Congressional Leaders at White House on Government Shutdown CSPAN January 3, 2019 3:26am-3:38am EST
second district from 2002 to 2007. before that, he was a member of the state legislature, serving as house majority leader for part of his tenure. he is an attorney and a cousin of aol co-founder steve case. >> with the government shut down its 12 day, congressional leaders were at the white house wednesday to meet with president trump and get a briefing from homeland security secretary christian nielsen about the situation along the border. afterwards, they spoke with reporters outside the white house. >> thank you all for being here. we had a long discussion. >> thank you all for being here. we had a long discussion.
the president asked us to come back on friday after the leadership has been able to deal with the concerns of some people to get through. we never got the complete briefing from the secretary of homeland, which we were concerned about, because we do have a crisis on the border right now. we have a violent mob unrest yesterday, but we know that we have a challenge along the border, and we want to solve that issue and make sure we open this government up. ant to make this government up. i think at the end of the day, the president listening to him, he wants to solve this as well. that's why he's asked us to come back friday after the leadership races to try to get this all done. >> [inaudible]. >> i was disappointed with i would say some on the other side. once the secretary started, senator schumer interrupted her and really didn't want to hear it. they challenged some of the points the secretary made. so we were hopeful that we could get more negotiation. i know the vice president had sat down with senator schumer,
had given him paper, had worked to try to come to an agreement, to find common ground. i hope we'd get a little more of that today. hopefully friday we will be able to get there. >> [inaudible]. >> it doesn't have to last much longer at all. i think we can come to an agreement rather quickly. i know that's why the president thought maybe after the leadership races, people would be more willing to come to an agreement. >> what did senator schumer say when he interrupted? you said he interrupted the homeland security secretary. what did he say? >> i think they wanted to go on without going through the briefing. they wanted to go on with their bill they were bringing up tomorrow. the president's been very clear that not the bill he would support, and leader mcconnell had said he's not bringing anything up that's not going to become law. [speaking over each other] >> the president also made it
clear that his number one responsibility is to keep this country safe. and secretary nielsen wanted to go over some very alarming numbers, things that are actually happening at the border and what's happened last year. last year alone there were more than 3700 known or suspected terrorists that were stopped from entering this country. there are a lot of bad things happening. the reason he wants to secure the border, the bill we passed in the house, that was the start of negotiations, over 5 1/2 billion dollars for the fiscal year. they haven't put a counteroffer on the table. you saw the vice president negotiating. the president and vice president stayed here over the christmas holidays, and there was absolutely no negotiation -- negotiation from the other side. they want to keep delaying and have a government shutdown while president trump has said he wants to secure the border. >> can you explain specifically how mexico is going to pay for this wall? what specific provisions of the usmca are going to give the money? and why are you having this discussion?
>> we are having this discussion because we have a crisis on the border. in this caravan, one third of all the women are having -- some are being raped, some are being violently treated. we have children who have challenges coming through. we have another caravan starting to come. we have a real challenge here. i think that's why both sides can sit down, find a compromise that actually secures the boarder. -- oborder. everybody in the room said they wanted to have a secure border. maybe we need a combination to solve it. i watched the president stay calm throughout the entire discussion. he wanted the latest statistics going forward. we will be back on friday. we want to make sure the border is secure. more importantly we want to make sure the government is open. that's why we moved legislation. that's why the vice president went to the senate when we had the challenge just a couple weeks ago. no counteroffer came back. there was not a counteroffer today. hopefully friday there will be. thank you very much.
[speaking over each other] >> good afternoon, everyone. tomorrow we will bring to the floor legislation which will open up government. it will be based on actions taken by the republican senate, bills that have passed on the floor of the senate by over 90 votes or in committee unanimously, led by senator mitch mcconnell. it will also present in a
separate bill the bill that mr. mcconnell did for the continuing resolution for the homeland security bill until february 8th, using his exact date. we have given the republicans a chance to take yes for an answer. we have taken their proposals, unamended by any house bipartisan amendment, but just staying true to what the senate has already done. our question to the president and to the republicans is, why don't you accept what you have already done to open up government, and that enables us to have 30 days to negotiate for border security. democrats have been committed to protects our borders. -- protecting our borders. it is the oath of office we take to protect and defend. it's been very important to us. we have committed resources to it when we were in the majority and we will continue to do so.
>> you are going to lead us each speak, please. >> i will yield to the distinguished -- >> thank you. the bottom line is very simple. we asked the president to support the bills that we support, that will open up government. we asked him to give us one good reason -- i asked him directly, i said mr. president, give me one good reason why you should continue your shutdown of the eight cabinet departments, while we are debating our differences on homeland security. he could not give a good answer. so we would hope that they would reconsider and would support the very bills that passed the senate, four of them 92-6, two of them unanimously in the appropriations committee, with mitch mcconnell's support. the only reason that they are shutting down the government is very simple, they want to try
and leverage that shutdown into their proposals on border security. we want strong border security. we believe ours are better. but to use the shutdown as hostage, which they had no argument against, is wrong. and we would urge them respectfully to reconsider and support these bills, which are bipartisan, one of which mitch mcconnell proposed, open up the government as we continue to debate what is the best way to secure our border. >> [inaudible]. >> we hope it doesn't. and we hope that they will not use the american people, the millions who depend on these departments and the workers who are either not working or not getting paid as hostages to have a temper tantrum, pound the
table and say it is our way or we hurt all these people. we hope that won't happen, and again, they couldn't give us one answer why they wouldn't support the first bill that leader pelosi and -- that speaker pelosi and leader hoyer will put on the floor that will open up the government. [speaking over each other] >> almost everybody in the room, doing want to say everybody -- doing -- i don't want to say everybody, believes that shutting down the government is a stupid policy. it puts 800,000 people who work for the federal government at risk and it puts people who rely on the government on a daily basis at risk. we are going to propose tomorrow a bill that has gotten the support of the senate and the house. >> the white house says it is a nonstarter, sir, so why move forward? >> because that's our responsibility as a co equal
branch of government to do that which we think is right. >> will he compromise? >> we hope he will compromise. he ought to compromise. we are for border security but also for operating the people's government in an effective fashion. >> the bottom line is very simple. on our last meeting, the president said i'm going to shut the government down. they are now feeling the heat. it is not helping the president. it is not helping the republicans to be the owners of this shut down. today we gave them an opportunity to get out of that and open up the government as we debate border security, and to say to them because he says he won't sign it and use the government as hostage, we should just give in, the american people don't want that. that's bad for our country, and that's not the way to govern. [speaking over each other] >> -- the president to open up government. we are giving him a republican
path to do that. why would he not do it? >> thank you. thank you. [speaking over each other] >> on twitter, president crump -- president trump called it a important meeting on border security and went on to say both parties need to work together to put together a funding bill. this is the first and most important duty of government. i remain ready to work with democrats to pass a bill to support the agents and officers on the ground -- on the