tv House Minority Leader Pelosi News Conference CSPAN November 15, 2018 6:22pm-6:44pm EST
weekly briefing with reporters a at the capitol. she talked about the upcoming democratic agenda when they control the majority next year and her intention to become speaker of the house again. his is 25 minutes. ms. pelosi: good morning. we have great sadness in my state of california, unprecedented number of people dead, in the high 50's, and many missing. it's just -- we've had these fires again and again but these seem to be particularly deadly. prayers and the forces need to be with california at this very sad time.
much discussion about fires and causes and the rest but right now our thoughts and prayers are with those who have suffered, lost their lives, lost their loved ones, lost their homes, impabble to be made whole. so again, it's a very sad time for us in that regard. on the other hand, here, we have our -- we are celebrating a great victory for the democratic party but more importantly for the american people. every place i go people say -- and not even go, just coming in and every means of communication thank you for saving america and i convey that gratitude to my colleagues, to the grass roots people who are so effective in getting out that vote and articularly to our candidates. they had the courage to run, the
stamina to win and they are here now in what is one of the most transformative new body of members of congress in our country's history. the biggest victory for the democrats since 19 4 when the i don'te babies came in know if that congress will name itself but we're welcome close to 60 new democrats. 60 new democrats. around 40 in red to blue. we're just waiting for some results in california, georgia, maine, texas, places where we have still question marksing even new york state. we will have won 40 states, may be a net of lower because of two seats we did not win of our own seat bus we'll see what the number is. but i think -- i should have
said from the start that winning 3 seats in a voter suppressed,ier my -- gerrymandered map was a wave. was a wave. but now getting up to 40, that's almost a tsunami. we'll see. 30 thrill of it all is that members in our democratic class are women. one on the republican side, happy for this one person but sad to say just one. we are on track to be transformative. they'll decide what their priority is. they will decide how they want to proceed what they want to see and the man for the which they do that. they are entrepreneurial. they are enthusiastic. and they want to make progress
for our country. we want them to do so in a most open congress. the american people talked about a better deal and then we talked about a for the people agenda for the people, we will lower health care costs, we will grow the paychecks, and we will bring integrity to government. and to that end, this group, 100 candidates wrote and said they wanted h.r. 1 to be our priority and our agenda as we go forward. fortunately, we are ready under the leadership of john sarbanes who has been working with an array of co-chairs on his task force. we are ready with that how great it will be so early in this congress to pass h r. 1 with all that it does including passing, finally, the restoration of the voting rights act, largely
what's been proposed by congresswoman terri sewell of alabama. again, we'll be opening this congress in a very open and transparent way. to do what we said we were going to do. we are going to defend protections for people with pre-existing conditions. lower drug costs. protect social security and medicare and medicaid by taking them off the chopping block. nd we will increase wages by building infrastructure of america and all that that implies, in the greenest possible way with the most worker training involved in it so everybody participates in that success for our country. we'll clean up washington, reduce the role of money in politics and advance the election by strengthening, again, the voting rights act. again, transparency, that
openness, so essential to engaging the american people in what is happening here and how it affects them. one of the reasons we were so successful in this past congress on health care issues was because of the outside groups, their mobilization made all the difference. many of them participated in the campaign around one issue, health care. the affordable care act. issues that relate to medicare and medicaid. and that was our successful issue. but again, openness. bipartisanship. where we can. you've heard me say this over and over. bipartisanship, we have a responsibility to find our common ground where we can. where we cannot, me must stand our ground. we must try. and i've urged the freshmen to reach across the aisle and
respect every member here and we respect the people who sent them here. then again, all of us are committed to a better future for america's working families. that's our common denominator in the democratic party. that's what unifies us and that's what connects us to the aspirations of the american people. while that's happening, on the other side of pennsylvania, the president continues to wage an all-out campaign to obstruct the mueller investigation. just this morning the president once again took to twitter to try to discredit the investigation, tweeting a total witch hunt like no other in american history. s the president of the united states. president trump installed matthew whittaker as acting a.g. for one purpose -- to end the investigation. there's bipartisan consensus that this appointment there is bipartisan consensus this appointments violates the appointments clause of the
