WEBVTT 00:00:00.000 --> 00:00:08.000 Oh say can you see by the dawn's early light 00:00:08.000 --> 00:00:15.000 what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming, 00:00:15.000 --> 00:00:23.000 whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight 00:00:23.000 --> 00:00:31.000 o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? 00:00:31.000 --> 00:00:39.000 And the rockets red glare the bombs bursting in air 00:00:39.000 --> 00:00:48.000 gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. 00:00:48.000 --> 00:00:60.000 Oh say dost that star spangled banner yet wave 00:01:00.000 --> 00:01:09.000 o'er the land of the free 00:01:09.000 --> 00:01:22.000 and the home of the brave. 00:01:22.000 --> 00:01:28.000 Again let me add my welcome to this opportunity. Western is proud to host this town hall. 00:01:28.000 --> 00:01:35.000 Let me start by introducing our senator. Ron Wyden was first elected to congress in 1980 to represent Oregon's third district. 00:01:35.000 --> 00:01:39.000 In 1996 he was elected to the US Senate in a special election 00:01:39.000 --> 00:01:43.000 becoming the first US senator to be elected in a vote by mail election. 00:01:43.000 --> 00:01:50.000 He was sworn in on February 5th, 1996 to the seat once held by his mentor, US Senator Wayne Morse. 00:01:50.000 --> 00:01:56.000 Senator Wyden serves on the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Select Committee on Intelligence, 00:01:56.000 --> 00:01:60.000 the Senate Committees on Budget, Energy and Natural Resources, and Finance. 00:02:00.000 --> 00:02:04.000 Senator Wyden has a long-time commitment to affordable higher education 00:02:04.000 --> 00:02:10.000 having proposed greater federal funding to state investments in higher education through a matching program. 00:02:10.000 --> 00:02:15.000 He's also sponsored legislation to ensure that students have better information about higher education, 00:02:15.000 --> 00:02:20.000 legislation that identifies the average debt of graduating students from universities. 00:02:22.000 --> 00:02:29.000 Most recently he and Senator Merkley have introduced legislation that'll address student debt and educational opportunity. 00:02:29.000 --> 00:02:35.000 The Partnership Act would provide federal matching funds for states that agree to freeze or reduce the cost of tuition 00:02:35.000 --> 00:02:36.000 and bring up graduation rates. 00:02:36.000 --> 00:02:42.000 The bill signals to states and colleges that the federal government wants to be a partner in making college affordable. 00:02:42.000 --> 00:02:50.000 The Afford Act which would give all borrowers peace of mind, the bill makes student debt more manageable 00:02:50.000 --> 00:02:56.000 by ensuring that no borrower has to pay more than 10 percent of his or her discretionary income on student loan payments. 00:02:56.000 --> 00:02:60.000 Any unpaid balance after 20 years would be forgiven. 00:03:00.000 --> 00:03:06.000 These are examples of his commitment to higher education which I deeply appreciate as president of Western Oregon University. 00:03:06.000 --> 00:03:13.000 When Senator Wyden was elected senator in 1996 he promised to do a town hall in every county every year. 00:03:13.000 --> 00:03:20.000 After more than 700 town halls let's give a Western Oregon University welcome and a Polk County welcome 00:03:20.000 --> 00:03:24.000 to US Senator Ron Wyden, town hall number 784. 00:03:24.000 --> 00:03:29.000 applause 00:03:29.000 --> 00:03:35.000 Thank you President Fuller. That is a very inflationary introduction. 00:03:35.000 --> 00:03:39.000 And we've got Mayor John. 00:03:40.000 --> 00:03:45.000 Where is Mayor Steve? He's floating around there. We're just filled with mayors. 00:03:45.000 --> 00:03:48.000 And let's give Steve a big round of applause too. 00:03:48.000 --> 00:03:53.000 applause 00:03:53.000 --> 00:03:59.000 You're mayor of a modest size Oregon community you get a lot of perks. 00:03:59.000 --> 00:03:66.000 You know you get a mansion, you get drivers, you get cooks, and John am I missing something? 00:04:06.000 --> 00:04:10.000 I thought maybe that was kind of the way it was. 00:04:10.000 --> 00:04:14.000 I really appreciate being here being home. 00:04:14.000 --> 00:04:20.000 I was on the floor of the United States Senate I think until about two AM on Thursday. 00:04:20.000 --> 00:04:24.000 We can talk about where things are with the Affordable Care Act and the like. 00:04:24.000 --> 00:04:28.000 But I especially like being home being in Polk County. 00:04:28.000 --> 00:04:33.000 And John and Steve are doing such wonderful work for the community. 00:04:33.000 --> 00:04:38.000 We wanted to make sure they would also get a flag that was flown over the Capitol. 00:04:38.000 --> 00:04:44.000 And John big, big thanks to you and just so appreciate everything you've done for this community. 00:04:44.000 --> 00:04:46.000 Let's give John a big round of applause too. 00:04:46.000 --> 00:04:51.000 applause 00:04:51.000 --> 00:04:55.000 How many of you have never been to one of our town hall meetings? Raise your hand. 00:04:55.000 --> 00:04:63.000 OK we've got a lot of newcomers. Well what happens is I usually start off talking for about 45 minutes or so. 00:05:03.000 --> 00:05:07.000 And it's really a lot of fun. 00:05:07.000 --> 00:05:08.000 laughter 00:05:08.000 --> 00:05:14.000 And some of those folks over there think I'm serious. They're faces got all pale. No. 00:05:14.000 --> 00:05:19.000 This is part of the pledge that I made to Oregon back in 1995. 00:05:19.000 --> 00:05:24.000 We were choosing our first new United States senator in 45 years. 00:05:24.000 --> 00:05:31.000 And I said if I have the honor to be chosen I will throw open the doors of government. 00:05:31.000 --> 00:05:37.000 And I will come to every county every year take 90 minutes or so. 00:05:37.000 --> 00:05:42.000 You can see I'm not reading from any teleprompters or that kind of thing. 00:05:42.000 --> 00:05:46.000 But we'll just kind of do it the way the founding fathers wanted us to do it. 00:05:46.000 --> 00:05:51.000 We'll talk about what you're interested in. I'll do my best to respond. 