tv House Democrats Hold News Conference CSPAN August 12, 2016 3:46am-4:39am EDT
it did not take long for us to pass, to provide the resources to the folks in florida and other places to deal with zika. should not take a very long to deal the people in michigan. the children of flint michigan should be able to drink the water from the tap without question. everyone of us would expect the same things. it is time for congress to get its work done. let me yield to the gentlewoman from the state of maryland, donna edwards. >> thank you very much. i had the pleasure of being able to represent a district pressure -- represent a district in the metropolitan region. even my constituents don't understand why we are not at work. they know we are facing four major public health crises in this country and congress has not done anything about it. as my colleague said, the zika
virus, ending gun violence and yet we have not been able to do anything about that. the public health crisis in flint, michigan, where 9000 children have been poisoned and the water is not clean, we have the ability to do something about that. and republicans in congress have done nothing. as democrats we have offered solutions to end and deal with the opioid addiction problem. and over does problem happening in communities across the country were 78 people every single day lose their life to opioid overdoses. we know that we can put the resources to do that. democrats have offered solutions and yet republicans are on vacation and have done nothing. i join my colleagues today to
say i do not want to just hang out in the fourth district of maryland. i want to be here on capitol hill solving these public health emergency i can't wait. making sure, sadly our families and communities and children know that we are here to do their work. 52 days of vacation. children will be back in school for the fall and republicans in congress will still be on vacation. as democrats, we want to work, get the job done for the american people, and it is time for us to get back to it. thank you. i yield to my colleague, rosa delauro. >> i thank my colleague, donna edwards. i am honored to be here with our leaders. thanks for organizing this effort. and with the rest of my colleagues here, it really is about discussing some of the most serious challenges that are facing our nation today, the zika virus, the opioid epidemic, the lead poisoning of flint,
michigan and gun violence. as predicted, many months ago the zika virus has rapidly become a serious health care crisis. as of last week, more than 7300 cases in the united states and territories, including nearly 1000 expectant mothers. 15 babies have been born with zika related birth defects and one baby in texas has died. over 40 members of the military have been infected with zika. this is a public health emergency. what does it take to get the republican majority to act? first, they demanded the administration transfer funds intended to combat the ebola virus. and use it instead for zika. the administration complied. $589 million was redirected. in essence, robbing peter to pay paul. resources went to the center for
disease control who will obligate all of the remaining funds by the end of september. resources went to the nih and biomedical advanced research and development. both will exhaust almost all of their funds for vaccines by the end of august. because of continued inaction by the republicans, they will force the department of health and human services to take money from the nih, biomedical research. we know what that means. some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will stand up and talk about how we need to spend money for biomedical research, but nih will have to shift the money in order to do with zika. and if they don't, vaccine development will be stopped dead in its tracks. they're forcing them to take money from other health programs to continue to pay for
diagnostic so we know the scope of the zika outbreak. the money is running out, and public health officials cannot combat this virus without additional funding. speaker ryan, called the house of representatives back into session so we can pass legislation that allows us to effectively respond to the virus. does the speaker not realize that for the first time in history our government is telling pregnant women to avoid a u.s. neighborhood in florida? does the speaker not realize women are being advised not to get pregnant? does the speaker not realize that waiting until september is too late. too late for expectant mothers with zika who are so fearful of bearing a child with severe birth effects. too late for the people of miami, and too late for the millions of americans at risk.
our job is to protect the american people from zika, opioids, lead poisoning and gun violence. republicans have not responded on this issue and it is time for the republicans to act. let me take a moment to say thank you to leader pelosi for leading our congressional delegation. to italy and afghanistan last week. we discussed a range of issues with foreign leaders and met with military leaders and servicemen and women. their bravery and dedication is inspiring to all of us. in italy we met with the archbishop who is head of the council for justice and peace. we discussed immigration and security and global poverty reduction. these are critical issues that face our world and the u.s. has an important role to play. the united states cannot and must not put its head in the sand whether they are fighting zika or addressing the other global issues.
