotiating. host: what do you think about the back and forth this week nancy pelosi looking to postpone , the state of the union, and the president canceling that military flight for the congressional delegation? guest: i think the speaker should remain in town as long as the shutdown occurs to at least give the appearance that she is available for negotiation. you cannot negotiate from across
the globe. host: we are talking to andy harris, republican from maryland. you can join the conversation. democrats, it is (202) 748-8000. republicans, (202) 748-8001. independents, (202) 748-8002. he is a member of the house appropriations committee in the 116th congress. when republicans had control of the house and the senate and the white house you were able to , pass five of the 12 appropriations bills on time. is there any hope to pass any more than that in a divided congress? guest: i do not see any way around this. the bottom line is although it , is frequently said that republicans controlled all three, you do not control the senate until you have 60 votes. the only thing you control is nominations and the approval of nominations. that is the 51 vote threshold. everything else is the 60 vote threshold, including appropriations except for tax form -- tax reform.
you do not control the senate until you control 60 votes. host: do you think we are in for more shutdowns in the coming years? i don't know it: , am coming around to a continuing resolution and let's discuss this all in the next presidential election. host: we had a viewer suggestion last week on this program saying that members of congress should wait to pass their own funding, the legislative branch appropriations bill last so there is an incentive to get all of the other appropriations bills done. is that something you may consider taking up? guest: i think that would be fine. the thing is it is one of the least controversial. the way congress works, it is the easiest to pass, which is why it may be among the first group that we passed. this time is unusual. since i've been here, if we have had a shutdown, it is an entire government shutdown. this is the first time where it was a much smaller segment of the government. on fromke is
woodbridge, virginia, independent. caller: my issue is that shutting down the government is ridiculous. you know that -- my other question is if government has a proposal, put it in the budget, and if you put it in the budget, how much is put in the budget? host: i am not sure i got the last part of that question. guest: the bottom line is the american people expect this to be resolved. they do not expect shutdowns to occur. again, this discussion -- and this is my ninth year in congress. congress always likes to kick the can down the road. this is no exception. we should have had this discussion in the spring and summer. the congress delays everything. we delayed it passed october 1. it was an election year. now we are delaying it into the spring. congress is broken.
washington no longer works. host: john is next, republican in texas. go ahead. caller: good morning, congressman. guest: good morning. caller: my question is simple. i grew up in south texas, but my congressman, i tried to get a hold of his office. the problem is the republicans are not telling the american people how much these illegals are costing the american taxpayer by way of housing, free food, and medical care. the slogan should be every dollar we spend on an illegal immigrant is a dollar we could be spending on a child we send to college. that would resonate with every family in america. host: congress in? guest: it is an interesting point. we would love to have an estimate. if we do secure the border there , are people who believe the cbo will score a dollar spent on border security as saving multiple dollars. the caller is absolutely right.
if you think about what is going on, we have hundreds of thousands of people claiming asylum, coming into the country, they are put on a two-year or three year waiting list for their adjudication. that is not timely justice. if someone comes, we should adjudicate those cases probably. 80% to 90% of people who request asylum do not get it because they do not have a legitimate cause. but we are delaying this allsion two to three years , people come into the country and use our resources. border security is right for humanitarian reasons. it is right just because a country should have borders. and it is right from a fiscal point of view. host: necklace in maryland, a republican, go ahead. caller: good morning. i just wanted to make the comment that i have not heard the argument made that the wall would deter terrorists. whether or not it is invested, as long as that is a perception
amongst the people come, trying to get into the united states, that there is a wall that is effective, it will be a deterrent. host: congressman harris? guest: a wall clearly deters people crossing the border. i said -- sat on the homeland security and we had customs and border protection coming in and saying you do not need a wall along the entire border. chuck schumer agreed with this. he voted for the voter act that basically ended up establishing 750 miles of border wall. speaker pelosi approved funding in 2008 when she was speaker. this idea that all of a sudden border walls are a seventh century idea when, within the last 10 years, both leaders of the opposition party actually have agreed that walls work. host: nancy pelosi yesterday talking about ports of entry. that has been the focus of democrats' concerns, especially when it comes to drugs being brought into the country.
