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tv   Caucus Chair Jeffries at CAP Ideas Conference  CSPAN  May 24, 2019 5:19am-5:43am EDT

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answer the question for this year's student competition. what all the when a video saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern on c-span -- watch all of the winning videos on saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. c-span has coverage of commencement ceremonies taking place at colleges and universities across the country. featured speakers include elijah ,ummings, patrick shanahan stacey abrams, president donald trump, and sonia sotomayor. startsmitment coverage memorial day and you can watch ,nline anytime and c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> hurricane jefferies talks talks-- hakeem jeffries
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in a conference for the center of american progress. mr. jeffries: morning, everyone. it is an honor and a privilege for ourre, and thankful voice for the voiceless and defender of the disenfranchised. i want to thank each and every one of you for your tremendous involvement over the last two years in particular in helping to turn things around, or begin the process of turning things around here in this great country. it is my understanding that after ice become adam schiff is next, so -- it is my understanding that after i speak
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, adam schiff is next. bright, and be gone. agenda.o share the i'm so honored to have the opportunity to serve as chair of the house democratic caucus. i assume responsibility for the beginning of this conference. my first act as chair, it was my responsibility to place the name of nancy pelosi in nomination as our next speaker. [applause] mr. jeffries: and isn't she doing a great job? donald trump has no idea what to do with her. i mean, he cannot even come up with a nickname. he just calls her nancy. we are so proud of her. my first responsibility was to place her name and nomination --
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in nomination. i was taking through my remarks and my junk is son said, dad, what are you doing? i said, it is my responsibility to nominate nancy pelosi for our next speaker on january 3. do you have any advice for your father? and without missing a beat, he said, dad, don't blow the moment. and i really want to say we recognize that this is a critical moment. we have a responsibility to both deliver on the kitchen table pocketbook issues we talk to the american people about with a focus on lowering health care costs and increasing pay for everyday americans. adame also recognize, and will talk about this, but we have a responsibility as a
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co-equal branch of government, we don't work for donald trump. we work for the american people, and we have a constitutional responsibility to serve as checks and balances. knee tonever bend the donald j trump, the first of his name. this is a democracy, and we recognize the moment we are in. the beautiful thing about the caucuses we are the most diverse , legislative caucus in the history of the republic. republicans, 21st century house senate, the most diverse legislative caucus in the history of the republic. more women serving in the house than ever before. over 100. more african-americans, more latinos, more native americans, more members of the lgbt community. -- we authentically
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authentically represent the american people, and we asked the house democratic caucus recognize that diversity is a strength. it is not a weakness. we are a nation of immigrants, some voluntary, others in voluntary, but as dr. king once observed, we may have come over on different ships, but we are all in the same boat now. we are a mosaic of people across latino, nativek, american, christian, jewish, gay, straight, young, old, women, men, citizens, dreamers, out of many, we are one and that is what makes america a great country. and no matter what xenophobic behavior is coming out of 1600 pennsylvania avenue, we won't let anyone take that away from us. not now. not ever. and so, we are proceeding with
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an understanding of our understanding -- of our unity, which makes us strong, understanding these are very challenging times. we want to move the country forward and they want to turn back the clock. we want to bring people together. they are trying to tear us apart. we are fighting for the people. they are fighting for the privilege few. we are trying to stand up for the lost and left behind. they are standing up for the wealthy, the well off and the well-connected. we believe in the public interest. they are all about special interests. we want to protect social security and medicare. they are trying to take it away. we believe in unions and the right to collectively bargain. our freedom destroy to negotiate the states. -- incredibly
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we are anchored in our values, understanding we believe in a country that provides for the poor. and stands up for senior citizens. we believe in a country with liberty and justice for all, people, by thehe people, for the people. the people the for agenda. and we made clear to the american people we are going to work hard to lower health care costs, protect people with pre-existing conditions in the deal with the high cost of life-saving prescription drugs, strengthen the affordable care act from increased pay for everyday americans, and not a ct the infrastructure issue, and end the era of voter
