tv Washington Journal Rep. Deborah Ross CSPAN May 12, 2022 11:31am-12:01pm EDT
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>> cox, supports c-span as a public service along with these other television providers. giving you a front row seat to democracy. s for the first time on the washington journal, north carolina democratic congresswoman, deborah ross, member of the judiciary committee. we spent our first hour talking about the senate vote yesterday . in the wake of that vote and staring down the supreme court decision that may turn over roe v. wade, what is the state of the pro-choice movement in the country? guest: first of all, thank you for having me on the show. the state of the pro-choice movement is fired up and ready to go. so, there are rallies and marches planned for this entire weekend. there have already been rallies and marches in north carolina.
in raleigh, north carolina, where i represent. women are pulling out their pink hats and making more. we really know that we are in the fight for our lives and in a fight for our daughters and our sisters and every woman who has the right to personal liberty and reproductive freedom. host: before winning this seat, you ran for the senate in 2016. is this -- is it an issue that the senate should blow up the filibuster for? is it something that is worth getting rid of that senate rule? guest: i believe, yes. for fundamental rights, having a super majority, which basically means a large minority of the country blocks people's fundamental rights, is just plain wrong. remember, the senators, it is not one person, one vote, in terms of the population of each of the states.
so, there are many, many senators from many, many small states, that have oversized power for the entire country. and we can't make that even greater by saying you have to get 10 extra votes. so, for things like voting rights, a woman's right to reproductive freedom, it is simply unacceptable to have to have a super majority and give that outside power. host: is that where the list would end for you? voting rights and abortion rights? guest: at this point, i would say they would have to be fundamental rights. i see problems with the filibuster as a way of blocking popular opinion. voting rights and reproductive freedom is at the top of the list to not have the filibuster. >> we should viewers this, talking about how the abortion debate has bled the common
ground. this was in her column yesterday. she said long ago, in the days when bill clinton could thread the needle, saying abortions should be safe, legal and rare -- it is all but impossible for politicians to have a nuanced discussion around the subject or for either side you have any incentive to seek common ground, would you agree? guest: i think in our political world, there is no incentive. i think among our constituents and among the american public, there is an ability to have that conversation. i think that conversation goes on wgoesitfa on with families every day, when women make these difficult reproductive health decisions. the supreme court, for sure, i don't know if you read a bunch of the articles that analyze
this opinion, never really talked about the very difficult decisions that women make to have an abortion. this is not a willy-nilly decision. this is about a woman's future, it's about how that woman became pregnant in the first place. it's about how they deal with their faith leader, how they deal with their doctor. we need to look at this issue from the point of view of the person who is making this fundamental decision. host: what is the common ground? is there any sort of restriction we should put on abortion in this country? guest: i don't believe that we should talk about restrictions right now. i think we should talk about preserving these on the mental rights. right now, it is completely -- fundamental rights. right now, it is completely in jeopardy. you heard what the court had to say. before we should talk about where there should be restrictions, we need to make
sure that roe v. wade is the law of the land. the supreme court has allowed for certain ways of limiting abortion in certain cases. but, until we have a common understanding in the court and in the congress that roe v. wade is the law of the land, we should not be negotiating about abortion. host: deborah ross, congresswoman from north carolina's second district is our guest. she will be with us until the bottom of the hour. if you want to join the conversation, as usual, the phone lines are democrats, (202) 748-8000. republicans, (202) 748-8001. independents, (202) 748-8002. ahead and start calling in. what should folks know about the second district of north carolina? guest: it is a growing area. this is where raleigh, north carolina is. cary, north carolina.
