India, Justice Department, Representative Tom Reid discussed on All Things Considered

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

NPR news. This is all things considered. I'm Elsa Chand. I'm Audie Cornish. President Trump says he's going to make the GOP the party of healthcare. But he's told his Justice department to support illegal effort to cancel the Affordable Care Act known as ObamaCare. This is a reversal from the administration's previous position to let the popular parts of the law stand, for instance, the law barring insurers from charging people more for pre existing conditions. The threat to ObamaCare was a winning campaign issue for House Democrats, and it's been a source of frustration for Republicans who've tried and failed to repeal it many times to talk more about this. We have Representative Tom Reid of New York. He's a Republican co chair of the house problem solvers caucus. Welcome to all things considered. That's great to be with you. Thanks for having me on. So just so everyone's clear about what we're talking about. The administration is backing lower court ruling that says the ObamaCare system should be wiped out because the tax plan that you all pass last year away the penalty for not having health insurance. And if the supreme court rules that ObamaCare is out we will have a plan that's far better that ObamaCare. So as this makes its way through the courts does the party have any kind of alternative to ObamaCare right now. Well, you know, I believe we do in the sense of our our solutions being based on bring a market pressure to bear into the healthcare arena drive these costs down. However, I mean one with the votes, right? Is that's been the probably definitely can repeal it. You just can't seem to come up with an alternative. And then that's exactly the issue. And that's one of the reasons I disagree with the position of repealing the entire law through the judicial system through the court system. I'm a Republican who believes that what we should do proactively address the problems of healthcare and lead the provisions that we agree with the pre existing condition protection, for example, allow that to remain as the laws land and move forward. And I think that's going to be the case, regardless of what happens in the court system. You've called this a poor political move. I I did not only substantively does it put millions of Americans in harm's way. If the court agrees with the Justice department that the whole law needs to be ruled unconstitutional. I think politically to not have a concrete proposal of concrete plan on the Republican side that we can roll out with the votes with democrat Republican support to get to the president's desk and signed into law is risky puts a lot of people are rightfully so and then anxious position and politically that causes us to be in a weaker position in my political opinion. Now, that's just my opinion. But you know, that's why I disagree with us both on political and substantive basis. You said anxious position. Do you feel that Republicans won't be known as the party of healthcare? Right. That the somehow be the party against healthcare. I think we're going to be a party that's going to offer solutions. And I just hope that what we can do is. We have that debate is bring Democrats to the table that want to be practical. Now want to actually solve this problem of healthcare costs ever creasing lover hate the Affordable Care Act. It does not doing what they promised. It would do and that's spring healthcare costs down, and what we should be doing is Republicans and Democrats finding ways to lower drug prices for folks seniors in particular, lower access cost to healthcare overall and show these benefits in patients pocket as opposed to negotiated between carriers in administrators so far the problem. Solvers caucus has not solved any problems, right? I think there's been one major piece of legislation. You guys have sponsored related to opioid abuse. Which was fairly popular. I mean, what's your response to the criticism that this group gives the appearance of compromise? But doesn't have action especially on an issue like health care. Fundamentally, I fundamentally vigorously disagree with your assessment, we haven't solved any problems. That's just false. What we have done is. We got prison reform criminal Justice reform. We were the voice in the house. They got through the house Senate into the president signed into law. We have changed the house rules is the problem solvers caucus members so uniting together to empower members to bring legislation to the floor changing the rules of the house of representatives is generational institutional reform that the magnitude of that impact cannot be discounted. So we are we are moving forward with solutions many issues where I wanted to tell you, you know, we're not looking to solve the issues with our proposals. It's our way or the highway we take input we tried to influence the agenda in a positive way. And if a piece of it gets to the finish line war good with that too. It's not all about our ideas is about solving problems with people back home. That's Tom Reid of New York. Republican congressman thank you for speaking with us. All right. Thanks for having me on. There is still a lot of head scratching over what happened in the case of jussie smollet. He's the actor who was indicted on sixteen felony counts. He was charged with filing a false police report saying he had been the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. And then you suddenly yesterday prosecutors in Cook County, Illinois dropped all the charges in a statement. They said it was in return for small let's agreement to do community service and forfeit his ten thousand dollar bond for more on that decision. We are joined now by Cook County state's attorney Kim, FOX, welcome. Thank you for having me. So this statement from your office yesterday said, quote, we did not exonerate Mr. small, but you dropped