tv New Member Interviews - Veterans CSPAN February 21, 2021 9:23pm-11:01pm EST
presidency, donald trump spoke at the conservative political action conference. that sunday, he will return to give his first public speech since leaving office. watch live coverage of the three-day conference, including former president trump in his final day or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> on january 3, more than 60 new members of congress were sworn to serve in the u.s. house of representatives. their first few weeks included debating challenges to electoral college votes, surviving an attack on the u.s. capitol and voting on whether to impeach the president of the united states. before these historical events, we spoke with several new members about what brought them to collect -- congress and what life experiences have shaped them. here are seven of those new members that served in the military before running for office. >> nancy mace is the republican
rep resenting south carolina's congressional district. she was the first woman to graduate from the corps of cadets program. she is also the first republican woman to represent south carolina in the house. >> you grew up in south carolina. what was your childhood like? >> i am the daughter of a retired army general. i spent the first 10 to 11 years of my life traveling all across the united states to different military bases. my father retired to south carolina, where i grew up and i call home. we call it low country. it is a coastal community along beautiful coastline and beaches. i dropped out of high school when i was 17 and my parents said if you're going to stop
going to school, you've got to start going to work, and back in those days, my first job was a waitress at the waffle house off the interstate. i learned some very tough lessons and they were tough times but i learned the value of hard work. i had a lot of great experiences during that time. greta: why were they tough times? rep. mace: because i dropped out at the age of 17 with no intention of going back. the principle of my high school was a graduate of the citadel, and my father is also a graduate of the citadel. at that time, my mom taught courses at my high school. i was not going to go back and i was not going to sit for the ged because i heard "test," and i was a 17-year-old kid. but i started college at 17 and was able to get credit for high school work and graduated just a few months later with my diploma in hand at the age of 17.
that was in 1995. a year later in 1996, the citadel decided to allow women and they made the decision on the same day that justice ruth bader ginsburg wrote the majority opinion on a supreme court case against the virginia military institute that stated if you are a state funded, government funded institute of higher learning, you cannot discriminate based on gender. that decision literally changed my life. i enrolled in the citadel, i applied and enrolled and was accepted immediately after that, within a few days. that place saved my life and i learned a lot of lessons in those years. greta: why did it save your life? rep. mace: when i was 17 and dropped out of school, i wasn't sure what my future would hold. i went to the citadel and i went
there not to be the first woman to graduate from there, i ended up being the first female graduate in 1999, but i went there because i had something to prove to myself as a high school dropout, that i could go to a place and face enormous adversity, that i could face an obstacle unlike any other and a challenge and i would not quit and would not give up on myself and i could be successful. i ended up graduating at the top of my class, something i thought i would never be able to do, to achieve, and it taught me several valuable lessons. the first was about having courage. courage to speak up for yourself but also to speak up for others. to give a voice to the voiceless regardless of what sometimes
there repercussions could be. i also learned about having confidence. if we don't believe in ourselves, no one is going to believe in us. those values, those lessons i learned carried through for me in business over 20 years and it has been helpful to me politically. i was a senate lawmaker before i ran for congress. in politics. women are few and far between. it is important we have women who run for office, but it takes courage and confidence to do that. those were tremendous lessons i learned at a very young age. greta: why did you drop out of high school? what went into that decision? rep. mace: i talked about this two years ago. i gave a speech at the well as a state lawmaker, but i was assaulted when i was 16. when that happened, i decided going back to school was not an option for me. that i was unwilling to do it and unwilling to go back to that place.
it was a very tough time in my life. i did not see a path forward and there was no light at the end of the tunnel during that time in my life and it was a challenging and dark time for me personally. also for my family, to see me go through that. but it taught me that if you have a dream and you set a goal and work hard, at the end of the day, you can achieve it. when i thought i had no chances, somebody gave me an opportunity, and that is why going to the citadel and graduating was such a big personal deal to me. i took something very traumatic and negative, a horrific experience, and was able to overcome that challenge, that obstacle, and be successful no matter what. greta: where you think that fortitude comes from? rep. mace: i think it comes from your life experiences.
everybody has a story, and when you struggle and fail and face that kind of adversity head-on, you are getting punched in the face left and right day after day, when you can overcome that, that is an enormous personal achievement that can give you the confidence to move forward. in times when i have struggled and been challenged, being able to fall down and pick yourself back up again and realize you can make a difference and you can overcome those obstacles and be successful. that is ultimately at the end of the day, what the american dream is all about. when the wheels of my plane touched down for freshman orientation a few weeks ago at the capitol, the gravity of what i had just achieved weighed on me so heavily that i started crying. my mask was just soaked with
tears. realizing everything i had overcome over the last several years and what i had been able to achieve, that is really what the dream is all about. i am just this girl from goose creek who had hard times but was able to overcome that. if i can do that, anybody can. i. >> you also have a book, ", company of men" about your experience at the citadel. what was it like there? rep. mace: certainly tougher than running for congress. it is no easy feat. it is a big challenge both academically and physically to go through. but i loved every minute of it because the alumni network is really one giant family. i would not be where i am today and have achieved so much success in business and be in congress without the support of citadel alumni all across the
country who have been cheering me on for many years. >> describe the rigor. rep. mace: as an 18-year-old kid, you have to get up at 5:00 a.m. and march every day and be told when and where and how you have to be and how to behave and what you are going to eat, it was very rigorous. in those days, you could not have long hair, no makeup, no jewelry, no nail polish, any of that. in those days, in the first year of women, there was a rate of 50%. two of us made it through the freshman year. i graduated at the top of my class and i overcame obstacles. it was a tremendous challenge in my life that it taught me important values of having courage and confidence, and no matter what obstacle lies ahead, you can overcome it. >> who instilled this and you?
for you and one other female to make it through, who instilled that in you? rep. mace: i had kind of a chip on my shoulder, a purpose to be there, it was personal to me. i had a journey i was intent on going on, i had to prove to myself that no matter what was thrown at me and how tough it was, no matter how hard it was or how many times i cried or how long, i would be successful. no matter what life threw at me. for me, it was personal and i had something to prove to myself and to my family come to my parents especially, after dropping out of school could -- of school. >> where do your republican, where does the republican philosophy come from for you? rep. mace: this district is very unique, it is conservative and i think people on both sides of the aisles feel the same way on
how the government wastes dollars. we love the environment and want to protect it, and we are conservationists. from that perspective, i have a different ideology. i was rated one of the top fiscal conservatives at the state lawmaker, but between our principles and trying to pull people together to get something done, to work together. when i was a state lawmaker, we had a republican majority, but i worked on issues across the aisle. i worked on fiscal policy, lowering taxes, l care policy, trying to -- health care policy, trying to repeal regulations. the mastic abuse for women, -- domestic abuse for women, law enforcement training, criminal justice reform, prison reform, issues i pride myself on being able to work with members of both parties.
