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tv   Rep. Katie Porter Town Hall in Irvine CA  CSPAN  August 31, 2019 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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asked about impeaching president trump. her district includes irvine and mission viejo and she was also asked about a number of other issues including immigration, climate change, and public transportation access. she worked under then california attorney general kamala harris and had elizabeth warren as a law school professor. the event was held at the islamic center of irvine. [applause] >> good afternoon and welcome.
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i am the chairman of the board of directors here at the islamic center. for those of you who are curious, we serve about 5000 muslims in the area, 2000 come every friday to offer the weekly congregational prayers. host.a great honor to [laughter] honor to hostat our neighbors and guests from our congressional district for rur discussion with ou representative in congress. please make yourselves comfortable. the doors on my right have restrooms for women and on the left restrooms for men. this is the first time we have had an event like this. forgive us for any shortcomings. there will be several volunteers
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with badges like me. i would like to invite our religious director at the islamic center to welcome our congresswoman. [applause] >> peace be with you. good afternoon, everybody. at the as the imam here islamic center of irvine. this is beautiful. well, i lost my words. -- strongert-shirts than hate. from pittsburgh actually, so yeah, it is a great city. [applause] look all ofike to you here in the humble facility, how many of you are here for the first time?
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almost everybody. true.your dream has come [laughter] >> we actually invite all of you. we are going to have the annual y on october 12, saturday. please join us, learn a little bit about us, our community, about our religion and about our mosque. without further ado, i would like to introduce our representative katie porter. we are so humbled and honored to have the townhall meeting here. thank you so much, god bless all of you. source of love and compassion to everybody. thank you so much. [applause]
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>> good afternoon, everybody. i want to say a huge thank you to the islamic center of irvine for hosting this summit area there are a lot of us. this is my third or fourth trip. it's one of my very favorite venues to have events. in addition to making new connections in our community, this is also the only event where i don't have to wear uncomfortable shoes. [applause] so i'm a big fan of the islamic center of irvine and i hope that you will take up the offer to come back and visit. i've been honored to get to work with the folks here. i do a lot of community service and go to a lot of public events for homelessness, the environment, virtually every event i go to, i see the bright blue t-shirts of the islamic center of irvine, out in the community volunteering.
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so thank you for your hospitality. i want to give a special shout out to the irvine police department. [applause] we have a number of former city officials, including our current sitting congresswoman. [applause] i meantter: councilwoman. it's a habit. i said congressman more -- i have said congressman katie porter more times than i can count. so i want to talk for a a couple of minutes. for how many of you, is this your first town hall? great. i run these town halls so your voices can be heard and there's an equal chance to be heard. i talk for five minutes then we will draw questions out of the center. if we don't get to your question, know that i go through all of them, and they all get to
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me in a written form and we try to respond to people when we can. even if i don't get to your question today, please know you are being heard. i want to talk about what we have done in congress and what we need to do. in terms of what we have done, we have been able to pass background check bills and gun violence prevention bills, but we need to do more. those bills are sitting in the senate and we need to pressure the senate to pass bills to save lives. [applause] rep. porter: there is nothing partisan about saving lives. nobody moved to irvine for the nightlife. we moved here for the quality of life and the safety. we need to pass this bill. and i am pleased that my colleagues on the house
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judiciary committee going back to washington a week are early to take up additional gun violence prevention legislation. [applause] rep. porter: can everyone still hear me? in terms of financial services, i serve on the financial services committee. it was my first choice. i serve on the financial services committee. it was my first choice. not a lot of people, apparently, wanted to go to congress to work on credit default swaps. but i did. because i'm a real champion for capitalism. but what we need is capitalism that creates opportunity, for every single american family. so you may have seen my exchange with my now penpal jamie dimon, the ceo of j.p. morgan chase heard [applause]
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rep. porter: chase is a big employer here in the 45th district. they provide loans to people to buy houses and start businesses. that is important work. we also need chase to be sure that the work they're doing on the profit there making are being shared with those creating that value. so something i never thought i would see happened on monday. the business roundtable, the ceos of the nation's largest corporations, came together and announced that corporations have a duty to stakeholders. not just shareholders. [applause] rep. porter: that means they can treat customers fairly. are you listening wells fargo? that means pay employees a wage where they can make ends meet and where they can save for their family and say for retirement. that means being fair to
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suppliers so small businesses are able to also make ends meet, and there's able to be competition in our market. that means taking care of our communities, which i hope will be a fair tax system in which everybody chips into the collective good. so this is a huge step forward. i hope my conversation with jamie dimon helped prompt this. i'm going to keep pushing because i'm going to hold them to that promise. we need a capitalist economy that works for the stakeholders, including the shareholders paired because long-term, the shareholders when when the stakeholders when paired that is what i've been working on there. more specifically i am introducing a bill to mandate the credit reporting agencies maintain, hold it, reasonable data privacy standards. [applause] rep. porter: because right now, they can gather all that data without your consent, and do absolutely nothing to protect it. that needs to change. i'm introducing legislation on that.
