tv Senate Democratic Leaders News Conference CSPAN January 23, 2018 6:52pm-7:17pm EST
that i listed that are now out of that but there are still important items left. thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> okay,
good afternoon everybody and i want to thank my colleagues, senators durbin murray stabenow and brown and we will hear from each of them. as you know yesterday the senate passed a continuing resolution to reopen the government, provide a six-year reauthorization of chip and
leader mcconnell and i were also able to agree on a path forward for legislation to protect gamers. the republican majority now has 16 days to prevent the 800,000 young dreamers from being deported. democrats are going to be working as hard as ever to get a bill that will pass through the senate but the pressure is on leader mcconnell and the moderates particularly the republican moderates. the clock is ticking. leader mcconnell made a promise not just to democrats but to republicans as well. we expect him to keep his word to the body and i was glad to hear that he reiterated it a few minutes ago right here. we are also, we also now have to conclude other important work. each equally as important as the next. on the budget with spending caps for defense and urgent domestic priorities. just as our military needs the
resources it requires to do that tough job we ask of them we have critical issues to address here at home and you'll hear about some of them from my colleagues. it includes making the necessary investments to fight the scourge of opioid addiction which has a stranglehold on so many communities across the country. in light of the trump administration's constant application of leadership when it comes to the opioid crisis a lot of committees, a lot of talk, no action. it's important now more than ever before congress to take immediate action. not only is the president failing to nominate someone to head the office of national drug control policy's, guess what? this administration which talks a big game about opioids just proposed cutting the agency's budget by 95%. that is one of the most destructive contributions that the president has made to combat
the opioid epidemic and the effects of this broken promise across the country. we also have to honor the promise made to over 1 million pensioners who have contributed to and earned every penny of their pensions or you will hear about that later. we have to find committee health programs that have lapsed. you'll hear about those e-mails have to do more for our brave veterans to get the quality health care they deserve. they didn't wait in line in iraq and afghanistan and they shouldn't have to wait in line here. and of course we have the past disaster relief that addresses the needs of all of our states and territories in texas florida louisiana california puerto rico virgin islands and western states that are plagued by fires. unfortunately on every one of these important issues the president has been impossible to pin down or he has been
completely absent. president trump's inability to negotiate with congress is what caused the three-day government shutdown from which we have just emerged because of the fact that we are not making more progress on these issues. a republican the republican leaders don't want to go ahead on their own. they are afraid of president trump. they want to know what he will do and the usually tell them you do it yourselves. we get paralysis. we are going to get all these things going then it's probably going to have to work its will on its own. we are ready. the american people are clamoring for two parties to work together and get these things done. a bipartisan group yesterday was a glimmer of hope that might happen and i'm encouraging them to move forward. after years of partisanship and strife during which republicans hardly attempted to compromise if we are going to finish all these important tasks at hand we
have to move forward in a bipartisan way. senator
durbin. >> thank you very much senator schumer. some people look at the donut and just see the whole. i'm not one of those people. where we are today one comes to daca and dreamers compared to last week's significant positive things have occurred. yesterday and over the weekend a significant group of bipartisan group of senators came together and committed themselves to moving forward with the d.r.e.a.m. act and other immigration issues. there are more speaking in favor of the trey today than there were a week ago. we have secured a guarantee on the floor for majority leader mcconnell and for the first time in five years, five years will finally debate and vote on immigration. now we have the process. you can find and resolve of hundreds of thousands of dreamers who are american and
every way but for a piece of paper. the final decision on whether this idea becomes law still rests in the hands of the republican leaders in terms of what they bring to the floor. we have a clear statement from senator mcconnell as to the process that we will follow, the level playing field the open amendment process. we don't have a similar statement from the speaker of the house and he is in complete control of the measures that come before the house on the floor. we are going to have a bipartisan solution we need the leaders of the house and the senate to come together and agree that we have a path moving forward. we now have 16 days to work with democrats to produce legislation republican majority leader has two work with democrats to produce legislation that can pass the house and the senate. i might add there is a parallel track here of whips or number twos or whatever her station is at the moment. we have been unable to meet this week because the house is in recess. i stand ready and willing to attend any meetings that can be
productive and constructive to move forward on this issue. i've been waiting for 17 years since i introduce the d.r.e.a.m. act. there's a lot at stake not just in terms of my political investment and even more importantly the lives of these young people and their families. they deserve the opportunity to be part of america's future. >> senator murray. >> thank you. you know the bare minimum for a party in control of the senate come the house in the white house is keeping the government open. that's the absolute bare minimum so while it's good republican leaders were able to keep the lights on for a few more weeks, to be very clear we have a lot more to do than the bare minimum minimum. i'm glad republican leaders have committed to working with us to deliver on some of the challenges facing the families we represent but in the coming weeks people are going to be looking for actions and true bipartisan work, not just words.