00:05:51.000 --> 00:05:57.000 It was a great compliment when Senator Merkley was elected he chose to do this as well. 00:05:57.000 --> 00:05:64.000 So this is really getting to kind of be an Oregon thing, which is just throwing open the doors of government. 00:06:04.000 --> 00:06:08.000 And people always ask about lobbyists and things like that and whenever they come to our office 00:06:08.000 --> 00:06:15.000 I say well what you might want to do is make an argument that would impress people at one of our town hall meetings 00:06:15.000 --> 00:06:19.000 because that's kind of my measure of the way government's supposed to work. 00:06:19.000 --> 00:06:25.000 So with that I think John you're just going to call out names and let people talk about whatever they're interested in right? 00:06:25.000 --> 00:06:30.000 So the first question comes from ticket number 564. 00:06:30.000 --> 00:06:36.000 There's 564. And on deck is 525, 525. 00:06:36.000 --> 00:06:46.000 It's also been interesting since I've been home I can tell exactly the difference in Oregon communities by people's footwear. 00:06:46.000 --> 00:06:56.000 And we live right off Cesar Chavez and Glenwood and so when I got home the driveway had like 13 inches of snow 00:06:56.000 --> 00:06:59.000 which means that I've got footwear for that. 00:06:59.000 --> 00:06:64.000 And I see some of you somehow managed to get by with a dusting yourself. 00:07:04.000 --> 00:07:10.000 It's kind of a little bit of how we've all measured Oregon over the last few days. 00:07:10.000 --> 00:07:16.000 The question was how as citizens do you work for environmental protection? 00:07:16.000 --> 00:07:26.000 And probably your question which is a very good one is not exactly dissimilar from other kinds of questions. 00:07:26.000 --> 00:07:35.000 I mean I feel very strongly that political change doesn't start in a bunch of government buildings somewhere. 00:07:35.000 --> 00:07:41.000 Maybe it does once in a while but it usually doesn't start in Washington D.C. or Salem 00:07:41.000 --> 00:07:46.000 and then kind of trickle down to everybody. 00:07:46.000 --> 00:07:51.000 It's usually just the opposite. It's kind of bottoms-up. 00:07:51.000 --> 00:07:57.000 So as people locally begin to get concerned about environmental policies 00:07:57.000 --> 00:07:64.000 maybe are interested in climate change, or clean water, or protection of public lands. 00:08:04.000 --> 00:08:08.000 You get together with your friends and you put together letters 00:08:08.000 --> 00:08:12.000 and you arrange for meetings with the elected officials. 00:08:12.000 --> 00:08:17.000 And you speak out when there are programs like this. 00:08:17.000 --> 00:08:24.000 And I was director of the Gray Panthers the senior citizens group for about seven years before I was elected to Congress. 00:08:24.000 --> 00:08:30.000 Back then if a town had a lunch program for older people that was considered a big deal 00:08:30.000 --> 00:08:34.000 that was like wow that's a big senior citizens program. 00:08:34.000 --> 00:08:42.000 And so I probably had my formative experience about government really built around your question. 00:08:42.000 --> 00:08:49.000 And I think particularly in our state it's all about citizens coming together and speaking out. 00:08:49.000 --> 00:08:53.000 I was just on the capital steps talking about fair immigration reform. 00:08:53.000 --> 00:08:58.000 I imagine we'll talk a little about that topic over the course of the afternoon. 00:08:58.000 --> 00:08:64.000 So to me political change is about bringing together your friends and neighbors 00:09:04.000 --> 00:09:09.000 and shaking the political system at its grassroots. Did that respond to your question? OK. 00:09:09.000 --> 00:09:15.000 The Trump and Russia connection. How do we ensure an investigation goes forward? 00:09:15.000 --> 00:09:19.000 There was some good news yesterday. 00:09:19.000 --> 00:09:27.000 I'm on the Intelligence Committee. My older child calls it the so-called intelligence committee. 00:09:27.000 --> 00:09:33.000 And there was a statement put out. I had already gotten home but I had talked with them over the course of the day. 00:09:33.000 --> 00:09:39.000 The chairman of the committee Richard Burr and the ranking Democrat Mark Warner put out a joint statement 00:09:39.000 --> 00:09:48.000 indicating that this was going to be a bipartisan inquiry and it would in fact look at any contacts 00:09:48.000 --> 00:09:53.000 between for example the Trump campaign and the Russians. 00:09:53.000 --> 00:09:59.000 And I had really launched that earlier in the week. James Comey the head of the FBI had come before the Intelligence Committee. 00:09:59.000 --> 00:09:62.000 And I was just reading from prepared news articles 00:10:02.000 --> 00:10:12.000 and one of them mentioned a Soviet foreign minister who said we had had contacts with the Trump campaign. 00:10:12.000 --> 00:10:21.000 And so my question to Mr. Comey was have you followed up on these press reports and if so, what are your findings? 00:10:21.000 --> 00:10:31.000 And Mr. Comey said well we don't ever talk about whether there are investigations in public. 00:10:31.000 --> 00:10:36.000 And suffice it to say there was a fair amount of eyeball rolling in the room. 00:10:36.000 --> 00:10:39.000 And that led to yesterday's announcement which I thought was good. 00:10:39.000 --> 00:10:44.000 I mean big stuff that's important requires that you work in a bipartisan way. 00:10:44.000 --> 00:10:49.000 So a lot of us put a lot of effort into getting that agreement yesterday afternoon 00:10:49.000 --> 00:10:56.000 and I think it's going to be what you need to do to look into this in a thoughtful way. 00:10:56.000 --> 00:10:58.000 Great question. 00:10:58.000 --> 00:10:62.000 Just one second. I've got to get my manners back here a little bit. 00:11:02.000 --> 00:11:10.000 In addition to Steve and we've got John, wait a minute we've got two Johns. 00:11:10.000 --> 00:11:14.000 John Oburst and John McArdle is floating around somewhere. 00:11:14.000 --> 00:11:17.000 Thank you John we're glad to see you. 00:11:17.000 --> 00:11:18.000 applause 00:11:18.000 --> 00:11:24.000 I think your state representative who's working hard in Salem, where is Paul floating around? 