House Minority Leader Pelosi News Conference CSPAN July 26, 2018 2:09pm-2:37pm EDT
president on getting as much appropriation bills done as possible, including funding our military on time. thank you very much. appreciate it. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2018] >> hey, guys. they're going to open it up. pelosi phelps good morning -- ms. pelosi: good morning. here we are this morning. maybe the last time for many weeks to come. because today the republican majority closes down the house for five weeks. heading home after months spent stacking the deck for the
special interests, mortgaging the -- our future with their tax scam. for the rich. and dismantling families' health care. americans have watched house republicans relentlessly and cruelly work to drive up their health costs. republicans voted to destroy protections for people with pre-existing conditions in their trumpcare bill. now they're trying to destroy those life-saving protections in the courts. in addition, instead of enabling the secretary of h.h.s. to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices, republicans handed tens of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the same big pharma companies, hiking prices up for seniors and families. the president during the campaign, you probably remember, when he said he was going to negotiate like crazy to lower prescription drug prices, enable the secretary to do that. as i've said to you before, negotiating like crazy means not
negotiating at all. because that's not what happened. as you know, the president made a statement, which we anticipated was going to be an initiative to negotiate. instead it was -- [inaudible] -- and that day the pharma stocks went through the roof. don't take it from me, just look at the market. year after year republicans have worked to shatter the sacred promise of medicare and medicaid. this is really sad. because these are pillars of financial and health security for america's working families. today, monday, not today, monday marks the 53rd year, 53rd anniversary since president johnson signed medicare and medicaid into law, delivering essential guarantees of health and economic security for our seniors and their families. the operative word there is guarantees. what the republicans in congress , in particular speaker ryan and
his budgets that he put forth, want to remove the guarantee. if you have no guarantee, you have no medicare. ou have a voucher. seniors and others hop for health care, you have no guarantee. but some people don't think that medicare's at risk. oh, the republicans would never do that. oh, no, they would. and they have it in their budget. they've had it in their ryan budget again and again. but don't just rest on that. in the 1990's and since, the republicans have said medicare should wither on the vine. should wither on the vine. so they have no commitment to medicare. the only commitment they made in their budget was to turn it into a voucher. after adding $2 trillion to the deficit, giving big tax breaks, 83% of benefits going to the top
1%, tax cuts for corporations, some of which enables them to send jobs overseas, then they have over 2ds trillion deficit with the tax -- $2 trillion deficit with the tax cuts plus interest on that money. so where did they go get the money? medicare. and medicaid. over $2 trillion in cuts. in medicare and medicaid. seniors and those who depend on medicare and medicaid know that you're losing your benefits to give a tax break to the rich. that's the set of priorities of the republicans in congress. and as house republicans dismantle the pillars of america's retirement security, they're also blocking action to protect our democracy against russian attacks. president trump's disgraceful, dangerous and damaging behavior with putin in helsinki has put
the house g.o.p.'s coverup efforts into overdrive. last night house republicans escalated their effort to shutdown special counsel mueller's investigation into russia's attack on our elections by filing a resolution to impeach deputy attorney general rosenstein. today house republicans blocked a vote on congressman engel and connolly's secure our democracy act, which would punish foreign acers who are attacking our -- foreign actors who are attacking our elections. and last week the g.o.p. refused to pray a single penny -- provide a single penny to secure our elections. eliminating state election funding and then voting against a democratic measure to restore the funding in committee and on the floor. what is at stake is nothing less than the integrity of our democracy itself. the fundamental responsibility to ensure that every vote is counted, they're eligible voter
