tv Democratic Senate Party Leaders News Conference CSPAN May 22, 2018 7:44pm-8:00pm EDT
[inaudible question] >> i don't have any advice to give on that. [inaudible question] >> as a senator said i think the hand senator klobuchar are close to agreement. he briefed us. she braved the democrats. they will be out shortly. you can ask them. i think it is safe to say we are very close and hope to move forward quickly.
>> okay, hi everybody. i want to thank my colleagues for being here. and let me say a few things. first, teachers. earlier this afternoon leader pelosi and i unveiled a new proposal to give our teachers a better deal. plus the country, tens of thousands of teachers have marched on state capitals demanding a raise, better working conditions, more resources for their schools. we democrats are here to say that we agree with you. why republicans are busy providing tax giveaways for the wealthiest people and the biggest and most powerful corporations, we democrats think that money should go to boosting salaries of teachers and improving our schools. after all, that is our future. the contrast couldn't be clearer when it comes to the two parties. republicans, tax cuts on the wealthiest and the most powerful. democrats improve education,
give teachers the salaries they deserve, make sure our classrooms are up to snuff on internet and all of that. now on another matter, china. as you know, it has been a passion of mine for years that china is robbing us of our wealth. and we have to be strong and we have to be tough. i am really concerned about the presidents coming -- about the china bid and worry about president xi crafting a much better deal than president trump. to say the he is writing the art of the deal, not the president trump when it comes to negotiations. when i saw the president wavering on zte and the tough punishment that the commerce department had, i called the president. and i talked to him for quite a while about not backing off.
and not just simply doing some slap on the wrist, they can afford it easy. when zte is a prime issue national security and for america imposing sanctions on north korea, iran and anybody else. in general, i hope the presidents approach works. i said over and over again and he has acknowledged it. i am closer to the presidents views on trade with china that i was with president obama or president bush in their views. i don't think you did enough. we are present president to stand firm. not to zte wiggle out from the tough sanctions we leveled on. unfortunately, every time president xi flatters our president he seems to back off a tough deal which will really be bad for america. so, today in the banking committee, we are really happy about what happened. a bipartisan group passed legislation to prevent the
president from backing down on zte. they strengthened -- which are things has to be strengthened stronger and this seems to be an area we democrats and republicans in the house and senate are coming together and telling the president you have got to be tough on china. you have to have your actions match your rhetoric. rhetoric will not be enough when china continues to take advantage of us. senator durbin. >> it
is really difficult to follow this administrations position when it comes to iran. it was just a few weeks of the president decided to reimpose sanctions to walk away from the iran nuclear deal. it seemed like a new strategy to be more confrontational. then came the same words from john bolton backing up the president how tough we would booth iran in the newspaper mike pompeo we are going to get covered with iran.
talk to square that way with this decision on zte. here is a chinese phone to telecommunications -- there backing a penalty to the company. it is inconsistent and certainly not consistent to this presidents run a campaign talk about american workers and then tweet on behalf of chinese workers when it comes to the future as zte. these things don't make sense. senator schumer said, we need a consistent policy to make sure china understands when it comes to america's security and america's jobs we are not going to waiver. >> we are going a little bit out of seniority. she has to leave. >> thank you, i will be very brief. just to underscore they said there was strong bipartisan
support last month when the secretary of commerce impose very tough penalties on zte. for violating us sanctions laws. they violated against south korea, iran and have lied about it. i think the presidents national security team was as surprised as all of us when president trump tweeted that he wanted to help chinese jobs by helping zte and so today in the banking committee, when a bipartisan response to that and the bipartisan response was to adopt an amendment that would stop the president from unilaterally lifting the sanctions on zte or any other chinese companies that violate us sanctions laws. the president wants to do that has to make a certification to congress, meet certain conditions so the president can't just run off and trade away important national
security protections to provide china with more jobs, that is the essence of the amendment. i was pleased we had very strong bipartisan support. >> thank you very much and let me just start by saying it is important that we talk about china and actually be tough with china. what happened in banking committee is good news. to remind everyone that's what the president said he was going to do on day one. he said he would name china -- we lost 5 million good paying manufacturing jobs when china has manipulated this currency. we look at the issue uneconomic and national security, it really is astounding the president has changed from saying he wants to fight for american workers to being concerned about chinese workers and i will tell you, in
michigan, we are impacted by what china is doing every single day. in fact, the intellectual property rights, we have auto suppliers on a regular basis in michigan who see their products copied and sold over the internet. that is true with many other industries. the other piece underscore that i would be concerned about from an agriculture standpoint is food security. senator grassley and i would like to be very much included in whatever happens on the floor in defining national security around food security. our food processing facilities, rather than putting in their own money to research and development and develop food safety they are purchasing hours and when we look at national security issues i think access to safe, affordable food breaks right up there. with other important pieces. i am very concerned that we
make that part of the national security discussion. >> senator klobuchar. >> thank you. i'm here, i noticed senator blunt spoke briefly about our progress on sexual harassment legislation and senator mcconnell and senator schumer played a major role in appeared senator blunt and i have been getting input from members from victims groups, and people for the last few months. we are very close to getting this done. both presented the ideas to our caucuses today. i would say we had positive response on our side. i've been working with several senators in our rules committee working group. as senator blunt i know mentioned to you, this involves major reforms to the process. this was a process that has not
changed for decades because there's a 30 day cooling off periods. which i did i think you will see in most responsible workplaces. it has a 30 day counseling mandatory counseling period. a 30 day mandatory mediation period. obviously, we are reforming that entire system and also calling for more accountability of members. and so, we hope to put this language out very shortly. i wanted to thank you again, senator schumer for the leadership on this. some people thought the house go fast and it would just sit there and collect dust but we have taken this very seriously and we will hopefully have a very strong bill with member support of the united states senate. >> questions? [inaudible question]
>> first, i think it is totally inappropriate. it would be inappropriate for the white house to inquire of any ongoing investigation and put pressure to direct his outcome. it is the president and his campaign are subject to the investigation. i think it is very wrong and i think it should not be done. it is unprecedented. it is outrageous and it has overtones of things that will be done in a banana republic. where the dictator just pushes what he wants done. second, if they are going to do it, and you take them at their work that it should be a fair process, it should be bipartisan. for every republican at the table, there should be democratic counterpart. if chairman nunes is there, ranking member schiff executive
class is there, then -- should be bipartisan. i find it an assault that this president and some of his allies have launched on the justice department and it is just so un-american. [inaudible question] >> gateway is moving forward because as you know in the omnibus budget there's about $540 million that the president has no control over. gateways moving forward. i hope the president will see the error of his ways and support gateway. it is a project needed just by new york but idaho northeast corridor. and we will run into real trouble if we do not have up-to-date tunnels under the hudson river. [inaudible question]
>> well, the bottom line is the rescissions make no sense. they have gotten not just opposition from democrats but from many republicans in the house and senate. they do affect things like chip if there is an emergency, they do affect funding in the next omnibus bill. senator mcconnell and i getting along very well. and i think we even enjoy each others company. he laughs at my jokes. that is a big deal! but we want appropriations process to work well. and that is bipartisan. but this kind of rescission and letting the heartbreak and the freedom caucus dictate what should be done is going to make it harder to get the appropriations process moving forward in a bipartisan way. i hope at some point, either speak orion or leader mcconnell does not go forward with this.
what is important here is to move the senate forward on appropriations and we democrats have every intention of doing that and cooperating. okay? thank you everybody. [inaudible conversations] >> c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. today, we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington d.c. and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> tonight on c-span2 for former mexican