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tv   Speaker Pelosi at Center for American Progress Ideas Conference  CSPAN  May 23, 2019 2:24pm-3:00pm EDT

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ever even wants to solve a problem. i wish you all a very good memorial day and please remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit >> house speaker nancy pelosi spoke ideas conference and president trump's reaction to house investigations and added the president's efforts to thwart may be an impeefble and discussed democratic agenda, women's rights and health care. [applause]
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>> you this morning were supposed to meet with the president on infrastructure. but that meeting didn't happen as i understand it from twitter ap the news and cable. could you tell us what happened and what your thoughts are on that meeting or lack thereof. ms. pelosi: i'm happy to convey my impression of what happened this morning but not before i thank you for your incredible
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leadership, for ideas. that's a big word that means so much. and some of it unfortunately the difference we have between the executive and legislative branch in our house any way is ideas based on fact, science, truth, evidence. so we will have different interpretations of what happened. but here's the thing. let's salute you for your leadership. thank you. [applause] ms. pelosi: aren't you impressed with our members of congress? aren't they fantastic. you heard from adam schiff. we are proud of his work. i just want you to know this, when wear gate babies came to the congress in 1976, there was big transformational class of
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members of congress. it was fantastic. fantastic. people have chaired this class in terms of size and depth, ergy and throughism, interviewership as a similar class. the reason i bring it up is, in 1976 when they came, not one of those fresh men chaired a subcommittee in the first year. and this fresh men class, 18 freshman chair subcommittees in the house. we view that as something -- thank , 10 women you stephanie, and eight men. this is remarkable. to think that the woman who is and deb hole hand, who one the native-american
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women. of haaland is now the chair the natural resources committee public lands subcommittee, that is a very big deal. and very big deal in the native-american community. so we are very proud of them. the beautiful diversity of them. 106 women in the congress, 91 of them democrats. thank you, stephanie. isn't that remarkable? 60% of our caucus, women, people of color, lgbtq. 60% of our caucus. we are thrilled. we wish the other side would have some diversity. but having said that, we say in our caucus, our diversity is our strength, our unity is our power . and that power is recognized, to get to your question by the
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president of the united states. he knows that we will act together, wherever our differences are on one thing or another when it comes to it, we build our consensus and we make our plan and go forward together. so this morning, we went to the ite house hopeful, hopeful that the president would participate in the conversation as to the previous conversation we had about our infrastructure. we shared our priorities in a previous meeting. we came to some agreement, $2 trillion and how it would be divided, 80% federal, 20% local. today was the day he was supposed to tell us how -- what he would be willing to support and pay for for all of that. stead in an or chest traited
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oh, poor baby, point of view, he came into the room, i said he was engaged in a coverup and couldn't possibly engage in a conversation or -- on infrastructure as long as we are investigating him. now we have been investigating him since we took our majority. there is nothing new in that and then had a press conference in the rose garden where all these visuals that obviously planned long before before i said he was engaged in a coverup. it's really sad and here's the thing and i told this to the room when he made the statement, secretary of the treasury and this, that and the other thing, said, 200 years ago, thomas jefferson tasked his secretary the treasury to develop
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infrastructure initiative for america, to build into the louisiana purchase, lewis and clark expedition. eerie canal. 100 years later, teddy roosevelt instituted his infrastructure initiative, the national park service, the green infrastructure of america. and i said to them and i said to the president, we want to give this president the opportunity to do something historic for our country while there are those in our family who think why would you work with him -- and basically he is saying to me, why would i work with you if you are investigating. but the fact is something happened there. so i pray for him and i pray for the united states of america. it's really -- whether he ever
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intended to honor what he said before remains to be seen. but democrats believe in building infrastructure of our country, mass transit, roads, bridges, broadband into rural america, into underserved areas in our cities, waste water, clean water, infrastructure, satellites, precision farming, there are so many needs and we thought we had some level of agreement, but you never know. with this president of the united states. , very strange.ry [laughter] ms. pelosi: the press said to me, were you surprised? and i say to you, surprised? nobody could ever be surprised by anything that happened here. host: can i just ask you why do seemhink you in particular
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to have so much leverage or ability to drive donald trump to this level of distraction, to run out of an infrastructure meeting? he hasn't come up with a nickname. why do you think what you have done what others haven't been able to do which is throw him so off balance? ms. pelosi: i alluded to it earlier when i transitioned to our question, he recognize is the unity of our caucus and that is a very big deal. because he isn't about that. he is not about consent. and also, on his side of the aisle, he didn't see that kind of unity. so i think he sees the fact that we are united as something as something that he has to contend with, deal with, and that as the