constitution which trumps any statute that the administration awyers have cited. as george conway and a former solicitor general wrote in "the new york times," mr. whitaker's installation makes a mockery of our constitution and our founders' vision. ipartisan. house democrats once again that in our negotiations on the omnibus bill that the g.o.p. leadership include -- join us in including language that would say the special counsel -- to protect any special counsel, the special couple cannot be fired without cause. he or she would be granted a three-judge appeal panel if fired. could only be removed by a -- replaced by a senate-confirmed attorney general or top senate
justice department official. this is very important. whitaker would not qualify because such an appointment must be made by someone confirmed by the congress -- by the senate. that's a fact and has to be re-emphasized. and very importantly, the preservation of all the documentation so that the people can know the truth. i don't know if you saw an op-ed the other day by former leader daschle, jointly, democrat and republican, saying that the starr documents was released -- the starr report was released, did vote in the congress to do so. so, too, mueller documents. any questions? reporter: i wanted to ask you, inaudible] there has been pushback on that dea.
are you going forward with that idea and what do you think of the criticism that there should be new climate legislation? ms. pelosi: as you may not recall but i will remind, when i was speaker of the house, the climate issue was my flagship issue with president bush in the white house. by the time president obama came, we moved the health care force. it was my flagship issue. we established a select committee that you referenced, headed by ed markey of massachusetts. he did a spectacular job of shining the spotlight on the crisis that we are facing and to do so in a way that has full documentation from the generals. they said it was a national security issues from health care providers, that this is a public health issue, clean air, clean water. on our economy that we must remain preeminent as number one in the world on green technologies and that it is a moral issue. if you believe this is a right and this is god's creation and
evangelicals certainly do and we must be good stewards. then we must act upon it. even if you don't share that religious belief, if you understand that we are -- have a moral responsibility to the next generation to pass the planet on in a responsible way. but it is urgent. it was urgent when we established it in 2007 and even more urgent now. it has always been a challenge with these standing committees and we will have conversations about some of the objections they may have.
but there is tremendous interest on the outside for us to return to that place where the climate issue is preeminent. what we did then is under president bush, we passed the biggest energy bill in the history of our country -- do you have some water? the biggest -- sorry. please. the biggest energy bill in the history of our country by -- hank you -- taking tens of millions of cars off the roads. much of the authority used by president obama in this regard stems from that legislation. so it's very important it was bipartisan. he wanted nuclear. i wanted renewables. we came to agreement. again, we have to sit down with our ranking members. but i believe an array of ranking members has broadened since then because not only is it energy and commerce, for example, that you referenced, but also homeland security, because this has become such an
issue hitting home by way of hurricanes, forest fires, so many different ways. natural disasters affecting eople. very directly in their lives. so we do believe that it's about stewardship of our planet, and we have to find the best way to engage the public to make the change that is necessary to put us on a different course of action. live with the deniers in that regard. reporter: what do you tell embers who say they want leadership change? what can you offer them? and might you back primary challenges from the -- [indiscernible] ms. pelosi: i'm largely responsible for most of the resources that went into those campaigns. that didn't matter to me.
i you said just win, baby. does anyone have a question in this regard? reporter: there are 17 members that signed letters saying they will not support you on the floor. ms. pelosi: have you seen the letter? reporter: i haven't seen the letter. ms. pelosi: you haven't seen it. ok. reporter: there are more, apparently, who are willing to vote no. you expressed total confidence in the vote. ms. pelosi: i do. ok. next question. reporter: how can you feel comfortable? s there anyone else capable? reporter: [inaudible] reporter: bottom line, madam speaker. if the election were held today on the house floor, do you have the votes to be elected speaker? ms. pelosi: yes. let me just get back to your question. [inaudible] this is what we have. we have a farm bill that we have to deal with. we have #metoo legislation we are trying to get passed here. we are trying to pass an omnibus bill so we don't have any question about shutting down government.