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i'm also working on -- we're having hearings on abusive debt proceedings, on the student loan crisis. i founded the college affordability caucus. outstanding student loans. we have $1.5 trillion in outstanding student loans. that is a huge problem for our economy. but it does not do any good to solve the student loan debt of yesterday if we do not make the sticker price of college affordable for families tomorrow. everybody who is working hard in this country should be able to save enough to send their child to at least two years and hopefully four years of a public university. [applause] rep. porter: so we have to really pair those two things. we cannot forgive the student loan debt from yesterday only to saddle the next generation with the exact same problem. there are things we could do to make student loan servicers accountable. they're pulling the exact same
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tricks i saw the mortgage servicers pull. you call, you get a different answer about what you pay. you call, you asked for help, you get disconnected. as all the same bag of tricks. we're going to be holding them accountable. making sure our student loan program is solvent. and i mean rainy day solvent. because with what the president has been doing, we could well be headed toward a tough economic period, if not a recession. so we want to make sure that student loan program is solvent. but it should not be a source of profit. on the backs of our young people. education is an investment. nobody knows that better than those of us here in orange county who have again come here partly because of the quality of education that our kids get. from kindergarten all with your post secondary. so i'm working on that. i'm also doing a lot of work in terms of mental health. we need to defend the affordable care act. and to be clear, it is under attack. but it is also important to acknowledge that some of the promises in the of formal care act, we are still struggling to make reality. one of those is mental health parity. meaning that mental health coverage will be treated the same as physical health problems.
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anyone who has looked at their insurance and tried to locate a psychologist or psychiatrist in network knows, that there are not very many. they are not taking new patients. it is very difficult to get that coverage. so i recently toured - choc - and had a chance to see what they were doing with the attic mental health. and am happy to report that it is among the best of what they are doing in the nation for children's mental health services. i also have a bill on affordable childcare. i'm happy to report that all the bills i'm talking about a bipartisan. [applause] they want me closer. so if it squeals it is your fault. [laughter] rep. porter: so they have been, all these bills are bipartisan. the mental health bill i mentioned, working on affordable childcare. i used to wonder before i got to congress, who thinks that childcare costs $5,000 per year? because it does not.
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what this bill does, it would allow working families to keep more of the money they earn tax-free to pay for either childcare or senior care. so they can continue to be in the workplace. people should be -- parents should make their choices out whether to stay home. [applause] rep. porter: or stay with their career or their children, based on what is right for their families. not based on the inability to afford quality childcare. all of these bills i mention are bipartisan. there a lot of these bills passing in the house. there is more to be done. the senate is not moving on this important legislation. background checks might be the best example. but there is an endless stream of bills that passed including republican support in the house in some instances. that are dying in the senate. so that is a tough problem. we are right to have to continue to press. and to try to get the senate moving on these bells. because the american people deserve solutions to their problems.
