Capitol View: #YoueVoiceAR Part 2

Credit: KARK
Published on August 26, 2018 -
Capitol View: #YoueVoiceAR Part 2

Capitol View: #YoueVoiceAR Part 2

>> from the victory studios in downtown little rock, this is capitol view.

With your host, jessi turnure.

>> good sunday morning to you and welcome into capitol view.

I'm jessi turnure.

This week we got the very unique opportunity to talk to all four of arkansas' representatives in congress together.

On thursday you heard them discuss major issues like health care, the russian investigation and the budget.

And this morning our very own drew petrimoulx picks up the conversation in washington and i'll be back here with your questions submitted on social media.

Here is part two of your voice arkansas.

>> representative crawford you're on the house intelligence committee.

Obviously no small task we're talking about isis and north korea and so on.

When it comes to all the threats you hear.

What keeps you up at night.

>> a lot of things that i can't share that are, you know, real concern for me.

A lot of things being exploited and used against us, north korea is a big threat and that presents a very big challenge.

China.

Quite frankly.

Is a concern.

We have some issues south of our border.

In our hemisphere that we don't talk a heck of a lot about that are very pressing and, you know, i think about our next drug cartel and the challenge that they present the threat that they present along our southern border.

That goes down into south america and there is a vast network there that presents a real big threat to the united states and our allies and not just, you know, the threat of violence but the drug trafficking that they're engaged in and the extent to which that endangers our citizens here in the united states and elsewhere.

>> representative hill i want to talk a little bit about your work on the foreign affairs committee.

Fighting terrorism obviously not just about boots on the ground and bombing.

Also you have been focused on trying to dismantle financial networks that fund that those enterprises.

How do you feel that we're doing as a country in dismantling those networks?

>> i tnk first of all we in the united states are doing a good job because we have the most sophisticated interdiction system for financial efforts to stop terror financing but we have to do that in partnership around the world and so that is why i appreciated president trump when he went to the middle east brought up the issue of cutter and that has been a controversy in the news recently but they have been a principal funder in this arena and it has been an issue where we see congressman crawford talked about drug cartels.

We've seen connections between the drug cartels and trade based money laundering in africa and middle east.

All of which is funding terror that has threatened europe and threatened the united states.

So it is a primarily function and obligation of our treasurer secretary to focus on it.

We're trying to give him tools, legal tools necessary through the banking system, through trade based money laundering and through the legal system on beneficial ownership to identify these people and stop them before the terrorists get the funding.

>> let's go back to little rock.

I want to take another question from a viewer with jessi.

>> yeah, hi, drew and congressman.

This question is from jonathan lewis and he's saying there are too many of us veterans out here struggling because of our disabilities and the promise jobs will look at you first before someone with a degree and he goes on to detail struggles with ptsd and deep depression and also having to wait years for va help.

>> representative womack, there has been a lot made of the failures of the va.

What improvements have been made under the new congress and the new administration?

>> well, let's beg with the fact that not just a couple of weeks ago we had secretary david shulkin in town in the third district that visited the fayetteville veterans facility.

Very impressive visit.

So look as friend said earlier president trump surrounded himself with some pretty good people and i would say david shulkin is one of those.

He comes from an impressive background of management of medical facilities so he gets that part of the veteran's administration.

In the milcon va bill that we passed in the house of appropriation committee we pumped more in the va than ever in the history of this country.

These are not just money issues.

Some of the issues go right to the heart of management and go right to the heart of executive bargaining.

A lot of -- there is a lot of protection that goes on for people that commit waste fraud and abuse within the system.

That we need to continue to address and we have done it in the house.

We paled legislation in the house.

That addresses some of those issues.

The milcon va bill a large amount of money going to health care is going to ptsd, other brain issues.

Opioid abuse what to do about the tremendous suicide rate going on among veterans and i'm pleased to say in the third district of arkansas around our state a tremendous outpouring of support for veterans and places like walmart and tyson have specific programs designed to target veterans for employment.

So we're doing a better job as a country of that honoring the commitment and sacrifice made by our veterans.

