tv Washington Journal CSPAN January 6, 2015 7:00am-10:01am EST
y's opening of the 114th congress. we will talk to capitol hill members and incoming freshmen members. we will figure calls, plus your favorite -- facebook comments and tweets. "washington journal" is next. host: it's tuesday, january 6 2015, and it's opening day of the 114 the congress. this morning, on a five-hour addition of the "washington journal" we will be talking to capitol hill reporters and, of course, taking your calls and comments right up until the 114th congress gavels in at noon eastern. you can watch the election of the new house speaker ceremony here on c-span and in the senate on c-span2. the first, we want to your what you have to say. give us a call.
the numbers are on the screen. a very good morning on a snowy tuesday morning. headlines about the congress in papers here in washington and around the country. here in the "washington times" "mcconnell letting to take the helm of the senate" is the headline there. the star-ledger, what to expect from a new congress, including health care, invigoration -- immigration and border.
and another headline "the crop of young outsiders remakes the face of congress." in the u.s. house, 246 republicans, 188 democrats and one vacancy. that one vacancy, of course, republican my -- republican congressman michael grimm of new york who submitted his resignation after a guilty plea in a tax evasion case. still, republicans start the year with 240 six republicans, the largest gop house majority -- 246 republicans, the largest gop house majority since 1946. the senate makes up 36 states having both from the same party 21 with two republicans and 15 with two democrats.
there are also 53 former house members as members of the senate now. we are talking about the opening day of the 114th congress. we will be bringing you stats and figures and interviews all morning, but we as ashley want to hear your phone calls. the phone lines are open to do that. the numbers are on the screen. some of the biggest drama of the day may come in the speaker's election, whether speaker boehner may be able to keep the gavel in his hands. that is the story in "the washington post" this morning.
and for more on the drama surrounding the speaker election, we send you now to c-span's greta bronner. >> that vote will take place at noon eastern today. tune in to c-span where we will have our cameras on the chamber. for the first couple of hours, you will see new camera angles. you will say who was talking to who and -- on the chamber. the "washington post" noted this morning that in opposition to the speaker, they need 28 votes. unlikely to achieve that, but it's not the first time the speaker has faced a rebellion from his own party. "the new york times" and the -- noted this morning that 12 times republicans have voted against
speaker boehner. you'll see about a dozen republicans voting no. and "the hill" newspaper has put together those putting -- voting no. jim bridenstine of oklahoma. representative elect gary palmer from alabama. walter jones from north carolina. steve king from iowa. from kentucky, tom massey. and one of the recent rebellion, marlin stutzman from indiana. and ted yoho from florida. we also learned last that curt clawson also going to be voting against the weaker. he tweeted this out, that after caucusing with my colleagues tonight i will be voting for a change in the house leadership tomorrow. now is a good time for change.
and then from jim bridenstine i'm, he tweeted this out -- i congratulate representative louie gohmert and ted yoho for courageously running for house speaker. it's time for a new speaker. however there are some in the leadership that find is embarrassing and are critical for -- of those opposing the speaker. representative tom cole, republican of oklahoma, a close ally of the speaker, he is quoted in the papers today saying that he disagrees with what they are trying to do. and tom cole is saying, if you go against our own colleague by opposing the speaker of the floor, you will embarrass house republicans and disrupt our team. it would be unforgivable political behavior. that is what he had to say. hannah hess, a reporter for they'll newspaper, she tweeted out that represented tom massey
from oklahoma, he told a scrum of reporters they would be 50 in the beta revolt if it want for the c-span cameras there. host: we will be talking with new members of congress about the republican side of that vote. any policy matters that you want about this morning, the phone lines are open. we will start today with betty calling in from humble, texas. on the line for democrats, good morning. caller: i'm calling because i'm very concerned about change in the white house. basically, we are concerned about the keystone pipeline they are trying to push through. i know it's a bad idea for the environment. i hope they take into consideration looking at this for the long haul and not approve it. and they do need to change speakers in the white house. host: you are talking about the
keystone xl pipeline, one of the first vote on the floor according to republicans in the house and senate. how confident are you that it will be blocked by those who oppose it like you do? caller: looking in the long haul, like i said, it is not good for the environment. i am a witness. host: do you have pipelines near you in texas ecco when you say -- in texas? when you say you are a witness what do you mean? caller: i do have pipelines near me. i have respiratory problems, kidney failure, it is coming from the previous pipelines. it's causing me to lose my life. and other people who continue to
an hill this in the environment they, too, will be as sick as i am. host: we're going to do about energy and environmental is in the 115th congress around 9:15 a.m. or so. we are talking that all of the issues that our viewers want to talk about on the politics -- and the politics of opening day that you want to discuss on opening day. you can see the shot of the upper center park there and the snow that is falling. on the twitter page -- with the president approval ratings rising and congress and an all-time low, time for real legislation instead of symbolism . and another tweet -- my thoughts on the new congress, 100% sure they will sell out every american will stop things never change -- every american. things never change. let's go to debbie. caller: the first thing our
house of representatives need to do is elect a new speaker of the house. we voted for a change and that is why we have so many republicans go into office. we need to get some gumption and change the leadership in the house. that is the first positive mood that they can make. host: getty, before you go, would you support -- debbie before you go, who would you support? there have been a couple that have announced. from texas, louie gohmert. who would you back if you were voting for that position? caller: he is my choice, louie gohmert. he is a man of honor, man of integrity, and he is a constitutionalist. and he is not going to sell us out. he would have my vote. host: debbie, a republican --
another republican than as announced, ted yoho, from florida. joe on our line for republicans, good morning. caller: john boehner is not conservative. i have called my congressman doug collins, and my former congressman, bryce, they should vote against boehner. taxpayers, we are paying their salary, not john boehner. good taxpayers again -- i head of leadership. -- good taxpayers ahead of leadership. i'm sick of those who will put the visitors ahead of taxpayers. host: a lot of headlines are
saying boehner is likely to win. here is one from the usa today today -- this morning. how do you see republicans giving the 29 plus votes to block him? thereof only been about 10 that have definitely said they would vote against him. -- there have only been about 10 that have definitely said they would vote against him. caller: if doug goes against his own constituents, who pays 100 $72,000 a year salary, he's in real trouble. -- ok his $172,000 a year salary, he's in real trouble. host: you would vote against her own congressman in the next election if he doesn't vote against boehner? caller: i would strongly consider that. host: joe mccutchen, a longtime
viewer and color. brendan next on the line for democrats. good morning. caller: good morning. i was calling about the pipeline. my concern is that it's all on the american trade system and we have to have options to buy this oil. i don't see how having a pipeline running through the midwest rates got good or the environment -- through the midwest, it's not good for the environment or for the animals. we are going to actually ingest that and i don't understand why we would do that if we are already buying the oil. i don't see a need to damage any
more things inside the country. host: that is brendan calling in from georgia. the keystone vote will be one of the first vote in the congress. the legislation is set to be introduced today in the with possible votes later this week in the chambers as well. we will talk about that at 9:15 a.m. with our reporter from environment and energy news. this morning, our lines are open for any of your thoughts on the opening day of the 114th congress. and a very snowy morning here on capitol hill. you can see the shots there. some comments on our facebook page, edward grimmer writes in -- they are going to be as bad as last two congressman, --
congresses, if not worse. in mark richards says to get moving on impeachment proceedings s&s practicable and replace the speaker of the house -- as soon as practicable and replace the speaker of the house. melissa is up next: on -- calling in from kansas on the line for republicans. good morning to you. caller: yes, good morning. hello, america. i just want to say, kansas says no to republicans saying that we are scary, we are hateful, we are terrorist. it is time to fight back. i'm so sick and tired of these liberal republicans kowtowing down to the liberals, and they are no longer democrats.
they are now liberals. they are the worst of the worst socialist. they will kill us. host: who are some of the republicans that you are talking about here? caller: do you want me to tell you? ok, look at all the guys. we've got the arizona do that got reelected. i had to hold my nose with pat roberts. i hate pat roberts. he is a liar. he is the one vote that we needed not to pass the crumbs of us -- the cromnibus and he
passed it. i want that repealed. and the senator, the weirdo in cases -- i cannot even remember his name. until you come to the liberals are going to win. we've got to stop the coming civil war. host: all right, concerns in kansas. jay's next in the valley on the line for democrats. good morning. j, are you with us this morning? caller: i'm right here. host: go ahead. caller: what i want to say is, with the keystone pipeline from what i hear and read, it's 46,000 temporary jobs and republicans are saying it's going to make job security blah blah, blah. with only about 40 permanent jobs actually once it's completed.
number two, if the pipeline was to break and pollute the lands us americans, the taxpayers have to pay the cleanup. because the way the terms are set forth is that canada doesn't pay for anything. they just get to pipe it through the u.s. going up to the mexico coast and out on ships to someplace other than the united dates. plus, is the dirtiest oil around. why doesn't anybody point this out? it is amazing how they can try to promote this, but the facts are it is dirty oil. if something happens, the taxpayers paid for it. it's not going to come to us to the united states to be used. why are they trying to force this down america, what we are not going to be anything other
than a vessel across unit dates to ship it off the mexico coast? host: j, from sun valley, nevada. also concerned about the keystone pipeline. energy issues are certainly one of the hot button topics that the congress will be taking up sooner rather than later, in the coming days with legislation being introduced. another hot button issue is immigration. for more on immigration, we are joined by our first of several veteran capitol hill blue reporters -- capitol hill reporters. fawn johnson is with the national journal. she is a correspondent there. good morning to you. guest: good morning. how are you? host: i'm excellent. the president action on immigration during the lame-duck session, what is their response that they are coming back in the 114 congress with an even
stronger majority in the house and a new majority in the senate? guest: that is in a click question, and it turns out there's not a whole lot they can do. in the -- that is a good question and it turns out there's not a lot they can do. in the cromnibus, there was funding through february with the express purpose of making sure that republicans when they had control of both chambers of congress could act in protest of the president's executive order. but it turns out it's difficult for them to do so, because even if they were to go to the most extreme action, which would be essentially, to deny funding for the department of homeland security -- and keep in mind that the department of homeland security funds a lot more than immigration. there is the coast guard, the tsa, and all of the things that are supposed to be keeping us safe. it is a little difficult likely
to stop any funding for homeland security. but even if they were to do that, the president's order on immigration would go forward, because that was largely funded by fees and not intended to be paid for by taxpayer dollars. and 85% of the employees of homeland security are considered essential employees, which means they will be working without pay. republicans are in a difficult position because in order to punish the president for this executive order, which they don't think he has the our -- has the power to put forward they would be punishing the entire country. they are trying to put forward other options now. some lead republicans in the senate have said they will not shut down department of homeland security. probably the best action would be for them to pass legislation.
although the talks going on in that department are not terribly well-informed. host: the "washington post" talks about the immigration debate. one of their lead editorials, integration in her shut -- immigration inertia. we are talking to a few new members of congress today on "the washington journal." are there new members that bring voices to the debate? if so, who are you watching? guest: there are some new members, but i'm not sure they will provide anything in the way other than -- anything other than in the way of a temper tantrum. one particularly to watch today is david bratt, who replaced eric cantor, unseated him in the primary.