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if congress had a motto, it might be solving yesterday's problems tomorrow, maybe. [laughter] rep. porter: we need to demonstrate your hard work and being forward thinking that we are doing the work the american people need today and for tomorrow. we run for election every two years and the house of representatives. the idea behind this is it would keep us very connected to the people we represent. back when congress started, we go to washington, be there for one and half years and come back. to get reelected. i come back and forth all the time. but the idea is that we be connected to our community. so we need to make sure we are actually delivering results for our community. and tackling the long-term challenges. one of those are long-term challenges is our budget deficit, which has grown tremendously under president trump. and part of this deficit is making sure that we are coming up with a fair system of taxation. in which every large corporation pays its fair share.
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[applause] rep. porter: that has been a problem and it is a problem that has unfortunately gotten worse. and the deficit has gotten worse under the president. we need to be working on those issues. i'm a leader trying to change the trump tax law that limits state and local tax inductions. at $10,000. this was a radical change to tax policy. and the president has been pretty clear that he did it to be punitive to certain people. and our tax system should never be used for political partisanship. our tax system is our collective investment in each other, and in our democracy, and in our economy. [applause] rep. porter: so we need to stand up and reverse those changes. those are some of the things i'm working very hard on. i have been doing a lot of going to tour businesses and talk with people, working with our faith community. if you have not visited our
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district office in irvine, please do. and i have several staff memories who -- raise your hand if you're a staff number. jordan is my d.c. staff, a wonderful staff. we have been able to work on veterans issues. we recently had our first win on behalf of constituent who is being hurt by the muslim travel ban. those are hard wins to get it but we got a win for constituent, to allow them to be able to see their family members. [applause] rep. porter: and we are able to help a veteran get over $200,000 in denied veteran benefits. that veteran was facing homelessness, until they were able to come to us and we were able to help them. if you're having problems with the federal agency, please call. because it is my honor and my job to serve you. so with that, i'm going to stop and take some questions. [applause] rep. porter: this is the
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executive director -- outreach director here. i'm going to ask her to draw the questions and hand them to me so i'm not moving away from the microphone. rep. porter: ok, let's try it i will read the questions and answer them. [laughter] rep. porter: when i have children do this, they are really into it. all right. i believe the impeachment of donald trump is a big mistake. he must defeated at the ballot box in november, 2020. any impeachment effort will merely play into his hands. where do you stand on the impeachment of donald trump?
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the question summarizing is where do i stand on the impeachment of donald trump? ok. i'm in favor of impeaching donald trump. [applause] rep. porter: i believe that no american, especially not a democratically elected president can be above the rule of law. [applause] rep. porter: i made a video about this. i was one of the first people who flipped a seat to come out on this. people said well, this might be risky. you might not get reelected. i said i'm here to do what is right. so he -- there's substantial evidence that he broke the law. obstruction of justice. it is in the mueller report. i think we ought to hold him accountable. the question asked is he must be defeated at the ballot box in 2020.
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so absolutely, we all know what the senate is going to do. move forward on our legislative agenda. i more than capable of making sure that donald trump is being held accountable. at the same time that i'm able to deliver the work on prescript in drugs and a formal care and a -- affordable housing and as she is in our community. so take a look at the mueller report. ok. >> is it working? rep. porter: i think it is just a two mic problem.
