U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright, 17th district, about redistricting, school shootings, gun violence, and helping veterans, with Frank Andrews

Newsmaker Interviews
Thursday, February 22nd

U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright, (Democrat) 17th Congressional District, talks to Frank Andrews about redistricting, school shootings & gun violence, and helping veterans


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

I am honored to have on the line with us right now push my congressman my friend congressman Mac car right how are you mad. I can do it frank a long time no talk do IB. I know spend Ben awhile but I I keep track of the UN I know you're doing great work and sure I guess the first question I want ask she is what you know this redistricting. What are your thoughts about it how does that affect you were do you think it's going. And kind of waiting for my head this stuff. I did this in. It it's really I've been an interesting process I've not gone through this before and I've learned a lot. It's it's not final. The that note that with the map that the at Pennsylvania Supreme Court announced on Monday this week. Is being challenged by eight PR. Pennsylvania house and senate Republicans. They've gone back to the United States Supreme Court. Within an emergency filing. Asking that they US supreme. To put a stop to this. And really if you if you added up this is the third time and in that in three months that they've they've done this task of the US Supreme Court to intervene. I think. Most legal scholars. And constitutional scholars. Believe that there is little likelihood that the third. The US Supreme Court will intervene at this point because they've RD. And if they wanted to date. They had plenty of opportunity to opt in now. And not much has changed. In the fact pattern. So. The greater likelihood is that this new map will stay. And so. Looks like is so significant change semi district. Brecht L like like what I mean what are you losing what are you gaining. It's bittersweet for me M I'm losing. You know I represented. Parts of two of six counties right now and them unload think fully tree above. Places that I have come set ten now in London. Where I I really have made very good friends and friendships with people that I I hope we'll be friends with the rest of our lives that I won't be represented them now. Carbon county Northampton county and Schuylkill County. And in I have to say I've invested a lot of that time and effort in. Tire rubber. In intake getting to know those places so again it's that parts that's that's hard. But the great part is that I pick up. Com great squads so wonderful territory I've kind namely. Much more of Lucerne county. The entirety of black hole on accounting I represented half of those counties up and now. And then the entirety of weighing in pike counties. I get to represented and you know these are places that you and I know. You know you you drive around and northeastern Pennsylvania. They're counties and I'm very much looking forward to there actually representing. These places and in Washington you know I worked very hard. He got on the House Appropriations Committee. And folks that remember the history of congress around here will remember. Congressman Dan slide in congressman Joseph McDade. And I know it's so much of the good things that they were able it do prefer our area. They did because they got on the House Appropriations Committee. So like I mapped out a strategy that can get on that committee and well the planet Hussein that. I continue to accumulate seniority. On that committee and and put myself in a position. Wanted to try to do what they did. Which was god bring his much of federal money back into this area. As possible so we get a lead our fair share. Federal tax dollars thus stimulating the economy and and creating jobs. Matt you know I I introduce you said that at that you are my friend and I know you have portrait view in the pass I know your father I know that you were involved with scouting and so there's this whole. Incidents in in Parkland Florida I know breaks your heart in it NM in a million different ways how we get it are we really going to be able to to to get something done here I mean I guess so frustrated the Democrats introduce a great bill on the Republicans filibustered. The film that the Republicans introduced something that looks like it'll work in the democrats' filibuster can we get out of her way and do something. Well. And I sure hope so you know I I just completed five years in the congress frank and I remember distinctly. I got elected and in Tony twellman. I remember going through the orientation process. You know learn how to be a congressman as quickly as you can and we're up at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and in Boston. At Harvard that's true weeks. For one though or orientation week so they are sitting next to congresswoman Elizabeth ST. Who came in with me. And we're in a classroom learning about this or that the other thing in. All of a sudden their cell phone went off. And it was from home. And at frank she represents Newtown Connecticut boy. And that call was to tell her about the 27 people who died there. And you can almost see the blood draining commerce face. And she got up an excuse yourself and had to go home right away. And it seems like the whole time I've been in the congress Serbian news. Awful horrendous ugly shootings. One after the other. And you wonder what can you do well I've I've I tell you what I've done I joined. The I'm a proud member of the gun violence prevention task force in the congress. And that's chaired by congressman Mike Thompson from California. He's a conservative Democrat. He's a hunt Terry is the gun owner. I'm gun owner I'm a pretty good shot with my rep Remington 700 but I'm looking for common sense ways. To cut down on gun violence and in reeling from mild things it's such as no fly nobody. You know appear on the terrorist watch solicit. Maybe it's a good idea that you're not able to buy a gun quite as quickly as other America. Common sense I should know what we talk about common sense and you talked about getting things done you you have. Always always been very big in support of veterans and I know you have bills that deal with the veterans and you also have a bill that's coming up that says that that is is aimed at helping with jobs and our district can you talk about though before we run out of time here I know I pressed I pressed your your press officers that can happen for a few minutes and I know your busier than ever and ever -- just tell me about those bills meant I'd be grateful. Pure pride you know write it might three Brothers and we all honor the veterans because we know that our dad. Volunteered for army duty F right after Pearl Harbor. End it's the Stanley thing with us and with so many other families feel it's safe way. I think it's part of my duty as a congressman to do everything I can do to stick up for the veterans. Tom I mentioned this quite a number of bills that help veterans but. That I'm not on the veterans affairs committee Obama Appropriations Committee and has been VA committee is Serb. There are a little. Territorial we might say that they they it's tough if you are not on that committee to pass a veteran bill. But I got some great news. HR 3122. Of his Mike Bell. And it is these veterans care financial protection act that only seventeen. I got that out of the veterans affairs committee. It past the entire crowd is back in November. And this past week it past the end of the entire senate gradual rations and mostly out of the house and senate. I'm on the pay what it does it say it's it addresses a particular scam that's perpetrated. On the most vulnerable. Of our veterans. Veterans who are in ill health. Who are infirm. Who are indigent who are very poor. And who need some kind of home help assistant there is an. There isn't a program called that an aid in attendance benefit the AMA benefit that helps them hire in home health care. And it's it it's a program that there has been that has been run by the VA successfully record remember the year but. There are scam artists out there. This who will charge veterans. For just for applying for that program. I mean that and we've heard stories where they charge as much as 567800. Dollars. To needy veterans groups to get them into the program. Frank this is a program. It's free to apply for he would stop and any American legion any PFW. And you and you can fill out a form and it doesn't cost them. So this is a horrible scam being perpetrated on. On veterans and and might build up put a stop to it by requiring the VA to work with. A law enforcement. Communities in all of the states and also the throw up some of warnings on web sites about particular scam artists. And how they go about this we need to protect our veterans. From this kind of nonsense it's I think it's the very least that that I can do as a member of congress well. And I'm I'm glad for them mass car right I wanna thank you for taking time on your busy day to join us I'm sure we'll be talking again you have goodnight and good weekend. Thank you frank chat with you until our congressman man's car right seventeenth congressional district.