Thomas Roberts   |  August 19, 2013

Rep. Speier on maintaining a relationship with Egypt

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., discusses the escalating turmoil in Egypt, the remaining items on President Obama’s to-do list, and the latest on the saga surrounding San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> ayman, thank you.

>> ayman was trying to break down what the situation in egypt is. a lot of different fires taking place there and a whole new urgency bringing the slaughter in the streets. this is going on at the same time with the u.s. credibility at stake. your colleagues are calling for the u.s. aid to egypt be pulled. it passes through the suez canal . also so many things hang in the balance for the region because for the u.s. that has been our regional ally for an arab state . does the u.s. have any real leverage here with the money, the 1.6 billion in aid? or if we take it away does it mean that someone else is going to come in, a foreign entity to fill that financial void.

>> that is an important point, thomas. we have already given most of that aid, the $1.3 billion, only about 500 million that has yet to be given during this fiscal year. we have delayed the delivery of f-16 planes and withheld the apache helicopter . they are very interested in getting the military equipment from us and ironically, that money goes to u.s. defense contractors. i think this issue is much bigger than withholding aid. this is a relationship that has been developed over decades with mu bar ark who was a dictator as well. you're absolutely correct when you say that this is a pivotal relationship. for us to do anything that is more than withholding or suspending aid i think would be a disaster. i think we have to main that relationship.

>> we are walking on a tight rope as we consider this. i know state is keeping this under a constant review. the president besides having to deal with the foreign issue of egypt domestically here at home we have obama care and immigration, the debt ceiling crisis, jobs and middle class bill that could be taken up and fielding questions about the controversial nsa program. do you think the biggest onus is on the president and not having a government shutdown , especially tied to the date of october 1st when open enrollment begins for obama kaye?

>> i think it is, in fact, a pivotal time relative to the issues as well. a shutdown could be catastrophic. i think we all appreciate that, both republicans and democrats. i think real opportunities for us to come together in the next few months. i think the fact that we are on our august recess, most of us are in our districts hearing from our constituents, there is big pushback on the nsa. there is actually a lot of applause about obama care and people are recognizing that, in fact, there is much to be lost if we don't allow obama care to move forward. for all of us, we are going to see that there is a limitation now on how much we will be spending both in terms of costs of our premiums and our drug costs. it will be capped at about $6,000 a year per person. that is a huge savings for people with chronic illness in particular.

>> i got to ask you about what is going on in your home state. san diego mayor bob filner is supposed to return to work today amid these growing allegations, 16 different women claiming sexual harassment and recall under way and protesters in the street over the weekend. l.a. times doesn't think he is going away any time soon. in their article they say he is, quote, stubborn and lighkes to fight. this seems to be unsurvivable situation with 82% of the people in san diego want to see him out.

>> i agree that, in fact, he is a very stubborn man and i think he is going to stay there as long as he possibly can. i think the writing is on the wall. i think he has to go. i think he will go. the actual petitions to recall him were initiated yesterday. i think that there is some issues now regarding whether or not he used city funds for personal use and i think it's really disgusting what has happened relative to the women propositioned by him.

>> congresswoman jackie speier , thank you.

>> thank you.