Full Transcript: Scalise interview with NBC's "Meet the Press"

Oct 8, 2017 Issues: 2nd Amendment
WASHINGTON—Last week, Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) sat down for an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd for Meet the Press.
 
Below, courtesy of NBC, is the full transcript of that interview, including several unaired portions:
 
++INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT:
 
CHUCK TODD:
Congressman Scalise, welcome to Meet the Press.
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Great to be on, Chuck.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
I’m excited to be sitting here face to face, interviewing you, considering everything you’ve been through this summer. I’ve got to ask you, do you have a sense of normalcy yet?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
I do. You know, just getting back into the job, things move fast around here. You know, we just passed the budget. We had some other legislation on the floor through the week, and I was in the middle of that. And talking to members about tax reform, which is something that we’re working very aggressively on, to to cut tax rates and create jobs. That’s what gets me excited. That’s why I came to Congress. And, uh you know, being able to get back into the job this quickly uh really did invigorate me, and just to be around the capitol, I uh I love doing this.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
Do you look forward to the moment where you won’t think about it every day?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Uh, you know, it’s not that there are bad thoughts that I think of, because there was so much good that came out of a bad act. I mean, the love, the support, the prayers from people all around the country, it it it touched me and my wife Jennifer in a way that, you know, maybe we never would’ve imagined, because it was so overwhelming. And-and such a good sign of America that you don’t see a lot, but we felt it directly.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
Look, I saw it in this town, you saw it in in Washington, the good news is in a time of crisis, this place rallies around each other.
 
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Yeah
 
CHUCK TODD:
The bad news is it takes a time of crisis for everybody to rally around each other. I’m sure you heard more good feelings from Democrats than you’d ever heard before. And you think to yourself, “waii–” Do you think — How can we have this mindset more often?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Yeah. You know, and in my job as majority whip, I’m primarily dealing with our Republican conference
 
CHUCK TODD: Sure
 
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
And I talk to our members on a regular basis about the issues we’re working on and looking down the road. But I’ve built good relationships with Democrats over the years. And when this happened, uh so many of them came to see me in the hospital. I mean, it was obviously Republicans, but it was Democrats too. And it was genuine. And you-you realize, you know, the old saying, that if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog. You know, maybe that’s for people that don’t know how to make friends. But there are genuine people up here that care. And yeah, sure, we disagree about issues sometimes. But it was like a family. It really, you know, to see everybody come together and and  be so helpful and supportive of what I was going through was uh, was something I’ll never forget.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
Has anything, has your mission, in your mind, for why you came to Congress changed?
 
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
It’s not that it changed. Um I maybe have a sharper focus. But I have a deeper perspective of just how important the work we’re doing is, not just to our constituents in the country, but to our friends all around the world. I saw it directly. I had friends that, you know, world leaders I’ve met over the years that reached out personally. But then I had world leaders that I had never met that were reaching out and saying, “We hope you get better.” And it told me something deeper, that the work we do really does matter to everybody around the world, because America is the leader of the free world. We, you know, we need to stand up a little taller every now and then because we beat ourselves up a lot. But for people all around the world who just have a yearning for freedom, they look to us. And and it’s so important that we make sure that we rise to that challenge in the work we do.
 
CHUCK TODD:
Uh let’s move to the big issue that’s popped up this week, obviously the tragedy in Las Vegas. And there’s been this debate about when to have the debate. Um, why is it, why why why do you make the case that it’s too soon to have a gun control debate?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
I would first say that we’ve had a gun control debate for a long time. I mean, you look at the presidential race, the N.R.A. had never endorsed that early when they endorsed Donald Trump 
 
