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Rep. Susan Davis Discusses Health Care, Border Security And President Trump

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KPBS Talks To Representative Susan Davis
Rep. Susan Davis Discusses Health Care, Border Security And President Trump
Congresswoman Susan Davis sat down with KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen, where she discussed health care, border security and the movement to resist the Trump administration.

Congresswoman Susan Davis is entering her nighttime as the US representative for much of San Diego. And parts of East County. The Democrat has been home this week during the crest -- congressional recess. Dave spoke with KPBS Metro reporter Andrew Bowen about healthcare, border security and the movement to resist of President Trump. Thank you for your time. You held a town hall meeting earlier this week with your colleagues what did you hear from your constituents? I think what we know is that people are hungry. They want to be involved. They don't like what is happening in the country. They feel that our values, the protections that we hold dear, programs that they have come to feel circular about could go away and so they want to know what we are doing about that and what they can do?. What did you tell them? I think that people who want to be engaged need to think about what drives them. What are the best at? They asked me what's the best way I can help. I say the best way is what you are best that. What you feel would feel you would like to make a contribution in. For people that may be organizing but also be writing letters and alerting their colleagues, staying active in their workplace with people that they can talk to and learn from. We always have to come out -- Some of the Republicans in Congress have started coming out with their plans to replace the affordable care act? What's your take on those plans? Stuff I think those plans are sort of shells and there's nothing in those plans that guaranteed for people the policies that are part of the affordable care act now. What people want is to be sure if you have a pre-existing condition that you are not going to be charged more or have no access to health care in the future. They also want to be sure -- women want to be sure if they are women that they are not a pre-existing condition. There are so many pieces of the affordable care act that people have to come to appreciate and they really don't want those to go away. They are not sure and I think these plans don't guarantee for people that there even possible. That's really the problem here. They are no plans that you can look at. The Trump administration has come out with guidelines for implementing the president's border security plans. How do you see those guidelines or those rules as affecting San Diego? It will be greatly affected by that. I think that's why people are concerned on what's going to happen. How in fact are they going to finance this? Where is the money going to come from? They're asking for 15,000 new border agents. Where is that money going to come from? My worry is that some of that could come from programs like community policing. They were come out of the Justice Department. Monies we set aside for law enforcement. I think we all have an obligation to find out the answers to that and I think to push back. We need a more comprehensive approach to immigration. Everybody knows that and yet we had such a reluctant to move power. On that note of pushing back now that Republicans have control of both Congress and the White House, what you see your role as a Democrat? You resist and D push back against all of their policies or do try to find areas that you can cooperate and work together? They are driving the car of governance right now. They have the ability to not create gridlock and I think that we and I certainly am happy to work with them if they want to send that car running. I'm afraid that there still are to many enablers on the other side of the aisle right now that are not interested in making governance work. And I think we have a president who is not has not been interested in governing as much as being the owner of a lot of companies. There is a different mindset that takes place. We need to be sure that the people who are being asked to be part of the cabinet as well as others who are a part of governing today that we are making things work for them and not just putting so many roadblocks in the way and that's part of my concern. That's Congressman Susan Davis speaking with Andrew Bowen. The clarification. The Trump administration plans to hire 15,000 new agents for both border patrol and immigration and customs enforcement

Congresswoman Susan Davis is entering her ninth term as the U.S. representative for the 53rd District which includes much of San Diego and parts of East County. The Democrat has been home this week during the congressional recess. Davis spoke with KPBS metro reporter Andrew Bowen about health care, border security and the movement to resist President Trump.

Q. You held a town hall meeting earlier this week with your colleague (Rep.) Scott Peters (D-San Diego). What did you hear from your constituents there?

A: Well we heard a lot. I think what we know is that people are hungry. They want to be involved. They don't like what is happening in the country. They feel that our values, the protections that we hold dear, programs that they have come to feel very secure about could go away and so they want to know what we are doing about that and what they can do.

Q. What did you tell them?

A. We told them, number one, I think that people who want to be engaged need to think about what drives them, what are they best at. They ask me, 'what's the best way I can help?'. I always say, the best way is what you are best at. What you would feel, you would like to make a contribution in? And for a lot of people that may be organizing, but it may also be writing letters and alerting their colleagues. Staying active in their workplace with people that they can talk to and learn from. We always have to come out of our comfort zone now and then to do that and I think that is also important for people.

Q. Some of the Republicans in congress has started coming out with their plans to replace the Affordable Care Act. What’s your take on those plans?

A. Well, so far I think their plans are sort of shells basically and there is nothing in any of those plans that guarantees for people the policies that are part of the Affordable Care Act now. And what people want is to be sure that if you have a preexisting condition that you are not going to be charged more or have no access to healthcare in the future. And we all have personal examples of that. Women want to be sure that if they are women, that they are not actually a preexisting condition. There are so many pieces of the Affordable Care Act that people have come to appreciate and they really don’t want those to go away. So they are not sure and I think these plans don't guarantee for people that they’re even possible. That’s really the problem her. There really are no plans that you can look at.

Q. The Trump administration has come out with some guidelines for implementing the president's border security plans. How do you see those guidelines or those rules as affecting San Diego?

A. Well San Diego is going to be greatly affected by that and I think that’s why people are very concerned what’s going to happen. How in fact are they going to finance this? Where is the money going to come from? They’re asking for 15,000 new border agents, where is that money going to come from? My worry is that some of that could come from programs like community policing. That they would come out of the Justice Department, monies we have set aside for law enforcement and that districts and and members are able to access as they work with their police department, as they work with their sheriffs department. So, I think we all have an obligation to find out the answers to that and I think to push back against many of those programs that they’re suggesting are key to our security. That’s not where we need to go. Law enforcement is not so much the problem. We need a more comprehensive approach to immigration. Everybody knows that and yet we have had such a reluctance to move forward.

Q. On that not of pushing back, now that Republicans have control of both Congress and the White House, what do you see your role as a Democrat? Do you resist and do you push back against all of their policies or do you try to find areas that you can cooperate and work together?

A. Yeah, well they are certainly driving the car of governance right now. I mean they have the ability to not create gridlock and I think that we, and I certainly am happy to work with them if they want to, you know, send that car running. But I’m afraid that there still are far too many enablers on the other side of the aisle right now that are not interested in making governance work. And I think we have a President who is not, has not been interested in governing as much as being the owner of a lot of companies. And there is a different mind set that takes place. We need to be sure that the people who are being asked to be part of the cabinet as well as others who are apart of of governing today, that we are making things work for them and not just putting so many roadblocks in the way and that’s part of my concern.

Corrected:
Editors note: The Trump administration plans to hire 15,000 new agents for both Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.