Dan Caplis Show, Ken Buck, July 6, 2017

Station:    KNUS, 710 am

Show:       Dan Caplis Show

Guests:    Buck, Ken

Link:       http://dancaplis.podbean.com/

Date:        July 6, 2017


Click Here for Audio

HOST DAN CAPLIS:  Ken Buck joins us out of the gate. That’s always a perfect way to start the day. And I think has a darn good idea. Congressman, welcome back to 710 KNUS!


Thank you, my friend. So, tell everybody what you’re pushing here. I like it!

Well, it’s something that came up at a Freedom Caucus meeting. I think it’s a good idea. A group of us spoke about it beforehand, but I think it’s really important that we get more done back in Washington DC, and that we do away — this year — with our August recess. So, I’ve got dozens of meetings set in Colorado in the Fourth Congressional district in August. It is not as if we’re – everyone – is going on vacation. But I really think the priority has to be to get tax reform done, to finish the healthcare bill, to pass a budget, to work on the appropriations bills, to get those things done and out of the way so that we start in September fresh and not behind the gun, as we will if we don’t take off the August recess – put it aside – stay in DC and get the work done.

Well, I think that’s going to be a rare 80%-20% issue in America. I mean, the only people not behind that, you know, are going to be the anarchists who want to come and bust up any meetings you have back in the district.  Anyway, so what kind of support you think you are going to get for that? Is it going to happen?

Well, I have to tell you, the key support is leadership in the House and the Seante. And I just don’t know. Hopefully they take it seriously enough that they take a few weeks off of the August recess, at least, if not doing away with it completely. But Dan, if you think about it, the Senate has even more work than the House.  The administration is still not in place after all these months. We have got to keep the Senate in session so that we can get the political appointees in place. We don’t have a US attorney in Colorado. You don’t have a US Marshall in Colorado. We’ve got District Court judges who need to be appointed in Colorado. There’s a lot of work to do — even more in the Senate– and even more reason to stay back there.

Now, do you think whether the Senate stays in session will depend on whether you guys [in the House] stay in session?

I don’t know. It shouldn’t, because I think they could catch up on a lot of things. We finished our version of the healthcare bill. They have not done theirs. We have — we don’t have the confirmation process that they have, so—.


And frankly, we’re a lot more functional. We have a majority. We need only 51% to pass a bill. They need 60 votes to pass a bill for the most part, there. So it is a lot more important that they stay there and get their work done, and I think it sends a message to the Senators who are trying to obstruct progress that it’s not going to work. They’re going to give up their August in their states if they don’t get to work.

Right. How long is that August recess?

You know, it is going to be five or six weeks. It’s usually the last week of July, and it goes past Labor Day. So it’s a five or six week recess. And a lot of people do vacation during that time.


And frankly, it is hardship duty to be in Washington DC — to be in the swamp — at the height of its humidity.


And so I think that’s one reason why they chose August as the month to take off.  But – it is not necessarily pleasant, but it’s important work and we should be getting it done.

And Ken, if your proposal succeeds, will Congress work all five of those weeks, three of the weeks, etc.?  What is your plan?

My proposal is to do away with all five weeks and make sure we’re in DC working all five weeks. As I said, I think that leadership may compromise and stay back an extra week or two, but I think it’s a mistake. I think it’s a mistake that, you know, we — as Republicans — the voters have given us the House, the Senate, the White House and they are expecting results and we better produce.

why think you are right on target with that. When will we know well hopefully soon. And since July people have to make plans.

As I said on the 22 counties in the fourth congressional district of the Beagle County fairs and holding town hall meetings and and I’m excited about sand on the constituents back here, but I’m even more excited about passing tax reform and a budget.

No, the right now I think it would be great on every level, and hopefully in the end substantively as well that you know there would be some critical breakthrough type work done. But as folks in DC like to say I think the optics would be superb because I think it is you will know the reality of life for most Americans right now is a week or two. Vacation – max! A lot of people working second jobs and you know, just a lot of stress in most people’s lives over financial matters, etc.  So I think it would be much appreciated by most if your proposal sails. Now let me ask you, in terms of the appearances you’re doing in the district — and you know you’re John Wayne type. You’re a former prosecutor. You’re not going to be intimidated by a bunch of goofballs showing up to shout you down at the meeting. But how much of that are you running into?

You know, I just did some parades on July 4 and I’ve don a lot of town halls, in fact, practically as many town halls as anybody else in the delegation. And I have to tell you, I have worked out with the Indivisible group — with the more liberal wing of the Democratic Party – how we’re going to do town hall meetings. And they have been cooperative. There are no cameras. When you put a camera in a town hall meeting, you get people acting stupid because they want their 15 seconds of fame. And if you just have a serious discussion, I listen to what they have to say. I tell them what I hear in Washington DC, and why I vote the way I do vote. They don’t agree with me, but they respect it.  And we have had a good town hall meetings.