that is instrumental and important to the district i represent, that we have a voice that is fiscally conservative but also has an independent mind. it is important to be true to yourself and your values and principles, but also find ways to ensure you are representing your district across all of the lines, and everyone that lives there, all of the residence. that is very important particular to the area i represent. >> is there someone in the particular arena or not who inspires you? rep. mace: south carolina has many great political leaders and in fact, i am most proud of ambassador nikki haley, she was very instrumental not only in my race but in many women's races across the country. to have her be a member of our community in our district is cool.
also a constituent is very inspirational. they both have such tremendous stories. senator lindsey graham, too. they faced many struggles growing up but overcame those obstacles and have done great things not only for the state of south carolina but our country as well. >> you are a single mom, how will you balance life here and back home? rep. mace: that's probably the number one question i get, but like so many single moms across the country, we are able to manage and get it all done. my children are accustomed to me traveling. when mom travels, that is when mom works, and we are balancing it all, even through covid-19. i have to homeschool my children when i am in the district, and i will be in district as much as possible because i am raising my family and the low country, i am not relocating to d.c. i serve the residents of this
district and they will be number one always. >> what are you most excited about? rep. mace: getting to work. i love to work. i am most excited about getting sworn in, establishing an office that really puts my constituents first, and ensuring we have continuity in all of the casework happening right now. as freshman, you don't have as much opportunity to pass a lot of legislation or amend a lot of legislation, especially when you are in the minority, but the one thing we can do is improve the way and the speed with which we responded to our constituents and their needs. that will be my number one. >> what worries you? rep. mace: there are so many things i want to work on, and i know i will get frustrated while i am up here, and i've been telling people i really want to
bottle the energy and excitement i feel right now on the heels of flipping this seat. i know i will get frustrated with the gridlock that often times happens. everyone is so sick and tired of the divisiveness in politics and the gridlock, and i'm hoping to find small ways to work with people in my party and across the aisle to achieve something while we are here and there first two years. that is what i think about, i worry about what can we do in the short time we have as freshman? >> nancy mace, thank you. >> j caulkins loss has a family -- jake auchinsloss served as a marine captain and returned to boston after leading missions in panama. he now represents the fourth
congressional district of masses loses -- massachusetts, which includes suburb south of boston. >> public service is in your blood. explain? rep. auchincloss: thank you for having me. on my dads side, we had a proud legacy of service in the roosevelt and kennedy administrations, on my mom side, science and medicine. i grew up thinking about science and public health as a public service and also government is a form of public service. right now, we are facing the greatest public health crisis of the last century, and i think that background is especially salient. >> what did your great-grandfather harvey bundy do? rep. auchincloss: he supported the secretary of defense and was one of the architects of the marshall plan during the truman
administration. >> what about mcgeorge bundy? rep. auchincloss: a national security advisor to john kennedy and the brother of my grandmother. >> what do you remember your family telling you about their service? rep. auchincloss: i think the most important memory i have growing up -- i had dinner with my grandmother every sunday growing up -- is a different lens on politics than we have now. her view was politics was something to be proud of and something to aspire to, and that is not how most americans view politics these days. she thought the book service in government -- public service and government was a high calling and the people who did it should do it honorably and serve their constituents with integrity. that is what i take with me to washington, d.c., when trust in institutions is at an all-time low. >> and your maternal
grandfather, what did he do? rep. auchincloss: my grandfather was the son of refugees who in 1942 walked into a recruiting office as a city jewish kid with no money and try to enlist in the south pacific. his mom dragged him out of the recruiting office but he snuck back in the next day. at a time when jews were being exterminated through the world, that 17-year-old was sent to purdue to study engineering. he turned that degree into a world-famous career at the intersection of engineering and medicine, helping others understand the processes of bone formation. it has informed my own decision to join the marine corps after i rajoy to college. i wanted -- after i graduated college.
i wanted to give back. >> how do you think your heritage has influenced your political philosophy? rep. auchincloss: as a defendant of refugees and a defendant of people who have proud service in government, i have a deep appreciation for what government at its best can do for the most vulnerable. that really is the core premise of the american experiment, the circumstances of your birth should not determine the conditions of your life. the federal government needs to be an equalizer of opportunity for everybody. whether you are the son of immigrants from russia or in the cabinet of the roosevelt administration, you have a chance to reach her full potential. >> was there someone or something that made you a democrat? rep. auchincloss: right now, what we see is the democrats are the party of opportunity and community. we have disagreements
internally, as we have had since the era of jefferson. we are debating how to tackle covid, climate change, racial justice. but we have a clear set of values and priorities. the republican party is undermining the peaceful transfer of power and that is peddling conspiracy theories in support of a would-be tyrant as president. right now, the democratic party is serious about governance and helping the american people. >> you have changed your political affiliation in the past. explain that transition and why it came about and why you are now a democrat again. rep. auchincloss: i have been a lifelong democrat, i supported governor deval patrick, president obama could i also -- president obama. i also supported charlie baker and changed my affiliation to support him.
i think he did a great job in the covid pandemic, my priority as well. it was an example of bringing great people together to get things done. we want the best people regardless of ideology. he was a strong manager in the crisis. i've worked closely with governor baker to make sure we get covid relief and recovery. he does not represent what the republican party is and has become recently. >> are there conservative principles you relate to? rep. auchincloss: i am someone who believes in capitalism. i am a market democrat. i do not think we need to transition to an economy that is on mort -- unmoored from market principles. my predecessor called it moral capitalism, an economy that works for everyone. one example of that is in this
district, i plan to make it a focus of my effort to increase opportunity in sciences. massachusetts is the life sciences capital of the world, and yet research and development is largely relegated to the greater boston suburbs. there's no reason the south coast towns and fall river cannot share in lifesciences manufacturing. it's an example of making the economy work for everybody and not just those in a certain area. >> what was your experience like in afghanistan in 2012? rep. auchincloss: the owner of my life to meet americans from all walks of life in pursuit of a common mission. however, it was also unfortunately a visceral realization of the failure of our mission in forever wars.
the deal we got with the taliban was a national embarrassment. we have to end these wars, stop the spigot of money, up to $6 trillion of failed spending. we have to bring those resources home to invest in climate solutions. climate change is a true national security threat. if we would launch the same multigenerational offensive against climate change, the better we would be. >> what did you see in afghanistan and what impacts did it have on you? rep. auchincloss: i saw a rudderless mission, americans in pursuit of omission undefined. the inspector general said it himself, [indiscernible]
we did not like what we are trying to accomplish but we did know that the mission was not to be a successful endeavor. one, the security of israel, to that -- two, that terrace cannot strike the united states, and three, that maritime commerce be unmolested. we commerce those without expensive nationbuilding exercises. we've got to focus on the pacific, particular china, to continue their ambitions to extend influence up and down the east pacific. that is the core national priority. >> why did your military service bring you to panama in 2014? rep. auchincloss: i joined a special division and in that capacity, i was at the head of the multinational -- training
pan-american forces. that was the american military force at its best. we imparted best in class training and tactics. five years later, we are still using that mission to interdict drug smuggling to the united states without the expenditure of american dollars. >> you are 32 years old. what do you think these experiences you have had at this age and your youth brings to the table in washington? rep. auchincloss: i've had experience and the military, business and government bringing people together to get things done and that's what my constituents want to see. bringing people together to get our biggest challenges resolved. i think i am well-positioned to take on the defining challenge of our generation, climate change.