eric cantor was by gop standards a relatively friendly immigration legislator. he was particularly interested in bringing more high tech workers into the country. and he also was open to allowing undocumented youth to have some form of legalization, which for republicans is actually fairly moderate. he was unseated by mr. bratt, who has already said he will not vote for speaker boehner today in the speaker election and who is very much opposed to anything involving relaxing immigration standards for anybody, legal or illegal. some of the other candidates have stayed away from the issue. i expect that when we start looking at actual legislation which is truly the only way republicans will be able to
change what the president has done, it will be the same players we've seen in the past. john cornyn, the number two senator from texas has always been involved in immigration. he has several pieces of legislation he would like to do on the high-tech and i'm sure he be happy to debate goes. chuck grassley from iowa, has had several come up. i would not be surprised to see those going forward if there is full-fledged debate on the policy. i do not expect any new members to be weighing in at closely. host: fawn johnson with some tips on members to watch as the immigration debate proceeds. you always welcome to join us on "washington journal." thanks for joining us on its opening day of congress. guest: you're welcome. host: it is the opening day of congress. we will be taking your thoughts
and comments all morning long on this five-hour addition of "washington journal." for the makeup of who is seated today, we go back to greta bronner. guest: this comes from the hill newspaper. they are posting on their website this morning that representative chris gibson, a republican of new york, will not seek reelection as he eyes statewide office in the future. he won the 19th district seat after beating democratic multibillionaire sean eldridge. gibson's marks the second retirement by a republican from a suburban swing district to my right a democratic of in 2016. the 19th district voting for president obama in 2008 and in 2012. the washington journal front page this line has the story.
the senate's 13 new members will join 22 others who have served less than one term. in the house, roughly half of all lawmakers will have been in office only since the two had -- 2008 election, meaning their mean it experience is -- there may experience is the polarization of congress. take a look at the with -- the makeup. 84 women in house, 22 erdogan 62 democrat. in the senate, 20 total. the ages of these new congress members, the oldest, resented doug conyers, 85 years old democrat from michigan. representative to phonic, 30 years old is the youngest from new york. the average age, 57 years old. that is young compared to previous congressman -- congresses.
the oldest to senator feinstein at 81 years old. the youngest senator tom cotton, 37 years old. the average age in that chamber, 61 years. and when you break it down by race, african americans make up 45 and house will stop to republicans and 43 democrat. in the senate, to republican -- two total, one republican and one democrat. 29 total hispanic, seven republican, 32 democrat. in the senate, three total, to republican and one democrat. there are 160 house members with a law degree and 53 senators. 20 house members have no college degree. and veterans, this is something that a lot of folks look at with the new members of congress. the veterans and house are 81 and in the senate, 20 one. iraq and afghanistan veterans, over the house, 23 of them. three in the senate.
women veterans, 81 in the house and 21 in the senate. total veterans come as we told you. women veterans can about they make up three and house and one in the senate for the first time. that is a look at the new congress as they gallon today at noon eastern here on c-span for the house and over and -- over at the senate on c-span two. host: one of the new members that will be sworn in today's democrat don buyer -- don beyer. he will be taking questions from you this morning. if you have a russian for him you could cap -- if you have a question for him, you could probably start calling in now. john is calling it on the line for independence. good morning. caller: good morning. i am for the pipeline for a couple of reasons. first of all, when you get that thing running down from canada there will be took lines to the
bucket oil fields, probably the biggest oilfield in the history of the world. that will create more supply which means oil -- lower price which we have been experiencing for the past seven or eight months. i don't see why we should have it slowed down because of politics. right now warren buffett's railroad is making the most money out there hauling it, and that is by rail. i don't like oil hauled by rail, because i think it's a lot more dangerous by rail, where cars have oral skills. host: raid on the line for republicans. good morning for you -- ray is on the line for republicans. good morning to you. caller: thank you. i want to reinforce those who are calling in john boehner from the house. we do need to replace him. and i do support louie gohmert.
i hope the house republicans will pay attention. boehner has done nothing but support the democrats and what they want to do. i also support the pipeline and that's about all i have to say. host: that is rate in hot springs -- ray it hot springs arkansas. one of the new congressman to be sworn in today is don beyer, a democrat from virginia. he joins us now from capitol hill. congressman, you are a member who is said to be -- to have one of the shortest commutes door-to-door from your new home to your new office. that is -- from your home to your new office. much shorter than being an ambassador to liechtenstein. is there anything you learned as an ambassador that will help you in this job on capitol hill? guest: i thoroughly also.
there are not many congressmen who have served overseas, so i open a special perspective will be helpful. one thing it has done is reinforced the idea that so much is built on strong relationships. i will be trying to build relationships not just with democrats, but the many republicans. host: what you want to do while you are in the first term on capitol hill? guest: like so many i want to be on those committees that they don't give two freshmen. i don't know -- that they don't give to freshmen. i don't know where i will land. host: you are replacing congressman jim moran, a democrat. how do you fill his shoes, especially at a time when the federal workforce is being scrutinized so much on capitol hill? your district is one of the pot largest -- one of the largest populations for federal employees. guest: i think i would have to
do that humbly. jim moran was three for years and before him, 34 years. they leave a huge role in -- a huge hole in virginia. i will have to work to cap -- two champion federal workers and contract employees. host: they'll newspaper, going through campaign donations and they talk about the new members who had donations from defense contractors. they call you the defense industry's favored new lawmaker. how do you like that title? guest: it's interesting. for years, jim moran shared the commerce committee. over the years, lockheed martin, northrop grumman baa general dynamics, they have all located their headquarters in the district that i represent.
that will be a responsibility, to be attuned to their needs and the investment we can make in the american economy and in a strong america. host: don beyer, sworn in today. we want to get your questions and comments for him or the next 15 minutes or so. one of the new members on capitol hill. we will start on our line for democrats. tom has been waiting in pittsburgh, pennsylvania. you are on "washington journal" with congressman elect don beyer. tom, are you with us? caller: yeah. outsourcing, most of our clothing and shoes are made outside the country. we all need shoes and clothing. millions of dollars are going out of the country. if you cannot make the things you need, you have become dependent.
we tell our kids can i get out of the house, take care of yourself, become independent stop -- we tell our kids, get out of the house, take care of yourself, become independent. our government does the opposite. host: that color concerned about outsourcing. guest: we have had significant growth in imports in the last six years. it is largely surging by the cost of fuel here in the u.s. the only way an economy can grow is from the outside. we have to be vigorous trade partners, all the time making sure it is fair trade, that we are looking to protect workers environmentally and from a safety perspective overseas. but the old theory of comparative advantage needs there are some things we will do very well and at -- and some things that are best done in other countries. we put that together and the world continues to grow. there is a remarkable amount of people we have lifted out of poverty in the last 10 years. host: several colors this
morning concerned about the keystone pipeline. it will be one of the early votes on capitol hill. what is your standing on that? guest: i have been clear that i think it is the wrong move to make. the central piece of my campaign was the fight against climate change, trying to activate all good americans, democrats and republicans, to wake up to the existential danger we face. not that anyone pipeline is going to change everything, but symbolically, -- not that any one pipeline is going to change everything, but symbolically, we need to go with other forms of fuel rather than opening up pretty dirty tar sands in canada. host: next color is on the line -- next caller is on the line. caller: do you have the
opportunity to vote for the speaker? guest: i do have the opportunity. the democrats, we will nominate nancy pelosi for speaker also. this is a tradition that goes back many hundreds of years. most of the democrats, including i -- i will be voting for naked losey today. although i expect john boehner to be reelected. -- four nancy pelosi today. although i expect john boehner to be reelected. host: next call, on the line. caller: i don't understand why canada cannot produce their own tar sand oils instead of trying to ship that waste down here. and destroy our forests and legs -- lakes. thank you very much. host: the question on keystone. guest: the process that is laid out, it is up to the state department to decide.
i see no reason for congress to necessarily weigh in. but if it comes to a floor vote, i will certainly vote no. host: congressman baer, you were in early and strong supporter of president obama in his 2008 presidential campaign. talk about his last two years in office and how you think he should act -- interact with congress in these last two years. guest: it has been an interesting last couple of weeks since the last election. on the one hand, yes and aggressive and using his legitimate executive powers to advance his agenda. i'm proud of that. i think america is a better place because of it. at the same time, he intends to be much more interactive with the members of the house and senate in the next two years, and i also welcome that. it will be a lot easier to do things together. i respect the executive power actions, but if we finally get democrats and republicans -- you know, mitch mcconnell as majority leader, speaker
boehner, to work together with the white house, that will be better for everybody. host: rick, on the line for democrats, you are on with congressman elect don beyer. caller: i should just say that no one should be surprised that the keystone pipeline is what of the first things they want to vote on. our politicians have been bought and paid for by the koch brothers, who won this pipeline to go through. and they are going to -- you want this pipeline to go through. and they are going to act the way to go others want them to act, or vote the way they want them to vote. anyone have questions about the pollution this can cause should only look at the kalamazoo river in michigan where they had a spill the tar sands. it is the thickest oil you can get and they had to dilute it with diesel fuel to get it through the pipeline. and once it gets down south, it
will be refined and go worldwide. it doesn't benefit america. it benefits the koch brothers. we need campaign reform in this country. i firmly believe that where each politician only guess so much money from the taxpayer, two dollars per taxpayer, and a media kicks in free time because they are owned by the government and then get rid of the lobbyists. that is what can fix this country. guest: i am certainly a strong supporter of campaign finance reform. there is the idea that people can give unlimited amounts of money, it just seems to destroy the basic in the paintings of democracy. after citizens united, it will probably take a constitutional amendment, but i eagerly support that. host: congressman elect, in the cromnibus, they were changes to allow individual changes per
committee. guest: that did not bother me as much as the mccutcheon's case or the citizens united case. the dark money, where you don't know where it's coming from, that bothers me more. i understand the concern about being able to pay for the conventions every four years. but at least if it is disclosed and it's going to parties, etc. that is a step in the right direction. host: i understand virginia campaign finance laws, its unlimited donations, but you have to know where the money is coming from. there cannot be any dark money. what would you want something like that nationally? guest: it works ok in virginia. although today, i guess we will find out about the sentencing for governor bob mcdonnell. i was able to brag well for 30 years that we had a very clean state with very little corruption.
really, because of the sunset. anything over $99 has to be disclosed almost instantly. we have a great thing called the virginia public access project that makes it available for all citizens in real-time. it is very transparent. if you cannot have limits, transparency is the next best step. host: gg is waiting in michigan. gigi is a republican. good morning. caller: good morning. i appreciate your show. congratulations to mr. beyer and i also want to congratulate my brother-in-law, mr. luck, being sworn in today. host: -- my brother-in-law good luck being sworn in today. host: who is your brought -- brother? caller: david trott from michigan. host: did you give any advice to
your brother-in-law today echoed what do you want to see him do? caller: he is a great person, a great man. and my sister is a wonderful person. they will serve michigan well. the whole family is out there. i couldn't make it, but i wish all of you luck. guest: we had a couple of meals with david and cappy what we were in boston. he is part of the freshman organization. a good leader and a nice couple. i will give him your citizens when i see them today. host: from florida, the line from -- for independents. you are on the line. caller: hi, don buyer. -- don beyer. thank you for your service. i wanted you to explain a little bit more about your career prior to your getting elected. also, some of the comments you made about preferences in terms of wanting to be on certain committees.
