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  Senate Democratic Leaders News Conference  CSPAN  December 18, 2018 5:48pm-6:08pm EST

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discussion with the white house on the way forward. ok, thanks a lot. >> thank you. senator schumer: ok. good afternoon. i'm proud to be joined by members of her leadership team, senate leaders. hey, folks. folks. um, i am proud to be joined by members of her senate leadership team, senator dick durbin, murray and his staff in a. earlier today i met with top senate upper graders and mitch mcconnell. leader mitch mcconnell proposed the bipartisan senate dhs bill
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which has $1.6 billion for border security, plus a $1 billion slush fund for the president to use for his radical immigration agenda. after the meeting, i spoke with a leader pelosi and i called leader mitch mcconnell and told him we would not accept the $1 billion slush fund, and that our offer is to fund the government. let me be clear, the republican offer today would not pass either chamber. we democrats have made two reasonable offers that could earn overwhelming bipartisan support in the house and senate. the six bipartisan appropriations bills and a one-year cr for the homeland security bill, or alternatively a one-year cr for the remaining seven appropriations bills. the president said last week, he would be proud to shut down the
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government. we democrats do not want to shut down the government. and as for the idea of what sarah sanders huckabee says, that they could get wall money from nafta or some other part of the government -- they need congressional approval and they are not getting it for the wall, plain and simple. now, where we? the -- are we? the ball remains in the republicans' court to accept one of our common sense proposals. on another matter of great importance to american families, health care, the ruling last friday from federal judge in texas put the future of the federal affordable care act at great risk. every american should be aware of the fact that if the ruling is upheld, the entire lot would come crashing -- law would it
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come crashing down, causing chaos in the system and calamity for over 100 million americans. we do not believe the ruling will stand or should stand, but the danger it poses is so great that we cannot simply hope for the right result. we should do something quickly to allow the senate to be heard and persuade the court's not to tear down the health care law. and in fact, we have added weight because the judge makes part of his decision on legislative intent. so, we must act. and we hope we can act in a bipartisan way. senator manchin has a resolution to authorize the senate legal counsel to defend the affordable care act on behalf of the senate. we intend to force a vote on this resolution as soon as possible. every republican who claims to be for protections of pre-existing conditions should vote aye it is.
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-- aye. it is the best way to ensure that they afford will care act does not remove the projections that so many americans need i urge. -- need. i urge my republican colleagues not to just talk the talk, but walk the walk and enjoying us in our interventions -- and join us in our intervention on this court decision. it has been six years since we started this journey on criminal justice reform. we have reached a moment where it is a historic possibility. we have a bill before us that will address criminal sentencing for the first time in almost a decade, a bill that will address the issue of prison reform for the first time in the memory of man and woman. this is an opportunity that we can pass a bill this week before
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we leave for the christmas vacation. we have bipartisan support, senator grassley and i have brought the bill to the floor, along with senators lee and booker. we anticipate three amendments. and we are prepared to debate and go through those amendments as quickly as possible. the travis group in opposition -- travis group in opposition is the organizations representing the victims of crime across america, who have all come out a got -- because the amendments. was senator cotton is attempting to do is -- the basic trust they had as criminal victims when they were given the rights under law to be informed. roughly 90% said yes, 10% said no. senator cotton will try to violate that legal principle and force information on those criminal victims who have asked not to be informed of what happens to the criminal defendant involved in the perpetration of their crime.
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we believe we can bring the bill to a vote. i hope that we also hold up the possibility of bipartisan amendments before we close this, but i think we will make it in even better bill. we have an amazing coalition backing us. we want to get it done, the sooner the better. thanks mary: -- murray: to reckless republican politics on health care, families are again very worried about their coverage. right in the middle the holidays, and looking ahead to the new year, people with pre-existing conditions are once again wondering whether the protections that they rely on will stay in place. moms and dads who breathe the sigh of relief when a book and bone will not mean ruin, are again holding their breath. women who do not have to pay extra to get birth control are wondering whether they will once again have to pay more for a basic part of their health care.