>> congressman weatherman talk about your service on the natural resources committee in the house you have been taking a key interest on forestry issues and the bill that you have that you say it will create jobs and help reduce forest fires but there have been some critics of the legislation saying.

It is a giveaway to the timber industry and circumvents input from the public and scientific community.

Tell me a little bit about what your bill does and respond to some of the criticism.

>> it increase forest health and making forest resilient and healthy.

We see record numbers of forest fires across the country.

56% of the forest budget went to forest fires mainly out west that.

Takes money away from managing the ouachita forest, the ozark and strain forest in arkansas and the goal of this is to have a healthy forest.

Forth district is 86% forest and the product industry is thriving there.

We know how to manage forests in arkansas for multiple uses and nonindustrial and private landowners are producing timber faster than it can be used and as a matter of fact we've produced 16milliontons a year more timber this year than what was standing last year.

So arkansas is doing great.

It is sequestering carbon.

Look at states like california where they're not managing their timber is going up in flames.

They're a net polluter.

Their forests are fewer trees standing in california now than there were this time last year.

You look across the south where we implement scientific management practices.

We get healthier forests.

We get better economies.

We see rural america that is hurting because of previous policies that it replaced, owned, the forest service.

And -- >> what about the criticism this is kind of opening up to the wild, wild west of logging in the forests?

>> theational forests needs industry much worse than industry needs the national forest.

We can produce the timber that we need in this country for the most part off of private land.

We've -- i say we have loved our trees to death.

We wanted to protect them so much and we don't recognize the fact that they're living, growing organisms. they grow up occupy the growing space and they get diseased, insect infested.

Lightning strikes and they burn to the ground.

We're sending hundreds of millions of carbon up into the atmosphere and the energy equivalent of 25billion-gallons gasoline goes up in forest fires every year.

It is tragedy that we're leaving our federal lands in worse shape than future generations than what we're receiving.

It goes against showing what the forest service was established about.

>> much more to come after a quick break.

Including the discussion of cuba trade policy with one congressman who has been sharply critical of president trump's stance on that issue.

>> we can't continue to do the same thing that we have done over the last 60 years and expect different results.

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>> you're watching capitol view.

Sunday morning talk focused on the political theme in arkansas.

>> welcome back to capitol view.

Our viewers submitted several questions for arkansas' for congressman.

Among them state senate majority leader jim hen drip.

He wanted to know will you vote to remove dod from sequestration caps or support senator tom cotton's bill to cap it.

>> absolutely.

Look.

The budget control act through all of its noble purposes has done a lot more harm than it has good.

The sequester has forced tens.

Bills of dollars in cuts to our national security apparatus that has made this country less safe.

All the while we've pumped a lot more money into nondefense discretionary programs but i believe that the sequester has been harmful and i would love for our house to take up the discussion as to what we can do on one hand to leave the sequester.

But on the other hand, to get back to what has been already discussed by this panel and that is how do we get into cuts to the mandatory side of spending which is about 70% of all federal spending?

It is on autopilot.

Congress needs to muster the courage and will to make our social safety net program sustainable for the future and be able to get to those programs and be able to solve for the growing debt deficit crisis that is facing our country.

We cannot continue to take a disproportionate share of those cuts out of our national security apparatus so i appreciate senator hen drip for making the comment.

He's an air force pilot, decorated war veteran so he's somebody that truly understands the damage that has been done to our national security apparatus as a result of the sequester.

>> change topics a little bit.

President announced a role back of travel and economic ties between the us and cube a representative crawford this has been an issue you have been front and center on and you're sharply critical of that decision.

Safely to say your views on cuba more in line with previous president obama than the current administration?

>> it is safto say we should reengage with cuba in a more productive manner.

I don't appreciate the pathway president obama took.

He should have consult congress before he did anything.

Instead he took executive action and brought in the pope.

Sought his council and others but he didn't seek council from congress.

President trump undid that.

Didn't necessarily do everything that i wanted to see him do but what he did do is leave the door open for us for agriculture trade.

That is an important consideration for a variety of reasons.