00:11:24.000 --> 00:11:26.000 Paul we're glad to see you. 00:11:26.000 --> 00:11:29.000 applause 00:11:29.000 --> 00:11:36.000 And I guess everybody in town is called John because there's John Carey too. And we like him, where's he, with the city council? OK. 00:11:36.000 --> 00:11:39.000 applause 00:11:39.000 --> 00:11:43.000 Any other Johns out there that I missed? OK. 00:11:43.000 --> 00:11:50.000 But we appreciate all of you and feel free at any point Johns or other elected officials to speak up too. 00:11:50.000 --> 00:11:53.000 The question was how can we get the entire country to vote by mail? 00:11:53.000 --> 00:11:58.000 I've introduced legislation to take Oregon's vote by mail national. 00:11:58.000 --> 00:11:66.000 In effect to ensure that everyone in America would get a ballot in the mail. 00:12:06.000 --> 00:12:12.000 I mean in other words the Constitution makes it clear that elections are essentially governed by local rules. 00:12:12.000 --> 00:12:21.000 But we could have the federal government give all Americans the opportunity to get a ballot in the mail. 00:12:21.000 --> 00:12:27.000 I think that this debate may change a little bit as a result of the hacking 00:12:27.000 --> 00:12:30.000 and everything that was discussed over the last few months. 00:12:30.000 --> 00:12:38.000 The fact that our vote by mail system ensures that there's a paper trail probably helps us advance that cause. 00:12:38.000 --> 00:12:41.000 So I'm going to push that very hard. 00:12:41.000 --> 00:12:44.000 I keep making the point we have 20 years of history now. 00:12:44.000 --> 00:12:47.000 And we've got a lot higher turnout. 00:12:47.000 --> 00:12:52.000 It's cheaper. We've not seen the fraud that the critics said was going to take place. 00:12:52.000 --> 00:12:55.000 So I'm very much committed to this. 00:12:55.000 --> 00:12:63.000 We're having some conversations with some conservatives in the Congress and I hope we'll be able to bring some of them aboard. 00:13:03.000 --> 00:13:08.000 You had spoken about personal ways to help with environmentalism. 00:13:08.000 --> 00:13:14.000 My question to you is are you prioritizing global climate change in this kind of transition 00:13:14.000 --> 00:13:20.000 where a lot of people are worrying about what is going to happen with that in the coming years? 00:13:20.000 --> 00:13:27.000 I think it's extraordinarily important. My wife and I are older parents. 00:13:27.000 --> 00:13:32.000 We have twins that are nine and a baby who's four. 00:13:32.000 --> 00:13:35.000 And they were at the swearing in. 00:13:35.000 --> 00:13:44.000 You might have seen the picture because William Peter Wyden when I was asked to raise my right hand he raised his right hand as well. 00:13:44.000 --> 00:13:48.000 And Joe Biden looked over at him then looked at me 00:13:48.000 --> 00:13:53.000 and congratulated him and said William welcome to the United States Senate you'll do a fine job. 00:13:53.000 --> 00:13:62.000 When you have three small children, particularly older parents like my wife and I, you think a lot about this. 00:14:02.000 --> 00:14:08.000 And to me there are kind of two parts to the equation. One, do you think there is a problem? 00:14:08.000 --> 00:14:12.000 And we have that debate. I happen to think that we do. 00:14:12.000 --> 00:14:17.000 And you look at the numbers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric agency 00:14:17.000 --> 00:14:22.000 and it's pretty clear that we have a problem when I look at the science. 00:14:22.000 --> 00:14:28.000 Then the question is what can you do about it that is practical and smart? 00:14:28.000 --> 00:14:37.000 And for example we just got the largest research grant on something I'm very proud of for tidal and wave energy 00:14:37.000 --> 00:14:39.000 which I think is very promising. 00:14:39.000 --> 00:14:43.000 So I think there are a lot of ways in which Oregon can step up 00:14:43.000 --> 00:14:52.000 and show that if you think there's a problem there are a variety of ways that could get support across the political spectrum 00:14:52.000 --> 00:14:56.000 and would really put points on the board in the fight against climate change. 00:14:56.000 --> 00:14:63.000 So I think it's very important. At one time I was chairman of the Energy Committee, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. 00:15:03.000 --> 00:15:07.000 I'm staying on that committee so I think it's a serious business. 00:15:07.000 --> 00:15:12.000 What will you do to actively protect American values, the Constitution, 00:15:12.000 --> 00:15:18.000 and the majority of Americans who not only didn't vote for Mr. Trump but voted for his opponent? 00:15:18.000 --> 00:15:23.000 applause 00:15:23.000 --> 00:15:27.000 I wrote a long essay for the New York Times yesterday that's online 00:15:27.000 --> 00:15:32.000 so if you're having trouble sleeping tonight you can read that and get a sense that look: 00:15:35.000 --> 00:15:38.000 Donald Trump won the election, OK? 00:15:38.000 --> 00:15:46.000 And I have enormous respect for the institutions of the United States. 00:15:46.000 --> 00:15:53.000 Now I obviously have profound disagreements with the President Elect on a whole host of issues. 00:15:53.000 --> 00:15:59.000 We've already heard several of them expressed here in the last 10 minutes. 00:15:59.000 --> 00:15:64.000 I think the first challenge which is what I talked about in this essay 00:16:04.000 --> 00:16:16.000 is understanding what are sort of baseline requirements and protections that we have always insisted on. 00:16:16.000 --> 00:16:23.000 For example after 40 years with anybody who was running for president 00:16:23.000 --> 00:16:28.000 a Democrat, or a Republican, a conservative, or a liberal, 00:16:28.000 --> 00:16:37.000 making their tax returns available, that tradition was essentially thrown in the trash can. 00:16:37.000 --> 00:16:42.000 So I wish you didn't need a piece of legislation but I think you do now. 00:16:42.000 --> 00:16:48.000 So I've introduced a bill. There's dozens of sponsors in the Congress 00:16:48.000 --> 00:16:52.000 saying that you would have to make your taxes available. 00:16:52.000 --> 00:16:60.000 If you didn't, the Treasury Department would in effect set about to putting those online. 