62 people a day move into my district. so, when i -- north carolina is no stranger to gerrymandering and lawsuits about redistricting. so, this district was the result of a lawsuit at the very end of a census period. i represent more than 900,000 people, which is about 150, 1 hundred 60,000 more people than most members of congress. because so many people are moving to the area. it is high tech. a lot of education. a lot of smaller towns that are suburban towns. but it is thriving. it is wonderful. i have lived there for more than 30 years. host: 16 months into this job, what surprised you about being a number of congress? what do you like and what don't you like? guest: i would say this is one of the most surprising terms of congress in the history of this country. we came in during covid, we had
an insurrection. we are dealing with a war in ukraine. we had to hire our staff on our resume. the surprising -- our zoom. the surprising thing is our country is still here and a functioning democracy givin the -- given the perils we face. i served in the state legislature, so that was a very one-on-one, everybody knows each other. everybody knows where everybody is from. this has been interesting, getting to know people under this circumstance. the thing i like the most is how much we have been able to accomplish, even under these circumstances. we got the american rescue plan through. the bipartisan infrastructure bill. i have my fourth bill on the president cost desk -- president's desk this week to be signed into law. we can get things done if we focus on the people.
host: what is the fourth bill on? guest: it is a judicial ethics bill. the wall street journal did amazing work showing many judges own stocks. stocks of the businesses of the litigants that appear before them. tons of them trade invest the stocks while they were presiding over the cases. bipartisan, bicameral bill. we adopted the senate version. they made a couple of changes. now, it is on the president's desk. host: michael is up first out of missouri city, texas. the line for democrats, good morning. caller: good morning. just wanted to say personally, you mentioned the words -- i think what is happening is republicans feel, just like they
do with health care and the vaccine mandates, they want to dismantle as much as they can, peace by piece, to make it -- piece by piece, to make it ineffective. they will make anything that is pro-choice for a woman basically useless. host: we are losing you a little bit. safe, legal and rare is how bill clinton described it. i will let you respond. guest: i agree with michael. the whole approach of the republican party has been to dismantle a woman's right to make fundamental, reproductive decisions. i think michael rightly pointed out that they are going
after being able to have this same right in every part of the country. and so then, we will go to situations where abortion will be less safe and even more rare. host: to our line for independents, this is emma in washington, d.c. caller: -- that is a lot of people to sanction abortion across the board. i'm a woman, i'm an independent and i think abortion is wrong. what about my personal liberty as a woman to say i think it is wrong? there are many pro-life feminists. i think that is not a question that should just be ignored. guest: that is a good point.
and i know you know that roe v. wade set up the trimester system for the fundamental right of reproductive freedom. and then, there have been other ways of interpreting that. some states have gone beyond that. but not all states. and i want you to know that i believe that all women should have the right to make their own reproductive decisions. and, if you choose to have a child, i believe that we should support you in every way possible. in my state of north carolina, we have an expanded medicaid. there are a lot of mothers who only temporarily get health care during their pregnancies. and then afterwards, two years later, they themselves don't have health care. i believe that anybody who has a child should have health care. we also need to be much better
about expanding the child tax credit and making sure that we have universal pre-k, all these things will support women who choose to have children. and that is a beautiful thing. host: here is a recommendation bite marco rubio. he says congress should follow the state of utah's lead. we need to make it easier to collect child support. one of the most heartbreaking reasons mothers choose to have an abortion is the fear that fathers won't do his part -- a father won't do his part. guest: i believe anybody who is the father of a child has a responsibility to that child. there are many things that we should do to support mothers. in addition to child support. and i laid some of them out, making sure that the mother and the child have access to health care. making sure that the child has universal pre-k.
making sure that there is child care. making sure that that child can have a healthy starts and a bright future. what i don't agree with is that we should force women to carry a pregnancy to term when they are not ready to be a mother and they do not want to be a mother. every woman should be able to make her own health care decision. host: pompano beach, florida, this is sergio. line it for democrats. caller: good morning, how are you? host: doing good. you are on with congresswoman ross. caller: good morning. how are you doing? guest: i'm doing great. you elevated me. i'm a member of the house of representatives. caller: good morning, representative ross. i'm a democrat and i'm honored to be one. my question is this. how can you get more republicans
to fight more for roe v. wade and stop joining against it to work together to make a common ground, also as well for the infrastructure plan. are you working together on that, particularly? guest: that's a fantastic question, sergio. i served in our state legislature for more than 10 years. before we got into these very mean-spirited primaries, where there were litmus tests for a particular party, we had many pro-choice republicans. including pro-choice republican women. and i did a lot of work with pro-choice republican women on women's reproductive health care. and that was a great way for us to find common ground. and you are seeing in the u.s.