as senator durbin just talked about democrats and republicans agree. we need to finally pass legislation to protect our dreamers who have known no home but america and to live in constant fear for their future. .. >> i want to focus on two important issues. democrats and republicans agree, we need to do more to fulfill our promise to the brave men and women who serve our country. right now there are far too many veterans run the country who are facing long wait times for healthcare embark from the critical caregiver program because of when they served, or sleeping on the streets.
now that the shutdown has ended, there's a reason we should not be able to work together to address that quickly. democrats and republicans agree rely on community health centers in teaching health centers and other investments that get the health care they need. i'm glad we were able to pass this but now we need to work together to tackle critical healthcare issues that republicans have allowed to expire. there's no excuse for leaving families wondering if their local healthcare center will shut doors or leaving medical residents to help underserved communities in limbo. i know we can put a stop to it without getting other investments. there are bipartisan solutions,
now that republicans have step backed from their unnecessary government shutdown and say they're ready to work with us on responsible solutions, we need to tackle these together without delay. people across the country will be holding republican leaders accountable for their commitments and responsibilities. we will be as well. >> let me just stress what senator murray was talking about in terms of the children's health insurance program. we started in the finance committee with a bipartisan bill to make sure the children's health insurance program did not expire by september 30 up with that in place. then i came to the floor along with others week after week, 114
days before children's health insurance was reauthorized. the good news, instead of a two-year reauthorization that happen the last time around, we are able to get six years of full funding with increases. that's a victory for children and families in michigan and across the country. 9 million children across the country. we have unfinished business to do including the second piece which is community health centers. the refusal to act means 25 million people across our country including 300,000 veterans right now and 7.5 million children right now find their health center in jeopardy because republicans were not to what we have traditionally thought which is reauthorized chip and community health centers at the same time.
so, we have children in michigan, 225,000, one third of our children go to hell centers. one third of the people going to hell centers our children. so you may have the health insurance but the hell centers closed new can't see her dr.. that's high on our list. democrats are focused on making sure we get that done as soonest possible for the 25 million people who count on hell centers across our country. were focused on her veterans as senator murray and senator schumer talked about. i veteran should not stand in the back of any line. i want to focus on infrastructure. veteran clinics in michigan are too small to meet the demand. hospitals that need to be
renovated, were focused on doing what we can including mental health services as well. finally in the middle of an opiate epidemic that's destroying families and communities across the country, any budget agreement has to have important funding and not leave our communities behind. there have been short-term deals for too long. the job needs to get done long-term. we are focused on commitments for children and also to make sure the funding priorities that families expect us to come forward with get achieved. it's time to come together and get things done. >> thank you. unless but not least the next senator.