we thank you again leader pelosi, and let me turn it back to you. i'm sorry, congressman steve israel. >> when it comes to national security, it is not just that republicans are doing nothing, they are doing damage to our national security. leader pelosi led us on a trip to meet with nato partners in italy and afghanistan. i felt like we should have brought brooms and mops to clean up the damage that donald trump is creating for the allies and partners. to clean up the national security mess he is creating. in italy, we had to reassure some of our closest partners in nato that we will not abandon
them, turn our backs on them. we will not undermine them. and afghanistan, we had to tell our partners, the president of afghanistan and military leaders that we would stand by them. that we will not undermine them as a republican presidential candidate has publicly suggested that he will do. last month house democrats unveiled our stronger america agenda. it is critical but also easy to understand. we will work with nato allies to combat terrorism around the world. we will provide our military the resources that they need. we will increase funding for the fbi counterterrorism initiatives and the activities. we will expand dhs airport perimeter programs. number five, we will take guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists by passing no-fly, no buy.
those are five priorities we could have gotten done. those are five priorities house republicans have completely turned their backs on. this has become an august of apology for their presidential candidate. it needs to be an august of action for the american people. all we have faced is inaction and damage to our national security. with that, i will turn it over to congressman andre carson. >> thank you, steve. thank you very much. to start, i want to thank our very remarkable, capable and visionary leader, leader pelosi for not only inviting me but inviting us to be a part of the recent security delegation to europe, particularly italy and afghanistan. we want to thank all the leaders we had to meet. they are really an inspiration, showing us that we need to do
more to protect our country. throughout the 114th congress, many of our republican colleagues seem to have forgotten what it means to meet the constitutional obligations to support our military. instead of making tough choices about what missions the military has to accomplish, they reduce support for troops of basic choice about the levels of defense spending rather than thoughtful oversight, they dish out unending criticism of the president's decisions and policies even when the policies actually work. despite the signed treaties and decades of successful cooperation, they support a nominee who would pull out of nato and regularly insult the resolve of some of our most reliable partners. we were eager to join the delegation, me in particular because we know keeping the
country interest and safe involves more than just political pandering. recently president obama announced 8400 troops will stay in afghanistan longer the next -- longer than expected. he also announced it will be giving new authority to support afghan partners in the field as they pursue al qaeda and taliban targets. to be honest, i was a bit skeptical about these decisions going into the trip. our country is war-torn and our forces are stretched very thin. we are engaged in the middle east and facing escalating threats and eastern europe and the south china sea. i was not sure it was the right move in this strategic environment. after meeting with general nicholson, the american general who was commanding the nato mission in afghanistan, i feel very confident that this was absolutely the right call to make. afghanistan is facing a
resurgence of terrorist elements that are threatening the gains we have made over the past decade by expanding the ability to defeat the taliban and al qaeda and isis threats as well. we are preventing afghanistan from once again becoming a strong hold of transnational terrorism. the president has obligation to inform the american people about the burden that they will have to bear in war, including expectation for when the war will actually end. i've always called for this, but situations change fast as we know and the last thing we want is to leave a mission half finished alone major threat to take a hold once again. i want to be clear for my republican colleagues, our partnership with nato cannot be questioned. they stood with us when we were attacked on 9/11. our partners have been and will continue to be a critical part
in our fight against terrorism. threats to abandon the alliance empower terrorist organizations and russia and they weaken american interest in national security. that is not an opinion, it is fact. reported by most senior threats to abandon our allies are simply empty rhetoric. they are a symptom of election-year politics and they are dangerous for anyone who condemns this process out right, even our colleagues who know it is the right thing to do. thank you. >> thank you very much, mr. carson. in addition to the the distinguished mr. carson and mr. israel, we were joined by other members in the ranking member on foreign affairs, eliot engel. longtime member of the
intelligence committee. congresswoman anna eshoo and ranking member on intelligence, dutch ruppersberger. this is a heavily national security delegation. everyone was either from the intelligence, with intelligent background or the defense subcommittee of ppropriations. everyone there was in a position to gain knowledge, to act upon it in the best possible way for the american people. there are couple of points i want to make. when mr. carson was talking about the president's decision to go from 9500 troops to 8400, hatever the number, and to expand the authority, which he did earlier, it was received very positively by our troops
in afghanistan, by the leadership in afghanistan. we met with the afghanistan president and the chief executive officer abdullah abdullah. when the president took the action, it was before the warsaw meeting and had a positive impact on our nato allies and so they have chimed in with more resources for our action in afghanistan. our nato relationships is not only important in europe in the transatlantic partnership, but infighting isis and terrorism n afghanistan. i also want to talk about when she talked about meeting at the vatican about issues relating to migration. i quoted then, and i will now,
ope paul the sixth said if you ant peace, work for justice. that is exactly what we're trying to do working together to address underlying causes of poverty, the fury of this -- despair that is fertile territory for the recruitment of those that deal but despair. i was proud of the delegation. they are so informed. we had some lively conversations which will serve us well here. that is about information and intelligence and knowledge. that is what is so frustrating about what is happening back here. here we have evidence-based hallenges. whether it is happening in flint, opioids, zika, gun violence to name a few.