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suppression once and for all. democratic house caucus for the pyd we have already begun to do a lot -- caucus for the people, and we have already begun to do a lot. in the first 100 or so days, we passed cap paints a -- we passed comprehensive universal background check legislative. fair act.he paycheck we passed the equality act because we believe that love does not discriminate based on neitherdentity, and should the law. to of course, the worked lower health care costs and protect people with existing conditions. what is clear is that this administration wants to take away health care from tens of
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millions of americans. we are not going to let that happen. this administration wants to impose an age tax on people thaten 50 and 64 because is what will happen when you take away the affordable care act, and that will increase premiums, co-pays, deductibles for those americans. this administration wants to take away protections for pre-existing conditions that would impact more than 100 million americans, perhaps one of the most significant accomplishments of the affordable care act. and we are going to stand to defend that. that is what the 2018 midterm elections were about. we recognize as house democrats that there are millions of americans who are battling cancer. that is a pre-existing condition. there are millions of americans
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struggling through heart disease. that is a pre-existing condition. millions of americans, including children in neighborhoods like those i represent and others all across the country, particularly and low-income communities dealing with asthma, and part because -- in part because of environmental racism. over 10 million americans struggling through an opioid addiction. that is a pre-existing condition. more than 100 million americans have either diabetes or pre-diabetes. that is a pre-existing condition. the stakes are incredibly high, and we understand the moment that we are in. we also have made clear to the american people that in addition to strengthening the affordable care act, we want to drive down the high price of life in a
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prescription drugs because there is no reason in the world that, here in america, we should pay more for life-saving medication than any other nation in the world. result of the special interests power of big pharma in this town, and we are determined to break it. [applause] mr. jeffries: and we believe that in order to do that, there are several things we are working on, and i will only outline a small see you. -- a small few. we believe that medicare should have the ability to use its purchasing power to negotiate lower drug prices for the american people, we are determined to make that happen. ability, thethe veterans administration has the
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ability, there is no reason in the world why medicare should not have that ability, resulting in lower drug prices for tens of millions of americans, and we will not rest until that occurs. [applause] mr. jeffries: we also want to break up the racket that exist in so many ways between the brand name companies and their monopolisticntain -type control over the pricing that the american people. brand name said that have the generic drugs same therapeutic, medicinal impact. the same impact. but over time, generic drugs less than their brand-name counterparts.
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and that is the reason why we want to break up the monopolistic racket. one of them is outlawing the practice that is known as pay for delay. drug is brand name , thereo come off patent are pharmaceutical companies that will actually pay the generic companies not to put the generic drugs on the market in order to delay the onset of competition that will result in lower drug prices for the american people. we in the house judiciary committee have passed legislation that would make the pay for delay practice illegal under the law, we are determined to get it through the house and outlaw this outrageous practice. you're also doing was something
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called citizen petition abuse. under the current law, the fda has a mechanism by which, when a brand name drug is getting ready , anybody inpatent withca can file a petition the fda to express concerns about the soon coming availability of the generic drugs. thathat we have learned is while citizens may or may not be filing petitions, and that is their right, the pharmaceutical companies have actually been stepping in and filing petitions to stop the availability of the generic drugs. petitions that are ultimately dismissed by the fda, but delaying the availability of generic drugs by months, or
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sometimes years, costing the american consumer hundreds of millions of dollars in lost savings. we are determined to break the back of big pharma and dramatically lower the high cost of life-saving prescription drugs. so, we are proceeding essentially a law for a principle that america, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, that no one should never have to choose between putting food on the table, paying the rent, or getting access to the life-saving medication that they need in order to live their life with the dignity and grace that they deserve. we believe that in america, that health care is not simply a privilege, it is a right. and we want to bring that right into reality for every single american, and we believe that in
