tv House GOP Leader News Conference CSPAN March 1, 2019 5:59am-6:13am EST
of any what have we do here, we now have established a modernization, select committee on modernization, of congress, and, happily, the minority leader has appointed people to it. we're still waiting for his appointments to the climate -- the select committee on climate. ok? thank you all very much. >> thank you. >> thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. >> house minority leader kevin mccarthy talk to reporters at the capital. house floor procedures, the recent u.s.-north korean summit, and this week's hearing with president trump's former personal attorney michael cohen. this is 15 minutes.
be kind. i have my it was created with the stated purpose of giving the minority a right to have a vote upon its position upon great public questions. recently these positions have been met with bipartisan support. as you know, 26 democrats joined republicans yesterday to make a flawed piece of legislation a little bit better. it was created with the stated
purpose of giving the minority a right to have a vote upon its position upon great public questions. recently these positions have been met with bipartisan support. as you know, 26 democrats joined republicans yesterday to make a flawed piece of legislation a little bit better. by doing so, a motion to recommit was adopted. this was the second time an m.t.r. has passed so soon. the first was adopted nearly unanimously. and it has divided the democrat leadership, as many of you have written about. but what's so unfortunate, democrats now think about changing the rule. rather than reconcile the differences within their own party, that they are driving the division, democrats want to rig the rules and suppress the minority party's speech on the house floor. i want to be very clear and make no mistake. changes to the m.t.r. would be a nuclear option. and it would leave a stain on this majority just two months in. you all know the history. in the last 24 years in america, republicans have been the majority party for 20 of those 24. never once did we discuss, did we bring up the option, or even entertain the idea that we would
silence the minority. never once. not during a sit-in. not during anything that they did. they want to silence a minority? that's wrong. yesterday there was a hearing, to weeks ago i put out questions for chairman schiff. i even have more questions now. in the hearing with mr. cohen, he said that he talked to chairman schiff. the question i have, what did they talk about? how many times did they discuss, did staff meet, where did they meet, did they travel to meet? just as i had the question before about his meeting with glen simpson, with fusion g.p.s. what did they talk about? how often did they meet as well? you know, adam schiff said a -- set a standard that said devin nunes had to recuse himself. it looks as though adam schiff has met that same standard. yesterday during that hearing,
there's always been the saying that politics stops at the water's edge when the president is gone. i know we have differences of opinion. but we come from one country. when president trump is meeting with north korea, trying to get a denuclearization agreement, the idea that we could not postpone, that we could not show the rest of the world that america stands together to denuclearize north korea, i think that was another misstep by this majority. let's go to questions. >> the president said that he believes kim jong un didn't know about the reason for otto warmbier's arrest.
do you agree? >> you know, just two years ago at the state of the union, we watched someone's parents be a guest of this president. i'm also very proud of the fact when i was majority leader we passed the sanctions against north korea and named it the otto warmbier legislation. i mean, just left vietnam, a meeting with north korea. and he kept those sanctions in place. i do not see the leader of north korea as somebody who is a friend. we know what happened to otto. we know what this country has done. i support the president in his effort to denuclearize them. but i do not have a misbelief of who this leader is. yes? >> to that end, motions to recommit, you talked yesterday off the floor to some of us about the gun policy vote and you said, you know, suggested some of these votes are just for politics. we've seen the minority use motions to recommit as a political vote -- >> you've seen who?
>> we've seen the minority party use motions to recommit as a political vote to weaponize and put to the other side -- make them squirm and take tough votes. isn't that really what the effort behind the m.t.r., to kind of put the other side on icy footing? >> no. it is used exactly for what it is. remember the process -- >> document that vote and then turn that around -- [inaudible] -- >> does a document every vote? it document every vote? yes. remember the process of a majority. a majority controls the committee, a majority has a rules committee. and in this rules committee, how open are they to amendments to bring any amendment to the floor? which is the only way the minority has an opportunity to have a debate and ability to change the bill. so in essence, what is an m.t.r. motion to recommit? it's our only amendment we get to a bill. and every chance we get, we want to improve whatever comes forward. and that is what we do. it doesn't mean the bill is good enough. but we're going to improve the bill every chance we have.
