Special Edition.mp3

Special Edition
Wednesday, June 7th

May 27 and 28: Coverage of the kickoff of Young People in Recovery in Wilkes-Barre, an interview with Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey and a discussion with state Representative Aaron Kaufer about a welfare reform hearing held in Luzerne County.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Welcome to a special edition. A weekly look at these issues in the news and the personalities shaping the stories special edition is a production of Entercom communications. The views expressed by guests are not necessarily those of Entercom communications staff. Management or sponsors and now here's your host soon Henry. On today's program. We'll talk to attendees that they wilkes-barre event about recovery from drugs and alcohol. Will hear from a Pennsylvania State representative about potential changes in Pennsylvania's welfare benefits. And will check in with US senator Pat Toomey on issues including terrorism immigration and the budget. The message behind the kickoff of a new chapter of young people in recovery in books Berry was. We're here for you and there are many who understand the grassroots group has chapters across the country including in Scranton and Miami county. Attendees included John have his ASCII chapter leader of young people in recovery Wyoming county. He is also a certified recovery specialist who knows firsthand about addiction. And hope. First and foremost I'm a person and long term recovery time for what that means to me is that I am put a mind in mood altering substance in my body since January 26 2014. So directly because of that recovery I'm able to be a husband. I'm able to be a father. My grandfather and a friend to the people I'm friends with today and and an unemployable today. I work as a certified recovery specialist. And recoveries give me purpose back in my life I'd like to first and foremost talked mostly about my recovery. I'm sure that. Most people can connect with my addiction story but I can say that in 1990. I was arrested for underage drinking incarcerated in the line kind jail. And at that time I had scratched my initials in laws you would cool thing to do it JMF was here in 1990. And let's say in January 2014. I've found myself back and embarrassing jail cell and praying for death. I remember put in my case cynical concrete floor and just praying that set to please take my life and it's. I thought if I could get to the blankets that I can hang myself. And I thought if I can hold my breath long enough that stopped breathing. But it's that didn't happen so why I reached out to something greater than me and I asked you know. Show me too it's the reason I need to live and they're they Wear when I turn my head those very initials that I had scratched than twenty years prior. And it's colony. A moment of clarity the gift of desperation is what I like to call it but some people are called divine intervention but. It gave me purpose back in my life and I knew that I had to lift clean and sober and that started my recovery journey. Would you do well I was accepted into a diversion program. And says started moving on with my life and in that recovery. I started seeing people in my community that had passed away from overdose and the jails overflowing with people and I wanted to get involved somehow and it's. That's what I've. Saw this organization young people in recovery. And I wanted to bring it back to my community so I made the connections possible to do so and we're just over a year old in Wyoming county. And what has happened in that one years and know where did you start and where are you now where we started places that we didn't have a lot of people that's why PR we believe in. However you find your recovery whatever your path is. Everybody has and it you know if it works if you work it. Everyone hasn't hasn't it and it's your job you really to find you're hits and we just. We try to embrace that so anybody it's a recovery however you find it. You're welcome but so we try to help people with education housing and employment in our area there weren't that many resources to do that especially in Miami county. But since since we got started we raised a lot more awareness we've got so partnered with did chamber of commerce to get ourselves out there a little more we've helped young people get jobs which how young people find a little bit better residences housing is a big issue and our community but. We're resilient for one thing we've got a lot of life experienced enough so we hope to grow as time to. And I guess it's all in that hole right isn't that part of this program is always. Maintaining and sustaining out. That maybe you had lots for a little while there wouldn't you are in this jail cell looking at your initials. Absolutely. I hope it's so like cliche to say hold on payments that's what hope stands for next weekend if it helps for me. To be open and honest about my recovery to help fight that stigma and break those barriers down to see it's okay. And I know where you've been and so you know while I heard that the other day about. An attic tent fell in the hole a hole in the ground then they said. A preacher watch by and said oh here look he throws a Bible down and you know so the person reads the Bible with substance use disorder reads the Bible and he still can't get out of the hole. And then a doctor watched by. And so here let me throw some pills down therefore I gotta go you know and course being a person of substance use authority views the pills but and another another person with substance use disorder walks by and says. Hey I see you down there he tells us that he jumps in the hole and enemies all calm and Howard both stuck down here. It's all right now I've been here before I know the way out. So it's just about helping others. Just breaking down those barriers bridging the gap and saying it's okay it's okay to be warrior and there's people here like them being that light in the window messages it really doesn't have to last