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Nancy Pelosi
  Speaker Pelosi News Conference on For the People Act  CSPAN  September 27, 2019 2:32pm-3:12pm EDT

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we did it in eight weeks and we submitted it to john and that's the last we heard of it. and six weeks later, the president resigned. >> watch sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. >> speaker nancy pelosi and house democrats held a news conference to discuss legislation the house has passed focusing on voting rights and campaign finance. this briefing is about 30 minutes. ms. pelosi: gone everyone. thank you very much for being here this morning. as we observe the 200th day since we sent h.r. 1 over to the
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senate. i want to commend congressman john sarbanes for being such a tremendous leadership in integrity and government, by working this issue for a long time. then became h.r. 1, when the democrats had the majority in congress. andas been one who has seen heard from the public how concerned they are about the role big, dark money in politics undermines their confidence that congress can ever act to lower prescription drug prices, to protect our environment. the list goes on and on. because of that big dark money. so his role as chair of the democratic reform task force and lead sponsor of h.r. 1 is to be commended for anyone who wants reducing thet only role of money in politics, but
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restoring the confidence of the american people in what we do here. i also want to acknowledge the leadership of madam chair, the chair of the house administration committee, did he do lofgren. she is a -- zoe lofgren. she is a champion, a brilliant legal mind, that we call upon in many arenas -- areas here. and a champion of securing our elections. the freshman class during the campaign, about one year ago, they sent a letter signed by 100 candidates, many of whom -- 67 or some of whom became members of congress, stating that h.r. 1 was of the highest priority. cleaning up government. our agenda in the last election was for the people, quoting from the words, the brilliant words of our founders at the start of our constitution, we the people. our constitution begins we the
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people, we are acting for the people. with us today, a representative of new jersey, represent neguse of colorado. representative pappas of new hampshire. representative holland of new mexico -- hallucinateland of new mexico. and many more -- haaland of new mexico. and many more members of the freshmen class who have been leaders on this issue. i'm proud to be standing with those and you'll be hearing from them momentarily. we sent this legislation over to the senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell, and it's been sitting there in his grim reaper role, but we're saying to him, the american -- you may think this is dead over there, grim reaper, what a nice thing to say about yourself, but it is alive and well in the public. and the people know and they will know more, that you are holding this up. it's important to note that
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mitch mcconnell has said, the problem is not that there's too much money in politics, the problem is that there isn't enough money in politics. if there's ever a declaration of lack of values in terms of our democracy, with stiff competition that stands as a prominent one. i'm now very pleased to yield to the distinguished chair of our task force, a leader in restoring confidence in government, increasing the role of the people, for the people in government, congressman john sarbanes. mr. sarbanes: thank you, thank you, madam speaker. here we are, 200 days since we first introduced h.r. 1, the for the people act. mitch mcconnell still will not bring it to the floor of the united states senate. this bill was crafted in response to what we were hearing from the american public.
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and the freshmen members of congress who are standing behind me, who you will hear from in a moment, carried that message loud and clear to this chamber. our speaker heard that message and she leaned in on day one. we introduced this as soon as we put our hands down from taking the oath of office. h.r. 1, the for the people act, was introduced with the leadership of speaker pelosi. but with the championing that came from the freshmen class. and the message that was heard from the american public that we took to heart and we put into the soul of h.r. 1 was, number one, they were saying to us, you shouldn't have to run an obstacle course to get to the ballot box in america. so we need to strengthen voting and registration and push back on voter suppression across the country. the second thing that they said to us, the message that was coming that we heard loud and clear was, when you go to washington you should behave yourself, you should act
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ethically, you should abide by the rules, conflict of interest rules, and so forth. so we built a part of h.r. 1 that would address ethics and accountability. and the third thing, the third message that was coming to members of congress from the american people was, when you get to washington, don't get tangled up in the money, remember who sent you there. on't work for the insiders and p.a.c.'s and super p.a.c.'s and lobbyists and special interests, work for us, the american people. create transparaphernalia sbi where the big money comes from -- transparency about where the big money comes from. make small donors the most important people out there. and strengthen the enforcement tools we have here to catch people that are breaking the law in campaign finance in realtime. that was all put into h.r. 1, in the house democrats heard those messages from the american people and we immediately translated it into a blueprint, a framework for democracy reform. which was h.r. 1. mitch mcconnell apparently is