how do we fight climate change and transition to a green economy and include jobs -- and make jobs that include everybody? how do we address systemic racism and become a country that works for everybody who was not initially included in the great american experiment? i think i have a differentiated platform. these are challenges that animate me and are going to inspire me, these are challenges i think are going to become hallmarks of my career. >> jake hawkins/, thank you. >> andrew clients service spans -- andrew clyde's service spans three decades. during that time he built a namesake business selling
firearms. gun rights were the center of his 2020 campaign to represent georgia's ninth congressional district as a republican, his first run for office. >> before running for office, what were you doing? rep. clyde: before running for office, i was running my own business as a small business owner. i am the ceo and owner of clyde armory, a business that sells firearms to the local general population and law enforcement agencies. before that, i was a military officer. >> how did you get interested in the firearms business? rep. clyde: that has been a passion of mine ever since i was growing up, i guess. my grandfather was a bit of a gunsmith and my father was a pastor but always interested in
firearms. i have had that interest along time. >> what were you doing as a child with firearms, with guns? how is that part of your family life? rep. clyde: i grew up in the rural outback of ontario, canada. during that time, my father taught me how to shoot. we would go out and shoot groundhogs in farmers fields because they would dig holes that would be detrimental to the cows and horses because they would step in them and break their legs. that was one of the things i did growing up. when you live in the rural outback, you learned to grow up with a rifle. >> what did your parents or grandfather tell you about guns that stays with you today? rep. clyde: first thing they taught me was firearms safety.
you always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. you always treat a weapon as if it is loaded could and -- is loaded. you always know where your bullet is going to go and you always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. those are the rules they taught me growing up. > how did your family get to ontario, canada? rep. clyde: my mom is canadian and my dad is a u.s. citizen. they met in the korean war and they got married. my dad was a chaplain in the united states navy in the early 1950's, and after he left back to naval service, he went to emanuel bobble college -- emanuel bible college in ontario to teach.
my mom was from southern toronto. a little town called stowville. five or 30 years of their in --he spent 25 or 30 years up there in canada. they took us to canada, and the rest of the children when we grew up and graduated from high school, then we went to college down in indiana. northern indiana is where my dad side of the family is from. we went to bethel college or the university of notre dame, where my brother and i went for rotc. >> why indiana? was it required or suggested strongly that you go there? rep. clyde: no, it was my father's home.
our family has been from northern indiana for well over 100 years. so bethel college was the local private college at the missionary church were my father was a pastor and his family were members of the missionary church there. that was the college to go to, i guess. >> what role has religion played in your life? rep. clyde: a very significant role in my life. it has crafted my values, what i believe in, my beliefs. our nation was founded on biblical principles, and i think that is very important. i think prayer is important. one of the things i tried to end every speech with is the term glory to god alone in latin.
actually, those were the words that bach used when he wrote music. he would put those words on his pieces of music. my wife is a professional violinist. she has her doctorate in violin performance. she would put those words on her treatise as well. religion, god's values are very important to her. very important our entire family, and very important to our nation. >> and what values and beliefs do you have because of your religious background? rep. clyde: first, we believe in life. i am a very strong defender to the right to life, and that means from conception through an actual death. i think that is one of the very first things that we have to
defend. life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is what our constitution says, and it starts with life. god gave us life, he created life, and life is precious and to be respected. and i think that is the number one thing right there. our relationship with god is vitally important, too. god teaches us values and ethics and morals, and there are absolutes there. we need to hold to those. it is what has made our country great, in my opinion. >> why did you decide to join the military? rep. clyde: my family has a very long history of military service. as a matter of fact, it goes all the way back to colonel samuel clyde who served under general george washington in the continental army. i am very proud of that tradition in our family.
my father was a world war ii veteran and a korean war veteran. my brother was a navy officer before me, and i was a navy officer too, for 28 years. so we have a very long and proud tradition of military service. and i believe in protecting and defending our country, and military service was part of that. >> what did your father tell you about military service? rep. clyde: it is an honor to serve. it is an honor to serve our country. whether it is overseas or here at home, it is an honor to serve. and i believe that, which is one of the reasons why i want to be on the armed services committee in congress. i think my background as a navy officer, as a combat veteran. i served three tours of combat in iraq and kuwait, being a logistics officer, a navy supply
officer, and aviation warfare specialist supply officer, has given me a great and extensive background and knowledge of military operations both in peacetime and wartime. i think being on the armed services committee would be a benefit for our country and our state, for the state of georgia. >> what insight do you think you have gained to serve in congress, given your experience in combat? rep. clyde: we need to make sure we have the right equipment. there was a significant difference between the equipment we deployed within 2003 in my first combat tour and again in 2005. we need to make sure our military is fully funded, but also that our military uses its funds wisely and appropriately,
with good oversight. but our military needs to have the finest equipment we can give our military, and we've got the greatest people and they should have the greatest equipment. and that would make us second to none in the world and that will help keep the peace and ensure our nation stays secure and stays peaceful. >> you grew your firearm business to a nationwide company, and a $12 million company. why did you decide to run for office? rep. clyde: well, you know, giving to our country is just part of my family. i love my business. i love clyde armory. i think we are a constitutional business. in fact, the motto of the business is we enable individual participation in the preservation of liberty. and i think especially with that
knowledge of the second amendment of the constitution, which is currently under attack, that with that knowledge i think i can take that to congress and help defend that before our country. i think it is very important that we keep the second amendment intact, that we take back some of the areas where we have lost on the second amendment, and i am happy to do that. i am eager to do that. i am excited to be able to add that experience i have protecting and defending the second amendment into take it to congress. >> the irs seized property, or seized assets, from your company company, nearly $1 million from your gun store. what happened? rep. clyde: that was back in 2013 when the irs wrongfully and unconstitutionally seized $940,000 from my firearms business, and they did it
through civil asset forfeiture, which is wrong. i believe that is unconstitutional. you don't penalize someone before you take them to court and tried them and convict them of something. and that is exactly what they did to me. i was never tried for anything. as a matter of fact, i was never charged with anything either. they just came in and seized that money, and i took them to court because i thought what they did was absolutely wrong. and i beat them in courts, then i said, i am not going to let this happen to anyone else. because if this is happening to me, it has got to be happening to other folks across the country, and sure enough it was. from 2009 to 2013, it happened to over 700 small business owners. i took that case to congress in
