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tv   House Republicans Hold News Conference on Legislative Agenda  CSPAN  September 6, 2017 12:36pm-12:53pm EDT

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>> to continue our work on issues impacting people all across this country. on the top of the list is the devastation that was experienced in texas and louisiana with hurricane harvey. and that is what we will be considering the first thing this morning. the disaster aid package. it's really a focus on ensuring that we are there to help with the recovery, help restoring these communities. it's hard for a lot of us to imagine what people are going through. but there's so many stories of courage and sacrifice that remind us that we're all americanses. it was great to see people pulling together to help one another during this time. i wanted to highlight some of the volunteers, a big thank you to the first responders. but i was just so heartwarmed to hear about the stories like
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pastor murray who heard on a makeshift walky talky that there were people who needed help and got out on his boat and rescued hundreds in the texas and louisiana portions. my roommate was from texas. my college freshman roommate, from houston. i reached out to her. she was fine but her sister lost her home. their church is devastated and veryone has stories. that is why we must all step up. i'm pleased to have representative culberson with us this morning. his district has been impacted. ne of the hardest hit. he'san also on the appropriations committee and has been leading the charge on the aid package. we'll be hearing more from the entire texas delegation later on today in a bipartisan support of the legislation that's doing pass the help that is needed in texas. we're mooskmoveking forward to fulfill the request from president trump at this time
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and to get the aid that is needed right away. mr. culberson: thank you. our message here today is help is on the way for people who suffered in texas and louisiana and to say thank you to all the first responders, to say thank you to our president, who personally donated $1 million of his own money to help the people of texas and louisiana. to say thank you to our leadership. mr. speaker, thank you for bringing this bill to the floor so quickly. mr. leader, to come to houston, we spent time together flying over the flood-ravaged areas. cathy, we are so grateful, all of us in texas and louisiana, for the immediate response of the congress, for the immediate response of the american people . we are today going to pass legislation in the house that will provide an immediate cash infusion to help the victims recover, to help them with hotel expenses, with all the other things that they did not anticipate two, three weeks ago. their lives were transformed in a moment. this scale of the flooding is unimaginable. my family's lost everything.
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my brother lost his home. they've been utterly destroyed. all my in-laws lost everything. the entire city -- 70% of houston and harris county was under water. the entire city of orange and port arthur was under watt art some point. the rain just wouldn't stop. i spent all last week out in neighborhoods helping rescue people, boats and using boats and trucks and waiters to pull people out of homes. and the scale of the tragedy is unimaginable. but in the midst of all this, all the suffering, it really reflects the american character, how people from all over the country stepped up to help houstonans recover from this. in the enableds last saturday, i met a team of -- in the neighborhoods last saturday, i met a team of four guys in a boat from florida, who simply got in their car, in their truck, and drove the boat to houston to help pull people out. a guy from michigan was out in the neighborhoods. we had during the midst of the storm on the second day, when it was just catastrophic flooding, i got a phone call
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from garrett graves of louisiana who said the cajun navy wants to come help houston. i don't even know there was such a thing. 110 trucks just spontaneously got together, pulling 100 boats from central louisiana, carrying thousands of meals and diapers and water and radios, help is on the way. help is on the way, america. because congress knows this is an emergency. we are acting decisively. there are no democrats. there are no republicans. there are no party divisions. we are all americans here today. to make sure that the people who suffered the most get the help the quickest. we're deeply, deeply grateful to all of the people of america who stepped up to help us and thankful for the leadership of the congress, working together arm in arm, regardless of party. to help us recover from this disastrous storm. thank you very much. >> i first want to start by saying our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those
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who were lost in this storm. mr. mccarthy: congressman culberson is being a little humble. he's done a lot of work as an appropriater to bring this bill package forward. but on a personal level, i watched him, as i traveled the last three days through southeast texas. constantly personally working to save people. from being on a boat, from coordinating with the mayor, from coordinating with the coast guard. getting more boats out. saving people, but also saving animals. as we've gone through the first stage, we're now moving into the second stage. those three days that i went and watched a nt small town, their water tower, with four big steel beams that held it up. this is where the wind first came in. just twist and explode. community without water. i go to the command center to find out it's their fourth command center because the others would get flooded and
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have to leave. the mayor haven't even been on the job for a year. his business is down. his home is hurt but he hasn't left the job. beaumont, one of our last stops, i went in there with senator cornyn. and here we are. the water system for the whole city shut down, but a small business was building these pumps. going to ship them out of the country to a client who call them and said, no, use it there and they had a work-around to be able to save it. i think in beaumont the name is becky, the mayor, said it best. as the downpour began, the outpouring of humankindness started. and overtook everything else. we know texas will be able to come back. we have irma on the way. hitting florida. we need to do our job. this is a time where leadership needs to rise up with everybody in the house and the senate. that's why we will move the bill today in a short hour, send it over and technology
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helped save a lot of lives. culberson will show you he has this app about neighbors where you can connect with each other, next door, where you're being able to save each other. snapchat even with your friends to see whether they're hurt or not. technology has helped us provide more resources. the iphone's only been around for 10 years. katrina was in 2005. so we're seeing fema needs help sooner because the resources can get out faster to those in need. that's why it's important that we move this as fast as we do. and i hope the senate is able to do it as well. i told the members in the conference today that we will stay until we get this job done. mr. ryan: you know, i first want to thank our colleagues in texas and their delegation. both republicans and democrats, for their leadership. it's really -- it's been really something to watch. it's really been impressive. when this all started to unfold, they were reaching out to express their urgency of the