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not listening the way we're listening. because for 200 days, he's kept h.r. 1 on the senate side without bringing it to the floor. we're asking him, bring this landmark legislation that can fix our democracy to the senate floor so the people can have a vote. and the my privilege now to introduce really the person who made sure we got this done in terms of regular order in the house of representatives, and that's zoe lofgren, who is the chair of the house administration committee, where all of this was pulled together and we were able to get it over the finish line in the house of representatives. ms. lofgren: thank you. you know, in addition to the elements outlined so well by mr. sarbanes, there was a provision in h.r. 1 to secure our voting systems. all 50 states were targeted in the attacks, the cyberattacks in
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2016, and we know that the attackers will be back. just yesterday the acting director of national intelligence said this, quote, i think the greatest challenge that we have is to make sure we maintain the integrity of our election system. we know right now that there are foreign powers that are trying to get us to question the validity of whether or not our elections are valid. he went on to say, protecting the sanctity of our elections within the united states, whether it be national state, local, is perhaps the most important job we have with the intelligence community. so, for the past 200 days, we have been pressing the senate to take up h.r. 1 for the reasons outlined by mr. sarbanes, but we have also provided $1 billion for states to upgrade the security of their voting systems across the country.
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by replacing outdated vulnerable voting machines with paper ballot voting systems. 175 million -- $175 million for ongoing funds for states to respond to evolving threats. $20 million for states to implement risk-limiting audits. a regulation of election vendors to make sure they follow cybersecurity best practices. you know, it seems to me that securing our election system should not be a partisan issue. every american should know that when they cast their ballot, it's going to be counted just as they cast it. that is not a democratic issue, it's not a republican issue, it's not an independent issue, it's an american issue. it's time for mitch mcconnell and the senate to act on h.r. 1 and secure our democracy. i'd like to introduce now someone who has been such a standout in the freshman class, his expertise in the state
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department, his keen intelligence, his integrity beyond question, that is mr. malinowski. please come forward. mr. maloney: thank you, everybody. -- mr. malinowski: thank you, everybody. madam speaker, you mentioned that letter we all sent it seems like years ago when we were just starting our campaigns. i put my name on that letter because i spent much of my career fighting corruption around the world. one reason i ran for congress is because i want the united states to be able to hold its head up high. and to be a leader on these issues. and i was elected, like so many of the freshmen, in a district that is evenly divided. between republicans, democrats, independents. and my approach, our approach has been for congress to focus on issues, focus on passing legislation that can be unifying with the american people.
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and there is nothing more unifying, there's nothing more bipartisan when it comes to the american people than opposition to corruption. i talked to folks back in my district, republicans, democrats, it does not matter. i do not meet a single person who is happy with the idea that people and corporations can spend an unlimited amount of money in secret to influence our elections. i don't meet anybody who wants ethics rules to be weaker rather than stronger. i don't meet anybody who believes that partisan gerrymandering is a good idea. and i certainly don't meet anybody who believes that we should open our political system to foreign interference. now, we know what's happening in the u.s. senate. we're realistic about mitch mcconnell. he has some arguments against campaign finance reform. they're bad arguments, but at least he has an argument. he has absolutely no argument for holding up legislation to
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protect the security of our ballot boxes. he has made absolutely no argument. i can think of no more stark example of putting party over country than this. it is literally exposing america to further attack to promote the interests of one faction of one political party in this country. the american people are very clear about what they want. again, it may be partisan here, it is completely bipartisan when it comes to the american people. and that's why, despite the difficulties we are facing, i am 100% confident that the u.s. senate will pass h.r. 1. either this senate or a senate that will be elected by candidates who run -- with candidates who run on this issue. i'm absolutely confident that h.r. 1 will be signed into law by the president of the united states. either by this president or by a president who is elected by
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running on this issue. thank you very much. and now i'm very, very happy to introduce my good friend, congressman neguse of colorado. mr. neguse: thank you, representative malinowski. he's certainly a tough act to follow. i also want to say thank you to congressman sarbanes and to our speaker for their leadership. as congressman sarbanes mentioned, they heard the freshmen class loud and clear and it is thanks to their leadership and of course with chairwoman lofgren as well, that h.r. 1 really became the centerpiece of the for-the-people agenda and that it was one of the centerpiece bills that this caucus has passed in the house over the course of the last nine months. i just want to talk about one aspect of the bill that is critically important to me. and that is what the bill does to protect the right to vote. the right to vote really is foundational to our democracy. to our republican. and over the better part of the last 10, 15 years, you've seen
