During his visit to Arizona. President Trump reiterated his campaign promise to build a wall along the US-Mexico border, stating that he would shut down the government if the wall did not receive funding.
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott, aligns with the President’s wishes to build a border wall, and is confident it will become a reality. “We should have the ability to build that wall,” Gossar said.
Coming up next on Arizona Horizon, congressman Paul Gosar joins us in studio to talk about the Trump tax plan, the future of DACA and more. And also tonight, veterans are being asked to take part in a state-wide survey. Those stories next, on Arizona Horizon.
Ted Simons: Good evening and welcome to Arizona Horizon. I'm Ted Simons. The Phoenix city council will not conduct an independent review of police actions after last week's rally for President Trump. Phoenix city manager Ed Zuercher withdrew his recommendation for the review after a contentious council meeting. Hundreds of citizens showed up to voice their frustration with city. Leaders and law enforcement. And while a few speakers came to support the police, the majority expressed outrage at the department's use of tear-gas and pepper balls after the president's rally at the convention center. And Ryan Winkle was unanimously voted "off" the mesa city council today, this after a disciplinary hearing looked at winkle's conviction for extreme DUI. The council decided that the DUI demonstrated Winkle's lack of fitness for office. Winkle's attorneys argued, unsuccessfully, that removal was a purely political matter and that "voters" should be the arbiters of winkle's political fate. These are nothing if not interesting times in Washington. The trump presidency makes for explosive headlines on a routine basis, with the possible elimination of DACA and a push for tax-cuts on the Horizon. Joining us now to discuss these and other issues is congressman Paul Gosar, he's a republican and he represents Arizona’s 4th congressional district, which includes much of the western part of the state. Good to see you. Your assessment of President Trump so far?
Paul Gosar: So far, what he has done is made promises during the campaign and he is being articulate about not reneging on the promises and checking the box. He made promises and he is trying to keep them.
Ted Simons: And do you have c con confidence, and bob corker, said the president has not demonstrated the stability or competence to be president. Do you have competence in him?
Paul Gosar: I do. I think those are harsh words. There are over 200 bills on the senate's desk that have been pushed from the house and no action on the senate. Budgetary applications are behind. I think the president has tried to get congress to act and respond in a force full manner. I think it is very discerning that a member of the senate that is already showing its dysfunction is taking pot shots.
Ted Simons: I think he took the shot after the Charlottesville situation. Do you think the president has set a moral course to unify the country?
Paul Gosar: No, this country wasn't unified period from the previous administration. The Obama administration had a golden opportunity to be the great uniter and instead became the great divider. From that stand point, we have lots of problems and that further divides. You start getting solutions to the problems we are facing and that starts unifying them and you are getting something done.
Ted Simons: We had Senator Flake on the program. We wrote the book and I don't know if you read it but it was harsh of conservatives in general and trump presidency and administration particularly. When the president tweets what he tweets and acts the way he does what do you think?
Paul Gosar: I came into the politics as a dentist and I am still a dentist and then politician. I understand we will not be politically correct. We will say things maybe the political class isn't going to enjoy. What I find disturbing is that the president was elected by the majority of people in the United States. Where is it with Senator Flake and others to get onboard and make amends and agenda going forward. We have tax reform, debt ceiling, and in spite of congress we had a growth rate over 3% in the 2nd quarter. The economy, this country is waiting for congress to get onboard. The house has done it but the senate has done very little.
Ted Simons: Do you support the idea of a government -- by the way, when anyone says the president was elected by the majority of the people but I have to mention the majority of the electoral college. As far as shutting down the government to fund a border wall. What do you think of that?
Paul Gosar: I have floated ideas that meet both of these things. We have the lower Santa Cruz and we get flooded all the time. Why not initiate a collaboration between Mexico, the United States and Arizona so we build a structure that mitigates that water. It is a win-win and Mexico pays part of the bill on that application. From that standpoint, a decade ago, people bipartisan voted to build the wall. We are a counter -- country. We should have the ability to build the wall.
Ted Simons: do you like the bully pulpit tactic?
Paul Gosar: That is his reality. It is up to congress to make it stand. But, you know, we need reforms in those aspects. Not only there in the budget but also making sure we are living within our means.
Ted Simons: Tax cut ideas from the president. Your thoughts? It sounds like tax reform has morphed into tax cuts just to get something done.
Paul Gosar: You have to keep it simple and get something to the people. Businesses are hungry. They need some way of investing in themselves. This is the easiest way to do this. Keep it simple. Steven Moore wrote a nice piece into the "wall street journal." keep it simple, stupid. Keep it simple, allow it to proliferate and allow people to keep more money at home especially with middle class. They would save over $2,000 people. Most middle class people would relish spending that money.
Ted Simons: And nonpartisan groups looking at the effect on the budget shows this looks like the president is embracing deficit spending. I know republicans are not big on deficit spending.
Paul Gosar: They are not. We have problems which those that give us calculations. A cbo has hardly been right in anything they have done. I wanted a group that wanted to see a change and get rid of the analysis from cbo and give dynamic scoring a chance. Brookings and others. Giving them a chance to pony up better accurate demonstrations.
Ted Simons: But the idea of giving corporations more tax breaks when they are sitting on trillions in cash. Does that make sense?
Paul Gosar: The reason they are sitting on cash is because what is in it for them to expand their portfolio? You have to make an opportunity. If they have the opportunity to build in this country instead of shielding it outside of this country we are going to see a reap of benefits. China did it over and again. We saw it with Reagan.