here is what she had to say in her weekly press conference. [video clip] speaker pelosi: 90% of drugs coming into the country come in through the ports of entry. let's use resources to expand the ports of entry. this has to be evidence-based, not notion mongers. those ports of entry need more personnel. we have nearly 3040 vacancies, positions not filled on the border. some of it is the quality of life. they need more infrastructure to do their jobs at the ports of entry. host: congressman harris, you talk about the need to negotiate. is that a place where you could start and find common ground? guest: we have that in the current appropriations bill. the bottom line is democrats have drawn a line and said -- and if you read the language of the appropriations bills -- it explicitly says no new wall or fencing. you can replace fencing but not build new walls.
our customs and border protection says as part of our order security policy, there are areas we need new wall. to say we are going to do everything but not do this, no. of course not all the money has to go to fencing or wall, but then again, we should not say that no money can go. if customs and border protection says we think -- and they tell us there are areas where they know drugs are coming across the border, because there is no wall, no fencing. that is what they tell us. i got to believe them. they are on the border every day. host: mary, illinois, independent. larry, illinois, independent. go ahead. caller: thanks for taking my call. representative harris, nice to talk to you. i would like to ask a question on the funding. these continuing resolutions, they seem to constantly -- instead of doing a budget, they
wait until a deadline, then drop into somebody else's lap and make a political issue out of it. what can be done so that we can have a ruling where these budgets have to be done by a certain date? thank you. guest: one thing we can do is reconsider the action we took in the 1970's, the budget control act. prior to 1970, the executive branch had more control in getting the budgets passed. it gets complicated, but if any of your viewers are interested have a look at the history of the federal budget. host: you would be more comfortable with handing more control to passing budgets to the executive branch? guest: no. but not necessarily passing through the constitution says all money has to be appropriate by congress. what happens now is the president sends a budget to capitol hill, and it is
announced to the dead on arrival, and you start from ground zero and rebuild the budget. i think because the executive is the one who is the one who spends money on the budget, the executive should be more involved. it makes more sense. i think we have the pendulum swung too much to one side. with a broken washington and congress, you will get shutdowns. because if this is the only group that has a say, you will get shutdowns. host: 10 minutes left with congressman andy harris, the only public and in american -- maryland delegation. this is a picture that caused a stir online. it was about the huffington post in the hallways underneath the capital. it is a picture of you walking with chuck johnson. who is chuck johnson? guest: chuck johnson is a guy who has an interest in a company that does dna sequencing. dna sequencing is incredibly important. for instance we have thousands , and thousands of rape kits
unprocessed throughout the nation. the na sequencing, especially modern techniques can absolutely help us through the ball blake solve rape cases that have been , there for dozens of years. we have others where dna sequencing and health care is incredibly important. this is a person who has an interest in that. that was what was discussed. i do not know the guy's background. i do not do a google search on everyone who asks to talk about assigned topic -- scientific topic with me. host: here is a profile on chuck johnson -- a guy who can destroy a person's political career. he has argued that black people are dumber than white people, million jewsher 6 died in the holocaust, banned from twitter and opposed next to a white supremacist leader richard spencer. guest: i take it, since you are a journalist, that you read my statement. i did not know his background.
to suggest that you appear in a picture with someone and all of the sudden you agree to all they agree to is ridiculous on its surface. host: you voted for the resolution condemning congressman steve king. guest: of course. because i am not a white supremacist. i am not a holocaust denier, not an anti-semite, and even a suggestion, even on this program, that somehow this associates me with that is repulsive. host: on the steve king vote, there are congressmen pushing for sharper criticism, whether they think he should resign or go further. do you think this is settled? guest: i have not talked to congressman king about that. the new york times is no favorite to conservatives. i don't know what is going on. i think we did the proper thing. all of us agreed white supremacy has no place, anti-semitism has no place.
we have members who are openly associating with anti-semitic leaders of hezbollah and hamas. nothing made of it. i don't understand that -- well, i do understand it. because the far left media attacks conservatives. we are used to it. host: a few minutes left with andy harris, republican from maryland. word has been waiting. -- warren has been waiting. go ahead. please don't cut me off, i have to point. the first thing is, you guys have total control of congress for two years, and you did not pass one dollar. the same dollar you accuse nancy pelosi of not paying for the wall. you do not pass to build a border wall. if it were that important for you and your followers and donald trump, you should have passed some money to pay for that wall. the second thing is if you want
to spend $5.7 billion on a wall -- you have seen the suffering in maryland, baltimore city. i am sure there are a lot of poor white people in poor black -- and poor black people in this country who are suffering, who do not have food and do not have a lot of stuff that they could use for themselves. you can use that money to create jobs in these areas for these people and help them. instead, you want to build a $5.7 billion or however much it costs to spend on a cause which you know, in your hearts, does not work. this is the problem with you guys. you politicians who assail people to use simple solutions to complex problems. host:. your point. give the congressman a chance to respond. guest: well, warren obviously has the ability to look into my heart and see what i think. he is wrong. they do work.
