Skip to main content

Nancy Pelosi
  Minority Leader Calls Presidents Push for Health Care Bill a Rookies...  CSPAN  March 23, 2017 10:55am-11:25am EDT

10:55 am
homeowners. you could it would be $150,000-plus admins. what the a.c.a. has done with no maximum lifetime limit is says, wait until your house is on fire, just call and buy a policy and an adjuster comes out, what kind of house you want? host: thanks, john. we'll leave it there and go to nancy pelosi. ms. pelosi: good morning, everyone. i was hoping that my grandson, thomas and his brother, paul, could get me in this room today and they're shadowing me on the hill. we had many young women from fillman college also shadowing members on the hill today. what a day for them to come because today marks seven years since president obama signed the affordable care act. it was a great day for our country because the affordable care act stands there strongly with social security, medicare and medicaid, affordable care act as pillars of economic and health security for the american people.
10:56 am
this historic law made immense progress in expanding coverage and lowering costs for hardworking american families. improving quality, the a.c.a. instituted landmark protections for every american, no annual lifetime limits, no discriminating on a pre-existing condition, children allowed to stay on their parents' policy until 26 years old, no charging women more for health coverage, being a woman is no longer being a pre-existing condition and a guarantee coverage for essential health care including maternity care, mental health and addiction rehab. more than 20 million people previously uninsured americans now have health coverage. the percentage of low -- uninsured americans is at its lowest ever. that's a very important point. since enactment of the a.c.a., health care costs have been increasing at the lowest rate in the 50 years that this
10:57 am
measure has been taken. so it has lowered costs, improved quality and expanded coverage. today, republicans are trying to push millions of hardworking american people off of their health coverage and to make health care more expensive for everyone else. here's what trumpcare means for the american people. higher costs. trumpcare forces families to pay higher premiums and deductibles, increasing out-of-pocket costs. higher premiums. hat's a message of the freedom caucus, higher premiums, and they are right on that score. less coverage. trumpcare will take away health care from 24 million hardworking americans. crushing age tax. trumpcare forces americans aged 50 to 64 to pay premiums five times higher than what others pay for health coverage no matter how healthy they are. it steals from medicare. trumpcare shortens life of the medicare trust fund by three
10:58 am
years and ransacks those funds medicaid that seniors depend to get the long-term care they need, whether in a facility or to stay in their own home. it affects people with disabilities or addiction, etc. especially meeting the needs of america's children who need that assistance. as bad as trumpcare was, republicans have been up all night trying to make it worse. they're scrambling to find a bill that they can pass on the floor. i don't know if you can't to call this on trump's part a ookie's error, but you don't say we'll pass a bill. you build consensus in your caucus and when you're ready you set the date to bring it to the floor. but so eager were they to, i don't know, to be mean-spirited, to say we are going to bring up this bill on the same day as the seventh anniversary of the affordable care act.
10:59 am
rookie's error, donald trump. you may be a great negotiator. rookie's error bringing this up when you are clearly not ready. how are they moving to get ready? here's how we're moving. we're hearing changes to destroy the protections of more than 155 million americans who get coverage through their employers. eliminating essential health benefits. you've probably seen -- i don't have it here -- but essential health benefits something we're very proud of in the affordable care act. i'll just say that essential health benefits means republicans are making being a woman a pre-existing condition, again, stripping guaranteed maternity care is a pregnancy tax, pure and simple. stripping guaranteed maternity care is a pregnancy tax, pure and simple. worsening the addiction epidemic and making to harder to access mental health care.
11:00 am
making it more expensive to be sick in america. well, that's their goal, to make america sick again. speaker ryan has called this bill an act of mercy. an act of mercy. there's no mercy here. trumpcare is a moral monstrosity that will devastate seniors. i talked about what they had been talking about in essential health benefits. now in order to get votes on the far, far right, they're looking at other entitlements, including title 1 in the affordable care act. these are some things we're very proud of that are in the affordable care act that they are now looking at this will all hurt america's working families and it's -- it's a remarkable thing. it's clear that this is not a health care bill. this is a tax bill.
11:01 am
those in the gain middle class -- taking away from the middle class to the richest people of america. that will be taken away from them, those red areas. that money will probably go to blue areas. interesting, isn't it. all terrible. so in any case, i've told the republicans in the -- we worked for several hours in the rules committee last night, republicans vote to destroy health care coverage. especially in this brutal form. that vote is going to be tattooed to their heads.
