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tv   Speaker Pelosi Weekly News Conference  CSPAN  January 16, 2020 11:01am-11:34am EST

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new agreement with mexico and this is actually helping reduce the number of border crossings. i was just there last summer during the tsunami when our border patrol was basically overrun by so many people needing help. and i went to see what the realities were and people were treated humanely. the issue of children being separated from families, children are kept in another place when they are not with a parent basically. i was there when a 2 month old baby had to be taken into custody because it may have been smuggled across the border. so this is a difficult situation and there are problems that are going to occur when you have that many people trying to come over the border. but our customs officials and border patrols are doing the best they can. go morning, everyone. how are you?
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i've said over and over again, every day that we're involved in this impeachment, it's a sad day for america. and yesterday was one when we were given no choice but to send to the senate two articles of impeachment against donald trump, the president of the united states. the president necessitated this by his abuse of power and his obstruction of congress and his actions which undermined our national security, violated his oath of office to protect and defend the constitution, and jeopardized the integrity of our elections. every day new incriminating information comes forward. you're well aware of the hearing last night. i think that only speaks very clearly to the need for the senate to enter the documentation into their discussion. today, and this is the day that government accounting office
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confirmed that the president's actions at the center of our impeachment articles, withholding congressionally approved military aid from ukraine, was illegal. and these are their words. these are the words of the gao. faithful execution of the law does not permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those that congress has enacted into law. the office of management budget withheld funds for a policy reason which is not permitted under the empowerment control act. the withholding was not programatic delay, therefore we conclude he violated the empowerment act, the omb, the white house, the administration broke -- i'm saying this, broke the law. they say we conclude that they violated the empowerment control act. this reinforces again the need
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for documents and eyewitnesses in the senate. when i was in grade school, there was a sign on the wall that said what a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive. we see this more and more and more in all of this, the tangled web to deceive that the administration is engaged in. also on appropriations matters, i'm very sad about what has happened in puerto rico. we pray for the families who have lost loved ones and injury to others. the appropriation -- it's unacceptable that the administration illegally withheld, for over a year, the federal assistance that congress appropriated and that puerto rico needs. we're concerned that the administration may be looking for excuses to create unnecessary obstacles to the timely flow of assistance based on reports of new restrictions
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on the aid. we hope that it can be interpreted more loosely, but they're concerned. we hope that the president will soon sign a major disaster declaration for earthquake recovery. he has signed an emergency, but we need the major disaster. our fellow americans in puerto rico, american citizens, all need assistance now. that's why today the house will release the text of a bill to provide supplemental assistance for earthquake relief to be taken up soon. again, we pray for the families of the two americans who died in the disaster-related tragedies, but we're concerned about those who are affected physically and also traumatically by the earthquake and by the uncertainty that we are not there for them. as you know in the election, democrats ran on a platform of for the people, for the people, we would lower the cost of health care by lowering the cost of prescription drugs, we would
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increase -- lower health care costs, bigger paychecks by building bigger infrastructure in a green way and that we would have cleaner government. we passed hr-1 to do that. in terms of health care costs, right before christmas we passed hr-3 to lower the cost of prescription drugs. it's been widely and popularly received throughout the country. we're very proud of it. it's just again another bill sitting on the desk of the grim reaper on the senate side. 400 bills have we passed, 275 of them bipartisan, sitting on the leader's desk. one of them is about gun violence, and passing that bill and having it signed into law would save lives, but that's just one of many. but in terms of prescription drugs, they have a bill, we have a bill, let's pass them and go to conference.