Ted Simons: We had to raise taxes later on to pay for it some would argue.
Paul Gosar: Some would argue and some would argue we didn't fix mandatory aspects either.
Ted Simons: Raising the debt ceiling to avoid default. Explain that.
Paul Gosar: There is not a point of default. But if we are going to raise the debt ceiling we have to have reforms. Absolutely have to have reforms. That means something up front to show good faith and good will because trust is built on promises kept. That means leadership has to comply. If you are a single independent with no dependents, you need to get a job. Benefits on Medicaid and welfare were a hand up instead of a permanent hand out.
Ted Simons: That would suggest earned income tax credits would be a way to go as far as tax reform.
Paul Gosar: It may be. There are a number of aspects floating out there. And ways and means are looking at a number of those aspects. So privy to the details is going to be interesting. You know, the house has been very format in focusing what they are doing. We haven't seen much from the senate side.
Ted Simons: The president could as early as tomorrow more than likely next week resend the deportation aspect for those who were brought here as children. DACA. What do you think of that?
Paul Gosar: Well, first of all the way it was constructed by Obama was President Trump was illegal. Article 1 section 8 gives congress that jurisdiction. Congress needs to have that jurisdiction application. By utilizing the power of the purse he violated the act. What he did was actually used in line forces whether it be attorneys and staff at doj, state department, and homeland security to move 750,000 people through. The better way, ted, is to go back to where we got the clog and that is the rightful way to come into this country. We need to do that and work backwards streamline.
Ted Simons: I think we may found out if President Obama broke the law because if President Trump doesn't do anything we have a lawsuit waiting to be filled by attorney general. With that in mind --
Ted Simons: That hasn't happened yet. What happens to these 800 some odd thousand people?
Paul Gosar: We have to have that conversation. One thing I quote in this regard is we see defiance over and over again from government not to enforce our borders. So I quote Lois Brandice with who says if government becomes a law breaker which it has it breeds contempt to the law and invites anarchy. Do I say anything less?
Ted Simons: Okay. A student approaches you and says if this happens I am going to be sent to a country I am not familiar with, can't speak the language, I am an American, and succeeded and works here. What do you do?
Paul Gosar: Congress needs to get onboard and say if we are going to allow that individual to be brought in on circumstances under their own are they saying on a voluntary aspect period of time? That is congress' will to do. That is congress' will. Not the president of the United States. The problem we find ourselves, Ted, since Wilson and definitely since Roosevelt we have been giving up a lot of our powers of congress to the executive branch. It is not right to do this. But that is where we sit. We see government not enforce our border policy. We see them not intercede on drug addiction. That is we have the opioid problem over and over. People saying listen, health care system actually works. It doesn't and can't even with the money you put into it. You have to uphold that degradation.
Ted Simons: You stand by the rule of law succeeds in relationship to Joe Arpaoi?
Paul Gosar: I do.
Ted Simons: Some argue the rule of law was he was convicted.
Paul Gosar: I would argue it was politicized and this is hardly a stall of justice particularly when you look at fast and furious, irs, unmasking of American citizens right and left. It goes on and on. When you politicize that and yeah, a gentlemen who is tried and asked for a jury trial is told he can't have that, that tells me the system is rigged against it. From that stand point the president had plenty of opportunity to do this and it was in his jurisdiction. The president did a good move.
Ted Simons: Would you like to see more pardons in terms of court cases you don't necessarily agree with?
Paul Gosar: I think this is a little different. We saw president Obama do a lot of people incarcerated based on drugs. In my neck of the woods, people are up in arms because of the drug epidemic we are seeing with opioids and heroin flowing freely across the Mexican-United States border. From that standpoint, you know, this is a time we had this discussion and I know the democrats have a voice now saying listen, they want to start investigating pardons. Where was their voice for the last eight years?
Ted Simons: From what I hear and some of the argument is most of those pardons, if not all of them, were people who were convicted and served some time. Whereas, there was no sentencing here yet. A lot of legal people and republicans are worried about the precedent that sets.
Paul Gosar: This also gets back to same jurisdiction of the 9th circus. The most overturned group and immigration stances that a number of judges took were farcical in an application. Didn't even come up on the law. So we have to have a moment of time where we actually get back that point of law and balance between the executive branch, balance between the legislative branch.
Ted Simons: Would you rather see it go through the courts than a political pardon?
Paul Gosar: It would be nice if we saw a justice department that was fair but it wasn't. We had to intervene in a number of cases where the justice department was going to turn loose an individual, an illegal alien who had hepatitis. Give me a break. There has to be some conforming within politics and the judicial system.
Ted Simons: In general, are you concerned for the country right now? And do you understand why so many are?
Paul Gosar: I am. That is why I ran. I don't see self-accountable and too many people thinking what my country has to do for me instead of what I can do for my country. That is a nuance John F. Kennedy looked at. Our rights are built on the constitution and we defy it day in and day out. We have lost the sense of community, the sense of history. What we see now with socialism on the prowl. If we don't fight back we will lose everything.
Ted Simons: Is Donald Trump fighting back to your satisfaction?
Paul Gosar: I like that. I do. It is the point of initiating the response you actually get a discussion. Discussions are good. I thought we were about the debate. I don't see a lot of debate. I am starting to see a little bit more in the house because of the group I am familiar with and that is the freedom caucus. The debate is not into the senate. Americans need to see the debate because the cream rises to the top.
Ted Simons: Good to have you on, congressman. Coming up next on Arizona Horizon, an effort to find out directly from veterans on how to improve veterans services. That's straight ahead.