all the charges against him. So do you or don't you believe that he committed the crimes he was charged with? So in order for us to offer Mr. small at the opportunity to have conditions in exchange dropped the charges. We have to believe that he committed that. Is it is my ethical obligation to not as someone to do something in condition if I don't believe that they didn't commit a crime. So yes, we believe that the case was a sufficient case for us to prosecute. Should we have decided to do? Okay. So this move to drop all the charges was not connected to any new evidence. That changed your understanding of the facts in the case is that what you're saying. Yes. Speaking speaking of the office because as you know, and I don't know if we'll get to it. I was accused right. From the case. But no, I had nothing to do with the strength of the case. I think what most people don't understand is. We have an ethical obligation to only proceed in cases in courts, where we believe that we have the evidence to meet our burden in this case, it was part of an alternative prosecution program. If you will we cannot offer a diversion remedy to someone that we believe is not guilty. And then your office you've used the phrase alternative prosecution, but a lot of people take issue with the use of that phrase because in most alternative prosecutions, the defendant agrees to community service or drug treatment, the defendant accepts responsibility for what he or she has done, and then the charges get dropped. That is not what happened here with Jesse small let he had sixteen hours of community service earlier this week. He forfeited his ten thousand dollar bond, and then he had his charges dropped how is this alternative prosecution? Well, I wanna be clear there's an umbrella of things they fall under alternative prosecution. The statue doesn't allow for people to participate in restitution. So the ten thousand dollars which is the maximum allowed under the statute, it doesn't allow them to do community service without having to acknowledge guilt for some the admission of guilt. And having that on the record incentivizes them to do those other things that you talked about whether it was community service or restitution the statute allows us to choose how we want to proceed now yesterday. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel had some pretty harsh words about this decision. He called it a whitewash of Justice and suggested that it sent the message that there are two sets of rules went for celebrities and the wealthy and one for everyone else. Does it concern you that people might have that impression of what happened here? It does concern me because what happened yesterday was the rules that we have for everyone else. The fifty seven hundred people who've participated on alternative prosecutions was the same things that we made available to Mr. small it. I mean, I think the question they just you smile at. We'll have to answer is he paid the ten thousand dollars which we consider to be restitution. He did the community service but will linger with him. Whether he was had. I'd done this or been found not guilty by a judge or guilty answering for what he had done, and that will last longer than this court case or whatever potential court case he will have to live with those questions in his credibility. His days moving forward. All right. That's kim. Fox. She's the Cook County Illinois state's attorney. Thank you very much. Thank you. India announced today that it has successfully tested a satellite killing weapon. NPR's Jeff Brumfield has more on the test. And what it could mean for the region. Indian prime minister Narendra Modi announced the tested, a national address pot up the arch up on our nam unreach-. He says that India now stands tall as a space. Power. Vip hindering is a political. Scientists did not he says the test apparently used an Indian made missile to strike an Indian made satellite. They launch a missile from their missile test site and intercepted the satellite, which was in orbit at three hundred kilometers in space three hundred kilometers or one hundred eighty six miles is actually a relatively low orbit. No pun intended is relatively low hanging fruit in terms of a kill. But you know, it is it's only the fourth country. That's demonstrated set capabilities. The other three are China Russia and the United States Brian Weeden. With the secure world foundation. He says there's an anti-satellite arms race happening right now. And there are no arms control treaties to stop it organizations. Like the UN regularly talk about limiting weapons in space. But there really hasn't been any serious discussion about dealing with ground based anti satellite weapons. We didn't says the main danger is debris that can be created by hitting a satellite a two thousand seven tests by China's speed thousands of fragments into orbit many are still up there. So the concern would be that if there's a future conflict, which weaned US, China US and Russia India and China India and Pakistan that these weapons might be used and lower Thorpe, it might become filled with deadly shrapnel that could knock out other non-military satellites VIP in Narang says he sees another purpose behind India's test today to strike the satellite the Indian military. Used to find a missile designed to intercept other missiles hitting a satellite is similar to striking and incoming warheads. So the tests may actually be about missile defense. If that's the case, then it's also designed to send a message they'll say, it's directed towards any other country. But this is clearly I think relevant to Pakistan India's nuclear-armed rival in the region. Finally, today's test may have a domestic purpose. India will begin national elections in a few weeks time Narang says Modise speech about India is a space power will burnish his reputation as strong on defense. Jeff from phil- NPR news. This is NPR news with K Q weedy traffic.

Coming up next