forever for me I can say in my own recovery day everyday I'd be the same thing Jessica partner and myself. Gimme industry to go through today without a drinker drug. And I've been successful at doing that for a little over three years now and then like you said in the beginning. It's something that says individualistic. And every person must buy their own it and I found mine and then I like to help people miners. Patrick of wilkes-barre also spoke to us about his journey. Which led him to wilkes-barre. And recovery have been battling addiction now for about five years originally came up this way about three years ago to get away from where originally started and found a home up here in I've been up and down for some time by. The recovery here are strong so this is where I found on in the best Alex's stay sober when you say is strong what makes it strong in your opinion here. There's a lot of young people that. Are staying sober. And matter are showing that it's possible no matter what age you are there's a wide range of people from young and old that are just really doing this thing in them in the life that you need without drugs and alcohol and what. Are they doing together as a group I mean you know when you are in recovery I guess you have to change almost everything that you know about your life. What makes. This work for you are or what is being done her shoes. Keep people away from bad influences so to speak. Big thing is definitely like what we have going on here today the fellowship showing that there are things outside of drugs and alcohol there is support there is. A big community outreach places where you can go and people you can rely on that that'll help show you the way in terms of. You're recovering at no time going what are some of the things that led duke. To want that so badly I was thing about what what inspires people to get into recovery in general probably knowing that the life she relating nears there's no hope there. There's there's no hope whatsoever and an addiction you can't all your dreams and goals and aspirations go out the window. And and you see people that are just like you that understand where you've been and there that knowledge that you always want it so. There's hope. Give her message that other people by the way I mean when you see people who who do you think. He may be able to help from their recovery what are some of the advice you give them. We lead more by example and action we don't you don't try not to talk too much is his attraction rather than promotion. And so we've really just try to live it the whole purpose of this being used it to pay it forward insurance and lead by example. Since you've got into recovery. What are some of the things that have happened in your life you know it's there right. I have true friendships I have. Honest relationships. I'm I'm genuinely happy just a culmination of things that don't stress or worry about things as much it's just a freedom that I've never had. Zain also attended the young people in recovery kickoff in Wilkes-Barre for the past I guess eight years. I've been battling and opiate addiction. Alcoholism. I edges are burned all my averages had nowhere to turn. A friend of mine reached out to me from we'll spare. And it's on me to come up here to the Salvation Army unit in and tried out and came. September 19 and never looked back. How hard was it for use to get into a situation we could maintain any kind of. Sobriety or or stay away from drugs well I had to beat myself down to the Stater reasonableness like I always thought that that I can maybe do it successfully. And it always backfired failed. It just took me to be with within an inch of death I overdosed on time and from then then the light bulb turned on them maybe I should China China stopped. And it's funny because it takes hold of your of your brain to the fact where. Even though I overdosed for the next two months I still do the same things while I was China to stop. It's really hard for people to understand that are not taking drugs and sometimes they say. Why do you keep doing this is so dangerous he almost and their dad why did you keep come back to that knowing you were so close to actually kill yourself. I learned that it's it's a thing inside me. That it makes you wanna keep using like to take me out of myself. I never feel comfortable around people. It's something it's so masks the real world like he from the world but take drugs to stop the pain. But it's funny because the more drugs you take the more pain you indoor. So then you try to take more drugs to mask that pain and just it's a never ending cycle how do you encourage people who have. The kind of behavior that you had. That there is a path forward because I imagine when you're in that situation you really don't wanna listen anybody you have to lead by example for one and what I've learned in this process is. You can't really help someone unless they want it so when they reach out for help. Is my new console on the way I I. Teach people some of the knowledge that I know that I've learned through this process as hopefully it's they stick with it and they see it this is a better life than than it was before. Do you think. We have such a big old Buick crisis at the moment of what's your perception of. Warmer teenagers are drinking and emissaries in marijuana and then we just steadily. Try other things and and sometimes things stick like meet personally went when efforts are taking pain pills. It was for pain. Lisa thought that's what it was for. And then they just got to the point where it was as a necessity a list. And when I wasn't under the influence. It was I was miserable lows wrestler Cyril discontent on the things that they say like it's true. It's it's it's so hard to stop by once you start. Which start this you see like the future's very very bright mr. for pain how does that happen a family members. Offered me a pain pill one time after a long day at work my back was certain and I felt like I was on cloud nine and then the next day I got another one and then the next day I asked her for one and then there that I asked for two and it just slowly went downhill from there you know. Did you move beyond old city Ed and how many pills a day were you taking when you were taking pills which it's hard even count. As many as I could afford really. And yes I did eventually started using heroin. And talk about a downward spiral freefall speed that's exactly what happened. 