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ok. [applause] i do have those to supervise children. considering how much this administrator uses their power as a bully pulpit to attack their own citizens, how do we rein in this abuse of power? the answer is democracy. the constitution gave us the tools. [indiscernible] when you read the constitution -- one of the questions --
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>> article one, article two, article three -- the shortest by far is [indiscernible] what we are seeing is the president trying to do things. seeing international affairs pushing us into wars that congress has not authorized. solution is to get engaged and to vote. difficult and it is scary
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and it is hard. democracy is like that. one of the greatest political systems in society. we hold the president accountable. you have the same amount of power as i do. vote. get other people engaged. learn about the issues. call my office. do everything you can to stand up. [indiscernible] [applause] rep. porter: the death of retail. yesterday, a small business owner. [indiscernible]
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important, noost one is talking about retail, millions of people unemployed, . [indiscernible] rep. porter: we need to be proactive as a society. two parts to that, one is about the tariffs. the other is the changing nature of job opportunity in this country. you cannot make effective trade policy by tweets. [laughter] [applause] rep. porter: by definition, mr. trump, it's about negotiation. it is about doing business together. it's about coming together for a mutually beneficial deal. his tariffs that he announced yesterday, an effective tax on everything american. for many of our small businesses, particular here in southern california come over you a lot of trade with china and asia, it will be devastating.
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so these, we need to empower our united states trade representative, who is ready for this, a really quite good from official. really quite good. to do his job. and the president needs to allow people like the trade representative to negotiate. the real trade issues with china around intellectual property, around the enforcement of an bimetal standards, around protection of workers. we should be tackling those -- a long-term strategic alliance. let's grow a relationship with china. that president does not get to order anybody to do anything in this country. [applause] rep. porter: it is incredibly disrespectful to the business owners who are working so hard to build a successful business in our community. with regard to the changing nature of jobs, we're going to
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see a transformation in the kind of work and the work we are seeing. with retail, absolutely. we are seeing it with other transitions to trip fossil fuels. the solution is to recognize that it is a long-term problem . we need to be making investments and training the long-term workers of tomorrow. we are doing that in irvine with a strong public school system, a strong stem education program, excellent affordable community colleges with a terrific transfer and success rate. an amazing four-year university in our backyard in uc irvine. so making sure that our educational system is strong and we are finding it is however going to produce the workforce that is ready to take on the jobs of tomorrow. but we are going to need to stand ready to help people who need to make that transition. so being ready to do that and able to do that is something we need to be thinking about. one of my frustrations is that the two-year nature being in congress, causes some people to only thing about what they can get done in two years.
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the biggest problems facing this country, affordable housing in orange county. a fair tax system. prescription drug costs. we do not get those into years and we're not going to take care of them in two years. so i think about what i can do today and also what we can do for 20 years from now. that is what we have to think about developing a next-generation workforce. how do we deal with the hate that is growing and dividing our country? orange county has one of the highest rates of hate crimes in the country. have one of the most beautifully which is shameful, given that we have one of the most beautifully diverse and successful populations in the country. we should, we live in a place where we should be celebrating each other every day. [applause]
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rep. porter: i'm so proud of the diversity of our community. there are a lot of solutions on hate crimes. part of it starts with each one of us. living the kind of values we believe. speaking up when we hear hate speech. when we see people engaging in hateful or disrespectful acts. part of it comes with making sure that our department of justice is enforcing the hate crime laws. that people feel empowered to call our police when hate crime occurs. and making sure we elect leaders who model respect for the diversity that makes this country the most beautiful, powerful, and strongest nation in the world. so there's no easy fix to this one either. some of what we are seeing in terms of hate, was under the surface, and is now coming out. so we have to look this problem
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squarely in the eye. and we have to be brave enough to say, i do not want to be treated that way. i believe in respect. i respect you. please respect me. we have to have those kinds of conversations. and we have a wonderful, among other orange county organization, we are so blessed to have an amazing interfaith community that is doing a lot of important work in this regard. amazing advocates for immigration, for immigrants, trying to make sure that we are recognizing that we are stronger because we respect each other's contributions. i wish i had an easy answer for this. i came to the islamic center a few months ago, we had a town hall where the children were allowed to ask the questions. every single question was a story about a hateful act. in irvine. so, we have to look this problem in the eye. it is happening in irvine. is happening in our public schools. our police officers know what is happening.