00:17:00.000 --> 00:17:04.000 And people asked me about this 00:17:04.000 --> 00:17:14.000 and I have said this is sort of a baseline of transparency and accountability 00:17:14.000 --> 00:17:16.000 that is really a touchstone for everything else. 00:17:16.000 --> 00:17:24.000 And in this essay I basically argued now every single time there is an allegation, 00:17:24.000 --> 00:17:31.000 or a rumor, or something that's unsubstantiated, 00:17:31.000 --> 00:17:38.000 it takes on a whole aura of conflict and debate. 00:17:38.000 --> 00:17:46.000 It's almost like you cut our government down with each additional question 00:17:46.000 --> 00:17:50.000 that raises doubt about the credibility of the government. 00:17:50.000 --> 00:17:55.000 And so I feel very strongly that we need that bill. 00:17:55.000 --> 00:17:63.000 I feel very strongly that the President Elect should do what has been done traditionally in these situations 00:18:03.000 --> 00:18:08.000 which is put his assets in a blind trust. 00:18:08.000 --> 00:18:14.000 I feel strongly about protection through what's called the emolument clause 00:18:14.000 --> 00:18:22.000 which means that you cannot use your office to advance your personal interests. 00:18:22.000 --> 00:18:33.000 And to me these are just sort of the basic requirements we've come to expect as citizens in terms of transparency and accountability. 00:18:33.000 --> 00:18:40.000 I mean you're going to walk out of here and you're going to agree with me about this or you're going to agree with me about that 00:18:40.000 --> 00:18:47.000 but what I hope you'll say is Ron made a pledge when he was first elected to do something 00:18:47.000 --> 00:18:54.000 which was to show up in every county and for 90 minutes we could ask whatever we wanted and he could be held accountable. 00:18:54.000 --> 00:18:60.000 So I think that's really the coin of good government. 00:19:00.000 --> 00:19:04.000 And my hope is that after Friday 00:19:04.000 --> 00:19:10.000 the President Elect will set aside some of the practices that I've just mentioned. 00:19:10.000 --> 00:19:14.000 I hope that he will have daily intelligence briefings. 00:19:14.000 --> 00:19:20.000 Lord knows I've disagreed with the intelligence community on a lot of things. 00:19:20.000 --> 00:19:26.000 But he basically a couple of days ago said that they were Nazis. 00:19:26.000 --> 00:19:29.000 His words not mine. 00:19:29.000 --> 00:19:39.000 So I hope that after Friday that we will see some of the practices, over the last few weeks and through the campaign, set aside 00:19:39.000 --> 00:19:46.000 and core principles that relate to transparency and accountability get set in place. 00:19:46.000 --> 00:19:51.000 Thank you very much. Mine is not a question. 00:19:51.000 --> 00:19:56.000 But is a way to show my appreciation to Senator Ron Wyden 00:19:56.000 --> 00:19:62.000 who helped me in my acquisition of my US visa to come to Western Oregon University. 00:20:02.000 --> 00:20:07.000 I thank you so much. I have a puzzle for you. 00:20:07.000 --> 00:20:13.000 A gift to show my appreciation. This is from Ghana. Thank you very much. Thank you. 00:20:13.000 --> 00:20:17.000 applause 00:20:17.000 --> 00:20:18.000 Thank you. Wow. 00:20:18.000 --> 00:20:23.000 I know that your friends and neighbors and classmates are very proud of you 00:20:23.000 --> 00:20:28.000 and its so good of you to come I look forward to enjoying the gift, thank you. 00:20:28.000 --> 00:20:31.000 I'd just like to thank you for your good work in Congress 00:20:31.000 --> 00:20:35.000 and good luck in the next four years and don't back off. 00:20:35.000 --> 00:20:46.000 Thank you. You know the real question always comes back to if you want the important stuff done 00:20:46.000 --> 00:20:50.000 you've got to find a way to bring people together. 00:20:50.000 --> 00:20:56.000 And that's what I've always put my focus on. I had a bipartisan health reform bill. 00:20:56.000 --> 00:20:61.000 We had seven Democrats and seven Republicans on it, first time. 00:21:01.000 --> 00:21:04.000 A bipartisan universal coverage bill. 00:21:04.000 --> 00:21:11.000 So the point I've tried to make is on the Affordable Care Act which we're talking about now 00:21:11.000 --> 00:21:20.000 if people want to set aside this kind of partisan approach, we're just going to repeal it and then maybe someday we'll do something else, 00:21:20.000 --> 00:21:27.000 I'm very open to working with Democrats and Republicans in order to strengthen the Affordable Care Act. 00:21:27.000 --> 00:21:30.000 I think there are a variety of practical ideas we could take. 00:21:30.000 --> 00:21:37.000 I have some ideas for example about getting younger and healthier people in the system which is especially important. 00:21:37.000 --> 00:21:46.000 In the Affordable Care Act I was able to get a provision that gives states a lot of flexibility in terms of what they're doing. 00:21:46.000 --> 00:21:49.000 So Oregon could for example set up a public option. 00:21:49.000 --> 00:21:54.000 We could make the decision in our state without passing any new laws. 00:21:54.000 --> 00:21:57.000 We could make the decision to set up a public option 00:21:57.000 --> 00:21:61.000 which could help hold down the cost of medicine and the cost of insurance. 00:22:01.000 --> 00:22:08.000 So your point about what's ahead I'm going to do everything to find common ground. 00:22:08.000 --> 00:22:12.000 I think we can on some issues like roads and bridges. 00:22:12.000 --> 00:22:17.000 We're not going to find common ground on setting up religious registries I'll tell you that. 00:22:17.000 --> 00:22:20.000 I think it's just unconstitutional I really do. 00:22:20.000 --> 00:22:29.000 It's contrary to everything that Oregon's always been about. 00:22:29.000 --> 00:22:33.000 We've always been about, you know we had Republican governors, we had Democratic governors, 00:22:33.000 --> 00:22:36.000 we had Republican legislators, we had state legislators. 00:22:36.000 --> 00:22:43.000 We were always about trying to show that we had good ideas and we were innovative and we were going to lead the country 00:22:43.000 --> 00:22:47.000 and we'd take them from anybody but they weren't divisive. 00:22:47.000 --> 00:22:49.000 They were ideas that brought people together. 