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leader of the house democrats, speaker of the house, he has to deal with me officially, but also in terms of negotiating as leader of the party, that that unity gives me leverage. host: you have a busy day and a lot of important meetings. the issue of the investigation and what you said, that he is engaged in a coverup is news. you laid out the constitutional role of congress and oversight over the executive branch. with the trump administration that is defying and trying to defile the subpoenas and fighting every effort to hold it accountable. how does congress fulfill this oversight role moving forward? and what do you say to those who believe in impeachment inquiry
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to give congress what it needs. ms. pelosi: big long question. you heard from adam schiff and he is one of our six chairs who are leading the way on what we are doing. let me say, we take an oath of office to protect and defend the constitution of the united states. democrats take that oath seriously and we are committed to honoring our oath of office. i'm not sure that our republican colleagues share that commitment. and i'm not sure that the president of the united states does, too. so in light of the fact that the beauty of the constitution is ecks and balances, two equal co-equal branches of government, check and balance on each other. the constitution spells out the duties of congress and one of them is oversight of the
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president of the united states. another one of them is to impeach the president of the united states. o we have zsh let me be as succinct. we have six chairman and you heard from adam schiff and having success of getting documents by the justice department by the actions the committee has taken. you have chairman cummings had big success this week with one of his cases, which clearly spells out that it is congress' responsibility and right to investigate the other branches of government. he also has a good -- not our case but the he mol youments case. third committee, you have the financial services committee, maxine waters. maxine has laid out an indictment -- a series of
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questions back and forth with the administration when they kept telling her, we are not answering you, because you are the minority and today she is the chair. today as we sit here we are in court in new york with the deutch bank case insisting that we get the documents from deutch bank and think we will win that case. we are on that path. the investigation she did and the investigation that adam schiff did and investigation that mr. cummings did and reaping benefits and more to come. and then we have gerry nadler, the chair of the judiciary committee which has the overarching impeachment and where we might go with contempt of congress and the rest and we are on the path there. but you have to -- in order to have an investigation of any kind if you want to call it
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impeachment or whatever, you have to have the subpoena, go to court and develop your case. then we have the chairman of the ways and means committee. the law could not be clearer, the i.r.s. shall turn over the documents to the chairman of the ways and means committee. and so we feel we are in strong -- that's the clearest possible case. so then one more is foreign affairs, which has had hours of testimony from secretary tillerson. i have been out this morning, but i haven't heard the results of that yet. but understand that, intelligence, we are getting the documents. government reform, we won the court case, two actually. financial services, we are in court right now and this is a very good case for us, all built
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on investigation. ways and means and again the judiciary committee. so we are very proud of the work that our leadership on those committees -- the work they have done and they have taken us to a place where we get more information to predicate the next series of actions. but this is why i think the president steamed off this morning, the fact is, in plain sight in the public domain this president is obstructing justice and he is engaged in a coverup. and that could be an impeachable offense. [applause] ms. pelosi: ignoring the subpoenas of congress, article 3 of the nixon impeachment, article 3, he did not honor the subpoenas of the congress. so it's not just the substance that we're after and want to
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have to give the truth to the american people. but in striving to get that, the intervention -- the obstruction that the administration is ngaged in is, as they say, the coverup is frequently worse than the crime. host: very true. i think there is an interesting paradelnch dox because there are people who talk in the press about some of the he issue of im peaching or not impeaching because impeachment could cloud the ageppeda and sometimes reporters don't cover the agenda , and these issues get much more coverage. i think when you look at the last several weeks of the new house, i think it would be interesting to maybe talk a
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little bit about what has passed far because it is -- it's a reminder that actually the congress has been busy passing bills. the committees are busy and that is extremely. oversight is a constitutional responsibility, but issues of concerns to voters every day in their lives that are issues. explain perhaps what you see as speaker in the legislative agenda and what has been accomplished so far. ms. pelosi: thank you, thank you, thank you for that question. when we ran, we promised lower health care costs by reducing the cost of prescription drugs and strengthening the benefits to protect people with pre-existing conditions. bigger paychecks and building infrastructure in a greenway and for the future and third,
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cleaner government. h.r. 1, which we had passed in the house and pieces of it like the voting rights act will come separately, protecting of our elections as the congresswoman discussed earlier. but here's the thing. we have our top 10. first 10 pieces of legislation are of the majority. 1, for the people, passed the house. infrastructure bill, we were working on that today. prescription drug bill, we have passed several last week. voting rights enhancement act, part of h.r. 1, we need to build the constitutional bases for it. equality act, we are so proud we passed that last week. dream and promise. marked up. paycheck fairness passed the
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house. ckground checks on guns, commonsense, background checks, passed the house. climate action now, h.r. 9 passed the house may 2. the climate issue and over arching of climate and ending the disparity of income inequity drives most of the rest of the agenda and all in furtherance. i want you to join a club that i'm starting, it is talled too hot to handle. mitch mcconnell has said he is the grim reaper and going to kill every bill we send to him. we have news for you, these bills are alive and well with the public. [applause] ms. pelosi: our hope is the outside mobilization that many of you are engaged in, the
