tv Meet the Presss Press Pass NBC September 29, 2013 11:30am-11:45am EDT
>> this is "press pass." our all access pass to an extra "meet the press" conversation. this week an "press pass" harnessing the power of youth to perhaps break the partson gridlock on capitol hill just as congress once again stairs down a luming government shoutdown. two of the youngest members are joining forces to create the future caucus. democrat from hawaii gabert and aaron shock. great to see you both. this is a time when congress is held in such low esteem. you're almost like journalists. there has been a big part that's really disappointing. >> the frustration that we're
seeing from our constituents every time we get home i think is felt in congress as well. we came here to do something, we came here to get results and to execute on the mandate that has been given to us by those who elected us, that is to get things done for the american people. i think what we're seeing and what fueled us to start this caucus is a frustration with these constant crises situations and a lack of long term planning and thinking for setting us up for success in the future as a country and patience with our generation of wanting to get things done. >> aaron, there is an aspect to this which is you got to run into people your own age, early 30s, who say, wow, you're in congress. i mean is that really what you want to be doing, are you disappointed, do you get these kinds will have questions from people in your generation -- i'm a bit older than you but there
is a backlash against big institutions, whether it's banks or what have you. >> a lot of young people think they can do more good whether it be on environmental causes, feeding the hungry, advancing education and even business and entrepreneurial efforts in the private sector as opposed to entering the public arena. i got sworn in five years ago and i was one of four under the age of 40 out of 435 members. january of this year we swore in 40 members of congress under the age of 40, 20 republicans and 20 democrats. when i got know tulsi, we got to know each other in the gym and on the floor and we talked about different issues and said maybe we can bring these young members who are ambitious and nmore focused on putting aside the
ideology and say let's negotiate what we can. >> as i run into younger members of congress i see something else in some quarters which is you talk about the need to govern, for bipartsonship. there is a lot of younger people who are coming here, might be more conservative colleagues who say i'm not here to become part of this place. i'm here to sort of break up the entrenched interest of this place, i'm not interested in following the rules of washington. haven't we seen that this week with ted cruz? >> i wouldn't say that's indicative of young people by nature. as i mentioned, if you look at the 40 members of congress under 40 i think you'll find members who want to get things done and i think at the end of the day that's what your constituents expect. i'm a republicans. tulsi is a democrat. it doesn't mean we're going to agree on everything. for the next two years
republicans are going to control the house. if we sit in our idealogical corners of the room nothing is going to get done. our challenges are too big for us not to get anything done in the next two years. >> the issue is at hand is obama care. the president is selling it hard. you've seen in the senate with senator cruz trying to gum the works, not quite a filibuster but it's still moving ahead even though the house would like to delay it. are you satisfied with how obama care is being both explained and implemented? >> i think there is definitely room for improvement. we hear from folks back home, concern about fear of the unknown and what is this actually going to cost and how is this going to roll out and i think you can expect that from any major change that is being implemented, whether it be health care or education or any other big change that we see going forward from the government. i think that what we need to do is recognize this is a law that's been passed, it's been
signed into law by the president and we need to see how we can work together to improve it to try to allay some of the concerns that are there and some of them are valid. >> you've been a bit disappointed in what you've seen out of colleagues like senator cruz or the 40 or so in the house who have made it clear they support defunding obama care or perhaps delaying obama care. where does this go from here? >> i think we have to work in the realm of possible. i support their stated position. i'm not a supporter of the president's health care law but at the end of the day i'm rel is tick. he and i are different on these issues. if i were president obama and i believed this was the right thing for america and he never faces the voters again, why would they cap pit late and change his position. there are a lot of problems with the law and there are seven different provisioned the house passed and the senate passed and the president had to sign into law to fix his bill.
the repeal of the 1099 revision, the repeal of funding for the ipad and the like. those are areas where we can make progress and expose portions of the law that are bad but let's think about what's big at home. back in august it was the economy. people were worried about keeping their job or finding one. i serve on the ways and means committee. we have a 70,000 page tax code. max in the senate, the leading democrat and dave, the leading republican have joined hands to do comprehensive tax reform. all this fight about the debt, if you don't do entitlement reform, we're not really fixing things through sequestration and cutting discretionary spending. >> do you think the debt limit be raised? i guess first will republicans move to shut down the government and do you think they will try
to block the debt ceiling being raised? >> i take a more pragmatic view. i'm reminded of my u.s. senator from illinois at the time barack obama. i think as a failure of leadership of the president, if we're truly talking about raising the debt limit without reforms, what those reforms are i'm open to discussions. if he's got different entitl entitlement reforms let's talk about it but simply to suggest to raise the debt limit when we're spending a trillion dollars more than we take in is as responsible as it was six years ago. >> we'll take a quick break and be back right after this.
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that's what makes the world's leading airline... flyer friendly. ♪ >> we're back with more from the co-chairs of the future caucus. tulsi gabbard and aaron schock of illinois. you may want to draw more young people but the truth is a lot of voters tend to be older. we have had a lot more younger voters in the last couple of cycles. that congress is as relevant, that washington is as relevant in people's lives, particularly
when you see the political process stuck like this? >> i think people have woken up whether it be through the affordable care act or through their cost of college if you are student loan even, interest rates are governed by the federal government. so whether you're a single mom, whether you're a small business owner, a college student, i think people are starting to make the connection between what happens in washington d.c., they may not be happy with it or please the with the direction but they're making a connection between what happened in d.c. and their personal lives. to tulsi's point i see the younger people in congress as people who are unafraid to venture into areas perhaps where their political parties don't typically go. my democrat colleagues i see on the republican house a little more. i see them going to different ethnic groups and college
populations that may not be as friendly to republican candidates. that's important not only from a political standpoint but a policy standpoint. when you understand people's different views of the world, when you understand people who grew up and are living in radically different environments than you, it makes you a better policy maker and more willing to be a part of a governing majority. >> is part of the problem that members of congress come with the expectation of staying longer than they should? do you think i'm here for a limited time? maybe you want to stay in politics or maybe you don't but that you are not here to really build up a lot of years. >> there is no sense of entitlement and this is something that aaron and i found in common as we were running for office. each of us approached it in it same mind-set in that we were applying for a job from the people in our districts and keeping that mind-set at the forefront of the work that we do, that every two years we go back and say are you happy with the work that i'm doing, if not
how can i do it better and we're up for that assessment. >> how do you feel about it in terms of longevity. >> i'm serving with people who have been in congress longer than i've been alive. whether i'm here for four years, eight years, ten years, who knows. but, yeah, i think more to the point than just how long do i want to be here, i think what we share is a view of the world that's differently. when you are in your 30s, you think about life different than than when you're in your 70s. i don't think everybody in congress should be mine or tulsi's age but when you look at congress there are far more people in their 60s, 70s and 80s than in their 30s. in fact, there is no one in their 20s in congress. there were more 18 to 20 years old that voted in the race than
the senior citizens. >> do you worry that your caucus can't get as much attention as say what some people including republicans call a fringe caucus in your own party in the house? >> that's shown us the power of just 15 or 20 people, even within my own republican conference that can either help or hurt the overall effort. so we think with 40 young people under the age of 40 and actually i've had quite a few 50 and 60-year-old men and women that i serve with say, hey, i'm a little older than 40 but i still want to join your caucus and be a part of doing some big things. so i think a lot can be done with 20 or 30 or 40 people trying to move the ball down the court. >> we're going to leave it there. good luck in all your efforts. i appreciate you being here. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> that's all for your conversation today. you can follow it all week long at "meet the press," nbc.com.