tv 116th Congress Freshmen Profile Interviews Part 4 CSPAN January 22, 2019 3:09pm-3:37pm EST
this is day 32 of the partial government shutdown. money for nine federal departments and dozenses of government agencies expired on december 21. employees at those closed agencies are not being paid and most are not working but some who have been deemed essential must work without pay. as debate over the government shutdown continues watch the story unfold on c-span. >> the incoming freshman class of the new congress includes most women elected and military veterans. c-span recently spoke with some of the new members. republican michael guest has been elected to represent mississippi's third congressional district. he has served as district attorney for madison and rankin counties in mississippi. >> you are going to be representing the third district in that state. explain the district. mr. guest: it runs from the
eastern side of the state to the western side of the state nd encompasses 24 counties including the capital city. it encompasses one of our major universities, mississippi state university. we have a major military installation there in meridian naval air station. it's a very diverse district. it has some very rural areas. there are common problems that exist throughout the district and there are also problems that are specific to certain areas of the district and that's one of the things throughout the campaign we were able to visit each county in the district many times. we were able to meet with community leaders, elected officials to determine the needs of each area of the district and what we hope to do is be able to serve the district in the entirety but not just the third district but the entire state of mississippi. we feel like while we all represent the third district what is good for one district in mississippi is good for the entire state. so i look forward to being able
to work with the entire congressional district -- entire congressional delegation for the state of mississippi so we can accomplish great things on behalf of the people of our state. >> you were a prosecutor for 22 years before running for office. what about that experience do you think will help you here in washington? mr. guest: as an prosecutor, both as an assistant prosecutor and newly elected prosecutor for the last 11 years i had the opportunity to work with the men and women of law enforcement, work with our judicial officials to see our communities remain great places to live and worship and raise a family. as a prosecutor, you have to be the best prepared person in the courtroom when you walk in each and every day. you have to be able to work with other individuals. and you have to be able to stand up and do what is right and fight on behalf of the people of your district, for the people of your state. so i believe that those lessons have prepared me to represent
the people of mississippi well. i believe i will be able to come in like many prosecutors from mississippi -- trent kelly from the first congressional district was a prior district attorney before coming in. south carolina, trey gowdy, was a former federal prosecutor. i believe there is a history of states sending prosecutors to congress and those prosecutors quickly adopting to their role in the legislative side and being effective members of congress. >> what sort of cases did you prosecute during your time? mr. guest: our office was responsible for family cases so we could prosecute everything from very small cases such as shoplifting, people who wrote bad checks, all the way up to sexual assault, murder, capital murder, manslaughter, armed robbery. so we prosecuted a wide variety of cases. that's the other thing about prosecuting such a wide variety of cases, it gives me a good aspect of many different fields. i believe it will help me to become an effective congressman very quickly.
>> were you born in mississippi, did you spend your life there? mr. guest: i spent my life there. i was born in woodbury, new jersey. he was assigned to a military installation there. roughly about a year in age my family moved back to mississippi, central mississippi. we lived for several years. my elementary years in the capital city of jackson. and then when i became in seventh grade my family moved to rankin county, one of the suburbs of the capital city and that's where i remained. after going to college i returned home. married a girl from my hometown. that's where we have established our roots and that's where we're raising our children. >> what influence did your father have on you? mr. guest: i was blessed to have two outstanding parents. a mother and father who truly loved us. loved myself and my sister. they cared for us. they brought us up in church. so because of that my relationship not only with my earthly father but my heavenly
father, those are the two guiding things i will use once i am sworn in congress to help me make decisions on behalf of the people of my district. >> you're about to -- mr. guest: i am a member of our church there. bap 10 church in brandon. my wife and i teach sunday school. i teach junior high boys. junior high es girls. my parents you spoke of, my wife of soon to be 21 years and my two children who are 18, and soon to be 15, you know, my family is important to me. they have been a vital part of this campaign. they have worked extremely hard to see we were successful. and while it will be difficult being away from my family, i hope that we will grow stronger throughout this experience.