CHUCK TODD:
Mhhmm
 
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
because they knew there was a clear contrast. Donald Trump was supportive of gun rights, and Hillary Clinton wanted to-to-to limit gun rights. And so there was a contrast. And it was fought out, and ultimately the public had a decision to make, and that was one of the things that they weighed their vote on.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
But on this issue we are so divided regionally, and we’re so divided geographically on this issue that this one feels like it’s very hard to find a compromise, because people that live in a certain community feel defiantly one way. And people that live in another community feel defiantly the other way. This one feels like we don’t know how to bridge the divide.
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
It is one of those issues where you do have very polar opposite sides, where it’s not, you know, people real close to coming to a conclusion on a big issue. This is something where people are either on this side or that side when it comes to strong Second Amendment rights or gun control.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
Let me ask about some of these limitations. First of all, how would you propose– do you feel as if this issue of mass shootings is a problem that the federal government has to figure out how to solve?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
I think over the years you’ve seen Congress address different components of it. Um, One of the things that we’ve seen in some of the past shootings is that there were serious problems in the mental health community throughout our country. We didn’t do a good job of tracking mental health, taking care of people that had mental health problems. And some of those people ended up going out and committing mass shootings. We actually came together and passed a major overhaul last year with the 21st Century Cures Act, which had included in it major revamping of our mental health system, with real money behind it too. And that was a bipartisan vote–
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
But there’s been some things that weakened some aspects of of the mental health when it came to the database, where there was a fight to allow people that have had, if you get disability benefits because of mental health issues, you can still pass a background check. Should that be the case?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Well, there were some people that we saw in that situation where they had not mental health issues, they had disability issues. And yet because they were on that list, they were getting denied gun rights. Not because they had mental health issues, because they had disabilities. You shouldn’t take away the rights of people to own a gun just because they have a disability, but still have good mental health capacity.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
But should they be — Shouldn’t we get to a point where we actually, mental health should be a part of the gun uh registration process?
 
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Mental health already is a component of that. And again, we just created the Assistant Secretary of Mental health in HHS just two months ago. The the new secretary got put in place, so let’s work and make sure that that gets implemented properly, because mental health is a serious problem in this country, and frankly we’ve seen mental health issues bleed into mass violence. And so we’ve taken action to address it. It’s a new law, let’s make sure it’s implemented right so we can prevent some of these in the future.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
Why do you think we do lead the world in these things, in gun deaths. Mass– We lead the world in these mass gun incidents. We lead the world in um death by guns. We lead the world in how many guns per person we have in this country.
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Well, if you look at–
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
All of that related.
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
If you look at some of the places where you have bad gun violence, and I mean, first of all, let’s recognize that the vast majority of gun violence and gun uh gun killings in this country are committed by people who broke the law to get the gun. But you go to a city like Chicago, some of the toughest gun laws in the country are in the city of Chicago, and yet they have the worst gun violence.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
But they’ll tell you, you just go in Gary, Indiana. So I mean, you just go across state lines. And you can have all the tough gun laws you want in the world, but if you cross state lines, I mean, this is, that’s why they argue for a federal intervention.
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
I do think something that doesn’t get focused on enough are the amount of people across the country who, over the course of a day or a week or a month, use guns to protect themselves against criminals. That happens all the time. It’s not reported. So the only thing that gets reported are the tragedies. But it rarely gets reported when somebody actually uses their Second Amendment right with a gun to protect themselves against a criminal.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
There’s been studies, though, that are still, more gun deaths are not, most gun deaths are not self-defense.
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
But keep in mind that most of those gun deaths are committed by somebody who broke the law already to get a gun. You know, we’ve got a lot of laws on the books. And I’ll tell you this, Chuck. One of the things we’ve seen a problem with is that a lot of the gun laws aren’t being enforced. And I do think you’ve seen a change in this administration where they are getting more aggressive. But frankly, for years you saw a lax, actually a 25 percent reduction in going out and prosecuting people who break gun laws.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
Well, part of this is funding the A.T.F. I mean, there’s–
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Well, they’ve had funding–
 
CHUCK TODD:
But they have–
 
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
but technically the Justice Department–
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
–a lot of funding withheld, in fairness, do you acknowledge that–
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Right, but if the Justice Department chooses whether or not they’re going to prosecute, that’s ultimately something that they make a decision on. And they were making bad decisions to not prosecute people who broke gun laws. You’re seeing a change in that now, and that’ll actually help stop some of these gun deaths in the future.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
Let me ask you this philosophically. Is there a limit? Do you believe —  is the right to bear arms unlimited or is there a limit?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Look, the Second Amendment really predates the Bill of Rights. Our Founding Fathers believed strongly in gun rights for citizens. Frankly, they thought it was an assumed right. They didn’t put it in the Constitution because they didn’t think it would ever be in jeopardy, but ultimately you saw attempts later on to take away gun rights, so they said it’s so important we’re going to make it one of the ten Bill of Rights, constitutional changes. And so it is a long history in our country to make sure that you protect the rights of citizens to bear arms.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
But is it unlimited?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
It is. It is. I mean, you’ve seen–
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
You believe it’s unlimited. So–
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
You’ve seen limits put in place, Chuck. You’ve seen limits that are already in place. And again, you’ve seen laws that are on the books. And those laws are there for a reason–
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
So it’s not unlimited.
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Well, you’re right in a sense that there are already limits on the gun ownership. But frankly, let’s go out and enforce those laws. Don’t try to put new laws in place that don’t fix these problems, they only make it harder for law abiding citizens to own a gun.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
So–so you do agree there should be some limitations.
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Well, obviously there are limits in law for gun ownership–
 
CHUCK TODD:
But you said there in law. Would you have supported those limits at the time?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Oh, I’m sure I would’ve supported some of them, but probably might have opposed others. But in in the end, you have laws that are on the books that aren’t being enforced. Go out and focus on enforcing those laws.
 
