US Sen Pat Toomey

Newsmaker Interviews
Wednesday, April 12th

Republican US Senator Pat Toomey stops by the WILK studio to talk about several local and national topics with Sue Henry


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

You listen to the show frequently you know that's the theme song. For US senator pat Timmy did you know that well it's the theme song we gave him pet Timmy is here in our building. How my studio audience we assembled come to Iowa fallacy out confidence of it's terrific throw nothing but the vast. And that's exactly right and and I really appreciate the Allman Brothers music come it just doesn't get old for me and I you know maybe I'm kind of locked in the 1970 assignment terms of my musical tastes but. It's itself. Thanks for coming in and we will take your questions by the way so we ask you put them in the form of the question. If you wanna send them by taxed it's 5708830098. You can email me at who Henry at W I'll OK news radio. Dot com we will take some phone calls as well first of all let's let's start out with the with the swearing in yesterday. Of a new supreme court judge Neil corset chances as somebody that you. Voted yes on near the Pennsylvania senator that didn't vote yes so can you talk about your inner action with him and what impressed you about him. As somebody to sit on the High Court. I don't. Think that president trump could've picked a better person for the Supreme Court. I took a look at his record. I looked at the cases that he wrote not all from the did over 2700. I can't name probably an hour long conversation with him in my office. He is extremely intelligent but very modest very humble and the thing that I'm excited about is he. Totally understands and believes in the limited role that a judge or justice is supposed to play in our society. Unlike. Some others who think that their role is Stabile legislature of last resort and to impose the policy on the country that. That they think is right since they're smarter than the rest of us. Of course which has none of that. He understands that the American people are sovereign they make policy decisions by electing people. With whom they agree and firing them if the elected people don't do as they expect. And judges are not accountable to the electorate they have lifetime positions. And so it makes no sense for them to be in the business of policy. That's for the elected branches what does make sense is for them to call balls and strikes. I interpret the law as it's written not as they would liked it to have been written so so this is a fundamental design that. In divide we have between the left in the right if you will. In the role of a judge judge course inch. Takes that view of the limited compact and roll and by the way. Completely impartial everyone who comes before him gets treated equally whether they are man or woman young old rich poor black white. He is not in the business of deciding who gets preferential treatment. And nor should we so I'm I'm very optimistic that he's going to be great justice and hopefully for very long time is a relatively young man I think he's 49. And I'm very pleased we were able to confirm. I guess there the deceit that comes open next is the the one of of great intrigue and we know. That there was a lot of opposition from the Democrats this time around and that and that some of the procedures were changed. To get this justice in and I guess she did your own apparel you know you decide well how will this work next time so. In your. Estimation how the sport next so you know that's that's a big topic and an important one for first the important thing to keep in mind he has. This was the first time there was a partisan filibuster against a Supreme Court nominee in the history of the republic. This is completely unprecedented what Chuck Schumer decided to do. Against a completely qualified competent mainstream. Judge who has ten years. Of a record and by the way it was confirmed unanimously to the Circuit Court of Appeals. Com. Chuck Schumer is position was. He he said this operation rich man I'll show you you know people can look it up the he said he couldn't imagine that there's anyone that Donald Trump could pick the Republicans would support. Dance to the Democrats would also support and when asked what does that mean you would just be in favor of keeping this vacancy. Indefinitely he said absolutely so the idea that we're gonna go for four years or eight years. Depending on president Trump's success in a reelection effort. Without feeling any vacancies on the Supreme Court because Donald Trump doesn't get to fill vacancies. That's ridiculous. And so when our democratic colleagues confronted us with this and said we're gonna deny use the sixty votes that we Republicans routinely provided when we were in the minority. We said OK let Bennett we don't have any choice and by the way. Pat you say well how old does this play out in the future. Tom it probably plays out the way it would have any way I'm number one Republicans generally have provided the votes so that even though where when we've been in the minority. Like Barack Obama's two nominees were confirmed. Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor got over sixty votes. Spot and secondly. Our democratic colleagues said they would change the doubles they're the ones that changed it in 2013 forever and so look it's. It's unfortunate to that that there's this acrimony in the process. But at the end of the day we've got a very very good man has been confirmed the Supreme Court. Last week there was this decision by the president to launch this missile strike on a Syrian. Air base our airfield. A lot of people were taken by surprise. Over that where you. I was I was surprised when it happen I'd put out a statement that very day. In which I said if the UN will not to act in the face of this. Just appalling use of chemical weapons to massacre. And his own people and the United States had to that frankly was my view back in 2013 when President Obama threatened and then did nothing. And I think. That threat and the refusal to carry through. Emboldened people like aside probably the food look everyone notices when the United States does something dramatic on the world stage for. Threatens to and then does not to eat either way there are consequences. This. I don't think we're ever gonna defeat ice has so as long as aside this empower and here he is a built in automatic. Recruiting. Bonanza for crisis for a variety of reasons he is also an appalling mass murderer has his father while it's. The use of chemical weapons extremely dangerous to all of us because these can proliferate. And after all he has controlled ultimately by Iran and Russia. A Iranian. Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world it is not a great leap of logic to understand that the I'm on bridled use of these weapons in the Middle East could is is a direct threat to American personnel on the ground in the Middle East. But over time it's a proliferation risk so I think the president did the right thing. The most important thing now though is to have a comprehensive plan for how we deal with this very very complicated very difficult environment. Are you in favor of using any kind of resources US resources. Maybe in concert with the other people to remove Asad. Well first at the removal of a side would only be one piece in and paid a big complicated. I challenge and what I would wanna do is hear what do our best military minds and by the way. The president has assembled eight absolute terrific national security team if you ask me general Mattis a secretary of defense picked master. As and sent down National Security Council. Mike Pompeo at the CIA tellers Tillerson and the State Department I think these are very very capable. People saw wanna see what the plane this what what is the plan I think. Ridding the world of aside is a necessary part if we're gonna have the ability to have some stability I suspect there might have to be a partition there's no there's no real nation state of Syria anymore as it is. It's complicated because the Turks are allies but they. They see our strongest ally on the ground the Kurds. As a very hostile force to themselves it's admittedly extremely competent. Yeah and sometimes in these situations someone is removed and there is stability and then other times someone has removed. And there's instability there's just right Knoll. Clear vision of what happens when we get in the past I think we've gotten gotten involved in some of these things. We haven't gotten what we want an out of it and it's turned into yet another nightmare and headache although it's hard to match in. Somebody much worse in the Scott that that's it let's not let's be clear when I'm anything like stability now. We have now of the most unstable situation. Really pretty much that you can imagine over 400000 Syrians killed. Millions of Syrians displaced instability in Europe because they've allowed. Millions of undated. Refugees to pour into Europe and destabilize Europe it's been destabilizing in Iraq which by the way. Had become a stable place before. President Obama decided to evacuate the American troops who were keeping it stable. So I agree it's it's very dangerous it's fraught with risk but doing nothing is a huge danger as well. Allowing the world's. Third rate dictators to conclude that we can develop chemical weapons use them on our own people and there are no consequences that's a very dangerous and senate decree. Let's move along we have a question from a listener. We support tax reform in the form of a fear or flat tax it's what we're waiting for and that's Lonnie he wants. Yeah you know I wrote a book about economic policy and if you have trouble sleeping in ninth I would strongly recommend this itself less expensive than sleeping pills. And just as effective. But there's a whole chapter on tax reform and I do advocate of flat tax a very simple. It it's it's sure you could fill out all the information needed on a postcard everybody would pay one low flat rate. Regardless of your source of income regardless of how you spend your income. There's no question in my mind it would be extremely program the results would be. Tremendous economic. Growth and job creation now having said all that. Very unlikely that we're gonna get something that dramatic. I would love to. But I think we're probably gonna have to settle for something that's not as profound. But still could be very pro growth and very much encouraging them more job creation and higher wages so. I don't think we'll get a pure flat tax but hopefully will always move in that direction. Okay and there has been some talk about where we stand twist with tax reform. And the president and people were optimistic that maybe by August there might be something in now they don't seem optimistic on I know people are very nervous about this. Because we've talked about this before. People who money in their pockets and their running out of ways to get it that are legal so they want to see more