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tv   Interview with Representative-elect Jodey Arrington R-TX  CSPAN  January 1, 2017 5:05am-5:15am EST

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tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." congress meets tuesday for the first time. our live coverage begins at 7:00 a.m. eastern and continues throughout the day with the swearing in of members and the election of house speaker. we recently met up with newly a lack that members to discuss their background -- with newly slected members to thdiscus their background. >> jodey arrington of texas. republican. representing the 19th district. why did you decide to run for office? rep. arrington: like a lot of americans, i was very frustrated with the state of the union. i thought that washington was
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just broken and dysfunctional and not solving the problems that were facing our country. i have three young kids, i have a 5-year-old, 3-year-old and 2-year-old, and i wanted to make sure they grew up in a safe, strong and free america. i have some experience serving with president bush and being here, and i thought that experience would bode well for my district. and i have a passion for public service. the combination of all those things, the timing seem to be right. i prayed about it, and it seemed like i needed to do my part in service to my country, and i am honored i get to have the opportunity. >> what were you doing before you won this house seat? rep. arrington: i was president of health care innovation company. the company owns a health system that i did not run. i was starting and growing a telemedicine company. one of the ways we were using telemedicine was to bring specialty care in the population center where i am from to rural communities through partnerships with
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community hospitals. >> you mentioned george w. bush. talk about your experience working for him. rep. arrington: a great friend and mentor and a strong leader. somebody who obviously has made a tremendous impression upon me as a young staffer who grew in my 10 years of service with him as governor and president. i got to be an advisor to him in the white house. i was there on 9/11. all of those things really did impact me and my view of governing and leading. i think he was a strong leader when it came to national security. i think he understood his first job was to keep the american people safe, and i think protecting strength and exercising our military force responsibly was something that kept the world more stable and
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kept the american people safer. that was something i talked about during the campaign and would harken back to george w. bush as commander-in-chief as opposed to the last eight years of barack obama. we did talk a lot about that. he is from midland, texas, which is actually the neighboring community and neighboring district with my district. he actually ran for this seat. the only time he was beat in a political race was for this seat in 1978. there is some interesting history there. he is a guy who, especially as governor, that was very results-oriented. he brought people together. a lot of folks don't remember this, but when he was governor, the speaker of the house was from west texas, was a democrat, and the lieutenant governor was a democrats. they met every week, they laid out a plan for how they were going to move texas forward, solve problems, deliver results, and they did it. so when i, as a young, impressionable guy who wanted to
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change the world and politics, i watched a guy work with people of all ideological persuasions and certainly across the aisle, to actually do good by the people. i don't think he was as successful, and i think that was a regret of his when he came to washington as president but that , was an influence on me. >> so what was your position, what were you advising him on? rep. arrington: i was helping him assemble his leadership team in the white house on agriculture and energy and natural resources. so i worked with the cabinet secretaries on the senate-confirmed political appointments. i would meet with him every week, and i would present those appointment options to him and make a recommendation. and i did that in texas, as well, for gubernatorial appointments. the difference is there is not a cabinet form of executive
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government there, so they were bored and commission members, volunteers citizens doing part-time governance as opposed to part-time people like assistant secretaries and under secretaries for this, that, and the other. >> to the former president give you any advice on how to win the seat he lost? rep. arrington: his best advice was leading by example and what it did to impress upon me how one should lead, how one should govern, how one should approach public office. i think he had tremendous regard for the office of the presidency. so i look at it with great esteem. i think it was his dad who said that public office is a noble calling and public service is a noble calling. so i think that was his greatest contribution to me. and the fact that he supported me financially, he and mrs. bush, it meant a whole lot to me. because i don't think he really
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does endorsements, but we certainly considered that one. he is very popular, and i think he's become more popular as time has gone by, and i think history has proven that his focus and his strong stance on post-9/11 foreign policy was actually good for the world and good for america. he is tremendously popular in his own backyard of west texas. so it worked out for me. but i am honored to serve with him. i consider him a friend and someone who shaped my career and perspective on leadership. >> what are your aspirations in washington? rep. arrington: just make a difference. make the country, again, safer, stronger, more prosperous so my kids have an opportunity. people asked me all the time, will you take a pledge for this,
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will you pledge to never do this. i say, my pledge is to uphold the constitution. my pledge is to live the best i can to my christian principles. and my pledge is to make decisions that will make this country better and stronger for my children. that is my pledge. >> speaking of your family, will they be joining you out here in washington, d.c.? rep. arrington: they will. i have a young family, and i live a long way from here. it takes half a day to get back. so while i will spend a lot of time in the district, i want to be unencumbered by family responsibilities, and i also do not want to be here all week without my family. i want to be able to go home, to tuck them in bed. pray with them, eads with them. we will try to make it as normal as possible. i know we are going to make sacrifices, but as i have said to my wife, i am willing to make sacrifices to do this job, but
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i am not willing to sacrifice my family for this job. we have to find that balance. it will take time to learn the rhythm of this new job. i am so excited. for me, since i was 16, i wanted to change the world, and i knew this was the arena i would do it in. here i am 28 years later and i have the opportunity. i feel the weight of that responsibility, especially with this election. people are saying they are tired of business as usual. they want to change the culture of washington. sign me up. i want to do that. that is why i am here. >> thank you very much for talking to c-span. >> the new congress starts tuesday. watch all of the opening day events and activities on c-span. we are live from the u.s. capitol starting at 7:00 a.m. eastern. you'll meet new representatives and hear from returning members. the house gavels in at noon. opening day business includes the election of the house speaker, his address to the whole house, and later, debate
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and a vote on rules for the new congress. one rule in particular is getting attention. a proposal to fine members who live stream video from the house floor, in response to last summer's democratic sit-in that was streamed by several democrats. on c-span 2, our live coverage of the senate starts at noon eastern and includes the swearing-in of senators. opening day continues on c-span 3 with live coverage of the swearing-in of members of congress. at 1:00 p.m. eastern, vice president joe biden presides over the swearing in of individual senators. and at 3:00, speaker paul ryan swears at members of the house. we will have a full replay at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span and c-span 2. in his last weekly address of 2016, president obama highlights with united states has accomplished this year.

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