let's just say, mr. gomberg did win an -- mr. gomer did win and you were allowed to be on the committee of your choice, what with that be? guest: i would love to be on energy and commerce, because that would be continuing work on the verbal care act. that is where so much climate change work continues. and technology companies and innovation. i'm a small businessman by profession. my brother and sister and many family members we have a chain of automobile dealerships. as lieutenant governor in virginia for eight years, four years with the democrat and four years with a republican post of and i just finished four years as ambassador to liechtenstein. i feel it i've been preparing all of my life for this responsibility. host: congressman you're
getting sworn in for this job today. you did run for governor in 1997. do you ever see yourself in the virginia statehouse one day? of it down the road for statewide office -- a bid down the road for statewide office again? guest: no, i love being lieutenant governor. it was the filament of many dreams. -- the fulfillment of many dreams. and now that i'm in the statehouse -- in the congress, as long as i can beer, i want to be here to make a difference. and as you mentioned, it is close to my house. host: it would have been a longer commute to richmond, for you. if you minutes left with congressman elect don beyer. lily has been waiting in leesburg online for democrats. good morning. caller: good morning.
my comment is, i predicted a week or so ago that when the republicans take office, the stock market would fall. guest: and we help that it has a good year in 2015, lily. we all want it to continue to grow. host: david has been waiting. from tennessee, the line for independents. good morning. caller: i've got a question on the senior citizens, disabled senior citizens. i understand there is a law on the president's desk so a senior citizen can make disability and social security and draw more money. the wait was laid out was $500
per week and can have $100,000 in savings. is that saloon in the making, or is that a hoax? -- is that still in the making or is that hoax? and i think you are doing a good job. i'm independent, but i think you are confused with the republicans and democrats. we have some good ones from tennessee. guest: david, i don't know about that piece of legislation. i will ask our legislative folks to look into it and perhaps we can get back to you. host: d have a first piece of legislation that you plan to introduce? guest: we are having those discussions right now. i have a long list of things i would like to put forward stop but he wanted to deal -- to put forward. but you want to do digital and -- due diligence and they treat you don't step on was toast.
host: next call from missouri on the line for democrats. caller: i just have one question. are you can -- are you in favor of continuing insider trading for congressman? guest: i'm continuing to ban insider trading. i don't get any of us should ever take advantage of insider trading. the stricter ethics laws for me, generally are better. host: and then from new hampshire, also on the line for them rights. caller: good morning. two quick questions. what becomes of the toxic stand -- sand at the end, and is this run right through [indiscernible] guest: i think both of those are correct, and there are many good reasons to oppose the pipeline. there are many short-term reasons to support it, and jobs is one.
but of thing i've read is that the jobs are relatively short-term and temporary. and we need to think of the long-term consequences, and the sand is one of those. host: alexandria, virginia, next. keith is waiting on the line for independents. good morning. caller: good morning and thanks for taking my call. welcome to the house congressman. guest: thank you. caller: i'm very concerned about the fairfax county police and their shooting of unarmed civilians and not saying anything about them for 16 months, keeping a bridging quiet and trying to cover it up will stop -- cover it up. guest: there has been the said case of a man who is -- was shot and killed in fairfax county. it has been referred to the district attorney and has been relatively quiet from that office.
even last night, and believe fairfax county was really over more records, the name of the officer or some of the circumstances surrounding the shooting. but like you, keep, i would like to know more about it so that the public is well included. host: is there something you can do from this new perch on capitol hill? guest: that particular is not a federal issue, however once again, the power of relationships, that is where i can work with the u.s. attorney, the county board chair and others to try to make sure the public interest is served. host: congressman elect don beyer, we appreciate your time on "washington journal." we are alive all the way up until house cap -- the house gavels in at noon for the 114th congress. we are taking your calls and comments all morning long, showing you some interviews with key capitol hill reporters as well as new members.
some of the headlines in today's papers, one of them from "washington times," "obama leaves town as yuppie congressman's in." up with you to greta bronner. guest: with all eyes on capitol hill this morning, the president will be hunkering down. he will be holding a lateral meetings with mexico's president and then he will have -- bilateral meetings with mexico's president and then he will have a working lunch. later this evening, an executive meeting with the governors association. he and the vice president will be meeting with the outgoing secretary of defense, chuck hagel will stop -- chuck hagel. also the weekly standard put up a list of what the house will begin with right away.
the present health care law is prompting many businesses to hold off on hiring. the "higher more heroes" act will -- "hire more heroes" act will keep some from counting as an employee under the limits of the law. and other workers have seen their hours and wages cut thanks to the employer mandate that forces businesses to hold hours down to 30 per week or face a penalty. republicans are likely to take up that. there has been criticism from the right about taking this up, that it will only make the employer mandate worse by doing that. we will see how that shakes out. and also on the agenda, proving the keystone pipeline over in the house. and in the senate, the keystone pipeline is also likely the first legislation to come to the floor with this new republican
majority over there. the hill newspaper reporting that democratic leaders are pushing for unity in the keystone vote. they are pushing for a handful of eminence to the keystone x will pipeline -- keystone xl pipeline bill, and what democrats are portraying as their first opportunity to appear as a united front. and iran is on the line -- the minds for many lawmakers as they return to washington. the democratic controlled senate has been sent for -- has been content for sanctions on iran will stop -- on iran. chief among the proposals being floated, bipartisan measures from senators kirk and menendez as well as an additional proposal from senators lindsey graham and incoming foreign relations chairman bob corker that would require lawmaker approval before moving forward
with any nuclear agreement. also, the debt ceiling fight is likely to continue on capitol hill. however, the debt limit won't would be -- won't be reached until march 15, according to politico. and politico also reporting the spring about congressman steve solis. the scandal over the louisiana republicans 2002 speech to a white supremacist group has so damaged his image inside the republican conference that he bases serious questions over a political future. that from the political this morning. also from the hill newspaper minority leader nancy pelosi sending a letter to her troops.
the california democrat outline the parties focus at the launch of the 2016 presidential cycle -- 2015 presidential cycle to eliminate tax breaks for companies to move headquarters overseas. either way the latest defections against house speaker john boehner, the vote for speaker taking place today, the latest revolt from randy weber who tweets out this morning, let's all get behind louie gohmert for speaker. he has my vote. he's not afraid to take the fight to the president and his veto pen. randy weber now marking those over double digits saying they will not support the speaker for a third term. a producer for fox news on capitol hill tweets this -- by the way the "washington post" reporting this morning
that speaker vote is held by roll call and could take more than an hour, a length of time that makes boehner supporters uneasy. boosters will be ready to counsel and our cameras will be in the chamber to watch this vote on hold. cameras and other begin our allowed on opening day of congress and other joint sessions of congress for a couple of hours. you will be able to see different angles of the chamber that you do not normally get to see. after that, control of the cameras will go back to the house and the senate as usual. tune in and watch this vote take place here on c-span. host: end up until that will take place this morning, our phone lines are open, take your comments on the opening day of the 114th comments -- congress. the numbers are on the screen.
happy to hear your thoughts on any of the policy on opening day of the new congress, or past congresses as well. we will be with you for the next four hours this morning live on "washington journal" and you can also join us on facebook. a few comments on facebook this morning. william writes, let's hope this congress does more after there's warning that the preceding two congresses have done. and michael writes, the worst congress was from 2009-11. they had to pass bills they could know what was in them because they were either too lazy or too stupid to read them. penelope writes, starting up a new congress republicans claiming they want to work with the potus is not done by starting off with keystone legislation. and on twitter i'm curious to
see if congress will return to regular order. the topic of regular order was brought up by incoming senate majority leader mitch mcconnell in a speech he brought to the senate floor last year about what he would do if republicans took control of the senate which of course they have. here arson statement from the floor speech last year. [video clip] >> bill should come to the floor and be thoroughly debated. we've got an example of that going on right now, and that includes a robust amendment process. in my view, there is far much -- far too much paranoia about the other side around here. what are we afraid of? both sides have taken liberties and abused privileges, i will admit that. but the answer is not to provoke even more. the answer is to let folks debate. this is the senate.
let's -- let's folks debate. let the senate work its will. that means bring its bills to the floor. in means having a free and open amendment process. that is legislating. that is what we used to do here. that is exactly the way this place operated just a few years ago. the senior center from -- senator from illinois, the democratic majority leader, likes to say or at least used to like to say, if you don't want to fight fires, don't become a fireman. and if you don't want to cast votes, don't come to the senate. i guess he hasn't said that lately. when we used to be in the majority, either member telling people, low, the good news, we are in the majority. the bad news is, in order to get the bill across the floor, you have to cast a lot of votes you don't want to take. and you know, we did it.
and people groaned about it complained about it, and the sun still came up the next day. and everybody felt like they were part of the process. senator durbin was right about that when he said it. i think it's a law -- time to allow senators to birth fully in the legislative process, and that means having a more open and in the process around here -- i think it's time to allow senators to participate more fully in the let's let it, and that means having a more open amendment process around here. we can take that. there are rarely ever votes you cast around here that are fatal. and the irony of it all is, that kind of process makes the place a lot less contentious. in fact, it's a lot less
contentious when you vote on tough issues than when you don't. because when you're not a to do that, everybody is angry about being denied the opportunity to do what you were sent here to do. host: it is now 8:00 on tuesday, january sixth, 2015. the opening day of the 114 congress. we are live all morning long, taking your calls on this opening day, getting your thoughts on the politics, the policies, the drama of today. the phone lines are open. democrats, republicans and independents, lines for all of our viewers this might. adam up first from durham, north carolina on our line for independents. caller: good morning. i just want to say that the normal in time where this congress, which i'm not
opposed to -- a lot of folks who listen to this show are very -- more informed than the vast majority. this is not about republicans or democrats. this is a fight between how much money is really flowing into our system. if this congress wants to make change and do something in the transformative way that pushes this country in the right direction the first and most important thing they need to tackle is the fact that money in our political system is out of control. i really sincerely believe the people -- i'm not one way or the other. republican or democrat.
your voice is being smothered as a result of campaign finance run amok. it can do anything it wants. candidates are out there campaigning the very day after they are elected. host: who are the right members saying the right things? who do you trust on this? caller: durbin did a pretty good job. he was always adamant about -- coming up with a fair campaign act. i think they would come back. more and more people in this congressional body have moved away from that idea. how do you hold in their fee to the fire when they make the legislation or build the fire in
the first place? i don't see how this is going to continue to go on and there has to be some way that is willing -- somebody that is willing -- it only takes one or two people. he's a pretty honest guy. i think he sees values on both sides and sees corruption is involved in this system right now. it puts money before people. host: adam in durham, north carolina this one. the official prayer service taking place this morning before this swearing-in of the new members. that is taking place on capitol hill. a live shot. a bipartisan prayer service that features the chaplain of the u.s. house of representatives and house leaders and members
getting off the bus to join the bipartisan prayer service happening at st. peter's catholic church. we take a call from cheryl in uniondale, new york. our line for democrats. caller: good morning. happy new year. host: same to you. caller: nothing is going to change in washington d.c. there is too much corruption. some of these and senators have been there too long. it's time for them to go. give the younger ones a chance. yes. this country is on the wrong path. we are not going to get anywhere as long as these and senators stay in that same position. doing things to hurt the poor in this country. host: is it time for term limits? caller: it is time. definitely time.
it is time. john mccain have an lindsey graham, the same old thing. people are working too hard in this country. they have to work two or three jobs to take care of their families and still don't get anywhere. something has to give. host: up next, we are opening our phones all morning on the issue of the 114 congress convening today, gaveling in at noon florida, outline for republicans. caller: good morning. happy new year. they're talking about scalise in new york. he spoke to some ku klux klan groups. that was found to be untrue. why did senator byrd stay in the
senate when he was in the ku klux klan? that is worse than talking to the group. that is free speech. you can talk to any group. you should not be disallowed to talk to any group, whether it's muslim or ku klux klan or jewish. it should be free to talk to them. host: talking about the controversy that surrounded steve scalise in the past week or so. don in largo, florida. our life for democrats. -- line for democrats. caller: there is too much money. they spent $2 billion to gain control of the u.s. congress. the repealed. fran dodd frank.