money stay in their pockets but we hear from. Those who oppose that that will make that the deficit of the country somehow balloon where do you stand on on us and will we see it. Well. Yep people certainly want more. In their pockets and so while wanna see that as well the best way to get there is too. Increased their wages their wages go up. When business has to compete for more workers because there are growing their expanding so I think the real goal for tax reform should be to. Generate an economic growth so that companies are hiring and wages are rising that's that's the fundamental dynamic. Can we get there by August. That would be good but you know politically. The truth is most presidents have accomplished most of their big accomplishments in their first year. And it gets more difficult in a second year because. Mo well every house member and 13 of the senator up for election. And tax reform will often. It yelled they'll be if we do it right only wipe out some of the loopholes and write offs and and special favors for special industries while they'll get upset about that. I'm OK with that because we should have an honest fair simple tax system that doesn't pick winners and losers spot. When you make those changes you inevitably will offend some people it's of people angry those who benefit from the current arrangement right. So it becomes more a more difficult to get the votes in congress. As you approach the next congressional action until this year is the best year to do it. League president is bitten rapidly approaching 100. Days in office. I heard a news report on ABC over the weekend at that there is a criticism. That he hasn't signed big legislation yet. How how do you feel about that. Well. Yeah its very very hard to get really big legislation done in a hundred days I mean one of the big criticisms of the house. Health care bill. Was that it came together awfully quickly and people didn't feel like they had a chance to fully digested in. Advocate for the changes they want that sort of thing so I know the press loves the fixate on this hundred year country hundredth day metric. I don't think that's. Incredibly important and by the way there have been some significant accomplishments we have. And systematically rolling back. Excessive regulations that are counterproductive to economic growth. I think we've asked about a dozen discrete bills that roll back Obama era regulations. The president signed them and the law. The confirmation of new course which is a very very big deal and that happened than them might end up being the most consequential thing we do this year. And it's very consequential to put a really good person on the Supreme Court. I do think this strike in Syria now. Demands. They comprehensive. Plan from the administration that they should present to congress. Now we ought to vote on an authorization to proceed with that plan. So whether that happens within a hundred days or non and I'd like to see it sooner rather than later but there's still a lot of time this year I don't that we walk away from health care by any means we've got to get that done we promised that we've got to do that. And tax reform is still entirely doable. Our guest is Pennsylvania US senator Pat Toomey 5708830098. Or 1804370098. If he'd like to get in question here's another one by text. Asked about North Korea it's getting scary fast. It sure is and you know we just spent I don't know ten minutes talking about Syria in the Middle East but honestly I think North Korea is a more imminent threat to the United States. And that is simply the marriage. Of the nuclear weapons that we know they already have in the Intercontinental ballistic missiles that we know they are in the process of developing. I'm put those two together. And the apparently deranged individual would have the ability to hold hostage and threatened major American cities. I don't think that's an acceptable risk not to be wielded by. So the question is what do we do about it and it's it's it's very challenging this is where. The strike against Syria I think sent a very constructive message that it happened to happen. While Chinese president she is having dinner with president trump. And president trump leaned over to by the way you should know. We've just launched 59 tomahawk cruise missiles in response to series use of chemical weapons Ellis talk about North Korea. I'm it changes the context and the calculus for the Chinese. The fundamental challenge for us is getting the Chinese to be more assertive about getting rid of this madman who's so dangerous. The more they believe that we're gonna do it ourselves if they don't. The more likely the Chinese are I think to play constructive role and to help what are they out. Fearful of are they fearful of what will happen to I guess to their own country if something. Is done it's yeah they're they're afraid that a number of things. If he has the regime in North Korea were to collapse. They worry about one a mass exodus across the border into China refugees. That they have to then deal with they worry that could be destabilizing to parts of China. They warn that if that were to happen. The US might send. A greater commitment to secure South Korea and then here you would have a very powerful American presence right in their backyard at their doorstep they don't like that outcome. So and and frankly it's not that easy. One thing about this guy as crazy as he appears to us he's been able to hold on the power is a savage and ruthless dictator meaning. Murders