Trump Boasts Of Economic Gains On Eve Of Impeachment Verdict
Speaker 1: 00:00 President Trump delivered his third state of the union address to Congress last night. It was a performance rich and emotional appeal, but short on attempts to bring a bitterly divided country together. The speech got off to an unexpected start when the president appeared to refuse to shake house speaker Nancy Pelosi's hand joining us to talk more about the speech and the atmosphere inside the house of representatives is representative Mike Levin, who represents the Northern part of coastal San Diego as well as a portion of Southern orange County. Congressman Levin joins us by Skype. Thanks so much for joining us. So you are in the chambers there and we all watched as president Trump walked up to the desk, handed copies of the speech to the vice president and speaker Nancy Pelosi. And then when the speaker offered her hand, he turned away. What, if anything, was the reaction of the people around you to that? Speaker 2: 00:52 Uh, well, it was just unfortunate. Uh, you know, I, I felt that, uh, the, the president fell short on many pressing issues, but, uh, really did not embrace the type of bipartisanship, uh, that I have noted in many past, uh, addresses, whether it be from Republican or democratic presidents. It, it almost took the, the tone and the narrative of a campaign rally. Um, and I was particularly, uh, inserted by his rhetoric on healthcare, uh, which, uh, does not match the reality of the policy record when, when the president talked about protecting, uh, coverage for those with preexisting conditions, you know, he's doing exactly the opposite. He's, he's in the federal courts right now waging a campaign to eliminate, uh, these protections and basically to destroy every other protection and benefit of the affordable care act. Speaker 1: 01:44 Well, let's just listen to a little piece of sound about that because, uh, as you say, he said he would protect a healthcare system that includes coverage for preexisting conditions, any promise to lower prescription drug prices. There was reaction to that in the chamber. Let's listen, Speaker 2: 01:58 get a bill on my desk and I will sign it into law immediately. Speaker 3: 02:22 [inaudible] Speaker 1: 02:22 okay. So there we can hear the chant, HR three and a, that's the Democrats chanting HR three explained to us the significance of HR three. Speaker 2: 02:31 And what that bill does is a, in fact, what the president, uh, claims he wants to address. Uh, we, uh, in that bill give Medicare the power to negotiate directly with the drug companies. We create new tools, uh, to force drug companies to come to the table to agree to real price reductions for things like insulin as an example. And then we make those lower drug prices negotiated by Medicare available to everyone, not just Medicare beneficiaries. Now I'm Speaker 1: 03:00 moving onto something a related issue. Medicare and social security. The president has said just within the last month or so that he'd be open to changes to those. But last night he said his administration would always quote, protect Medicare and social security. What's a voted to think? Speaker 2: 03:17 Well, as a candidate, he made those types of promises as well, Alison. But then we saw when he was surrounded by the world's wealthiest people in Davos, Switzerland at the conference there, he said that, uh, they would look at, look at, uh, cuts to social security and Medicare and Medicaid. And all you have to do now is just look at the administration's plan. They want to, uh, cut Medicaid dramatically, uh, and it really would harm the people who need the help the most. And then in terms of Medicare, his budget last year, uh, proposed a cut of $845 billion to Medicare. Speaker 1: 03:53 Now I know that one of the most important issues for you is the climate crisis. There was no mention last night of either engagement or the climate crisis. What do you say are the implications of heading into a future with a president who doesn't even recognize the climate and carbon emissions? There's an issue. Speaker 2: 04:11 Well, the president didn't talk about a plan to address climate change because he doesn't have a plan to address climate change. All he wants to do is keep polluting and hope the best and really pad the pockets of a handful of big go oil and coal executives. Uh, he is now put, uh, oil and coal lobbyists in charge of things like the environmental protection agency, which I think, uh, would appropriately be known now as the environmental pollution agency. Uh, the surgery, the interiors now run by a former fossil fuel lobbyist. And make no mistake, this is unprecedented in recent American history. Over the last five or six decades, we've been able to work across the aisle on everything from creating the EPA to the clean air act, clean water act, the endangered species act, the national environmental policy act. These are all bipartisan initiatives. And in California we know that we've been able to, uh, grow the economy and protect the environment, combat climate change. And we've got to get smart about this. So we, uh, unfortunately the, the president just seems focused on, on continuing to pollutant and hopefully it all works out. Speaker 1: 05:18 No, the end of the speech was marked by speaker Nancy Pelosi, who ripped the speech in half behind the president. And the Democrats say they're the party of unity. Did that exemplify unity? Speaker 2: 05:30 Well, what's interesting is many of us, myself included, were already, uh, I, I had already started walking out when, uh, when that had occurred. Many of us were heading, heading out. Uh, but, uh, you know, I, I think that we've got to get back to some bipartisanship in this country. I think everybody would be well-served to turn down the temperature just a bit. Speaker 1: 05:49 Democratic Congressman Mike Levin of the 49th congressional district. Thanks so much for joining us. Thank you, Allison. Always good to speak with you.