11:02 am
they can't say donald trump made me do it. he's not their boss. their constituents are their bosses. and this vote, as i say, will be their tattoo. as you know, yesterday in another diversionary tactic, deflector in chief created some kind of scenario where he either duped or the chairman of the ommittee was a willing stooge. he committed a stunt at the white house yesterday raising questions about chairman nunes' impartiality, especially given his history as part of the trump transition team. the republicans are grasping at straws after their embarrassing performance on monday, a place where f.b.i. director comey confirmed that president obama did not wiretap president trump, afirmed an f.b.i. investigation coordination between the
11:03 am
russian government and individuals of the trump campaign and whether there was any coordination or connection between the campaign and russia's effort to undermine america's election. the necessity of an independent investigation is increasingly being recognized. i think that when chairman nunes acted the way he did, outside the circle of respect for his committee and his members and his ranking member, outside the just, again, respect for their responsibility that he has as sharme of -- as chairman of the intelligence committee by being a student for the president of the utes -- by being a stooge for the president of the united states, going to him before he went to the -- an even going to the press before going to the ranking member of the committee, i think he's demonstrated very clearly there's no way there cob an
11:04 am
impartial investigation to his leadership on that committee. it speaks very clearly to the need for an outside independent commission. as senator mccain said, no longer does congress have the credibility to handle this one. chairman nunes is deeply compromised an he cannot possibly lead an honest investigation. as i said, congress must create a comprehensive, independent, bipartisan commission to expose the full truth about the trump-russia connection. i've said it over and over again, what is it that the russians have on president trump, politically, personally, or financially, that they would go to such lengths, such lengths to hide these connections. what are the republicans afraid of? the truth? an investigation? and it's very serious because this has an impact on our national security. when the president-elect come into office and flirts with the idea of lifting sanctions on russia, questions of the start
11:05 am
treaty, praises putin as some kind of -- i don't know what. compares him favorably at the expense of the united states of america. it's a remarkable thing. and now -- i'm not going to go into it because it's all unfelding but we see further connections between his campaign chairman and money connections to russia and to russian sympathizers in the ukraine. as you probably know, nick lee gorakov a lawyer, a key witness n the u.s. attorney's russia probe , he fell from four story he fell from a four-story building. he's injured very seriously. baranakov, a former russian member of this
11:06 am
parliament, was killed in the city center of kiev, he was to testify in the trial of the former pro-russian ukraine prime minister -- pro-russian ukraine minister. so it's a stunning set of facts that need to be reviewed. for our national security, for the security of our nation, for the security of our democracy. and this needs to go outside. i'd be pleased to take any questions you may have. reporter: shortly after director comey announced the f.b.i. was reopening the investigation into hillary clinton's emails, you said that, quote, maybe he's not in the right job. is that still your view that director comey may not be in the right job in light of what happened on monday? ms. pelosi: i do believe what the director did during the campaign was inappropriate, by
11:07 am
his own words. the first week of october, director comey said that he would not sign the consensus document that said the russians were interfering in our election. the other leaders in the intelligence community signed off on that he said it's too close to the election. it was the first week in october. two weeks later, for some reason, but herled by ruity giuliani a couple of days before, he said that he's looking into hillary clinton's emails again, which this may be of no significance , he says, but we're looking into her emails. now we're like 10 days before the election. two weeks earlier, it was too late by his own words, now we're looking into her emails. that had a direct impact on the election. i think in this role now, he's more in his wheelhouse as a director of the f.b.i. conducting an investigation.
11:08 am
i think this is, it's -- i don't know what he was doing on the political side. i thought that was very wrong what he did. i have respected him for his other work, as i said then and i repeat think said, i served with him when he was in the justice department under president bush and he was courageous there. i think in this investigation he seemed to be basing, working from the facts and where the facts take us. that's all this this is about. i've been in many investigative situations in the congress as a member of the ethics committee, seven years, longer than anybody, where we were always instructed, it's only about what are the rules, what is the law what are the facts? and i think that in that arena, hopefully he can proceed. >> in both cases, you had the director come out and confirm an the tigation, many say
11:09 am
director should not confirm or deny the existence of an ongoing invest. ms. pelosi: who said that? reporter. someone suggested. ms. pelosi: oh, someone suggested. reporter: what is different in this case? ms. pelosi: it's been months he's been doing an investigation , he hasn't said anything so far. i said to him why did you say you were doing an investigation of hillary clinton, let me say this, i'm trying to stay outside of the classified arena, but i had posed probably the question, why would the director say public pli -- publicly he was investigating hillary clinton but would not even say in a classified setting, as you have seen over and over again in previous hearings in the senate, etc., that he was investigating the russian-u.s. election connection. at his response to me was,
11:10 am
there are at least two standards. i said, what is your criteria. one is, if you are to announce an investigation, you might give warning to the target of your investigation, we're just talking now generally, all investigations. but that would be one reason not to announce it. but one reason to announce it would be if it is of significant national interest. i think that is of significant national interest. yes, sir. reporter: in your opening statement, you mentioned a lot of what you see are the key benefits of the a.c.a. on the anniversary. would you have a message for people who are frustrated, do you feel the system can be improved? and for those looking at what else is on the table, maybe they're frustrated with what they have now, what would be your message to them? ms. pelosi: there's never been a
11:11 am
perfect bill that passed congress. when you build your consensus, you go to the floor and make the progress you can in that bill. social security, medicare, medicaid, civil rights bill, they all were revisited. there's an expectation when you see implementation what needs improvement or not. and by and large, this has been overwhelmingly successful. not 100%. and that's what we had hoped. part of the lack of success in certain markets, there's a high risk, big, high risk pool. that's harder for insurance companies to to succeed there. the money was there to mitigate for that. the republicans would not allow us to spend the money once they had the majority. so that was a foreseeable challenge but then they intervened. second point is that we could have extended the insurance, we had reinsurance to begin with.