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but they're not only not taking up our bill, they're not taking up their bill. increasing paychecks, when we come back that first week, we will be rolling out our infrastructure legislation, the work of more than one commit, but led by the infrastructure and transportation commit. it's pretty exciting. it's something we talked about during the campaign. it's something the president talked about as a priority during the campaign. we thought we would be able to move in a positive way on this. so far they have not come onboard, however we've decided now we'll just have to go forward and we do believe that now with the passage of the u.s.-mexico-canada agreement that they might be interested in cooperating in others ways. and on that score, i'm pleased that the senate is going to be taking up the bill this morning. i think it will be passed and then we'll sign it and send it
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over -- the legislators will sign it and send it over to the president. what is amusing to me is that the leader over there was saying if they don't send me the articles of impeachment, i'm going to pass the u.s.-mexico-canada agreement. okay, that's good news for all of us, because we view that as a jobs bill and i want to commend our eight members who were part of our task force to make sure we changed -- the bill they sent us, we could have never supported, the treat he's they sent us. but what we sent back to them in terms of, again, enforcement, enforcement, but enforcement and labor rights and environmental protections and eliminating their give away to pharma that was in the bill, among with other improvements that we made on the bill. so we're pleased we had a big strong vote in the house and glad that -- because we didn't
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send over -- it gave them enough time to bring it up this morning because the chief justice won't be able to be there until this afternoon. and when we talk about health care, as i mentioned yesterday, we had a beautiful ceremony yesterday. i don't know if any of you saw it. giving a gold medal to steven gleason, the former nfl new orleans saints star, and he's been diagnosed with als and in the very now late stages of it. but in the course of meeting his challenge, he helped with so many things for other people with als or neuromuscular diagnosis, that was a beautiful thing. but it points out that all of us, our families with one diagnosis, one phone call, one accident away from needing really affordable, quality health care. we all need it every day, but
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this is catastrophic, so very important. and that is -- again, we're particularly proud of the progress we've made. what we're up against is the president on every front in the congress and in the courts is trying to undo the affordable care act. the patient protection and affordable care act. and right now he goes out and says he's the protector -- i mean, where is it again? what a web we weave when we practice to deceive. how can he possibly go out there and say he's protecting the preexisting condition benefit and things like that when he is in court trying to overturn it? instead of the justice department protecting the law of the land, which is their responsibility, they're trying to overturn the law of the land in the courts. so that's the fight and we have asked for an expedited decision from the court so that the public will know what we are up
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against. they have said take it slow, take it slow, but this is a very important issue to the health of the american people. but also the financial health of the american people. so we were very proud when we passed elijah cummings hr-3, lower drug costs now. that is something so remarkable, so transformative in terms of meeting the needs of america's working families, but also taking the money saved from big pharma's rip-off and grieed and using it to transform medicare in a way that it hasn't been transformed since its inception, and that is to take a half a trillion dollars out of pharma profits and use it for dental, hearing and visual benefits. so we're very excited about that. and again, on the preexisting conditions, about 130 million families are affected by
quote quote
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preexisting conditions and the president is in court trying to overturn that. so no longer will that benefit be available to people and no longer will the benefit of no lifetime limits or annual limits on it. the list goes on and on about that. when we come back, we'll also be addressing surprise billing issue. when we come back we'll have the -- the first week we'll roll out infrastructure probably on the floor. this will be all up to the democratic leader, but he has told our caucus that we expect in the first week we would be bringing out the ro khanna bill which says no funds unless congress would approve that. and also barbara lee's legislation, which repeals the authorization of the use of military force, aumf, that has been used for justification that
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is beyond its scope. so there we are. again, we are very pleased with since we returned from christmas we passed to clean up toxic chemicals. these are forever chemicals, you could practically not get rid of them. but it impacts millions of families and many of them are on our own military bases, who are affected by these chemicals that are in the water supply. and they serve our country, these people, and their families are negatively affected and i've met with some of the families and it's such a tragedy. it's such a tragedy. then we passed the war powers resolution to limit the president's military actionness iran and soon the senate will be taking up senator cane's version of that. then we passed the cra to reverse the administration rule denying debt relief to students defrauded by predatory
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institutions. it's just stunning, these kids, they incurred debt, the institutions have disappeared, their degrees are not worth what they borrowed money to obtain, and this administration wants to protect not the students, but the predatory lenders. so with that, i'm happy to take any questions you may have. you were the last question yesterday. >> madam speaker, what's your response to senate republicans who say they shouldn't have to consider new evidence, like the parnas material, because it wasn't included in the house investigation? >> no, they're afraid of the truth. the american people have seen the allegations, and we need to see more evidence that would be contained in the documentation. so this is just another avoiding
