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tv   Washington Journal Rep. James Comer  CSPAN  May 17, 2022 11:57am-12:32pm EDT

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>> for employee training and education programs. later this week, members are expected to vote on a bill barring price gouging on oil and gas by prohibiting price increases during national energy emergencies declared by the president. lawmakers are also expected to consider legislation to resolve the current shortage of baby formula. we'll have live coverage of the house when they return here on c-span. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we are funded by these television companies and more. including wow. >> the world has changed. today, the fast reliable internet connection is something no one can live without. so wow is there for our customers. with speed, reliability, value, and choice. now more than ever it all starts with great internet. >> wow, supports c-span as a public service along with these
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other television providers. giving you a front row seat to democracy. we are joined by congressman james comer of kentucky. he is the ranking republican on the house oversight and reform committee, the ranking member. wrapping up your sixth year in congress, welcome back to "washington journal." guest: it is great to be back. host: we finished the last hour talking about our viewers -- talking with our viewers about an aid package and now a senate action having move forward last, what was your view on that measure and how did you vote on it? guest: i voted against this package. i voted in favor of the earlier package. i support ukraine. i support everything they are doing. we have already given them over $10 million. it is important that ukraine defeats russia. we have a terrible inflation
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problem here in america and it has -- was created by overspending in washington. why can't we give ukraine a little bit at a time instead of one big blank check? one of the things that some senators are calling for as an inspector general, i think the appropriate route is to give the appearance that congress is trying to get the taxpayers at a time in we have government-induced inflation. i think congress has to get back to regular order. we need to debate these bills. there needs to be more transparency in where the spending goes. we have seen that with the ppp loan program. that was a huge amount of money that helped a lot of small businesses but it also enriched a lot of major corporations and wealthy people. my objection to the bill is it
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is too much spending. there is not enough transparency. there is not enough oversight. if we can fix that, then i could perceive supporting smaller packages. host: how much have you overseen the spending there? guest: the democrats just got a grade by a nonpartisan group that grades government oversight , gave the democrat majority an f because they have not been interested in providing any government oversight by the administration. they are off changing -- chasing issues. we have had meetings with ceos of energy companies trying to encourage them to decrease production and get off the climate disinformation campaign. they are investigating the washington redskins football team right now, the democrats. they are doing everything except providing government oversight. if you look at the spending problem we have in america with all the covid-related money, stimulus money, ppp loan money,
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the fraud, unfortunately the democrat led house oversight committee is providing basically zero government oversight. host: i want to get into the issues that are your priorities. as ranking member, potentially if you become chairman of the committee, just on the weekend news, the horrible massacre in buffalo, new york, the murders. what is your reaction? guest: terrible. anytime there is a tragedy like that, what can congress do? our thoughts and prayers go to the victims of the family. it is needless, unnecessary tragedy. host: i want to get your reaction to what people have pinned some of the blame on the political nature of this alleged shooter's manifesto and the reasons for doing it. some members of your own party
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quoting liz cheney. liz cheney said that house republicans leadership has enabled white nationalism, white supremacy, and anti-semitism history. what begins with words in's in far worse. republican leaders must renounce and reject these views and those who hold them. guest: i think republican leaders have denounced the use of rights of premises him. -- of right supremacy. i totally disagree. i do not think anyone in our conference has done anything but condone unnecessary violence, racism, any type of wrong. i fundamentally disagree with what liz said. there is no room for racism in america. host: james comer is our guest. we welcome your calls and comments. (202) 748-8000 is the line for democrats. (202) 748-8001 for republicans.
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all others, (202) 748-8002. there is a historian roll call about a meeting with kevin mccarthy and business leaders, house republicans make case for november victory at a roundtable on inflation. inflation affecting every american. what role will your party do differently on the inflation front if you gain the house in november? guest: hopefully from where i said, we will provide oversight. i think that you will see an attitude among the memories of congress to follow the will of the people when the house oversight committee starts proving all of this wasteful unnecessary spending that the democrat led congress has had over the past year and a half has really created what we see now and this the highest inflation rate in my time. we have to get spending under control. we have to try to claw back unnecessary spending.
