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Rep Darrell Issa Discusses Healthcare Reform, Border Security, War In Afghanistan

Your browser does not support this object. View the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fk2CrmwhSw

Video published August 20, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: We speak to Rep. Darrell Issa about the California Republican Convention that will take place in San Diego this weekend. We also talk to Issa about the national economy, homeland security, and illegal immigration.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

THE CALIFORNIA REPUBLICAN PARTY IS HOLDING ITS FALL CONVENTION IN SAN DIEGO TO WHIP UP DELEGATE ENTHUSIASM FOR GOP CANDIDATES. MEG WHITMAN IS ON THE AGENDA. BUT THE FEATURED SPEAKER SATURDAY NIGHT IS THE RANKING REPUBLICAN ON THE POWERFUL HOUSE OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTEES. MY GUEST, CONGRESSMAN DARRELL ISA. WELCOME.

THANKS.

AS I SAID, YOU'RE THE FEATURED SPEAKER AT THE CONVENTION. WHAT'S GOING TO BE YOUR MAIN MESSAGE TO THE DELEGATES?

I BELIEVE THAT REPUBLICANS HAVE TO RELEARN WHAT THE FOUNDING FATHERS INTENDED, THAT THE FIRST BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT WAS SUPPOSED TO LIMIT THE SECOND BRANCH, AND WE HAVEN'T DONE A VERY GOOD JOB. OVERSIGHT, WHICH IS THE NAME OF 0 MY COMMITTEE, HAS NOT BEEN NEARLY WHAT IT SHOULD BE UNDER EITHER PARTY, AND IT NEEDS TO BE. WE HAVE TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF TAXPAYER MONEY, MUCH OF WHICH IS BEING WASTED, AND IT'S WASTED BECAUSE NO ADMINISTRATION LOOKS FOR ITS OWN MISTAKES. IT TAKES THE IGS AND THE CONGRESS TO DO THAT, AND I WANT REPUBLICANS TO BE PART OF THAT PROGRAM.

SO LET'S TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE OVERSIGHT THAT YOU JUST MENTIONED. WHAT DOES "OVERSIGHT" MEAN TO YOU?

IT MEANS THAT I DON'T MAKE THE RULES. I SEE THAT THE ADMINISTRATION OBEYS THE RULES. I DON'T MAKE THE POLICY. . I SEE THAT THE ADMINISTRATION IS CONSISTENT IN ITS EXECUTION OF WHAT IT SAYS ITS POLICY IS.

SO ONLY THE ADMINISTRATION? IS THAT THE ONLY PART OF GOVERNMENT THAT YOU WOULD BE OVERSEEING?

IT IS. WE DON'T HAVE JUDICIARY. THE SUPREME COURT AND THE OTHER COURTS ARE ANOTHER COURT THEY SERVE ON; BUT THE JUDICIARY, AND THE HOUSE HAS ITS OWN COMMITTEE AND SO ON THAT OVERSEES HOUSE MEMBERS. SO IT'S REALLY JUST THE CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE HOUSE OVERSEEING THE 2 MILLION PEOPLE AND MANY TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS YOU AND I PAY FOR.

IF THE REPUBLICANS TAKE THE MAJORITY, YOU'LL BECOME THE CHAIR OF THE COMMITTEE. HAS IT DONE A GOOD JOB SO FAR? WOULD YOU CHANGE IT A LOT?

I WOULD. I BELIEVE, UNDER THE REPUBLICANS --IC NAME SOME OVERSIGHT THAT WE DID THAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO MORE OF. I ALSO BELIEVE THAT IT HAS LOST ITS WAY. THAT CONGRESS HOLDING THE SPENDING OF THIS GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE GOT LOST. WE ALL HEAR ABOUT EARMARKS, EARMARKS BEING CONGRESSIONAL SPENDING IN LOCAL DISTRICTS. WHAT WE DON'T REALIZE IS THAT THERE'S NEARLY TENFOLD AS MUCH THAT IS DISCRETIONARY BY PEOPLE THAT YOU DON'T KNOW THEIR NAMES AND ARE NOT CONFIRMED BY THE SENATE. THEY'RE JUST BUREAU DEMOCRATS. THAT HAS TO BE SEEN TO MAKE SURE IT'S FAIR AND RIGHT.

SO LET'S TALK A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT THE REREPUBLICANS. THEY'RE SORT OF BECOMING THE PARTY OF NO. IS THERE ANYTHING THAT THE ADMINISTRATION HAS DONE THAT YOU WOULD SUPPORT?

WELL, WE DO SUPPORT A LOT THAT THE ADMINISTRATION HAS DONE. YOU ONLY HEAR ABOUT THE TIMES IN WHICH THE VOTES COME DOWN ON PARTY LINE. . BUT REMEMBER "NO" IS PART OF THE JOB. WE TRY TO OFFER AMENDMENTS. WE'RE NOT ALLOWED TO OFFER AMENDMENTS. WE OFFER A MOTION DOWN THE PARTY LINE, AND THE FINAL VOLT TYPICALLY IS PARTY. THAT IS NOT THE PROCESS WORKING PROPERLY, EXCEPT, IF YOU DON'T ALLOW CONSTRUCTIVE AMENDMENTS, THEN YOU CREATE A --I GUARANTEE THAT YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE THIS NO THAT YOU HEAR ABOUT.

GIVE ME SOMETHING THAT -- LET'S SAY OUR VIEWER SHIP WOULD UNDERSTAND, YOU WOULD SUPPORT THAT THE ADMINISTRATION HAS DONE.

