tv President Obama Statement on Guantanamo Bay Closure CSPAN February 28, 2016 1:32pm-1:51pm EST
welcome -- a welfare reform bill. the next president can sign it into law. the presidential candidates candidate that bill. it is put together in a way where you can stand on its own merits and let's have both sides debate the issue. let the country engage in this. >> is the second year of a republican-controlled congress. why hasn't that been done already? this unity over the previous speaker and mishandling of matters swelling the process down? this is the year that everything 2017ing to be punted to because details of nubbin ironed out? how much of this stuff is actually taken flight yet? >> we have brought some of these ideas to the floor already last year.
national security we had a number of pieces of legislation brought to the floor to deal with specific problems. the visa waiver program -- the problems with the visa waiver program. let's say people in france are traveling to syria and training with isis. they can come into the united states. we changed that because we put a task force together to figure out the best way to solve that problem. people recognize that were major flaws of the program. you cannot say let's fix it. you have to figure out how to fix it the right way. we had a task force led by the director of jurisdiction and now it is signed into law. we brought other bills to the floor to handle some of these problems. -- did thee saved up plan to save medicare from bankruptcy. they don't have a plan at all. we will do that even more this year.
there are a lot of problems our country is facing. details really do matter. billy: it doesn't be with the stance on the issues and the agenda? >> i think you'll see a lot of the things come forward before we go to cleveland. come -- to bring in our nominee is the official republican candidate for president -- it's a good opportunity for us to lay out the good ideas when you're not hearing a lot of those details coming out of the presidential election, there will be solutions to problems our country is facing we will have put on the table in the house so our nominees can embrace them, take pieces of those, and may be run on those bold ideas in the general election in november. billy: with many general appropriations bills being passed, do you think that undercuts the speaker bringing
together a agenda? mr. trump, if he is the nominee, he has differences with the speaker and house conservatives. what happens if there are two different directions being put out there? mr. scalise: if you look historically, the nominee ultimately is going to be the person that shapes the agenda for the election in november. that's always the case. i'm glad i had unanimous support, but at the end of the day that is what the process is going through right now. in the primaries. we in the house, at least, have an obligation to lay out our vision and you're seeing that play out and i think it is a healthy conversation. i think the fact we are including members from every committee -- not just the members of the committee of jurisdiction -- clearly they
hillary clinton is not disagreeing with that. that's not going to work out well. if you want to save medicare from bankruptcy, we have a plan for that. that is healing way you can get the budget balanced. they do not have a plan for it. if you want to know the direction of the supreme court, just go no further than the people running for president to see what that direction would be. the country is going to decide this. the people of america are going to decide this, but we are going to continue to show just what is at stake and there is everything on the line, from the direction of the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the judicial branch. billy: so -- and you could lose the senate, too, by the way. mr. scalise: right. the legislative branch. billy: puerto rico. why is congress taking so long to address what puerto rico says is an urgent need to address their situation, their fiscal calamity?