00:22:49.000 --> 00:22:56.000 So I hope that, and this is apropos to the question the gentlemen asked about the President Elect. 00:22:56.000 --> 00:22:60.000 I hope once we get by Friday we start a different approach. 00:23:00.000 --> 00:23:08.000 Our cities in Polk County often talk about having water supplies good for the next 20 to 30 years. 00:23:08.000 --> 00:23:13.000 What do you see as the federal government's role in maintaining water quantity and water quality? 00:23:13.000 --> 00:23:16.000 It's very appropriate that you bring this up 00:23:16.000 --> 00:23:22.000 because there's no question that water is going to be one of the paramount challenges of our time. 00:23:22.000 --> 00:23:27.000 And right even before I left Washington DC in some discussions about infrastructure 00:23:27.000 --> 00:23:34.000 I and others were making the point that in addition to roads and bridges 00:23:34.000 --> 00:23:42.000 we needed to consider as a basic part of infrastructure things like sewer and water systems and the like. 00:23:42.000 --> 00:23:52.000 Because you clearly can not have big league economic growth and big league quality of life with all these outdated kind of systems. 00:23:52.000 --> 00:23:60.000 And in 2009 I was able to get some very small sums of money for some rural Oregon communities to deal with their water systems 00:24:00.000 --> 00:24:04.000 and it has really paid off, so I think you're on to something. 00:24:04.000 --> 00:24:11.000 And when you hear legislators talk about infrastructure: roads, and bridges, and transportation systems, 00:24:11.000 --> 00:24:20.000 I think the operative question is will you include in that water and sewer which has too often in the past not been included? 00:24:20.000 --> 00:24:23.000 A couple things. One, I haven't gotten a chance to see it 00:24:23.000 --> 00:24:29.000 but apparently the person that the President Elect has named to head the VA is getting pretty good marks. 00:24:29.000 --> 00:24:33.000 I'm going to need to have a chance to sit down with him and visit. 00:24:33.000 --> 00:24:37.000 But you know in both cases they're really budget issues. 00:24:37.000 --> 00:24:42.000 And they're issues that relate to your priorities. 00:24:42.000 --> 00:24:50.000 You know if somebody asks me about the priorities for our country and particularly our national security priorities 00:24:50.000 --> 00:24:53.000 reservists have got to be at the top of the list. 00:24:53.000 --> 00:24:58.000 Because like in our state we've got reserve folks who've done two, three, four tours of duty. 00:24:58.000 --> 00:24:64.000 Paul Evans of course knows much more about these issues than practically anybody. 00:25:04.000 --> 00:25:09.000 So in both of these areas I'm very much committed to using the budget process 00:25:09.000 --> 00:25:14.000 to be supportive of the reservists and the services that you're mentioning. 00:25:14.000 --> 00:25:23.000 My question: do you agree with Congressman John Lewis' statement just recently 00:25:23.000 --> 00:25:27.000 that Donald Trump is not a legitimate president? 00:25:27.000 --> 00:25:32.000 And if so, would you say why or why do you not agree with that? 00:25:32.000 --> 00:25:39.000 I just saw a little clip on it and I didn't get to take it in the context. 00:25:39.000 --> 00:25:46.000 So let me sort of pass on exactly what John Lewis said. 00:25:46.000 --> 00:25:52.000 What I can tell you is John Lewis is one of the public figures I respect most in America. 00:25:52.000 --> 00:25:56.000 I've worked with him often over the years. 00:25:56.000 --> 00:25:63.000 I'm the ranking Democrat on the Tax Writing Committee he is on the counterpart committee the House Ways and Means Committee. 00:26:03.000 --> 00:26:10.000 This is an enormously influential, thoughtful, and decent man. 00:26:10.000 --> 00:26:14.000 So I haven't had a chance yet to dissect what was said. 00:26:14.000 --> 00:26:17.000 I've told you I believe Donald Trump won the election. 00:26:17.000 --> 00:26:20.000 Now clearly there are a whole host of issues. 00:26:20.000 --> 00:26:24.000 Someone asked about the question of the investigation I strongly support that. 00:26:24.000 --> 00:26:33.000 That's why I was the one who asked the questions of Mr. Comey on Tuesday 00:26:33.000 --> 00:26:41.000 with respect to whether he was following up on these public press reports of involvement with the Russians in the election. 00:26:41.000 --> 00:26:49.000 And you know part of this is also about your view with respect to American institutions. 00:26:49.000 --> 00:26:57.000 I was asked yesterday at the community meeting if I was going to go to the Inauguration. I will attend the Inauguration. 00:26:57.000 --> 00:26:62.000 Because the Inauguration is about an American institution. 00:27:02.000 --> 00:27:06.000 It is about the institution of the presidency. 00:27:06.000 --> 00:27:14.000 Now I can tell you that my wife and I won't be dressed up in any tuxedos that night going off to balls. 00:27:14.000 --> 00:27:22.000 I heard there was a Blazer game so if I can get my NBA package cranked up we'll watch that. 00:27:22.000 --> 00:27:28.000 We are going to march the next day in the protest against the President Elect's views. 00:27:28.000 --> 00:27:32.000 applause 00:27:32.000 --> 00:27:36.000 Against the President Elect's views on women's healthcare. 00:27:36.000 --> 00:27:41.000 And the Finance Committee is really the pay-for committee in American healthcare 00:27:41.000 --> 00:27:49.000 so I see what the consequences are of walking back those kinds of healthcare services for vulnerable women. 00:27:49.000 --> 00:27:59.000 I saw an ad somewhere. It said nobody is going to get hurt by repealing the Affordable Care Act. 00:27:59.000 --> 00:27:67.000 I said boy tell that to thousands of Oregon women and many in rural areas 00:28:07.000 --> 00:28:12.000 who use Planned Parenthood for services like cancer screenings. 00:28:12.000 --> 00:28:17.000 Cancer screenings. Nothing abortion. It's cancer screenings. 00:28:17.000 --> 00:28:24.000 So I hope that responds to your question but that's kind of what I'm doing with respect to the Inauguration. 