CHUCK TODD:
Do you agree with the automatic weapons ban?
 
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Um If you look at, again, some of the weapons that they included in there aren’t really automatic weapons. But those laws are on the books too. And again, you haven’t seen a decrease in gun violence with those laws on the books. So go and enforce the laws that are there.
 
CHUCK TODD: Alright, what do you make of this bump stock? Uh, of this accessory that takes a semiautomatic weapon and turns it into virtually an automatic weapon?
 
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
If you talk to anybody about a week ago, most people, including myself, didn’t even know what a bump stock was. So–
 
CHUCK TODD:  
Me too. Me included. I understand. Right–
 
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Now we’re finding out about it. But again, there are people that want to rush to judgment. They’ve got a bill written already. And I mean, look, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi already said she wants it to be a slippery slope. She doesn’t want to stop at bump stocks. They want to go out and limit the rights of gun owners. And so I do think it’s it’s a uh little bit early for people to say they know what to do to fix this problem. I know there are people that are asking the A.T.F. to go back and review their 2010 decision to authorize it–
 
CHUCK TODD:
Do you think they should?
 
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
And I think they should, and they are. You know, you’ve seen it–
 
CHUCK TODD:
But you’re not ready to codify it in the law?
 
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Well, again, I mean, a week ago nobody, most people, didn’t know, a few people, but most people didn’t know what a bump stock was. So to think that we’re now all experts and know how to write some, you know, panacea law, it’s fallacy. Let’s focus on the facts. Let’s get the facts and let’s go focus on some of the problems. And frankly, we’ve done some of that already.
                                                                                                                             
CHUCK TODD:
Is there a point where somebody’s right to bear arms infringes on somebody else’s right to be safe and secure at a country music concert?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Absolutely. You know, if they break the law and take away your rights, you know, you’ve got a right to be protected, in your home and when you’re out in public. And if you’re abiding by the law, nobody has the right, whether it’s a gun or a hammer or a knife to go and deny your rights by trying to attack you.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
Do you look- we’re learning that this guy stockpiled a lot of weapons, a lot, over the last year. We don’t necessarily monitor that type of sales. I know there’s always been some concerns about that. Had we been monitoring, he might have gotten a check in from the F.B.I. or A.T.F. that’s going, “What are you up to?” And maybe that might have intervened. Is that something you could imagine ever supporting, the idea that there is a limit on how many guns you buy in a year, in a month, in a week?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
I think it’s dangerous for the concept that the federal government would have some kind of list of who has guns and what they have. Because you’ve seen that, by the way, in totalitarian countries, where they use that–
                                               
CHUCK TODD:
I understand that line. I get that argument.
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
But it’s really happening. Frankly, go back to after Katrina. We saw law enforcement going door to door in the city of New Orleans taking guns from law abiding citizens. That happened in the United States of America in 2005. It should’ve never happened. We put laws on the books to stop government from taking guns, but government, and other governments we’ve seen over history, have used those lists to take guns away from law abiding citizens.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
Do you think we have too many guns on the streets?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
I think we have people that are out there breaking laws. And again, even if we–
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
But we have too many guns. I understand that. But have we just got too many guns, in the same way we have too many opioids? You know, I mean, it’s just where it’s just overwhelming the ability to monitor this.
                                                        
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
The problem is not that there are too many guns. It’s that there are people that will go out and break the law, whether it’s a gun or some other weapon or a bomb. Uh, there’s no excuse for breaking the law. There’s no excuse for using any kind of weapon to try to take the life of an innocent person.
                                                        
CHUCK TODD:
All right, I want to move what I think is going to be your toughest job coming back as whip, tax reform. Uhm, you were a deficit hawk. There’s a lot of deficit hawks in here, but this is going to blow a hole in the deficit, the size of which we can debate. Are you comfortable supporting something that’s going to increase the deficit?
                                                        