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state after state work to curb the right to vote. voter i.d. laws, many other efforts. this law changes that. this law brings the power back to the people. by adopting some of the most transformative, forward-thinking reforms for our election system. in a generation. many of these reforms are reforms that we've adopted in colorado. mail ballots, automatic voter registration. because we know that the more people who are eligible to participate, the more that they do, the better our democracy is for it. one experience every week, when i come back to washington, that i try -- i make sure to do, every fly-in day as we call them when i come into the house, and that's to greet mr. lewis. to remind myself that me and my colleagues in the freshmen class have this incredible honor to serve with someone who fought to protect that foundational right. so that someone like me could now serve in this incredible
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chamber. we owe it to mr. lewis and to the many folks who fought in the civil rights struggle 50 years ago to honor their service by passing h.r. 1. now, i will also tell you that, as someone who is new to washington like many of my freshmen colleagues, my understanding of the legislative process was fairly straightforward. you introduce a bill, you attract co-sponsors, you have regular order, a markup, and ultimately hearings and finally a vote on the floor. and that is certainly the case in the house thanks to the incredible leadership of our speaker. the same cannot be said of the united states senate. and it's hard for me, i struggle to understand why the senate majority leader refuses to give h.r. 1 a hearing. much less a vote. i will say this. the speaker is right. the people understand it. the freshmen colleagues that i've spoken to over the course of the last recesses, we were back home holding more town
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halls than any freshmen class has ever held in the history of the congress, i might add, as we were speaking with constituents, i think they understand, that's certainly my sense, that the senate has become a legislative grave yard. and that the house is doing the people's work and that it is long past time for the senate to do the same. so i would implore my senator, senators from colorado, to take this issue, this bill up and to push it to regular order so the american people have a chance to weigh in. and i know that here in the house we're going to continue to keep building the pressure so that, as the speaker often implores us to do, to keep it too hot to handle. which i think is certainly going to be the case. and i know one of the people who is certainly working towards that end is my distinguished colleague from the great state of new mexico, who made history in her own right as becoming the first -- one of the first two native american women to serve in the united states congress d that's my colleague, deb
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haaland. mr. o'halleran: thank you. thank you so much, joe -- ms. haaland: thank you. thank you so much, joe. i'm honored to be here. and thank you, mr. neguse, for raising the issue about civil rights. because, as a native american woman from new mexico, a 35th generation new mexican, native americans didn't have the right to vote in new mexico until 1948. and when we celebrated earlier, the women -- the 100th anniversary of the women's right to vote, we were reminded over and over again that not all women had the right to vote. women of color did not have the right to vote. and so it's these things that drive some of us to make sure that every single person can vote unebb come bered. before -- unencumbered. before i was elected to congress i spent nearly two decades organizing to make sure all americans have access to our democracy. that includes people who live in hard to reach areas and people who have traditionally been
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excluded from polypolitics. such as native americans and other under-represented groups. a little over 200 days ago, house democrats made history with h.r. 1, our once in a generation effort to clean up washington and return us to a government by and for the people. h.r. 1 does three simple things. first, it expands and protects access to the ballot box. for all voters, regardless of zip code, race, party or income. this includes making it easier for people to register to vote through measures like my same-day voter registration act, which is part of h.r. 1. second, it ends the era of big money in politics. and third, it ushers in a new culture of ethics and accountability across all three branches of government. it's time to deliver on our promise to the american people, to clean up corruption in
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washington, and no one, not even senator mcconnell, can stand in our way. and i am very proud now to turn this over to my colleague, representative pappas. of new hampshire. mr. pappas: thank you to my colleagues, thank you as well to the speaker, to chairwoman lofgren, and congressman sarbanes, for their incredible leadership on this issue, in helping facilitate bringing forward an incredible idea that the freshmen class has been so passionate about. you know, i like to say that the freshmen in congress have proximity to the people and also to the values of this nation. and we understand fundamentally that if we're going to make progress on climate change, on gun violence, on delivering affordable health care turnover american, popular ideas, if we're going to be reflect the sentiments of the american people, then we need to first shore up our democracy. and that's why this was priority number one for this house of representatives. you know, it's not too often that you go back home and cite a bill number and get cheers from your constituents. but that's what h.r. 1 elicits