2013 is is that was the year started in by the end of the year I was in rehab. You know and then after that. Jails you know all this different stuff that it that they say happens and it all happen enemy check check check in economy. And how about come on now I mean what was the thing that finally got used to stop besides the fact that you. I am a start but what it was really. Or who or what stopped you luckily. Through god someone had me. He gave me something the advice to come up here to get away from where I'm from. Like they always negotiate geographical changes in the answer but I left the old me there. And once I started like I'm in a fellowship at twelve step program and I once asked are going through the book you get a sense of relief and this. You get to see like the root causes of why you done what you've done in the past and what you can come to terms with those things. You don't even have the obsession anymore like I access servers for. For years you know and so until this found stellar happened in this this recovery journey and I am I do not go back to those old ways that your aspiration now. Really I'm I'm working right now. Just try to save money and maybe just keep keep an improvement in life you know the things that we all dream of us as kids. I got away from that I would work a little bit quit get another job quit. You know us is that enough money to do what I wanted to do but now on China China just be an adult you know. It Stanley kids. Who knows Rhonda you know. Ryan Taylor regional coordinator of Eastern Pennsylvania Smart recovery chapter. Told us about the services his group offers here the group hopes to expand those in the near future. I you learn about Smart recovery from a VA hospital I was in and what's more recovery dozens were in evidence based. Approach to addictive behaviors. Com we hold face to face an online meetings. We have groups throughout the area we're trying to set a more in this area we've got quite if you don't right now on mark com. I surrogate involved with a because it was that we use tools from target here Rother be rationally Mon April there paean motivation enhancement their feet. And it really helped me understand and change the way I think about my addictive behaviors and be able to abstain from any type of addictive behavior. Little bit different than some of the other kind of treatment. Can what you think it is successful or how did it work for you. Well for me the I grow up into mechanic up in Miami county and growing up for me it was like I felt like that was you know lines are getting involved in these things have felt like that was the only way that I was gonna be that I was going to be like this for the rest of my life and they stopped and I sort of looking at things from different perspectives and start to understand that night they had to in erupt my thought processes and our hearts to my addictive behavior it really opened my eyes I don't a lot of cognitive therapy in the path through the VA medical center and it just kind of clicked for me and it's nice I noticed that it would really help a lot of the people that I grew up ways and that's why when I came back up here we weren't really around here Smart recovery we've been around since 94 but there and there wasn't a lot of meanings in this area and I work with an amazing group of people throughout the area. There's now meetings and screen in after EA were working on some down here in wilkes-barre we have several and mechanic or working nonsense some of the Susquehanna and Bradford county. Just trying to make people's options available to them to understand that there are multiple pathways to recovery and one thing I know worked for everybody's I became a facilitator back in October and columns since then makes it we've grown exponentially we have we have different host and facilitators we have people training getting ready to start to groups you know work with the PA and other facilities around here trying to get things set up. Houses different than maybe some of the other programs that we see an and we know that those programs are effective but how is this. And your opinion since it work for you. Effective for their for me the big thing that I like as it struggled with was my thought processes and I felt like I I've. When we go through and we have issues with powerlessness. And we don't Wear it this is more self empowering program we've learned to change. Our behaviors in our thoughts from it and firmly and as opposed to from outside sources. How does somebody get involved serve somebody's listening what is the pathway to involvement but web says that they can look at. You have to register to be in the program. We have a website aren't our national website is www. Smart recovery dot board. From there you can be involved we there's online meetings in 24/7 chats we have about three meetings that day on line some of them are actually in other countries beat them. Depending on what time you go. You can also attend any of the boat vocal face to face meetings which you can find it rather through the web sites are meeting locate her or you can. Contact myself it was a regional coordinator for our area. While my number's 91253263. Stephanie we also I have a FaceBook page which is Smart east PA. As well as we have our web site for the region which is www. Smart east PA dot or. I'm asking some live if I've been talking with her about. Their own recovery and and what. We made it finally effective for them talk a little bit about for me it was being enemy and a veteran and having served in war zone. I came home and for me it was