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our faith leaders know it is happening paired our parents know it is happening. it is on all of us. i will lead us much as i can on this. and i will stand up to hate and condemn it. but we are also in one together. because that hate that is cropping up, it is not just cropping up in congress. it is coming up across our country. and then is manifesting itself in the united states congress. so, we have big work to do on this. but it starts by coming together in a respectful way in places like this, to have conversations. [applause] rep. porter: this is the question, how can we label food grown with oil field wastewater? can you introduce legislation? i'm happy to take this back and think about it. generally labeling food and making sure that we have a healthy food supply, is something that is really important. so i'm happy to follow up on
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this one. i will say one of the things that we talk about having border protections and strong borders, people sometimes ignore the customs aspect. of what the border and customs patrol service does. and we do not want adulterated food, products that will hurt us, coming into our country. so there is an important role here both internationally and here, in terms of leading on clean water and clean air and a safe and healthy food for this country. the second question was, how can we get more people to drive electric cars and trucks? the answer here is extend the tax incentives that have been in place. and make sure that owning and driving electric or low emission vehicle, is feasible for people, even in areas with long commutes, like orange county. so i've introduced legislation along with commerce and harley rouda, the clean corridors act, that would put into place more fueling stations, so people who invest in electric vehicles are able to get throughout our area about knowing they are going to be able to get the charge that they need to continue to get going. we have to make sure that when
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we work on transportation and we work on infrastructure, this fall, that we are building for the future. we are building the infrastructure that we need 50 years from now. not the infrastructure that we needed 50 years ago. so that is a big part of howie-that is part of the debate we need to be having about transportation and infrastructure. how are you? ok. will i commit to placing claire restrictions and the department -- clear restrictions on the department of homeland security funding to avoid reprogramming of funds toward further inhumane practices? we are working hard to hold the department of homeland security accountable, including ice and how people are been treated.
quote
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this is an issue of not just humanity with which we treat each other, but also an issue of where our tax dollars are going, and whose pockets are being lined. and the facts of this kind of inhumane treatment. the bills we have seen come through have not had adequate oversight. i did not like the senate bill that came before me. i wanted the house version paired the house version allowed us to make sure that the money we are authorizing to provide for families on the border is being used in a way that is productive and consistent with our beliefs and our values. and those provisions were not in the bill that ultimately passed the congress. so my colleague veronica escobar, who represent el paso, commerce min rui's, they have been working on bills -- richmond -- congressman ruiz, having working on making sure
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that money we spent actually is put toward the border. i think we meet to spend a lot more time -- needs that a lot or time talking about how to improve the quality of life and people come to the study from guatemala and her doors and el salvador and other places. they have every right to seek asylum and we made that commitment is part of international law. we also -- many of those families travel here at great risk. great hardship. we need to ask ourselves what can we do to improve quality of life and safety and opportunity in those countries. and trump tweeting away foreign aid has only exacerbated the situation. so, i want to see us working not just at the border, but also being a really good partner to our neighbors in central america, to make sure they are thriving and a safe societies where they are. the real problems with corruption and those governments.
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the real problems with violence. we expert guns to those countries paired our gun manufacturers. we have a role to play -- as well as making sure people who come here are treated humanely and in accordance with international law. the work here, the bills we have passed to date have not been adequate. they have not had the level of oversight that you all deserve. as taxpayers and citizens. from the united states congress. so there's more to come on this issue. we know that our work is not done. [applause] rep. porter: what will you do to prevent toxic chemicals being sprayed by roundup in public places, parks and schools? this is a big issue at our state level. local level as well. we have seen local bans on this.