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outside mobilization to say to the senate, take up these bills. what are you afraid? they will pass. they are hand madens of the gun industry, pharmaceutical industry, they don't want any of these to pass. public sentiment is everything. abraham lincoln, with it you can accomplish everything. we are making it for them to to handle with our public advocacy largely in grassroots mobilizers, which does save the affordable care act. but save it from them. 10,000 events around the country. inside maneuvering very important. outside mobilization, essential. what they fear the most, too hot to handle. getting pot holders or those
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mittens to send to our supporters who are involved in making it too hot for them to handle. [applause] host: we are running out of time. what people lose sight of around the country is how little the senate is doing. while the house is passing these bills, the senate has been doing nominations, not legislation. and in addition to the too hot to handle line, are there people who are paying attention online and elsewhere can actually going to their senators, maybe some of the senators who have been moderate in the past? ms. pelosi: this whole list i read to you has broad bipartisan support in the country. and when we came into office in the majority, we said, we are going to do this in the most
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transparent way so people will know what legislation means to them and what the vote for or against means to their member of congress. it is going to be transparent and bipartisan. to the extent possible, we will try to find our common ground. where we can't, we stand our ground like a rock, that would be thomas jefferson. the third is unity. from many, one. so these bills -- we didn't go picking a fight with the most contentious legislation. what we did was to say where do we have common grund to make the biggest difference in the lives of the american people. lower health care costs, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, bigger paychecks, infrastructure. cleaner government. i'm not sure the republicans are interested. it talks about the other issues. if they think big dark money is
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going to be reduced, they will have better confidence that we can do something about gun safety or fossil fuel industry, the list goes on, lowering prescription drug prices. so that is what we have to do as far as the senate is concerned and i do believe and hope that some of the senators and in the states that we have good prospects to change their vote on this or at least get them to vote to bring the bill up. i'm very proud of working with chuck schumer and dick durbin and many women in the leadership over there as well and they -- they are relentless in pounding away. but the press is just totally obsessed with the impeachment part of it, not obsessed enough to right the particulars of what we are doing in our committee
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but just to say when are you going to do that? well, if we do, if the facts take us there, that's where we have to go. it has nothing to do with politics. it's not about politics, it's passion or prejudice against him, it's not personal, it's about patriotism and the facts will take us where we need to go. to your point, i'm not sure that we get any more information by instituting an impeachment inquiry, but if we thought we would, that's a judgment we would have to make. so again, getting back to the senate, i know this isn't a political event -- host: technically not. ms. pelosi: just as a civics observation, we intend to maintain our majority in the
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house and we are on a path to do that. [applause] s. pelosi: it is essentially essential that we elect a democratic candidate, democratic president of the united states not for partisan reasons but from the standpoint, the air our children breathe, climate, jobs, all the things about fairness and the rest and threats to our democracy in terms of the constitution of the united states. so it's about the constitution, it's about the country, this beautiful land which we love, the constitution they are not honoring, the beautiful country being degraded, who we are as a nation, nation of immigrants, denigrated, our values being put forth in a budget that are
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giving task breaks that benefit the top 1% while they say, we will cut medicare, medicaid and social security. we should have a bill on the floor that says we are for medicaid cuts for all, because that is the trump republican agenda and let's see where they vote on that. -- host: i have one quick last question because i think this is an important woman for women. you are the highest ranking woman in the government today and actually in our history. last week alabama passed a draconian abortion ban and i would like to know what do you say to women who are feeling scared about that and still shocked that in 2019 we are insultbacklash laws that the dignity of women. and any words of wisdom tore
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them? ms. pelosi: i look downcast when someone introduces me as the highest rank imwomen, because i wish that designation would go away and have a woman president of the united states. i never thought that this -- [applause] ms. pelosi: when people say that, it is supposed to be like a compliment but to me it is a reminder -- host: sorry. ms. pelosi: i thank you for that recognition, but it doesn't make me happy that i am that. i wish we had a democratic woman president. d then the issue about a woman's right to choose. don't tell anybody i told you this, however, the president is the president of the united states is because of the support that he has in certain elements of our population for
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overturning roe v. wade. this is serious, this is dangerous and real. three years ago next month, in june when he was engaged in the primary he said he would choose his judges a certain list, that was the list that had the pro-life agenda. i don't like to give them because we are all pro-life. so just so they have justices on the supreme court and now they have two, now they have two that means they are happy with him. that is where we are. that is a very dangerous place, the supreme court, in my view. i am still hopeful, though, that justice roberts might do the right thing. but i don't have -- the answer to every question is the same, mobilize, mobilize, mobilize.