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in the constituents in my district. and because they understand that this is foundational, that if we're going to be able to move forward as a nation, we need to make sure that we make it easier, not harder to vote, that we end the culture of corruption in washington, d.c., and that we end the influence that big money has in our system, that skews the playing field in one direction, in favor of the big corporations and special interests that have their fingerprints over way too many policy outcomes here in washington. so protecting that right to vote is absolutely foundational. and that's why it's a centerpiece of h.r. 1. included in this bill are certain provisions like automatic voter registration, removing barriers to access the ballot box, promoting integrity in our elections, to make sure that we don't see the type of abuses we've seen in states from ohio to georgia, and other places around this country. we've seen communities targeted in the united states with voter suppression efforts. and whether it's students or communities of color, those efforts are wrong and you'll see some of these architects come
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out and they'll actually admit what they're doing. they'll say, we're trying to rig these elections in our favor. this is an effort designed to allow politicians to pick their voters and not the other way around. and that's why we've moved forward with this legislation, to help shore up our democracy. if we're going to be successful, it's going to require all of us to be participating in that effort and that's why the freshmen class is so eager to continue to push this. we've gone 200 days without any action in the senate. and we'll keep standing up here, as long as it takes. delivering ma message on behalf of the american people -- that message on behalf of the american people to to make sure it breaks through so we can truly have a people that's of, for and by the american people. so with that, i'll turn it back over to congressman sarbanes who will facilitate some q&a. mr. sarbanes: thanks. so we'll definitely take any questions if you have them. just to wrap again, i think what people need to understand is that the american public is starting to perceive that the problem is not washington as a
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whole or congress as a whole. it's the fact that mitch mcconnell will not take good legislation that we are bringing forward pretty much every week in the house of representatives and bring it to the floor of the united states senate. and the public is perceiving that that's where the bottleneck is. so we're just urging mitch mcconnell, bring these important things, beginning with h.r. 1, to the floor of the united states senate. so the voice of the american people can be heard. are there any questions for any of the members up here? yes. reporter: given the fact that this is such a broad and expansive bill, is there anything that you guys would support if mcconnell was to take up one or two provisions, has that ever been a discussion at this point and would that be something you would support? mr. sarbanes: you're right that the bill is broad in its scope and includes a lot of different pieces that are all interlocking and they are all things the public has said they want to see. that's why we put them together and chairman lofgren was really
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the arc tect of making that -- architect of making that happen. we have recognized that there's things in h.r. 1 that can be pulled out and sent separately. and we already began that process. again, zoe may want to speak to this the safe act took out a lot of these ballot box security measures. so as a way to say to mcconnell, ok, we understand that, you know, maybe we can't get you to move on the whole package, even though that's what the public wants to see. but at the very least, can you take up these security measures with respect to our elections and put those on the senate floor? and he hasn't done that either. so do you want to speak to that? ms. lofgren: we did pass the safe act. it basically models what the science community has said we should do. to secure just the ballot boxes. that's important to act on urgently because the election's
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next year. and localities need to have a little bit of lead time to transition to paper ballots, to secure the equipment. having said that, the entire h.r. 1 is important. we want to keep the influence of dark foreign influence out of our elections, dark money out of our elections. but you can accelerate the actual securing of the systems themselves. hat's urgently needed. reporter: some of this does pertain to you like security issues. going into recess now. impeachment inquiry has been launched. how do you frame this to your constituents as you go back? explaining the process, getting some who are skeptical onboard? how do you do that -- [indiscernible] -- freshmen who represent battleground or swing districts -- [indiscernible] -- mr. sarbanes: i think the basic
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overarching message is that house democrats are able to both bring the kind of investigations that need to happen and obviously that's been a topic of this week. but at the same time we're purr sighing -- pursuing that we'll be doing it aggressively. there's a whole legislative agenda and if you look at all of the bills that have been introduced and passed on the house side, lowering prescription drugs, equal pay for equal work, raising the minimum wage, addressing gun safety in this country, etc., we have sent a very impressive set of legislative proposals to the united states senate. so we're able to do that even as we're fulfilling our constitutional responsibility to do investigation and oversight. and i'll turn it over to anybody who wants to teed that. >> i'll just say, i think we're all going to continue doing what we've been doing. as was mentioned, town halls