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we have to prevent waste fraud abuse and mismanagement in the federal government. that is what we are seeing now. every major crises is a result of bad policy or neglected incompetence at the biden administration, whether it is the energy prices because of their bad energy policy, whether it is the increase in crime, the lack of border security that is leading to increased drug flow, increased trafficking, the baby formula shortage. the fda warned the biden administration months and months ago and they did not have a backup plan. we have to get this congress under control. we have to get spending under control. we have to provide oversight and transparency and i think that is where republicans can begin. also try to stop these bad policies, try to reverse the energy policy. try to get some security on the southern border. try to get crime under control. these will be the priorities of a republican led congress in
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january. host: you touched on this a moment ago in terms of hearings and oversight on the cdc and the covid response, the money appropriated by congress. what are some specific areas you think the potential earring -- potential hearing and oversight hearing? guest: would be i do not know where to beginguest: -- i would not know where to begin. the government had a policy of paying people not to work. what we have learned is many states were victims of fraud or national fraud, people that were still working that were going to unemployment. this is a prospect in the hundreds of billions of dollars, if not, trillions of dollars. this is something we will have multiple hearings on, trying to not only identified the problem, but try to fix it where it does not happen again, where we do not repeat history if there was ever a large unemployment rate. then you have the ppp loan
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program, a very abuse program in certain areas with certain industries that should not have been eligible for loans that got millions of dollars worth of loans that they did not have to pay back or pay taxes on that. then you have the spending, the press about unnecessary respirator purchases at ridiculously high prices. there were always be bad actors that have gouged the system, overbuild for all sorts of covid treatment. these are the types of hearings we will have. host: do you think it is too late to claw some of that money back? guest: it will be very difficult. the overall objective is to never repeat this again. i know that the fed and congress many times over the last few decades, anytime congress goes on an unnecessary spending streak. history will show the majority of congress lost their mind during covid with respect to the american people's checkbook.
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the deficit and the national debt grew and unimaginable numbers -- grew at unimaginable numbers with little to no transparency or oversight. we want to get back to the origination of covid. we just dug up a lot of emails, transcribed a lot of the mills that were redacted to the public with respect to communications between dr. collins, dr. fauci, and different scientists and advisors at the very onset of covid-19 where it really appears there was a converted effort to dispel the lab week period from day one without ever sending any investigators in to look at it. most americans think that covid-19 came from the lab in wuhan. i certainly do. we will continue to try to get the american people the answers they deserve with respect to
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where did this virus start and is the american government going to do anything to hold that person accountable. host: there is a piece in "the washington times" about hunter biden, the biden family. "hunter biden took care of uncle jim amid the laptop scandal." you have made no secret that you would look into a hearing, an investigation on hunter biden. what are you interested in? guest: we have an ongoing investigation with hunter biden and i will tell you every week, it gets wears. we are in possession of that job, the house oversight committee. the republicans. we are going through every email and bank record. i will tell you, hunter biden has gotten away with things that i did not think the average american could have gotten away with from financial standpoint, from a banking standpoint. the people that he has done
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business with, many of whom are on different watch lists and lists that the government should not be doing business with, no one in the american government should be doing business with, russian oligarchs, chinese communist party. there is a history there, a pattern of hunter biden profiting off of foreign nationals that most companies and certainly no individual is allowed to do business with. i think that there are a lot of questions that hunter biden's business associates could answer. i wish they would answer questions, but unfortunately we have caught president biden in one line where he said he had no knowledge of a business associate of hunter who went to the white house 27 times. there are emails where this individual said he had hunter's
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tax refund from delaware and he was going to deposit it into the vice president's account and was going to write a check for the amount of money that he owed hunter biden. if you have access to someone's checking account, you are at least somewhat familiar with them. the more that will come out because of these emails, the worse it will be for the biden family. host: let's hear from our viewers and listeners. james comer with us on the oversight committee, the ranking republican. lexington, kentucky. stephen on the democrats line. caller: thank you for having me and thank you for allowing this moment to talk to someone from kentucky. i moved here two years ago. i love it. i have lived in florida, nebraska, colorado, california. my question for you is why