I spent all my time whether we use the negative thinking that I had or in the processes of doing it might addictive behaviors so when I came home I had to find something to fill that void that I had in me and to give myself a sense of purpose. I got involved win with Smart recovery when it came back inserted doing all that but I also gotten other involved with the other organizations such as young people on recovery. And I'm might work with the chart chapter in Wyoming county. And I just for me it was to get involved and to do things since they have to give myself a sense of purpose again. The young people in recovery is seems like it's absolutely the right time before they aren't bad behavior that's kind of hard to untangle. How do you offer support to use some of these. Younger individuals. To IP are we work with we advocates for those who are still suffering and through and for people on recovery themselves as well as we have programs that we're trying to work through with connecting people with resources are just housing education appointment. Why do you think that our. Opening day problems specifically is so raging in it where we live now. I really can't say for sure for sure armed that's really more I like to focus on what we can do to address it and help people that are recovery or booking for recovery to get the support they needed and the resources to maintain recovery once they've decided to abstain. Is that something that you find is working better than other things is on longer term treatments or comprehensive services what is. Everyone's different so. One thing doesn't necessarily work forever. For me I if I went through several times in treatment column I've been to I've done their. We need to you know if they if they need long term treatment then it should be available to me pretty neat if they need resource is on the once again outside. And wanna try to start rebuilding their lives you know the community we need to pull together and to work together and get everything he helped the people that needed. Do you see any. Kind of past or DC hope that the moment for some of this situation because it does seem to be very grave. Oh of course the more we all work together as a group and as a community matters and again you know to show people that it's you don't have to be ashamed about it you can come now you can talk to people and there's always going to be people around that are going to. To work with you went to help you in any way they can. Young people in recovery has chapters in Scranton Wyoming county and now wilkes-barre. Visit their FaceBook pages for more information. You are listening to special addition on fuel your top two senior official decision on the intercom communications. Hosted by sue hand wringing. Stories of fraud and waste in Pennsylvania's welfare benefits program or a hot topic at a recent hearing held in Lucerne county. By several area lawmakers. The use of the access to benefits card was discussed and several local store owners outlined what they believe are abuses of the program. The session also included information about work programs. We spoke to state representative Erin coffer of the 120. Legislative district about the hearing. And his suggestions for improving the benefits system. People that had reached out in the week to talk about this issue number I couldn't hear about different things that they can stay active ground level and they aren't going well delta opposite that started out under majority leader debris. Each other initiative called the idea. About how we can help people that are people who these doubt why give them up the government dole. A lot of these thing that we're trying to do is first of all people say they can be self sufficient nation that they were able to. The jury get to work and be able that they can get our government polls. You know we want to make sure that we are able to ladies and gentlemen do well actually just let somebody like we'll find out from the building great marriage got out of bishop program. Can't they just need to comet is lieutenant what he'd seen that is grocery store PGA Mary Peters Delhi so it's it's good that we're seeing the ground about all and it took out trying to make people self reliant and. Being able to get from that end up not the handout and I think that's the whole poke at the that's what we doing here and in Pennsylvania that other states aren't just when I don't know why I've benefits were much more special our strategy stay. Okay now Erin let let's talk about that even we are more beneficial. Than surrounding states in what way. The only eight out of pocket PC into the program called each election that extended temporary assistance it needs at least I turned up idea. Program the federal government after that I years. Well the only silly so out so I definitely. And it actually paid for by taxpayer dollars that spend down from. I can't I've state college we. Are no match no got. I've been through that program will be only it is now I don't speak it just left it in depth and it. Like we're the only state that does that we're the only state in the region that god help us daily. Do we get an additional dollar Sri shot out security to a New York. Police say at least the only aspect and cheap out and buy they were challenged in the Supreme Court. And were up. The constitution. And that they kept them in place. In worse shape and it never adapt it to death and really think much is really taking on some issues regarding while Perry for. Now Roy in your opinion since you're in Harrisburg all the time why haven't we taken up some measures said. Other states haven't and nobody came along and and none shame them into. Reforming programs and said they were mean and cruel a fifth new your New Jersey did it I imagine there was an impetus or reason why they did it. I'll why haven't we done it. I didn't get complicating the issue isn't even being one of the people who bleeding on this issue and our state. It's going to be you know view but Dolly here but they're so