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have been front and center for most of us as we get connected and build relationships with folks in our district. mr. malinowski: we have a responsibility to continue the work we're doing on our own committees, whether it's on infrastructure, veterans' issues, a number of other things. but also to have an honest conversation with our voters back home about the severity of what we've seen this past week and the responsibility that we have as a congress to stand up and meet the demands of the oath of office that we all took. so i don't think any of us believe that we're a part of this discussion around an impeachment inquiry, we're doing it for political purposes. and so we do have a role to make sure we're going back and connecting the voters of our district with the solemn obligations that we have, the oversight responsibilities that we have that will continue. mr. pappas: and i do understand that, should members be required to be here for any part of that proceeding, they'll certainly be called back. >> i think the issues are
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connected in this way. that voters expect us to meet our constitutional responsibility. i ran on improving people's lives but i also ran on the content of the oath that we all took. mr. malinowski: and so they expect me, if the president of the united states violates the law, to hold him accountable. but at the same time our first and most fundamental duty is to be legislators. and as we learn from investigations about conduct by the president or by others in our government, that violates core american values, we also have a duty to pass legislation to ensure that these things never happen again. one of our vulnerabilities to foreign interference is our campaign finance system. we've learned that in the last few years. one of our vulnerabilities is that we have not invested enough
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in the physical security of our electoral system. and so i think it's actually -- it's very good and a very important message for to us deliver, that even as we consider the very grave matter of whether and how to hold the president accountable for the actions that have been detailed in the last few weeks, we also have to do our duty as legislators to make sure that no president, no executive branch, whether republican or democratic, can do these things in the future. h.r. 1 provides a very important safeguard. . repo
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reporter: what would be your exception for timeline? sarbanes: i think what you are seeing already on the part of the democrats is that we're going to treat this in a very sober and serious way and we are going to take things step by step deliberately in a timely way. i don't think any arbitrary deadline is warranted here with
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respect to the investigative side of things. but to emphasize what we've all been saying, even as that rocess is rolling out. we can continue to be very aggressive in terms of the legislative agenda. we already have done that and we are going to continue to do that. the average person out there, yes, i think are paying more and more attention to the conduct of the president. certainly based on the events of this week. but they're also trying to deal with what's coming at them every single day and that's where, you know, pocketbook ssues, the cost of health care feeling secure in your own security, those are the issues that everyday americans are kind of assimilating every single day, and we have to speak to them and we are speaking to them. again, this is another area. it's not just h.r. 1 that mitch mcconnell has shut down on the senate side. it's all of these other issues
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as well. i think the average person is picking up on that and he has to when we get to the ballot box next year for his sure. for asjust want to add one thing it's worth underscoring. part of leadership to the freshman class is the accomplishments. truth is the legislative agenda has been robust. there is a great story to tell. it hasn't been well publicized as well as it should be. halls.ioned town the 63 democratic freshmen in this class have held more town any other freshman class in modern history in congress. neguse: congressman pappas held 14 town halls in his istrict in new hampshire which i suspect is more town halls than several of his predecessors
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combined. haaland has e introduced 19 stand-alone bills the lead author of. the second most bills of any freshman in the united states. we have had seven freshmen have president -- the excuse me -- legislation signed into law by president trump over course of nine months. double that number of folks of house thatpassed the are pending in the united states senate. the vast majority of those bills are bipartisan bills. class is a hardworking class, and i think the legislative agenda to the extent as robust as i've described, i think that's going to continue over the course of you know, notwithstanding the important constitutional responsibilities that we have to perform our oversight. couple months will be into an election year. democrats will be figuring out
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election platform, the agenda for the upcoming congress. out will have to figure what you'll be running on. this was obviously h.r. 1. n all of your minds, you see there's something that stays where it is on the agenda, as ou seek reelection in 2020 and you're looking to tell people hat democrats might do potentially, you know, government, or are there other risen?that have mr. sarbanes: this is part of the agenda. 2018 these candidates ran on the for the people agenda which s to raise wages, lower prescription drug prices and health care costs and to fight and cleanup government. and that message was incredibly public -- with the res. nent with the public -- resonant with the public, as attest for. we'll go out with the same basic message again that we're focused economic impact that people deal with every single day, particularly the cost of