can vote and that every vote is counted as cast. did you know this? three election technology vendors control the machinery for 92% of the total eligible voting population. this is a massive vulnerability. and it requires greater oversight and transparency of our election system. three vendors. 92%. of the system. house republicans refuse to act for any oversight, any funding, because they're now more concerned about covering up president trump's activities than defending our democracy from foreign attack. seems they took an oath not to protect and defend the constitution, which guarantees the right to vote. but an oath of office to protect
and defend donald trump. protecting our democracy from russia, lowering prescription drug costs and rebuilding america's infrastructure and returning checks and balances to washington, the contrast between house republicans and democrats could not be clearer. at every turn house republicans are selling out the american people to put themselves and their special interest donors first. that's a raw deal for seniors and working families, it's a raw deal for the air our children breathe, the water they drink. democrats are here to offer a better deal for the people. a better -- better jobs, better wages and a better few to you -- future for all. lowering health care cogs and prescription drug prices, for increasing your pay through strong economic growth by rebuilding america, for cleaning up corruption to make washington work for you. over the weeks, house democrats will continue that drumbeat
across america. thank you. any questions? no? yes, sir. reporter: thank you, madam leader. given that the effort to impeach the deputy attorney general is unlikely to bear fruit, what do you think is the motivation of the drama that may or may not -- [inaudible] -- ms. pelosi: well, i don't know. what i've heard is jim jordan wants to take attention away from the scrutiny that he's under in ohio. that could be part of it. the fact that truth and fact and data and evidence have never been something that the republicans have sought or based their decision making on. so they would want to hurt rosenstein so that they could hurt the mueller investigation. but hopefully saner minds will prevail on the republican side. and they won't bring this up. if they did, we welcome their voting. on undermining our democracy.
yes, ma'am. reporter: i was going to ask about that as well. kind of how much do you think at -- [inaudible] -- backing up this effort -- [inaudible] -- ms. pelosi: this is really -- rosenstein is a republican appointee. he's apointed by the president of the united states. and the attack on rosenstein, of course, is an attack on the mueller investigation. and it is something that, just when you think you have seen it all, republicans have no shame, to go to a place where they would undermine our judicial system, our -- the fact that -- well, it's a statement. what they're making is a staple. president trump is above the -- statement. president trump is above the law. period. it's a sad thing. but, again, if they bring it up,
they have a price to pay for going that route. hopefully in the interest of our country, our system of checks and balances, our system of law and order, they won't. yes, ma'am. reporter: over the past week or so, the democrats are talking more about russia and about sanctions, about protecting the investigation. is that in response to what happened in helsinki? ms. pelosi: yes. reporter: is there a breaking point that happened? ms. pelosi: no, i think it's about helsinki. it's unavoidable. the fact is that our elections are about what means to people and their families. it's about their pay, it's about their cost, it's about their aspirations and their apprehensions. their hopes and dreams and fears. and so when we go out there, people are not really talking about donald trump. they're talking about what they have -- what their purpose is, what they know about their subject, how they intend to make a difference based on listening
to the concerns of constituents. the fact is, though, we have a responsibility to protect and defend the united states of america. it's in our constitution, it's our oath of office. so when the president presents himself in such a dangerous, destructive and disgraceful way, it evokes a response. and he did get one from john mccain who said of the press conference, today's press conference in helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by any president, american president in memory. so, yeah, it would evoke a response. but especially since it comes right back to your questions. about it's -- it's about an investigation into the disruption of our elections. and the president really made a fool of himself with putin there, being so solicitous and then claiming that he said wouldn't instead of would or whatever that was.
