A longtime leader of the California Republican congressional delegation says his former colleagues were punished by voters in the midterm election because they failed to stand up to the Trump Administration.
"Oversight, which is a Constitutionally directed responsibility, is so critically important," said former Congressman David Dreier, who spent 32 years in Congress before deciding not to seek re-election in 2012. "And my Republican colleagues did not, I believe, do an adequate enough job."
"When President Bush was president and I was chairing the Rules Committee, we insisted on oversight among our committee chairmen," Dreier said. "And we did a lot of it. Ours is a nation of institutions. We need to remember that, and Congress needs to exercise that (oversight) authority."
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Dreier is the co-producer of a feature documentary out next month on the issue of US-China relations. The film "Better Angels" by Oscar winning director Malcom Clark advocates for a less confrontational approach to the world's second-largest economy. While saying he "recognizes the problems with China" from human rights violations to intellectual property theft, Dreier says the United States cannot afford to see China as an enemy.
"The threat of conflict does exist," Dreier said. "...How do we avoid getting into a shooting war with China while pursuing our values? ...I think we have an opportunity to lower the temperature in the relationship, and I believe 'Better Angels' can be transformational in that relationship."
Also appearing on the program was State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, who said that despite the "super majority" Democrats now enjoy in the legislature, his party will continue to discuss policy goals with Republicans. As for the election, Rendon said voters rewarded Democrats because of confidence in the legislature's accomplishments.
"I think that says a lot about what we've done on infrastructure...our record funding on education...this is a blue state, but it is a blue state because we've gotten the work done," Rendon said on the program.
Rendon says he and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom have had several meetings regarding the next legislative session: "We've talked about early childhood equation...He definitely wants to be aggressive on poverty... so I'm excited to get to work with Gavin Newsom."