That is interesting! By the way, Congressman Ken Buck, our guest.  So, the lefties have agreed to no cameras, which really surprises me. I assume you still have people rolling on their cell phones, that sort of thing?

No! No, we stop a meeting if someone takes out their cell phone and starts recording and it has worked really well. I think most people are genuinely interested in hearing the issues. You get a couple of rabble-rousers, and the majority of the folks on the left are willing to say, “Hey, cut it out! This is what we’re going to do. We appreciate the Congressman coming in and sitting down us.”  The funny thing, Dan, is that my first two years in office it was all Republicans at town hall meetings, all of them upset about Pres. Obama and why I hadn’t voted to impeach the President. And now it’s all Democrats and they’re all upset about Pres. Trump. And frankly, asking many of the same questions.

to tell you I’m really encouraged to hear this from you. I’m surprised as well because my experiences been more with you know that the professional protesters. The disruptors who are there simply to disrupt make themselves the center of attention not really interested in discussion of the issue. So I’m encouraged to hear you talk about lefties of a different stripe who are willing to agree that kind of process just so they can get into the substance. I mean, to me, that’s positive!

It is positive.  The healthcare issue so complicated and there are so many agendas out there that groups are promoting that really can be undermined when you look at the facts. The affordable care act is is in a death spiral and is much as the left wants to argue that we should move from the affordable care act will single-payer system, they can see when they when they see how government runs the VA hospitals and and other programs that single-payer in this country would be a disaster be just a financial mess and would really undermine the quality of our healthcare so we do have a lot of good discussion this again about a post on the grade of at least they’re willing to listen.

a little while so surprised, pleasantly tell us about parades when you’re out there on the parade route. What sort of things are you encountering you are you getting anything from the crowd that you just feel you need to respond to. Again, this just goes to my perception that theirs is highly organized movement on the left right now obviously calling itself the resistance so what’s it like now out in these parades

You know, parades are a little bit more action in town. Also, town halls week, we have time limits, you know someone can ask the question for two minutes and I correspond for five minutes of the we keep moving in and they parade him walking behind them. And so this fits work like a 10 check out something at me and and you know save my healthcare don’t go to tickling my healthcare, look at him and say God bless America and and you know it’s there’s there’s not a lot of sub interchange, but I let them know that I hear him and were all Americans were all doing our best to take care the most vulnerable in our country, [and] at the same time make sure that you will bankrupt ourselves so I think people respect

[…]  So, I know you think a lot about these things Congressman. If you’re President of the United States — I’m shifting gears, obviously, right now.  If you’re President of the United States, you know, what do you do about North Korea?

Well, the first thing I’d do is give up my twitter account on president the second thing I do. I think that North Korea’s more rational that we give leadership credit for, and I think that’s we continue down the path of sanctions, I think we continue working with China and any of the so-called allies that North Korea has. I’m more concerned about what North Korea does with potential terrorist groups through Iran than I am with North Korea itself.  But certainly, it is a threat. We have to take it seriously. But I think economic sanctions are the right path, at this point.

Explain what you mean about the concern about cooperating with Iran, the North Korea-Iran alliance.

Well, you – Iran is clearly a state-sponsor of terrorism. They will do anything to attack Israel to attack United States to attack our interests in the Middle East and gaining the technology from Pakistan from North Korea. In the end, and perhaps the materials if were not able to intercept those back that creates a very serious problem north North Korea doesn’t necessarily have the ties to the radical extremist groups that Iran does. And so  that the combination I think is more lethal and and is just another reason why we really have to isolate

so could North Korea in your opinion at this point simply funnel nukes to around whether the suitcase nukes whether there there more conventional type of nukes could they just be the supplier how while Iran gets its own nuclear weapons program finalized?

yeah you know it’s one of those situations just like how we prevent terrorism in this country 99.9% of time to prevent terrorism that one time something happens and it’s a catastrophe. And so I think that we have a good grip on what’s going on in North Korea. But all I have to do is figure out one way to get something on a vessel that is for countries and the guest around and and were without a problem is. So yes, I think that they they could — although I give our intelligence agencies huge kudos for the great job that they have done up to this point

Let’s shift back for second Kim Jong-Il, North Korea, you talked about the more rationality and paraphrasing them than many assume if it came down to it in the yeah and and I understand others. Hopefully a lot that can be achieved through sanctions, etc. in the meantime, but if it comes down to a choice between a nuclear armed North Korea or military action to stop that, which direction would you go?

