tv House GOP Leader Mc Carthy Weekly News Conference CSPAN April 4, 2019 11:00pm-11:16pm EDT
house minority leader kevin mccarthy held a news conference thursday where he faced questions about the mueller report and president trump's threat to close the u.s.-mexico border. this is 15 minutes. mr. mccarthy: good afternoon, everyone. there's a story today in "roll call" which shows just how small the democratic majority's legislative agenda is. 16% of the bills this majority has brought to the floor has been nonbinding resolutions. when you remove suspensions, that number jumps to 21%. nearly a quarter of the most important bills brought to the floor have been nonbinding resolutions. if you thought that might slow down, if you thought they figured they got to stop it, think again. they just introduced another nonbinding resolution on the president's consideration to shut down the southern border,
an action the president hasn't even taken. speaker pelosi has turned the house of representatives into the house of nonbinding resolutions. when i campaigned i never heard one person tell me to go to washington to pass a resolution. the american people sent us here to solve problems, not to take messaging vote after messaging vote. now, in contrast, the president and i will be traveling to the border tomorrow to hear directly from the law enforcement on the crisis at this border and i look forward to hearing each and every one of them to get a better understanding. this lack of seriousness is happening in committees too. a place where serious lawmaking is actually supposed to take place. the most concerning to me is what took place yesterday. ways and means committee. probably the most revered committee in all of the capitol. they voted yesterday to weaponize the i.r.s. to attack political opponents. not only is it a waste of time, it sets a dangerous standard of having the federal government
used as a political weapon. finally, i want to mention something that just happened on the floor. i did not think this day would come. i did not think it would happen to the house of representatives. i did not think it would ever happen in america. but all the talk that we've seen in this new democrat socialist movement, the comments they have made, the challenges and the questions they have made to those of the jewish faith, the boycott, divestment and sanction, b.d.s. movement, aims to deny jewish people to self-determination in their ancestral homeland and it seeks to destabilize the jewish state by encouraging a targeted economic war against israel. the b.d.s. movement is not interested in co-existent. -- coexistence. it seeks further conflict and is unwilling to make concessions. the democrat majority has blocked a vote on opposing
b.d.s. over and over again. they refused to take up senate 1, s. 1. it passed the senate by 77 votes. tell me what passes the senate by that high of margin? but this new democrat socialist movement in the house won't even assign it to a committee or refer. they refuse to mark up its companion version h.r. 336, and they refuse to bring to the floor a simple bipartisan resolution, house res. 246. they bring a lot of resolutions to the floor but they defuse to use to bring- ref this one. it condemns the b.d.s. movement. but today was most shocking. today was a day in history i did not want to see in america. today, every democrat but five voted against an amendment to reject the b.d.s. movement. every democrat but five would not stand with israel today. this is a turning moment for
america. with that i'll open it up for questions. yes, ma'am. reporter: mr. leader, would you like congress to see a full unredacted mueller report, congress, not necessarily the public? mr. mccarthy: i think attorney general barr said he'll send it to us. i want to see it as directly -- reporter: not in the unredacted form? mr. mccarthy: i think legally from the standpoint from the grand jury or intel protections for america, i think that's appropriate. right now members don't get -- we don't get every intel point because you don't want that all spread out so i think the attorney general, you'll see exactly what the law says we should. i think we should all see that. reporter: are you confident he characterized mr. mueller's assessments correctly, considering that some of mueller's investigators are now saying that they are unhappy with how barr summarized their work? mr. mccarthy: barr had to do a very quick job. i see the work that attorney general barr does has been amazing. i watched his work before. i would not question his legal
opinion. he wanted to get something to the american public and he's promised the american public that he's bringing the rest to us. what's interesting is that democrats won't even give him two weeks. no, i do not question it. i do believe what barr put out is what he thought. reporter: do you support closing the border? mr. mccarthy: what i want is the southern border secured. we have a crisis on the southern border. there are things congress needs to do. this challenge that was happening today -- i was in el paso last week. i will be with the president traveling tomorrow. i don't believe anybody wants to close the southern border. that is not the objective from anyone. we know the economics. we want the southern border to be strong. we also want to have it secured. but because of the law of this land, you have an asylum question. you have children who are unaccompanied that you can't take back to their parents. our law doesn't allow it to that. they are outside mexico. we have a challenge people are coming from other countries but
traveling through other countries and not claiming asylum before they get to america. we have a broken system. it's every measurement and metrics that you see, probably one of the greatest crisis we have seen along our southern border in more than decades. for the democratic party to deny what is happening there, for the democratic party to continue just to pass resolutions instead of solve a problem, i'm not quite sure why they ran if this is what they're going to do inside the house. yes. reporter: i know you talked about the tax returns just briefly. can you respond to what speaker pelosi said just a few hours ago, defending their right to go after these returns, a u.s. code from that podium? mr. mccarthy: to weaponize. ask any american who wants to give a committee the power to go after you because they politically disagree with you? the democrats decided the day after the election they would not accept it. so we just put america through 22 months of -- you know the statistics -- 2,500 subpoenas,
40 agents, 19 attorneys. going to 13 other countries. they came back and they couldn't create something that they tried to make up. so what do they do now? they use the power of government, the fear every american has, the government has become so strong they go after you because they don't politically agree with you is wrong. when will they accept the last election? would they like -- people will change the majority inside congress. do we really want to have a body that goes after people's i.r.s. reports simply because you politically disagree with them? did the president provide every financial statement that he needed to run for president, the standards they have out there, the law they have out there? yes, he filled them all out. so why would they use this? why wouldn't they put the american public first? why don't we start talking about the problems we have? why wouldn't we produce legislation instead of resolutions? this is all about politics. i mean, it's almost as though
the democratic house is not members of congress, they are members of the dccc. they write resolutions and they do political attacks. when do they start legislating? when do they start working for the american public? they know it is wrong and i think it's a very terrible standard to set for this nation and it's scary if it would be taken forward. reporter: do you -- now that the ways and means committee is demanding that the i.r.s. hand over six years of donald trump's tax returns and tax returns of businesses linked to him, do you believe speaker pelosi should release her tax return and the tax returns of businesses linked to her family for the same period of years? mr. mccarthy: i think to use it for political means is wrong. for any side of the aisle. there are standards what we have to file. financial disclosure statements to run for statement. -- run for office. that is what the law says. just as i don't go back to somebody four, five years ago and say, you went faster than a current speed limit or something in the past.