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hasn't kentucky passed marijuana laws? there is so much potential here in this state and we are slowly being surrounded by other states that are seated with the revenue coming in and the full potential and i would say the majority of your citizens here are for it so why hasn't this happened? guest: thank you for the question. that is a question for the kentucky state legislature in frankfort. i was in the state legislature for 11 years from 2001 to 2011 before becoming commissioner of agriculture in kentucky. i'm familiar with the state legislature. i keep up with what they do and they had an opportunity to pass a bill that would legalize medical marijuana. i agree with the caller that it is popular in kentucky, medical stick around -- attica marijuana. recreational marijuana, the poll numbers are not the same. when you look at the governments's model to treat pain in america in the past has been right in an prescription for an opioid and medicare and medicaid will reimburse that
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year that has not worked out very well, especially in the state of kentucky. you have people that have pain, i think we need to look at alternative forms of pain relief as opposed to what the current business model is in kentucky, that is to write someone a prescription for a pain pill. the marijuana issue is something that will be brought back up in the legislature but that is more in the state legislatures domain than congress. host: tina, republican line. caller: if you could explain or inform the public about what is going to be occurring at the upcoming geneva conference next week. it is my understanding that the who's governing legislation body will be taking a vote on our healthcare system here and it
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sounds like it is going to pass, which is going to be a serious concern for our national sovereignty as far as i understand it. could you please explain that to all of us? guest: you did a very good job of explaining it. you know more about it than i do. i am not familiar with that but i will familiarize myself with that today. let me say this about the who. i have a very low level of confidence in the who. this is a decision that trump made to pull america from the who as a result of their clear and apparent cover-up of the origination of covid-19. i am still not a fan of the who. i do not think american tax dollars should go to the who until they come clean with what all went on in the lab in wuhan.
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every day that the oversight committee digs up more emails, we seem to find more information that proves that at the very least fauci and collins knew what was going on in that lab. whenever you got time to send people into look at the wuhan lab, they send the ceo of eagle health alliance. a lot of problems with who so we will certainly get caught up on what is going on in geneva. host: a call from your district, daniel in murray, kentucky. good morning. caller: good morning. host: go ahead. caller: yes. i have a comment for mr. comer. i am a constituent of yours and i just want to say that we feel
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very fortunate to have you as our representative. you as well as thomas massie and rand paul, we are very proud to have representation with some backbone and i like what you said a medical about making any kind of funds for ukraine in installments and rand paul's idea of inspector general for those thing because the people are waking up for the slush fund and the money-laundering that is ukraine. that is all i have to say. guest: thank you for the call and everybody in kentucky thinking about murray right now with the deputy sheriff that needlessly lost his life yesterday in marshall county. with respect to ukraine, i think we have to get a handle on spending. we should have learned -- if we
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should have learned anything from kobe, it is you cannot learn anything from covid, you cannot just write a blank take. -- a blank check. one of the unintended consequences was massive inflation. if you print $40 billion more to ukraine, that will make inflation even worse. i think the american people are yelling loud and clear they want to put america first. host: let's hear from ralph in georgia. democrats line. caller: yes, thank you for taking my call. please let me explain my view. my concern is that we have two democrats and republicans. it seems like they are always at odds. we are here to send you people to office to handle these
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problems but all i hear right now is that the republicans, when they get back in the office, they will do this and do this against the democrats. the republicans are always saying right now, they are not supporting anything that the democrats do. hunter biden, go ahead and investigate that. but stop saying these things. you don't think that putin and ukraine is listening to us battling against each other. we are not getting along but yet and still, we are going to go over and tell another country how we are going to help them and stand by them losing people. we are losing people here. the republicans have said nothing about what happened on sunday.