One it is important for us when we're on a four year slide50% slide in farm income we need every market we can get.

And cuba presents not a silver bullet to the ag economy be any means but about 1billion and a half to $2billion market where arkansas goods could actually go to cuba and we could help augment that farm income and get it on an upward trajectory.

That is where i am in this whole debate and that door was left open for us quite frankly when he specifically left agriculture alone so we do have an avenue there to pursue ag trade with cube a in long term what this does, it allows us to establish a nitch there and i think we can overcome cuba economically and affect change in a positive way and steer them in a way that is beneficial not only to cuba but beneficial to the united states.

>> are you for a full repeal of the embargo?

>> i don't support that necessarily immediately, if it came to the floor yes i would vote for it.

What i do support is that we can't continue to do the same thing that we've done over the last 60 years and expenditure a different result.

Agriculture really tees up the travel and further repeal of embargo but i think this is a good first step.

Allows to us sort of you know dip our toe in the water and say we want to participate in cuba but we've got some concerns and we'll start with this humanitarian issue.

A lot of upside for us producers in the us economy and quite frankly this is beneficial to the cuban people and we certainly want to win hearts and minds there and i think the cuban people are time from that.

>> representative hill i want to ask you about crime in little rock.

This has been a major problem so far this year.

We saw 25 people get shot at a nightclub earlier this month.

There have been multiple murders again this week.

How are you getting involved to try to push back on that?

>> thas, drew.

I appreciate channel4 and fox16's personal engagement on the community conversation about this.

For me there are two issues here.

One is a law enforcement operation.

I was very pleased to see mayor and governor hutchinson come together and bring in federal resources an state resources to help work under the leadership under the city of little rock to deal with the law enforcement aspect of it.

But for me the issue is, the community.

We shouldn't tolerate our teenagers killing each other like we have in recent weeks.

So what i try to do is bond together with friends that are engaging our youth and talking about here's what they need to be doing about learning a skill.

Staying in school.

Finding a future.

Having an aspiration.

And i'm proud to partner with people like musky harris, fits hill and others who are working with our youth to engage these kids we're leaving behind because a lot of this violence is about no hope.

No hope in our inner-city.

And i think we, as a community, have to come together neighborhood by neighborhood, church by church, synagogue by synagogue, mosque by mosque and say we're going to reject violence in our community and we're going to give our kids the right course of action.

And that is what i'm trying to help do is just as a citizen because i believe so strongly we want to return not just safety to our streets but we want to have our kids feel like they have got a bright future in central arkansas.

>> a lot of factors are at play when discussing violence in arkansas communities.

One of the major accelerants is drug use.

Coming up we go in-depth with the congressman to discuss addiction.

>> it has affected me personally.

I'm the only guy up here i think that has a direct family member that has been -- has been affected by an addiction problem.

>> you're watching capitol view on sunday morning.

>> you're watching capitol view.

Sunday morning talk focused on the political theme in arkansas.

>> welcome back to capitol view.

You've heard arkansas' congressmen discussing big issues affecting washington and arkansas.

And for many local communities no issue is bigger right now than drug addiction.

Viewer jeffrey devoe asked this of arkansas representatives.

What will be done to combat the opiate epidemic users not dealers.

Stiffer sentences doesn't seem to work.

Here is their response.

>> we passed exemption out of the house to try to address this and come bought it.

But some things that i've seen working in arkansas and in my district that i think the rest of the country can learn from is our drug court system.

It works quite well in arkansas.

There is a good one in garland county and one in jefferson county and it is really aimed at treating people and treating their illness and trying to give them every last chance to avoid the prison system which is not good for them.

It is not good for the taxpayer.

And it certainly is not good for the families of some of these people that may be depending on them for support.

So we've talked about antipoverty programs that work and a lot of times substance abuse is intermingled with poverty.

And these are things that we want to be proactive on to help people that have substance abuse problems and the drug courts of worked well in arkansas.

>> congressman womack, how in your district have you been impacted by the opioid abuse epidemic?

>> wel forget the district.

It has affected me personally, i'm the only guy up here i think that has a direction family member that has been -- has been affected by an addiction problem.

