tv Campaign 2018 California 21st District U.S. House Debate CSPAN October 31, 2018 10:46pm-11:45pm EDT
at 7:00 p.m. on c-span. at 8:00 p.m. in new york 22nd congressional district, republican incumbent, claudia tenney, facing democrat anthony brenda c. kudlow on2, larry small business issues, live at 9:30. in the afternoon, the focus is on minority voter turnout expected in the elections next week. president trump is in columbia, missouri, to campaign for republican candidates at 7:30 p.m. our coverage of the national arab-u.s. policy makers conference is on c-span3 at: 30, covering journalist to malta shall be's death -- jamal khashoggi's death and oil prices. another debate for u.s. house race in california. this one in the state's 21st congressional district between
incumbent republican congressman david valid aon democrat tj cox. now, from your local election, a debate between incumbent republican david valid adao and tj cox. your local election headquarters starts now. >> it is a choice for valley voters at a time of great division. david valadao is a conservative from hanford, it very from her by trade. his opponent, democrat tj cox, an engineer and community developer who lives in fresno. democrats have a 17 point voter registration advantage in the 21st district, which voted for hillary clinton in 2016, yet valadao, a republican, has
never seriously been threatened on election day. will this year be different? with controless -- of congress up in the air, this is being watched around the country. andgood evening to you thanks for being with us here tonight. i am jim scott with 17 news in bakersfield. evan up in fresno. a special welcome to all of our viewers from the 21st congressional district. >> let's take a look at the congressional district. it takes up a good chunk of the central valley and covers parts of fresno, kern, -- to lamont. down evan: we are streaming this debate on both of our station websites. kcet.com. looking forward to reading those
comments. there is a discussion brewing on twitter right now. #valadaocoxdebate. we will have a live discussion with their thoughts on how tonight's debate played out. jim: the candidates have been apprised of the ground rules for tonight's debate. we will start with opening statements and by a flip of the coin, tj cox is elected to go last. same order will apply to closing statements. 90 seconds, sir. rep. valadao: i want to thank both of you for hosting this event. .oth great stations you do a great job in the central valley. i represent the 21st congressional district. i lived here my entire life. born and raised in the central valley. my kids go to the same high school i went to. i know all the people in the district. i love sitting around, doing my town halls and finding all the letters leaving my office and seeing all the names of people i have known since i was a little
kid. i know the issues well. i personally experienced a lot of the different struggles that i will alter goes through, water issues, immigration issues, health care issues. theamily's troubles with exact same issues. it's important for me as a friend, neighbor, and person who lived here my entire life, to really go back to washington. i look forward to this debate here today and having a conversation with the two of you and the viewers at home. >> mr. cox, 90 seconds. for hostingnk you us tonight and thank you for everyone for viewing in. my name is today talked -- tj cox. my dad came from china. my mom from the philippines. like many of us throughout the central valley, they both became very proud, naturalized u.s. citizens. i am an engineer, a family man with four kids. a small businessman. my wife is a pediatric physician who has the privilege of taking care of her children and her
family's throughout the central valley. about a decade ago, i found it a company that has a simple -- founded a company that has a simple mission, to make a positive difference in the lives of central valley communities, and we have done just that. we created over 1500 well-paying jobs. we brought health care axis to 25,000 residents of the 21st congressional district. we funded innovative job training and educational facilities. i work in the neighborhoods where the banks on wall street just will not go -- and wall street will not go. we do not thing -- get our fair share of investment here in the valley. tax dollars go to washington and do not come home. i have been working in the central valley to make a positive difference, and that is something i know i can continue to do as your next congressman.
