This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 13, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: On all of that, of course, the read now from House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer.
Steny, it's always good to have you here.
This is a good kind of a backdrop, if you will indulge me, on the economy and the environment and whether big deals are back, buoyed by lower taxes and all of that.
What do you make of this and what could be maybe a lot of frenetic activity here?
REP. STENY HOYER, D-MD, MINORITY WHIP: Well, I'm not sure exactly that I'm the expert to say, what does this frenetic activity mean?
I do know that there's continuing concern about the continuing merger of very large enterprises and what that means to competition, what it means to consumers' right to have choices or not -- whether right to choices -- having choices, so I think that clearly we need to look at these things very carefully as to whether or not they in fact serve competition, which is at the bottom of the free market system.
CAVUTO: And, again, without getting in the weeds -- and nor should I just sort of ram this on you unexpectedly here -- but there's been talk that Washington sometimes in dillydallying on this, as a judge was in the case of AT&T and Time Warner for the better part of 20 months, missed the fact that technology was going on as we waited this out.
CAVUTO: Netflix was getting bigger. All these other streaming players were getting bigger. So, while Washington was debating this, technology and free markets were running way ahead of this, so maybe it's best Washington stay out, or what do you think?
HOYER: Well, I think you have to do both.
I think you have to watch. And the free market is, after all, what we think has made this economy so great. But, on the other hand, we know that the free market left to its own devices may well destroy itself by continuing mergers and eliminating competition.
That's not good, we think, for the consumers or for the free market, so that I think you have to watch, but I also think you also have to have significant antitrust and oversight to make sure that we have the kind of competition and the open access to information that we need.
CAVUTO: Are you wondering whether a lot of this activity, a lot of the market run-up, a lot of the better-than-expected economic numbers we have seen, from jobs data, retail sales, that sort of thing, not so consistently, but enough, that the environment has changed so much so that a number of Republicans are telling me, well, wait a minute, this blue wave that Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi talk about, it's not going to happen?
Or even if it does, it is not going to mean the House changes party rule, that they got ahead of themselves, they got too cocky? What do you say?
HOYER: A, we're not cocky. It's going to be a tough election.
But, Larry, every week that these primaries occur -- and, in Wisconsin, we won another seat that Republicans have held, the state Senate seat, for 40 years straight through.
There's something happening out there. We had one congressional district where there are 10,000 more people held by a Republican, 10,000 more Democrats voted than Republicans voted.
CAVUTO: So, you see nothing that gets in the way of that, the way things stand now?
HOYER: Well, I don't -- that would be too strong to say I see nothing in the way.
HOYER: But I certainly see nothing that has not been consistent over the last 12 months in terms of Conor Lamb's victory, a victory in Arizona, that we lost the election, but picked up 17 points, Wisconsin last night, Wisconsin about four months ago, where we won a Senate seat that Trump won by 20 points.
So, I don't see anything that has stopped that trend. I think that trend continues. I think the American people are very concerned.
History, of course, is with us. History shows us that most second year of an incumbent president, particularly an incumbent president who is at the levels that Trump is in terms of popularity and favorability, the opposition party, us, picks up seats.
Now, you would say, well, yes, they're going to pick up seats, but not 23. But I think we are going to pick up more than 23. Yes, I think we're going to take it back.
CAVUTO: OK. All right. Well, that would be good enough to get the control.
Hey, I do want to go onto some other stuff, Congressman. And one has to do-- I know politics is politics. I know Republicans were railing against Barack Obama when he made overtures and normalized relations with Raul Castro and Cuba.
But, at the time, I remember Democrats extolling that and bragging about that and praising that. Now the same Republicans who condemned that move and an overture to a mean guy are extolling the virtues of the reach-out to the North Korean leader with President Trump.
But your party has been largely silent on it. And I'm just thinking, wow, there's hypocrisy everywhere.
HOYER: No, Larry, let me tell you something. I don't know about the hypocrisy of what others might say.
I was very concerned about what happened this past 10 days. We had a president of the United States who essentially dissed our closest allies and leaders of free democracies on this continent, Canada and in Europe, and invited Putin, who clearly has become an almost totally authoritarian figure in his country, to come back into the G7, and then embraces Kim Jong-un, one of the most heinous dictators on the face of the earth today.
CAVUTO: No doubt.
But, Congressman, Congressman, Raul Castro wasn't exactly the pope.
HOYER: Amen, brother. I agree with that 100 percent.
Having said that, our policy of 50-years-plus wasn't making much progress. And we reached out.
CAVUTO: Nor was our policy of doing things normal diplomatic channels and ways with this leader in North Korea, his father and his father before that. That wasn't working, right?
HOYER: Larry, let's now get to your point.
CAVUTO: Larry -- I'm Neil, by the way. I'm Neil. But it's OK.
HOYER: Excuse me. Neil.
Not by the way. You're Neil, and I know that.
CAVUTO: It's OK. Look, I have done far worse, believe me. Go ahead.
HOYER: In any event, we didn't get anything out of Kim Jong-un. Nothing.
CAVUTO: We just started. Right? We just started.