00:28:24.000 --> 00:28:34.000 As the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee you have had a pivotal role in regards to trade policy including the TPA, TPP, and TTIP. 00:28:34.000 --> 00:28:41.000 These trade issues brought together in stanch and vocal opposition many conservative and liberal groups. It's a bipartisan issue. 00:28:41.000 --> 00:28:45.000 And it helped push the President Elect over the top. 00:28:45.000 --> 00:28:51.000 How will you oppose unfavorable trade policy introduced from the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 00:28:51.000 --> 00:28:56.000 a vehicle you helped to drive through Congress, and now the Republicans have the keys? 00:28:56.000 --> 00:28:59.000 A very important question. 00:28:59.000 --> 00:28:66.000 And let me take a couple minutes to unpack the whole trade issue in terms of what it means for Oregon. 00:29:06.000 --> 00:29:10.000 And then I'll walk through some of these agreements and the things you mentioned. 00:29:10.000 --> 00:29:16.000 One out of five jobs in Oregon revolves around international trade. 00:29:16.000 --> 00:29:21.000 And the trade jobs often pay better than do the non-trade jobs. 00:29:21.000 --> 00:29:28.000 And that's because they reflect a higher level of productivity and value added. 00:29:28.000 --> 00:29:37.000 So if somebody comes up to me and asks me my economic philosophy at Fred Meyer for example. 00:29:37.000 --> 00:29:44.000 One of my claims to fame is I believe I've had a barbequed chicken at every Fred Meyer in Oregon. 00:29:44.000 --> 00:29:47.000 A lot of business gets done about government. 00:29:47.000 --> 00:29:50.000 I will tell people, you want my economic philosophy? 00:29:50.000 --> 00:29:60.000 What we ought to do in Oregon is grow it here, build it here, add value to it here, and then ship it somewhere. 00:30:00.000 --> 00:30:04.000 That's my philosophy in a sentence. 00:30:04.000 --> 00:30:10.000 And I think it's particularly relevant because there are going to be a billion middle class consumers 00:30:10.000 --> 00:30:16.000 in the developing world in a few years and they love buying Oregon stuff. 00:30:16.000 --> 00:30:20.000 They just love buying the kind of stuff we make. 00:30:20.000 --> 00:30:29.000 So I think this is really right at the heart of what we need to do to get more high skill high wage jobs. 00:30:29.000 --> 00:30:38.000 Now it is very clear, I mean we've already withdrawn from what's called the TPP the Trans-Pacific Partnership. 00:30:38.000 --> 00:30:41.000 So that's not going to happen. 00:30:41.000 --> 00:30:48.000 And I think you were asking about the European agreement. I don't think Mr. Trump, President Elect, is going to go ahead with that. 00:30:48.000 --> 00:30:53.000 I guess the question then becomes so what are you going to be for now, Ron? 00:30:53.000 --> 00:30:59.000 I mean what are you going to do? As you said I'm the senior guy on the committee with jurisdiction over trade. 00:30:59.000 --> 00:30:67.000 And if you're a glutton for punishment I wrote a long speech really for our business summit with respect to outlining trade from here. 00:31:07.000 --> 00:31:16.000 And if I were going to sum it up, I want a trade policy now as we look to in effect reevaluate everything in the trade arena. 00:31:16.000 --> 00:31:22.000 I want a policy that is tough and I want a policy that is smart. 00:31:22.000 --> 00:31:26.000 Now on the tough side one of the good things that happened last year 00:31:26.000 --> 00:31:32.000 is the congress passed and President Obama signed what was called the Enforcement Package. 00:31:32.000 --> 00:31:36.000 A customs enforcement package with included a number of my bills. 00:31:36.000 --> 00:31:39.000 Including the one I wrote after we ran a sting operation. 00:31:39.000 --> 00:31:46.000 We set up a phony website to catch people trying to get around the dumping laws and the countervailing duty laws and the like. 00:31:46.000 --> 00:31:52.000 So I would think the President Elect would be very interested and supportive of that. 00:31:52.000 --> 00:31:55.000 That's tough. It's about enforcing the law. 00:31:55.000 --> 00:31:61.000 It's not about chasing new bills or TPPs or agreements or anything like that. 00:32:01.000 --> 00:32:04.000 It's about enforcing the laws on the books. 00:32:04.000 --> 00:32:10.000 Now in addition to the tough part I want us to be smart. 00:32:10.000 --> 00:32:16.000 And let me give you an example that a lot of you followed earlier in the year the situation with Apple. 00:32:16.000 --> 00:32:24.000 Where the government wanted to get access to the Apple phone and it was going to be broken into. 00:32:24.000 --> 00:32:30.000 In effect the President Elect said that he wanted to weaken strong encryption. 00:32:30.000 --> 00:32:34.000 Which is what you use to protect your data. 00:32:34.000 --> 00:32:40.000 I am very, very much opposed to that. I think it's a mistake from a security standpoint 00:32:40.000 --> 00:32:46.000 because strong encryption is one of the things that allows you to protect yourself with your smartphone. 00:32:46.000 --> 00:32:49.000 I think it's a mistake from a liberty standpoint 00:32:49.000 --> 00:32:55.000 because it means that bad guys are going to be able to get access to your conversations. 00:32:55.000 --> 00:32:58.000 And I think it a stupid from an economic standpoint 00:32:58.000 --> 00:32:64.000 because if we do what it looks like the President Elect wants to do 00:33:04.000 --> 00:33:11.000 which is to require companies to build backdoors into their products to defeat strong encryption 00:33:11.000 --> 00:33:16.000 what's going to happen is our companies will have more problems competing with people overseas. 00:33:16.000 --> 00:33:23.000 So I'm going into this when people ask me the very good question of what's going to happen now? 00:33:23.000 --> 00:33:30.000 I'm going to be working for a trade policy that is tough and a policy that is smart. 00:33:30.000 --> 00:33:37.000 And I hope that we can convince the President Elect's team to be supportive of that. Did that respond to your question? 00:33:37.000 --> 00:33:45.000 My question is have you been following NuScale Technologies out of Corvallis and if so what are you doing to support them? 00:33:45.000 --> 00:33:48.000 We have been very supportive of them. 00:33:48.000 --> 00:33:53.000 And it really was a priority in mind when I was chairman of the Energy Committee. 