evidence-based challenges. the reason our republican colleagues are not here is ecause they have -- governance is not what they are here to do. they are antigovernment. so why should i do anything? and they are not moved by evidence, even though they establish commissions to say we want evidence-based this and that. so i? so they can avoid the evidence. my question to the republican leadership in the house, what better thing do you have to do than to look at the needs of the american people? whether it is children who will be affected for a lifetime. there are answers and solutions if we move in more likely. what better thing do you have to do then to meet the needs of the children of flint?
i think my colleagues from etroit, congressman lawrence and congressman kills the -- kelsey. what better thing to have to do? it does not work unless you put the resources there. we all agree in large numbers. i would not have supported the bill if i thought there was never going to be money coming with it. what better thing do you have to do to go home for a month nd a half? is it because it is not in your district? because it is not your country. it is in our country. it is in the world we live in. what better thing you have to do a given us a vote on no-fly, no by an background checks for legislation? 90% support no-fly, no by.
85% back on checks. is that the public is not watching and the lesbian action. they are already halfway through the spring, we can come back and act upon it. what are they going to do together would do it in an appropriations process? may be. by the way, they have already thrown up obstacles to the zika funding. if you're infected by zika, a convict -- can be sexy transmitted. they are saying, if we have any funding, it cannot include contraception. i wonder how many of their homes, i wonder is a lot, how many of the families of republican colleagues are not racticing birth control?
how come they don't have many more children? what is it with them that they don't understand. a sexy transmitted disease, use contraception. a grant of their position on many issues. but come on? come back. do the job. any time i see one of the republican colleagues, but after him, what was it you accomplished on your break that was more important than the health and well-being in the safety and security of the american people? i'm going to florida shortly after this meeting. i will go to orlando and have meetings related to a happened two months ago. go to south florida to talk about zika. solutions are there. the evidence and the science
and the data lead us to a place where responsible governance, compromises and getting the job done are readily available. the republicans are just say no. any questions? >> you were speaking about national security intelligence. there was a report about a russian cyber attack affecting more than 100 party officials. have you been briefed on this? is that your understanding? > yes. i notice broad in terms of affecting the democratic congressional campaign committee. i don't know about the government. i just know what affects us and that it is the russians. caller: how concerned are you about this act? >> i don't have any oncerns. it is just wrong. i think we want to learn
more. i would like us to have been able to fully capture the hackers before became public knowledge that they were hacking. nonetheless, i think it is very near, i know for sure it is the russians. i said that two weeks ago. we are assessing the damage. i don't know about the other committees. >> the hillary campaign operative, this is an electronic case. to have any knowledge? >> this is an electronic watergate. this is an electronic watergate. a break-in. i think that we have to recognize what is happening. the russians broken, who did they give the information to? i don't know.
