tv House Speaker Nancy Pelosi News Conference CSPAN May 23, 2019 1:42pm-2:04pm EDT
us of our mission to build a future worthy of their sacrifice. we do so honoring the oath we take to support and defend the constitution and to protect the american people. honoring that oath this week, the house passed nine bills to support veterans, protecting their health benefits, financial security and taking action to end the crisis of veteran suicide. this week we're also passing urgently needed fix for military families facing tax hikes under the g.o.p. tax scam. with this tax, the republicans took half a billion dollars from working and middle class families and gave it to big corporations and the wealthy. a half billion dollars. it is unacceptable that surviving children of our fallen heroes who have suffered so much are now forced to pay thousands of additional dollars in taxes
on their benefits. they cannot be forced to sacrifice twice. as democrats take action to protect military families, we also are hard at work to protect our workers in stark contrast to the republican special interest agenda. today, in the same legislation tax act, the he tax fix to fix what the republicans did in their tax scam, we're passing the secure act, we're passing strong measures to help workers have a secure retirement. and yesterday, congresswoman waters' consumer first act reversing the administration's destruction of the consumer bureau which -- the consumer bureau returned nearly $12 billion to 30 million seniors, service members and veterans before being gutted by the trump administration. also to honor our both oath, we're hoping to have a disaster supplemental bill passed before we leave for the district work
period. that was our home. -- hope. that's what we've been working on until the wee small hours last night. however, we have sent legislation, bipartisan legislation, passed in the house, to the senate that would be helpful for those in the disaster stricken areas if the senate would just pass the bill and send it on to the president. pass the bill -- passed the will a while back, months ago. then in light of other disasters that occurred in the spring, we then made -- passed another bill that expanded the areas that were affected. that is sitting over at the senate. they could well just pass it. and send it to the president. that would send such a beautiful message to those areas that are affected. continue to be affected. ou can see what's happening in that as we gather here. the problem is the trump administration has put in conditions for border funding
that's totally unacceptable. really don't have anything to do with what we're try to do for disaster assistance and we have not been able to find common ground. we understand our responsibility to protect our border but what they're doing is just not right. it's important to note that in the 10 years before this, not a single child died in the custody of the border patrol on the border. now six children have died in the last several months. six children have died in the last several months. further honoring our oath means honoring our constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight of the president and the trump administration. that responsibility has been resoundingly affirmed again and again making absolutely clear that the house has a responsibility to follow the facts, uncover the truth so the -- for the american people. yesterday, deutsche bank ruling concluded, and i quote, put simply, the pow over congress to conduct investigations is
inherent and the ledge -- in the legislative process. and in the case on monday, the judge declared, there can be little doubt that congress' interest in the accuracy of the president's financial disclosures falls within the legislative sphere. but the president's priority, his personal and political interest, not the public interest. yesterday, as you know, democrats went to the white house prepared to offer the president the opportunity to launch a historic infrastructure initiative. we had met three weeks before. the idea that it was a good, positive meeting about how we build the infrastructure of our country. broadband in rural areas and underserved urban areas as well. water systems, both wastewater and safe, clean drinking water, infrastructure for our satellites so our technology works here. for all of these things we were optimistic, we also were hoping for housing and school
construction as further part of the conversation. the question is, how is it paid for? and the president was going to -- the plan was as we agreed they were meeting, the president was to present his proposals at yesterday's meeting. everyone -- it started making -- sending signal he is may not be -- he might not be ready or interested and before sent a letter to chuck schumer and me saying he doesn't want to do that until we do the u.s.-mexico-canada. that's not the accurate -- some call it after nafta, some call it nafta 2.0, but anyway that trade agreement. that's a strange juxtaposition but nonetheless the next day, you know what happened. i think what is happen, he said it's because of coverup. i know that strikes a cord with him and he's afraid of coverup. but -- afraid of being accused