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situation. 52 inch of rain, this is something we've never seen before. they made it clear to us just how vast this problem was. and as soon as we finish here, the house will take action, as kevin just said, on installment on this. we will not leave until this is done. nothing can really capture just how big and wide this devastation is. you hear a lot of numbers. tens of thousands of people in shelters. hundreds of thousands of homes damaged. nothing can really capture this. when we look at -- you turn on the tv in america today, you look at all the vitriol , you look at the bitterness, you look at rioting and all the rest of this. you begin to wonder whether or not our civil society is holding together. this hurricane shows that it is. this shows that our civil society is still very, very civil. an email went around janesville, wisconsin, to the
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various churches and schools and we wanted to fill up one semi trailer with hubcorps, to send some aid down to the j.j. watt foundation. a local hero, plays for the houston tickans. and the next day when we all collected stuff at our kids' schools, we didn't fill one semi trailer, we filled nine. that's just in janesville, wisconsin. getting aid down to houston. and so what i think is a good story out of all of this is in, this country, citizens when they see other citizens in need, they step up and they answer the call. and so it is something that we should take stock and encouragement from. now, we, government, have a responsibility as well. as the majority leader said, technology is a good thing and the helping us, but what it's also doing is it's moving money very fast through the system as it should. and that's why we will not leave until we get this done,
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mo to make sure that the response is there. we have another hurricane right now, hurricane irma, headed to our shores and it's critical that we act immediately. so for now, we've got to make sure that we team up with our first responders. we are really encouraged and heartened by the people grabbing their boats and going and rescuing their citizens. by people all around america sending aid. and with one more hurricane, one that 185-mile-per-hour winds hitting our shores again, those people in that line are in our thoughts and our prayers. i think the really important that we take stock of the fact that civil society in america is well and alive, it is on display. citizens are helping each other. and the government will be there to respond to the needs of these people who have faced this unprecedented devastation. any questions? -- i was inaudible]
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wondering whether you'd support a stand-alone bill -- inaudible] mr. ryan: so first let me say, president obama was wrong to do it in the first place because he overstepped his constitutional bounds. we, the president and congress, take an oath to support and defend the constitution. so president trump was right in his decision. he made the right call. i'm also encouraged by the fact that he gave us time to work out a con sent sulls. to find -- consensus. to find a compromise. because these kids don't -- for most part don't know any other home than the united states. so i think the president was right to give us the time we need to find that compromise. where does that compromise exist? that's what we're going to spend the next months figuring out, where that compromise is. but i think the totally reasonable and appropriate that when you look at the daca dilemma, this is a dilemma that in large part stems from the fact that it is a symptom of a
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larger problem. and the larger problem is that we do not have control of our borders. so it's only reasonable and fitting that we also address the root cause of the problem, which is boards that are are not sufficiently controlled. while we address this very real and very human problem that's right in front of us. so i think that's perfectly reasonable. to the second part of your question, we will not be advancing legislation that does not have this -- the support of president trump. because we're going to work with the president on how to do this legislation. if we have legislation coming through here that is worked with and supported by the president, i'm very confident that our members will support that. reporter: [inaudible] mr. ryan: i think that's a ridiculous idea. i hope that they don't mean that. let's just think about this. we've got all this devastation in texas. we've got another unprecedented hurricane hitting -- about to
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hit florida. and they want to play politics with the debt ceiling? that will strand the aid that we need to bring to these victims of these storms that have occurred or are about to occur and they also want to threaten default on our debt? i think that's ridiculous and disgraceful that they want to play politics with the debt ceiling at this moment when we have fellow citizens in need to respond to these hurricanes so that we do not strand them. reporter: [inaudible] mr. ryan: i think -- what the leaders you just described proposed is unworkable and it could put in jeopardy the kind of hurricane response we need to have. look, many of us got the calls from the administration and o.m.b. who said fema is moving so fast we're running out of money as soon as friday to tuesday. we have to make sure that we have the authority, legal authority, to go out and be able to put money back into fema so we can respond to these hurricanes. not to mention the fact that we already have to start prepositioning for the fact that irma is about to hit florida.
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and to play politics with the debt ceiling, like schumer and pelosi apparently i will are doing, i don't think is a -- apparently are doing, i don't think is a good idea. eporter: [inaudible] mr. ryan: as you know this takes 60 votes in the senate. i think what the president doesn't want to do is give more leverage where it shouldn't occur. on the debt ceiling. this takes 6 to vote in the senate. if this was a majority-only vote quorks do what you're saying but it's not a majority-vote. it is a 60-vote bill in the senate. you know that. reporter: hundreds of -- naudible] -- mr. ryan: i think people should rest easy and i think the president made the right call and the president also gave us the time and space we're going to need to find where that compromise is. as i mentioned in my opening remarks, this is a home that
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people know and they don't know any other country as a home. so i think there's a serious humane issue here that needs to be dealt with. but it's only fitting and reasonable that we also deal with some of the root causes of this problem because what we don't want to have happen is another daca problem in 10 years. we want to make sure that we fix this issue for these kids, for these young people, and address the root cause of the problem so we don't have the same thing 10 years from now. that's totally proper. so i do believe that there is ay mice to be had here. do i believe that -- a compromise to be had here. i do believe that congress, and we're going to work with members so we can bring resolution to this very legitimate problem. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017]

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