tv Speaker Pelosi Weekly News Conference CSPAN May 5, 2019 12:59pm-1:16pm EDT
news conference discussing the democratic legislative agenda and attorney general. she is followed by kevin mccarthy's news conference, including comments on the molar eller hearings. talking] ms. pelosi: good morning, everyone. yesterday was quite a day. i lost sleep after watching over and over again the testimony of the attorney general of the united states. how sad it is. how sad it is for us to see the top law enforcement officer in our country misrepresenting, withholding the truth from the congress of the united states. i think it's -- as i watched him, i kept saying what could
possibly be motivating the attorney general of the united states to disrespect the constitution of the united states, separation of powers, the right of congress to know? what possible motivation could the attorney general of the united states have to dishonor the office that he holds right there for the whole world to see to misrepresent the facts to the congress of the united states? and i began to connect the dots. we have mitch mcconnell doing his fundraising pitches and describes himself as the grim reaper, grim reaper for any legislation that comes over from the house that would go to a senate grave yard. calls himself the grim reaper. mitch mcconnell, donald trump, attorney general barr, there's a connection.
there is an ideological anti-governance, anti-science, anti-meeting the needs of the american people. so when he was testifying and being so cavalier about special counsel mueller -- the mueller report and so disrespectful of congress, i thought this isn't about president trump only but about a right-wing ideological hand maidens to special interests in our country and it is important to connect the dots because the american people have to know what this means to them. if you are a young person, you care about the climate crisis. we are passing that bill right now on the floor and i will have to leave momentarily to vote on it. that will be dead on arrival in the senate. if you are a young person, you care about net neutrality, freedom on the internet. the grim reaper is going to kill
it in the senate. if you are woman, violence against women act, equal pay for equal work we sent over to the senate. the grim reaper, mitch mcconnell, will kill it. if you care about reducing the reducing role of money in politics and stopping voter suppression and expanding the voice of the american people, mitch mcconnell will kill it, because he said the problem is not too much money in politics. he said there is not enough money in politics. our h.r.-1 is about expanding the voice of the people. h.r- 1 was giving 83% of the tax benefit to the top 1%. this is about policy and also about gun safety. gun safety, we sent over h.r.-8 and h.r.-1112 for responsible background checks.
hand maidens to the national rifle association end this -- and special-interest. connect the dots. when you see barr sitting there, what's his motivation? his motivation, his loyalty is not to his oath of office, but it is to donald trump. but all of it and the republicans in congress is to the special interests. whether it's h.r.-1, gun safety, paycheck fairness, violence against women, save the internet, climate action now, the list goes on. we will be sending more legislation. but apparently i have news for mitch mcconnell. he may consider them dead on arrival and the grim reaper for all of these actions taken by the house of representatives, but they are alive and well among the american people and there is a direct connection.
the biggest and saddest of all is why our attorney general was -- while the attorney general was sitting there with holding the truth from congress, misrepresenting, being inconsistent in his statements. the shame. how could he do such a thing? but, again, having the support of the republicans in congress and senators behaving in a way saying we don't care about the branch of government in which we serve. they are not even loyal to strengthening the institution to which we are a part while sitting there once again, his justice department was intensifying its assault on the affordable care act. and they did their filing, further filing to get rid of the entire affordable care act. so that's what it means to people with pre-existing conditions, his sitting there in that arrogance. i don't care about your pre-existing condition.
i care about the special interests in our country. that was the message. so the connecting of the dots between mitch mcconnell, the republican agenda in congress such as it is, the special interest agenda fueled by dark special interest money, that's what that hearing was about. it wasn't about technicalities, it wasn't about who wrote the letter, how he characterized the letter. that's interesting. but what is deadly serious about it is the attorney general of the united states of america was not telling the truth to the congress of the united states. that's a crime. reporter: speaker pelosi, what are you considering for members of the administration who don't comply with congressional subpoenas? ms. pelosi: i have great confidence in our committees.
we have six committees that have -- five of them have subpoenas. so far, we don't have one from the foreign affairs committee. but five of the six committees of jurisdiction have the potential for subpoenas. they haven't all should subpoenas. but that's where we see some of that activity. as you probably know in the articles of impeachment for president nixon, article 3 was that he ignored the subpoenas of congress, that he did not honor the subpoenas. this is very, very serious. but my judgment will spring from the judgment of our committee chairs. and in terms of -- i'm looking at mr. nadler's statement, in the close of his statement today relating to the attorney general he said history will judge us on how we face this challenge. we will be held accountable one way or the other. if he he, barr, does not provide
this committee with the information it demnds and respect it deserves, mr. barr's moment of accountability will come soon enough. and i think that applies. reporter: [indiscernible question] ms. pelosi: the committees are trying to make accommodations in terms of receiving the unredacted mueller report. let them work their will and then we'll go to the next. reporter: did the attorney general commit a crime? ms. pelosi: he lied to congress. he lied to congress. if anybody else did that, it would be considered a crime. nobody is above the law, not the president of the united states and not the attorney general. being the attorney general does not give you a bath to say whatever you want and it is a fact because you are the attorney general. reporter: should he go to jail for it? ms. pelosi: there's a process involved here.