>> gentlemen, thank you very much. lots of ground to cover tonight. we want to start out with a couple of questions about water. president trump signed a memorandum setting expedited timelines for reviewing environmental impacts from dams and canal projects to pump water to central and southern california farms and communities and to streamline those reviews. what legislative or regulatory weight does that memorandum carry, if any, or was it more election year window dressing meant to help gop congressmen in california who are in tight races? congressman valadao, your perspective? rep. valadao: we have been working on this literally since the day after the president had won the election. this is something that is in the process. there has been a lot of work, a lot of behind-the-scenes effort to get this done as soon as possible. we would like to have gotten it done before the last water year, but there are a lot of people who want to make sure we protect as much as we can get done because we know the environmental attorneys out of san francisco are going to fight us on this, but it's something that will have an impact. and one of the things i have helped on that as well is when
in 2016, thatact is something that is playing a role in this. there's a few different pieces and components that will bring some water to the central valley, both short-term and long-term. it's a very positive deal. i wish it had been done sooner. mr. cox: this was another political shell. did you read the memorandum?i read the memo , a two-page memo. it was not an executive order, it was not any legislation, there was no money attached to it. this was a memo telling the president's secretaries to get to work, and i applaud that. we should be working together. is it going to deliver any additional water for our ag industry or our communities today? the answer is no. >> all right, sir. would you like to rebut? what aladao: that is memorandum is. it's a memo that goes out to his administration, so yes, it's a short document. it's right to the point. it puts hard deadlines so we actually accomplish something.
it will deliver water. with the act that was signed into law, which was already producing water in kern county and in the rest of the district as well. yes, this plays a role with a few different parts and it actually livers water. on thene of your 99% ads airwaves right now, you speak of president trump's devastating stranglehold on our water. what do you mean by that? mr. cox: when you go out to communities, lamont, san solano, eachoza, one of those communities has what? poor drinking water. they don't have access to clean, fresh drinking water. in this memorandum, in this legislation, is there anything communities? there is not. everyone deserves clean, fresh drinking water. i think that is a right. it has been identified as a right in california. we need to focus not only on our ag industry, which i am a proud part of, but having clean, fresh drinking water for all of the citizens throughout the central valley.
>> congressman valadao, rebuttal? rep. valadao: i answered the questions when i am asked. there is no 99%. that is a made-up number from an organization that just takes a ofll percentage of a number actual votes. there has been over 1000 votes in congress and that looks at a small piece of the pie. as far as the stranglehold, just yesterday, there was an announcement of dollars being delivered to the community in stratford. a little over $1 million to help them develop new water infrastructure so these communities can have more water. we have been working in kettleman city and others to make sure they have the ability to have water. water that comes from the delta. right back to what was signed last week helps deliver water for these communities. as far as the treatment through usda and other grants, we have been able to help a lot of communities provide, and it's not been one administration versus together. my opponent just want to attack one side or the other, but we work with both sides on this and we have been able to deliver for a lot of communities.
mr. cox: certainly, when you want to talk about the 99% thing, that is something that the station reported itself. he made the same claim that he does not vote with donald trump 99% of the time. they came back and said we checked and in fact he does. >> i would like to get to that later in the debate. mr. cox: sure. >> right now, we are talking about water. what about the bill signed today by the president? $6 billion to improve the water and the structure? is that the strangled? -- stranglehold? >> that is a good first step to infrastructure. i'm going to work in a bipartisan manner. these things and certainly this the bigs not address issue that we should be facing, and that we need to be facing in the future, which is sigma. that is going to be a big issue,
and that's going to take leadership on so many levels, and you're going to need to have a guy who has a record of getting things done. >> you're talking about the sustainable groundwater management act? >> that's exactly right. >> sigma is a california issue passed by california legislature.bringing more water to the central valley will help the situation for our valley with sigma because the only way to prevent us from drying up farmland and drying up immunity is is to bring in more surface water, so that's why that executive order was important and timely because that state law comes out, that i had no say in, and we were vocal in opposition to it, but this actually helps us with the sigma situation so we don't put as many acres out of production and so many communities out of water. >> in one of your ads, you talk about you are an engineer. i built dams, water storage projects. we talk about sacramental water policy. a lot of times, it's people in your party, the democrats, who stand in the way perhaps, been a little bit more towards
environmental issues. we get something like the flat which gets held that because of the -- back because of largely democrats. what sort of democrat are you when it comes to this? mr. cox: i am a democrat that gets things done, as you rightly say. i build dams and conveyance systems. talking about surface storage, we should have that. but should we do things -- should we do projects that we can do right now? should we be doing underground water banking, conservation, conveyance, things that will make a difference today? look at 2017 and the excess water we had been. what did we do with that?we watched as it ought flushed down to the ocean. why? because we did not have the infrastructure or agreements in place to capture that water. when i am in congress, we will have those things in place before that happens. congressman, is there anything you could have done differently, dunmore, in order to ensure that something like
temperance flat gets more funding? rep. valadao: yes, funds were created. what right to this debate on water, the science that will be used with this memorandum was actually developed under the obama administration that they ignored, and as my opponent stood with the former president at that time, that question should have been asked then. why didn't that administration help us more? she lectured us on climate change and other issues, but did nothing to actually push out the science that his own agencies developed that would have helped us deliver acre-feet. we had someone who went in to find a document and was actually pushing that forward so we could get some water out of it. it would have been nice to have it done seen her, but we had to wait for the administration to change. we had to wait for new heads of all these different agencies. now, it's >> coming to fruition. i want to turn to immigration right now.