11:12 am
we would have extended that. we can do that again. where there are some problems are in the individual market which is about 6% of the marketplace. it's not a large percentage but any number of people affected are important to us. that's a place that we would like to work with the republicans to do that. and of course a place we have always said, i said the rate of increase of health care costs is lowest it's been, more like that, now like this. one place we can work together and the president says he supports it, is to -- the issue of pharmaceutical drugs. the cost of pharmaceutical drugs. that is -- contributes more to the cost -- rising cost of health care. so we can address that by having the secretary be able to fwoshte for prices the way the v.a. can. reinsurance. a number of things. and maybe some things we can cork together -- we can work together with the republicans
11:13 am
that are republican ideas, as is the affordable care act. me, i would have had public ption. this is a republican idea. romney care. individual mandate. individual mandate can go with a public option but if you don't have the individual mandate, you have free riders. and this is heritage foundation they developed the idea of individual responsibility and on top of the individual responsibility, a recognition that not everybody could afford it and the subsidies were part of their idea as well. 10 this is a free marketplace initiative. if you don't, as some people believe that health insurance should not be -- that health care should not be a for-profit industry you go in another direction. but we didn't do that we stayed with the mixture that was there. reporter: and you characterize it as overwhelmingly successful? ms. polo see: overwhelmingly
11:14 am
successful. that's why the a.m.a., aarp, almost every physician's group, patient groups, all opposing what the republicans are putting forth. reporter: lisa from pbs news hour. you are well known as a vote counter. can you give your reading of this, can republicans bring conservatives on board without losing moderates? ms. pelosi: i'm a vote counter of my own vote, i'd be the last person to ask what goes on in their caucus. i'll tell you a big difference in democrats and republicans in this regard. as i said, when we built our consensus, we were ready to go to the floor. this isn't something where we ever go in and say, here's the bill. now we need you to vote for it the day after tomorrow. that isn't the democratic party. some people criticize us for
11:15 am
being such a democratic party but that's who we are. we are not transactional. we only can convince people about the merit of the bill. if somebody says, i have questions about what -- how this affects my constituents in my region, might be more rural, more urban, more this, more that, we have to find the answers to that. and maybe make some adjustments in the bill in recognition of how it is predictably implemented in a way that could be corrected in advance. but from what i can hear of he rookie president is that he's transactional. he's a negotiator. so what is he promising? what is the he granting or withholding? that's not how we werpt. it's not about what committee you're going to be on. it's about what bridge you're going to cross to do something fwret for the american people. o if his negotiating means
11:16 am
negotiating, i'm concerned about that. reporter: you're saying house democrats are not transactional are you saying -- ms. pelosi: congressional. reporter: kickbacks was part of the affordable care act. ms. pelosi: it came out of the bill. you remember that that came out of the bill. reporter: i want to see if you an update on the fiscal 2017 spending, we're about a month away from shutdown, is there hope for anything other than the c.r. for the last six months of the year? ms. pelosi: we have to have another c.r. before the end of the year. i refer to my appropriators, two places i was forged here, appropriations and intelligence. sidebar on ethics over here. but those two the most time spent. and appropriators can get through it. both of those committees have by and large been the least
11:17 am
partisan committees in the congress. so you find a way. and left to their own devices, i think that the bipartisan appropriations subcommittees can get their jobs done. one question that i do have, and this isn't based on a fact, it's just based on an observation of not seeing something happen, hey may attempt to do one bill for 2017. and that -- that could have serious implications for a domestic agenda. but we'll see. i mean, there's a mishmosh. for the rest of you, last year, we didn't do a full year's c.r., we went to the end of april, instead of the end of the fiscal year, september 30. we have to do a bill from the end of april to september 30. at the same time, we have to writing a bill for 2018. at the same time the president
11:18 am