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blacks go to jail once lay in. host: we will get a response from congressman comer. guest: i think every republican in washington has condoned the unnecessary violence and i did not know what more can be said. a lot of republicans hope when biden became president that he would be a uniter. that is what he campaigned on. every policy that has come out of this administration with the exception of perhaps the infrastructure bill has just been overly partisan, far left wing policy. i think you will see this november the american people do not support that type of left-wing agenda. joe biden becoming vice president and president, was considered a middle-of-the-road guy, a dealmaker who wanted to bring people together in the senate.
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his first year and a half in the office has not demonstrated their willingness to work together. they have had majority in the senate, majority in the house, and the white house and they have tried to run roughshod over america, what they cannot pass in congress, the president has tried to do by executive order. i just did not see a lot of effort from schumer, pelosi, or joe biden to be bipartisan and hopefully when republicans get the majority, we can stop the bleeding and that is inflation and unnecessary government spending, try to get the border under control, try to get crime under control in the big cities, and look for ways to work with democrats moving forward. host: after the protest following the leak of the draft supreme court opinion on abortion, you and several of your republican colleagues on the oversight committee called on merrick garland to project supreme court justice is. you wrote to the attorney general. what was the nature of your request and has he responded? guest: no, he has not responded.
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what we want to do is make sure that they are providing protection for the supreme court justices. this is clearly an effort to try to intimidate the court, this leak, and much of the rhetoric, from the far left door the justices and we did not want to see that happen. host: when congress has security details, are you surprised of the nine supreme court justices? guest: do not haveguest: some members of congress -- guest: some members of congress do have like pelosi and mcconnell. i think they walked to the airport with more security detail than the president. why does she have security video and i was shocked that the supreme court does not. this is something that we need to take very seriously, especially right now when they
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are dealing with an issue that gets people's emotions as high as abortion. host: republican line, brenda, go ahead. caller: i have a question. 99.4% of the population is in the hands of a document that is going to the world health organization on may 22 and they do not know why you do not know this. it causes the united states to surrender its health sovereignty during a pandemic. it affects every country on the globe, read the document. it is 193 countries on it as well as the united states and it was submitted for approval for may 22. i am completely surprised you do not know this because i am not into politics. i watch the show and so many people are talking around it --
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about it around me and you do not know this? what are your thoughts on this? guest: there is so much stuff on the internet. this has not been discussed in congress or anything else. i do not think there is going to be -- i am not even going to comment on it. i did not know what it is. there are a lot of conspiracy theories on the internet. this may be actually happening but i am not familiar with it. host: from new york, clyde, democrats line. go ahead. you are on the air. caller: ok. good morning. once upon a time, i used to be a republican. i am an independent but i vote democratic. i wanted to tee off in that you made about buffalo. i would like to say this. not all republicans are racist
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but all racists all republicans. guest: i do not disagree, but go ahead. i have met racist democrats, but go ahead. caller: number two, you spoke about the pandemic. do you believe what trump was saying about it was a democratic hoax or is it a chinese whatever because this thing was supposed to go when he said it was supposed to go that summer of 2020, but he blamed it on the democrats. i want to know do you believe what he believes? guest: i do not know that he blamed it. i will jump in here. i do not think he blamed it on
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the democrats. i think he blamed the democrats of overreacting to covid. in that sense, i do agree with the president. both president trump and president biden miss cac later this severity of covid and the -- miscalculated the severity of covid and the longevity of covid. i know people who have covid so we have to take this seriously but we cannot shut the economy down, we cannot continue to spend trillions of dollars unnecessarily because there is a pandemic. we have to figure out in the future how to do better during times of a pandemic without bankrupting the american people. host: one more question about five of your republican colleagues who were subpoenaed by the january 6 commission. your thoughts on that and the work of that committee in particular? guest: i do not consider the january 6 commission a legitimate committee. if you talk to the american
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people and listen to their concerns, there are a lot of concerns, the january 6, the -- the january 6 committee never comes up. this virtual education really set our american schoolchildren behind. these are the areas where we will focus moving forward. host: i would say good luck in your primary but you are running unopposed. when the november election come around -- comes around, what is number one issue for your constituents? guest: the number one issue is to get government spending under control. $30 trillion national debt and growing every day. we cannot continue to be the policeman for the world. we cannot continue to pay people not to work.