thousands of men, women and children, these are people who are coming to america seeking asylum and seeking a better life for themselves. and when that many people coming do he border, so what do we with these people. mr. cox. mr. cox: two words, failed leadership. why do we have this kara van in the first place? why are they heading north. why wasn't something done in the countries? this congress and this president have abdicated their leadership. and take care of all of latin america. this should have been worked on so this kara van never happened in the first place. what do they do?
they can tweet about it and say we aren't prepared. why aren't we prepared? we don't have comprehensive immigration reform. this administration and this congress say what do we do. this congress has not been all to get come prepares i have immigration reform. >> they are coming and it may be weeks and weeks before they get to the border. if you win, you might be in a position of leadership. so what happens to them? mr. cox: if i'm in office, this wouldn't have happened in the first place. we would have worked with states themselves, with mexico, honduras to make sure these refugees are personally safe and economic security. this is a crisis made because of failed leadership. >> that's true, pu you don't
have a time machine, you have to happened will the people at the border? mr. cox: we have the process to happened will the people. they are applying for asylum. here's the thing. do we have the processes in place to happened will people efficiently and quickly to say you qualify. we don't. and those are the things and investments we need to be able to make to take care of these problems. >> congressman, the failed leadership that we just heard about that led to these problems and the question of what are we going to do with these thousands of people. mr. valadao: taxpayers are sending dollars down there today. we need to spend it. in the last few years we have been rooting corruption in that
northern triangle to make their area as safe as possible. but a lot of these folks are not leaving that area. and so these groups are growing in numbers because they want to overrun our systems on the border. what do we have to do? we have to come up with some dollars and put people on the border to help process these folks. the asylum laws are in place, it is there to help the most vulnerable people. their lives are in danger and come up with groups like this, they are trying to overrup the system because we have om so many detention facilities and especially on the democrat side putting pressure on the president and we have to make sure it is fair to those, to families who are threat yepped and those who are waiting in line and safe for those who work and live on the border because
this will be a humanitarian issue. >> you have been pushing for comprehensive immigration reform and something that is important to this district and we have not seen a bill on this signed by the president. we have not seen the action that you would like to see. there are people in this district that would classify this as a failure on your part, is that fair criticism? >> i worked with president obama. i was the third guy to sign on to an actual bill that signed in the senate and wpt able to get enough support. and this sfration, i was one of the few members to sign a discharge petition and able toll bring a vote to the floor with different pieces of legislation. the queen of the hill. we could not get enough support from our democrat colleagues to
get a piece of legislation passed. we proved we can move things. we needed to get more support and let the partisanship go away because it makes it difficult. >> you brought up queen of the hill. the four bills went against the president and kevin mccarthy's wishes, is it fair to crit size the president with others in the party when it comes to this particular issue? cox corks we all know. he ended up voting against his own legislation. it had democratic support. what happened to him is that he voted gets it because he allowed a hardlined bill. bar beginning. jim, you asked the same question in three debates.
what are you going to do about immigration? it's not my fault. we're working on it. six years of getting nothing done is not a track done. i'm a guy that gets things done. we will get comprehensive reform passed. >> i want to give you 30 seconds. mr. valadao: that was not true. what he said i voted gets my own legislation. false. i have worked and worked to bring legislation to the house floor. i my own party mad at me because i fought to bring it to the floor and to say i voted against a piece of legislation that i created is ludicrous. mr. cox: you voted against the procedures to bring it to the floor. why wasn't there a democratic bill? it wouldn't meet with the conservative element of your
party. the fact is your party has control of every branch of government, do you not, the house, the senate, the white house and you captain pass a legislation bill or immigration bill. our record on that is 0-4. mr. valadao: total lack of understanding. there was no vote. short. two signatures there was no actual vote. total lack of understanding. >> mr. cox, many lawmakers favor open borders and no border wall at all, where do you stand on this? mr. cox: we need secure borders. we all know what we need. anyone here is here legally. we need secure borders and make sure. >> do you favoral border wall?
