Congressman Jim Himes joined us for a live, 30-minute Q&A on Wednesday, February 17.
Questions came from the community. Mr. Himes discussed his experience in the Capitol on January 6, the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, the proposed minimum wage increase, infrastructure spending, renewable energy, cyber attacks, immigration reform, the Justice Department, the healthcare public option, “dealing with climate change in a smart way,” and how we can make our civil discourse less tribal and more truthful.
If you would like to see specific topics, scrub through the video to time locations noted below. The times are in minutes and seconds.
Times and topics
0:50 Congressman Himes discusses his experience in the Capitol on January 6 when rioters stormed the floor of the Senate and House. “You see mobs all over the world,” he says. “This crowd was moved by a lie.”
4:35 Mr. Himes explains the provisions of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill and its importance to Connecticut, and how “overheated political rhetoric” will be proved wrong.
9:00 The congressman acknowledges the case against the size of the bill, but says, “Let’s take a risk of doing too much rather than the risk of too little.”
11:00 Mr. Himes says he supports a $15 per hour minimum wage. Earlier he said he does not expect it to pass in the stimulus bill.
12:30 Congressman Himes says the stimulus bill does not include infrastructure spending, which comes next, after “we get this Covid bill done.”
13:50 Mr. Himes dismisses claims by the governor of Texas that his state’s recent power grid failure was caused by reliance on renewable energy. He acknowledges that backup sources are needed for wind and solar, but says the Texas governor was “indulging in culture war baloney.”
15:50 The congressman discusses progress already made in hardening America’s infrastructure against cyber attacks, but says the country needs a renewed focus on deterrence. He describes the differences between Chinese and Russian hackers.
19:45 Mr. Himes discusses the practical and political complexities of immigration reform. He says the previous administration’s policy of separating children from their families at the border will “go down as one of the blemishes on the moral standing of our country.”
22:50 The congressman says the next Attorney General will restore “a more traditional, independent Department of Justice,” but worries about “the brain drain there.”
24:50 Congressman Himes says he supports a healthcare public option, but acknowledges “the fair argument from the other side” that a subsidized system could harm competition and lead to higher prices if it is not constructed well.
27:20 In closing, Mr. Himes says other priorities include “dealing with climate change in a smart way” with investments in technology. He also says “our politics are in crisis. They are completely tribal. Facts don’t matter. That has to change.” He says he hopes to model a more civil discourse.