U.S. Senator Pat Toomey on the Sue Henry Show

Gorsuch, digital privacy, Michael Flynn and other issues discussed

The Sue Henry Show
March 31, 2017 - 10:59 am

Pa. U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R) talked to WILK's Sue Henry about the Neil Gorsuch confirmation hearings and upcoming vote, Michael Flynn, digital privacy and other issues.

Listen to the interview:

US Senator Pat Toomey

Newsmaker Interviews
Friday, March 31st

US Senator Pat Toomey with Sue Henry


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

Yeah senator Pat Toomey trying to show with his Allman Brothers music playing in the background. As always as always. A model can. Cover you. I'm doing very much to talk about two in the Washington I'm sure that you are watching like we where. Last Friday win this health care legislation was. Flocked to be voted upon and then upholds and today I feel about that day as you know the senate would've gotten it. If it had made it through is it better to get a house with shaky foundation my dad or no house at all how do you feel about. Well I'm I'll play in. It's there's a lot going on here. I think one of the first things is stressed here is. The importance of doing this in doing that tried obamacare is the disaster it is failing. It is an that's style on the individual market premiums are I think people lost the care that the coverage they want. So there's no question. We've got to deal with us. This house bill is certainly an imperfect bill in the number of points and that always makes it tough but. I had hoped that we would have taken the first big step half cinema now send it over the sent a letter that's what comment. But you know this kind of legislation. According the constitution supposed to originate in the house that doesn't technically apt to put that. That's really the right way to begin the process. I had hoped they would they would send it over we'd work on it has a different versions. And then in the classic legislative form we go to a conference committee were members of both the house and the senate. Come together iron out the differences. So. I'm disappointed because I think we could have taken an important first step so last week with the setback. In my view. But despite the fact that the bill was imperfect. But I will say that it's not over sin cock I mean that we Wear now walk away from the table we've got a disaster on our hands that we inherited. And now we are the governing party either Republican party's governing party in America we've got an obligation a responsibility to fix that. Now we're gonna have to get that done. OK and people look at that path they say no other Republicans have everything why can't they get this done and I could you are disappointed by it do you believe that this will just. Unravel in and kind of what they call a death spiral on the mall have to be heroic measures taken to put something in my how do you think this will play out. Well I'm Dan obamacare is in a death spiral now it's you know it's been a gradual that's like a voter so all Americans. Live in the county where they have only one choice straight up no 40% of complaints have only one choice on the individual market. That's not the way the system is supposed to work. That doesn't give you competition that doesn't give you choices in your coverage. And meanwhile premiums keep going up at this staggering pace so it's clearly not working. Summitt said well let's just sit back and let it let it get so disastrous that neither the Democrats come to a say OK guys we you know but discipline. Not in that camp. I I think our responsibility when your elected to govern your responsibility to cover and that means we find solutions as quickly as we can. I doesn't mean we rush to do it but that we we get this job done so. There was there are continuous conversation happening negotiations discussions about how we get to the content that. It is particularly difficult too because there are things. That so we know cannot pass in the senate because of the Senate's very arcane rules we know there's a whole set of regulatory issues that the administration. He is in the process of developing but they're not finished yet we haven't seen them so that creates an unknown. So an economic and excuses I'm just explaining why it's quite typical but. By the same for the governing party we got to figure out how to govern. Irony of that question from the audience abouts. Legislation that would allow Telecom. Companies. To get access and buy it literally your browser history are you supporter some like this. Yeah there's a lot of confusion about this legislation. There was a rule passed very late at the end of the Obama administration. That. I've created an uneven playing field treated some Internet providers differently than others. And and it. Did not create any additional privacy protection historically. The FTC has provided. Privacy protection still does so the state law still do. But we voted on was to repeal this move last minute eleventh hour rule by the Obama care industry. Let me send you some more information on to get the little segment are complicated but I do I know one thing culture. Nobody's privacy is jeopardized by repealing the troll. I'll cracked well we'll I had like to read more about that but in her and you have your your staff pass that along to us because we have people who are generally concerned is that. Their history may be for sale and I don't blame them because that sounds like some kind of terrible invasion. Look I I agree I think privacy it's very very important. But others say there are strict rules in place to protect privacy and that was not changed. Okay. You are. A guy who has always been very interested. In taxes and that looks to be the next big project that will be taken on. By our elected leaders at the behest of of the president. Isn't doable because we see a lot of people who are our naysayers on this and they say this is never gonna fine and no we're never gonna see if that got pat I'm telling you from where I said. People voted for Donald Trump because they want it to pay. Fewer taxes. And if for some people this is the only way they're ever gonna see more money in their pockets because they're not getting any races so where does this again is it is it possible that this will. Actually be put together. And agreed on and signed by the president. Yeah I think it I think it's very possible I think it's actually likely I can tell you you're actually right I've been focused on this for a long time. I'll work on different plans working with colleagues. And frankly waiting for the moment when we had a president who would agree to do this President Obama never had any interest and tax reform never really believed that a matter the only thing he wanted to do was raise taxes. And so we didn't have a lot of agreement there. Now we have a president that I think understands. Not only is it about allowing people to keep more what they earn so