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the wealthiest country in the history of the world, every single american should have access to high-quality, life saving, affordable health care, and that is the position that he shared by every single one of the 239 democrats in the house of representatives. and we are going to make sure that that principle becomes the law of the land. and in closing, let me simply say, some have said, well, that is an ambitious agenda. you are dealing with the grim reaper of the senate, and a president who is out of control. how do you expect we can bring all of this into fruition? and some of those ideas we hope enact, but ultimately, i
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am confident that -- let me quote the words of our great president, barack obama. [applause] [laughter] mr. jeffries: some of y'all are getting nervous on me. can.k obama said, yes, we democrats can be successful because we have always gotten things done on behalf of the american people. democrats are the party that gave this country social security, medicare, medicaid, head start, a living wage, the civil rights act, the voting rights act, the fair housing act , the fair sentencing act, the affordable care act. democrats and barack obama saved our economy. the automobile industry, and together, democrats will save our democracy. god bless you. god bless the united states of
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america. [applause] host: thank you, congressman jeffries. there is such an a to expansive agenda. i want to thank you -- there is such an expansive agenda and i want to thank you for your comments. on issues that have been divisive on taxes, a good example is the house passed reentering the paris accord. climate has created divisions and has seen regional could you talkd a little bit about what it was like to pass that bill, and how united the caucus was doing that? and how do you see that the issue as a frontline in the issue of the climate?
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mr. jeffries: thank you for the question, and that was the important first step in the foundation that i expect we will continue to do to address the that we face here in the country, and of course, throughout the world. in our first legislative act on package we enacted a that included as a feature, the constitution up a select committee on the climate crisis that the speaker indicated would be a focus on how we move forward, led by kathy castor from florida. the first piece of legislature in that regard was legislation that would express the resolution of disapproval in connection with the effort to exit the paris climate accord. and we're going to pursue legislative and appropriations remedies designed to prohibit the use of funds to do anything other than make sure we keep our
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commitments in that regard. and explore the other legislative options that we can do in a bold fashion to confront the enormity of the problem. under the legislative mandate, the committee on the climate crisis has to report back to the energy and commerce committee on its recommendations on legislative proposals by early next year. their work could come in sooner than that, but we want to hear from a wide variety of state voters -- stakeholders on the thoughts people have as to how we can proceed boldly and aggressively. host: and one last question. another issue that people have seen divisive in the past and has had a pretty significant victory in the house was background checks and gun safety legislation. and can you talk a little bit about how much of that, why was
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the -- why was that the priority and how d.c. that playing out in the future? mr. jeffries: there is an important distinction between the last time democrats were in the majority and i was not in the contraceptive time. in the current moment -- and i was not in the congress at that time. moment, many of the members of the new democratic majority came from rural states and districts where those embers felt they could not address this issue. things have changed significantly, and every member wethe caucus is of the view have to do something meaningful to deal with a gun violence epidemic we started with universal criminal background checks. it did receive some republican support. the overwhelming majority of gun owners and nra member support
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the notion that no individual, particularly one less reason to believe could do harm to others, should be able to access a gun without background checks. we are going to continue to aggressively push that and other issues forward, and put -- and keep the pressure on the senate so that mitch mcconnell either does his job and allows these bills to come to a vote, or we vote them all out of office and have a new senate majority and 2020. -- in 2020. [applause] host: thank you. the bill does not include president trump's border funding request. they could vote on the bill today. of can watch live coverage
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the how starting at 11:00 a.m. eastern on c-span, or online at c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio app. c-span possible quote washington journal," live every day with news and policies that impact you. aning up this morning, author discusses the rise and fall of socialism and its recent resurgence in american politics. and then democratic socialists of american -- talks about the growth of socialism and what it means for legislation in the 2020 election. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 this morning. join the discussion. -- nancy pelosi talked about the abrupt ending with her meeting with president trump on wednesday? she also

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