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Well, first of all, if you start with a different premise, and that is what do we need to do to get our economy moving again? I don’t think there’s anything we can do that would be more important to getting our economy moving again and creating jobs than to lower tax rates for families. And one thing that’s left out of this equation a lot is the power of economic growth. You know, when we bring tens of thousands of jobs back to America, we’ve seen all these companies moving jobs overseas, we’ve complained about it. But the reason they’re doing it is because our tax rates are too high and we’re not competitive. We’re the highest corporate rate in the world. Let’s lower those rates. Small businesses-
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
How do you guarantee, though, that these corporations–
 
REP. STEVE SCALISE:  
families should have lower rates–
 
CHUCK TODD:
aren’t going to just hand that money to shareholders, which many shareholders will demand and not put it to job creation? I mean, the history of this in studies say, corporations, when they get a windfall like this, they give it to shareholders first. They don’t use it to create jobs.
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
I’ve talked to the heads of a lot of these companies, and the first thing they’ll tell you is they didn’t want to move those jobs overseas in the first place. To be competitive with the companies in other countries they were competing against, they had to do it, otherwise they would’ve gone under. They will bring those jobs back, and they said in the tens of thousands. And these are good, high paying jobs, by the way, Chuck, that we need in our economy.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
How do you guarantee that these companies will actually create, bring these jobs back? You know, 2004 we had an attempt that they were supposed to do that when they bring- they were going to use it to create jobs. It didn’t happen.
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Well, first of all, what you’re going to see is trillions of dollars coming back into America. That’s a good thing. Where is it going to go? It’s going to go all throughout our economy. Absolutely jobs will be created from that. Other people are going to be seeing the benefits of that too, from middle class, blue collar families, they’re going to see more dollars in their paycheck. That’s a good thing–
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
Is anybody going to have their taxes raised?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
No, not under our plan. You’re going to see all the rates go down–
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
Not a single? Everybody’s tax bill will go down–
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
You’re going to see all the rates go down–
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
You roll all those down, including the wealthy, everybody–
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
All the rates are going to go down. The death tax will be completely repealed, by the way, probably one of the most immoral taxes on the books.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
What do- What do you say to folks that say, though, that the wealthy is going to get the lion’s share of the benefit of this tax reform?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
I think what you’re going to see is a rebuilding of the middle class like we’ve never seen before. One of the biggest–
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
But you don’t dispute that the wealthy are going to get the biggest benefit here–
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Well, first of all, if you cut rates for everybody, that means everybody gets more dollars in their pocket, more people see money in their pockets. The people who are going to benefit the most are going to be the middle class, because if you look over the last ten years, the middle class has evaporated. That means lower income for a lot of people, people that haven’t seen pay raises in a long time. Let’s turn that around. We can do it. The most important thing we can do to get that going, to get the economy going, to create jobs and rebuild the middle class is tax reform. And we’re going to get it done this year.
                                                               
CHUCK TODD:
And how much is going to be added to the deficit?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Once you see the economic growth that comes with it, we have to control spending, first of all. Because when more money comes in, you’ve seen this in previous tax cuts. You can go back to the big tax reform in 1986, which, by the way, is the last time we’ve reformed our tax code. You saw the federal government get more money. They ended up having deficits because they spent even more than they were getting in. The key is going to be control spending. You’ll see the economy take off, which means more money comes into Washington. But then more money is going to be in the pockets of families.
                                                        
CHUCK TODD:
How are we going to be able to control spending? The president himself went down to Puerto Rico and said, “Hey, you guys are busting our budget,” And now he’s proposing a giant tax cut. That doesn’t seem like balancing your checkbook.
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Just this past week, the House passed a budget. It was a partisan vote, but it was a budget that actually gets back to balance. It shows you how you can balance the federal budget again. We put together the votes to pass that bill. We got 219. We needed 250, and so we had, we ran up the score, Chuck.
                                                        
CHUCK TODD:
I was going to say- barely.
                                                        
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
But it shows you that there is the will, and a majority in this House, to actually get back to a balanced federal budget. And we just voted to show you how to do it. And that means getting the economy moving again, creating jobs. And tax reform is a big part of it.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
All right, two political questions. I’ve learned from your staff that it was about the 1st of August that your wife let you have your cell phone back, which meant you were probably ready, ready to go, chomping at the bit. What did you think when the president cut a deal with Chuck and Nancy? What was your initial reaction when you heard about this?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Well, you know, I was–
                                                        