they've got more money in the pockets. But it's about creating incentives that allow us to launch new businesses have new startups expanding that thing that this so that we create the kind of jobs. Make you a large scale job creation is great for the people who get those jobs it's great for everyone because it also. Forces business to compete coworkers and that means wages have to go up to soak. There's there's no downside in doing good tax reform. I'm actually working on right now I sit on the finance committee in the senate that as the committee that has responsibility over the tax code. And we're working daily duets with members of the administration. Members of the house to see if we can all get to. The same place to an agreement on what this tax reform ought to look like again one of the challenges is our democratic colleagues appear not to be attached to the working without on this. Because we do wanna lower tax rates for everyone including business does send that they they have a big problem without. And so we might have to do it on a partisan basis I hope not. I'd prefer to do a bipartisan bill they they tend to be born guarding them could be more comprehensive. But I'm not going to. You know be held hostage. By senator Schumer he refuses to cooperate allow its. Caucus members to cooperate we've got to be willing to do it ourselves and I think one way or another I am confident that we can be attacked or. No one where another. The Neal gore sex. Nomination should be coming up pro for a votes and you think he's gonna make hitter do you think there's going to be a lot of consternation. There are more do you view this. So it here's where we are. I believe that president trump nominated about the best person he possibly could have found Neil course which is credentials. His record his experiences. Knowledge its characters temperament. Every. Everything about this guy is absolutely fantastic. And Chuck Schumer the Democratic Party leader handset on the record that he intends to block its confirmation. Honestly I think it's because Donald Trump picked him. And that's just not acceptable actually Chuck Schumer is indicated that he he would be willing end to end lean towards. Keeping vacancies in the supreme court for the entire presidency of Donald Trump. By the way we might have more retirements or or possibly depths on the Supreme Court. So the idea that we should have any it's steadily dwindling population on the Supreme Court. Because Chuck Schumer believes Donald Trump should never be able to fill a vacancy that's ridiculous and so next week we're gonna have a vote what I have more than one vote. To see if our democratic colleagues who joined that's it takes sixty votes under the current rules to confirm the Supreme Court nominee but I will tell you. That the Democrats refused to work with us on this that they won't give us the votes. Then we'll do what we have to do to confirm you know course which is a very good man he's eminently qualified nobody has been able to probably suggests that it's not so. And that when he saw the second thing. Another big story obviously is Michael Flynn. Asking for immunity in exchange for testimony about any kind of ties between the trump administration. From that when he was running for office his campaign staff in and others. Com. How big of a story is this because our friends on the left are are going absolutely crazy over this and they believe that this is Steve lynch and bring down the presidency. I'd I'd I don't know about that I rather doubt it but it is look at as the big EO am on I think. We need to have a very full and thorough investigation I don't know why. Michael Flynn would. Feel the need to ask for immunity but but he knows more than I do obviously about these circumstances. I do you think the Senate Intelligence Committee is proceeding it that there's bipartisan agreement between. The Republican chairman Richard Burr and the ranking democratic member Mark Warner from Virginia much is that this is so far and will continue to be an up. I train term. That's sort of going where the factly that's not so we need to do so this is saying this new at the same unusual development in an ongoing unusual soccer. I'm in favor of getting. All the information getting to the bottom of it I think the senate Intel committee is getting that job done. So Alla my encouragement British continue their work and then share with the American people their conclusions. You are. Onboard with that kind of development because for for a long time I know you've been opposed to this kind of behavior in the country. Well I get side absolutely welcome the administration's steps this is they are doing what they can administratively. That is a significant step towards creating an incentive for a city that stopped that's crazy and dangerous. Process of giving sanctuary to. So people are suspected of very serious crimes and very dangerous characters that have been you know centric cities are terrible idea. I guess I would just point out that under the law the administration can't completely solve this problem it is going to take legislation that's well so I. Very pleased that attorney general sessions and present trouble moving in this direction but it's going to require. Complementary legislation. Which I've introduced and I know they support would got to get that done to. Okay and here's one that comes up all the time this weekend. Senator TC is having a town hall meeting in Scranton. Can you talk about says the the dates when you're considering having. A town hall meeting yeah I am. Not that I've not decided what date I'm gonna at town hall meeting had to get that fourteen or so in my first term I think senator Casey got that second one coming up. This week and I think that's fine mark an important thing. Is that I now it's a very expensive two way communication with my constituents. Which I do through a variety of mechanisms we respond we received. Read and respond to literally tens of thousands. Both physical mail pieces and emails every week I've done telephone town hall where we've had. Up to 20000 people on the line we take live questions are responded. We have a dialogue battle had done innumerable interviews. On the show and and many many other shows radio and TV across. Pennsylvania and every single day I'm meeting with constituents including by the way the leadership of the various protesting groups. That step protest on helpless on a regular basis so. And so I'm glad I talked about that path because I think that is a very important thing is the these individuals. Have been your office and you have seen some of them. Absolutely and we will continue. And and that and that's fine bit that the dialog need to continue its has been under way. But throughout my entire. Time that I've been an opposite and that will continue. You senator Pat Toomey are great to talk she have a lovely weekend. Thank you to do.

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