why am actually aren't that they're all pretty. Terry convoluted theory compute it and it got struck actually that I don't working lunch or two and a half years now instead only a very basic understanding of how all these dollars asset to. But the very least we are well aware that we're spending dollars we shouldn't be spending especially when you look at what's surrounding states are doing. Unfortunately I think it you know nobody kept as the guy to step up and talk about that. Every study that dirt and out there showed that. That tight limits. Islands where in the Penelope that we're talking about you know walk we put our community service group work requirements. That's our do you know Lockerbie second chance at. We just don't foresee them Pennsylvania. It and it it's Gary. It's frustrating because this isn't a walk this way that we can do Welker don't work or some people were also got to work they have to be yourself cessation. It you know it is something that I think nobody people are just somebody that needs help and that's not at times. You know when you do in the scouts died and now this single parent don't need to just. It out trying to get people who are becoming generational Y a RE systems. We won't compute break this cycle operate. If other states don't have. How is this the lavish benefits and we have to do you think that we have individuals who have. Migrated into Pennsylvania because they know the system. Provides benefits that they can't get anywhere else. I cut. Out the etiquette you don't want. That open him up stay with each New Jersey I have. Issue she went happened she spent would be accessed by Patrick does it highlighted by that you have played junior charity and I'm wondering energy chief flat out then I get more money here in Pennsylvania it was it was like the most Marlins and just shared very early do you Egypt how has that moment where broke through and she just absolutely make more money here in Pennsylvania that I do in another state and it was a budget without honesty and transparency in the system where somebody who is collecting the data that. And I. I applaud Huckabee but not now but I'm sure she I'm the only one that feels the wet. They're out how much of her residency requirement. Morning individuals. It massive issue I read your requirement issued absolutely true weak you can begin collecting from. And that's why the issue that college age what we've been trying to do that as well well actually kind of put in place and then there's they can't act as well that's the piece of legislation. I've been pushing and edit you mapped out your benefit from what state it's just go to another state enacting health benefits there as well. This is a massive issue would be residency requirement that we are very weak in that regard absolutely can be honest. There was a study done I think it's safe to eat foundations or government accountability EF GH I believe it is is there are a great. And when they showed in regard to welfare reports they get if I read write a yellow light or marine life. And we are all the reds and yellows and actually I would argue that a couple of the lightly and I should have been a red light but I'm at but there is so much more we need to be UH it's about being entered the taxpayers. You know there are dollars that when you have to blue collar people who are going to work again but certain humps it it's very frustrating when you have people who are. I went on this system they didn't mean genocide or are they so you know we talked a little bit of doubt you know about a crackdown and I need to do is well aware impatient people get commentary into the workforce works its development program does well forging a benefit Grassley you know it in my don't act signed into law last year we had this shooting out feature benefits clips wedge it out to subsidy and you are 1275. An hour you can re just cold subsidy. As soon as you make thirteen dollars and how are you watch the entire subsidy. Any connection recoup that confidently on 21 dollars an hour. That's a genuine perpetuating the cycle are pretty knock somebody down that they stuck to benefit themselves. So you know we have to smooth itself station that we can help people. You know I got a I into the middle class and he felt the. So there's things Aaron you're working on to make this possible because that's just sons. I'm pretty much absurd your ego from 1275 to thirteen and you lose it in the you don't gain it back until 21 obviously that is going to prevent somebody. From moving. I mean it's just in the math is right there what LC dealings. That's a major part of the requirement pizza and actually. What are the delta I'm working on that will be announced either this week or next week well DA will go to work pilot program that it was Orange County will be neat pilots. Toward the program to welcome don't our free port. And help with our our business says tech community our government in getting people out there are getting them back into the workforce and I think Coke or people can't get it be employed it in transition out of the that's what you think you'll lose or Johnny. Yeah I mentioned the interstate up what we're IG requirements as well work force development done these benefits quit says well I'm just where I was engaged I didn't eat or about it nutritional also nutritious food. Well actually working on a resolution requests that are probably get most a waiver. On snaps don't eat it when they move towards more new okay. So that's something that was focused on as well but it pretty much we're trying to just see. What are we doing different other dates aren't doing that we've been you know I well are we doing extra benefits and others aren't. And that's I think desolate where I need to do is see where we can save taxpayer dollars to make sure their programs are success. Served in another state in the country that has received. A waiver for the snap program to try to make the food purchased. More nutritional. Not that I let out. With the new administration we are