Look, addiction is a disease.

It is not necessarily a moral failing and you can't just take people with addiction, criminalize them lock them up and throw way the key and some time period later let them out and hope that issue has gone away.

It doesn't work that way.

We have to de-stigmatize somehow the conditions that our young people and some of our older people have gotten themselves into.

I'm like bruce, i am a big fan of the drug courts.

That is a long period of time where under certain types of supervision and certain requirements that people have to meet these requirements in order to have criminal records expunged and it works.

It is not 100% -- it is not 100% solution.

No program will be.

But our country needs to understand that this is a major issue facing everyone.

Whether you have somebody involved or don't, it is an economic productivity issue.

It's a family issue.

Everybody should be engaged on it so that we can come up with solutions that help get these people out of this condition and make them productive again.

And then they manifest themselves in a lot of other ways.

Property crimes, crimes against people and those kinds of things.

So let's get to the root of the problem and let's find that solution.

And then at the federal level let's make sure our resources are going into those programs that are proven effective and let's find those cures.

There is something out there that we can -- that we can discover that can help solve the addictive principles that go with people so afflicted.

>> representative hill representing more of an urban district and i know drug abuse there has caused some of the same kind of down the line issues as he was just talking about.

This shift that he's talking about kind of the way that you look at drug abuse and addiction, how -- do you support that and how do you see that playing out at the federal level?

>> fir i share bruce's comments, constrictive comments and both of their comments about drug courts.

We don't have one in pulaski county.

I have seen it be very successful in faulkner county.

I share that view.

It is a way to get help to the people that need it.

I also was pleased with state legislature enacted the registry or opioids for doctors.

Because how these drugs are prescribed, you just can't imagine how addictive these products are and how then they lead to the stealing of the products, the trading of the products, the drug dealing aspect of it and ultimately going to heroin.

And so this drug registry we've seen states that have done that.

That is why i commend our legislature declines in addiction to opioid that then lead to heroin abuse.

So i believe in transitional programs. i think they work.

Just like a guy getting out of prison on parole.

If there is no plan, why do you expect a low recidivism rate.

If there is no plan someone who is addicted can't recover and rejoin our society in a productive way.

>> running out of time here i wanted to switch subjects a little bit and get representative crawford to talk about your stem initiative in northeast arkansas.

Your vision for getting students engaged in math and science.

How do you do that from a rural setting and what is your plan moving forward?

>> wel i'll try to make this quick.

Rural america is at a competitive disadvantage.

Has to do with really one thing.

Connectivity.

So all the problems that we've talked about they're no different in rural america but they may be a little more pronounced because we have that challenge of connectivity that hinders our ability to educate at the same level we see in some major metropolitan areas.

That is step one.

Rural broadband.

Step two we're trying toad kate our educators and for so long they have been sort of forced to push an agenda that was ap, we're going to send everybody to school.

We're going to get everybody a baccalaureate degree and further education beyond that even and that is the pathway to success.

We need to redefine what success looks like on an individual basis and the fact of the matter is we hear this all the time that there are more jobs out there than can be filled because people don't know they're there.

Or there is a deficit in soft skills for a variety of reasons why jobs are not being filled and that is the case in arkansas.

What we want to do is to get educators to be aware is why we paired them up in our industry in the district.

Brought them out.

They got some continuing education.

We partnered with arkansas state and this is the second year we've done it and it is overwhelming success because now they know what industry exists in and around them and what skill-sets are required for these young people to go out and be productive members of the economy.

>> we want to say a special thank you to the congressmen and their staff for making this forum happen and to you the viewers for submitting your questions.

We're back to wrap it up after this.

You're watching capitol view on sunday morning.

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>> you're watching capitol view.

Sunday morning talk focused on the political scene in arkansas.

>> and that's for it today's show.

We want to know your thoughts on all of the issues we discuss edouard capitol view among the many others affecting our state.

Make sure to use the #mycapitolview on both twitter and facebook during and after the show so we can continue the conversation together.

We're back with and all new capitol view next week.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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