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tv   House Democratic Caucus Retreat Closing Press Conference  CSPAN  April 13, 2019 5:34am-6:03am EDT

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way down, despite all the problems we have at the border, and we are straightening that out. on sanctuary cities, we are giving very strong consideration to having people after a 20-date y period, because you are not allowed legally to hold them for more than that, we will move them into sanctuary cities. thank you very much, everybody. [inaudible] [applause] >> thank you, everybody. >> let's go.
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>> members of the house democratic caucus, including nancy policy, spoke with reporters following their group retreat in virginia. they talked about their performance during the first 100 days of their majority in the house and their legislative agenda for the months ahead. >> good morning.
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>> we have concluded the house democratic caucus issues conference 100 days in, fighting for the people. we are unified, we are driven, we are committed to execute like a laser beam our for the people agenda on behalf of every day americans. house democrats wake up each and every day to fight for working families, middle-class folks, and senior citizens, house democrats wake up every day to fight for the poor and the sick and the afflicted. house democrats wake up each day to fight for the lost and the left behind. house democrats wake up each day to fight for veterans, for people in urban america and suburban america and rural america, house democrats are committed to fight for the people.
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that is what we have discussed over the last few days. , weave learned together have enjoyed each other's company, focused on the creativity and the energy and the brilliance and the drive to collectively get things done for the people. we have had a successful 100 days and looking forward to a more successful second 100 days as we continue our journey fighting for the people. let me yield to our very distinguished vice chair of the house democratic caucus from the commonwealth of massachusetts, katherine clark. chairman, andmr. thank you to my colleagues for being here. i amproud to my report -- proud to report that 100 days into the new majority, the
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caucus is strong, we are focused , we are unified on getting things done for the american people and to putting those foundations of our for the people agenda ahead of us. , to make sure we are putting those issues people talk about around their kitchen table back on the front burner of congress. protected voting rights, getting corruption out of politics, commonsense measures to stop gun violence in this country. making sure women are paid equally for equal work. protecting those with pre-existing conditions. that is just some of what we have already done in this caucus, in this majority, for the people. toare excited and energized go to our districts and be back at work, hearing from them to
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inform our work and we come back in the end of april. and key to delivering our agenda , i am work of the dpcc proud to call up the chairman and very grateful that ted lieu - and debbieere -- th is here representing them. to chairman jeffrey's and vice-chairman clark, thank you for an incredible conference and thank you to the speaker for a great issues conference. this was the best, the most exciting because we really had an opportunity to reflect on the work we have done in the first 100 days which i say was more than was done in the last eight years in the american people ranging from the issues we identify after listening to the american people about their
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priorities. driving down health care costs and the cost of prescription drugs, making sure we protect coverage from the existing editions and raising family income for the real folks on rebuilding the country with a bold infrastructure plan and taking on the corruption in washington and getting the government working for the people again. when you look at the list, extraordinary of the accomplishments of the first 100 days and we reflected on that and learn from each other and really developed an incredibly cohesive force so that we can build on this momentum and get the work done that lies ahead. this was an inspiring gathering and we are leaving here he energized and determined to continue to on the issues that matter most to the american people. i have the privilege of introducing the distinguished lady from the state of illinois, lauren underwood. >> i am from illinois 14th and pleased to be here with you today, we made it through the first 100 days, my freshman colleagues and i have been
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focused on our constituents, being responsible and accountable to them and we have had over 100 townhouse collectively, tackle corresponded, and we are showing up for the communities and having their backs in washington. when we say we are working for the people, working every day to lower health-care. on day one we voted to defend the affordable care act and a case that threatened to strip away pre-existing conditions and had hearings and propose bills to expand tax credits lowering premium prices for consumers and stabilizing marketplaces. we are focused on lowering drug prices, from hearing on price spikes and bills addressing competition and driving innovation. and many exciting proposals to expand coverage. house democrats are united to improve quality at lower health-care costs for american people and we are holding the administration accountable for their efforts to take away coverage and we are making great
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progress but just getting started. i would like to bring up dean phillips for minnesota. >> what a great couple of days, we did reflecting and we dwelt impossibilities and most importantly this caucus became a family of diversity from all around the country, different races, religions, professional backgrounds, and political perspectives. but i want to invite the entire country to start doing this,'s -- spend time together. we have to start talking more and tweaking less. it was just two days but a good beginning, we are family and we are just getting started. i am honored to turn it over to my college desk colleague from texas, cynthia garcia. >> good morning. you have heard all of the great deeds, a line of accomplishments, but i want you
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to think of the people doing howe accomplishments -- these accomplishments do -- the mother who cannot have enough food to put on the table for her children, the seniors who may not have enough money to be able to pay for the medicines because of the high drug prices. workers who do not have a living wage. every one of these bills is not just words that represents families that will be directly impacted. no matter whether my district or lauren underwood's district or any district throughout the country, all of us together, as many we are one. [speaking spanish] no matter what language or what city, no matter what state across this country, working families will benefit from all of this work.
