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tv   Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Discusses Cabinet Nominations  CSPAN  January 19, 2017 11:13am-11:36am EST

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moving? >> the vice president has been in contact with the leadership and senator mccome hnnell has b working tirelessly to get it going, and there is no excuse for the partisanship for the democrat, and there a is a time and place, but if you hold them to the standard in '08, you will recognize that they are continuing to employ delay tactic after delay tactic. i cite ad poll that 50% of the american people believe that the economic and security teams should be confirmed immediately, and the idea ha they are delaying it is calling into question their idea of having a government of continue ity and signal to not only the folks in the united states, but around the world that we are not, and they are questioning the ability of continuity of government. we have taken the proper steps, and i want to be sure -- >> i want to be right next to the potential cabinet people. >> well, that implies they will be confirmed.
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>> no, keep your friends and close and all of that stuff and the enemies closer and in this case, i don't know. okay. good morning, everyone. we are a little bit late. and now, early on in the transition, senate republicans said that they hoped that they could confirm as many as seven cabinet nominees on inauguration day, and they said that is what president obama got and so we should get the same treatment they said, but over the last several weeks thep republicans have made a mockery of the cabinet hearing process trying to jam through nominees in truncated hearings and nominees with ethical issues unresolved and without giving the american senators and the american people without a chance of fair questioning f. ever there was a group of nominees that cry out for rigorous scrutiny, it is this one. the president-elect's cabinet is
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a swamp cabinet full of billionaires and bankers. they have conflicts and ethical lapses as far as the eye can say. congressman mulvaney failed to pay taxes on a house, and that caused other nominees to withdraw. and mr. price pushing stock in one hand and pushing legislation to press another. and betsy devos has are refused to pay an old election fine, and by the way, the fact that her hearing was so appalling to so many americans, and 15 million people, we sent out just a video of a couple of the questions, and 15 million people have seen it, and if you are going to go look on the social media, and trump supporters are saying, why the heck did he nominate her? rex tillerson has refused to recuse himself from matters
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relating to exxonmobil for the length of his term. and so he has been there for decades and then today we found that steve mnuchin is trying to hide his holdings from the senate finance committee. the list is going on and on and everyday, there is another report of a major ethical lapse among the nominees for the cabinet, the swamp cabinet. president-elect is not draining the cabinet with the cabinet picks, but filling it up and contrary to everything that he promised in the campaign. these issues and others deserve to be thoroughly and rigorously reviewed by the senate. senate democrats asked for multiple rounds of questions, multiple days offer hearings,
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outside witnesses and ample time to are review a paperwork before a hearing is held, and particularly in light of so many folks have complicated paperwork that you cannot review it in the day, and i would remind my republican friends that the only real billionaire in president obama's cabinet penny pritchard took six months to clear her ethical conflicts and file the painers, and so we have made some progress on a few fronts ark and the more we learned about the nominees, the more important the thorough, fair process became. and the more it became clear that republicans were simply trying to jam through the nominees out of sight of the american people. they are not proud of this
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cabinet. and so they want the hear togs -- hearings to to be as quick and short and bunched up as they can be even though back in 2009, republicans asked democrats not the have any hearings before the office of government ethics had signed off on a given nominee, and senate republicans did exactly that for betsy devos. and senator alex sander stymiedy asking questions of both ms. devos, and mr. price, and some members of the public were kept out of the hearings and one report is that there are only seven seats or the pub flick the hearings of mr. brewwith. frand top to bottom, it is clear, republicans were trying to orchestrate a cover-up of the president elect's swamp cabinet. sant democrats and the american people won't stand for it.
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so the inauguration is tomorrow, and here is what we are prepared to do. senators on both sides of the aisle have expressed support for security nominees. we will look at voting on congressman mattis and also on congressman pompeo, and some others could be considered quickly, but from there, we intend to have a full and rigorous debate on the president-elect's remaining nominees. senate republicans did not want to have a full debate on the merits of these nominees in committee, but they should be prepared to do so on the floor of the united states senate.