october 2013. was allowed to testify in front of congress in 2015, and through that testimony they created a piece of legislation called the respect act, and they named it after the three of us who were willing to testify and they called it the clyde-hersch respect act. unanimously it passed congress, but it did not get a vote in the senate, so it died in those terms. in the 116th congress it for the third time passed unanimously and it got a vote in the senate. it passed unanimously in the senate, and president trump signed that piece of legislation into law on july 1, 2019. that took away the authority of the internal revenue service to ever compass date legally earned money through civil asset forfeiture, and i am very proud of that piece of legislation. that is one of the things that
resonated with my district because they saw in me a fighter who knew how to fight and win. >> freshman andrew clyde, thank you for your time. rep. clyde: thank you, greta. i appreciate it very much. >> peter meijer represents his hometown of grand rapids. that is where his family's namesake supermarket chain is located. he attended west point for a year before transferring. he served as an intelligence advisor in iraq. greta: who was your grandfather, and what role did he play in your life? rep. meijer my grandfather was fred meijer. he grew our family business, a small grocery in west michigan, grew from a mom-and-pop shop to over 250 stores in michigan,
iowa, kentucky, illinois, and wisconsin. he is very much a mentor and hero of mine, somebody that went to college. he grew up on the farm waking up early, but also new that to give back and make sure you are working on behalf of your community, you need to think long term. he was not a big fan of debt. he focused on growth, focused on treating his employees right, and knowing that those fundamentals of any organization, leadership and empathy, can take you a very long way. greta: what did he say to you? how did he inspire you? rep. meijer he inspired me through his acts, through his generosity with his time, his humility, and just the way that he never looked down on anybody, never wrote anybody off. he knew it was important to recognize the decency and dignity and everybody. that does not mean you are going to get along with everybody. it just means that more often
than not, you're going to be able to put a better foot forward when that is the initial approach out of the gate. rep. meijer: what did your parents do for a living? greta: -- greta: what did your parents do for a living? rep. meijer: he worked in the grocery store. he is the executive chairman. my mom did some teaching, then also raised our family. greta: your family has been recognized as one of the wealthiest in the state of michigan by a net worth of $6 billion. how do you define wealth, and what do you do with that money? rep. meijer: obviously, i don't know how forbes comes up with their calculations, but you can protest as much as you want and they will still draw their assumptions. i view it as an obligation, as a responsibility. growing up within a family that is a strong part of the community, and nothing is more
community centric than a grocery store, the place you go to stock your pantry, to get food that is going to be on the table. to me, we are buying from dairies and meat producers and folks who are in the community to make sure we are giving a great value to others in the community. i very much recognize that i have led a very fortunate life, and i wanted to give back as much as i could. i wanted to make the most of that. it is one of the reasons i have been strongly committed to service, whether it was in the military or in humanitarian aid operations. now i am running for congress to continue that same bias toward service and action. greta: and that is the advice your grandfather gave you, right? rep. meijer: it was. one of the best rings you can do in life is to serve -- one of the best things you can do in life is to serve.
greta: when did you have political interest in life? was your family always political? rep. meijer: i would say my family was very invested in the community, but more bias toward civil engagement and political engagement. in high school, i founded a teenage republicans club. i was out knocking on doors, cold calling. and i got my drivers license, driving candidates around so they could be introduced to the economy -- to the community. i got grounding in that campaign, but it was through service in the military end of the veterans community that was on the advocacy and policy side of the house as well. afghanistan, viewing that through a longer-term strategy. when i was 13, it was also an opportunity to testify before congress. i talked to a senate
subcommittee on a piece of legislation back in the mid- 2010's, and any opportunity to really say how can we use where we are in the current moment, how can we get us to where we need to go, to me that is where my bias lies and it is the reason i ran for office and what i hope to accomplish. greta: did you always think you might run for office one day? rep. meijer: i felt it was in the cards. i am a big believer that you need to have something you are shooting toward. i never really gave that a particular name, but you also should not look away from opportunities as they present themselves. when folks say, what do you think you will be doing in 10 years, 20 years? the simple answer is there are a number of things i want to accomplish. i don't view getting a title as the accomplishment.it is using that position in order to enact legislation in order to
get the country where it needs to go, those are the accomplishments i want to look on and be proud of. i will use whatever outlet or take whatever opportunity exists to have the greatest positive impact. greta: how does the opportunity for this seat come along? rep. meijer: i moved back to michigan after serving in iraqi, serving for a couple years in afghanistan. after getting an mba. i spent a little bit of time in real estate development and getting more involved in returning to the political side of the house. but in a bipartisan way through a super pac called with honor. it seeks to promote good functioning governance and reduce polarization through recruiting and helping post-9/11 veterans on both sides of the aisle to dial the temperature down and help folks who have had that shared experience of serving in the military, of putting on a uniform, and fighting for a common objective.
as i became involved in those efforts, i got to know john james. he is a very close friend of mine. just watching -- i speak of being political outsiders, but having military and civic experience as well. watching him in his first run in senate back in 2017 inspired me to think the number of reasons for staying on the sidelines were quickly being overwhelmed with the need to get into the arena. as it became clear there might be an open seat in my home district, that was something that was very anxious but eager to make sure you took that opportunity to put forward. greta: you are taking over the seat that was vacated by representative russian amash.
-- justin amash. he was the former republican turned independent. have you spoken to him since you won the seat, and any advice he gave you? rep. meijer: we spoke right as the race was getting called. my democratic opponent reached out and we had a positive discussion and a concession moment, then shortly thereafter representative amash called and offered his support and assistance to make sure this was a smooth transition and set up for success in the 117th congress. on the advice site, there were a lot of principles we share. everyone will come into the office with a different personality and a different approach, but i am a big lever that you can learn lessons from anybody. even if you are going to take a different approach on a subject, i am more than happy and really value the opportunity to get his
advice where we viewed opportunities and where he saw areas to improve and be most successful. greta: are there any of his traits or things that he did that you would mimic? rep. meijer: i definitely think it is important to be principled. we share a strong belief in the values of limited government, of economic freedom, of individual liberty. those are values that i hold dear and want to make sure are protected and used as a foundation to find solutions to a lot of the longer-term issues facing our country. i think we also share a belief in the futility of the endless wars we are in and the need to wind down our foreign intervention and shift to more of a diplomatic and intelligence first approach in engaging with much of the world. in addition to the protection of civil liberties, which is something that is very core.
i think there are a number of areas that both we share an acknowledgment of the importance of, but also what i think our opportunities in the next congress to find less than traditional partnerships and allies in order to move the ball forward on issues that are not necessarily left or right, but have a little more to do with the underlying political philosophies that do not skew as closely to dynamics. greta: what did you do during your tours in afghanistan and iraq, and will you bring that experience to the table in washington, d.c.? rep. meijer: i was a soldier in iraq conducting intelligence operations. my job description and actions were from interrogations to source handling and recruitment to analysis and targeting. so that was a pretty broad spectrum human intelligence bias. in afghanistan, i was nongovernmental.