when big publicity is given to the multimillion dollar tickers there ought to be a disclaimer. there are other candidates. i was sent to jail for advocating constitutionally qualified candidates. it is not right to jail people for advocating constitutional republican -- it's an upside down, ron, backward form of government. host: james in columbia tennessee. outline for independents. caller: good morning. i'm looking at the overall conversation you guys have been having for the last three or four months.
the government is so huge. what can they do when they go in there today? they can be like the leaders they should happen, the leaders i was raised around. the men who look it over to the committees that they lived in and said it these are our children. these are our young men and daughters. what can we do in a realistic way to make this a better place to live? not many of us get to be here for very long. it's a shame that -- to be proud of what we have done and what we are going to do. i'm ashamed when i see people use words that they think are so big and miss out on a lot of that is so easy. anyone that carries power that will yield the ideal of wisdom in front of the faces of us who are to work and pay for it, guys
, we are living a pretty good life here. do something right and quit playing games with what you think you are going to value when life that you will have to give away one day. build your garden. be proud of who you are. you are fighting for a good reason. start fighting with the right spirit and for the right things and we will be just fine. host: are there any members right now you think are carrying that power you talk about in the right way? caller: i like what i've seen -- i'm embarrassed by some of the other words. from my own state, people across the nation using pragmatic reason. this is where we are. let's start from right here. let's take this vision and move it forward.
i'm embarrassed by the growth of the bureaucracy and have little aptitude. all it is is how much money i can spend to get somebody to pay attention to what the real things are. the words we use are being -- they don't have any meaning anymore. a good place to start -- anything that is knowledge can be confusing. you have a good place to start that is relative and can be moved forward and everybody can support it. we can all be part of the family of the human race that we are. it is politics. words are hard to use and people have different agendas and different ideas. you have to find a way to communicate in your heart. it will be you who chooses to do it, not your political party. it will be your friend to stand up for what they believe in, too . host: james from columbia
tennessee. a cold morning on capitol hill. the snow was falling this morning. a shot of the upper senate park this morning. the new congress, the makeup of the new congress. some stories on that topic. this from the wall street journal. signs project advocates push for more lawmakers with phd's. -- science project advocates push for more lawmakers with phd's.
the story going on to talk about some of the signs advocacy groups pushing for more members and talking about some of the hurdles to those with science degrees. one of them talked about by michael of the american central sciences -- train scientists aren't wealthy and don't have access -- that is in today's "wall street journal or go for more on the 114 congress, we turned back to greta bronner. host: steve israel tweeting this out --
up on capitol hill on the senate side, a new sign is going up on the door of the incoming majority leader, mitch mcconnell. scum new sign on the door. -- new congress, new sign on the door. this vote for speaker could face biggest revolt since 1923. previous speakers who have faced opposition like the speaker will today. likely cannot get enough votes to force a second round of balloting. right now, looking at 15-20 republicans who are opposing the speaker. from david perdue who won in competitive georgia --
james lankford from oklahoma tweeted -- a bit about lankford. he worked as a church camp director. served on the house budget and the house oversight and government reform committee's. some other new faces you will see on the senate floor. tune in to c-span2. joni ernst from iowa. 1850 republican primary in june 2014 with 56% of the vote.
-- won a five way republican primary. tom cotton defeated mark pryor by 17 points. a veteran deployed to baghdad in 2006 and afghanistan in 2008. from west virginia, the new republican senator, shelley moore capito. west virginia's first female senator. also, another senator elect thom tillis, republican of north carolina. kay hagan in that contest. -- a beat kay hagan in that
contest. elected to the north carolina state house in 2006. served as their speaker in 2011. some of the new faces you will see in the senate when a gavel in at noon. -- when they gavel in at noon. host: 58 new freshmen in the house and senate. 13 makers -- 13 new lawmakers. we will be talking to a few of them this morning. we will be talking with veteran reporters about the hot button policy issues as well. we talked about the issue of immigration. for a look at the transportation issues on the horizon for the 114th congress, we turn now to cq roll call's transportation writer. thank you for joining us.
what can we expect from him when it comes to transportation issues on the senate side? we will come back to tom curry in a second. we're taking your thoughts all morning on the opening day of the 114th congress. jim is up in roswell, georgia. good morning. outline for republicans. -- our line for republicans. caller: i am more independent in the sense that i vote for ideas. it seems to me that the so-called "new republican congress" is just a new republican senate. there has been a republican house which has had a lot of activity and has passed a lot of bills that get back to the
american values that have historically been part of america. with the election of obama, he has been protected by the senate from having to take positions and openly make -- showing the country he has basically a socialist background. now, with the new republican senate, at least he will have to veto bills like the keystone pipeline, which frankly i can't think of a good reason to deny the building of the pipeline in terms of jobs and pollution. that is one issue of 100 where he has been either found by the
u.s. supreme court to have a violated the constitution or he has lied to the american people on a serial basis. when he tells you something, it's more likely to be a lie than the truth. host: let's return to capitol hill. a snow we day on capitol hill with a mess for transportation. tom curry is with cq roll call. good morning. we want to start with the new senate chair of the transportation committee. what we are expecting from him when the new congress convenes as he takes over. guest: he will be working with our committee chairman -- to get a new transportation bill, which congress has to do by the end of may, it involves not just
legislating in one committee but in several. it will require new revenue and that will bring the senate finance committee. it's a cop located process. it's not clear exactly what new or old revenue sources congress might settle on. -- complicated process. a long-term transportation surface bill. host: on the house side, nick rahall -- what does that mean for advocates of transportation issues on the house side? guest: i don't think it means too much. on the house side, it will require a collaborative effort by the house ways and means committee, the transportation and infrastructure committee.
paul ryan will be involved. the crucial part of this is finding either new revenue sources or raising the source that has been used for the last 50 some odd years. the tax on gasoline and diesel fuel. a lot of republicans are reluctant to vote for a tax increase on gasoline and diesel. the question is, where else do you go? the president and others have supported the idea of taxing corporate profits held overseas and giving those corporations incentives to bring this profits back to the unite states and using that tax revenue to pay for highways, bridges, tunnels and mass transit. getting back to john thune he
has been skeptical in the past about using that corporate tax reform to fund infrastructure. he says all options are on the table. host: the faa was supposed to come up with rules governing drone use in the nation's airspace. we saw some hearings at the end of last year on that topic. when is that going to happen and when will congress -- how can congress step in? guest: there is a tremendous pressure from congress on the faa to finally issue its proposed rule on commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles. there are a lot of conflicting interests. the airline pilots are concerned that commercial drones would pose a risk to general aviation and commercial flights.
there are people in the business community who want to see commercial use of drones. the faa is under pressure from congress to issue a rule, a proposed rule to govern drones. they have been very slow in doing so. it's not clear -- someone in the faa can answer that question. members of congress have indicated that they might take matters into their own hands when they take up an faa reauthorization bill. it has to be done by september. that is an issue that has gotten a lot of attention and will get a lot of attention in this new congress. host: tom curry of cq roll call. we appreciate your time on this opening day of the 114th congress. our phones are open for our viewers.
a snow we day making a mess for transportation on capitol hill. -- snowy day. jack is waiting in cleveland ohio. caller: good morning. we have gridlock. we will continue to have gridlock. congress is just not feeling the pulse of the american people. you can't see what's going on in our country, you are pretty blind. the majority of americans are tired of the gridlock. they are tired of the imbalance tired of the disproportionate income. it's time these congresspeople step up to the plate here and pay attention to what is going on because the american people
are very, very upset. congress is becoming more and more irrelevant. people are going to take steps that they feel are necessary to provide for their families, to keep a roof over their head, put food in their children's bellies. look at ferguson and new york over these two cases. i think they are missing the larger point. we are at a turning point in this country. i believe people are going to take their own steps. our government is becoming so irrelevant. the people don't care. host: when you say congress is becoming irrelevant, will there be less people voting in each election down the road?
caller: americans will become more proactive in their day-to-day lives. host: go ahead. caller: i'm out here -- i own a small business that employs 50 people. i watched the mood of them. they don't care who is in congress. they don't care who the president is. they care about providing for their families. when you will press society -- a press soc ofopress society. people don't care about third world countries. hunger is a strong, powerful thing.
we have hungry people in this country. when they see all these empty homes and their living in the streets, people start paying attention. you are going to see other violence in the next year in this country. stop and think about this. a real simple thought. we have such a divided country right now. you know the conservatives want to put obama out. they want to impeach him. they are not going to because they know that is going to be a spur. they are scared to death if they impeach this man it will be the spark that sets this country off. host: jack calling from ohio. on our twitter page -- let's go to williamsburg, virginia. online for republicans -- our
line for republicans. caller: i'm in favor of an improved constitution. three houses. we would have no more gridlock. things would flow very easily based on three always agree. that is my belief. host: robert in arizona. our line for independents. good morning. caller: good morning, everybody. i believe minimum wage means minimum wage. all workers, illegal or not, should be paid minimum wage. that should be raised to $10. america will work if you pay them. if you don't mind, we need to get off the terrorism horse and
go back to humans rights rights issues. president obama needs to work with russia. host: some of the many issues congress will be taking up in the coming weeks and months in the new term of the
114th congress. we will be joined fairly soon by incoming republican class freshman president ken buck of ohio. questions or comments for the incoming congressmen from colorado, give us a call now. we go to william in dallas texas. our line for democrats. good morning. caller: good morning. i agree with the gentleman that just spoke a few minutes ago. this country is divided.
it is very racist now. something i have never seen in years. mcconnell said i will make you a one-time president. every last one of them has stood to that word and they have voted the same people in that font against president obama
the whole time he was elected and then turn around and you think they will get better? host: what is your suggestion for bridging the divide? what do you want to see this new congress do? caller: i would like to see them get together and start paying job bills and doing things for the people who are less fortunate. people are out here suffering. you can't make it on seven dollars an hour when you have a
child getting ready for college. governor perry did not even accept medicaid. he turned it down and look him in people are suffering -- look how many people are suffering. i'm a disabled vietnam veteran. i fought for this kind of thing. i love my country. if any other country wanted to fight, i would be the first one there. host: william from dallas texas. on twitter -- you can continue to join the conversation on twitter or facebook as we talk about the opening day of the 114 congress, getting your thoughts and questions. one other tweet this morning --
ken is on our line for republicans. from crestline ohio. caller: i wanted to make a comment this morning. i would like to encourage every congressman to not vote for john boehner and vote for louie gohmert instead. if i can make another comment, i would like to say, i did not vote for this president, but i thought, of all the things, this is the man to end all racism. i thought no matter what, good bad, this is the guy that will end racism in this country. i am so embarrassed. he has made it worse.
i don't mean to blame the men for everything, but he does have a lot to do with it. host: ken from crestline. another ken, ken buck of ohio. i last caller was encouraging members of the house to vote against speaker boehner for another term. where do you stand on that boat today? guest: i'm not playing fantasy football. i'm playing an important game and i have to choose between nancy pelosi and john boehner. if there was a viable candidate who was more conservative, i would look at that. there is not a more viable candidate out there at this point. i'm voting for john boehner when the vote comes up.