customs and border protection are the experts, he is not. the fact of the matter is your caller is ignorant about what works and what does not. walls and fences work. he is also ignorant to how congress works in we did put $5.7 billion into the bill, and chuck schumer and the democrats blocked it in the senate. the bottom-line is until you get , 60 votes in the senate or you get a senate minority leader who believes in border security, we will have catch and release and all the humanitarian drug problems gang problems. we have problems in maryland. ms 13. of your, a5 miles hot that of ms 13. ms 13 crosses the border illegally. some cross legally. a lot cross illegally. if i want to protect my constituents, we need border security. host: republican, jonathan, go ahead. caller: i have experience in doing physical security and cyber security. when people say a wall does not work, it is kind of elementary. a wall is basic. you need the wall for defense technology to work effectively.
if they all just say we do not need the wall, we need better technology, that technology would be irrelevant if all they are doing is observing people walking through. if the wall funnels people to the point of entry where the technology can work. same thing with cybersecurity. it is elementary to open up all your ports or close them down to have breaches. and you have to have ways to prevent access. to me, they are both related and you can make these metaphors all day. that argument needs to be made. i do not know who is consulting havinghose going against the barrier. that would be my guest: what can point. i say? walls and fences work. experts agree. this should be a no-brainer. the average person, if you asked them, does a wall or fence work on the border, the average person would say yes. it might not work for the entire border. the president has already said
it is not about the entire border. this is about the areas where customs and border protection says we need to keep out ms 13, drug smuggling keep out gangs, , keep out violent people, send a signal to say do not send women and children thousands of miles where some get sick and some die. one third of women are sexually abused. our open border policy is leading to sexual abuse of these women and children coming across mexico to make this trip. is that really the kind of nation we want to be? i don't think that is. host: today in washington, the march for life is happening, as well as the woman's march tomorrow. today's march for life rally coverage starts at 12:00. you are speaking as part of the march for life rally? guest: no, i am appearing on stage. i am not speaking. host: where are you going to be appearing? that is notuest:
the march for life. host: what is it? caller: we are going to talk imprecations.tal we are not part of the march for life. we are going to send a signal to people that you know you are killing a human life. you are taking a human life. it is definitely human from the moment of conception. you have to think long and hard before you say that is a good thing to do. host: time for a few more calls. joanna in indiana, independent. go ahead. caller: good morning. i would like to give my sympathies for the caller before the last and give him a pat on the back for speaking as i was going to. the border wall should have been taken care of when you had the senate and the house. now that you do not have the house, you want to take it up -- well, excuse me. mr. mcconnell will not serve the american people. he serves the president. he is a separate branch.
he should be building up the bills already passed the house and pass them or fail them, one way or another. you all are just sitting back on your hands and saying it is pelosi, pelosi. but look at your own face in the mirror. it is you all, not just pelosi. guest: all i can say is you don't have the senate unless you have 60 votes. the last party to have 60 votes was president obama and the democrats before the election of mr. brown up in massachusetts. the bottom line is you do not have the senate until you have 60 votes. and chuck schumer is obstructing border security. that is the bottom line. americans have to decide if they want border security or not. if we do we want to get over this impasse. host: one last call. james has been waiting in newark, new jersey. good morning. caller: hi, c-span. happy new year. i am a moderate. hello?
host: we are listening. you are a moderate, though ahead. -- go ahead. now, the wall. i am for the wall. but there is one thing -- you had power for the first two years of trump. you said that chuck schumer held up the wall. the first two years of the trump administration, it took 51 votes to pass for the wall. $1.7 trillion for wall street. so there you go. guest: it does not just a 51 votes to build the wall. the bottom line is it takes 60 votes. when you have a minority leader, harry reid before and chuck schumer now, a minority leader who refuses to take up these
issues, and americans expect the senate to debate. let's take it up in debate it and and take up these issues. let's see if americans believe we should have a secure border. that is what this fight is about. it is about a secure border. host: congressman andy harris, republican from maryland. we appreciate your time. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] hitse government shutdown day 28 with congress and the white house unable to negotiate an end to the impasse. the house yesterday attempted to and it will be vote next week. build -- cecile not bring any.