his own family members and anyone else that he just questions their loyalty so it is difficult. To get the it in person intelligence. That would make him vulnerable. Typical for anyone nevertheless the Chinese are actively supporting. The North Korean economy. And I think that's gonna have to end. If we're gonna get to get the regime change that we need there. He's another guy that we are watching closely in the B Wladimir who know what is. What is his stake in Syria what did he know in advance against is the question about. This chemical attack I guess people asked about that and they won known. About him and of course there's all of that it's not as noisy easy used to be remember remember there was this notion that. He had somehow tinkered and now with our election and that that's not that that's to be kind of muted now that we have other bigger problems and and sometimes that happens so. What what Vladimir Putin and his relation and and by the way here's another guy that's been known to be ruthless. What about his his relationship with Donald Trump our presence and and this the strike seems to have kind of put Russia also on notice that. That's is there's consequences here for behavior I think this put put on his back foot I don't think he saw this coming. And let's face it aside wouldn't be in power today if weren't for potent. Now on the attacks that the Asad regime has carried out including them massacres with chemical weapons wouldn't be possible. Without at least indirect Russian support and it might be. Pretty direct we don't we don't know for sure but the Russians may have been complicit even in specific chemical attacks so. I think potent Phelps. Under President Obama he had complete impunity to do it every wanted to get away with which he did and he did so. I my guess is he probably was caught by surprise because as a candidate Donald Trump. Suggested that you know these are other people's problems not ours will work with the Russians and you know that that tone. Was probably frankly comforting to to potent. I'm I think not so much anymore. And when when he saw that the president trump is willing to. Make stand like this. I think it's a whole different calculus for patent and who is button it very dangerous guy. Miss that guy who. Hey you know he's presiding over a country that's in the demographic death spiral its economy is pathetic. The John McCain put it well he said pressure's really gas station masquerading as a country. And and poems got all kinds of problems the way he shores up his own personal political support is having enemies. That he can intimidate and and he can portray himself as a great defender of the great Russia. To his own people. So that makes him a dangerous man. It sounds like The Wizard of Oz. Well except that was divide us with nuclear weapons and very significant conventional forces as well but it is Seton. I mean that the images of lack of recruitment I think for a lot a lot of passes he's. An extremely strong leader that you're you're seeing that he's got a lot of deficits in terms of what he has to work. Oh yeah oh absolutely not mean he's he's politically popular at the moment because people I think a lot of Russians have felt the humiliation of what was once thought of as a great empire of the Soviet Union was considered too you know one of the two superpowers. Militarily it was but it was never an economic. Superpower. And the political system has always been a disaster remains a disaster. Now they see in Vladimir Putin a guy who kind of allows a server surgeons of Russian pride when they go when you know invade. That Ukraine and and exports of Crimean and start to dictate terms in the Middle East which was it's an area they've been out of for forty years sell. That is what potent as the cultivate because he doesn't have a good story domestically. For the people he supposed to lead. Will all of us. Travel around the world all this turbulence that's been there all along but there seems be pockets of it rearing its head. Just take away from. That the promise of the president of America first and kind of this. Look at that national I mean who do you think the our focus will once again be taken away from what we can do in this country to help. The people here who have suffered greatly in about the past ten years. It doesn't have to and it shouldn't. The the fact is a stable world is in America's interest and it's in the interest of people in Lucerne county. Who really wanna be able to support their family. And have a better standard of living. Our economy will be stronger our opportunities will be greater if the world is generally stable. And so American leadership. Is is good for American citizens and it is not a contradiction. To want to make sure we have that stability around the world. But still we focus on maximizing economic growth and opportunity internally. That was quick close and it it was nice he would stop iPad two and it's always great we had a time Renny. Yes home my goodness they probably won't let us have any more I know you have a really big schedule right that you did Eddie. CEO we haven't seen each other person in previous years and I know it's been a long time. And thanks for the great tunes you'd like you're welcome any time by the way if you just to drive a man highway anyone to bring donuts just just stop you know what I mean our idea deceived analyst down in the dominant category and a way to go buddy now. Now math but he he looks great in it's nice to see your staff and thanks to come in and.