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i understand that the republicans said they would not choose any of obama's nominees, but they did anyway, and the democrats will support nominees that were not chosen by our party, but what we will not support are nominees who are so extreme in the viewpoints or their noncompliance with the ethics laws and practice that they have demonstrated themselves to be unfit. we will not be dilatory for the sake of it, and we areare hopef that the nominees will raise the questions raised and some will come back for another round of questioning. that type of cooperation could speed it up on the floor. we'd much prefer to have full questions with these nominees in the hearings, because they are there. but if we can't, the floor will be the place we have to bring tonight the key issues that i
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have mentioned. if republicans continue to stonewall and cover up the serious issues that many of these nominees are trying to avoid, they should be prepared to have those debate s on ts on floor of the full senate. i would make just one final point, if republicans continued down this path, they are going to dramatically lower the ethical standards in government that we have always had. standards that were upheld by all previous administrations, obama, bush, clinton and hw bush and reagan. a dramatic lowering of standards in a country that we all love and try to hold ourselves up to the higher standards. if the cabinet nominees are confirmed with the republican support, when republicans opposed previous nominees for less ethical issues, it will be
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one of donald trump's first legacies as president. it will make clear that conflicts of interest and ethical lapses are totally acceptable from the president to his cabinet and on down. the political price that the new administration pays for that is going to be coming down the road for sure. the conflicts of interests and the conflicts between the cabinet members and the president-elect on key issues will cause large future problems for this administration even if all of the nominees are confirmed. one of the reasons that the president-elect enters office with the lowest approval ratings in history is the failure to drain the swamp, and his decision to fill it up with these cabinet picks. so there are good reasons our republican colleagues should oppose some of these nominees, and we will be certainly trying to persuade them over the next
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several weeks as the controversial nominees come to the floor. the president can take action. senate republicans can take action. they can oppose these picks if they have the courage to do so, and change the course we are on. i don't know if i any of the cabinet picks will be defeated and if a few of of the republicans can, they could, and that is a possibility, but it is crystal clear that president-elect is starting off by governing from the hard right and without any concern for conflict of interests or ethics. >> senator, two things. how long do you think that you can drag this process out? and what do you say to the republicans who believe that you are exaggerating these nominees out for politics?
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>> well, we are not dragging anything out, and these nominees have power over the lives of tens of millions of americans and what they intend to do a few days before they take office is imminently reasonable and most americans would agree. and if our republican colleagues think that the things are not so bad, why did they rush it through? why did they not submit the papers fully in time? go ahead, manu. >> and with the vote in the senate foreign relations committee, and the republicans are talking about moving rex tillerson to the floor even if he is not confirmed and will u youle allow that and why should the president not have his top diplomat in the top line. >> and here is the bottom line. rex tillerson had huge problems and he would not recuse himself from all things exxonmobil in
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his whole term. and they had so many dealings with russia who we are now seeing that russia has causing lots of problems for the country, and he won't are recuse himself, and oh, no, there are serious problems with rex tillerson and problems with an oil magnate in general, but one who is so unwilling to understand that his previous job and his present and future job if he gets it will have conflicts of interest, and he should try to be cleaner than s ceasars wife. he needs thorough examination. >> you won't allow him? >> and one other thing, you know how the senate rules work. and this is not up to me. i will give if any one of my colleagues wants time to question on the floor to make statements on the floor, they have the right to do that. yes? >> just this morning, trump's team said that you are playing politics and intentionally holding up these nominees.
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>> and very easy for the president-elect to solve it. tell every one of the nominees to submit the full papers and give us ample time, a day or two to question them fully. we have not gotten that opportunity with many, many of the members. so the real onus is on the president-elect and the republicans in the senate. we are not going to tolerate rushing these very important nomin nominees through when they have so many questions raised about them. all they have to do is to give us the information andpaperworkt through much quicker. that is what i proposed to vice president pence and leader mcconnell two weeks ago and i said that we can move them all quickly, and give us a good hearing schedule. yes? >> in your view, how do you think that -- >> it is quite different. the analogy with mulvaney is with tom daschle. they were similar.
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for years each had household employees who they didn't pay taxes for. the household employee is right in front of you and you nknow that you are have to pay taxes, and it is obvious that it was being avoided. geithner had some financial thing that he did not pay, but you could make the argument that he didn't know about it, and the similar to wilbur ross not knowing one thing and big ext extensive thing about financial wealth. >> what do you make of the last cabinet pick that donald trump made of sonny perdue? >> i don't know much. i will study it, but i don't know much. >> and you are seeing kl -- kelly and mattis being confirmed. >> wait, not tomorrow -- >> yes. >> yes, that is right.