if there was a serious effort it would have occurred in early december. this attempt has gotten minimal support. i don't think it's the right way to go. i want to reduce the budget. i want to do my best to create jobs and have a strong energy policy and fixed the immigration problem. i'm not here to cast a meaningless vote in some sort of protest. i want to work with people and solve problems. host: you are the freshman class president. has there been outreach from both sides in terms of trying to get you to vote for either boehner or against speaker boehner? guest: i have talked to some of the freshman class members. one or two are thinking of voting against speaker boehner.
most of the people i have talked to will be for the speaker. i have not talked to the speaker or anybody in the speaker's office. i have talked to mr. gomer to briefly about his efforts. host: you have talked about your priorities on capitol hill. what committees are you looking to fill? guest: the judiciary committee and -- host: stemming from your experience as a district attorney? guest: i was a district attorney for 10 years. but the criminal area and many areas -- oversight on issues of immigration and electoral property. -- intellectual property. host: how does it prepare you for this new role? guest: the job of the prosecutor
in addition to working on public safety issues is to work on prevention programs and intervention programs and work with the community and solve problems. this is about solving problems. we have a number of great issues facing our country and lead need to make sure we are doing our best to deal with those issues. it's a matter of working in our party end with the other party to solve those problems. host: ken buck will be joining us for the next 15 minutes or so. he will answer your questions and comments as well. we start with matthew from tacoma, washington. our line for democrats. caller: i watched you on sunday on the television show that comes on after this show. you were hesitant to say whether or not you respected the president as a person.
you said you respected the office and then finally said i respect him as a christian. do you respect him because you are a christian or you respect him because you think he is a christian? guest: as a christian, i respect all people. i believe the president of the united states has pursued policies that are not in the best interest of this country and i'm going to work with the majority of the house and senate to work to pursue policies that are in the best interest of this country. i don't know the president as an individual so i can't speak to that, whether i respect him as an individual or not. i know him as a president. host: what do you think the president's relationship with this congress should be? should he be reaching out on the individual level with members of congress? do you think he will? guest: the president set the
tone for what he wants to do with this congress. when he issued an executive order on immigration, he slapped this congress in the face. this congress is above that. we are not going to stoop to his level. we will stay at a professional level and solve problems. i hope this congress doesn't stoop to the level of the president and the partisan behavior he has demonstrated in the last six years. host: bonnie waiting in minnesota. republican line. caller: thank you for taking my call. he just said it would be between john boehner and nancy pelosi and that's not true. i would like him to work on electionss, term limits.
to get rid of the irs. nobody seems to be looking at their bad behavior. it is always the republicans who need to compromise. i would like some truth from the top down. host: a few topics there. guest: a number of topics. the oversight and government reform committee will be looking at the irs. there are some good reform bills that will hopefully come from that. what the irs did in playing partisan politics is unacceptable. there were reform bills in the nixon administration when republicans used the irs for nefarious reasons. there should be punishment and reforms to deal with the irs.
there are a handful of people who are not going to vote for john boehner. that does not make an election -- we met and determined to our candidate would be added is john boehner. many people think there are other candidates out there. the ultimate vote on the floor today will be between nancy pelosi and john boehner. host: do you consider this a distraction today? we saw some comments from some of speaker banners and supporters -- speaker boehner's supporters calling it that. guest: it is a well intended effort to send the message that the crown ofmnibus was not consistent with the message sent during the election. i have received a lot of e-mails and calls from people in colorado who are very concerned about the debt and the
regulatory burden and the other burdens placed on us by the obama administration. they want to see action and want to see a leader who is willing to take risks. they have concerns about john boehner. i have concerns about john boehner. that does not mean that he is not the best person for this job at this time. i will help him develop the conservative policies we need. host: anthony on her twitter page -- our twitter page -- guest: i do support term limits. there are two mini people who stay too long in washington and get trapped by the culture. -- too many people. host: we will try to get to as
many calls as we can. al in tampa, florida on our line for independents. caller: i have been waiting for my v.a. claim. i'm happy that the work of the house will be able to move forward. maybe they can move some of these bills that the house -- jeff miller has done a great job on the committee for the veterans affairs. i have a concern about non-formulary for the veterans. i can tell you why we have a high suicide rate. i have to pay for my medication on the outside because the v.a. will only do the cheapest stuff available. i want more accountability in the v.a.
maybe we will get some of that. i would like to have a comment on that from mr. buck. guest: my son is in the army. veterans and their issues are very important to me. mike coffman is on the veterans affairs committee. he is working hard on that. there needs to be an effort -- whenever we ask our young people to go to war and fight, we need to make sure that when we return -- when they return we are giving them the services and support they need. it's a priority to me and my republican colleagues. i'm sure the democrats come also feel that way also feel that way. i would be surprised if you don't see major changes. i spoke out early on the need to allow veterans to receive
services from the private sector for their medical treatment. the same is true for their prescription drug use. we need to make sure that we respect the service that our veterans have given to this country and i sure hope that your claims are dealt with appropriately in the near future. host: albuquerque, new mexico. david on our line for democrats. caller: good morning. happy new year. i want to make an observation. i don't know whether you saw this or not. i chuckled when you showed the live shot of the people getting off the bus at the church. across the street the car with this window rolled down. i didn't realize there were so many people that were concerned
about term limits. i'm glad to hear that. we have to get rid of special interest groups. i'm wondering if there is any possibility that something might come up in the near future that we could do to get rid of the special interests. guest: i'm not sure what you mean by special interests. there is too much special interest money that affects politics. as a congressman from colorado i'm here to serve my constituents. i'm not here to serve the lobbyists. i hope that answers your question. in terms of special interests, i believe one of the special interests we have in this country is reducing our budget. we have to balance our budget and make sure that we have an energy policy that makes sense.
we have the lowest gas prices i can remember in years. we have to make sure we are doing everything we can to create an economic environment that a less people to go to work in the areas they want to work in -- allows people to go to work in the areas they want to work in. host: you are starting your term today. you previously ran for a senate seat in colorado. there is going to be an election in 2016, the senate race therefore michael bennet's seat. any chance you look again to another senate run in the future? guest: my focus right now is being sworn into my first term. i will look at other issues down the road. right now, i'm focused on doing the best job i can as a congressman. host: not ruling it out at this point?
guest: not looking at it at this point. host: sally in texas. our line for republicans. caller: thank you for taking my call. i do have a question. why is it that when you have louie gohmert from florida and other people putting their names in the hat to stand up and give options for this speaker position, why is it that you say it's only about pelosi and boehner? it's only about pelosi and boehner if you people do not look at the options. speaker boehner has shown time and time again that he is not up to the leadership position. guest: the reality is the
democrats will nominate nancy and the republicans will nominate john boehner. you are allowed to vote for anybody. as i sat down with a lot of the conservative leaders in the house yesterday and we looked at the numbers, the numbers are clear. there is a minimal amount, maybe one dozen supporters for louie gohmert. once you get to the 30 that you need, at that point, you have to go back to the conference and figure out what to do. nobody in the republican conference is even close to the 125-130 votes they need to unseat speaker boehner as the nominee for the republicans.
that is the reality and that is what i have to deal with. i don't get to play fantasy football. i'm choosing from real people. while i disagree with speaker boehner on a number of key principles, i have to vote for the people being nominated. host: time for one or two more phone calls. michael is waiting on our line for independents from new york. caller: good morning. happy new year. it's like starting all over again with a new congress and stuff. it's one of the lowest bill passing sessions that is occurred for decades. these people are pulling at an 8% approval rating now? i would have been fired a long time ago. we can do that. term limits are a must but it's
never going to happen. these people will not make rules for themselves. these are greedy people. this congress will accomplish nothing. they have already badmouth obama. how many lives has he saved in afghanistan? we had no contract with the iraqi nation prior to that war. now we have all kinds of oil coming from iraq. host: avoiding the label of a do-nothing congress? guest: the label is unfairly applied to the house. the house passed 387 bills. more than 200 of those bills were passed with 100 democrat votes. truly bipartisan bills. they were not addressed by harry reid and the democrats in the senate. they will be addressed by mitch mcconnell and the republicans. they will be passed.
you will see a congress that accomplishes a lot. whether the president signs those bills is another question. the president has bragged about how he has a veto pen ready for legislation coming out of congress. this congress will pass bipartisan solutions to the problems facing americans and we need to make sure that the president is on board and signs that and we passed laws in this country that help americans with low energy costs and by changing the failed health care experiment that we started. help americans with jobs. flatten the tax code and make the tax code understandable to all people. we will be passing that legislation. i'm looking forward to the president signing it and making this a stronger country. guest: wecaller: we appreciate
your time thishost: we appreciate your time this warning. we will be joined in a few minutes by cory gardner of colorado. -- we appreciate your time this morning. a little more info on the 114 congress on opening day from greta brawner. >> the weather posing a real mess for many up on capitol hill. jake sherman tweeting out that at this point, there is no discussion in house leadership about pushing off anything due to the weather. that includes this vote at noon for speaker of the house. john boehner going for his third term as speaker. robert costa with this tweet --
for the first two hours, c-span and other media outlets will have cameras in the chamber allowed to do so on opening day. in the house -- after that, control goes back to the house. the senate will retain control throughout opening-day. you will be able to watch this vote unfold at new eastern time here on c-span. this is a story from greenville a website in south carolina. a congressman who voted against the speaker of the house saying he will vote for mr. boehner this time around. he wrote this on friday -- i was
the only south carolina member not to vote for boehner. it marginalized conservatives and simply empowered the establishment. john boehner can be beaten. -- can't be beaten. posting on his facebook page -- this afternoon, i will vote for a new speaker. the speaker tweeting out -- keystone xl pipeline, restore the 40 hour work week. nancy pelosi has this tweet --
the incoming minority leader, harry reid tweets out -- some of you might have heard the story four days ago that he fell while exercising at his home. he has broken ribs and bones in his face. you may see that when the senate comes into session at noon. look for coverage of opening day of the 114 congress here on c-span and c-span2. host: we stick with the colorado delegation. we are joined from the russell building on the senate side with cory gardner, republican from colorado. how big of a culture shift isn't going to be after two terms in the house to move over to the senate side? guest: the snowstorm is a good
reminder of the work we have to do in colorado and the work we have to do here. it is going to be a change. for her to 35the divisions are very stark in the house. it will be great opportunity for us to get work done. host: this seat are taking over is the seat of former senator wayne allard. a menu worked for as a legislative director. -- a man you worked for as a legislative director. guest: i introduced him to people and said he is to blame for the tradition he set forward in colorado. somebody who was tirelessly advocating for the people across the state who spent time going into every note and any around the state -- look forward to
following the example he set. host: is there a current senator in the style of the matches your own? guest: when it comes to democrats, we have been working on energy legislation together. excited to work with people like tom cotton and joni ernst. if you look at my style, it's going to be what i believe will work for colorado. somebody who is open and transparent. making sure we are working hard for the needs of colorado. host: part of the colorado delegation includes your fellow senator, michael bennet. he served as the chair of the democratic senatorial campaign committee. it was his job, tasked with defeating your election. he failed in that task and you are here this warning today. what is that relationship like? guest: the first meeting after
the election was with michael bennet to talk about ways we could work together on good ideas for colorado. this afternoon, he will be escorting me down the senator aisle. there will be things we disagree on. we have the opportunity to do good things for colorado. host: we're talking with cory gardner. he is here to take your questions and thomas for the next 15 minutes or so. louisiana on airline for democrats. caller:-- our line for democrats. caller: the congress is going to do nothing for the american people. i can't understand -- congressman are good people until they get elected. it seems disturbing to me that everything president obama does
is wrong. i'm a pastor and i hear these people come on. if you do this to the least of them you have also done this to me. host: the label of a do-nothing congress. guest: the people of this country what you talk about in terms of dysfunction is important and what we talked about. that is building a government you can be proud of, trying to find ways that we had a government that instills confidence in the american people that we can provide
solutions to our greatest needs. growing our economy, helping the middle class finding jobs that allow people to achieve their goals, making sure they can send their children to college and not worry about whether or not they can afford their house payment if their children go to college. holding a government we can be proud of means we can accomplish big things. if we can do that, the american people will have the confidence that we can govern responsibly. host: columbia, kentucky, jonathan on our line for independents. good morning. are you with us? we will go to christie in west virginia on our line for republicans. good morning to you. caller: good morning to you too. my question is -- i'd like to see they either and loc gone -- and pelosi gone. my main concern is with the 114th congress attends to do
about the apa and the crippling regulations that have destroyed our area in west virginia. host: a topic you worked on as a member of the house. guest: we have an obligation to protect our environment, make sure we are passing on to our children and grandchildren a cleaner place than we inherited from our parents. we have to make sure the regulations through the epa and others are not crippling our economy. we want has its of the range act, a bill making sure that when a regulation passes from an agency like the epa, congress gets to vote up or down on whether that regulation should continue because of its impact on the economy. if you look at what happened with the omnibus appropriation bill, funding levels at the epa are greatly curtailed back to, i believe, 1989 levels.