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we need a better scientific understanding of the long-term effects of exposure to pesticide. for the people who enjoy those parks and the workers. this is an issue of not only protecting those who enjoy the green space but also those who helped create it. i will always defend making policy-based science. this has not been easy to do. we have seen the president attempt to roll back clean water act, the clean air and the endangered species act at a moment in time when the science tells us we could not be moving forward aggressively enough. the nih and other public research institutions make sure we understood the health risks. i support people taking action
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to make sure we are banning and limiting use of pesticides. one of our biggest opportunities to address the climate crisis is to move in partnership with business and agriculture. a lot of people think that what happens with the climate, but the things we're doing on the agricultural committee is doing our part. creating natural wildlife corridors and protect other kinds of species. the answer is science-based policy. we also want people to be locally active. california has led the way on environmental issues. we have leadership in the governor's office. i encourage you to speak up and make your voice heard and also to be healthy and safe at school. in our parks and in our public spaces. [applause] rep. porter: this is a question
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about the city council. it says, will you help us find a great part -- our children will be listening. this is one of the few issues, with all the problems donald trump creates, not my problem. i support a veterans cemetery. i don't think there should be any real debate about that. we should honor them with a place of rest in orange county. we will large veteran population and they need a place to be armed. the question here is how will we allocate our local lands and how will we do this? this is a question for local government to work at. it has been ongoing for a long time. we have a history of trouble
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making broadly supported political decisions regarding land-use in our area. this will be a challenge. i look forward to try to provide funding at the federal level. this is something that needs to be done at the local level. the federal government is not in charge of everything. it should not be. it's appropriately in the hands of our local officials. [applause] rep. porter: please state your position on the disposition of daca, the dreamers, immigrants in orange county. should they be u.s. citizens or get green cards? we made a promise to dreamers. you may or may not agree with that, but we should be a country of our word. we promised them that if they
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came forward and identified themselves, got into school and were paying taxes and contributing, that we would provide them with a path to citizenship. that is what we need to do. we need to keep that promise. [applause] rep. porter: we have a lot of dreamers in our district. they are a diverse group. they're coming from all over. these are children and they represent one of the best and brightest opportunities we have. i was proud to support hr six, which was the dream act. that died in the senate. that bill combined two different things. protection for dreamers, along with addressing the status with temporary protected status. we have the political support for dreamers which is a little bit broader.
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i think we have to take another crack at this in the house and see if we can get the senate to keep up their end of the deal. we live in a community. i have worked at seven or nine universities. i never seen students as hard-working and lovely and delightful as uc irvine students. i strongly support to have those people choose to make the right in their country. that's what we need to do. we need to provide them with certainty. it's not fair to them or their families. this is a straightforward issue. [applause] rep. porter: are you willing to keep our immigrant community safe, if so, how?
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we need to make sure the department of justice and civil rights is doing its job. we need to make sure law enforcement is reporting hate crimes when they occur. making sure immigrants understand it is safe for them to report crimes to law enforcement. i had a very difficult conversation with sheriff because we disagree on many things. he told me he would protect and defend anyone who is at risk of a crime or has been harmed by -- in a crime in our community. we have to hold him accountable to that promise. we are living in a situation in which many immigrants are suffering crimes. criminals are being allowed to get with things and we will continue that. it's important that each of us feel safe to make that phone
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call to law enforcement and ask for help and reinforcements. encouraging and recognizing that our immigrants are is a part of our society. this is a challenge in the trump era. part of this is continuing to make sure we continue getting funding. this is the same question as before. it is about restricting dhs from reprogramming funding. brett kavanaugh assaulted dr. ford and appeared to lie to congress during his hearing. is there anything that can be done to investigate into perjury or should we affect the fact he will be on the supreme court for decades to come?
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you should accept the fact he will be on the supreme court. one of the things most challenging about our democracy is the burden it puts on each of us to accept the consequences of democracy that we disagree with. when people say, what about trump, to be honest, a lot of people voted for him. all americans. our neighbors. some of them friends, some of our families. we have to address the fact that we will be dealing with brett kavanaugh. that puts a heavy burden on congress to be passing legislation to protect rights that we cannot count on the court to be a safeguard for in the ways they have in the past. this means our duty, our constitutional duty as congress
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people on the need for a president not only follows the constitution but cherishes it and lifted up is even more important in this era. [applause] rep. porter: do you believe we are close to having enough support to impeach donald trump? one thing to note here is impeachment, it is a two-step process. impeachment occurs in the house of representatives. we would vote on articles of impeachment. it would then go to a trial in the senate. only upon conviction with the president be removed.