00:33:53.000 --> 00:33:60.000 I think that NuScale is talking about sort of a new vision of nuclear. 00:34:00.000 --> 00:34:03.000 It's going to be smaller and more mobile reactors. 00:34:03.000 --> 00:34:11.000 I mean I think that a big part of what NuScale is doing, you know we live right off Cesar Chavez and Glenwood. 00:34:11.000 --> 00:34:20.000 So if you were really strong you could practically throw a baseball from our backyard into the yard going into the Reed College. 00:34:20.000 --> 00:34:24.000 Reed's got a reactor I mean hardly anybody knows that. 00:34:24.000 --> 00:34:30.000 And as far as I can tell the students practically pet their nuclear reactor sometimes on their way to lunch. 00:34:30.000 --> 00:34:38.000 So there are a lot of approaches that I think represent a very different generation of technology 00:34:38.000 --> 00:34:41.000 and applicability as it relates to the nuclear space. 00:34:41.000 --> 00:34:44.000 And I've been very supportive of NuScale 00:34:44.000 --> 00:34:51.000 and have tried to use my position on the Energy Committee to make sure that they will continue to have expanded opportunities. 00:34:51.000 --> 00:34:53.000 I think this is very promising for Oregon. 00:34:53.000 --> 00:34:60.000 What, if anything, can be done to change the electoral college to more accurately reflect voters today? 00:35:00.000 --> 00:35:08.000 The fact that votes in some states count more than votes in other states rackals me to my bones. 00:35:08.000 --> 00:35:14.000 Well there is a lot to be rackaled about. 00:35:14.000 --> 00:35:23.000 Obviously we're going to think through a whole host of issues relating to campaigns. 00:35:23.000 --> 00:35:32.000 For example if you asked me what my single biggest priority would be it would be overturning Citizens United, the Supreme Court case. 00:35:32.000 --> 00:35:36.000 applause 00:35:36.000 --> 00:35:42.000 Which basically has ensured that a rich guy's checkbook is no different than a poor person's soapbox. 00:35:42.000 --> 00:35:47.000 Which I think is just a preposterous kind of theory. 00:35:47.000 --> 00:35:51.000 I'm for getting rid of super-delegates in the campaign. 00:35:51.000 --> 00:35:57.000 I was a super-delegate and I said boy I don't think people think I'm so super and nobody's delegated anything to me 00:35:57.000 --> 00:35:64.000 so let's get rid of that and that doesn't seem to me to be a very democratic process. 00:36:04.000 --> 00:36:12.000 And I'm open to looking at a variety of changes with respect to the electoral college. 00:36:12.000 --> 00:36:19.000 Originally it was set up so that places like Oregon and Idaho would have a voice and a vote. 00:36:19.000 --> 00:36:24.000 And you wouldn't just have the presidential candidates showing up in the places where the people were. 00:36:24.000 --> 00:36:32.000 So they could just go to California and Texas and Florida and maybe a couple other places and call it a day. 00:36:32.000 --> 00:36:42.000 So I'm thinking it through and it may well be that given the trend towards nationalizing 00:36:42.000 --> 00:36:46.000 with today's communications and transportation we might as well do this as a popular vote. 00:36:46.000 --> 00:36:55.000 I'm just concerned and I spend a big chunk of my day making sure the people back there don't forget about us. 00:36:55.000 --> 00:36:61.000 Because we're 3000 miles away from DC and New York and all the power and all that. 00:37:01.000 --> 00:37:05.000 So I'm thinking it through but I'm open to making that change. 00:37:05.000 --> 00:37:08.000 You're for getting rid of the electoral college and just kind of having the popular vote? 00:37:08.000 --> 00:37:17.000 Well there's no question about that and that's why if you ask me for my first choice 00:37:17.000 --> 00:37:20.000 it's overturning Citizens United number one. 00:37:20.000 --> 00:37:27.000 And getting elections to the point where instead of having a campaign that starts 00:37:27.000 --> 00:37:30.000 you know we have an election first Tuesday in November, people sleep in on Wednesday, 00:37:30.000 --> 00:37:34.000 and the fundraising starts all over again on Thursday. 00:37:34.000 --> 00:37:40.000 My first choice would be get rid of Citizens United and shorten the period when you can do all the campaign fundraising. 00:37:40.000 --> 00:37:48.000 Those would be my first two choices because I look at a lot of people in Congress, they don't do town hall meetings. 00:37:48.000 --> 00:37:54.000 What they do is they use their free time basically running around the golf courses 00:37:54.000 --> 00:37:61.000 and all kinds of things because that's what the system puts premiums on which is just going out and raising money. 00:38:01.000 --> 00:38:06.000 I've had people say I hear you do all these town hall meetings and you go to little places 00:38:06.000 --> 00:38:11.000 I bet there are a lot of people in those little places who don't vote for you. 00:38:11.000 --> 00:38:20.000 And I said that's not exactly the point you get an election certificate to represent everybody. 00:38:20.000 --> 00:38:25.000 And everybody knows my hometown is Portland at this point. 00:38:25.000 --> 00:38:29.000 I mean I wish I could have played in the NBA I went to school on a basketball scholarship. 00:38:29.000 --> 00:38:36.000 It was delusional that I was going to play in the NBA because I was too small and I made up for it by being really slow. 00:38:36.000 --> 00:38:41.000 So I wasn't going to do that. I love Portland. Love it! 00:38:42.000 --> 00:38:48.000 But I don't represent the state of Portland I represent every nook and cranny. 00:38:48.000 --> 00:38:54.000 And so we're going to be going to Wagontire and all these tiny places because they count too. 00:38:54.000 --> 00:38:65.000 And so that's what we ought to be doing is looking for ways in which more people can be heard in a more accessible way. 00:39:05.000 --> 00:39:11.000 applause 00:39:11.000 --> 00:39:17.000 What is a way on a more immediate basis that we can make our voices heard? 00:39:17.000 --> 00:39:21.000 Organized call systems or something. 