we believe in the rule of law in this nation. for the idea that we're going to let government become so powerful, to go after and intimidate individuals, did we not just spend $25 million? what will they find in these tax returns? that mueller could not find, that the 40 agents, that the 2,500 subpoenas and 500 witnesses? nothing is there, so why do you continue to put the country through this? it says a lot about the -- about their characters and a lot about their value this they want to weaponize government to punish individuals because they politically disagree with them and they can't accept an election. yes. reporter: the trump administration has taken a position they don't want to raise the budge cap, they don't want to make any statutory changes to the sequestration caps. are house republicans going to back that position or are you guys open for participating in bipartisan, bicameral talks? mr. mccarthy: look, i always
believe in bipartisanship. what's very interesting is what nancy pelosi has said for decades. show me your budget, show me your values. this is a new majority that does not pass bills, passes resolutions, and now won't do a budget, and we know we have a crisis on our hands. we know we have sequestration if action is not taken, so i always think it's appropriate that we sit down together to try to solve this. unfortunately it goes to seem the political arm of the new democrat socialists are debt -- are running the majority in the house. yes, sir. reporter: pelosi said she will not use the u.s. bargaining chip to get something and she said -- mr. mccarthy: fantastic. schedule the floor. reporter: she will go to a side agreement. how optimistic [indiscernible] mr. mccarthy: i know from our side of the aisle, we will do our part and we are ready to move forward with it. we think it's positive for the entire country and also positive for our partners who we trade
with. it is one of the promises that the president said he would do, that he would modernize the nafta agreement. i think it's a win-win for all, and i think it would be a big success for our economy as well. reporter: and likely to get approved? mr. mccarthy: you know what, if i was in the majority, i'd give you a 100% yes. unfortunately, we don't have 218 on our side. i haven't watched the democrats pass major legislation yet. i will promise them we will give them our help to be able to move it forward. she controls the floor. she can schedule it and we can get it through. yes. reporter: is there a situation in which that congress should have access to grand jury testimony when it is doing its own testimony? mr. mccarthy: are you referring to the mueller -- reporter: i understand where you're coming from on the mueller report and barr. mr. mccarthy: it's not just that. you can go to any report that independents have done in the past. there's a reason why they do in -- they do not bring in the
grand jury. if somebody was not indicted, why would that information go forward? the grand jury was able to look at it and go forward, so i don't see in this current situation where that would be the case -- why we would change the current law. i don't see why we would change the current law. we just went through 22 months. we found there was no collusion and no obstruction. why do they want to continue it to go forward? just because they disagree with the outcome of an election? why can't they put the public forward? if we really believe in the rule of law, let's follow the rule of law. let's not weaponize our government to go after people because they disagree with them. i think that is wrong and i don't think that's healthy. more importantly, the thing that concerns me the most is what i just saw happen on the floor of the house. you covered this body for quite some time. if somebody would come to you and you watched how bipartisan we've ever been with our relationship with the only democracy in the middle east, israel, that an entity wants to go and destroy israel by
boycotting, sanctions, divesting, and you couldn't even stand up to say that is wrong, you won't schedule a bill that's passed the senate by 77 votes, but every single democrat but five voted against israel and voted to allow the b.d.s. movement to grow, today is a sad day. today is a day that should not happen in this house. it should not happen in america. and i never thought, regardless of whatever disagreements i had with the other side of the aisle, that they would come to this conclusion, that they would step to this moment. the comments i heard the months before, i thought that maybe it would be isolated to just a few members, but today was different. today, the majority of the democrats accepted what the other democrats have been saying. that is not a day to be proud of. that's not a day and a vote they should stand with.
i yield back. coming up live friday on c-span, former vice president joe biden will speak at a conference for electrical union workers. then the head of the international atomic energy agency on nuclear safeguards. and a discussion about combating isis in syria and iraq. republican the national lawyers association hosts its annual conference and washington, d.c. with senator lindsey graham and representative doug collins among the speakers. fatah gets underway at 8:45 a.m. eastern on c-span3 at 9:00, the brookings institution takes a look at how the domestic political climate in the u.s. is affecting foreign policy and national security. watch the american story unfold on american history
tv, saturday at 2:00 p.m. eastern on oral histories, with an interview of a world war ii navajo code talkers. sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern on reel america, looking back at nato's 10th anniversary and at the p.m., rocket girls, women of nasa's jet propulsion laboratory. this week and on c-span3. week, members of the new zealand parliament debated legislation banning most semiautomatic weapons. after less months shooting at two mosques. debate whichat the included references to the national rifle association and gun laws in the u.s. pursuant to the -- >> mr. speaker, i move, that the arms amendment bill be now read a first time.