tv Speaker Pelosi News Conference on Emergency Powers CSPAN February 26, 2019 4:40am-5:04am EST
announcer: watch c-span wednesday night for live coverage of president trump's visit to vietnam as he resumes talks with kim jong-un, live on c-span, c-span.org, and listen with the free c-span radio app. announcer: house speaker nancy pelosi and several house democrats held a news conference to discuss the resolution to block president trump's emergency declaration. texas representative joaquin castro, author of the resolution, spoke about the need to get it passed. from the u.s. capitol, this is 20 minutes. rep. pelosi: good afternoon everyone.
we gather here for an issue of utmost importance to our country. we gather here for an if utmost importance to our country. everyone of us, every member of congress, every official across the country serving in office takes an oath to uphold the constitution of the united states, to support and defend it. the constitution, which begins with our beautiful "we the people," the preamble to the constitution. the words immediately following the preamble, article one, the legislative branch. the beauty of the constitution, the heart and the soul of the constitution, is a separation of power with coequal branches of government to be a balance of power. to achieve that purpose, the
founders were very visionary. many things followed that bill of rights, but what they wanted to do is to be sure we did not have a monarchy, but three distinct branches of government, a check and balance one to the other. and the text of the constitution spells out the responsibilities congress ofing the the united states -- among other powers -- the power of the purse. the president's power grab usurps that constitutional responsibility and fundamentally violates the balance of power envisioned by our founders. the house will pass congressman castro's privilege resolution to terminate the emergency declaration tomorrow. i salute congressman castro for
his work so that we already. he is chair of the house congressional hispanic caucus. he is a distinguished member of congress from the state of texas, which has the longest border with mexico. this isn't about the border, this is about the constitution of the united states. this is not about politics, it is not about partisanship, it is about patriotism. again, once we pass this resolution, we will send it over to the senate. all members have taken the oath of office. we would be delinquent in our duties if we did not resist and to overturn the president's declaration. be to do that would abandon our own responsibilities. we do not intend to do that. with that i'm pleased to yield to the distinguished gentleman from texas, a gentleman who has
been working on this for a while -- he made sure we were ready. before that i want to say our distinguished chairman of the judiciary committee is in the rules committee on this very subject, or other subjects as well, because we have a busy week. mr. castro will be followed by ourer hoyer and a member of freshman class, an expert on the constitution from pennsylvania. it is my privilege to yield to the chairman of the congressional hispanic caucus, the congressman mr. castro. >> [applause] thank you for your leadership in marshaling support on hj res 46. six weeks ago when the rumors started president trump might
declare a national emergency to build his border wall across the u.s. mexico border, my staff and i tried to find a way to make sure congress would have a say in this matter. the result is hj res 46, which would terminate the president's declaration of a national emergency to build his border wall. foundingry since its has become the most prosperous and powerful nation on earth without any wall. that is why i believe most of the american people and most people in my home state of texas disagree with the president building a wall across our border. the president consistently said that anyone would be paid for by mexico. well, mexico refused to pay, and congress refused to pay. and so the president, rather than letting things be, decided he would act unilaterally, unconstitutionally by usurping
the power of congress. today we ask all members of congress to respect the rule of law with us, to respect the separation of powers enshrined in our constitution and to support this resolution. if the president is successful in getting his way on this, rest assured he will come back, he will try this again. probably on other issues, as will future presidents. congress must step up, must reclaim its role over the power of the purse. this resolution is critically important to the future of the relationship between the legislative and executive branches, above and beyond any party, above and beyond any president. this will require historic unity among members of congress to make sure this branch of government maintains its rightful place under our constitution.
i want to say thank you to the now 230 members of congress who are cosponsors. we look forward to picking up more support, including bipartisan support when we take the vote tomorrow. i want to thank leader pelosi for moving swiftly for putting this for a vote. i think the senate for taking of it on this privileged resolution. there have been many senators, democrats, but also conservative republicans, who have sounded the alarm about president trump's declaration. i hope they will vote their conscience, that they for a moment will put the country about any worry of their political concerns. that is what is required of us now. with that, i'd like to bring up our esteemed leader from maryland steny hoyer. >> [applause] >> thank you very much congressman castro, leader
thesi, whip clyburn, and members who stand behind me. here, she and i worked in el paso. she and i were in new mexico two weeks ago. and two days ago, i was at the of san diegoouth with congressman peters, congressman levin, and congressman warns vargas. >> i'm here. >> [laughter] taking roll. and what i concluded, there is no crisis at the border.