republicans agreed to that. in colorado, if you look at the epa overreach a martyr -- on water and coal regulations, it is hurting jobs and hurting our economy, hurting those people who can least afford it. it is because of higher energy prices. we have to keep a check on the agency, preventing them from hurting jobs, but making sure they are not hurting those that can least afford it. host: there is a speaker vote today, and you're getting sworn in on the senate side. what are you make of this ever to deprive speaker boehner of the gavel again? guest: i think speaker boehner will become the speaker of the house once again. this is a group of people, many of whom voted against him to trip years ago and they had an opportunity to run against him in conference but decided not to seek information in the conference, but they are doing it in front of television
cameras. they just want to make a point and have their voices heard. host: we have a call on our line for democrats. you are on what senator-elect gardner. caller: we have a failed republican approach, but it is still embraced today despite a recovering economy thanks to the obama administration. there are soft language words fiscal responsibility, reduced cut spending, so telly what programs are targeted first and how they would benefit the american people when you cut them. guest: if you look at the passage of the ominous -- omnibus bill, democrats and republicans can together to reduce spending levels. by reducing government spending the american people have more money in their own pockets. that means businesses around
this country can spend the money the way that business wants to, creating jobs and increasing salaries and hiring more people instead of the government doing it and taking it away. it is a dynamic opportunity for the american people to generate more revenue with their money rather than sending it to washington. how do we focus on certain bills or certain ideas? where do we reduce spending? gary peters, democrat from michigan, and i will be working on legislation together, legislation we worked on in the house together that identifies wasteful duplicative programs millions spent on duplicative programs. we will focus on eliminating those programs and make sure congress has proper oversight to focus on areas we need to look at it we want the american people to be able to keep the dollars that they worked hard to earn. empowering the american people.
making sure that washington is responsible for the dollars it is entrusted with. host: on twitter -- they want to know how you feel about term limits and reducing senate terms. guest: i think the founders of our country did a pretty good job in making sure we have a house at two and senate at six. they want the body to reflect the people in the state. they wanted to make sure that we had a body that change is every two ears to reflect the will of the people. it is the teacup so to speak, that benjamin franklin described it as as one of the founders. term limits is something colorado would strive for. the term limits on state legislators. without a u.s. constitutional amendment, that was thrown out
of the supreme court and deemed unconstitutional . it cannot be something each state decides individually. host: we had congressmen-elect ken buck on our program. did you give him advice? guest: he is an able leader and will be a great member of congress. i look forward to serving with him. we shared ideas. we have given each other advice. most important leave for him right now is to make sure we are all working together in colorado am of the entire delegation, to do what we can for the people of our state. of course, needs from flooding are needed in his district. we have to make sure we are recovering from that. there are agricultural and water needs in that district. he is my member of congress and i look forward to working with him. host: time for one or two trim
or focus was senator-elect cory gardner, republican of colorado. we have a call on our line for independents. caller: i am calling from tampa florida. we work in foreclosure defense. i run a radio station to it i want to give kudos to the gentleman, jack, in ohio. frankly, the american people are prepared to get past the polished language, default promises. we need you to understand, sir that you work for us, and we have seen nothing but foreclosur es, people in the street. frankly, we are tired of the silly games being played. we do not believe anything we are hearing any longer to include "create jobs." that is so over more now. and this silly games. he question i have, sir, is it -- why is the 20 16th
presidential election proposed to be the most expensive in the history of our country? host: a few questions there sir. guest: when it comes to creating jobs, that is really the highest goal we have to set for ourselves. what we can do to help the american people. in colorado over there are areas that have done very well economically, areas that have dropped unemployment down to low numbers. if you look the western slope of colorado and parts of southern colorado, unemployment levels are unacceptably high. the people of colorado have lost money. incomes have declined over the past several years by thousands of dollars. we have to do better be a we have to make sure we are this stagnation of income here and people are basically earning the same thing they have for a decade or more because of the increasing costs. they're not making ends meet even though they're working harder than they ever have. we have to make sure we are working together to create jobs.
that is why keystone xl pipeline is important in light tax reform is important. empowering people to develop our resources respectively. the 20 16th race, in terms of costs, it seems like there are more and more costs every year. it was the most expensive senate race in colorado history and one of the most extensive around the country, and it is unfortunate that these costs ge continue to increase. i tease tv news anchors, saying i hope the affiliates they work for get into profit-sharing, the cause they have seen a lot of money come across their desks recently. host: i want you to speak to this caller's question but a point others have made about rebuilding trust in government and government officials. guest: i saw a recent study that talked about the number of people who in this country do not believe this country can solve big challenges anymore. if you look at the way the health care bill was rolled out
if you look at the belief or faith in obama care, if you look at the trust or faith in our country to accomplish big problems, it is at the slowest level in many years, if not historically low. i talk about building a government we can be proud of again. it really is about that. it is how we can build the confidence and trust reestablish the working relationship across the aisle in the senate, across the chamber across the capital with the house and the senate and with the president to show the american people we can govern. if we can show the american people we can govern responsibly, i believe we will rebuild that trust. then we can a commerce the biggest challenges whether that is addressing our debt, addressing our economy addressing our tax system. that is something i take very seriously. i hope that is the outcome of the 100 14th congress, to reestablish that trust. host: cory gardner, republican
of colorado, appreciate your time this morning. senator-elect gardner is being sworn in today in the senate. earlier this week, we conducted an interview with former republican mississippi senator trent lott served as majority leader for several years in the senate. he joined us on capitol hill to talk about the opening day of the 114th congress in the senate. [video clip] >> first day of the senate what is it like? >> phone rhetorically or this will be enjoyable for republicans. after eight years, they're taking back the majority and mitch mcconnell be the majority leader. john cornyn will be the web. there will be 13 new republicans in the senate. it is a very diverse group. but it is one with a lot of experience. there will be excitement in the air. there will be an event the next day to honor orrin hatch as president pro tem. it is not nearly as enthusiastic
and someone out of control as the house is, because the house is younger and you will have kids on the floor on that first day for the swearing-in. but it is still a very exciting and enjoyable day. >> the freshmen will be sworn in. >> yes, they will. >> what is your advice for them? >> well, you know, be reserved and be appreciative of the people that escort you to usually the senior senator of the state will escort you. sometimes you will have people from outside come in. but now the rules are very strict. i did not get to escort senator wicker down when he was sworn in as my successor because i had gone out in the private sector and was a lawyer and lobbyist. there are rules against that. but you usually walk down the aisle with a senior senator or special person, and you raise your hand and take the oath of the bible. i have the bible i used in my swearing in, and i was going to give it to my grandson. my son said, no, this is mine
until his day comes. >> how is the leadership preparing, especially republicans? they are about to take over after being in the minority. how are they preparing for this 100 14th congress? >> senator mcconnell has been preparing for about 40 years. this is a special moment for him. i think this has been the goal of his life since the 1960's when he worked for then-senator john sherman cooper, republican. i think mitch aspired to come to the senate. and if you do that, you should want to be majority leader. that is where you really make a difference. it is a very powerful position. i served as minority leader and majority leader. it is much better being majority leader but it is a lot tougher. it is not a constitutional position. you govern or lead the senate out of respect for the position and by the power of your persuasion. that you do decide what bill is
going to come up, what conditions come up. there is no world committee like the rules committee in the house that determines the minutes. it is much more open, very difficult to control process. around the senate, they say it is easy to block things, but it is hard to pass things to go from a congress that do not get much done to one that begins to move issues, whether it is trade or taxes or infrastructure integration, or health, each one of those will be a battle. what has happened over the last couple weeks, mitch mcconnell working in concert with john boehner and others, and the leadership team has been thinking about what order to take up things. are we going to be up do some things, the low hanging items that you can do that will be easy and bipartisan? but there are some things he will have to try to do that will be hard, and some of them will
probably be vetoed by the president at one of the big questions hanging over this swearing-in day is -- what will president obama do? will he reach out and work with republicans? will there be areas where they can get things done? that mitch mcconnell, he knows rules. he knows how to tie the senate up. i've hoping he is going to know how to get it moving, but it will be a challenge. >> what is your advice to him to get things moving? what power does he have as majority leader on the senate floor? >> most powerful position is the power of recognition. he gets recognized first by the chair. that is a powerful position. there is respect for the position. but mitch him as i said, he knows the rules. he knows how to tie things up and what you can and cannot do give one of the things he will have to do right away is -- what are we going to do about the rules? the nuclear option? if i were to give any advice, i
would say to reverse it. it was a mistake, i thought, and republicans complain loudly. if they turn around and say, oh well, we will just leave it there -- i do not know, i think that is not a good move. rules in the senate are important, but more important than that is how you work with your congress. mitch is a good listener. he will sit there until the cows come home, as we say in mississippi, and listen and listen before he will take a position or state what he thinks needs to happen. he will have to do that in his own conference. he needs to go across the aisle. most votes will take 60 here and he has got 54. there are a half dozen or seven democrats that you might entice on this hill or the other. he will be pressed every day but hope he feels like i did. every day when i came into office, i came up two lights upstairs and was excited to be
there. i live the american drink, and he is living the american dream. now he is there at the top of leadership in america. host: less than three hours now until the 114th congress is gaveled in the we're taking your phone calls. we're talking with veteran capitol hill reporters about hot button policy issues that will impact the 114th congress. nick juliano joins us from capitol hill. he is with environment and energy news. nick juliano, the discussion on the energy side has to begin with the keystone xl pipeline, a measure that republicans on both the house and senate say will be one of the first teases of legislation in this new congress. why do republicans think this is such a good issue to kick off on? guest: keystone will be the first bill in both the house and senate. the house will vote on it friday. the senate will do committee
work this week, and then it should be on the floor next week. we will see how long it takes for them to get through amendments. this was a big issue throughout the campaign last year. republicans say this creates jobs and energy independence. it is bringing oiled up from one of our biggest our allies, canada. you cannot talk about energy without hearing about keystone. it is an obvious target to be at the top of the pile when the new congress convenes today. host: after the movement on keystone this week, what is next on the horizon? guest: the house keep up a few smaller energy bills things they passed last year. next week, we expect to see action on a bill that deals with natural gas pipelines. it is about making permitting easier. relatively soon after that we will probably see discussion about the financial gap exports.
