President Trump signed stopgap legislation on Friday to avoid a government shutdown, keeping federal agencies open until December 22nd. That gives Congress two more weeks to pass a complete spending bill, or run out of money. Cheddar caught up with Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA), to talk about some of the biggest political issues on the Hill right now, from GOP tax reform to a potential presidential impeachment.
Both the House and the Senate have passed bills in the last month in support of the Republican Tax plan, which will raise the national debt by $1.3 trillion. Democrats have openly criticized the bill, and opted to vote against it. But, Lieu says that he and his colleagues are not against tax reforms in general, just against “stupid tax reforms.”
“The current GOP proposal raises taxes for millions of middle class families, it blows a hole to our deficit and federal debt because a lot of it is not paid for,” he said, “and most of the benefits flow to the wealthy and corporations. That’s not what America needs right now.”
Many wealthy Americans live in the Los Angeles 33 district, which Lieu represents, but the congressman told Cheddar that his constituents are “actually pretty smart” and understand that trickle-down economics does not work.
Lieu, who’s also a member of the House Judiciary Committee, voted in favor of impeachment articles introduced by Rep. Al Green (D-TX) Thursday. The articles did not pass, but there were 58 votes in favor. Some Democrats, such as House Leader Nancy Pelosi, are not advocating impeachment proceedings, and others argue that impeachment proceedings could interfere with the ongoing Robert Mueller investigations. Lieu says he agrees with both sentiments, but that impeachment hearings take a long time.
“I sit in the House Judiciary Committee, if there were impeachment proceedings, that’s where it will start,” he said. “We are watching the President of the United States commit obstruction of justice in plain view, and we need to have discussions about it.”
Lieu added that Mueller’s investigation became a “game changer” when he only charged former presidential advisor Mike Flynn with lying to the FBI.
“I’m a former prosecutor and you don’t do a plea deal like that when you only charge one count, when you could’ve charged many,” he said. “He did that deal to go after people above Michael Flynn, there’s only a handful of those.”