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Congressman Steve Russell

Representing the 5th District of Oklahoma


ICYMI – Congressman Russell talks with Larry King

January 11, 2017
Press Release

View Interview Here

Washington, DC – Congressman Steve Russell (OK-5) spoke with Larry King on his show ‘PolitiKING’ to discuss the following topics: President Trump’s administration, why the confirmation process should proceed even while ethics paperwork is being submitted, repealing the Affordable Care Act, as well as discussing the billions of dollars wasted that was highlighted in Congressman Russell’s Waste Watch No. 6.


Excerpts from Congressman Russell (approximate):


Moving ahead with nomination hearings:

“It's not unusual to have the process not fully completed by the time that the hearings or the process would move forward. What we have seen in the past, as they move to the process, those background checks are usually complete by the [time of a confirmation vote]. And that would be my recommendation is that they continue to move forward. It might be unprecedented for some particular members, but it's not unprecedented when we look back at previous cabinet members.”

On the process to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act:

“Well I think just like what we saw when Americans were forced to get on the unaffordable care act, it was an eighteen month process, they've seen an exorbitant rise in their premiums, they were told it would be twenty five hundred dollars a year less, it's not been it's been a massive increase and in some states exceeding 150 percent. They were told they could keep their doctor that wasn't true. They were told they could keep their plan and their insurer that was not true.  So look, the American people have spoken. One thing I am confident in is that as we allow it to go back to the free market and back to the insurers that the American people will figure this out. We will have an off ramp just like we had an on ramp and to get on it. We will see some aspects, I think, will be considered and then as we taper it off towards a free market we’ll see solutions. You may recall, Larry, the airline deregulation or with the ‘Ma Bell’ deregulation, there were the same types of comments, ‘Oh my goodness what are we going to do? It's going to affect the safety of flight, it will affect our communications.’ No, the American people figured all of those things out and we get things back to free market and actually quite better services at a cheaper price.”

Worst Findings in Waste Watch No. 6:


“Well the most egregious findings once again we find waste in our Department of Defense in operations in Afghanistan we see, but the biggest thing that we saw in the last Waste Watch that we released was payouts to people that were not eligible to have them, to the tune of a tens of billions of dollars, and simple audit checks and procedures before these things are paid out could prevent an awful lot of that money going out to people who don't deserve it.”

Finding common ground in the 115th Congress:


“It happened in the last Congress that I was in, that we found some areas that we could move forward on. I was able to get a couple of bills to the president's desk for that very reason, when it came to some reforms with how we train our air traffic controllers and other issues with the federal aviation administration. There are so many things we agree on when it comes to foreign policy, when it comes to some of our domestic issues; if we would focus on that commonality we can get to some real solutions. Infrastructure: we have the President-elect who has stated that he is very concerned about our highways and bridges and transportation sector. I think you would find every member of Congress shares those concerns let's start there.”

Looking forward to President Trump’s Administration:

“We seem to be placing the American worker and the American economy ahead of global interest. I think that's encouraging for anyone that gets up and goes to work every day in the United States. Having traveled extensively, I traveled to twenty-four countries in my first term in congress; there are some powerful economies out there. We see with China and other places, they're busy little bees. It's time for America to get busy again, and I think we'll see a president that will be focused on the economy and that's very, very positive. Now, the other thing that I am encouraged by, Larry, is that we see some in the appointments that you talked about earlier, we see some people with real capacity when it comes to our national security. They will have the defense of our republic at the foremost of the United States and its defense will be key, not some social engineering and diminishing of our military but rather can we make the military ready to be able to keep and provide us peace here at home.”