and as long as they continue to close the rules on us to have amendments on the floor, remember, 20 of the last 24 years republicans were in the majority. never once did we try to stop an m.t.r. from the idea of having the right to do it. did they do things that were political? yes, they did. but they had the right to say it. they had the right to make their options. they had the right to be heard and offer it. just as we should. just as any minority should. yes, ma'am. >> the republicans had an amendment yesterday. lesko had an amendment. >> should we only have one? the bill is very complex. you should have many. >> i wanted to ask about the debt limit and how you think that that should be handled, whether or not it needs to be part of a deal that includes other elements to be negotiated, or if the debt limit can be suspended or raised on its own? >> i think the debt is one of the greatest threats there is to this nation.
i don't think it should be taken lightly. i think we should have a discussion. i know the democrats have changed how a debt limit will pass. i think on a bipartisan level, we should sit down together and find a way that we can stop this spending behavior of this government and actually curve from we can pay off our debt. that's why i think it should always be voted on by itself, with any avenues we can add together to actually change the direction of spending of america. yes ma'am. >> republicans yesterday spent a lot of time attacking cohen's credibility. but they didn't seem to spend a lot of time defending the president against cohen's accusations. did any of cohen claims about the president's wrongdoing or his alleged criminal activity give you cause for concern? >> i'm not on the committee. so i didn't get to watch the whole part of it. now remember, the democrats wanted to have this hearing very early. why? because cohen's going to jail. why? for lying.
i thought one of the excerpts that i saw was probably one of the most interesting ones. is that cohen said that he did not go to prague. if you follow all of it back, to what the democrats use, that is how they created the das yea -- dossier with the whole belief that there was russian collusion, based upon cohen going to prague. to me that was a very interesting president. >> what about the documentation that -- >> i'm just saying, he made that statement as well. >> when the fact that cohen brings documentation, you don't have to take him at his word, look at the evidence. does any of that give you pause about allegations against the president? >> from what i've seen and what we've investigated, it doesn't give me pause whatsoever about this president. >> nothing from cohen yesterday -- >> i didn't hear anything new in the process, no. >> was there any coordination between yourself and leaders, freedom caucus leaders, who were questioning mr. cohen yesterday ahead of time. were you brought in to discuss strategy of how they would
approach that? >> i think jim jordan did an excellent job as a ranking member. i thought the committee did an excellent job of getting to the point. just like any committee, one thing i do is -- the leader, i meet with all the committees. but most of it's all left to them to work. this is their expertise. this is what they do. this is what they focus on. yes, sir. >> this is what they focus on. >> when do you expect to name members of the select committee on climate security? some democrats -- >> i already named before i walked out here. it's today. >> could you share them with us? [laughter] >> last question. >> the u.s. trade representative said yesterday that he may not need congress to sign off on any type of understanding between the u.s. and china in regards to a trade deal. do you think that congress
should have the opportunity to weigh in? >> if it's not a treaty, then the constitution says we don't. i support the president in his effort, trying to have a more level playing field with china. let's wait to see what it is. if you simply check via constitution and other authority, that is true. >> on the cohen hearing, democrats are now saying they want to hear from donald trump jr., allen wiseleberg, some of the allegations that cohen made. what do you make of that? >> that they're doing exactly what they said before the election, that their whole goal was to try to impeach the president. it's not about the challenge we face as america. it's not about the challenge that we face to make the next century ours. this is purely political. to even have a hearing, while the president is overseas in vietnam negotiating with north korea, says a lot about this new majority. it says a lot about what their agenda is. i thought jim jordan made a very clear point, what were the town hall meetings happening in nadler's district? or coming's district prior? it was all about the impeachment
of this president. if you watch the questioning of some of the new freshmen democratic members, all they talk about is impeachment. that's their goal. i don't think that's what america wants to see happen. i don't think that's where america wants that we can find and work together. i don't know if you had any more questions about schiff. none of you asked. >> you don't think those two men could maybe offer support for the president since republicans yesterday -- some were saying didn't really offer as much support for the president as they would like to see? >> why don't we talk about infrastructure? why don't we talk about our opioid epidemic and how we can cure that? why don't we talk about health care? why don't we talk about raising prices of drugs? there are so many things we can talk about. there are so many things that are -- american families are talking around their kitchen table, i don't believe what the democrats are putting as their agenda is what america's looking
for. thank you very much. >> thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. >> president trump's former attorney michael: was back on capitol hill thursday to speak privately with members of the house intelligence committee. this was the day after mr. cohen made allegations against president trump at a public hearing held by the house oversight committee. adam intelligence chair schiff spoke with reporters after the closed door meeting and outlined the committee's plans for moving forward. they include mr. cohen returning for additional testimony next week.