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of the facts and the truth on their part. they don't want to see documents, they don't want to hear from eyewitnesses. they want to ignore anything new that comes up. we saw a strong case and undeniable case for the impeachment of the president. so no future president would ever think that she or he could get away with what president trump has been getting away with in his view. any further evidence should not be avoided. and now it's in the -- the ball is in the court of the senate. public opinion will have a lot to do with this. since we passed ours and then sent it over, public opinion has grown enormously for seeing witnesses, eyewitnesses, and documentation. and they'll just have to contend with the public on that. >> a question on the role of facebook, if i may. in a new "new york times" editorial menu, mayor pete
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buttigieg is questioning the influence of facebook chief mark zuckerberg. i know it's in your congressional district. do you similarly feel as if mr. zuckerberg or other tech executives have too much power? >> i think that they're different, the facebook business model is strictly to make money. they don't care about the impact on karechildren, they don't car about truth or where this is all coming from. and they have said even if they know it's not true, they will print it. i think they have been very abusive of the great opportunity that technology has given them. my thought about them is they don't want -- all they want are their tax cuts and no anti-trust action against them and so far that's what they have received. but i think that what they have said very blatantly, very clearly, that they intend to be
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accomplices for misleading the american people with money from go knows where. they didn't even check on the money from russia in the last election. they never even thought they should. so they have been very irresponsible. and again, as you say, these are people that we've known and worked with over time. actually, facebook does have an office in my district and i think their behavior is shameful. >> following up on the question, senator collins said the timing of the parnas documents was perplexing to her. can you lay out why these documents are being released now and whether more may be coming? >> well, they were released now because that's when they were obtained and then his going further into public interviews on that is very compelling. but again, why would they not want to find -- under other circumstances, if somebody like
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parnas came forward and there was evidence -- there was reason to believe that some of that was factual, there would be a special prosecutor appointed. does anybody think that the rogue attorney general is going to support -- appoint a special prosecutor? no, because he's implicated in all of this. this is an example of all of the president's henchmen, and i hope that the senators do not become part of the president's henchmen. >> madam speaker, given the parnas interviews last night, do you believe that lev parnas should be a witness at the trial, and if so, do you believe he would be credible? >> well, credible relates to the documents and the rest. it certainly raises questions. but now i've appointed the managers, who have haunted me,
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tracked me, who are they and when are they coming? they're here, and they have a responsibility. and i'm very confident in how they will proceed. and again, there seems to be documentation that would validate what parnas is saying, but that all has to be subjected to scrutiny. >> but parnas is under federal indictment, so would he be a credible witness? >> he would be a credible witness if what he's testifying to relates to the issue at hand, the president's behavior. but again, there's a process for how you go forward with witnesses and that's not done in the basement of the congressional visitors center, but among those who are making those decisions about how to go forward. and i'm so proud of our managers. our members have been so positive about it. and, you know, this is not
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without risk. they're going to give a great deal of their intellect -- as an intellectual resource, as patriots, giving a great deal of time, of course, but also -- they're courageous, let me just say it that way. they're courageous. >> i told you i wasn't answering you. you had a question yesterday. when i said that the attorney general was implicated, i said this testimony implicated the rogue attorney general who has been the puppet -- i don't know who is the puppet, trump or the attorney general. but this is not -- he says this is my attorney general, this is my department of justice. really? so in any case, it's not a question of saying -- well, it
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says what allegations have been made, and that has to be subjected to scrutiny as to how we go forward. but it should not be ignored in the context of other events that have happened that would substantiate some of that. yes, ma'am. >> last question. >> do you think it would be appropriate to delay the state of the union until after the impeachment trial has concluded? >> it's up to the president. i mean, the president has some options. he can come that day and we are prepared to welcome him that day. he could send a printed copy, which was for a long time the tradition. the president would send a copy of his state of the union address. or he could ask us to postpone it, if, in fact, he wants to have it after all of this is resolved. but the timing of the investigation of the trial of the president for obstructing congress and abuse of power
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should not be hastened because of a speech he wants to make to the congress of the united states. >> thank you all very much. jooirk today house managers will walk the articles of impeachment into the senate chamber, followed by a reading of the articles. then shortly after, supreme court chief justice john roberts will be sworn in to preside over the trial and all 100 senators will take oaths as jurors. follow our unfiltered coverage today at noon eastern, live on c-span2.
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house minority leader kevin mccarthy is holding his weekly policy agenda news conference will the impeachment trial is likely to be a topic of discussion. we'll have it here for you live on cspan3. >> we're live on capi
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awaiting kevin mccarthy's weekly news conference. he's likely to speak about the impeachment trial. we'll have live coverage when it gets under way here on c-span3.