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given we cannot get the senate to pass things like background checks that have the support of 90% of republicans, i don't think we will see it happen. that doesn't mean we get to be silent. i have spoken up about injustices. sometimes i'm not hurt, but you don't need to stay silent. it's important to stand up and speak out if what you are seeing is people who are disobeying the rule of law and engaging in chemical activity or if there is a political battle we can win. there is a different story. to be honest, it is the only time that i got out of bed that something i would vote on would pass the senate, i would have bedsores. we are in this for our fight and values. we are at this because the patriots and we believe in this country. we do what we think is right.
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not what we think we should do to be reelected. i must do our best to be the change we want to see when democracy gives us our next opportunity next year. [applause] rep. porter: two questions. one is about holding trump accountable. no one is above the law. second question, what we would be doing about climate change. if we fail, nothing else matters. we have enacted permanent funding for the land and wildlife trust fund that passed the state in fall. that will help fund preserve land. we voted on h.r. 9, would set the united states should honor
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its commitment to the pairs accord. we voted to restore bears ears national monument as part of the antiquities act to protect the land. we have done some things, but we have not done the big fundamental building blocks. there is a lot more that congress needs to be doing. the hard part about this is you have a president who at every opportunity is isolating himself on the climate, rather than partnering with those who want to find solutions. china is by many multiples at stripping us in investment in clean energy. are they doing it because they love trees? they're doing it because they know to be economically strong in the future, they will need to have sustainable energy. we have a select committee on the climate crisis my representative in orange serves on that. it had its first meaningful
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hearings on climate change and i don't know when. we don't have two years to spend on a committee. scientists think we might have as little as 11 years. to make dramatic changes. before we have seriously irreversible damage. this will be a huge issue as we elect our new president. it will require everybody pulling together. the state, local, business, environmentalists, the president, everybody. we need to hold our global partners. this president is isolating us internationally exactly as we face in international crisis of epic proportions. we cannot afford it. we need china to be a partner. even if we hold them accountable for unfair trade. the answer is, what have we done? not enough. the answer is not resolutions.
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or deals or words. the answer is to take action, to pass good legislation. it's to make sure the epa is doing more research, not less. this is going to be tough. it's going to be a long year for our planet and the people that live on it. we are trying hard in the house to have a discussion and develop a solution so we can move quickly because we can't move quickly enough to get something done we have the political forces behind it. [applause] [indiscernible] [laughter]
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rep. porter: this is a question about a particular family and a problem they were having. the family is named. i don't know if the question came from the family, so i will not read it aloud. i will tell you the general thrust. people being separated. what can you do and how can you do more? here's one of the sad realities of immigration. the executive has a lot of authority over immigration. we try, but our office does not have the unilateral ability to do anything. we make requests and make sure they are acted on. we don't have the ability. i will give you the most poignant examples. we have a constituent, a father
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of four, a stay-at-home dad, his dad is a surgical nurse here in orange county. he has been held in vietnam for one year and a half, not allowed to see his children or have any contact with his family. he was sentenced without any rule of law and said, what can i do? i write letters. i am pressing on this. we have a limited amount we can do on some of these cases. i know that nothing tears more at each one of you than your relationships with your family. wanting to have loved ones close and to know they are safe. these are excruciatingly difficult cases. we want to try to help. there are limits on what we can do in any individual case as a congresswoman.
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we need to pass meaningful immigration reforms that create sensible and 21st century immigration. there's more that we need need to and must do. it's often difficult to have those conversations. the question here is, there are a few public services that provide safe, reliable, affordable public transit. are there any long-term goals for public transportation for orange county? yes. this is where federal, state, county and local cooperation has to occur. it doesn't do any good for me to fight at the federal level and have local government turn its back. our county should be working on this. our region needs to work on this.