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and we've moved this week, as you know, to address that in a meaningful way. yes, fighting corruption and making sure people feel like is heard here in washington. that's absolutely going to emain at the center of the agenda next year. [inaudible] if he wants to pass h.r. 1 so we we've gotten , we've gotten that done and we can focus on issues, obviously we'd love to see that. we're not holding our breath. one more question here? yeah. reporter: yeah, thank you. the events of this week have passed very quickly. you feel like you have any guidance from the what your about message should be to constituents when you go back home? sarbanes: absolutely we have guidance from our leadership. are by conversations that going on every single day but also by the example being set by ur speaker and others within
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the leadership. and that is, as members of congress and the house of article 1, ves, legislative branch, we have a tostitutional responsibility conduct investigation and demanded, where that's and clearly it is in this instance with respect to this latest episode. taken things to a new level in terms of that responsibility, and we're stepping into it. and that's been a very clear message from leadership. we know theame time people out there -- we know, the people want to know what will democrats do, ultimately, if they are the ones given the across our government? we've shown what we'll do in the house of representatives, by very robust and meaningful legislative agenda. senate becausehe mitch mcconnell is the grim reaper. on that y thrives image, but i don't think that's oing to stand in good staid in
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the long -- stead in the long one because the american people that matter to them. we are going to move forward. leadership has been very clear, need to do both, investigate but legislate. reporter: does congressman to address that? i thought you did. sorry. general point with respect to message? reporter: yeah. n whether there is a single message on impeachment and how uch sort of guidance in this very chaotic week lawmakers have been able to get from their leadership? mr. neguse: i think congressman sarbanes articulated the message quite well. said, the speaker and, of course, our caucus chairman and examplehave set a great in terms of the way in which hey've characterized the path forward. it's a solemn moment for our country. t's a solemn moment for our republic, and it's a solemn moment for the house. we have a job to do and so we're
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proceed as the speaker has outlined. i do think her comments earlier this week about benjamin who heard or those her at the atlanta festival, were spot on. that back in the final days of the constitutional benjamin when franklin was asked by someone who walked by the convention, of government the created, his response was, a republic, if you it.keep it's our job in the congress as the article 1 branch to keep it. like congressman sarbanes and chairwoman lofgren, incredible job as chairman of the house administration committee, of course, our leadership, and this incredible freshman class, who was pointed out, astutely so, a wealth of experience in terms of their careers coming into the congress, i think we'll
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good shape. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> our coverage of the texas tribune festival in austin afternoon.his coming up we'll hear from texas land commissioner george p. bush historian and author michael. live coverage starts at 3:30 p.m. eastern here on c-span. wo republicans are challenging president trump for the party's nomination in 2020. former massachusetts governor weld and former illinois discounts joe walsh the trump presidency and how they will takenle issues. spoke at an event hosted by business insider. at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> the student cam experience been really, really valuable to me. >> it's had an affect on our
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it's helped us grow as people going into our college years. > for past winners of c-span's student cam video documentary ompetition, the experiment sparked their interest in production. >> i currently attend drake des rsity and that's in moines, iowa. the fun part about that is i get to be in the middle of caucus so manynd i got to meet different candidates. because of c-span, i had the therience in the equipment, knowledge, to be able to actually film some of them. >> and this year we're asking high school and students to create a short video documentary answering the question -- what issue do you want presidential candidates to address during the campaign? video and reflect differing points of view. in totalrding $100,000 ash prizes, including a $5,000 grand prize. >> be passionate about what you're discussing to express how large ormatter small you think the audience be. receive it to
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i know in the greatest country earth, istory of the your view does matter. >> for more information to help you get started, go to our website, kentucky republican js he is a member oe oversight committee. after speaker pelosi announced her impeachment inquiry, you called it a political stunt. has anything that has come out over the last 48 hours changed your mind about that assessment? guest: not really. i think speaker pelosi overreacted. and on pete -- impeachment inquiry is unprecedented. to call for one without having a transcript of the call, hearing from the whistleblower, that is a rush to judgment and i think it is a disgrace to the