WELL, FIRST OF ALL, THE ADMINISTRATION'S HANDLING OF AFGHANISTAN. THEY CAME IN WITH AN IDEOLOGICAL PENALTY TO CLOSE THEM UP, SEND THEM HOME. THEY LOOKED AT THE CLASS FOOD DATA, MET WITH THE MILITARY LEADERS, AND THEY CHANGED, AND THEY'VE HAD BIPARTISAN SUPPORT. NOT ALL REPUBLICANS, NOT ALL DEMOCRATS, BUT THE VAST MAJORITY REALIZED THEY'RE DOING THE BEST THEY CAN DO IN A TOUGH SITUATION. THAT WOULD BE A GOOD EXAMPLE. FOREIGN POLICY, FOR THE MOST PART, OUR DECISIONS ON WHO WE FUND AND HOW WE FUND FINANCIAL AID AROUND THE WORLD IS PRETTY BIPARTISAN. THOSE KINDS OF THINGS GO ON REGULARLY.

WELL, AT THE CONVENTION THIS WEEKEND, ONE OF THE WORKSHOPS IS GOING TO ADDRESS THE -- REVERSING THE PRESIDENT'S HEALTH CARE LAW. WHAT'S THE OBJECTION TO IT?

WELL, INDEPENDENT'S A LONG LIST. FIRST OF ALL, I'LL MAKE IT AS SUCCINCT AS POSSIBLE. CANADA, WHICH IS MANY PEOPLE'S MODEL IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY SPENDS 9% OF THEIR GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT ON HEALTH CARE. WE SPEND 18%. UNDER OBAMA'S PROPOSAL IT GOES TO 22%, BUT IT DOESN'T COVER ANYONE OR HAVE COST CONTAINMENT. REPUBLICANS REALIZE WE HAVE TO DRIVE DOWN THE COST OF HEALTH CARE WHILE MAINTAINING A HIGH LEVEL OF SERVICE, AND WE'RE GOING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION. SO IS THE PROBLEM REAL? YES. ARE THE SOLUTIONS, INCLUDING ELIMINATING DEFENSIVE MEDICINE, REDUCING THE UNREASONABLE LAWSUITS THAT SOMETIMES OCCUR THAT COST ALL OF US A LOT OF MONEY, WAS THAT DEALT WITH IN HEALTH CARE? NO.

ARE YOU SAYING THAT THE REPUBLICANS WOULD MAKE GREATER ACCESS TO PEOPLE WITH HEALTH CARE, MAKE IT MORE AFFORDABLE THAN THE PRESIDENT'S PLAN?

CLEARLY OUR COST OF HEALTH CARE IS GREATER THAN MANY OF OUR NEIGHBORS, BECAUSE WE ALLOW DEFENSIVE MEDICINE TO POP UP. EVERY HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR WILL TELL YOU THEY DO PROCEDURES IN CASE THEY'RE SUED. THOSE ARE OVER AND ABOVE THE ONES THAT ARE THERAPEUTICALLY REQUIRED. WE NEED TO END THAT. THAT'S TORT REFORM, SHORT FOR IT. BUT REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS WANT EVERYONE TO HAVE HEALTH CARE, AND WE DON'T WANT IT TO BE EMERGENCY ROOM HEALTH CARE.

FINALLY, THE WHOLE IMMIGRATION ISSUE, YOU KNOW, THE PRESIDENT HAS SIGNED $A 60 MILLION BILL TO BEEF UP --

I TRY NOT TO CONFUSE THOSE IN WASHINGTON.

WHAT CAN REPUBLICANS DO NOW TO ENCOURAGE IMMIGRATION REFORM?

WE NEED TO GET INTERIOR REFORM, AND I ALWAYS SAY IT'S LIKE A SHIP. YOU CAN'T JUST PATCH THE OUTSIDE OF THE SHIM. YOU NEED A BILGE PUMP. WE KEEP TALKING ABOUT BORDER SECURITY, AND I'M FOR THAT. WE NEED TO HAVE A SYSTEM TO ALLOW GUEST WORKERS TO COME IN LEGALLY, AND WE NEED TO HAVE A SYSTEM THAT WOULD DEPORT THOSE WHO BREAK THE RULES.

WOULD YOU DEPORT ALL 11 MILLION?

I BELIEVE YOU HAVE TO ASK THE QUESTION OF EACH INDIVIDUAL. IS THIS INDIVIDUAL ELIGIBLE FOR A GUEST WORKER PROGRAM, DO THEY HAVE A JOB, OR PART OF THE OCEANSIDE GANG THAT TRIES THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY. THE ANSWER IS VERY DIFFERENT BASED ON WHICH OF THOSE TWO IT IS.

WHAT A JOB. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, CONGRESSMAN ISA.

Comments

Avatar for user 'wleslie'

wleslie | August 22, 2010 at 7:49 a.m. ― 4 years ago

I checked www.politifact.org about Issa's claim on tort reform. The article points out from a Congressional Budget Office report that "medical malpractice reform could save up to $54 billion over the next 10 years."

That's less than $6 billion a year, hardly 1% of our overall health care expenditure. We won't reduce costs anything near Canadian levels playing on the edges the way Issa thinks.

In the same politifact piece, Howard Dean points out that adding one more issue to the then already enormous HC bill would have made it that much harder to pass.

My overall impression of the interview with Rep.Issa, who represents the district I'm in, was disappointment. The interviewer should have challenged his factual claims or perhaps bring on an opposing view for balance.

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