i was a cost analyst for the humanitarian aid community. still doing analysis, still collecting data from the local nonprofit organizations so we could call a late that data and -- we could collate that data and make sure we were operating safely and avoiding getting caught in that conflict. the lessons i will take away is if you are trying to solve a problem, it is hard to prevent a rocket from detonating when it has already been launched. you need to go back to the source. you need to make sure you are tracking things back to the origin rather than just dealing with the end state. and also the frustration that there is not a long-term strategic approach being applied to the government. i saw in afghanistan and iraq that what the government does and what the government does not do impacts them. people die.
i have seen people killed by iranian backed militants, and u.s. airstrikes that were hitting the wrong target. that is something i still am deeply frustrated by, our inability to have a long-term orientation and a long-term approach in 2015. a long-term orientation and a long-term approach, but there is an urgency to that. if we look at the coronavirus vaccine operation, operation warp speed has moved mountains and has been historic. the british approved the first covid vaccine for general use in only a couple days before the fda well. but recognizing and looking at how many americans, we can't just be happy with things improving greatly. there is a burden and an onus to
make sure we are doing the absolute best at every moment, because the american people deserve it. greta: what makes a good interrogator? rep. meijer: a little bit of a sense of humor. i will say, i did not conduct that many interrogations. i was more on working with sources. it is important to see it from someone else's perspective and be able to drop any pretenses. you come in with ego and you end up getting blinded to what the reality of the situation may be. i think it is definitely not like anything in any movie. it is definitely more boring and low-key than i think a lot of people would imagine. there are a lot of pop tarts and offering of cigarettes that were turned down, and sitting there drinking a coke with arabic lettering on the side and
realizing this person is not going to say anything. but you have time to wait. greta: do your colleagues know that you can ask tough questions? rep. meijer: i think some of them have an understanding of that, and i am sure plenty will learn. again, i come into this situation saying i am not going to prejudge an outcome. i am not going to prejudge who might be able to offer value or experience or be an ally on an issue, regardless of any differences we might have on other places. i am hoping to come across someone who wants to partner to get something done. i will not compromise on my principles for that, but also extending a hand across the aisle where there may be some opportunities to move the ball forward. greta: is there anybody you are looking forward to meeting out here and getting to know in washington, d.c.? rep. meijer: i really enjoyed the opportunity to get to know the strong national security leaders, folks like
representative mike gallagher out of wisconsin, representative will heard out of texas, who is currently retiring. there is probably not too much of a coincidence that both of them have intelligence backgrounds. but folks who take a long-term approach, folks who are substantive and thoughtful in the way they look at issues and are willing to stand up and draw a line where it needs to be drawn, but also understand that governing and pragmatic approach is sometimes needed as well. greta: representative elect peter meijer, thank you. >> ronny jackson is already a familiar face in washington. he served as the physician to three presidents, george w. bush, barack obama, and donald trump. he also served in the navy, rising to the rank of rear admiral, and retired from military service to run for congress. greta: dr. jackson, when and why
did you decide you were going to run for this house seat? rep. jackson: i actually decided really late in the race. i got in literally two hours before the filing deadline. part of the reason for that was i never planned on running for office before, and i decided in late october that i might want to do that, i might want to run for office, and the filing deadline was december 8. but i could not talk about it or announce it or make any mention of it at all until i was off active duty, and i was still on active duty at the time. the fastest i could get off active duty was december 1. i jumped in the race at the last minute, kind of unexpectedly. i just kind of came out of nowhere. the reason i decided to run is i am a little bit distraught and disgusted in general with what is happening in our country over the last 10 years or so. so i decided it is better to get in the fight and do something
about it instead of complain about it. i ran for the right reasons. i ran because i want to make a difference, because i want to do something my country, some for my state, something for my district. that is what got me in the race. greta: what about your experience in the white house with president trump? how did that impact your decision at all, if at all, to run for the seat? rep. jackson: absolutely. i think a lot of stuff happened in the trump administration whenever i was there. initially i started off as president trump's personal physician. then there was a period of time about a year into the administration where he nominated me to be secretary of veterans affairs. at that time, i resigned my position as his personal physician so i could focus on the confirmation process, which is a full-time job. i went through that process for a month and a half or so, getting ready for my confirmation hearing, and of course that fell through and i
ended up withdrawing my nomination. then i stayed at the white house. the president said, why don't you come back and be my doctor again? i didn't really want to do that because i had been doing it for so long that i was looking for an exit strategy for that anyway. i was looking for something different to do. so he promoted me to assistant to the president. i became one of his senior advisers. i worked on a lot of issues involving health care and the border. but the whole v.a. nomination thing left a sour taste in my mouth, and that is what prompted me to want to do something about what i perceived as some of the things that need to be changed in our country. that got me thinking about it down the road for potentially running for office, but i had not considered it prior to that. my time in the trump administration definitely had a big impact. i would not be here without president trump because he was a strong supporter of mine. i come from a district where he is very popular.
we are definitely trump country where i come from. his endorsement carries a lot of weight where i come from. he really did a lot to help me. greta: why did that nomination process leave a sour taste in your mouth? rep. jackson: i just did not like the way the whole thing played out. there were anonymous unsubstantiated accusations that were made to the senate veterans affairs committee. there were any -- they were immediately leaked out to the press without any consideration whatsoever. they were all blatant lies, and no one checked any of it. the press just ran with it. i just thought -- and then there was a full on effort to destroy me, my reputation. there were attacks on my family. they felt like they were under attack as from folks in the area, and from the press. i just did not like the way the whole thing played out and i thought politics should be more
mature than that, and it should not -- processes like that should not be able to take place. it is guilty until proven innocent and by the time people take a look at it and see that things were not as reported, the damage is already been done and i do not like that whole process. i just decided, i think i can make a difference if i get into congress and get our country back to some extent, at least our thought process, and i think it starts with me. greta: you are wearing on your lapel of the american and texas flag. why is that important to you? rep. jackson: i am proud to be a texan. we see american first, a texan by the grace of god. i was born and raised in the state of texas. i maintained my texas resident see the entire time in the military, and i am a proud texan. i am excited about being a part of the texas delegation.
we have more members of congress than any other state, and as a result, we have a little bit of influence that some of the other states do not have independently just from their state. the texas delegation has a long history of being influential in making a difference and i am excited. greta: how has texas made you who you are? rep. jackson: good conservative, christian values. i was raised at the base of the texas panhandle in an area of the country where everyone either farms or works in the oil fields. my dad was a hard-working electrician. my mom was a homemaker. they instilled good, solid conservative, christian values in me. that is what made me who i am today. greta: what was their view of government and do you share it? rep. jackson: i do. their view of government is that it should do as little as possible for you.