i don't know that this is a water great electronic break-in. anyone who would exploit for the purpose of embarrassment or something like that is in a compost to that. caller: you mentioned contraception, but isn't the funding of planned parenthood and zika funding? >> what is planned parenthood, an organization protecting omen's health. q what is because this? >> i would point out, why when we know the difficulty that we have around these issues, why add to the difficulty we are experiencing in puerto ico? i will quote pope francis on this issue. what he said to the brazilians,
use your conscience to determine whether or not to use contraception. as a leader pointed out, it can be sexually transmitted virus. why add that kind of a writer to -- a rider to a piece of legislation that you know will hold it up and create the kind of dissent that will keep it from going forward? there is an obstructionism here. that says why don't we want to fund a crisis in sica where we can help to save lives? it is my list. >> i do not think that is the only reason. the republicans could have brought a bill forward. they have said whatever we bring forward will not have contraception in it we have offered so many compromises to them.
we have offered -- even to the point of going with the senate language of not all of the money right now because the oney is urgently needed. planned parenthood is not a reason, it is an excuse to do nothing. make sure you have that in perspective. i would like to take some questions about -- yes sir. >> on the trivia national defense, how much discussion as there of russia's actions in the ukraine and central buildup of forces there, and what she -- do you think the u.s. should do should they make some sort of attempt at increasing their foothold? >> the way that enter the conversation, we were talking about nato and there were questions about what is happening in the public domain and the u.s. on the subject of nato and what is the public
support for this sort of craziness that is going on. then we talked about the eu and brexit and what that meant. especially in italy because they say italy is the next to go. that was not the impression we got in italy. it was a stronger eu, a more full sun eu rather than leaving. from the standpoint of the ukraine, as with every trip to any country or visiting dignitaries here, we appreciate the holdings to the sanctions. this is the most important message we deliver. thank you for supporting the sanctions. that is a subject we have with all of the leadership, speaker of the chamber of deputies, the
president of the country and the foreign minister. at every level we talked about the sanctions. that is the manifestation of the issue. elated to the country. >> have you been notified by the fbi that you personally were targeted? >> i just know that the dietrich will see has been. -- dccc has been. >> the congressman said he needed a broom and mop to clean up after donald trump. i was wondering if you had any reaction about the cofounder isis and the hillary clinton was a cofounder? does the administration there ny responsibility?
>> >> let me just talk about some common. i do not spend a lot of politics as you know. you are the ones that bring it up. the comment made by the republican nominee about the second amendment, it was clear he did not understand the words of a presidential candidate, a nominee, wait a time. -- weigh a ton. there were a number of other things he could upset about the vote. if you're anti-choice or oppose the woman's right to choose, you better get out and take action because hillary clinton is going to appointed judges. that would be relevant because the court does make decisions about choice. if you are concerned about immigration, you better get out and vote because this court may make decisions that are more thoughtful in terms of comprehensive immigration
reform. to choose the second amendment in the manner in which he did, perhaps unwittingly, but the double meaning that it had wittingly or not, is very problematic and scary. we do not know whether he intended it or not. even if he didn't, words way of time. for him to turn around in a what he did about the president r secretary is so bizarre. it is reminiscent of demagogues that want to be in the press no atter what they have to say. this is a tactic. this is not an accident. this is a tactic. here we are talking about it.
he fact is the invasion of iraq, the invasion of iraq under misrepresentation to the american people has done more to inflame the terrorists than any of action you can name. if you want to say after this, because of this, let's go back to the misrepresentation given to the american people that we should go into iraq under false pretense that everyone knows not to be true and that we knew at the time was not true. i was a senior democrat on intelligence it i said at the time that the intelligence does not support that threat. similar statement made by senator bob graham, the chairman of the intelligence committee. you have the maturity. and yet they put out something that has certain -- uncertainty among people. they took a poll, 72% are not
sure whether the president is a citizen. come on. >> one thing, that is typical trump stupidity, that is what we have to call it. hile we were in afghanistan, we learned that isis has an offshoot that was operating within afghanistan. the afghan army and our nato partners have done an effective job of pushing them back. detaining them to a small area. there's only one candidate who is publicly said that we ought to weaken our nato allies and turn away from our allies, the same allies fighting isis in afghanistan and pushing them back. that is donald trump. i don't mind his absurd statements, what concerns me are his dangerous policies. >> i just want to say that no
matter how brutish mr. trump presents himself, no matter how provocative statements are, he is smart in that this is a great piece on the cover of the times that suggests a meltdown. it appears as if he knows he will not be the next resident f the united states. he tried to sabotage this thing because he not used to losing. it is clear that donald trump does not have people around him or has not have people around him who can correct it. when you are in political life, you often have to answer either to the press most important to your constituents. he has not had those members of accountability. it is clear what he sees poll numbers declining, he's crying like a baby and what you are seeing is not a meltdown but some tried to sabotage himself to clear the way for president
clinton. >> congresswoman to largest of the administration will have to reprogram more funding to fight zika and the absence of congressional action. had either of you got the information on how much other funding can be moved around and for how long? >> it is not a question that it can be moved around. i do not want anyone to drive the inference of the fact that they are sending money -- spending money to fight sis. i do not want any inference to be drawn that this is not necessary where it is, and the ight against ebola and medical research, and all the other urposes of the department of health and human services.