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and vulnerable, young men and women who are under the age of 26 will lose their coverage on their parents' policy. if this goes into effect, this latest blatantly partisan legal threat is the whole ballgame when it comes to health care for tens of millions of people in our country. there could not be more at stake. we heard a lot about health care from president trump and republicans in congress headin into this pass november. we her that they fought for pre-existing conditions, even though every republican wanted to keep them in place. they insisted they cared about affordable health care for people they represent. but based on the health care sabotage we have seen from this president, i find that hard to believe. but if senate republicans want to protect families from the
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latest health care threat that they have created, there is a very simple way that they can start. instead of ignoring the unbelievable harm this ruling would do if it goes into effect, or introducing bills that will not protect patients, they can join the democrats and the resolution, making it clear that congress never intended to throw health care in chaos. and the a ministration can direct the department of justice to defend health care like it should of before. democrats are waiting and watching, but must more importantly the patients and families that count on us across the country have made it clear that they are tired of reckless, harmful republican politics on health care. finally, i want to say that with just a few days to go before an unnecessary trump shut down before the holidays, republicans have only two choices -- they
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can do the right thing, work with us to keep the government open, or they can stand with president trump, who has said roud" towould be "p shut down the government in order to get taxpayers to pay for his wall. this should not be hard. i hope we end the year without this crisis. >> i want to congratulate senator durbin for pulling together a coalition with the senator booker and others, a bipartisan group that will make a very important step forward with all of us supporting it on criminal justice reform. secondly, regarding health care saide american people have over and over again that health care is personal, not political. that is why they engaged in the effort to keep the affordable care act. and it worked. that is why people now are saying to us, what is going to
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happen, what are we going to do to make sure that they do not lose their health care. 20 million people plus, over one million in michigan, will lose all of their health care if the court case is upheld. and everybody will be affected, literally. in michiganilies have somebody with a pre-existing condition, over half the population are women who are affected by whether or not we pay more, and discriminated against for being women, or whether our health care will be fully covered. and is so many ways, health-care -- all the things the affordable care act, they affect every american. that is why we are joining with the leader, senator manchin, and saying the u.s. senate, along with the u.s. house, and the white house need to do everything possible to stand up for people's rights to have health care. health care is a something that is not political, it is personal. and the other thing we're asking
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is that we come together to move forward, to fund our government. it is basic. the ability to continue public services and do it in a bipartisan way, and we are ready to do that. scott isrs from both -- saying that a short-term cr is the only pathway, is that something you are willing to support? senator schumer: if he puts a cr on the table, short-term, is something we would consider. >> some of the early projections is it may go through february -- ourtor schumer: it -- preference is the two proposals we have made. if republicans cannot agree to those and propose a short-term cr, we will seriously look at it, but as to how long it is will be up to leader mitch mcconnell. >> the president said he would
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be proud to take the blame for a shutdown, why do you think he changed his mind about that? senator schumer: i think is basic position was untenable. we were surprised when he said it in the white house. they make the people do not want it. and mcconnell, you guys rejected his offer. is this the only way it has to go? >> we had an offer on the table for days. ours is the only one i know that can pass both houses. our job right now is to get the government-funded without a wall . we have had no discussion about judges. reporter: can the department reappropriated funding to build a wall? >> secretary mattis does not
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think it is a good idea, and i would not want to take away money from the troops. reporter: [indiscernible] senator schumer: a $1 billion slush fund could not get the votes in either house to pass. thank you, everybody. announcer: we are live at the french embassy this evening, where the french ambassador to the u.s. is getting ready to take part in a discussion on the role of international organizations like nato and their impact on peace. we will have live coverage tonight on c-span.
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[inaudible chatter]
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announcer: again, we are waiting in the french embassy in washington for the french ambassador to the u.s. .e have live coverage on c-span
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while we wait, a portion of this morning's "washington journal." >> julia, start by explaining what digital assistants are and how prevalent they are. talking specifically about canisters, or hockey pucks that we use to help us cook or play music on or get the weather from. items we are first bringing into our home, the voice-activated digital assistants. in the piece, i talk about the future of these devices.
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we will get more and more of the and they will move into internet of things, which is to say we will be talking to our refrigerators, toilets, cars -- and our cars will be talking to us. in piece is about how we are the first stages of bringing these things into our homes and where it goes from there. >> who is most likely to buy these things now, and how are they being used? tobasically, people who tend be adopters of technology are the first to buy them. but quite a few young families are buying them. my own daughter-in-law bought one. she has a two and a half-year-old at home, and she is very strict about technology. i asked, why do you do that? she said, because it allows me to play music without opening my computer. >>