senate that senator murkowski and senator collins, both republicans, proof women, -- both women, are pro-choice. sandra day o'connor, the first woman appointed to the supreme court, also a republican, pro-choice. i think what happens is, in republican primaries, we end up getting the extremes. we also do that sometimes in democratic primaries. that is what is keeping us from finding the common ground. people cannot have their held beliefs and survived a primary -- survive a primary challenge, frequently. your question is fantastic and i wish we could find that common ground. i am looking to the leadership of senator collins and senator murkowski to help do that on the senate side. host: in petersburg, virginia, this is robert, and independent. caller: good morning, how are you doing? guest: doing well. -- host: doing well. caller: i would like to say the
justices have changed. brett kavanaugh, he said he would probably not go into roe v. wade but he did. i think justices should have 12 years and i wonder why there shouldn't be a referendum for voting on that. guest: robert, you make a really good point about how justices should not mislead the senate, when they are in their confirmation hearing. interestingly, ruth bader ginsburg was very candid about her beliefs about roe v. wade. some people agreed with her and some people did not. but, she made it clear what she thought. and i think at least three of
the justices misled the senate. senator collins certainly has made it known that she felt misled as well as senator murkowski. you make a really good point that we need to have a check on what these people are saying when they show up and they raise their hand and take an oath. host: the other big story besides the vote in the senate was the information on inflation in this country. inflation hit 8.3% last month, compared to one year ago. the headlines from the washington times today, biden looks powerless in the inflation blame game. what can be done despite inflation? guest: well, everybody wants to fight inflation. let's be clear about that. i think the president is at the top of the list. so, what he is doing is he is relying on the federal reserve, which generally is the body that tries to regulate our economy.
they only have certain tools to do that. we are dealing with two things that are directly affecting inflation. the pandemic and the war in ukraine. and as everybody knows, one of the big parts of inflation is the price of gas. and the price of gas as just skyrocketed, largely because of the war in ukraine. and the way that our oil and gas companies are responding to that. we -- some of that, we may be able to do something about. i've heard there might be legislation next week. a lot of that is the private market. the market makes decision to its -- decisions to its own benefit. the other thing is rising food prices. the war in ukraine has definitely gone against the breadbasket of europe. and we have shortages of things that were not produced during the pandemic.
now, people are coming out of the pandemic and they want more of them. there is supply and demand. what we need to do is try to pull the leverage that we can pull to deal with inflation. we also need to look at what corporate america has done to respond to shortages. and in many cases, they are taking advantage of that situation. it is a combination of things. let me tell you, the president and congress are very concerned. we are going to try to do as much as we can to stem the tide. host: this is steve, line for republicans. good morning. caller: good morning. the inflation think is more important. -- thing is more important. i do think that it should be up to the states on abortion rights, just because you can
vote state legislature in and out a lot faster than you can anything else. that's why think it should go to the states. if you don't like it, then you vote the people in or out that feel the same as you. have a wonderful day. guest: you too. you shouldn't have a different right in one state than another state. that holds woman captive to whatever a state legislature might think about a fundamental right. and we just can't have that. we can't, particularly for poor women, women who don't have the means to travel. affluent women have always had an ability to get whatever kind of reproductive health care they want. because they can pay for it. when you have a situation where there are women who are poor, who are in difficult
circumstances, they should not be captive to where they live. we need to make sure that every woman, no matter where she lives in this country, has the right to reproductive health care. health care that is safe, that is affordable and that deals with her particular needs. host: you said fundamental right a couple of times. what is the definition of a fundamental right? guest: the constitution talks about fundamental rights. this is something that cannot be restricted, unless there is a compelling governmental interest or a very, very serious governmental interest. i am all lawyer. i have practiced constitutional law. when there is a right embedded in our constitution, embedded in our personal liberty or privacy, that comes to a higher standard if you want to restrict it. host: lancaster, california. this is lee, a democrat.