of coverup. but i think that what he -- he knew the one court decision was getting into territory he did not want touched and they did not allow the mueller report -- the mueller investigation to go into the president's personal finances. so major setback for him. then he must have known the deutsche bank decision would be consistent but in any event, to against the presentation he pulled a stunt. i truly believe that the president has a bag of tricks and the white house has a bag of tricks they save for certain occasions. they don't necessarily apply to the occasion, but they're a distraction which is his master -- he's a master of distraction, we'll all agree on that, that's something he does well, dispract from problems he has. he changes, tries to change the subject. while he tries to say it's because i said coverup, we've
been saying coverup for a while. our 9:00 meeting was a meeting we have anyway. society had nothing to do with him. but i think what really got to him was the court cases and the fact that a house democratic does not pass to impeachment, and that's -- we when he saw that's not happen, with the coverup, which he understands is true that struck a cord. it was sad because as i said to some of you yesterday, thomas jefferson, one of our -- our third president, had the first infrastructure initiative, he taxed the secretary of the treasury, i said that to the secretary of the treasury yesterday after the president left the room, he taxed the secretary of the treasury to put together a big infrastructure plan to follow the lewis and clark expedition and the louisiana purchase to build into
the infrastructure of america cumberland road,' rikaal, things cumberland road, erie canal, things like that. 100 years later, tedky roosevelt initiated his infrastructure plan which was green. the establishment of the national park service. later in the century, president eisenhower put forth an interstate highway proposal with very bipartisan -- that was very bipartisan. the leader in the senate, lyndon johnson, in the house sam rayburn, and our republican president eisenhower working together to pass that for the good of the country. and its purpose under president eisenhower was that it was union -- it would unify america. it was a defense issue. what we're talking about now, infrastructure, the president said iword, i thought he was talking about infrastructure,
roads, bridges, mass transit. i said some of these things already. i thought we could give him the opportunity to make a historic contribution to the safety, because it's a safety measure, it's about commerce, it's about safety, it's about mobility, product to market and the rest of that. clean air, clean water. it's about a better future for our country. much needed. trillions of dollars in deficit. n terms of low or no maintenance. it's never been partisan. we don't want it to be partisan now. but i can only think that he wasn't up to the task of figuring out the difficult choices of how to cover the costs of the important infrastructure legislation that we had talked about three weeks before. so -- but the president again stormed out.
i think first, pound the table, walk out the door. next time, have a tv cam -- have the tv cameras in there while i have my say. that didn't work for him either. now this time another temper tantrum, again, i pray for the president of the united states. i wish that his family, administration, or staff would have an intervention for the good of the country. reporter: would you be prepared to change your rhetoric given the political landscape, his temperament? you suggest you're concerned about his well being. ms. pelosi: i am, and about the well being of the united states of america. reporter: are you willing to not use phrases like coverup or not provoke him. ms. pelosi: you have bought into
his excuse. that was not the reason he did that yesterday. that was an excuse for him to do that. with rull due respect to your question, i am -- i do not intend not to honor my oath of office nor do my colleagues in the house of representatives, to honor our oath of office to protect and defend the constitution which has a system of checks and balances, separation of power in it and again, it's a question of the american people understanding that what he is doing is an assault on the constitution of the united states. we can walk and chew gum at the same time. i hope he can too. eporter: what suggestions he's committed impeachable offenses but you say we're not on a path to impeachment, why are you opposed to impeachment, many of qure members want to do it. ms. pelosi: let me be clear. the president's behavior in terms of obstruction of justice,
it cannot be denied, obstruction of justice. yes, these could be impeachable offenses. things. not to -- three you might understand it better if you remember these three things. we want to follow the facts to get the truth to the american people. for the recognition -- with the recognition that no one is above the law, and three, that the president is engaged in a coverup. we deal is what -- how with it is a conclusion our caucus makes. our caucus is very much say whavering we do, we need to be ready when we do it. i do think that impeachment is a very divisive place to go in our country. and what we can get the facts to the american people through our investigation, it may take us to a place that is unavoidable in