>> i do favor a border wall. i build a lot of things like that. and we can do it cheaper and much more efficient. if we have comprehensive immigration and they have the opportunity to go back and forth, the issue is to make sure whoever is here is here legally and meets the work force needs and not one that is going to be with kids in cages. >> do you favor a border wall. mr. valadao: i support a border wall. i was going to get to that. when you look at the proposal out there to secure the border, there are parts that require an actual structure. there are buildings on the other, it is like crossing the street. there are areas where it makes no sense to build the wall and that is where technology comes
in. and i'm not one who doesn't understand. i was down at the border and i repeled into a tunnel just to move drugs, the wall wouldn't have stopped it. the technology and infrastructure we want to fund. i was on the vessel with the cost guard. they were bringing in cocaine trying to get into mexico. immigration reform isn't going to solve that threat. all the different types of situations. securing the border is important. where it doesn't, it does president. and we are trying to get passed and signed into law but we get no support from across the aisle. mr. cox: certainly we need some physical structures in place. but you are talking about spending $25 million to create a
2,000 mile wall. that is a 12th century mile >> you are talking about the bill that congressman mccarthy. >> mr. valadao: that will not build the wall. politics has become difficult because of the rhetoric. if you look at the $25 billion that president trump is asking for and the bill thanking passed out of 2018 it is $40 billion and $20 billion is too much? we have to kick down the rhetoric and have an actual rhetoric. have someone in the conversation that understands what is going on and what these effects will have on our communities. >> let me ask you about the path
to citizenship. should it be afforded all undocumented immigrants. where do you stand on that? mr. cox: we should take a step -by-step approach. dreamers, they have been here and been through 14 different background checks. they are not coluded because they have had checks on their credit and education. we need to take the approaches. people who shouldn't be here should be sent home. but there are people that are working and working hard. and i was talking to a young family, four kids and their mom who had been working here for 20 years, paying taxes, playing by the rules, she was stopped in a affic stop and picked up and deported.
tough for help to see that is compassion and generosity and respect for hard work here in america. >> congressman valadao. mr. valadao: this is an area, i want to make sure we get it done. the folks that are undocumented coming out of the shadows, pay back taxes and pay penalties but allow them a process they come out of the shadows and earn legal status depending on the person and the back gound. as far as the rest of the dem cratic process the pressure isn't there for folks to sneak across the border. it is a three-part set but all three are important. >> you mentioned daca, protecting their ability to be here without deportation. one of the deals we have heard,
get the money for border wall in exchange for the daca protection. if that deal was put in front of you, is that something you would sign off on? mr. cox: these are young men and women that have been here and paying taxes and playing by the rules. to throw them out i think is unconscionable. there should be a clean dream act. and do we fund money for a border wall? yeah, we should. part as of ar comprehensive bill. mr. valadao says we should be do that. they have control of every branch of government. don't tell me what we should be doing it. you got the control and power ap the president with the pep, go ahead and do it.
>> congressman. mr. valadao: when you say it would be part of the comprehensive deal, that would say that yes, i will do this. you are combining. i have been supportive of comprehensive piece of immigration reform but saying that i'm going to do this just because we can support this and i'll fund a border wall, you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. you can't say both. you have to do both. supporting immigration reform includes doing all of the above. allows those in the shadows to come out and give them the opportunity to come clean and resolve their status, fix our rules so we have a process for the fute furnish tur flow. >> you are watching a live on tv 17.turing the
> communities relying on medcal. when you look at the central valley. we have problems attracting doctors. i have a young family and i want my family to see the best doctors. they are fleeing this area. the reason i voted is because i couldn't defend the status quo. and rates were going out of control and continuing to rise and people continue to go back to medy cal. we have to have a path. when i would meet with families and i met a lady and she said i'm afraid of my husband getting
a better job because i will lose my benefits. and that's why this bill is so important, because it lowers insurance to leap off the safety program on to a national insurance program that helps them. have choices with their doctors. those are all important things and i couldn't important status quo. >> mr. cox, you and the congressman are far apart when it comes to health care in so many ways. mr. cox: in so many ways. this is what i do every day. i fund community health clinics and see the positive effects they have had on our families throughout the district. his vote is cruel and so reckless. 108,000 people in the district would have lost health care
because of his vote. he said reimbursement rates are 240,000 out of the medicaid system. i know we can deliver affordable health care for all. we need to enhance community health clinics and enhance job training for health professionals and reduce the cost of health care and those are the things i'm going to do in congress. i can tell you, talking to people, i was talking to this woman the other day, four out of her five family members have pre-existing conditions. if it goes through, we are going to lose these protections. people will lose their social security, medicare and protections for pre-existing conditions. that's not something i'm going to let it happen.