today, a senator will be introducing a bill that will try to expedite that process. looking out farther than that the new energy chairwoman in the senate plans to work closely with her house counterpart who is returning as energy and commerce chairman. they want a comprehensive energy bill this year, something congress has not really been able to do since 2010. i could be a pretty broad scope. it will be interesting to see how that comes together. host: on the environmental issues aside, senate leadership has tapped senator jim imhoff to chair the environment and public works committee. what impact is that having on the climate debate on capitol hill and in this country? guest: senator imhoff is returning to the top of epw. that will put a spotlight on the climate policies. he is a skeptic of the
scientific evidence linking climate change to human activity can we will hear quite a bit about that. democrats see an opening where they want to harp on this idea that republicans are denying the science and a knowing the scientists. expect them to look for opportunities for senator imhoff to help them make that case. host: let's talk about the loss of california democrat henry waxman, his retirement from congress, the impact that will have for house democrats on these issues. guest: henry waxman was a huge voice on this. he wrote the cap and trade bill in 2009 that passed the house but was not able to make it through the senate. it was a sweeping piece of legislation. he has always been an aggressive inquisitor of administrations that he does not get along with, an investigator. he has some big shoes to fill.
some democrats will try to do that. chris van hollen, i believe, is taking his place as part of a climate task force. there will be a new chair of the resources committee. freight alone is the new top democrat on the energy and commerce committee. he will be involved in trying to send the democratic message on climate change and clean energy development. host: nick -- nick juliano eenews.net, and you can follow him on twitter. we appreciate your time this morning. we're live for the next three and a half hours or so here in washington, d.c., on capitol hill next two and a half hours, until the house gavels in. then we will be live all day for the ceremonies on the opening day of the 114th congress.
we are taking your calls and comments this morning. theodore has been waiting columbus georgia, line for democrats. thanks for waiting. caller: thank you for taking my call. my main concern is it seems like -- [indiscernible] we got to remember, rome did not fall because some of the came in and overran them. rome was taken from the inside. all i am saying is all these people keep fighting against the americans in america, rather than taking care of americans. they did the same against the people in america. america is america, whether you live north, south, east, or west. pretty soon, if these people up
there that call themselves the elected officials for the people , they are going to find out that america is not just that little body of their call congress and the senate. america has a variety of people, and that means they should stop playing with our right to vote and our right to do whatever it is that our constitution says we can do. we been played with for too long. host: lauren is up next from old forge, pennsylvania, republican. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call and thank you for c-span. you know, i am finally seeing the results of the election which is lower gas prices. the gentleman you are interviewing tells us why,
because republicans will be looking towards getting oil here in america rather than purchasing it overseas. thank you, america, for voting republicans in. less than three dollars for gas and it continues to drop. with that said, the republican party and those elected need to do what they are elected to do. in addition to helping us with our energy prices, we need to see the policies that this president is pushing stopped. they need to stop him from doing that. i hope they do. host: barbara on our line for independents west virginia caller:. caller: thank you, sir, for taking my call. i was wanted to ask a question to the republican senator, but they got off before i could ask.
what i was wondering -- why can't the american people -- i know the powerful leadership of the majority leader -- they are very powerful, like you said. so why can't the american people on the they get to pick them? they are working for us, the people and, you know, we do not want certain people because nothing has been done for years. why do they put the same people in their? we want changes. we do not want the same leaders there in the majority because the leaders did not do anything. american people, they are just about fed up. i pray everyday that it changes. i am hoping the president will change his ways and start going the way of the american people. thank you so much. god bless. host: some notes on the schedule this morning for the house floor, what will be happening after the house gavels in this
morning. it begins the session at about noon. a prayer will be led by the chaplain, and the pledge of allegiance will be led by the clerk. a quorum call will be ordered by the clerk. then the closely-watched election of the speaker will be ordered by the clerk of the house, conducted with the assistance of the tellers in the house. after remarks by the speaker-elect, there will be the swearing in of the speaker-elect. it is the longest continually serving number of the house, the dean, the longest continually serving member from either party, and in this new congress, it will be congressman john conyers, democrat from michigan. we spoke with congressman conyers recently about his new title of enough the house and what he wants to do in his new role. [video clip] >> joining us from detroit is the incoming dean of the house representative john conyers from michigan. good morning.
>> top of the morning to you. >> tell our folks about the position you are about to assume . how does one become dean of the house? guest: the first requirement is longevity. the dean of the house is the longest-serving member in the house of representatives, and he has the distinct honor on opening day, january 6, to swear in the incoming speaker of the house, which is a constitutional office. even though the present speaker of the house is going to be the same one he will still have to be sworn in again. that is where i come in. host: so you will do that job today, swear the speaker in a
tele's a little bit about the longevity aspect of it. you are taking over from representative dingell. tell us about taking over from him and the fact that he is from michigan, as well. guest: not only a fellow michiganer, that his father and my father were good friends and he and i are good friends. he was once my congressman. i have been talking with him about this job and the important duty on opening day where we swear in the incoming speaker of the house for the next session of congress. looking forward to it. host: you have been talking to him about the job. what kind of advice has he given to you about it? guest: he has given me some good
advice. stay calm. get your swearing in statement together so that you can have the incoming speaker raise his right hand with you and say that he will support the constitution of the united states and some other things. and we will be all set. host: you become the first african-american to assume this position. what does that mean to you? guest: i think it is a high honor under any circumstances but i think it is even more significant that of all the members in the congress i am now the longest-serving and the first african-american to hold that rank. i value it, and i am very proud of it. host: with your new platform as dean, even after you do the
ceremonial aspects of it, do you use your platform to talk about race issues or to talk about other issues near and dear to you? guest: absolutely. the dean of the house has a special recognition and it gives a little more added authority to the positions that i take. so i will be very carefully assessing what i say and what positions i advocate as the new dean of the house. and i follow a very distinguished member of congress that was the dean for a long time himself, and he is stepping down. of course, his wife is replacing him. debbie dingell -- we're looking forward to working with her and the entire michigan delegation. host: representative, as you
become dean now, do you get any privileges with that? do you get federal office space or your choice of committees -- how does that work? guest: we have been looking to see if there are any perks, and guess what, we have not found a one. guest: but you are the longest-serving member now, and with this freshman class coming in and because you hold title of dean, what advice do you give the freshman class? guest: well, i would advise them to be very careful and thoughtful about the votes that they cast. they want to realize that every vote they cast becomes a part of our congressional history. we do not want them to get into
a mood or get into a group in which they will be saying later on that they were sorry that they were running in a direction that they really do not support. host: longest-serving member of congress, the dean of the house of representatives representative john conyers from michigan. thank you. appreciate your time. guest: pleasure being with you. have a good new year. host: that was representative conyers, now on his new role as a dean of the house. this tweet from a member of "the washington post" -- important historical marker representative john conyers becomes the first african-american to serve 50 years in congress. we are live with your phone calls and your thoughts on this new congress until noon eastern
time. take a look at the breakdown. in the house 246 republicans with one vacancy. michael grimm has decided to step down from his position representing the 11th district in new york. a special election will be held for that seat later this year. 188 democrats in the house. on the senate side, 54 republicans, 44 democrats, two independents. one of those new coming-in-house members is representative-elect debbie dingell, joining us from the rotunda this morning to congresswoman-elect, you are replacing your husband representative john dingell deserved in the house for 59 years, from 1956 to 2015. what do you plan to do to further his legacy, and how will you be different from your husband? guest: first of all, let me say
that i am debbie dingell, and i'm not trying to replace issues of my husband. they are large ones. i know how big they are to fill. i have my own shoes, and i have had my own experience is that only bringing to this job. the most important thing i need to do to represent the people of the 12th district of michigan and the people of michigan are looking at the issues we all care about. i think you will find the republicans and democrats all share a lot of the very same goals, which is to strengthen the economy, create jobs for people. health care is a passion i will continue to fight for. i do not think any american should have to choose whether to go to the doctor or afford medication or eat. making education affordable for young people to go to college. at the same time, most of a child's brain is developed by the time they are five year 90% of it is. i think one of the things that i have really learned -- i knew,
but i have really heard in this past election is that american people are tired of everybody fighting. they want to see us come together. we have a lot of issues, and they want to see people work together and find solutions. host: you were elected with 65% of the vote. as you say, you had a career before you came to congress. served over 30 years as president of the gm foundation at senior executive responsible for global community relations and government relations. how has that experience impacted you in this new role as a member of congress, and what issues does that mean you will be pushing for? guest: one of the most radical things i think matters is manufacturing, bringing jobs back to this country. we want america to compete in the global marketplace with anyone. one of the things i have had a history of doing, not only at general motors, but working on a number of other projects is
ringing people together of disparate grounds to find common ground. the fact is that business and labor need to work together to attract manufacturing back to this country. not only is it labor-competitive, too often people think that labor is cheaper in other countries. labor is competitive to a now we have exceeded energy production over saudi arabia last year. energy is the second-largest significant cost after wages in manufacturing. we can compete. i think that is something that i have worked on. i have are at on manufacturing policies and how to keep jobs in this country and that will continue to be something i will work very hard on. host: obviously, the auto industry is very important to michigan. the auto industry is having a pretty good year. what do you think is next for carmakers in this country? guest: there are a number of issues. it has been a rough five years.
we will look at labor negotiations in this coming year . when the auto industry went through difficult times, everybody came to the table and gave to try to help make the industry more competitive. many of the auto workers have not seen any kind of wage increase or a significant wage increase in the last few years. it has become a two-tier wage system. we have -- this will be a critical issue, and there are other issues that will be discussed in washington. trade is going to be a very significant issue or defect of the matter is that companies that manipulate their currency give unfair advantages to the companies that are in their countries. use japan as an example of japan is one of the most closed markets in the world. i know these domestic
manufacturers. i have worked with them. i have worked and lived with people who make those cars but we can compete and build the best cars of anywhere in the world. but when you have a country manipulating its currency they get a several thousand dollar advantage in this country that they used to subsidize the cost of cars in advertising and in parts. i think manipulation of currency is the mother of all trade barriers, something we really have to work on. it is not just for the domestic auto industry. it affects agriculture and other industries. that is very important this year. host: in a trade deal, one important to the president, he wants to push it, and you sound familiar with the negotiations. are you sort of planning to vote no? guest: i am waiting to see what the president comes forward with. if they do not address very significant issues, i cannot support it could we have to have a level playing field for all the manufacturers in this country. i hope that these things will be done before it comes to congress
for approval. host: we are getting our viewers' thoughts on this opening day of the 114th congress amid their priorities, their concern for this congress to the house will gavel in at noon eastern time, and the senate, as will appear we will have coverage of the house. watched c-span2 for our coverage over there. alex, you are on the air with debbie dingell, representing the 12th restrict. go ahead. caller: i had a question earlier. i guess a mixed up in the wrong segment. it is about extortion 17 and the lack of investigation and lack of knowledge that the american people have with extortion 17, the single deadliest day in seal operation history. i think more light needs to be shed on it. the american people need to educate themselves.