mr. scalise: well, the first thing is there are things going -- hearings going on right now to see if there is an involvement, a role for congress to play. you will have to start with puerto rico coming up with solutions to their problems. they have serious financial problems. they are not alone. as a territory they have problems, but there are a lot of states that have similar problems. we do not want to do something that might set a precedent where others come behind and say, hey, we want that, too. it has to be well thought through. it's got a be something we can get agreement on and right now there is not a unified answer to addressing this question at the federal level. they still ultimately are going to have to solve their problems and come up with the best ways to get their finances in order. again, a lot of states have similar problems. and those states are working through those problems. we don't want washington to be the place where people come for a bailout. this is not -- you know, we're
not going to give somebody a bailout. we have our own problems we have to address. so states and territories have to address their problems and if they want to put better solutions on the table, this is the time to do it. billy: financial control board or some sort of oversight board, that would -- why would that be taking so long to approve? mr. scalise: again, the committees of jurisdiction are working on this right now. they're having hearings. they're meeting right now. not only with the members but with people from puerto rico, with people from other places that have similar interests that puerto rico has. let's figure out if there's a way we can do something that we can get agreement on that solves the problem. right now we don't have a final solution. billy: another topic. has leadership pulled the plug on a long-term f.a.a. bill? mr. scalise: no, the bill just came out of committee. obviously there were a lot of disagreements within committee that chairman schuster worked through. it's a complicated bill. it's a bill that ultimately,
when they passed it, there were a lot of amendments even on the last day. and i think chairman shuster continues to have conversations with people that really do understand that the f.a.a. needs reforms. the f.a.a. does have its authorization expiring, so there's a timeline. and he's working through all of those different -- billy: so no decision -- no definite decision has been made? mr. scalise: no. there's still, again, chairman shuster's still meeting with a lot of people to work through all of the different issues that are involved. and there are many. billy: we're going to open it up for questions in a few minutes. really more general, you've been the number three man for mr. boehner and now you're the number three man for mr. ryan. which is the better boss? [laughter] mr. scalise: that's not a -- billy: i think you probably lean one way. the current king is the king,
right? mr. scalise: look, just to put it into perspective, four years ago i wanted paul ryan to run for speaker. i've been a huge fan of paul ryan since i came to congress. i joined the republican study committee right when i came in after a special election and paul was putting together the path to prosperity. and i was really excited that there was a member that was laying those bold ideas out on the table and that became the foundation that resulted in the house budget that we passed when we got the majority. so not only do i think he's our best ideas guy, but i also think he's the closest person i've seen to ronald reagan to articulate a conservative vision to people who don't typically vote republican. because we haven't done a good job of laying out our case about why conservative policy is better to build the middle class that's eroding, why it's better to get people out of poverty. our ideas are proven, we just don't do a good enough job of explaining them and paul is the best at it. i'd put him at the top of the field today. if he were running for president.
he's not, so i've been a big fan of his. four years ago i asked him if he'd run for president. he didn't want to. he ultimately became our vice presidential nominee. and i think added a lot to the ticket. but i do think he's in a special category. somebody who's got that reagan-esque and kemp-esque quality. he worked for jack kemp, to really inspire people who don't necessarily consider themselves republican to actually see why conservative policy is the best answer to the problems our country's facing. billy: so you would like to see a brokered convention? mr. scalise: no. i just think he's really one of the best conservative minds in the country. billy: have you talked to mr. boehner since he's left office? mr. scalise: i've seen him a couple of times up in washington. and he seems to be very happy. the speaker's a tough job. you can say the whip's job is a tough job. i think it's a great job. you keep the pulse of the membership, you really know what's happening in the house. but the speaker's job is
probably the toughest job, especially when you consider that barack obama's president and he might go down as one of the most divisive presidents in our country's history. he's not worked hard to bring congress together, to solve problems. it's created a very divisive atmosphere in the country and being speaker during that time is not easy at all. billy: ok. let's do some questions. we have somebody with the -- oh, beautiful. questioner: hello. i am jay with the hindu american foundation. several conservatives who are strong on foreign policy, chairman corker, rand paul, ed royce, ted poe, john mccain, have really disapproved of the president's notification to sell eight f-16's along with other equipment to pakistan with a subsidized sale. is this something you can rally conservatives and reach across the aisle to halt in order to save american taxpayers over $800 million?
mr. scalise: the armed services committee deals with these issues. i haven't seen them come out with the best approach. i don't want the full house to be trying to make the decisions that generals and the people, the experts in the field, ought to be making. but that's why you have a house armed services committee that has members with the best expertise on the direction of defense. my main concern is we have a strong national defense which has been depleted over the last few years and it's got to be strengthened. our military readiness has been degraded. we've got to strengthen that. we've got major threats around the world and i want the best minds in our military to be determining what that best approach is to keep america safe. and so the house armed services committee is working through that right now. i'll be looking forward to seeing their plan that they come out of committee with.