we are cautiously optimistic that there there oh shoot try to use something like doesn't see what we can do. Era in Pennsylvania. I talked with a number luck at all just something that we had you begun the federal government right now. It does they are well that and are aware that we would like to move in the direction because at the end of the day. If people are. Eating non nutritional food in going in that direction. You know it's if they are on the on welfare benefits you know we are sorting the bella does say no it's something that you mentioned before I think it's something that we have to because that's not as taxpayers as well. Does hearing and you had dug these these gentlemen from my thomas' market it's a local supermarket chain Indiana. Other representative from the deli in Wilkes-Barre. What makes all and they gave that kind of testimony about so why it. They see in their own business says was eye opening to Cuba because as you know Aron. We have a lot of people when you talk about this issue I knew would happen and it did happen already. That's say gag your ear Porsche came saying and I'm don't you tell us what we can need etc. did. Change anyone's perception of what's gone on her. Certainly big trade members a lot of our committee you know it could trigger from people who Wear their their own business says. One testified that I've said he believed that about 50% I don't eat. Some doubt. The idea access card purchases. Somewhat fraudulent nature and the clippers are what 70%. But I doubt it it's certainly. Issued when they're talking about. Getting strong out some people brought group from their grocery store on the dole wrapped in commentary and how they have combined with producer meats like that just comment on the and they try to sell it at a restaurant. Yeah I mean he. That's obviously try to accept that we should be cracking down on but. We even went and that's what they've surpassed the number Airpwn welfare fraud and you called it and they testified it's absolutely huge. But the fact is. As they these programs you know no speak Russian people nobody wants anybody. Out in the streets you get up support him he lowered into anything like death but they did these benefits are beyond the basic necessities. And I think as a as people frustrate our area you know I've often describe our very into working class port area where people are working harder and harder. Everything's going up and cost probably get everything out of going out. And people are having wet some money who are out there working every day and Egypt and very frustrating when they see people who are now working to water. They're sorry and then maybe as good rice salad something that we can be doing to help us. It helps society in general animation that people can't. I don't get off the rolls and become taxpayers themselves contribute back to assess the play that they either they've been able to benefit itself. I don't see it isn't sure he can approach and it it's not it's not all Porsche aiming at somebody would would say. It's Ricky people that's like what are pretty getting people back to work. There are remedies for this style and they are in place if there is. Fraud I believe it is the office of the inspector general that gets above us right. OK and I have seen on their website that they have done. Some. Work in this regard and they have listed did people who they found were abusing the program that in fact some of them were from northeastern Pennsylvania so I want you to know that they didn't see. So that information is it important. The active people realize that if you do miss use these programs. There could be a consequence free misusing no I mean we talked about the mobsters and all right now that's perfectly okay I guess it would just be Reese yeah no lobsters that would be the bad part. It said that sir I did it and I'd I'd have. He's the people's needs inspector general welfare fraud in our office and eat eat and beat people like doing the work day in and day out. And they are very frustrated you don't like. There recommendation. Always upon hour upon by the administration. People who are viewed in that don't don't. I can tell you know I sent out a group of people in my office. And they were very very frustrating the way things operate your Tampa Bay get wish wish there was more that they could do. But as I was told by these people their hands were tight. That state representative baron coffer who attended a recent hearing on welfare benefits you're listening to special addition on Entercom communications. You're listening to special edition on intercom communications. Posted by sue hand wringing. The world was rocked by another terrorist attack this week in Manchester England. Eight concert venue became a place of horror. When a suicide bomber detonated a device killing 22 and injuring nearly sixty we spoke to Pennsylvania US senator Pat Toomey the day after the attack and he shared his thoughts on it as well as his ideas for protecting America from terrorism. Do you think about is are we doing all the things that we need to be doing to maximize our security to minimize the risk. Of attacks on our own soil it may not be possible to take their first downs absolutely zero. But there sure are a lot of things we can do to minimize the rest this is one of the reasons why I think you have to have extremely vigorous and extremely thorough vetting. Of people who come from failed states. In these areas that are known to be populated with jihadist committed just obvious to me that if it. You can't do a proper background check because there is no governing entity to confirm an identity for instance Plotkin. You know why can't bring a man you need to know who's coming into this country it's also a reason why I think we need to make sure we have the intelligence ability to identify. Patterns when known terrorists are in communications. With other people we need to have the ability to identify that they are in such communication. And frankly. Even relates to Sanctuary Cities with the idea that we allow people who who are. Suspected of being dangerous. Suspected by Homeland Security of being threats to our security and in some cases just. Have prior criminal convictions. We nevertheless. Set them free in a good Sanctuary Cities. Because they came here illegally we grant the special that this special privilege and I'm that's just madness the so you know it's sound it's a combination of things to read and it's frustrating when I know Larry cases were not doing all the we could be going but that's. And that's what I think about how we how do we enhance our security. Also loved this dovetails on some statistics that ice put out recently where they arrested. 