the way it was handled was incredibly disgusting. host: those are one of alex's priorities for this congress. let me move on to deborah and waldorf, maryland, democrat. your thoughts? caller: thank you for taking my call. i have three points. number one, we need to revise the constitution. number two, we need to see more of the congressman representing the people, which we do not see. number three, when they place their hands on the holy bible they should really know what they are putting their hands on. so when you speak something, you should stand for what use before. host: congresswoman-elect later today when you put your hand on the bible to be sworn in what will you be thinking about? guest: it is a very important moment for me.
i am a catholic woman. i have been taught values that have been and for me for a very long time, watching out for our neighbors, the responsibilities i have, the difference between being served and the honor of serving. it was the nun who took me in the fourth grade to migrate camps to see how the cherries were picked but also how the migrant workers and their children lived. i was taken into the inner city after the riots in the 1960's and to see martin luther king one week before he died. we have response abilities to make sure that we are part of a community, live in a community and have responsibilities to each other when i put my hand on that bible today to take the oath of office i am part of a community and will watch out for everybody. host: joan, republican, you are on the air.
caller: i am calling about the vote on boehner. i know we have two other people who are going to try to run. louie gohmert and ted yoho. i do not see a reason why these people cannot vote for somebody else decides boehner because he is not really doing the job. i heard about the first guy earlier, saying they got into a room, the republicans, and they talked about it. the americans, the republicans that are us that are out here we want that. so why aren't y'all doing what we want? host: ok, representative-elected debbie dingell, you are a democrat. what do you make of all that will happen on the floor in the
rollcall vote? guest: she did not even mention the fourth option which is nancy pelosi. that is who i will be voting for. i think most of the democrats will vote for her. it is a democracy, the greatest thing in the world. it is that right, the ability that freedom of speech to it sometimes, no matter who we are what we agree or disagree on, all of us think it is great to have freedom of speech and his country. people should be able to go to the floor and vote on who they want to think speaker boehner will get reelected. a lot think he is doing a good job. he is bringing many people together. but this is america. people can vote on who they want to. host: california, gary, independent. caller: thank you for taking my call. i am calling in an area of northern california which will soon be called the state of jefferson. my comment is, i am sure that in
northern california -- i am sorry, in washington, d.c., it will be nearly impossible to find a place with all of the lobbyists moving in also. i think we do need term limits term limits, and term limits. thank you. host: congresswoman-elect dingell, do you plan to serve more than one term? guest: every two years, i will look at whether i can continue to do a good job and if the people think i can do a good job. i think we do have term limits. it is called elections. if you are in the house of representatives, they occur every two years. i would like to see more people anticipate become involved, and get out there and vote. in the state of michigan, we have term limits. it is a broad coalition from the chamber of commerce to the environmentalist groups who are
very concerned about what happens because of term limits because you are losing very good, seasoned people on both sides of the aisle. the senate leader in michigan is one of the smartest people, and he is term-limited out. when you're going in for surgery, you want someone with experience and that his hands-on. we need a system -- california has got it. i am not afraid of looking at how the district being happens and making sure people have opportunity to run her office. but i think term limits in elections of two years would encourage more people to get involved. if you are unhappy with those that represent you, you will vote for someone else. host: we are talking to congresswoman-elect debbie dingell of michigan, coming in as one of the 84 women in the house. there will be 22 republicans and 62 democrats. we have our guest for about five more minutes. paul indiana republican.
guest:caller: listen, ms. dingell your husband should be ashamed of himself. the way detroit declined, he was part of it and knew it was happening. the jewish fellow, he is the same thing, the same thing. i have been a union person for 35 years. my union votes republican every single election now. because the only time we are out of work is when a democrat is in office. host: do you have a response? guest: i, obviously, love my husband and think he tried to do a good job of representing the state of michigan. i know that he was not afraid to tell people when he believed they needed to make change and was one of the people that, for instance, tried to drive more fuel-efficient vehicles, work for clean air, and looked --
took economic issues, etc. under control. i am not sure who you were totally talking about. by the way, i think detroit is a precursor to what is going to happen in many cities around the country. for a long time, we dealt with a lot of issues, and now we have a balanced budget. in the pension issues and other things are issues we will see around the country. we really need to have some very tough discussions on many of these issues. host: congresswoman-elect, what do you think the federal government can do to help the economy, like michigan and detroit? guest: that is a hard discussion to wrap up in a couple of minutes, but i think we nine -- we need to find ways to foster good climate so people want to invest in america. so that we have good tax policies, good investmenting
environment, the people have access to capital. i also believe that we need to help bring people together to tell their stories. the fact is, we're the most competitive country in the world. we can build the best products. in agriculture the products we build our incredible. we need to tell our story. we do too much tearing ourselves down instead of working together in marketing what is right about america, and there are a lot of things that are. host: james in ohio, democrat. caller: good morning, ms. dingell. thank you very much for picking up the torch for your husband and representing women in this congress. one thing that i wanted to ask or kind of address -- we have heard a lot of republicans talk about the keystone pipeline building jobs. in actuality, the setup of the
keystone pipeline, the creation of the physical pipeline, will create jobs, but the maintenance of the pipeline will not. the oil is actually going from canada to the gulf, which does not help the u.s. at all. for your state, will be safe reach act that has been imposed come back up in a way to revive the skill set of basic jobs like welding, electrical construction? is there something you are looking towards to help michigan residents get out of that? guest: i do not like the word rust belt and will not accept it. i i am so many that believes we have got to look at what our workforce is and what skills sets are needed for the jobs
available. not everybody has to have a college degree to succeed. i know many people in the skilled trades, and there is a real need for them in this country. they are a critical backbone of our economy in so many different businesses in manufacturing processes. i absolutely will be working hard to support that can we have some great programs in michigan. we are training people those skills sets and giving apprentices. yes, you will see me working hard on that. that is an important area for us to focus on. host: what committees would you like to serve on? guest: i would like to serve on energy and commerce. i spent my lifetime working on manufacturing, the auto industry , and i founded the national women's health resource center when i discovered that women were not seeing included in any federally funded research. i am very active in the health care field. freshman will be appointed to
that committee now, so i am putting my face in leader pe losi to what the needs are. we will see where it goes. host: do you have family that will be with you today as he will be sworn in? will your husband be by your side? guest: my mother and sister are here with her husband. i am in a crisis right now. john was in the hospital for almost three weeks in december and very much wants to be with me today. i want my husband to be with me for a very long time, and this no -- i hope he will be with me, but i will also use common sense to it i have not figured it out yet, if you want me to be blunt. host: the weather is causing headaches for many today. we hope your husband is able to be by your side today. thank you very much for talking to our viewers this morning. we appreciate your time.
guest: thank you. look forward to seeing everyone this year. host: opening day of the 114th congress in washington. the house gavels in at noon eastern tiger to look for coverage on c-span. in the senate, as well, at noon on c-span2. let's go to john mcardle at the news desk sat here for more information about this new congress. host: the weather is on the minds of many today. a few tweets from the congress say they're coming into washington for this opening day. here is one from california -- 27 degrees and snowing when i got into the office today. enjoy the 82 degree weather everyone in california. from senator chris murphy, just landed at a snow we airport on the way to washington, d.c., hopefully some of her swearing-in of old friends and prospective new friends. and a picture from this morning.
people complain of d.c., but it reminds me of home. this new 114th congress will include 246 republicans 188 democrats, and one vacancy. the one vacancy is the seat of michael graham, republican of new york, the 11th district, the staten island district -- easy of michael grimm. he submitted his resignation after his guilty plea in a tax evasion case. a tweet noting that michael grimm's resignation became effective last night at midnight. the "new york daily news" noting that governor cuomo will have to call a special election to fill the seat. he has discretion over when he announces the vacancy, but he is expected to act quickly. he can set the election 70 to 80
days from the date of election setting up a likely election in late march. from "roll call," a story noting the special election in the empire state has become a near annual affair and thanks to michael grimm's resignation new york will host its sixth special election in as many years. the highest profile candidate on the republican side is daniel donovan, a popular local officeholder who faced criticism when a grand jury failed to indict a police officer in the death of eric garner in new york. that story noting that on the democratic side, michael mcmahon, former congressman to michael grimm beta for that seat, is considered a top contender. the special election watch already beginning in earnest. news also this morning on the expected retirement announcement
of chris gibson. this story cannot yesterday, noting that chris gibson will announce his retirement today. the republican who was reelected to a third term in november will open and competitive seat in 2016. president barack obama carried the district with 62%, making it a must-win for house democrats if they want to put a dent in the gop's historic majority this cycle. that, along with the weather, is the news so far this morning. host: the "wall street journal" is hoping for a better congress. they write that the worst outcome would be an attempt to do too much and then break down. it goes on to say --
host: they have been too quick to elevate tactical disagreements into psycho dramas -- host: the editorial board also writes that the overall gop goal is for economic growth, job creation, and raising middle-class income. republicans control the country how they would govern if they take the white house in 2016 while accepting as many incremental policy gains as they can get. what are your thoughts on this first day of the 114th congress estimate linda in georgia, a republican. caller: first of all, to debbie dingell's comment earlier about how she would vote for nancy pelosi certainly i agree that
everyone has the right to vote their own conscience, but i would find it very difficult to trust anyone who would vote for nancy pelosi after her rather smug comment to the american people on tv when the affordable care act would pass that we would just have to wait to see what is in it. you know these smug comments coming from that end and the other side too. the speaker, i am on the fence about him. i have not been there and been privy to anything said 90 scenes, and it is -- said behind the scenes -- that is none of my business, but i tend to give him my trust. i was very appreciative of his christmas greeting that he sent here at what i would like to see speaker boehner do is be a little more forthcoming with the american people about exactly
what his plans are. he comes out periodically and makes little bullet statements ok? then he darts like in his office or wherever, and we can't understand that he has a busy schedule -- we can understand that he is a busy schedule, but we are the voters. a lot of people i talk to feel the same way, that he is too secretive. that is how we perceive him. i am not calling him secretive but that is how he comes across. he comes out and makes a bullet statement and takes off again. as for the rumors about the drinking, as far as i am concerned, they are just that. host: ok, you feel that he is too secretive. do you agree with this run by texas congressman louie gohmert and florida republican ted yoho to try to unseat speaker boehner?
caller: i did not say that. what i said was i am on the fence about that. i am expressing my wishes as a voter that he be more forthcoming and that i do not buy into the rumors. i have not made up my mind, but if it is found that he needs to be replaced today, then i would certainly vote for congressman gohmert. host: are you going to watch this unfold? caller: i definitely will, yes. host: noon eastern time, you will see a rollcall vote. they will be asked to take a vote which will take more than one hour. many reporters reporting that there will be boehner allies in the chamber talking to republicans that are perhaps on the fence about voting for the bigger of the house or against him. many saying, as well, that the speaker will have enough votes
and it will might go to a second round of balloting. as it has been heard today there are about 15 to 20 republicans who say they will vote no against this speaker of the house for a third term in that position. our coverage on c-span, watch it here. we will have our cameras in the chamber, we are allowed to do so , so you get to see the conversations that are have been that happening on the floor. -- that are happening on the floor. it will be a more complete -- we believe and other media outlets believe -- more complete picture of what is happening. senate cameras remaining in control of the senate officials today. when they gavel in at 12:00 p.m. eastern time. president obama and his last news conference before he went on his holiday vacation talked