CHUCK TODD:
Do you think it would have happened if you were in the room?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
I was watching, and I’ll tell you the thing that I think led to it the most was the Senate failing to pass the health care reform bill. We passed it in the House. I worked very closely on it. And it was a very thin margin. And it was hard to put together, but we put that coalition together. And then the Senate came close, but they failed. They fell short. And I think at that point the president looked and said, “If the Senate Republicans aren’t going to be able to move an agenda, maybe I’ll look around”–
                                                       
CHUCK TODD:
So you don’t think the president’s lost faith in House Republicans, he’s only lost faith in the Senate–
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
No, we have a very close relat– I enjoy working with this president. President Trump actually is focused on getting the economy moving again and following through on the promises he made during the campaign, which to me is very refreshing. So I enjoy working with him. I want to move this agenda forward, and it starts front and center, right now, with tax reform.
                                                               
CHUCK TODD:
Alright, final question. Vice president’s chief of staff was caught on an audiotape saying that GOP voters and donors might have to purge Republican lawmakers who aren’t supportive of the president’s agenda. And he even said, “Look, if we end up in the minority, I’d rather have a minority where everybody’s on the same page.” Do you think you’d be House Majority Whip if you went about this kind of purge?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Well, I don’t agree with that, first of all. And, you know, maybe he got a little overzealous. But at the end of the day, you’ve seen Vice President Pence working very closely with us in the House on moving our agenda forward. President Trump has been working closely and has helped us tremendously at passing healthcare reform out of the House. He’s working closely on tax reform. But Vice President Pence is a man of the House. He’s served, and I served five years with him here in the House. And he enjoys coming back. He’s got great relationships.
                                                        
CHUCK TODD:
But this must not help you with uh, with  some members that you’re trying to get to vote for you, whether they’re in Pennsylvania or New York where they may have some tough races. Does this kind of talk help?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
In the end, those kind of comments don’t impact what’s happening on the House floor. We’re fighting hard to keep our majority. And I think people know what’s at stake. When you look at Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, I think that more than anything crystallizes to people what the difference between a Republican and Democrat majority is. And again, when you see Nancy Pelosi making those comments about wanting more gun control, it shows what kind of difference there is between a Republican and Democrat House
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
You think if you don’t get tax reform you guys deserve to lose the House?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
I think we need to get it done. And in my view, failure’s not an option. So I don’t look at what would happen if we fail. I work every day to make sure we pass it, to deliver for the American people.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
But you understand if voters punish you for it.
 
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
We’ve got to deliver for the American people. You look at, again, the middle class has evaporated over the last few years. We’ve got to rebuild it by creating jobs, tax reform does it, we’ve got to get it done.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
Steve Scalise, it’s good to have you back, sir.
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE:
Chuck, great to be with you.
                                                              
CHUCK TODD:
All right, appreciate it.
 
(End of Interview)
 
 
++WALK AND TALK:
 
CHUCK TODD: So I actually want to ask you about Tropical Storm Nate. What do you know about New Orleans? Are they ready?
                                                              
REP. STEVE SCALISE: It’s headed our way, unfortunately. The city of New Orleans has been hit by a lot of storms, so we know—
 
CHUCK TODD:  There’s a little nervousness, I hear.
 
REP. STEVE SCALISE: –how to prepare for them and when it’s necessary to evacuate for them. But, uh, it’s, uh, a storm that looks like it’s gonna possibly come our way and cause some damage, but, I think, everybody that needs to will be prepared. 
 
CHUCK TODD:  I know that there is concern in the city that, boy, they had some flooding issues just with some bad rainstorms. So bringing in a tropical storm or even a Category 1 – is there some mitigation stuff that needs to happen, um, that particularly in coastal Louisiana you need to start worrying about?
 
REP. STEVE SCALISE: Well, we’ve been focused heavily on restoring our coast. We lose a football field of land every hour out in the gulf, which was our front line of defense. You know, those barrier islands, some of those coastal communities are washing away. And we have put a plan in place to actually bring that back, to restore the coast. And it takes money. We dedicated the revenues from deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico to restoring the coast.  That’s something I fought for, a lot of our delegation fought for and, uh, we’re finally starting to get this year. And there are other funds, too, the BP funds. We were able to pass the RESTORE Act, legislation I worked on here in the House to make sure that that money actually gets used to restore and rebuild some of those barrier islands too.
 
CHUCK TODD:  But you are confident this city’s ready? As ready as it can be, given the storms they’ve gotten?
 
REP. STEVE SCALISE: Yeah, I’m confident that the city’s ready. Hopefully, we don’t take a heavy hit because we’ve been through a lot already, but, uh, you know in case we do, we’re prepared.