i think the government has a role in our lives but they get too involved in aspects of our lives. most of the folks on the part of the country where i come from our about small government, and they do not want a lot of regulations and burdens put on them by their government. they want their government to be there to assist them, but not get in their way when it comes to trying to make a living. greta: describe your work ethic and where does it come from. rep. jackson: my work ethic comes from my dad. my work ethic is incredible. i tell people all the time, i may not be the smartest guy in the room, but i will go head-to-head as far as work ethic. i have an incredible work ethic. i work sun up to sun down. during my campaign, i work 16 hours a day, seven days a week which is one of the big reasons i ended up winning the race. that was instilled in me by my
dad. he was a hard-working electrician. i spent a lot of time with him and i was little working, and he instilled in me that getting the job done, getting it done right is important. greta: you started working when you are 14. what did your dad tell you about work? rep. jackson: i started working when i was 13 working at a movie theater, and i was premature. i ended up with the key is, i locked up and counted the money. i worked pretty hard when i was 13 and that by the time i was 14 until i was in my 20's, i worked at a grocery store. i worked all through high school, junior high and high school, full-time. when i say full-time, 30 to 60 hours a week. that is just -- in my family, you had choices to make. a lot of kids, when school is over, they went to football practice.
i want to work and i clocked in and worked until 10:00 or 11:00 at night and then i worked 12 hour days on the weekends so i could have things. i had a choice of being on the football team are having a vehicle, and for me, having a car was important. i basically provided for myself when i was growing up, whether it was clothes, car, or the furniture. i bought everything for you that is one of the things i bring to congress -- i bought everything. that is one of the things i bring to congress, i understand how to work hard. i am very picky about how i spend my money and i will be picky about how the taxpayers money is spent as well. as i got older, i continued to work for you i worked in the oilfield -- continue to work. i worked in the oilfield, and i paid for every penny of my school working in the oilfield. greta: did your parents say that to you, that you had a choice to
make, or what is it that they said it was the importance of work? bill: they did not -- rep. jackson: they did not have to tell me, my parents took good care of me. if you can work, you should work. if you can get a job, get a job. if you want something, go out and get a job and pay for it. my dad taught me, if you don't have the money, you probably don't need it. that is what i adopted my entire life. i am thankful to my parents that they did not -- even if they had had the opportunity to do so, to give me too much growing up because it made me who i am, having to work for things along the way. greta: when did you become interested in medicine? rep. jackson: interesting story. i never, ever considered getting into medicine my entire life. it never crossed my mind. when i was at texas a&m, i was
marine biology major. i met my wife there, i was her ra, i checked her into her room. i realized i needed extra money. i was going home and working in the oilfield on any breaks, and i was back out and oilfield trying to make money to pay for tuition and fees. i always had a job on campus, i worked on a lab, but i did not have a lot of spending money. when i met my wife, i needed extra money, i went across the street to the university of texas medical branch, and i just inquired about getting a job. i said, is there something i can do and they said, we'll figure some thing out. they called me back and said, we have a job for you. you will be working in the pathology department as the autopsy assistant. i got in there and my job was to
do the autopsy. i was basically opening the body up and taking all of the organs out, and then i'd pass it down to the end of the table with the patholg -- path elegy residents figured it out. they started teaching me a little bit. remember that liver that you took out, come look at this and see that it has liver cancer. i got interested in medicine. at that point, i thought i might want to be a doc. i knew i did not want to be a path followed just. i grew up working as a volunteer firefighter, so i knew quickly that i wanted to be an emergency medicine physician. that is what i ended up being. that is how i got interested in medicine, and i unexpectedly ended up a doctor and a congressman. greta: how did you tie your medical career and your military career?
rep. jackson: i did not have the money to go to med school. i did not come from a family that had a lot of money. my dad kind of instilled in me, if you don't have the money for it, you probably don't need it and i was not about to borrow $200,000. it was inconceivable. i was not going to do that. i started thinking, how my going to pay for med school. i cannot work in the oilfield enough to pay for med school. i reached out to the military and asked if they have a program. they said they did. if you get into medical school, anywhere in the united states, we will pay for it. i apply for medical school, and i got in, and then when i did, i called the navy and i said i got in. they interviewed me, and they said come i got the scholarship. the navy paid for my medical school. they pay for my books, tuition,
fees, a stipend to live on, and they paid for four years of med school and i owed them for years in return. it is a fantastic deal if someone wants to go to med school, it is still out there. it is a great way to go to med school. i got out and i did not owe any money to anybody. i had a little bit of money left over and i was putting money in my checking account. i had a little money in the bank when i got out of med school. i was only then to stay in the military for four years, and then i thought i would get out and move back to the area of texas that i grew up in and be a rich doctor. that is what i was thinking. it never panned out. when i got in the military, i loved it. i loved my job. i found out about program i had called the david medical officer program where you could be a navy deep-sea diver and a doctor. i was big into diving, i became a petty scuba diver, and we would go to quarries around texas and mexico.
i enjoy diving. i thought, this program is perfect. i applied for the program, they sent me straight to panama city, florida. they put me through deep-sea diving school, so i was a diver and a doctor. from that point, they preferentially assigned me to diving units, so i was an underwater salvage teams, navy seals, as of that nature, and i did that for the next five years. i loved it. my whole day was going out and operating with the small diving units, traveling all over the world, and jumping out of airplanes, and locking out of submarines with the seals, and shooting weapons. it was like being 12 years old and getting paychecks. i got addicted to it. i realized i was going to stay in the military and make a career. i retired after 25 years of active duty. greta: your wife, she has been with you for the ride for 27 years. rep. jackson: yeah.