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we cannot continue to waste money in the same fashion it has been wasted before. people who know me know that i try to be a watchdog for the taxpayers, try to give back to the taxpayers. the role of the government is a limited role but we have too much government. we have government bureaucracies that are out of control, government spending out of control, and my goal is to get spending under control and get the government off the backs of the private sector. host: congressman james comer of that around 11:00 eastern and i've coverage will be here on c-span. we continue on "washington journal" with open forum for the next 25 minutes or so. your chance to weigh in on topics we have talked about already this morning other public policy and put ago issues. (202) 748-8000 is the line for democrats. (202) 748-8001 for republicans. and for independents and others, (202) 748-8002. we will get your calls momentarily. it is primary day in five states
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across the country and one state is getting a lot of attention and that is pennsylvania. running us to talk about some of the races in the keystone state is katie myers, political reporter with wh why why in philadelphia. welcome to the program. guest: thanks for having me. host: let me ask you route a report you had friday about kathy barnett, surging in polls, trying to avoid mainstream attention and gop attacks. she has almost come out of nowhere to be near the top in the gop senate primary race. guest: she was always there, kathy barnett ran for congress two years ago, lost decisively to the congresswoman, but she has really been campaigning since then so she has been doing a lot of small stuff around pennsylvania, realist shoes -- real shoe stream budget.
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they just attack each other with ads there at the primary cycle. barnett has stayed under the radar but also was not damaged ike the two of them were after those attacks. so she has really picked up in the last couple days. host: in visually showing some of the surge is the real clear politics tracker of polls in the pennsylvania gop race and the purple line is just behind that of women. what is causing the surge in the polls for her there? guest: i have talked to a lot of voters and we always talk to the pollsters and analysts who watch this closely and from voters, the thing i've heard, and this is among people who wanted someone like donald trump, the same thing donald trump did. i've heard from a lot of those people, even though trump-endorsed oz, that
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barnett feels genuine, she is in these baseless theories that was rampant fraud in the 2020 election, that she searched for that fraud from her own race and those kind of beliefs and the fact she holds those beliefs, that is a factor. oz and mccormick both have liability that they only moved to pennsylvania recently. mccormick is from outside of pittsburgh but moved in from connecticut. those things matter to voters. host: on the usa today pages, the election pages, their headline, trump testing star power pennsylvania with a picture of john federman running for that senate slot on the democratic side of pennsylvania. he had a stroke over the weekend. what is the status on the lieutenant governor? guest: yeah. we have been told that he is ok,
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expected to recover fully, no -- damage. he's taken election night off and his wife will be there, will speak. he is still off trail recovering. but it is expected to be a full recovery, back campaigning, if he wins the primary election, relatively shortly. host: what should we know about the republican gubernatorial primary? guest: that has been a very crowded primary. similar to kathy barnett, there's a more fringe candidate who seems to have the base of support necessary may to win. the state senator. he has kept a solid lead through much of the later state of the selection. he is trailed by lou barletta of pennsylvania and in these final weeks, as other republicans --
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more mainstream republicans have started to see that his lead is not going away, they tried to consolidate report around barletta, though he is very aligned with donald trump, has said their questions about the 2020 and things like that and it remains to be seen if that is going to work. it's a very late in the game attempts. republicans are worried about him that the proceedings had during the recess be presented [captioning performed by thenat, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2022] >> now live coverage of the u.s. house here on c-span. recogniti? ms. scanlon: mr. speaker, by direction of the committee on rules i call up house resolution 1119 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker

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