terms of impeachment or not but we're not at that place. reporter: another meeting with the president after what happened? will you work with him on anything? ms. pelosi: of course. we're dealing with a situation that's becoming more predictable but i do think that we have a responsibility to try to find common ground. it's funny you asked that question. yesterday, i was going to start the meeting in terms of putting it in perspective as i have done here but also to say we're very busy people. the leaders in the congress. especially the president of the united states. i think. and a meeting between leaders of the congress and the president is a historic meeting. this is not a casual coming together of democrats and republicans. this is a historic meeting. it's a leadership of the legislative branch, the first branch of government, and the president of the united states. so let's make it count for something. let's realy make it count for
something. by dint of preparation. by dint of respect for each other's views, understanding that we'll have to yield on points to get results for the american people. but he obviously did not -- was not prepared by dint of preparation, he was not prepared , so some excuse to go out the door. he did not take responseability for his irresponsible behavior because we pointed out the truth. the speaker pro tempore: kellyanne conway remarked she's apparently abandoned -- ms. pelosi: i'm not going to talk about her. i responded as the speaker of the house to the president of the united states. other conversations people were having among themselves. reporter: you guys have a lot of major legislative issues you need to address. the president and secretary talking about -- you're going to
lose democratic focus. how do you go back and reengineer this, might not be infrastructure but you have to keep the government open, got to raise the debt ceil, you have to have democratic votes. ms. pe he see: go ask that question of the president of the united states. he's ulls always been -- left to our devices, our appropriators, i'm an appropriator, i was forged in that culture. in those days they were not partisan arenas. disaster assistance, we could have gotten there left to the dwifes the appropriators until the white house intervened. we will have to pass the appropriations bill and we will. and hopefully we will do them in a very timely fashion. the debt ceiling will have to be lifted. and that's a matter of conversation that we're having on the debt ceiling. we're not saying that the president said if you don't stop
investigating me if you don't stop honoring your oath of office, i can't work with you. that's basically what he's saying. maybe he wants to take a leave of absence, i don't know. but on the other hand, but on the other hand, we understand what our responsibilities are and it will be up to them -- reporter: aren't you in a better position to ask for more because of the blowup yesterday? ms. pelosi: we have to be doing what is right for the american people and all the he cannists -- equities. reporter: you said that the president wants on some level -- ms. pelosi: of course, i told you. reporter: could you explain that . you made a comment that he might want to do an intervention.
ms. pelosi: that would be good, article 25. troublemaker. that's a good idea, i'm glad you suggested. my colleagues haven't been thinking about it. but your support will be important to them. [laughter] ms. pelosi: there is no question. the white house is just crying out for impeachment. that's why he left yesterday because he was hoping, somehow you all have a story that isn't real. you want to believe there is this unease in our caucus. that isn't true. we have respect for the diversity of our caucus. that is our strength and we have unity in our caucus. when he saw that -- he is saying you called that meeting at 9:00. no. we have meetings, mr. president. it's not about you.
but it is about whatever is , rent at that time and so however, you keep perpetrating this story. i don't know why the president isn't factual. but nonetheless, this is what disappointed him because he didn't see this rush to impeachment coming out of our caucus in our 9:00 meeting, which he thought was called specifically for him. and that's up to his family and his cabinet and his staff and the white house. this is not behavior that is -- that rises to the dignity of the office of president of the united states. having said that, i pray for the president because we need -- i don't know, sometimes when we are talking to him, he agrees and i said one time, who's in
charge because you agree and then all of a sudden, something changes. what does on there? who's in charge? he says he's in charge and i suspect he may be and i suspect he may be, because i don't think theresponsible assistant to president of the united states advised him to do what he did do yesterday. thank you all. [indiscernible chatter] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org