be issue tomorrow will whether there is a crisis of our constitutional adherence, whether there is a crisis because of a lack of conscience and courage among the members of the house of representatives and subsequently the united states senate to stand up for what the founding fathers wanted. they had had enough of king george telling them what to do. so they created this extraordinary government and separation of powers. where each had their responsibility. and video -- and the other could not tread on that responsibility and authority. that is what tomorrow's vote is about, not a wall, but the
constitution. the wall is an important issue, but the constitution is a transcendent issue. the issue will be whether the congress of the united states will exercise the authority given to it under article one of the constitution. or whether it will abdicate its responsibilities. i hope that i hope that every member of the congress votes not for party, not for a president, but votes for a constitutional system that is preserved democracy for over two centuries because of the checks and balances that we talk so much about. therrow, we will have opportunity to commit ourselves to it, not just talk about it.
i pray that the members of the house will have the conscience and the courage to protect the greatest constitution that the world has overseen. the american people will be watching. friend fromto my south carolina, jim clyburn. >> thank you. speaker pelosi, chairman kessler -- representative dean and other colleagues. 58 bipartisan,
former national security officials, issued a statement declaring there is no factual issuing an emergency declaration. there is no emergency. others,d by them and crossings at the border have reached a 40-year low. there has been no emergency, no or is, of a judicial -- orl determination legal determination of an emergency at the border. it's a fact that 90% of all the
drugs that come into this country come through the ports of entry. consequently, it was seen toof . consequently, it was seen to us, that the that are part of wisdom would be for us to shore up the security at the ports of entry. me that we are moving from one manufactured crisis to another. this president must be checked to maintainress this ability -- the civility and the integrity of what we are as a country.
with that i yield. pelosi, whip castro. congressman i'm excited to be here. colleague's my arguments about the constitutionality of what we have seen. ourpresident has held .olitical process hostage theft.plans outright takeresident aims to billions of dollars from high ,riority construction projects
threatening their quality of life. i want to tell you what is at .take in pennsylvania these projects could include $71 million for a navy propulsor .anufacturing facility millionld include a $85 construction project. state, that ise just pennsylvania and some of what is at stake. hundreds of more projects are under threat, those that have been evaluated and voted on as signed into law. these projects have enormous impact on our national
readiness. the president made promises to our military and we have no plans to break them. for all of his talk the presidential little regard for the people who keep america safe. president trump forced those pay.e to work without thate aims to take money does not belong to this president, to gratify his ego, to build a wall that mexico was supposed to pay for. this country operates according to the rule of law. when leaders operate outside the rule of law, they do lasting damage. america can't afford it, congress won't allow it.
i yield back to the distinguished speaker. again, and: recognition of congressman castro, and the support he has gathered with so many of our members showing up, mr. hoyer referenced going to the border. i tell you this. in laredo each year, they ahve the m -- they have the most beautiful celebration of washington's birthday. they honor washington, george .nd martha, both hatis a multi-day event of w our founding father and mother
meant for our country. laredo is mostly hispanic. to see the pride and the deep is a joym side by side i which the country could behold, the patriotism of the people who live at the border, which we consider a community with a border going through it. what the president is saying about the border is mythology, not reality. thinker you may think, about the constitution of the united states. our colleagues have talked about believing that our members were doing this. i know that they will. i know that our republican colleagues care about the constitution. i know that they believe in the separation of power. i know they would not want a president, republican or democrat, to usurp the powers of
whichstitution we serve we all serve, as part of the separation of powers, the checks and the senate as well. i think all of my colleagues for , and the leadership of chairman castro -- do you still have a beard? [laughter] is an historic moment for our country. a civics lesson and thee constitution contained therein.
>> coming up leave tuesday on the c-span network, the house returns at 10:00 a.m. on c-span for morning our speeches. a 12:00 a.m. to consider resolution to block the president's emergency declaration on the southern border of the u.s. senate finance committee examines drug pricing in the u.s. with the ceos of major pharmaceutical companies.
the house rules committee discussed and voted on to rules packages, one governing debate debate androl another disapproving president trump's national emergency declaration. the committee spent the majority of its time on the gun-control amendment offered by the republicans. this is just under two hours.