greta: why did she say when you said, i'm going to run for the u.s. house seat? rep. jackson: she was not sure -- she supported me. she is the sound and board for me, and she will bounce things off of me and try to make sure that i am looking at the pros and cons of everything we do. when i decide i want to do something, she is behind me 110%. she is excited about it, she is enjoying it. i told her when i got in the race, we are going to get in this race and i do not care win or lose, the one thing we are going to do is look back and say we learned a lot and we had a good time. we made it fun. i never let anything get to me. it did not matter what was going on, we just approached it. this is a unique experience and we are going to make the most of it. win or lose, we will have a good time and we did. now we are in d.c. and she is doing all of the stuff with the
spouses, and she is enjoying that as much as i'm enjoying orientation. greta: dr. ronnie jackson, and now elect jackson, thank you. >> another republican from texas, everything thing the state's 11th congressional district. he attended the u.s. air force academy and serving for nearly two decades as a fighter pilot. he was in combat against isis in iraq and syria and later served under president trump. greta: you are a seventh generation texan. where did your family come from and why have they stayed in taxes? rep. pfluger: like so many other families, they came from germany with the war-torn country there, and when they got to texas, it was hard living. they had been involved in ranching and farming for seven generations, and one of the reasons they have stayed is
texas is a great place. a lot of opportunities. agriculture that has helped the state, and country, and that is where we have come for seven generations. greta: how do you think their migration from germany shaped you? rep. pfluger: i think like so many american families, no matter where they have come from, it shapes me anyway that is to live the american dream, and what that means is it does not matter where you have come from, that you are afforded the liberties and rights and freedoms to be eight wherever you want to be and achieve whatever you want with no ceilings. that shaped me in my professional career. greta: did you grow up on a ranch? rep. pfluger: i did for the first part of my life and we eventually moved to saint angelo. it is not a big town, but 100,000 people, so we had the best of both worlds, a nice
sized town, but the ability to still learn how to work the land and learn about animals, and what that does to our national security by way of food security. rep. pfluger: what did you learn from that experience -- greta: what did you learn from that experience? rep. pfluger: it starts with hard work. even as a kid, you knew that this was hard work. sometimes that means, you have to solve problems that there is no manual for, and when you are working with animals and keeping them alive, and making sure you do everything possible for their benefits, it is hard work. there is no clocking in her clocking out, it is a 24/7 job. greta: do you have a childhood memory that stays with you today? rep. pfluger: i do. there is many memories, and i would say one of those was watching my dad care for some newborn calves, and it was
towards winter, and these calves were born a little bit late and just watching him care for them, and the compassion, but also, making sure that the animals were attended to. that will stick with me for a long time. greta: in what way? rep. pfluger: i think, going back to getting the job done, and no matter what the circumstances or the environment, you have to get the job done, and also that compassionate side that you are caring for a living, breathing animal, and i guess that is the father now, -- to show them the hard work and have the opportunity to work on the ranch, it has been a neat experience. greta: you play football growing up.
what skill set did you gain from playing that? rep. pfluger: the most important skill set is teamwork. no one individual is any more important than anyone else on the team, and in order to succeed, the team was everything and as i went into the air force, that the lesson of teamwork certainly benefited me and i was fortunate to be a part of the united states air force for two decades, and i am still serving as a colonel. greta: why did you decide to join the military? rep. pfluger: i had a couple of grandfathers that served in world war ii. their service, that greatest generation really prompted me to think about what i wanted to do and one of them was a pilot, so i really wanted to serve and if i had the opportunity to fly, that would be something that i wanted to pursue, so i was fortunate to do both. greta: you were a fighter pilot.
tell us about your experience in the military. what did you do over your career? rep. pfluger: it can be summed up by learning how to be a part of a team, and there are times to follow and there are times to lead. those were key skills that i was able to really learn and mature and grow through my leadership abilities. ended up serving in a live different places around the world including multiple deployments, and commanding and being able to help the nation by serving in the middle east over a year to fight against isis. so i was really fortunate to have that opportunity and to work on the pentagon and eventually in the white house on the national security council. greta: what was your role? rep. pfluger: my experiences and the personal background i had
lended itself to a variety of issues for the defense department and had a background of the middle east and understood the threat that we have in china and advise on a number of things. greta: what did you learn, what insight do you bring to the table as a member of congress? rep. pfluger: i understand national security. certainly in the military, being able to deploy around the globe, i understand the threat in the last two or three years, our national security strategy has pivoted and focused our efforts to looking at china as the number one threat. russia is right there next to it. i think i bring an understanding of what that means for our country and then when you look at my district, the fact that we have the basin in our district which is 40% of the country's
oil, that is a national security issue. a top 10 producer of cattle and cotton. the pandemic highlighted the fact that this is super important for our national security. merging those two things together and understanding that my district is a part of the national security narrative is extremely important, and i will have a lot of input in that discussion towards our security. greta: why did you have it from military service to political service? rep. pfluger: it was an unexpected move. we had every intention of continuing the service of the military and in a career that had been personally satisfying but also satisfying from the regard of being able to do something above our individual selves. when the opportunity came up, it was not something that we immediately jumped at. we took time to make the decision. we figured out that this was another way to serve.
we are from the district, and that is something that i know the district, and people there are hard at work, and understanding that the district participates, we are a perfect fit. greta: did you get any advice from president trump or any other top officials in the white house? rep. pfluger: i got lots of advice from people. one conversation as i left the national security council from vice president pence was encouraging. he said, your service in the military has prepared you for this. go do a good job, work hard, and serve your constituentss. i wore member that forever, it was a very clear moment to keep grounded and focused. greta: thank you. >> tony gonzales is a republican representing texas. he served for two decades as a naval officer including time and
combat in iraq and afghanistan. before seeking election, he served in the office of marco rubio and taught political science classes at the university of maryland. greta: tell us about your early life, born and raised in texas. tell us about that. rep. gonzales: thank you for having me. my life has never been easy. at two months old, my father abandoned me and that sick -- six years old, mother remarried and it was a very abusive environment. i remember spending time in a battered women's shelter. at seven, i went and lived with my grandparents and they raised me until the age of 15. at 15, i went to live on my own. i have lived in my own since i was 15 years old. was graduating high school when my grandfather passes away, and i dropped out of high school,
down on the spiral. praise god, he pulled me out of that and he set me on my journey. i joined the navy at 18 without a high school diploma. i came in as an e1, and 20 years later, i retired as a master chief. now i am finishing up my phd. that is a part of my journey. >> that is a lot to unpack. who were some of your mentors, how are you pushed to join the navy and some of the early years of your life? who was there for you? rep. gonzales: i always knew i was going to serve. my family, my grandfather, my father was in the army. i thought i was going to join the army. i joined the navy without knowing how to swim. the reason why i joined the navy was two reasons. they have a program where i could get my high school diploma while in service, so i got my high school diploma while i was
stationed in florida. the other, they offered me a skill set that was incredible. i am a professional cartel adjust, so i did 20 years -- cartologist, so i did 20 years professionally. >> you hold a number of degrees. you have also been deployed multiple times between iraq and afghanistan. talk about all of those experiences with us and walk us through those. rep. gonzales: my district is a blue-collar district. everyday americans that are just trying to get by, trying to survive. not only this pandemic but also in general. they are trying to live the american dream and my life has been a lot like that. i served in iraq, i served in afghanistan, i had the fortune to get elected as a defense fellow, and i worked for senator marco rubio while in uniform, and that was the push i needed
to throw my handy -- name and the hat for public service. >> did you have a political mentor? how did you make the switch from your military career into politics, was at the switch that you needed, or was it your community? rep. gonzales: it was a little bit of everything. my time here in d.c. as a fellow , when i got to make the sausage, if you will. i got to see the good and bad parts of it. what highlighted to me was our country needs fresh, new ideas. people that do not view things as partisan, so that was an aspect that i left with. i go back to san antonio where i am from, where i was raised to finish out my career, and then i start to really attacking -- tapping into the community aspect and realizing that my path was to serve. >> you would say your early life led you here to where you are
today? rep. gonzales: absolutely. >> do you consider yourself a conservative and why? rep. gonzales: i do and the reason i do, faith is important. i am catholic. that plays a big role in my life. and family is everything to me. i have six children. the most important job i will ever have is being a loving father to my children. i believe in the american dream, i believe in free enterprise and limited government. >> tell me about your children, what are their ages and how are you going to juggle that once to come to washington? rep. gonzales: yes. my six children, daughter christina is a junior, 20 years old, and my youngest daughter isabella turned 5 months, and we have four boys in between. we have a mix of everything.