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we have a funny calendar. >> and you said some -- >> i said either tomorrow or early next week. >> and you are kn-- negotiating some people like choe. >> and there are some who have serious questions to ask u all of the colleagues before the vot vote, and whether it can be done on friday remains to be seen. but if he is not done on friday, my guess is that he could be done on monday. >> and senator, do you have to be more clever in the tactics because of the rule changes under senator reid. is that part of the -- >> no, we have to do the right thing here, and whether there was a rules change or not, they should get a clear vetting by the american people. and certainly, it would have been easier to defeat them had the rules not changed, but i have some faith when my
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republican colleagues see what is here, they will cringe and maybe some of them will vote against these folks. >> and have you gotten a question already? >> not today. >> okay. we try to mix it up. >> i appreciate that. and can you walk through how you are okay with kelly tomorrow and mattis tomorrow, and also would you allow voice votes on that -- and going back eight years ago with the voice votes. >> yes, a good number of my colleague s ha colleagues have been asking for recorded votes and they are entitled to it and it won't slow it down much. and i have looked at the records and i relied on the advice of colleagues from both sides of the aisle who knew both of to people quite well, and i think that they would be good nominees. jerry. jer are ri. >> senator, do you think that congressman price, and his pattern of investing in health stocks is disqualifying, and specifically, how concerned are
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you with a private placement with congressman collins in a -- >> look, what congressman price did cries out for investigation having invested in a stock that is a very narrow stock. it is not like johnson and johnson and it dealt with the hip and the knee implant, and then in a week later introducing narrow legislation on the regulations of that company, and that is crying out for an investigation and do we know that he violated the law? no. any prosecutor worth his salt knowing that fact pattern would want to know. and collins, i don't know enough about, so. >> and he was given stock advice. >> i'd have to study his role a little bit more. he is not up for the nomination here. >> senator schumer, basically the line from democrats in the senate regarding your house colleagues, 60 of them so far,
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decision to boycott is that we respect them, but we are going be going to support the democratic process, and how are the democrats feel if thism cops back to them when they win the next election? >> look. i respect each person for -- and this is a decision that people ponder and is of conscious, and i respect what each person hdon, and they have to weigh it. >> what type of message does that send about the democratic process? >> i will leave it with what i have said. >> and are you comfortable with senator mancion and his process -- >> well, we we have sent a list
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of nominees that is controversial and i know today that mr. spicer said that carson is not controversial when he doesn't know a thing about housing policy. that cries out for more discussion. >> and you feel that the senator sessions was not long u enough. >> senator sessions was one tof the few that people have serious issue problems with with him. and he did submit his paperrors in time, and it is scheduled in advance and we did get two days of hearings with the opportunity to question senator sessions on the second day. his hearings are one of the few that went decently well, and having said that, there are so many issue positions that senator sessions has that many of my colleagues want to continue the debate on the floor. yeah, you said last, and he is the boss, you nknow. thank you, everybody. nope, nope, sorry.
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as we leave this briefing, president obama said that this in part it is customary to leave a small wisdom of what the successor may leave that comes with the highest office in the land, and before we leave for the the president of the united states, i want to thank you for serving as the 44th, because all i have learned in my time of office, i have learned from you.
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you made me a better president and a better man that. message sent out on the media, and had a link to the obama foundation that said thank you. stay tuned for more details. the presidential inauguration of donald trump is friday, and c-span will have all of the coverage of the inauguration. watch cpan or listen on the c-span audio app. this week we have been featuring several radio talk shows leading up to inauguration day and tonight, the steve deace radio show out of urbandale,
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iowa focusing on politics and public policy and culture. that is tonight at 9:00 p.m. and the nastional museum of american history has an exhibit called the first ladies. visitors are given a historical overview of the first ladies as well as a glimpse of the fashion sense including what they wore to the inaugural balls. a museum curator talked about their choices and how they shaped history and spotlighted the careers of designers. >> lisa kathleen gratty is your curator here at the national museum of american history, and what is the role of the first lady on the inauguration day? >> well, it is the first lady's debut on the national stage as the first lady of the united states. it is her first chance to play that ceremonial role that she'll be playing for the next 4 to 8 year, and she is going to hold the bible as the president takes the oath of office.

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