but it's all about the integrity of our elections. people have different views on foreign policy. t when it comes to trying to stop an investigation and to ignore the culpability, putin -- russia and all of this how do you explain that? we have to defend the constitution. it's the oath we take. yes, sir. reporter: you said a moment ago that there would be a price to pay if republicans go this route -- ms. pelosi: i think the american people would speak out on that. reporter: what price? ms. pelosi: i think the american people would make a judgment about it. i am a firm believer in the goodness and greatness of the american people. they respect our constitution. they care about it. there's a real interest in checks and balances in our system. and that involves three branches
of government. and this is something that would be a step very, very far. it's defining the republicans in a way that no words we could say could ever convince anyone. they've spoken for themselves. reporter: if i could follow up. yet your reset package is focused on the economy. ms. pelosi: that's right. because that's what the elections are about. they're about the economy. all of this speaks for itself. we didn't even know about this yesterday. but it isn't my talking point. people care about what the election means in their lives. martin luther king, the ballot, the ballot, the ballot. legislation, legislation, ladies and gentlemenslation. your life, your life, your life. what is the ballot, how is the ballot, ramifications of what happen at the ballot effect your life when it comes to legislation in someone who marched with martin luther king said, the ballot box and lunch
box cannot be separated. important advances are made at the negotiating table can be erased legislatively depending on what happens at the ballot. so this is about their lives, they're assuming their responsibilities. how public policy recognizes their aspirations, as well as their apprehensions. their hopes and dreams and their fears. that's what the election is about. and that's what we are there to show the contrast when it comes to raising wages, lowering costs, being fair to america's working families. that's -- that is the big difference between democrats and republicans. we would hope that there would be republicans who would join as senator mccain and -- i don't know if you saw senator frist's article about respecting the mueller investigation. some have spoken out. but we would hope that that would not be partisan.
but would be bipartisan. yes, ma'am. reporter: a number of your democratic colleagues have talked about the need for change in leadership. at the top. particularly in your position. what is your answer to them? ms. pelosi: i think we have a lot of issues that are very important in our country right now. what happens in the house democratic leadership will happen after the election. but i feel very confident in the support that i have in the house democratic caucus. and my focus is on winning this election because so much is at stake. any other motivation, the fact that this president, this administration, with the support of some in congress, republicans in congress, thinks it's ok to take little babies out of the arms of their mothers means for to me than anything in terms of what position i may hold in
another congress. it means this isn't what our country is about. so that's what it is. it is the least important part of anything that we're doing. with all due respect to your question. reporter: along those lines, it seems certain that the government without be able to make the deadline the judge set for release -- reuniting all the migrant kids with their families. what do you think the consequence should be? ms. pelosi: the government may not be able to meet the standards set by the judge to reunite families. let me just back up for a moment. chuck schumer and i a while ago wrote to the administration to say, stop the separation of families. reunite families. and do so in a way that does not reunite them in a detention center but reunites them the way they had been reunited before. as they awaited the decision of the court for whatever it
happened to be. asylum, refugee status, whatever. that was what we asked for. he judge insisted upon the reuniting, i think separations have probably stopped by now. but just the very active separating those children from their parents is a bad thing. it's a very bad thing. it has consequences on those children. how can you answer to that? so the fact that they lost the identification, they this or that, they weren't careful, is making it harder for them to reunite people. in fact, in some cases they're saying people have committed crimes when it might be a visa -- a status violation. it isn't about our values as a country. certainly if somebody has committed a crime that's a serious crime, that's something to be considered. but let's carefully look at all of these things and judge them
one by one. i am haunted and that's why i answer your question the way i do. i am haunted by the fact that this administration told me last year in the fall that they were going to take the children away from their parents from their moms, because their mothers were unfit. they were unfit because they took their children across the desert, which is a dangerous thing to do. my response was, does it mean anything to you that these measure mrs had no option -- mothers had no option, that they were leaving a place where murder and death were practically inevitable, rape and gang violence were the order of the day? and that going across the desert is a less dangerous option for them? the only recourse they had. oh, no, we know better. these mothers are unfit and we're going to take these children and we put them in foster care or whatever. last year. so this was a thought-out
policy. this isn't something that evolved spontaneously because ne thing or another. this is a country that professes to be people of faith. where is it in the bible that says, or the koran or whatever your confessional approach is, where does it say, we take children out of the arms of their parents and that is a model for the world to see of us? so, my whole thing in politics has always been, i'm a mother of five and it drove me crazy as a mom to see that one in five children in america lives in poverty in our country. one in five children in america went to sleep hungry at night. that was my purpose. that's what pulled me into the political arena. knowing the needs and hopes and dreams of children and seeing that poverty having such an impact on their lives.