has sent town a supplemental which is kind of disruptive in terms of the balance of investments, spending that are made. and at the same time, the white house has sent over a skinny budget. a skinny budget, is that what they call it a thin budget. a skinny budget that is practically a defiance of any sense of values of our country. a budget is supposed to be a statement of our national values. what is important to us as a country should be reflecked in 40u we -- how we allocate our resources. $54 is a budget that gives billion to the defense side, draining resources from all the other sources of america's strength. the health, the education, the well being of the american people. on the domestic side is also veterans, homeland security, intelligence, state department, all of the soft power that is so important. that's why i had some generals
11:19 am
in hi office the other day arguing for recognizing what at soft power means to informing us, have connections, when we're cooperating with countries, whether it's president bush's magnificent pepfar or some other nearbytives that we have done with countries, build confidence, establish trust, then that helps us to gain intelligence and know what's happening to prevent the use of force. but if we have to use force to be better prepared with friends and information as we go in. so this is not -- while i it may say we're spen manager money on defense, it's not necessarily making us stronger. it's another example of rash, reckless policy rather than smart, strong policy. so i don't know. you'll have to ask them. i don't know if they know how they're going to proceed. but i would hope that they could
11:20 am
adhere as losely to regular order as possible. if they do, i think the members in a bipartisan way can work out eir differences or build consensus. if it's above their pay grade, then that's where the problem comes in. >> in 2009, you allowed a boehner substitute with medical malpractice association health plans and interstate insurance sales as a substitute for the a.c.a. when it came to the floor. do you guys plan on having a democratic substitute or alternative if an a.c.a. repeal comes to the house floor in the next day or two? ms. pelosi: no. but i thank you for pointing out the fairness with which we always treated the republicans by enabling them to have when we didn't have any thought that they would allow such a thing. and so it's no use putting something forward that has no
11:21 am
the ct for success and fact is, if this bill were to ready to i stand negotiate with them on how we can go forward incorporating some of their ideas, saving face for them in some areas. but doing what is right for the american people. this is a bad day for them. it's bad if they win and it's bad if they lose. because of what destruction that will wreak in the lives of the american people and the american eople know it. reporter: you have no reason they'd put forward their own? ms. pelosi: what reason have they given us, did you watch rules committee yesterday? it was interesting. it was interesting. but it was not hopeful. it was not hopeful so they have a bill that is just getting
11:22 am
worse as far as we can tell, but they have to, again, you do not bring up your bill just to be spiteful to the anniversary of the affordable care act. you build your consensus in your party and in the congress, hopefully, and then you bring up the bill. so you can do the best job for the american people, not the shortest, quickest, worst monstrosity that you can pass on the floor. >> could you clarify something you said on the iraq probe you said -- on the russian probe, you said chairman nunes is not an honest broker, does the democrat -- will the democrats no longer participate? ms. pe pelosi: i'm just talking about him. the democrats are fully ready to be unbiased. where the facts and the law lead, that's all this is about. i'm just talking about him. he was part of the trump
11:23 am
transition education. all of this relates to trump transition, by an large. i just -- i think it's very clear he himself, i don't know if that was a cry for help or let me out of here or whatever that was but it was highly unusual. outside the accepted behavior of the chairman of an intelligence or any committee. thank you all very much. >> democratic leader nancy pelosi. the house this morning came in at 9:00 eastern. here's where things stand. the republican conference was to meet this morning, that was either canceled or postponed. the house came in, debated the same-day rule a same-day rule allowing them to take up legislation on the same day the rule is considered.
11:24 am
and so still in the works is the formation of the republican repeal and replace plan. at this hour the house freedom caucus headed to the white house for a meeting with president trump. we also can tell you that at least for now there's a briefing scheduled at 3:30 eastern with house speaker paul ryan. we hope to have that live for you either here on c-span, certainly on the c-span networks. one of our team on capitol hill, c span's pedro etch va rhea covering -- etch ve rhea is covering -- echeverria is covering the debate. >> could you tell me where this ill is with republicans? >> it's in our favor. there's a lot of nrning, a lot of tension. it's important for the american people that we get this done. >> when you say the momentum is in your favor, does that mean people among the house freedom caucus are chang