>> thank you. we have watched over the last 13 months insurance company lobbyist and drug company lobbyist scary in and out of senator mcconnell's office trying to write a healthcare repeal law and giving away a tax break to the richest americans. more than 80% goes to the wealthiest 1%. we know that will mean more companies will shut down in cleveland. now move overseas where there's more incentives to do that. as lobbyist scary in and out, republican house and president in supreme court they haven't been able to run this government with the long-term budget. they have ignored the tension needs of over 1 million americans, teamsters, carpente carpenters, confectionery
workers, over a million workers. 50000 teamsters in my state alone 5000 minors. that's just in my state. this is econ 101 for some of my colleagues. but they want to think about is to understand these are workers that set down at the bargaining table and gave up higher wages today to put money aside for pensions 20 or 30 years down the road. wall street in large part squander that money so the workers that work 40 years don't expect a 40% pension cut. i was encouraged over the weekend and had conversations with colleagues on both sides of the aisle. i had a meeting in my office talking about the importance of what we can do with pensions.
i assume when i speak to teamster valleys just to many voted for trump as others. it's time we
did our job and fixed it. >> thank you senator brown. >> they said that you should've held out for more, do have a point? >> we are better off today when it comes to dreamers the we were for five days ago. the gotten the commitment from senator mcconnell not just to democrats but to a good chunk of his own caucus so that means a lot. we every new momentum. the dreamer issue were very pleased with how it worked out. when there's a republican president, senate and house that are against dreamers who will
get it all at once. were gonna keep fighting. we believe will have a good victory. >> would you consider the list of things that need to be done completely contingent on the daca deal? >> do you view this as an effort on the other side of out to pull attention away? >> there has been a great deal of activity on the other side intending to divert attention to mueller for a stand in his way. i don't think mr. nunez is played a construction of role to say the least. we are worried about it. mueller has to be allowed to do his job. i have faith in him as long as he goes forward everyone will abide by where he comes down.
he should not be thwarted in any way and the diversion they're trying to do with mueller and others is not good for the country. >> this is part of a package,. >> it was the first thing the president and i talked about. he said tuesday night, three days on the thought was we could come to an agreement that afternoon the president would announces support in the senate and house we get it done and it would be on the president's desk. he didn't do that. we will need to start on a new basis. the wall offers off the table. >> president trump said this pr is a big one for republicans and democrats caved, what's your thought? >> we advanced the ball for the
dreamers. if they're proud of the role thwarting to dreamers, most americans would disagree with it. >> special counsel mueller to interviewed jeff sessions, what's a significant of interviewing a member of the president's cabinet? do you think president trump might have obstructed justice? >> we need to get to the bottom of it. i would lead the investigation to mueller cannot second-guess it. after they review the president's action whether they did obstruct. but certainly the american people think mueller ought to be able to do his job. they're trying to stop him from doing his job, that is not what america is about. no person is above the law.
watch "washington journal", live at seven eastern on wednesday morning. join the discussion. >> at the council of foreign relations joe biden talked about what he sees what's happening on russian the middle east. watches remarks on c-span.org. here's a preview. >> people asked me what was the hardest part of leaving the vice presidency? there are two things. losing air force to, and not getting up every morning and having to detailed national security brief of what was happening around the world. so, i am behind the curve on what may or may not be with opportunities that exist, in light of what turkey just did.
the distance as being created, i don't have enough granular data to be able to give you a better answer than i have now, which is i don't think russia can in fact to dictate to iran what happens in syria. i don't think russia has the capacity to do the things even if it is the continued leadership statement place to make the kind of multi- dollar investment to stabilize a country. >> the moment itself i still describe it as a bizarre moment.
when you're in the oval office and he says come over here it doesn't really have an option. >> katrina perry talks about covering president trump and his supporters for the irish media during and after the 2016 presidential election season. >> drain the swamp has three words is incredibly provocative. it does what it says and you know what he's talking about lessees playing on the notion that d.c.'s was built on a swamp. and taken the horrible people that live there replacing it with better people. whether folks believe fulfilled that or not they were prepared to take a chance on it.
>> west virginia governor, jim justice gave his second state address outlining several things. and an increase in the tourism budget. this is a portion of the speech. >> only briefly so i want to belabor the past with you. i don't know which is which will unveil the one i'm gonna stay back here. >> let me tell you, when i got here this is what we're facing, like it or not, when i got here is in the middle of