i call it the lamb meat lamb committee. everything there is very valuable to the american will. -- people. the competition for the dollar is king. that is less a concert etiquette to the defense department and defense budget to get some resources for research. but unfortunately, they will have to take more money from the nih and they have said that. , the question is, how do we restore that money. and by the way, it is not anywhere near enough what they need to go forward. >> how much? >> we are waiting to hear. they will make a public announcement about it. even with that, they will be running out of money by the end of september.
an initiative to work with the private sector for the development of vaccines, all of that, the money is not there. why isn't it? because the republicans what to sit on the beach for six weeks and avoid science, evidence ata? what is it? this is an about planned parenthood. that is an excuse. what is the reason? five months after the president has pointed this out is that it is just not in the neighborhood? the same thing, they want us to pay for midwestern and national disasters but not new york and new jersey and pennsylvania and connecticut? what is it? visit that motivates them or does not motivate them?
>> i didn't want to much in one point, on zika funding, let no one be surprised about this, and no one should make a mistake that, this is not a fluke that we have not been able to fund the good treatment and prevention. many are aware the social security administration is now announced that because of the republican party levels that have been proposed, they're going to have to close down offices for some weeks were every american who is either trying to collect benefits, apply for benefits has a hearing for disability insurance, all of that will have to be put on hold because the administration does not have the resources to keep its doors open as a result of the funding levels that republicans are proposing.
it is not coincidental or an accident that we find republicans are unwilling to find zika or the social security administration or any of another -- a number of other subjects. it is unfortunate this is their mode of operation. make a mistake, they intend to start certain parts of our government and rob money from other parts of the government in their effort to try to shrink the size of government. it is unfortunate that those who pay our women who become pregnant and contract zika or americans who paid 40 years into social security will not be able to apply for the benefits within expected because the republican concept of sidedness of the way they want to run government. no one should be surprised they have a government shutdown as well. this is the way they intend to operate the government.
no small business on may she operate this way. there is no reason why the largest economy in the world should operate this way either. >> very briefly. when we had a map of the potential spread of the zika virus, not just from those who would travel but from months ago, local contraction, we had them map and republicans had the map. what is happening today in florida and texas and in other places around the country, it is not a surprise. what is shameful is republicans left town knowing this is precisely what would happen over the summer without the cdc getting the $1.9 billion that they requested for vaccine development, additional esearch and treatment. it has been patently
irresponsible for republicans who have left town and not dealt with the crisis and the other health crises that we talked about earlier. i would say in closing to speaker ryan, get back to washington and do your job or -- just do your job. doing nothing is not a form of governance. >> that point on kika, republicans seem to be on a letter writing binge. republicans from texas and alabama and all the states. running to the secretary and things of the money you have. she has been spending the money. and she has written back to them. respectfully about how the money has been spent. not anything appropriate for the purpose, but taking from other initiatives which must be restored. i want to commend the secretary.