Well, we have a nuclear armed North Korea. They don’t have a missile capability to hit at this point. Japan, United States, and so I think what we have to do is we have to continue the economic sanctions I think we have to continue to develop our antimissile warfare, which is really superb at this point that can get a lot better and before we start a war between the United States and South Korea and North Korea would be absolutely devastating would be limit yes. Would we take out the leadership they are yes will prevent a nuclear catastrophe from occurring? Yes. But we would lose tens of thousands of lives with four clear yet and South Korea and I got a look at every option before we do that.

we can buck our special guest will cycle back at the end of our discussion a minute or two to the Congressman’s great idea for what Congress should do with the rest of the summer, but one more question North Korea if I may. I would imagine you have access to classified information that I don’t etc. I would have to imagine that that the horrific fallout from a full-scale military effort against North Korea goes beyond what most of us as everyday citizens could even begin to imagine but but if you are sitting there and in you reach that point in time where the reality is going to be that either Kim Jong-Il and is going to have the ability to nuke LA San Francisco Anchorage maybe even Denver at the push of a button or you’re going to have that this major military effort. Could you Congressman knowing everything that you do could you live with a nuclear armed North Korea with the ability to strike the United States at the push of a button? Or is that the one scenario that would tip you toward the the almost unimaginable military conflict?

Well, I think – again,  why I think again is hypothetical what what what we know about the people around leadership and directly to what we know about the military’s willingness to follow in order like that there. There are so many pieces of that puzzle and I do get briefed on those and they are really fascinating to to learn what we know we have we have great intelligence in terms of the the actions on the ground and and how things are moving in North Korea so you don’t again I think that before there’s a nuclear war. When I viewed favorably a conventional strike absolutely, but I don’t think were close to the point were our technology is not so far advanced that we can prevent that, and I just think it’s it’s dangerous. Talking about attacking a foreign country with a hypothetical like that – I don’t need to duck the question. I just think it’s borders on irresponsible to say in this scenario I would vote to do this when I know what years off before any of that would come to pass.

And that’s interesting. Before we recycle back to your excellent proposal you think no matter which way this goes. That’s the time window were dealing with years rather than months./

I do and I say it’s not whether they could actually launch a missile that could hit United States is whether they could launch a missile that hit United States in a way that we couldn’t intercept that was missile somewhere along the line, and so I think that we are still safe at this point and I think that it is read the sanctions and other activities that we can engage in China couldn’t gauge it to destabilize a very unstable regime are the better way to go at this point.

Let me ask you this, Congressman You. You have seen a lot, experienced a lot. Who do you if you edger your preference. Who would you rather have in charge. She would you rather have his commander-in-chief making that critical decision, George W. Bush, Barack Obama or Donald Trump? Or is there some other president debt from our history after you would choose who would you be most comfortable with. In the Oval Office at the time. That decision had to be made?

I – you know, we all go back to Ronald Reagan on the right terms of dealt with the Soviet Union in world affairs and in a strong way. I think people understood the peace through strength concept, Ronald Reagan promoted and others promoted before but I really think the Donald Trump has surrounded himself. General Matus and others with people that are so capable that we are in good hands. I will say that the George W. Bush didn’t have that I will send a Barack Obama didn’t have the quality of leadership at the different agencies that Donald Trump has. So, I do think that we are in better hands now that we were two years ago. I think that we are sending a much clearer message to the world. In some ways it gets model with the economic message and some of the turns off our allies and he has a very good reasons to strengthen our economy with what he’s doing with the trade message. But, it does affect our national security alliances but II think when it comes to North Korea you have a great team in place and taking it very seriously.  We’re educating the public. They are really on top of it.

I’m glad to hear you say that because I’m personally very comfortable with Donald Trump in charge at this moment I view North Korea and Iran is kind of twin pillars of evil at this critical moment in American history and and I think Donald Trump is the kind of commander-in-chief who is not going to kick it down the road. But just cycling back you been so generous with your time. I cycling back to your original proposal of keeping Congress in session through the August recess, your book, drain the swamp you talked about some you know some some fundraising issues I had never heard of before having a raise X amount to be chair of certain committees, etc. Is part of the reason for this long recess so people can go out and raise money. Is that an obstacle you can have to overcome in order to keep Congress in session?

It is absolutely part of the part of the processes. August is fundraising month for many of the – Republican congressional teachable see it is a an opportunity for members of Congress to go on the codels to foreign countries refused to do any government paid travel. I just think we have such a horrific national debt now that we should be spending money on that and so I don’t do those and some members don’t most members to so so there are many things that a curvature fundraising point is an excellent one. $1.2 million to be a chair than a committee like appropriations wage each energy and commerce and got a raise that money and see just how the times is August

Crazy! You know, the only thing crazy is that is that we never heard about that before your book. It gets like his secret that everybody there is an unwritten or written agreement to keep, but I’m so glad you if you shine the light of day on that. That’s just sick. But, Congressman. Great proposal. I hope it works and look forward to our next conversation.

Thanks so much, Dan. Great to be with.

Thank you sir. Take care, that is a Congressman Ken Buck