Transcript: Reps. Robert Garcia, Mike Lawler, Summer Lee & Zach Nunn (Face the Nation)

Feb 05, 2023
In the News

MARGARET BRENNAN: Congresswoman, you said, “it would be good to revive the George Floyd Policing Act. But we’re so far past that right now. We really need to kind of escalate the conversation faster.” What do you mean, what are you calling for?

REP. LEE: So let me be really clear, there is a proliferation of disinformation and bias and conversations about crime and conversations about policing. And to be very clear, police violence is crime. We cannot say that we care about crime, but then do nothing, choose to do nothing over and over and over when the crime is committed by a police officer. There are statistics that show that less than 2% of police officers who are engaged in misconduct are ever indicted at all and while we can all celebrate that five Black police officers right and let it not escape us that it was only when they were Black that there was swift action and there was a sixth who was not Black and there was not swift action. That we can say that Tyre should be alive. So should Atatiana Jefferson. So should Antwon Rose II from my district. So should Mike Brown. So should Philando Castile. They should all be alive. So when we’re talking about crime, when we’re talking about how we’re going to solve it, when I say that we need to change the conversation, we need to acknowledge that public safety does not begin with policing. Public safety begins with investments. It begins with addressing our own implicit and explicit biases in policymaking and education and appropriations.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So when the president talks about reviving George Floyd Policing Act, you’re saying, not as it’s currently written, you want more measures added. 

REP. LEE: Absolutely. I want us to be intentional at every step about addressing racial bias,  about addressing poverty, about addressing crime and about addressing police violence.

REP. LEE: The vast majority of people in poor working class neighborhoods are good people. 

REP. LAWLER: They are. They are.

REP. LEE: And they are victims of crime that we don’t say anything about.

REP. LAWLER: And they want police presence. They want police presence.

REP. NUNN: Exactly they want to be protected.

REP. LEE: For instance, for instance there’s no police presence when they’re a victim of wage theft. We’re not seeing anybody–

REP. LAWLER: You know what I passed legislation to prosecute that and it should be prosecuted.

REP. LEE: That’s awesome and I would like to see it happening here. But what we don’t see when we’re talking about crime, we’re really talking about white collar crime, we’re really talking about ways in which we’re going to hold corporate criminals accountable. We’re really make- taking any strides in any level of government to do anything about that. But we continue to talk about the crimes of desperation, in particularly the crimes in marginalized communities.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Social security, health care, including Medicare and Medicaid, and then defense are the three biggest line items. Where do you cut? If you have to have those conversations, where do you cut?

REP. LEE:  Defense. The reality is, is that we can’t keep asking the same people to compromise over and over and over. When we talk about these conversations, we have to humanize them. We have to be very clear what we are proposing to cut, who are going to be impacted by it. 


REP. NUNN: Absolutely so so let’s, with respect– 

REP. GARCIA:   And as far- as the, this, this unity amongst Republicans are in the debt ceiling, the truth is there is no unity– 

REP. NUNN: You’re not in our conference! 

REP. GARCIA: We’re not– the Democrats are united. We’re not going to cut Social Security. We’re not going to cut Medicare. And so I’m interested to know how we’re gonna get to this resolution, so that- because we know that this issue at the end of the day impacts working people the most.

MARGARET BRENNAN:  So the discretionary spending you would cut is also in Defense? 

REP. GARCIA: If it was up to me, we’d be raising taxes on billionaires- on billionaires and corporations. That’s what we’d be getting more- more- more support. But I think Representative Lee is right, I think we have to be able to look at an institution like the Pentagon. 

REP. NUNN: So let’s be very clear here. If somebody’s looking for an opportunity to go to college, they have the opportunity to serve in the military, and it will help pay for them to have the privilege of going to college. What I will not do is see members of the military who are on the frontline defending our very opportunity to even go to college have their paychecks cut, or their opportunity to defend themselves cut because of lackluster equipment. 

CROSS TALK

REP. LEE:  No, no, no. She asked us, let’s humanize. There’s a difference between sending our troops somewhere defenseless, and then looking at our defense budget.

REP. NUNN: Right.

REP. LEE: Which is the highest of the next 20 countries combined. We’re not saying that we’re sending– 

REP. LAWLER: And we’re continually forced to defend the world.

REP. LEE: Endless wars, endless wars.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But you know Speaker McCarthy on this program last week said when it came to cutting discretionary spending, actually one of the places he would look to trim fat was the Defense Department. 

REP. NUNN: MARGARET, I think – 

MARGARET BRENNAN: You don’t sound like you’re okay with that.

REP. NUNN: So let’s- let’s take- first of all, what he did say is take things off the table, we’re going to protect Social Security. People have paid into that they deserve to have that back. Republicans are committed to that. Let’s take the Medicare that has gotten out there to make sure that people have access to the health care they need to be successful off the table. When it comes to defense spending, what I just heard was cutting things across the board. If there is a review, everything should have the opportunity to be assessed. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you’re on board.

(CROSS TALK)

REP. NUNN: Yeah, I think we should be looking across the board.

REP. LAWLER: We haven’t had a real budget process in a very long time. And you have to go line by line. And you need these departments and agencies to justify their spending.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. 

REP. LAWLER: They have not had to do that in a very long time. We need a real budget process as part of this negotiation.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Sure, which takes time we’re gonna have to leave it there. Thank you all for coming in. And I want to thank each and every one of you for joining our panel. 

Click here to read the full transcript of all guests.

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