>> what have the kids in sunday school taught you? mr. guest: you know, as -- you know, first of all, we began teaching when our children progressed in the youth department. our children if were going to be in that particular part of our church, that they needed people who will be willing to step up, volunteer their time. what these children have taught me, what i like to them as young men. they don't like to be referred to as children. they like to be referred to as young men. you know, our, it amazes me how redepartmentive they are and how, you know, you think of children who are -- young men who are in sixth, seventh grade, eighth grade, the type of class we would teach it would be difficult to get them to focus, difficult to get them to maintain their attention. but they are very caring. they are very giving. they are very receptive and so it has been as much a blessing to me to be able to teach them
and probably more so than the fact that, you know, that i have the ability to serve them. >> what is on the two-do list for the 116th congress? mr. guest: i think there are four, five very important issues that will be addressed in this next congress. i believe that one of those issues will be transportation, infrastructure. mississippi, just like several parts of our system, has an aging infrastructure. i think it's important we look at seeing the federal government can be part of that solution, there will be a funding mechanism that will be put in place so you can have the federal government partnering with your local and state government to look at
repairing our infrastructure, whether it be water, bridges, sewage, broadband. rural broadband is important in mississippi. that those will be things that we will look to address. health care. look to address to lower the cost of premiums, to make insurance more accessible. in my district it's important we fully fund rural hospitals. we have in some of our rural counties you have a county hospital that services the entire county. it's important we keep those hospitals open for emergency care, critical care so when we have individuals who have a medical emergency they have somewhere where they can go to where those individuals can be stabilized and then transported to another facility where they can receive more specified care. you look at things such as border security and immigration reform. those are going to be important issues that will be addressed by this congress. as a prosecutor, border security is important to me not
necessarily from the immigration side but more so from what can we do to stop the flow of illegal drugs from coming into our country across our unsecured southwest border. we see the problem that drugs have caused in our community. you see the opioid epidemic and the problems that that is causing. i believe a major key for us to being able to hopefully turn the tide of the war on drugs will be able to secure our border. i would like to look at expanding programs or modernizing programs such as he h-2-a visa so we can have eople come in a seasonal business, like agriculture, which is important to our state. those involvement issues i believe this next congress will address and i'm excited to get to be part of that conversation. >> you're going to be replacing gregg harper in this seat. why did you decide that you would run for the u.s. house after spending your time in
mississippi and being a prosecutor? mr. guest: i had the privilege of knowing gregg harper since before he ran for congress and i will tell you that mississippi has been well served for the last decade of having someone of chairman harper's integrity, honesty to serve the people of mississippi and i thought it was important that mississippi send someone to congress to follow in the footsteps of congressman harper who could build on the foundation that he's laid. when gregg announced he would return to private life, no longer seek re-election, it's something i had been thinking about for some period of time because of my relationship with gregg. i had conversations with my families. conversations with inner circle, spent time in prayer and felt like this was the right decision for my life and my family. >> c-span spoke with greg stanton. he served as the mayor of phoenix from 2012 to 2018 and
is the state's deputy attorney general. >> what were you doing before won? mr. stanton: i served as deputy attorney general for the state of arizona. i have been in public life for a while and really into urban policy. city policy. >> why did you decide to run for the seat? mr. stanton: i couldn't complain about congress not supporting cities unless i did it myself. it was a great opportunity to support not just my district to make sure we get our fair share of federal resources, but also the opportunity to send good policy for awful america. it's a great -- look. i am an american. it's awesome to be part of history a little bit. i am excited to be here. for me, i was termed out as mayor. i wanted to stay in public service. this is a great opportunity and i grabbed the opportunity.
>> who are you replacing, who did you talk to running for this seat and who made it possible? mr. stanton: kirsten sinema who left the seat to run for the united states senate and she won that seat in the state of yastrzemski arizona. i talked to a lot of people, most importantly, my wife. this is an important family decision. i had been in public life but in my hometown. now to come back and forth to washington, that's a big family commitment. so that was my most important advisor to talk about this decision. also, constituents of mine. neighborhood leaders, business leaders. a lot of the nonprofit groups i worked with, etc. it's clear people thought i had the right temperament, right experience to be leader right away here in washington. >> what did your wife say? mr. stanton: well, i'm here. she has always been very supportive after many election cycles, always been very supportive. you can't be successful unless you have a supportive family environment.