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freshman, here as a 100 days, but some days it is like 100 months, but it is good to see the list because now i feel like we may have gone through the shutdown, some tough times, for me, not my first ineo as i have been leadership positions in the state senate in texas but always in the minority and it is great to be here and excited and i look forward to coming back. madam speaker, i look forward to working with you for the next 100 days and many more days to come because i know that the best is yet to come, particularly under your leadership. i yield to our speaker, nancy pelosi. [applause] rep. pelosi: i was so enjoying our speakers i did not realize i was next. colleagues who have saluted
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the leadership of our german hakeem jeffries and vice-chairman to bring us together in a unifying and energizing way at this conference. a series of workshops where we engaged with each other. and again, for the people. it is nice to be in the majority because of what it means for the electorate, for the people, majority, majority, majority, for the people mean lower health-care costs by reducing the cost of prescription drugs and saving the pre-existing for the people means building infrastructure of america in a green way, to make bigger paychecks and lower health-care costs, the majority for the people means cleaner government and we talked about those issues and how we can be more specific in terms of more affected in
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terms of connecting with the american people on all of those because the outside mobilization is what gives us hope, 10,000 events to save the affordable care act in the last term of office when the assaults were made to eliminate the affordable care act. we will fight it in the courts and congress and the court of public opinion. , this was a cause for celebration for what it means in the lives of the american people. we are all fond on using temple markers, lincoln fourscore and seven years ago, our founders, and they said, the times have found us. the times have found us now. in theput ourselves greatness of the founders or abraham lincoln but the times have found us because of the urgency of the challenge we have
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. our meeting was closed i comment from our distinguished and honorn, a person for us to go colleague and friend, john lewis. must save our values and save our democracy is how he closed a recession. we see that as our sponsor ability. thanks to our distinguished chair and vice chair and i want to knowledge tom malinowski, a freshman member from new jersey and ted lieu was a knowledge already, sheila jackson lee from texas, and hank johnson from georgia, very distinguished member. left saying our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power. yield to the
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distinguished chairman, mr. jeffries. >> thank you madam speaker. any questions? >> my question is for speaker pelosi. we just ran a story saying that the white house put pressure on i.c.e. to try to release undocumented migrants into democratic systems as political retribution during the shutdown standoff. would you comment? rep. pelosi: i do not know anything about it, but again, it is another notion that is unworthy of the presidency of the united states and the disrespect for the challenges we face as a country and people to address who we are, a nation of immigrants. >> what do you think about mitch mcconnell? he has been saying that he wants to make 2020 a referendum on socialism. rep. pelosi: come on.
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[laughter] rep. pelosi: why don't they make it a referendum on the positive suggestion they may have for the good of the american people? hr1 was to reduce the role of big politics, for them, it was to give 86% of the benefits of the tax bill to the top 1%. that is the only bill that have passed and sign of accomplishment in the last congress and you would think they might talk about something positive for the people. let's make it a referendum for the people in terms of lowering health care costs, bigger paychecks, cleaner government. any colleagues want to weigh in? tom? >> as somebody who came to america after my family escaped a socialistic dictatorship, if they want to come after me, if a president who is in love with a communist dictator kim jong-un, wants to come after me on that,
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bring it on. we will run on health care and infrastructure and we will win. >> congresswoman omar has continued to defend her comments about 9/11. what about her initial comment and defense of it? rep. pelosi: i have not had the opportunity to speak with her as to the nature of their comment. i called them in before i call them out. we tried to reach her but she was in transit. i will have comment after i speak to her. >> back to immigration, the president does continue to talk about the situation at the border. can you outline what the democratic response is at this point? rep. pelosi: we have been very clear. the president had a shut down government because he wanted billions of dollars for his wall, we sent him a bill, he did
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not want to sign it. he shut down government. weeks went by and in a bipartisan way, we wrote legislation that said here, this is what we are giving you for the border. we all agree we must secure our border. there is money for increased judges to adjudicate the cases quickly. there is funding for humanitarian assistance for the people coming in, there is money for repairs for some physical necessities, and there is funding to send countries of the northern triangle to try to alleviate the problem before it reaches our shores. that is what democrats and republicans in the house and senate sent to the president which he signed. he then tried to usurp the constitution of the u.s. with his initiative which 12 republicans in the senate voted
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in a bipartisan way to oppose the president. we all know we are supposed to secure the border. we do not need any lectures from the president on that, but we do want to work together for comprehensive immigration reform and i am pleased to see that it is reported that mitch mcconnell is ready to talk about that. we have a symptom at the border that has created a humanitarian crisis which was given to the president funds to address in a way that is consistent with our values, as a mother of five and a grandmother of nine, it is a statement of american values to not take children out of the arms of their parents. either you do not know what you are talking about are you do not know what bonding between parent and child is. whether father or mother and child. what the president is doing is , in my view, terribly wrong.