>> i want to go back and forth. you are shaking your heads. mr. valadao: there was no vote. the piece of legislation was the one i was the leader on to make sure there were conditions for pre-existing conditions and all the typical points that people in office, not true. there wasn't a vote. as far as the piece of legislation, yes, there are a and givelks who are on them opportunities with good insurance and the ability to pick their doctors and specialists. >> mr. cox, 30 seconds. mr. cox: he should talk to bob in hanford a republican and said because of the a.c.a. i was able to get health insurance.
bob would probably not be with us today if he had not had that. he said pre-existing conditions are part of the a.c.a. he voted depens the affordable care act 50-something times before it passed. and they had no plan to replace it. > mr. cox, in our conversation before, there were no cuts to pre-existing conditions. that same person, bob, would have had the opportunity to continue his coverage. >> mr. cox. in our conversations prior, you would like to move to a universal health care system. that costs money. californians feel they are being taxed enough, would you support raising taxes in order for something like that to make?
mr. cox: that is false. we already have a system that everyone gets health care. if you're sick, you will end up in the e.r. you get health and you get it as sicker as you get. l system or people account buy in and have in and have health care and brings down the costs and improves the health of our communities and our economy. that's why people in other countries, they pay half of what we do and cover everyone. and their health and their life expectancy is higher than what we have in the united states. >> that is true, a lot of other countries spend a lot less on health care and everyone is covered. how is this not a great idea? mr. valadao: i have a lot of
the azmy folks came from omp res. we have the best doctors and specialties. our system has been very successful and outsourced that a lot of that. sat down and had dinner with a gentleman from canada and say we hear how great it is but we prefer to come to the u.s., the fee service, look how government, look at the d.m.v., would you like them to run it? we have to make sure that we have a system. as the costs. the experts have said what it is going to cost, $32 trillion. the state side and moved it out of the house. so we would have to quadruple
taxes. >> they deposit have a budget. and that leads me to my next question, what if california designs its own single health payer would you allow the state to use the millions and millions of dollars that it now receives from uncle sam to use it any way the state wants in order to eate and fundal single payer health care system? mr. cox: what we know is the expansion that my opponent has voted against has been supersuccessful and brought down uninsured rates down the single digits and improved the health of our economy and entire state. if these are incremental steps to get to medicare that is going to cost less, i'm going to look
at. this is something that certainly should be considered. we know we can get the quality affordable health care for all. we just need to have the will power to get there. >> rebuttal? mr. valadao: i'll aps the question. it depends what the language looks like. if it puts my swibts in danger, i won't work with them. >> mr. cox.
mr. cox: you need to have a comprehensive system to be able to do that. what happened before the affordable care act? a an insurance could deny. what did the affordable care act do? you have to treat everyone the same and charge everyone the same. that was the first positive step towards health care equity and go back, where if you are sick, you are on your own. 46% of the residents could shall considered to have pre-existing conditions. he would like to say we have a special pool. it is not a special pool when they are considered to be in that pool. mr. valadao: we protect pre-existing conditions but insurance rates went through the roof. i still have my same snushes. i never took insurance. my insurance rates went up and
it's gone crazy and make sure to get those in line and be able to make their own personal decisions for their own families. >> now to the fact or fiction portion of our debate night. focusing on the mud. a couple of questions for you now about the claims you have made in your political ad. mr. cox, let's take the claim we have heard as you tried to make this race about the president as mr. valadao. the claim that the congressman votes with president trump 99% of the time. fact or fiction? >> did he want to take away health care. he voted with the president. did my opponent want to pass a tax bill that give a benefit to
corporate donors and doubling of our deficit. did he vote with the president? yes, he did. the leaders of his party, each one of them announced it. that's what we are going to after. as this president enacted an insane immigration policy with families being chased across highways and fields. he sat by and said i'm monitoring the situation. we need leadership and dose nt come from this gentleman. mr. valadao: it's a joke. when you look at the number of votes out there that we are going to take and you could make up any tag line you want. and that's what he chose to do. 99% comes off over 100 votes. it's a game that is played.