there are issues that relate to the veterans affairs and lawsuits that are happening there. we have the mueller language hat we want. we have -- we're still -- i have a day job here that's different from what's happening on the political side. we are just very excited about the size of our victory. i will say to you, always, supported it. it doesn't matter if they upport me. what matters is they support a emocratic agenda to make progress for america's working families and they all spoke out beautifully for the people, health care, health care, health care. like a jackhammer, that's what's important. what was yours? come back to the omnibus.
i do -- no. i intend to win the speakership with democratic votes. that was your question. that was your question. the -- i have overwhelming support in my caucus to be speaker of the house. and certainly we have many, many people in our caucus who could serve in this capacity. i happen to think at this point i am the best person for that. i've answered one, two, three, four, five, six questions. you want to ask about the omnibus? thank you. reporter: you mentioned the language about robert mueller. what are the other policy asks and red lines for you as we go into this negotiation, particularly as it pertains to the border wall? ms. pelosi: you know, i am an appropriator. that's one of the places where i was forged there, and intelligence committee. and left to their own devices i said to you before, democrats and republicans can come to their own conclusion -- to their agreements because they know hat they're doing. they understand the issues. it's just when some of these poison pills come from that the problem is created. so what we would like to see -- we're making good progress on the bills on the individual
bills. we would not like to see a continuing resolution. we'd like to see the bills passed, have it done, move on to the -- to what's new in the new ongress. congresswoman nita lowey our ranking member, soon to be chair of the appropriations committee, chairwoman lowey, music to my ears, she and the ranking members and soon to be chairs of the subcommittees on appropriations have done a remarkable job. they have beaten back over 150 poison pills this year alone and probably more to come that they have to -- hopefully not, but we have to be prepared for that. we don't know what they'll come up with, but so far we are on good track. reporter: is your ask it fund the bills through the rest of the fiscal year until next september? ms. pelosi: yes. reporter: and not give you something in february? ms. pelosi: we just want to get
it done. we can do it. it's possible to do it. how the president weighs in and the rest, we will see. yes, sir. reporter: what do you think of marcia fudge trying to challenge you or considering challenging you? ms. pelosi: come on in. the water's warm. yes, ma'am. [laughter] reporter: i want to ask you about the role of gender in the speakership race. representative ryan said yesterday that there are plenty of women who can replace you and he named among others marcia fudge. is he playing the gender card there? s. pelosi: i had 170,000 ads against me in the campaign. that put some -- shall we say, pressure on our candidates because i never ran for national office so most people don't even know who i am. an italian american grandmother with lots of energy and mother of five, grandmother of nine, who is here to do what's right
for the future, not for my family. they're fine. but i don't want them being -- living in a society where one in five children in america lives in poverty and goes to sleep hungry at night. that's my why. that's why i'm here. so to see the mischaracterizations or the characterization of san francisco, san francisco liberal, yes, proudly so. so it makes it hard on the candidates. here they're running for their first time, many of them, and they really need to focus on their why and it's not about me. it's about them and their opponent and obviously those ads didn't work. we have the biggest victory since 1974. you have to ask those people what their motivation is. i think of the 17 it's mostly like 14 men who are on that letter. reporter: is it sexism?
ms. pelosi: you know i have never gone to that place. i enjoy a tremendous amount of support from the women in our caucus, from the new members who are women in our caucus, and so i get the upside i think of being a woman. if there is any misogyny involved in it it's their problem, not mine. thank you, all. reporter: have you spoken to the president since election night? [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] >> the midterm election of 2018 changed the balance of power in congress. with democrats taking control of the house and republicans holding the majority in the senate. members now prepare for the new congress in january. new congress, new leaders. watch the process unfold on
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