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what we need to do is sit down and have comprehensive immigration reform. i am glad the majority leader in the senate, mitch mcconnell, has said, or it is reported that he said he is willing to talk about it. i think the president realizes that has to happen and he cannot let any of the people in the white house who do not understand the words of ronald reagan who talked about what immigration means to america. rejuvenation. should i read it again? i just refer you to ronald reagan's last speech as president of the united states about the value of newcomers to our country. once we close that door, america will fail to be preeminent in the world. >> you talk about the accomplishments, but only two of these bills on the list that are highlighted have been enacted into law, and only 12 bill since the beginning of this congress
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have been signed by the president. you have 170 bills that are collecting dust in the senate. how frustrated are you -- rep. pelosi: they are not collecting dust. government was closed the first few weeks, we had to address that challenge. let me say this -- the reason we are optimistic and hopeful is not that we can pass bills in the house, we intend to do that. to stay our purpose and honor our commitment to american people, and make advances on their behalf. but i am a big believer in public sentiment. abraham lincoln, with that you can accomplish almost anything, without it, you practically can accomplish nothing. public sentiment will weigh in, and the senate will see it is important for equal pay, to have legislation passing for equal work, gun safety is important to the american people, that many pieces of legislation that we
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have either passed or are about to pass are 70%, 80% of bipartisanly and nonpartisanly supported by the american people. they will either act upon the legislation or be accountable to the public for why they did not. i am very proud of this list of accomplishments. we do intend -- we are not going as slow as the slowest ship, if you are suggesting that we sit back and say the senate will not do anything no matter what the public thinks -- you have mistaken us for someone else. do not do that. >> what you thought the prospects for bipartisanship over the next 100 days will look like? rep. pelosi: i think it is good. mitch mcconnell -- our main must pass legislation is the
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appropriations bill and we will pass in a bipartisan way. and in a way that is according to time, on time, and that is an accomplishment. we will do that in a bipartisan way. the senator has now said that he wanted to talk about immigration. if what we read in the press is accurate. hopefully, it has some basis in fact. we will find out. i do think there is plenty room for bipartisanship as i've said before and i will say again. the president has said that he wants to do an infrastructure bill. so do we. we are making progress as to what the parameters of that would be. timewise and financially. the president has said that he wants to lower the cost of prescription drugs. now we are onto to two of our top priorities. lower the prescription drug cost, building and fractured to build paychecks, bigger
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paychecks for our country, so we have prioritized in a way that is bipartisan. that is bipartisan. i am not sure they are interested in cleaner government and lowering the role of dark, special interest money and politics, but we will leave that to the american people. by the way, as we celebrate our majority, majority, majority for the people, lower drug prices, bigger paychecks, cleaner government, it is important to note, our distinguished chair gave us a plan for how we go forward, but we want to 43 -- won 43 seats, republicans in a highly gerrymandered, deeply voter suppressed arena. the american people are paying attention. the american people spoke at the polls. the american people will weigh in on these issues. anybody want to say anything?
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>> as the speaker indicated, we were able to seize the majority because of public sentiment that was with us on the issues that we communicated to the american people that we would fight for anchored in lower health care costs, bigger paychecks, focus on an infrastructure plan, and cleaning up government and the corruption that exists in washington. public sentiment is everything. the public is with us. house democrats have promised to protect americans with pre-existing conditions. we have promised to lower health care costs, focused on driving down the high cost of lifesaving prescriptions. house democrats have promised a real infrastructure plan to fix our crumbling bridges, roads, tunnels, airports, mass transportation system, and to do it in a bipartisan way. that is what we intend to deliver.
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rep. pelosi: by the way, on the subject of health care and pre-existing conditions, no one was more articulate -- all of the things we have talked about about message, none of it is important without the quality of the candidates we have out there. lauren underwood's personal story was such a compelling one, not only won her election, but had a rep will affect -- ripple effect across the country, thank you for your leadership and courage. >> this agenda that house democrats developed came from the american people. we did not just pick these priorities. these are the priorities of the american people. i think that is why the speaker's optimism is so well-placed. it cannot be the case that the senate of the united states and republicans in the senate will prevent us moving forward on the urgent priorities of the american people. we are counting on them to respond to the will of the people, and if not, face the consequences in 2020. democrats are going to continue to fight for the people and hold
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them accountable if they do not join our effort. rep. pelosi: we would rather have success in terms of them passing the bill than having a political issue at the polls. >> do you feel confident about being able to pass the appropriations bill? the president commented on it. he said house democrats want to negotiate a $2 trillion spending increase but cannot pass their own plan and we cannot afford it and it is not happening. what is your response? rep. pelosi: i do not respond to the president's tweets. to me, it is unpresidential. we have serious work to do. do. what his purpose in tweeting as i don't know but our purpose is working together to get the job done for the american people. unify not to inflame but and i think if there's any message to come's conference is one of respect for the decency
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of the american people and respect for meeting their needs and to do so in a way that is not dividing but unify. .hank you very much >> the complete guide to congress is now available. lots of details about the house and senate for the current session of congress. information about every senator and representative plus information about congressional committees state governors and
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the cabinet. the 2019 congressional directory is a handy spiral-bound guide. order your copy from the c-span online store for $18.95. >> presidential candidate senator bernie sanders holds a rally in madison wisconsin, a state he won by 13 points in the democratic primary three years ago and which president trump carried in 2016. his kickoffs lincoln pivotal states that are part of what the democrats call a blue wall strategy. sanders is visiting indiana, michigan and pennsylvania this week. [cheers and applause] ♪

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