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our whole country changed when women decided to march. that was the transformative moment. women marched, women and men, women voted, women won and women lead. and people have to see -- [applause] ms. pelosi: for 30 years in the congress, i had been making this case and people didn't believe me for the first 25, 26 years of it. this is about family planning, it's about birth control. this isn't about -- they like to argue the case in words that aren't true, but alarming to people about abortions that must take place in the late term, the health of the mother, whatever it is, but they described it terribly and it has a market and that's why they do it. what women should know is, this isn't just about that. it's about family planning and
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access to women's health. it's about invitro fertilization . have babies -- think we cannot accept really? alabama? i was in ohio last week and they have a heartbeat belt, too. missouri is on its way. this is bigger, as big as that issue is, this is about lack of respect for women. this is about some fear in our community, our society about to haveving the ability the size and timing, working with their husbands, doctors, whatever it is. but to just see it as a choice issue is one piece of it. it's about lack of respect and
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reflected when they won't give equal pay for equal work or medical leads that benefit women and the rest. i think that march and the next year and the rest scared some of these people. good. good. but we do have to fight some of the consequences of their fear. this is -- now i say that of someone when i have this debate with my colleagues, when my sband and i brought home alexandra, our oldest child was turning six that week. i'm with the program, i get the point. when you have five children in six years, we'll have a conversation about that, otherwise you have no standing whatsoever. [laughter] ms. pelosi: to the point we have this debate, they said on the floor of the house, they said,
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nancy pelosi is a very devout catholic, that means a lot to me. part of whom i am, my catholic faith. nancy pelosi thinks she knows more about having babies than the pope. [laughter] ms. pelosi: really? guys? [laughter] ms. pelosi: when you see them lined up on the floor of the guys, guys, white dischargeing up for a petition that doesn't represent the truth of what they are putting down there. i would just say, we don't agonize, we organ we cannot let this happen to the families of america.
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host: i think that is a great ending. thank you so much. [applause] cheers and applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit >> president trump and first lady melania trump pay an unannounced visit to arlington cemetery to pay tribute to those who died for the united states. presidents typically deliver a wreath, but president trump will be in japan on monday. and congress has reportedly reached a deal with the white house on disaster relief. the 19 billion plan doesn't include the border request, the senate to vote on it this afternoon with the house taking
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it up tomorrow to approve by unanimous consent since many house members have already are headed back to their district for the holiday. >> government supported service called pbs. in 1979, a small network with an unusual name rolled out a big idea. let viewers decide on their own what was important to them. c-span opened the doors to washington policy making for all to see, bringing you unfiltered content from congress and beyond. in the age of power to the people, this was true people power. in the 40 years since the landscape has clearly changed, broadcasting is given way to narrow casting. c-span's big idea is more relevant today than ever. no government money supports c-span and nonpartisan coverage is funded by your cable or satellite provider. on television and online, c-span
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is your unfiltered view of government so you can make up your own mind. >> the house oversight and reform committee held a hearing on the use of facial recognition technology and its impact on civil rights. you can see that hearing tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span. rolling thunder holds its last memorial day ride to washington, d.c., this weekend, the ride for freedom has been a holiday tradition for 31 years. thousands of motor cyclists roll from the pentagon to the veterans memorial. it features veterans affairs. it begins at noon eastern on sunday and watch online at or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> starting memorial day, may 27, allee


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