so that has been my driving force here. it is sad to see when they want to cut chip, the children's health insurance program, they want to cut snap, taking food out of the mouths of babies. the things that they do to the air our children breathe and the water they drink. it just -- it's my motivation. that's what makes me work every day all the time for better policy and to do the politics to win the election to change this. but to take it to the place where they're taking children away from their parents. and then even when they're reunited months later, the damage in many cases is done. and the responsibility to try to make up for that is something that we all share. reporter: should any official face a legal consequence? should anyone go to jail for not meeting the deadline? ms. pelosi: i don't know what the -- that would be up to the judge in the courts. but i think that they're trying to make a case that they've done
what they can do. this is a policy of the president of the united states. they're executing policy. so when people talk about i.c.e. and this or that, yeah, we want them to behave in a better way. but they are enacting policy of the president of the united states. and the republicans in the congress of the united states. their doorstep of responsibility is the policy. you change the policy, you change the activities. of those. people so there has to be just a clarity in the public mind as to how we got to this place. i remember when they were doing some of their bad stuff, that we had -- and this is about the refugee and asylum issue, we had testimony from the american
association of evangelicals. so good on immigration. they testified, their representative testified that the u.s. refugee resettlement program is the crown jewel of merican humanitarianism. the american association of evangelicals. a few shared, of course, by many of the religious institutions, the catholic conference of bishops and all the rest. so for this to be the policy of the united states of america and then for us to say, should somebody who simplementing the policy go to jail, no, we have to change the policy. and elections have a way of doing that. but i wish that this were not what it's come down to. a large number of republicans in the polls support the president's policy of taking children away from their
parents. perhaps they just don't know the facts. but being a mom, and knowing that bond and many of you are parents, moms or dads, just think, suppose somebody came to your house and said, we're taking your baby away because we think in trying to protect your child you didn't do what we thought you should do. what business is it of the government of the united states to say, we're seconding your child to -- sending your child to a foster home because you decided to escape rape, murder and gang violence to protect your child? any other questions? one more. yes, sir. reporter: what do you think are appropriate consequences for the administration not following -- [inaudible] -- deadline? ms. pelosi: this is just the question that was asked. we certainly will see. of course it's happening the day that we're leaving.
i wish that we could be here. so that we could have what i would think would be a values-based discussion about who we are as a country. when it comes to family. which is a value that we all share. what i said to the gentleman is that we have -- this is the policy of the president of the united states. it's a diversion from what -- how this was all dealt with before. we have a responsibility to protect our borders. let's make no mistake about that. and democrats have been strong on that point. all of our borders. in fact, i said to some of you before that when we had the 9/11 instance and the commission was formed, and they made their recommendations, they made recommendations to protect america. but the republicans would never take them up. and some of it was about our borders. the republicans would never take them up. it took us to -- that was in
2004, when they made the recommendations. the summer of 2004. it took until we won in 2006, first bill on the floor, h.r. 1, to enact the recommendations of the commission. to protect our country. so this whole thing has a lot of , shall we say, cultural aspects to it. but if you want to change what's happening, you've got to change the policy. and this policy is not something that emerged, as i said before, it was a decision last fall when they said, if you are a mom who wants to escape rape, murder and gang violence for your child, and you've tried to come for asylum to the united states, you are unfit and we're taking your child away from you. thank you all very much. have a good august, as we go out
there, we intend to own august. to own august in terms of having the american people in a unifying way recognize that this isn't who we are as a country, to take children away from their parents. it isn't a government that says medicare and medicaid should wither on the vifpblete that we're saying to people, your health care costs should go up because we have an ideological opposition to the affordable care act. so it's going to be an interesting time. we intend to own august. so we own the ground as we go into the 100 days before the election. thank you all very much. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018]
>> a quick remind that are we'll be live in just over an hour with remarks from president trump on tariffs and trade policy. in the meantime, the house today approved the 2019 defense programs and policy bills. here's a look at today's debate. it lasts about an hour. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution 1027 i call up the conference report on the bill h.r. 5515 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. n act to : h.r. 5515, a authorize appropriations for the fiscal year of 2019 for military construction and for defense activities of the department of energy, to