tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN December 14, 2016 7:49pm-8:01pm EST
the democratic party as he become d.n.c. chair. we'll also hear from former senatortial candidate bernie sanders live at 8:00 eastern here on c-span. >> c-span is talking with members ofeshmen congress. we caught up with them at an orientation meeting on capitol hill. >> representative-elect raja krishnamoorthi, representing the eighth district. tell us what you did before you won election to the house. rep.-elect. krishnamoorthi: i'm still currently a small businessman. we make and sell infrared vision technology for space and civilian and military applications and we also make technology. you could say i'm in the high-tech space out in chicagoland. >> how many years have you been doing that? rep.-elect. krishnamoorthi: for
almost seven years, i have been company. of the the company has been around longer than that but i came in seven years ago. reporter: why did you decide to run for a house seat? rep.-elect. krishnamoorthi: it has to do with my personal story. little child, my parents were part of the working poor. thanks to the generosity of this government, we were allowed to take advantage of certain programs, food stamps, and so forth, to survive. my parents were able to complete their studies and get a job of all places in peoria illinois and that is where they spent the next 40 years of their lives and raised a family. entered the they middle class. at an early age, my father said, regardless of what you do make sure that government is there for the next families who need it and so when i was in a position, i started to do more then for mynity and state.
and now running for congress with, you know, the next chapter in unfinished business for me which is to help others in the middle class. >> where did you grow up? rep.-elect. krishnamoorthi: peoria, illinois. >> but before that, talk about your family heritage. rep.-elect. krishnamoorthi: so i was born in india. i came here when i was 3 months old. first we resided in buffalo, new york. which is where we spent the years of our time here in the united states. peoria.ed to reporter: talk about that experience, what that means for job. what do you bring to the house of representatives given your background? rep.-elect. krishnamoorthi: my time in peoria? well, you know, it's really my formative years. some of mye i made closest friends. my incoming chief of staff is from peoria, we've known each were 8 years old. many of the people in my campaign came from there. it also formed my values, middle
class, midwestern values. you know, i believe very much people can disagree without being disagreeable. i grew up among republicans mostly in peoria at that time. but you wouldn't know it talking them buzz they didn't really advertise their political said.s in everything they the conversations were very practical and, you know, democrats and republicans did not throw bombs at each other. they kind of had things out and -- hashed things out and at the end of the day were able to form to common problems that everyday people have. >> how would you describe your ideology and what or who influenced it? rep.-elect. krishnamoorthi: my ideology is very simple. in do we grow in strength the middle class? i want to be very practical about that. you know, i believe in helping the working poor to climb the economic ladder into the middle my family did. for people in the middle class to be able to stay there if they
wish and for people who want to jump and take risk and create wealth and prosperity for their families and communities, to be too. that, so i believe very much that america should lend a helping hand to those who want to help tomselves, who are willing work to better their families and their situations. so that is my ideology but i am very practical about how do you go about, you know, achieving those ends and i do not pretend that i have a monopoly on all of the best ideas. i think there are a lot of good people with good faith on both sides of the aisle who can help and offer solutions to these problems. so as i come here and with the new congress, that is the kind of attitude that i am kind of bringing to the table. reporter:you're not new to politics. you knew, then-senator barack obama. talk about your experience with him. rep.-elect. krishnamoorthi: i worked on his campaign in 1999 and that did not go as planned
but, you know, in 2002 when he decided to run for the u.s. senate, he asked me to come on board and i became his policy director and issues director and the rest is history with him but that really inspired me because, if -- i, i didn't know didn't know if someone with my background and heritage and interesting name would be able electorally. and it turns out that, you know, the people of illinois are very good, decent, open-minded forward-thinking people and they are not going to just pigeonhole you or reject you out of hand because of where you came from or how many letters there are in your name. and so, barack obama's campaign really inspired me to think about elective politics and he, himself, you know, inspired me to think about working families much more tangible and kind of concrete way.
that informs my attitude today, obviously. >> have you been in contact? have you stayed in contact with the president? have you heard from him since seat?n this house rep.-elect. krishnamoorthi: it's funny you say that. contact with him. he actually issued an endorsement of my campaign and up with a video message prominent role towards the end of my campaign. we cut it into an ad, not in ad but a video that was very, very popular on youtube. and, you know, i am just very proud to have his support. >> what are your plans for you and your family for this lifestyle of being here in washington three or four days a week and then going back to your district? rep.-elect. krishnamoorthi: i have three young children. my wife and i have three young children.
11, 7 and a six-month-old baby girl. so they are not going anywhere. the three-ring circus will remain in sham burg, illinois, live.is where we and my wife has a very successful career there and so, you know, i will be commuting. i will be coming here and doing the people's business in congress and then returning back home on the weekend and as often as i can to get my family and to meet with constituents and so that is the lifestyle we are going to adopt. >> where do you plan to live here in washington? rep.-elect. krishnamoorthi: good question. that is on the to-do list along with a number of other things but, you know, it is one of those things where logistics was kind of the last issue i was thinking about us we were approaching election day and now we have the high-class problem on our hands of dealing with all of those issues as well. reporter:do you get help with
here?rom the folks from your party? from the staff here in ofhington for members congress? rep.-elect. krishnamoorthi: with regard to housing and so forth? informally. that is not really part of the formal program or orientation program. i think they are more focused on like, how to be a member of congress, and you know, how to vote and where is the capitol and all of that stuff. but, we get informal advice here and there regarding this. plans to maybe bunk up with another member of congress? rep.-elect. krishnamoorthi: i think i have passed the time of having roommates at this point. i think i am probably a little too, you know, insistent on the way i live. but, i have to think about what are the next steps there. reporter:what about committee assignments? where are you interested in serving? rep.-elect. krishnamoorthi: as i said, the people in my district hired me for one simple reason,
do we grow the strength of the middle class. so i will want to be on a committee where we will talk about economic things and jobs, primarily. so that is kind of the focus of my search for committee assignments right now. it is a very interesting process because there are a lot of moving parts and we're having a lot of conversations, productive ones. and hopefully i will be in a position where i can actually help people at that and how do we grow the strength of the middle class. reporter:you're in washington for orientation meetings. far?has surprised you so rep.-elect. krishnamoorthi: i think i'm surprised, although i much in awe, by how i still am, you know, walking the capitol, and looking thet the dome and seeing majesty of our government. i can't believe i'll be coming thisrk in a place such as one, which is, at its height,
the temple of democracy. really mean that. it really kind of reminds me -- time, i'm in awe, it also grounds me. do theve come here to people's business, of the country, but also most district.y, my so it is time to get to work and really make sure that they, you know, get what they need, you know? reporter: thank you very much for talking to c-span. rep.-elect. krishnamoorthi: i love c-span, thank you for doing this for me, thank you. >> follow the transition of government on c-span as president-elect donald trump selects his cabinet and the and democrats prepare for the next congress, we'll take you to key events as they happen, without interruption. watch live on c-span, watch on demand at c-span.org or listen on our free c-span radio app.
unfoldswhere history daily. a 1979, c-span was created as public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your or satellite provider. >> and we are live here with the group, our revolution, about >> we are live here with the group, our revolution, about to host a discussion on the future of the democratic party with former presidential candidate, senator bernie sanders of vermont, and minnesota congressman keith ellison. representative keith ellison will outline his vision of the democratic party as he campaigns to become that democratic national committee chair. we will also hear from bernie sanders. he will talk about his vision of the party and r