GEOFF BENNETT: Many Americans are watching and waiting to see if Congress will address two major issues facing the country right now, the financial security of the country's banks and immigration issues at the Southern border.
Tonight, congressional correspondent Lisa Desjardins speaks with one Democratic congresswoman who's spent a career focused on both issues.
LISA DESJARDINS: Parts of Silicon Valley sit in Representative Zoe Lofgren's district.
She represents California's 18th District, including San Jose.
And that's where she is now.
Representative Lofgren, welcome back to the "NewsHour."
I want to start with banks and the bank failure there in Silicon Valley.
Do you think that that was an issue of federal regulators asleep at the switch, or was the law too loose?
REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CA): I think both.
We did release the regulatory requirements on banks of this size in 2018.
I voted against it, a no-vote that looks better and better now, but also there was an obligation for the Federal Reserve to do some supervision.
And I think there was a failure there as well.
I do think, however, that the situation has now stabilized.
The potential for very serious harm to the entire banking system and to the American economy was present, and I hope and believe has now been averted.
LISA DESJARDINS: You know, both the Silicon Valley Bank and its CEO, donate it to your campaign and the campaign of other politicians.
That's not uncommon, but there has been a long debate over corporate influence in politics.
And I want to ask if you think that perhaps this bank could have gotten a pass because of its influence on connections?
REP. ZOE LOFGREN: No.
I mean, most of their contributions, weirdly enough, went to Republican House members that are now in some cases criticizing what the Biden administration has done.
In fact, myself and others in the California delegation are sending letters asking that the actions of the CEOs be investigated to see whether they unjustly received bonuses to investigate whether there was insider trading in the dumping of stock leading up to the events.
And we're being very tough on it.
But we don't want the depositors who are at risk to suffer.
And the small -- the employees that wouldn't have been paid probably exceed a million people in the country.
Additionally, some of the defense analysts have pointed out that some of the companies that would have failed if they couldn't have been able to pay their people were critical to the Defense Department and to developing cutting-edge measures in our competition with China and pointed out that, had those companies failed, the Premier Xi and Vladimir Putin would have been celebrating.
LISA DESJARDINS: I want to turn to another topic affecting millions of people, immigration.
Yesterday, the House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing at which the nation's chief border patrol -- the border patrol chief said that we do not have control of the border and his agents face resource issues in most of the sectors there.
You're a former immigration attorney.
I know you spent so much time on this issue.
How do you respond to criticism that President Biden has failed in terms of security of the border and also is failing immigrants there as well?
REP. ZOE LOFGREN: Well, I think we need to look in the mirror, Congress does, because we have dropped the ball.
A part of getting a handle on disorder at the border is getting an orderly immigration system, which we have failed to do.
There are individuals who are coming because they're seeking employment, they're in poverty.
The answer to that is to - - and we need workers in the United States.
The answer to that is to have an orderly system that allows people to legally enter, work for several months, and go home with the proceeds to their countries.
There are people there who are fleeing communism, who are fleeing oppression.
Under American law, they have a right to have their claim of asylum to be heard.
That needs to be done in an orderly way.
And we have failed to address that as well.
We're spending more money on immigration enforcement today than every other federal law enforcement agency put together.
Now, maybe we ought to spend more, but we need to look at the systematic problems.
And it's Congress who has totally blown that.
LISA DESJARDINS: In the last seconds we have left -- I wish we had a little bit more time -- but Tucker Carlson has accused the January 6 Committee, which included you, of lying in how you used footage in your committee hearings.
I want to just give you a brief chance to respond to that.
REP. ZOE LOFGREN: That is berserk.
The committee showed what really happened, the mobs that attacked the Capitol.
And, weirdly enough, Mr. Carlson is trying to pretend that nothing happened.
Hopefully, his viewers are not relying on his truthfulness, because we know from the lawsuit pending that he is knowingly lying to his audience.
And I don't know what he hopes to achieve with this.
LISA DESJARDINS: Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren of California, thank you so much for your time.
REP. ZOE LOFGREN: You bet.