good morning. caller: good morning. miss deborah. guest: yes, lee? caller: do you think we are a constitutional republic or a democracy? in a democracy, the government, which you just talked about over the constitution just a second ago, gives you a right in your eyes to get an abortion up to the days the woman is crowning and cell body parts, how much money is planned parenthood making off of body parts? guest: well, lee, i'm not sure about your question. we are a republic. and we are definitely a beacon for democracy around the world. i hope you have a great day. host: kansas city, missouri,
this is bill. caller: i think this is a privacy issue. there is a reason why it was passed in 1973, because of what is -- what's happening with abortions and close angers. the rich women always have the option for abortion. it's like prohibition. prohibition didn't stop people from drinking. and it's not going to stop people from having abortions if they can afford it. we need to get the government out of the bedroom, leave it as it is. i'm 70 years old and i remember when it was passed the first time. guest: thank you so much, lee. could not agree with you more. host: taking you home to the tar heel state, this is mike in bessemer city. republican, good morning. caller: good morning. i noticed she did not want to answer the question about how much money parent -- planned parenthood was making. i have two points.
me and my wife are republicans and i -- me, i am for abortion. go ahead and take care of it now so i don't have to pay for them later. if you are going to do that, have an abortion, rich women, poor women, they all have the same things. they know if they don't have any protection they will get pregnant. ok, go ahead and have them fixed or have their two -- tubes tied, they can play all they want. if they want to have a baby later, make them adopt one or -- host: got your point. is there anything you want to respond to? guest: no, i think you got it. host: we mentioned the judiciary committee, it is not the only committee you are serving on. the science, space and technology committee. we heard from elon musk this week about his concerns about banning donald trump from twitter if he were able to
purchase, if he ends up purchasing twitter. donald trump returning to twitter, your thoughts? guest: elon musk is purchasing a platform. so, elon musk will have a right to do whatever he wants with the platform. -- the platform he purchases. i do believe that when donald trump was banned from twitter originally, it was because he was presenting a clear and present danger to the country. he was inciting violence. he was also spewing incorrect health information during the pandemic. a lot of people forget that one of the reasons why the pandemic was as bad as it was in this country is because donald trump and his administration minimized , minimized the health effects of the coronavirus. donald trump himself minimized those effects and gave incorrect information, as the president.
what elon musk does going forward, again, is -- it is a private company, so he can make those decisions. but i would hope that if people incite violence or create and exacerbate health pandemics, that he would think about what his platform is doing. host: in our final minute, the other committee you serve on in congress is the roles committee. probably one of the lesser-known committees for people who are regular consumers of congress read what does the rules committee do? guest: i love serving on the rules committee. you know what will happen. the rules committee is the gatekeeper to the floor of the house. unless a bill is going to have either unanimous consent or two thirds approval, a bill is going to -- needs to go through the rules committee. it can be amended. the rules committee takes amendments. we hear from both sides.
and then we decide how that bill comes to the floor. can we have amendments? are there no amendments? is it structured? every bill that comes to the floor has -- goes through the rules committee. as a freshman, it is a front row seat to how congress operates and i just love serving there. host: deborah ross, a democrat from north carolina, the second >> we take you live now to the u.s. capitol where the house -- newsletter word for word recaps the day for you from the halls of kopg to daily press briefings to remarks from the president. scan the q.r. code at the right bottom to sign up for this email and stay up to date on everything happening in washington each day. subscribe today using the c.r. code or visit c-span.org/connect to subscribe any time.
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