41000 individuals quarry they're known. Or suspected of being in the country illegally and they said that was up 37 point 6%. And when they arrested these individuals. They put in their only is this isn't me or using and nearly 75% of those arrested during the period in 2017 are convicted criminals pat. I don't know but there's all this notion chewed demonized he's anybody who talks about this as being. Profiler. And a racist how you overcome those things do we keep spinning facts matter how does this happen that you. Yeah look I think we just can't be intimidated by people who want to smear those of us who are simply legitimately concerned about our security. And most pennsylvanians get in most Americans I think get it I've been attacked four mighty. Opposition Sanctuary Cities I've been called every name you can imagine you know what they are and it doesn't deter me one bit because my notes are right thing to do to bring an end to these six Sanctuary Cities that that. Jeopardize all of our security. In terms of who did the things that say you folks find out a bow when there is. An attack overseas what kind of information do you get I know you can't tell us about it but what happens. When something like this occurs how do you find out about it and what kind of information you receive them we don't. First initially we hear about the same way you hear about it we hear about it through media reports that you know that happens almost instantaneously now obviously and then usually certainly if it's a domestic event usually that's a significant for an event we will then have a classified briefings and then our intelligence experts or power. Law enforcement expert whoever they irrelevant. Folks are. Well typically. Tell us what they now who was behind did how much. Information that we learned door they operating alone or were they in a part of a group did they reach into the United States should do or not how much do we know about those things what kind of training did they get. We try to learn as much as we can so that we understand the nature of the threat so that we can of course defend against that threat. Let's talk a little better about this Senate Intelligence Committee and an anticipated. Testimony of former FBI director James Komi can talk about this and I know you put Powell missive I think it was last week. Where you even suggested. That Republicans reach across if I'm murmur in this correctly reach across the aisle to replace James coming possibly with a Democrat my rent. Yeah so here's my theory here Islam my thinking on this is the FBI is sit in the process than they've been investigating. Whether or not there was any collusion between the trump campaign and Russians. There are so Tom is investigating. Exactly what the Russians did how they didn't look at what their motive was. I also investigating and whoever was that have committed a felony when they released the identity of Michael plan. Who we found out what under surveillance and we I don't know why he's done I could still not clear to me. Why he was under surveillance but that's that's also. There's a decent and this process I think it's really important. That the American people have complete confidence that the FBI did a completely thorough apolitical job. Where they followed the facts and came to a conclusion. Based exclusively on the facts. And they were not in any way influenced intimidated or otherwise affected. By the trump administration or anyone else. I think that. Chances are greater of getting to that outcome. Yes the FBI director somebody who's not a Republican supporter. O'Donnell trial but just say you know just the fact that people will find it easier to believe that's a conclusion yes I think it's the FBI comes so conclusion that the work was no crime committed there was no collusion. I frankly I think it would be easier for most Americans to believe that. Yes me head of the FBI clearly has no contact whatsoever since remains have been floated Joseph Lieberman recently. I think Joseph Lieberman will be detritus. Thought nobody thinks that he's doing the bidding of Donald Trump. Everybody believes he would do that Karl honest job and simply follow the facts I wouldn't advocate Joseph Lieberman and knocked out there are many positions in government which I would not support Joseph Lieberman. But it's heading up law enforcement the FBI. That's something no one. Do you think all of this to. Respect I I I think it's a spectacle all these things and the the special counsel the the hearings that Sadr etc. Doesn't tell the potential to. Well I'm not so crimes are committed. This side is that the president and his so you know immediate advisors didn't engage in any collusion didn't sound. Commit any crimes didn't engage in any kind of cover up and now I don't think that that's I think this will past. Tom but this is partly why I I think it's important that whoever's cleaning the FBI. As C he's the competence and credibility with the American people so that they come to that conclusion. Which would by the way I wouldn't be the least bit surprised that they come to exactly that conclusion that there was no crime there was no collusion. And if that's the case. Then mount operation comes back to conclusion that's for the fact played them. Make their relevant announcement and move on. We are going to find out