HOYER: Well, that's -- but -- yes, this guy deals from the seat of his pants. And maybe it works. And maybe it doesn't.
CAVUTO: Have we gotten anything since with Raul Castro? I'm just -- and the changes since the new leader?
HOYER: Raul Castro is gone.
HOYER: But, having said that..
CAVUTO: I don't see great advancements with the new leader, just like I didn't see them afterwards with Raul Castro, just like I didn't see them earlier with Fidel. I don't know what is changing.
HOYER: Neil, realistic, what did anybody really tell you we were going to get from Cuba in any event? It wasn't a question of what we were going to get.
CAVUTO: You could say the same about North Korea.
HOYER: No, no, no, no, you could not. They're not a nuclear power.
When, frankly, they were going to become a missile power, Kennedy steered down Khrushchev and stopped them.
CAVUTO: All the more reason, all the more reason to talk to North Koreans.
I'm not trying to take sides here, Steny.
CAVUTO: I'm just trying to say like if you look at this from just a consistency perspective, you would think your party, which welcome talks, which has been very open to talking to the other side, that communication is best, to sit down with the other side is worth an effort, a party that extolled the virtues of talking to the Palestinians before anyone thought it was a good idea -- and it was a good idea at the time.
And I'm just saying that it just seems odd now that all of a sudden to a man or woman almost you guys are saying no, no, no. Not this guy.
HOYER: No, no, no, we're not. I'm not saying that.
I think sitting down, I think getting some -- making progress with North Korea is important for the safety of the global community. He's a dangerous dictator, who has -- he and his father and grandfather...
CAVUTO: Well, are you saying, Steny, that the president risks getting snookered? Was he snookered?
HOYER: We don't know yet.
But the answer is, do I think he is at risk? Yes. Who won out of this meeting? Kim Jong-un.
HOYER: Whoa, whoa, whoa, Neil. You -- Neil, you talked a lot.
CAVUTO: When Pompeo was in South Korea today, do you think that the conditions that he demanded again that they should be forthcoming with the North Koreans, jibe with what you want to see?
HOYER: I'm not sure, when you said South Koreans...
CAVUTO: He was with South Korea in South Korea today demanding terrorist the North Koreans start taking practical actions and measures that will be towards the goal of denuclearization, exactly what you outlined and that you want to see.
HOYER: What he ought to be demanding is the North Koreans. The South Koreans have not...
CAVUTO: No, he was in South Korea, Steny. He was talking about the North Koreans_
HOYER: To the North Koreans. Well, of course.
And if that occurs, that will be progress. And it will be a positive effect. If that occurs is the operative language.
Kim Jong-un said nothing more and there was nothing more in the communique than the North Koreans said in 1992. They have been doing -- every president has met them. What happened in this event?
Kim Jong-un became a major national player on the world stage because he got to meet with the president of the United States, and gave nothing in return. Nothing in return.
So, we made him a big deal. Whether that pans out or not, we will see. But I don't think that we got anything from the deal. And the only thing we did, unfortunately...
CAVUTO: Well, we don't know. We really don't know. Right?
HOYER: ... and tragically, is, we backed away from the South Koreans without even talking to them, in terms of -- and using the Chinese language that training exercises were somehow hostile actions, which was never the case.
And these have been consistently so that we were ready and let the North Koreans know we're ready if you take any action that puts at risk our South Korean allies.
CAVUTO: All right. We can belabor that.
I do want to talk about domestic issues right now and economic ones. You started out with that, Steny. I do want your thoughts on health care right now.
HOYER: Neil, hold on.
CAVUTO: A number of states are -- a number of states, New Jersey among them, they want to reinstate -- can you hear us, Steny?
HOYER: Yes. We have a vote. And they're talking to me about it. I have to get to a vote pretty soon, unfortunately.
CAVUTO: Oh, I'm sorry.
On the health care thing, a number of states are re-imposing that health care tax on their own, but your thoughts on the health care battle right now, where it stands, what Democrats want to get done.
HOYER: Well, the health care battle, we want to fix the Affordable Care Act and make it work as it was hoped to work.
It worked very well. It hasn't worked perfectly. We want to fix it.
What is happening is, the administration has been stealthily, because they couldn't get done legislatively, undermined the ACA, which is driving up premiums, which is putting protection of preexisting conditions at risk, putting an age tax at risk, putting women's health costs at greater than male health costs.
All sorts of things are adversely happening, not through legislation, but through administrative action. And the Justice Department most recent action about not defending the ACA is another effort to undermine indirectly what they can't undermine directly.
Why? Because the American people have gone from 42 percent support to 56 percent support, because they saw what they were going to lose, and they want to keep it.
CAVUTO: All right, I know you have to get to that vote.
CAVUTO: A real pleasure. Sorry for some of the confusion here.
Steve Hoyer -- I mean Steny Hoyer, Steny Hoyer.
CAVUTO: I think I got you.
HOYER: Always good to see you, Neil.
CAVUTO: I got you. Look at me. Look at me.
CAVUTO: Very good having you. Steny Hoyer, thank you very, very much, all right, the House minority whip.
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