she has handled this with great dignity and great respect for everyone. we cannot ignore the fact that zika exists. the money is being spent. every possible option is being exhausted. now we are going into the national institute of health, which is supposed to be a priority for us. >> on that issue, from the outset, the request for the actual $1.9 billion, over and over again in our committee, republican said there was not enough data, not enough information about where the money was being spent, which is not true. unbelievable detail as to where the resources were
going to be. as a matter of fact, more detail than we had ever received, on the cost of the iraq war and accountability for resources spent in iraq. the leader just mentioned, every line delineating where money is going to be spent. the money now going to texas, the money going to the state to be able to cope with the crisis, so they continue to want to say, the administration has not provided information peers it is a lie and a misrepresentation. the debt is there. take a look at it. >> on that subject, i want to take it to a larger issue of budget. we had a budget agreement last year it was a compromise. it was in our fear not what we thought would be useful to the american people.
it is a compromise and we agree to it. it did not take into consideration the fact that there would be a zika crisis and opioids crisis. what would happen in point would happen. all of these things would normally be considered emergency because the budget was bare boned. when something unusual happens like a natural disaster, then you have emergency spending. that is a we anticipated would appen. instead they are saying, othing, spend the money that appropriate for other purposes and anything we do in addition, we ought take out of the udget.
it doesn't make sense and just o enlarge the issue further, you can see it played out in a presidential. hillary clinton is proposing an economic package of job creation and reducing the deficit. middle-class, middle-class economy. donald trump true to form is revisiting the bush tax cuts which took us deeply into debt when president bush came into office. trickle down versus bubble up. by the way, the same trickle
down people are saying we want tax cuts for the rich because we think that it's really important for the country. you know the tax cuts do not produce jobs, they did not. at the same time you want to reduce the deficit and taking food out of the mouths of babies. take, grants come all the things that invests in the future. by the way, we of a national emergency. take it out of some other good initiatives that we all on a bipartisan way have agreed to in the past. i don't understand why they don't understand. this expression i sometimes used, you understand when you understand. what are they going to understand and relate the money is being spent and that more money is needed? would it take a tragedy in their own district october one beautiful thing, or to the president italy and were asking how come italy has not been
affected by the terrorist attacks in the president said we are europeans, it happens -- other country attacks are attacks on us. we are all americans. zika attacks in the some of the country is our country. because they sit home of the district does not mean it doesn't hit home. you know how i am about babies and this is about babies. i just can't understand it. what are they doing? look better use of time do they have that to come back here and et the job done? mr. speaker, bring the congress back. honor our responsibility for the american people. get the job done. the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] national
>> we are going to get started. will talk about the zika virus. for 25 years the alliance for health reform has an and balanced source of health care policy information for policy makers the media and washington dc and beyond. theould like to thank foundations for their partnership and support for today's briefing. i would also like to recognize health affairs for their partnership in today's briefing and also for the series of briefings and they particularly mica monitor. dr. anthony kouji is the world's doctor when it comes to the most challenging of emerging infectious diseases of our time. hiv-aids, ebola and not seek a. director of the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases.
dr. got to will be giving us an update on the zika virus today. remarks, hech is will take questions and leave us . after he is finished, we will turn it to the second part of will be aogram which panel that focuses on the federal response and the challenge of actually controlling the mosquitoes, monitoring and diagnosing cases and educating patients and medical advisers on the ground. at that ground we will have a expertsat consists of .n the field
now, i would like to turn over our program to dr. koch it. -- fauci. >> thank you very much. it is a pleasure to be here. i will give a update on sica and i hope it will answer a lot of your question. more importantly, what trigger an agenda and additional questions i will leave as much time as we need after the presentation. so, let's see if this works. i entitled his presentation the pandemic process because that is what we are seeing. every day week or month things evolve. 2015 i wrote an article for the new england journal of medicine and i showed you hear decode the second part of the title, yet another virus threat when we first recognized
that zika was indeed a problem with us and the reason i say that is the cup this is not a new phenomenon. if you look historically at what we have seen in the americas over the years and literally over the recent years, we have seen all of the viruses appear in by all the viruses, that is short for the viruses. is there wasd debris saw west nile in 1999. two gig you and 2013. dengue appearing. most recently we had zika. having said that, i will tell you a bit about zika. it is divided up into four parts . attentionint in the that is been paid to zika, most are familiar with it. i will go through rapidly. there are some point i want to underscore that may ha