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i met with some regional people to talk about public transit. i met with the orange county transportation association. the toll road authority told me everybody loves toll roads. that was a long meeting for them. we need to keep working on this. this is a big challenge. this is a related question. we need to invest in transit and public transit and infrastructure. we also need to be creating more opportunities for people who want to live close to where they work. when you're driving 60 or 90 or two hours to get to work, that is bad for your health. you're taking time away from your family and your enjoyment of life. there are jobs being created in irvine that are important. this is not about transit alone.
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it's also about housing and creating different models of housing so we can have people live and work close to their communities. yes, there are long-term plans. some of them, i disagree with. we should be building more publicly funded roads. there is no such thing as a free month or a free highway. we have to commit to finding this. it's an opportunity to invest in jobs, infrastructure, opportunity, connecting communities and attracting businesses to southern california. how many moved to orange county for the traffic? a lot of people moved here because of the traffic in los angeles. that is how we grew. we now face a big challenges in this regard. if we are going to continue to
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see this committee attract the best and braces -- by this, we have to get transit to get people to get to work. i will have to have the hard conversations with the transit authorities and regional people to try to create a transit system that provides the opportunity for a buddy to get to and from work and school. we have a lot of work to do to make that happen. [inaudible] rep. porter: this is the same question, which is restricting dhs. [inaudible] rep. porter: what do you
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recommend what our government does about white supremacy and terrorism. the house judiciary committee will be taking this issue up and looking at whether or not it is appropriate to limit gun ownership for people who have been convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes. we will be having hearings about this. we will be thinking about the cooperation between different brains is of law enforcement with regard to domestic terrorism and white supremacy. a renewed energy to take a look at this problem. it's a hard problem to deal with in our country. the judiciary committee is coming back to take a look at what we can do quickly so we don't put lives at risk. [applause] rep. porter: i was try to end these on an upbeat note. you guys aren't cooperating. [inaudible] rep. porter: another upbeat topic.
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the deficit. when obama was the president, republicans were concerned about the debt. and now no one talks about this. it should be a concern for every single american. republicans, democrats, voters, young, old, nobody is going to benefit from an out-of-control deficit. we have no foreseeable plan to address it. the promises made by the president about his tax plan have not come true. he tweeted out today if they reelect him in 2020, they will do nothing about taxes. you don't get a reboot. you passed taxes that blew up our deficit.
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politically punished certain states is making it hard for local governments to find the money they need. we need an issue of a fair tax system that addresses the long-term deficit. what trump did was absolutely backwards. our debt ballooned. his suggestions about what he will do, we saw what happened. it hit californians and homeowners hard. it blew up our deficit. those of us who are opposing trump need to work together to start a conversation about what it means to be fiscally responsible. that should be an issue we all agree on. we can't do it without a president who admits that his policies have been a part of the problem. [applause] rep. porter: i just want to say thank you again to everyone who
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was here today. it's a beautiful sunny day. thank you for coming and asking your questions. thank you for being respectful. thank you for being engaged and listening so politely. i look forward to seeing you at other events. we have received something like 49,000 letters or phone calls the first eight months. you are making your voices heard. we really encourage people to keep reaching out. stay engaged. we are in this together. that's how we will move america forward. thank you all. [applause]
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announcer: next, the supreme court justices ruth bader ginsburg and stephen breyer participate in a mock trial based on ancient greek tragedy. then a debate on the electoral college versus the national popular vote in electing the president. after, a discussion on civic engagement and civility. justicessupreme court ruth bader ginsburg and stephen breyer participated in a mock trial based on "the oresteia" trilogy by aeschylus. posted by the shakespeare theater company. five jurists considered arguments in a murder trial for electra and her brother orestes.

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