>> will your family join you out here in washington, d.c.? mr. stanton: no. i have two young children. my son is 11. my daughter is an 8-year-old. they're in grade schools right now. they're going to stay in our home community and i will be commuting back and forth. by the way, we're going to be doing a lot of work back home so we're going to be here in washington generally four days a week and then i will be home working at least two days a as well. than that we are going to be incredibly busy. >> explain to those that don't know the logistics of getting from arizona to washington, d.c., twice a week? mr. stanton: you get on an airplane, often red eyes. you get here, work your tail off, get home as soon as possible. >> how many hours? mr. stanton: about a five-hour flight. 4 1/2 here. a little bit longer on the way home. a great opportunity to study up on public policy. when you have that much time on
a plane you better take advantage of it be prepared as possible to do good work in washington. >> what will be your legislative priority? mr. stanton: i am a mayor. as a mayor we have a lot of success in transportation and infrastructure investment. in fact, in 2015 i put on the ballot in phoenix the largest transportation investment postrecession up to that time. it was on the same ballot as of my re-election. i won and our infrastructure investment plan passed. 35 year, $32 billion plan to increase investment in light rail, invest in bus service so buses will come much more quickly. dial a ride services to have mobility independence for those that need it. make our city much more bikeable. and walkable. and to fix our streets. we went big. i won. it passed. we're advancing infrastructure in phoenix. with that experience i think i have a lot to offer here in washington. from the perspective of a local leader, a city leader. as to the -- add to the fact
washington has not been a good partner to local government when it comes to infrastructure investment. and our country is falling further behind our competitor nations and we need to get back to being a leader on infrastructure. as the representative of a southwestern state, border state, i believe comprehensive immigration reform is really important. no community in the country would better benefit economically from comprehensive immigration reform. bipartisan. it's got to be done in a bipartisan way. getting real reform done. no community would better benefit than ours in our region. when the president pulled us out of the paris climate accord it was cities like mine as mayor that stepped up to the plate and said we are going to keep our commitment under the paris climate accord. the people of this country really looked to mayors for leadership. now i'm in washington the democrats are in the majority. i think you're going to see a lot of positive action on the issue of climate change. in fact you will see a mainly
between extras investment and climate smart investment. those are actually the exact same thing. you want to be smart on climate, invest in the right kind of green infrastructure. like so many others we're here to particular health care. particularly those with pre-existing conditions. we're here to reduce the cost of drugs and pharmaceuticals. i campaigned on that and we are going to deliver that to the people of my district and people of the united states of america. >> republican greg stubey won florida's district seat. he served in the j.a.g. he also was the captain of the fifth infran tree division during operation iraqi freedom. steube: i was one representing sarasota county. >> before that?
mr. steube: the legislature is part time. i am a lawyer by trade. >> what were some of your signature issues you worked on? mr. steube: my second amendment. i filed a lot of second amendment bills during my time in the legislature. i was chairman of the florida judiciary committee so anything of a judicial nature that worked through the process the last two years in the florida senate i chaired the judiciary committee. so anything related to the .udiciary i was involved in i passed the daylight savings time bill so if congress acts and allows the states to opt into daylight savings time florida will opt in. >> what legislative priorities do you have starting in january? mr. steube: my district is excellent. it's diverse. geographically. you have the western portion, southwest portion of the state.
sarasota, charlotte county, by the coastline. then you move into the interior counties. polk, highlands, okeechobee. de soto counties. it's a very rural, think citrus and cattle. it's the number one citrus producing district in the nation. citrus trees and cattle and not beaches. because that's really the predominance of this congressional district. >> did you grow up there? mr. steube: i grew up in the region. four generation share societya. my great-grandfather retired in sarasota. my father is former sheriff of manatee county. it's right next to that. >> what was your childhood like? mr. steube: it was great. my father deputy. mother school teacher in that area. went to the university of florida. after graduation. did undergrad in law school at the university of florida. then went on to the military after that. >> you're taking the seat of francis rooney who's retiring. have you spoken to him about
what this is like and any advice that he gave you? mr. steube: yeah. he stayed out of the electoral process because he did not get involved. after the general election he's been very accessible, trying to be helpful of the things to watch out for. the biggest thing we have to do right now is to try to hire up staff. some of his staff we're bringing onboard. so he's been helpful in that sense to try to transition. it's a lot of stuff to try to put together in a very short period of time. i would say the most challenging place is get your staff before january 3. >> have you spoken to any of your colleagues from florida? what have they told you about the job? mr. steube: there's three freshman republicans. we spent a lot of time in new member orientation. i news ross spano. we served in the state house together. when i was in the senate we did some bills together. i met walt through this process. you have a close knit bond
between the three guys. i'm looking forward to working with them as we move through the process. >> how do you plan to battle the logistics of washington and florida and your family life? mr. steube: that's the second biggest challenge is try to figure out. my wife works. is she going to move up, not move up? will she work from home? move up when she can? we will take it day by day and see how often we will be up here. the schedule for next year isn't out yet. we will figure out how often we will be up here. haven't decided where we're living, what we're doing. that's part of the challenges of florida to washington isn't an easy commute. that's probably some of the challenges we'll have to figure out. >> katy hill who was elected to respect california's 25th congressional district is the youngest member of the california congressional delegation in the 116th congress. >> what motivated you to run for office? ms. hill: i wasn't planning on getting in politics.