>> you mentioned that earlier, mr. cox. we checked with the web site called 538.com and found that mr. valadao voted with mr. trump on 92 votes dating back to anuary, 2017 and 1,200 votes during that same time period. tampling. accurate mr. cox: naming a post office or a street, those aren't substantive issues. its is about atalking your medicare. he is in lock step with this president. mr. valadao: i will never waste my time looking at the cherry-picking groups. it is not what represents the
because it didn't exist before. they installed that system and raised rates for everyone and people lost coverage and we are trying to remedy that situation. mr. cox: what you are trying to say, before you can charge, but because of your action, they can charge five times as many. you would like to charge seniors five times more for their insurance than the regular
population. the seniors can't afford that. mr. valadao: we saw it as a moving target. as the the rates willing up, seniors went up. that was a fix and put in obamacare to help keep rates lower. >> let me ask you about another ad by mr. valadao, you were sued for elder abuse, what is fact and what is fiction. mr. cox: i'm so glad you brought it up. it is unfortunate these lies are at the cor core. the senior house that he is citing in so many of his ads. rateds one of the top and in the top 1% for senior homes in the nation because of the quality of care and the
satisfaction. this is a playbook that mr. valadao and his consultants. they are having real harm with people. my mom has dementia and i took a role in developing this facility. because of his attacks. the woman who owns and operates that facility and she provides compassionate care. she is receiving threats on her personal safety. we deserve much more. >> he doesn't want to talk about the issues. these are -- he should be ashamed of himself. i'm not going to defend these types of ads. >> i know you are not the one doing all this research and digging up the stuff. still, the words that are being used in your ads labeling him as
unethical, corrupt, wrong, those are pretty harsh words. do you stand by that? >> this is actual california department of health and human services citations. this is not a secret. it's all out there and backed up. we have documents from every single one of those and they are actually true. >> let's move on right now to tax cuts. congressman, you were very quick ap continue to tout the tax cuts. and mr. cox, you scow it as benefiting the wrong people. go ahead and give your prospective, what is better for the valley here. ? >> mr. cox: putting more money in
the pockets. it doubled the deficit. the corporations got a 40% tax cut. individuals got a 6% tax cut. the corporate rate, those were made permanent. you can see where his allegiance lies, certainly not with the people. because of the deficit and because of the tax give-away, what happened last week. mcconnell and ryap said because of this deficit, we have to cut social security, medicare and medicaid. we know what they wanted to it. give tax breaks for the wealthy and attack medicare, social security and medicaid. >> that was the next question. congressman ion,
$17,000, those are all things that have a real impact for people that live here. and there were businesses. they didn't feel they got enough. ap figured out what the goal was. and they had a 50 cent an hour raise. they paid taxes on it. and paid that contribution towards the medical and health benefit. they got a decrease.
it's about where we are going to be in the future and watch our health care being taken away and stand by by watching our friend and families and neighbors be disrespected or bring back the integrity and the decency. i have a track record of delivering real results and it is what i have done and what i know to continue to do. my promise to you is simple, i will never forget that i work for you. it would be an honor to have your vote.
>> we need to work together and put respect in our country because we have lost a lot of that and respect each other. >> i would like democrats to host the party because of the fact that i'm personally a democrat. i'm a registered voter to vote all democrats. i know it hasn't been able to be that way in congress in a long time where we have had both where one out weighs the and the
democrats win. >> voices from the state, part of c-span's 50 capitals' tour. >> the midterm elections, determining the control of congress, election day is tuesday. see the competition for yourself on c pan. watch the debates from key house and senate races, make c-span your source for 2018 campaign. republican conference chair from washington, met for a debate. olitico lists this race as leaning republican.