i joke, christina and i, we pretty much grew up together. i was 19 when i had her, and she lives with me still. she is making her way through college. to me, family is everything. >> what are some of the top priorities you will bring with you to washington? rep. gonzales: bringing the country back together. i feel as if there is this divide, this partisanship, and i understand that, that i did not grow up that way. i did not grow up that way in the military where you did not ask the person next to you, are you a democrat, are you republican, like none of that was important. what was important was you had a mission and you works with others that wanted to accomplish the mission. that is step one. the other parts, we are going through a global pandemic, people are trying to survive, getting a stimulus package done
that helps families is important , and then i want to tackle other issues like border security, like immigration reform, and certainly, addressing mental health concerns as well. >> your district borders the mexican border, and you have been outspoken about immigration reform and border security. why and what do we not know about some of the issues that are going on in your district? rep. gonzales: right now there is this divide of if we are for a wall and against the wall, and my thought process -- are you for security? all of us want to be secure. this is america, the greatest country on earth. my life is the american dream and i want to help, and i will give opportunities for those who want the american dream, and i've been vocal, the american dream does not always start in america. it is important for the united
states to be a beacon of hope for those around the globe who want to come and live and create a better life for themselves and their families. some of the things in my experience, 800 miles of border. these communities that are on the border, it is one community. eagle pass and another community is just one community. you really have to live that, you have to be at the district to understand, there is not this divide. it is one community into countries. >> are there any other first steps that you want to take as soon as you start the 117th congress? , are there any other politicians or mentors you hope to partner with, or any committees -- anything like that that is at the center or your thoughts right now. rep. gonzales: of course.
i served 20 years in the military. i fought in iraq and afghanistan, that is near and dear to me. taking care of veterans, taking care of our men and women in uniform, but as far as committees, i pushed hard for appropriations. that is a committee assignment in my district that is the gold standard. the current congressman, he is the appropriate her. but there are other committees that make a lot of sense like armed services. to me, step one is to be known as a member that is going to be sensible and reasonable, and step two is to be known as a member that is going to be actionable. actually get out there and put myself and my staff to work to bring our country back together. i believe we have more in common than we do not. >> one thing we did not touch on was an important part of your career. you were a cryptology is.
tell us what that is -- explain it for those who might not be familiar. rep. gonzales: i did not grow up going i'm going to be a cryptologist when i get older. i fell into it. it is technology, whether cyber, information, and for me, one of the unique things was i was at practitioner. i did it for 30 years. that's 20 years. -- i did it for 20 years. that is what is missing in washington. politicians who are never active in the space. it is a growing area that impacts all of these industries. whether it is economics, culture, education, labor, so i look forward to being a leader in that space. >> representative elect tony gonzales, thank you for spinning time with us. we look forward to your work
on the hill. thank you. rep. gonzales: thank you for having me. >> for a go to c-span.org/congress. c-span, your unfiltered access to congress. the covid-19 relief package was a topic on the sunday news programs. house may vote on the legislation later this week. here's what some had to say about the bill. relief package money still available across the board without this bill, almost $2 trillion bill that some had said would wreck the economy so let's target the money but this idea that washington should give out 100 plus billion dollars of new money to schools and not require them to reopen, to say to children they are demanding they go back to school.
that passing without republican support it seems it is pulling overwhelmingly across the country. 68% support the bill and 24% oppose. biden may not have republicans in congress on board but he must according to the poll of a lot of republicans across the country in favor of what he is trying to do. >> john, you do not have to be a good poster in washington to ask the question, would you like me to send you a 3500 dollar check, of course the answer is going to be yes. if you said, do you want us to borrow that money from your children because that is what this is, i think the answer might be differently, especially if you told him the fact there is over trillion dollars of money unspent from previous leaf bills that were bipartisan, the money is still sitting in a bank account and we are going to pass 1.9 trillion of additional spending to bail out failed states to raise the minimum wage, what is that have to do with covid. it should be focused on helping
families and small businesses who are struggling not bankrupting our children. >> the president came out very strong early on think he wanted a $50 animal wage in the spell and has been consistent not -- $15 minimum wage in the spell and has been consistent. but i can tell you this $15 million increase would mean 30 million americans would get a raise and one million americans would come out of poverty. and 30% of those minimum wage workers are black. 25% art latin x. it is essential we do it. i believe the senate will do it. >> he said he was consistent but he also said he does not think is going to end up in this bill. >> well, let's see. i think he is speaking, as he is thinking, about whether or not it is going to make it through, according to the parliamentarians rules. but i have been speaking with senator sanders regularly, with
speaker pelosi, with the white house. and if republicans could give a $2 trillion tax break to the wealthiest people or to continue >> congress is back with a busy agenda including the covid relief package. includes an extension of unemployment benefits, a minimum wage,, additional funding for individual stimulus checks, and help for state and local governments. action could begin as early as thursday with a vote possible friday or over the weekend. democratic leaders aim to have the bill on the president's desk before march 14, which is when current unemployment benefits expire. the senate spends early part of the week on cabinet nominations. monday and tuesday they vote on the nomination of linda
thomas-greenfield to be ambassador to the united nations and tom vilsack to be agriculture secretary. looking ahead comes in take up the covid relief package after house passage under reconciliation, which requires a simple majority to pass and does not allow filibusters. watch the house live on c-span, the senate live on c-span2. >> president biden's nominee for attorney general, judge merrick garland, testifies before the senate judiciary committee monday for his confirmation hearing. watch our live coverage at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span and c-span.org, or listen live on the c-span radio app. >> here's our live coverage tuesday. on c-span at 10:00 a.m. eastern, the senate confirmation hearing for javier becerra, health and human services secretary
nominee. on c-span2, the vote on tom vilsack and the vote for united nations. and on c-span.org at 9:30 a.m., the commerce -- confirmation hearing for debra haaland. also on c-span.org, a joint oversight hearing to examine security failures which led to the u.s. capitol breach on january 6. watch live coverage tuesday on c-span, c-span2, c-span3, and c-span.org, or listen on the c-span radio app. >> university of texas history professor dr. joseph talks about the importance of the fight for
civil rights in america, then and now. after that, president biden addresses the munich security conference and talks about america's role in nato and the world. then look at u.s. reconstruction efforts in afghanistan. ♪ susan: dr. peniel joseph, you and i planned this interview three months back, but we got sideways with the covid lockdown and what a momentous three months it has been. as a historian, how are you processing this time this