i was assisting the largest homeless organization in california, path. november, 2016, we helped develop and pass a historic bond initiative in the city of los angeles. $1.2 billion to address homelessness. we passed it. something we have been working on for years. huge marnelin of victory. instead of being able to celebrate the next day, donald trump was president. we had a republican house and senate. it was very concerning as to whether -- how that would affect the work we were doing and services that were so critical to the people we served. i decided i needed to do something about it. wanted to get involved in a race. figured out my race was one of the key ones. my district where i spent my whole life was key in taking back the house. eventually one thing led to another and here i am. >> unseated two terms congressman steve knight. ms. hill: the whole time the district has been in existence, more or less the way it stands now it's been held by a
republican. so that is -- >> when you told people, i am going to run, and you are 31 years old, what do they say? ms. hill: i was encouraged by a lot of people who knew my work at path and in particular my background from the district and just felt like it was a good fit. there were others, especially people who didn't know me who may have been involved in the democratic party or, you know, different kind of constituencies that were like, wait, where did you come from? waiting your turn is certainly a phrase you hear a lot. i think as a young woman you get. yes. a little bit of both. once i started to establish myself and people got to know me i think it became clear earned clearer it doesn't matter how old you are. you can do the job. >> your work in homelessness, how has that impacted you? ms. hill: in so many ways. homelessness to me is the intersection of countless
failures on our part as a society. in many cases a government. so i got to work on health care on, you know, i worked on the medicaid expansion in california. i got to work on housing policy, on poverty. foster care. criminal justice reform. you really see -- veterans' issues. you see how these fit together. because of that it informs you of what is the bottom? what is the worst possible outcome when we don't do our jobs correctly? and so i think i just have a natural sort of thought process around that policymaking i think in a good way. >> what are your priorities out here? ms. hill: yeah. again, as lopping as it's been existence, we had somebody on the armed services committee. buck mckeon was chairman and representative before steve knight. we had a huge aerospace industry and that's something i
think for the district in particular i need to be part of and i'm excited to bring a different lens to what we're focusing on in armed services. especially the reform on climate change. i think it is the biggest national security threat we are facing. so many people recognize that but how are we deal with that within the formal structure? that's one aspect. health care is another, of course, that was key in the campaign. it's the most common denominator among people who don't agree on lots of things. they all agree the cost of prescription drugs is too high and that health care in general is too high. figuring out ways of immediately coming up with some solutions that will impact people is absolutely essential. and then, of course, just affordability in general. housing affordability is at crisis levels throughout california. many places across the country. but especially with my background, i feel like i have something to add to the conversation there. i need to be working on that in
some capacity too. >> who or what motivated you to want to serve in public office? ms. hill: i come from a family of public servants. every generation of my family served in the military going back to the revolutionary war including my grandfather who i was incredibly closed to. he passed away from alzheimer's not long ago. he was a political science professor at ucla. my mom is a -- she's a nurse. my dad's a police officer. and so some kind of public service, community service was pretty much all i knew growing up. so my original kind of career track was going to be in nursing. then i ended up finding my way into the nonprofit sector. it seemed -- to me it's so similar. you have to be doing this for the mission, for the right reason or i think you end up with a dysfunctional government and you end up with people doing it for ego or power or just the sake of getting re-elected. i think that's what led to so
many problems we have. one thing i am really encouraged by about this new class is there are so many people who, like me, weren't doing this to get into public office but who saw us hitting a point where we didn't recognize our political system anymore. we had to do something about it. it's an exciting time. >> what are your parents think about you coming out to washington and holding this seat? ms. hill: yeah. they are very excited. my dad is a life-long republican who has never voted for a democrat until he voted for me. so it's been an interesting thing. we've always debated politics growing up. since the trump election and other, you know, facets that have really evolved over the last couple of years he -- we figured out there are so many things in common more so than differences. so i think it's going to be interesting for him to watch, especially since we don't -- we are not going to be aligned on every issue. then my mom is -- she's of
course excited. she's worried about my well-being in terms of going back and forth and just the stresses of job. i think that's what a mom does so -- [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> new congress, new leaders, atch it all on c-span. >> according to the brookings institution, the 116th congress is the most educated congress in history. with 72% of the house having earned a graduate degree. c-span recently spoke with some f the new members. democrat chris pappas was elected to congress and the of openly gay member congress. >> why did you say no before? why did you say yes this time? papanikolaou well, i care about the -- mr. pappas: well, i care about the state i grew up in. i needed to make sure that i