00:39:21.000 --> 00:39:29.000 But I come from a state where I don't want to call my congressman I want to be calling congressman or senators from other parts of the country 00:39:29.000 --> 00:39:35.000 Are all calls equal or do they ask for your zip code? 00:39:35.000 --> 00:39:39.000 Or how can we make our voices heard on a more immediate basis? 00:39:39.000 --> 00:39:43.000 We'll be able to tell you more as we get beyond Friday 00:39:43.000 --> 00:39:53.000 and we actually start to see what a new administration chooses to do. 00:39:53.000 --> 00:39:62.000 Because clearly we're moving out of the campaign and into the kind of governing period. 00:40:02.000 --> 00:40:12.000 For example the President Elect in the campaign said he was for water-boarding, he was torture, and he wanted to go beyond that. 00:40:12.000 --> 00:40:17.000 And then apparently he talked to his defense person General Mathis. 00:40:17.000 --> 00:40:20.000 General Mathis said no that doesn't work. 00:40:20.000 --> 00:40:24.000 I get more done with a six pack and couple packs of cigarettes. 00:40:24.000 --> 00:40:26.000 And the President Elect said OK. 00:40:26.000 --> 00:40:32.000 So what we're going to have to see is exactly what the policies are. 00:40:32.000 --> 00:40:37.000 I personally think there are a few things that are sort of naturals. 00:40:37.000 --> 00:40:47.000 If we get a budget for example that substantially cuts the funds for low-income hunger programs 00:40:47.000 --> 00:40:51.000 number one, I'll use my seat on the Budget Committee to oppose that. 00:40:51.000 --> 00:40:57.000 But number two, we're going to need a lot of people pitching in at the pantries and the shelters 00:40:57.000 --> 00:40:62.000 and this is an area with a lot of agriculture so people are going to be able to get involved that way. 00:41:02.000 --> 00:41:10.000 And I think probably the best thing you can do is find one more person to join you in this effort 00:41:10.000 --> 00:41:15.000 of speaking out with elected officials, participating in local programs. 00:41:15.000 --> 00:41:21.000 I spend a lot of time with what are called whistle-blowers people who work in the various agencies 00:41:21.000 --> 00:41:25.000 and can tell us what's actually going on. 00:41:25.000 --> 00:41:32.000 But if there's one thing you can do it's find one more person to join you and pitch in. 00:41:32.000 --> 00:41:34.000 How's that young man doing? 00:41:34.000 --> 00:41:38.000 Did you come voluntarily? 00:41:39.000 --> 00:41:44.000 Cool. Is there anything you would like to talk about? 00:41:44.000 --> 00:41:48.000 I wanted to know if any children can make a difference? 00:41:48.000 --> 00:41:54.000 Can children make a difference? They really can make a difference. 00:41:54.000 --> 00:41:57.000 applause 00:41:57.000 --> 00:41:60.000 What a great question. You see everybody here really likes it. 00:42:00.000 --> 00:42:07.000 Because a lot of us understand that a big part of our job 00:42:07.000 --> 00:42:13.000 is to make sure that what we're doing is going to work for kids. 00:42:13.000 --> 00:42:18.000 And let me guess your age are you like nine or 10? 00:42:18.000 --> 00:42:22.000 You're 11. OK so my twins are nine. 00:42:22.000 --> 00:42:26.000 And the baby is four. 00:42:26.000 --> 00:42:33.000 And my wife and I were married at the Oregon coast. Have you been to Haystack Rock? 00:42:34.000 --> 00:42:43.000 OK. So anytime my little girl who's only four sees it 00:42:43.000 --> 00:42:47.000 she goes Mommy, Daddy, Haystack Rock. 00:42:47.000 --> 00:42:54.000 And she's made it really clear to use that even though she's four years old and is just a kid 00:42:54.000 --> 00:42:64.000 she wants to make sure, and she doesn't really know what I do, she goes Daddy, Senate, suites. 00:43:04.000 --> 00:43:10.000 And she thinks that we go off to the Senate and we wear suites and we talk a lot. 00:43:10.000 --> 00:43:17.000 But I've told her that a big part of what I want to do in our state is to make sure 00:43:17.000 --> 00:43:25.000 that there are policies so that all the kids are going to be able to enjoy the Oregon Coast in years to come. 00:43:25.000 --> 00:43:27.000 And you know we've got some big things to do. 00:43:27.000 --> 00:43:32.000 You've been hearing about tsunamis and earthquakes and stuff like that. 00:43:32.000 --> 00:43:36.000 So I really appreciate what you said. 00:43:36.000 --> 00:43:42.000 And I think one of the most important things I can do is listen to kids. 00:43:42.000 --> 00:43:45.000 So I am really glad you came. Thank you. 00:43:45.000 --> 00:43:52.000 Are you aware of the thousands of college professors who are now in prison in Turkey, 00:43:52.000 --> 00:43:56.000 the thousand of journalists, the thousands of political dissonants, 00:43:56.000 --> 00:43:64.000 and the extreme fascist nature, frankly it is a fascist government now in Turkey. 00:44:04.000 --> 00:44:13.000 Are you prepared to advocate or are you prepared to go along with a stronger approach to Turkey? 00:44:13.000 --> 00:44:21.000 And possibly including an expulsion from NATO if that is possible? 00:44:21.000 --> 00:44:30.000 As you know Ergodan and the repressive practices that you're talking about are very real. 00:44:30.000 --> 00:44:40.000 And yes we are going to have to up the ante in terms of putting pressure on the government 00:44:40.000 --> 00:44:43.000 with respect to the kind of repressive practices you're talking about. 00:44:43.000 --> 00:44:47.000 I sit on the Intelligence Committee, the two National Security committees and the Intelligence Committee, 00:44:47.000 --> 00:44:52.000 and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. And obviously I can't talk about anything classified. 00:44:52.000 --> 00:44:59.000 And I think you want to tailor the remedy to something that really makes sense. 00:44:59.000 --> 00:44:63.000 As you know this is a hugely important part of the world. 00:45:03.000 --> 00:45:10.000 The Turks have taken steps in the past of be constructive. 00:45:10.000 --> 00:45:16.000 The developments that you're talking about that are particularly recent are very, very ominous. 00:45:16.000 --> 00:45:26.000 So let's just say I feel what they're doing now with respect to the human rights violations must not stand, A. 00:45:26.000 --> 00:45:33.000 And B, I'm thinking through what the remedy is because you want to make sure you have a remedy that isn't worse than the problem.