questioner: thank you. adam with the american library association. you mentioned the p word, mr. scalise. privacy. 194 republicans, almost 80% of the caucus, 115 democrats, are the 310 co-sponsors of the most co-sponsored bill in congress, h.r. 699, the email privacy act. it shocked me, and i had to that a warrant is not needed i had to check it three times to learn that a warrant is not needed after six months to get the actual content of people's emails, all of your drop box files, basically everything in the cloud. no speeches. when this bill comes out of committee, as happily it finally is poised to do in judiciary, what is the best path to the floor as the clock ticks down on this particular congress? mr. scalise: i'd like to see us take it up. i'm a strong supporter of privacy. i'm a strong supporter of a free and open internet. i do have concerns where you see the f.c.c. trying to get more involved in writing technology
policy. that should be the role of congress. i do think when you look at this debate that's going on nationally on privacy, it's an important one that congress is being drug into and i think in some ways we've got to address some of the problems where you have threats to privacy. and then the balance is always, how do you make sure to protect national security and privacy at the same time? that's probably the biggest debate we have in congress. and i do think there are always ways to strike that fair balance. there are cases that pop up from time to time like we see right now, with apple, that challenge that and force everybody to really revisit are laws adequate and what is the proper role of government? sure don't want the federal government being able to tell a company how to write an operating system or how to develop hardware. so you've got to balance privacy with national security and find the proper balance. questioner: to be clear, this
debate is -- [inaudible] mr. scalise: this is a much broader debate, this ladies and gentlemenslation you're talking about. really deals -- this legislation you're talking about. really deals with the privacy of individuals' email. i've raised these concerns to some of the companies who allow emails to be viewed in a broad sense, where maybe the people writing those emails don't realize that they're being viewed. i have some real problems with that. questioner: good morning. you talked about the task forces already a little bit. can you elaborate on the logistics of, you know, will the recommendations or will there be a publication of recommendations, will stakeholders at all be able to post ideas or is this a round table talking?
mr. scalise: the task forces are very real detailed policy conversations amongst members of congress to figure out which bills we want to bring to the floor, if we want to have a better tax plan, which we all agree we need to have, our country is not competitive right now. you see major companies leaving the united states of america to invert and go to other countries. it's not because they want to. they don't want to leave. the tax code is forcing them to leave. because we are not competitive as a nation. how do we best do it? the details really do matter. we have members right now meeting to work through and see if we can come to an agreement on legislation. ideally i'd like to see be able to bring actual bills to committee. we don't have a predisposed outcome and leadership. we made it very clear. we didn't start this to say we want this bill and that bill and that bill to be on the house floor. we want the committees to then go to work on these ideas. and they're really good ideas that are being discussed in these task forces. like i said yesterday i sat in
on the task force on restoring our article one powers, to re-establish the balance of power. there are people across the country that think we have zero-based budgeting where if you had a government shutdown, everything literally shuts down. that's not the way the law works. you go back to the budget act, which literally congress decades ago gave most of that power of the purse to the president. it's bad policy. i want us to change that policy. our members are now meeting to come up with the best way to re-establish that balance of power. and if that's going to result in specific bills, might be one bill, might be four bills, but ultimately those conversations are going on right now amongst our members, that's going to go to the committees and then the committees hopefully produce final pieces of legislation that we can vote on on the house floor. billy: kind of to that point though -- can you tell us the agenda that's being crafted for -- put together in sort of a contract with america booklet form.
how will it be dispensed to the public? i mean, how will joe voter know what exactly the conservative agenda that you guys have? mr. scalise: there's no misconceptions that the house is going to drive the agenda for the presidential election. i do think the house can actually help lay out some of these issues so our presidential candidates can comment on them and they should be asked to comment. if we come up with an alternative to obamacare in the form of an actual piece of legislation. look, when i was rnc chairman, i led a task force to write an alternative. we came up with a bill called the american health care reform act. less than 200 pages. actual legislative text. and half of our conference signed on as co-sponsors to that bill. you can look at a piece of legislation and if you like it, endorse it. if you have maybe a change this part, i'd change tax deductions to tax credits. let's have our candidates for president be commenting on and taking positions on those pieces of legislation. so that in an off year, congress can have a contract with america type document where we lay out