PODCAST: Congressman Peters: Election Reform, DACA, and The Need For Independence In D.C.
In a wide ranging interview with IVC President Chad Peace and IVN editor Jeff Powers, US Representative Scott Peters (D-Calif.) spoke on a number of subjects as he ended his August recess.
Below are the quotes from the congressman on selected topics impacting voters.
Listen to the full podcast above.
The White House's DACA Decision
"I think it's really unfortunate. It's cruel, it's counterproductive economically, and sends the wrong message about who we are as a country."
"I think you'll find a lot of people including Republicans who want to take legislative steps to prevent that from happening and preserve DACA."
"In 2013, Senate was able to put together a comprehensive immigration reform package that got 69 votes that dealt with pathway to citizenship, gave permission slips to people working here in high-tech and working on the farms, and did a lot of border security. But we had that deal. We just couldn't get it on the house floor. That was only four years ago. I think we should resurrect that effort."
For US Rep. Peters' official statement on DACA, click here.
Getting Things Done In Washington
"It is a difficult atmosphere; it's so partisan. We know the structures are there for Congress to work, the committee system. If you let people talk to each other sensibly, Congress can come up with policies that make sense for people on health care on tax reform."
"I think Newt Gingrich was the first person who said don't stay in Washington D.C., go home to your districts. And now there's not a lot of personal interaction, where it used to be families would get together on the weekends, now we're gone."
"The role of the Tea Party has scared a lot of Republicans away from coming to the middle and making deals. I consider myself a civil rights Democrat but I always say business problems have bipartisan solutions. If you want to create a tax code that's internationally competitive, let's sit around a table and do that, but that's a scary thing for people who are beleaguered by the extremes. And we are seeing concerns with an angrier left, a more militant left."
Redistricting in California
"We did two things, without which I would not be here in Congress. One is we said, we're going to draw district lines without regard to parties. We're not going to let the state legislatures touch them, and that scares the heck out of both the majority and the minority political parties, cause they're really first and foremost about protecting their own."
"As a result of redistricting, Democrats picked up 5 seats. It's now 39-14 out here -- in terms of Dems to Republicans, because we can compete better on ideas."
Nonpartisan Primaries in California
"Open Primaries give moderates a better chance to compete. Some districts there might be two Republicans running against each other in November, some there might be two Democrats. The opposite party has a more moderate person to pick from -- that person's going to pick up support."
"We just want the process to be fair. Let voters pick their politicians, not politicians pick their voters."
Appetite for Federal-Level Election Reform
"I think voters would like to see systemic reforms and my instinct is that something like that would be very appealing, but it scares the people in power. The people who are in Congress got there under the existing system -- that's what they're familiar with."
"Even getting the Federal Election Commission functional has been a task too, so there's not a lot of lubricant for getting things through in these times. It's pretty gridlocked."