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>> republican of nebraska and appropriate. let's begin with the story in the "washington post" this week. the president plans to divert an additional $7.2 billion in pentagon funds for the border wall. congress controls the purse strings and you're on the commit that decides where money should go. are you concerned about this? are you okay with the president deciding to divert this money? >> well, first of all, good morning, greta. good to see you again. thanks for having me on the program. this was a topic of discussion as we worked through the appropriation process. there's 12 bills. it takes the bulk of the year. sometimes it doesn't get done, there's a threat of government shutdown. that didn't happen this year. there was an aggressive effort by democrats and republicans to try to find common ground. a part of the earlier discussion
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was that there was going to be limitations on how the president could potentially use wall funding from other sources. those were lifted. they were not part of the deliberation and we moved father. so there forward. so there was a court case about this and another court has stopped the injunction. listen, border security is important to americans. there are really four components to trying to have a just and vibrant immigration system. the first part of that is border security. you cannot chaos and disorder at your border and then allow for a just and compassionate system to develop. there are other components of this that involve interior enforcement and a reworking of our immigration laws so that they are modernized and updated. but when people can come here illegally and we don't have the resources to be able to handle that, it is unfair to people who are waiting in line and who have used the legal system to try to come here. so as difficult as the situation
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is on the border, it's actually gotten better and some type of barrier security has to be an important component of that. >> so the president then have not promised that mexico would pay for it? >> well, look, i'm here to talk to you about immigration policy or anything else that you want. the reality is that we have a new agreement with mexico and this is actually helping reduce the number of border crossings. i was just there last summer during the tsunami when our border patrol was basically overrun by so many people needing help. and i went to see what the realities were and people were treated humanely. the issue of children being separated from families, children are kept in another place when they are not with a parent, basically. i was there when a 2 month old baby had to be taken into custody because it may have been smuggled across the border. so this is a difficult situation and there are problems that are going to occur when you have
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that many people trying to come over the border. but our customs officials and border patrols are doing the best they can to handle the situation in a humane way and enforce the law. remember, it is still illegal to come into the country illegally. >> is the situation, then, so bad that five times what congress authorized for the president to spend is needed in order to do what you're saying on the border? according to the "washington post," he's prepared to divert an additional $7.2 billion, five times what congress authorized him to spend on the project in the 2020 budget. >> and this has happened previously. there was some discussion about limitations on that and appropriations, but democrats and republicans agreed to lift those restraints on the president's ability to actually move funds like that because this is about america's security. remember, a border and the protection of the border is an
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important part of not only our own internal security, but a humane immigration process. you undermine the ability of the country to be kpartable in the first place if it is simply overrun. so that's the issue here. >> congressman, the president signed phase one of a u.s.-china trade deal yesterday. how have farmers done in your state over the last two years, how will they do in phase one and possibly phase two? >> farmers in nebraska have been very patiently awaiting what i have called the reckoning. they understand that america needed to rework the trade deals that we have because they're unfair to us, particularly with china. but also to modernize nafta now that the united states, mexico, canadian agreement. it actually provided a lot of new opportunities and options to be fair to all three countries. and so these were important movements with our neighbors to the north and the south and now with china, because we've got a
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huge trade deficit, in the hundreds of billions of dollars, to hit the pause button and say we're going to reset. trade is an important part of the agricultural economy, but farmers have known that had to be reckoned with because it's not fair to america. so they've been patient and i'm frankly very pleased with the developments that have occurred. because again, it gives us an opportunity to do the right thing for the entire country. >> what do you want to see in phase two? >> they're going to have to continue to deliberate this. again, the trade agreement is not going to solve all problems immediately. as i recall, we're about a $600 billion trade deficit. our manufacturing left our shores, multinational corporations have taken advantage of us by leveraging our infrastructure, leveraging our capital, using our workforce to build up their corporate profiteering and then shifted their manufacturing overseas. is that fair to america? and they shifted it overseas to a country who has lax labor laws
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and lax environmental laws, that has subsidized its currency and we're just supposed to celebrate free trade as some abstract economic principle? that's not right. free trade needs to be fair and balanced. both sides have to benefit. so we will pursue trade but we have to have the enforcement mechanisms to actually make sure that it is fair. >> now, the farmers for free trade statement say we were told mexico would make massive ago purchases from the united states and that the eu would make huge as much as of u.s. ago products. neither of those promises were fulfilled. now we're being told that china will double the level of historic purchases. needless to say there is a healthy skepticism about whether american farmers will actually see these purchases. farmers were told that trade wars were good and easy to win. they were told that they've had to accept short-term pain for long-term gain. pain has been long-term and we have yet to see the gain. when will they see the gain? >> through our policies we've had some adjustment mechms

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