and as i said, i'll say it again, no matter how many questions you have, the committee will act upon how we will proceed. reporter: last week, you have said that you wanted your caucus to focus on the investigations that are ongoing. given the fact that there is some obstruction from the white house, do you think the time has come to move that deadline up? ms. pelosi: no. i think the statements being made by the president of the united states has given a blanket statement that he's not going to honor any subpoenas for obstruction obstruction of justice. many of the statements that the administration has made has been about obstruction of justice. we are in a very, very, very challenging place because we have a republican party in the congress who are complicit in the special interest agenda of the national rifle association,
the fossil fuel industry, special interests writ large. so they are not going to say anything. that's why i say impeachment is the easy way out for some of these people because they know it will end at the senate's edge. but the fact is that we still have that responsibility. many people, and i completely agree with them our , responsibility is to create jobs and protect access to health care, lowering prescription drugs, bigger paychecks by building infrastructure, and cleaner government in passing h.r.-1 and other initiatives that will spring from that. so there is a direct relationship between health care in america and the behavior of the attorney general of the united states who is taking the
lead on overturning the affordable care act which has within it the legislation, the law to protect the people with pre-existing conditions. and the list goes on and on. so, again, every day that goes by, we see more reason why republicans in congress should respect their own oath of office and send a message to this administration that while they share their special interests agenda that it should not include undermining the constitution of the united states. reporter: mr. trump had tweeted this week that the working people want to get the new nafta. do you want time to get a consensus in your caucus on what enforcement is needed for the new nafta and how to change the
biologic provisions? ms. pelosi: the environmental provisions. but the three provisions are -- what it means for america's that is positive for america's workers. you don't exploit workers in mexico. the lower they are paid, the worst it is for american workers. it is about american workers and about the environment and the climate issue that we are voting on right now and climate action now the environmental issues are , important to us. as a californian i can attest to the need for us to improve the provision there and then the biologics and the concern for members. but the overarching issue is enforcement. you can have all the good language in the world that you want, but if you don't have enforcements, you are just having a conversation. you are not having a real negotiation. reporter: are you working on
what kind of enforcement is needed? ms. pelosi: it can't be a sidebar, later legislation or anything like that. to your basic first question, yes, we would like to get to yes. i thought it would be easier than this because we've been clear about enforcement in any trade agreement, whether it's with china or whether in our own hemisphere, that enforcement is key to all of it. reporter: madam speaker, on infrastructure with your big meeting earlier this week with the president, i know in a couple weeks you're expecting him to come up with some pay-for's, but what do you have in mind? obviously it sounds like republicans are not looking at a gas tax. what is your opinion on this? ms. pelosi: my opinion is we'll wait to hear what the president has to say. i spoke to him since the meeting
and he said we would be putting together some of the acceptable pay-for's are to him and we look forward to hearing what he has to say. but we were pleased that the president -- he took it up to $2 trillion. what we would like to see is that they make a commitment, 80/20 -- 80% from the federal government, 20% from the locality. that in terms of climate have resiliency in it. you can't build infrastructure for the future without resiliency relating to climate. we want to see women, veterans, and minority-owned businesses to participate in the prosperity that this will bring, and we want to see prevailing wage, davis-bacon, to be part of it. because we've always been about bigger paychecks. by building infrastructure of america in a green way.
we hope that's what we can do, working together. it was a positive meeting. we advanced the discussion down the road. we'll see what the president has to say when he acts, but this is so important. it's about commerce. it's about clean air, clean water. so it's a public health issue. it's about the jobs, the building infrastructure, but also the commerce it would create. it's a quality of life issue to get them out of their cars so they can spend more time with their families. reporter: you said you spoke to him after the meeting. was that strictly on infrastructure? did you talk about immigration? ms. pelosi: no. we talked about bringing down the price of prescription drugs, but only touched upon the fact we want to, as we finish up with the funding, etc. -- not finish but progress -- proposal for the infrastructure we would move on how we can lower the cost of
prescription drugs. thank you very much. let me just say, we had sad, sad news with the passing of our former colleague, ellen tauscher of california. she was a wonderful leader when she served in the congress. took her experience and values out to the community. being a fighter for nonnuclear proliferation. in her history before she came to the congress, she was one of the youngest and i think the first or one of the earliest women to have a seat on the new york stock exchange. she was a pioneer. every place she served she was a leader. she was a friend. she was a mom that took great pride in her daughter, katherine. it is a really sad loss for us. i was so pleased that so many californians and others joined us in a moment of silence for her on the floor of the house. day before yesterday. was that yesterday?
yesterday. it was just yesterday. but we'll be honoring her more. we'll always be missing her. carry her in our hearts. congresswoman ellen tauscher of california. thank you. [crowd talking] >> did someone say no to that? mr. mccarthy: first, let me apologize for being late. it's something i don't like to do. i don't control the floor anymore so i'm sorry. first of all good afternoon. , i want to start, first, by recognize day of remembrance. a time when our nation pauses to