tell more about turned the budget and there are already some indicators out there that some of the the programs tapped for people who are on the margins that would be Medicaid and food stamps. Who might be. Might be trimmed. And of course there's there's hysteria over that although these decisions have haven't been made final by any means by anybody at but the hysteria is kind of RAMP up and people are saying. Look at trump does is attacking his own supporters. Well you know what I would do this budget I haven't had chances at this hour by any means it's it's just down until it's it's brand new we didn't get any out. Advance I'll look at this up. I think the president is calling for reducing spending by something on the order to 10% over the course of ten years I think it's probably less amount and when I know about this federal government does a lot more than 10% that can be termed. All we have so many duplicative programs so much bloated Sony bloated agencies. Mean some of these programs have gotten so huge. To trim them by 10% from where the they will otherwise being another what they probably still grow got a little bit less than what's projected that contract on the amount now I and I say may be their individual line items. That I will object to I have and I think and I age does very very important work that we need to continue to fund. I think initial traps they were talking about big reductions thing and I change. I would agree with that. But sound beat general idea now that we should reform our tax code to encourage really strong economic growth. Bring our budget into balance and trim spending by something on the order to 10% seven count grazed him. About these these programs that are more loaded and duplicated bright in other areas she had many examples off the happier had you can share point out to people may say oh yeah now we know he's talking about. Yep and I mean one thing is the case of job training programs. There's we have 47 different job training programs for the federal government could possibly make sense. 47 different programs so operating under seven are a different government agencies and departments. They don't talk to each other they don't coordinate we don't measure their outcome we don't know which ones really get people the jobs are supposed to do and which ones completely fail. That doesn't make any sense we ought to be holding. Strict accountability we ought to be consolidating this type of legislation that would do that it would basically get rid of the ones that are failing. And transfer resources of one that are succeeding get rid of a lot of overhead save a lot of money into a better job. It's very hard to do that though because once you create one of these programs you've created constituency for keeping it months. And that's that's one of the battles we have across the whole government. And I think that that it at times pack it seems to me that there are just zoom buzz words and headlines and are kind of put together. To be. A sensational and it instead of just reading hand lions I I think we need deeper points and if serious. If there are things an end Mikey sent these programs don't talk to each other. I I believe the maybe there is some merit in saying do we need them Manny can some be folded and nor I run senator Arlen yeah. And that just doesn't seem unreasonable. The idea of trimming 10% from this government of the you know the biggest. Government budget in the world by farm in the federal government's budget is bigger than the economy of the vast majority of the entire countries of the world. Believe me there's a lot of ways there's a lot of duplication there's a lot of unnecessary programs. I think it makes sense to to really scrutinize these. How about Medicaid where there are plans apparently to cut from Medicaid how do you see that. So don't know am looking at this is for strong obamacare dramatically expanded Medicaid kind. It created a new category of eligibility it used to be. They had to the people who qualify for Medicaid were people who really once in a position to be able to get it. Health insurance themselves armed and very poor elderly people blind and disabled people. Children in poor families these were the big categories of eligible people within Medicaid what obamacare came along. And sent but at a new category and that will be young healthy able bodied working age people with no dependents. But during comments below 138% of the poverty level we'll put them on Medicaid to. Well and the federal government will pain after a few years and what you pay is all the costs but I abdominal pain 90%. Serb house passed bill so this is okay this new category of eligibility is gonna stay. Nobody loses their eligibility. Not a single person gets thrown off Medicaid is dominant. House Republicans have. Basically authorized validated codified however you want to put it this Obama care expansion of Medicaid the change that they say adios. That we actually can't afford it at 9%. Of the cost. We're gonna ask the states. To pay this year of Medicaid that they pay for all the other categories of eligibility which works out to something like 43%. Or something. Some something just below 50% on average. The big change that to the house Republicans have suggested that states. Ought to contribute a significant portion like they do probably other categories. This new category of eligible Medicaid recipients. And that's what has people setting their hair on fire in some cases that somehow that's an outrageous thing to do I don't think it's not outrageous if state I think this. Expansion is so valuable and important and why shouldn't they be willing to contribute something meaningful. Towards the cost. That's Pennsylvania US senator Pat Toomey. Speaking to us this week about the Manchester terror attack and they proposed federal budget you're listening to special addition on Entercom communications. Thanks for listening to special edition. A weekly look at these issues in the news and the personalities shaping the stories.